Reference-less Detection, Astrometry, and Photometry of Faint Companions with Adaptive Optics at 1, 2 and 5 ?m
We propose a complete framework for detection, differential astrometry and photometry of faint companions, e.g. planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. The algorithms exploit the difference in statistics between the on-axis and off-axis intensity and in principle do not require the signal to be above the noise level. To test the accuracy of the proposed methods we used adaptive-optics short-exposure data from three observing campaigns: I-band observations with the 5m telescope at the Palomar Observatory, K-band data from the Lick Observatory's 3m telescope, and M-band images from the MMT Observatory's 6.5m telescope. We show that our algorithms outperform the classic procedures of PSF-subtraction for detection and PSF-fitting for photometry. All three proposed techniques are self-calibrating, i.e. they do not require observation of a calibration star after the science target thus improving the observing efficiency.
Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference
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