CfA Colloquium Schedule Spring 2006
 2 February 2006

2 February 2006

Speaker: Phil Hinz (University of Arizona)

Title: Searching for other Solar Systems with the MMT Deformable Secondary

Abstract: The Adaptive Optics (AO) system on the 6.5 m MMT is unique in that it is integrated into the telescope itself through the use of a deformable secondary mirror, actuated by 336 voice coils. The inherently lower background of this design allows sensitive, high-resolution observations over a broad range of wavelengths from 1.65-25 microns. I will present the technical performance, to date, of the MMT AO system, summarize the available instrumentation, and review some of the scientific programs currently underway. Using the MMT AO system, we have recently begun a search for young giant planets in wide orbits at 5 microns wavelength. At 10 microns wavelength the observations have concentrated on detection of faint debris disks around main sequence stars. These observations will improve our understanding of the architecture of other planetary systems.

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