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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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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 ▲]

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See detailDetection of a transit of the super-Earth 55 Cnc e with Warm Spitzer
Demory, B.-O.; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Deming, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 533

We report on the detection of a transit of the super-Earth 55 Cnc e with warm Spitzer in IRAC's 4.5 μm band. Our MCMC analysis includes an extensive modeling of the systematic effects affecting warm ... [more ▼]

We report on the detection of a transit of the super-Earth 55 Cnc e with warm Spitzer in IRAC's 4.5 μm band. Our MCMC analysis includes an extensive modeling of the systematic effects affecting warm Spitzer photometry, and yields a transit depth of 410 ± 63 ppm, which translates to a planetary radius of 2.08+0.16-0.17 R_oplus as measured in IRAC 4.5 μm channel. A planetary mass of 7.81-0.53+0.58 M_oplus is derived from an extensive set of radial-velocity data, yielding a mean planetary density of 4.78-1.20+1.31 g cm-3. Thanks to the brightness of its host star (V = 6, K = 4), 55 Cnc e is a unique target for the thorough characterization of a super-Earth orbiting around a solar-type star. [less ▲]

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See detailVariability in the CoRoT photometry of three hot O-type stars. HD 46223, HD 46150, and HD 46966
Blomme, R.; Mahy, Laurent ULg; Catala, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 533

Context. The detection of pulsational frequencies in stellar photometry is required as input for asteroseismological modelling. The second short run (SRa02) of the CoRoT mission has provided photometric ... [more ▼]

Context. The detection of pulsational frequencies in stellar photometry is required as input for asteroseismological modelling. The second short run (SRa02) of the CoRoT mission has provided photometric data of unprecedented quality and time-coverage for a number of O-type stars. <BR /> Aims: We analyse the CoRoT data corresponding to three hot O-type stars, describing the properties of their light curves and search for pulsational frequencies, which we then compare to theoretical model predictions. <BR /> Methods: We determine the amplitude spectrum of the data, using the Lomb-Scargle and a multifrequency HMM-like technique. Frequencies are extracted by prewhitening, and their significance is evaluated under the assumption that the light curve is dominated by red noise. We search for harmonics, linear combinations, and regular spacings among these frequencies. We use simulations with the same time sampling as the data as a powerful tool to judge the significance of our results. From the theoretical point of view, we use the MAD non-adiabatic pulsation code to determine the expected frequencies of excited modes. <BR /> Results: A substantial number of frequencies is listed, but none can be convincingly identified as being connected to pulsations. The amplitude spectrum is dominated by red noise. Theoretical modelling shows that all three O-type stars can have excited modes, but the relation between the theoretical frequencies and the observed spectrum is not obvious. <BR /> Conclusions: The dominant red noise component in the hot O-type stars studied here clearly points to a different origin than the pulsations seen in cooler O stars. The physical cause of this red noise is unclear, but we speculate on the possibility of sub-surface convection, granulation, or stellar wind inhomogeneities being responsible. 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.Tables 2-4 are available 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/533/A4">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/533/A4</A> [less ▲]

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See detailTransiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XVIII. CoRoT-18b: a massive hot Jupiter on a prograde, nearly aligned orbit
Hébrard, G.; Evans, T. M.; Alonso, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 533

We report the detection of CoRoT-18b, a massive hot Jupiter transiting in front of its host star with a period of 1.9000693 ± 0.0000028 days. This planet was discovered thanks to photometric data secured ... [more ▼]

