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See detailResolved astrometric orbits of ten O-type binaries
Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Sana, H.; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 601

Our long term aim is to derive model-independent stellar masses and distances for long period massive binaries by combining apparent astrometric orbit with double-lined radial velocity amplitudes (SB2 ... [more ▼]

Our long term aim is to derive model-independent stellar masses and distances for long period massive binaries by combining apparent astrometric orbit with double-lined radial velocity amplitudes (SB2). We follow-up ten O+O binaries with AMBER, PIONIER and GRAVITY at the VLTI. Here, we report about 130 astrometric observations over the last 7 years. We combine this dataset with distance estimates to compute the total mass of the systems. We also compute preliminary individual component masses for the five systems with available SB2 radial velocities. Nine over the ten binaries have their three dimensional orbit well constrained. Four of them are known colliding wind, non-thermal radio emitters, and thus constitute valuable targets for future high angular resolution radio imaging. Two binaries break the correlation between period and eccentricity tentatively observed in previous studies. It suggests either that massive star formation produce a wide range of systems, or that several binary formation mechanisms are at play. Finally, we found that the use of existing SB2 radial velocity amplitudes can lead to unrealistic masses and distances. If not understood, the biases in radial velocity amplitudes will represent an intrinsic limitation for estimating dynamical masses from SB2+interferometry or SB2+Gaia. Nevertheless, our results can be combined with future Gaia astrometry to measure the dynamical masses and distances of the individual components with an accuracy of 5 to 15\%, completely independently of the radial velocities. [less ▲]

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See detailA test field for Gaia. Radial velocity catalogue of stars in the South Ecliptic Pole
Frémat, Y.; Altmann, M.; Pancino, E. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 597

Context. Gaia is a space mission that is currently measuring the five astrometric parameters, as well as spectrophotometry of at least 1 billion stars to G = 20.7 mag with unprecedented precision. The ... [more ▼]

Context. Gaia is a space mission that is currently measuring the five astrometric parameters, as well as spectrophotometry of at least 1 billion stars to G = 20.7 mag with unprecedented precision. The sixth parameter in phase space (i.e., radial velocity) is also measured thanks to medium-resolution spectroscopy that is being obtained for the 150 million brightest stars. During the commissioning phase, two fields, one around each ecliptic pole, have been repeatedly observed to assess and to improve the overall satellite performances, as well as the associated reduction and analysis software. A ground-based photometric and spectroscopic survey was therefore initiated in 2007, and is still running to gather as much information as possible about the stars in these fields. This work is of particular interest to the validation of the radial velocity spectrometer outputs. <BR /> Aims: The paper presents the radial velocity measurements performed for the Southern targets in the 12-17 R magnitude range on high- to mid-resolution spectra obtained with the GIRAFFE and UVES spectrographs. <BR /> Methods: Comparison of the South Ecliptic Pole (SEP) GIRAFFE data to spectroscopic templates observed with the HERMES (Mercator in La Palma, Spain) spectrograph enabled a first coarse characterisation of the 747 SEP targets. Radial velocities were then obtained by comparing the results of three different methods. <BR /> Results: In this paper, we present an initial overview of the targets to be found in the 1 sq. deg SEP region that was observed repeatedly by Gaia ever since its commissioning. In our representative sample, we identified one galaxy, six LMC S-stars, nine candidate chromospherically active stars, and confirmed the status of 18 LMC Carbon stars. A careful study of the 3471 epoch radial velocity measurements led us to identify 145 RV constant stars with radial velocities varying by less than 1 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]. Seventy-eight stars show significant RV scatter, while nine stars show a composite spectrum. As expected, the distribution of the RVs exhibits two main peaks that correspond to Galactic and LMC stars. By combining [Fe/H] and log g estimates, and RV determinations, we identified 203 members of the LMC, while 51 more stars are candidate members. <BR /> Conclusions: This is the first systematic spectroscopic characterisation of faint stars located in the SEP field. During the coming years, we plan to continue our survey and gather additional high- and mid-resolution data to better constrain our knowledge on key reference targets for Gaia. Tables 1-3, 5, 7, and 8 are only available at the CDS via anonym- ous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/597/A10">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/597/A10</A>Based on data taken with the VLT-UT2 of the European Southern Observatory, programmes 084.D-0427(A), 086.D-0295(A), and 088.D-0305(A).Based on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility under request number 84886.Based on data obtained with the HERMES spectrograph, installed at the Mercator Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma by the Flemish Community, at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and supported by the Fund for Scientific Research of Flanders (FWO), Belgium, the Research Council of KU Leuven, Belgium, the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS), Belgium, the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Observatoire de Genève, Switzerland and the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Germany. [less ▲]

