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See detailPhysical properties, transmission and emission spectra of the WASP-19 planetary system from multi-colour photometry
Mancini, L.; Ciceri, S.; Chen, G. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 436

We present new ground-based, multi-colour, broad-band photometric measurements of the physical parameters, transmission and emission spectra of the transiting extrasolar planet WASP-19b. The measurements ... [more ▼]

We present new ground-based, multi-colour, broad-band photometric measurements of the physical parameters, transmission and emission spectra of the transiting extrasolar planet WASP-19b. The measurements are based on observations of eight transits and four occultations through a Gunn i filter using the 1.54-m Danish Telescope, 14 transits through an R[SUB]c[/SUB] filter at the Perth Exoplanet Survey Telescope (PEST) observatory and one transit observed simultaneously through four optical (Sloan g[SUP]'[/SUP], r[SUP]'[/SUP], i[SUP]'[/SUP], z[SUP]'[/SUP]) and three near-infrared (J, H, K) filters, using the Gamma Ray Burst Optical and Near-Infrared Detector (GROND) instrument on the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope. The GROND optical light curves have a point-to-point scatter around the best-fitting model between 0.52 and 0.65 mmag rms. We use these new data to measure refined physical parameters for the system. We find the planet to be more bloated (R[SUB]b[/SUB] = 1.410 ± 0.017R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]; M[SUB]b[/SUB] = 1.139 ± 0.030M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) and the system to be twice as old as initially thought. We also used published and archived data sets to study the transit timings, which do not depart from a linear ephemeris. We detected an anomaly in the GROND transit light curve which is compatible with a spot on the photosphere of the parent star. The starspot position, size, spot contrast and temperature were established. Using our new and published measurements, we assembled the planet's transmission spectrum over the 370-2350 nm wavelength range and its emission spectrum over the 750-8000 nm range. By comparing these data to theoretical models we investigated the theoretically predicted variation of the apparent radius of WASP-19b as a function of wavelength and studied the composition and thermal structure of its atmosphere. We conclude that: (i) there is no evidence for strong optical absorbers at low pressure, supporting the common idea that the planet's atmosphere lacks a dayside inversion; (ii) the temperature of the planet is not homogenized, because the high warming of its dayside causes the planet to be more efficient in re-radiating than redistributing energy to the night side; (iii) the planet seems to be outside of any current classification scheme. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-precision photometry by telescope defocusing - V. WASP-15 and WASP-16
Southworth, John; Mancini, L.; Browne, P. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 434

We present new photometric observations of WASP-15 and WASP-16, two transiting extrasolar planetary systems with measured orbital obliquities but without photometric follow-up since their discovery papers ... [more ▼]

We present new photometric observations of WASP-15 and WASP-16, two transiting extrasolar planetary systems with measured orbital obliquities but without photometric follow-up since their discovery papers. Our new data for WASP-15 comprise observations of one transit simultaneously in four optical passbands using GROND on the MPG/European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2.2 m telescope, plus coverage of half a transit from DFOSC on the Danish 1.54 m telescope, both at ESO La Silla. For WASP-16 we present observations of four complete transits, all from the Danish telescope. We use these new data to refine the measured physical properties and orbital ephemerides of the two systems. Whilst our results are close to the originally determined values for WASP-15, we find that the star and planet in the WASP-16 system are both larger and less massive than previously thought. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating the parameters of globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099) from time-series photometry
Kains, N.; Bramich, D. M.; Arellano Ferro, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of 26 nights of V and I time-series observations from 2011 and 2012 of the globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099). We used our data to search for variable stars in this ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of 26 nights of V and I time-series observations from 2011 and 2012 of the globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099). We used our data to search for variable stars in this cluster and refine the periods of known variables; we then used our variable star light curves to derive values for the cluster's parameters. <BR /> Methods: We used difference image analysis to reduce our data to obtain high-precision light curves of variable stars. We then estimated the cluster parameters by performing a Fourier decomposition of the light curves of RR Lyrae stars for which a good period estimate was possible. We also derived an estimate for the age of the cluster by fitting theoretical isochrones to our colour-magnitude diagram (CMD). <BR /> Results: Out of 13 stars previously catalogued as variables, we find that only 4 are bona fide variables. We detect two new RR Lyrae variables, and confirm two additional RR Lyrae candidates from the literature. We also detect four other new variables, including an eclipsing blue straggler system, and an SX Phoenicis star. This amounts to a total number of confirmed variable stars in M 30 of 12. We perform Fourier decomposition of the light curves of the RR Lyrae stars to derive cluster parameters using empirical relations. We find a cluster metallicity [Fe/H][SUB]ZW[/SUB] = -2.01 ± 0.04, or [Fe/H][SUB]UVES[/SUB] = -2.11 ± 0.06, and a distance of 8.32 ± 0.20 kpc (using RR0 variables), 8.10 kpc (using one RR1 variable), and 8.35 ± 0.42 kpc (using our SX Phoenicis star detection in M 30). Fitting isochrones to the CMD, we estimate an age of 13.0 ± 1.0 Gyr for M 30. This work is based on data collected by MiNDSTEp with the Danish 1.54 m telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory.The full light curves, an extract of which is shown in Table 2 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/555/A36">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/555/A36</A>Tables 8-10, and Figs. 6 and 9 are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [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 detailHigh-precision photometry by telescope defocusing - IV. Confirmation of the huge radius of WASP-17 b
Southworth, John; Hinse, T. C.; Dominik, M. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2012), 426

