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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 detailDiscovery of WASP-65b and WASP-75b: Two Hot Jupiters Without Highly Inflated Radii
Gómez Maqueo Chew, Y.; Faedi, F.; Pollacco, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013)

We report the discovery of two transiting hot Jupiters, WASP-65b (Mpl = 1.55 ± 0.16 MJ; Rpl = 1.11 ± 0.06 RJ), and WASP-75b (Mpl = 1.07 ± 0.05 MJ; Rpl = 1.27 ± 0.05 RJ). They orbit their host star every ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of two transiting hot Jupiters, WASP-65b (Mpl = 1.55 ± 0.16 MJ; Rpl = 1.11 ± 0.06 RJ), and WASP-75b (Mpl = 1.07 ± 0.05 MJ; Rpl = 1.27 ± 0.05 RJ). They orbit their host star every ~2.311, and ~2.484 days, respectively. The planet host WASP-65 is a G6 star (Teff = 5600 K, [Fe/H] = -0.07 ± 0.07, age ≳8 Gyr); WASP-75 is an F9 star (Teff = 6100 K, [Fe/H] = 0.07 ± 0.09, age ~ 3 Gyr). WASP-65b is one of the densest known exoplanets in the mass range 0.1 and 2.0 MJ (rhopl = 1.13 ± 0.08 rhoJ), a mass range where a large fraction of planets are found to be inflated with respect to theoretical planet models. WASP-65b is one of only a handful of planets with masses of ~1.5 MJ, a mass regime surprisingly underrepresented among the currently known hot Jupiters. The radius of WASP-75b is slightly inflated (≲10%) as compared to theoretical planet models with no core, and has a density similar to that of Saturn (rhopl = 0.52 ± 0.06 rhoJ). [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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See detailCatalogue of particle-accelerating colliding-wind binaries
De Becker, Michaël ULg; Raucq, Françoise ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 558

Massive systems made of two or more stars are known to be the site for interesting physical processes -- including at least in some cases -- particle acceleration. Over the past decade, this topic ... [more ▼]

Massive systems made of two or more stars are known to be the site for interesting physical processes -- including at least in some cases -- particle acceleration. Over the past decade, this topic motivated a particular effort to unveil the properties of these systems and characterize the circumstances responsible for the acceleration of particles and the potential role of pre-supernova massive stars in the production of high energy particles in our Galaxy. Although previous studies on this topic were mostly devoted to processes in general, or to a few individual objects in particular, a unified target-oriented census of particle-accelerating colliding-wind binaries (hereafter PACWBs) does not exist yet. This paper aims at making a general and unified census of these systems, emphasizing their main properties. A general discussion includes energetic considerations along with wind properties in relation with non-thermal emission processes that are likely at work in colliding-wind binaries. Finally, some guidelines for future observational and theoretical studies are drawn. [less ▲]

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See detailClassification and environmental properties of X-ray selected point-like sources in the XMM-LSS field
Melnyk, Olga ULg; Plionis, M.; Elyiv, Andrii ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 557(A81),

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See detailDiscovery of a magnetic field in the CoRoT hybrid B-type pulsator HD 43317
Briquet, Maryline ULg; Neiner, C.; Leroy, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 557

Context. A promising way of testing the impact of a magnetic field on internal mixing (core overshooting, internal rotation) in main-sequence B-type stars is to perform asteroseismic studies of a sample ... [more ▼]

Context. A promising way of testing the impact of a magnetic field on internal mixing (core overshooting, internal rotation) in main-sequence B-type stars is to perform asteroseismic studies of a sample of magnetic pulsators. <BR /> Aims: The CoRoT satellite revealed that the B3IV star HD 43317 is a hybrid SPB/β Cep-type pulsator that has a wealth of pulsational constraints on which one can perform a seismic modelling, in particular, probing the extent of its convective core and mixing processes. Moreover, indirect indicators of a magnetic field in the star were observed: rotational modulation due to chemical or temperature spots and X-ray emission. Our goal was to directly investigate the field in HD 43317 and, if it is magnetic, to characterise it. <BR /> Methods: We collected data with the Narval spectropolarimeter installed at Télescope Bernard Lyot (TBL, Pic du Midi, France) and applied the least-squares deconvolution technique to measure the circular polarisation of the light emitted from HD 43317. We modelled the longitudinal field measurements directly with a dipole. <BR /> Results: Zeeman signatures in the Stokes V profiles of HD 43317 are clearly detected and rotationally modulated, which proves that this star exhibits an oblique magnetic field. The modulation with the rotation period deduced from the CoRoT light curve is also confirmed, and we found a field strength at the poles of about 1 kG. Our result must be taken into account in future seismic modelling work of this star. Based on observations obtained using the Narval spectropolarimeter at the Observatoire du Pic du Midi (France), which is operated by the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers (INSU). [less ▲]

