Abstract

The detection of extra solar planets is a topic of growing interest, which stretches current technology and knowledge to their limits. Indirect measurement confirms the existence of a considerable number. However, direct imaging is the only way to obtain information about the nature of these planets and to detect Earth-like planets, which could support life. The main problem for direct imaging is that planets are associated with a much brighter source of light. Here, we propose the use of the nulling interferometer along with a photon counting technique called Dark Speckle. Using a simple model the behavior of the technique is predicted. The signal-to-noise ratio estimated confirms that it is a promising way to detect faint objects.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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References

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  1. J.R.P. Angel and N.J. Woolf, “An imaging nulling interferometer to study extrasolar planets,” Astrophys. J. 475, 373–379 (1997).
    [Crossref]
  2. P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
    [Crossref]
  3. F. Roddier and C. Roddier, “Stellar coronagraph with phase mask,” Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 109, 815–820 (1997).
    [Crossref]
  4. R.N. Bracewell, “Detecting nonsolar planets by spinning infrared interferometer,” Nature 274, 780–781 (1978).
    [Crossref]
  5. N. Woolf and J.R.P. Angel, “Astronomical searches for Earth-like planets and signs of life,” Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 36, 507–537 (1998).
    [Crossref]
  6. P. Nisenson and C. Papaliolios, “Detection of Earth-like planets using apodized telescopes,” Astrophys. J. 548, L201–L205 (2001).
    [Crossref]
  7. K. Wallace, G. Hardy, and E. Serabyn, “Deep and stable interferometric nulling of broadband light with implications for observing planets around nearby stars”, Nature 406, 700–702 (2000).
    [Crossref] [PubMed]
  8. A. Labeirye, “Images of exo-planets obtainable from dark speckles in adaptive optics,” Astron. Astrophys. 298, 544–548 (1995).
  9. A. Bocaletti, A. Labeyrie, and R. Ragazzoni, “Preliminary results of dark-speckle stellar coronography,” Astron. Astrophys. 338, 106–110 (1998).
  10. V.F. Canales and M.P. Cagigal, “Gain estimate for exoplanet detection with adaptive optics,” Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 145, 445–449 (2000).
    [Crossref]
  11. M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Residual phase variance in partial correction: application to the estimate of the light intensity statistics,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 1312–1318 (2000).
    [Crossref]
  12. M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Generalized Fried parameter after adaptive optics partial wave-front compensation,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 903–910 (2000).
    [Crossref]
  13. J.R.P. Angel, “Ground-based imaging of extrasolar planets using adaptive optics,” Nature 368, 203–207 (1994).
    [Crossref]

2001 (1)

P. Nisenson and C. Papaliolios, “Detection of Earth-like planets using apodized telescopes,” Astrophys. J. 548, L201–L205 (2001).
[Crossref]

2000 (4)

K. Wallace, G. Hardy, and E. Serabyn, “Deep and stable interferometric nulling of broadband light with implications for observing planets around nearby stars”, Nature 406, 700–702 (2000).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

V.F. Canales and M.P. Cagigal, “Gain estimate for exoplanet detection with adaptive optics,” Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 145, 445–449 (2000).
[Crossref]

M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Residual phase variance in partial correction: application to the estimate of the light intensity statistics,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 1312–1318 (2000).
[Crossref]

M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Generalized Fried parameter after adaptive optics partial wave-front compensation,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 903–910 (2000).
[Crossref]

1998 (3)

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

N. Woolf and J.R.P. Angel, “Astronomical searches for Earth-like planets and signs of life,” Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 36, 507–537 (1998).
[Crossref]

A. Bocaletti, A. Labeyrie, and R. Ragazzoni, “Preliminary results of dark-speckle stellar coronography,” Astron. Astrophys. 338, 106–110 (1998).

1997 (2)

J.R.P. Angel and N.J. Woolf, “An imaging nulling interferometer to study extrasolar planets,” Astrophys. J. 475, 373–379 (1997).
[Crossref]

F. Roddier and C. Roddier, “Stellar coronagraph with phase mask,” Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 109, 815–820 (1997).
[Crossref]

1995 (1)

A. Labeirye, “Images of exo-planets obtainable from dark speckles in adaptive optics,” Astron. Astrophys. 298, 544–548 (1995).

