Determination of accurate stellar radial-velocity measures

Dag Gullberg, Lennart Lindegren

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Wavelength measurements in stellar spectra cannot readily be interpretedas true stellar motion on the sub-km s<SUP>-1</SUP> accuracy level dueto the presence of many other effects, such as gravitational redshiftand stellar convection, which also produce line shifts. Following arecommendation by the IAU, the result of an accurate spectroscopicradial-velocity observation should therefore be given as the``barycentric radial-velocity measure'', i.e. the absolute spectralshift as measured by an observer at zero gravitational potential locatedat the solar-system barycentre. Standard procedures for reducingaccurate radial-velocity observations should be reviewed to take intoaccount this recommendation. We describe a procedure to determineaccurate barycentric radial-velocity measures of bright stars, based ondigital cross-correlation of spectra obtained with the ELODIEspectrometer (Observatoire de Haute-Provence) with a synthetic templateof Fe I lines. The absolute zero point of the radial-velocity measuresis linked to the wavelength scale of the Kurucz (1984) Solar Flux Atlasvia ELODIE observations of the Moon. Results are given for the Sun and42 stars, most of them members of the Hyades and Ursa Major clusters.The median internal standard error is 27 m s<SUP>-1</SUP>. The externalerror is estimated at around 120 m s<SUP>-1</SUP>, mainly reflecting theuncertainty in the wavelength scale of the Solar Flux Atlas. For the Sunwe find a radial-velocity measure of +257+/- 11 m s<SUP>-1</SUP>referring to the full-disk spectrum of the selected Fe I lines. Based onobservations made at Observatoire de Haute-Provence
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-395
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • stars: kinematics
  • methods: data analysis
  • techniques: radial velocities
  • open clusters and associations


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