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Olivier Guyon Looks to Characterize Habitable Exoplanets: CIERA Winter Interdisciplinary Colloquium

Thanks to significant recent advances in high contrast imaging techniques, the next generation of space and ground telescopes will have the capability to image habitable planets around nearby stars. Space telescopes operating at visible wavelength can deliver the contrast level necessary to image Earth-like planets around nearby Sun-like stars. The next generation of telescopes (25-40m diameter) offer the angular resolution to resolve the habitable zones of nearby M-type stars and image habitable planets around these stars. Both approaches share similar fundamental challenges and technical solutions, yet will provide valuable complementary measurements. Dr. Guyon described current efforts to develop the high contrast imaging technologies, and show how the Subaru Extreme-AO (SCExAO) instrument on the Subaru Telescope 8-m telescope is playing a key role as a prototyping/technology validation platform.

Dr. Guyon, from the University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences, was hosted by Hooman Mohseni and Mel Ulmer as McCormick’s Distinguished Speaker and CIERA’s Interdisciplinary Colloquium Speaker. Over 60 people heard the talk on February 3rd.