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Proceedings Paper

Direct imaging of exoplanets in the habitable zone with adaptive optics
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Paper Abstract

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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2014
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 914820 (21 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057135
Show Author Affiliations
Jared R. Males, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Laird M. Close, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Olivier Guyon, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Katie Morzinski, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Alfio Puglisi, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
Philip Hinz, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Katherine B. Follette, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
John D. Monnier, Univ. of Michigan (United States)
Volker Tolls, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Timothy J. Rodigas, Carnegie Institution of Washington (United States)
Alycia Weinberger, Carnegie Institution of Washington (United States)
Alan Boss, Carnegie Institution of Washington (United States)
Derek Kopon, Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (Germany)
Ya-lin Wu, Steward Observatory, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Simone Esposito, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
Armando Riccardi, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
Marco Xompero, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
Runa Briguglio, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)
Enrico Pinna, INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9148:
Adaptive Optics Systems IV
Enrico Marchetti; Laird M. Close; Jean-Pierre Véran, Editor(s)

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