References of "Astronomy and Astrophysics"
     in
Bookmark and Share    
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailStellar laboratories : new Ge V and Ge VI oscillator strengths and their validation in the hot white dwarf RE 0503-289
Rauch, T; Werner, K; Biémont, Emile ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 546

Detailed reference viewed: 15 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailA brown dwarf orbiting an M-dwarf: MOA 2009-BLG-411L
Bachelet, E.; Fouqué, P.; Han, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 547

Context. Caustic crossing is the clearest signature of binary lenses in microlensing. In the present context, this signature is diluted by the large source star but a detailed analysis has allowed the ... [more ▼]

Context. Caustic crossing is the clearest signature of binary lenses in microlensing. In the present context, this signature is diluted by the large source star but a detailed analysis has allowed the companion signal to be extracted. <BR /> Aims: MOA 2009-BLG-411 was detected on August 5, 2009 by the MOA-Collaboration. Alerted as a high-magnification event, it was sensitive to planets. Suspected anomalies in the light curve were not confirmed by a real-time model, but further analysis revealed small deviations from a single lens extended source fit. <BR /> Methods: Thanks to observations by all the collaborations, this event was well monitored. We first decided to characterize the source star properties by using a more refined method than the classical one: we measure the interstellar absorption along the line of sight in five different passbands (VIJHK). Secondly, we model the lightcurve by using the standard technique: make (s,q,α) grids to look for local minima and refine the results by using a downhill method (Markov chain Monte Carlo). Finally, we use a Galactic model to estimate the physical properties of the lens components. <BR /> Results: We find that the source star is a giant G star with radius 9 R[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]. The grid search gives two local minima, which correspond to the theoretical degeneracy s ≡ s[SUP]-1[/SUP]. We find that the lens is composed of a brown dwarf secondary of mass M[SUB]S[/SUB] = 0.05 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB] orbiting a primary M-star of mass M[SUB]P[/SUB] = 0.18 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]. We also reveal a new mass-ratio degeneracy for the central caustics of close binaries. <BR /> Conclusions: As far as we are aware, this is the first detection using the microlensing technique of a binary system in our Galaxy composed of an M-star and a brown dwarf. Appendix is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 14 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailOscillator strengths for lines of astrophysical interest in Rh II
Quinet, Pascal ULg; Biémont, E; Palmeri, P et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012), 537

Detailed reference viewed: 3 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailTowards a systematic spectroscopic characterization of pre-main sequence instability strip. Search for pulsations in three Herbig stars: V1247 Ori, HD35929 and HD 190073
Fumel, Aurélie ULg; Böhm, T; David, J

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012)

The origin of the strong activity and winds exhibited by Herbig Ae/Be stars is a still open question with regard to current young stellar evolutionary theory. On the supposition that this origin could be ... [more ▼]

The origin of the strong activity and winds exhibited by Herbig Ae/Be stars is a still open question with regard to current young stellar evolutionary theory. On the supposition that this origin could be internal, as growing evidences tend to indicate, probing Herbig stars interiors by means of the asteroseisomoly tool is therefore of great importance. The early-stage evolutionary tracks of the Herbig Ae stars cross the theoretical pre-main sequence (PMS) instability strip, that has to be spectroscopically characterized and whose boundaries and location, roughly in the same area of the HR diagram as the δ Scuti variables, should continue to be constrained by observations. In this context, it is necessary to extend the sample of studied pulsating Herbig Ae stars observed in high-resolution spectroscopy. The aim of this paper is to contribute to the systematic spectroscopic investigation of the PMS instability strip. We choose as targets the three Herbig stars V1247 Ori, HD35929 and HD190073. Our data were collected during three nights from 10 to 12 November 2008 with the HARPS spectrograph. V1247 Ori and HD35929 are known pulsating herbig stars, both having one photometrically detected frequency with timescale typical of δ Scuti pulsations. Till now, no search for stellar pulsations in HD190073 has been published. In this article, we search for stellar pulsations, and especially very faint signatures of non-radial pulsations, in the equivalent photospheric (LSD) profile time-series of our targets. Temporal variations of the LSD-profile central depth, if present, was studied with the time-series analysis tools Period04 and SigSpec. In case of oscillation detection, we then performed a 2D Fourier analysis of the entire profile in order to identify the modes corresponding to the dominant frequencies. The pulsating nature of V1247 Ori and HD35929 was confirmed by our results. V1247 Ori: frequencies of 18.99±1d−1 and 11.26±1d−1 were detected, corresponding to modes of degree ℓ = 3 to 5 and ℓ = 0 or 1, respectively. HD35929: a frequency of 5.75±1.28d−1 was detected, corresponding to a mode of degre ℓ = 6 or 7. No pulsation signatures were found in the LSD-profile time-series of HD190073. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 22 (6 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailSpectroscopic monitoring of the Herbig Ae star HD 104237 - II. Non-radial pulsations, mode analysis and fundamental stellar parameters
Fumel, Aurélie ULg; Böhm, Torsten

