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L'-band AGPM vector vortex coronagraph’s first light on VLT/NACO: Discovery of a late-type companion at two beamwidths from an F0V star

Mawet, D. and Absil, O. and Delacroix, C. and Girard, J. H. and Milli, J. and O’Neal, J. and Baudoz, P. and Boccaletti, A. and Bourget, P. and Christiaens, V. and Forsberg, P. and Gonte, F. and Habraken, S. and Hanot, C. and Karlsson, M. and Kasper, M. and Lizon, J.-L. and Mužic, K. and Olivier, R. and Peña, E. and Slusarenko, N. and Tacconi-Garman, L. E. and Surdej, J. (2013) L'-band AGPM vector vortex coronagraph’s first light on VLT/NACO: Discovery of a late-type companion at two beamwidths from an F0V star. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 552 . Art. No. L13. ISSN 0004-6361. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201321315.

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Context. High contrast imaging has thoroughly combed through the limited search space accessible with first-generation ground-based adaptive optics instruments and the Hubble Space Telescope. Only a few objects were discovered, and many non-detections reported and statistically interpreted. The field is now in need of a technological breakthrough. Aims. Our aim is to open a new search space with first-generation systems such as NACO at the Very Large Telescope, by providing ground-breaking inner working angle (IWA) capabilities in the L′ band. The L′ band is a sweet spot for high contrast coronagraphy since the planet-to-star brightness ratio is favorable, while the Strehl ratio is naturally higher. Methods. An annular groove phase mask (AGPM) vector vortex coronagraph optimized for the L′ band made from diamond subwavelength gratings was manufactured and qualified in the lab. The AGPM enables high contrast imaging at very small IWA, potentially being the key to unexplored discovery space. Results. Here we present the installation and successful on-sky tests of an L'-band AGPM coronagraph on NACO. Using angular differential imaging, which is well suited to the rotational symmetry of the AGPM, we demonstrated a ΔL′ > 7.5 mag contrast from an IWA ≃ 0."09 onwards, during average seeing conditions, and for total integration times of a few hundred seconds.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Mawet, D.0000-0002-8895-4735
Absil, O.0000-0002-4006-6237
Girard, J. H.0000-0001-8627-0404
Milli, J.0000-0001-9325-2511
Boccaletti, A.0000-0001-9353-2724
Christiaens, V.0000-0002-0101-8814
Karlsson, M.0000-0002-2011-0851
Surdej, J.0000-0002-7005-1976
Additional Information:© 2013 ESO. Received 18 February 2013; Accepted 1 April 2013. This work was carried out at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) site of Vitacura (Santiago, Chile). O.A. and J.S. acknowledge support from the Communauté française de Belgique – Actions de recherché concertées – Académie universitaire Wallonie-Europe. We would like to thank the referee, Dr Christian Marois, for his constructive comments.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Communauté française de Belgique – Actions de recherche concertées – Académie universitaire Wallonie-EuropeUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:instrumentation: high angular resolution; planetary systems; binaries: close
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20150520-115106627
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Official Citation:Mawet, D., Absil, O., Delacroix, C., Girard, J. H., Milli, J., O’Neal, J., . . . Surdej, J. (2013). L’-band AGPM vector vortex coronagraph’s first light on VLT/NACO. A&A, 552, L13.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:57711
Deposited On:20 May 2015 21:20
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 21:54

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