1994 (1)

J.R.P. Angel, “Ground-based imaging of extrasolar planets using adaptive optics,” Nature 368, 203–207 (1994).
[Crossref]

1978 (1)

R.N. Bracewell, “Detecting nonsolar planets by spinning infrared interferometer,” Nature 274, 780–781 (1978).
[Crossref]

Angel, J.R.P.

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

N. Woolf and J.R.P. Angel, “Astronomical searches for Earth-like planets and signs of life,” Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 36, 507–537 (1998).
[Crossref]

J.R.P. Angel and N.J. Woolf, “An imaging nulling interferometer to study extrasolar planets,” Astrophys. J. 475, 373–379 (1997).
[Crossref]

J.R.P. Angel, “Ground-based imaging of extrasolar planets using adaptive optics,” Nature 368, 203–207 (1994).
[Crossref]

Bocaletti, A.

A. Bocaletti, A. Labeyrie, and R. Ragazzoni, “Preliminary results of dark-speckle stellar coronography,” Astron. Astrophys. 338, 106–110 (1998).

Bracewell, R.N.

R.N. Bracewell, “Detecting nonsolar planets by spinning infrared interferometer,” Nature 274, 780–781 (1978).
[Crossref]

Cagigal, M.P.

V.F. Canales and M.P. Cagigal, “Gain estimate for exoplanet detection with adaptive optics,” Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 145, 445–449 (2000).
[Crossref]

M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Residual phase variance in partial correction: application to the estimate of the light intensity statistics,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 1312–1318 (2000).
[Crossref]

M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Generalized Fried parameter after adaptive optics partial wave-front compensation,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 903–910 (2000).
[Crossref]

Canales, V.F.

M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Generalized Fried parameter after adaptive optics partial wave-front compensation,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 903–910 (2000).
[Crossref]

V.F. Canales and M.P. Cagigal, “Gain estimate for exoplanet detection with adaptive optics,” Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 145, 445–449 (2000).
[Crossref]

M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Residual phase variance in partial correction: application to the estimate of the light intensity statistics,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 1312–1318 (2000).
[Crossref]

Cheselka, M.

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

Hardy, G.

K. Wallace, G. Hardy, and E. Serabyn, “Deep and stable interferometric nulling of broadband light with implications for observing planets around nearby stars”, Nature 406, 700–702 (2000).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Hinz, P.M.

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

Hoffmann, W.F.

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

Hora, J.L.

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

Labeirye, A.

A. Labeirye, “Images of exo-planets obtainable from dark speckles in adaptive optics,” Astron. Astrophys. 298, 544–548 (1995).

Labeyrie, A.

A. Bocaletti, A. Labeyrie, and R. Ragazzoni, “Preliminary results of dark-speckle stellar coronography,” Astron. Astrophys. 338, 106–110 (1998).

McCarthy, D.W.

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

McGuire, P.C.

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

Nisenson, P.

P. Nisenson and C. Papaliolios, “Detection of Earth-like planets using apodized telescopes,” Astrophys. J. 548, L201–L205 (2001).
[Crossref]

Papaliolios, C.

P. Nisenson and C. Papaliolios, “Detection of Earth-like planets using apodized telescopes,” Astrophys. J. 548, L201–L205 (2001).
[Crossref]

Ragazzoni, R.

A. Bocaletti, A. Labeyrie, and R. Ragazzoni, “Preliminary results of dark-speckle stellar coronography,” Astron. Astrophys. 338, 106–110 (1998).

Roddier, C.

F. Roddier and C. Roddier, “Stellar coronagraph with phase mask,” Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 109, 815–820 (1997).
[Crossref]

Roddier, F.

F. Roddier and C. Roddier, “Stellar coronagraph with phase mask,” Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 109, 815–820 (1997).
[Crossref]

Serabyn, E.

