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Exploring the outer solar system beyond Neptune using stellar occultations

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 LUCKY STAR project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the LUCKY STAR project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "LUCKY STAR" about.

observations    consists    search    seasonal    understand    atypical    view    origins    discoveries    planetary    stars    origin    unaltered    catalog    leader    trans    front    tnos    master    2016    history    july    flyby    newly    group    asteroid    nasa    sub    size    cycle    unprecedented    power    evolutions    circum    plus    small    thousand    occultations    tackle    lucky    atmospheres    atmosphere    conduct    cloud    instrumentation    coordinate    world    memory    atmospheric    detect    collisional    noteworthy    found    neptune    possibly    observing    astrometric    release    ring    bodies    contains    evolution    object    albedos    packages    explore    neptunian    largely    stellar    programs    reveal    passage    decade    horizons    led    objects    telescope    travel    mission    remote    rings    expenses    variations    occultation    densities    detecting    pluto    shapes    sizes    discovering    primordial    disk    discover    teams    predictions    network    solar    chariklo    technique    ours    oort    last    2015    innovative    human    skills    km    theory    esa    pressure    budget    outer    migrations    drastic    kept    gaia    few    time    material   

Project "LUCKY STAR" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


There are not information about this coordinator. Please contact Fabio for more information, thanks.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙423˙750 €
 EC max contribution 2˙423˙750 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2014-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2015
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2015-11-01   to  2020-10-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    SORBONNE UNIVERSITE FR (PARIS) coordinator 650˙000.00
3    OBSERVATOIRE DE PARIS FR (PARIS) participant 1˙773˙750.00


 Project objective

The solar system beyond Neptune’s contains largely unaltered material from the primordial circum-solar disk. It also kept the memory of the early planetary migrations, and thus contains essential information on the origin and evolution of our planetary system.

Here I propose to study the Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) using the stellar occultation technique. It consists in observing the passage of remote TNOs in front of those “Lucky Stars”, that reveal shapes, atmosphere and rings of bodies from sub-km to thousand-km in size. Very few teams in the world master this method. The European-led network that I coordinate is now leader in predictions, instrumentation, observations and analysis related to stellar occultations, with innovative approaches and unprecedented results.

In the last decade, our group led the field by discovering rings around the asteroid-like object Chariklo, detecting sub-km TNOs and drastic variations of Pluto’s atmospheric pressure. Based on those noteworthy discoveries and unique skills of ours, I will coordinate the following work packages:

(1) Rings around small bodies - Understand the newly found Chariklo’s rings, tackle the theory of rings’ origins and evolutions around small bodies, discover new ring systems around other bodies.

(2) Very small, sub-km TNOs and Oort Cloud objects - Constrain the collisional history of our early outer solar system, and possibly detect Oort Cloud objects.

(3) Pluto’s atmosphere – Explore Pluto’s atmosphere and its atypical seasonal cycle, search for atmospheres around other TNOs.

(4) Explore specific, large TNOs – Provide their sizes, shapes, albedos and densities.

These programs are timely in view of NASA/New Horizons Pluto flyby in July 2015, and the ESA/GAIA mission expected to provide a greatly improved astrometric catalog release in 2016.

