An expert advisory team has been appointed by the European Space Agency with the purpose of advising the agency on the best scientific and technological roadmap to pursue in order to address one of the most exciting goals in modern astrophysics: the characterization of terrestrial exo-planets (up to the possible detection of biomarkers). The Exo-Planet Roadmap Advisory Team (EPR-AT) will consult with the scientific community and will report back to the Agency on the time-scale of one year. A Call for White Papers from the scientific community will be issued by ESA in May 2008.
More than half of the committee members have contributed to the SPIE Astronomy symposium, which will be held in Marseilles, France, June 23-28 (see Astronomy symposium program). Among those, the most prolific are Anthony Boccaletti (Observatoire de Meudon, France) who is the author or coauthor of 23 papers, and Andreas Quirrenbach (ZAH, Landessternwarte, Germany), with 54 papers. Quirrenbach has also served as a program committee member and session chair, as well as chairing the Interferometry in Optical Astronomy conference in 2000.
See the full announcement from ESA.