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28 June 2006 Clio: a 3-5 micron AO planet-finding camera
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Clio is an adaptive-optics camera mounted on the 6.5 meter MMT optimized for diffraction-limited L' and M-band imaging over a ~ 15" field. The instrument was designed from the ground up with a large well-depth, fast readout thermal infrared (~ 3_5μm) 320 by 256 pixel InSb detector, cooled optics, and associated focal plane and pupil masks (with the option for a coronograph) to minimize the thermal background and maximize throughput. When coupled with the MMT's adaptive secondary AO (two warm reflections) system's low thermal background, this instrument is in a unique position to image nearby warm planets, which are the brightest in the L' and M-band atmospheric windows. We present the current status of this recently commissioned instrument that performed exceptionally during first light. Our instrument sensitivities are impressive and are sky background limited: for an hour of integration, we obtain an L'-band 5 σ detection limit of of 17.0 magnitudes ~ 80%) and an M-band limit of 14.5 (Strehl ~ 90%). Our M-band sensitivity is lower due to the increase in thermal sky background. These sensitivities translate to finding relatively young planets five times Jupiter mass (MJup) at 10 pc within a few AU of a star. Presently, a large Clio survey of nearby stellar systems is underway including a search for planets around solar-type stars, M dwarfs, and white dwarfs. Even with a null result, we can place strong constraints on planet distribution models.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Suresh Sivanandam, Phil M. Hinz, Ari N. Heinze, Melanie Freed, and Andrew H. Breuninger "Clio: a 3-5 micron AO planet-finding camera", Proc. SPIE 6269, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy, 62690U (28 June 2006);


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