References of "Gillon, Michaël"
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See detailThe small binary asteroid (939) Isberga
Carry, B.; Matter, A.; Scheirich, P. et al

in Icarus (2015), 248

In understanding the composition and internal structure of asteroids, their density is perhaps the most diagnostic quantity. We aim here at characterizing the surface composition, mutual orbit, size, mass ... [more ▼]

In understanding the composition and internal structure of asteroids, their density is perhaps the most diagnostic quantity. We aim here at characterizing the surface composition, mutual orbit, size, mass, and density of the small main-belt binary asteroid (939) Isberga. For that, we conduct a suite of multi-technique observations, including optical lightcurves over many epochs, near-infrared spectroscopy, and interferometry in the thermal infrared. We develop a simple geometric model of binary systems to analyze the interferometric data in combination with the results of the lightcurve modeling. From spectroscopy, we classify Ibserga as a Sq-type asteroid, consistent with the albedo of 0.14<SUB>-0.06</SUB><SUP>+0.09</SUP> (all uncertainties are reported as 3-σ range) we determine (average albedo of S-types is 0.197 ± 0.153, see Pravec et al. (Pravec et al. [2012]. Icarus 221, 365-387). Lightcurve analysis reveals that the mutual orbit has a period of 26.6304 ± 0.0001 h, is close to circular (eccentricity lower than 0.1), and has pole coordinates within 7° of (225°, +86°) in Ecliptic J2000, implying a low obliquity of 1.5<SUB>-1.5</SUB><SUP>+6.0</SUP> deg . The combined analysis of lightcurves and interferometric data allows us to determine the dimension of the system and we find volume-equivalent diameters of 12.4<SUB>-1.2</SUB><SUP>+2.5</SUP> km and 3.6<SUB>-0.3</SUB><SUP>+0.7</SUP> km for Isberga and its satellite, circling each other on a 33 km wide orbit. Their density is assumed equal and found to be 2.91<SUB>-2.01</SUB><SUP>+1.72</SUP> gcm<SUP>-3</SUP> , lower than that of the associated ordinary chondrite meteorites, suggesting the presence of some macroporosity, but typical of S-types of the same size range (Carry [2012]. Planet. Space Sci. 73, 98-118). The present study is the first direct measurement of the size of a small main-belt binary. Although the interferometric observations of Isberga are at the edge of MIDI capabilities, the method described here is applicable to others suites of instruments (e.g., LBT, ALMA). [less ▲]

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See detailEvidence that Pluto's atmosphere does not collapse from occultations including the 2013 May 04 event
Olkin, C. B.; Young, L. A.; Borncamp, D. et al

in Icarus (2015), 246

Combining stellar occultation observations probing Pluto's atmosphere from 1988 to 2013, and models of energy balance between Pluto's surface and atmosphere, we find the preferred models are consistent ... [more ▼]

Combining stellar occultation observations probing Pluto's atmosphere from 1988 to 2013, and models of energy balance between Pluto's surface and atmosphere, we find the preferred models are consistent with Pluto retaining a collisional atmosphere throughout its 248-year orbit. The occultation results show an increasing atmospheric pressure with time in the current epoch, a trend present only in models with a high thermal inertia and a permanent N<SUB>2</SUB> ice cap at Pluto's north rotational pole. [less ▲]

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See detailThe binary near-Earth Asteroid (175706) 1996 FG3 - An observational constraint on its orbital evolution
Scheirich, P.; Pravec, P.; Jacobson, S. A. et al

in Icarus (2015), 245

Using our photometric observations taken between April 1996 and January 2013 and other published data, we derived properties of the binary near-Earth Asteroid (175706) 1996 FG<SUB>3</SUB> including new ... [more ▼]

