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See detailThe PLATO Simulator: modelling of high-precision high-cadence space-based imaging
Marcos-Arenal, P.; Zima, W.; De Ridder, J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014)

Many aspects of the design trade-off of a space-based instrument and its performance can best be tackled through simulations of the expected observations. The complex interplay of various noise sources in ... [more ▼]

Many aspects of the design trade-off of a space-based instrument and its performance can best be tackled through simulations of the expected observations. The complex interplay of various noise sources in the course of the observations make such simulations an indispensable part of the assessment and design study of any space-based mission. We present a formalism to model and simulate photometric time series of CCD images by including models of the CCD and its electronics, the telescope optics, the stellar field, the jitter movements of the spacecraft, and all important natural noise sources. This formalism has been implemented in a versatile end-to-end simulation software tool, called PLATO Simulator, specifically designed for the PLATO space mission to be operated from L2, but easily adaptable to similar types of missions. We provide a detailed description of several noise sources and discuss their properties, in connection with the optical design, the allowable level of jitter, the quantum efficiency of the detectors, etc. The expected overall noise budget of generated light curves is computed as a function of the stellar magnitude, for different sets of input parameters describing the instrument properties. The simulator is offered to the scientific community for future use. [less ▲]

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See detailPulsating B-type Stars in the Open Cluster NGC 884: Frequencies, Mode Identification, and Asteroseismology
Saesen, S.; Briquet, Maryline ULg; Aerts, C. et al

in Astronomical Journal (2013), 146

Recent progress in the seismic interpretation of field β Cep stars has resulted in improvements of the physical description in the stellar structure and evolution model computations of massive stars ... [more ▼]

Recent progress in the seismic interpretation of field β Cep stars has resulted in improvements of the physical description in the stellar structure and evolution model computations of massive stars. Further asteroseismic constraints can be obtained from studying ensembles of stars in a young open cluster, which all have similar age, distance, and chemical composition. We present an observational asteroseismology study based on the discovery of numerous multi-periodic and mono-periodic B stars in the open cluster NGC 884. We describe a thorough investigation of the pulsational properties of all B-type stars in the cluster. Overall, our detailed frequency analysis resulted in 115 detected frequencies in 65 stars. We found 36 mono-periodic, 16 bi-periodic, 10 tri-periodic, and 2 quadru-periodic stars and one star with nine independent frequencies. We also derived the amplitudes and phases of all detected frequencies in the U, B, V, and I filter, if available. We achieved unambiguous identifications of the mode degree for 12 of the detected frequencies in nine of the pulsators. Imposing the identified degrees and measured frequencies of the radial, dipole, and quadrupole modes of five pulsators led to a seismic cluster age estimate of log (age/yr) = 7.12-7.28 from a comparison with stellar models. Our study is a proof-of-concept for and illustrates the current status of ensemble asteroseismology of a young open cluster. [less ▲]

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See detailAn observational asteroseismic study of the pulsating B-stars in the open cluster NGC 884
Saesen, S.; Briquet, Maryline ULg; Aerts, C. et al

in IAU Symposium No. 301 (2013), "Precision Asteroseismology" (Wroclaw), W. Chaplin, J. Guzik, G. Handler & A. Pigulski (eds.) (2013, October 01)

Recent progress in the seismic interpretation of field {\beta} Cep stars has resulted in improvements of the physical description in the stellar structure and evolution model computations of massive stars ... [more ▼]

Recent progress in the seismic interpretation of field {\beta} Cep stars has resulted in improvements of the physical description in the stellar structure and evolution model computations of massive stars. Further asteroseismic constraints can be obtained from studying ensembles of stars in a young open cluster, which all have similar age, distance and chemical composition. We present an observational asteroseismic study based on the discovery of numerous multi-periodic and mono-periodic B-stars in the open cluster NGC 884. Our study illustrates the current status of ensemble asteroseismology of a young open cluster. [less ▲]

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See detailLow-amplitude rotational modulation rather than pulsations in the CoRoT B-type supergiant HD 46769
Aerts, C.; Simón-Díaz, S.; Catala, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 557

