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See detailCharacterization of the low-mass companion around HD 142527 with VLT/SINFONI
Christiaens, Valentin ULg; Casassus, Simon; Absil, Olivier ULg et al

Conference (2016, May 19)

The circumstellar disk of the Herbig Fe star HD 142527 is host to several remarkable features in the context of planetary formation, including a warped inner disk, one of the largest annular gaps, a ... [more ▼]

The circumstellar disk of the Herbig Fe star HD 142527 is host to several remarkable features in the context of planetary formation, including a warped inner disk, one of the largest annular gaps, a prominent dust trap and several spiral arms in its outer disk. A low-mass companion, HD 142527 B, was also found orbiting the primary star at only ~10 au, possibly shaping the inclined inner disk (inclined with respect to the outer disk). This study aims to provide a clarifying answer to the question of the true nature of this companion, which could help explaining its true impact on the peculiar geometry of the disk. We observed the source with VLT/SINFONI in H+K band in pupil-tracking mode. Data were then post-processed with several principal component analysis algorithms based on the principle of Angular Differential Imaging. HD 142527 B is re-detected in most of the H+K spectral channels at a signal-to-noise ratio > 3. This re-detection enables us to extract the first medium-resolution spectrum of a low-mass companion at less than 0.1'' from its central star. The best fit to our spectrum was obtained with a BT-SETTL model spectrum corresponding to a temperature of 3400+-50K and a surface gravity log(g)=2.5+-1.0. Using pre-main sequence tracks, this corresponds to an M3 star with a mass, radius and age of M_B ~0.3 M_Sun, R_B ~ 1.1 R_Sun and 3.6 Myr old, respectively. We also suggest that most of the expected circum-secondary material is at a temperature lower than 1000K, hence not emitting in H and K band, but able to explain the excess measured at L- and M-bands. Based on the new values of radius and mass of the companion, we provide a new estimate for the mass accretion rate on HD 142527 B of ~1% of the accretion rate on the primary, consistent with a non-significant detection in the Brackett-gamma line. This result confirms the efficiency of the pupil-tracking mode implemented on VLT/SINFONI for the spectral characterization of faint companions orbiting very close to their star. [less ▲]

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See detailVortex Image Processing (VIP) package for high-contrast direct imaging
Gómez González, Carlos ULg; Absil, Olivier ULg; Wertz, Olivier ULg et al

Poster (2016, May 16)

VIP is a Python instrument-agnostic toolbox featuring a flexible framework for reproducible and robust data reduction. VIP currently supports three high-contrast imaging observational techniques: angular ... [more ▼]

VIP is a Python instrument-agnostic toolbox featuring a flexible framework for reproducible and robust data reduction. VIP currently supports three high-contrast imaging observational techniques: angular, reference-star and multi-spectral differential imaging. The code can be downloaded from our git repository on Github: http://github.com/vortex-exoplanet/VIP [less ▲]

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See detailNew and updated convex shape models of asteroids based on optical data from a large collaboration network
Hanuš, J.; Ďurech, J.; Oszkiewicz, D. A. et al

in Astronomy & Astrophysics (2016), 586

Asteroid modeling efforts in the last decade resulted in a comprehensive dataset of almost 400 convex shape models and their rotation states. This amount already provided a deep insight into physical ... [more ▼]

Asteroid modeling efforts in the last decade resulted in a comprehensive dataset of almost 400 convex shape models and their rotation states. This amount already provided a deep insight into physical properties of main-belt asteroids or large collisional families. We aim to increase the number of asteroid shape models and rotation states. Such results are an important input for various further studies such as analysis of asteroid physical properties in different populations, including smaller collisional families, thermophysical modeling, and scaling shape models by disk-resolved images, or stellar occultation data. This provides, in combination with known masses, bulk density estimates, but constrains also theoretical collisional and evolutional models of the Solar System. We use all available disk-integrated optical data (i.e., classical dense-in-time photometry obtained from public databases and through a large collaboration network as well as sparse-in-time individual measurements from a few sky surveys) as an input for the convex inversion method, and derive 3D shape models of asteroids, together with their rotation periods and orientations of rotation axes. The key ingredient is the support of more that one hundred observers who submit their optical data to publicly available databases. We present updated shape models for 36 asteroids, for which mass estimates are currently available in the literature or their masses will be most likely determined from their gravitational influence on smaller bodies, which orbital deflection will be observed by the ESA Gaia astrometric mission. This was achieved by using additional optical data from recent apparitions for the shape optimization. Moreover, we also present new shape model determinations for 250 asteroids, including 13 Hungarias and 3 near-Earth asteroids. [less ▲]

