References of "Surdej, Jean"
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See detailThe path towards high-contrast imaging with the VLTI: the Hi-5 project
Defrere, Denis ULiege; Absil, Olivier ULiege; Berger, J.-P. et al

in ArXiv e-prints (2018), 1801

The development of high-contrast capabilities has long been recognized as one of the top priorities for the VLTI. As of today, the VLTI routinely achieves contrasts of a few 10$^{-3}$ in the near-infrared ... [more ▼]

The development of high-contrast capabilities has long been recognized as one of the top priorities for the VLTI. As of today, the VLTI routinely achieves contrasts of a few 10$^{-3}$ in the near-infrared with PIONIER (H band) and GRAVITY (K band). Nulling interferometers in the northern hemisphere and non-redundant aperture masking experiments have, however, demonstrated that contrasts of at least a few 10$^{-4}$ are within reach using specific beam combination and data acquisition techniques. In this paper, we explore the possibility to reach similar or higher contrasts on the VLTI. After reviewing the state-of-the-art in high-contrast infrared interferometry, we discuss key features that made the success of other high-contrast interferometric instruments (e.g., integrated optics, nulling, closure phase, and statistical data reduction) and address possible avenues to improve the contrast of the VLTI by at least one order of magnitude. In particular, we discuss the possibility to use integrated optics, proven in the near-infrared, in the thermal near-infrared (L and M bands, 3-5 $\mu$m), a sweet spot to image and characterize young extra-solar planetary systems. Finally, we address the science cases of a high-contrast VLTI imaging instrument and focus particularly on exoplanet science (young exoplanets, planet formation, and exozodiacal disks), stellar physics (fundamental parameters and multiplicity), and extragalactic astrophysics (active galactic nuclei and fundamental constants). Synergies and scientific preparation for other potential future instruments such as the Planet Formation Imager are also briefly discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a point-like source and a third spiral arm in the transition disk around the Herbig Ae star MWC 758
Reggiani, Maddalena ULiege; Christiaens, V.; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 1710

Transition disks offer the extraordinary opportunity to look for newly born planets and investigate the early stages of planet formation. In this context we observed the Herbig A5 star MWC 758 with the L ... [more ▼]

Transition disks offer the extraordinary opportunity to look for newly born planets and investigate the early stages of planet formation. In this context we observed the Herbig A5 star MWC 758 with the L band vector vortex coronagraph installed in the near-infrared camera and spectrograph NIRC2 at the Keck II telescope, with the aim of unveiling the nature of the spiral structure by constraining the presence of planetary companions in the system. Our high-contrast imaging observations show a bright (delta L=7.0+/-0.3 mag) point-like emission, south of MWC 758 at a deprojected separation of about 20 au (r=0.111+/- 0. 004 arcsec) from the central star. We also recover the two spiral arms (south-east and north-west), already imaged by previous studies in polarized light, and discover a third one to the south-west of the star. No additional companions were detected in the system down to 5 Jupiter masses beyond 0.6 arcsec from the star. We propose that the bright L band emission could be caused by the presence of an embedded and accreting protoplanet, although the possibility of it being an asymmetric disk feature cannot be excluded. The spiral structure is probably not related to the protoplanet candidate, unless on an inclined and eccentric orbit, and it could be due to one (or more) yet undetected planetary companions at the edge of or outside the spiral pattern. Future observations and additional simulations will be needed to shed light on the true nature of the point-like source and its link with the spiral arms. [less ▲]

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See detailShape and spin determination of Barbarian asteroids
Devogele, Maxime ULiege; Tanga, P.; Bendjoya, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017)

The so-called Barbarian asteroids share peculiar, but common polarimetric properties, probably related to both their shape and composition. They are named after (234) Barbara, the first on which such ... [more ▼]

