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See detailMOA-2010-BLG-311: A planetary candidate below the threshold of reliable detection
Yee, J. C.; Hung, L.-W.; Bond, I. A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 769(1), 77

We analyze MOA-2010-BLG-311, a high magnification (A_max>600) microlensing event with complete data coverage over the peak, making it very sensitive to planetary signals. We fit this event with both a ... [more ▼]

We analyze MOA-2010-BLG-311, a high magnification (A_max>600) microlensing event with complete data coverage over the peak, making it very sensitive to planetary signals. We fit this event with both a point lens and a 2-body lens model and find that the 2-body lens model is a better fit but with only Delta chi^2~140. The preferred mass ratio between the lens star and its companion is $q=10^(-3.7+/-0.1), placing the candidate companion in the planetary regime. Despite the formal significance of the planet, we show that because of systematics in the data the evidence for a planetary companion to the lens is too tenuous to claim a secure detection. When combined with analyses of other high-magnification events, this event helps empirically define the threshold for reliable planet detection in high-magnification events, which remains an open question. [less ▲]

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See detailThe International Liquid Mirror Telescope project: optical quality tests and prospective detection of multiply imaged quasars
Finet, François ULg

Doctoral thesis (2013)

The International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT) project is a joint collaboration between different universities and research institutes in Belgium, Canada, India and Poland, for the design, construction ... [more ▼]

The International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT) project is a joint collaboration between different universities and research institutes in Belgium, Canada, India and Poland, for the design, construction and operation of a 4 meter liquid mirror telescope at the Devasthal Observatory (India). In the framework of the present thesis, we have contributed to the development of the ILMT. We have namely designed and manufactured an innovative instru- ment capable of measuring the optical quality of the primary mirror that may be affected by the propagation of wavelets on the mercury layer. The instrument is composed of a laser source, emitting a beam whose reflection on the mirror is modulated by slope variations induced by the wavelets. Preliminary tests were carried out showing the validity of the method for on site testing of the mirror. The ILMT has been designed to perform a photometric variability survey of a narrow strip of sky, making it very suitable for the detection and follow-up of photometrically variable sources such as supernovae and quasars. In the second part of this thesis, we present an estimate of the number of QSOs to be detected within the ILMT survey, and of the expected number of multiply imaged sources among these caused by the presence of a deflector near the lines-of- sight. We have studied the impact of various parameters on the expected number of detected gravitational lens systems, such as the instrumental resolution of the telescope, the galaxy population type(s) and corresponding lensing model(s), and the cosmological parameters. The statistical sample of multiply imaged QSOs is intended to be used as a cosmological probe. In order to make a sensitivity comparison between vari- ous modelling approaches, we introduce a new formalism to estimate the lensing probabilities, based on the joined probability density of the observed QSOs. This new formalism allows to calculate three probability densities: that asso- ciated with the optical depth distribution, as well as those related to the deflector and the lensed source redshift distributions. For the case of FLRW universes, we compare the sensitivity of these distributions as a function of the cosmological mass density. [less ▲]

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See detailFlux and color variations of the doubly imaged quasar UM673
Ricci, Davide ULg; Elyiv, Andrii ULg; Finet, François ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

With the aim of characterizing the flux and color variations of the multiple components of the gravitationally lensed quasar UM673 as a function of time, we have performed multi-epoch and multi-band ... [more ▼]

With the aim of characterizing the flux and color variations of the multiple components of the gravitationally lensed quasar UM673 as a function of time, we have performed multi-epoch and multi-band photometric observations with the Danish 1.54m telescope at the La Silla Observatory. The observations were carried out in the VRi spectral bands during four seasons (2008--2011). We reduced the data using the PSF (Point Spread Function) photometric technique as well as aperture photometry. Our results show for the brightest lensed component some significant decrease in flux between the first two seasons (+0.09/+0.11/+0.05 mag) and a subsequent increase during the following ones (-0.11/-0.11/-0.10 mag) in the V/R/i spectral bands, respectively. Comparing our results with previous studies, we find smaller color variations between these seasons as compared with previous ones. We also separate the contribution of the lensing galaxy from that of the fainter and close lensed component. [less ▲]

