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NICMOSNear Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer
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Credit far NICMOS images: NASA, the NICMOS Group (STScI, ESA), and the NICMOS Science Team (University of Arizona)
Soummer's team took Lafreniere's method a step further and used 466 images of reference stars taken from a library containing over 10 years of NICMOS observations assembled by Glenn Schneider of the University of Arizona.
In another study, NICMOS peered through the dusty disk of the spiral galaxy NGC 4013 to discover what appears to be a ring of newborn stars at the galaxy's core.
Using the new technique, he recovered the planet in NICMOS observations taken 10 years before the Keck/Gemini discovery.
Becklin of the University of California, Los Angeles and their colleagues embarked on a search using NICMOS to find planets or disks around young stars.
Follow-up observations with NICMOS, the near-infrared camera on the Hubble Space Telescope, revealed a full ring as well as the lensing galaxy--a system known as B1938+666.
Without repair or replacement, NICMOS is expected to last for only 1.
The LBTI will have 10 times the resolution of Hubble's near-infrared NICMOS camera, which has been used to look for substellar companions.
Although this condensation pushed NICMOS slightly out of optimum optical alignment, the instrument remained well within the limit of focus.
NICMOS should further unveil dust-shrouded regions of starbirth in the Milky Way and continue the search for primeval galaxies billions of light-years distant.
When NICMOS was installed during the second Hubble servicing mission (S&T: June 1997, page 34), it carried enough nitrogen ice to chill its detectors for about five years.
In particular, NICMOS can detect a planet 400 light-years away-- as distant as the Pleiades star cluster--if the body has at least six times Jupiter's mass and travels in a sufficiently wide orbit.