High Contrast Imaging with the New Vortex Coronagraph on NACO

Dimitri Mawet, Olivier Absil, Julien H Girard, Julien Milli, Jared O’Neal, Christian Delacroix, Pierre Baudoz, Anthony Boccaletti, Pierre Bourget, Valentin Christiaens, Pontus Forsberg, Frederic Gonté, Serge Habraken, Charles Hanot, Mikael Karlsson, Markus Kasper, Anne-Marie Lagrange, Jean-Louis Lizon, Koraljka Muzic, Eduardo PeñaRichard Olivier, N. Slusarenko, Lowell E Tacconi-Garman, Jean Surdej

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearch


The installation and successful commissioning of an L'-band annular groove phase mask (AGPM) coronagraph on VLT/NACO is presented. The AGPM is a vector vortex coronagraph made from diamond sub-wavelength gratings tuned to the L'-band. The vector vortex coronagraph enables high-contrast imaging at very small inner working angles (here 0.09 arcseconds, the diffraction limit of the VLT at L'), potentially opening up a new parameter space in high-resolution imaging. During technical and science verification runs, we discovered a late-type companion at two beamwidths from an F0V star, and imaged the inner regions of β Pictoris down to the previously unexplored projected radius of 1.75 astronomical units. The circumstellar disc of β Pic was also resolved from 1 to 5 arcseconds. These results showcase the potential of the NACO L'-band AGPM over a wide range of spatial scales.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalThe Messenger
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes

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