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Speckle Noise and the Detection of Faint Companions

René Racine, Gordon A. H. Walker, Daniel Nadeau, René Doyon and Christian Marois
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Vol. 111, No. 759 (May 1999), pp. 587-594
DOI: 10.1086/316367
Stable URL:
Page Count: 8
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ABSTRACT Speckles dominate shot noise within the halo of adaptively corrected bright star images and, consequently, impose severe limits on ground‐based attempts to directly detect planets around nearby stars. The effect is orders of magnitude greater than conventional photon noise. It depends on the dwell time of the speckle pattern, the brightness of the star, and the fraction \documentclass{aastex} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{bm} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pifont} \usepackage{stmaryrd} \usepackage{textcomp} \usepackage{portland,xspace} \usepackage{amsmath,amsxtra} \usepackage[OT2,OT1]{fontenc} \newcommand\cyr{ \renewcommand\rmdefault{wncyr} \renewcommand\sfdefault{wncyss} \renewcommand\encodingdefault{OT2} \normalfont \selectfont} \DeclareTextFontCommand{\textcyr}{\cyr} \pagestyle{empty} \DeclareMathSizes{10}{9}{7}{6} \begin{document} \landscape $( 1-S) $ \end{document} of residual light in the halo (S being the Strehl ratio of the image). These predictions agree well with limits found using the Canada‐France‐Hawaii Telescope adaptive optics bonnette. The limiting brightness for detection is proportional to \documentclass{aastex} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{bm} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pifont} \usepackage{stmaryrd} \usepackage{textcomp} \usepackage{portland,xspace} \usepackage{amsmath,amsxtra} \usepackage[OT2,OT1]{fontenc} \newcommand\cyr{ \renewcommand\rmdefault{wncyr} \renewcommand\sfdefault{wncyss} \renewcommand\encodingdefault{OT2} \normalfont \selectfont} \DeclareTextFontCommand{\textcyr}{\cyr} \pagestyle{empty} \DeclareMathSizes{10}{9}{7}{6} \begin{document} \landscape $( 1-S) / S$ \end{document} , emphasizing the need for large Strehl ratios. Strategies to reduce speckle noise are proposed; the encouraging results of a test are presented.

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