We present photometric observations of four transits in the WASP-17 planetary system, obtained using telescope defocusing techniques and with scatters reaching 0.5 mmag per point. Our revised orbital ... [more ▼]

We present photometric observations of four transits in the WASP-17 planetary system, obtained using telescope defocusing techniques and with scatters reaching 0.5 mmag per point. Our revised orbital period is 4.0 ± 0.6 s longer than previous measurements, a difference of 6.6σ, and does not support the published detections of orbital eccentricity in this system. We model the light curves using the JKTEBOP code and calculate the physical properties of the system by recourse to five sets of theoretical stellar model predictions. The resulting planetary radius, R[SUB]b[/SUB] = 1.932 ± 0.052 ± 0.010 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] (statistical and systematic errors, respectively), provides confirmation that WASP-17 b is the largest planet currently known. All 14 planets with radii measured to be greater than 1.6 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] are found around comparatively hot (T[SUB]eff[/SUB] > 5900 K) and massive (M[SUB]A[/SUB] > 1.15 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]) stars. Chromospheric activity indicators are available for eight of these stars, and all imply a low activity level. The planets have small or zero orbital eccentricities, so tidal effects struggle to explain their large radii. The observed dearth of large planets around small stars may be natural but could also be due to observational biases against deep transits, if these are mistakenly labelled as false positives and so not followed up. Based on data collected by MiNDSTEp with the Danish 1.54-m telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory.Royal Society University Research Fellow. [less ▲]

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See detailSeismic Evidence for a Rapidly Rotating Core in a Lower-giant-branch Star Observed with Kepler
Deheuvels, S.; García, R. A.; Chaplin, W. J. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2012), 756

Rotation is expected to have an important influence on the structure and the evolution of stars. However, the mechanisms of angular momentum transport in stars remain theoretically uncertain and very ... [more ▼]

Rotation is expected to have an important influence on the structure and the evolution of stars. However, the mechanisms of angular momentum transport in stars remain theoretically uncertain and very complex to take into account in stellar models. To achieve a better understanding of these processes, we desperately need observational constraints on the internal rotation of stars, which until very recently was restricted to the Sun. In this paper, we report the detection of mixed modes—i.e., modes that behave both as g modes in the core and as p modes in the envelope—in the spectrum of the early red giant KIC 7341231, which was observed during one year with the Kepler spacecraft. By performing an analysis of the oscillation spectrum of the star, we show that its non-radial modes are clearly split by stellar rotation and we are able to determine precisely the rotational splittings of 18 modes. We then find a stellar model that reproduces very well the observed atmospheric and seismic properties of the star. We use this model to perform inversions of the internal rotation profile of the star, which enables us to show that the core of the star is rotating at least five times faster than the envelope. This will shed new light on the processes of transport of angular momentum in stars. In particular, this result can be used to place constraints on the angular momentum coupling between the core and the envelope of early red giants, which could help us discriminate between the theories that have been proposed over the last few decades. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating the p-mode frequencies of the solar twin 18 Scorpii
Bazot, M.; Campante, T.L.; Chaplin, W.J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 544

