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

Laird M. Close*, Jared Males, Joseph D. Long, Kyle Van Gorkom, Alexander D. Hedglen, Maggie Kautz, Jennifer Lumbres, Sebastiaan Y. Haffert, Katherine Follette, Kevin Wagner, Kelsey Miller, Daniel Apai, Ya Lin Wu, Olivier Guyon, Lauren Schatz, Alex Rodack, David Doelman, Frans Snik, Justin M. Knight, Katie MorzinskiVictor Gasho, Christoph Keller, Logan Pearce, Alycia Weinberger, Laura Pérez, René Doyon

*Corresponding author for this work

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

5 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdaptive Optics Systems VII
EditorsLaura Schreiber, Dirk Schmidt, Elise Vernet
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636835
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventAdaptive Optics Systems VII 2020 - Virtual, Online, United States
Duration: 2020 Dec 142020 Dec 22

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceAdaptive Optics Systems VII 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, Online


  • Adaptive optics
  • Coronagraphs
  • Exo-planets
  • H-alpha
  • High contrast imaging
  • Protoplanets
  • Wavefront control
  • Wavefront sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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