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

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

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

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

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See detailThe Gaia mission
Gaia Collaboration; Prusti, T.; de Bruijne, J. H. J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

Gaia is a cornerstone mission in the science programme of the EuropeanSpace Agency (ESA). The spacecraft construction was approved in 2006, following a study in which the original interferometric concept ... [more ▼]

Gaia is a cornerstone mission in the science programme of the EuropeanSpace Agency (ESA). The spacecraft construction was approved in 2006, following a study in which the original interferometric concept was changed to a direct-imaging approach. Both the spacecraft and the payload were built by European industry. The involvement of the scientific community focusses on data processing for which the international Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) was selected in 2007. Gaia was launched on 19 December 2013 and arrived at its operating point, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, a few weeks later. The commissioning of the spacecraft and payload was completed on 19 July 2014. The nominal five-year mission started with four weeks of special, ecliptic-pole scanning and subsequently transferred into full-sky scanning mode. We recall the scientific goals of Gaia and give a description of the as-built spacecraft that is currently (mid-2016) being operated to achieve these goals. We pay special attention to the payload module, the performance of which is closely related to the scientific performance of the mission. We provide a summary of the commissioning activities and findings, followed by a description of the routine operational mode. We summarise scientific performance estimates on the basis of in-orbit operations. Several intermediate Gaia data releases are planned and the data can be retrieved from the Gaia Archive, which is available through the Gaia home page. <A href="http://www.cosmos.esa.int/gaia">http://www.cosmos.esa.int/gaia</A> [less ▲]

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See detailApsidal motion in the massive binary HD 152218
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Rosu, S.; Noels-Grötsch, Arlette ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 594(A33), 1-12

Massive binary systems are important laboratories in which to probe the properties of massive stars and stellar physics in general. In this context, we analysed optical spectroscopy and photometry of the ... [more ▼]

Massive binary systems are important laboratories in which to probe the properties of massive stars and stellar physics in general. In this context, we analysed optical spectroscopy and photometry of the eccentric short-period early-type binary HD 152218 in the young open cluster NGC 6231. We reconstructed the spectra of the individual stars using a disentangling code. The individual spectra were then compared with synthetic spectra obtained with the CMFGEN model atmosphere code. We furthermore analysed the light curve of the binary and used it to constrain the orbital inclination and to derive absolute masses of (19.8 ± 1.5) and (15.0 ± 1.1) M⊙. Combining radial velocity measurements from over 60 yr, we show that the system displays apsidal motion at a rate of (2.04 ± .24)°/yr. Solving the Clairaut-Radau equation, we used stellar evolution models, obtained with the CLES code, to compute the internal structure constants and to evaluate the theoretically predicted rate of apsidal motion as a function of stellar age and primary mass. In this way, we determine an age of 5.8 ± 0.6 Myr for HD 152218, which is towards the higher end of, but compatible with, the range of ages of the massive star population of NGC 6231 as determined from isochrone fitting. [less ▲]

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See detailObservational signatures of past mass-exchange episodes in massive binaries : The cases of LSS 3074 and HD 17505
Raucq, Françoise ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

Poster (2016, July)

Mass and angular momentum exchanges through Roche Lobe Overflow interactions within close massive binaries are known to play an important role in the subsequent evolution of the components of such systems ... [more ▼]

