AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 3. Exoplanets, Dynamics and Earth
Display, Monday, January 7, 2002, 9:20am-6:30pm, Monroe/Lincoln

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[3.03] A Moire Fringing Spectrometer for Extra-Solar Planet Searches

J. C. van Eyken, J. Ge, S. Mahadevan, C. De Witt, L. W. Ramsey, D. Berger (Penn State University), S. Shaklan, X. Pan (JPL)

We have developed a prototype moire fringing spectrometer for high precision radial velocity measurements for the detection of extra-solar planets. This combination of Michelson interferometer and spectrograph overlays an interferometer comb on a medium resolution stellar spectrum, producing Moire patterns. Small changes in the doppler shift of the spectrum lead to corresponding large shifts in the Moire pattern (Moire magnification). The sinusoidal shape of the Moire fringes enables much simpler measurement of these shifts than in standard echelle spectrograph techniques, facilitating high precision measurements with a low cost instrument. Current data analysis software we have developed has produced short-term repeatability (over a few hours) to 5-10m/s, and future planned improvements based on previous experiments should reduce this significantly. We plan eventually to carry out large scale surveys for low mass companions around other stars. This poster will present new results obtained in the lab and at the HET and Palomar 5m telescopes, the theory of the instrument, and data analysis techniques.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: vaneyken@astro.psu.edu

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