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Stellar spectroscopy in exoplanet research

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In this talk I will take you through some of the work I’ve been doing over the years regarding high-resolution spectroscopy and how I use it to both find and characterise exoplanets. One of the more successful methods to detect or confirm exoplanets is the radial velocity (RV) method. I will highlight the work I’ve been doing as part of the HARPS -N science team to follow-up Kepler and K2 planet candidates and determine their bulk densities. Stellar activity is currently the main source of noise for Earth-like planet detection and I’ll discuss several strategies that can be employed to deal with this stellar noise.

The extremely precise RVs needed for planet detection are extracted from a stellar spectrum containing much more information. These spectra can be used to determine the stellar atmospheric parameters and elemental abundances, and thus the stellar mass and radius, essential parameters for planet characterisation. Precise and accurate stellar knowledge allows us to investigate the link between stellar parameters and the presence of a planet. I will show the effects of a star’s metallicity on the presence and characteristics of the planets orbiting it.

This talk is part of the Exoplanet Meetings series.

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