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See detailContinued activity in P/2013 P5 PANSTARRS - The comet that should not be
Hainaut, O. R.; Boehnhardt, H.; Snodgrass, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (in press)

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See detailThe puzzling new class of variable stars in NGC 3766 : old friend pulsators?
Salmon, Sébastien ULg; Montalban Iglesias, Josefa ULg; Reese, Daniel et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014)

The recent variability survey of the NGC 3766 cluster revealed a considerable number of periodic variable stars in a region of the H-R diagram where no pulsation is expected. This region lies between the ... [more ▼]

The recent variability survey of the NGC 3766 cluster revealed a considerable number of periodic variable stars in a region of the H-R diagram where no pulsation is expected. This region lies between the instability strips of the delta Scuti and SPB stars. Moreover the periods of the new phenomenon, P~0.1-0.7 d, do not allow to associate it a priori to either of these two types of pulsations. Stars in the NGC 3766 cluster are known as fast rotators with rotational velocities typically larger than half of their critical velocity. Rotation can affect both the geometrical properties and period domain of pulsations. It also alters the apparent stellar luminosity through gravity darkening, effect seldom taken considered in theoretical studies of the rotation-pulsation interaction. We explore if both of these effects are able to deliver a consistent interpretation for the observed properties of the "new variables" in NGC 3766: explaining their presence outside the known instability strips and their variability periods. We carry out an instability analysis of SPB models within the framework of the Traditional Approximation of Rotation and study the visibility of modes according to the angle of view and rotation. We also check how gravity darkening affects the effective temperature and luminosity of stellar models for different angles of view and rotation velocities. At the red (cold) border of the instability strip, prograde sectoral modes are preferentially excited and their visibilities are maximum when seen equator-on. Furthermore low-mass SPB models seen equator-on can appear in the gap between non-rotating SPB and delta Scuti stars due to gravity darkening. In that case, periods of these most visible modes are shifted to the 0.2-0.5 d range due to the effects of the Coriolis force. We hence suggest that the new variable stars observed in NGC 3766 are actually fast rotating SPB pulsators. [less ▲]

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See detailPhase resolved X-ray spectroscopy of HDE 288766: Probing the wind of an extreme Of+/WNLha star
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Mahy, Laurent; Nazé, Yaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 566

Context. HDE 228766 is a very massive binary system hosting a secondary component, which is probably in an intermediate evolutionary stage between an Of supergiant and an WN star. The wind of this star ... [more ▼]

Context. HDE 228766 is a very massive binary system hosting a secondary component, which is probably in an intermediate evolutionary stage between an Of supergiant and an WN star. The wind of this star collides with the wind of its O8 II companion, leading to relatively strong X-ray emission. <BR /> Aims: Measuring the orbital variations of the line-of-sight absorption toward the X-ray emission from the wind-wind interaction zone yields information on the wind densities of both stars. <BR /> Methods: X-ray spectra have been collected at three key orbital phases to probe the winds of both stars. Optical photometry has been gathered to set constraints on the orbital inclination of the system. <BR /> Results: The X-ray spectra reveal prominent variations of the intervening column density toward the X-ray emission zone, which are in line with the expectations for a wind-wind collision. We use a toy model to set constraints on the stellar wind parameters by attempting to reproduce the observed variations of the relative fluxes and wind optical depths at 1 keV. <BR /> Conclusions: The lack of strong optical eclipses sets an upper limit of ~ 68° on the orbital inclination. The analysis of the variations of the X-ray spectra suggests an inclination in the range 54-61° and indicates that the secondary wind momentum ratio exceeds that of the primary by at least a factor 5. Our models further suggest that the bulk of the X-ray emission arises from the innermost region of the wind interaction zone, which is from a region whose outer radius, as measured from the secondary star, lies between 0.5 and 1.5 times the orbital separation. Based on observations collected with XMM-Newton, an ESA science mission with instruments and contributions directly funded by ESA member states and the USA (NASA), and on data collected at the San Pedro Mártir observatory (Mexico). [less ▲]

