Results: The dust parameters derived from the inner coma measurements by OSIRIS and GIADA and from distant imaging using VLT data are consistent, except for the power index of the size-distribution function, which is α = -3, instead of α = -2, for grains smaller than 1 mm. This is possibly linked to the presence of fluffy aggregates in the coma. The onset of cometary activity occurs at approximately 4.3 AU, with a dust production rate of 0.5 kg/s, increasing up to 15 kg/s at 2.9 AU. This implies a dust-to-gas mass ratio varying between 3.8 and 6.5 for the best-fit model when combined with water-production rates from the MIRO experiment. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 14 (1 ULg) Larger and faster: revised properties and a shorter orbital period for the WASP-57 planetary system from a pro-am collaborationSouthworth, John; Mancini, L.; Tregloan-Reed, J. et alin Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015), 454Transits in the WASP-57 planetary system have been found to occur half an hour earlier than expected. We present 10 transit light curves from amateur telescopes, on which this discovery was based, 13 ... [more ▼]Transits in the WASP-57 planetary system have been found to occur half an hour earlier than expected. We present 10 transit light curves from amateur telescopes, on which this discovery was based, 13 transit light curves from professional facilities which confirm and refine this finding, and high-resolution imaging which show no evidence for nearby companions. We use these data to determine a new and precise orbital ephemeris, and measure the physical properties of the system. Our revised orbital period is 4.5 s shorter than found from the discovery data alone, which explains the early occurrence of the transits. We also find both the star and planet to be larger and less massive than previously thought. The measured mass and radius of the planet are now consistent with theoretical models of gas giants containing no heavy-element core, as expected for the subsolar metallicity of the host star. Two transits were observed simultaneously in four passbands. We use the resulting light curves to measure the planet's radius as a function of wavelength, finding that our data are sufficient in principle but not in practise to constrain its atmospheric properties. We conclude with a discussion of the current and future status of transmission photometry studies for probing the atmospheres of gas-giant transiting planets. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 21 (1 ULg) Pluto's atmosphere from stellar occultations in 2012 and 2013Dias-Oliveira, A.; Sicardy, B.; Lellouch, E. et alin Astrophysical Journal (2015), 1506We analyze two multi-chord stellar occultations by Pluto observed on July 18th, 2012 and May 4th, 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites. They provide a total of fifteen light-curves ... [more ▼]We analyze two multi-chord stellar occultations by Pluto observed on July 18th, 2012 and May 4th, 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites. They provide a total of fifteen light-curves, twelve of them being used for a simultaneous fit that uses a unique temperature profile, assuming a clear (no-haze) and pure N_2 atmosphere, but allowing for a possible pressure variation between the two dates. We find a solution that fits satisfactorily (i.e. within the noise level) all the twelve light-curves, providing atmospheric constraints between ~1,190 km (pressure ~ 11 \mubar) and ~ 1,450 km (pressure ~0.1 \mubar) from Pluto's center. Our main results are: (1) the best-fitting temperature profile shows a stratosphere with strong positive gradient between 1,190 km (at 36 K, 11 \mubar) and r = 1,215 km (6.0 \mubar), where a temperature maximum of 110 K is reached; above it is a mesosphere with negative thermal gradient of -0.2 K/km up to ~ 1,390 km (0.25 \mubar), where, the mesosphere connects itself to a more isothermal upper branch around 81 K; (2) the pressure shows a small (6 [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 39 (6 ULg) Castalia — A Mission to a Main Belt CometJones, G. H.; Altwegg, K.; Bertini, I. et alin LPI (2015, January 01), 1829Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a newly identified class of solar system object, having asteroid-like orbits but sometimes exhibiting comet-like behavior. We present the case for a mission to an MBC, to be ... [more ▼]Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a newly identified class of solar system object, having asteroid-like orbits but sometimes exhibiting comet-like behavior. We present the case for a mission to an MBC, to be submitted to the European Space Agency. