SSP seminar

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.


Section Photo