# Exploring New Worlds: Simulating Coronagraph Data for Exoplanet Detection

Author/​Artist:
Samuels, Joshua [Browse]
Format:
Senior thesis
Language:
English
Directly imaging Earth-like planets in other solar systems requires high-contrast photography able to detect signals as faint as 10$$^{−10}$$ times the brightness of the parent star. Even with the required contrast, planets will be difficult to distinguish from exozodiacal background light and noise from imperfect optics. I simulate experimental data by propagating light waves from astrophysical sources through a coronagraph according to Fraunhofer diffraction theory while also modeling realistic speckle and background noise. I then use the simulations to evaluate principal component analysis as a technique for data processing and to improve PSF (point spread function) subtraction for planet detection.