Studying the Sun's radial velocity jitter to improve low-mass exoplanet detections

R. D. Haywood, A. C. Cameron, D. Queloz, R. Fares, J. Llama, M. Deleuil, M. Gillon, A. Hatzes, A. F. Lanza, C. Lovis, C. Moutou, F. Pepe, D. Pollaco, D. Ségransan, Y. Unruh

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


One of the most common methods used to discover extra-solar planets is to monitor a star's radial velocity (RV) in order to detect the reflex orbital motion caused by one or more planets orbiting the star. When looking for "small" planets (Neptune or Earth mass), the RV signals induced by these planets are entangled with the jitter arising from the star's magnetic activity. The Sun's activity is well known and it is possible to remove all RV components induced by all other bodies of the solar system. We have obtained its activity-driven RV variations over two solar rotations using HARPS by observing sunlight reflected off the bright asteroid Vesta. We aim to model the solar RV jitter in terms of the continuum lightcurve, the chromospheric Ca II H&K emission, and the line-profile distortions produced by spots drifting across the face of the Sun. By using the "ground truth" of solar observations in this way, we will identify photometric and spectroscopic proxies that will make it possible to model and remove the stellar activity RV contribution from exoplanet RV curves.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2013
EventEuropean Planetary Science Congress 2013 - London, UK, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Sept 201313 Sept 2013


ConferenceEuropean Planetary Science Congress 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon, UK


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