Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exo-planet REsearch



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First Light for SPHERE Exoplanet Imager (French PR)

5 June 2014

4 Juin 2014 - Installé avec succès sur le Très Grand Télescope (VLT) de l’ESO, l’instrument européen SPHERE vient d’obtenir sa première lumière. Ce véritable chasseur d’exoplanètes permettra de détecter en imagerie directe des exoplanètes gazeuses et des (...)

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First Light for SPHERE Exoplanet Imager

4 June 2014

June 4th 2014, SPHERE First Light — the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument — has been installed on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) at the Paranal Observatory in Chile and has achieved first light. This powerful new (...)

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SPHERE First Technical Light

21 May 2014

May 2014: SPHERE first photons!

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Photo gallery

This picture shows the SPHERE exoplanet instrument for the VLT just before it left France and was shipped to Chile in February 2014. ©IPAG/J.-L. Beuzit Complex optics of the SPHERE exoplanet instrument. SPHERE uses many highly optimised techniques to allow the very faint light from an exoplanet to be detected, despite the overwhelming glare from its parent star. 

©IPAG/J.-L. Beuzit © Beuzit et al./ESO


The SPHERE instrument will explore the close environment of nearby stars in search for other planetary systems. VLT second generation instrument, this high contrast spectro-polarimeter will allow the detection and characterization of exoplanets in outer regions of planetary systems by direct imaging, in a manner complementary to other techniques, including radial velocitiy and photometric transits.