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 15 (0 ULg) Dense and narrow rings discovered around the Centaur object (10199) CharikloSicardy, B.; Braga-Ribas, F.; Benedetti-Rossi, G. et alin Muinonen, Karri (Ed.) Asteroids, Comets, Meteors - Book of Abstracts (2014, July 01)A stellar occultation observed on June 3, 2013 revealed the unexpected presence of two dense rings around (10199) Chariklo [1], the largest Centaur object known to date with a radius of 124±9 km [2]. The ... [more ▼]A stellar occultation observed on June 3, 2013 revealed the unexpected presence of two dense rings around (10199) Chariklo [1], the largest Centaur object known to date with a radius of 124±9 km [2]. The two rings have respective orbital radii, widths, and normal optical depths of a_1= 391 km, W_1= 7 km, τ_1= 0.4 and a_2= 405 km, W_2= 3 km, τ_2= 0.06 [1]. They are separated by a gap of about 9 km with an optical depth less than 0.004 (1-sigma limit). The presence of those rings has been confirmed during another stellar occultation observed from ESO/NTT La Silla, ESO/VLT Paranal and San Pedro de Atacama on February 16, 2014. More results on the azimuthal variations of the rings and mass estimations of their putative shepherding satellites will be presented. This is the first ring system ever observed that does not pertain to a giant planet. The existence of such a system raises several questions as to the origin and evolution of rings around such a small object. This discovery also suggests that rings may be a more frequent feature than previously thought, in particular, around small bodies. Possible models for the ring formation will be proposed. They can be classified into collisional scenarios that disrupted an impactor or a pre-existing satellite, tidal disruption of an inward-migrating satellite, or material produced by a cometary activity of the central body. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 15 (0 ULg) The activity cycle of 67P/Churyumov-GerasimenkoSnodgrass, C.; Barrera, L.; Boehnhardt, H. et alin Muinonen, Karri (Ed.) Asteroids, Comets, Meteors - Book of Abstracts (2014, July 01)We present ground-based observations of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, target of the Rosetta mission, and an assessment on its activity levels. Based on imaging in the R-band, we measure the brightness ... [more ▼]We present ground-based observations of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, target of the Rosetta mission, and an assessment on its activity levels. Based on imaging in the R-band, we measure the brightness of the coma within various apertures and use this to assess the amount of dust in the coma. We find that the comet begins to show detectable activity at a pre-perihelion distance from the Sun of 4.3 au, and then shows a smooth increase in production to a peak around one month after perihelion passage. The behaviour of the comet is consistent from one orbit to another, based on archival images taken over three apparitions, and we therefore use the heliocentric lightcurve to make predictions for the 2014/5 period while Rosetta is operating at the comet. We find that the Afρ parameter, measured within an aperture of radius 10,000 km at the comet, is proportional to r^{-3.2}, pre-perihelion [1]. We also attempt to make predictions on the gas production rate by fitting a model to the observed brightness values. This is done by assuming various parameters about the nucleus and dust, many of which are reasonably well constrained for 67P, and solving an energy balance equation that gives the sublimation rate of various ices as a function of solar illumination [2]. The model then links the gas production rate to the total amount of dust in the coma, and its brightness. We find that only a small fraction of the surface area (1.4 %) needs to be active for water sublimation, with an extra peak (up to 4 %) for a month either side of perihelion, while an even smaller area is producing CO_2 (0.04-0.09 %) [1]. The predictions can now be tested against new observations, and we will present the latest results from our 2014 monitoring of 67P. We are performing regular R-band imaging on the comet using the VLT, and early indications in March 2014 indicate that the comet does appear to have returned to activity as expected. By the time of the ACM meeting we will have around 4 months of imaging to make a clear assessment of the trend between 4.4 and 3.8 au, which will allow a comparison with our model and therefore predictions to be made of how well 67P appears to be following its previous activity pattern. By July, we will also have obtained the first of a series of VLT/FORS visible wavelength spectra, to make a direct search for gas emission lines. These will represent some of the most distant spectroscopic observations of a Jupiter family comet coma. Preliminary results will be shown from these spectra, which will also constrain the expected evolution of activity as Rosetta approaches the comet. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 7 (0 ULg) A Super-Jupiter orbiting a late-type star: A refined analysis of microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0406Tsapras, Y.; Choi, J.