Évelyne Lecavalier-Hurtubise is a physics undergraduate student of the Université de Montréal. Recipient of one the 2016 Trottier summer grants, she will joined iREx in summer 2016 under the supervision of René Doyon.
When our earthly perspective, an exoplanet passes in front of its star, it is possible to obtain the spectrum of its atmosphere by taking the ratio of the spectra of the star before and after transit. However, the signal is very low (10 to 100 ppm) and must therefore be obtained with a large telescope in a very stable environment with a tool for high-precision spectroscopy.
The Canadian instrument NIRISS (Near-Infrared Imager and Spectrograph Slitless), to be launched in space (the most stable environment possible) in 2018 aboard the James Webb Space Telescope was designed to achieve this accuracy . Analysis of infrared spectra obtained by NIRISS allow us to determine the atmospheric composition of exoplanets similar to Earth.
As part of her internship, Evelyne will help to calibrate and to determine the performances of the spectroscopic mode NIRISS instrument. She will analyze the very first spectroscopic data collected during the CV3 tests campaign in December 2015 at the NASA.