skip to main content

Title: The Giant Accreting Protoplanet Survey (GAPlanetS): Optimization Techniques for Robust Detections of Protoplanets

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, nonoptimized more » 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
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
The Astronomical Journal
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 57
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Companions embedded in the cavities of transitional circumstellar disks have been observed to exhibit excess luminosity at Hα, an indication that they are actively accreting. We report 5 yr (2013–2018) of monitoring of the position and Hαexcess luminosity of the embedded, accreting low-mass stellar companion HD 142527 B from the MagAO/VisAO instrument. We usepyklip, a Python implementation of the Karhunen–Loeve Image Processing algorithm, to detect the companion. Usingpyklipforward modeling, we constrain the relative astrometry to 1–2 mas precision and achieve sufficient photometric precision (±0.2 mag, 3% error) to detect changes in the Hαcontrast of the companion over time. In order to accurately determine the relative astrometry of the companion, we conduct an astrometric calibration of the MagAO/VisAO camera against 20 yr of Keck/NIRC2 images of the Trapezium cluster. We demonstrate agreement of our VisAO astrometry with other published positions for HD 142527 B, and useorbitize!to generate a posterior distribution of orbits fit to the relative astrometry of HD 142527 B. Our data suggest that the companion is close to periastron passage, on an orbit significantly misaligned with respect to both the wide circumbinary disk and the recently observed inner disk encircling HD 142527 A. We translate observed Hαcontrasts formore »HD 142527 B into mass accretion rate estimates on the order of 4–9 × 10−10Myr−1. Photometric variation in the Hαexcess of the companion suggests that the accretion rate onto the companion is variable. This work represents a significant step toward observing accretion-driven variability onto protoplanets, such as PDS 70 b&c.

    « less
  2. Abstract

    Gravitational-wave (GW) detections of binary black hole (BH) mergers have begun to sample the cosmic BH mass distribution. The evolution of single stellar cores predicts a gap in the BH mass distribution due to pair-instability supernovae (PISNe). Determining the upper and lower edges of the BH mass gap can be useful for interpreting GW detections of merging BHs. We useMESAto evolve single, nonrotating, massive helium cores with a metallicity ofZ= 10−5, until they either collapse to form a BH or explode as a PISN, without leaving a compact remnant. We calculate the boundaries of the lower BH mass gap for S-factors in the range S(300 keV) = (77,203) keV b, corresponding to the ±3σuncertainty in our high-resolution tabulated12C(α,γ)16O reaction rate probability distribution function. We extensively test temporal and spatial resolutions for resolving the theoretical peak of the BH mass spectrum across the BH mass gap. We explore the convergence with respect to convective mixing and nuclear burning, finding that significant time resolution is needed to achieve convergence. We also test adopting a minimum diffusion coefficient to help lower-resolution models reach convergence. We establish a new lower edge of the upper mass gap asMlower6014+32Mfrom the ±3σuncertainty inmore »the12C(α,γ)16O rate. We explore the effect of a larger 3αrate on the lower edge of the upper mass gap, findingMlower6918+34M. We compare our results with BHs reported in the Gravitational-Wave Transient Catalog.

    « less
  3. Abstract Direct imaging studies have mainly used low-resolution spectroscopy ( R ∼ 20–100) to study the atmospheres of giant exoplanets and brown dwarf companions, but the presence of clouds has often led to degeneracies in the retrieved atmospheric abundances (e.g., carbon-to-oxygen ratio, metallicity). This precludes clear insights into the formation mechanisms of these companions. The Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer (KPIC) uses adaptive optics and single-mode fibers to transport light into NIRSPEC ( R ∼ 35,000 in the K band), and aims to address these challenges with high-resolution spectroscopy. Using an atmospheric retrieval framework based on petitRADTRANS , we analyze the KPIC high-resolution spectrum (2.29–2.49 μ m) and the archival low-resolution spectrum (1–2.2 μ m) of the benchmark brown dwarf HD 4747 B ( m = 67.2 ± 1.8 M Jup , a = 10.0 ± 0.2 au, T eff ≈ 1400 K). We find that our measured C/O and metallicity for the companion from the KPIC high-resolution spectrum agree with those of its host star within 1 σ –2 σ . The retrieved parameters from the K -band high-resolution spectrum are also independent of our choice of cloud model. In contrast, the retrieved parameters from the low-resolution spectrum aremore »highly sensitive to our chosen cloud model. Finally, we detect CO, H 2 O, and CH 4 (volume-mixing ratio of log(CH 4 ) = −4.82 ± 0.23) in this L/T transition companion with the KPIC data. The relative molecular abundances allow us to constrain the degree of chemical disequilibrium in the atmosphere of HD 4747 B, and infer a vertical diffusion coefficient that is at the upper limit predicted from mixing length theory.« less
  4. Abstract

    Benchmark brown dwarf companions with well-determined ages and model-independent masses are powerful tools to test substellar evolutionary models and probe the formation of giant planets and brown dwarfs. Here, we report the independent discovery of HIP 21152 B, the first imaged brown dwarf companion in the Hyades, and conduct a comprehensive orbital and atmospheric characterization of the system. HIP 21152 was targeted in an ongoing high-contrast imaging campaign of stars exhibiting proper-motion changes between Hipparcos and Gaia, and was also recently identified by Bonavita et al. (2022) and Kuzuhara et al. (2022). Our Keck/NIRC2 and SCExAO/CHARIS imaging of HIP 21152 revealed a comoving companion at a separation of 0.″37 (16 au). We perform a joint orbit fit of all available relative astrometry and radial velocities together with the Hipparcos-Gaia proper motions, yielding a dynamical mass of244+6MJup, which is 1–2σlower than evolutionary model predictions. Hybrid grids that include the evolution of cloud properties best reproduce the dynamical mass. We also identify a comoving wide-separation (1837″ or 7.9 × 104au) early-L dwarf with an inferred mass near the hydrogen-burning limit. Finally, we analyze the spectra and photometry of HIP 21152 B using the Saumon & Marley (2008)more »atmospheric models and a suite of retrievals. The best-fit grid-based models havefsed= 2, indicating the presence of clouds,Teff= 1400 K, andlogg=4.5dex. These results are consistent with the object’s spectral type of T0 ± 1. As the first benchmark brown dwarf companion in the Hyades, HIP 21152 B joins the small but growing number of substellar companions with well-determined ages and dynamical masses.

    « less
  5. Abstract

    We present the results of a stellar population analysis of 72 Lyα-emitting galaxies (LAEs) in GOODS-N at 1.9 <z< 3.5 spectroscopically identified by the Hobby−Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment (HETDEX). We provide a method for connecting emission-line detections from the blind spectroscopic survey to imaging counterparts, a crucial tool needed as HETDEX builds a massive database of ∼1 million Lyαdetections. Using photometric data spanning as many as 11 filters covering 0.4 <λ(μm) < 4.5 from the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, we study the objects’ global properties and explore which properties impact the strength of Lyαemission. We measure a median stellar mass of0.80.5+2.9×109Mand conclude that the physical properties of HETDEX spectroscopically selected LAEs are comparable to LAEs selected by previous deep narrowband studies. We find that stellar mass and star formation rate correlate strongly with the Lyαequivalent width. We then use a known sample ofz> 7 LAEs to perform a protostudy of predicting Lyαemission from galaxies in the epoch of reionization, finding agreement at the 1σlevel between prediction and observation for the majority of strong emitters.