Solar twins have been a focus of attention for more than a decade, because their structure is extremely close to that of the Sun. Today, thanks to high-precision spectrometers, it is possible to use ... [more ▼]

Solar twins have been a focus of attention for more than a decade, because their structure is extremely close to that of the Sun. Today, thanks to high-precision spectrometers, it is possible to use asteroseismology to probe their interiors. Our goal is to use time series obtained from the HARPS spectrometer to extract the oscillation frequencies of 18 Sco, the brightest solar twin. We used the tools of spectral analysis to estimate these quantities. We estimate 52 frequencies using an MCMC algorithm. After examination of their probability densities and comparison with results from direct MAP optimization, we obtain a minimal set of 21 reliable modes. The identification of each pulsation mode is straightforwardly accomplished by comparing to the well-established solar pulsation modes. We also derived some basic seismic indicators using these values. These results offer a good basis to start a detailed seismic analysis of 18 Sco using stellar models. [less ▲]

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See detailAsteroseismology of old open clusters with Kepler: direct estimate of the integrated red giant branch mass-loss in NGC 6791 and 6819
Miglio, A.; Brogaard, K.; Stello, D. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2012), 419

Mass-loss of red giant branch (RGB) stars is still poorly determined, despite its crucial role in the chemical enrichment of galaxies. Thanks to the recent detection of solar-like oscillations in G-K ... [more ▼]

Mass-loss of red giant branch (RGB) stars is still poorly determined, despite its crucial role in the chemical enrichment of galaxies. Thanks to the recent detection of solar-like oscillations in G-K giants in open clusters with Kepler, we can now directly determine stellar masses for a statistically significant sample of stars in the old open clusters NGC 6791 and 6819. The aim of this work is to constrain the integrated RGB mass-loss by comparing the average mass of stars in the red clump (RC) with that of stars in the low-luminosity portion of the RGB [i.e. stars with L≲L(RC)]. Stellar masses were determined by combining the available seismic parameters ν[SUB]max[/SUB] and Δν with additional photometric constraints and with independent distance estimates. We measured the masses of 40 stars on the RGB and 19 in the RC of the old metal-rich cluster NGC 6791. We find that the difference between the average mass of RGB and RC stars is small, but significant [? (random) ±0.04 (systematic) M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]]. Interestingly, such a small ? does not support scenarios of an extreme mass-loss for this metal-rich cluster. If we describe the mass-loss rate with Reimers prescription, a first comparison with isochrones suggests that the observed ? is compatible with a mass-loss efficiency parameter in the range 0.1 ≲η≲ 0.3. Less stringent constraints on the RGB mass-loss rate are set by the analysis of the ˜2 Gyr old NGC 6819, largely due to the lower mass-loss expected for this cluster, and to the lack of an independent and accurate distance determination. In the near future, additional constraints from frequencies of individual pulsation modes and spectroscopic effective temperatures will allow further stringent tests of the Δν and ν[SUB]max[/SUB] scaling relations, which provide a novel, and potentially very accurate, means of determining stellar radii and masses. [less ▲]

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See detailSolar-like oscillations from the depths of the red-giant star KIC 4351319 observed with Kepler
di Mauro, M. P.; Cardini, D.; Catanzaro, G. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2011), 415

We present the results of the asteroseismic analysis of the red-giant star KIC 4351319 (TYC 3124-914-1), observed for 30 d in short-cadence mode with the Kepler satellite. The analysis has allowed us to ... [more ▼]

We present the results of the asteroseismic analysis of the red-giant star KIC 4351319 (TYC 3124-914-1), observed for 30 d in short-cadence mode with the Kepler satellite. The analysis has allowed us to determine the large and small frequency separations, ?Hz and ?Hz, respectively, and the frequency of maximum oscillation power, ?Hz. The high signal-to-noise ratio of the observations allowed us to identify 25 independent pulsation modes whose frequencies range approximately from 300 to ?Hz. The observed oscillation frequencies together with the accurate determination of the atmospheric parameters (effective temperature, gravity and metallicity), provided by additional ground-based spectroscopic observations, enabled us to theoretically interpret the observed oscillation spectrum. KIC 4351319 appears to oscillate with a well-defined solar-type p-mode pattern due to radial acoustic modes and non-radial nearly pure p modes. In addition, several non-radial mixed modes have been identified. Theoretical models well reproduce the observed oscillation frequencies and indicate that this star, located at the base of the ascending red-giant branch, is in the hydrogen-shell-burning phase, with a mass of ˜1.3 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB], a radius of ? and an age of ˜5.6 Gyr. The main parameters of this star have been determined with an unprecedented level of precision for a red-giant star, with uncertainties of 2 per cent for mass, 7 per cent for age, 1 per cent for radius and 4 per cent for luminosity. [less ▲]

