New Technology by Subaru Astronomer Will Help Discover Extrasolar Planets

November 26, 2008

A new technology, called Phase-Induced Amplitude Apodization (PIAA), has been invented by Dr. Olivier Guyon of Subaru Telescope. The PIAA system allows astronomers to detect Earth-like planets around nearby stars by increasing the sensitivity and contrast of a typical instrument currently used called a stellar coronagraph. What makes PIAA special is that telescope observations can be made without losing light allowing for the preservation of clarity and resolution. This new system will be critical to allow Subaru and space-based telescopes to directly observe extrasolar planets for the very first time. The PIAA laboratory testbed at Subaru was jointly funded by NAOJ and NASA-JPL.

Link: NASA Ames Research Center "NASA Tests Optics Concept in New Coronagraph Laboratory"

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