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2012)

Context. Herbig Ae/Be stars are intermediate-mass pre-main sequence (PMS) stars showing signs of intense activity and strong stellar winds, whose origin is not yet understood in the frame of current ... [more ▼]

Context. Herbig Ae/Be stars are intermediate-mass pre-main sequence (PMS) stars showing signs of intense activity and strong stellar winds, whose origin is not yet understood in the frame of current theoretical models of stellar evolution for young stars. In addition, the evolutionary tracks of the earlier Herbig Ae stars cross the theoretical PMS instability strip located roughly in the same area of the HR diagram as the δ Scuti variables. Many of these stars exhibit pulsations of δ Scuti type. Aims. Understanding the internal structure of pulsating Herbig Ae stars based on asteroseismic studies will help constraining the origin of their tremendous activity, winds, and variability. It is therefore necessary to investigate the location of the PMS instability strip and of its boundaries, and to extend the sample of observed and studied pulsating Herbig Ae stars. The aim of this work was to carry out a thorough analysis of the line profile variations of the prototype Herbig Ae star HD104237 based on high-resolution spectroscopy and to redetermine precisely its fundamental parameters, which are the basic ingredients of a forthcoming asteroseismic modeling. Methods. HD104237 is a pulsating Herbig Ae star with eight detected frequencies based on the analysis of radial velocity variations. In this article, we reinvestigated an extensive high-resolution quasi-continuous spectroscopic data set in order to search for very faint indications of non-radial pulsations in the line profile by working on dynamical spectra of equivalent photospheric (LSD) profiles of HD104237. A 2D Fourier analysis (F2D) was performed of the entire profile and the temporal variation of the central depth of the line was studied with the time-series analysis tools Period04 and SigSpec. We present the results of these analysis including the mode identification corresponding to the detected dominant frequency, as well as a new determination of its fundamental stellar parameters. Results. The analysis of spectroscopic data set of April 22 - 25 obtained at SAAO in 1999 has confirmed the presence of multiple oscillation modes of low-degree ℓ in HD104237 and led to the first direct detection of a non-radial pulsation mode in this star: the dominant mode F1 was identified by the Fourier 2D method having a degree ℓ value comprised between 1 and 2, the symmetry of the pattern variation indicating an azimuthal order of ± 1. The detailed study of the fundamental stellar parameters has provided a Teff, log g, and iron abundance of 8550 ± 150 K, 3.9 ± 0.3, and −4.38 ± 0.19 (i.e. [Fe/H]= +0.16 ± 0.19 ), respectively. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 24 (10 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailTime delays for eleven gravitationally lensed quasars revisited
Eulaers, Eva ULg; Magain, Pierre ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 536

Aims. We test the robustness of published time delays for 11 lensed quasars by using two techniques to measure time shifts in their light curves. Methods. We chose to use two fundamentally different ... [more ▼]

