EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 404, Number 1, June II 2003
Page(s) 379 - 387
Section Physical and chemical processes
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030457

A&A 404, 379-387 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030457

Phase-induced amplitude apodization of telescope pupils for extrasolar terrestrial planet imaging

O. Guyon

Subaru Telescope, National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 650 North A'ohoku Place, Hilo, HI 96720, USA
(Received 13 January 2003 / Accepted 20 March 2003 )

In this paper, an alternative to classical pupil apodization techniques (use of an amplitude pupil mask) is proposed. It is shown that an achromatic apodized pupil suitable for imaging of extrasolar planets can be obtained by reflection of an unapodized flat wavefront on two mirrors. By carefully choosing the shape of these two mirrors, it is possible to obtain a contrast better than  109 at a distance smaller than $2 \lambda/d$ from the optical axis. Because this technique preserves both the angular resolution and light gathering capabilities of the unapodized pupil, it allows efficient detection of terrestrial extrasolar planets with a 1.5 m telescope in the visible.

Key words: techniques: high angular resolution -- stars: planetary systems -- telescopes

© ESO 2003