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First light of VLT/HiRISE: High-resolution spectroscopy of young giant exoplanets

Vigan, A.; El Morsy, M.; Lopez, M.; Otten, G. P. P. L.; Garcia, J.; Costes, J.; Muslimov, E.; Viret, A.; Charles, Y.; Zins, G.; Murray, G.; Costille, A.; Paufique, J.; Seemann, U.; Houllé, M.; Anwand-Heerwart, H.; Phillips, M.; Abinanti, A.; Balard, P.; Baraffe, I.; Benedetti, J.-A.; Blanchard, P.; Blanco, L.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Choquet, E.; Cristofari, P.; Desidera, S.; Dohlen, K.; Dorn, R.; Ely, T.; Fuenteseca, E.; Garcia, N.; Jaquet, M.; Jaubert, F.; Kasper, M.; Le Merrer, J.; Maire, A.-L.; N’Diaye, M.; Pallanca, L.; Popovic, D.; Pourcelot, R.; Reiners, A.; Rochat, S.; Sehim, C.; Schmutzer, R.; Smette, A.; Tchoubaklian, N.; Tomlinson, P.; Valenzuela Soto, J.

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A. Vigan

M. El Morsy

M. Lopez

G. P. P. L. Otten

J. Garcia

J. Costes

E. Muslimov

A. Viret

Y. Charles

G. Zins

A. Costille

J. Paufique

U. Seemann

M. Houllé

H. Anwand-Heerwart

M. Phillips

A. Abinanti

P. Balard

I. Baraffe

J.-A. Benedetti

P. Blanchard

L. Blanco

J.-L. Beuzit

E. Choquet

P. Cristofari

S. Desidera

K. Dohlen

R. Dorn

T. Ely

E. Fuenteseca

N. Garcia

M. Jaquet

F. Jaubert

M. Kasper

J. Le Merrer

A.-L. Maire

M. N’Diaye

L. Pallanca

D. Popovic

R. Pourcelot

A. Reiners

S. Rochat

C. Sehim

R. Schmutzer

A. Smette

N. Tchoubaklian

P. Tomlinson

J. Valenzuela Soto


A major endeavor of this decade is the direct characterization of young giant exoplanets at high spectral resolution to determine the composition of their atmosphere and infer their formation processes and evolution. Such a goal represents a major challenge owing to their small angular separation and luminosity contrast with respect to their parent stars. Instead of designing and implementing completely new facilities, it has been proposed to leverage the capabilities of existing instruments that offer either high-contrast imaging or high-dispersion spectroscopy by coupling them using optical fibers. In this work, we present the implementation and first on-sky results of the High-Resolution Imaging and Spectroscopy of Exoplanets (HiRISE) instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), which combines the exoplanet imager SPHERE with the recently upgraded high-resolution spectrograph CRIRES using single-mode fibers. The goal of HiRISE is to enable the characterization of known companions in the H band at a spectral resolution on the order of R = λ/∆λ = 100 000 in a few hours of observing time. We present the main design choices and the technical implementation of the system, which is constituted of three major parts: the fiber injection module inside of SPHERE, the fiber bundle around the telescope, and the fiber extraction module at the entrance of CRIRES. We also detail the specific calibrations required for HiRISE and the operations of the instrument for science observations. Finally, we detail the performance of the system in terms of astrometry, temporal stability, optical aberrations, and transmission, for which we report a peak value of ~3.9% based on sky measurements in median observing conditions. Finally, we report on the first astrophysical detection of HiRISE to illustrate its potential.


Vigan, A., El Morsy, M., Lopez, M., Otten, G. P. P. L., Garcia, J., Costes, J., …Valenzuela Soto, J. (2024). First light of VLT/HiRISE: High-resolution spectroscopy of young giant exoplanets. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 682, Article A16.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 23, 2023
Online Publication Date Jan 29, 2024
Publication Date 2024-02
Deposit Date Mar 19, 2024
Publicly Available Date Mar 19, 2024
Journal Astronomy & Astrophysics
Print ISSN 0004-6361
Electronic ISSN 1432-0746
Publisher EDP Sciences
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 682
Article Number A16
Public URL


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