Astrometric and photometric accuracies in high contrast imaging: The SPHERE speckle calibration tool (SpeCal)⋆
Lesia, Observatoire de Paris, PSL Research University, CNRS, Sorbonne Universités, Univ. Paris Diderot, UPMC Univ. Paris 06, Sorbonne Paris Cité, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92190
2 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo della Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
3 INCT, Universidad De Atacama, calle Copayapu 485, Copiapó, Atacama, Chile
4 Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France
5 Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, 13388 Marseille, France
6 CRAL, UMR 5574, CNRS, Université de Lyon, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 46 Allée d’Italie, 69364 Lyon Cedex 07, France
7 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
8 Institute for Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
9 Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
10 Université Côte d’Azur, OCA, CNRS, Lagrange, France
11 Universidad de Chile, Camino el Observatorio 1515, Santiago, Chile
12 Núcleo de Astronomía, Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Ejercito 441, Santiago, Chile
13 Millenium Nucleus “Protoplanetary Disks in ALMA Early Science”, Valparaiso, Chile
14 Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, Chemin des Mailettes 51, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
Accepted: 21 April 2018
Context. The consortium of the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch installed at the Very Large Telescope (SPHERE/VLT) has been operating its guaranteed observation time (260 nights over five years) since February 2015. The main part of this time (200 nights) is dedicated to the detection and characterization of young and giant exoplanets on wide orbits.
Aims. The large amount of data must be uniformly processed so that accurate and homogeneous measurements of photometry and astrometry can be obtained for any source in the field.
Methods. To complement the European Southern Observatory pipeline, the SPHERE consortium developed a dedicated piece of software to process the data. First, the software corrects for instrumental artifacts. Then, it uses the speckle calibration tool (SpeCal) to minimize the stellar light halo that prevents us from detecting faint sources like exoplanets or circumstellar disks. SpeCal is meant to extract the astrometry and photometry of detected point-like sources (exoplanets, brown dwarfs, or background sources). SpeCal was intensively tested to ensure the consistency of all reduced images (cADI, Loci, TLoci, PCA, and others) for any SPHERE observing strategy (ADI, SDI, ASDI as well as the accuracy of the astrometry and photometry of detected point-like sources.
Results. SpeCal is robust, user friendly, and efficient at detecting and characterizing point-like sources in high contrast images. It is used to process all SPHERE data systematically, and its outputs have been used for most of the SPHERE consortium papers to date. SpeCal is also a useful framework to compare different algorithms using various sets of data (different observing modes and conditions). Finally, our tests show that the extracted astrometry and photometry are accurate and not biased.
Key words: instrumentation: high angular resolution / methods: observational / techniques: image processing / planets and satellites: detection
© ESO 2018
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.