First light of the Gemini Planet Imager

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1304215111
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TypeArticle
Journal titleProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
ISSN0027-8424
Volume111
Issue35
Pages1266112666; # of pages: 6
Subjectbrightness; diffraction; Fourier transformation; gemini planet imager; gravity; imaging system; infrared wavefront sensor; interferometer; light; optics; polarimetry; priority journal; satellite imagery; sensor; telescope
AbstractThe Gemini Planet Imager is a dedicated facility for directly imaging and spectroscopically characterizing extrasolar planets. It combines a very high-order adaptive optics system, a diffraction-suppressing coronagraph, and an integral field spectrograph with low spectral resolution but high spatial resolution. Every aspect of the Gemini Planet Imager has been tuned for maximum sensitivity to faint planets near bright stars. During first-light observations, we achieved an estimated H band Strehl ratio of 0.89 and a 5-σ contrast of 106 at 0.75 arcseconds and 105 at 0.35 arcseconds. Observations of Beta Pictoris clearly detect the planet, Beta Pictoris b, in a single 60-s exposure with minimal postprocessing. Beta Pictoris b is observed at a separation of 434 ± 6 milliarcseconds (mas) and position angle 211.8 ± 0.5°. Fitting the Keplerian orbit of Beta Pic b using the new position together with previous astrometry gives a factor of 3 improvement in most parameters over previous solutions. The planet orbits at a semimajor axis of 9:0-0.4+0.8 AU near the 3:2 resonance with the previously known 6-AU asteroidal belt and is aligned with the inner warped disk. The observations give a 4% probability of a transit of the planet in late 2017.
Publication date
PublisherPNAS
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Science Infrastructure; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21275564
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Record identifier112d6506-f5f0-4036-bb2c-31efb7e0bdee
Record created2015-07-14
Record modified2016-05-09
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