First and Second Generation High Contrast Imaging Experiments for Comparative Planetary Science

Rebecca Oppenheimer: Curator, Professor, Chair
Department of Astrophysics, American Museum of Natural History
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
4:00 pm
NS2 1201


The era of initial work on direct imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanets is arguably finished, and well beyond the initial experiments of the 1990s.  It has gone through several mutations as technology and knowledge of precision (nanometer –level) control of optical and near-infrared light blossomed from 2000 to 2017.  What is next?  I review the primary science goals and highlight the results of four of these projects in particular, the Palomar AOC, The Lyot Project, GPI and Project 1640.  I broadly review what we have learned about companions of stars and what the implications are for understanding planets in general—indeed, whether the word “planet” is still useful in a scientific context.

Kevork N. Abazajian