CARMENES (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical Échelle Spectrographs)

CARMENES at the 3,5m telescope

CARMENES (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical Échelle Spectrographs), is a two-channel spectrograph designed to search for extrasolar planets around M dwarfs. It consists of two independent high-resolution echelle spectrographs which are simultaneously fed through fibers. CARMENES covers the wavelength range from 520 to 1710 nm and is the first instrument on sky dedicated to and optimized for precise radial velocity measurements across the visual and near-infrared wavelength range. 

Available at: Coude room of the Zeiss 3.5 m reflector (fiber fed from the Cassegrain Front End).

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In a nutshell

Instrument name CARMENES
Observing technique Simultaneous high resolution spectrography in the VIS and NIR bands
Resolution 94600 the VIS arm and 80400 the NIR arm
Wavelength range VIS: 520 to 960 nm (QE > 40%) - NIR: 960 to 1710 nm (QE > 76%)
Wavelength calibration VIS: Th-Ne, U-Ar, U-Ne lamps + Fabry-Perot - NIR: U-Ne lamps + Fabry-Perot
RV precision VIS: 1 - 2 m/sec, NIR: 5 - 10 m/sec [depending on data reduction, see (*)]
Detectors one e2v CCD + two Teledyne Hawaii arrays
Detector sizes CCD: 4kx4k, NIR Arrays: 2kx2k
Pixel size CCD: 15 μm - NIR arrays: 18 μm
Science fiber FOV 1.5 arcsec
A&G FOV 3x3 arcmin


 Observing with CARMENES

Preparing observations During observations
After observing
Requesting observing time Observing manual Pipeline
Instrument overview Troubleshooting (ICS errors)  
IR detectors characteristics  Log sheets  
CCD characteristics  
Exp. time calculator (Stuber, Kaminski)  
Signal estimations  
SNR indicative estimations    


More information

CARMENES Consortium

CARMENES Consortium webpage


Reference article: SPIE abstract link
Scientific and technical publications
(*) RV precision reference: SPIE abstract link

Image gallery


Calar Alto Press Releases

How planets form
Teegarden's exoearths
Evaporating atmospheres
Barnard star exoplanet
Exoplanet from TESS mission
First detection
First results in VIS
Instrument delivery
First tests
NIR channel arrival
VIS channel arrival


 The instrument has been co-founded by the Spanish Ministery of Economy and Competitiveness, project FICTS-2011-02 (using FEDER funds). Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional, "Una manera de hacer Europa".