To-date, more than 3000 exoplanets have been discovered; now we aim to detect and characterize exoplanets that could potentially harbor life. An exo-Earth orbiting a Sun-like star 10 parsecs from our solar system would have roughly 10^-10 the brightness of its host star, and appear at a maximum angular distance of 0.1 arcsecond from the star. Thus, unprecedented technological advances are needed in high-contrast imaging and starlight suppression. NASA is pursuing technology development in two categories: 1. coronagraphs, and 2. starshades. Both of these are moving rapidly from early-stage technology development to engineering, and will be deployed with large aperture space telescopes in the coming decades in order to enable the detection and study of exo-Earths.
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