Preparing the exoplanet search with PRIMA: searching for reference stars and target characterization

Geisler, R. ; Setiawan, J. ; Henning, Th ; Queloz, D. ; Quirrenbach, A. ; Launhardt, R. ; Müller, A. ; Reffert, S. ; Weise, P.

In: Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 2007, vol. 3, no. S249, p. 61-63

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    The PRIMA (Phase-Referenced Imaging and Micro-arcsecond Astrometry) facility at ESO VLTI (Paranal observatory) is expected to be commissioned in mid 2008. The ESPRI (Exoplanet Search with PRIMA) consortium is currently preparing an astrometric survey to search for extrasolar planets. To achieve the scientific goal of this survey, a careful selection of target and reference stars is necessary. Apart from catalog search and modelling, extensive and dedicated preparatory observations are indispensable. Here we present two aspects of the preparatory observation programs: A high dynamic range near infrared (NIR) imaging survey to search for astrometric reference stars around the preselected target stars and characterization of the target stars by using high-resolution spectroscopy