NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0413

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Proposal Information for 2013B-0413


PI: Matthew Giguere, Yale University, matthew.giguere@yale.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, PO Box 208101, New Haven, CT 06511, USA

CoI: Debra Fischer, Yale University

Title: The CHIRON Rocky Planet Search

Abstract: While the occurrence rate of Jupiter-mass planets around nearby stars is fairly well known, there is a significant discrepancy between several published values for the occurrence rate of low-mass planets (Howard et al. 2010a, Mayor et al. 2011, Fressin et al. 2013). We propose to use CHIRON, the CTIO High Resolution Spectrometer, to determine the occurrence rate of low-mass planets and the frequency of low-mass planets in multi-planet systems, to help resolve this discrepancy. CHIRON has demonstrated that it is capable of detecting very low mass planets through its exquisite radial velocity precision over long time periods. Knowing the mass and period distributions of planetary systems is necessary in order to understand planet formation and test formation theories. The low-mass planets around nearby stars we aim to discover with CHIRON will also be crucial for the development of future missions to detect the atmospheres of planets orbiting nearby stars and the eventual determination of the occurrence rate of habitable worlds.


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