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See detailKepler observations of the variability in B-type stars
Balona, L. A.; Pigulski, A.; Cat, P De et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2011), 413

The analysis of the light curves of 48 B-type stars observed by Kepler is presented. Among these are 15 pulsating stars, all of which show low frequencies, characteristic of slowly pulsating B (SPB) stars ... [more ▼]

The analysis of the light curves of 48 B-type stars observed by Kepler is presented. Among these are 15 pulsating stars, all of which show low frequencies, characteristic of slowly pulsating B (SPB) stars. Seven of these stars also show a few weak, isolated high frequencies and they could be considered as SPB/β Cephei (β Cep) hybrids. In all cases, the frequency spectra are quite different from what is seen from ground-based observations. We suggest that this is because most of the low frequencies are modes of high degree which are predicted to be unstable in models of mid-B stars. We find that there are non-pulsating stars within the β Cep and SPB instability strips. Apart from the pulsating stars, we can identify stars with frequency groupings similar to what is seen in Be stars but which are not Be stars. The origin of the groupings is not clear, but may be related to rotation. We find periodic variations in other stars which we attribute to proximity effects in binary systems or possibly rotational modulation. We find no evidence for pulsating stars between the cool edge of the SPB and the hot edge of the δ Sct instability strips. None of the stars shows the broad features which can be attributed to stochastically excited modes as recently proposed. Among our sample of B stars are two chemically peculiar stars, one of which is a HgMn star showing rotational modulation in the light curve. [less ▲]

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

in Science (2011), 332

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

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

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See detailThe radius and mass of the close solar twin 18 Scorpii derived from asteroseismology and interferometry
Bazot, Michaël; Ireland, M. J.; Huber, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 526

The growing interest in solar twins is motivated by the possibility of comparing them directly to the Sun. To carry on this kind of analysis, we need to know their physical characteristics with precision ... [more ▼]

The growing interest in solar twins is motivated by the possibility of comparing them directly to the Sun. To carry on this kind of analysis, we need to know their physical characteristics with precision. Our first objective is to use asteroseismology and interferometry on the brightest of them: 18 Sco. We observed the star during 12 nights with HARPS for seismology and used the PAVO beam-combiner at CHARA for interferometry. An average large frequency separation 134.4 ± 0.3 μHz and angular and linear radiuses of 0.6759 ± 0.0062 mas and 1.010 ± 0.009 Rsun were estimated. We used these values to derive the mass of the star, 1.02 ± 0.03 Msun. [less ▲]

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

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 726

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

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

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See detailFirst Kepler results on compact pulsators - I. Survey target selection and the first pulsators
Ostensen, R. H.; Silvotti, R.; Charpinet, S. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2010), 409

We present results from the first two quarters of a survey to search for pulsations in compact stellar objects with the Kepler spacecraft. The survey sample and the various methods applied in its ... [more ▼]

We present results from the first two quarters of a survey to search for pulsations in compact stellar objects with the Kepler spacecraft. The survey sample and the various methods applied in its compilation are described, and spectroscopic observations are presented to separate the objects into accurate classes. From the Kepler photometry we clearly identify nine compact pulsators and a number of interesting binary stars. Of the pulsators, one shows the strong, rapid pulsations typical of a V361 Hya-type sdB variable (sdBV); seven show long-period pulsation characteristics of V1093 Her-type sdBVs; and one shows low-amplitude pulsations with both short and long periods. We derive effective temperatures and surface gravities for all the subdwarf B stars in the sample and demonstrate that below the boundary region where hybrid sdB pulsators are found, all our targets are pulsating. For the stars hotter than this boundary temperature a low fraction of strong pulsators (<10 per cent) is confirmed. Interestingly, the short-period pulsator also shows a low-amplitude mode in the long-period region, and several of the V1093 Her pulsators show low-amplitude modes in the short-period region, indicating that hybrid behaviour may be common in these stars, also outside the boundary temperature region where hybrid pulsators have hitherto been found. [less ▲]

