Keck Observatory Donor Salon: SCALES: A New Keck Instrument for Imaging Exoplanets at 1000 Wavelengths Simultaneously
Dr. Andry Skemer
Associate Professor, Astronomy and Physics
University of California Santa Cruz
Exoplanets are a class of astrophysical objects, like stars and galaxies, where a wide range of detection and characterization methods are necessary to understand their individual and collective properties. We live in an era where thousands of exoplanets have been discovered by indirect methods, which is helping us understand the statistics of planet populations. A much smaller number of exoplanets have been characterized directly, via spectroscopy. SCALES is a new instrument under construction for Keck Observatory that is designed to maximize our ability to discover and characterize directly-imaged planets by combining the two most successful methods for imaging exoplanets – direct imaging at thermal wavelengths and integral field spectroscopy. SCALES will allow detailed studies of a wide range of exoplanets that will enable Keck astronomers to maintain their leadership role in this field for the foreseeable future.
The staff and management of the W. M. Keck Observatory wish to offer our deepest gratitude to our Astronomy Talk Series sponsors, Rob and Terry Ryan.