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See detailMicrolensing of the broad-line region in the quadruply imaged quasar HE0435-1223
Braibant, Lorraine ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Sluse, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 565

Using infrared spectra of the z = 1.693 quadruply lensed quasar HE0435-1223 acquired in 2009 with the spectrograph SINFONI at the ESO Very Large Telescope, we have detected a clear microlensing effect in ... [more ▼]

Using infrared spectra of the z = 1.693 quadruply lensed quasar HE0435-1223 acquired in 2009 with the spectrograph SINFONI at the ESO Very Large Telescope, we have detected a clear microlensing effect in images A and D. While microlensing affects the blue and red wings of the Hα line profile in image D very differently, it de-magnifies the line core in image A. The combination of these different effects sets constraints on the line-emitting region; these constraints suggest that a rotating ring is at the origin of the Hα line. Visible spectra obtained in 2004 and 2012 indicate that the MgII line profile is microlensed in the same way as the Hα line. Our results therefore favour flattened geometries for the low-ionization line-emitting region, for example, a Keplerian disk. Biconical models cannot be ruled out but require more fine-tuning. Flux ratios between the different images are also derived and confirm flux anomalies with respect to estimates from lens models with smooth mass distributions. Based on observations made with the ESO-VLT, Paranal, Chile; Proposal 084.B-0013 (PI: Rix).Tables 2, 3 and Appendix A are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201423633/olm">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe PLATO Simulator: modelling of high-precision high-cadence space-based imaging
Marcos-Arenal, P.; Zima, W.; De Ridder, J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014)

Many aspects of the design trade-off of a space-based instrument and its performance can best be tackled through simulations of the expected observations. The complex interplay of various noise sources in ... [more ▼]

Many aspects of the design trade-off of a space-based instrument and its performance can best be tackled through simulations of the expected observations. The complex interplay of various noise sources in the course of the observations make such simulations an indispensable part of the assessment and design study of any space-based mission. We present a formalism to model and simulate photometric time series of CCD images by including models of the CCD and its electronics, the telescope optics, the stellar field, the jitter movements of the spacecraft, and all important natural noise sources. This formalism has been implemented in a versatile end-to-end simulation software tool, called PLATO Simulator, specifically designed for the PLATO space mission to be operated from L2, but easily adaptable to similar types of missions. We provide a detailed description of several noise sources and discuss their properties, in connection with the optical design, the allowable level of jitter, the quantum efficiency of the detectors, etc. The expected overall noise budget of generated light curves is computed as a function of the stellar magnitude, for different sets of input parameters describing the instrument properties. The simulator is offered to the scientific community for future use. [less ▲]

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See detailThe yellow hypergiant HR 5171 A: Resolving a massive interacting binary in the common envelope phase
Chesneau, O.; Meilland, A.; Chapellier, E. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 563

Context. Only a few stars are caught in the very brief and often crucial stages when they quickly traverse the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, and none has yet been spatially resolved in the mass transfer ... [more ▼]

