Spectroscopy Made Easy: Evolution
1 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, 75120 Uppsala, Sweden
2 Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
Received: 15 June 2016
Accepted: 2 August 2016
Context. The Spectroscopy Made Easy (SME) package has become a popular tool for analyzing stellar spectra, often in connection with large surveys or exoplanet research. SME has evolved significantly since it was first described in 1996, but many of the original caveats and potholes still haunt users. The main drivers for this paper are complexity of the modeling task, the large user community, and the massive effort that has gone into SME.
Aims. We do not intend to give a comprehensive introduction to stellar atmospheres, but will describe changes to key components of SME: the equation of state, opacities, and radiative transfer. We will describe the analysis and fitting procedure and investigate various error sources that affect inferred parameters.
Methods. We review the current status of SME, emphasizing new algorithms and methods. We describe some best practices for using the package, based on lessons learned over two decades of SME usage. We present a new way to assess uncertainties in derived stellar parameters.
Results. Improvements made to SME, better line data, and new model atmospheres yield more realistic stellar spectra, but in many cases systematic errors still dominate over measurement uncertainty. Future enhancements are outlined.
Key words: stars: abundances / radiative transfer / stars: fundamental parameters / stars: atmospheres / techniques: spectroscopic
© ESO, 2016