IYA 2009 – NICI

Posted in IYA2009 at 22:31 by Kathleen

The end of the planning madness is still far but I am starting to see the light. The F2 plan is completed and I used it as a template for the NICI data reduction software plan. A couple more plans are done too. I still have several more to go, including two big ones, but still, I am pretty happy with the progress made.

Since I talked about Flamingos 2 on Friday, I might as well talk about NICI now. NICI is a coronographic imagers. That means it is a camera with a small dark patch in the centre that serves to cover the star. You might be wondering why in the world would anyone want to block the light from the star the telescope is point at? Well, it is because it is not the star we are interested in but what is around it, say planets… The star is incredibly bright compared to the possible planets that would orbit it. So, we need a way to hide the shiny star. It is just as if we were to try to see a bird or a plane flying near the sun; what would we do? We would put our hand out to shield the sun. The coronograph serves the same purpose. It shields the star and let us peak around it in the hope of finding faint stuff near it.

Pretty cool, um?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.