Planet Imaging Coronagraphic Technology Using a Reconfigurable Experimental Base (PICTURE-B): The Second in the Series of Suborbital Exoplanet Experiments

Supriya Chakrabarti, Christopher B. Mendillo, Timothy A. Cook, Jason F. Martel, Susanna C. Finn, Glenn A. Howe, Kuravi Hewawasam, Ewan S. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The PICTURE-B sounding rocket mission is designed to directly image the exozodiacal light and debris disk around the Sun-like star Epsilon Eridani. The payload used a 0.5m diameter silicon carbide primary mirror and a visible nulling coronagraph which, in conjunction with a fine pointing system capable of 5milliarcsecond stability, was designed to image the circumstellar environment around a nearby star in visible light at small angles from the star and at high contrast. Besides contributing an important science result, PICTURE-B matures essential technology for the detection and characterization of visible light from exoplanetary environments for future larger missions currently being imagined. The experiment was launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico on 2015 November 24 and demonstrated the first space operation of a nulling coronagraph and a deformable mirror. Unfortunately, the experiment did not achieve null, hence did not return science results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1640004
JournalJournal of Astronomical Instrumentation
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Exoplanets
  • exozodiacal dust
  • high-contrast imaging
  • nulling interferometer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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