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Title: Vortex Fiber Nulling for Exoplanet Observations: First Direct Detection of M Dwarf Companions around HIP 21543, HIP 94666, and HIP 50319

Vortex fiber nulling (VFN) is a technique for detecting and characterizing faint companions at small separations from their host star. A near-infrared (∼2.3μm) VFN demonstrator mode was deployed on the Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer (KPIC) instrument at the Keck Observatory and presented earlier. In this Letter, we present the first VFN companion detections. Three targets, HIP 21543 Ab, HIP 94666 Ab, and HIP 50319 B, were detected with host–companion flux ratios between 70 and 430 at and within one diffraction beamwidth (λ/D). We complement the spectra from KPIC VFN with flux ratio and position measurements from the CHARA Array to validate the VFN results and provide a more complete characterization of the targets. This Letter reports the first direct detection of these three M dwarf companions, yielding their first spectra and flux ratios. Our observations provide measurements of bulk properties such as effective temperatures, radial velocities, andvsini, and verify the accuracy of the published orbits. These detections corroborate earlier predictions of the KPIC VFN performance, demonstrating that the instrument mode is ready for science observations.

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DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Astrophysical Journal Letters
Medium: X Size: Article No. L15
["Article No. L15"]
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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