Context. Only a few stars are caught in the very brief and often crucial stages when they quickly traverse the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, and none has yet been spatially resolved in the mass transfer phase. Aims: We initiated long-term optical interferometry monitoring of the diameters of massive and unstable yellow hypergiants (YHG) with the goal of detecting both the long-term evolution of their radius and shorter term formation of a possible pseudo-photosphere related to proposed large mass-loss events. Methods: We observed HR 5171 A with AMBER/VLTI. We also examined archival photometric data in the visual and near-IR spanning more than 60 years, as well as sparse spectroscopic data. Results: HR 5171 Aexhibits a complex appearance. Our AMBER data reveal a surprisingly large star for a YHG R∗ = 1315 ± 260R⊙ (or ~6.1 AU) at the distance of 3.6 ± 0.5 kpc. The source is surrounded by an extended nebulosity, and these data also show a large level of asymmetry in the brightness distribution of the system, which we attribute to a newly discovered companion star located in front of the primary star. The companion's signature is also detected in the visual photometry, which indicates an orbital period of Porb = 1304 ± 6 d. Modeling the light curve with the NIGHTFALL program provides clear evidence that the system is a contact or possibly over-contact eclipsing binary. A total current system mass of 39^+40_-22 M⊙ and a high mass ratio q ≥ 10 is inferred for the system. Conclusions: The low-mass companion of HR 5171 is very close to the primary star that is embedded within its dense wind. Tight constraints on the inclination and vsini of the primary are lacking, which prevents us from determining its influence precisely on the mass-loss phenomenon, but the system is probably experiencing a wind Roche-Lobe overflow. Depending on the amount of angular momentum that can be transferred to the stellar envelope, HR 5171 A may become a fast-rotating B[e]/luminous blue variable/Wolf-Rayet star. In any case, HR 5171 A highlights the possible importance of binaries for interpreting the unstable YHGs and for massive star evolution in general. [less ▲]

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See detailMode identification based on time-series spectrophotometry for the bright rapid sdB pulsator EC 01541-1409
Randall, Suzanna K; Fontaine, Gilles; Geier, Stephan et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 563

We present an analysis of time-resolved spectrophotometry gathered with FORS/VLT for the rapidly pulsating hot B subdwarf EC 01541-1409 with the aim of identifying the degree index ℓ of the larger ... [more ▼]

We present an analysis of time-resolved spectrophotometry gathered with FORS/VLT for the rapidly pulsating hot B subdwarf EC 01541-1409 with the aim of identifying the degree index ℓ of the larger amplitude modes. This mode identification can be extremely useful in detailed searches for viable asteroseismic models in parameter space, and can be crucial for testing the validity of a solution a posteriori. To achieve it, we exploit the ℓ-dependence of the monochromatic amplitude, phase, and velocity-to-amplitude ratio of a mode as a function of wavelength. We use the ℓ-sensitive phase lag between the flux perturbation and the radial velocity as an additional diagnostic tool. On this basis, we are able to unambiguously identify the dominant 140.5 s pulsation of our target as a radial mode, and the second-highest amplitude periodicity at 145.8 s as an ℓ = 2 mode. We further exploit the exceptionally high-sensitivity data that we gathered for the dominant mode to infer modal properties that are usually quite difficult to estimate in sdB pulsators, namely the physical values of the dimensionless radius, temperature, and surface gravity perturbations. [less ▲]

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See detailTransiting planets from WASP-South, Euler and TRAPPIST: WASP-68 b, WASP-73 b and WASP-88 b, three hot Jupiters transiting evolved solar-type stars
Delrez, Laetitia ULg; Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Anderson, D. R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014)

We report the discovery by the WASP transit survey of three new hot Jupiters, WASP-68 b, WASP-73 b and WASP-88 b. WASP-68 b has a mass of 0.95+-0.03 M_Jup, a radius of 1.24-0.06+0.10 R_Jup, and orbits a V ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery by the WASP transit survey of three new hot Jupiters, WASP-68 b, WASP-73 b and WASP-88 b. WASP-68 b has a mass of 0.95+-0.03 M_Jup, a radius of 1.24-0.06+0.10 R_Jup, and orbits a V=10.7 G0-type star (1.24+-0.03 M_sun, 1.69-0.06+0.11 R_sun, T_eff=5911+-60 K) with a period of 5.084298+-0.000015 days. Its size is typical of hot Jupiters with similar masses. WASP-73 b is significantly more massive (1.88-0.06+0.07 M_Jup) and slightly larger (1.16-0.08+0.12 R_Jup) than Jupiter. It orbits a V=10.5 F9-type star (1.34-0.04+0.05 M_sun, 2.07-0.08+0.19 R_sun, T_eff=6036+-120 K) every 4.08722+-0.00022 days. Despite its high irradiation (2.3 10^9 erg s^-1 cm^-2), WASP-73 b has a high mean density (1.20-0.30+0.26 \rho_Jup) that suggests an enrichment of the planet in heavy elements. WASP-88 b is a 0.56+-0.08 M_Jup planet orbiting a V=11.4 F6-type star (1.45+-0.05 M_sun, 2.08-0.06+0.12 R_sun, T_eff=6431+-130 K) with a period of 4.954000+-0.000019 days. With a radius of 1.70-0.07+0.13 R_Jup, it joins the handful of planets with super-inflated radii. The ranges of ages we determine through stellar evolution modeling are 4.5-7.0 Gyr for WASP-68, 2.8-5.7 Gyr for WASP-73 and 1.8-4.3 Gyr for WASP-88. WASP-73 appears to be a significantly evolved star, close to or already in the subgiant phase. WASP-68 and WASP-88 are less evolved, although in an advanced stage of core H-burning. [less ▲]