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See detailMOA-2010-BLG-523: "Failed Planet" = RS CVn Star
Gould, A.; Yee, J. C.; Bond, I. A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 763

The Galactic bulge source MOA-2010-BLG-523S exhibited short-term deviations from a standard microlensing light curve near the peak of an A [SUB]max[/SUB] ~ 265 high-magnification microlensing event. The ... [more ▼]

The Galactic bulge source MOA-2010-BLG-523S exhibited short-term deviations from a standard microlensing light curve near the peak of an A [SUB]max[/SUB] ~ 265 high-magnification microlensing event. The deviations originally seemed consistent with expectations for a planetary companion to the principal lens. We combine long-term photometric monitoring with a previously published high-resolution spectrum taken near peak to demonstrate that this is an RS CVn variable, so that planetary microlensing is not required to explain the light-curve deviations. This is the first spectroscopically confirmed RS CVn star discovered in the Galactic bulge. Based on observations made with the European Southern Observatory telescopes, Program ID 85.B-0399(I). [less ▲]

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See detailMOA-2010-BLG-073L: An M-dwarf with a Substellar Companion at the Planet/Brown Dwarf Boundary
Street, R. A.; Choi, J.-Y.; Tsapras, Y. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 763

We present an analysis of the anomalous microlensing event, MOA-2010-BLG-073, announced by the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics survey on 2010 March 18. This event was remarkable because the ... [more ▼]

We present an analysis of the anomalous microlensing event, MOA-2010-BLG-073, announced by the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics survey on 2010 March 18. This event was remarkable because the source was previously known to be photometrically variable. Analyzing the pre-event source light curve, we demonstrate that it is an irregular variable over timescales >200 days. Its dereddened color, (V - I)[SUB] S, 0[/SUB], is 1.221 ± 0.051 mag, and from our lens model we derive a source radius of 14.7 ± 1.3 R [SUB]&sun;[/SUB], suggesting that it is a red giant star. We initially explored a number of purely microlensing models for the event but found a residual gradient in the data taken prior to and after the event. This is likely to be due to the variability of the source rather than part of the lensing event, so we incorporated a slope parameter in our model in order to derive the true parameters of the lensing system. We find that the lensing system has a mass ratio of q = 0.0654 ± 0.0006. The Einstein crossing time of the event, t [SUB]E[/SUB] = 44.3 ± 0.1 days, was sufficiently long that the light curve exhibited parallax effects. In addition, the source trajectory relative to the large caustic structure allowed the orbital motion of the lens system to be detected. Combining the parallax with the Einstein radius, we were able to derive the distance to the lens, D[SUB]L[/SUB] = 2.8 ± 0.4 kpc, and the masses of the lensing objects. The primary of the lens is an M-dwarf with M [SUB] L, 1[/SUB] = 0.16 ± 0.03 M [SUB]&sun;[/SUB], while the companion has M [SUB] L, 2[/SUB] = 11.0 ± 2.0 M [SUB]J[/SUB], putting it in the boundary zone between planets and brown dwarfs. [less ▲]

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See detailThe transiting system GJ1214: high-precision defocused transit observations and a search for evidence of transit timing variation
Harpsøe, K. B. W.; Hardis, S.; Hinse, T. C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 549