Mass and angular momentum exchanges through Roche Lobe Overflow interactions within close massive binaries are known to play an important role in the subsequent evolution of the components of such systems, and produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, that remain once the stars detach again. We have started to investigate these effects in a sample of massive O-star binaries that are thought to have previously experienced a Case A Roche Lobe Overflow episode. Using phase-resolved spectroscopy, we perform the disentangling of the optical spectra of the two stars. The reconstructed primary and secondary spectra re then analysed with the CMFGEN model atmosphere code to determine stellar parameters such as the effective temperatures, surface gravities and rotational velocities, and to constrain the chemical composition of the components. In this contribution, we present the results of our analyses of LSS 3074 (O5.5I + O6.5-7I, P = 2.1852 days), together with the analyses of its photometric lightcurve and orbital solution. We also present the first results of our analyses of the triple system HD17505 ([O7.5V + O7.5V, P = 8.57 days] + O6.5III). [less ▲]

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See detailThe X-ray light curve of the massive colliding wind Wolf-Rayet + O binary WR 21a
Gosset, Eric ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 590

Our dedicated XMM-Newton monitoring, as well as archival Chandra and Swift datasets, were used to examine the behaviour of the WN5h+O3V binary WR 21a at high energies. For most of the orbit, the X-ray ... [more ▼]

Our dedicated XMM-Newton monitoring, as well as archival Chandra and Swift datasets, were used to examine the behaviour of the WN5h+O3V binary WR 21a at high energies. For most of the orbit, the X-ray emission exhibits few variations. However, an increase in strength of the emission is seen before periastron, following a 1 /D relative trend, where D is the separation between both components. This increase is rapidly followed by a decline due to strong absorption as the Wolf-Rayet (WR) comes in front. The fitted local absorption value appears to be coherent with a mass-loss rate of about 1 × 10[SUP]-5[/SUP] M[SUB]⊙[/SUB] yr[SUP]-1[/SUP] for the WR component. However, absorption is not the only parameter affecting the X-ray emission at periastron as even the hard X-ray emission decreases, suggesting a possible collapse of the colliding wind region near to or onto the photosphere of the companion just before or at periastron. An eclipse may appear as another potential scenario, but it would be in apparent contradiction with several lines of evidence, notably the width of the dip in the X-ray light curve and the absence of variations in the UV light curve. Afterwards, the emission slowly recovers, with a strong hysteresis effect. The observed behaviour is compatible with predictions from general wind-wind collision models although the absorption increase is too shallow. Based on observations collected at ESO as well as with Swift, Chandra, and the ESA science mission XMM-Newton, an ESA Science Mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA Member States and the USA (NASA). [less ▲]

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See detailTesting the theory of colliding winds: the periastron passage of 9 Sagittarii. I. X-ray and optical spectroscopy
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Blomme, R.; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 589

Context. The long-period, highly eccentric O-star binary 9 Sgr, known for its non-thermal radio emission and its relatively bright X-ray emission, went through its periastron in 2013. <BR /> Aims: Such an ... [more ▼]

Context. The long-period, highly eccentric O-star binary 9 Sgr, known for its non-thermal radio emission and its relatively bright X-ray emission, went through its periastron in 2013. <BR /> Aims: Such an event can be used to observationally test the predictions of the theory of colliding stellar winds over a broad range of wavelengths. <BR /> Methods: We conducted a multi-wavelength monitoring campaign of 9 Sgr around the 2013 periastron. In this paper, we focus on X-ray observations and optical spectroscopy. <BR /> Results: The optical spectra allow us to revisit the orbital solution of 9 Sgr and to refine its orbital period to 9.1 years. The X-ray flux is maximum at periastron over all energy bands, but with clear differences as a function of energy. The largest variations are observed at energies above 2 keV, whilst the spectrum in the soft band (0.5-1.0 keV) remains mostly unchanged, indicating that it arises far from the collision region, in the inner winds of the individual components. The level of the hard emission at periastron clearly deviates from the 1 /r relation expected for an adiabatic wind-interaction zone, whilst this relation seems to hold at the other phases that are covered by our observations. The spectra taken at phase 0.946 reveal a clear Fe xxv line at 6.7 keV, but no such line is detected at periastron (φ = 0.000), although a simple model predicts a strong line that should be easily visible in the data. <BR /> Conclusions: The peculiarities of the X-ray spectrum of 9 Sgr could reflect the effect of radiative inhibition as well as a phase-dependent efficiency of particle acceleration on the shock properties. [less ▲]