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

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 562

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

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

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See detailWASP-103b: a new planet at the edge of tidal disruption
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Anderson, D. R.; Collier-Cameron, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014)

We report the discovery of WASP-103b, a new ultra-short-period planet (P=22.2 hr) transiting a 12.1 V-magnitude F8-type main-sequence star (1.22+-0.04 Msun, 1.44-0.03+0.05 Rsun, Teff = 6110+-160 K). WASP ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of WASP-103b, a new ultra-short-period planet (P=22.2 hr) transiting a 12.1 V-magnitude F8-type main-sequence star (1.22+-0.04 Msun, 1.44-0.03+0.05 Rsun, Teff = 6110+-160 K). WASP-103b is significantly more massive (1.49+-0.09 Mjup) and larger (1.53-0.07+0.05 Rjup) than Jupiter. Its large size and extreme irradiation (around 9 10^9 erg/s/cm^2) make it an exquisite target for a thorough atmospheric characterization with existing facilities. Furthermore, its orbital distance is less than 20% larger than its Roche radius, meaning that it might be significantly distorted by tides and might experience mass loss through Roche-lobe overflow. It thus represents a new key object for understanding the last stage of the tidal evolution of hot Jupiters. [less ▲]

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See detailWind collisions in three massive stars of Cygnus OB2
Cazorla, Constantin ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 561

Aims. We wish to study the origin of the X-ray emission of three massive stars in the CygOB2 association: CygOB2#5, Cyg OB2 #8A, and Cyg OB2 #12. Methods. To this aim, dedicated X-ray observations from ... [more ▼]

Aims. We wish to study the origin of the X-ray emission of three massive stars in the CygOB2 association: CygOB2#5, Cyg OB2 #8A, and Cyg OB2 #12. Methods. To this aim, dedicated X-ray observations from XMM-Newton and Swift are used, as well as archival ROSAT and Suzaku data. Results. Our results on Cyg OB2 #8A improve the phase coverage of the orbit and confirm previous studies: the signature of a wind- wind collision is conspicuous. In addition, signatures of a wind-wind collision are also detected in Cyg OB2 #5, but the X-ray emission appears to be associated with the collision between the inner binary and the tertiary component orbiting it with a 6.7 yr period, without a putative collision inside the binary. The X-ray properties strongly constrain the orbital parameters, notably allowing us to discard some proposed orbital solutions. To improve the knowledge of the orbit, we revisit the light curves and radial velocity of the inner binary, looking for reflex motion induced by the third star. Finally, the X-ray emission of Cyg OB2 #12 is also analyzed. It shows a marked decrease in recent years, compatible with either a wind-wind collision in a wide binary or the aftermath of a recent eruption. [less ▲]

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See detailA search for pulsations in the HgMn star HD 45975 with CoRoT photometry and ground-based spectroscopy
Morel, Thierry ULg; Briquet, Maryline ULg; Auvergne, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 561

The existence of pulsations in HgMn stars is still being debated. To provide the first unambiguous observational detection of pulsations in this class of chemically peculiar objects, the bright star HD ... [more ▼]

