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Première lumière en laboratoire, pour le spectrographe cryogénique de l'instrument SPIRou

First light in the laboratory for the cryogenic spectrograph that forms part of the SPIRou (near-infrared spectropolarimeter) instrument. These first spectra, obtained during tests at a cryogenic temperature of 80 kelvin (-193°C), transmit a range of data for fine-tuning the spectrograph. The light comes from a thorium-argon hollow cathode lamp (left) and a xenon laser lamp (right). These lamps are part of the instrument’s calibration module and radial velocity module respectively. SPIRou comprises a near-infrared spectropolarimeter combined with a high-precision velocimeter. Installed at the Cassegrain focus of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) at the end of 2017, SPIRou has been designed to detect habitable Earth twin exoplanets in the planetary systems of red dwarf stars similar to the Sun. It could also penetrate the mysteries of the birth of stars and planets by observing, for the first time, the magnetic fields of protostars barely a few hundred thousand years old.

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