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See detailObservational signatures of past mass-exchange episodes in massive binaries: The case of HD 149 404
Raucq, Françoise ULg; Rauw, Gregor ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 588

Context. Mass and momentum exchanges in close massive binaries play an important role in their evolution, and produce several observational signatures such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical ... [more ▼]

Context. Mass and momentum exchanges in close massive binaries play an important role in their evolution, and produce several observational signatures such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, that remain after the stars detach again. Aims: We investigated these effects for the detached massive O-star binary HD 149 404 (O7.5 If + ON9.7 I, P = 9.81 days), which is thought to have experienced a past episode of case A Roche-lobe overflow (RLOF). Methods: Using phase-resolved spectroscopy, we performed the disentangling of the optical spectra of the two stars. The reconstructed primary and secondary spectra were then analysed with the CMFGEN model atmosphere code to determine stellar parameters, such as the effective temperatures and surface gravities, and to constrain the chemical composition of the components. We complemented the optical study with the study of IUE spectra, which we compare to the synthetic binary spectra. The properties of the stars were compared to evolutionary models. Results: We confirmed a strong overabundance in nitrogen ([N/C] ~ 150[N/C][SUB]⊙[/SUB]) for the secondary and a slight nitrogen overabundance ([N/C] ~ 5[N/C][SUB]⊙[/SUB]) for the primary star. Comparing the two stars, we found evidence for asynchronous rotation, with a rotational period ratio of 0.50 ± 0.11. Conclusions: The hypothesis of a past case A RLOF interaction in HD 149 404 is most plausible to explain its chemical abundances and rotational asynchronicity. Some of the observed properties, such as the abundance pattern, are clearly a challenge for current case A binary evolution models, however. [less ▲]

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See detailStudies of WR+O colliding-wind binaries
Gosset, Eric ULg

in Hamann, Wolf-Rainer; Sander, Andreas; Todt, Helge (Eds.) Wolf-Rayet Stars: Proceedings of an International Workshop held in Potsdam, Germany, 1-5 June 2015. Edited by Wolf-Rainer Hamann, Andreas Sander, Helge Todt. Universitätsverlag Potsdam, 2015., p.305-308 (2016)

Two of the main physical parameters that govern the massive star evolution, the mass and the mass-loss rate, are still poorly determined from the observational point of view. Only binary systems could ... [more ▼]

Two of the main physical parameters that govern the massive star evolution, the mass and the mass-loss rate, are still poorly determined from the observational point of view. Only binary systems could provide well constrained masses and colliding-wind binaries could bring some constraints on the mass-loss rate. Therefore, colliding-wind binaries turn out to be very promising objects. In this framework, we present detailed studies of basic observational data obtained with the XMM-Newton facility and combined with ground-based observations and other data. We expose the results for two particularly interesting WR+O colliding-wind binaries: WR22 and WR21a. [less ▲]

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See detailObservational signatures of past mass-exchange episodes in massive binaries: The cases of HD 149 404 and HD 17505
Raucq, Françoise ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

Conference (2015, November 30)

Mass and momentum exchanges in close massive binaries play an important role in the evolution of such systems and produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered ... [more ▼]

