Barycentric corrections for precise radial velocity measurements of sunlight

Jason T. Wright, Shubham Kanodia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


We provide formulae for the calculation of precise Doppler velocities of sunlight, in both the case of direct observations of the Sun and in reflection from the surfaces of solar system objects such as the Moon or asteroids. We discuss the meaning of a "barycentric correction"of measurements of these Doppler velocities, which is a different procedure from the analogous correction for starlight, and provide a formula for reducing such measurements to the component of the Sun's motion in the direction of Earth or other solar system object. We have implemented this procedure in the public barycorrpy Python package and use it to explore the properties of the barycentric-corrected Doppler velocity of sunlight over 30 yr. When measured directly, we show that it is dominated by nonperiodic motion due to Jupiter and that the signals of the other planets, including Venus, are not discernible in Fourier space. We show that "detecting"Venus in Doppler velocities of sunlight will require either observing sunlight in reflection from an asteroid or modeling their individual contributions to the motion of the Sun in counterfactual kinematic or dynamical simulations of the solar system with and without them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number38
JournalPlanetary Science Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geophysics


Dive into the research topics of 'Barycentric corrections for precise radial velocity measurements of sunlight'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this