The Kepler mission has revolutionized our understanding of exoplanets, but some of the planet candidates identified by Kepler may actually be astrophysical false positives or planets whose transit depths are diluted by the presence of another star. Adaptive optics images made with ARIES at the MMT of 87 Kepler Objects of Interest place limits on the presence of fainter stars in or near the Kepler aperture. We detected visual companions within 1″ for 5 stars, between 1″ and 2″ for 7 stars, and between 2″ and 4″ for 15 stars. For those systems, we estimate the brightness of companion stars in the Kepler bandpass and provide approximate corrections to the radii of associated planet candidates due to the extra light in the aperture. For all stars observed, we report detection limits on the presence of nearby stars. ARIES is typically sensitive to stars approximately magnitudes fainter than the target star within 1″ and approximately magnitudes fainter within 2″, but can detect stars as faint as ΔKs = 7.5 under ideal conditions.
- binaries: general
- instrumentation: adaptive optics
- planets and satellites: detection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science