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See detailA global analysis of Spitzer and new HARPS data confirms the loneliness and metal-richness of GJ 436 b
Lanotte, Audrey ULg; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Demory, B.-O. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (in press)

Context. GJ 436b is one of the few transiting warm Neptunes for which a detailed characterisation of the atmosphere is possible, whereas its non-negligible orbital eccentricity calls for further ... [more ▼]

Context. GJ 436b is one of the few transiting warm Neptunes for which a detailed characterisation of the atmosphere is possible, whereas its non-negligible orbital eccentricity calls for further investigation. Independent analyses of several individual datasets obtained with Spitzer have led to contradicting results attributed to the different techniques used to treat the instrumental effects. Aims. We aim at investigating these previous controversial results and developing our knowledge of the system based on the full Spitzer photometry dataset combined with new Doppler measurements obtained with the HARPS spectrograph. We also want to search for additional planets. Methods. We optimise aperture photometry techniques and the photometric deconvolution algorithm DECPHOT to improve the data reduction of the Spitzer photometry spanning wavelengths from 3-24 {\mu}m. Adding the high precision HARPS radial velocity data, we undertake a Bayesian global analysis of the system considering both instrumental and stellar effects on the flux variation. Results. We present a refined radius estimate of RP=4.10 +/- 0.16 R_Earth, mass MP=25.4 +/- 2.1 M_Earth and eccentricity e= 0.162 +/- 0.004 for GJ 436b. Our measured transit depths remain constant in time and wavelength, in disagreement with the results of previous studies. In addition, we find that the post-occultation flare-like structure at 3.6 {\mu}m that led to divergent results on the occultation depth measurement is spurious. We obtain occultation depths at 3.6, 5.8, and 8.0 {\mu}m that are shallower than in previous works, in particular at 3.6 {\mu}m. However, these depths still appear consistent with a metal-rich atmosphere depleted in methane and enhanced in CO/CO2, although perhaps less than previously thought. We find no evidence for a potential planetary companion, stellar activity, nor for a stellar spin-orbit misalignment. [ABRIDGED] [less ▲]

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See detailGround-based transmission spectrum of WASP-80 b, a gas giant transiting an M-dwarf
Delrez, Laetitia ULg; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Lendl, Monika ULg et al

Poster (2014, June 09)

We present here some results from our ground-­based multi-­object spectroscopy program aiming to measure the transmission spectrum of the transiting hot Jupiter WASP-80b using the VLT/FORS2 instrument ... [more ▼]

We present here some results from our ground-­based multi-­object spectroscopy program aiming to measure the transmission spectrum of the transiting hot Jupiter WASP-80b using the VLT/FORS2 instrument. WASP-­80b is a unique object as it is the only known specimen of gas giant orbiting an M-dwarf that is bright enough for high SNR follow-­up measurements. Due to the nature of its host star, this hot Jupiter is actually more `warm' than `hot', with an estimated equilibrium temperature of only 800K. It is thus a prime target to improve our understanding of giant exoplanet atmospheres in this temperature range. [less ▲]

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See detailTransit confirmation and improved stellar and planet parameters for the super-Earth HD 97658 b and its host star
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Valencia, D. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2014), 786

Super-Earths transiting nearby bright stars are key objects that simultaneously allow for accurate measurements of both their mass and radius, providing essential constraints on their internal composition ... [more ▼]

Super-Earths transiting nearby bright stars are key objects that simultaneously allow for accurate measurements of both their mass and radius, providing essential constraints on their internal composition. We present here the confirmation, based on Spitzer transit observations, that the super-Earth HD 97658 b transits its host star. HD 97658 is a low-mass ($M_*=0.77\pm0.05\,M_{\odot}$) K1 dwarf, as determined from the Hipparcos parallax and stellar evolution modeling. To constrain the planet parameters, we carry out Bayesian global analyses of Keck-HIRES radial velocities, and MOST and Spitzer photometry. HD 97658 b is a massive ($M_P=7.55^{+0.83}_{-0.79} M_{\oplus}$) and large ($R_{P} = 2.247^{+0.098}_{-0.095} R_{\oplus}$ at 4.5 $\mu$m) super-Earth. We investigate the possible internal compositions for HD 97658 b. Our results indicate a large rocky component, by at least 60% by mass, and very little H-He components, at most 2% by mass. We also discuss how future asteroseismic observations can improve the knowledge of the HD 97658 system, in particular by constraining its age. Orbiting a bright host star, HD 97658 b will be a key target for coming space missions TESS, CHEOPS, PLATO, and also JWST, to characterize thoroughly its structure and atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards the first transmission spectrum of a gas giant transiting an M-dwarf
Delrez, Laetitia ULg; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Lendl, M. et al

