Deanna Csomo McCool | August 7, 2019
Jonathan Crass, research assistant professor in the University of Notre Dame Department of Physics, has been selected to serve as a member of a NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) initiative that will make recommendations to advance the search for earth-like planets that orbit other suns.
The Extreme Precision Radial Velocity (EPRV) Initiative will share the members’ views about the pathway, programs and potential technology development needed. In September 2018, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Committee on Exoplanet Science Strategy made recommendations about the next decade’s search for habitable worlds outside our solar system, and urged NASA and NSF to establish this joint initiative to support the science of obtaining ultra-precise radial velocity measurements. These measurements provide essential mass, orbit, and census information about stars.
Researchers have found it challenging to overcome the effects that currently limit existing radial velocity instruments. The “signature” a planet imparts on the light emitted from the star it orbits is often much smaller that other phenomena that affect these types of measurements. Rotation from the host star, its changing surface, the earth’s atmosphere, and instrument instability currently limit scientists’ ability to detect and study these planets. The working group Crass has joined will focus on the pathway to overcome these and make these measurements.
Read more here.