Visible AO observations at halpha for accreting young planets

L. M. Close, K. Follette, J. R. Males, K. Morzinski, T. J. Rodigas, P. Hinz, Y. L. Wu, D. Apai, J. Najita, A. Puglisi, S. Esposito, A. Riccardi, V. Bailey, M. Xompero, R. Briguglio, A. Weinberger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We utilized the new high-order (250-378 mode) Magellan Adaptive Optics system (MagAO) to obtain very high-resolution science in the visible with MagAO's VisAO CCD camera. In the good-median seeing conditions of Magellan (0.5-0.7″) we find MagAO delivers individual short exposure images as good as 19 mas optical resolution. Due to telescope vibrations, long exposure (60s) r' (0.63μm) images are slightly coarser at FWHM = 23-29 mas (Strehl ~ 28%) with bright (R < 9 mag) guide stars. These are the highest resolution filled-aperture images published to date. Images of the young (~ 1 Myr) Orion Trapezium θ1 Ori A, B, and C cluster members were obtained with VisAO. In particular, the 32 mas binary θ1 Ori C 1 C 2 was easily resolved in non-interferometric images for the first time. Relative positions of the bright trapezium binary stars were measured with ~ 0.6-5 mas accuracy. In the second commissioning run we were able to correct 378 modes and achieved good contrasts (Strehl>20% on young transition disks at Hα). We discuss the contrasts achieved at Hα and the possibility of detecting low mass (~ 1-5 Mjup) planets (past 5AU) with our new SAPPHIRES survey with MagAO at Hα.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExploring the Formation and Evolution of Planetary Systems
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages2
ISBN (Print)9781107045200
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronomical Union
ISSN (Print)1743-9213
ISSN (Electronic)1743-9221


  • Adaptive Optics
  • Extra-solar Planets

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Space and Planetary Science


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