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Planet 1

The HET Radial Velocity Program for Planetary Systems around M Dwarfs

Principal Investigators

  • Prof. Dr. Stefan Dreizler
    Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen
  • Prof. Dr. Thomas Henning
    Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Andreas Quirrenbach
    Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg
  • Prof. Dr. Ansgar Reiners
    Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Göttingen


Radial velocity (RV) observations of low-mass stars can be used to discover and determine the mass of planets down to a few Earth-masses. The need for RV observations as part of RV monitoring as well as follow-up of transit candidates from photometric satellite missions (TESS now and PLATO in the future) is very large. In the community of the Priority Program we identify a lack of RV programs, in particular for the follow-up of transit missions because this field is developing particularly quickly. In our project, we build on the PI’s experience in detection and characterization of planets around M-stars, and we want to develop this expertise as part of the Priority Program. As partner of the 10 m Hobby-Eberly-Telescope, we have the unique opportunity to access the Habitable Zone Planet Finder (HPF), a world-leading RV facility for the investigation of low-mass stars. With HPF, we want to carry out a detailed observing campaign in a sample of about ten handpicked M dwarf stars. About half of them were observed by other surveys showing interesting but not yet significant signatures, the other half will be transiting planet candidates from the TESS mission.


Henrik Ruh

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