Laser frequency combs (LFCs) are well on their way to becoming the next-generation calibration sources for precision astronomical spectroscopy. This development is considered key in the hunt for low-mass rocky exoplanets around solar-type stars whose discovery with the radial-velocity method requires cm/s Doppler precision. In order to prove such precise calibration with an LFC, it must be compared to another calibrator of at least the same precision. Being the best available spectrograph calibrator, this means comparing it to a second - fully independent - LFC. Here, we report on a test in which two separate LFCs were used to simultaneously calibrate an astronomical spectrograph. Our installation of two LFCs at the ultra-stable two-channel spectrograph HARPS allowed characterization of their relative stability and consistency in calibration at the highest available level. Although the test was limited in time, the results confirm the 1 cm/s stability that has long been anticipated by the astronomical community.
It may interest you
We detect a transiting rocky planet with an orbital period of 1.467 days around the nearby red dwarf star Gliese 486. The planet Gliese 486 b is 2.81 Earth masses and 1.31 Earth radii, a composition similar to that of Venus or Earth, as determined from exquisite radial velocity data and photometric light curves. The host star is at a distance of 26 light-years, very bright, and observable from both hemispheres of Earth. The stellar and planet properties indicate that despite the hot surface temperatures it is possible that the planet conserved part of its original atmosphere, making it anAdvertised on
During the nights of 12th and 13th of December we will enjoy the peak of the Geminid meteor shower. This will be broadcast live from the Teide Observatory (Tenerife) and from the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory ( La Palma) via the sky-live.tv channel, with the collaboration with the Energy Efficiency Labs (EELabs project of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) and the Programme of Astronomical Outreach of SODEPAL and the Innovation Service of the Cabildo Insular of La Palma. During the past decade the Geminids have always bid farewell to the year by producing over 100 meteorsAdvertised on
OMAIRA GONZÁLEZ MARTÍN: “The Canary Observatories have been essential in the advance of the study of nuclear activity in galaxies”
For astronomers one of the biggest obstacles is the darkness of the Universe itself, above all the darkness caused by the gas and dust which surround active galactic nuclei, or AGN. These nuclei emit a huge quantity of energy produced by the supermassive black hole onto which matter falls at a considerable rate. The accretion processes are fundamental for the evolution of active galaxies. However these nuclei often remain hidden by the dusty structures, called tori, which surround the central black hole. Studyuing the properties of this circumnuclear dust, the accretion processes, andAdvertised on