skip to main content

Title: Companion mass limits for 17 binary systems obtained with binary differential imaging and MagAO/Clio

Improving direct detection capability close to the star through improved star subtraction and post-processing techniques is vital for discovering new low-mass companions and characterizing known ones at longer wavelengths. We present results of 17 binary star systems observed with the Magellan adaptive optics system (MagAO) and the Clio infrared camera on the Magellan Clay Telescope using binary differential imaging (BDI). BDI is an application of reference differential imaging (RDI) and angular differential imaging (ADI) applied to wide binary star systems (2 arcsec <Δρ < 10 arcsec) within the isoplanatic patch in the infrared. Each star serves as the point spread function (PSF) reference for the other, and we performed PSF estimation and subtraction using principal component analysis. We report contrast and mass limits for the 35 stars in our initial survey using BDI with MagAO/Clio in L′ and 3.95 µm bands. Our achieved contrasts varied between systems, and spanned a range of contrasts from 3.0 to 7.5 magnitudes and a range of separations from 0.2 to 2 arcsec. Stars in our survey span a range of masses, and our achieved contrasts correspond to late-type M-dwarf masses down to ∼10 MJup. We also report detection of a candidate companion signal at 0.2 arcsec more » (18 au) around HIP 67506 A (SpT G5V, mass ∼1.2 M⊙), which we estimate to be $\sim 60-90 \, \rm{M_{Jup}}$. We found that the effectiveness of BDI is highest for approximately equal brightness binaries in high-Strehl conditions.

« less
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 4487-4504
Oxford University Press
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Stellar mass is a fundamental parameter that is key to our understanding of stellar formation and evolution, as well as the characterization of nearby exoplanet companions. Historically, stellar masses have been derived from long-term observations of visual or spectroscopic binary star systems. While advances in high-resolution imaging have enabled observations of systems with shorter orbital periods, measurements of stellar masses remain challenging, and relatively few have been precisely measured. We present a new statistical approach to measuring masses for populations of stars. Using Gaia astrometry, we analyze the relative orbital motion of >3800 wide binary systems comprising low-mass stars to establish a mass–magnitude relation in the GaiaGRPband spanning the absolute magnitude range 14.5 >MGRP> 4.0, corresponding to a mass range of 0.08MM≲ 1.0M. This relation is directly applicable to >30 million stars in the Gaia catalog. Based on comparison to existing mass–magnitude relations calibrated forKsmagnitudes from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, we estimate that the internal precision of our mass estimates is ∼10%. We use this relation to estimate masses for a volume-limited sample of ∼18,200 stars within 50 pc of the Sun and the present-day field mass function for stars withM≲ 1.0M, which wemore »find peaks at 0.16M. We investigate a volume-limited sample of wide binary systems with early-K dwarf primaries, complete for binary mass ratiosq> 0.2, and measure the distribution ofqat separations >100 au. We find that our distribution ofqis not uniform, rather decreasing towardq= 1.0.

    « less
  2. Abstract

    High-contrast imaging has afforded astronomers the opportunity to study light directly emitted by adolescent (tens of megayears) and “proto” (<10 Myr) planets still undergoing formation. Direct detection of these planets is enabled by empirical point-spread function (PSF) modeling and removal algorithms. The computational intensity of such algorithms, as well as their multiplicity of tunable input parameters, has led to the prevalence of ad hoc optimization approaches to high-contrast imaging results. In this work, we present a new, systematic approach to optimization vetted using data of the high-contrast stellar companion HD 142527 B from the Magellan Adaptive Optics Giant Accreting Protoplanet Survey (GAPlanetS). More specifically, we present a grid search technique designed to explore three influential parameters of the PSF subtraction algorithmpyKLIP: annuli, movement, and KL modes. We consider multiple metrics for postprocessed image quality in order to optimally recover at Hα(656 nm) synthetic planets injected into contemporaneous continuum (643 nm) images. These metrics include peak (single-pixel) signal-to-noise ratio (S/N), average (multipixel average) S/N, 5σcontrast, and false-positive fraction. We apply continuum-optimized KLIP reduction parameters to six Hαdirect detections of the low-mass stellar companion HD 142527 B and recover the companion at a range of separations. Relative to a single-informed, nonoptimizedmore »set of KLIP parameters applied to all data sets uniformly, our multimetric grid search optimization led to improvements in companion S/N of up to 1.2σ, with an average improvement of 0.6σ. Since many direct imaging detections lie close to the canonical 5σthreshold, even such modest improvements may result in higher yields in future imaging surveys.