<BR /> Aims: We aim to detect and interpret photometric and spectroscopic variability of the bright CoRoT B-type supergiant target HD 46769 (V = 5.79). We also attempt to detect a magnetic field in the ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We aim to detect and interpret photometric and spectroscopic variability of the bright CoRoT B-type supergiant target HD 46769 (V = 5.79). We also attempt to detect a magnetic field in the target. <BR /> Methods: We analyse a 23-day oversampled CoRoT light curve after detrending and spectroscopic follow-up data using standard Fourier analysis and phase dispersion minimization methods. We determine the fundamental parameters of the star, as well as its abundances from the most prominent spectral lines. We perform a Monte Carlo analysis of spectropolarimetric data to obtain an upper limit of the polar magnetic field, assuming a dipole field. <BR /> Results: In the CoRoT data, we detect a dominant period of 4.84 d with an amplitude of 87 ppm and some of its (sub-)multiples. Given the shape of the phase-folded light curve and the absence of binary motion, we interpret the dominant variability in terms of rotational modulation, with a rotation period of 9.69 d. Subtraction of the rotational modulation signal does not reveal any sign of pulsations. Our results are consistent with the absence of variability in the Hipparcos light curve. The spectroscopy leads to a projected rotational velocity of 72 ± 2 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP] and does not reveal periodic variability or the need to invoke macroturbulent line broadening. No signature of a magnetic field is detected in our data. A field stronger than ~500 G at the poles can be excluded, unless the possible non-detected field were more complex than dipolar. <BR /> Conclusions: The absence of pulsations and macroturbulence of this evolved B-type supergiant is placed into the context of instability computations and of observed variability of evolved B-type stars. Based on CoRoT space-based photometric data; the CoRoT space mission was developed and operated by the French space agency CNES, with the participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Spain. Based on observations collected at La Silla Observatory, ESO (Chile) with the HARPS spectrograph at the 3.6 m telescope, under programme LP185.D-0056. Based on observations obtained with the HERMES spectrograph attached to the 1.2 m Mercator telescope, which is supported by the Fund for Scientific Research of Flanders (FWO), Belgium, the Research Council of KU Leuven, Belgium, the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientific (FNRS), Belgium, the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Observatoire de Genève, Switzerland, and the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Germany. Based on observations obtained with the Narval spectropolarimeter at the Observatoire du Pic du Midi (France), which is operated by the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers (INSU). [less ▲]

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See detailTwo new SB2 binaries with main sequence B-type pulsators in the Kepler field
Pápics, P. I.; Tkachenko, A.; Aerts, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 553(127),

Context: OB stars are important in the chemistry and evolution of the Universe, but the sample of targets well understood from an asteroseismological point of view is still too limited to provide feedback ... [more ▼]

Context: OB stars are important in the chemistry and evolution of the Universe, but the sample of targets well understood from an asteroseismological point of view is still too limited to provide feedback on the current evolutionary models. Our study extends this sample with two spectroscopic binary systems. AIMS. Our goal is to provide orbital solutions, fundamental parameters and abundances from disentangled high-resolution high signal-to-noise spectra, as well as to analyse and interpret the variations in the Kepler light curve of these carefully selected targets. This way we continue our efforts to map the instability strips of beta Cep and SPB stars using the combination of high-resolution ground-based spectroscopy and uninterrupted space-based photometry. Methods: We fit Keplerian orbits to radial velocities measured from selected absorption lines of high-resolution spectroscopy using synthetic composite spectra to obtain orbital solutions. We use revised masks to obtain optimal light curves from the original pixel-data from the Kepler satellite, which provided better long term stability compared to the pipeline processed light curves. We use various time-series analysis tools to explore and describe the nature of variations present in the light curve. Results: We find two eccentric double-lined spectroscopic binary systems containing a total of three main sequence B-type stars (and one F-type component) of which at least one in each system exhibits light variations. The light curve analysis (combined with spectroscopy) of the system of two B stars points towards the presence of tidally excited g modes in the primary component. We interpret the variations seen in the second system as classical g mode pulsations driven by the kappa mechanism in the B type primary, and explain the unexpected power in the p mode region as a result of nonlinear resonant mode excitation. [less ▲]

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See detailCoRoT Observations of O Stars: Diverse Origins of Variability
Blomme, R.; Briquet, Maryline ULg; Degroote, P. et al

in Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series (2013, January 01)

