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See detailExploring the gravitationally lensed system HE 1104-1805: near-IR spectroscopy
Courbin, F.; Lidman, C.; Meylan, G. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2000), 360

A new technique for the spatial deconvolution of spectra is applied to near-IR (0.95-2.50 mum) NTT/SOFI spectra of the lensed, radio-quiet quasar HE 1104-1805. The continuum of the lensing galaxy is ... [more ▼]

A new technique for the spatial deconvolution of spectra is applied to near-IR (0.95-2.50 mum) NTT/SOFI spectra of the lensed, radio-quiet quasar HE 1104-1805. The continuum of the lensing galaxy is revealed between 1.5 mum and 2.5 mum. Although the spectrum does not show strong emission features, it is used in combination with previous optical and IR photometry to infer a plausible redshift in the range 0.8 < z < 1.2. Modeling of the system shows that the lens is complex, probably composed of the red galaxy seen between the quasar images and a more extended component associated with a galaxy cluster with fairly low velocity dispersion (~ 575 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]). Unless more constrains can be put on the mass distribution of the cluster, e.g. from deep X-ray observations, HE 1104-1805 will not be a good system to determine H[SUB]0[/SUB]. We stress that multiply imaged quasars with known time delays may prove more useful as tools for detecting dark mass in distant lenses than for determining cosmological parameters. The spectra of the two lensed images of the source are of great interest. They show no trace of reddening at the redshift of the lens nor at the redshift of the source. This supports the hypothesis of an elliptical lens. Additionally, the difference between the spectrum of the brightest component and that of a scaled version of the faintest component is a featureless continuum. Broad and narrow emission lines, including the FeII features, are perfectly subtracted. The very good quality of our spectrum makes it possible to fit precisely the optical Fe II feature, taking into account the underlying continuum over a wide wavelength range. HE 1104-1805 can be classified as a weak Fe II emitter. Finally, the slope of the continuum in the brightest image is steeper than the continuum in the faintest image and supports the finding by Wisotzki et al. (1993) that the brightest image is microlensed. This is particularly interesting in view of the new source reconstruction methods from multiwavelength photometric monitoring. While HE 1104- 1805 does not seem the best target for determining cosmological parameters, it is probably the second most interesting object after Q 2237+0305 (the Einstein cross), in terms of microlensing. Based on observations collected with the ESO New Technology Telescope (program 61.B-0413) [less ▲]

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See detailResolved stellar populations of super-metal-rich star clusters in the bulge of M 31
Jablonka, P.; Courbin, F.; Meylan, G. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2000), 359

We have applied the MCS image deconvolution algorithm (Magain et al. 1998) to HST/WFPC2 V, I data of three M 31 bulge globular clusters (G170, G177, and G198) and control fields near each cluster. All ... [more ▼]

We have applied the MCS image deconvolution algorithm (Magain et al. 1998) to HST/WFPC2 V, I data of three M 31 bulge globular clusters (G170, G177, and G198) and control fields near each cluster. All three clusters are clearly detected, with an increase in stellar density with decreasing radius from the cluster centers; this is the first time that stars have been resolved in bulge clusters in the inner regions of another galaxy. From the RGB slopes of the clusters and the difference in I magnitude between the HB and the top of the RGB, we conclude that these three clusters all have roughly solar metallicity, in agreement with earlier integrated-light spectroscopic measurements. Our data support a picture whereby the M 31 bulge clusters and field stars were born from the same metal-rich gas, early in the galaxy formation. [less ▲]

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See detailThe optical polarization of radio-loud and radio-intermediate broad absorption line quasi-stellar objects
Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Lamy, H.

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2000), 358

On the basis of a sample of approximately 50 broad absorption line quasi-stellar objects (BAL QSOs), we investigate possible correlations between BAL QSO radio properties and other spectral ... [more ▼]

On the basis of a sample of approximately 50 broad absorption line quasi-stellar objects (BAL QSOs), we investigate possible correlations between BAL QSO radio properties and other spectral characteristics, including polarization. For this purpose new polarization data have been obtained. The main result of our statistical study is the absence of significant correlations between the radio-to-optical flux ratio R[SUP]star [/SUP] and all other quantities: the polarization p_0 of the continuum, the slope of the continuum, the balnicity and detachment indices which characterize the BAL profiles, and the terminal velocity of the flow v_max. The claimed anticorrelation between R[SUP]star [/SUP] and v_max is therefore not confirmed, as well as the correlation between R[SUP]star [/SUP] and p_0 predicted by some models. Although marginally significant, the only possible correlations occur for the BAL QSOs with low-ionization troughs. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory (ESO, La Silla) [less ▲]

