Integral field spectroscopy of L449-1 *
A test case for spectral differential imaging with SINFONI
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany e-mail: [janson;brandner;henning]@mpia.de
Accepted: 8 October 2007
Spectral differential imaging is an increasingly used technique for ground-based direct imaging searches for brown dwarf and planetary mass companions to stars. The technique takes advantage of absorption features that exist in these cool objects, but not in stars, and is normally implemented through simultaneous narrow-band imagers in 2 to 4 adjacent channels. However, by instead using an integral field unit, different spectral features could be used depending on the actual spectrum, potentially leading to greater flexibility and stronger detection limits. In this paper, we present the results of a test of spectral differential imaging using the SINFONI integral field unit at the VLT to study the nearby active star L449-1. No convincing companion candidates are found. We find that the method provides a contrast limit of 7.5 mag at 0.35'', which is about 1.5 mag lower than for NACO-SDI at the same telescope, using the same integration time. We discuss the reasons for this, and the implications. In addition, we use the SINFONI data to constrain the spectral type in the NIR for L449-1, and find a result between M3.0 and M4.0, in close agreement with a previous classification in the visual range.
Key words: instrumentation: adaptive optics / stars: pre-main sequence / stars: fundamental parameters
© ESO, 2008