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See detailLow-amplitude rotational modulation rather than pulsations in the CoRoT B-type supergiant HD 46769
Aerts, C.; Simón-Díaz, S.; Catala, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 557

<BR /> Aims: We aim to detect and interpret photometric and spectroscopic variability of the bright CoRoT B-type supergiant target HD 46769 (V = 5.79). We also attempt to detect a magnetic field in the ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We aim to detect and interpret photometric and spectroscopic variability of the bright CoRoT B-type supergiant target HD 46769 (V = 5.79). We also attempt to detect a magnetic field in the target. <BR /> Methods: We analyse a 23-day oversampled CoRoT light curve after detrending and spectroscopic follow-up data using standard Fourier analysis and phase dispersion minimization methods. We determine the fundamental parameters of the star, as well as its abundances from the most prominent spectral lines. We perform a Monte Carlo analysis of spectropolarimetric data to obtain an upper limit of the polar magnetic field, assuming a dipole field. <BR /> Results: In the CoRoT data, we detect a dominant period of 4.84 d with an amplitude of 87 ppm and some of its (sub-)multiples. Given the shape of the phase-folded light curve and the absence of binary motion, we interpret the dominant variability in terms of rotational modulation, with a rotation period of 9.69 d. Subtraction of the rotational modulation signal does not reveal any sign of pulsations. Our results are consistent with the absence of variability in the Hipparcos light curve. The spectroscopy leads to a projected rotational velocity of 72 ± 2 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP] and does not reveal periodic variability or the need to invoke macroturbulent line broadening. No signature of a magnetic field is detected in our data. A field stronger than ~500 G at the poles can be excluded, unless the possible non-detected field were more complex than dipolar. <BR /> Conclusions: The absence of pulsations and macroturbulence of this evolved B-type supergiant is placed into the context of instability computations and of observed variability of evolved B-type stars. Based on CoRoT space-based photometric data; the CoRoT space mission was developed and operated by the French space agency CNES, with the participation of ESA's RSSD and Science Programmes, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, and Spain. Based on observations collected at La Silla Observatory, ESO (Chile) with the HARPS spectrograph at the 3.6 m telescope, under programme LP185.D-0056. Based on observations obtained with the HERMES spectrograph attached to the 1.2 m Mercator telescope, which is supported by the Fund for Scientific Research of Flanders (FWO), Belgium, the Research Council of KU Leuven, Belgium, the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientific (FNRS), Belgium, the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Observatoire de Genève, Switzerland, and the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Germany. Based on observations obtained with the Narval spectropolarimeter at the Observatoire du Pic du Midi (France), which is operated by the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers (INSU). [less ▲]

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See detailCOSMOGRAIL: the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses: XIV. Time delay of the doubly lensed quasar SDSS~J1001+5027
Rathna Kumar, S.; Tewes, M.; Stalin, C.S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 557

This paper presents optical R-band light curves and the time delay of the doubly imaged gravitationally lensed quasar SDSS J1001+5027 at a redshift of 1.838. We have observed this target for more than six ... [more ▼]