Aims. We test the robustness of published time delays for 11 lensed quasars by using two techniques to measure time shifts in their light curves. Methods. We chose to use two fundamentally different techniques to determine time delays in gravitationally lensed quasars: a method based on fitting a numerical model and another one derived from the minimum dispersion method introduced by Pelt and collaborators. To analyse our sample in a homogeneous way and avoid bias caused by the choice of the method used, we apply both methods to 11 different lensed systems for which delays have been published: JVAS B0218+357, SBS 0909+523, RX J0911+0551, FBQS J0951+2635, HE 1104-1805, PG 1115+080, JVAS B1422+231, SBS 1520+530, CLASS B1600+434, CLASS B1608+656, and HE 2149-2745 Results. Time delays for three double lenses, JVAS B0218+357, HE 1104-1805, and CLASS B1600+434, as well as the quadruply lensed quasar CLASS B1608+656 are confirmed within the error bars. We correct the delay for SBS 1520+530. For PG 1115+080 and RX J0911+0551, the existence of a second solution on top of the published delay is revealed. The time delays in four systems, SBS 0909+523, FBQS J0951+2635, JVAS B1422+231, and HE 2149-2745 prove to be less reliable than previously claimed. Conclusions. If we wish to derive an estimate of H0 based on time delays in gravitationally lensed quasars, we need to obtain more robust light curves for most of these systems in order to achieve a higher accuracy and robustness on the time delays. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 21 (7 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailTransiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission - XIX. CoRoT-23b: a dense hot Jupiter on an eccentric orbit
Rouan, D.; Parviainen, H.; Moutou, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 537

We report the detection of CoRoT-23b, a hot Jupiter transiting in front of its host star with a period of 3.6314 \pm 0.0001 days. This planet was discovered thanks to photometric data secured with the ... [more ▼]

We report the detection of CoRoT-23b, a hot Jupiter transiting in front of its host star with a period of 3.6314 \pm 0.0001 days. This planet was discovered thanks to photometric data secured with the CoRoT satellite, combined with spectroscopic radial velocity (RV) measurements. A photometric search for possible background eclipsing binaries conducted at CFHT and OGS concluded with a very low risk of false positives. The usual techniques of combining RV and transit data simultaneously were used to derive stellar and planetary parameters. The planet has a mass of Mp = 2.8 \pm 0.3 MJup, a radius of Rpl = 1.05 \pm 0.13 RJup, a density of \approx 3 g cm-3. RV data also clearly reveal a non zero eccentricity of e = 0.16 \pm 0.02. The planet orbits a mature G0 main sequence star of V =15.5 mag, with a mass M\star = 1.14 \pm 0.08 M\odot, a radius R\star = 1. 61 \pm 0.18 R\odot and quasi-solar abundances. The age of the system is evaluated to be 7 Gyr, not far from the transition to subgiant, in agreement with the rather large stellar radius. The two features of a significant eccentricity of the orbit and of a fairly high density are fairly uncommon for a hot Jupiter. The high density is, however, consistent with a model of contraction of a planet at this mass, given the age of the system. On the other hand, at such an age, circularization is expected to be completed. In fact, we show that for this planetary mass and orbital distance, any initial eccentricity should not totally vanish after 7 Gyr, as long as the tidal quality factor Qp is more than a few 105, a value that is the lower bound of the usually expected range. Even if Corot-23b features a density and an eccentricity that are atypical of a hot Jupiter, it is thus not an enigmatic object. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 12 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailHerschel discovery of a new class of cold, faint debris discs
Eiroa, C.; Marshall, J. P.; Mora, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 536

We present Herschel PACS 100 and 160 μm observations of the solar-type stars α Men, HD 88230 and HD 210277, which form part of the FGK stars sample of the Herschel open time key programme (OTKP) DUNES ... [more ▼]

We present Herschel PACS 100 and 160 μm observations of the solar-type stars α Men, HD 88230 and HD 210277, which form part of the FGK stars sample of the Herschel open time key programme (OTKP) DUNES (DUst around NEarby Stars). Our observations show small infrared excesses at 160 μm for all three stars. HD 210277 also shows a small excess at 100 μm, while the 100 μm fluxes of α Men and HD 88230 agree with the stellar photospheric predictions. We attribute these infrared excesses to a new class of cold, faint debris discs. Both α Men and HD 88230 are spatially resolved in the PACS 160 μm images, while HD 210277 is point-like at that wavelength. The projected linear sizes of the extended emission lie in the range from ~115 to ≤ 250 AU. The estimated black body temperatures from the 100 and 160 μm fluxes are ≲22 K, and the fractional luminosity of the cold dust is L[SUB]dust[/SUB]/L[SUB] ⋆ [/SUB] ~ 10[SUP]-6[/SUP], close to the luminosity of the solar-system's Kuiper belt. These debris discs are the coldest and faintest discs discovered so far around mature stars, so they cannot be explained easily invoking "classical" debris disc models. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 43 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailA multi-epoch XMM-Newton campaign on the core of the massive Cygnus OB2 association
Rauw, Grégor ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 536