Mass and momentum exchanges in close massive binaries play an important role in the evolution of such systems and produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, that remain once the stars detach again. We have started to investigate these effects for a sample of detached massive O-star binaries that are thought to have previously experienced a Case A Roche Lobe Overflow. Using phase-resolved spectroscopy, we perform the disentangling of the spectra of the two stars. The reconstructed primary and secondary spectra are then analyzed to determine a range of stellar effective temperatures and gravity, and rotational velocities. Using model atmosphere codes we also constrain the chemical composition of the components. In this contribution, we present the results of our analyses of HD149404 (O7.5If + ON9.5I, P = 9.81 days) and the first results of our analyses of HD17505 ([O7.5V + O7.5V, P = 8.57 days] + O6.5III). [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous X-ray and optical spectroscopy of the Oef supergiant λ Cephei
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Hervé, A.; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 580

Probing the structures of stellar winds is of prime importance for the understanding of massive stars. Based on their optical spectral morphology and variability, it has been suggested that the stars in ... [more ▼]

Probing the structures of stellar winds is of prime importance for the understanding of massive stars. Based on their optical spectral morphology and variability, it has been suggested that the stars in the Oef class feature large-scale structures in their wind. High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy and time-series of X-ray observations of presumably single O-type stars can help us understand the physics of their stellar winds. We have collected XMM-Newton observations and coordinated optical spectroscopy of the O6 Ief star λ Cep to study its X-ray and optical variability and to analyse its high-resolution X-ray spectrum. We investigate the line profile variability of the He ii λ 4686 and Hα emission lines in our time series of optical spectra, including a search for periodicities. We further discuss the variability of the broadband X-ray flux and analyse the high-resolution spectrum of λ Cep using line-by-line fits as well as a code designed to fit the full high-resolution X-ray spectrum consistently. During our observing campaign, the He ii λ 4686 line varies on a timescale of ~18 h. On the contrary, the Hα line profile displays a modulation on a timescale of 4.1 days which is likely the rotation period of the star. The X-ray flux varies on timescales of days and could in fact be modulated by the same 4.1-day period as Hα, although both variations are shifted in phase. The high-resolution X-ray spectrum reveals broad and skewed emission lines as expected for the X-ray emission from a distribution of wind-embedded shocks. Most of the X-ray emission arises within less than 2 R∗ above the photosphere. The properties of the X-ray emission of λ Cep generally agree with the expectations of the wind-embedded shock model. There is mounting evidence for the existence of large-scale structures that modulate the Hα line and about 10% of the X-ray emission of λ Cep. [less ▲]

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See detailObservational signatures of past mass-exchange episodes in massive binaries
Raucq, Françoise ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

Poster (2014, September 05)

Mass and momentum exchanges in massive binaries can produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, which remain once the stars detach again. We ... [more ▼]

Mass and momentum exchanges in massive binaries can produce several observational signatures, such as asynchronous rotation and altered chemical compositions, which remain once the stars detach again. We have started to investigate these effects for a sample of detached massive O-star binaries that are thought to have previously experienced a Case A Roche lobe overflow. Using phase-resolved spectroscopy, we perform the disentangling of the spectra of the two stars. The reconstructed primary and secondary spectra are then analyzed to determine a range of stellar effective temperatures and gravity, as well as rotational velocities. Using model atmosphere codes we also constrain the chemical composition of the components. In this contribution, we present the first results of our analyses of HD149404 (O7.5If + ON9.5I, P = 9.81 days). [less ▲]

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See detailNIR interferometric observations of massive hierarchical triple systems: Tr16-104 and HD150136
Gosset, Eric ULg; Le Bouquin, Jean-Baptiste; Absil, Olivier ULg et al

in de Grijs, Richard (Ed.) Binary Systems: their Evolution and Environments (2014, September)

We report on an observational astrometric study of the orbit of the tertiary stars in two massive hierarchical triple systems. The work is complemented by radial velocity data with the aim of deriving the ... [more ▼]

