Oral Presentation Astronomical Society of Australia Annual Scientific Meeting including HWWS 2013

First results from the AAT search for Habitable-Zone Exoplanets orbiting Late M-dwarfs (#9)

Duncan Wright 1 , Christopher Tinney 1 , Robert Wittenmyer 1
  1. UNSW, Kensington, NSW, Australia

Finding Earth-like planets orbiting in the ‘habitable zone’ of other stars is one of the major goals of modern astronomy. Detecting Earth-like planets, in Earth-like orbits around Sun-like stars is currently beyond reach of any facility except Kepler (and is problematic even then). What is possible now, is the detection of Earth-like planets in habitable-zone orbits around low-mass stars using the radial velocity technique. Early indications from both Doppler planet searches and Kepler are that rocky planets around low-mass stars are common. A new program searching for habitable-zone exoplanets orbiting M4-M6 dwarfs on the Anglo-Australian Telescope began in late 2012. This program uses the new CYCLOPS fibre-feed working in the near infra-red to obtain high-precision velocities. This talk outlines the techniques used to analyse these data, the precision achieved, and the first results from this survey.