17-21 March 2019
Sunstar Hotel, Grindelwald, Switzerland
Europe/Zurich timezone

Precision NIR RM effect observations with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder

21 Mar 2019, 10:00
Sunstar Hotel, Grindelwald, Switzerland

Sunstar Hotel, Grindelwald, Switzerland

Dorfstrasse 168, 3818 Grindelwald Switzerland
Oral Others Other


Mr Gudmundur Stefansson (Penn State University)


Significant progress has been made in recent years in measuring the sky-projected obliquity distribution of early-type planet hosting systems via precise Rossiter-McLaughlin (RM) effect observations. However, currently only two M-dwarf systems, GJ 436 and Kepler-45, have published obliquities—and interestingly GJ 436 is observed to be misaligned. With such a sparse sample, key questions remain about the dynamical histories of M-dwarfs at the fully convective boundary. The advent of stabilized extremely precise RV spectrographs in the near-infrared (NIR) are opening the doors to answering these questions, capitalizing on the large RM-effect amplitudes produced by transiting exoplanets orbiting around rapidly-rotating M-dwarfs. In this talk, we will discuss recent precision RM effect observations of fully-convective M-dwarfs with the Habitable-zone Planet Finder (HPF), a stabilized NIR spectrograph recently commissioned on the 10m Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) at McDonald Observatory. We will discuss recent RM effect observations of the transit of TRAPPIST-1b, early results of which are consistent with a well-aligned orbit. We will discuss the merits and limitations of the HET/HPF queue to observe RM effects of M-dwarfs, utilizing the excellent stability of HPF, large collecting area of HET, and the short transit durations of M-dwarf planets. Finally, we will discuss future planned observations in the TESS era, with TESS being expected to discover a multitude of M-dwarf planet systems favorable for precise RM effect measurements in the NIR.

Primary author

Mr Gudmundur Stefansson (Penn State University)


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