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The potential for imaging low-mass companions to solar-type stars: Utilising radial-velocity data from the AAPS, Keck & Lick projects

  • J. S. Jenkins (a1), H. R. A. Jones (a1), C. G. Tinney (a2), C. McCarthy (a3), B. D. Carter (a4), A. J. Penny (a5) and D. J. Pinfield (a1)...

Abstract

We are about to embark on a project to directly image low-mass companions orbiting within 1.5″ of their host stars. Our long-term aim is to reach down into the planetary-mass regime. In order to start this project we have time on the VLT NAOS/CONICA (NACO) facility and in the near future we plan to make use of the Near-Infrared Coronographic Imager (NICI) instrument mounted on Gemini-South. Our targets are F-M type dwarfs, and have been selected from the Anglo-Australian Planet Search (AAPS), Keck and Lick search lists. These surveys have been periodically monitoring over 1200 stars between them for the past $\sim$8 years with precisions typically around 3ms$^{-1}$. Our target list comprises objects which show significant evidence for companions on long-period orbits. Having a priori knowledge of companion characteristics allows us the advantage of prioritising our target list. Given the relatively high incidence of multiple planet systems found so far our search may also serve to provide useful constraints on any large separation, massive companions in our target systems.

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      The potential for imaging low-mass companions to solar-type stars: Utilising radial-velocity data from the AAPS, Keck & Lick projects
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