skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Fitzgerald, Michael P."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    We introduce a new framework for point-spread function subtraction based on the spatiotemporal variation of speckle noise in high-contrast imaging data where the sampling timescale is faster than the speckle evolution timescale. One way that space–time covariance arises in the pupil is as atmospheric layers translate across the telescope aperture and create small, time-varying perturbations in the phase of the incoming wavefront. The propagation of this field to the focal plane preserves some of that space–time covariance. To utilize this covariance, our new approach uses a Karhunen–Loève transform on an image sequence, as opposed to a set of single reference images as in previous applications of Karhunen–Loève Image Processing (KLIP) for high-contrast imaging. With the recent development of photon-counting detectors, such as microwave kinetic inductance detectors, this technique now has the potential to improve contrast when used as a post-processing step. Preliminary testing on simulated data shows this technique can improve contrast by at least 10%–20% from the original image, with significant potential for further improvement. For certain choices of parameters, this algorithm may provide larger contrast gains than spatial-only KLIP.

  2. The photonic lantern (PL) is a tapered waveguide that can efficiently couple light into multiple single-mode optical fibers. Such devices are currently being considered for a number of tasks, including the coupling of telescopes and high-resolution, fiber-fed spectrometers, coherent detection, nulling interferometry, and vortex-fiber nulling. In conjunction with these use cases, PLs can simultaneously perform low-order focal-plane wavefront sensing. In this work, we provide a mathematical framework for the analysis of a PL wavefront sensor (PLWFS), deriving linear and higher-order reconstruction models as well as metrics through which sensing performance—in both the linear and nonlinear regimes—can be quantified. This framework can be extended to account for additional optics such as beam-shaping optics and vortex masks, and can be generalized for other wavefront sensing architectures. Finally, we provide initial numerical verification of our mathematical models by simulating a six-port PLWFS. In a forthcoming companion paper (Lin and Fitzgerald), we provide a more comprehensive numerical characterization of few-port PLWFSs, and consider how the sensing properties of these devices can be controlled and optimized.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 14, 2023
  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  4. Abstract The formation and evolution pathway for the directly imaged multiplanetary system HR 8799 remains mysterious. Accurate constraints on the chemical composition of the planetary atmosphere(s) are key to solving the mystery. We perform a detailed atmospheric retrieval on HR 8799 c to infer the chemical abundances and abundance ratios using a combination of photometric data along with low- and high-resolution spectroscopic data ( R ∼ 20–35,000). We specifically retrieve [C/H], [O/H], and C/O and find them to be 0.55 − 0.39 + 0.36 , 0.47 − 0.32 + 0.31 , and 0.67 − 0.15 + 0.12 at 68% confidence. The superstellar C and O abundances, yet a stellar C/O ratio, reveal a potential formation pathway for HR 8799 c. Planet c, and likely the other gas giant planets in the system, formed early on (likely within ∼1 Myr), followed by further atmospheric enrichment in C and O through the accretion of solids beyond the CO ice line. The enrichment either preceded or took place during the early phase of the inward migration to the current planet locations.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 6, 2023
  5. Abstract

    The detection of satellites around extrasolar planets, so called exomoons, remains a largely unexplored territory. In this work, we study the potential of detecting these elusive objects from radial velocity monitoring of self-luminous, directly imaged planets. This technique is now possible thanks to the development of dedicated instruments combining the power of high-resolution spectroscopy and high-contrast imaging. First, we demonstrate a sensitivity to satellites with a mass ratio of 1%–4% at separations similar to the Galilean moons from observations of a brown-dwarf companion (HR 7672 B;Kmag= 13; 0.″7 separation) with the Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer (R∼ 35,000 in theKband) at the W. M. Keck Observatory. Current instrumentation is therefore already sensitive to large unresolved satellites that could be forming from gravitational instability akin to binary star formation. Using end-to-end simulations, we then estimate that future instruments such as the Multi-Object Diffraction-limited High-resolution Infrared Spectrograph, planned for the Thirty Meter Telescope, should be sensitive to satellites with mass ratios of ∼10−4. Such small moons would likely form in a circumplanetary disk similar to the Jovian satellites in the solar system. Looking for the Rossiter–McLaughlin effect could also be an interesting pathway to detecting the smallest moons on short orbitalmore »periods. Future exomoon discoveries will allow precise mass measurements of the substellar companions that they orbit and provide key insight into the formation of exoplanets. They would also help constrain the population of habitable Earth-sized moons orbiting gas giants in the habitable zone of their stars.

