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Contact: Kendra Snyder
ksnyder@amnh.org
212-496-3419
American Museum of Natural History

Dark Hole

Caption: This figure shows two images of HD 157728, a nearby star 1.5 times larger than the sun. The star is centered in both images, and its light has been mostly removed by the adaptive optics system and coronagraph. The remaining starlight leaves a speckled background against which fainter objects cannot be seen. On the left, the image was made without the ultra-precise starlight control that Project 1640 is capable of. On the right, the wavefront sensor was active, and a darker square hole formed in the residual starlight, allowing objects up to 10 million times fainter than the star to be seen. Images were taken on June 14, 2012, with Project 1640 on the Palomar Observatory's 200-inch Hale telescope.

Credit: Courtesy of Project 1640

Usage Restrictions: Can be used with appropriate credit

Related news release: New instrument sifts through starlight to reveal new worlds


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