Context. Cyg OB2 is one of the most massive associations of O-type stars in our Galaxy. Despite the large interstellar reddening towards Cyg OB2, many studies, spanning a wide range of wavelengths, have ... [more ▼]

Context. Cyg OB2 is one of the most massive associations of O-type stars in our Galaxy. Despite the large interstellar reddening towards Cyg OB2, many studies, spanning a wide range of wavelengths, have been conducted to more clearly understand this association. X-ray observations provide a powerful tool to overcome the effect of interstellar absorption and study the most energetic processes associated with the stars in Cyg OB2. <BR /> Aims: We analyse XMM-Newton data to investigate the X-ray and UV properties of massive O-type stars as well as low-mass pre-main sequence stars in Cyg OB2. <BR /> Methods: We obtained six XMM-Newton observations of the core of Cyg OB2. In our analysis, we pay particular attention to the variability of the X-ray bright OB stars, especially the luminous blue variable candidate Cyg OB2 #12. <BR /> Results: We find that X-ray variability is quite common among the stars in Cyg OB2. Whilst short-term variations are restricted mostly to low-mass pre-main sequence stars, one third of the OB stars display long-term variations. The X-ray flux of Cyg OB2 #12 varies by 37%, over timescales from days to years, whilst its mean log L[SUB]X[/SUB]/L[SUB]bol[/SUB] amounts to - 6.10. <BR /> Conclusions: These properties suggest that Cyg OB2 #12 is either an interacting-wind system or displays a magnetically confined wind. Two other X-ray bright O-type stars (MT91 516 and CPR2002 A11) display variations that suggest they are interacting wind binary systems. 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).Full Table 2 and Table 4 are only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/536/A31">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/536/A31</A> [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 16 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailCOSMOGRAIL: the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses. IX. Time delays, lens dynamics and baryonic fraction in HE 0435-1223
Courbin, F.; Chantry, Virginie ULg; Revaz, Y. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 536

We present accurate time delays for the quadruply imaged quasar HE 0435-1223. The delays were measured from 575 independent photometric points obtained in the R-band between January 2004 and March 2010 ... [more ▼]

We present accurate time delays for the quadruply imaged quasar HE 0435-1223. The delays were measured from 575 independent photometric points obtained in the R-band between January 2004 and March 2010. With seven years of data, we clearly show that quasar image A is affected by strong microlensing variations and that the time delays are best expressed relative to quasar image B. We measured ΔtBC = 7.8 ± 0.8 days, ΔtBD = -6.5 ± 0.7 days and ΔtCD = -14.3 ± 0.8 days. We spacially deconvolved HST NICMOS2 F160W images to derive accurate astrometry of the quasar images and to infer the light profile of the lensing galaxy. We combined these images with a stellar population fitting of a deep VLT spectrum of the lensing galaxy to estimate the baryonic fraction, fb, in the Einstein radius. We measured fb = 0.65-0.10+0.13 if the lensing galaxy has a Salpeter IMF and fb = 0.45-0.07+0.04 if it has a Kroupa IMF. The spectrum also allowed us to estimate the velocity dispersion of the lensing galaxy, σap = 222 ± 34 km s-1. We used fb and σap to constrain an analytical model of the lensing galaxy composed of an Hernquist plus generalized NFW profile. We solved the Jeans equations numerically for the model and explored the parameter space under the additional requirement that the model must predict the correct astrometry for the quasar images. Given the current error bars on fb and σap, we did not constrain H0 yet with high accuracy, i.e., we found a broad range of models with χ2 < 1. However, narrowing this range is possible, provided a better velocity dispersion measurement becomes available. In addition, increasing the depth of the current HST imaging data of HE 0435-1223 will allow us to combine ourconstraints with lens reconstruction techniques that make use of the full Einstein ring that is visible in this object. Based on observations made with the 1.2 m Euler Swiss Telescope, the 1.5 m telescope of Maidanak Observatory in Uzbekistan, and with the 1.2 m 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. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope data was obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS-5-26555.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/536/A53 [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 33 (12 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailFirst HARPSpol discoveries of magnetic fields in massive stars
Alecian, E.; Kochukhov, O.; Neiner, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 536

