Alpha Cen Bb or How to Mitigate Stellar Signals for Exoplanet Detection
Xavier Dumusque, CfA
Thursday 2nd May 2013, 12:30 pm
Pratt Conference Room, 60 Garden Street
After having found hundreds of extra-solar planets,
the radial-velocity (RV) technique starts to be limited
by intrinsic stellar signals. Indeed, at the level of the
best spectrographs, one starts to see the effects induced
by stellar pressure waves, convection, surface activity
coupled with stellar rotation, and magnetic cycles.
The questions of how to extract and analyse the different
stellar signals from RV data, and how to mitigate their
contributions will be studied. In addition, optimizing
the observational strategy to look for planets can also
help in mitigating short-term stellar signal effects.
As a result, a few dozen of the lowest mass planets
known so far have been discovered following this work.
Among these planets, we have discovered Alpha Centauri Bb,
the lightest extra-solar planet detected so far with the RV
technique, and the closest one to our Solar System.