K. Wallace, G. Hardy, and E. Serabyn, “Deep and stable interferometric nulling of broadband light with implications for observing planets around nearby stars”, Nature 406, 700–702 (2000).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Wallace, K.

K. Wallace, G. Hardy, and E. Serabyn, “Deep and stable interferometric nulling of broadband light with implications for observing planets around nearby stars”, Nature 406, 700–702 (2000).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

Woolf, N.

N. Woolf and J.R.P. Angel, “Astronomical searches for Earth-like planets and signs of life,” Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 36, 507–537 (1998).
[Crossref]

Woolf, N.J.

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

J.R.P. Angel and N.J. Woolf, “An imaging nulling interferometer to study extrasolar planets,” Astrophys. J. 475, 373–379 (1997).
[Crossref]

Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. (1)

N. Woolf and J.R.P. Angel, “Astronomical searches for Earth-like planets and signs of life,” Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 36, 507–537 (1998).
[Crossref]

Astron. Astrophys. (2)

A. Labeirye, “Images of exo-planets obtainable from dark speckles in adaptive optics,” Astron. Astrophys. 298, 544–548 (1995).

A. Bocaletti, A. Labeyrie, and R. Ragazzoni, “Preliminary results of dark-speckle stellar coronography,” Astron. Astrophys. 338, 106–110 (1998).

Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. (1)

V.F. Canales and M.P. Cagigal, “Gain estimate for exoplanet detection with adaptive optics,” Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 145, 445–449 (2000).
[Crossref]

Astrophys. J. (2)

P. Nisenson and C. Papaliolios, “Detection of Earth-like planets using apodized telescopes,” Astrophys. J. 548, L201–L205 (2001).
[Crossref]

J.R.P. Angel and N.J. Woolf, “An imaging nulling interferometer to study extrasolar planets,” Astrophys. J. 475, 373–379 (1997).
[Crossref]

J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. (2)

M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Residual phase variance in partial correction: application to the estimate of the light intensity statistics,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 1312–1318 (2000).
[Crossref]

M.P. Cagigal and V.F. Canales, “Generalized Fried parameter after adaptive optics partial wave-front compensation,” J.Opt. Soc. Am. A. 17, 903–910 (2000).
[Crossref]

Nature (4)

J.R.P. Angel, “Ground-based imaging of extrasolar planets using adaptive optics,” Nature 368, 203–207 (1994).
[Crossref]

P.M. Hinz, J.R.P. Angel, W.F. Hoffmann, D.W. McCarthy, P.C. McGuire, M. Cheselka, J.L. Hora, and N.J. Woolf, “Imaging circumstellar environments with a nulling interferometer,” Nature 395, 251–253 (1998).
[Crossref]

K. Wallace, G. Hardy, and E. Serabyn, “Deep and stable interferometric nulling of broadband light with implications for observing planets around nearby stars”, Nature 406, 700–702 (2000).
[Crossref] [PubMed]

R.N. Bracewell, “Detecting nonsolar planets by spinning infrared interferometer,” Nature 274, 780–781 (1978).
[Crossref]

Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. (1)

F. Roddier and C. Roddier, “Stellar coronagraph with phase mask,” Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 109, 815–820 (1997).
[Crossref]

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Figures (1)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Integration time necessary to obtain a SNR=5 as a function of the number of actuators in each adaptive optics system, if the diameter of both telescopes is 10 m and with a total flux from the star of 1010 ph/s. The exposure time is 20 ms. The solid curve corresponds to values of R=109 and D/r 0=50 (visible wavelengths) and the dashed blue curve to value of R=5 108 and D/r 0=2 (mid IR).

Equations (3)

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G NI = 2 I core TEL I halo NI = ( D l c ) 2 exp ( σ ϕ 2 ) ( 1 exp ( σ ϕ 2 ) )
P NI ( 0 ) = ( 1 + tN * 0.62 R [ 1 exp ( σ ϕ 2 ) ] ) 1
SNR = ( 1 P o ( 0 ) ) n P NI ( 0 ) = N * exp ( σ ϕ 2 ) R tTG 0.62 R + tN * exp ( σ ϕ 2 )

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