Contrast limits with the Simultaneous Differential Extrasolar Planet Imager (SDI) at the VLT and MMT

Beth A. Biller, Laird M. Close, Elena Masciadri, Rainer Lenzen, Wolfgang Brandner, Donald McCarthy, Thomas Henning, Eric L. Nielsen, Markus Hartung, Stephan Kellner, Kerstin Geissler, Markus Kasper

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

We discuss contrast limits obtained during a survey of young (<300 Myr), close (<50 pc) stars with the Simultaneous Differential Extrasolar Planet Imager (SDI) implemented at the VLT and the MMT. SDI uses a double Wollaston prism and a quad filter to take images simultaneously at 3 wavelengths surrounding the 1.62 μm methane bandhead found in the spectrum of cool brown dwarfs and gas giants. By performing a difference of images in these filters, speckle noise from the primary can be significantly attenuated, resulting in photon noise limited data. In our survey data, we achieved H band contrasts >25000 (5σ ΔF1(1.575μm)>10 mag, ΔH>10.6 mag for a T6 spectral type) at a separation of 0.5 from the primary star. With this degree of attenuation, we can image (5σ detection) a 2-4 Jupiter mass planet at 5 AU around a 30 Myr star at 10 pc. We are currently completing our survey of young, nearby stars. We have obtained complete datasets for 40 stars in the southern sky (VLT) and 11 stars in the northern sky (MMT). We believe that our SDI images are the highest contrast astronomical images ever made from ground or space for methane rich companions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Adaptive Optics II
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2006
EventAdvances in Adaptive Optics II - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: May 24 2006May 31 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Volume6272 II
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Other

OtherAdvances in Adaptive Optics II
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL
Period5/24/065/31/06

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Keywords

  • Adaptive optics
  • Extrasolar planets
  • High contrast imaging
  • Simultaneous differential imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this

Biller, B. A., Close, L. M., Masciadri, E., Lenzen, R., Brandner, W., McCarthy, D., Henning, T., Nielsen, E. L., Hartung, M., Kellner, S., Geissler, K., & Kasper, M. (2006). Contrast limits with the Simultaneous Differential Extrasolar Planet Imager (SDI) at the VLT and MMT. In Advances in Adaptive Optics II [62722D] (Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering; Vol. 6272 II). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.671771