Six O-type stars were observed continuously by the CoRoT satellite during a 34.3-day run. The unprecedented quality of the data allows us to detect even low-amplitude stellar pulsations in some of these ... [more ▼]

Six O-type stars were observed continuously by the CoRoT satellite during a 34.3-day run. The unprecedented quality of the data allows us to detect even low-amplitude stellar pulsations in some of these stars (HD 46202 and the binaries HD 46149 and Plaskett's star). These cover both opacity-driven modes and solar-like stochastic oscillations, both of importance to the asteroseismological modeling of O stars. Additional effects can be seen in the CoRoT light curves, such as binarity and rotational modulation. Some of the hottest O-type stars (HD 46223, HD 46150 and HD 46966) are dominated by the presence of red-noise: we speculate that this is related to a sub-surface convection zone. [less ▲]

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See detailMultisite spectroscopic seismic study of the β Cep star V2052 Ophiuchi: inhibition of mixing by its magnetic field
Briquet, Maryline ULg; Neiner, C.; Aerts, C. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2012), 427

We used extensive ground-based multisite and archival spectroscopy to derive observational constraints for a seismic modelling of the magnetic β Cep star V2052 Ophiuchi. The line-profile variability is ... [more ▼]

We used extensive ground-based multisite and archival spectroscopy to derive observational constraints for a seismic modelling of the magnetic β Cep star V2052 Ophiuchi. The line-profile variability is dominated by a radial mode (f1 = 7.148 46 d-1) and by rotational modulation (P_rot = 3.638 833 d). Two non-radial low-amplitude modes (f2 = 7.756 03 d-1 and f3 = 6.823 08 d-1) are also detected. The four periodicities that we found are the same as the ones discovered from a companion multisite photometric campaign and known in the literature. Using the photometric constraints on the degrees ℓ of the pulsation modes, we show that both f_2 and f_3 are prograde modes with (ℓ, m) = (4, 2) or (4, 3). These results allowed us to deduce ranges for the mass (M ∈ [8.2, 9.6] M_sun) and central hydrogen abundance (X_c ∈ [0.25, 0.32]) of V2052 Oph, to identify the radial orders n1 = 1, n2 = -3 and n3 = -2, and to derive an equatorial rotation velocity v_eq ∈ [71, 75] km s-1. The model parameters are in full agreement with the effective temperature and surface gravity deduced from spectroscopy. Only models with no or mild core overshooting (α_ov ∈ [0, 0.15] local pressure scale heights) can account for the observed properties. Such a low overshooting is opposite to our previous modelling results for the non-magnetic β Cep star θ Oph having very similar parameters, except for a slower surface rotation rate. We discuss whether this result can be explained by the presence of a magnetic field in V2052 Oph that inhibits mixing in its interior. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the Seismic Modelling of Rotating B-type Pulsators in the Traditional Approximation
Aerts, C.; Dupret, Marc-Antoine ULg

in ASP Conference Proceeding, Vol. 462, 103 (2012, September 01)

The CoRoT and Kepler data revolutionised our view on stellar pulsation. For massive stars, the space data revealed the simultaneous presence of low-amplitude low-order modes and dominant high-order ... [more ▼]

The CoRoT and Kepler data revolutionised our view on stellar pulsation. For massive stars, the space data revealed the simultaneous presence of low-amplitude low-order modes and dominant high-order gravity modes in several B-type pulsators. The interpretation of such a rich set of detected oscillations requires new tools. We present computations of oscillations for B-type pulsators taking into account the effects of the Coriolis force in the so-called traditional approximation. We discuss the limitations of classical frequency matching to tune these stars seismically and show that the predictive power is limited in the case of high-order gravity mode pulsators, except if numerous modes of consecutive radial order can be identified. [less ▲]

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See detailA multisite photometric study of two unusual β Cep stars: the magnetic V2052 Oph and the massive rapid rotator V986 Oph
Handler, G.; Shobbrook, R. R.; Uytterhoeven, K. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2012), 424

We report a multisite photometric campaign for the β Cep stars V2052 Oph and V986 Oph. 670 h of high-quality differential photoelectric Strömgren, Johnson and Geneva time-series photometry was obtained ... [more ▼]