Using our photometric observations taken between April 1996 and January 2013 and other published data, we derived properties of the binary near-Earth Asteroid (175706) 1996 FG<SUB>3</SUB> including new measurements constraining evolution of the mutual orbit with potential consequences for the entire binary asteroid population. We also refined previously determined values of parameters of both components, making 1996 FG<SUB>3</SUB> one of the most well understood binary asteroid systems. With our 17-year long dataset, we determined the orbital vector with a substantially greater accuracy than before and we also placed constraints on a stability of the orbit. Specifically, the ecliptic longitude and latitude of the orbital pole are 266 ° and - 83 ° , respectively, with the mean radius of the uncertainty area of 4 ° , and the orbital period is 16.1508 ± 0.0002 h (all quoted uncertainties correspond to 3σ). We looked for a quadratic drift of the mean anomaly of the satellite and obtained a value of 0.04 ± 0.20 deg /yr<SUP>2</SUP> , i.e., consistent with zero. The drift is substantially lower than predicted by the pure binary YORP (BYORP) theory of McMahon and Scheeres (McMahon, J., Scheeres, D. [2010]. Icarus 209, 494-509) and it is consistent with the tigidity and quality factor of μQ = 1.3 ×10<SUP>7</SUP> Pa using the theory that assumes an elastic response of the asteroid material to the tidal forces. This very low value indicates that the primary of 1996 FG<SUB>3</SUB> is a 'rubble pile', and it also calls for a re-thinking of the tidal energy dissipation in close asteroid binary systems. [less ▲]

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See detailDust from Comet 209P/LINEAR during its 2014 Return: Parent Body of a New Meteor Shower, the May Camelopardalids
Ishiguro, Masateru; Kuroda, Daisuke; Hanayama, Hidekazu et al

in The Astrophysical Journal Letters (2015), 798

We report a new observation of the Jupiter family comet 209P/LINEAR during its 2014 return. The comet is recognized as a dust source of a new meteor shower, the May Camelopardalids. 209P/LINEAR was ... [more ▼]

We report a new observation of the Jupiter family comet 209P/LINEAR during its 2014 return. The comet is recognized as a dust source of a new meteor shower, the May Camelopardalids. 209P/LINEAR was apparently inactive at a heliocentric distance r<SUB>h</SUB> = 1.6 AU and showed weak activity at r<SUB>h</SUB> <= 1.4 AU. We found an active region of <0.001% of the entire nuclear surface during the comet's dormant phase. An edge-on image suggests that particles up to 1 cm in size (with an uncertainty of factor 3-5) were ejected following a differential power-law size distribution with index q = –3.25 ± 0.10. We derived a mass-loss rate of 2-10 kg s<SUP>–1</SUP> during the active phase and a total mass of ≈5 × 10<SUP>7</SUP> kg during the 2014 return. The ejection terminal velocity of millimeter- to centimeter-sized particles was 1-4 m s<SUP>–1</SUP>, which is comparable to the escape velocity from the nucleus (1.4 m s<SUP>–1</SUP>). These results imply that such large meteoric particles marginally escaped from the highly dormant comet nucleus via the gas drag force only within a few months of the perihelion passage. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-94 A and B planets: hot-Jupiter cousins in a twin-star system
Neveu-VanMalle, M.; Queloz, D.; Anderson, D. R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 572

We report the discovery of two hot-Jupiter planets, each orbiting one of the stars of a wide binary system. <ASTROBJ>WASP-94A</ASTROBJ> (<ASTROBJ>2MASS 20550794-3408079</ASTROBJ>) is an F8 type star ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of two hot-Jupiter planets, each orbiting one of the stars of a wide binary system. <ASTROBJ>WASP-94A</ASTROBJ> (<ASTROBJ>2MASS 20550794-3408079</ASTROBJ>) is an F8 type star hosting a transiting planet with a radius of 1.72 ± 0.06 R<SUB>Jup</SUB>, a mass of 0.452 ± 0.034 M<SUB>Jup</SUB>, and an orbital period of 3.95 days. The Rossiter-McLaughlin effect is clearly detected, and the measured projected spin-orbit angle indicates that the planet occupies a retrograde orbit. <ASTROBJ>WASP-94B</ASTROBJ> (<ASTROBJ>2MASS 20550915-3408078</ASTROBJ>) is an F9 stellar companion at an angular separation of 15'' (projected separation 2700 au), hosting a gas giant with a minimum mass of 0.618 ± 0.028 M<SUB>Jup</SUB> with a period of 2.008 days, detected by Doppler measurements. The orbital planes of the two planets are inclined relative to each other, indicating that at least one of them is inclined relative to the plane of the stellar binary. These hot Jupiters in a binary system bring new insights into the formation of close-in giant planets and the role of stellar multiplicity. The radial-velocity and photometric data used for this work are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/572/A49">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/572/A49</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThree sub-Jupiter-mass planets: WASP-69b & WASP-84b transit active K dwarfs and WASP-70Ab transits the evolved primary of a G4+K3 binary
Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A.; Delrez, Laetitia ULg et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 445(2),

