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Session 64 - Telescopes for the Next Millennium.
Oral session, Thursday, January 08

[64.03] Effects of Confusion By Zodiacal Light Structures on The Detection of Terrestrial Planets

C. Beichman (IPAC), T. Velusamy (JPL)

The goal of finding and characterizing terrestrial planets around nearby stars presents an enormous technical challenge. One fundamental impediment to finding such planets is the brightness of and structures in the thermal emission from zodiacal dust in the target systems. Relatively little is known about the zodiacal dust structures in our own system; still less is known about the zodiacal dust around other stars. We have modeled the performance of a planet finding interferometer, including the effects of various sorts of zodiacal structures (rings, gaps, blobs and power law spatial fluctuations). We discuss the effect of these structures on various planet finding strategies.

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Program listing for Thursday