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Multi-Pixel Imaging of Exoplanets with a Hypertelescope in Space

Abstract

Resolved images of habitable exoplanets, within tens of parsecs, are of interest for searching biosignatures such as the “Indian-summer” signal. SETI applications are also considered. Forming multi-pixel images of such exoplanets is in principle possible with hypertelescopes, resembling a giant telescope but in dilute form with a large flotilla of small mirrors in space. Simulations show that the proposed Exo-Earth Imager flotilla (EEI), with its 100 mirrors of 3 m forming a 100 km meta-aperture, can produce a direct image of an exo-Earth at 3 parsecs, containing 30× 30 resolved elements. This requires accurate control of the meta-mirror’s shape, preferably parabolic for directly co-phasing the beams co-focused toward a focal spaceship. According to the principle of hypertelescope imaging, a pupil densifier element is also needed in the focal optics for concentrating the planet’s light, otherwise spread within a broad diffractive halo. And exoplanet imaging also requires coronagraphic optics for attenuating the contaminating light from the parent star.

Keywords

  • Hypertelescope
  • Pupil Densifier
  • Exoplanet Imaging
  • Focal Spaceship
  • Flotilla

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-55333-7_168
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Correspondence to Antoine Labeyrie .

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Labeyrie, A. (2018). Multi-Pixel Imaging of Exoplanets with a Hypertelescope in Space. In: Deeg, H., Belmonte, J. (eds) Handbook of Exoplanets . Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-55333-7_168

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