Poster (2013, July 15)

At the forefront of comparative exoplanetology, the atmospheric characterization of transiting exoplanets is revealing the intimate nature of these new worlds. In this exciting context, we are currently ... [more ▼]

At the forefront of comparative exoplanetology, the atmospheric characterization of transiting exoplanets is revealing the intimate nature of these new worlds. In this exciting context, we are currently conducting a VLT observing campaign on a rare exoplanet specimen, WASP-80b, a gas giant in close orbit around a bright nearby M-dwarf. Even if this planet belongs to the hot-Jupiter population, it is actually more ‘warm’ than ‘hot’ with an estimated equilibrium temperature of only 800K. We present here some preliminary results of this program which consists in monitoring four transits of WASP-80b with the FORS2 instrument in multi-object spectroscopic mode in ESO phase 91. Through this approach, our goal is to precisely measure the transmission spectrum of the planet between 740 and 1070 nm in order to constrain the thermal structure and scacering properties of the planetary atmosphere. Furthermore, we will use the water features located around 950 nm to constrain the water mixing ratio in the atmosphere of this peculiar hot Jupiter. [less ▲]

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See detailSearch for a habitable terrestrial planet transiting the nearby red dwarf GJ 1214
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Demory, B.-O.; Madhusudhan, N. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013)

High-precision eclipse spectrophotometry of transiting terrestrial exoplanets represents a promising path for the first atmospheric characterizations of habitable worlds and the search for life outside ... [more ▼]

High-precision eclipse spectrophotometry of transiting terrestrial exoplanets represents a promising path for the first atmospheric characterizations of habitable worlds and the search for life outside our solar system. The detection of terrestrial planets transiting nearby late-type M-dwarfs could make this approach applicable within the next decade, with soon-to-come general facilities. In this context, we previously identified GJ 1214 as a high-priority target for a transit search, as the transit probability of a habitable planet orbiting this nearby M4.5 dwarf would be significantly enhanced by the transiting nature of GJ 1214 b, the super-Earth already known to orbit the star. Based on this observation, we have set up an ambitious high-precision photometric monitoring of GJ 1214 with the Spitzer Space Telescope to probe the inner part of its habitable zone in search of a transiting planet as small as Mars. We present here the results of this transit search. Unfortunately, we did not detect any other transiting planets. Assuming that GJ 1214 hosts a habitable planet larger than Mars that has an orbital period smaller than 20.9 days, our global analysis of the whole Spitzer dataset leads to an a posteriori no-transit probability of ~98%. Our analysis allows us to significantly improve the characterization of GJ 1214 b, to measure its occultation depth to be 70 ± 35 ppm at 4.5 mum, and to constrain it to be smaller than 205 ppm (3sigma upper limit) at 3.6 mum. In agreement with the many transmission measurements published so far for GJ 1214 b, these emission measurements are consistent with both a metal-rich and a cloudy hydrogen-rich atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailThe CORALIE survey for southern extrasolar planets XVII. New and updated long period and massive planets
Marmier, M.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

Context. Since 1998, a planet-search program around main sequence stars within 50 pc in the southern hemisphere has been carried out with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph at La Silla Observatory. Aims ... [more ▼]

