Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array

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Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array
One of the individual telescopes of the Minerva project.jpg
One of the individual telescopes of the Minerva project
Alternative namesMINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Part of Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Location(s) Mount Hopkins, Arizona
Coordinates 31°41′18″N110°53′07″W / 31.6884°N 110.8854°W / 31.6884; -110.8854 Coordinates: 31°41′18″N110°53′07″W / 31.6884°N 110.8854°W / 31.6884; -110.8854 OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Telescope style astronomical survey
optical telescope   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
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Location of Miniature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array
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A diagram of one of the project's enclosures with two telescopes A diagram of one of the Minerva project enclosures with two telescopes.jpg
A diagram of one of the project's enclosures with two telescopes

The MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array (MINERVA) is a ground-based robotic dedicated exoplanet observatory. The facility is an array of small-aperture robotic telescopes outfitted for both photometry and high-resolution Doppler spectroscopy located at the U.S. Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona. [1] [2] [3] [4] The project's principal investigator is the American astronomer Jason Eastman. [1] The telescopes were manufactured by PlaneWave Instruments.


Science objectives

The primary science goal of MINERVA is to discover Earth-like planets in close-in (less than 50-day) orbits around nearby stars, and super-Earths (3-15 times the mass of Earth) in the habitable zones of the closest Sun-like stars. The secondary goal is to look for transits (eclipses) of known and newly discovered extrasolar planets. The unique design of the MINERVA observatory allows the pursuit of both goals simultaneously.

Specifications and status


MINERVA-Red is an echelle spectrograph optimized for the 'deep red', between 800 nm and 900 nm (where M-dwarfs are brightest) with a robotic 0.7 meter telescope. It uses a Fabry-Perot etalon and U/Ne lamp for wavelength calibration. [5] [6]

See also

Other exoplanet search projects

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  1. 1 2 "A dedicated Exoplanet Oservatory". Harvard . Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  2. Gudmundur Stefansson (26 December 2014). "MINERVA: MINiature Exoplanet Radial Velocity Array". Astrobites. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  3. Kristina Hogstrom (16 August 2013). "MINERVA: Using Small, Fully Robotic Telescopes to Search for Habitable-Zone Exoplanets". NASA . Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  4. "Earth-hunting, guerilla style". Planetquest JPL/NASA. 6 September 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  5. Sliski, David; Blake, Cullen; Johnson, John A.; Plavchan, Peter; Wittenmyer, Robert A.; Eastman, Jason D.; Barnes, Stuart; Baker, Ashley (2017). "MINERVA-Red: A telescope dedicated to the discovery of planets orbiting the nearest low-mass stars". American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #229. 229: 146.09. Bibcode:2017AAS...22914609S. MINERVA-Red: A telescope dedicated to the discovery of planets orbiting the nearest low-mass stars
  6. "MINERVA-Red: An Intensive Survey for Planets Orbiting the Nearest Low-mass Stars to the Sun - Videos | Institute for Advanced Study". 7 October 2015.