In the framework of the Magnetism in Massive Stars (MiMeS) project, a HARPSpol Large Program at the 3.6m-ESO telescope has recently started to collect high-resolution spectropolarimetric data of a large ... [more ▼]

In the framework of the Magnetism in Massive Stars (MiMeS) project, a HARPSpol Large Program at the 3.6m-ESO telescope has recently started to collect high-resolution spectropolarimetric data of a large number of Southern massive OB stars in the field of the Galaxy and in many young clusters and associations. We report on the first discoveries of magnetic fields in two massive stars with HARPSpol - HD 130807 and HD 122451, and confirm the presence of a magnetic field at the surface of HD 105382 that was previously observed with a low spectral resolution device. The longitudinal magnetic field measurements strongly vary for HD 130807 from ~-100 G to ~700 G. Those of HD 122451 and HD 105382 are less variable with values ranging from ~-40 to -80 G, and from ~-300 to -600 G, respectively. The discovery and confirmation of three new magnetic massive stars, including at least two He-weak stars, is an important contribution to one of MiMeS objectives: the understanding of the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars and their impact on stellar structure and evolution. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (Program ID 187.D-0917). [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 17 (5 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailCoRoT's view on variable B8/9 stars: spots versus pulsations. Evidence for differential rotation in HD 174648
Degroote, P.; Acke, B.; Samadi, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 536

Context. There exist few variability studies of stars in the region in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram between the A and B-star pulsational instability strips. With the aid of the high precision ... [more ▼]

Context. There exist few variability studies of stars in the region in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram between the A and B-star pulsational instability strips. With the aid of the high precision continuous measurements of the CoRoT space satellite, low amplitudes are more easily detected, making a study of this neglected region worthwhile. <BR /> Aims: We collected a small sample of B stars observed by CoRoT to determine the origin of the different types of variability observed. <BR /> Methods: We combine literature photometry and spectroscopy to measure the fundamental parameters of the stars in the sample, and compare asteroseismic modelling of the light curves with (differentially rotating) spotted star models. <BR /> Results: We found strong evidence for the existence of spots and differential rotation in HD 174648, and formulated hypotheses for their origin. We show that the distinction between pulsations and rotational modulation is difficult to make solely based on the light curve, especially in slowly rotating stars. 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.Based on observations made with the ESO telescopes at La Silla Observatory under the ESO Large Programme LP182.D-0356.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.Appendix A is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 8 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailWASP-43b: The closest-orbiting hot Jupiter
Hellier, Coel; Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 535

We report the discovery of WASP-43b, a hot Jupiter transiting a K7V star every 0.81 d. At 0.6-Msun the host star has the lowest mass of any star hosting a hot Jupiter. It also shows a 15.6-d rotation ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of WASP-43b, a hot Jupiter transiting a K7V star every 0.81 d. At 0.6-Msun the host star has the lowest mass of any star hosting a hot Jupiter. It also shows a 15.6-d rotation period. The planet has a mass of 1.8 Mjup, a radius of 0.9 Rjup, and with a semi-major axis of only 0.014 AU has the smallest orbital distance of any known hot Jupiter. The discovery of such a planet around a K7V star shows that planets with apparently short remaining lifetimes owing to tidal decay of the orbit are also found around stars with deep convection zones. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 15 (2 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailPIONIER: a 4-telescope visitor instrument at VLTI
Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Berger, J.-P.; Lazareff, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 535

Context. PIONIER stands for Precision Integrated-Optics Near-infrared Imaging ExpeRiment. It combines four 1.8m Auxilliary Telescopes or four 8m Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer ... [more ▼]

