21 July 2014 High contrast imaging at the LBT: the LEECH exoplanet imaging survey
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Abstract
In Spring 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its ~130-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) atop Mt Graham, Arizona. This survey benefits from the many technological achievements of the LBT, including two 8.4-meter mirrors on a single fixed mount, dual adaptive secondary mirrors for high Strehl performance, and a cold beam combiner to dramatically reduce the telescope’s overall background emissivity. LEECH neatly complements other high-contrast planet imaging efforts by observing stars at L’ (3.8 μm), as opposed to the shorter wavelength near-infrared bands (1-2.4 μm) of other surveys. This portion of the spectrum offers deep mass sensitivity, especially around nearby adolescent (~0.1-1 Gyr) stars. LEECH’s contrast is competitive with other extreme adaptive optics systems, while providing an alternative survey strategy. Additionally, LEECH is characterizing known exoplanetary systems with observations from 3-5μm in preparation for JWST.
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Andrew J. Skemer, Philip Hinz, Simone Esposito, Michael F. Skrutskie, Denis Defrère, Vanessa Bailey, Jarron Leisenring, Daniel Apai, Beth Biller, Mickaël Bonnefoy, Wolfgang Brandner, Esther Buenzli, Laird Close, Justin Crepp, Robert J. De Rosa, Silvano Desidera, Josh Eisner, Jonathan Fortney, Thomas Henning, Karl-Heinz Hofmann, Taisiya Kopytova, Anne-Lise Maire, Jared R. Males, Rafael Millan-Gabet, Katie Morzinski, Apurva Oza, Jenny Patience, Abhijith Rajan, George Rieke, Dieter Schertl, Joshua Schlieder, Kate Su, Amali Vaz, Kimberly Ward-Duong, Gerd Weigelt, Charles E. Woodward, Neil Zimmerman, "High contrast imaging at the LBT: the LEECH exoplanet imaging survey", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 91480L (21 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057277; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2057277
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