This paper presents optical R-band light curves and the time delay of the doubly imaged gravitationally lensed quasar SDSS J1001+5027 at a redshift of 1.838. We have observed this target for more than six years, between March 2005 and July 2011, using the 1.2-m Mercator Telescope, the 1.5-m telescope of the Maidanak Observatory and the 2-m Himalayan Chandra Telescope. Our resulting light curves are composed of 443 independent epochs, and show strong intrinsic quasar variability, with an amplitude of the order of 0.2 magnitudes. From this data, we measure the time delay using five different methods, all relying on distinct approaches. One of these techniques is a new development presented in this paper. All our time-delay measurements are perfectly compatible. By combining them, we conclude that image A is leading B by 119.3 ± 3.3 days (1σ, 2.8%), including systematic errors. It has been shown recently that such accurate time-delay measurements offer a highly complementary probe of dark energy and spatial curvature, as they independently constrain the Hubble constant. The next mandatory step towards using SDSS J1001+5027 in this context will be the measurement of the redshift of the lensing galaxy, in combination with deep HST imaging. [less ▲]

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See detailHerschel imaging and spectroscopy of the nebula around the luminous blue variable star WRAY 15-751
Vamvatira-Nakou, Chloi ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Royer, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 557

We have obtained far-infrared Herschel-PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of the nebular environment of the luminous blue variable (LBV) WRAY 15-751. The far-infrared images clearly show that the ... [more ▼]

We have obtained far-infrared Herschel-PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of the nebular environment of the luminous blue variable (LBV) WRAY 15-751. The far-infrared images clearly show that the main, dusty nebula is a shell of radius 0.5 pc and width 0.35 pc extending outside the Hα nebula. Furthermore, these images reveal a second, bigger and fainter dust nebula that is observed for the first time. Both nebulae lie in an empty cavity, very likely the remnant of the O-star wind bubble formed when the star was on the main sequence. The kinematic ages of the nebulae are calculated to be about 2 × 10^4 and 8 × 10^4 years, and we estimated that each nebula contains ~0.05 Msun of dust. Modeling of the inner nebula indicates a Fe-rich dust. The far-infrared spectrum of the main nebula revealed forbidden emission lines coming from ionized and neutral gas. Our study shows that the main nebula consists of a shell of ionized gas surrounded by a thin photodissociation region illuminated by an “average” early-B star. We derive the abundance ratios N/O = 1.0 ± 0.4 and C/O = 0.4 ± 0.2, which indicate a mild N/O enrichment. From both the ionized and neutral gas components we estimate that the inner shell contains 1.7 ± 0.6 Msun of gas. Assuming a similar dust-to-gas ratio for the outer nebula, the total mass ejected by WRAY 15-751 amounts to 4± 2 Msun. The measured abundances, masses and kinematic ages of the nebulae were used to constrain the evolution of the star and the epoch at which the nebulae were ejected. Our results point to an ejection of the nebulae during the red super-giant (RSG) evolutionary phase of an ~40 Msun star. The multiple shells around the star suggest that the mass-loss was not a continuous ejection but rather a series of episodes of extreme mass-loss. Our measurements are compatible with the recent evolutionary tracks computed for an ~40 Msun star with little rotation. They support the O–BSG–RSG–YSG–LBV filiation and the idea that high-luminosity and low-luminosity LBVs follow different evolutionary paths. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh angular resolution imaging and infrared spectroscopy of CoRoT candidates
Guenther, E. W.; Fridlund, M.; Alonso, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 556

Context. Studies of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance for understanding the nature of planets outside our solar system because their masses, diameters, and bulk densities can be measured ... [more ▼]

