Exploring the red side of cool stars with exoplanets


Principal Investigator: Elisa Delgado Mena


Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia

The determination of accurate and precise stellar parameters and chemical abundances of M dwarfs is of prime importance to the study of Galactic chemical evolution, since these are the most abundant stars in the Milky Way. Moreover, M dwarfs are excellent targets to support the quest for other Earths due to their low masses and small sizes. However, to characterize a planet in detail we need to have precise estimates of the parameters and chemical composition of its host star. The main goal of this project is to achieve such high precision in the characterization of this population of poorly known stars. To do so, we will take advantage of our participation in NIRPS, a new high-resolution near-infrared (NIR) spectrograph that will start operations in 2023. The NIR spectra of cool stars are less complex than their optical spectra (which are crowded with molecular absorption lines), and will represent a significant step towards a better characterization of M dwarfs.