DPS 35th Meeting, 1-6 September 2003
Session 7. Extra Solar Planets I
Oral, Chairs: R. V. Yelle and R. A. Brown, Tuesday, September 2, 2003, 3:30-5:30pm, DeAnza I-II

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[7.07] Direct detection of extrasolar planets with the eXtreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager

B.A. Macintosh (LLNL), J.R. Graham (UC Berkeley), G. Duchene (UCLA), S. Jones (LLNL), P. Kalas (UC Berkeley), J. Lloyd (Caltech), R. B. Makidon (STScI), S. Olivier, D. Palmer (LLNL), M. Perrin (UC Berkeley), L. Poyneer (LLNL), A. Sheinis (UCSC), A. Sivaramakrishnan (STScI), S. Severson (UCSC), G. Sommargren (LLNL), M. Troy, J.K. Wallace (JPL)

Current radial-velocity searches for extrasolar planets, though powerful, are fundamentally constrained in the range of orbits they can access by the need for a near-complete orbital period: the largest detectable semi-major axis only grows with time to the 2/3 power. In the next several decades, radial velocity detection will barely reach planets with orbits comparable to Saturn. However, planets in our solar system exist at wider separations and dusty disks frequently exceed 100 AU, some with evidence for perturbing planets in wide orbits. To probe the 5-100 AU range different techniques are needed. Direct detection of photons emitted by extrasolar planets is one such technique, but requires contrast levels of 107-109 at near-infrared wavelengths. We have designed an adaptive optics (AO) system capable of reaching these contrasts.

XAOPI, the eXtreme Adaptive Optics Planet Imager, is a proposed 4096-actuator adaptive optics system for an 8-10m telescope. It will achieve Strehl ratios >0.9, and is optimized to remove scattered light from 0.2-1 arcseconds, even light scattered by errors in a segmented primary mirror. Simulations predict that it will achieve contrast ratios of 107 -108 for target stars with R<7. Monte Carlo analysis of target samples shows that this allows detection of near-IR emission from warm extrasolar planets younger and/or more massive than Jupiter around a significant sample of target stars. We will examine the scientific rationale for, and capabilities of, this proposed instrument.

This work has been supported by the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Adaptive Optics, managed by the University of California at Santa Cruz under cooperative agreement No. AST - 987 Portions of this work were also performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration by the University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract No. W-7405-Eng-48.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.