Habitable worlds around M dwarf stars: The CAPSCam astrometric planet search

Alan P. Boss, Alycia J. Weinberger, Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Ian B. Thompson, Rafael Brahm

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


M dwarf stars are attractive targets in the search for habitable worlds as a result of their relative abundance and proximity, making them likely targets for future direct detection efforts. Hot super-Earths as well as gas giants have already been detected around a number of early M dwarfs, and the former appear to be the high-mass end of the population of rocky, terrestrial exoplanets. The Carnegie Astrometric Planet Search (CAPS) program has been underway since March 2007, searching ~ 100 nearby late M, L, and T dwarfs for gas giant planets on orbits wide enough for habitable worlds to orbit interior to them. The CAPSCam-N camera on the 2.5-m du Pont telescope at the Las Campanas Observatory has demonstrated the ability to detect planets as low in mass as Saturn orbiting at several AU around late M dwarfs within 15 pc. Over the next decade, the CAPS program will provide new constraints on the planetary census around late M dwarf stars, and hence on the suitability of these nearby planetary systems for supporting life.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFormation, Detection, and Characterization of Extrasolar Habitable Planets
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781107033825
StatePublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221


  • astrometry
  • brown dwarfs
  • planetary systems
  • planetary systems: formation
  • stars: low-mass


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