<BR /> Aims: We present 11 high-precision photometric transitobservations of the transiting super-Earth planet GJ 1214 b. Combining these data with observations from other authors, we investigate the ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present 11 high-precision photometric transitobservations of the transiting super-Earth planet GJ 1214 b. Combining these data with observations from other authors, we investigate the ephemeris for possible signs of transit timing variations (TTVs) using a Bayesian approach. <BR /> Methods: The observations were obtained using telescope-defocusing techniques, and achieve a high precision with random errors in the photometry as low as 1 mmag per point. To investigate the possibility of TTVs in the light curve, we calculate the overall probability of a TTV signal using Bayesian methods. <BR /> Results: The observations are used to determine the photometric parameters and the physical properties of the GJ 1214 system. Our results are in good agreement with published values. Individual times of mid-transit are measured with uncertainties as low as 10 s, allowing us to reduce the uncertainty in the orbital period by a factor of two. <BR /> Conclusions: A Bayesian analysis reveals that it is highly improbable that the observed transit times is explained by TTV caused by a planet in the nominal habitable zone, when compared with the simpler alternative of a linear ephemeris. By the MiNDSTEp collaboration from the Danish 1.54 m telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory.Photometric data used in the light curves are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/549/A10 [less ▲]

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See detailTheoretical incidence of gravitational lensing effects (AGN) in the XXL field
Finet, François ULg; Elyiv, Andrii ULg; Melnyk, Olga ULg et al

in Proceedings of the XXL Consortium meeting in the Castle of the Meudon observatory, from 9 to 13 July, 2012 (2012, July 09)

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See detailVisual and automatic search for lens candidates in the XMM-LSS and XXL fields
Elyiv, Andrii ULg; Melnyk, Olga ULg; Finet, François ULg et al

in Proceedings of the XXL Consortium meeting in the Castle of the Meudon observatory, from 9 to 13 July, 2012 (2012, July 09)

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See detailMOA 2010-BLG-477Lb: Constraining the Mass of a Microlensing Planet from Microlensing Parallax, Orbital Motion, and Detection of Blended Light
Bachelet, E.; Shin, I.-G.; Han, C. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2012), 754

Microlensing detections of cool planets are important for the construction of an unbiased sample to estimate the frequency of planets beyond the snow line, which is where giant planets are thought to form ... [more ▼]

Microlensing detections of cool planets are important for the construction of an unbiased sample to estimate the frequency of planets beyond the snow line, which is where giant planets are thought to form according to the core accretion theory of planet formation. In this paper, we report the discovery of a giant planet detected from the analysis of the light curve of a high-magnification microlensing event MOA 2010-BLG-477. The measured planet-star mass ratio is q = (2.181 ± 0.004) × 10[SUP]-3[/SUP] and the projected separation is s = 1.1228 ± 0.0006 in units of the Einstein radius. The angular Einstein radius is unusually large θ[SUB]E[/SUB] = 1.38 ± 0.11 mas. Combining this measurement with constraints on the "microlens parallax" and the lens flux, we can only limit the host mass to the range 0.13 < M/M [SUB]&sun;[/SUB] < 1.0. In this particular case, the strong degeneracy between microlensing parallax and planet orbital motion prevents us from measuring more accurate host and planet masses. However, we find that adding Bayesian priors from two effects (Galactic model and Keplerian orbit) each independently favors the upper end of this mass range, yielding star and planet masses of M [SUB]*[/SUB] = 0.67[SUP]+0.33[/SUP] [SUB]- 0.13[/SUB] M [SUB]&sun;[/SUB] and m[SUB]p[/SUB] = 1.5[SUP]+0.8[/SUP] [SUB]- 0.3[/SUB] M [SUB]JUP[/SUB] at a distance of D = 2.3 ± 0.6 kpc, and with a semi-major axis of a = 2[SUP]+3[/SUP] [SUB]- 1[/SUB] AU. Finally, we show that the lens mass can be determined from future high-resolution near-IR adaptive optics observations independently from two effects, photometric and astrometric. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterizing Lenses and Lensed Stars of High-magnification Single-lens Gravitational Microlensing Events with Lenses Passing over Source Stars
Choi, J.-Y.; Shin, I.-G.; Park, S.-Y. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2012), 751