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See detailLarger and faster: revised properties and a shorter orbital period for the WASP-57 planetary system from a pro-am collaboration
Southworth, John; Mancini, L.; Tregloan-Reed, J. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015), 454

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 ... [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 ▲]

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See detailObserving the Sun with micro-interferometric devices: a didactic experiment
Defrere, Denis ULg; Absil, Olivier ULg; Hanot, C. et al

in Surdej, Jean; Le Coroller, Hervé; Arnold, Luc (Eds.) Improving the Performances of Current Optical Interferometers & Future Designs (2014, April 01)

Measuring the angular diameter of celestial bodies has long been the main purpose of stellar interferometry and was its historical motivation. Nowadays, stellar interferometry is widely used for various ... [more ▼]

Measuring the angular diameter of celestial bodies has long been the main purpose of stellar interferometry and was its historical motivation. Nowadays, stellar interferometry is widely used for various other scientific purposes that require very high angular resolution measurements. In terms of angular spatial scales probed, o [less ▲]

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See detailTheoretical studies of gravitational lensing phenomena: the case of multiply imaged quasars
Wertz, Olivier ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

In the early 1960s, gravitational lensing has received a special attention when S. Liebes and S. Refsdal have derived in detail some of the basic equations of the theory. While Liebes (1964) discussed the ... [more ▼]

In the early 1960s, gravitational lensing has received a special attention when S. Liebes and S. Refsdal have derived in detail some of the basic equations of the theory. While Liebes (1964) discussed the probability of detecting these effects and considered several astrophysical applications, Refsdal (1964) derived, inter alia, his famous relation which links the Hubble parameter (H0) to the expected time delays between pairs of lensed images. From that moment, the scientific community fully realized that gravitational lensing effects offer a new way of probing cosmology. However, an important fact has been to accept that the determination of H0 seems to be model dependent, not only on the universe model, but also on the mass distribution of the deflector. The main topic of the present thesis constitutes a straight continuation of this inquiry. We have been sounding parts of the mathematical lensing framework on two fronts. First, considering to first order a very small misalignment between the source, the lens and the observer, we have derived the expressions of the lensed image positions along with their amplification ratios, for the case of power-law axially symmetric mass distributions, the so-called ε-γ family of models (Wertz, Pelgrims & Surdej, 2012). After combining these results, it has allowed us to derive an expression for H0 independently of the model parameters. We have extended this study to the ε-γ family of models with external shear, as well as to the singular isothermal ellipsoid (SIE) models. For both these types of models, we have obtained an expression of H0 which is once again independent, to first order, of the model parameters. Furthermore, even though these families of models remain rigorously distinct, except for the singular isothermal sphere (SIS) and the perfect alignment, the expression of H0 in terms of observable quantities and of the source position takes surprisingly the same simple form. In addition, we have demonstrated the feasibility of analytically constraining to first order the model parameters by only using the astrometric positions of the lensed images. Therefore, for the case of a small misalignment between the source, the deflector and the observer, it is straightforward to determine whether the ε-γ or SIE family of models constitutes a judicious representation of the mass distribution of the deflector. It is conceivable that similar results can be deduced for other families of models. Secondly, we have developed a new analytical approach in order to determine the expression of the deflection angle, hereafter α. Since the latter depends on the deflector mass distribution, there exists no global explicit expression but only an implicit definition of α. Therefore, the analytical methods used to obtain the explicit expression differ for different types of mass distribution. However, using the Fourier transform theory, one may basically express α in terms of the Fourier transform of the surface mass density. Such a method allows us to approach any mass distribution in a unique way. As a first application, we have separately derived the expression of the two components of α for the case of homoeoidal symmetric lenses (Wertz & Surdej, 2013). This original result constitutes a first proof that the Fourier approach constitutes a promising alternative to the complex formalism introduced by Bourassa & Kantowski (1975, corrected by Bray 1984). A particular case of homoeoidal symmetric lenses lies in the non-singular isothermal ellipsoid (NSIE) family of models for which the analytical treatment has been somewhat limited (Kormann & al. 1994). The use of the Fourier approach has made possible to derive a complete analytical treatment of the NSIE, i.e. the expressions of the deflection angle, the deflection potential, and the critical and caustic curves even off the axis (Wertz & Surdej, submitted to MNRAS in february 2014). This original result has allowed us to investigate and better understand this family of models. Furthermore, it is of great interest for mass distribution modeling and to rigorously determine the expected time delays between pairs of lensed images. The previous analytical treatments mainly consisted of parametrical models for the deflector. An alternative way to grasp lenses consists in modeling their mass distribution using non-parametric models. With this aim in mind, we have proceeded as follows: we tessellate the lens plane with squared pixels, and associate to each of them a constant surface mass density. Making use of the Fourier approach, we have derived the expression of the deflection angle for the whole grid. This result contains the main advantage of the non-parametric models, i.e. to model any type of mass distribution without any preconception, and the usefulness of handling quantities which can be described with analytical functions. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-precision photometry by telescope defocussing - VI. WASP-24, WASP-25 andWASP-26*
Southworth, J.; Hinse, T. C.; Burgdorf, M. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 444(1), 776-789