We report the detection of CoRoT-18b, a massive hot Jupiter transiting in front of its host star with a period of 1.9000693 ± 0.0000028 days. This planet was discovered thanks to photometric data secured with the CoRoT satellite combined with spectroscopic and photometric ground-based follow-up observations. The planet has a mass M[SUB]p[/SUB] = 3.47 ± 0.38 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], a radius R[SUB]p[/SUB] = 1.31 ± 0.18 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB], and a density ρ[SUB]p[/SUB] = 2.2 ± 0.8 g cm[SUP]-3[/SUP]. It orbits a G9V star with a mass M[SUB]⋆[/SUB] = 0.95 ± 0.15 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB], a radius R[SUB]⋆[/SUB] = 1.00 ± 0.13 R[SUB]&sun;[/SUB], and arotation period P[SUB]rot[/SUB] = 5.4 ± 0.4 days. The age of the system remains uncertain, with stellar evolution models pointing either to a few tens Ma or several Ga, while gyrochronology and lithium abundance point towards ages of a few hundred Ma. This mismatch potentially points to a problem in our understanding of the evolution of young stars, with possibly significant implications for stellar physics and the interpretation of inferred sizes of exoplanets around young stars. We detected the Rossiter-McLaughlin anomaly in the CoRoT-18 system thanks to the spectroscopic observation of a transit. We measured the obliquity ψ = 20° ± 20° (sky-projected value λ = -10° ± 20°), indicating that the planet orbits in the same way as the star is rotating and that this prograde orbit is nearly aligned with the stellar equator. The CoRoT space mission, launched on 2006 December 27, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Programme), Germany and Spain.Table 2 is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-50 b: a hot Jupiter transiting a moderately active solar-type star
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Doyle, A. P.; Lendl, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 533

We report the discovery by the WASP transit survey of a giant planet in a close orbit (0.0295 ± 0.0009 AU) around a moderately bright (V = 11.6, K = 10) G9 dwarf (0.89 ± 0.08 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB], 0.84 ± 0 ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery by the WASP transit survey of a giant planet in a close orbit (0.0295 ± 0.0009 AU) around a moderately bright (V = 11.6, K = 10) G9 dwarf (0.89 ± 0.08 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB], 0.84 ± 0.03 R[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]) in the Southern constellation Eridanus. Thanks to high-precision follow-up photometry and spectroscopy obtained by the telescopes TRAPPIST and Euler, the mass and size of this planet, WASP-50 b, are well constrained to 1.47 ± 0.09 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] and 1.15 ± 0.05 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB], respectively. The transit ephemeris is 2 455 558.6120 (±0.0002) + N × 1.955096 (±0.000005) HJD[SUB]UTC[/SUB]. The size of the planet is consistent with basic models of irradiated giant planets. The chromospheric activity (log R'[SUB]HK = -4.67[/SUB]) and rotational period (P[SUB]rot[/SUB] = 16.3 ± 0.5 days) of the host star suggest an age of 0.8 ± 0.4 Gy that is discrepant with a stellar-evolution estimate based on the measured stellar parameters (ρ[SUB]∗[/SUB] = 1.48 ± 0.10 ρ[SUB]&sun;[/SUB], T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 5400 ± 100 K, [Fe/H] = -0.12 ± 0.08) which favors an age of 7 ± 3.5 Gy. This discrepancy could be explained by the tidal and magnetic influence of the planet on the star, in good agreement with the observations that stars hosting hot Jupiters tend to show faster rotation and magnetic activity. We measure a stellar inclination of 84[SUB]-31[SUP]+6[/SUP][/SUB] deg, disfavoring a high stellar obliquity. Thanks to its large irradiation and the relatively small size of its host star, WASP-50 b is a good target for occultation spectrophotometry, making it able to constrain the relationship between hot Jupiters' atmospheric thermal profiles and the chromospheric activity of their host stars. The photometric time-series used in this work are only available 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/533/A88">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/533/A88</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe size of AB Doradus A from VLTI/AMBER interferometry
Guirado, J. C.; Marcaide, J. M.; Martí-Vidal, I. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 533

The pre-main sequence (PMS) star AB Dor A is the main component of the quadruple system AB Doradus. The precise determination of the mass and photometry of the close companion to AB Dor A, AB Dor C, has ... [more ▼]

The pre-main sequence (PMS) star AB Dor A is the main component of the quadruple system AB Doradus. The precise determination of the mass and photometry of the close companion to AB Dor A, AB Dor C, has provided an important benchmark for calibration of theoretical evolutionary models of low-mass stars. The limiting factor to the precision of this calibration is the age of the system, as both the mass and luminosity of AB Dor A and C are well monitored by other ongoing programs. In this paper we present VLTI/AMBER observations of AB Dor A which provide a direct measurement of the size of this star, 0.96 ± 0.06 R[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]. The latter estimate, combined with other fundamental parameters also measured for this star, allows a precise test of PMS evolutionary models using both H-R diagrams and mass-radius relationships. We have found that our radius measurement is larger than that predicted by the models, which we interpret as an evidence of the oversizing produced by the strong magnetic activity of AB Dor A. Considering, at least partially, this magnetic effect, theoretical isochrones have been used to derive constraints to the age of AB Dor A, favouring an age about 40-50 Myr for this system. Older ages are not completely excluded by our data. Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under programme ID 384.C-1053. [less ▲]

