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  1. Abstract

    We present resolved images of the inner disk component around HD 141569A using the Magellan adaptive optics system with the Clio2 1–5μm camera, offering a glimpse of a complex system thought to be in a short evolutionary phase between protoplanetary and debris disk stages. We use a reference star along with the Karhunen–Loéve image projection (KLIP) algorithm for point-spread function subtraction to detect the disk inward to about 0.″24 (∼25 au assuming a distance of 111 pc) at high signal-to-noise ratios atL(3.8μm),Ls(3.3μm), and narrowbandIce(3.1μm). We identify an arc or spiral arm structure at the southeast extremity, consistent with previous studies. We implement forward modeling with a simple disk model within the framework of a Markov Chain Monte Carlo sampler to better constrain the geometrical attributes and photometry using our KLIP-reduced disk images. We then leverage these modeling results to facilitate a comparison of the measured brightness in each passband to find a reduction in scattered light from the disk in theIcefilter, implying significant absorption due to water ice in the dust. Additionally, our best-fit disk models exhibit peak brightness in the southwestern, back-scattering region of the disk, which we suggest to be possible evidence of 3.3μm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon emission. However, we point out the need for additional observations with bluer filters and more complex modeling to confirm these hypotheses.

     
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  2. Abstract Accreting protoplanets are windows into planet formation processes, and high-contrast differential imaging is an effective way to identify them. We report results from the Giant Accreting Protoplanet Survey (GAPlanetS), which collected H α differential imagery of 14 transitional disk host stars with the Magellan Adaptive Optics System. To address the twin challenges of morphological complexity and point-spread function instability, GAPlanetS required novel approaches for frame selection and optimization of the Karhounen–Loéve Image Processing algorithm pyKLIP . We detect one new candidate, CS Cha “c,” at a separation of 68 mas and a modest Δmag of 2.3. We recover the HD 142527 B and HD 100453 B accreting stellar companions in several epochs, and the protoplanet PDS 70 c in 2017 imagery, extending its astrometric record by nine months. Though we cannot rule out scattered light structure, we also recover LkCa 15 “b,” at H α ; its presence inside the disk cavity, absence in Continuum imagery, and consistency with a forward-modeled point source suggest that it remains a viable protoplanet candidate. Through targeted optimization, we tentatively recover PDS 70 c at two additional epochs and PDS 70 b in one epoch. Despite numerous previously reported companion candidates around GAplanetS targets, we recover no additional point sources. Our moderate H α contrasts do not preclude most protoplanets, and we report limiting H α contrasts at unrecovered candidate locations. We find an overall detection rate of ∼36 − 22 + 26 % , considerably higher than most direct imaging surveys, speaking to both GAPlanetS’s highly targeted nature and the promise of H α differential imaging for protoplanet identification. 
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  3. ABSTRACT

    We report the confirmation of HIP 67506 C, a new stellar companion to HIP 67506 A. We previously reported a candidate signal at 2λ/D (240 mas) in L′ in MagAO/Clio imaging using the binary differential imaging technique. Several additional indirect signals showed that the candidate signal merited follow-up: significant astrometric acceleration in Gaia DR3, Hipparcos–Gaia proper motion anomaly, and overluminosity compared to single main-sequence stars. We confirmed the companion, HIP 67506 C, at 0.1 arcsec with MagAO-X in 2022 April. We characterized HIP 67506 C MagAO-X photometry and astrometry, and estimated spectral-type K7-M2; we also re-evaluated HIP 67506 A in light of the close companion. Additionally, we show that a previously identified 9 arcsec companion, HIP 67506 B, is a much further distant unassociated background star. We also discuss the utility of indirect signposts in identifying small inner working angle candidate companions.