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 ... [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 ▲]

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See detailHigh-precision photometry by telescope defocusing - VII. The ultrashort period planet WASP-103
Southworth, J.; Mancini, L.; Ciceri, S. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 447(1), 711-721

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 ... [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 ▲]

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See detailAsymptotic solutions for the case of SIE lens models and application to the quadruply imaged quasar Q2237+0305
Wertz, Olivier ULg; Surdej, Jean ULg

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 442(1), 428-439

Considering a small misalignment between a point-like source, a singular isothermal ellipsoid deflector and an observer, we derive to first order simple relations between the model parameters and the ... [more ▼]

Considering a small misalignment between a point-like source, a singular isothermal ellipsoid deflector and an observer, we derive to first order simple relations between the model parameters and the lensed image positions, and an expression for the time delay between pairs of opposed images which is analogue to the one previously derived for the case of ε - γ models. Combined with the first-order astrometric relations, we retrieve a simple expression for the time delays, in agreement with Witt, Mao & Keeton, which solely depends on the lensed image positions. The real advantage of using the first-order equations when dealing with symmetric gravitational lens systems is to directly test the validity of the adopted lens model without having to perform any accurate numerical fit. In this paper, we present in detail the calculations which lead to those relations between the singular isothermal ellipsoid lens model parameters and the lensed image positions. In addition, we model the well-known Einstein cross Q2237+0305 with three families of models: ε - γ, singular isothermal ellipsoid and non-singular isothermal ellipsoid plus shear, using a genetic algorithm from the Qubist Optimization Toolbox. We conclude that although the non-singular isothermal ellipsoid plus shear model shows the best agreement between the calculated and the observed image positions (〈 Δx〉 = 0.0026 arcsec), the more simple singular isothermal ellipsoid also leads to quite satisfactory and acceptable results (〈 Δx〉 = 0.0059 arcsec). © 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. [less ▲]

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See detailPhysical properties of the WASP-67 planetary system from multi-colour photometry
Mancini, L.; Southworth, J.; Ciceri, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 568

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 ... [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 ▲]

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See detailPhysical properties and transmission spectrum of the WASP-80 planetary system from multi-colour photometry
Mancini, L.; Southworth, J.; Ciceri, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 1312

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 ... [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 ▲]

