References of "Surdej, Jean"
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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 detailHigh Contrast Imaging with the New Vortex Coronagraph on NACO
Mawet, D.; Absil, Olivier ULg; Girard, J. H. et al

in The Messenger (2013), 152

The installation and successful commissioning of an L'-band annular groove phase mask (AGPM) coronagraph on VLT/NACO is presented. The AGPM is a vector vortex coronagraph made from diamond sub-wavelength ... [more ▼]

The installation and successful commissioning of an L'-band annular groove phase mask (AGPM) coronagraph on VLT/NACO is presented. The AGPM is a vector vortex coronagraph made from diamond sub-wavelength gratings tuned to the L'-band. The vector vortex coronagraph enables high-contrast imaging at very small inner working angles (here 0.09 arcseconds, the diffraction limit of the VLT at L'), potentially opening up a new parameter space in high-resolution imaging. During technical and science verification runs, we discovered a late-type companion at two beamwidths from an F0V star, and imaged the inner regions of β Pictoris down to the previously unexplored projected radius of 1.75 astronomical units. The circumstellar disc of β Pic was also resolved from 1 to 5 arcseconds. These results showcase the potential of the NACO L'-band AGPM over a wide range of spatial scales. [less ▲]

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See detailMOA-2010-BLG-311: A planetary candidate below the threshold of reliable detection
Yee, J. C.; Hung, L.-W.; Bond, I. A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 769(1), 77

We analyze MOA-2010-BLG-311, a high magnification (A_max>600) microlensing event with complete data coverage over the peak, making it very sensitive to planetary signals. We fit this event with both a ... [more ▼]

We analyze MOA-2010-BLG-311, a high magnification (A_max>600) microlensing event with complete data coverage over the peak, making it very sensitive to planetary signals. We fit this event with both a point lens and a 2-body lens model and find that the 2-body lens model is a better fit but with only Delta chi^2~140. The preferred mass ratio between the lens star and its companion is $q=10^(-3.7+/-0.1), placing the candidate companion in the planetary regime. Despite the formal significance of the planet, we show that because of systematics in the data the evidence for a planetary companion to the lens is too tenuous to claim a secure detection. When combined with analyses of other high-magnification events, this event helps empirically define the threshold for reliable planet detection in high-magnification events, which remains an open question. [less ▲]

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See detailLaboratory demonstration of a mid-infrared AGPM vector vortex coronagraph
Delacroix, Christian ULg; Absil, Olivier ULg; Forsberg, Pontus et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 553

Coronagraphy is a powerful technique to achieve high contrast imaging and hence to image faint companions around bright targets. Various concepts have been used in the visible and near-infrared regimes ... [more ▼]

Coronagraphy is a powerful technique to achieve high contrast imaging and hence to image faint companions around bright targets. Various concepts have been used in the visible and near-infrared regimes, while coronagraphic applications in the mid-infrared remain nowadays largely unexplored. Vector vortex phase masks based on concentric subwavelength gratings show great promise for such applications. We aim at producing and validating the first high-performance broadband focal plane phase mask coronagraphs for applications in the mid-infrared regime, and in particular the L band with a fractional bandwidth of ~16% (3.5-4.1 \mu m). Based on rigorous coupled wave analysis, we designed an annular groove phase mask (AGPM) producing a vortex effect in the L band, and etched it onto a series of diamond substrates. The grating parameters were measured by means of scanning electron microscopy. The resulting components were then tested on a mid-infrared coronagraphic test bench. A broadband raw null depth of 2 x 10^{-3} was obtained for our best L-band AGPM after only a few iterations between design and manufacturing. This corresponds to a raw contrast of about 6 x 10^{-5} (10.5 mag) at 2\lambda/D. This result is fully in line with our projections based on rigorous coupled wave analysis modeling, using the measured grating parameters. The sensitivity to tilt and focus has also been evaluated. After years of technological developments, mid-infrared vector vortex coronagraphs finally become a reality and live up to our expectations. Based on their measured performance, our L-band AGPMs are now ready to open a new parameter space in exoplanet imaging at major ground-based observatories. [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 detailEMCCD photometry reveals two new variable stars in the crowded central region of the globular cluster NGC 6981
Skottfelt, J.; Bramich, D. M.; Figuera Jaimes, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 553

