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Observing Exoplanets with High Dispersion Coronagraphy. I. The scientific potential of current and next-generation large ground and space telescopes

Wang, Ji and Mawet, Dimitri and Ruane, Garreth and Hu, Renyu and Benneke, Björn (2017) Observing Exoplanets with High Dispersion Coronagraphy. I. The scientific potential of current and next-generation large ground and space telescopes. Astronomical Journal, 153 (4). Art. No. 183. ISSN 0004-6256. doi:10.3847/1538-3881/aa6474.

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Direct imaging of exoplanets presents a formidable technical challenge owing to the small angular separation and high contrast between exoplanets and their host stars. High Dispersion Coronagraphy (HDC) is a pathway to achieve unprecedented sensitivity to Earth-like planets in the habitable zone. Here, we present a framework to simulate HDC observations and data analyses. The goal of these simulations is to perform a detailed analysis of the trade-off between raw star light suppression and spectral resolution for various instrument configurations, target types, and science cases. We predict the performance of an HDC instrument at Keck observatory for characterizing directly imaged gas-giant planets in near infrared bands. We also simulate HDC observations of an Earth-like planet using next-generation ground-based (TMT) and spaced-base telescopes (HabEx and LUVOIR). We conclude that ground-based ELTs are more suitable for HDC observations of an Earth-like planet than future space-based missions owing to the considerable difference in collecting area. For ground-based telescopes, HDC observations can detect an Earth-like planet in the habitable zone around an M dwarf star at 10^(−4) starlight suppression level. Compared to the 10^(−7) planet/star contrast, HDC relaxes the starlight suppression requirement by a factor of 10^3. For space-based telescopes, detector noise will be a major limitation at spectral resolutions higher than 10^4. Considering detector noise and speckle chromatic noise, R=400 (1600) is the optimal spectral resolutions for HabEx(LUVOIR). The corresponding starlight suppression requirement to detect a planet with planet/star contrast = 6.1×10^(−11) is relaxed by a factor of 10 (100) for HabEx (LUVOIR).

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Wang, Ji0000-0002-4361-8885
Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
Ruane, Garreth0000-0003-4769-1665
Hu, Renyu0000-0003-2215-8485
Benneke, Björn0000-0001-5578-1498
Additional Information:© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2016 October 24; revised 2017 February 15; accepted 2017 February 16; published 2017 March 30. The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Heising-Simons foundation. The authors acknowledge ideas and advice from the participants in the Exoplanet Imaging and Characterization: Coherent Differential Imaging and Signal Detection Statistics workshop organized by the W.M. Keck Institute for Space Studies.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies, Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Heising-Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:brown dwarfs; instrumentation: spectrographs; planetary systems; techniques: high angular resolution; techniques: spectroscopic
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20170330-074837646
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Ji Wang et al 2017 AJ 153 183
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:75535
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:30 Mar 2017 15:04
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 16:34

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