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Astrophysics Luncheon Seminar

The Keck Planet Finder: Radial Velocities in the Era of Extreme Precision
Presented by Arpita Roy
California Institute of Technology

Monday, January 22, 2018
12:00 noon in 169-336

We are explorers of this universe, anchored for now to the only habitable planet we know of, around a relatively well-behaved yellow star. Even as we chart the skies with ever increasing precision, other Earths have remained elusive, hidden deep within the noise of their own stars, and the limitations of our instruments. Overcoming these challenges requires meticulous technical artistry and demands unprecedented performance from both hardware and software, as well as a more sophisticated understanding of stellar physics. In this talk, I present the Keck Planet Finder (KPF) spectrograph, a next-generation extreme precision radial velocity (RV) system aiming at an instrumental precision of ~30cm/s. Drawing on two decades of experience and technical innovation in the field, KPF will be a powerful tool both for the discovery and follow-up of planets, and for unprecedented insight into stellar behaviors. While the landscape of Doppler measurements of exoplanets is highly competitive, KPF fills a niche with its combination of large aperture and extreme precision that becomes highly relevant, if not crucial, as we await the launch of TESS in a couple of months.

JPL Contact Gautam Vasisht (4-6979)

SVCP Astrophysics

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