Two previously unknown variable stars in the crowded central region of the globular cluster NGC 6981 are presented. The observations were made using the electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD) camera at the ... [more ▼]

Two previously unknown variable stars in the crowded central region of the globular cluster NGC 6981 are presented. The observations were made using the electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD) camera at the Danish 1.54 m Telescope at La Silla, Chile. The two variableswere not previously detected by conventional CCD imaging because of their proximity to a bright star. This discovery demonstrates that EMCCDs are a powerful tool for performing high-precision time-series photometry in crowded fields and near bright stars, especially when combined with difference image analysis. Based on data collected by MiNDSTEp with the Danish 1.54 m telescope. [less ▲]

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See detailL'-band AGPM vector vortex coronagraph's first light on VLT/NACO: Discovery of a late-type companion at two beamwidths from an F0V star
Mawet, D.; Absil, Olivier ULg; Delacroix, Christian ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

Context. High contrast imaging has thoroughly combed through the limited search space accessible with first-generation ground-based adaptive optics instruments and the Hubble Space Telescope. Only a few ... [more ▼]

Context. High contrast imaging has thoroughly combed through the limited search space accessible with first-generation ground-based adaptive optics instruments and the Hubble Space Telescope. Only a few objects were discovered, and many non-detections reported and statistically interpreted. The field is now in need of a technological breakthrough. Aim. Our aim is to open a new search space with first-generation systems such as NACO at the Very Large Telescope, by providing ground-breaking inner working angle (IWA) capabilities in the L' band. The L' band is a sweet spot for high contrast coronagraphy since the planet-to-star brightness ratio is favorable, while the Strehl ratio is naturally higher. Methods. An annular groove phase mask (AGPM) vector vortex coronagraph optimized for the L' band, made from diamond subwavelength gratings was manufactured and qualified in the lab. The AGPM enables high contrast imaging at very small IWA, potentially being the key to unexplored discovery space. Results. Here we present the installation and successful on-sky tests of an L'-band AGPM coronagraph on NACO. Using angular differential imaging, which is well suited to the rotational symmetry of the AGPM, we demonstrated a \Delta L' > 7.5 mag contrast from an IWA ~ 0".09 onwards, during average seeing conditions, and for total integration times of a few hundred seconds. [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 detailMOA-2010-BLG-523: "Failed Planet" = RS CVn Star
Gould, A.; Yee, J. C.; Bond, I. A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 763

The Galactic bulge source MOA-2010-BLG-523S exhibited short-term deviations from a standard microlensing light curve near the peak of an A [SUB]max[/SUB] ~ 265 high-magnification microlensing event. The ... [more ▼]

The Galactic bulge source MOA-2010-BLG-523S exhibited short-term deviations from a standard microlensing light curve near the peak of an A [SUB]max[/SUB] ~ 265 high-magnification microlensing event. The deviations originally seemed consistent with expectations for a planetary companion to the principal lens. We combine long-term photometric monitoring with a previously published high-resolution spectrum taken near peak to demonstrate that this is an RS CVn variable, so that planetary microlensing is not required to explain the light-curve deviations. This is the first spectroscopically confirmed RS CVn star discovered in the Galactic bulge. Based on observations made with the European Southern Observatory telescopes, Program ID 85.B-0399(I). [less ▲]

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See detailMOA-2010-BLG-073L: An M-dwarf with a Substellar Companion at the Planet/Brown Dwarf Boundary
Street, R. A.; Choi, J.-Y.; Tsapras, Y. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 763

We present an analysis of the anomalous microlensing event, MOA-2010-BLG-073, announced by the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics survey on 2010 March 18. This event was remarkable because the ... [more ▼]

