The apogee spectroscopic survey of Kepler planet hosts: Feasibility, efficiency, and first results

Scott W. Fleming, Suvrath Mahadevan, Rohit Deshpande, Chad F. Bender, Ryan C. Terrien, Robert C. Marchwinski, Ji Wang, Arpita Roy, Keivan G. Stassun, Carlos Allende Prieto, Katia Cunha, Verne V. Smith, Eric Agol, Hasan Ak, Fabienne A. Bastien, Dmitry Bizyaev, Justin R. Crepp, Eric B. Ford, Peter M. Frinchaboy, Domingo Anibal Garcia-HernandezAna Elia Garcia Perez, B. Scott Gaudi, Jian Ge, Fred Hearty, Bo Ma, Steve R. Majewski, Szabolcs Meszaros, David L. Nidever, Kaike Pan, Joshua Pepper, Marc H. Pinsonneault, Ricardo P. Schiavon, Donald P. Schneider, John C. Wilson, Olga Zamora, Gail Zasowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The Kepler mission has yielded a large number of planet candidates from among the Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs), but spectroscopic follow-up of these relatively faint stars is a serious bottleneck in confirming and characterizing these systems. We present motivation and survey design for an ongoing project with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III multiplexed Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) near-infrared spectrograph to monitor hundreds of KOI host stars. We report some of our first results using representative targets from our sample, which include current planet candidates that we find to be false positives, as well as candidates listed as false positives that we do not find to be spectroscopic binaries. With this survey, KOI hosts are observed over ∼20 epochs at a radial velocity (RV) precision of 100-200 m s-1. These observations can easily identify a majority of false positives caused by physically associated stellar or substellar binaries, and in many cases, fully characterize their orbits. We demonstrate that APOGEE is capable of achieving RV precision at the 100-200 m s-1 level over long time baselines, and that APOGEE's multiplexing capability makes it substantially more efficient at identifying false positives due to binaries than other single-object spectrographs working to confirm KOIs as planets. These APOGEE RVs enable ancillary science projects, such as studies of fundamental stellar astrophysics or intrinsically rare substellar companions. The coadded APOGEE spectra can be used to derive stellar properties (Teff, ) and chemical abundances of over a dozen elements to probe correlations of planet properties with individual elemental abundances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number143
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • binaries: eclipsing
  • binaries: spectroscopic
  • planets and satellites: detection
  • surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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