Most of the budget will be dedicated to human power to conduct observations and their analysis, plus the associated travel and telescope time expenses.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2020 Bruno Sicardy
Resonances in Nonaxisymmetric Gravitational Potentials
published pages: 102, ISSN: 1538-3881, DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/ab6d06
The Astronomical Journal 159/3 2020-02-19
2020 Ortiz, J. L.; Sicardy, B.; Camargo, J. I. B.; Santos-Sanz, P.; Braga-Ribas, F.
Stellar Occultations by Transneptunian objects: from Predictions to Observations and Prospects for the Future
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
1 2019-12-16
2019 F Braga-Ribas, A Crispim, R Vieira-Martins, B Sicardy, J L Ortiz, M Assafin, J I B Camargo, J Desmars, J Lecacheux, P Santos-Sanz, R Duffard, G Benedetti-Rossi, A R Gomes-Júnior, B Morgado, F L Rommel, G Margoti, C L Pereira
Database on detected stellar occultations by small outer Solar System objects
published pages: 12024, ISSN: 1742-6588, DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/1365/1/012024
Journal of Physics: Conference Series 1365 2019-11-12
2019 N C S Araujo, S Renner, N J Cooper, M El Moutamid, C D Murray, B Sicardy, E Vieira Neto
The dynamics of the outer edge of Saturn’s A ring perturbed by the satellites Janus and Epimetheus
published pages: 5037-5045, ISSN: 0035-8711, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz1157
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 486/4 2019-11-12
2019 Gustavo Benedetti-Rossi, P. Santos-Sanz, J. L. Ortiz, M. Assafin, B. Sicardy, N. Morales, R. Vieira-Martins, R. Duffard, F. Braga-Ribas, F. L. Rommel, J. I. B. Camargo, J. Desmars, A. F. Colas, F. Vachier, A. Alvarez-Candal, E. Fernández-Valenzuela, L. Almenares, R. Artola, T.-P. Baum, R. Behrend, D. Bérard, F. B. Bianco, N. Brosch, A. Ceretta, C. A. Colazo, A. R. Gomes-Junior, V. D. Ivanov, E.
The Trans-Neptunian Object (84922) 2003 VS 2 through Stellar Occultations
published pages: 159, ISSN: 1538-3881, DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/ab3b05
The Astronomical Journal 158/4 2019-10-15
2015 J. Desmars, J. I. B. Camargo, F. Braga-Ribas, R. Vieira-Martins, M. Assafin, F. Vachier, F. Colas, J. L. Ortiz, R. Duffard, N. Morales, B. Sicardy, A. R. Gomes-Júnior, G. Benedetti-Rossi
Orbit determination of trans-Neptunian objects and Centaurs for the prediction of stellar occultations
published pages: A96, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201526498
Astronomy & Astrophysics 584 2019-07-04
2018 B. Sicardy, M. El Moutamid, A. C. Quillen, P. M. Schenk, M. R. Showalter, K. Walsh
Rings beyond the giant planets
published pages: 135-154, ISSN: , DOI: 10.1017/9781316286791.007
Planetary Ring Systems 2019-07-04
2017 E. Lellouch, R. Moreno, T. Müller, S. Fornasier, P. Santos-Sanz, A. Moullet, M. Gurwell, J. Stansberry, R. Leiva, B. Sicardy, B. Butler, J. Boissier
The thermal emission of Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects at millimeter wavelengths from ALMA observations
published pages: A45, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201731676
Astronomy & Astrophysics 608 2019-07-04
2019 J. Desmars, E. Meza, B. Sicardy, M. Assafin, J. I. B. Camargo, F. Braga-Ribas, G. Benedetti-Rossi, A. Dias-Oliveira, B. Morgado, A. R. Gomes-Júnior, R. Vieira-Martins, R. Behrend, J. L. Ortiz, R. Duffard, N. Morales, P. Santos Sanz
Pluto’s ephemeris from ground-based stellar occultations (1988–2016)
published pages: A43, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201834958
Astronomy & Astrophysics 625 2019-06-06