We present an analysis of the anomalous microlensing event, MOA-2010-BLG-073, announced by the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics survey on 2010 March 18. This event was remarkable because the source was previously known to be photometrically variable. Analyzing the pre-event source light curve, we demonstrate that it is an irregular variable over timescales >200 days. Its dereddened color, (V - I)[SUB] S, 0[/SUB], is 1.221 ± 0.051 mag, and from our lens model we derive a source radius of 14.7 ± 1.3 R [SUB]&sun;[/SUB], suggesting that it is a red giant star. We initially explored a number of purely microlensing models for the event but found a residual gradient in the data taken prior to and after the event. This is likely to be due to the variability of the source rather than part of the lensing event, so we incorporated a slope parameter in our model in order to derive the true parameters of the lensing system. We find that the lensing system has a mass ratio of q = 0.0654 ± 0.0006. The Einstein crossing time of the event, t [SUB]E[/SUB] = 44.3 ± 0.1 days, was sufficiently long that the light curve exhibited parallax effects. In addition, the source trajectory relative to the large caustic structure allowed the orbital motion of the lens system to be detected. Combining the parallax with the Einstein radius, we were able to derive the distance to the lens, D[SUB]L[/SUB] = 2.8 ± 0.4 kpc, and the masses of the lensing objects. The primary of the lens is an M-dwarf with M [SUB] L, 1[/SUB] = 0.16 ± 0.03 M [SUB]&sun;[/SUB], while the companion has M [SUB] L, 2[/SUB] = 11.0 ± 2.0 M [SUB]J[/SUB], putting it in the boundary zone between planets and brown dwarfs. [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 detailThe XMM-LSS catalogue: X-ray sources and associated multiwavelength data. Version II
Chiappetti, L.; Clerc, N.; Pacaud, F. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 429

We present the final release of the multi-wavelength XMM-LSS data set,covering the full survey area of 11.1 square degrees, with X-ray data processed with the latest XMM-LSS pipeline version. The present ... [more ▼]

We present the final release of the multi-wavelength XMM-LSS data set,covering the full survey area of 11.1 square degrees, with X-ray data processed with the latest XMM-LSS pipeline version. The present publication supersedes the Pierre et al.(2007) catalogue pertaining to the initial 5 square degrees. We provide X-ray source lists in the customary energy bands (0.5-2 and 2-10 keV) for a total of 6721 objects in the deep full-exposure catalogue and 5572 in the 10ks-limited one, above a detection likelihood of 15 in at least one band. We also provide a multiwavelength catalogue, cross-correlating our list with IR, NIR, optical and UV catalogues. Customary data products (X-ray FITS images, CFHTLS and SWIRE thumbnail images) are made available together with our interactively queriable database in Milan, while a static snapshot of the catalogues will be supplied to CDS, as soon as final acceptance is completed. [less ▲]

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See detailMOA-2010-BLG-328Lb: a sub-Neptune orbiting very late M dwarf ?
Furusawa, K.; Udalski, A.; Sumi, T. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 91

We analyze the planetary microlensing event MOA-2010-BLG-328. The best fit yields host and planetary masses of Mh = 0.11+/-0.01 M_{sun} and Mp = 9.2+/-2.2M_Earth, corresponding to a very late M dwarf and ... [more ▼]

We analyze the planetary microlensing event MOA-2010-BLG-328. The best fit yields host and planetary masses of Mh = 0.11+/-0.01 M_{sun} and Mp = 9.2+/-2.2M_Earth, corresponding to a very late M dwarf and sub-Neptune-mass planet, respectively. The system lies at DL = 0.81 +/- 0.10 kpc with projected separation r = 0.92 +/- 0.16 AU. Because of the host's a-priori-unlikely close distance, as well as the unusual nature of the system, we consider the possibility that the microlens parallax signal, which determines the host mass and distance, is actually due to xallarap (source orbital motion) that is being misinterpreted as parallax. We show a result that favors the parallax solution, even given its close host distance. We show that future high-resolution astrometric measurements could decisively resolve the remaining ambiguity of these solutions. [less ▲]

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See detailAdaptive PSF fitting - a new photometric method and light curves of the GLS H1413+177 Clover Leaf: time delays and micro-lensing effects
Akhunov, Talat ULg; Elyiv, Andrii ULg; Artamonov, B.P. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013)

