21 July 2014 Direct imaging of exoplanets in the habitable zone with adaptive optics
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One of the primary goals of exoplanet science is to find and characterize habitable planets, and direct imaging will play a key role in this effort. Though imaging a true Earth analog is likely out of reach from the ground, the coming generation of giant telescopes will find and characterize many planets in and near the habitable zones (HZs) of nearby stars. Radial velocity and transit searches indicate that such planets are common, but imaging them will require achieving extreme contrasts at very small angular separations, posing many challenges for adaptive optics (AO) system design. Giant planets in the HZ may even be within reach with the latest generation of high-contrast imagers for a handful of very nearby stars. Here we will review the definition of the HZ, and the characteristics of detectable planets there. We then review some of the ways that direct imaging in the HZ will be different from the typical exoplanet imaging survey today. Finally, we present preliminary results from our observations of the HZ of α Centauri A with the Magellan AO system’s VisAO and Clio2 cameras.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jared R. Males, Jared R. Males, Laird M. Close, Laird M. Close, Olivier Guyon, Olivier Guyon, Katie Morzinski, Katie Morzinski, Alfio Puglisi, Alfio Puglisi, Philip Hinz, Philip Hinz, Katherine B. Follette, Katherine B. Follette, John D. Monnier, John D. Monnier, Volker Tolls, Volker Tolls, Timothy J. Rodigas, Timothy J. Rodigas, Alycia Weinberger, Alycia Weinberger, Alan Boss, Alan Boss, Derek Kopon, Derek Kopon, Ya-lin Wu, Ya-lin Wu, Simone Esposito, Simone Esposito, Armando Riccardi, Armando Riccardi, Marco Xompero, Marco Xompero, Runa Briguglio, Runa Briguglio, Enrico Pinna, Enrico Pinna, "Direct imaging of exoplanets in the habitable zone with adaptive optics", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 914820 (21 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057135; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2057135


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