NULLING DATA REDUCTION AND ON-SKY PERFORMANCE OF THE LARGE BINOCULAR TELESCOPE INTERFEROMETER
Hinz, P. M.
Hoffmann, W. F.
Skemer, A. J.
Danchi, W. C.
Downey, E. C.
Hill, J. M.
McMahon, T. J.
Haniff, C. A.
Kennedy, G. M.
Leisenring, J. M.
Weinberger, A. J.
Wyatt, M. C.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Astron, Steward Observ
Univ Arizona, Large Binocular Telescope Observ
Univ Arizona, Lunar & Planetary Lab
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationNULLING DATA REDUCTION AND ON-SKY PERFORMANCE OF THE LARGE BINOCULAR TELESCOPE INTERFEROMETER 2016, 824 (2):66 The Astrophysical Journal
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Rights© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractThe Large Binocular Telescope Interferometer (LBTI) is a versatile instrument designed for high angular resolution and high-contrast infrared imaging (1.5-13 mu m). In this paper, we focus on the mid-infrared (8-13 mu m) nulling mode and present its theory of operation, data reduction, and on-sky performance as of the end of the commissioning phase in 2015 March. With an interferometric baseline of 14.4 m, the LBTI nuller is specifically tuned to resolve the habitable zone of nearby main-sequence stars, where warm exozodiacal dust emission peaks. Measuring the exozodi luminosity function of nearby main-sequence stars is a key milestone to prepare for future exo-Earth direct imaging instruments. Thanks to recent progress in wavefront control and phase stabilization, as well as in data reduction techniques, the LBTI demonstrated in 2015 February a calibrated null accuracy of 0.05% over a 3 hr long observing sequence on the bright nearby A3V star beta Leo. This is equivalent to an exozodiacal disk density of 15-30. zodi for a Sun-like star located at 10 pc, depending on the adopted disk model. This result sets a new record for high-contrast mid-infrared interferometric imaging and opens a new window on the study of planetary systems.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Aeronautics and Space Administration, Exoplanet Exploration Program; National Aeronautics and Space Administration; European Union through ERC