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See detailCore properties of α Centauri A using asteroseismology
de Meulenaer, P.; Carrier, F.; Miglio, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2010), 523

Context. A set of long and nearly continuous observations of α Centauri A should allow us to derive an accurate set of asteroseismic constraints to compare to models, and make inferences on the internal ... [more ▼]

Context. A set of long and nearly continuous observations of α Centauri A should allow us to derive an accurate set of asteroseismic constraints to compare to models, and make inferences on the internal structure of our closest stellar neighbour. <BR /> Aims: We intend to improve the knowledge of the interior of α Centauri A by determining the nature of its core. <BR /> Methods: We combined the radial velocity time series obtained in May 2001 with three spectrographs in Chile and Australia: CORALIE, UVES, and UCLES. The resulting combined time series has a length of 12.45 days and contains over 10 000 data points and allows to greatly reduce the daily alias peaks in the power spectral window. <BR /> Results: We detected 44 frequencies that are in good overall agreement with previous studies, and found that 14 of these show possible rotational splittings. New values for the large (Δν) and small separations (δν[SUB]02[/SUB], δν[SUB]13[/SUB]) have been derived. <BR /> Conclusions: A comparison with stellar models indicates that the asteroseismic constraints determined in this study (namely r[SUB]10[/SUB] and δν[SUB]13[/SUB]) allows us to set an upper limit to the amount of convective-core overshooting needed to model stars of mass and metallicity similar to those of α Cen A. [less ▲]

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See detailThe PLATO End-to-End CCD Simulator -- Modelling space-based ultra-high precision CCD photometry for the assessment study of the PLATO Mission
Zima, W.; Arentoft, T.; De Ridder, J. et al

in Astronomische Nachrichten (2010, October 09), 331(9-10),

The PLATO satellite mission project is a next generation ESA Cosmic Vision satellite project dedicated to the detection of exo-planets and to asteroseismology of their host-stars using ultra-high ... [more ▼]

The PLATO satellite mission project is a next generation ESA Cosmic Vision satellite project dedicated to the detection of exo-planets and to asteroseismology of their host-stars using ultra-high precision photometry. The main goal of the PLATO mission is to provide a full statistical analysis of exo-planetary systems around stars that are bright and close enough for detailed follow-up studies. Many aspects concerning the design trade-off of a space-based instrument and its performance can best be tackled through realistic simulations of the expected observations. The complex interplay of various noise sources in the course of the observations made such simulations an indispensable part of the assessment study of the PLATO Payload Consortium. We created an end-to-end CCD simulation software-tool, dubbed PLATOSim, which simulates photometric time-series of CCD images by including realistic models of the CCD and its electronics, the telescope optics, the stellar field, the pointing uncertainty of the satellite (or Attitude Control System [ACS] jitter), and all important natural noise sources. The main questions that were addressed with this simulator were the noise properties of different photometric algorithms, the selection of the optical design, the allowable jitter amplitude, and the expected noise budget of light-curves as a function of the stellar magnitude for different parameter conditions. The results of our simulations showed that the proposed multi-telescope concept of PLATO can fulfil the defined scientific goal of measuring more than 20000 cool dwarfs brighter than mV =11 with a precision better than 27 ppm/h which is essential for the study of earth-like exo-planetary systems using the transit method. [less ▲]

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See detailSolar-like Oscillations in Low-luminosity Red Giants: First Results from Kepler
Bedding, T. R.; Huber, D.; Stello, D. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 713

We have measured solar-like oscillations in red giants using time-series photometry from the first 34 days of science operations of the Kepler Mission. The light curves, obtained with 30 minute sampling ... [more ▼]

