The Planet Formation Imager (PFI, www.planetformationimager.org) is a next-generation infrared interferometer array with the primary goal of imaging the active phases of planet formation in nearby star forming regions. PFI will be sensitive to warm dust emission using mid-infrared capabilities made possible by precise fringe tracking in the near-infrared. An L/M band combiner will be especially sensitive to thermal emission from young exoplanets (and their disks) with a high spectral resolution mode to probe the kinematics of CO and H2O gas. In this paper, we give an overview of the main science goals of PFI, define a baseline PFI architecture that can achieve those goals, point at remaining technical challenges, and suggest activities today that will help make the Planet Formation Imager facility a reality.
- Pub Date:
- December 2018
- Planet formation;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- Published in Experimental Astronomy as part of topical collection "Future of Optical-infrared Interferometry in Europe"