The existence of pulsations in HgMn stars is still being debated. To provide the first unambiguous observational detection of pulsations in this class of chemically peculiar objects, the bright star HD 45975 was monitored for nearly two months by the CoRoT satellite. Independent analyses of the light curve provide evidence of monoperiodic variations with a frequency of 0.7572 d[SUP]-1[/SUP] and a peak-to-peak amplitude of ~2800 ppm. Multisite, ground-based spectroscopic observations overlapping the CoRoT observations show the star to be a long-period, single-lined binary. Furthermore, with the notable exception of mercury, they reveal the same periodicity as in photometry in the line moments of chemical species exhibiting strong overabundances (e.g., Mn and Y). In contrast, lines of other elements do not show significant variations. As found in otherHgMn stars, the pattern of variability consists in an absorption bump moving redwards across the line profiles. We argue that the photometric and spectroscopic changes are more consistent with an interpretation in terms of rotational modulation of spots at the stellar surface. In this framework, the existence of pulsations producing photometric variations above the ~50 ppm level is unlikely in HD 45975. This provides strong constraints on the excitation/damping of pulsation modes in this HgMn star. The CoRoT space mission was developed and is operated by the French space agency CNES, with participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Spain. This work is based on observations collected at La Silla and Paranal Observatories, ESO (Chile), with the HARPS and UVES spectrographs at the 3.6-m and very large telescopes, under programmes LP185.D-0056 and 287.D-5066. It is also based on observations made with the Mercator Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma by the Flemish Community, at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. Based on observations obtained with the HERMES spectrograph, which is supported by the Fund for Scientific Research of Flanders (FWO), Belgium, the Research Council of K.U. Leuven, Belgium, the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), Belgium, the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Observatoire de Genève, Switzerland, and the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Germany. [less ▲]

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See detailHerschel observations of gas and dust in comet C/2006 W3 (Christensen) at 5 AU from the Sun
de Val-Borro, M; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014)

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See detailWR 138: new results from X-ray and optical spectroscopy
Palate, Matthieu ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; De Becker, Michaël ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 560

Massive-binary evolution models predict that some systems will go through an evolutionary phase where the original primary has become a supernova and left a compact object behind that then orbits a Wolf ... [more ▼]

Massive-binary evolution models predict that some systems will go through an evolutionary phase where the original primary has become a supernova and left a compact object behind that then orbits a Wolf-Rayet (WR) star. WR 138 is an X-ray bright WR star that has been described as a triple system, including a compact companion in a short-period orbit. Our goal is to search for spectroscopic evidence of a compact companion around WR 138. We used optical and X-ray spectra to search for signatures of a compact companion, which can be revealed by systematic variations in WR optical spectral lines induced by orbital motion of the compact companion or by hard, luminous X-rays from accretion onto this companion. The optical spectra display emission-line profile variations that are most probably caused by clumps inside the stellar winds. The radial velocities do not vary on a short time-scale compatible with the suggested orbital period of a putative compact companion. The X-ray spectra are found to be normal for a WN5-6+OB system with no indication of accretion by a compact companion. There is no evidence for the presence of a compact companion, and we therefore conclude that WR 138 is a normal long-period (P ~ 1521 d) eccentric WR+OB system. [less ▲]

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See detailA Photometric Study of the Hot Exoplanet WASP-19b
Lendl, M.; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Queloz, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

Context. The sample of hot Jupiters that have been studied in great detail is still growing. In particular, when the planet transits its host star, it is possible to measure the planetary radius and the ... [more ▼]