Context. Since 1998, a planet-search program around main sequence stars within 50 pc in the southern hemisphere has been carried out with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph at La Silla Observatory. Aims: With an observing time span of more than 14 years, the CORALIE survey is now able to unveil Jovian planets on Jupiter's period domain. This growing period-interval coverage is important for building formation and migration models since observational constraints are still weak for periods beyond the ice line. Methods: Long-term precise Doppler measurements with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph, together with a few additional observations made with the HARPS spectrograph on the ESO 3.6 m telescope, reveal radial velocity signatures of massive planetary companions on long-period orbits. Results: In this paper we present seven new planets orbiting HD 27631, HD 98649, HD 106515A, HD 166724, HD 196067, HD 219077, and HD 220689, together with the CORALIE orbital parameters for three already known planets around HD 10647, HD 30562, and HD 86226. The period range of the new planetary companions goes from 2200 to 5500 days and covers a mass domain between 1 and 10.5 MJup. Surprisingly, five of them present very high eccentricities above e > 0.57. A pumping scenario by Kozai mechanism may be invoked for HD 106515Ab and HD 196067b, which are both orbiting stars in multiple systems. Since the presence of a third massive body cannot be inferred from the data of HD 98649b, HD 166724b, and HD 219077b, the origin of the eccentricity of these systems remains unknown. Except for HD 10647b, no constraint on the upper mass of the planets is provided by Hipparcos astrometric data. Finally, the hosts of these long period planets show no metallicity excess. [less ▲]

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See detailImproved precision on the radius of the nearby super-Earth 55 Cnc e
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Demory, B.-O.; Benneke, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 539

We report on new transit photometry for the super-Earth 55 Cnc e obtained with Warm Spitzer/IRAC at 4.5 microns. An individual analysis of these new data leads to a planet radius of 2.21-0.16+0.15 Rearth ... [more ▼]

We report on new transit photometry for the super-Earth 55 Cnc e obtained with Warm Spitzer/IRAC at 4.5 microns. An individual analysis of these new data leads to a planet radius of 2.21-0.16+0.15 Rearth, in good agreement with the values previously derived from the MOST and Spitzer transit discovery data. A global analysis of both Spitzer transit time-series improves the precision on the radius of the planet at 4.5 microns to 2.20+-0.12 Rearth. We also performed an independent analysis of the MOST data, paying particular attention to the influence of the systematic effects of instrumental origin on the derived parameters and errors by including them in a global model instead of performing a preliminary detrending-filtering processing. We deduce from this reanalysis of MOST data an optical planet radius of 2.04+-0.15 Rearth that is consistent with our Spitzer infrared radius. Assuming the achromaticity of the transit depth, we performed a global analysis combining Spitzer and MOST data that results in a planet radius of 2.17+-0.10 Rearth (13,820+-620 km). These results confirm that the most probable composition of 55 Cnc e is an envelope of supercritical water above a rocky nucleus. [less ▲]

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See detailThe TRAPPIST survey of southern transiting planets. I. Thirty eclipses of the ultra-short period planet WASP-43 b
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Triaud, A H M J; Fortney, J. J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 542

We present twenty-three transit light curves and seven occultation light curves for the ultra-short period planet WASP-43 b, in addition to eight new measurements of the radial velocity of the star ... [more ▼]

We present twenty-three transit light curves and seven occultation light curves for the ultra-short period planet WASP-43 b, in addition to eight new measurements of the radial velocity of the star. Thanks to this extensive data set, we improve significantly the parameters of the system. Notably, the largely improved precision on the stellar density (2.41 ± 0.08 ρsun) combined with constraining the age to be younger than a Hubble time allows us to break the degeneracy of the stellar solution mentioned in the discovery paper. The resulting stellar mass and size are 0.717 ± 0.025 Msun and 0.667 ± 0.011 Rsun. Our deduced physical parameters for the planet are 2.034 ± 0.052 MJup and 1.036 ± 0.019 RJup. Taking into account its level of irradiation, the high density of the planet favors an old age and a massive core. Our deduced orbital eccentricity, 0.0035-0.0025+0.0060, is consistent with a fully circularized orbit. We detect the emission of the planet at 2.09 μm at better than 11-σ, the deduced occultation depth being 1560 ± 140 ppm. Our detection of the occultation at 1.19 μm is marginal (790 ± 320 ppm) and more observations are needed to confirm it. We place a 3-σ upper limit of 850 ppm on the depth of the occultation at ~0.9 μm. Together, these results strongly favor a poor redistribution of the heat to the night-side of the planet, and marginally favor a model with no day-side temperature inversion. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of a transit of the super-Earth 55 Cnc e with Warm Spitzer
Demory, B.-O.; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Deming, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 533

We report on the detection of a transit of the super-Earth 55 Cnc e with warm Spitzer in IRAC's 4.5 μm band. Our MCMC analysis includes an extensive modeling of the systematic effects affecting warm ... [more ▼]

