New directions in direct imaging of exoplanets
Michael Bottom
California Institute of Technology



Direct imaging is the future of exoplanet science, offering one of the only paths to discovering the chemical makeup of other worlds, and perhaps whether they host life. However, few planets have been imaged, due to the significant technical challenges of detecting the faint light of planets at tiny angular separations from their bright parent stars. I will discuss some "holistic" approaches to this challenging problem combining adaptive optics, coronagraphy, and image processing. Central themes are manipulating the electric field of light directly at the focal plane and applying knowledge of the instrument state to improve data analysis. A highlight of this work is the first detection of a substellar companion using the coherence properties of light. I will end by discussing recent efforts to significantly improve the planet imaging capabilities of existing instruments at Keck, and exciting science opportunities from new instruments about to come online.