SPIRou at La preuve par l’image

An image submitted by Étienne Artigau, a researcher from iREx, was selected by the jury of the contest La preuve par l’image of the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas) to be among the twenty finalist images of the 2020 competition.


This image, entitled Code-barres extraterrestre, was taken by the SPIRou instrument at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, and shows the spectrum of a colder and lighter star than the Sun. SPIRou can detect the tiny effect that exoplanets have on the spectrum of their star by measuring the position of the lines in their spectrum, like an extraterrestrial bar code. This image is the very first step in a long analysis; habitable exoplanets are not easily detected, their effect on this bar code is only a thousandth of a pixel!


Infrared monochrome image from SPIRou. The image is colorized to represent in blue and red  the regions at different wavelengths ranging from 1µm to 2.5µm respectively. Credit : Étienne Artigau


You can vote ici for your favourite image (in French only).