    « less

    Based on high-contrast images obtained with the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI), we report the discovery of two point-like sources at angular separations ρ ∼ 0.18 and 0.80 arcsec from the stars HD 29992 and HD 196385. A combined analysis of the new GPI observations and images from the literature indicates that the source close to HD 29992 could be a companion to the star. Concerning HD 196385, the small number of contaminants (∼0.5) suggests that the detected source may be gravitationally bound to the star. For both systems, we discarded the presence of other potential companions with m > 75 MJup at ρ ∼ 0.3–1.3 arcsec. From stellar model atmospheres and low-resolution GPI spectra, we derive masses of ∼0.2–0.3 M⊙ for these sources. Using a Markov-chain Monte Carlo approach, we performed a joint fit of the new astrometry measurements and published radial velocity data to characterize the possible orbits. For HD 196385B, the median dynamic mass is in agreement with that derived from model atmospheres, whilst for HD 29992B the orbital fit favours masses close to the brown dwarf regime (∼0.08 M⊙). HD 29992 and HD 196385 might be two new binary systems with M-type stellar companions. However, new high angular resolution images would help to confirmmore »definitively whether the detected sources are gravitationally bound to their respective stars, and permit tighter constraints on the orbital parameters of both systems.

    « less
  4. Context. Stellar evolution models are highly dependent on accurate mass estimates, especially for highly massive stars in the early stages of stellar evolution. The most direct method for obtaining model-independent stellar masses is derivation from the orbit of close binaries. Aims. Our aim was to derive the first astrometric plus radial velocity orbit solution for the single-lined spectroscopic binary star MWC 166 A, based on near-infrared interferometry over multiple epochs and ∼100 archival radial velocity measurements, and to derive fundamental stellar parameters from this orbit. A supplementary aim was to model the circumstellar activity in the system from K band spectral lines. Methods. The data used include interferometric observations from the VLTI instruments GRAVITY and PIONIER, as well as the MIRC-X instrument at the CHARA Array. We geometrically modelled the dust continuum to derive relative astrometry at 13 epochs, determine the orbital elements, and constrain individual stellar parameters at five different age estimates. We used the continuum models as a base to examine differential phases, visibilities, and closure phases over the Br γ and He  I emission lines in order to characterise the nature of the circumstellar emission. Results. Our orbit solution suggests a period of P  = 367.7 ± 0.1 d, approximatelymore »twice as long as found with previous radial velocity orbit fits. We derive a semi-major axis of 2.61 ± 0.04 au at d  = 990 ± 50 pc, an eccentricity of 0.498 ± 0.001, and an orbital inclination of 53.6 ± 0.3°. This allowed the component masses to be constrained to M 1  = 12.2 ± 2.2  M ⊙ and M 2  = 4.9 ± 0.5  M ⊙ . The line-emitting gas was found to be localised around the primary and is spatially resolved on scales of ∼11 stellar radii, where the spatial displacement between the line wings is consistent with a rotating disc. Conclusions. The large spatial extent and stable rotation axis orientation measured for the Br γ and He  I line emission are inconsistent with an origin in magnetospheric accretion or boundary-layer accretion, but indicate an ionised inner gas disc around this Herbig Be star. We observe line variability that could be explained either with generic line variability in a Herbig star disc or V/R variations in a decretion disc scenario. We have also constrained the age of the system, with relative flux ratios suggesting an age of ∼(7 ± 2)×10 5 yr, consistent with the system being composed of a main-sequence primary and a secondary still contracting towards the main-sequence stage.« less
  5. Over the last decade, the vector-apodizing phase plate (vAPP) coronagraph has been developed from concept to on-sky application in many high-contrast imaging systems on 8 m class telescopes. The vAPP is a geometric-phase patterned coronagraph that is inherently broadband, and its manufacturing is enabled only by direct-write technology for liquid-crystal patterns. The vAPP generates two coronagraphic point spread functions (PSFs) that cancel starlight on opposite sides of the PSF and have opposite circular polarization states. The efficiency, that is, the amount of light in these PSFs, depends on the retardance offset from a half-wave of the liquid-crystal retarder. Using different liquid-crystal recipes to tune the retardance, different vAPPs operate with high efficiencies (><#comment/>96%<#comment/>) in the visible and thermal infrared (0.55 µm to 5 µm). Since 2015, seven vAPPs have been installed in a total of six different instruments, including Magellan/MagAO, Magellan/MagAO-X, Subaru/SCExAO, and LBT/LMIRcam. Using two integral field spectrographs installed on the latter two instruments, these vAPPs can provide low-resolution spectra (R∼<#comment/>30) between 1 µm and 5 µm. We review the design process, development, commissioning, on-sky performance, and first scientific results of all commissioned vAPPs. We report on the lessons learned and conclude with perspectives for future developmentsmore »and applications.

    « less