Context. Studies of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance for understanding the nature of planets outside our solar system because their masses, diameters, and bulk densities can be measured. An important part of transit-search programmes is the removal of false-positives. In the case of the CoRoT space mission, the majority of the false-positives are removed by a detailed analysis of the light curves and by seeing-limited imaging in- and out-of-transit. However, the critical question is how many of the candidates that passed all these tests are false-positives. Such false-positives can be caused by eclipsing binaries, which are either related or unrelated to the targets. <BR /> Aims: For our study we selected 25 CoRoT candidates that have already been screened against false-positives using detailed analysis of the light curves and seeing-limited imaging, which has transits that are between 0.7 and 0.05% deep. Our aim is to search for companion candidates that had not been recognized in previous observations. <BR /> Methods: We observed 20 candidates with the adaptive optics imager NaCo and 18 with the high-resolution infrared spectrograph CRIRES. <BR /> Results: We found previously unknown stars within 2'' of the targets in seven of the candidates. All of these are too faint and too close to the targets to have been previously detected with seeing-limited telescopes in the optical. Our study thus leads to the surprising results that if we remove all candidates excluded by the sophisticated analysis of the light-curve, as well as carrying out deep imaging with seeing-limited telescopes, still 28-35% of the remaining candidates are found to possess companions that are bright enough to be false-positives. <BR /> Conclusions: Given that the companion candidates cluster around the targets and that the J - K colours are consistent with physical companions, we conclude that the companion candidates are more likely to be physical companions rather than unrelated field stars. Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory at Paranal, Chile in programmes 282.C-5015A, 282.C-5015B, 282.C-5015C, 285.C-5045A, and 285.C-5045B, 086.C-0235A, 086.C-0235B, 088.C-0707A, 088.C-0707B, 090.C-0251A, 090.C-0251B, and 091.C-203(A).Appendices A and B are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailSpectral modelling of the α Virginis (Spica) binary system
Palate, Matthieu ULg; Koenigsberger, G.; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 556

Context. The technique of matching synthetic spectra computed with theoretical stellar atmosphere models to the observations is widely used in deriving fundamental parameters of massive stars. When ... [more ▼]

Context. The technique of matching synthetic spectra computed with theoretical stellar atmosphere models to the observations is widely used in deriving fundamental parameters of massive stars. When applied to binaries, however, these models generally neglect the interaction effects present in these systems. <BR /> Aims: The aim of this paper is to explore the uncertainties in binary stellar parameters that are derived from single-star models. <BR /> Methods: Synthetic spectra that include the tidal perturbations and irradiation effects are computed for the binary system α Virginis (Spica) using our recently-developed CoMBiSpeC model. The synthetic spectra are compared to S/N ~ 2000 observations and optimum values of T[SUB]eff[/SUB] and log g are derived. <BR /> Results: The binary interactions have only a small effect on the strength of the photospheric absorption lines in Spica (<2% for the primary and <4% for the secondary). These differences are comparable to the uncertainties inherent to the process of matching synthetic spectra to the observations and thus the derived values of T[SUB]eff[/SUB] and log g are unaffected by the binary perturbations. On the other hand, the interactions do produce significant phase-dependent line profile variations in the primary star, leading to systematic distortions in the shape of its radial velocity curve. Migrating sub-features ("bumps") are predicted by our model to be present in the same photospheric lines as observed, and their appearance does not require any a priori assumptions regarding non-radial pulsation modes. Matching the strength of lines in which the most prominent "bumps" occur requires synthetic spectra computed with larger "microturbulence" than that required by other lines. [less ▲]

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See detailAn interferometric study of the Fomalhaut inner debris disk. III. Detailed models of the exozodiacal disk and its origin
Lebreton, J; van Lieshout, R; Augereau, J-C et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555

Context. Debris disks are thought to be extrasolar analogues to the Solar System planetesimal belts. The star Fomalhaut harbors a cold debris belt at 140AU comparable to the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, as well ... [more ▼]

