Revised carbon 12C/13C isotope ratio of α Aurigae

The new measure of the carbon 12C/13C isotope ratio of the primary component of Capella, 17.8 ± 1.9, using high-resolution R ≈ 250 000 spectra obtained with PEPSI at both the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) and the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) is significantly lower than the previous value of 27 ± 4 but now agrees better with the recent model prediction of 18.8-20.7.

The spectrum synthesis fitting.

Read more: Sablowski et al. 2019 A&A, 622, L11



EK Draconis showing evidence for starspot penumbrae

The first temperature surface map of EK Dra from very-high-resolution spectra obtained with the Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope shows four cool spots. The temperature morphology of one of them appears to show so far the best evidence for the existence of a solar-like penumbra for a starspot.

Left: Temperature Doppler image of EK Draconis. Right: iMap reconstruction of the spot that indicates evidence for penumbra.

Read more: Järvinen et al. 2018, A&A, 620, 162


KELT-9 b optical Mg I triplet detected

PEPSI has detected the optical Mg I triplet at 7.8-sigma in the extended atmosphere of the ultra-hot Jupiter KELT-9 b. Constraints are placed on the density and radial extent of the excited hydrogen envelope.

Average line profiles for the Mg triplet lines of the Kelt-9 b atmosphere.
Average line profiles for the Mg triplet lines of the Kelt-9 b atmosphere. ST is the ratio stellar spectrum in transit divided by stellar spectrum out of transit. Possible contaminating atomic transitions are marked with vertical red lines. Spectral resolution R is 50,000.


Read more: Cauley et al.,

AIP press release on PEPSI

First PEPSI data release

9 January 2018. The Potsdam Echelle Polarimetric and Spectroscopic Instrument (PEPSI) at the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) in Arizona released its first batch of high-spectral resolution data to the scientific community. In a series of three papers in the European journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, the PEPSI team presents a new spectral atlas of the Sun, a total of 48 atlases of bright benchmark stars, and a detailed analysis of the chemical abundances of the 10-billion year old planet-system host Kepler-444.

Read more on the AIP website.

Kelt-21b: A hot Jupiter transiting the rapidly-rotating metal-poor late-A primary of a likely hierarchical triple system

Detection of the line profile perturbations confirmed that the planet candidate Kelt-21b does indeed transit its rapidly rotating host star. Furthermore, the motion of the line profile perturbation across the line profile during the transit diagnosted the spin-orbit misalignment, which is the angle between the stellar spin and planetary orbital angular momentum vectors projected onto the plane of the sky.

The Doppler tomographic PEPSI data for KELT-21. Time is from bottom up. Vertical lines mark the center of the line profile at v=0 and the edges at v = v sin i, a horizontal line shows the time of mid-transit, and the four small crosses depict the times of first through fourth contacts.


Read more: Johnson et al. 2018, AJ, 2018, 155, 100

News from the mountain: Open-shutter record at LBTO

During the first use of PEPSI-POL for science, we achieved a shutter-open-time of 91% during the night October 13/14, 2017. “Open-shutter time” is the time when photons are being collected on an instrument’s detector for later scientific use. As far as we know this is by far the highest at LBTO so far. The total available observing time from twilight to twilight on October 13/14 was 9 hours and 42 minutes of which 8 hours and 50 minutes were used to expose five different targets.

More pictures are here: