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Chatting about CARMENES with Pedro Amado

7 Aug 2017, 10:55 UTC
Chatting about CARMENES with Pedro Amado
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

edited by Zaira M. Berdiñas and John Strachan.
I’ve recently visited the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (IAA-CSIC) located in Granada (Spain) and there I met up with Pedro Amado. I was curious about CARMENES, a world-renowned instrument installed at the Calar Alto observatory of which Pedro is the Spanish principal investigator: so I decided to take advantage of my visit and interview him. CARMENES is a spectrograph specifically built to detect habitable Earth-like planets orbiting stars much cooler than the Sun, aka. M-dwarf stars. Like HARPS, it is a high-resolution spectrograph but with the novelty of including a near-infrared arm besides a visible one. In this way, we have better coverage of the wavelength range where M dwarfs emit more flux. Thus, we can say that CARMENES is like “HARPS” but specifically designed to find planets around M dwarf stars. Since it was installed at the end of 2015, CARMENES has confirmed several planetary systems, but the expected big discoveries will come along with the optimization of the near-infrared arm. But let’s talk with Pedro Amado, who is the real expert and lead role in the CARMENES project. Enjoy the interview!
Some members of the CARMENES team during a ...

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