On the Gaia exoplanet discovery potential
INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino, via Osservatorio 20, 10025 Pino Torinese, Italy
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In its all-sky astrometric survey, Gaia will be sensitive to giant planets orbiting within a few AUs of hundreds of thousands of bright main-sequence stars within ≈ 200 pc. The impact of Gaia observations in the astrophysics of planetary systems cannot be underestimated (e.g., Casertano et al. 2008), particularly if seen in synergy with other techniques for planet detection and characterization (e.g., Sozzetti 2011). I will briefly review the mission status and discuss relevant technical issues associated with the precise and accurate determination of Gaia astrometric orbits of planetary systems. I will then highlight some of the important synergies between Gaia high-precision astrometry and other ongoing and planned, indirect and direct planet-finding and characterization programs, both from the ground and in space, and over a broad range of wavelengths, and provide quantitative examples of such synergies using the sample of nearest stars to the Sun as a proxy.
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