We report a multisite photometric campaign for the β Cep stars V2052 Oph and V986 Oph. 670 h of high-quality differential photoelectric Strömgren, Johnson and Geneva time-series photometry was obtained with eight telescopes on five continents during 182 nights. Frequency analyses of the V2052 Oph data enabled the detection of three pulsation frequencies, the first harmonic of the strongest signal, and the rotation frequency with its first harmonic. Pulsational mode identification from analysing the colour amplitude ratios confirms the dominant mode as being radial, whereas the other two oscillations are most likely l = 4. Combining seismic constraints on the inclination of the rotation axis with published magnetic field analyses we conclude that the radial mode must be the fundamental mode. The rotational light modulation is in phase with published spectroscopic variability, and consistent with an oblique rotator for which both magnetic poles pass through the line of sight. The inclination of the rotation axis is 54° < i < 58° and the magnetic obliquity 58° < β < 66°. The possibility that V2052 Oph has a magnetically confined wind is discussed. The photometric amplitudes of the single oscillation of V986 Oph are most consistent with an l = 3 mode, but this identification is uncertain. Additional intrinsic, apparently temporally incoherent light variations of V986 Oph are reported. Different interpretations thereof cannot be distinguished at this point, but this kind of variability appears to be present in many OB stars. The prospects of obtaining asteroseismic information for more rapidly rotating β Cep stars, which appear to prefer modes of higher l, are briefly discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailThe CoRoT B-type binary HD 50230: a prototypical hybrid pulsator with g-mode period and p-mode frequency spacings⋆
Degroote, P.; Aerts, C.; Michel, E. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 542

Context. B-type stars are promising targets for asteroseismic modelling, since their frequency spectrum is relatively simple. <BR /> Aims: We deduce and summarise observational constraints for the hybrid ... [more ▼]

Context. B-type stars are promising targets for asteroseismic modelling, since their frequency spectrum is relatively simple. <BR /> Aims: We deduce and summarise observational constraints for the hybrid pulsator, HD 50230, earlier reported to have deviations from a uniform period spacing of its gravity modes. The combination of spectra and a high-quality light curve measured by the CoRoT satellite allow a combined approach to fix the position of HD 50230 in the HR diagram. <BR /> Methods: To describe the observed pulsations, classical Fourier analysis was combined with short-time Fourier transformations and frequency spacing analysis techniques. Visual spectra were used to constrain the projected rotation rate of the star and the fundamental parameters of the target. In a first approximation, the combined information was used to interpret multiplets and spacings to infer the true surface rotation rate and a rough estimate of the inclination angle. <BR /> Results: We identify HD 50230 as a spectroscopic binary and characterise the two components. We detect the simultaneous presence of high-order g modes and low-order p and g-modes in the CoRoT light curve, but were unable to link them to line profile variations in the spectroscopic time series. We extract the relevant information from the frequency spectrum, which can be used for seismic modelling, and explore possible interpretations of the pressure mode spectrum. The CoRoT space mission was developed and is operated by the French space agency CNES, with participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Spain. Based on observations made with the ESO telescopes at La Silla Observatory under the ESO Large Programme LP182.D-0356, and on observations made with the Mercator Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma by the Flemish Community, at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias, and on observations obtained with the HERMES spectrograph, which is supported by the Fund for Scientific Research of Flanders (FWO), Belgium, the Research Council of K.U. Leuven, Belgium, the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), Belgium, the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Observatoire de Genève, Switzerland and the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Germany.Appendix A is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailGravito-inertial and pressure modes detected in the B3 IV CoRoT target HD 43317
Pápics, P. I.; Briquet, Maryline ULg; Baglin, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 542

Context. OB stars are important building blocks of the Universe, but we have only a limited sample of them well understood enough from an asteroseismological point of view to provide feedback on the ... [more ▼]

