Field Trip


5 July

07:45 to 20:30 (back in Lausanne)


Exoplanets, black holes and gamma rays in the sky above Geneva

Meeting point: Parking Lausanne Bellerive at 07:45 (bus leaves at 08:00)P&R Lausanne Vennes

Transport: by bus

Number of participants: 25

Registration fee: CHF 17 (includes transport and lunch)

Organizer: University of Geneva

Contact: Cristina Garcia (cristina.garcfdez@gmail.com)


On this field trip you will visit the Astronomy Department of Geneva University, the cradle of planetology. It was while working there, in 1995, that astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz discovered the first exoplanet orbiting around a sunlike star. You will visit the installations allowing the study of these new worlds, including the mechanical workshop and the biggest clean-room in Switzerland where the elements of a new instrument for the Very Large Telescope (VLT) of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile are being designed and produced. The observatory is also strongly involved in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) CHEOPS mission, a small photometric observatory to be launched into low Earth orbit to measure transits of Exoplanets, and will process all collected data. CHEOPS, which stands for “Characterizing exoplanet Satellite”, is the first Swiss designed and led satellite project. This satellite will be launched in the autumn of 2019 (October-November, from Kourou, French Guyana). By taking part in this field trip, you will have the opportunity to have face-to-face discussions with the scientists behind this major European mission.

The visit will also include Ecogia, the second site of the department, where astronomers study the extreme universe with its black holes and gamma ray bursts, as observed with the INTEGRAL satellite.

To wrap up the day, the participants on the various Geneva field trips will be treated to a closing cocktail party at Campus Biotech.