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13 September 2012 How ELTs will acquire the first spectra of rocky habitable planets
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ELTs will offer angular resolution around 10mas in the near-IR and unprecedented sensitivity. While direct imaging of Earth-like exoplanets around Sun-like stars will stay out of reach of ELTs, we show that habitable planets around nearby M-type main sequence stars can be directly imaged. For about 300 nearby M dwarfs, the angular separation at maximum elongation is at or beyond 1 ë/D in the near-IR for an ELT. The planet to star contrast is 1e-7 to 1e-8, similar to what the upcoming generation of Extreme-AO systems will achieve on 8-m telescopes, and the potential planets are sufficiently bright for near-IR spectroscopy. We show that the technological solutions required to achieve this goal exist. For example, the PIAACMC coronagraph can deliver full starlight rejection, 100% throughput and sub-ë/D IWA for the EELT, GMT and TMT pupils. A closely related coronagraph is part of SCExAO on Subaru. We conclude that large ground-based telescopes will acquire the first high quality spectra of habitable planets orbiting M-type stars, while future space mission(s) will later target F-G-K type stars.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Olivier Guyon, Frantz Martinache, Eric J. Cady, Ruslan Belikov, Kunjithapatham Balasubramanian, Daniel Wilson, Christophe S. Clergeon, and Mala Mateen "How ELTs will acquire the first spectra of rocky habitable planets", Proc. SPIE 8447, Adaptive Optics Systems III, 84471X (13 September 2012);

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