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Searching for exomoons with planetary radial velocities

Presentation #417.06 in the session Exoplanet Radial Velocities and Transits: Techniques.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Searching for exomoons with planetary radial velocities

The Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer (KPIC) is a new instrument allowing high resolution spectroscopy (R~35,000 in K band) of directly imaged exoplanets and brown-dwarf companions. Measuring the radial velocity of these objects is a promising technique to search for binary planets and exomoons. As part of KPIC’s science verification, we observed a massive brown dwarf companion (HR7672B) at high contrast (0.7” separation) for an entire night featuring a radial velocity precision of a few km/s every 5 minutes. We demonstrate that KPIC is currently sensitive to moons with a mass ratio of ~1% at distances similar to that of Io around Jupiter. KPIC is currently being upgraded, including a laser frequency comb, which should provide substantial gains in RV precision. We will discuss the prospects for future exomoon searches using the next generation of high-resolution spectrographs for directly imaged exoplanets, such as Keck/HISPEC and TMT/MODHIS.

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