We have performed a Keck adaptive optics (AO) imaging survey of 25 extrasolar planetary systems discovered by the radial velocity programs. Typically, the high-resolution (FWHM ∼ 0″.04) near-infrared images are able to detect point sources at ΔH = 10 at 1″, L and T dwarfs at 0″.5-2″, and stars and brown dwarfs at 3-10 and 10-100 AU from the targets. The AO images reveal 15 faint sources (H = 14-20) near the stars HD 37124, HD 168443, HD 187123, and HD 190228 out to a search radius of 3″.3. We have obtained AO images at a second epoch for five of the candidate companions at Keck and Gemini Observatories. The resulting measurements of proper motions relative to the primary stars indicate that these five sources are background stars. Given that the four primaries are near the Galactic plane (|b| < 6°), the remaining faint sources are also likely to be background stars rather than substellar companions. We present the companion detection limits for each target as a function of separation and compare them to the sensitivities of radial velocity surveys, demonstrating the complementary nature of the two techniques.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science