Spectro Polarimetric High contrast Exoplanet REsearch
Contact: François Wildi, Stéphane Udry
The prime objective of the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research (SPHERE) instrument for the VLT is the discovery and study of new extra-solar giant planets orbiting nearby stars by direct imaging of their circumstellar environment. SPHERE will greatly contribute to the field of extra-solar planets studies, already very active, particularly by offering direct detections of planets more massive than Jupiter at various stages of their evolution, in the key separation regime between 1 and 100 AUs. Migration mechanisms will then be better understood.
SHPERE is currently in its final acceptance phase in Europe and will be shipped to Paranal in February 2014. First light on sky is planned for mid-April 2014.