-Y.; Street, R. A. et alin Astrophysical Journal (2014), 782We present a detailed analysis of survey and follow-up observations of microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0406 based on data obtained from 10 different observatories. Intensive coverage of the lightcurve ... [more ▼]We present a detailed analysis of survey and follow-up observations of microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0406 based on data obtained from 10 different observatories. Intensive coverage of the lightcurve, especially the perturbation part, allowed us to accurately measure the parallax effect and lens orbital motion. Combining our measurement of the lens parallax with the angular Einstein radius determined from finite-source effects, we estimate the physical parameters of the lens system. We find that the event was caused by a $2.73\pm 0.43\ M_{\rm J}$ planet orbiting a $0.44\pm 0.07\ M_{\odot}$ early M-type star. The distance to the lens is $4.97\pm 0.29$\ kpc and the projected separation between the host star and its planet at the time of the event is $3.45\pm 0.26$ AU. We find that the additional coverage provided by follow-up observations, especially during the planetary perturbation, leads to a more accurate determination of the physical parameters of the lens. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 91 (4 ULg) High-precision photometry by telescope defocussing - VI. WASP-24, WASP-25 andWASP-26*Southworth, J.; Hinse, T. C.; Burgdorf, M. et alin Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 444(1), 776-789We present time series photometric observations of 13 transits in the planetary systems WASP-24, WASP-25 and WASP-26. All three systems have orbital obliquity measurements, WASP-24 andWASP-26 have been ... [more ▼]We present time series photometric observations of 13 transits in the planetary systems WASP-24, WASP-25 and WASP-26. All three systems have orbital obliquity measurements, WASP-24 andWASP-26 have been observed with Spitzer, andWASP-25 was previously comparatively neglected. Our light curves were obtained using the telescope-defocussing method and have scatters of 0.5-1.2 mmag relative to their best-fitting geometric models. We use these data to measure the physical properties and orbital ephemerides of the systems to high precision, finding that our improved measurements are in good agreement with previous studies. High-resolution Lucky Imaging observations of all three targets show no evidence for faint stars close enough to contaminate our photometry. We confirm the eclipsing nature of the star closest to WASP-24 and present the detection of a detached eclipsing binary within 4.25 arcmin of WASP-26. © 2014 The Authors. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 24 (3 ULg) High-precision photometry by telescope defocusing - VII. The ultrashort period planet WASP-103Southworth, J.; Mancini, L.; Ciceri, S. et alin Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 447(1), 711-721We present 17 transit light curves of the ultrashort period planetary system WASP-103, a strong candidate for the detection of tidally-induced orbital decay. We use these to establish a high-precision ... [more ▼]We present 17 transit light curves of the ultrashort period planetary system WASP-103, a strong candidate for the detection of tidally-induced orbital decay. We use these to establish a high-precision reference epoch for transit timing studies. The time of the reference transit mid-point is now measured to an accuracy of 4.8 s, versus 67.4 s in the discovery paper, aiding future searches for orbital decay. With the help of published spectroscopic measurements and theoretical stellar models, we determine the physical properties of the system to high precision and present a detailed error budget for these calculations. The planet has a Roche lobe filling factor of 0.58, leading to a significant asphericity; we correct its measured mass and mean density for this phenomenon. A high-resolution Lucky Imaging observation shows no evidence for faint stars close enough to contaminate the point spread function of WASP-103. Our data were obtained in the Bessell RI and the SDSS griz passbands and yield a larger planet radius at bluer optical wavelengths, to a confidence level of 7.3σ. Interpreting this as an effect of Rayleigh scattering in the planetary atmosphere leads to a measurement of the planetary mass which is too small by a factor of 5, implying that Rayleigh scattering is not the main cause of the variation of radius with wavelength. © 2014 The Authors. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 28 (1 ULg) Physical properties of the WASP-67 planetary system from multi-colour photometryMancini, L.; Southworth, J.; Ciceri, S. et alin Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 568Context. The extrasolar planet WASP-67 b is the first hot Jupiter definitively known to undergo only partial eclipses. The lack of the second and third contact points in this planetary system makes it ... [more ▼]Context. The extrasolar planet WASP-67 b is the first hot Jupiter definitively known to undergo only partial eclipses. The lack of the second and third contact points in this planetary system makes it difficult to obtain accurate measurements of its physical parameters. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 15 (1 ULg) Continued activity in P/2013 P5 PANSTARRS - The comet that should not beHainaut, O. R.; Boehnhardt, H.; Snodgrass, C. et alin Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014)Detailed reference viewed: 24 (4 ULg) Physical properties and transmission spectrum of the WASP-80 planetary system from multi-colour photometryMancini, L.; Southworth, J.; Ciceri, S. et alin Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 1312WASP-80 is one of only two systems known to contain a hot Jupiter which transits its M-dwarf host star. We present eight light curves of one transit event, obtained simultaneously using two defocussed ... [more ▼]WASP-80 is one of only two systems known to contain a hot Jupiter which transits its M-dwarf host star. We present eight light curves of one transit event, obtained simultaneously using two defocussed telescopes. These data were taken through the Bessell I, Sloan griz and near-infrared JHK passbands. We use our data to search for opacity-induced changes in the planetary radius, but find that all values agree with each other. Our data are therefore consistent with a flat transmission spectrum to within the observational uncertainties. We also measure an activity index of the host star of log R'_HK=-4.495, meaning that WASP-80A shows strong chromospheric activity. The non-detection of starspots implies that, if they exist, they must be small and symmetrically distributed on the stellar surface. We model all available optical transit light curves to obtain improved physical properties and orbital ephemerides for the system. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 20 (0 ULg) Physical properties, transmission and emission spectra of the WASP-19 planetary system from multi-colour photometryMancini, L.; Ciceri, S.; Chen, G. et alin Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 436We 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 ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 29 (7 ULg) High-precision photometry by telescope defocusing - V. WASP-15 and WASP-16Southworth, John; Mancini, L.; Browne, P. et alin Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 434We 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 ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 31 (0 ULg) A detailed census of variable stars in the globular cluster NGC 6333 (M9) from CCD differential photometryArellano Ferro, A.; Bramich, D. M.; Figuera Jaimes, R. et alin Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 434We report CCD V and I time series photometry of the globular cluster NGC 6333 (M9). The technique of difference image analysis has been used, which enables photometric precision better than 0.05 mag for ... [more ▼]We report CCD V and I time series photometry of the globular cluster NGC 6333 (M9). The technique of difference image analysis has been used, which enables photometric precision better than 0.05 mag for stars brighter than V ˜ 19.0 mag, even in the crowded central regions of the cluster. The high photometric precision has resulted in the discovery of two new RRc stars, three eclipsing binaries, seven long-term variables and one field RRab star behind the cluster. A detailed identification chart and equatorial coordinates are given for all the variable stars in the field of our images of the cluster. Our data together with the literature V-data obtained in 1994 and 1995 allowed us to refine considerably the periods for all RR Lyrae stars. The nature of the new variables is discussed. We argue that variable V12 is a cluster member and an Anomalous Cepheid. Secular period variations, double-mode pulsations and/or the Blazhko-like modulations in some RRc variables are addressed. Through the light-curve Fourier decomposition of 12 RR Lyrae stars we have calculated a mean metallicity of [Fe/H][SUB]ZW[/SUB] = -1.70 ± 0.01(statistical) ± 0.14(systematic) or [Fe/H]_{text{UVES}}=-1.67 ± 0.01(statistical) ± 0.19(systematic). Absolute magnitudes, radii and masses are also estimated for the RR Lyrae stars. A detailed search for SX Phe stars in the Blue Straggler region was conducted but none were discovered. If SX Phe exist in the cluster then their amplitudes must be smaller than the detection limit of our photometry. The colour-magnitude diagram has been corrected for heavy differential reddening using the detailed extinction map of the cluster of Alonso-García et al. This has allowed us to set the mean cluster distance from two independent estimates; from the RRab and RRc absolute magnitudes, we find 8.04 ± 0.19 and 7.88 ± 0.30 kpc, respectively. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 42 (13 ULg) Estimating the parameters of globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099) from time-series photometryKains, N.; Bramich, D. M.; Arellano Ferro, A. et alin Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555