Forty-seven nearby main-sequence stars were surveyed with the Keck Interferometer mid-infrared Nulling instrument (KIN) between 2008 and 2011, searching for faint resolved emission from exozodiacal dust. Observations of a subset of the sample have already been reported, focusing essentially on stars with no previously known dust.Here we extend this previous analysis to the whole KIN sample, including 22 more stars with known near-and/or far-infrared excesses. In addition to an analysis similar to that of the first paper of this series, which was restricted to the 8-9 µm spectral region, we present measurements obtained in all 10 spectral channels covering the 8-13 µm instrumental bandwidth. Based on the 8-9 µm data alone, which provide the highest signal-to-noise measurements, only one star shows a large excess imputable to dust emission (η Crv), while four more show a significant (>3σ ) excess: β Leo, β UMa, ζ Lep, and γ Oph. Overall, excesses detected by KIN are more frequent around A-type stars than later spectral types. A statistical analysis of the measurements further indicates that stars with known far-infrared (λ 70 µm) excesses have higher exozodiacal emission levels than stars with no previous indication of a cold outer disk. This statistical trend is observed regardless of spectral type and points to a dynamical connection between the inner (zodi-like) and outer (Kuiper-Belt-like) dust populations. The measured levels for such stars are clustering close to the KIN detection limit of a few hundred zodis and are indeed consistent with those expected from a population of dust that migrated in from the outer belt by Poynting-Robertson drag. Conversely, no significant midinfrared excess is found around sources with previously reported near-infrared resolved excesses, which typically have levels of the order of 1% over the photospheric flux. If dust emission is really at play in these near-infrared detections, the absence of a strong mid-infrared counterpart points to populations of very hot and small (submicron) grains piling up very close to the sublimation radius. For solar-type stars with no known infrared excess, likely to be the most relevant targets for a future exo-Earth direct imaging mission, we find that their median zodi level is 12 ± 24 zodis and lower than 60 (90) zodis with 95% (99%) confidence, if a lognormal zodi luminosity distribution is assumed.
We present near-infrared observations of T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be stars with a spatial resolution of a few milli-arcseconds and a spectral resolution of ∼ 2000. Our observations spatially resolve gas and dust in the inner regions of protoplanetary disks, and spectrally resolve broad-linewidth emission from the Brγ transition of hydrogen gas. We use the technique of spectro-astrometry to determine centroids of different velocity components of this gaseous emission at a precision orders of magnitude better than the angular resolution. In all sources, we find the gaseous emission to be more compact than or distributed on similar spatial scales to the dust emission. We attempt to fit the data with models including both dust and Brγ-emitting gas, and we consider both disk and infall/outflow morphologies for the gaseous matter. In most cases where we can distinguish between these two models, the data show a preference for infall/outflow models. In all cases, our data appear consistent with the presence of some gas at stellocentric radii of ∼ 0.01 AU. Our findings support the hypothesis that Brγ emission generally traces magnetospherically driven accretion and/or outflows in young star/disk systems.
We present the results of continued monitoring of the SiO masers at 7 mm wavelength in several of the Mira variable stars reported in Cotton et al. (2004, A&A, 414, 275) (o Ceti = Mira, U Orionis = U Ori, R Aquarii = R Aqr) over a period of 16 months, extending the observations to several pulsation cycles. The observed size of the maser rings varied by 3-14% with time but show no clear correlation with pulsation phase. In all cases, the SiO masers appear just outside the dense molecular layer indicated by near-IR observations. Rotation (or large scale motion) is possibly detected in o Ceti with a period of 89 × sin(i) years. We find linear polarization up to ∼60% and at several epochs predominantly tangentially ordered polarization vectors indicate a radial magnetic field direction. Jet-like features are examined in o Ceti and R Aqr and in both cases, the magnetic field appears elongated with the masing structure. This suggests that the dynamic feature in the envelope is dragging the magnetic field or that the gas is constrained to follow magnetic field.
