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Proceedings Paper

The Eclipse mission: a direct imaging survey of nearby planetary systems
Author(s): John T. Trauger; Tony Hull; Karl Stapelfeldt; Dana Backman; Roger B. Bagwell; Robert A. Brown; Adam Burrows; Christopher J. Burrows; Mark A. Ealey; Christ Ftaclas; Sara R. Heap; Jeremy Kasdin; Jonathan I. Lunine; Geoff W. Marcy; David C. Redding; Wesley A. Traub; Bruce E. Woodgate; Raghvendra Sahai; David Spergel
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Paper Abstract

Eclipse is a proposed Discovery-class mission to perform a sensitive imaging survey of nearby planetary systems, including a complete survey for Jupiter-sized planets orbiting 5 AU from all stars of spectral types A-K to distances of 15 pc. Eclipse is a coronagraphic space telescope concept designed for high-contrast visible wavelength imaging and spectrophotometry. Its optical design incorporates essential elements: a telescope with an unobscured aperture of 1.8 meters and optical surfaces optimized for smoothness at critical spatial frequencies, a coronagraphic camera for suppression of diffracted light, and precision active optical correction for suppression of light scattered by residual mirror surface irregularities. For reference, Eclipse is predicted to reduce diffracted and scattered starlight between 0.25 and 2.0 arcseconds from the star by at least three orders of magnitude compared to any HST instrument. The Eclipse mission offers precursor science explorations and critical technology validation in support of coronagraphic concepts for NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF). A baseline three-year science mission would provide a survey of the nearby stars accessible to TPF before the end of this decade, promising fundamental new insights into the nature and evolution of possibly diverse planetary systems associated with our Sun's nearest neighbors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 February 2003
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 4854, Future EUV/UV and Visible Space Astrophysics Missions and Instrumentation, (24 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.460023
Show Author Affiliations
John T. Trauger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Tony Hull, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Karl Stapelfeldt, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Dana Backman, Franklin and Marshall College (United States)
Roger B. Bagwell, Xinetics, Inc. (United States)
Robert A. Brown, Space Telescope Science Institute (United States)
Adam Burrows, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Christopher J. Burrows, Metajiva (United States)
Mark A. Ealey, Xinetics, Inc. (United States)
Christ Ftaclas, Institute for Astronomy/Univ. of Hawaii (United States)
Sara R. Heap, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jeremy Kasdin, Princeton Univ. (United States)
Jonathan I. Lunine, Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Geoff W. Marcy, Univ. of California/Berkeley (United States)
David C. Redding, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Wesley A. Traub, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Bruce E. Woodgate, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Raghvendra Sahai, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David Spergel, Princeton Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4854:
Future EUV/UV and Visible Space Astrophysics Missions and Instrumentation
J. Chris Blades; Oswald H. W. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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