||SPICA Coronagraph for the Direct Observation of Exo-Planets
||450, Molecules in the Atmospheres of Extrasolar Planets
||Enya, K.; group, S. w.
||We present a mid-infrared coronagraph which targets the direct observation
of exo-planets for the Space Infrared telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA).
Study and experiment are ongoing for an coronagraph for SPICA,
and this coronagraph is currently regarded as an option of the focal plane instruments.
The primary target of the SPICA coronagraph is the direct imaging and spectroscopy
of exo-planets in infrared. The SPICA mission gives us a unique opportunity for high-contrast observations,
because of its large telescope aperture (3.5 m), the clean point-spread function
provided by the monolithic telescope mirrors,
and the capability for infrared observations from space.
Laboratory experiments were performed with a visible laser
to demonstrate the principles of the coronagraph.
In an experiment using a binary-shaped pupil coronagraph,
it was demonstrated that the contrast exceeded the requirement of
SPICA, 10×10–6. A coronagraph obtained using a binary-shaped pupil mask is
a baseline solution for SPICA because of its feasibility and robustness,
while the use of a phase-induced amplitude
apodization/binary-mask hybrid coronagraph is also considered as an option.
Further developments are ongoing in order to realize
a mid-infrared coronagraph for SPICA.
Considering SPICA to be an essential platform for coronagraphic studies,
and taking into account the progress of key technologies,
we propose to develop a mid-infrared coronagraph instrument for SPICA
and to perform the direct observation of exo-planets by using it.