Exoplanet sciences with nulling interferometers and a single-mode fiber-fed spectrograph.
WANG J. and JURGENSON C.
Abstract (from CDS):
Understanding the atmospheres of exoplanets is a milestone to decipher their formation history and potential habitability. High-contrast imaging and spectroscopy of exoplanets is the major pathway toward the goal. Direct imaging of an exoplanet requires high spatial resolution. Interferometry has proven to be an effective way of improving spatial resolution. However, means of combining interferometry, high-contrast imaging, and high-resolution spectroscopy have been rarely explored. To fill in the gap, we present the dual-aperture fiber nuller (FN) for current-generation 8-10 m telescopes, which provides the necessary spatial and spectral resolution to (1) conduct follow-up spectroscopy of known exoplanets and (2) detect planets in debris-disk systems. The concept of feeding an FN to a high-resolution spectrograph can also be used for future space and ground-based missions. We present a case study of using the dual-aperture FN to search for biosignatures in rocky planets around M stars for a future space interferometry mission. Moreover, we discuss how an FN can be equipped on future extremely large telescopes by using the Giant Magellan Telescope as an example.