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Creators/Authors contains: "Dumusque, Xavier"

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  1. Abstract

    Stellar active regions, including spots and faculae, can create radial velocity (RV) signals that interfere with the detection and mass measurements of low-mass exoplanets. In doing so, these active regions affect each spectral line differently, but the origin of these differences is not fully understood. Here we explore how spectral line variability correlated with S-index (Ca H and K emission) is related to the atomic properties of each spectral line. Next, we develop a simple analytic stellar atmosphere model that can account for the largest sources of line variability with S-index. Then, we apply this model to HARPS spectra ofαCen B to explain Feiline depth changes in terms of a disk-averaged temperature difference between active and quiet regions on the visible hemisphere of the star. This work helps establish a physical basis for understanding how stellar activity manifests differently in each spectral line and may help future work mitigating the impact of stellar activity on exoplanet RV surveys.

  2. Abstract

    Measured spectral shifts due to intrinsic stellar variability (e.g., pulsations, granulation) and activity (e.g., spots, plages) are the largest source of error for extreme-precision radial-velocity (EPRV) exoplanet detection. Several methods are designed to disentangle stellar signals from true center-of-mass shifts due to planets. The Extreme-precision Spectrograph (EXPRES) Stellar Signals Project (ESSP) presents a self-consistent comparison of 22 different methods tested on the same extreme-precision spectroscopic data from EXPRES. Methods derived new activity indicators, constructed models for mapping an indicator to the needed radial-velocity (RV) correction, or separated out shape- and shift-driven RV components. Since no ground truth is known when using real data, relative method performance is assessed using the total and nightly scatter of returned RVs and agreement between the results of different methods. Nearly all submitted methods return a lower RV rms than classic linear decorrelation, but no method is yet consistently reducing the RV rms to sub-meter-per-second levels. There is a concerning lack of agreement between the RVs returned by different methods. These results suggest that continued progress in this field necessitates increased interpretability of methods, high-cadence data to capture stellar signals at all timescales, and continued tests like the ESSP using consistent data sets withmore »more advanced metrics for method performance. Future comparisons should make use of various well-characterized data sets—such as solar data or data with known injected planetary and/or stellar signals—to better understand method performance and whether planetary signals are preserved.

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