Conference was given by the scientist Sébastien Vievard.
Are we alone in the Universe? Is there an Earth-like planet in the Universe?
These questions have been of interest to astronomers and astronomy enthusiasts for generations. Since the first detection of an exoplanet orbiting a star similar to the Sun in 1995 by the Swiss Observatory in Geneva, several thousand exoplanets have been identified by various observatories on Earth and in space. Technological advances in terms of specific instrumentation for the search for exoplanets are currently in full swing, and are bringing us ever closer to a formal answer to the question of the existence of a planet capable of harbouring life as we know it. The Subaru telescope, located on the sacred mountain of Mauna Kea in Hawai’i, plays an important role in this hunt for exoplanets. Its privileged geographical location places this telescope on one of the most unique and significant sites in the world, due to its history and topography.
Imagine having to be able to discern a firefly sitting on the railing of a lighthouse from thousands of kilometres away. This analogy, in which the lighthouse and the firefly represent the light of a star and that of an exoplanet respectively, gives an idea of one of the major challenges that must be overcome in order to photograph an exoplanet. We will talk about tools such as adaptive optics, coronography and spectroscopy, developed at the Subaru telescope to meet these challenges, and show that it is now possible to take pictures before, during and after the birth of new worlds.