Finding extra-solar planets in the presence of stellar jitter

Victoria Moulds
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The RV method is responsible for discovering the majority of planets that orbit stars other than our Sun. However, one problem with this technique is that stellar jitter can cause RV variations that mimic or mask out a planet signature. There have been several instances in the past when stars have shown periodic RV variations which are firstly attributed to a planet and later found to be due to stellar spots, e.g. BD+20 1790 (Figueira, P et al. 2010) and CJ674 (Turnball et al. 204). So far the method of choice to overcome these problems is to avoid observing stars which show levels of high activity. However, this does not solve the problem: it merely avoids it. We have therefore been developing a code which separates out stellar jitter from the RVs to enable active planets to be looked at for planets. I will talk about our technique as well as show some exciting preliminary results.