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See detailSpectropolarimetry of the iron low ionization broad absorption line quasar Q 0059-2735
Lamy, H.; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2000), 356(Letters), 9-12

We present optical (ultraviolet rest-frame) spectropolarimetric observations of the rare iron low ionization broad absorption line (BAL) QSO Q 0059-2735. The continuum polarization increases to the blue ... [more ▼]

We present optical (ultraviolet rest-frame) spectropolarimetric observations of the rare iron low ionization broad absorption line (BAL) QSO Q 0059-2735. The continuum polarization increases to the blue with a regular rotation of the polarization position angle, suggesting that at least two mechanisms are at the origin of the polarization. There is also some evidence for dilution by a ion {Fe}{ii} pseudo-continuum in emission. In the broad absorption lines, the polarization strongly rises, with the largest values ever reported. On the contrary, the ion {Fe}{ii} blends in absorption are not more polarized than the continuum, while they are clearly visible in the polarized flux. These different polarization properties of ion {Fe}{ii} absorption lines suggest a different origin and/or geometry. The observed properties of Q 0059-2735 are consistent with a hybrid QSO / starburst model. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile [less ▲]

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See detailPOX 186: the ultracompact blue compact dwarf galaxy reveals its nature
Doublier, V.; Kunth, D.; Courbin, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2000), 353

High resolution, ground based R and I band observations of the ultra compact dwarf galaxy POX 186 are presented. The data, obtained with the ESO New Technology Telescope (NTT), are analyzed using a new ... [more ▼]

High resolution, ground based R and I band observations of the ultra compact dwarf galaxy POX 186 are presented. The data, obtained with the ESO New Technology Telescope (NTT), are analyzed using a new deconvolution algorithm which allows one to resolve the innermost regions of this stellar-like object into three Super-Star Clusters (SSC). Upper limits to both masses (M ~ 10[SUP]5[/SUP] M[SUB]sun[/SUB]) and physical sizes (<=60pc) of the SSCs are set. In addition, and maybe most importantly, extended light emission underlying the compact star-forming region is clearly detected in both bands. The R-I color rules out nebular Halpha contamination and is consistent with an old stellar population. This casts doubt on the hypothesis that Blue Compact Dwarf Galaxies (BCDG) are young galaxies. based on observations carried out at NTT in La Silla, operated by the European Southern Observatory, during Director's Discretionary Time. [less ▲]

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See detailLensing properties of 7 damped Lyalpha absorbing galaxy-QSO pairs
Le Brun, V.; Smette, A.; Surdej, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2000), 363

Le Brun et al. (1997) presented the first identifications of the galaxies giving rise to 7 intermediate redshift damped Lyalpha (DLA) absorption systems. Here, we study the gravitational lensing ... [more ▼]

Le Brun et al. (1997) presented the first identifications of the galaxies giving rise to 7 intermediate redshift damped Lyalpha (DLA) absorption systems. Here, we study the gravitational lensing properties of these foreground galaxies based on their observed optical appearance and on the absence of any secondary lensed quasar image. We consider the possibility that any secondary image be hidden due to extinction by dust, but find it unlikely. We derive upper limits on the amplification factor affecting the luminosity of the background quasars; in each case, this factor is found to be less than 0.3 mag. We also obtain upper limits on the total mass of the damped Ly-alpha galaxies, within radii equal to the quasar impact parameters. Mass-to-light ratios are found to be consistent with existing estimates based on X-ray emission or on motion of dwarf satellites. Although we show that lensing is not important in this sample, we note that existing DLA surveys used to determine the cosmological density of gas at z < 1 are based on samples of quasars brighter than the ones considered here and for which the amplification bias is likely to be stronger. [less ▲]

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See detailQSO mass constraints from gravitational lensing studies of quasar pairs. The cases of Q1548+114 A & B and Q1148+0055 A & B
Claeskens, Jean-François ULg; Lee, D.-W.; Remy, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2000), 356

New constraints on the mass of quasars are derived from gravitational lensing studies of the QSO pairs Q1548+114 A & B and Q1148+0055 A & B, for which new ground-based and Hubble Space Telescope (HST ... [more ▼]