We report on an observational astrometric study of the orbit of the tertiary stars in two massive hierarchical triple systems. The work is complemented by radial velocity data with the aim of deriving the full 3D orbit and constraints on the orbital planes. This is the first report of the tertiary star's detection for Tr16-104. The work is a natural extension of the search for binaries among massive O-stars. The basic motivation of the study of hierarchical triple systems is the determination of the masses of the individual components and the derivation of the relative orientation of the two orbital planes, with the ultimate aim of understanding the related star formation processes. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of the stellar content in the western part of the Carina nebula
Kumar, Brajesh; Sharma, Saurabh; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 567

Context. The low obscuration and proximity of the Carina nebula make it an ideal place to study the ongoing star formation process and impact of massive stars on low-mass stars in their surroundings. <BR ... [more ▼]

Context. The low obscuration and proximity of the Carina nebula make it an ideal place to study the ongoing star formation process and impact of massive stars on low-mass stars in their surroundings. <BR /> Aims: To investigate this process, we generated a new catalog of the pre-main-sequence stars in the Carina west (CrW) region and studied their nature and spatial distribution. We also determined various parameters (reddening, reddening law, age, mass), which are used further to estimate the initial mass function and K-band luminosity function for the region under study. <BR /> Methods: We obtained deep UBVRI Hα photometric data of the field situated to the west of the main Carina nebula and centered on WR 22. Medium-resolution optical spectroscopy of a subsample of X-ray selected objects along with archival data sets from Chandra, XMM-Newton and 2MASS surveys were used for the present study. Different sets of color-color and color-magnitude diagrams are used to determine reddening for the region and to identify young stellar objects (YSOs) and estimate their age and mass. <BR /> Results: Our spectroscopic results indicate that the majority of the X-ray sources are late spectral type stars. The region shows a large amount of differential reddening with minimum and maximum values of E(B - V) as 0.25 and 1.1 mag, respectively. Our analysis reveals that the total-to-selective absorption ratio R[SUB]V[/SUB] is ~3.7 ± 0.1, suggesting an abnormal grain size in the observed region. We identified 467 YSOs and studied their characteristics. The ages and masses of the 241 optically identified YSOs range from ~0.1 to 10 Myr and ~0.3 to 4.8 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB], respectively. However, the majority of them are younger than 1 Myr and have masses below 2 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]. The high mass star WR 22 does not seem to have contributed to the formation of YSOs in the CrW region. The initial mass function slope, Γ, in this region is found to be -1.13 ± 0.20 in the mass range of 0.5 < M/M[SUB]⊙[/SUB] < 4.8. The K-band luminosity function slope (α) is also estimated as 0.31 ± 0.01. We also performed minimum spanning tree analysis of the YSOs in this region, which reveals that there are at least ten YSO cores associated with the molecular cloud, and that leads to an average core radius of 0.43 pc and a median branch length of 0.28 pc. Full Table 3 is 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/567/A109">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/567/A109</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe X-ray properties of lambda Cep, a true twin of zeta Pup?
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Gonzalez-Perez, Nicolas et al

Conference (2014, June)

Oef stars are O-stars that display a double-peaked He II λ 4686 line in their optical spectra, suggesting that the inner part of the stellar wind is co-rotating with the star. This hypothesis is also ... [more ▼]

Oef stars are O-stars that display a double-peaked He II λ 4686 line in their optical spectra, suggesting that the inner part of the stellar wind is co-rotating with the star. This hypothesis is also often used to explain their ubiquitous spectral variability in the optical domain. In this context, the fact that the high-resolution X-ray spectra of ζ Pup (O4Ief) meet the expectations of the wind-embedded shock model, assuming a spherically symmetric wind came as a surprise. To understand what is going on, we have obtained a 300 ksec observation of λ Cephei, the second brightest Oef star. This observation not only allows to collect the RGS high-resolution spectrum of the star, but further enables us to search for X-ray variability. To correlate the potential X-ray variability with that of the optical spectrum of λ Cep, we monitored the optical spectrum simultaneously with the TIGRE telescope. We present here the first results of this campaign, both in terms of the line profiles in the RGS spectrum and the search for X-ray variability in correlation with the optical variations. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM-Newton view of the yellow hypergiant IRC+10420 and its surroundings
De Becker, Michaël ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Gosset, Eric ULg

in New Astronomy (2014), 29

Among evolved massive stars likely in transition to the Wolf-Rayet phase, IRC +10420 is probably one of the most enigmatic. It belongs to the category of yellow hypergiants and it is characterized by ... [more ▼]

