Direct studies of exo-planets with the New Worlds Observer

Webster Cash, Jeremy Kasdin, Sara Seager, Jonathon Arenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The New World Observer has the potential to discover and study planets around other stars without expensive and risky technical heroics. We describe the starshade, a large, deployable sheet on a separate spacecraft that is flown into position along the line of sight to a nearby star. We show how a starshade can be designed and built in a practical and affordable manner to fully remove starlight and leave only planet light entering a telescope. The simulations demonstrate That NWI can detect planetary system features as faint as comets, perform spectroscopy to look for water and life signs, and perform photometry to search for oceans, continents, clouds and polar caps.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number58990S
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2005
EventUV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts II - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 31 2005Aug 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Astrobiology
  • Coronography
  • Exoplanets


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