All transiting planet observations are at risk of contamination from nearby, unresolved stars. Blends dilute the transit signal, causing the planet to appear smaller than it really is, or producing a false positive detection when the target star is blended with an eclipsing binary. High spatial resolution adaptive optics images are an effective way of resolving most blends. Here we present visual companions and detection limits for 12 Kepler planet candidate host stars, of which 4 have companions within 4″. One system (KOI 1537) consists of two similar-magnitude stars separated by 0.″1, while KOI 174 has a companion at 0.″5. In addition, observations were made of 15 transiting planets that were previously discovered by other surveys. The only companion found within 1″ of a known planet is the previously identified companion to WASP-2b. An additional four systems have companions between 1″ and 4″: HAT-P-30b (3.″7, ΔKs = 2.9), HAT-P-32b (2.″9, ΔKs = 3.4), TrES-1b (2.″3, ΔKs = 7.7), and WASP-P-33b (1.″9, ΔKs = 5.5), some of which have not been reported previously. Depending on the spatial resolution of the transit photometry for these systems, these companion stars may require a reassessment of the planetary parameters derived from transit light curves. For all systems observed, we report the limiting magnitudes beyond which additional fainter objects located 0.″1-4″ from the target may still exist.
- binaries: general
- instrumentation: adaptive optics
- planets and satellites: detection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Space and Planetary Science
- Astronomy and Astrophysics