Mauna Kea Infrared

NICI - Gemini Near Infrared Coronagraphic Imager

The NICI project is our most ambitious to date. It was designed from the start to be narrowly focussed on imaging Jupiter class planets orbitting around other stars. This required an adaptive optics front-end to reduce scatter from our atmosphere and the telescopes followed by a very low scatter dual channel coronagraphic infrared camera. The two channels are used to image the candidate star in and out of the methane absorption band so that the images can be differenced to cancel the residual scattered light that the coronagraph cannot block. Apodized occulting masks have produced a best ever contrast for this type of work of about 15 magnitudes at 1 arcsecond. It is presently being used on a long term planet finding campaign by a University of Hawaii team of scientists. This project has already produced two planet results.

The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign paper - This paper describes the project awarded to the University of Hawaii lead team of scientists that was awarded 50 nights of telescope time on the Gemini South 8 meter telesccope to search for planets around other stars.

The Gemini NICI home page

Performance of the near-infrared coronagraphic imager on Gemini-South

NICI Results

Brown Dwarf Found Orbiting a Young Sun-Like Star

The Gemini NICI Planet-Finding Campaign: Discovery of a Close Substellar Companion to the Young Debris Disk Star PZ Tel

Stunniing Eta Carinae image with NICI

Non - planet search projects with NICI Copyright Mauna Kea © 2003