PLANETS would be an off-axis telescope combining several new technologies and instrumentation techniques. Off-axis telescopes can have far superior contrast because there are no obstructions in the beam such as secondary mirror supports. This limits the diffraction as well as scattered light from obstructions. The telescope would also be highly polished to minimize diffuse scatter from mirror roughness - a major source of scattering at large angles. This telescope would be ideal for coronography and other techniques requiring a stable optical path, as it would be seeing limited with very low instrumental scattered light. By combining expertise from various fields - coronography and high contrast imaging from solar physics, polishing, polarimetry, and adaptive optics from astronomical communities and the experience of each institutional partner - this telescope would make significant advances in several fields.
The telescope would be constructed on Haleakala, a 3000-meters (10,000-ft) volcano on the island of Maui, Hawai'i, with excellent weather and seeing.
- June 6 2011
The blank has arrived in Los Angeles
- November 16-17 2010
Partners Meeting (UPDATED)
- August 2010
Current Request for Proposal for the mirror blank
- June 2010
Searching for the right blank
The mirror design is done.