On Measuring the Radial Velocity of Stars with Earth-Sized Planets
Casey, Colleen, Astronomy, University of Virginia
Arras, Philip, Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia
This project aimed to examine how Earth-sized exoplanets are found around stars using the radial velocity method. Calculations made using the method laid out in Fundamental Photon Noise Limit to Radial Velocity Measurements (Bouchy) attempted to find the quality factor for a synthetic spectrum, but had an error on the magnitude of 10^4, likely due to an error within the code. Using an interpolation function within Python, I recovered a radial velocity from an artificially shifted spectrum, however this also carried an error of 6-9%, depending on the initially chosen velocity. Lastly, I examined other effects that could be seen on stars using the radial velocity method, including a star's rotation and winds on a planet.
BS (Bachelor of Science)
radial velocity, Rossiter-McLaughlin Effect, quality factor