We report on the detection of a transit of the super-Earth 55 Cnc e with warm Spitzer in IRAC's 4.5 μm band. Our MCMC analysis includes an extensive modeling of the systematic effects affecting warm Spitzer photometry, and yields a transit depth of 410 ± 63 ppm, which translates to a planetary radius of 2.08+0.16-0.17 R_oplus as measured in IRAC 4.5 μm channel. A planetary mass of 7.81-0.53+0.58 M_oplus is derived from an extensive set of radial-velocity data, yielding a mean planetary density of 4.78-1.20+1.31 g cm-3. Thanks to the brightness of its host star (V = 6, K = 4), 55 Cnc e is a unique target for the thorough characterization of a super-Earth orbiting around a solar-type star. [less ▲]

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See detailA short-period super-Earth orbiting the M2.5 dwarf GJ 3634. Detection with HARPS velocimetry and transit search with Spitzer photometry
Bonfils, X.; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Forveille, T. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 528

We report on the detection of GJ 3634b, a super-Earth of mass m sin i = 7.0[SUB]-0.8[SUP]+0.9[/SUP]~M_⊕[/SUB] and period P = 2.64561 ± 0.00066 day. Its host star is a M2.5 dwarf, has a mass of 0.45 ± 0.05 ... [more ▼]

We report on the detection of GJ 3634b, a super-Earth of mass m sin i = 7.0[SUB]-0.8[SUP]+0.9[/SUP]~M_⊕[/SUB] and period P = 2.64561 ± 0.00066 day. Its host star is a M2.5 dwarf, has a mass of 0.45 ± 0.05 M[SUB]ȯ[/SUB], a radius of 0.43 ± 0.03 R[SUB]ȯ[/SUB] and lies 19.8 ± 0.6 pc away from our Sun. The planet is detected after a radial-velocity campaign using the ESO/Harps spectrograph. GJ 3634b had an a priori geometric probability to undergo transit of ~7% and, if telluric in composition, a non-grazing transit would produce a photometric dip of ≲0.1%. We therefore followed-up upon the RV detection with photometric observations using the 4.5-μm band of the IRAC imager onboard Spitzer. Our six-hour long light curve excludes that a transit occurs for 2σ of the probable transit window, decreasing the probability that GJ 3634b undergoes transit to ~0.5%. Based on observations made with the Harps instrument on the ESO 3.6-m telescope at La Silla Observatory under program IDs 082.C-0718(B) and183.C-0437(A), and observations made with Warm Spitzer under program 60027.Radial-velocity and photometric tables (Tables 2 and 3) are only available in electronic form 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/528/A111">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/528/A111</A> [less ▲]

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See detailAn educated search for transiting habitable planets: (Research Note) Targetting M dwarfs with known transiting planets
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Bonfils, X.; Demory, B-O et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 525

Because the planets of a system form in a flattened disk, they are expected to share similar orbital inclinations at the end of their formation. The high-precision photometric monitoring of stars known to ... [more ▼]

Because the planets of a system form in a flattened disk, they are expected to share similar orbital inclinations at the end of their formation. The high-precision photometric monitoring of stars known to host a transiting planet could thus reveal the transits of one or more other planets. We investigate here the potential of this approach for the M dwarf GJ 1214 that hosts a transiting super-Earth. For this system, we infer the transit probabilities as a function of orbital periods. Using Monte-Carlo simulations we address both the cases for fully coplanar and for non-coplanar orbits, with three different choices of inclinations distribution for the non-coplanar case. GJ 1214 reveals to be a very promising target for the considered approach. Because of its small size, a ground-based photometric monitoring of this star could detect the transit of a habitable planet as small as the Earth, while a space-based monitoring could detect any transiting habitable planet down to the size of Mars. The mass measurement of such a small planet would be out of reach for current facilities, but we emphasize that a planet mass would not be needed to confirm the planetary nature of the transiting object. Furthermore, the radius measurement combined with theoretical arguments would help us to constrain the structure of the planet [less ▲]

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See detailThe thermal emission of the young and massive planet CoRoT-2b at 4.5 and 8 μm
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Lanotte, Audrey ULg; Barman, T. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2010), 511

We report measurements of the thermal emission of the young and massive planet CoRoT-2b at 4.5 and 8 microns with the Spitzer Infrared Array Camera (IRAC). Our measured occultation depths are 0.510 +- 0 ... [more ▼]