Among evolved massive stars likely in transition to the Wolf-Rayet phase, IRC +10420 is probably one of the most enigmatic. It belongs to the category of yellow hypergiants and it is characterized by quite high mass loss episodes. Even though IRC+10420 benefited of many observations in several wavelength domains, it has never been a target for an X-ray observatory. We report here on the very first dedicated observation of IRC+10420 in X-rays, using the XMM-Newton satellite. Even though the target is not detected, we derive X-ray flux upper limits of the order of 1–3 ×10−14 erg cm−2 s−1 (between 0.3 and 10.0 keV), and we discuss the case of IRC+10420 in the framework of emission models likely to be adequate for such an object. Using the Optical/UV Monitor on board XMM-Newton, we present the very first upper limits of the flux density of IRC +10420 in the UV domain (between 1800 and 2250 Å and between 2050 and 2450 Å). Finally, we also report on the detection in this field of 10 X-ray and 7 UV point sources, and we briefly discuss their properties and potential counterparts at longer wavelengths. [less ▲]

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See detailEpoch-dependent absorption line profile variability in lambda Cep
Uuh-Sonda, J. M.; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Eenens, P. et al

in Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica (2014), 50

We present the analysis of a multi-epoch spectroscopic monitoring campaign of the O6 Ief star lambda Cep. Previous observations reported the existence of two modes of non-radial pulsations in this star ... [more ▼]

We present the analysis of a multi-epoch spectroscopic monitoring campaign of the O6 Ief star lambda Cep. Previous observations reported the existence of two modes of non-radial pulsations in this star. Our data reveal a much more complex situation. The frequency content of the power spectrum considerably changes from one epoch to the other. We find no stable frequency that can unambiguously be attributed to pulsations. The epoch-dependence of the frequencies and variability patterns are similar to what is seen in the wind emission lines of this and other Oef stars, suggesting that both phenomena likely have the same, currently still unknown, origin. [less ▲]

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See detailA multi-method approach to radial-velocity measurement for single-object spectra
David, M.; Blomme, R.; Frémat, Y. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 562

Context. The derivation of radial velocities from large numbers of spectra that typically result from survey work, requires automation. However, except for the classical cases of slowly rotating late-type ... [more ▼]

Context. The derivation of radial velocities from large numbers of spectra that typically result from survey work, requires automation. However, except for the classical cases of slowly rotating late-type spectra, existing methods of measuring Doppler shifts require fine-tuning to avoid a loss of accuracy due to the idiosyncrasies of individual spectra. The radial velocity spectrometer (RVS) on the Gaia mission, which will start operating very soon, prompted a new attempt at creating a measurement pipeline to handle a wide variety of spectral types. <BR /> Aims: The present paper describes the theoretical background on which this software is based. However, apart from the assumption that only synthetic templates are used, we do not rely on any of the characteristics of this instrument, so our results should be relevant for most telescope-detector combinations. <BR /> Methods: We propose an approach based on the simultaneous use of several alternative measurement methods, each having its own merits and drawbacks, and conveying the spectral information in a different way, leading to different values for the measurement. A comparison or a combination of the various results either leads to a "best estimate" or indicates to the user that the observed spectrum is problematic and should be analysed manually. <BR /> Results: We selected three methods and analysed the relationships and differences between them from a unified point of view; with each method an appropriate estimator for the individual random error is chosen. We also develop a procedure for tackling the problem of template mismatch in a systematic way. Furthermore, we propose several tests for studying and comparing the performance of the various methods as a function of the atmospheric parameters of the observed objects. Finally, we describe a procedure for obtaining a knowledge-based combination of the various Doppler-shift measurements. [less ▲]

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