The so-called Barbarian asteroids share peculiar, but common polarimetric properties, probably related to both their shape and composition. They are named after (234) Barbara, the first on which such properties were identified. As has been suggested, large scale topographic features could play a role in the polarimetric response, if the shapes of Barbarians are particularly irregular and present a variety of scattering/incidence angles. This idea is supported by the shape of (234) Barbara, that appears to be deeply excavated by wide concave areas revealed by photometry and stellar occultations. Aims. With these motivations, we started an observation campaign to characterise the shape and rotation properties of Small Main- Belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey (SMASS) type L and Ld asteroids. As many of them show long rotation periods, we activated a worldwide network of observers to obtain a dense temporal coverage. Methods. We used light-curve inversion technique in order to determine the sidereal rotation periods of 15 asteroids and the con- vergence to a stable shape and pole coordinates for 8 of them. By using available data from occultations, we are able to scale some shapes to an absolute size. We also study the rotation periods of our sample looking for confirmation of the suspected abundance of asteroids with long rotation periods. Results. Our results show that the shape models of our sample do not seem to have peculiar properties with respect to asteroids with similar size, while an excess of slow rotators is most probably confirmed. [less ▲]

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See detailVIP: Vortex Image Processing package for high-contrast direct imaging
Gómez González, Carlos ULiege; Wertz, Olivier; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

in Astronomical Journal (The) (2017), 154

We present the Vortex Image Processing (VIP) library, a python package dedicated to astronomical high-contrast imaging. Our package relies on the extensive python stack of scientific libraries and aims to ... [more ▼]

We present the Vortex Image Processing (VIP) library, a python package dedicated to astronomical high-contrast imaging. Our package relies on the extensive python stack of scientific libraries and aims to provide a flexible framework for high-contrast data and image processing. In this paper, we describe the capabilities of VIP related to processing image sequences acquired using the angular di↵erential imaging (ADI) observing technique. VIP implements functionalities for building high-contrast data processing pipelines, encompass- ing pre- and post-processing algorithms, potential sources position and flux estimation, and sensitivity curves generation. Among the reference point-spread function subtraction techniques for ADI post-processing, VIP includes several flavors of principal component analysis (PCA) based algorithms, such as annular PCA and incremental PCA algorithm capable of processing big datacubes (of several gigabytes) on a computer with limited memory. Also, we present a novel ADI algorithm based on non-negative matrix factorization (NMF), which comes from the same family of low-rank matrix approximations as PCA and provides fairly similar results. We showcase the ADI capabilities of the VIP library using a deep sequence on HR8799 taken with the LBTI/LMIRCam and its recently commissioned L-band vortex coronagraph. Using VIP we investigated the presence of additional companions around HR8799 and did not find any significant additional point source beyond the four known planets. VIP is available at http://github.com/vortex-exoplanet/VIP and is accompanied with Jupyter notebook tutorials illustrating the main functionalities of the library. [less ▲]

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See detailGaia Data Release 1. Open cluster astrometry: performance, limitations, and future prospects
Gaia Collaboration; van Leeuwen, F.; Vallenari, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 601

Context. The first Gaia Data Release contains the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution (TGAS). This is a subset of about 2 million stars for which, besides the position and photometry, the proper motion and ... [more ▼]

Context. The first Gaia Data Release contains the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution (TGAS). This is a subset of about 2 million stars for which, besides the position and photometry, the proper motion and parallax are calculated using Hipparcos and Tycho-2 positions in 1991.25 as prior information. <BR /> Aims: We investigate the scientific potential and limitations of the TGAS component by means of the astrometric data for open clusters. <BR /> Methods: Mean cluster parallax and proper motion values are derived taking into account the error correlations within the astrometric solutions for individual stars, an estimate of the internal velocity dispersion in the cluster, and, where relevant, the effects of the depth of the cluster along the line of sight. Internal consistency of the TGAS data is assessed. <BR /> Results: Values given for standard uncertainties are still inaccurate and may lead to unrealistic unit-weight standard deviations of least squares solutions for cluster parameters. Reconstructed mean cluster parallax and proper motion values are generally in very good agreement with earlier Hipparcos-based determination, although the Gaia mean parallax for the Pleiades is a significant exception. We have no current explanation for that discrepancy. Most clusters are observed to extend to nearly 15 pc from the cluster centre, and it will be up to future Gaia releases to establish whether those potential cluster-member stars are still dynamically bound to the clusters. <BR /> Conclusions: The Gaia DR1 provides the means to examine open clusters far beyond their more easily visible cores, and can provide membership assessments based on proper motions and parallaxes. A combined HR diagram shows the same features as observed before using the Hipparcos data, with clearly increased luminosities for older A and F dwarfs. Tables D.1 to D.19 are also available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/601/A19">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/601/A19</A> [less ▲]