We report the discovery of the transiting exoplanets WASP-69b, WASP-70Ab and WASP-84b, each of which orbits a bright star (V ˜ 10). WASP-69b is a bloated Saturn-mass planet (0.26 MJup, 1.06 RJup) in a 3 ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of the transiting exoplanets WASP-69b, WASP-70Ab and WASP-84b, each of which orbits a bright star (V ˜ 10). WASP-69b is a bloated Saturn-mass planet (0.26 MJup, 1.06 RJup) in a 3.868-d period around an active, ˜1-Gyr, mid-K dwarf. ROSAT detected X-rays 60±27 arcsec from WASP-69. If the star is the source then the planet could be undergoing mass-loss at a rate of ˜1012 g s-1. This is one to two orders of magnitude higher than the evaporation rate estimated for HD 209458b and HD 189733b, both of which have exhibited anomalously large Lyman alpha absorption during transit. WASP-70Ab is a sub-Jupiter-mass planet (0.59 MJup, 1.16 RJup) in a 3.713-d orbit around the primary of a spatially resolved, 9-10-Gyr, G4+K3 binary, with a separation of 3.3 arcsec (>=800 au). WASP-84b is a sub-Jupiter-mass planet (0.69 MJup, 0.94 RJup) in an 8.523-d orbit around an active, ˜1-Gyr, early-K dwarf. Of the transiting planets discovered from the ground to date, WASP-84b has the third-longest period. For the active stars WASP-69 and WASP-84, we pre-whitened the radial velocities using a low-order harmonic series. We found that this reduced the residual scatter more than did the oft-used method of pre-whitening with a fit between residual radial velocity and bisector span. The system parameters were essentially unaffected by pre-whitening. [less ▲]

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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 (2014), 572

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 detailThe TRAPPIST comet survey in 2014
Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2014, November 01), 46

TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that has been installed in June 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory [1]. Operated from Liège (Belgium) it is ... [more ▼]

TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that has been installed in June 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory [1]. Operated from Liège (Belgium) it is devoted to the detection and characterisation of exoplanets and to the study of comets and other small bodies in the Solar System. A set of narrowband cometary filters designed by the NASA for the Hale-Bopp Observing Campaign [2] is permanently mounted on the telescope along with classic Johnson-Cousins filters. We describe here the hardware and the goals of the project. For relatively bright comets (V < 12) we measure several times a week the gaseous production rates (using a Haser model) and the spatial distribution of several species among which OH, NH, CN, C2 and C3 as well as ions like CO+. The dust production rates (Afrho) and color of the dust aredetermined through four dust continuum bands from the UV to the red (UC, BC, GC, RC filters). We will present the dust and gas production rates of the brightest comets observed in 2014: C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS), C/2014 E2 (Jacques), C/2013 A1 (Siding Springs) and C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden). Each of these comets have been observed at least once a week for several weeks to several months. Light curves with respect to the heliocentric distance will be presented and discussed. [1] Jehin et al., The Messenger, 145, 2-6, 2011.[2] Farnham et al., Icarus, 147, 180-204, 2000. [less ▲]

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See detailTRAPPIST monitoring of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)
Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2014, November 01), 46

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is a long period comet discovered by Robert H McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia on January 3, 2013 at 7.2 au from the Sun. This comet will make a close encounter ... [more ▼]

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is a long period comet discovered by Robert H McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia on January 3, 2013 at 7.2 au from the Sun. This comet will make a close encounter with Mars on October 19, 2014. At this occasion the comet will be extensively observed both from Earth and from several orbiters around Mars.On September 20, 2013 when the comet was around 5 au from the Sun, we started a monitoring with the TRAPPIST robotic telescope installed at La Silla observatory [1]. A set of narrowband cometary filters designed by the NASA for the Hale-Bopp Observing Campaign [2] is permanently mounted on the telescope along with classic Johnson-Cousins B, V, Rc, and Ic filters.We observed the comet continuously at least once a week from September 20, 2013 to April 6, 2014 with broad band filters. We then recovered the comet on May 20. At this time we could detect the gas and started the observations with narrow band filters until early November, covering the close approach to Mars and the perihelion passage.We present here our first results about comet Siding Springs. From the images in the broad band filters and in the dust continuum filters we derived A(θ)fρ values [3] and studied the evolution of the comet activity with the heliocentric distance from September 20, 2013 to early November 2014. We could also detect gas since May 20, 2014. We thus derived gas production rates using a Haser model [4]. We present the evolution of gas production rates and gas production rates ratios with the heliocentric distance.Finally, we discuss the dust and gas coma morphology. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-104b and WASP-106b: two transiting hot Jupiters in 1.75-day and 9.3-day orbits
Smith, A. M. S.; Anderson, D. R.; Armstrong, D. J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014)