Context. OB stars are important building blocks of the Universe, but we have only a limited sample of them well understood enough from an asteroseismological point of view to provide feedback on the current evolutionary models. Our study adds one special case to this sample, with more observational constraints than for most of these stars. <BR /> Aims: Our goal is to analyse and interpret the pulsational behaviour of the B3 IV star HD 43317 using the CoRoT light curve along with the ground-based spectroscopy gathered by the HARPS instrument. This way we continue our efforts to map the β Cep and SPB instability strips. <BR /> Methods: We used different techniques to reveal the abundances and fundamental stellar parameters from the newly-obtained high-resolution spectra. We used various time-series analysis tools to explore the nature of variations present in the light curve. We calculated the moments and used the pixel-by-pixel method to look for line profile variations in the high-resolution spectra. <BR /> Results: We find that HD 43317 is a single fast rotator (v[SUB]rot[/SUB] ≈ 50% v[SUB]crit[/SUB]) and hybrid SPB/β Cep-type pulsator with Solar metal abundances. We interpret the variations in photometry and spectroscopy as a result of rotational modulation connected to surface inhomogeneities, combined with the presence of both g and p mode pulsations. We detect a series of ten consecutive frequencies with an almost constant period spacing of 6339 s as well as a second shorter sequence consisting of seven frequencies with a spacing of 6380 s. The dominant frequencies fall in the regime of gravito-inertial modes. The CoRoT space mission was developed and is operated by the French space agency CNES, with participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Spain.Based on data gathered with HARPS installed on the 3.6 m ESO telescope (ESO Large Programme 182.D-0356) at La Silla, Chile.Table A.1 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/542/A55">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/542/A55</A> [less ▲]

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See detailCoRoT's view on variable B8/9 stars: spots versus pulsations. Evidence for differential rotation in HD 174648
Degroote, P.; Acke, B.; Samadi, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 536

Context. There exist few variability studies of stars in the region in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram between the A and B-star pulsational instability strips. With the aid of the high precision ... [more ▼]

Context. There exist few variability studies of stars in the region in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram between the A and B-star pulsational instability strips. With the aid of the high precision continuous measurements of the CoRoT space satellite, low amplitudes are more easily detected, making a study of this neglected region worthwhile. <BR /> Aims: We collected a small sample of B stars observed by CoRoT to determine the origin of the different types of variability observed. <BR /> Methods: We combine literature photometry and spectroscopy to measure the fundamental parameters of the stars in the sample, and compare asteroseismic modelling of the light curves with (differentially rotating) spotted star models. <BR /> Results: We found strong evidence for the existence of spots and differential rotation in HD 174648, and formulated hypotheses for their origin. We show that the distinction between pulsations and rotational modulation is difficult to make solely based on the light curve, especially in slowly rotating stars. The CoRoT space mission was developed and is operated by the French space agency CNES, with participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Spain.Based on observations made with the ESO telescopes at La Silla Observatory under the ESO Large Programme LP182.D-0356.Based on observations made with the Mercator Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma by the Flemish Community, at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.Appendix A is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailSeismic modelling of the β Cephei star HD 180642 (V1449 Aquilae)
Aerts, C.; Briquet, Maryline ULg; Degroote, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 534

Context. We present modelling of the β Cep star HD 180642 based on its observational properties deduced from CoRoT and ground-based photometry as well as from time-resolved spectroscopy. <BR /> Aims: We ... [more ▼]

Context. We present modelling of the β Cep star HD 180642 based on its observational properties deduced from CoRoT and ground-based photometry as well as from time-resolved spectroscopy. <BR /> Aims: We investigate whether present-day state-of-the-art models are able to explain the full seismic behaviour of this star, which has extended observational constraints for this type of pulsator. <BR /> Methods: We constructed a dedicated database of stellar models and their oscillation modes tuned to fit the dominant radial mode frequency of HD 180642, by means of varying the hydrogen content, metallicity, mass, age, and core overshooting parameter. We compared the seismic properties of these models with those observed. <BR /> Results: We find models that are able to explain the numerous observed oscillation properties of the star, for a narrow range in mass of 11.4-11.8 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB] and no or very mild overshooting (with up to 0.05 local pressure scale heights), except for an excitation problem of the ℓ = 3, p[SUB]1[/SUB] mode. We deduce a rotation period of about 13 d, which is fully compatible with recent magnetic field measurements. The seismic models do not support the earlier claim of solar-like oscillations in the star. We instead ascribe the power excess at high frequency to non-linear resonant mode coupling between the high-amplitude radial fundamental mode and several of the low-order pressure modes. We report a discrepancy between the seismic and spectroscopic gravity at the 2.5σ level. [less ▲]

