SPHERE: a planet imager for the VLT


J.-L. Beuzit, M. Feldt, D. Mouillet, K. Dohlen, P. Puget, F. Wildi and the SPHERE Consortium


LAOG, Grenoble


Direct detection and spectral characterization of extra-solar planets is one of the most exciting but also one of the most challenging areas in modern astronomy due to the very large contrast between the host star and the planet at very small angular separations. SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research in Europe) is a second-generation instrument for the ESO VLT dedicated to this scientific objective. It combines an extreme adaptive optics system, various coronagraphic devices and a suite of focal instruments providing imaging, integral field spectroscopy and polarimetry capabilities in the visible and near-infrared spectral ranges. We will present the science objectives, instrument design and expected performance of the SPHERE instrument and report on the status of the project, now in the integration and test phase for a first light foreseen for mid of 2012.

Attached documents

Lyot2010proc s7 talk BeuzitJL.pdf
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