New constraints on the mass of quasars are derived from gravitational lensing studies of the QSO pairs Q1548+114 A & B and Q1148+0055 A & B, for which new ground-based and Hubble Space Telescope (HST) direct imagery have been obtained. In the case of Q1548+114 A & B, QSO A has been resolved into its host galaxy and a close companion. The non-detection with HST of a secondary lensed image of the background QSO in the close vicinity of the foreground one and the modeling of the host of QSO A, of the companion and of field galaxies with Singular Isothermal Spheres (SIS) yield a robust upper limit on the central compact mass of 4.5 10[SUP]11[/SUP] M[SUB]sun[/SUB]. On the other hand, the combined mass of Q1148+0055 B plus host must be smaller than 6.5 10[SUP]11[/SUP] M[SUB]sun[/SUB] since no secondary lensed image has been detected with HST. Photometry and relative astrometry of all the detected objects are reported. Based on data collected with the Hubble Space Telescope and at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile [less ▲]

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See detailThe self-enrichment of galactic halo globular clusters. A clue to their formation?
Parmentier, Geneviève ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Magain, Pierre ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1999), 352

We present a model of globular cluster self-enrichment. In the protogalaxy, cold and dense clouds embedded in the hot protogalactic medium are assumed to be the progenitors of galactic halo globular ... [more ▼]

We present a model of globular cluster self-enrichment. In the protogalaxy, cold and dense clouds embedded in the hot protogalactic medium are assumed to be the progenitors of galactic halo globular clusters. The massive stars of a first generation of metal-free stars, born in the central areas of the proto-globular cluster clouds, explode as Type II supernovae. The associated blast waves trigger the expansion of a supershell, sweeping all the material of the cloud, and the heavy elements released by these massive stars enrich the supershell. A second generation of stars is born in these compressed and enriched layers of gas. These stars can recollapse and form a globular cluster. This work aims at revising the most often encountered argument against self-enrichment, namely the presumed ability of a small number of supernovae to disrupt a proto-globular cluster cloud. We describe a model of the dynamics of the supershell and of its progressive chemical enrichment. We show that the minimal mass of the primordial cluster cloud required to avoid disruption by several tens of Type II supernovae is compatible with the masses usually assumed for proto-globular cluster clouds. Furthermore, the corresponding self-enrichment level is in agreement with halo globular cluster metallicities. [less ▲]

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See detailAn investigation of the large-scale variability of the apparently single Wolf-Rayet star WR 1
Morel, Thierry ULg; Georgiev, L. N.; Grosdidier, Y. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1999), 349

In recent years, much studies have focused on determining the origin of the large-scale line-profile and/or photometric patterns of variability displayed by some apparently single Wolf-Rayet stars, with ... [more ▼]

In recent years, much studies have focused on determining the origin of the large-scale line-profile and/or photometric patterns of variability displayed by some apparently single Wolf-Rayet stars, with the existence of an unseen (collapsed?) companion or of spatially extended wind structures as potential candidates. We present observations of <ASTROBJ>WR 1</ASTROBJ> which highlight the unusual character of the variations in this object. Our narrowband photometric observations reveal a gradual increase of the stellar continuum flux amounting to Delta v ~ 0.09 mag followed by a decline on about the same timescale (3-4 days). Only marginal evidence for variability is found during the 11 following nights. Strong, daily line-profile variations are also observed but they cannot be easily linked to the photometric variations. Similarly to the continuum flux variations, coherent time-dependent changes are observed in 1996 in the centroid, equivalent width, and skewness of He Ii lambda 4686. Despite the generally coherent nature of the variations, we do not find evidence in our data for the periods claimed in previous studies. While the issue of a cyclical pattern of variability in <ASTROBJ>WR 1</ASTROBJ> is still controversial, it is clear that this object might constitute in the future a cornerstone for our understanding of the mechanisms leading to the formation of largely anisotropic outflows in Wolf-Rayet stars. [less ▲]

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See detailAbout the origin of extinction in the gravitational lens system MG J0414+0534
Angonin-Willaime, M.-C.; Vanderriest, C.; Courbin, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1999), 347

Photometric measurements of the highly reddened gravitational mirage MG J0414+0534 have been carried out either by PSF subtraction or by applying accurate deconvolution algorithms to optical (R, I) and ... [more ▼]

Photometric measurements of the highly reddened gravitational mirage MG J0414+0534 have been carried out either by PSF subtraction or by applying accurate deconvolution algorithms to optical (R, I) and near-infrared (K) images obtained at CFHT and NOT under sub-arcsecond seeing conditions. It is confirmed that the close pair of images A1-A2 suffers a larger extinction than B and C. While the colours of image A2 obtained from ground-based data seem inconsistent with a simple reddening law, higher resolution images available from HST archives reveal an additional extended component (arc) which introduces significant errors in the photometric decomposition. When the arc component is properly taken into account, the colours of the 4 nucleus images do agree with a classical reddening law, with A2 being by far the most obscured component. Such a differential extinction (maximum difference Delta E(R-I) =~ 0.6) is likely due to the lensing galaxy. This does not mean that {all} the extinction occurs into the lens. Indeed, the fact that the arc is much less red than the images of the nucleus suggests that an important part of the reddening is intrinsic to the source. Finally, no significant variability is observed within this data set, i.e. between 1994 and 1997, while a discrepancy from earlier data is noticed for (A1 + A2). Based on observations collected with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope at Mauna Kea (Hawaii, USA), the Nordic Optical Telescope (Canary, Spain) and archive data from the Hubble Space Telescope (NASA/ESA) [less ▲]