2019 E. Meza, B. Sicardy, M. Assafin, J. L. Ortiz, T. Bertrand, E. Lellouch, J. Desmars, F. Forget, D. Bérard, A. Doressoundiram, J. Lecacheux, J. Marques Oliveira, F. Roques, T. Widemann, F. Colas, F. Vachier, S. Renner, R. Leiva, F. Braga-Ribas, G. Benedetti-Rossi, J. I. B. Camargo, A. Dias-Oliveira, B. Morgado, A. R. Gomes-Júnior, R. Vieira-Martins, R. Behrend, A. Castro Tirado, R. Duffard, N. Morales, P. Santos-Sanz, M. Jelínek, R. Cunniffe, R. Querel, M. Harnisch, R. Jansen, A. Pennell, S. Todd, V. D. Ivanov, C. Opitom, M. Gillon, E. Jehin, J. Manfroid, J. Pollock, D. E. Reichart, J. B. Haislip, K. M. Ivarsen, A. P. LaCluyze, A. Maury, R. Gil-Hutton, V. Dhillon, S. Littlefair, T. Marsh, C. Veillet, K.-L. Bath, W. Beisker, H.-J. Bode, M. Kretlow, D. Herald, D. Gault, S. Kerr, H. Pavlov, O. Faragó, O. Klös, E. Frappa, M. Lavayssière, A. A. Cole, A. B. Giles, J. G. Greenhill, K. M. Hill, M. W. Buie, C. B. Olkin, E. F. Young, L. A. Young, L. H. Wasserman, M. Devogèle, R. G. French, F. B. Bianco, F. Marchis, N. Brosch, S. Kaspi, D. Polishook, I. Manulis, M. Ait Moulay Larbi, Z. Benkhaldoun, A. Daassou, Y. El Azhari, Y. Moulane, J. Broughton, J. Milner, T. Dobosz, G. Bolt, B. Lade, A. Gilmore, P. Kilmartin, W. H. Allen, P. B. Graham, B. Loader, G. McKay, J. Talbot, S. Parker, L. Abe, Ph. Bendjoya, J.-P. Rivet, D. Vernet, L. Di Fabrizio, V. Lorenzi, A. Magazzú, E. Molinari, K. Gazeas, L. Tzouganatos, A. Carbognani, G. Bonnoli, A. Marchini, G. Leto, R. Zanmar Sanchez, L. Mancini, B. Kattentidt, M. Dohrmann, K. Guhl, W. Rothe, K. Walzel, G. Wortmann, A. Eberle, D. Hampf, J. Ohlert, G. Krannich, G. Murawsky, B. Gährken, D. Gloistein, S. Alonso, A. Román, J.-E. Communal, F. Jabet, S. deVisscher, J. Sérot, T. Janik, Z. Moravec, P. Machado, A. Selva, C. Perelló, J. Rovira, M. Conti, R. Papini, F. Salvaggio, A. Noschese, V. Tsamis, K. Tigani, P. Barroy, M. Irzyk, D. Neel, J. P. Godard, D. Lanoiselée, P. Sogorb, D. Vérilhac, M. Bretton, F. Signoret, F. Ciabattari, R. Naves, M. Boutet, J. De Queiroz, P. Lindner, K. Lindner, P. Enskonatus, G. Dangl, T. Tordai, H. Eichler, J. Hattenbach, C. Peterson, L. A. Molnar, R. R. Howell
Lower atmosphere and pressure evolution on Pluto from ground-based stellar occultations, 1988–2016
published pages: A42, ISSN: 0004-6361, DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361/201834281
Astronomy & Astrophysics 625 2019-06-06
2018 B. Sicardy, R. Leiva, S. Renner, F. Roques, M. El Moutamid, P. Santos-Sanz, J. Desmars
Ring dynamics around non-axisymmetric bodies with application to Chariklo and Haumea
published pages: , ISSN: 2397-3366, DOI: 10.1038/s41550-018-0616-8
Nature Astronomy 2019-04-18
2019 M. V. Banda-Huarca, J. I. B. Camargo, J. Desmars, R. L. C. Ogando, R. Vieira-Martins, M. Assafin, L. N. da Costa, G. M. Bernstein, M. Carrasco Kind, A. Drlica-Wagner, R. Gomes, M. M. Gysi, F. Braga-Ribas, M. A. G. Maia, D. W. Gerdes, S. Hamilton, W. Wester, T. M. C. Abbott, F. B. Abdalla, S. Allam, S. Avila, E. Bertin, D. Brooks, E. Buckley-Geer, D. L. Burke, A. Carnero Rosell, J. Carretero, C. E. Cunha, C. Davis, J. De Vicente, H. T. Diehl, P. Doel, P. Fosalba, J. Frieman, J. García-Bellido, E. Gaztanaga, D. Gruen, R. A. Gruendl, J. Gschwend, G. Gutierrez, W. G. Hartley, D. L. Hollowood, K. Honscheid, D. J. James, K. Kuehn, N. Kuropatkin, F. Menanteau, C. J. Miller, R. Miquel, A. A. Plazas, A. K. Romer, E. Sanchez, V. Scarpine, M. Schubnell, S. Serrano, I. Sevilla-Noarbe, M. Smith, M. Soares-Santos, F. Sobreira, E. Suchyta, M. E. C. Swanson, G. Tarle
Astrometry and Occultation Predictions to Trans-Neptunian and Centaur Objects Observed within the Dark Energy Survey
published pages: 120, ISSN: 1538-3881, DOI: 10.3847/1538-3881/aafb37
The Astronomical Journal 157/3 2019-03-18

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