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Title: The SDSS-III APOGEE radial velocity survey of M dwarfs. I. Description of the survey and science goals

We are carrying out a large ancillary program with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, SDSS-III, using the fiber-fed multi-object near-infrared APOGEE spectrograph, to obtain high-resolution H-band spectra of more than 1200 M dwarfs. These observations will be used to measure spectroscopic rotational velocities, radial velocities, physical stellar parameters, and variability of the target stars. Here, we describe the target selection for this survey, as well as results from the first year of scientific observations based on spectra that will be publicly available in the SDSS-III DR10 data release. As part of this paper we present radial velocities and rotational velocities of over 200 M dwarfs, with a vsin i precision of ∼2 km s{sup –1} and a measurement floor at vsin i = 4 km s{sup –1}. This survey significantly increases the number of M dwarfs studied for rotational velocities and radial velocity variability (at ∼100-200 m s{sup –1}), and will inform and advance the target selection for planned radial velocity and photometric searches for low-mass exoplanets around M dwarfs, such as the Habitable Zone Planet Finder, CARMENES, and TESS. Multiple epochs of radial velocity observations enable us to identify short period binaries, and adaptive optics imaging of a subsetmore » of stars enables the detection of possible stellar companions at larger separations. The high-resolution APOGEE spectra, covering the entire H band, provide the opportunity to measure physical stellar parameters such as effective temperatures and metallicities for many of these stars. At the culmination of this survey, we will have obtained multi-epoch spectra and radial velocities for over 1400 stars spanning the spectral range M0-L0, providing the largest set of near-infrared M dwarf spectra at high resolution, and more than doubling the number of known spectroscopic vsin i values for M dwarfs. Furthermore, by modeling telluric lines to correct for small instrumental radial velocity shifts, we hope to achieve a relative velocity precision floor of 50 m s{sup –1} for bright M dwarfs. With three or more epochs, this precision is adequate to detect substellar companions, including giant planets with short orbital periods, and flag them for higher-cadence followup. We present preliminary, and promising, results of this telluric modeling technique in this paper.« less
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  1. Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States)
  3. Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, Carnegie Institution of Washington, 5241 Broad Branch Road NW, Washington, DC 20015 (United States)
  4. University of Virginia, 530 McCormick Road, Charlottesville, VA 22904 (United States)
  5. Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556 (United States)
  6. Institut UTINAM, CNRS UMR 6213, Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers THETA Franche-Comt é-Bourgogne, Université de Franche Comté, Observatoire de Besançon, BP 1615, F-25010 Besançon Cedex (France)
  7. Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States)
  8. Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, E-38205 La Laguna, Tenerife (Spain)
  9. Apache Point Observatory, P.O. Box 59, Sunspot, NM 88349-0059 (United States)
  10. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas Christian University, TCU Box 298840, Fort Worth, TX 76129 (United States)
  11. Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611-2055 (United States)
  12. Department of Astronomy, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 146; Journal Issue: 6; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States