We present the analysis of the light curves of nine high-magnification single-lens gravitational microlensing events with lenses passing over source stars, including OGLE-2004-BLG-254, MOA-2007-BLG-176 ... [more ▼]

We present the analysis of the light curves of nine high-magnification single-lens gravitational microlensing events with lenses passing over source stars, including OGLE-2004-BLG-254, MOA-2007-BLG-176, MOA-2007-BLG-233/OGLE-2007-BLG-302, MOA-2009-BLG-174, MOA-2010-BLG-436, MOA-2011-BLG-093, MOA-2011-BLG-274, OGLE-2011-BLG-0990/MOA-2011-BLG-300, and OGLE-2011-BLG-1101/MOA-2011-BLG-325. For all of the events, we measure the linear limb-darkening coefficients of the surface brightness profile of source stars by measuring the deviation of the light curves near the peak affected by the finite-source effect. For seven events, we measure the Einstein radii and the lens-source relative proper motions. Among them, five events are found to have Einstein radii of less than 0.2 mas, making the lenses very low mass star or brown dwarf candidates. For MOA-2011-BLG-274, especially, the small Einstein radius of θ[SUB]E[/SUB] ~ 0.08 mas combined with the short timescale of t [SUB]E[/SUB] ~ 2.7 days suggests the possibility that the lens is a free-floating planet. For MOA-2009-BLG-174, we measure the lens parallax and thus uniquely determine the physical parameters of the lens. We also find that the measured lens mass of ~0.84 M [SUB]&sun;[/SUB] is consistent with that of a star blended with the source, suggesting that the blend is likely to be the lens. Although we did not find planetary signals for any of the events, we provide exclusion diagrams showing the confidence levels excluding the existence of a planet as a function of the separation and mass ratio. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrolensing Binaries Discovered through High-magnification Channel
Shin, I.-G.; Choi, J.-Y.; Park, S.-Y. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2012), 746

Microlensing can provide a useful tool to probe binary distributions down to low-mass limits of binary companions. In this paper, we analyze the light curves of eight binary-lensing events detected ... [more ▼]

Microlensing can provide a useful tool to probe binary distributions down to low-mass limits of binary companions. In this paper, we analyze the light curves of eight binary-lensing events detected through the channel of high-magnification events during the seasons from 2007 to 2010. The perturbations, which are confined near the peak of the light curves, can be easily distinguished from the central perturbations caused by planets. However, the degeneracy between close and wide binary solutions cannot be resolved with a 3σ confidence level for three events, implying that the degeneracy would be an important obstacle in studying binary distributions. The dependence of the degeneracy on the lensing parameters is consistent with a theoretical prediction that the degeneracy becomes severe as the binary separation and the mass ratio deviate from the values of resonant caustics. The measured mass ratio of the event OGLE-2008-BLG-510/MOA-2008-BLG-369 is q ~ 0.1, making the companion of the lens a strong brown dwarf candidate. [less ▲]

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See detailA brown dwarf orbiting an M-dwarf: MOA 2009-BLG-411L
Bachelet, E.; Fouqué, P.; Han, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 547

Context. Caustic crossing is the clearest signature of binary lenses in microlensing. In the present context, this signature is diluted by the large source star but a detailed analysis has allowed the ... [more ▼]

