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First Radial Velocity Results From the MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA)

Wilson, Maurice L. and Riddle, Reed (2019) First Radial Velocity Results From the MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA). Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 131 (1005). Art. No. 115001. ISSN 1538-3873. doi:10.1088/1538-3873/ab33c5.

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The MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA) is a dedicated observatory of four 0.7 m robotic telescopes fiber-fed to a KiwiSpec spectrograph. The MINERVA mission is to discover super-Earths in the habitable zones of nearby stars. This can be accomplished with MINERVA's unique combination of high precision and high cadence over long time periods. In this work, we detail changes to the MINERVA facility that have occurred since our previous paper. We then describe MINERVA's robotic control software, the process by which we perform 1D spectral extraction, and our forward modeling Doppler pipeline. In the process of improving our forward modeling procedure, we found that our spectrograph's intrinsic instrumental profile is stable for at least nine months. Because of that, we characterized our instrumental profile with a time-independent, cubic spline function based on the profile in the cross dispersion direction, with which we achieved a radial velocity precision similar to using a conventional "sum-of-Gaussians" instrumental profile: 1.8 m s−1 over 1.5 months on the RV standard star HD 122064. Therefore, we conclude that the instrumental profile need not be perfectly accurate as long as it is stable. In addition, we observed 51 Peg and our results are consistent with the literature, confirming our spectrograph and Doppler pipeline are producing accurate and precise radial velocities.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Wilson, Maurice L.0000-0003-1928-0578
Riddle, Reed0000-0002-0387-370X
Additional Information:© 2019 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2019 April 22; accepted 2019 July 19; published 2019 September 18. MINERVA is a collaboration among the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, The Pennsylvania State University, the University of Montana, and the University of Southern Queensland. MINERVA is made possible by generous contributions from its collaborating institutions and Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (EPSCOR grant NNX13AM97A), The Australian Research Council (LIEF grant LE140100050), and the National Science Foundation (grants 1516242 and 1608203). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. Funding for MINERVA data-analysis software development is provided through a subaward under NASA award MT-13-EPSCoR-0011. This work was partially supported by funding from the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, which is supported by the Pennsylvania State University, the Eberly College of Science, and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium. We are grateful to Dr. Gillian Nave and R. Paul Butler for providing FTS measurements of our iodine gas cell.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania State UniversityUNSPECIFIED
University of MontanaUNSPECIFIED
University of Southern QueenslandUNSPECIFIED
Mt. Cuba Astronomical FoundationUNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilLE140100050
Eberly College of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Pennsylvania Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:instrumentation: spectrographs – methods: data analysis – methods: observational – planets and satellites: detection – techniques: radial velocities – techniques: spectroscopic
Issue or Number:1005
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190919-121944927
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Maurice L. Wilson et al 2019 PASP 131 115001
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:98754
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Sep 2019 20:05
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 17:41

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