Poster Abstracts

Name/Affiliation:  Suvrath Mahadevan (Penn State)

Title:  Stellar & Exoplanet Science with Precision Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Precision radial velocities in the near-infrared is an emerging field this decade, geared towards the goal of detecting low mass terrestrial planets in the Habitable Zones of M dwarfs. We present results from an ongoing SDSS-III APOGEE program that follows up Kepler planet candidates and eclipsing binaries. This project illustrates the advantages of multiplexed NIR observations, even at 50-100 m/s precision, to detect binaries, false positives, and derive precise stellar properties of low mass stars. We also discuss the ongoing development path to achieving 1 m/s precision with the Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF) spectrograph now under construction for the Hobby Eberly telescope. Using examples we will highlight the astrophysical, technical, and calibration challenges associated with reliably detecting planetary signals at this precision, and how these challenges are being overcome.