Context. Debris disks are thought to be extrasolar analogues to the Solar System planetesimal belts. The star Fomalhaut harbors a cold debris belt at 140AU comparable to the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt, as well as evidence for a warm dust component, unresolved by single-dish telescopes, that is suspected to be a bright analogue to the Solar System's zodiacal dust. Aims. Interferometric observations obtained with the VLTI/VINCI instrument and the Keck Interferometer Nuller have identi fied near- and mid-infrared excesses attributed respectively to hot and warm exozodiacal dust residing in the inner few AU of the Fomalhaut environment. We aim to characterize the properties of this double inner dust belt and to unveil its origin. Methods.We perform parametric modelling of the exozodiacal disk ("exozodi") using the GRaTer radiative transfer code in order to reproduce the interferometric data, complemented by mid- to far-infrared photometric measurements from Spitzer and Herschel. A detailed treatment of sublimation temperatures is introduced to explore the hot population at the size-dependent sublimation rim. We then use an analytical approach to test successively several source mechanisms for the dust and suspected parent bodies. Results. A good fi t to the multi-wavelength data is found by two distinct dust populations: (1) a population of very small (0.01 to 0.5 µ m) and therefore unbound, hot dust grains con ned in a narrow region ( ~0.1 - 0.3 AU) at the sublimation rim of carbonaceous material; (2) a population of bound grains at 2AU that is protected from sublimation and has a larger mass despite its fainter flux level. We propose that the hot dust is produced by the release of small carbon grains following the disruption of dust aggregates that originate from the warm component. A mechanism such as gas braking is required to further con ne the small grains for long enough. In situ dust production could hardly be ensured for the age of the star and we conclude that the observed amount of dust is triggered by intense dynamical activity. Conclusions. Fomalhaut may be representative of exozodis that are currently being surveyed at near and mid-infrared wavelengths worldwide. We propose a framework for reconciling the "hot exozodi phenomenon" with theoretical constraints: the hot component of Fomalhaut is likely the "tip of the iceberg" as it could derive from the more massive, but fainter, warm dust component residing near the ice line. This inner disk exhibits interesting morphology and can be considered a prime target for future exoplanet research. [less ▲]

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See detailA near-infrared interferometric survey of debris disc stars. III. First statistics based on 42 stars observed with CHARA/FLUOR
Absil, Olivier ULg; Defrère, Denis; Coudé du Foresto, Vincent et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555

Context. Dust is expected to be ubiquitous in extrasolar planetary systems due to the dynamical activity of minor bodies. Inner dust populations are, however, still poorly known due to the high contrast ... [more ▼]

Context. Dust is expected to be ubiquitous in extrasolar planetary systems due to the dynamical activity of minor bodies. Inner dust populations are, however, still poorly known due to the high contrast and small angular separation with respect to their host star. Yet, a proper characterisation of exozodiacal dust is mandatory for the design of future Earth-like planet imaging missions. Aims. We aim to determine the level of near-infrared exozodiacal dust emission around a sample of 42 nearby main sequence stars with spectral types ranging from A to K, and to investigate its correlation with various stellar parameters and with the presence of cold dust belts. Methods. We use high-precision K-band visibilities obtained with the FLUOR interferometer on the shortest baseline of the CHARA array. The calibrated visibilities are compared with the expected visibility of the stellar photosphere to assess the presence of an additional, fully resolved circumstellar emission source. Results. Near-infrared circumstellar emission amounting to about 1% of the stellar flux is detected around 13 of our 42 target stars. Follow-up observations showed that one of them (eps Cep) is associated with a stellar companion, while another one was detected around what turned out to be a giant star (kap CrB). The remaining 11 excesses found around single main sequence stars are most probably due to the presence of hot circumstellar dust, yielding an overall occurrence rate of 28+8-6% for our (biased) sample. We show that the occurrence rate of bright exozodiacal discs correlates with spectral type, K-band excesses being more frequent around A-type stars. It also correlates with the presence of detectable far-infrared excess emission in the case of solar-type stars. Conclusions. This study provides new insights regarding the phenomenon of bright exozodiacal disc, showing that hot dust populations are probably linked to outer dust reservoirs in the case of solar-type stars. In the case of A-type stars, no clear conclusion can be made regarding the origin of the detected near-infrared excesses. [less ▲]

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See detailTransiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission. XXIV. CoRoT-25b and CoRoT-26b: two low-density giant planets
Almenara, J. M.; Bouchy, F.; Gaulme, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555

