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A High-Contrast Imaging Survey of SIM Lite Planet Search Targets

Tanner, Angelle M. and Gelino, Christopher R. and Law, Nicholas M. (2010) A High-Contrast Imaging Survey of SIM Lite Planet Search Targets. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 122 (896). pp. 1195-1206. ISSN 0004-6280.

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With the development of extreme high contrast ground-based adaptive optics instruments and space missions aimed at detecting and characterizing Jupiter- and terrestrial-mass planets, it is critical that each target star be thoroughly vetted to determine whether it is a viable target, given both the instrumental design and scientific goals of the program. With this in mind, we have conducted a high-contrast imaging survey of mature AFGKM stars with the PALAO/PHARO instrument on the Palomar 200 inch telescope. The survey reached sensitivities sufficient to detect brown dwarf companions at separations of >50 AU. The results of this survey will be utilized both by future direct imaging projects such as GPI, SPHERE, and P1640 and indirect detection missions such as SIM Lite. Out of 84 targets, all but one have no close-in (0.45–1″) companions and 64 (76%) have no stars at all within the 25″ field of view. The sensitivity contrasts in the K_s passband ranged from 4.5 to 10 for this set of observations. These stars were selected as the best nearby targets for habitable planet searches because of their long-lived habitable zones (>1 billion years). We report two stars, GJ 454 and GJ 1020, with previously unpublished proper motion companions. In both cases, the companions are stellar in nature and are most likely M dwarfs based on their absolute magnitudes and colors. Based on our mass sensitivities and level of completeness, we can place an upper limit of ~17% on the presence of brown dwarf companions with masses >40 M_J at separations of >1″. We also discuss the importance of including statistics on those stars with no detected companions in their field of view for the sake of future companion searches and an overall understanding of the population of low-mass objects around nearby stars.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Tanner, Angelle M.0000-0002-2903-2140
Law, Nicholas M.0000-0001-9380-6457
Additional Information:© 2010 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2010 March 13; accepted 2010 July 28; published 2010 September 24. We would like to thank our anonymous referee for their valuable insights into how to improve our manuscript. We would also like to thank Shri Kulkarni and Mike Shao for invaluable discussions regarding the selection of the EPIcS targets. Based on observations obtained at the Hale Telescope, Palomar Observatory, as part of a continuing collaboration between the California Institute of Technology, NASA/JPL, and Cornell University. The research described in this publication was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This publication makes use of data products from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, which is a joint project of the University of Massachusetts and the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Science Foundation.
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Issue or Number:896
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20101026-091941600
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Official Citation:A High-Contrast Imaging Survey of SIM Lite Planet Search Targets Angelle M. Tanner, Christopher R. Gelino, and Nicholas M. Law Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 2010 122:896, 1195-1206
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:20529
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 Dec 2010 20:22
Last Modified:14 Nov 2019 00:59

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