Context. PIONIER stands for Precision Integrated-Optics Near-infrared Imaging ExpeRiment. It combines four 1.8m Auxilliary Telescopes or four 8m Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (ESO, Chile) using an integrated optics combiner. The instrument was integrated at IPAG in December 2009 and commissioned at the Paranal Observatory in October 2010. It has provided scientific observations since November 2010. <BR /> Aims: In this paper, we explain the instrumental concept and describe the standard operational modes and the data reduction strategy. We present the typical performance and discuss how to improve them. <BR /> Methods: This paper is based on laboratory data obtained during the integrations at IPAG, as well as on-sky data gathered during the commissioning at VLTI. We illustrate the imaging capability of PIONIER on the binaries δ Sco and HIP11231. <BR /> Results: PIONIER provides six visibilities and three independent closure phases in the H band, either in a broadband mode or with a low spectral dispersion (R = 40), using natural light (i.e. unpolarized). The limiting magnitude is Hmag = 7 in dispersed mode under median atmospheric conditions (seeing < 1, τ[SUB]0[/SUB] > 3ms) with the 1.8m Auxiliary Telescopes. We demonstrate a precision of 0.5deg on the closure phases. The precision on the calibrated visibilities ranges from 3% to 15% depending on the atmospheric conditions. <BR /> Conclusions: PIONIER was installed and successfully tested as a visitor instrument for the VLTI. It permits high angular resolution imaging studies at an unprecedented level of sensitivity. The successful combination of the four 8m Unit Telescopes in March 2011 demonstrates that VLTI is ready for four-telescope operation. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Paranal, Chile (commissioning data and 087.C-0709). [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 19 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailSearching for faint companions with VLTI/PIONIER. I. Method and first results
Absil, Olivier ULg; Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Berger, J.-P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 535

Context. A new four-telescope interferometric instrument called PIONIER has recently been installed at VLTI. It provides improved imaging capabilities together with high precision. <BR /> Aims: We search ... [more ▼]

Context. A new four-telescope interferometric instrument called PIONIER has recently been installed at VLTI. It provides improved imaging capabilities together with high precision. <BR /> Aims: We search for low-mass companions around a few bright stars using different strategies, and determine the dynamic range currently reachable with PIONIER. <BR /> Methods: Our method is based on the closure phase, which is the most robust interferometric quantity when searching for faint companions. We computed the χ[SUP]2[/SUP] goodness of fit for a series of binary star models at different positions and with various flux ratios. The resulting χ[SUP]2[/SUP] cube was used to identify the best-fit binary model and evaluate its significance, or to determine upper limits on the companion flux in case of non-detections. <BR /> Results: No companion is found around <ASTROBJ>Fomalhaut</ASTROBJ>, <ASTROBJ>tau Cet</ASTROBJ> and <ASTROBJ>Regulus</ASTROBJ>. The median upper limits at 3σ on the companion flux ratio are respectively of 2.3 × 10[SUP]-3[/SUP] (in 4 h), 3.5 × 10[SUP]-3[/SUP] (in 3 h) and 5.4 × 10[SUP]-3[/SUP] (in 1.5 h) on the search region extending from 5 to 100 mas. Our observations confirm that the previously detected near-infrared excess emissions around Fomalhaut and tau Cet are not related to a low-mass companion, and instead come from an extended source such as an exozodiacal disk. In the case of <ASTROBJ>del Aqr</ASTROBJ>, in 30 min of observation, we obtain the first direct detection of a previously known companion, at an angular distance of about 40 mas and with a flux ratio of 2.05 × 10[SUP]-2[/SUP] ± 0.16 × 10[SUP]-2[/SUP]. Due to the limited u,v plane coverage, its position can, however, not be unambiguously determined. <BR /> Conclusions: After only a few months of operation, PIONIER has already achieved one of the best dynamic ranges world-wide for multi-aperture interferometers. A dynamic range up to about 1:500 is demonstrated on unresolved targets, but significant improvements are still required to reach the ultimate goal of directly detecting hot giant extrasolar planets. Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI), Paranal, Chile. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 31 (3 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailA spectroscopic investigation of early-type stars in the young open cluster Westerlund 2
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Sana, H.; Nazé, Yaël ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 535

Context. The distance of the very young open cluster <ASTROBJ>Westerlund 2</ASTROBJ>, which contains the very massive binary system <ASTROBJ>WR 20a</ASTROBJ> and is likely associated with a TeV source ... [more ▼]

