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The Lyot Project Direct Imaging Survey of Substellar Companions: Statistical Analysis and Information from Nondetections

Leconte, Jérémy and Soummer, Rémi and Hinkley, Sasha and Oppenheimer, Ben R. and Sivaramakrishnan, Anand and Brenner, Douglas and Kuhn, Jeffrey and Lloyd, James P. and Perrin, Marshall D. and Makidon, Russell and Roberts, Lewis C., Jr. and Graham, James R. and Simon, Michal and Brown, Robert A. and Zimmerman, Neil and Chabrier, Gilles and Baraffe, Isabelle (2010) The Lyot Project Direct Imaging Survey of Substellar Companions: Statistical Analysis and Information from Nondetections. Astrophysical Journal, 716 (2). pp. 1551-1565. ISSN 0004-637X.

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The Lyot project used an optimized Lyot coronagraph with extreme adaptive optics at the 3.63 m Advanced Electro-Optical System telescope to observe 86 stars from 2004 to 2007. In this paper, we give an overview of the survey results and a statistical analysis of the observed nondetections around 58 of our targets to place constraints on the population of substellar companions to nearby stars. The observations did not detect any companion in the substellar regime. Since null results can be as important as detections, we analyzed each observation to determine the characteristics of the companions that can be ruled out. For this purpose, we use a Monte Carlo approach to produce artificial companions and determine their detectability by comparison with the sensitivity curve for each star. All the non-detection results are combined using a Bayesian approach and we provide upper limits on the population of giant exoplanets and brown dwarfs for this sample of stars. Our nondetections confirm the rarity of brown dwarfs around solar-like stars and we constrain the frequency of massive substellar companions (M>40 M_J) at orbital separation between and 10 and 50 AU to be ≲20%.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Soummer, Rémi0000-0003-2753-2819
Hinkley, Sasha0000-0001-8074-2562
Oppenheimer, Ben R.0000-0001-7130-7681
Perrin, Marshall D.0000-0002-3191-8151
Roberts, Lewis C., Jr.0000-0003-3892-2900
Zimmerman, Neil0000-0001-5484-1516
Chabrier, Gilles0000-0002-8342-9149
Additional Information:© 2010 American Astronomical Society. Received 2009 September 30; accepted 2010 April 28; published 2010 June 3. The Lyot project is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant Nos. 0334916, 0215793, and 0520822, as well as grant NNG05GJ86G from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration under the Terrestrial Planet Finder Foundation Science Program. The Lyot project gratefully acknowledges the support of the U.S. Air Force and NSF in creating the special Advanced Technologies and Instrumentation opportunity that provides access to the AEOS telescope. Eighty percent of the funds for that program are provided by the U.S. Air Force. This work is based on observations made at the Maui Space Surveillance System, operated by Detachment 15 of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate. A portion of the research in this paper was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This work was performed, in part, under contract with Caltech, funded by NASA through the Sagan Fellowship Program. This work was supported by the “Programme National de Planetologie” (PNP) of CNRS/INSU. J.R.G., A.S., and M.D.P. were supported in part by the National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Adaptive Optics, managed by the University of California at Santa Cruz under cooperative agreement No. AST 98-76783. M.D.P. and R.S. were supported in part by NASA Michelson graduate and postdoctoral fellowships, respectively, under contract to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) funded by NASA. JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology. R.S. was partially supported by an AMNH Kalbfleisch Fellowship. J.L. was also partially supported by an AMNH Kade Fellowship. The Lyot project is also grateful to the Cordelia Corporation, Hilary and Ethel Lipsitz, the Vincent Astor Fund, Judy Vale, Alison Cooney, and an anonymous donor, who initiated the project. This research has made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at CDS, Strasbourg, France.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)UNSPECIFIED
NSFAST 98-76783
NASA Michelson FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Institut national des sciences de l'Univers (INSU)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:instrumentation: adaptive optics; methods: data analysis; techniques: image processing
Issue or Number:2
Classification Code:PACS: 95.80.+p; 97.20.Jg; 97.20.Vs; 97.10.Yp; 97.82.Fs
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20100628-100909065
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Jérémy Leconte et al 2010 ApJ 716 1551 doi: 10.1088/0004-637X/716/2/1551
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:18829
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:28 Jun 2010 20:52
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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