First science with SPHERE

R. Claudi, R. Gratton, S. Desidera, A. L. Maire, D. Mesa, M. Turatto, A. Baruffolo, E. Cascone, V. De Caprio, V. D'Orazi, D. Fantinel, E. Giro, B. Salasnich, S. Scuderi, E. Sissa, J. L. Beuzit, D. Mouillet

Research output: Contribution to journalConference paper

2 Citations (Scopus)


The Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research (SPHERE) facility mounted at ESO-VLT aims at discovering giant extrasolar planets in the proximity of bright stars and characterising them through spectroscopic and polarimetric observations. SPHERE is a complete system with a core made of an extreme-Adaptive Optics (XAO) turbulence correction, a pupil tracker and NIR and Visible coronagraph devices. At its back end, a differential dual imaging camera (IRDIS) and an integral field spectrograph (IFS) work in the Near Infrared (NIR) (0:95 ≤ λ ≤ 2:32 μm) while a high resolution polarization camera covers the visible domain (0:6 ≤ λ ≤ 0:9μm). The IFS is a low resolution spectrograph (R∼ 50) that operates in the near IR (0:95 ≤ λ ≤ 1:6μm), an optimal wavelength range for the detection of planetary features, over a field of view of about 1:7 × 1:7 square arcsecs. From spectra it is possible to reconstruct monochromatic images with high contrast (10-6 at 0.5 arcsec) and high spatial resolution, well inside the star PSF. The commissioning of the instrument ended in October 2014 and ESO has already offered SPHERE to the community. In this paper several results obtained during the commissioning and science verification phase are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-140
Number of pages9
JournalMemorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana - Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventItalian National Workshop of Planetary Sciences (12th : 2015) - Sondrio, Italy
Duration: 2 Feb 20156 Feb 2015


  • direct imaging
  • extrasolar planets
  • high contrast imaging

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