Detecting signals from Habitable Earth like planets

TYPEAstrophysics Seminar
Speaker:Mr. Eyal Schwartz
Affiliation:Physics Department, Technion
Location:Lidow Asher Peres (502)
Remark:PhD seminar
Abstract:An Earth-like extra-solar planet emits light which is many orders of magnitude fainter than that of its parent star. In this work I proposed and investigated a method of identifying bio-spectral lines in the light from known extra-solar planets based on Fourier spectroscopy in the infra-red, using an off-center part of a Fourier interferogram only. This results in superior sensitivity to narrower molecular-type spectral bands, which are expected in the planet spectrum but are absent in the parent star. This idea was investigated by numerical simulations which include photon and thermal noise, and show it to be feasible at a luminosity ratio of 10-6 for a Sun-like parent star in the infra-red. Also, laboratory experiments were conducted and observations on a small scale telescope were done in order to illustrate the method. The results suggest that this method should be applicable to real planet searches.