First announcement

The last 15 years have witnessed a rapid development of techniques for the detection and characterization of extrasolar planets. Radial velocity surveys have detected the first bona fide giant planets and are now pushing the limits towards lower masses and longer periods. As of today, the more than 400 known exoplanetary systems and our own Solar System demonstrate a large diversity of physical and chemical properties as various formation mechanisms (core accretion, stellar mechanisms). However, a small fraction of the mass-period diagram has been explored so far.

Recently, two major steps were accomplished with the first direct images of massive giant planets around young stars and the first low resolution spectra of transiting hot-Jupiters, preluding the era of "spectral characterization". This field will undergo significant breakthroughs in the next couple of years with the installation of the first ground-based "planet finders" (SPHERE/VLT, GPI/Gemini, HiCIAO/Subaru) and with the launch of JWST in 2014. In addition to spectral analysis, direct imaging will participate to a more general picture of the planetary systems while exploring longer periods. Observations of giant planets close or beyond the snow line will allow to investigate how they form and evolve.

For the longer term, many ambitious ground-based and space-based projects using smart concepts compete for a major goal, the search and characterization of telluric planets and ultimately the quest for Earth analogs. Improving the understanding of planet formation and evolution in the telluric regime will require new technologies. In that context, many progress have been accomplished in the last years.

In the 1930’s, Bernard Lyot was a pioneer in this field and many of the techniques used today for high contrast imaging derive from his coronagraph concept. In 2007, the "Lyot Conference" held in Berkeley confronted technological developments with astrophysical requirements. Since then, this field has experienced enough astrophysical and instrumental advances to motivate a second conference. "In the Spirit of Bernard Lyot 2010" will be held in Paris, in the city where Lyot led his career.

The conference will be focused on direct detection and characterization of exoplanets and circumstellar disks with the following main goals :

  • to cover the astrophysical interests of direct imaging
  • to provide the status of the current and the next generation of direct imaging instruments (Planet finders, JWST, …)
  • to build up on this experience for the planning of new instruments for the next decade (ELTs, space based telescopes, interferometers …)
  • to explore the synergies with other direct detection techniques, in particular transit spectroscopy.

Pre-registration are open at Registration & abstract submission form

We encourage students and postdoc to participate and some limited grants will be made available.

The conference will be held in Amphithéâtre Buffon at Université Paris Diderot (see Locations & Directions)