Journal Article

Precision astrometry of a sample of speckle binaries and multiples with the adaptive optics facilities at the Hale and Keck II telescopes

K. G. Hełminiak, M. Konacki, S. R. Kulkarni and J. Eisner

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 400, issue 1, pages 406-421
Published in print November 2009 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2009 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.15495.x
Precision astrometry of a sample of speckle binaries and multiples with the adaptive optics facilities at the Hale and Keck II telescopes

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Using the adaptive optics facilities at the 200-in Hale and 10-m Keck II, we observed in the near-infrared a sample of 12 binary and multiple stars and one open cluster. We used the near diffraction limited images of these systems to measure the relative separations and position angles between their components. In this paper, we investigate and correct for the influence of the differential chromatic refraction and chip distortions on our relative astrometric measurements. Over one night, we achieve an astrometric precision typically well below 1 mas and occasionally as small as 40 μas. Such a precision is in principle sufficient to astrometrically detect planetary mass objects around the components of nearby binary and multiple stars. Since we have not had sufficiently large data sets for the observed sample of stars to detect planets, we provide the limits to planetary mass objects based on the obtained astrometric precision.

Keywords: instrumentation: adaptive optics; astrometry; binaries: visual; planetary systems

Journal Article.  6674 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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