Topic: Cool Stars as Exoplanet Hosts
SPIRou is a near-IR, echelle spectropolarimeter and high precision velocimeter being designed as a next-generation instrument for the 3.6m Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, with first light planned for 2015. SPIRou is designed to reach a 1 m/s accuracy and will be unique among RV spectrographs in combining polarimetry, K-band coverage (both important to correct for activity-induced RV signal) and one of the lowest water column among ground-based observing sites (minimizes the RV impact of telluric absorption). The first main science goal of SPIRou is the search for planets around very-low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. The second main science goal of SPIRou is to investigate young forming stars to study how magnetic fields impact their early life and internal structure. I will present an overview of the SPIRou design and will detail the first part of the core science case: the quest for habitable planets around M dwarfs.