Context. Caustic crossing is the clearest signature of binary lenses in microlensing. In the present context, this signature is diluted by the large source star but a detailed analysis has allowed the companion signal to be extracted. <BR /> Aims: MOA 2009-BLG-411 was detected on August 5, 2009 by the MOA-Collaboration. Alerted as a high-magnification event, it was sensitive to planets. Suspected anomalies in the light curve were not confirmed by a real-time model, but further analysis revealed small deviations from a single lens extended source fit. <BR /> Methods: Thanks to observations by all the collaborations, this event was well monitored. We first decided to characterize the source star properties by using a more refined method than the classical one: we measure the interstellar absorption along the line of sight in five different passbands (VIJHK). Secondly, we model the lightcurve by using the standard technique: make (s,q,α) grids to look for local minima and refine the results by using a downhill method (Markov chain Monte Carlo). Finally, we use a Galactic model to estimate the physical properties of the lens components. <BR /> Results: We find that the source star is a giant G star with radius 9 R[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]. The grid search gives two local minima, which correspond to the theoretical degeneracy s ≡ s[SUP]-1[/SUP]. We find that the lens is composed of a brown dwarf secondary of mass M[SUB]S[/SUB] = 0.05 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB] orbiting a primary M-star of mass M[SUB]P[/SUB] = 0.18 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]. We also reveal a new mass-ratio degeneracy for the central caustics of close binaries. <BR /> Conclusions: As far as we are aware, this is the first detection using the microlensing technique of a binary system in our Galaxy composed of an M-star and a brown dwarf. Appendix is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe ILMT, QSO's and gravitational lenses
Finet, François ULg

Scientific conference (2012)

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See detailThe 4m International Liquid Mirror Telescope project
Finet, François ULg

Conference (2012)

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See detailDiscovery and Mass Measurements of a Cold, 10 Earth Mass Planet and Its Host Star
Muraki, Y.; Han, C.; Bennett, D. P. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 741

We present the discovery and mass measurement of the cold, low-mass planet MOA-2009-BLG-266Lb, performed with the gravitational microlensing method. This planet has a mass of m[SUB]p[/SUB] = 10.4 ± 1.7 M ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery and mass measurement of the cold, low-mass planet MOA-2009-BLG-266Lb, performed with the gravitational microlensing method. This planet has a mass of m[SUB]p[/SUB] = 10.4 ± 1.7 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] and orbits a star of mass M [SUB]sstarf[/SUB] = 0.56 ± 0.09 M[SUB]sun[/SUB] at a semimajor axis of a = 3.2{+1.9\atop -0.5} AU and an orbital period of P = 7.6{+7.7\atop -1.5} yrs. The planet and host star mass measurements are enabled by the measurement of the microlensing parallax effect, which is seen primarily in the light curve distortion due to the orbital motion of the Earth. But the analysis also demonstrates the capability to measure the microlensing parallax with the Deep Impact (or EPOXI) spacecraft in a heliocentric orbit. The planet mass and orbital distance are similar to predictions for the critical core mass needed to accrete a substantial gaseous envelope, and thus may indicate that this planet is a "failed" gas giant. This and future microlensing detections will test planet formation theory predictions regarding the prevalence and masses of such planets. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of bright multiply imaged quasars by GAIA
Finet, François ULg

Scientific conference (2011, June 06)

Bright multiply imaged quasars offer unique tools to investigate the properties of the Universe as a whole (cosmological parameters), the astrophysical properties of the remote galaxies acting as ... [more ▼]

Bright multiply imaged quasars offer unique tools to investigate the properties of the Universe as a whole (cosmological parameters), the astrophysical properties of the remote galaxies acting as deflectors (i.e. their mass, extinction law, ...) as well as the structure of the background sources (accretion disk, central engine, etc.). Multiply imaged quasars will represent the most easily identified signature of lensing in GAIA observations. Several thousands of such cases are expected with J <=20. Furthermore, the complete QSO catalog which will be built from the GAIA observations will be very attractive and unique in order to study QSO evolution, large scale structures, intervening absorbers, the inertial frame, ... The aim of this presentation is to report about a realistic estimate of the expected number of bright multiply imaged quasars that will be detected by GAIA. [less ▲]

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See detailMOA-2009-BLG-387Lb: a massive planet orbiting an M dwarf
Batista, V.; Gould, A.; Dieters, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 529

