The most advanced camera in the world can find planets around nearby stars.
Somewhere in the vast Universe lurked another habitable planet. And, perhaps, it is not so far from our system. However, her search for problems. Therefore, scientists decided to create a new tool to search for planets around nearby stars. This is the largest modern superconducting camera.
The device is called DARKNESS. This is the first 10000-pixel integral-field spectrograph designed to overcome the limitations of traditional semiconductor detectors. Uses microwave kinetic inductive detectors, which, together with a large telescope and an adaptive optical system, allow direct visualization of planets around neighboring stars.
Surveying the planet is difficult because of the high brightness of the star. DARKNESS will be an attempt to overcome some technical barriers. Equated to the equivalent of thousands of frames per second without the appearance of noise and a dark jet. Also able to determine the wavelength and time of arrival of each photon. New technology will reduce the limit to find a more tiny planet. Now researchers are hoping to reach the limit of photon noise, which will give a contrast ratio close to 10 -8. This will show the planet 100 million times weaker than a star.
The camera is designed for the 200-inch Hale Palomar Observatory telescope. It acts as a scientific camera, and the sensor of the focal plane, which measures the light, and sends a signal back to the mirror. The process eliminates atmospheric distortion. For the past 1.5 years, the team has used DARKNESS on 4 tracks in Palomar to identify errors. In May, they plan to begin active work to gather information about some of the planets and demonstrate an improvement in the contrast ratio.