We report the discovery from the WASP survey of two exoplanetary systems, each consisting of a Jupiter-sized planet transiting an 11th magnitude (V) main-sequence star. WASP-104b orbits its star in 1.75 d ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery from the WASP survey of two exoplanetary systems, each consisting of a Jupiter-sized planet transiting an 11th magnitude (V) main-sequence star. WASP-104b orbits its star in 1.75 d, whereas WASP-106b has the fourth-longest orbital period of any planet discovered by means of transits observed from the ground, orbiting every 9.29 d. Each planet is more massive than Jupiter (WASP-104b has a mass of 1.27±0.05 MJup, while WASP-106b has a mass of 1.93±0.08 MJup). Both planets are just slightly larger than Jupiter, with radii of 1.14±0.04 and 1.09±0.04 RJup for WASP-104 and WASP-106 respectively. No significant orbital eccentricity is detected in either system, and while this is not surprising in the case of the short-period WASP-104b, it is interesting in the case of WASP-106b, because many otherwise similar planets are known to have eccentric orbits. [less ▲]

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See detailPlanets and Stellar Activity: Hide and Seek in the CoRoT-7 system
Haywood, R. D.; Cameron, A. C.; Queloz, D. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 443(3), 2517-2531

Since the discovery of the transiting Super-Earth CoRoT-7b, several investigations have been made of the number and precise masses of planets present in the system, but they all yield different results ... [more ▼]

Since the discovery of the transiting Super-Earth CoRoT-7b, several investigations have been made of the number and precise masses of planets present in the system, but they all yield different results, owing to the star's high level of activity. Radial velocity (RV) variations induced by stellar activity therefore need to be modelled and removed to allow a reliable detection of all planets in the system. We re-observed CoRoT-7 in January 2012 with both HARPS and the CoRoT satellite, so that we now have the benefit of simultaneous RV and photometric data. We fitted the off-transit variations in the CoRoT lightcurve using a harmonic decomposition similar to that implemented in Queloz et al. (2009). This fit was then used to model the stellar RV contribution, according to the methods described by Aigrain et al. (2011). This model was incorporated into a Monte Carlo Markov Chain in order to make a precise determination of the orbits of CoRoT-7b and CoRoT-7c. We also assess the evidence for the presence of one or two additional planetary companions. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-117b: a 10-day-period Saturn in an eccentric and misaligned orbit
Lendl, Monika ULg; Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Anderson, D. R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 568

We report the discovery of WASP-117b, the first planet with a period beyond 10 days found by the WASP survey. The planet has a mass of M_p = 0.2755 (+/-0.0090) M_jup, a radius of R_p = 1.021 (-0.065 +0 ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of WASP-117b, the first planet with a period beyond 10 days found by the WASP survey. The planet has a mass of M_p = 0.2755 (+/-0.0090) M_jup, a radius of R_p = 1.021 (-0.065 +0.076) R_jup and is in an eccentric (e = 0.302 +/-0.023), 10.02165 +/- 0.00055 d orbit around a main-sequence F9 star. The host star's brightness (V=10.15 mag) makes WASP-117 a good target for follow-up observations, and with a planetary equilibrium temperature of T_eq = 1024 (-26 +30) K and a low planetary density (rho_p = 0.259 (-0.048 +0.054) rho_jup) it is one of the best targets for transmission spectroscopy among planets with periods around 10 days. From a measurement of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, we infer a projected angle between the planetary orbit and stellar spin axes of beta = -44 (+/-11) deg, and we further derive an orbital obliquity of psi = 69.5 (+3.6 -3.1) deg. Owing to the large orbital separation, tidal forces causing orbital circularization and realignment of the planetary orbit with the stellar plane are weak, having had little impact on the planetary orbit over the system lifetime. WASP-117b joins a small sample of transiting giant planets with well characterized orbits at periods above ~8 days. [less ▲]

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See detailColour-magnitude diagrams of transiting Exoplanets - II. A larger sample from photometric distances
Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Lanotte, Audrey ULg; Smalley, Barry et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 444(1), 711-728

CColour-magnitude diagrams form a traditional way of presenting luminous objects in the Universe and compare them to each other. Here, we estimate the photometric distance of 44 transiting exoplanetary ... [more ▼]

