The Epoch of Giant Planet Migration Planet Search Program. I. Near-infrared Radial Velocity Jitter of Young Sun-like Stars

Quang H. Tran, Brendan P. Bowler, William D. Cochran, Michael Endl, Gumundur Stefánsson, Suvrath Mahadevan, Joe P. Ninan, Chad F. Bender, Samuel Halverson, Arpita Roy, Ryan C. Terrien

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7 Scopus citations


We present early results from the Epoch of Giant Planet Migration program, a precise radial velocity (RV) survey of more than 100 intermediate-age (∼20-200 Myr) G and K dwarfs with the Habitable Zone Planet Finder spectrograph (HPF) at McDonald Observatory's Hobby-Eberly Telescope. The goals of this program are to determine the timescale and dominant physical mechanism of giant planet migration interior to the water ice line of Sun-like stars. Here, we summarize results from the first 14 months of this program, with a focus on our custom RV pipeline for HPF, a measurement of the intrinsic near-infrared RV activity of young Solar analogs, and modeling the underlying population-level distribution of stellar jitter. We demonstrate on-sky stability at the sub-2 m s-1 level for the K2 standard HD 3765 using a least-squares matching method to extract precise RVs. Based on a subsample of 29 stars with at least three RV measurements from our program, we find a median rms level of 34 m s-1. This is nearly a factor of 2 lower than the median rms level in the optical of 60 m s-1 for a comparison sample with similar ages and spectral types as our targets. The observed near-infrared jitter measurements for this subsample are well reproduced with a log-normal parent distribution with μ = 4.15 and σ = 1.02. Finally, by compiling rms values from previous planet search programs, we show that near-infrared jitter for G and K dwarfs generally decays with age in a similar fashion to optical wavelengths, albeit with a shallower slope and lower overall values for ages ≲1 Gyr.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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