Exploration of the environments of nearby stars with the NICMOS coronagraph - instrumental performance considerations

Glenn Schneider, Rodger I Thompson, Bradford A. Smith, Richard J. Terrile

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS), installed into the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) in February 1997, incorporates a coronagraphic imaging capability. The coronagraph is comprised of two optical elements. The camera 2 field divider mirror, upon which the HST f/24 input beam is imaged, includes a 170 μm diameter hole which contains approximately 93% of the encircled energy from a stellar Point Spread Function (PSF) at a wavelength of 1.6 μm. The coronagraphic hole lowers both the diffracted energy in the surrounding region by reducing the high spatial frequency components of the occulted core of the PSF, and down stream scattering. The geometrical radius of this occulting spot, when re-imaged through the camera 2 f/45 optics, is approximately 4 pixels (or 0.3″) at the detector focal plane. An oversized cold pupil-plane mask (maintained at approximately 100 K), with radial structures co-aligned with the HST secondary mirror spider, acts over the whole 19.1″×19.2″ field to further reduce the diffracted energy in the direction of the spider vanes. The absolute performance levels of the coronagraph were ascertained during the Servicing Mission Observatory Verification (SMOV) program. Using a differential imaging strategy (by rolling the spacecraft) we expect to achieve statistically significant detections of sub-stellar companions at 1.6 μm with a ΔH of approximately 10 and separations as close as 0.5″ (corresponding to 2.5AU at 5pc). The NICMOS Environments of Nearby Stars (EONS) programs is exploiting this capability in systematic surveys of nearby, and young stars searching for brown dwarfs and giant planets, and protoplanetary disks around main-sequence stars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
EditorsP.Y. Bely, J.B. Breckinridge
PublisherSPIE
Pages222-233
Number of pages12
Volume3356
Edition1
StatePublished - 1998
EventProceedings of the 1998 Conference on Space Telescopes and Instruments V. Part 1 (of 2) - Kona, HI, USA
Duration: Mar 25 1998Mar 28 1998

Other

OtherProceedings of the 1998 Conference on Space Telescopes and Instruments V. Part 1 (of 2)
CityKona, HI, USA
Period3/25/983/28/98

Fingerprint

Hubble Space Telescope
Coronagraph
Infrared Camera
coronagraphs
Spectrometer
Space telescopes
Stars
Spectrometers
Spiders
Star
Cameras
cameras
spectrometers
Infrared radiation
spiders
stars
Mirror
Optical transfer function
point spread functions
Energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials

Cite this

Schneider, G., Thompson, R. I., Smith, B. A., & Terrile, R. J. (1998). Exploration of the environments of nearby stars with the NICMOS coronagraph - instrumental performance considerations. In P. Y. Bely, & J. B. Breckinridge (Eds.), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering (1 ed., Vol. 3356, pp. 222-233). SPIE.

Exploration of the environments of nearby stars with the NICMOS coronagraph - instrumental performance considerations. / Schneider, Glenn; Thompson, Rodger I; Smith, Bradford A.; Terrile, Richard J.

Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. ed. / P.Y. Bely; J.B. Breckinridge. Vol. 3356 1. ed. SPIE, 1998. p. 222-233.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Schneider, G, Thompson, RI, Smith, BA & Terrile, RJ 1998, Exploration of the environments of nearby stars with the NICMOS coronagraph - instrumental performance considerations. in PY Bely & JB Breckinridge (eds), Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. 1 edn, vol. 3356, SPIE, pp. 222-233, Proceedings of the 1998 Conference on Space Telescopes and Instruments V. Part 1 (of 2), Kona, HI, USA, 3/25/98.
Schneider G, Thompson RI, Smith BA, Terrile RJ. Exploration of the environments of nearby stars with the NICMOS coronagraph - instrumental performance considerations. In Bely PY, Breckinridge JB, editors, Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. 1 ed. Vol. 3356. SPIE. 1998. p. 222-233
Schneider, Glenn ; Thompson, Rodger I ; Smith, Bradford A. ; Terrile, Richard J. / Exploration of the environments of nearby stars with the NICMOS coronagraph - instrumental performance considerations. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. editor / P.Y. Bely ; J.B. Breckinridge. Vol. 3356 1. ed. SPIE, 1998. pp. 222-233
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