The Dark Art of Detecting and Characterizing Extrasolar Planets by Direct Imaging
Thayne Currie



Direct imaging is the new frontier in exoplanet detection and the means by which we will eventually discover a true Earth twin around a Sun-like star. In this talk, I introduce the new observing techniques like ADI and complicated, powerful image processing methods like A-LOCI used to directly image planets and present recent/unpublished results clarifying the strange atmospheric properties of young imaged, super-jovian planetary companions around HR 8799 and ROXs 42B.

For direct imaging's first decade, we were limited to detecting super-jovian planets at very wide separations. However, the next 5-10 years will see an explosion of new discoveries from extreme adaptive optics imagers capable of revealing many young jovian planets at Jupiter/Saturn-like separations, including the Subaru SCExAO project. I will close by describing the status and unique science case for SCExAO, how TMT's instrumentation may (nearly) image a rocky planet in the habitable zone around nearby stars, and how SCExAO serves as a crucial bridge towards this future.