New Concept for Direct Detection and Spectra of Exoplanets


Taro Matsuo (1), Wesley A. Traub (2), Makoto Hattori (3), Motohide Tamura (1), Michael Shao (2)


(1) NAOJ; (2) NASA/JPL; (3) Tohoku Univ.


We present a novel spectral imaging method for characterization of exoplanets. This method uses 4 collecting telescopes, in a pattern similar to TPF-I or Darwin, combined with phase chopping. Focusing on contiguous observing wavelengths in space, the (u, v) plane can be simultaneously filled by the use of the contiguous observing wavelengths instead of continuously rotating the baselines. This new method has several advantages. For a target comprising a star and a planet, observations on two baselines are sufficient to extract an image of the planetary system and a spectrum of the planet. We can also acquire a clean image of the planetary system and avoid an incompleteness of co-phasing during rotation of the array. Our simulations show that this new method allows us to detect an analog Earth around a Sun-like star at 10pc for 8 hours and to acquire its spectrum with a spectral resolution R=100 for 35 days. This concept will significantly enhance capabilities of future space interferometers such as TPF-I/Darwin and FKSI.

Attached documents

Lyot2010proc s9 talk MatsuoT.pdf
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