We have measured solar-like oscillations in red giants using time-series photometry from the first 34 days of science operations of the Kepler Mission. The light curves, obtained with 30 minute sampling, reveal clear oscillations in a large sample of G and K giants, extending in luminosity from the red clump down to the bottom of the giant branch. We confirm a strong correlation between the large separation of the oscillations (Πν) and the frequency of maximum power (ν[SUB]max[/SUB]). We focus on a sample of 50 low-luminosity stars (ν[SUB]max[/SUB] > 100 μHz, L <~ 30 L [SUB]sun[/SUB]) having high signal-to-noise ratios and showing the unambiguous signature of solar-like oscillations. These are H-shell-burning stars, whose oscillations should be valuable for testing models of stellar evolution and for constraining the star formation rate in the local disk. We use a new technique to compare stars on a single échelle diagram by scaling their frequencies and find well-defined ridges corresponding to radial and non-radial oscillations, including clear evidence for modes with angular degree l = 3. Measuring the small separation between l = 0 and l = 2 allows us to plot the so-called C-D diagram of δν[SUB]02[/SUB] versus Πν. The small separation δν[SUB]01[/SUB] of l = 1 from the midpoint of adjacent l = 0 modes is negative, contrary to the Sun and solar-type stars. The ridge for l = 1 is notably broadened, which we attribute to mixed modes, confirming theoretical predictions for low-luminosity giants. Overall, the results demonstrate the tremendous potential of Kepler data for asteroseismology of red giants. [less ▲]

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See detailHybrid gamma Doradus-delta Scuti Pulsators: New Insights into the Physics of the Oscillations from Kepler Observations
Grigahcène, Ahmed; Antoci, V.; Balona, L. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 713

Observations of the pulsations of stars can be used to infer their interior structure and test theoretical models. The main-sequence γ Doradus (Dor) and δ Scuti (Sct) stars with masses 1.2-2.5 M [SUB ... [more ▼]

Observations of the pulsations of stars can be used to infer their interior structure and test theoretical models. The main-sequence γ Doradus (Dor) and δ Scuti (Sct) stars with masses 1.2-2.5 M [SUB]sun[/SUB] are particularly useful for these studies. The γ Dor stars pulsate in high-order g-modes with periods of order 1 day, driven by convective blocking at the base of their envelope convection zone. The δ Sct stars pulsate in low-order g- and p-modes with periods of order 2 hr, driven by the κ mechanism operating in the He II ionization zone. Theory predicts an overlap region in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram between instability regions, where "hybrid" stars pulsating in both types of modes should exist. The two types of modes with properties governed by different portions of the stellar interior provide complementary model constraints. Among the known γ Dor and δ Sct stars, only four have been confirmed as hybrids. Now, analysis of combined Quarter 0 and Quarter 1 Kepler data for hundreds of variable stars shows that the frequency spectra are so rich that there are practically no pure δ Sct or γ Dor pulsators, i.e., essentially all of the stars show frequencies in both the δ Sct and the γ Dor frequency range. A new observational classification scheme is proposed that takes into account the amplitude as well as the frequency and is applied to categorize 234 stars as δ Sct, γ Dor, δ Sct/γ Dor or γ Dor/δ Sct hybrids. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Asteroseismic Potential of Kepler: First Results for Solar-Type Stars
Chaplin, W. J.; Appourchaux, T.; Elsworth, Y. et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2010), 713

We present preliminary asteroseismic results from Kepler on three G-type stars. The observations, made at one-minute cadence during the first 33.5 days of science operations, reveal high signal-to-noise ... [more ▼]

We present preliminary asteroseismic results from Kepler on three G-type stars. The observations, made at one-minute cadence during the first 33.5 days of science operations, reveal high signal-to-noise solar-like oscillation spectra in all three stars: about 20 modes of oscillation may be clearly distinguished in each star. We discuss the appearance of the oscillation spectra, use the frequencies and frequency separations to provide first results on the radii, masses, and ages of the stars, and comment in the light of these results on prospects for inference on other solar-type stars that Kepler will observe. [less ▲]

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See detailAsteroseismology of solar-type stars with Kepler I: Data analysis
Karoff, C.; Chaplin, W. J.; Appourchaux, T. et al

in Astronomische Nachrichten (2010), 331

We report on the first asteroseismic analysis of solar-type stars observed by Kepler. Observations of three G-type stars, made at one-minute cadence during the first 33.5 days of science operations ... [more ▼]

We report on the first asteroseismic analysis of solar-type stars observed by Kepler. Observations of three G-type stars, made at one-minute cadence during the first 33.5 days of science operations, reveal high signal-to-noise solar-like oscillation spectra in all three stars: About 20 modes of oscillation can clearly be distinguished in each star. We discuss the appearance of the oscillation spectra, including the presence of a possible signature of faculae, and the presence of mixed modes in one of the three stars. [less ▲]

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