    « less
  6. 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
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 27, 2023
  7. Abstract A benchmark brown dwarf (BD) is a BD whose properties (e.g., mass and chemical composition) are precisely and independently measured. Benchmark BDs are valuable in testing theoretical evolutionary tracks, spectral synthesis, and atmospheric retrievals for substellar objects. Here, we report results of atmospheric retrieval on a synthetic spectrum and a benchmark BD, HR 7672 B, with petitRADTRANS . First, we test the retrieval framework on a synthetic PHOENIX BT-Settl spectrum with a solar composition. We show that the retrieved C and O abundances are consistent with solar values, but the retrieved C/O is overestimated by 0.13–0.18, which is about four times higher than the formal error bar. Second, we perform retrieval on HR 7672 B using high spectral-resolution data ( R = 35,000) from the Keck Planet Imager and Characterizer and near-infrared photometry. We retrieve [C/H], [O/H], and C/O to be −0.24 ± 0.05, −0.19 ± 0.04, and 0.52 ± 0.02. These values are consistent with those of HR 7672 A within 1.5 σ . As such, HR 7672 B is among only a few benchmark BDs (along with Gl 570 D and HD 3651 B) that have been demonstrated to have consistent elemental abundances with their primary stars.more »Our work provides a practical procedure of testing and performing atmospheric retrieval, and sheds light on potential systematics of future retrievals using high- and low-resolution data.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 25, 2023
  8. Evans, Christopher J. ; Bryant, Julia J. ; Motohara, Kentaro (Ed.)
    NIRSPEC is a high-resolution near-infrared echelle spectrograph on the Keck II telescope that was commissioned in 1999 and upgraded in 2018. This recent upgrade was aimed at improving the sensitivity and longevity of the instrument through the replacement of the spectrometer science detector (SPEC) and slit-viewing camera (SCAM). Commissioning began in 2018 December, producing the first on-sky images used in the characterization of the upgraded system. Through the use of photometry and spectroscopy of standard stars and internal calibration lamps, we assess the performance of the upgraded SPEC and SCAM detectors. First, we evaluate the gain, readnoise, dark current, and the charge persistence of the spec detector. We then characterize the newly upgraded spectrometer and the resulting improvements in sensitivity, including spectroscopic zero points, pixel scale, and resolving power across the spectrometer detector field. Finally, for SCAM, we present zero points, pixel scale, and provide a map of the geometric distortion of the camera.
  9. Evans, Christopher J. ; Bryant, Julia J. ; Motohara, Kentaro (Ed.)
    Since the start of science operations in 1993, the twin 10-meter W. M. Keck Observatory (WMKO) telescopes have continued to maximize their scientific impact and to produce transformative discoveries that keep the observing community on the frontiers of astronomical research. Upgraded capabilities and new instrumentation are provided though collaborative partnerships with Caltech, the University of California, and the University of Hawaii instrument development teams, as well as industry and other organizations. This paper summarizes the performance of recently commissioned infrastructure projects, technology upgrades, and new additions to the suite of observatory instrumentation. We also provide a status of projects currently in design or development phases and, since we keep our eye on the future, summarize projects in exploratory phases that originate from our 2022 strategic plan developed in collaboration with our science community to adapt and respond to evolving science needs.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 29, 2023