The Dharma Planet Survey of Rocky Planets around Nearby Solar Type Stars
The Dharma Planet Survey (DPS) is designed to detect and characterize close-in low-mass planets at the orbital region amenable to future space-imaging missions. The ultimate survey goal is to detect potentially habitable super-Earth planet candidates to independently measure its occurrence rate and provide high priority targets for future space imaging missions (such as WFIRST-AFTA and LUVOIR surveyor) to identify possible biomarkers supporting life. DPS is to monitor ~100 nearby very bright FGK dwarfs (V£7) with high cadence (~100 measurements over 450 days) and high precision (~1 m/s) starting in the fall of 2016 using the TOU optical very high resolution spectrograph (R~100,000) at a dedicated 50-inch automatic Telescope on Mt. Lemmon. A pilot survey of 12 FGK dwarfs was carried out in 2015 with a Doppler precision of 0.7-1.8 m/s (RMS) achieved for all of RV stable stars (V=3-6.5). Both RMS of 0.7 m/s achieved with Tau Ceti and the long-term instrument RV stability of ~0.7 m/s are better than that achieved by the current state-of-the-art HARPS instruments. Two strong planet candidates with Neptune and Saturn masses, respectively, have been identified among five new-search stars. The survey plan and early science results will be presented.
Time: June 15, 2016, 2:30 pm
Venue: A601, NAOC