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Proceedings Paper

Clio: a 3-5 micron AO planet-finding camera
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Paper Abstract

Clio is an adaptive-optics camera mounted on the 6.5 meter MMT optimized for diffraction-limited L' and M-band imaging over a ~ 15" field. The instrument was designed from the ground up with a large well-depth, fast readout thermal infrared (~ 3_5μm) 320 by 256 pixel InSb detector, cooled optics, and associated focal plane and pupil masks (with the option for a coronograph) to minimize the thermal background and maximize throughput. When coupled with the MMT's adaptive secondary AO (two warm reflections) system's low thermal background, this instrument is in a unique position to image nearby warm planets, which are the brightest in the L' and M-band atmospheric windows. We present the current status of this recently commissioned instrument that performed exceptionally during first light. Our instrument sensitivities are impressive and are sky background limited: for an hour of integration, we obtain an L'-band 5 σ detection limit of of 17.0 magnitudes ~ 80%) and an M-band limit of 14.5 (Strehl ~ 90%). Our M-band sensitivity is lower due to the increase in thermal sky background. These sensitivities translate to finding relatively young planets five times Jupiter mass (MJup) at 10 pc within a few AU of a star. Presently, a large Clio survey of nearby stellar systems is underway including a search for planets around solar-type stars, M dwarfs, and white dwarfs. Even with a null result, we can place strong constraints on planet distribution models.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 June 2006
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 6269, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy, 62690U (28 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.672344
Show Author Affiliations
Suresh Sivanandam, Steward Observatory (United States)
Phil M. Hinz, Steward Observatory (United States)
Ari N. Heinze, Steward Observatory (United States)
Melanie Freed, College of Optical Sciences, The Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Andrew H. Breuninger, Steward Observatory (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6269:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy
Ian S. McLean; Masanori Iye, Editor(s)

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