We report measurements of the thermal emission of the young and massive planet CoRoT-2b at 4.5 and 8 microns with the Spitzer Infrared Array Camera (IRAC). Our measured occultation depths are 0.510 +- 0.042 % and 0.41 +- 0.11 % at 4.5 and 8 microns, respectively. In addition to the CoRoT optical measurements, these planet/star flux ratios indicate a poor heat distribution to the night side of the planet and are in better agreement with an atmosphere free of temperature inversion layer. Still, the presence of such an inversion is not definitely ruled out by the observations and a larger wavelength coverage is required to remove the current ambiguity. Our global analysis of CoRoT, Spitzer and ground-based data confirms the large mass and size of the planet with slightly revised values (Mp = 3.47 +- 0.22 Mjup, Rp = 1.466 +- 0.044 Rjup). We find a small but significant offset in the timing of the occultation when compared to a purely circular orbital solution, leading to e cos(omega) = -0.00291 +- 0.00063 where e is the orbital eccentricity and omega is the argument of periastron. Constraining the age of the system to be at most of a few hundreds of Myr and assuming that the non-zero orbital eccentricity is not due to a third undetected body, we model the coupled orbital-tidal evolution of the system with various tidal Q values, core sizes and initial orbital parameters. For log(Q_s') = 5 - 6, our modelling is able to explain the large radius of CoRoT-2b if log(Q_p') <= 5.5 through a transient tidal circularization and corresponding planet tidal heating event. Under this model, the planet will reach its Roche limit within 20 Myr at most. [less ▲]

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See detailThe CORALIE survey for southern extrasolar planets. XVI. Discovery of a planetary system around HD 147018 and of two long period and massive planets orbiting HD 171238 and HD 204313
Segransan, D.; Udry, S.; Mayor, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2010), 511

We report the detection of a double planetary system around HD 140718 as well as the discovery of two long period and massive planets orbiting HD 171238 and HD 204313. Those discoveries were made with the ... [more ▼]

We report the detection of a double planetary system around HD 140718 as well as the discovery of two long period and massive planets orbiting HD 171238 and HD 204313. Those discoveries were made with the CORALIE Echelle spectrograph mounted on the 1.2-m Euler Swiss telescope located at La Silla Observatory, Chile. The planetary system orbiting the nearby G9 dwarf HD 147018 is composed of an eccentric inner planet (e = 0.47) with twice the mass of Jupiter (2.1 MJup) and with an orbital period of 44.24 days. The outer planet is even more massive (6.6 MJup) with a slightly eccentric orbit (e = 0.13) and a period of 1008 days. The planet orbiting HD 171238 has a minimum mass of 2.6 MJup, a period of 1523 days and an eccentricity of 0.40. It orbits a G8 dwarfs at 2.5 AU. The last planet, <ASTROBJ>HD 204313</ASTROBJ> b, is a 4.0 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]-planet with a period of 5.3 years and has a low eccentricity (e = 0.13). It orbits a G5 dwarfs at 3.1 AU. The three parent stars are metal rich, which further strengthens the case that massive planets tend to form around metal rich stars. [less ▲]

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See detailGJ 436c? The contribution of transit timings
Demory, B*-O; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Waelkens, C. et al

in IAU Symposium 253: Transiting planets (2009, February 01)

From recent high-accuracy transit timings measurements, we discard the 5 M_earth planet recently proposed by Ribas et al. (2008). Thanks to a combined radial-velocity and transit timings overview we also ... [more ▼]

From recent high-accuracy transit timings measurements, we discard the 5 M_earth planet recently proposed by Ribas et al. (2008). Thanks to a combined radial-velocity and transit timings overview we also define a mass/period domain in which a secondary planet may be found in the system. We also show that timings obtained until now, although not sufficient to remove degeneracies on mass and period, can still restrict the parameter space of the potential secondary planet. [less ▲]

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See detailVLT transit and occultation photometry for the bloated planet CoRoT-1b
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Demory, B.-O.; Triaud, A.H.M.J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2009), 506

We present VLT eclipse photometry for the giant planet CoRoT-1b. We observed a transit in the R-band filter and an occultation in a narrow filter centered on 2.09 microns. Our analysis of this new ... [more ▼]

