Volume 639, July 2020
|Number of page(s)||12|
|Section||Planets and planetary systems|
|Published online||17 July 2020|
K-Stacker: an algorithm to hack the orbital parameters of planets hidden in high-contrast imaging
First applications to VLT/SPHERE multi-epoch observations★
Aix Marseille Univ., CNRS, CNES, LAM,
2 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
3 Kavli Institute for Cosmology, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
4 Univ. Grenoble-Alpes, CNRS, IPAG, 38000 Grenoble, France
5 INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova, Vicolo dell’Osservatorio 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
6 LAPP UMR5814, 9 chemin de Bellevue BP 110 Annecy-le-Vieux 74941 Annecy Cedex, France
7 CFHT Corporation, 65-1238 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kamuela, Hawaii 96743, USA
8 LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, CNRS, University Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6 and University Denis Diderot Paris 7, 5 place Jules Janssen, 92195 Meudon, France
9 Univ. Lyon, ENS de Lyon, Univ. Lyon1, Lyon, France
10 Núcleo de Astronomía, Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Ejercito 441, Santiago, Chile
11 CRAL, UMR 5574, CNRS, Université Lyon 1, 9 avenue Charles André, 69561 Saint Genis Laval Cedex, France
12 STAR Institute/Université de Liège, Allée du Six Août 19c, 4000 Liège, Belgium
13 Facultad de Ingeniería y Ciencias, Universidad Diego Portales, Av. Ejercito 441, Santiago, Chile
14 Geneva Observatory, University of Geneva, Chemin des Maillettes 51, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
15 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
16 Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Center, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
17 INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via E. Bianchi 46, 23807 Merate, Italy
18 Department of Astronomy, University of Michigan, 1085 S. University Ave, Ann Arbor, MI, 48109-1107, USA
19 DOTA, ONERA, Université Paris Saclay, 91123, Palaiseau, France
Accepted: 21 April 2020
Context. Recent high-contrast imaging surveys, using the Spectro-Polarimetic High contrast imager for Exoplanets REsearch (SPHERE) or the Gemini Planet Imager in search of planets in young, nearby systems, have shown evidence of a small number of giant planets at relatively large separation beyond 10–30 au, where those surveys are the most sensitive. Access to smaller physical separations between 5 and 30 au is the next step for future planet imagers on 10 m telescopes and the next generation of extremely large telescopes in order to bridge the gap with indirect techniques such as radial velocity, transit, and soon astrometry with Gaia. In addition to new technologies and instruments, the development of innovative observing strategies combined with optimized data processing tools is participating in the improvement of detection capabilities at very close angular separation. In that context, we recently proposed a new algorithm, Keplerian-Stacker, which combines multiple observations acquired at different epochs and takes into account the orbital motion of a potential planet present in the images to boost the ultimate detection limit. We showed that this algorithm is able to find planets in time series of simulated images of the SPHERE InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) even when a planet remains undetected at one epoch.
Aims. Our goal is to test and validate the K-Stacker algorithm performances on real SPHERE datasets to demonstrate the resilience of this algorithm to instrumental speckles and the gain offered in terms of true detection. This will motivate future dedicated multi-epoch observation campaigns of well-chosen, young, nearby systems and very nearby stars carefully selected to search for planets in emitted and reflected light, respectively, to open a new path concerning the observing strategy used with current and future planet imagers.
Methods. To test K-Stacker, we injected fake planets and scanned the low signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) regime in a series of raw observations obtained by the SPHERE/IRDIS instrument in the course of the SPHERE High-contrast ImagiNg survey for Exoplanets. We also considered the cases of two specific targets intensively monitored during this campaign: β Pictoris and HD 95086. For each target and epoch, the data were reduced using standard angular differential imaging processing techniques and then recombined with K-Stacker to recover the fake planetary signals. In addition, the known exoplanets β Pictoris b and HD 95086 b previously identified at lower S/N in single epochs have also been recovered by K-Stacker.
Results. We show that K-Stacker achieves a high success rate of ≈100% when the S/N of the planet in the stacked image reaches ≈9. The improvement of the S/N is given as the square root of the total exposure time contained in the data being combined. At S∕N < 6−7, the number of false positives is high near the coronagraphic mask, but a chromatic study or astrophysical criteria can help to disentangle between a bright speckle and a true detection. During the blind test and the redetection of HD 95086 b, and β Pic b, we highlightthe ability of K-Stacker to find orbital solutions consistent with those derived by the current Markov chain Monte Carlo orbital fitting techniques. This confirms that in addition to the detection gain, K-Stacker offers the opportunity to characterize the most probable orbital solutions of the exoplanets recovered at low S/N.
Key words: planets and satellites: dynamical evolution and stability / methods: data analysis / instrumentation: adaptive optics / instrumentation: high angular resolution / stars: individual: β Pictoris / stars: individual: HD 95086
© H. Le Coroller et al. 2020
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