Observing the Sun as a Star: Design and Early Results from the NEID Solar Feed

Andrea S.J. Lin, Andrew Monson, Suvrath Mahadevan, Joe P. Ninan, Samuel Halverson, Colin Nitroy, Chad F. Bender, Sarah E. Logsdon, Shubham Kanodia, Ryan C. Terrien, Arpita Roy, Jacob K. Luhn, Arvind F. Gupta, Eric B. Ford, Fred Hearty, Russ R. Laher, Emily Hunting, William R. McBride, Noah Isaac Salazar Rivera, Jayadev RajagopalMarsha J. Wolf, Paul Robertson, Jason T. Wright, Cullen H. Blake, Caleb I. Cañas, Emily Lubar, Michael W. McElwain, Lawrence W. Ramsey, Christian Schwab, Gudmundur Stefansson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Efforts with extreme-precision radial velocity (EPRV) instruments to detect small-amplitude planets are largely limited, on many timescales, by the effects of stellar variability and instrumental systematics. One avenue for investigating these effects is the use of small solar telescopes which direct disk-integrated sunlight to these EPRV instruments, observing the Sun at high cadence over months or years. We have designed and built a solar feed system to carry out "Sun-as-a-star"observations with NEID, a very high precision Doppler spectrometer recently commissioned at the WIYN 3.5 m Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. The NEID solar feed has been taking observations nearly every day since 2020 December; data is publicly available at the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute NEID Solar Archive: https://neid.ipac.caltech.edu/search_solar.php. In this paper, we present the design of the NEID solar feed and explanations behind our design intent. We also present early radial velocity (RV) results which demonstrate NEID's RV stability on the Sun over 4 months of commissioning: 0.66 m s-1 rms under good sky conditions and improving to 0.41 m s-1 rms under best conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number184
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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