<BR /> Aims: We report the discovery of a planet with a high planet-to-star mass ratio in the microlensing event MOA-2009-BLG-387, which exhibited pronounced deviations over a 12-day interval, one of the ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We report the discovery of a planet with a high planet-to-star mass ratio in the microlensing event MOA-2009-BLG-387, which exhibited pronounced deviations over a 12-day interval, one of the longest for any planetary event. The host is an M dwarf, with a mass in the range 0.07 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB] < M[SUB]host[/SUB] < 0.49 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB] at 90% confidence. The planet-star mass ratio q = 0.0132 ± 0.003 has been measured extremely well, so at the best-estimated host mass, the planet mass is m[SUB]p[/SUB] = 2.6 Jupiter masses for the median host mass, M = 0.19 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]. <BR /> Methods: The host mass is determined from two "higher order" microlensing parameters. One of these, the angular Einstein radius θ[SUB]E[/SUB] = 0.31 ± 0.03 mas has been accurately measured, but the other (the microlens parallax π[SUB]E[/SUB], which is due to the Earth's orbital motion) is highly degenerate with the orbital motion of the planet. We statistically resolve the degeneracy between Earth and planet orbital effects by imposing priors from a Galactic model that specifies the positions and velocities of lenses and sources and a Kepler model of orbits. <BR /> Results: The 90% confidence intervals for the distance, semi-major axis, and period of the planet are 3.5 kpc < D[SUB]L[/SUB] < 7.9 kpc, 1.1 AU < a < 2.7 AU, and 3.8 yr < P < 7.6 yr, respectively. Photometric data is 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/529/A102">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/529/A102</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe International Liquid Mirror Telescope : first mercury test report
Finet, François ULg

Scientific conference (2011, March 04)

The ILMT is a four meter diameter liquid mirror telescope built in Liège by a collaboration of astronomers from Canada, India, ROB and ULg. In January 2011, for the first time, the mirror was tested with ... [more ▼]

The ILMT is a four meter diameter liquid mirror telescope built in Liège by a collaboration of astronomers from Canada, India, ROB and ULg. In January 2011, for the first time, the mirror was tested with liquid Mercury. After reminding liquid mirror basics, we present the different phenomenons that may affect the mirror surface quality. We then present a method created to test the ILMT surface quality and we summarize the course of the recent mercury tests. [less ▲]

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See detailTransiting planetary system WASP-2 (Southworth+, 2010)
Southworth, J.; Mancini, L.; Calchi Novati, S. et al

Textual, factual or bibliographical database (2011)

Light curves of four transits of the extrasolar planetary system WASP-2 are presented, obtained with substantial telescope defocussing in order to improve the photometric precision of the observations ... [more ▼]

Light curves of four transits of the extrasolar planetary system WASP-2 are presented, obtained with substantial telescope defocussing in order to improve the photometric precision of the observations. Three of the datasets were obtained using the Danish 1.5m telescope, DFOSC camera and R filter at ESO La Silla in 2010. One of these datasets was affected by cloud, so was not included in our analysis but is archived with the rest of the data in case it is useful to others. The fourth dataset was obtained with the Loiano 1.52m telescope, BFOSC camera and a Gunn r filter. We also include a datafile containing the times of transit midpoint from our own data and from other sources. [less ▲]

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See detailThe International Liquid Mirror Telescope (ILMT) as a Variability Time Machine
Poels, Joël ULg; Borra, Ermanno; Hickson, Paul et al

in Griffin, Elisabeth (Ed.) New Horizons In Time-Domain Astronomy, IAU Symposium No. 285, 2011 (2011)

During the year 2012 the International Liquid Mirror Telescope (a collaboration between astronomical institutions in Belgium, Canada, India and Poland) will see first light. The instrument will provide ... [more ▼]

During the year 2012 the International Liquid Mirror Telescope (a collaboration between astronomical institutions in Belgium, Canada, India and Poland) will see first light. The instrument will provide substantial, in-depth sky coverage and make an unprecedented number of nightly observations. [less ▲]

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