We present VLT eclipse photometry for the giant planet CoRoT-1b. We observed a transit in the R-band filter and an occultation in a narrow filter centered on 2.09 microns. Our analysis of this new photometry and published radial velocities, in combination with stellar-evolutionary modeling, leads to a planetary mass and radius of 1.07 (+0.13,-0.18) M_Jup and 1.45 (+0.07,-0.13) R_Jup, confirming the very low density previously deduced from CoRoT photometry. The large occultation depth that we measure at 2.09 microns (0.278 (+0.043,-0.066) %) is consistent with thermal emission and is better reproduced by an atmospheric model with no redistribution of the absorbed stellar flux to the night side of the planet. [less ▲]

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See detailErratum to "Accurate Spitzer infrared radius measurement for the hot Neptune GJ 436b"
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Demory, B*-O; Barman, T. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2008), 490

Not Available

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See detailCharacterization of the hot Neptune GJ 436 b with Spitzer and ground-based observations
Demory, B*-O; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Barman, T. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2007), 475

We present Spitzer Space Telescope infrared photometry of a secondary eclipse of the hot Neptune GJ 436 b. The observations were obtained using the 8-mum band of the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC). The data ... [more ▼]

We present Spitzer Space Telescope infrared photometry of a secondary eclipse of the hot Neptune GJ 436 b. The observations were obtained using the 8-mum band of the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC). The data spanning the predicted time of secondary eclipse show a clear flux decrement with the expected shape and duration. The observed eclipse depth of 0.58 mmag allows us to estimate a blackbody brightness temperature of T[SUB]p[/SUB] = 717 ± 35 K at 8 mum. We compare this infrared flux measurement to a model of the planetary thermal emission, and show that this model reproduces properly the observed flux decrement. The timing of the secondary eclipse confirms the non-zero orbital eccentricity of the planet, while also increasing its precision (e = 0.14 ± 0.01). Additional new spectroscopic and photometric observations allow us to estimate the rotational period of the star and to assess the potential presence of another planet. Our final secondary eclipse, photometric and Ca II H+K index time series are available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/475/1125 [less ▲]

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See detailAccurate Spitzer infrared radius measurement for the hot Neptune GJ 436b
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Demory, B*-O; Barman, T. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2007), 471

We present Spitzer Space Telescope infrared photometry of a primary transit of the hot Neptune GJ 436b. The observations were obtained using the 8 mum band of the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC). The high ... [more ▼]

We present Spitzer Space Telescope infrared photometry of a primary transit of the hot Neptune GJ 436b. The observations were obtained using the 8 mum band of the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC). The high accuracy of the transit data and the weak limb-darkening in the 8 mum IRAC band allow us to derive (assuming M = 0.44 ± 0.04 M_o for the primary) a precise value for the planetary radius (4.19[SUP]+0.21[/SUP][SUB]-0.16[/SUB] R_â ), the stellar radius (0.463[SUP]+0.022[/SUP][SUB]-0.017[/SUB] R_o), the orbital inclination (85.90°[SUP]+0.19°[/SUP][SUB]-0.18°[/SUB]) and transit timing (2454280.78186[SUP]+0.00015[/SUP][SUB]-0.00008[/SUB] HJD). Assuming current planet models, an internal structure similar to that of Neptune with a small H/He envelope is necessary to account for the measured radius of GJ 436b. The photometric data are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/471/L51 [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of transits of the nearby hot Neptune GJ 436 b
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Pont, F.; Demory, B*-O et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2007), 472

This Letter reports on the photometric detection of transits of the Neptune-mass planet orbiting the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436. It is by far the closest, smallest, and least massive transiting planet ... [more ▼]

This Letter reports on the photometric detection of transits of the Neptune-mass planet orbiting the nearby M-dwarf star GJ 436. It is by far the closest, smallest, and least massive transiting planet detected so far. Its mass is slightly larger than Neptune's at M = 22.6 ± 1.9 M_â . The shape and depth of the transit lightcurves show that it is crossing the host star disc near its limb (impact parameter 0.84 ± 0.03) and that the planet size is comparable to that of Uranus and Neptune, R = 25 200 ± 2200 km = 3.95 ± 0.35 R_â . Its main constituant is therefore very likely to be water ice. If the current planet structure models are correct, an outer layer of H/He constituting up to ten percent in mass is probably needed on top of the ice to account for the observed radius. [less ▲]

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