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See detailVariability in the CoRoT photometry of three hot O-type stars. HD 46223, HD 46150, and HD 46966
Blomme, R.; Mahy, Laurent ULg; Catala, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 533

Context. The detection of pulsational frequencies in stellar photometry is required as input for asteroseismological modelling. The second short run (SRa02) of the CoRoT mission has provided photometric ... [more ▼]

Context. The detection of pulsational frequencies in stellar photometry is required as input for asteroseismological modelling. The second short run (SRa02) of the CoRoT mission has provided photometric data of unprecedented quality and time-coverage for a number of O-type stars. <BR /> Aims: We analyse the CoRoT data corresponding to three hot O-type stars, describing the properties of their light curves and search for pulsational frequencies, which we then compare to theoretical model predictions. <BR /> Methods: We determine the amplitude spectrum of the data, using the Lomb-Scargle and a multifrequency HMM-like technique. Frequencies are extracted by prewhitening, and their significance is evaluated under the assumption that the light curve is dominated by red noise. We search for harmonics, linear combinations, and regular spacings among these frequencies. We use simulations with the same time sampling as the data as a powerful tool to judge the significance of our results. From the theoretical point of view, we use the MAD non-adiabatic pulsation code to determine the expected frequencies of excited modes. <BR /> Results: A substantial number of frequencies is listed, but none can be convincingly identified as being connected to pulsations. The amplitude spectrum is dominated by red noise. Theoretical modelling shows that all three O-type stars can have excited modes, but the relation between the theoretical frequencies and the observed spectrum is not obvious. <BR /> Conclusions: The dominant red noise component in the hot O-type stars studied here clearly points to a different origin than the pulsations seen in cooler O stars. The physical cause of this red noise is unclear, but we speculate on the possibility of sub-surface convection, granulation, or stellar wind inhomogeneities being responsible. The CoRoT space mission was developed and is operated by the French space agency CNES, with participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Spain.Tables 2-4 are available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/533/A4">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/533/A4</A> [less ▲]

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See detailCoRoT high-precision photometry of the B0.5 IV star HD 51756
Pápics, P. I.; Briquet, Maryline ULg; Auvergne, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 528

Context. OB stars are important constituents for the ecology of the Universe, and there are only a few studies on their pulsational properties detailed enough to provide important feedback on current ... [more ▼]

Context. OB stars are important constituents for the ecology of the Universe, and there are only a few studies on their pulsational properties detailed enough to provide important feedback on current evolutionary models. <BR /> Aims: Our goal is to analyse and interpret the behaviour present in the CoRoT light curve of the B0.5 IV star HD 51756 observed during the second long run of the space mission and to determine the fundamental stellar parameters from ground-based spectroscopy gathered with the Coralie and Harps instruments after checking for signs of variability and binarity, thus making a step further in mapping the top of the β Cep instability strip. <BR /> Methods: We compared the newly obtained high-resolution spectra with synthetic spectra of late O-type and early B-type stars computed on a grid of stellar parameters. We matched the results with evolutionary tracks to estimate stellar parameters. We used various time series analysis tools to explore the nature of the variations present in the light curve. Additional calculations were carried out based on distance and historical position measurements of the components to impose constraints on the binary orbit. <BR /> Results: We find that HD 51756 is a wide binary with both a slow (vsini ≈ 28 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]) and a fast (vsini ≈ 170 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]) early-B rotator whose atmospheric parameters are similar (T[SUB]eff[/SUB] ≈ 30 000 K and log g ≈ 3.75). We are unable to detect pulsation in any of the components, and we interpret the harmonic structure in the frequency spectrum as a sign of rotational modulation, which is compatible with the observed and deduced stellar parameters of both components. <BR /> Conclusions: The non-detection of pulsation modes provides a feedback on the theoretical treatment, given that non-adiabatic computations applied to appropriate stellar models predict the excitation of both pressure and gravity modes for the fundamental parameters of this star. The CoRoT space mission was developed and is operated by the French space agency CNES, with participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Spain.Based on data gathered with Coralie installed on the 1.2 m Euler telescope at La Silla, Chile; and Harps installed on the 3.6 m ESO telescope (ESO Large Programme 182.D-0356) at La Silla, Chile.Appendix A is only available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailKepler Detected Gravity-Mode Period Spacings in a Red Giant Star
Beck, P. G.; Bedding, T. R.; Mosser, B. et al

in Science (2011), 332

Stellar interiors are inaccessible through direct observations. For this reason, helioseismologists made use of the Sun’s acoustic oscillation modes to tune models of its structure. The quest to detect ... [more ▼]