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See detailMicrolensing Binaries with Candidate Brown Dwarf Companions
Shin, I.-G.; Han, C.; Gould, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2012), 760

Brown dwarfs are important objects because they may provide a missing link between stars and planets, two populations that have dramatically different formation histories. In this paper, we present the ... [more ▼]

Brown dwarfs are important objects because they may provide a missing link between stars and planets, two populations that have dramatically different formation histories. In this paper, we present the candidate binaries with brown dwarf companions that are found by analyzing binary microlensing events discovered during the 2004-2011 observation seasons. Based on the low mass ratio criterion of q < 0.2, we found seven candidate events: OGLE-2004-BLG-035, OGLE-2004-BLG-039, OGLE-2007-BLG-006, OGLE-2007-BLG-399/MOA-2007-BLG-334, MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172, MOA-2011-BLG-149, and MOA-201-BLG-278/OGLE-2011-BLG-012N. Among them, we are able to confirm that the companions of the lenses of MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149 are brown dwarfs by determining the mass of the lens based on the simultaneous measurement of the Einstein radius and the lens parallax. The measured masses of the brown dwarf companions are 0.02 ± 0.01 M [SUB]&sun;[/SUB] and 0.019 ± 0.002 M [SUB]&sun;[/SUB] for MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149, respectively, and both companions are orbiting low-mass M dwarf host stars. More microlensing brown dwarfs are expected to be detected as the number of lensing events with well-covered light curves increases with new-generation searches. [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 detailHigh precision astrometry mission for the detection and characterization of nearby habitable planetary systems with the Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope (NEAT)
Malbet, Fabien; Léger, Alain; Shao, Michael et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2012), 34(2), 385-413

A complete census of planetary systems around a volume-limited sample of solar-type stars (FGK dwarfs) in the Solar neighborhood (d ≤ 15 pc) with uniform sensitivity down to Earth-mass planets within ... [more ▼]

A complete census of planetary systems around a volume-limited sample of solar-type stars (FGK dwarfs) in the Solar neighborhood (d ≤ 15 pc) with uniform sensitivity down to Earth-mass planets within their Habitable Zones out to several AUs would be a major milestone in extrasolar planets astrophysics. This fundamental goal can be achieved with a mission concept such as NEAT—the Nearby Earth Astrometric Telescope. NEAT is designed to carry out space-borne extremely-high-precision astrometric measurements at the 0.05 μas (1 σ) accuracy level, sufficient to detect dynamical effects due to orbiting planets of mass even lower than Earth's around the nearest stars. Such a survey mission would provide the actual planetary masses and the full orbital geometry for all the components of the detected planetary systems down to the Earth-mass limit. The NEAT performance limits can be achieved by carrying out differential astrometry between the targets and a set of suitable reference stars in the field. The NEAT instrument design consists of an off-axis parabola single-mirror telescope (D = 1 m), a detector with a large field of view located 40 m away from the telescope and made of 8 small movable CCDs located around a fixed central CCD, and an interferometric calibration system monitoring dynamical Young's fringes originating from metrology fibers located at the primary mirror. The mission profile is driven by the fact that the two main modules of the payload, the telescope and the focal plane, must be located 40 m away leading to the choice of a formation flying option as the reference mission, and of a deployable boom option as an alternative choice. The proposed mission architecture relies on the use of two satellites, of about 700 kg each, operating at L2 for 5 years, flying in formation and offering a capability of more than 20,000 reconfigurations. The two satellites will be launched in a stacked configuration using a Soyuz ST launch vehicle. The NEAT primary science program will encompass an astrometric survey of our 200 closest F-, G- and K-type stellar neighbors, with an average of 50 visits each distributed over the nominal mission duration. The main survey operation will use approximately 70% of the mission lifetime. The remaining 30% of NEAT observing time might be allocated, for example, to improve the characterization of the architecture of selected planetary systems around nearby targets of specific interest (low-mass stars, young stars, etc.) discovered by Gaia, ground-based high-precision radial-velocity surveys, and other programs. With its exquisite, surgical astrometric precision, NEAT holds the promise to provide the first thorough census for Earth-mass planets around stars in the immediate vicinity of our Sun. [less ▲]

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