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 Spring 2015.

Assembly of the NIR detector head at the MPIA: test installation of the pre-amplifier boards on the reverse side of the head and of the detector dummy on the front side of the head (Panduro, Mundt, Mall, Hermann; 28 Mar) • CARMENES starts taking shape: one of the two main vacuum tanks before hole drilling and polishing at the NTG Neue Technologien GmbH & Co. KG factory in Gelnhausen, Germany (18 Feb) • Read more news...