NEID sees its first light on 51 Peg!

NEID sees its first light on 51 Pegasi, the host star around which Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz discovered the first exoplanet to orbit a solar type star in 1995!

NEID Project Scientist Jason Wright at the Press Release at AAS 235, announcing the first light of NEID

First light spectrum of 51 Pegasi as captured by NEID on the WIYN telescope with blowup of a small section of the spectrum. The right panel shows the light from the star, highly dispersed by NEID, from short wavelengths (bluer colors) to long wavelengths (redder colors). The colors shown, which approximate the true color of the starlight at each part of image, are included for illustrative purposes only. The region in the small white box in the right panel, when expanded (left panel), shows the spectrum of the star (longer dashed lines) and the light from the wavelength calibration source (dots). Deficits of light (dark interruptions) in the stellar spectrum, are due to stellar absorption lines — “fingerprints” of the elements that are present in the atmosphere of the star. By measuring the subtle motion of these features, to bluer or redder wavelengths, astronomers can detect the “wobble” of the star produced in response to its orbiting planet.
Credit: Guðmundur Kári Stefánsson/Princeton University/Penn State/NSF’s National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory/KPNO/AURA


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