Context. The sample of hot Jupiters that have been studied in great detail is still growing. In particular, when the planet transits its host star, it is possible to measure the planetary radius and the planet mass (with radial velocity data). For the study of planetary atmospheres, it is essential to obtain transit and occultation measurements at multiple wavelengths. Aims: We aim to characterize the transiting hot Jupiter WASP-19b by deriving accurate and precise planetary parameters from a dedicated observing campaign of transits and occultations. Methods: We have obtained a total of 14 transit lightcurves in the r'-Gunn, I-Cousins, z'-Gunn, and I + z' filters and 10 occultation lightcurves in z'-Gunn using EulerCam on the Euler-Swiss telescope and TRAPPIST. We also obtained one lightcurve through the narrow-band NB1190 filter of HAWK-I on the VLT measuring an occultation at 1.19 μm. We performed a global MCMC analysis of all new data, together with some archive data in order to refine the planetary parameters and to measure the occultation depths in z'-band and at 1.19 μm. Results: We measure a planetary radius of Rp = 1.376 ± 0.046 RJ, a planetary mass of Mp = 1.165 ± 0.068 MJ, and find a very low eccentricity of e = 0.0077-0.0032+0.0068, compatible with a circular orbit. We have detected the z'-band occultation at 3σ significance and measure it to be δFocc,z' = 352 ± 116 ppm, more than a factor of 2 smaller than previously published. The occultation at 1.19 μm is only marginally constrained at δFocc,NB1190 = 1711-726+745 ppm. Conclusions: We show that the detection of occultations in the visible range is within reach, even for 1 m class telescopes if a considerable number of individual events are observed. Our results suggest an oxygen-dominated atmosphere of WASP-19b, making the planet an interesting test case for oxygen-rich planets without temperature inversion. [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 detailSearching for companions down to 2 AU from β Pictoris using the L'-band AGPM coronagraph on VLT/NACO
Absil, Olivier ULg; Milli, J.; Mawet, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 559

Context. The orbit of the giant planet discovered around β Pic is slightly inclined with respect to the outer parts of the debris disc, which creates a warp in the inner debris disc. This inclination ... [more ▼]

Context. The orbit of the giant planet discovered around β Pic is slightly inclined with respect to the outer parts of the debris disc, which creates a warp in the inner debris disc. This inclination might be explained by gravitational interactions with other planets. <BR /> Aims: We aim to search for additional giant planets located at smaller angular separations from the star. <BR /> Methods: We used the new L'-band AGPM coronagraph on VLT/NACO, which provides an exquisite inner working angle. A long observing sequence was obtained on β Pic in pupil-tracking mode. To derive sensitivity limits, the collected images were processed using a principal-component analysis technique specifically tailored to angular differential imaging. <BR /> Results: No additional planet is detected down to an angular separation of 0.''2with a sensitivity better than 5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]. Meaningful upper limits (<10 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) are derived down to an angular separation of 0.''1, which corresponds to 2 AU at the distance of β Pic. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Gaia astrophysical parameters inference system (Apsis). Pre-launch description
Bailer-Jones, C. A. L.; Andrae, R.; Arcay, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 559

The Gaia satellite will survey the entire celestial sphere down to 20th magnitude, obtaining astrometry, photometry, and low resolution spectrophotometry on one billion astronomical sources, plus radial ... [more ▼]

The Gaia satellite will survey the entire celestial sphere down to 20th magnitude, obtaining astrometry, photometry, and low resolution spectrophotometry on one billion astronomical sources, plus radial velocities for over one hundred million stars. Its main objective is to take a census of the stellar content of our Galaxy, with the goal of revealing its formation and evolution. Gaia's unique feature is the measurement of parallaxes and proper motions with hitherto unparalleled accuracy for many objects. As a survey, the physical properties of most of these objects are unknown. Here we describe the data analysis system put together by the Gaia consortium to classify these objects and to infer their astrophysical properties using the satellite's data. This system covers single stars, (unresolved) binary stars, quasars, and galaxies, all covering a wide parameter space. Multiple methods are used for many types of stars, producing multiple results for the end user according to different models and assumptions. Prior to its application to real Gaia data the accuracy of these methods cannot be assessed definitively. But as an example of the current performance, we can attain internal accuracies (RMS residuals) on F,G,K,M dwarfs and giants at G=15 (V=15-17) for a wide range of metallicites and interstellar extinctions of around 100K in effective temperature (Teff), 0.1mag in extinction (A0), 0.2dex in metallicity ([Fe/H]), and 0.25dex in surface gravity (logg). The accuracy is a strong function of the parameters themselves, varying by a factor of more than two up or down over this parameter range. After its launch in November 2013, Gaia will nominally observe for five years, during which the system we describe will continue to evolve in light of experience with the real data. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-71b: a bloated hot Jupiter in an 2.9-day, prograde orbit around an evolved F8 star
Smith, A. M. S.; Anderson, D. R.; Bouchy, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