Context. The distance of the very young open cluster <ASTROBJ>Westerlund 2</ASTROBJ>, which contains the very massive binary system <ASTROBJ>WR 20a</ASTROBJ> and is likely associated with a TeV source, has been the subject of much debate. <BR /> Aims: We attempt a joint analysis of spectroscopic and photometric data of eclipsing binaries in the cluster to constrain its distance. <BR /> Methods: A sample of 15 stars, including three eclipsing binaries (<ASTROBJ>MSP 44</ASTROBJ>, <ASTROBJ>MSP 96</ASTROBJ>, and <ASTROBJ>MSP 223</ASTROBJ>) was monitored with the FLAMES multi-object spectrograph. The spectroscopic data are analysed together with existing B V photometry. <BR /> Results: The analysis of the three eclipsing binaries clearly supports the larger values of the distance, around 8 kpc, and rules out values of about 2.4 - 2.8 kpc that have been suggested in the literature. Furthermore, our spectroscopic monitoring reveals no clear signature of binarity with periods shorter than 50 days in either the WN6ha star <ASTROBJ>WR 20b</ASTROBJ>, the early O-type stars <ASTROBJ>MSP 18</ASTROBJ>, <ASTROBJ>MSP 171</ASTROBJ>, <ASTROBJ>MSP 182</ASTROBJ>, <ASTROBJ>MSP 183</ASTROBJ>, <ASTROBJ>MSP 199</ASTROBJ>, and <ASTROBJ>MSP 203</ASTROBJ>, or three previously unknown mid O-type stars. The only newly identified candidate binary system is <ASTROBJ>MSP 167</ASTROBJ>. The absence of a binary signature is especially surprising for WR 20b and MSP 18, which were previously found to be bright X-ray sources. <BR /> Conclusions: The distance of Westerlund 2 is confirmed to be around 8 kpc as previously suggested based on the spectrophotometry of its population of O-type stars and the analysis of the light curve of WR 20a. Our results suggest that short-period binary systems are not likely to be common, at least not among the population of O-type stars in the cluster. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory (Cerro Paranal, Chile).Appendix A is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 14 (1 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailThe XMM-LSS survey: optical assessment and properties of different X-ray selected cluster classes
Adami, C.; Mazure, A.; Pierre, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 526(A18), 36

XMM and Chandra opened a new area for the study of clusters of galaxies. Not only for cluster physics but also, for the detection of faint and distant clusters that were inaccessible with previous ... [more ▼]

XMM and Chandra opened a new area for the study of clusters of galaxies. Not only for cluster physics but also, for the detection of faint and distant clusters that were inaccessible with previous missions. This article presents 66 spectroscopically confirmed clusters (0.05<z<1.5) within an area of 6 deg2 enclosed in the XMM-LSS survey. Almost two thirds have been confirmed with dedicated spectroscopy only and 10% have been confirmed with dedicated spectroscopy supplemented by literature redshifts. Sub-samples, or classes, of extended-sources are defined in a two-dimensional X-ray parameter space allowing for various degrees of completeness and contamination. We describe the procedure developed to assess the reality of these cluster candidates using the CFHTLS photometric data and spectroscopic information from our own follow-up campaigns. Most of these objects are low mass clusters, hence constituting a still poorly studied population. In a second step, we quantify correlations between the optical properties such as richness or velocity dispersion and the cluster X-ray luminosities. We examine the relation of the clusters to the cosmic web. Finally, we review peculiar structures in the surveyed area like very distant clusters and fossil groups. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 43 (8 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailCoRoT LRa02_E2_0121: Neptune-size planet candidate turns into a hierarchical triple system with a giant primary
Tal-Or, L.; Santerne, A.; Mazeh, T. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 534

This paper presents the case of CoRoT LRa02_E2_0121, which was initially classified as a Neptune-size transiting-planet candidate on a relatively wide orbit of 36.3 days. Follow-up observations were ... [more ▼]

