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Paper: Searching for Extrasolar Planets with the Hobby-Eberly Telescope
Volume: 294, Scientific Frontiers in Research on Extrasolar Planets
Page: 561
Authors: Cochran, W. D.; Tull, R. G.; MacQueen, P. J.; Paulson, D. B.; Endl, M.; Hatzes, A. P.
Abstract: The Hobby-Eberly Telescope (HET) and its High Resolution Spectrograph (HRS) offer an exciting new opportunity to search for planetary companions to nearby stars using high precision radial velocity measurements. The HRS is a fiber-fed instrument housed in an insulated chamber in the basement of the HET building. It is equipped with an iodine absorption cell to serve as the velocity metric. The spectrograph is specifically designed to have excellent mechanical and thermal stability, which are essential in achieving excellent radial velocity precision. The HET itself is operated in a queue scheduled manner, which is ideal for large surveys in which the temporal sampling of each object is critical. The HRS began regular scientific operations in June 2001. We present results from the first year of observing with the HET/HRS which demonstrate that we have achieved a routine radial velocity precision of about 3 meters/sec. There are several steps we plan to take to improve this precision level toward our goal of 1 meter/sec.
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