AAS 198th Meeting, June 2001
Session 77. The Promise and Pitfalls of High Contrast Imaging
Display, Thursday, June 7, 2001, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[77.12] A Gaussian Pupil Coronagraph: A New Approach to Detecting Terrestial Planets

M.G. Littman, D.N. Spergel (Princeton U.)

We present laboratory tests of a novel pupil designed for terrestirial planet finding. The pupil (Spergel 2001) has been designed to give a deep null over a sizable portion of the field-of-view in the focal plane. Light in the region of the null can be reduced by as much as 1010 relative to the central spot intentisy. Along one axis in the focal plane, the null region begins at the position of what would have been the first Airy ring in a conventional coronagraph using a circular pupil HeNe and tunable lasers are used to generate focal patterns at a range of wavelengths in the visible spectrum. Comparisons will be presented bwteeen a uniformly-illuminated circular pupil and our Gaussian pupil

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: dns@astro.princeton.edu

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