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See detailSPECTROSCOPIC AND POLARIMETRIC SURVEY OF L-TYPE ASTEROIDS
Devogele, Maxime ULiege; Tanga, P; Cellino, A et al

Conference (2017, April 14)

Introduction: Spectroscopic and polarimetric observations are of fundamental importance in order to derive information about the surface properties of asteroids. In 2006, the asteroid (234) Barbara was ... [more ▼]

Introduction: Spectroscopic and polarimetric observations are of fundamental importance in order to derive information about the surface properties of asteroids. In 2006, the asteroid (234) Barbara was found to possess a pecular polarimetric response characterized by an abnormaly large value of the inversion angle. Later on, several other similar asteroids were discovered. They were called Barbarian asteroids in reference to (234) Barbara. Spectroscopically, all the Barbarian asteroids belong to the L, Ld and in a few cases K types in the Bus and Binzel visible taxonomy. When a classification extended to near-infrared is considered, all those known to date group into the L class. The most commonly accepted explanation for the polarimetric anomaly is the high abundance of Spinel-bearing, fluffy (type A) CAIs (Calcium-Aluminium rich Inclusion) whose optical properties could reproduce the observed polarimetry. If this hypothesis is confirmed, Barbarian asteroids could contain an anomalous amount of the first minerals condensed after the formation of the Solar system. Based on these motivations, we organized a systematic campaign of spectroscopy and polarimetry of Barbarians/L-type asteroids. Observations: 35 asteroids were observed using spectroscopy or polarimetry, or both. These asteroids include members of Watsonia, Henan and Klumpkea families which are known to be made of Barbarian and/or L type asteroids. The polarimetric data were obtained with the ToPol instrument at the Calern station of the Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur. The spectroscopic data were obtained at the IRTF NASA facility. Data analysis: The phase-polarization curve of the polarimetric data was analysed to derive the inversion angle of the asteroids. The spectroscopic data were analysed using a Hapke spectral mixing model. This method combines end-member spectra in order to fit the asteroid spectrum and derive its composition. The end-members used are the Allende matrix from which CAIs were removed, MgO rich olivine, and fluffy type A CAI. A Hapke space-weathering model was used in order to simulate the space-weathering effect on the spectra of asteroids. Results: The polarimetric data allowed us to discover 3 new Barbarian asteroids and to remove 4 asteroids from the Barbarian candidate list. We found that the inversion angle of Barbarian asteroids ranges from 26° to 30°. High CAI abundances ranging from 5 to 50% were found in L type asteroid spectra. We find for the first time a link between the abundance of CAIs and the polarimetric response. Spaceweathering also appears to play a role in polarimetry, showing an aging effect on the granularity of the surface regolith. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XXL survey: First results and future
Pierre, M.; Adami, C.; Birkinshaw, M. et al

in Astronomische Nachrichten (2017), 338

The XXL survey currently covers two 25 sq. deg. patches with XMM observations of ~10ks. We summarise the scientific results associated with the first release of the XXL data set, that occurred mid 2016 ... [more ▼]

The XXL survey currently covers two 25 sq. deg. patches with XMM observations of ~10ks. We summarise the scientific results associated with the first release of the XXL data set, that occurred mid 2016. We review several arguments for increasing the survey depth to 40 ks during the next decade of XMM operations. X-ray (z<2) cluster, (z<4) AGN and cosmic background survey science will then benefit from an extraordinary data reservoir. This, combined with deep multi-$\lambda$ observations, will lead to solid standalone cosmological constraints and provide a wealth of information on the formation and evolution of AGN, clusters and the X-ray background. In particular, it will offer a unique opportunity to pinpoint the z>1 cluster density. It will eventually constitute a reference study and an ideal calibration field for the upcoming eROSITA and Euclid missions. [less ▲]

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See detailAdaptive PSF fitting - a highly performing photometric method and light curves of the GLS H1413+117: time delays and micro-lensing effects
Akhunov, Talat ULiege; Wertz, O.; Elyiv, A. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 465

We present new photometric observations of H1413+117 acquired during seasons between 2001 and 2008 in order to estimate the time delays between the lensed quasar images and to characterize at best the on ... [more ▼]