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See detailThe orientation within the Galaxy and the Large Magellanic Cloud of nebulae ejected by massive stars
Hutsemekers, Damien ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1999), 344

The orientation of nebulae ejected by massive stars (Luminous Blue Variables, WR stars, SN1987A) is investigated with respect to the structure of the galaxy to which they belong. In the Galaxy, we find ... [more ▼]

The orientation of nebulae ejected by massive stars (Luminous Blue Variables, WR stars, SN1987A) is investigated with respect to the structure of the galaxy to which they belong. In the Galaxy, we find that the projected long axes of the nebulae most often align with the galactic plane, and then also with the galactic magnetic field. This alignment is statistically significant. In addition, a few nebulae are apparently oriented perpendicular to the galactic plane. In the Large Magellanic Cloud, the nebular axes are found to closely follow the spiral magnetic field. With different inclinations, the Galaxy and the Large Magellanic Cloud probably offer complementary views of the same phenomenon. Although the sample studied thus far is small and the statistics limited, these results suggest that the orientation of massive star ejecta depends on galactic magnetic fields. Since the nebular axes are apparently correlated to the symmetry axes of the stars themselves, and since, in the early evolutionary stages, alignments of accretion disk axes with the interstellar magnetic field have been reported, it is argued that the observed alignment effect results from the star formation process. Based in part on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory (ESO, La Silla) [less ▲]

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See detailAbundance correlations in mildly metal-poor stars
Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Magain, Pierre ULg; Neuforge, Corinne et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1999), 341

Accurate relative abundances have been obtained for a sample of 21 mildly metal-poor stars from the analysis of high resolution and high signal-to-noise spectra. In order to reach the highest coherence ... [more ▼]

Accurate relative abundances have been obtained for a sample of 21 mildly metal-poor stars from the analysis of high resolution and high signal-to-noise spectra. In order to reach the highest coherence and internal precision, lines with similar dependency on the stellar atmospheric parameters were selected, and the analysis was carried out in a strictly differential way within the sample. With these accurate results, correlations between relative abundances have been searched for, with a special emphasis on the neutron capture elements. This analysis shows that the r elements are closely correlated to the alpha elements, which is in agreement with the generally accepted idea that the r-process takes place during the explosion of massive stars. The situation is more complex as far as the s elements are concerned. Their relation with the alpha elements is not linear. In a first group of stars, the relative abundance of the s elements increases only slightly with the alpha elements overabundance until the latter reaches a maximum value. For the second group, the s elements show a rather large range of enhancement and a constant (and maximum) value of the alpha elements overabundance. This peculiar behaviour leads us to distinguish between two sub-populations of metal-poor stars, namely Pop IIa (first group) and Pop IIb (second group). We suggest a scenario of formation of metal-poor stars based on two distinct phases of chemical enrichment, a first phase essentially consisting in supernova explosions of massive stars, and a second phase where the enrichment is provided by stellar winds from intermediate mass stars. More specifically, we assume that all thick disk and field halo stars were born in globular clusters, from which they escaped, either during an early disruption of the cluster (Pop IIa) or, later, through an evaporation process (Pop IIb). Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile. [less ▲]

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See detailRevised masses of alpha Centauri
Pourbaix, D.; Neuforge-Verheecke; Noels-Grötsch, Arlette ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1999), 344(1), 172-176

With the precise radial velocities lately published \cite{Murdoch-1993:b}, a simultaneous least-squares adjustment of all visual and spectroscopic observations of the alpha Centauri system is now possible ... [more ▼]

With the precise radial velocities lately published \cite{Murdoch-1993:b}, a simultaneous least-squares adjustment of all visual and spectroscopic observations of the alpha Centauri system is now possible and likely to yield some accurate information. Such an orbit determination leads to a mass ratio in agreement with the astrometric estimate of Kamper & Wesselink \cite*{Kamper-1978} but yields upward revisions of the distance and masses. We examine the effects these revisions on the evolutionary status of the system. [less ▲]

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See detailPolarization properties of a sample of broad absorption line and gravitationally lensed quasars
Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Lamy, H.; Remy, M.

