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SCExAO/CHARIS High-Contrast Imaging and Integral Field Polarimetry/Spectroscopy of Planet-Forming Disks

Presentation #417.03 in the session “Extrasolar Planets: Direct Imaging 1”.

Published onJan 11, 2021
SCExAO/CHARIS High-Contrast Imaging and Integral Field Polarimetry/Spectroscopy of Planet-Forming Disks

We present recent near-infrared (NIR) high-contrast imaging of planet-forming disks with the Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) system coupled with the CHARIS integral field spectrograph (IFS). The advent of extreme AO systems, like SCExAO, has enabled recovery of planet-mass companions at the expected locations of gas-giant formation in young disks alongside the disk structures (such as gaps or spirals) that may indicate protoplanet formation. In combination with SCExAO, the CHARIS IFS allows characterization of these systems at wavelengths spanning the NIR J, H, and K bands (1.1-2.4 μm, R~20) and at angular separations as small as 0.04”. By comparing the resulting images with forward-modeled 3D radiative-transfer models, the likely origins of any observed features can be assessed. Utilization of swift optimization algorithms, such as Differential Evolution, to identify model parameters that best reproduce the observations allows plausible system geometries to be explored efficiently. The recent addition of CHARIS’s unique simultaneous polarized and total intensity observing mode has further facilitated the study of planet-forming disks — aiding in the confirmation of candidate protoplanets, the diagnosis of disk structures, and the characterization of dust grain populations.


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