78 research outputs found

    High Precision Radial Velocity Measurements in the Infrared: A First Assessment of the RV Stability of CRIRES

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    High precision radial velocity (RV) measurements in the near infrared are on high demand, especially in the context of exoplanet search campaigns shifting their interest to late type stars in order to detect planets with ever lower mass or targeting embedded pre-main-sequence objects. ESO is offering a new spectrograph at the VLT -- CRIRES -- designed for high resolution near-infrared spectroscopy with a comparably broad wavelength coverage and the possibility to use gas-cells to provide a stable RV zero-point. We investigate here the intrinsic short-term RV stability of CRIRES, both with gas-cell calibration data and on-sky measurements using the absorption lines of the Earth's atmosphere imprinted in the source spectrum as a local RV rest frame. Moreover, we also investigate for the first time the intrinsic stability of telluric lines at 4100 nm for features originating in the lower troposphere. Our analysis of nearly 5 hours of consecutive observations of MS Vel, a M2II bright giant centred at two SiO first overtone band-heads at 4100 nm, demonstrates that the intrinsic short-term stability of CRIRES is very high, showing only a slow and fully compensateable drift of up to 60 m/s after 4.5 hours. The radial velocity of the telluric lines is constant down to a level of approx. +/- 10 m/s (or 7/1000 of one pixel). Utilising the same telluriclines as a rest frame for our radial velocity measurements of the science target, we obtain a constant RV with a precision of approx. +/- 20 m/s for MS Vel as expected for a M-giant.Comment: 12 pages, 6 figures, accepted by A&

    Metallicity determination of M dwarfs - High-resolution IR spectroscopy

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    Context. Several new techniques to determine the metallicity of M dwarfs with better precision have been developed over the last decades. However, most of these studies were based on empirical methods. In order to enable detailed abundance analysis, standard methods established for warmer solar-like stars, i.e. model-dependent methods using fitting of synthetic spectra, still need to be used. Aims. In this work we continue the reliability confirmation and development of metallicity determinations of M dwarfs using high- resolution infrared spectra. The reliability was confirmed though analysis of M dwarfs in four binary systems with FGK dwarf companions and by comparison with previous optical studies of the FGK dwarfs. Methods. The metallicity determination was based on spectra taken in the J band (1.1-1.4 {\mu}m) with the CRIRES spectrograph. In this part of the infrared, the density of stellar molecular lines is limited, reducing the amount of blends with atomic lines enabling an accurate continuum placement. Lines of several atomic species were used to determine the stellar metallicity. Results. All binaries show excellent agreement between the derived metallicity of the M dwarf and its binary companion. Our results are also in good agreement with values found in the literature. Furthermore, we propose an alternative way to determine the effective temperature of M dwarfs of spectral types later than M2 through synthetic spectral fitting of the FeH lines in our observed spectra. Conclusions. We have confirmed that a reliable metallicity determination of M dwarfs can be achieved using high-resolution infrared spectroscopy. We also note that metallicites obtained with photometric metallicity calibrations available for M dwarfs only partly agree with the results we obtain from high-resolution spectroscopy.Comment: 18 page

    Search for extrasolar planets with high-precision relative astrometry

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    We present our search program for substellar companions using high-precision relative astronomy. Due to its orbital motion around the star, an unseen substellar companion would produce a periodic "wobble" of the host star, which is the astrometric signal of the unseen companion. By measuring the separation between the components of stellar double and triple systems, we want to measure this astrometric signal of a possible unseen companion indirectly as a relative and periodic change of these separations. Using a new observation mode (the "cube-mode") where the frames were directly saved in cubes with nearly no loss of time during the readout, an adaptive optics system to correct for atmospheric noise and an infrared narrow band filter in the near infrared to suppress differential chromatic refraction (DCR) effects we achive for our first target (the double star HD 19994) a relative precision for the separation measurements of about 100...150 micro-arsecond per epoch. To reach a precision in the micro-arcsec-regime, we use a statistical approach. We take several thousand frames per target and epoche and after a verification of a Gaussian distribution the measurement precision can be calculated as the standard deviation of our measurements divided by the square root of the number of Gaussian distributed measurements. Our first observed target is the stellar binary HD 19994 A & B, where the A component has a known radial velocity planet candidate.Comment: 4 pages, IAUS 249 conferenc
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