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High-Contrast Observations with an Integral Field Spectrograph

Zimmerman, Neil Thomas

This thesis is comprised of work carried out during the commissioning phase of Project 1640, a combined coronagraph--integral field spectrograph for Palomar Observatory's adaptive optics-equipped 200'' Hale Telescope. I have divided my investigations into three chapters. First, I describe the data reduction pipeline software, which solves a number of data extraction and calibration challenges unique to this kind of instrument. In the second chapter, I demonstrate a novel method for faint companion discovery which takes advantage of the high-precision relative astrometry enabled by a pupil plane reticle grid. This tool, in combination with the spectrophotometric capability of the integral field spectrograph, reveal that the A5V star Alcor has a heretofore unknown M-dwarf companion. In my third chapter, I explore the suitability of combining the non-redundant aperture mask interferometry technique with an integral field spectrograph. In the proof-of-concept observation of the spectroscopic binary star Beta CrB, I retrieve the first near-infrared spectrum of its F-dwarf companion.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Astronomy
Thesis Advisors
Oppenheimer, Ben R.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 23, 2011