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Efficient Spectroscopy of Exoplanets at Small Angular Separations with Vortex Fiber Nulling

Ruane, Garreth and Wang, Ji and Mawet, Dimitri and Jovanovic, Nemanja and Delorme, Jacques-Robert and Mennesson, Bertrand and Wallace, J. Kent (2018) Efficient Spectroscopy of Exoplanets at Small Angular Separations with Vortex Fiber Nulling. Astrophysical Journal, 867 (2). Art. No. 143. ISSN 1538-4357. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/aae262.

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Instrumentation designed to characterize potentially habitable planets may combine adaptive optics and high-resolution spectroscopy techniques to achieve the highest possible sensitivity to spectral signs of life. Detecting the weak signal from a planet containing biomarkers will require exquisite control of the optical wavefront to maximize the planet signal and significantly reduce unwanted starlight. We present an optical technique, known as vortex fiber nulling (VFN), that allows polychromatic light from faint planets at extremely small separations from their host stars (≾λ/D) to be efficiently routed to a diffraction-limited spectrograph via a single-mode optical fiber, while light from the star is prevented from entering the spectrograph. VFN takes advantage of the spatial selectivity of a single-mode fiber to isolate the light from close-in companions in a small field of view around the star. We provide theoretical performance predictions of a conceptual design and show that VFN may be utilized to characterize planets detected by radial velocity (RV) instruments in the infrared without knowledge of the azimuthal orientation of their orbits. Using a spectral template-matching technique, we calculate an integration time of ~400, ~100, and ~30 hr for Ross 128 b with Keck, the Thirty Meter Telescope, and the Large Ultraviolet/Optical/Infrared Surveyor, respectively.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ruane, Garreth0000-0003-4769-1665
Wang, Ji0000-0002-4361-8885
Mawet, Dimitri0000-0002-8895-4735
Mennesson, Bertrand0000-0003-4205-4800
Additional Information:© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI. Received 2018 April 16; revised 2018 September 5; accepted 2018 September 15; published 2018 November 9. G.R. is supported by an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellowship under award AST-1602444.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics FellowshipAST-1602444
Subject Keywords:instrumentation: adaptive optics – instrumentation: high angular resolution – techniques: spectroscopic
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20181113-112609469
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Garreth Ruane et al 2018 ApJ 867 143
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:90866
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:14 Nov 2018 00:23
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 03:36

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