Volume 631, November 2019
|Number of page(s)||36|
|Published online||13 November 2019|
SPHERE: the exoplanet imager for the Very Large Telescope
Univ. Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France
2 Aix Marseille Univ., CNRS, CNES, LAM, Marseille, France
3 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo della Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
4 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Université PSL, CNRS, Sorbonne Université, Univ. Paris Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
5 Institute for Particle Physics and Astrophysics, ETH Zurich, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland
6 Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
7 ONERA (Office National d’Etudes et de Recherches Aérospatiales), BP 72, 92322 Chatillon, France
8 CRAL, UMR 5574, CNRS, Université Lyon 1, ENS, 9 avenue Charles André, 69561 Saint Genis Laval Cedex, France
9 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
10 Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, Chemin des Maillettes 51, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
11 Université Côte d’Azur, OCA, CNRS, Lagrange, France
12 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
13 European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Casilla, 19001, Vitacura Santiago 19, Chile
14 Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA
15 Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
16 NOVA Optical Infrared Instrumentation Group, Dwingeloo, The Netherlands
17 INAF – Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte, Napoli, Italy
18 INAF – Astrophysical Observatory of Catania, Catania, Italy
19 INAF – Astronomical Observatory of Brera, Milano, Italy
20 SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Sorbonnelaan 2, 3584 CA Utrecht, The Netherlands
21 Núcleo de Astronomía, Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Ejercito 441, Santiago, Chile
22 Escuela de Ingeniería Industrial, Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Ejercito 441, Santiago, Chile
23 Unidad Mixta Internacional Franco-Chilena de Astronomía, CNRS/INSU UMI 3386 and Departamento de Astronomía, Universidad de Chile, Casilla 36-D, Santiago, Chile
Accepted: 20 September 2019
Observations of circumstellar environments that look for the direct signal of exoplanets and the scattered light from disks have significant instrumental implications. In the past 15 years, major developments in adaptive optics, coronagraphy, optical manufacturing, wavefront sensing, and data processing, together with a consistent global system analysis have brought about a new generation of high-contrast imagers and spectrographs on large ground-based telescopes with much better performance. One of the most productive imagers is the Spectro-Polarimetic High contrast imager for Exoplanets REsearch (SPHERE), which was designed and built for the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile. SPHERE includes an extreme adaptive optics system, a highly stable common path interface, several types of coronagraphs, and three science instruments. Two of them, the Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS) and the Infra-Red Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS), were designed to efficiently cover the near-infrared range in a single observation for an efficient search of young planets. The third instrument, ZIMPOL, was designed for visible polarimetric observation to look for the reflected light of exoplanets and the light scattered by debris disks. These three scientific instruments enable the study of circumstellar environments at unprecedented angular resolution, both in the visible and the near-infrared. In this work, we thoroughly present SPHERE and its on-sky performance after four years of operations at the VLT.
Key words: instrumentation: high angular resolution / instrumentation: adaptive optics / instrumentation: polarimeters / instrumentation: spectrographs / planets and satellites: detection
© J.-L. Beuzit et al. 2019
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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