Institute of Astronomy

The RHEA spectrograph

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Joao Bento28 July 2014Across HR 2014 Posters


The current limitations associated with detecting exoplanets using Radial Velocity (RV) measurements include temperature and pressure stability of spectrographs and efficient fibre scrambling. Additionally, an astrophysical fundamental limitation in the form of noise from stellar activity is becoming increasingly important. This is particularly true for giant stars, where the amplitude of pulsations is comparable to RV signals from hot-Jupiters. Asteroseismological analysis of long-baseline RV measurements is required to measure the intrinsic pulsations of the host star and de-correlate them to search for the planetary signals. This is impractical using large telescopes, but possible to do on bright stars with 0.2-0.4m class telescopes, provided they can be fitted with cheap high-resolution spectrographs. We present the current status of development and first observations of the Replicable High-Resolution Exoplanets and Asteroseismology (RHEA) spectrograph, an inexpensive compact single-mode fibre-fed spectrograph being developed at Macquarie University with the aim of serving as the basis of a series of spectrographs to be deployed on small telescopes for exoplanet and asteroseismological studies.