We report the discovery of two transiting exoplanets, CoRoT-25b and CoRoT-26b, both of low density, one of which is in the Saturn mass-regime. For each star, ground-based complementary observations ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of two transiting exoplanets, CoRoT-25b and CoRoT-26b, both of low density, one of which is in the Saturn mass-regime. For each star, ground-based complementary observations through optical photometry and radial velocity measurements secured the planetary nature of the transiting body and allowed us to fully characterize them. For CoRoT-25b we found a planetary mass of 0.27 ± 0.04 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], a radius of 1.08[SUB]-0.10[/SUB][SUP]+0.3[/SUP] R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] and hence a mean density of 0.15[SUB]-0.06[/SUB][SUP]+0.15[/SUP] g cm[SUP]-3[/SUP]. The planet orbits an F9 main-sequence star in a 4.86-day period, that has a V magnitude of 15.0, solar metallicity, and an age of 4.5[SUB]-2.0[/SUB][SUP]+1.8[/SUP]-Gyr. CoRoT-26b orbits a slightly evolved G5 star of 9.06 ± 1.5-Gyr age in a 4.20-day period that hassolar metallicity and a V magnitude of 15.8. With a mass of 0.52 ± 0.05 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], a radius of 1.26[SUB]-0.07[/SUB][SUP]+0.13[/SUP] R[SUB]Jup[/SUB], and a mean density of 0.28[SUB]-0.07[/SUB][SUP]+0.09[/SUP] g cm[SUP]-3[/SUP], it belongs to the low-mass hot-Jupiter population. Planetary evolution models allowed us to estimate a core mass of a few tens of Earth mass for the two planets with heavy-element mass fractions of 0.52[SUB]-0.15[/SUB][SUP]+0.08[/SUP] and 0.26[SUB]-0.08[/SUB][SUP]+0.05[/SUP], respectively, assuming that a small fraction of the incoming flux is dissipated at the center of the planet. In addition, these models indicate that CoRoT-26b is anomalously large compared with what standard models could account for, indicating that dissipation from stellar heating could cause this size. The CoRoT space mission, launched on December 27th 2006, has been developed and is operated by CNES, with the contribution of Austria, Belgium, Brazil, ESA (RSSD and Science Programme), Germany and Spain. Partly based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory at Paranal and La Silla, Chile in programs 083.C-0690(A), 184.C-0639. [less ▲]

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See detailHD 45314: a new γ Cassiopeiae analog among Oe stars
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Spano, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555

Context. Oe stars possibly form an extension to higher temperatures of the Be phenomenon, but it is still unclear whether these stars have disks. <BR /> Aims: X-ray spectra could provide hints for ... [more ▼]

Context. Oe stars possibly form an extension to higher temperatures of the Be phenomenon, but it is still unclear whether these stars have disks. <BR /> Aims: X-ray spectra could provide hints for interactions of the star with a putative surrounding disk. <BR /> Methods: We obtained XMM-Newton observations of two Oe stars, HD 45314 and HD 60848. Spectra and light curves were extracted and analysed. Optical spectra were also obtained to support the X-ray observations. <BR /> Results: We find that both stars display very different X-ray properties. Whilst HD 60848 has an X-ray spectrum and emission level typical for its spectral type, HD 45314 displays a very hard X-ray emission, dominated by a thermal plasma with kT ~ 21 keV. Furthermore, HD 45314 displays count rate variations by a factor 2 on timescales of ~ 10[SUP]3[/SUP] s and a high log (L[SUB]X[/SUB]/L[SUB]bol[/SUB]) = -6.10 ± 0.03. <BR /> Conclusions: The X-ray properties of HD 45314 indicate that this star is a new member of the class of γ Cas analogs, the first one among the original category of Oe stars. 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 observations collected at the European Southern Observatory (La Silla, Chile) and the Observatoire de Haute Provence (France). [less ▲]

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See detailX-ray properties of the young open clusters HM1 and IC 2944/2948
Nazé, Yaël ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Sana, H. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555

Using XMM-Newton data, we study for the first time the X-ray emission of HM1 and IC 2944/2948. Low-mass, pre-main-sequence objects with an age of a few Myr are detected, as well as a few background or ... [more ▼]

Using XMM-Newton data, we study for the first time the X-ray emission of HM1 and IC 2944/2948. Low-mass, pre-main-sequence objects with an age of a few Myr are detected, as well as a few background or foreground objects. Most massive stars in both clusters display the usual high-energy properties of that type of objects, though with log [L[SUB]X[/SUB]/L[SUB]BOL[/SUB]] apparently lower in HM1 than in IC 2944/2948. Compared with studies of other clusters, it seems that a low signal-to-noise ratio at soft energies, due to the high extinction, may be the main cause of this difference. In HM1, the two Wolf-Rayet stars show contrasting behaviors: WR89 is extremely bright, but much softer than WR87. It remains to be seen whether wind-wind collisions or magnetically confined winds can explain these emissions. In IC 2944/2948, the X-ray sources concentrate around HD 101205; a group of massive stars to the north of this object is isolated, suggesting that there exist two subclusters in the field-of-view. Tables 2, 5, and Figs. 5, 9 are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A>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).Tables 1, 3 and 4 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/555/A83">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/555/A83</A> [less ▲]