CColour-magnitude diagrams form a traditional way of presenting luminous objects in the Universe and compare them to each other. Here, we estimate the photometric distance of 44 transiting exoplanetary systems. Parallaxes for seven systems confirm our methodology. Combining those measurements with fluxes obtained while planets were occulted by their host stars, we compose colour-magnitude diagrams in the near and mid-infrared. When possible, planets are plotted alongside very low mass stars and field brown dwarfs, who often share similar sizes and equilibrium temperatures. They offer a natural, empirical, comparison sample. We also include directly imaged exoplanets and the expected loci of pure blackbodies. Irradiated planets do not match blackbodies; their emission spectra are not featureless. For a given luminosity, hot Jupiters' daysides show a larger variety in colour than brown dwarfs do and display an increasing diversity in colour with decreasing intrinsic luminosity. The presence of an extra absorbent within the 4.5 μm band would reconcile outlying hot Jupiters with ultra-cool dwarfs' atmospheres. Measuring the emission of gas giants cooler than 1000 K would disentangle whether planets' atmospheres behave more similarly to brown dwarfs' atmospheres than to blackbodies, whether they are akin to the young directly imaged planets, or if irradiated gas giants form their own sequence. [less ▲]

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See detailTransiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXVI. CoRoT-24: a transiting multiplanet system
Alonso, R.; Moutou, C.; Endl, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 567

We present the discovery of a candidate multiply transiting system, the first one found in the CoRoT mission. Two transit-like features with periods of 5.11 and 11.76 d are detected in the CoRoT light ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery of a candidate multiply transiting system, the first one found in the CoRoT mission. Two transit-like features with periods of 5.11 and 11.76 d are detected in the CoRoT light curve around a main sequence K1V star of r = 15.1. If the features are due to transiting planets around the same star, these would correspond to objects of 3.7 ± 0.4 and 5.0 ± 0.5 R[SUB]⊕[/SUB] , respectively. Several radial velocities serve to provide an upper limit of 5.7 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] for the 5.11 d signal and to tentatively measure a mass of 28[SUP]+11[/SUP][SUB]-11[/SUB] M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] for the object transiting with a 11.76 d period. These measurements imply low density objects, with a significant gaseous envelope. The detailed analysis of the photometric and spectroscopic data serves to estimate the probability that the observations are caused by transiting Neptune-sized planets as much as over 26 times higher than a blend scenario involving only one transiting planet and as much as over 900 times higher than a scenario involving two blends and no planets. The radial velocities show a long-term modulation that might be attributed to a 1.5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] planet orbiting at 1.8 AU from the host, but more data are required to determine the precise orbital parameters of this companion. The CoRoT space mission, launched on 27 December 2006, has been developed and is operated by the CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Program), Germany, and Spain. Some of the observations were made with the HARPS spectrograph at ESO La Silla Observatory (184.C-0639) and with the HIRES spectrograph at the Keck Telescope (N035Hr, N143Hr 260 and N095Hr). Partly based on observations obtained at ESO Paranal Observatory, Chile (086.C-0235(A) and B).Tables 2-4 and Fig. 12 are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201118662/olm">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailHD 97658 and its super-Earth. Spitzer & MOST transit analysis and modeling of the host star
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Valencia, D. et al

Conference (2014, July)

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 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 detailExtremely Organic-rich Coma of Comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) during its Outburst in 2012
Kawakita, Hideyo; Dello Russo, Neil; Vervack, Ron et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2014), 788

We performed high-dispersion near-infrared spectroscopic observations of comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) at 2.5 AU from the Sun using NIRSPEC (R ≈ 25,000) at the Keck II Telescope on UT 2012 January 9 and 10 ... [more ▼]

We performed high-dispersion near-infrared spectroscopic observations of comet C/2010 G2 (Hill) at 2.5 AU from the Sun using NIRSPEC (R ≈ 25,000) at the Keck II Telescope on UT 2012 January 9 and 10, about a week after an outburst had occurred. Over the two nights of our observations, prominent emission lines of CH[SUB]4[/SUB] and C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]6[/SUB], along with weaker emission lines of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, HCN, CH[SUB]3[/SUB]OH, and CO were detected. The gas production rate of CO was comparable to that of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O during the outburst. The mixing ratios of CO, HCN, CH[SUB]4[/SUB], C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]6[/SUB], and CH[SUB]3[/SUB]OH with respect to H[SUB]2[/SUB]O were higher than those for normal comets by a factor of five or more. The enrichment of CO and CH[SUB]4[/SUB] in comet Hill suggests that the sublimation of these hypervolatiles sustained the outburst of the comet. Some fraction of water in the inner coma might exist as icy grains that were likely ejected from nucleus by the sublimation of hypervolatiles. Mixing ratios of volatiles in comet Hill are indicative of the interstellar heritage without significant alteration in the solar nebula. [less ▲]