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See detailThe two components of the evolved massive binary LZ Cephei. Testing the effects of binarity on stellar evolution
Mahy, Laurent ULg; Martins, F.; Machado, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011)

Aims. We present an in-depth study of the two components of the binary system LZCep to constrain the effects of binarity on the evolution of massive stars. Methods. We analyzed a set of high-resolution ... [more ▼]

Aims. We present an in-depth study of the two components of the binary system LZCep to constrain the effects of binarity on the evolution of massive stars. Methods. We analyzed a set of high-resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra obtained over the orbital period of the system to perform a spectroscopic disentangling and derive an orbital solution. We subsequently determine the stellar properties of each component by means of an analysis with the CMFGEN atmosphere code. Finally, with the derived stellar parameters, we model the Hipparcos photometric light curve using the program NIGHTFALL to obtain the orbit inclination and the stellar masses. Results. LZ Cep is a O9III+ON9.7V binary. It is as a semi-detached system in which either the primary or the secondary star almost fills up its Roche lobe. The dynamical masses are about 16.0 M (primary) and 6.5 M (secondary). The latter is lower than the typical mass of late-type O stars. The secondary component is chemically more evolved than the primary (which barely shows any sign of CNO processing), with strong helium and nitrogen enhancements as well as carbon and oxygen depletions. These properties (surface abundances and mass) are typical ofWolf-Rayet stars, although the spectral type is ON9.7V. The luminosity of the secondary is consistent with that of core He-burning objects. The preferred, tentative evolutionary scenario to explain the observed properties involves mass transfer from the secondary – which was initially more massive- towards the primary. The secondary is now almost a core He-burning object, probably with only a thin envelope of H-rich and CNO processed material. A very inefficient mass transfer is necessary to explain the chemical appearance of the primary. Alternative scenarios are discussed but they are affected by greater uncertainties. [less ▲]

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See detailMixed modes in red-giant stars observed with CoRoT
Mosser, B.; Barban, C.; Montalban Iglesias, Josefa ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2011), 532

Context. The CoRoT mission has provided thousands of red-giant light curves. The analysis of their solar-like oscillations allows us to characterize their stellar properties. <BR /> Aims: Up to now, the ... [more ▼]

Context. The CoRoT mission has provided thousands of red-giant light curves. The analysis of their solar-like oscillations allows us to characterize their stellar properties. <BR /> Aims: Up to now, the global seismic parameters of the pressure modes have been unable to distinguish red-clump giants from members of the red-giant branch. As recently done with Kepler red giants, we intend to analyze and use the so-called mixed modes to determine the evolutionary status of the red giants observed with CoRoT. We also aim at deriving different seismic characteristics depending on evolution. <BR /> Methods: The complete identification of the pressure eigenmodes provided by the red-giant universal oscillation pattern allows us to aim at the mixed modes surrounding the ℓ = 1 expected eigenfrequencies. A dedicated method based on the envelope autocorrelation function is proposed to analyze their period separation. <BR /> Results: We have identified the mixed-mode signature separation thanks to their pattern that is compatible with the asymptotic law of gravity modes. We have shown that, independent of any modeling, the g-mode spacings help to distinguish the evolutionary status of a red-giant star. We then report the different seismic and fundamental properties of the stars, depending on their evolutionary status. In particular, we show that high-mass stars of the secondary clump present very specific seismic properties. We emphasize that stars belonging to the clump were affected by significant mass loss. We also note significant population and/or evolution differences in the different fields observed by CoRoT. The CoRoT space mission, launched 2006 December 27, was developed and is operated by the CNES, with participation of the Science Programs of ESA, ESAŠs RSSD, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Spain.Apeendix A is available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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