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See detailSearch for a habitable terrestrial planet transiting the nearby red dwarf GJ 1214
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Demory, B.-O.; Madhusudhan, N. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013)

High-precision eclipse spectrophotometry of transiting terrestrial exoplanets represents a promising path for the first atmospheric characterizations of habitable worlds and the search for life outside ... [more ▼]

High-precision eclipse spectrophotometry of transiting terrestrial exoplanets represents a promising path for the first atmospheric characterizations of habitable worlds and the search for life outside our solar system. The detection of terrestrial planets transiting nearby late-type M-dwarfs could make this approach applicable within the next decade, with soon-to-come general facilities. In this context, we previously identified GJ 1214 as a high-priority target for a transit search, as the transit probability of a habitable planet orbiting this nearby M4.5 dwarf would be significantly enhanced by the transiting nature of GJ 1214 b, the super-Earth already known to orbit the star. Based on this observation, we have set up an ambitious high-precision photometric monitoring of GJ 1214 with the Spitzer Space Telescope to probe the inner part of its habitable zone in search of a transiting planet as small as Mars. We present here the results of this transit search. Unfortunately, we did not detect any other transiting planets. Assuming that GJ 1214 hosts a habitable planet larger than Mars that has an orbital period smaller than 20.9 days, our global analysis of the whole Spitzer dataset leads to an a posteriori no-transit probability of ~98%. Our analysis allows us to significantly improve the characterization of GJ 1214 b, to measure its occultation depth to be 70 ± 35 ppm at 4.5 mum, and to constrain it to be smaller than 205 ppm (3sigma upper limit) at 3.6 mum. In agreement with the many transmission measurements published so far for GJ 1214 b, these emission measurements are consistent with both a metal-rich and a cloudy hydrogen-rich atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating the parameters of globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099) from time-series photometry
Kains, N.; Bramich, D. M.; Arellano Ferro, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of 26 nights of V and I time-series observations from 2011 and 2012 of the globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099). We used our data to search for variable stars in this ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of 26 nights of V and I time-series observations from 2011 and 2012 of the globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099). We used our data to search for variable stars in this cluster and refine the periods of known variables; we then used our variable star light curves to derive values for the cluster's parameters. <BR /> Methods: We used difference image analysis to reduce our data to obtain high-precision light curves of variable stars. We then estimated the cluster parameters by performing a Fourier decomposition of the light curves of RR Lyrae stars for which a good period estimate was possible. We also derived an estimate for the age of the cluster by fitting theoretical isochrones to our colour-magnitude diagram (CMD). <BR /> Results: Out of 13 stars previously catalogued as variables, we find that only 4 are bona fide variables. We detect two new RR Lyrae variables, and confirm two additional RR Lyrae candidates from the literature. We also detect four other new variables, including an eclipsing blue straggler system, and an SX Phoenicis star. This amounts to a total number of confirmed variable stars in M 30 of 12. We perform Fourier decomposition of the light curves of the RR Lyrae stars to derive cluster parameters using empirical relations. We find a cluster metallicity [Fe/H][SUB]ZW[/SUB] = -2.01 ± 0.04, or [Fe/H][SUB]UVES[/SUB] = -2.11 ± 0.06, and a distance of 8.32 ± 0.20 kpc (using RR0 variables), 8.10 kpc (using one RR1 variable), and 8.35 ± 0.42 kpc (using our SX Phoenicis star detection in M 30). Fitting isochrones to the CMD, we estimate an age of 13.0 ± 1.0 Gyr for M 30. This work is based on data collected by MiNDSTEp with the Danish 1.54 m telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory.The full light curves, an extract of which is shown in Table 2 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/555/A36">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/555/A36</A>Tables 8-10, and Figs. 6 and 9 are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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