CARMENES: towards the detection of exoearths
CARMENES (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical Échelle Spectrographs) is a next-generation instrument being built for the 3.5m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory by a consortium of German and Spanish institutions. It consists of two separated spectrographs covering the wavelength ranges from 0.5 to 1.0 mum and from 1.0 to 1.7 mum with spectral resolutions R = 82,000, each of which shall perform high-accuracy radial-velocity measurements (~1 m/s) with long-term stability. The fundamental science objective of CARMENES is to carry out a survey of ~300 late-type main-sequence stars with the goal of detecting low-mass planets in their habitable zones. We aim at being able to detect 2 MEarth planets in the habitable zone of M5V stars. The CARMENES first light is expected to occur in Spring 2014.