CARMENES at Calar Alto: from the Barnard's star, through exoearths, to PLATO
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