On-sky demonstration of a linear band-limited mask with application to visual binary stars.
CREPP J., SERABYN E., CARSON J., GE J. and KRAVCHENKO I.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have designed and built the first band-limited coronagraphic mask used for ground-based high-contrast imaging observations. The mask resides in the focal plane of the near-infrared camera PHARO at the Palomar Hale telescope and receives a well-corrected beam from an extreme adaptive optics system. Its performance on-sky with single stars is comparable to current state-of-the-art instruments: contrast levels of ∼10–5 or better at 0''.8 in Ks after post-processing, depending on how well non-common-path errors are calibrated. However, given the mask's linear geometry, we are able to conduct additional unique science observations. Since the mask does not suffer from pointing errors down its long axis, it can suppress the light from two different stars simultaneously, such as the individual components of a spatially resolved binary star system, and search for faint tertiary companions. In this paper, we present the design of the mask, the science motivation for targeting binary stars, and our preliminary results, including the detection of a candidate M-dwarf tertiary companion orbiting the visual binary star HIP 48337, which we are continuing to monitor with astrometry to determine its association.
binaries: visual - instrumentation: adaptive optics - instrumentation: high angular resolution - planetary systems