Stellar interiors are inaccessible through direct observations. For this reason, helioseismologists made use of the Sun’s acoustic oscillation modes to tune models of its structure. The quest to detect modes that probe the solar core has been ongoing for decades. We report the detection of mixed modes penetrating all the way to the core of an evolved star from 320 days of observations with the Kepler satellite. The period spacings of these mixed modes are directly dependent on the density gradient between the core region and the convective envelope. [less ▲]

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See detailAn asteroseismic study of the O9V star HD 46202 from CoRoT space-based photometry
Briquet, Maryline ULg; Aerts, C.; Baglin, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 527

The O9V star HD 46202, which is a member of the young open cluster NGC 2244, was observed by the CoRoT satellite in October/November 2008 during a short run of 34 days. From the very high-precision light ... [more ▼]

The O9V star HD 46202, which is a member of the young open cluster NGC 2244, was observed by the CoRoT satellite in October/November 2008 during a short run of 34 days. From the very high-precision light curve, we clearly detect β Cep-like pulsation frequencies with amplitudes of ~0.1 mmag and below. A comparison with stellar models was performed using a χ[SUP]2[/SUP] as a measure for the goodness-of-fit between the observed and theoretically computed frequencies. The physical parameters of our best-fitting models are compatible with the ones deduced spectroscopically. A core overshooting parameter α[SUB]ov[/SUB] = 0.10 ± 0.05 pressure scale height is required. None of the observed frequencies are theoretically excited with the input physics used in our study. More theoretical work is thus needed to overcome this shortcoming in how we understand the excitation mechanism of pulsation modes in such a massive star. A similar excitation problem has also been encountered for certain pulsation modes in β Cep stars recently modelled asteroseismically. The CoRoT space mission was developed and is operated by the French space agency CNES, with the participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Spain. [less ▲]

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See detailPlaskett's star: analysis of the CoRoT photometric data
Mahy, Laurent ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg; Baudin, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 525

Context. The second short run (SRa02) of the CoRoT space mission for asteroseismology was partly devoted to stars belonging to the Mon OB2 association. An intense monitoring has been performed on Plaskett ... [more ▼]

Context. The second short run (SRa02) of the CoRoT space mission for asteroseismology was partly devoted to stars belonging to the Mon OB2 association. An intense monitoring has been performed on Plaskett's star (HD 47129) and the unprecedented quality of the light curve allows us to shed new light on this very massive, non-eclipsing binary system. <BR /> Aims: We particularly aimed at detecting periodic variability that might be associated with pulsations or interactions between both components. We also searched for variations related to the orbital cycle that could help to constrain the inclination and the morphology of the binary system. <BR /> Methods: We applied an iterative Fourier-based prewhitening and a multiperiodic fitting procedure to analyse the time series and extract the frequencies of variations from the CoRoT light curve. We describe the noise properties to tentatively define an appropriate significance criterion and, in consequence, to only point out the peaks at a certain significance level. We also detect the variations related to the orbital motion and study them with the NIGHTFALL programme. <BR /> Results: The periodogram computed from Plaskett's star CoRoT light curve mainly exhibits a majority of peaks at low frequencies. Among these peaks, we highlight a list of 43 values, notably including two different sets of harmonic frequencies whose fundamental peaks are located at about 0.07 and 0.82 d[SUP]-1[/SUP]. The former represents the orbital frequency of the binary system, whilst the latter could probably be associated with non-radial pulsations. The study of the 0.07 d[SUP]-1[/SUP] variations reveals a hot spot most probably situated on the primary star and facing the secondary. <BR /> Conclusions: The investigation of this unique dataset constitutes a further step in the understanding of Plaskett's star. These results provide a first basis for future seismic modelling and put forward the probable existence of non-radial pulsations in Plaskett's star. Moreover, the fit of the orbital variations confirms the problem of the distance of this system which was already mentioned in previous works. A hot region between both components renders the determination of the inclination ambiguous. The CoRoT space mission was developed and is operated by the French space agency CNES, with participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Spain.Table 2 is only available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a New AM CVn System with the Kepler Satellite
Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Green, E. M. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 726

