Astronomy & Telescopes

NIRPS First Light and Early Science: Breaking the 1 m/s RV Precision Barrier at Infrared Wavelengths

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
June 24, 2024
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NIRPS First Light and Early Science: Breaking the 1 m/s RV Precision Barrier at Infrared Wavelengths
[Top] Wide-angle view of the NIRPS back end prior to the addition of the thermal enclosure. Fibres arrive from the left the the cryostat. — astro-ph.EP

The Near-InfraRed Planet Searcher or NIRPS is a precision radial velocity spectrograph developed through collaborative efforts among laboratories in Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, France, Portugal and Spain.

NIRPS extends to the 0.98-1.8 μm domain of the pioneering HARPS instrument at the La Silla 3.6-m telescope in Chile and it has achieved unparalleled precision, measuring stellar radial velocities in the infrared with accuracy better than 1 m/s.

NIRPS can be used either stand-alone or simultaneously with HARPS. Commissioned in late 2022 and early 2023, NIRPS embarked on a 5-year Guaranteed Time Observation (GTO) program in April 2023, spanning 720 observing nights.

This program focuses on planetary systems around M dwarfs, encompassing both the immediate solar vicinity and transit follow-ups, alongside transit and emission spectroscopy observations. We highlight NIRPS’s current performances and the insights gained during its deployment at the telescope.

The lessons learned and successes achieved contribute to the ongoing advancement of precision radial velocity measurements and high spectral fidelity, further solidifying NIRPS’ role in the forefront of the field of exoplanets.

[Top] Wide-angle view of the NIRPS back end prior to the addition of the thermal enclosure. Fibres arrive from the left the the cryostat. [Bottom left] Back end in the thermal enclosure prior closing it. The cylinder enclosed in aluminized wrapping contains the double-scrambler. [Botton right] Lab view of the NIRPS front-end with the optical path highlighted. — astro-ph.EP

Left: Exoplanet population in a planetary mass-irradiation diagram with all targets observed and scheduled during the first part of the GTO. The colors represent the different subpackages of WP3. Right: Detection of water in the atmosphere of hot Saturn WASP-127b obtained from a single transit during commissioning. — astro-ph.EP

Étienne Artigau, François Bouchy, René Doyon, Frédérique Baron, Lison Malo, François Wildi, Franceso Pepe, Neil J. Cook, Simon Thibault, Vladimir Reshetov, Xavier Dumusque, Christophe Lovis, Danuta Sosnowska, Bruno L. Canto Martins, Jose Renan De Medeiros, Xavier Delfosse, Nuno Santos, Rafael Rebolo, Manuel Abreu, Guillaume Allain, Romain Allart, Hugues Auger, Susana Barros, Luc Bazinet, Nicolas Blind, Isabelle Boisse, Xavier Bonfils, Vincent Bourrier, Sébastien Bovay, Christopher Broeg, Denis Brousseau, Vincent Bruniquel, Alexandre Cabral, Charles Cadieux, Andres Carmona, Yann Carteret, Zalpha Challita, Bruno Chazelas, Ryan Cloutier, João Coelho, Marion Cointepas, Uriel Conod, Nicolas Cowan, Eduardo Cristo, João Gomes da Silva, Laurie Dauplaise, Roseane de Lima Gomes, Elisa Delgado-Mena, David Ehrenreich, João Faria, Pedro Figueira, Thierry Forveille, Yolanda Frensch, Jonathan Gagné, Frédéric Genest, Ludovic Genolet, Jonay I. González Hernández, Félix Gracia Témich, Nolan Grieves, Olivier Hernandez, Melissa J. Hobson, Jens Hoeijmakers, Dan Kerley, Vigneshwaran Krishnamurthy, David Lafrenière, Pierrot Lamontagne, Pierre Larue, Henry Leaf, Izan C. Leão, Olivia Lim, Gaspare Lo Curto, Allan M. Martins, Claudio Melo, Yuri S. Messias, Lucile Mignon, Leslie Moranta, Christoph Mordasini, Khaled Al Moulla, Dany Mounzer, Alexandrine L’Heureux, Nicola Nari, Louise Nielsen, Ares Osborn, Léna Parc, Luca Pasquini, Vera M. Passegger, Stefan Pelletier, Céline Peroux, Caroline Piaulet, Mykhaylo Plotnykov, Anne-Sophie Poulin-Girard, José Luis Rasilla, Jonathan Saint-Antoine, Mirsad Sarajlic, Alex Segovia, Julia Seidel, Damien Ségransan, Ana Rita Costa Silva, Avidaan Srivastava, Atanas K. Stefanov et al. (14 additional authors not shown)

Comments: Proceeding at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation conference [Yokohama,Japan; June 2024]
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2406.08304 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2406.08304v2 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Étienne Artigau
[v1] Wed, 12 Jun 2024 15:03:24 UTC (11,136 KB)
[v2] Thu, 13 Jun 2024 17:19:42 UTC (11,138 KB)
Astrobiology, Astronomy,

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) 🖖🏻