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09/21/2017: SO/NOAO Joint Colloquium Series: Chad Bender, Steward


Title: The Search for Earth-Twins with a New Generation of Doppler Spectrometers

The field of exoplanet characterization via ground-based radial velocity measurements is entering a golden era as more than 20 new purpose-built planet-hunting spectrometers come online over the coming few years. These instruments use unprecedented RV precision, uniform observing cadence, and expanded wavelength regimes to open new exoplanet parameter space. I will provide an update on the general state of the RV exoplanet field, and describe the design and development status of the NASA-NSF flagship spectrometer NEID. This ~$10M instrument is being constructed by a multi-institutional team, including the University of Arizona and NOAO, to provide the US exoplanet community with precision Doppler spectroscopic capabilities at the 3.5 m WIYN telescope on Kitt Peak. NEID will produce R~100,000 spectra covering the complete wavelength range from 0.38 - 0.92 microns, with an RV precision of ~30 cm/s. It will deploy to the WIYN in 2018, and be available for public use in spring 2019, where it will provide support for TESS and carryout a GTO search program to discover Earth-twins.