PROJECT 1640 (AMNH site here)


Project 1640 (link to AMNH site here) is a dedicated high contrast imaging program on the 5m Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory with the goal of obtaining images and spectra of substellar companions to nearby stars. Our instrument ensemble is comprised of an apodized pupil Lyot coronagraph, integral field spectrograph (IFS), post-coronagraph wave front calibration system and a new adaptive optics (AO) system (see below). Our instrument will return imaging and low-resolution spectra for detected substellar companions. 

The instrumentation driving Project 1640 is an integral Field Spectrograph (IFS) and an apodized-pupil Lyot coronagraph installed behind the 3000-actuator AO system at the Hale 5m telescope at Palomar. This instrument serves as the basis of a long-term observational program in high-contrast imaging at Palomar. The instrument uses the chromatic nature of the speckle noise to distinguish it from any true astrophysical companions. Our speckle suppression algorithm improves ou
r sensitivity by a factor of 10 to 20. Such sensitivity provides detection and low resolution spectra of young planets of several Jupiter masses around young stars within 25 pc. The spectrograph obtains 32 images across the Y, J and H bands (0.9 - 1.78 microns), with a spectral resolution of 45.  We have recently added a JPL-built post-coronagraph wave front calibration system with the goal of achieving an RMS wave front irregularity of less than 10 nm.  With the recent arrival of PALM-3000, a new high-order AO system, our combined system will be one of a new generation of apodized pupil coronagraphs combined with high-order AO and an IFS. You can find out more about this project here.




1.59 microns

1.71 microns

1.26 microns