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See detailThe binary near-Earth asteroid (175706) 1996 FG3 - An observational constraint on its orbital stability
Scheirich, P.; Pravec, P.; Jacobson, S. A. et al

E-print/Working paper (2014)

Using our photometric observations taken between April 1996 and January 2013 and other published data, we derive properties of the binary near-Earth asteroid (175706) 1996 FG3 including new measurements ... [more ▼]

Using our photometric observations taken between April 1996 and January 2013 and other published data, we derive properties of the binary near-Earth asteroid (175706) 1996 FG3 including new measurements constraining evolution of the mutual orbit with potential consequences for the entire binary asteroid population. We also refined previously determined values of parameters of both components, making 1996 FG3 one of the most well understood binary asteroid systems. We determined the orbital vector with a substantially greater accuracy than before and we also placed constraints on a stability of the orbit. Specifically, the ecliptic longitude and latitude of the orbital pole are 266{\deg} and -83{\deg}, respectively, with the mean radius of the uncertainty area of 4{\deg}, and the orbital period is 16.1508 +\- 0.0002 h (all uncertainties correspond to 3sigma). We looked for a quadratic drift of the mean anomaly of the satellite and obtained a value of 0.04 +\- 0.20 deg/yr^2, i.e., consistent with zero. The drift is substantially lower than predicted by the pure binary YORP (BYORP) theory of McMahon and Scheeres (McMahon, J., Scheeres, D. [2010]. Icarus 209, 494-509) and it is consistent with the theory of an equilibrium between BYORP and tidal torques for synchronous binary asteroids as proposed by Jacobson and Scheeres (Jacobson, S.A., Scheeres, D. [2011]. ApJ Letters, 736, L19). Based on the assumption of equilibrium, we derived a ratio of the quality factor and tidal Love number of Q/k = 2.4 x 10^5 uncertain by a factor of five. We also derived a product of the rigidity and quality factor of mu Q = 1.3 x 10^7 Pa using the theory that assumes an elastic response of the asteroid material to the tidal forces. This very low value indicates that the primary of 1996 FG3 is a 'rubble pile', and it also calls for a re-thinking of the tidal energy dissipation in close asteroid binary systems. [less ▲]

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See detailA window on exoplanet dynamical histories: Rossiter-McLaughlin observations of WASP-13b and WASP-32b
Brothwell, R.D.; Watson, C.A.; Hébrard, G. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 440(4), 3392-3401

We present Rossiter-McLaughlin observations of WASP-13b and WASP-32b and determine the sky-projected angle between the normal of the planetary orbit and the stellar rotation axis (lambda). WASP-13b and ... [more ▼]

We present Rossiter-McLaughlin observations of WASP-13b and WASP-32b and determine the sky-projected angle between the normal of the planetary orbit and the stellar rotation axis (lambda). WASP-13b and WASP-32b both have prograde orbits and are consistent with alignment with measured sky-projected angles of lambda =8°^{+13}_{-12} and lambda =-2°^{+17}_{-19}, respectively. Both WASP-13 and WASP-32 have Teff < 6250 K, and therefore, these systems support the general trend that aligned planetary systems are preferentially found orbiting cool host stars. A Lomb-Scargle periodogram analysis was carried out on archival SuperWASP data for both systems. A statistically significant stellar rotation period detection (above 99.9 per cent confidence) was identified for the WASP-32 system with Prot = 11.6 ± 1.0 days. This rotation period is in agreement with the predicted stellar rotation period calculated from the stellar radius, R*, and vsin i if a stellar inclination of i* = 90° is assumed. With the determined rotation period, the true 3D angle between the stellar rotation axis and the planetary orbit, psi, was found to be psi = 11° ± 14°. We conclude with a discussion on the alignment of systems around cool host stars with Teff < 6150 K by calculating the tidal dissipation time-scale. We find that systems with short tidal dissipation time-scales are preferentially aligned and systems with long tidal dissipation time-scales have a broad range of obliquities. [less ▲]

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