We present new photometric observations of H1413+117 acquired during seasons between 2001 and 2008 in order to estimate the time delays between the lensed quasar images and to characterize at best the on-going micro-lensing events. We propose a highly performing photometric method called the adaptive point spread function fitting and have successfully tested this method on a large number of simulated frames. This has enabled us to estimate the photometric error bars affecting our observational results. We analysed the V- and R-band light curves and V-R colour variations of the A-D components which show short- and long-term brightness variations correlated with colour variations. Using the χ[SUP]2[/SUP] and dispersion methods, we estimated the time delays on the basis of the R-band light curves over the seasons between 2003 and 2006. We have derived the new values: Δt[SUB]AB[/SUB] = -17.4 ± 2.1, Δt[SUB]AC[/SUB] = -18.9 ± 2.8 and Δt[SUB]AD[/SUB] = 28.8 ± 0.7 d using the χ[SUP]2[/SUP] method (B and C are leading, D is trailing) with 1σ confidence intervals. We also used available observational constraints (resp. the lensed image positions, the flux ratios in mid-IR and two sets of time delays derived in the present work) to update the lens redshift estimation. We obtained z_l = 1.95^{+0.06}_{-0.10} which is in good agreement with previous estimations. We propose to characterize two kinds of micro-lensing events: micro-lensing for the A, B, C components corresponds to typical variations of ∼10[SUP]-4[/SUP] mag d[SUP]-1[/SUP] during all the seasons, while the D component shows an unusually strong micro-lensing effect with variations of up to ∼10[SUP]-3[/SUP] mag d[SUP]-1[/SUP] during 2004 and 2005. [less ▲]

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See detailOrbital alignment and star-spot properties in the WASP-52 planetary system
Mancini, L.; Southworth, J.; Raia, G. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 465

We report 13 high-precision light curves of eight transits of the exoplanet WASP-52 b, obtained by using four medium-class telescopes, through different filters, and adopting the defocussing technique ... [more ▼]

We report 13 high-precision light curves of eight transits of the exoplanet WASP-52 b, obtained by using four medium-class telescopes, through different filters, and adopting the defocussing technique. One transit was recorded simultaneously from two different observatories and another one from the same site but with two different instruments, including a multiband camera. Anomalies were clearly detected in five light curves and modelled as star-spots occulted by the planet during the transit events. We fitted the clean light curves with the JKTEBOP code, and those with the anomalies with the PRISM+GEMC codes in order to simultaneously model the photometric parameters of the transits and the position, size and contrast of each star-spot. We used these new light curves and some from the literature to revise the physical properties of the WASP-52 system. Star-spots with similar characteristics were detected in four transits over a period of 43 d. In the hypothesis that we are dealing with the same star-spot, periodically occulted by the transiting planet, we estimated the projected orbital obliquity of WASP-52 b to be λ = 3.8° ± 8.4°. We also determined the true orbital obliquity, ψ = 20° ± 50°, which is, although very uncertain, the first measurement of ψ purely from star-spot crossings. We finally assembled an optical transmission spectrum of the planet and searched for variations of its radius as a function of wavelength. Our analysis suggests a flat transmission spectrum within the experimental uncertainties. [less ▲]

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See detailThe W. M. Keck Observatory infrared vortex coronagraph and a first image of HIP79124 B
Serabyn, Eugene; Huby, Elsa ULiege; Matthews, Keith et al

in Astronomical Journal (The) (2017), 153(1), 43

An optical vortex coronagraph has been implemented within the NIRC2 camera on the Keck II telescope and used to carry out on-sky tests and observations. The development of this new L'-band observational ... [more ▼]

An optical vortex coronagraph has been implemented within the NIRC2 camera on the Keck II telescope and used to carry out on-sky tests and observations. The development of this new L'-band observational mode is described, and an initial demonstration of the new capability is presented: a resolved image of the low-mass companion to HIP79124, which had previously been detected by means of interferometry. With HIP79124 B at a projected separation of 186.5 mas, both the small inner working angle of the vortex coronagraph and the related imaging improvements were crucial in imaging this close companion directly. Due to higher Strehl ratios and more relaxed contrasts in L' band versus H band, this new coronagraphic capability will enable high-contrast small-angle observations of nearby young exoplanets and disks on a par with those of shorter-wavelength extreme adaptive optics coronagraphs. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the inner disk around HD 141569 A from Keck/NIRC2 L-band vortex coronagraphy
Mawet, Dimitri; Choquet, Élodie; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

in Astronomical Journal (The) (2017), 153(1), 44

HD 141569 A is a pre-main sequence B9.5 Ve star surrounded by a prominent and complex circumstellar disk, likely still in a transition stage from protoplanetary to debris disk phase. Here, we present a ... [more ▼]

