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Journal Article

Convective blueshift strengths of 810 F to M solar-type stars


Jeffers,  Sandra V.
Department Solar and Stellar Interiors, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Max Planck Society;

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Liebing, F., Jeffers, S. V., Reiners, A., & Zechmeister, M. (2021). Convective blueshift strengths of 810 F to M solar-type stars. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 654: A168. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/202039607.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-7C0A-2
Context. The detection of Earth-mass exoplanets in the habitable zone around solar-mass stars using the radial velocity technique requires extremely high precision, on the order of 10 cm s−1. This puts the required noise floor below the intrinsic variability of even relatively inactive stars, such as the Sun. One such variable is convective blueshift varying temporally, spatially, and between spectral lines.

Aims. We develop a new approach for measuring convective blueshift and determine the strength of convective blueshift for 810 stars observed by the HARPS spectrograph, spanning spectral types late-F, G, K, and early-M. We derive a model for infering blueshift velocity for lines of any depth in later-type stars of any effective temperature.

Methods. Using a custom list of spectral lines, covering a wide range of absorption depths, we create a model for the line-core shift as a function of line depth, commonly known as the third signature of granulation. For this we utilize an extremely-high-resolution solar spectrum (R ~ 1 000 000) to empirically account for the nonlinear nature of the third signature. The solar third signature is then scaled to all 810 stars. Through this we obtain a measure of the convective blueshift relative to the Sun as a function of stellar effective temperature.

Results. We confirm the general correlation of increasing convective blueshift with effective temperature and establish a tight, cubic relation between the two that strongly increases for stars above ~5800 K. For stars between ~4100 and ~4700 K we show, for the first time, a plateau in convective shift and a possible onset of a plateau for stars above 6000 K. Stars below ~4000 K show neither blueshift nor redshift. We provide a table that lists expected blueshift velocities for each spectral subtype in the data set to quickly access the intrinsic noise floor through convective blueshift for the radial velocity technique.