Luigi Mancini

Research Fellow in Exoplanet research

Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie
Königstuhl 17
D-69117 Heidelberg

Tel. +49 (0) 6221 – 528 – 454
Fax +49 (0) 6221 – 528 – 246
E-mail: mancini at



Hello, welcome to my home page.

I am a research staff scientist and I work at the Planet and Star Formation Department of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg. As a member of the HATSouth team, my current research is mostly focused on the search for extrasolar planets with the transit method. HATSouth uses a network of six identical, fully automated wide field telescopes, located at three sites (Chile, Australia, and Namibia). The primary purpose of the project is to detect and characterize a large number of exoplanets transiting nearby bright stars in the Southern hemisphere.

I am also leading an observational program  to accurately measure the characteristics of known exoplanet systems hosting close-in transiting giant planets. Our study is based on high-quality photometric follow-up observations of transit events with an array of medium-class telescopes, which are located in both the northern and the southern hemispheres. A high photometric precision is achieved through the telescope-defocussing technique. The data are then reduced and analysed in a homogeneous way for estimating the orbital and physical parameters of both the planets and their parent stars. We also make use of multi-band imaging cameras for probing planetary atmospheres via the transmission-photometry technique. In some cases we adopt a two-site observational strategy for collecting simultaneous light curves of individual transits, which is the only reliable method for truly distinguishing a real astrophysical signal from systematic noise.

I am involved in many other collaborations, including GAPS (Characterizing the Global Architectures of Planetary Systems), which is undertaking a challenging observational program to characterize the global architectural properties of exoplanetary systems, by using the new high-resolution spectrograph HARPS-N, and the MiNDSTEp consortium, which exploits the technique of gravitational microlensing to study the population of planets in the Galaxy. I am also participating to a programme aimed to confirm the planetary nature of a subset of Kepler candidates via radial-velocity follow-up observations.

I am the main organizer of the Advanced School on Exoplanetary Science, whose first edition took place in Vietri sul Mare (Italy) in May 2015. The second edition is planned for May 22-26, 2017: ASES2.

Curriculum Vitae





HATSouth Project

Editor of this page: Luigi Mancini