The Exoplanet Tracker is a prototype of a new type of fiber-fed instrument for performing high-precision relative Doppler measurements to detect extrasolar planets. A combination of Michelson interferometer and medium-resolution spectrograph, this low-cost instrument facilitates radial velocity measurements with high throughput over a small bandwidth (∼300 Å) and has the potential to be designed for multiobject operation with moderate bandwidths (∼1000 Å). We present the first planet detection with this new type of instrument, a successful confirmation of the well-established planetary companion to 51 Peg, showing an rms precision of 11. 5 m s-1 over 5 days. We also show comparison measurements of the radial velocity stable star, η Cas, showing an rms precision of 7.9 m s -1 over 7 days. These new results are starting to approach the precision levels obtained with traditional radial velocity techniques based on cross-dispersed echelles. We anticipate that this new technique could have an important impact in the search for extrasolar planets.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science