Towards the detection of exoearths

CARMENES [kár-men-es] (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical Échelle Spectrographs) is a next-generation instrument being built for the 3.5m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory by a consortium of German and Spanish institutions. It consists of two separated spectrographs covering the wavelength ranges from 0.5 to 1.0 µm and from 1.0 to 1.7 µm with spectral resolutions R = 82,000, each of which shall perform high-accuracy radial-velocity measurements (∼1 m s-1) with long-term stability. The fundamental science objective of CARMENES is to carry out a survey of ∼300 late-type main-sequence stars with the goal of detecting low-mass planets in their habitable zones. We aim at being able to detect 2 MEarth planets in the habitable zone of M5V stars. The CARMENES first light is expected to occur in Summer 2015.

VIS vacuum tank being prepared inside its climatic chamber in the coudé room of the 3.5 m telescope in Calar Alto (09 Jul) • Expresion of interest to host Marie Curie Fellows interested in our exoplanet search project with CARMENES (09 Jul) • A lot of accomplished milestones: first and second runs of front-end commissioning in Calar Alto, NIR detector cryostat arrival and second cryo-vacuum cycle of NIR vacuum tank in Granada, VIS vacuum tank arrival to Calar Alto... (May-Jun) • Time-lapse of the installation of the CARMENES front-end at the Cassegrain focus of the 3.5 m telescope during the first commissioning run in Calar Alto (29 Apr) • Read more news or see more pictures