HD 141569 A is a pre-main sequence B9.5 Ve star surrounded by a prominent and complex circumstellar disk, likely still in a transition stage from protoplanetary to debris disk phase. Here, we present a new image of the third inner disk component of HD 141569 A made in the L' band (3.8 micron) during the commissioning of the vector vortex coronagraph recently installed in the near-infrared imager and spectrograph NIRC2 behind the W.M. Keck Observatory Keck II adaptive optics system. We used reference point spread function subtraction, which reveals the innermost disk component from the inner working distance of $\simeq 23$ AU and up to $\simeq 70$ AU. The spatial scale of our detection roughly corresponds to the optical and near-infrared scattered light, thermal Q, N and 8.6 micron PAH emission reported earlier. We also see an outward progression in dust location from the L'-band to the H-band (VLT/SPHERE image) to the visible (HST/STIS image), likely indicative of dust blowout. The warm disk component is nested deep inside the two outer belts imaged by HST NICMOS in 1999 (respectively at 406 and 245 AU). We fit our new L'-band image and spectral energy distribution of HD 141569 A with the radiative transfer code MCFOST. Our best-fit models favor pure olivine grains, and are consistent with the composition of the outer belts. While our image shows a putative very-faint point-like clump or source embedded in the inner disk, we did not detect any true companion within the gap between the inner disk and the first outer ring, at a sensitivity of a few Jupiter masses. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a low-mass companion inside the debris ring surrounding the F5V star HD 206893
Milli, J.; Hibon, P.; Christiaens, Valentin ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 597

<BR /> Aims: Uncovering the ingredients and the architecture of planetary systems is a very active field of research that has fuelled many new theories on giant planet formation, migration, composition ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: Uncovering the ingredients and the architecture of planetary systems is a very active field of research that has fuelled many new theories on giant planet formation, migration, composition, and interaction with the circumstellar environment. We aim at discovering and studying new such systems, to further expand our knowledge of how low-mass companions form and evolve. <BR /> Methods: We obtained high-contrast H-band images of the circumstellar environment of the F5V star HD 206893, known to host a debris disc never detected in scattered light. These observations are part of the SPHERE High Angular Resolution Debris Disc Survey (SHARDDS) using the InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) installed on VLT/SPHERE. <BR /> Results: We report the detection of a source with a contrast of 3.6 × 10[SUP]-5[/SUP] in the H-band, orbiting at a projected separation of 270 milliarcsec or 10 au, corresponding to a mass in the range 24 to 73 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] for an age of the system in the range 0.2 to 2 Gyr. The detection was confirmed ten months later with VLT/NaCo, ruling out a background object with no proper motion. A faint extended emission compatible with the disc scattered light signal is also observed. <BR /> Conclusions: The detection of a low-mass companion inside a massive debris disc makes this system an analog of other young planetary systems such as β Pictoris, HR 8799 or HD 95086 and requires now further characterisation of both components to understand their interactions. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh dynamic range thermal infrared imager for the VLTI
Defrere, Denis ULiege; Absil, Olivier ULiege; Ertel, Steve et al

in Pott, Jörg-Uwe; Surdej, Jean (Eds.) Future of otpical-infrared interferometry in Europe (2017)

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See detail9ème (bis) Cours de Mécanique Analytique II (2016-17), Bac3 phys, Master 1 Sc. Sp.
Surdej, Jean ULiege

Learning material (2016)

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See detailOptimizing the subwavelength grating of L-band annular groove phase masks for high coronagraphic performance
Vargas Catalán, E.; Huby, Elsa ULiege; Forsberg, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

Context. The annular groove phase mask (AGPM) is one possible implementation of the vector vortex coronagraph, where the helical phase ramp is produced by a concentric subwavelength grating. For several ... [more ▼]

