About NGTS

The NGTS telescopes at the ESO Paranal Observatory in Chile. The ESO Very Large Telescope can be seen in the background. (Credit: G. Lambert)
The Next-Generation Transit Survey (NGTS) is a wide-field photometric survey designed primarily to discover and characterise transiting exoplanets of Neptune-size and smaller around bright stars (magnitude V<13).

NGTS employs an array of small fully-robotic telescopes operating at red-optical wavelengths (520-890nm) thereby maximizing sensitivity to bright but relatively cool and small host stars (K and early-M spectral type). The project is described in detail by Wheatley et al (2018).

We routinely achieve photometric precison of 150 parts per million (ppm), which is unprecedented for a wide-field ground-based facility. This high precision has enabled the discovery of exoplanets as small as 3 Earth radii (e.g. NGTS-4b; West et al, 2019).

NGTS is sited at the Paranal Observatory, which is the premier site of the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Atacama Desert in the north of Chile. Paranal is also home to ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT). The site meets strict requirements for low water vapor and excellent photometric conditions. NGTS was the first external project granted access to the Paranal site, reflecting strong synergy with ESO telescopes that can be used to characterise NGTS exoplanets. NGTS also carries observations in support of the VLT.

NGTS benefits from hardware and software heritage from the SuperWASP project, which since 2004 has been leading the world in the discovery of transiting exoplanets of Jupiter size.

NGTS data are made publicly available through the ESO Data Archive.

Latest News

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Feb 2020: NGTS-10b is the shortest-period hot Jupiter yet discovered. NGTS-10b is a hot Jupiter that orbits its host star in just 18 hours. This is the shortest year of any known giant planet. Its extreme proximity to its parent star is expected to drive intense tidal interactions that will decay its orbit, forcing the planet to spiral ever closer. It is likely that we have caught NGTS-10b shortly before it spirals into its star and is lost forever. Read the Warwick Press Release and the full journal article.
Jun 2019: NGTS-7Ab is an ultra-short period transiting brown dwarf. The orbital period is only 16 hours, and the stars are so close that the brown dwarf has tidally spun-up its young M dwarf host star. Magnetic braking should be decaying the orbit, meaning the stars are likely to merge within a few million years. Read the full paper on arXiv.
May 2019: NGTS discovery of the 'Forbidden Planet' in the Neptunian Desert. NGTS-4b is sub-Neptune sized planet only three times the size of the Earth. The transit is by far the shallowest ever discovered from the ground, only 0.13% deep. The planet is situated very close to it K-type host star, in a region where Neptune-sized planets are thought to be photoevaporated by the high-energy emission of the star. Read the Warwick Press Release and the full journal article.