First Announcement


Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the PLATO Mission Conference 2021: Exploring exoplanets in the habitable zone of solar-like stars, which will be held from 11 to 15 October 2021 as online event.

PLATO is the M3 mission in ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme and currently under development with a planned launch date in 2026. PLATO will search for exoplanets and perform their bulk characterisation with an unprecedented accuracy, focusing on Earth-size planets orbiting in the habitable zone of bright Sun-like stars. PLATO will use the transit method combined with the seismic analysis of the host star and with ground-based radial velocity measurements, to determine the planetary mass, radius, age, and orbital characteristics of the system.

The detection and characterisation of small planets with long periods (> 1 month) pose a number of challenges on the satellite development and on the processing of the light curves. Likewise, ground-based radial-velocity measurements of long-period small planets require the most advanced instrumentation and observation strategies. And, in addition, an accurate determination of their planetary parameters can only be achieved by an enhanced knowledge of the host star characteristics, which involves new developments in asteroseismology and stellar modelling. To tackle these issues, the PLATO Mission Consortium has set-up an extended network of working groups that are devoted to the preparation of the operations and the scientific exploitation of the mission.

PLATO is expected to have a major impact on the areas of exoplanet diversity, composition, evolution, architecture of planetary systems, and stellar modelling. PLATO will follow the exoplanet observatories CoRoT and Kepler/K2, and will operate in similar time frames to Gaia, TESS, CHEOPS, JWST, ESPRESSO/VLT, Roman Space Telescope, Ariel, and the ELT. The PLATO observing strategy will be defined considering the synergies with these facilities.  

This Conference aims at presenting the status of the PLATO mission to the community, both on the satellite development and scientific preparation, and at bringing experts working on observations and theory associated with any of the PLATO science objectives (for more information go to ).

The major themes of the Conference are:

  •     PLATO development status

  •     Selection of the PLATO sky fields and the PLATO Input Catalogue

  •     Light-curve analysis for detection and characterisation of long-period small planets

  •     Asteroseismology and stellar characterisation

  •     Advances in modelling stellar internal structure and evolution

  •     Stellar activity

  •     Ground-based observations for the confirmation and mass determination of planets

  •     Long-period small planets and habitability

  •     Planetary structure, composition, evolution, and architecture of planetary systems

  •     PLATO in the context of Kepler/K2, TESS, CHEOPS, JWST, Roman Space Telescope, Ariel, and large ground-based observatories

  •     Complementary science topics benefitting from PLATO high-precision photometry


Important dates:

15 Mach 2021: Opening of registration and abstract submission

18 June 2021: Deadline of abstract submission for oral contributions

30 July 2021: Announcement of final program, and deadline of abstract submission for poster contributions

24 September 2021: Deadline of registration

Scientific Organising Committee

    Conny Aerts
    Jessie L. Christiansen
    Magali Deleuil
    Marc Antoine Dupret
    Rafael Garrido
    Laurent Gizon
    MarieJo Goupil
    Ana M. Heras
    Hans Ludwig
    Rosemary Mardling
    J. Miguel Mas-Hesse
    Isabella Pagano
    Giampaolo Piotto
    Don Pollacco
    Roberto Ragazzoni
    Gavin Ramsay
    Heike Rauer
    Keivan Stassun
    Juan Carlos Suárez
    Stephane Udry

Confirmed Invited Speakers

    Maria Bergemann
    Andrew Collier-Cameron
    Guy Davies
    Sebastien Deheuvels
    Caroline Dorn
    Scott Gaudi
    Raphaelle Haywood
    Natalie Hinkel
    Laura Kreidberg
    Joshua Pepper
    Aldo Serenelli
    Ignas Snellen
    Andrew Tkachenko
    Andrew Vanderburg