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.

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References

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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [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, 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, 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]
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    [CrossRef]

Other (13)

J.R.P. Angel and N.J. Woolf, "An imaging nulling interferometer to study extrasolar planets," Astrophys. J. 475, 373-379 (1997).
[CrossRef]

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

F. Roddier and C. Roddier, "Stellar coronagraph with phase mask," Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac. 109, 815-820 (1997).
[CrossRef]

R.N. Bracewell, "Detecting nonsolar planets by spinning infrared interferometer," Nature 274, 780-781 (1978).
[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]

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

K. Wallace, G. Hardy, 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]

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

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

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]

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