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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[33.04] Extra-solar Planet Studies with New Instrument Technology at Penn State

J. Ge, J. van Eyken, S. Mahadevan, J. Debes, D. McDavitt, J. Bernecker, C. De Witt, A. Chakraborty, D. Berger, L. Ramsey (Penn State University), S. Shaklan, X. Pan (JPL)

Several new instruments have been developed at Penn State for studying extra-solar planets around nearby stars. An optical dispersed interferometer, a combination of an interferometer and a medium resolution (R = 10,000) spectrograph, called Exoplanet Tracker (ET), is designed to provide high Doppler precision (~ 2 m/s), high throughput (~20%) measurements of radial velocity. Initial observing results from the HET 9m and Palomar 5m telescopes with a prototype will be presented. A Penn State near IR Imaging Spectrometer (PIRIS) has been used at the Mt. Wilson 100inch telescope with a powerful natural guide star adaptive optics system. It has an IR coronagraph mode and a special Gaussian pupil mode for providing high contrast imaging (104) of nearby stars to allow possible detection of faint companions and planetary disks within 1-2 arcsec of stars. New observing results will be reported. An anamorphic silicon immersion grating with 80x40 mm2 etched grating area is being developed at Penn State Nanofabrication facility using photolithography and anisotropic chemical etching techniques and will provide a very high spectral resolution at the diffraction limit (R = 200,000 at 2.3 micron and R =100,000 at 4.6 micron). This grating will be coupled with existing IR instruments such as the Arizona Imager and Echelle Spectrograph (ARIES) at large ground-based telescopes to search for protoplanets around nearby young stellar objects.

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

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