The search for extrasolar planets exploded in the last 15 years. As of today, we know more than 450 planets with a myriad of properties that defy current structure and formation models. In our way to understand extrasolar planets, we greatly improved our knowledge on the stars hosting them. In particular, the discovery that stellar activity can mimic the radial-velocity signature of a planet had severe implications on our surveys. It has been a major issue for those who use the radial-velocity method to detect planets, by far the most effective to date.
In this talk I will show how CRIRES, the near-IR high resolution ESO spectrograph, can allow us to distinguish a planetary signal from stellar phenomena. The comprehensive characterization campaign on TW Hya will be presented as an example of this approach. Brand new results on the long-term stability of atmospheric lines as a wavelength reference will be presented. I will conclude with a discussion of several ongoing and future projects in near-IR spectroscopy, along with their objectives and challenges.
2010 May 26, 13:30
Centro de Astrofísica da Universidade do Porto (Auditorium)
Rua das Estrelas, 4150-762 Porto