We report the discovery of a new AM CVn system on the basis of broadband photometry obtained with the Kepler satellite supplemented by ground-based optical spectroscopy. Initially retained on Kepler ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a new AM CVn system on the basis of broadband photometry obtained with the Kepler satellite supplemented by ground-based optical spectroscopy. Initially retained on Kepler target lists as a potential compact pulsator, the blue object SDSS J190817.07+394036.4 (KIC 004547333) has turned out to be a high-state AM CVn star showing the He-dominated spectrum of its accretion disk significantly reddened by interstellar absorption. We constructed new grids of NLTE synthetic spectra for accretion disks in order to analyze our spectroscopic observations. From this analysis, we infer preliminary estimates of the rate of mass transfer, the inclination angle of the disk, and the distance to the system. The AM CVn nature of the system is also evident in the Kepler light curve, from which we extracted 11 secure periodicities. The luminosity variations are dominated by a basic periodicity of 938.507 s, likely to correspond to a superhump modulation. The light curve folded on the period of 938.507 s exhibits a pulse shape that is very similar to the superhump wavefront seen in AM CVn itself, which is a high-state system and the prototype of the class. Our Fourier analysis also suggests the likely presence of a quasi-periodic oscillation similar to those already observed in some high-state AM CVn systems. Furthermore, some very low-frequency, low-amplitude aperiodic photometric activity is likely present, which is in line with what is expected in accreting binary systems. Inspired by previous work, we further looked for and found some intriguing numerical relationships between the 11 secure detected frequencies, in the sense that we can account for all of them in terms of only three basic clocks. This is further evidence in favor of the AM CVn nature of the system. [less ▲]

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See detailKepler observations of the beaming binary KPD 1946+4340
Bloemen, S.; Marsh, T. R.; Ostensen, R. H. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2011), 410

The Kepler Mission has acquired 33.5 d of continuous 1-min photometry of KPD 1946+4340, a short-period binary system that consists of a subdwarf B star (sdB) and a white dwarf. In the light curve ... [more ▼]

The Kepler Mission has acquired 33.5 d of continuous 1-min photometry of KPD 1946+4340, a short-period binary system that consists of a subdwarf B star (sdB) and a white dwarf. In the light curve, eclipses are clearly seen, with the deepest occurring when the compact white dwarf crosses the disc of the sdB (0.4 per cent) and the more shallow ones (0.1 per cent) when the sdB eclipses the white dwarf. As expected, the sdB is deformed by the gravitational field of the white dwarf, which produces an ellipsoidal modulation of the light curve. Spectacularly, a very strong Doppler beaming (also known as Doppler boosting) effect is also clearly evident at the 0.1 per cent level. This originates from the sdB's orbital velocity, which we measure to be 164.0 ± 1.9 km s-1 from supporting spectroscopy. We present light-curve models that account for all these effects, as well as gravitational lensing, which decreases the apparent radius of the white dwarf by about 6 per cent, when it eclipses the sdB. We derive system parameters and uncertainties from the light curve using Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations. Adopting a theoretical white dwarf mass-radius relation, the mass of the subdwarf is found to be 0.47 ± 0.03 Msun and the mass of the white dwarf 0.59 ± 0.02 Msun. The effective temperature of the white dwarf is 15 900 ± 300 K. With a spectroscopic effective temperature of Teff= 34 730 ± 250 K and a surface gravity of log g= 5.43 ± 0.04, the subdwarf has most likely exhausted its core helium, and is in a shell He burning stage. The detection of Doppler beaming in Kepler light curves potentially allows one to measure radial velocities without the need of spectroscopic data. For the first time, a photometrically observed Doppler beaming amplitude is compared to a spectroscopically established value. The sdB's radial velocity amplitude derived from the photometry (168 ± 4 km s-1) is in perfect agreement with the spectroscopic value. After subtracting our best model for the orbital effects, we searched the residuals for stellar oscillations but did not find any significant pulsation frequencies. [less ▲]

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