Context. The annular groove phase mask (AGPM) is one possible implementation of the vector vortex coronagraph, where the helical phase ramp is produced by a concentric subwavelength grating. For several years, we have been manufacturing AGPMs by etching gratings into synthetic diamond substrates using inductively coupled plasma etching. <BR /> Aims: We aim to design, fabricate, optimize, and evaluate new L-band AGPMs that reach the highest possible coronagraphic performance, for applications in current and forthcoming infrared high-contrast imagers. <BR /> Methods: Rigorous coupled wave analysis (RCWA) is used for designing the subwavelength grating of the phase mask. Coronagraphic performance evaluation is performed on a dedicated optical test bench. The experimental results of the performance evaluation are then used to accurately determine the actual profile of the fabricated gratings, based on RCWA modeling. <BR /> Results: The AGPM coronagraphic performance is very sensitive to small errors in etch depth and grating profile. Most of the fabricated components therefore show moderate performance in terms of starlight rejection (a few 100:1 in the best cases). Here we present new processes for re-etching the fabricated components in order to optimize the parameters of the grating and hence significantly increase their coronagraphic performance. Starlight rejection up to 1000:1 is demonstrated in a broadband L filter on the coronagraphic test bench, which corresponds to a raw contrast of about 10[SUP]-5[/SUP] at two resolution elements from the star for a perfect input wave front on a circular, unobstructed aperture. <BR /> Conclusions: Thanks to their exquisite performance, our latest L-band AGPMs are good candidates for installation in state of the art and future high-contrast thermal infrared imagers, such as METIS for the E-ELT. [less ▲]

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See detail8ème Cours de Mécanique Analytique II (2016-17), Bac3 phys, Master 1 Sc. Sp.
Surdej, Jean ULiege

Learning material (2016)

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See detail7ème Cours de Mécanique Analytique II (2016-17), Bac3 phys, Master 1 Sc. Sp.
Surdej, Jean ULiege

Learning material (2016)

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See detailGaia Data Release 1. Summary of the astrometric, photometric, and survey properties
Gaia Collaboration; Brown, A. G. A.; Vallenari, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

Context. At about 1000 days after the launch of Gaia we present the first Gaia data release, Gaia DR1, consisting of astrometry and photometry for over 1 billion sources brighter than magnitude 20.7. <BR ... [more ▼]

Context. At about 1000 days after the launch of Gaia we present the first Gaia data release, Gaia DR1, consisting of astrometry and photometry for over 1 billion sources brighter than magnitude 20.7. <BR /> Aims: A summary of Gaia DR1 is presented along with illustrations of the scientific quality of the data, followed by a discussion of the limitations due to the preliminary nature of this release. <BR /> Methods: The raw data collected by Gaia during the first 14 months of the mission have been processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) and turned into an astrometric and photometric catalogue. <BR /> Results: Gaia DR1 consists of three components: a primary astrometric data set which contains the positions, parallaxes, and mean proper motions for about 2 million of the brightest stars in common with the Hipparcos and Tycho-2 catalogues - a realisation of the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution (TGAS) - and a secondary astrometric data set containing the positions for an additional 1.1 billion sources. The second component is the photometric data set, consisting of mean G-band magnitudes for all sources. The G-band light curves and the characteristics of 3000 Cepheid and RR Lyrae stars, observed at high cadence around the south ecliptic pole, form the third component. For the primary astrometric data set the typical uncertainty is about 0.3 mas for the positions and parallaxes, and about 1 mas yr[SUP]-1[/SUP] for the proper motions. A systematic component of 0.3 mas should be added to the parallax uncertainties. For the subset of 94 000 Hipparcos stars in the primary data set, the proper motions are much more precise at about 0.06 mas yr[SUP]-1[/SUP]. For the secondary astrometric data set, the typical uncertainty of the positions is 10 mas. The median uncertainties on the mean G-band magnitudes range from the mmag level to 0.03 mag over the magnitude range 5 to 20.7. <BR /> Conclusions: Gaia DR1 is an important milestone ahead of the next Gaia data release, which will feature five-parameter astrometry for all sources. Extensive validation shows that Gaia DR1 represents a major advance in the mapping of the heavens and the availability of basic stellar data that underpin observational astrophysics. Nevertheless, the very preliminary nature of this first Gaia data release does lead to a number of important limitations to the data quality which should be carefully considered before drawing conclusions from the data. [less ▲]

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