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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Dec 6, 2005 20:29:33 GMT -6
Optical Vortex Could Look Directly At Extrasolar Planets
A new optical device might allow astronomers to view extrasolar planets directly without the annoying glare of the parent star. It would do this by "nulling" out the light of the parent star by exploiting its wave nature, leaving the reflected light from the nearby planet to be observed in space-based detectors. The device, called an optical vortex coronagraph, is described in the December 15, 2005 issue of Optics Letters.