The CARMENES search for exoplanets around M dwarfs: radial velocities and activity indicators from cross-correlation functions with weighted binary masks

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Context. For years, the standard procedure to measure radial velocities (RVs) of spectral observations consisted in cross-correlating the spectra with a binary mask, that is, a simple stellar template that contains information on the position and strength of stellar absorption lines. The cross-correlation function (CCF) profiles also provide several indicators of stellar activity. Aims. We present a methodology to first build weighted binary masks and, second, to compute the CCF of spectral observations with these masks from which we derive radial velocities and activity indicators. These methods are implemented in a python code that is publicly available. Methods. To build the masks, we selected a large number of sharp absorption lines based on the profile of the minima present in high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) spectrum templates built from observations of reference stars. We computed the CCFs of observed spectra and derived RVs and the following three standard activity indicators: full-width-at-half-maximum as well as contrast and bisector inverse slope. Results. We applied our methodology to CARMENES high-resolution spectra and obtain RV and activity indicator time series of more than 300 M dwarf stars observed for the main CARMENES survey. Compared with the standard CARMENES template matching pipeline, in general we obtain more precise RVs in the cases where the template used in the standard pipeline did not have enough S/N. We also show the behaviour of the three activity indicators for the active star YZ CMi and estimate the absolute RV of the M dwarfs analysed using the CCF RVs.
© ESO 2020. Artículo firmado por 27 autores. We thank the anonymous referee for the constructive report. CARMENES is an instrument for the Centro Astronómico HispanoAlemán de Calar Alto (CAHA, Almería, Spain). CARMENES is funded by the German Max-Planck-Gesellschaft (MPG), the Spanish Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), the European Union through FEDER/ERF FICTS-2011-02 funds, and the members of the CARMENES Consortium (Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, Landessternwarte Königstuhl, Institut de Ciències de l’Espai, Institut für Astrophysik Göttingen, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, Hamburger Sternwarte, Centro de Astrobiología and Centro Astronómico Hispano-Alemán), with additional contributions by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, the German Science Foundation through the Major Research Instrumentation Programme and DFG Research Unit FOR2544 “Blue Planets around Red Stars”, the Klaus Tschira Stiftung, the states of Baden-Württemberg and Niedersachsen, and by the Junta de Andalucía. Based on data from the CARMENES data archive at CAB (INTA-CSIC).
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