Prediction of the planet yield of the MaxProtoPlanetS high-contrast survey for H-alpha protoplanets with MagAO-X based on first light contrasts


Our past GAPplanetS survey over the last 5 years with the MagAO visible AO system discovered the first examples of accreting protoplanets (by direct observation of H-alpha emission). Examples include LkCa15 b (Sallum et al. 2015) and PDS70 b (Wagner et al. 2018). In this paper we review the science performance of the newly (Dec. 2019) commissioned MagAO-X extreme AO system. In particular, we use the vAPP coronagraphic contrasts measured during MagAO-X first light. We use the Massive Accreting Gap (MAG) protoplanet model of Close 2020 to predict the H-alpha contrasts of 19 of the best transitional disk systems (ages 1-5 Myr) for the direct detection of H-alpha from accretion of hydrogen onto these protoplanets. The MAG protoplanet model applied to the observed first light MagAO-X contrasts predict a maximum yield of 46+/-7 planets from 19 stars (42 of these planets would be new discoveries). This suggests that there is a large, yet, unexplored reservoir of protoplanets that can be discovered with an extreme AO coronagraphic survey of 19 of the best transitional disk systems. Based on our first light contrasts we predict a healthy yield of protoplanets from our MaxProtoPlanetS survey of 19 transitional disks with MagAO-X.

Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) Conference Series