AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 33. Extra-Solar Planets
Oral, Monday, January 7, 2002, 2:00-3:30pm, International Ballroom Center

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[33.02] Jovian Planet Finder: Imaging Extra-Solar Planets

M. Clampin (STScI), H. C. Ford (JHU), G. Illingworth (UCO Lick), L. Petro (STScI), JPF Science Team

Jovian Planet Finder (JPF) is a MIDEX mission to directly image Jupiter-like planets around ~40 nearby stars. JPF is sensitive to Jovian planets at typical distances of 2 to 20 AU from the parent star, and so will find solar-system analogs - those most likely to harbor earth-like planets. Such systems will be the primary targets for NASA's subsequent planet searches under the Office of Space Science's Origins theme, culminating in TPF. JPFs direct planet discovery capabilities are complemented by its unique ability to image the dust disks and very low mass companions close in to stars. JPF will revolutionize our understanding of the environments of stars over wide ranges of age and mass. JPF's sensitivity results from recent advances in the polishing of supersmooth optics, making it the most powerful coronagraph ever built. The 1.5-m optical imaging telescope, the coronagraphic system and the detector employ demonstrated technologies, as do the support systems. By utilizing the International Space Station (ISS) as a platform for the Alt/Az mounted telescope and by employing ISS support systems, JPF involves the ISS in one f the greatest endeavors of our time, the search or nearby planets. JPF is intended to be launched n 2007/8 and to have a 3-yr mission lifetime.


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