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Paper: Pushing the Envelope: Unleashing the Potential of High Contrast Imaging with HST
Volume: 281, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XI
Page: 382
Authors: Schneider, Glenn; Stobie, Elizabeth
Abstract: The complement of HST instruments provides a unique avenue for obtaining diffraction limited optical and near-IR images with Strehl ratios unachievable with ground-based systems. Coupled with the much greater space-based stability of the telescope+instrument Point Spread Function, differential imaging by PSF subtraction enables very high contrast imaging. This is further enhanced, significantly, by the coronagraphic systems in the second generation instruments NICMOS and STIS. The high dynamic range of the non-destructive multiple-readout data formats provided by the NICMOS detectors and read-out electronics are complementary in allowing observers to take advantage of these imaging capabilities. Exploiting the very high levels of background rejection achievable with these instrumental systems, while preserving their intrinsic photometric and astrometric efficacy, required the development of a new suite of integrated analysis tools (the NICMOS/IDT's IDP3 software). Here we discuss some of the significant scientificresults obtained in the arena of extrasolar planet and disk imaging which has been advanced by the synthesis of these observing modes and analysis tools.
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