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Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto
CARMENES at Calar Alto: from the Barnard's star, through exoearths, to PLATO

Jose Caballero
Landesternwarte Koenigstuhl - ZAH, Heidelberg

CARMENES is the name of the new instrument at the 3.5-m Calar Alto telescope, of the Spanish-German consortium that has built it, and of the science project that is being carried out during guaranteed time observations. Concisely, it is a 'machine-to-detect-planets-like-the-earth-in-the-habitable-zone-of-the-most-common-stars-in-our-solar-neighbourhood'. Thoroughly, CARMENES consists of two thermo-mechanical-stabilised high-resolution échelle spectrographs, one working in the optical (0.52-0.96 mum), the other one working in the near infrared (0.96-1.71 mum), fed by fibres from the Cassegrain focus. It is especially designed for accurate (1 m/s) radial-velocity monitoring of M dwarfs for exoplanet surveys. Currently, CARMENES is the only instrument in the world covering in one shot from the red optical to the near-infrared in high resolution. I will explain how we designed and built it, which obstacles we faced, what are the results of the commissioning done last Autumn, and what is the science project that we carry out since 01-01-2016. Besides, and probably of more interest to the audience, I will show the capabilities of CARMENES for open-time proposals and, after 2018, long-term programmes of follow-up of exoplanet candidates found with space missions: Gaia first, TESS later, and finally PLATO.

31 March 2016, 13:30

Centro de Astrofísica
Rua das Estrelas
4150-762 Porto

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences

Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences (IA) is a new but long anticipated research infrastructure with a national dimension. It embodies a bold but feasible vision for the development of Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences in Portugal, taking full advantage and fully realizing the potential created by the national membership of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). IA resulted from the merging the two most prominent research units in the field in Portugal: the Centre for Astrophysics of the University of Porto (CAUP) and the Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics of the University of Lisbon (CAAUL). It currently hosts more than two-thirds of all active researchers working in Space Sciences in Portugal, and is responsible for an even greater fraction of the national productivity in international ISI journals in the area of Space Sciences. This is the scientific area with the highest relative impact factor (1.65 times above the international average) and the field with the highest average number of citations per article for Portugal.

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