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See detailUse of the Fourier transform to derive the gravitational lens deflection angle
Wertz, Olivier ULg; Surdej, Jean ULg

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 437

Knowing that the gravitational lens deflection angle can be expressed as the convolution product between the dimensionless surface mass density κ(x) and a simple function of the scaled impact parameter ... [more ▼]

Knowing that the gravitational lens deflection angle can be expressed as the convolution product between the dimensionless surface mass density κ(x) and a simple function of the scaled impact parameter vector x, we make use of the Fourier transform to derive its analytical expression for the case of mass distributions presenting a homoeoidal sym- metry. For this family of models, we obtain the expression of the two components of the deflection angle in the form of integrals performed over the radial coordinate ρ. In the limiting case of axially symmetric lenses, we obviously retrieve the well-known relation α(x)∝ M(≤ |x|)x/|x|^2. Furthermore, we derive explicit solutions for the deflection angle characterized by dimensionless surface mass density profiles such as κ ∝ (ρ^2c + ρ^2)^{−ν}; corresponding to the non-singular isothermal ellipsoid (NSIE) model for the particular case ν = 1/2. Let us insist that all these results are obtained without using the complex formal- ism introduced by Bourassa and Kantowski (1973,1975). Further straightforward applica- tions of this Fourier approach are suggested in the conclusions of the present work. [less ▲]

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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 detailA detailed census of variable stars in the globular cluster NGC 6333 (M9) from CCD differential photometry
Arellano Ferro, A.; Bramich, D. M.; Figuera Jaimes, R. et al

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

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 ... [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 ▲]

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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 detailMicrolensing Discovery of a Population of Very Tight, Very Low Mass Binary Brown Dwarfs
Choi, J.-Y.; Han, C.; Udalski, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 768

Although many models have been proposed, the physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of low-mass brown dwarfs (BDs) are poorly understood. The multiplicity properties and minimum mass of the BD ... [more ▼]

Although many models have been proposed, the physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of low-mass brown dwarfs (BDs) are poorly understood. The multiplicity properties and minimum mass of the BD mass function provide critical empirical diagnostics of these mechanisms. We present the discovery via gravitational microlensing of two very low mass, very tight binary systems. These binaries have directly and precisely measured total system masses of 0.025 M [SUB]⊙[/SUB] and 0.034 M [SUB]⊙[/SUB], and projected separations of 0.31 AU and 0.19 AU, making them the lowest-mass and tightest field BD binaries known. The discovery of a population of such binaries indicates that BD binaries can robustly form at least down to masses of ~0.02 M [SUB]⊙[/SUB]. Future microlensing surveys will measure a mass-selected sample of BD binary systems, which can then be directly compared to similar samples of stellar binaries. [less ▲]

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See detailA giant planet beyond the snow line in microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251
Kains, N.; Street, R. A.; Choi, J.-Y. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251. This anomalous event was observed by several survey and follow-up collaborations conducting microlensing ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251. This anomalous event was observed by several survey and follow-up collaborations conducting microlensing observations towards the Galactic bulge. <BR /> Methods: Based on detailed modelling of the observed light curve, we find that the lens is composed of two masses with a mass ratio q = 1.9 × 10[SUP]-3[/SUP]. Thanks to our detection of higher-order effects on the light curve due to the Earth's orbital motion and the finite size of source, we are able to measure the mass and distance to the lens unambiguously. <BR /> Results: We find that the lens is made up of a planet of mass 0.53 ± 0.21 M[SUB]J[/SUB] orbiting an M dwarf host star with a mass of 0.26 ± 0.11 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]. The planetary system is located at a distance of 2.57 ± 0.61 kpc towards the Galactic centre. The projected separation of the planet from its host star is d = 1.408 ± 0.019, in units of the Einstein radius, which corresponds to 2.72 ± 0.75 AU in physical units. We also identified a competitive model with similar planet and host star masses, but with a smaller orbital radius of 1.50 ± 0.50 AU. The planet is therefore located beyond the snow line of its host star, which we estimate to be around ~1-1.5 AU. [less ▲]

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

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

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

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

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See 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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