We report the discovery by the WASP transit survey of a highly-irradiated, massive (2.242 +/- 0.080 MJup) planet which transits a bright (V = 10.6), evolved F8 star every 2.9 days. The planet, WASP-71b ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery by the WASP transit survey of a highly-irradiated, massive (2.242 +/- 0.080 MJup) planet which transits a bright (V = 10.6), evolved F8 star every 2.9 days. The planet, WASP-71b, is larger than Jupiter (1.46 +/- 0.13 RJup), but less dense (0.71 +/- 0.16 {\rho}Jup). We also report spectroscopic observations made during transit with the CORALIE spectrograph, which allow us to make a highly-significant detection of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. We determine the sky-projected angle between the stellar-spin and planetary-orbit axes to be {\lambda} = 20.1 +/- 9.7 degrees, i.e. the system is 'aligned', according to the widely-used alignment criteria that systems are regarded as misaligned only when {\lambda} is measured to be greater than 10 degrees with 3-{\sigma} confidence. WASP-71, with an effective temperature of 6059 +/- 98 K, therefore fits the previously observed pattern that only stars hotter than 6250 K are host to planets in misaligned orbits. We emphasise, however, that {\lambda} is merely the sky-projected obliquity angle; we are unable to determine whether the stellar-spin and planetary-orbit axes are misaligned along the line-of-sight. With a mass of 1.56 +/- 0.07 Msun, WASP-71 was previously hotter than 6250 K, and therefore might have been significantly misaligned in the past. If so, the planetary orbit has been realigned, presumably through tidal interactions with the cooling star's growing convective zone. [less ▲]

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See detailDifferential asteroseismic study of seismic twins observed by CoRoT. Comparison of HD 175272 with HD 181420
Ozel, N.; Mosser, B.; Dupret, Marc-Antoine ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 558

Context. The CoRoT short asteroseismic runs give us the opportunity to observe a large variety of late-type stars through their solar-like oscillations. We report the observation and modeling of the F5V ... [more ▼]

Context. The CoRoT short asteroseismic runs give us the opportunity to observe a large variety of late-type stars through their solar-like oscillations. We report the observation and modeling of the F5V star HD 175272. <BR /> Aims: Our aim is to define a method for extracting as much information as possible from a noisy oscillation spectrum. <BR /> Methods: We followed a differential approach that consists of using a well-known star as a reference to characterize another star. We used classical tools such as the envelope autocorrelation function to derive the global seismic parameters of the star. We compared HD 175272 with HD 181420 through a linear approach, because they appear to be asteroseismic twins. <BR /> Results: The comparison with the reference star enables us to substantially enhance the scientific output for HD 175272. First, we determined its global characteristics through a detailed seismic analysis of HD 181420. Second, with our differential approach, we measured the difference of mass, radius and age between HD 175272 and HD 181420. <BR /> Conclusions: We have developed a general method able to derive asteroseismic constraints on a star even in case of low-quality data. This method can be applied to stars with interesting properties but low signal-to-noise ratio oscillation spectrum, such as stars hosting an exoplanet or members of a binary system. The CoRoT space mission, launched on 2006 December 27, was developed and is operated by the CNES, with participation of the Science Programs of ESA, ESAs RSSD, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany and Spain. [less ▲]

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