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Habitable Zone Super-Earths with Non-Stabilised Spectrographs

  • Duncan J. Wright (a1), Christopher G. Tinney (a1) and Robert A. Wittenmyer (a1)

Abstract

Detecting the small velocity amplitudes (≤ 10 m/s) produced by habitable zone rocky planets around M Dwarfs requires radial velocity precisions of a few m s−1. However, an iodine absorption cell, commonly used as a high precision wavelength reference on non-stabilised spectrographs, is not efficient for very red and faint objects like M Dwarfs. Instead, arc lamps have to be used. With the exception of the ultra-stabilised HARPS spectrograph, achieving ~m s−1 calibration with arc lamps has not been possible because typical spectrographs experience drifts of several hundred m s−1 due to local atmospheric changes in pressure and temperature. We outline and present results from an innovative differential wavelength calibration method that enables ~m s−1 precision from non-stabilised, high-resolution spectrographs. This technique allows the detection of rocky planets with radial velocity amplitudes of a few m s−1.

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References

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