This paper presents the case of CoRoT LRa02_E2_0121, which was initially classified as a Neptune-size transiting-planet candidate on a relatively wide orbit of 36.3 days. Follow-up observations were performed with UVES, Sandiford, SOPHIE, and HARPS. These observations revealed a faint companion in the spectra. To find the true nature of the system we derived the radial velocities of the faint companion using TODMOR - a two-dimensional correlation technique, applied to the SOPHIE spectra. Modeling the lightcurve with EBAS we discovered a secondary eclipse with a depth of ~0.07%, indicating a diluted eclipsing binary. Combined MCMC modeling of the lightcurve and the radial velocities suggested that CoRoT LRa02_E2_0121 is a hierarchical triple system with an evolved G-type primary and an A-type:F-type grazing eclipsing binary. Such triple systems are difficult to discover. Based on observations made with the 1.93-m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence (CNRS), France, the 3.6-m telescope at La Silla Observatory (ESO), Chile (program 184.C-0639), the VLT at Paranal Observatory (ESO), Chile (program 083.C-0690), and the 2.1-m Otto Struve telescope at McDonald Observatory, Texas, USA. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 5 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailHot exozodiacal dust resolved around Vega with IOTA/IONIC
Defrère, D.; Absil, Olivier ULg; Augereau, J.-C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 534

Context. Although debris discs have been detected around a significant number of main-sequence stars, only a few of them are known to harbour hot dust in their inner part where terrestrial planets may ... [more ▼]

Context. Although debris discs have been detected around a significant number of main-sequence stars, only a few of them are known to harbour hot dust in their inner part where terrestrial planets may have formed. Thanks to infrared interferometric observations, it is possible to obtain a direct measurement of these regions, which are of prime importance for preparing future exo-Earth characterisation missions. <BR /> Aims: We resolve the exozodiacal dust disc around Vega with the help of infrared stellar interferometry and estimate the integrated H-band flux originating from the first few AUs of the debris disc. <BR /> Methods: Precise H-band interferometric measurements were obtained on Vega with the 3-telescope IOTA/IONIC interferometer (Mount Hopkins, Arizona). Thorough modelling of both interferometric data (squared visibility and closure phase) and spectral energy distribution was performed to constrain the nature of the near-infrared excess emission. <BR /> Results: Resolved circumstellar emission within ~6 AU from Vega is identified at the 3-σ level. The most straightforward scenario consists in a compact dust disc producing a thermal emission that is largely dominated by small grains located between 0.1 and 0.3 AU from Vega and accounting for 1.23 ± 0.45% of the near-infrared stellar flux for our best-fit model. This flux ratio is shown to vary slightly with the geometry of the model used to fit our interferometric data (variations within ± 0.19%). <BR /> Conclusions: The presence of hot exozodiacal dust in the vicinity of Vega, initially revealed by K-band CHARA/FLUOR observations, is confirmed by our H-band IOTA/IONIC measurements. Whereas the origin of the dust is still uncertain, its presence and the possible connection with the outer disc suggest that the Vega system is currently undergoing major dynamical perturbations. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 17 (0 ULg)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailSeismic modelling of the β Cephei star HD 180642 (V1449 Aquilae)
Aerts, C.; Briquet, Maryline ULg; Degroote, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 534

Context. We present modelling of the β Cep star HD 180642 based on its observational properties deduced from CoRoT and ground-based photometry as well as from time-resolved spectroscopy. <BR /> Aims: We ... [more ▼]

Context. We present modelling of the β Cep star HD 180642 based on its observational properties deduced from CoRoT and ground-based photometry as well as from time-resolved spectroscopy. <BR /> Aims: We investigate whether present-day state-of-the-art models are able to explain the full seismic behaviour of this star, which has extended observational constraints for this type of pulsator. <BR /> Methods: We constructed a dedicated database of stellar models and their oscillation modes tuned to fit the dominant radial mode frequency of HD 180642, by means of varying the hydrogen content, metallicity, mass, age, and core overshooting parameter. We compared the seismic properties of these models with those observed. <BR /> Results: We find models that are able to explain the numerous observed oscillation properties of the star, for a narrow range in mass of 11.4-11.8 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB] and no or very mild overshooting (with up to 0.05 local pressure scale heights), except for an excitation problem of the ℓ = 3, p[SUB]1[/SUB] mode. We deduce a rotation period of about 13 d, which is fully compatible with recent magnetic field measurements. The seismic models do not support the earlier claim of solar-like oscillations in the star. We instead ascribe the power excess at high frequency to non-linear resonant mode coupling between the high-amplitude radial fundamental mode and several of the low-order pressure modes. We report a discrepancy between the seismic and spectroscopic gravity at the 2.5σ level. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 23 (14 ULg)