NGTS – The Next Generation Transit Survey

The “Next Generation Transit Survey” (NGTS) is a ground based photometric survey for transiting exoplanets consisting of twelve identical telescopes.  The 20cm f/2.8 telescopes are equipped with red sensitive back-illuminated deep–depletion CCD cameras. Each telescope has a field of view of 8 square degrees totaling 96 square degrees of sky coverage for all twelve telescopes. It is sited at the premise of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) at Cerro Paranal, Chile. During the survey each telescope points independently and observes a single field with a cadence of ~12s (10s exposure time).  

High pointing accuracy and precise alignment in combination with an optimal site and high performance CCD cameras allow us to reach milli-mag photometric precision for hundreds of thousands of stars simultaneously. NGTS observes in a broad band between 520nm - 890nm optimized to detect Neptune sized planets around late K and early M dwarf stars. Due to the high photometric precision and a spatial resolution of ~5’’/pixel the instrument is also ideally suited for photometric follow-up of exoplanet candidates discovered with TESS or GAIA. The photometric data of high precision and cadence is also ideal for many other science cases (e.g. to study flares).

NGTS began full survey operation in 2016 and the first planets discovered with NGTS have been confirmed by radial velocity follow-up. All NGTS data will be made publicly available through the ESO archive. We will present the NGTS project and recent discoveries, including the most massive planet discovered transiting an M-dwarf.

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