     
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  4. Abstract

    We use observations with the infrared-optimized Magellan Adaptive Optics (MagAO) system and Clio camera in 3.9μm light to place stringent mass constraints on possible undetected companions to Sirius A. We suppress the light from Sirius A by imaging it through a grating vector-apodizing phase plate coronagraph with a 180° dark region (gvAPP-180). To remove residual starlight in postprocessing, we apply a time-domain principal-components-analysis-based algorithm we call PCA-Temporal, which uses eigen time series rather than eigenimages to subtract starlight. By casting the problem in terms of eigen time series, we reduce the computational cost of postprocessing the data, enabling the use of the fully sampled data set for improved contrast at small separations. We also discuss the impact of retaining fine temporal sampling of the data on final contrast limits. We achieve postprocessed contrast limits of 1.5 × 10−6–9.8 × 10−6outside of 0.″75, which correspond to planet masses of 2.6–8.0MJ. These are combined with values from the recent literature of high-contrast imaging observations of Sirius to synthesize an overall completeness fraction as a function of mass and separation. After synthesizing these recent studies and our results, the final completeness analysis rules out 99% of ≥9MJplanets from 2.5 to 7 au.

     
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  5. Abstract We report an Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array 0.88 mm (Band 7) continuum detection of the accretion disk around SR 12 c, an ∼11 M Jup planetary-mass companion (PMC) orbiting its host binary at 980 au. This is the first submillimeter detection of a circumplanetary disk around a wide PMC. The disk has a flux density of 127 ± 14 μ Jy and is not resolved by the ∼0.″1 beam, so the dust disk radius is likely less than 5 au and can be much smaller if the dust continuum is optically thick. If, however, the dust emission is optically thin, then the SR 12 c disk has a comparable dust mass to the circumplanetary disk around PDS 70 c but is about five times lower than that of the ∼12 M Jup free-floating OTS 44. This suggests that disks around bound and unbound planetary-mass objects can span a wide range of masses. The gas mass estimated with an accretion rate of 10 −11 M ☉ yr −1 implies a gas-to-dust ratio higher than 100. If cloud absorption is not significant, a nondetection of 12 CO(3–2) implies a compact gas disk around SR 12 c. Future sensitive observations may detect more PMC disks at 0.88 mm flux densities of ≲100 μ Jy. 
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  6. ABSTRACT

    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 (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.

     
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  7. 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, nonoptimized 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.

     
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  8. 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 for 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.

     
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  9. The MCAO pathfinder Clear on the 1.6-meter Goode Solar Telescope has been enabling us to advance solar MCAO from early conceptual demonstrations to science grade wide-field image correction. We report on recent improvements to the control loop and we comment on issues such as the co-aligning of wavefront sensors and deformable mirrors and the sensitivity of wavefront sensor gains. Further, we comment on the challenges to wavefront sensing and the control system architecture faced when scaling up to a 4-meter aperture. Finally, we present an early concept of the future MCAO upgrade for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope. 
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  10. The success of ground-based, high contrast imaging for the detection of exoplanets in part depends on the ability to differentiate between quasi-static speckles caused by aberrations not corrected by adaptive optics (AO) systems, known as non-common path aberrations (NCPAs), and the planet intensity signal. Frazin (ApJ, 2013) introduced a post-processing algorithm demonstrating that simultaneous millisecond exposures in the science camera and wavefront sensor (WFS) can be used with a statistical inference procedure to determine both the series expanded NCPA coefficients and the planetary signal. We demonstrate, via simulation, that using this algorithm in a closed-loop AO system, real-time estimation and correction of the quasi-static NCPA is possible without separate deformable mirror (DM) probes. Thus the use of this technique allows for the removal of the quasi-static speckles that can be mistaken for planetary signals without the need for new optical hardware, improving the efficiency of ground-based exoplanet detection. In our simulations, we explore the behavior of the Frazin Algorithm (FA) and the dependence of its convergence to an accurate estimate on factors such as Strehl ratio, NCPA strength, and number of algorithm search basis functions. We then apply this knowledge to simulate running the algorithm in real-time in a nearly ideal setting. We then discuss adaptations that can be made to the algorithm to improve its real-time performance, and show their efficacy in simulation. A final simulation tests the technique’s resilience against imperfect knowledge of the AO residual phase, motivating an analysis of the feasibility of using this technique in a real closed-loop Extreme AO system such as SCExAO or MagAO-X, in terms of computational complexity and the accuracy of the estimated quasi-static NCPA correction. 
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