We present L'-band imaging of the PDS 70 planetary system with Keck/NIRC2 using the new infrared pyramid wave front sensor. We detected both PDS 70 b and c in our images, as well as the front rim of the circumstellar disk. After subtracting off a model of the disk, we measured the astrometry and photometry of both planets. Placing priors based on the dynamics of the system, we estimated PDS 70 b to have a semimajor axis of-+ 20 4 3 au and PDS 70 c to have a semimajor axis of-+ 34 6 12 au (95% credible interval). We fit the spectral energy distribution (SED) of both planets. For PDS 70 b, we were able to place better constraints on the red half of its SED than previous studies and inferred the radius of the photosphere to be 2-3R Jup. The SED of PDS 70 c is less well constrained, with a range of total luminosities spanning an order of magnitude. With our inferred radii and luminosities, we used evolutionary models of accreting protoplanets to derive a mass of PDS 70 b between 2 and 4 M Jup and a mean mass accretion rate between 3×10 −7 and 8×10 −7 M Jup /yr. For PDS 70 c, we computed a mass between 1 and 3 M Jup and mean mass accretion rate between 1×10 −7 and 5×10 −7 M Jup /yr. The mass accretion rates imply dust accretion timescales short enough to hide strong molecular absorption features in both planets' SEDs. Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Exoplanet formation (492); Exoplanet atmospheres (487); Orbit determination (1175); Exoplanet dynamics (490); Coronagraphic imaging (313);
We have measured non-zero closure phases for about 29% of our sample of 56 nearby Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) stars, using the 3-telescope Infrared Optical Telescope Array (IOTA) interferometer at near-infrared wavelengths (Hband) and with angular resolutions in the range 5-10 milliarcseconds. These nonzero closure phases can only be generated by asymmetric brightness distributions of the target stars or their surroundings. We discuss how these results were -2obtained, and how they might be interpreted in terms of structures on or near the target stars. We also report measured angular sizes and hypothesize that most Mira stars would show detectable asymmetry if observed with adequate angular resolution.
The Keck Interferometer Nuller (KIN) was used to survey 25 nearby main sequence stars in the mid-infrared, in order to assess the prevalence of warm circumstellar (exozodiacal) dust around nearby solar-type stars. The KIN measures circumstellar emission by spatially blocking the star but transmitting the circumstellar flux in a region typically 0.1 − 4 AU from the star. We find one significant detection (η Crv), two marginal detections (γ Oph and α Aql), and 22 clear non-detections. Using a model of our own Solar System's zodiacal cloud, scaled to the luminosity of each target star, we estimate the equivalent number of target zodis needed to match our observations. Our three zodi detections are η Crv (1250 ± 260), γ Oph (200 ± 80) and α Aql (600 ± 200), where the uncertainties are 1σ. The 22 non-detected targets have an ensemble weighted average consistent with zero, with an average individual uncertainty of 160 zodis (1σ). These measurements represent the best limits to date on exozodi levels for a sample of nearby main sequence stars. A statistical analysis of the population of 23 stars not previously known to contain circumstellar dust (excluding η Crv and γ Oph) suggests that, if the measurement errors are uncorrelated (for which we provide evidence) and if these 23 stars are representative of a singleclass with respect to the level of exozodi brightness, the mean exozodi level for the class is < 150 zodis (3σ upper-limit, corresponding to 99% confidence under the additional assumption that the measurement errors are Gaussian). We also demonstrate that this conclusion is largely independent of the shape and mean level of the (unknown) true underlying exozodi distribution.
The NIRC2 vortex coronagraph is an instrument on Keck II designed to directly image exoplanets and circumstellar disks at mid-infrared bands L (3.4-4.1 µm) and M s (4.55-4.8 µm). We analyze imaging data and corresponding adaptive optics telemetry, observing conditions, and other metadata over a three year time period to characterize the performance of the instrument and predict the detection limits of future observations. We systematically process images from 359 observations of 304 unique stars to subtract residual starlight (i.e., the coronagraphic point spread function) of the target star using two methods: angular differential imaging (ADI) and reference star differential imaging (RDI). We find that for the typical parallactic angle (PA) rotation of our dataset (∼10 • ), RDI provides gains over ADI for angular separations smaller than 0.25 . Furthermore, we find a power-law relation between the angular separation from the host star and the minimum PA rotation required for ADI to outperform RDI, with a power-law index of -1.18±0.08. Finally, we use random forest models to estimate ADI and RDI post-processed detection limits a priori. These models, which we provide publicly on a website, explain 70%-80% of the variance in ADI detection limits and 30%-50% of the variance in RDI detection limits. Averaged over a range of angular separations, our models predict both ADI and RDI contrast to within a factor of 2. These results illuminate important factors in high-contrast imaging observations with the NIRC2 vortex coronagraph, help improve observing strategies, and inform future upgrades to the hardware.
We report imaging observations of the symbotic long-period Mira variable R Aquarii (R Aqr) at near-infrared and radio wavelengths. The near-infrared observations were made with the IOTA imaging interferometer in three narrowband filters centered at 1.51, 1.64, and 1.78 µm, which sample mainly water, continuum, and water features, respectively. Our near-infrared fringe visibility and closure phase data are analyzed using three models. (a) A uniform disk model with wavelength-dependent sizes fails to fit the visibility data, and is inconsistent with the closure phase data. (b) A three-component model, comprising a Mira star, water shell, and an off-axis point source, provide a good fit to all data. (c) A model generated by a constrained image reconstruction analysis provides more insight, suggesting that the water shell is highly non-uniform, i.e., clumpy. The VLBA observations of SiO masers in the outer molecular envelope show evidence of turbulence, with jet-like features containing velocity gradients.
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