For NYSS APS information, contact:
Dr. Erica Simoson 

"Direct Imaging of Exoplanets with Project 1640"

Briley Lewis, Columbia University

Project 1640 (referred to as P1640) is a suite of instrumentation and software focused on high-contrast imaging of exoplanets, probing the parameter space of companion size > 1MJ and distance 5-50 AU around the host stars. The instrument consists of an apodized Lyot coronagraph, with a Mach-Zender interferometer and an integral field spectrograph, forming data cubes of dimensions right ascension, declination, and wavelength. P1640 is operated at Palomar Observatory in Southern California, in conjunction with their PALM-3000 adaptive optics system. Data reduction models out remaining speckle noise using principle component analysis and produces a residual cube, which can then be manually inspected for possible companions. For this project, data reduction using the Karhunen-Loéve Image Projection (KLIP) algorithm was completed on many of the survey stars and inspected, in an effort to search for more candidates. At this time, one candidate object and multiple previously undiscovered binary systems have been discovered and are undergoing further analysis to characterize them based on their spectra, photometry, and astrometry.

For program, contact:  
Dr. Heather Watson – watsonh@union.edu
Dr. Nelia Mann – mannn@union.edu
Dr. Samuel Amanuel – amanuels@union.edu
Ms. Lynnette Stec – stecl@union.edu
Phone: 518-388-6254
Fax: 518-388-6947
Department of Physics & Astronomy, Union College, Schenectady, NY 12308