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Published June 2000 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

A Search for Exozodiacal Dust and Faint Companions near Sirius, Procyon, and Altair with the NICMOS Coronagraph


We observed Sirius, Altair, and Procyon with the NICMOS coronagraph on the Hubble Space Telescope to look for scattered light from exozodiacal dust and faint companions within 10 AU from these stars. We did not achieve enough dynamic range to surpass the upper limits set by IRAS on the amount of exozodiacal dust in these systems, but we did set strong upper limits on the presence of nearby late‐type and substellar companions.

Additional Information

© 2000 Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2000 January 20; accepted 2000 March 8. We thank Glen Schneider and Aaron Evans for help with the data reduction and Edo Berger, John Carpenter, Micol Christopher, Ulyana Dyudina, David Frayer, Roy Gal, Pensri Ho, Matthew Hunt, Shardha Jogee, Olga Kuchner, Charlie Qi, Michael Santos, Alice Shapley, and David Vakil for searching for artificial stars in our data. This research made use of the SIMBAD database, operated at the Centre de Donnees de Strasbourg (CDS), Strasbourg, France. Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant GO‐07441.01‐96A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5‐26555. Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

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