The 6.5m MMTO Telescope uses the world's first deformable secondary mirror to provide adaptive optic correction with the minimum of warm surfaces in the science beam, well suited for thermal imaging. The Clio camera is a thermal infrared imaging coronagraph optimized for L and M band diffraction limited imaging with the MMT AO system, typically achieving 90 percent Strehl at 4.85 microns. We have three ongoing direct imaging surveys to look for extrasolar planets around nearby stars, which include a local A star survey, a 6 parsec M star survey, and a solar-type star survey. We present the current status of these surveys, and introduce the first on-sky results from a newly developed coronagraphic optic, called the Apodizing Phase Plate, which implements diffraction suppression though modification of the wavefront's phase, and we are currently using it to enhance the direct imaging surveys.
In the Spirit of Bernard Lyot: The Direct Detection of Planets and Circumstellar Disks in the 21st Century
- Pub Date:
- June 2007