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1998), 340

New broad-band linear polarization measurements have been obtained for a sample of 42 optically selected QSOs including 29 broad absorption line (BAL) QSOs. The polarization properties of different sub ... [more ▼]

New broad-band linear polarization measurements have been obtained for a sample of 42 optically selected QSOs including 29 broad absorption line (BAL) QSOs. The polarization properties of different sub-classes have been compared, and possible correlations with various spectral indices searched for. The main results of our study are: (1) Nearly all highly polarized QSOs of our sample belong to the sub-class of BAL QSOs with low-ionization absorption features (LIBAL QSOs). (2) The range of polarization is significantly larger for LIBAL QSOs than for high-ionization (HI) BAL QSOs and non-BAL QSOs. (3) There is some indication that HIBAL QSOs as a class may be more polarized than non-BAL QSOs and therefore intermediate between LIBAL and non-BAL QSOs, but the statistics are not compelling from the sample surveyed thus far. (4) For LIBAL QSOs, the continuum polarization appears significantly correlated with the line profile detachment index, in the sense that LIBAL QSOs with P Cygni-type profiles are more polarized. No correlation was found with the strength of the low- or the high-ionization absorption features, nor with the strength or the width of the emission lines. These results are consistent with a scenario in which LIBAL QSOs constitute a different class of radio-quiet QSOs with more absorbing material and more dust. Higher maximum polarization can therefore be reached, while the actually measured polarization depends on the geometry and orientation of the system as do the line profiles. The observed correlation is interpreted within the framework of recent ``wind-from-disk'' models. Tables~2 and 3 are also available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html}\fnmsep\thanks{Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory (ESO, La Silla) [less ▲]

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See detailThree photometric methods tested on ground-based data of Q 2237+0305
Burud, I.; Stabell, R.; Magain, Pierre ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1998), 339

The Einstein Cross, Q 2237+0305, has been photometrically observed in four bands on two successive nights at NOT (La Palma, Spain) in October 1995. Three independent algorithms have been used to analyse ... [more ▼]

The Einstein Cross, Q 2237+0305, has been photometrically observed in four bands on two successive nights at NOT (La Palma, Spain) in October 1995. Three independent algorithms have been used to analyse the data: an automatic image decomposition technique, a CLEAN algorithm and the new MCS deconvolution code. The photometric and astrometric results obtained with the three methods are presented. No photometric variations were found in the four quasar images. Comparison of the photometry from the three techniques shows that both systematic and random errors affect each method. When the seeing is worse than 1farcs0 , the errors from the automatic image decomposition technique and the Clean algorithm tend to be large (0.04-0.1 magnitudes) while the deconvolution code still gives accurate results (1sigma error below 0.04) even for frames with seeing as bad as 1farcs7 . Reddening is observed in the quasar images and is found to be compatible with either extinction from the lensing galaxy or colour dependent microlensing. The photometric accuracy depends on the light distribution used to model the lensing galaxy. In particular, using a numerical galaxy model, as done with the MCS algorithm, makes the method less seeing dependent. Another advantage of using a numerical model is that eventual non-homogeneous structures in the galaxy can be modeled. Finally, we propose an observational strategy for a future photometric monitoring of the Einstein Cross. Based on observations obtained at NOT, La Palma. [less ▲]

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See detailLine profile variability in the spectrum of the O(f) supergiant HD 192639
Rauw, Grégor ULg; Vreux, Jean-Marie ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1998), 335

We report the results of a medium-resolution spectroscopic investigation of the O(f) supergiant HD 192639. Particular attention is paid to the He {ii}\ lambda 4686 line. This line displays strong profile ... [more ▼]

We report the results of a medium-resolution spectroscopic investigation of the O(f) supergiant HD 192639. Particular attention is paid to the He {ii}\ lambda 4686 line. This line displays strong profile variability on time scales of a few days, changing from a P-Cygni profile with a double-peaked emission component to a pure blue-shifted emission line. It appears that the variability of most of the absorption lines present in our spectra is correlated to the deformation of the He {ii}\ lambda 4686 line and arises probably from a large scale structure in the low-velocity part of the stellar wind rather than from a photospheric phenomenon. We find that the time scale of the variability could be consistent with the estimated rotational period of HD 192639. Based on observations collected at the Observatoire de Haute Provence, France. [less ▲]

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See detailSpectral evolution of Rosetta target comet 46P/Wirtanen
Schulz, R.; Arpigny, Claude ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1998), 335

The compositional evolution of the coma of Rosetta target comet 46P/Wirtanen was studied along its pre-perihelion orbit. At 2.34 AU the first gaseous species, CN and C_3, were detected. C_2 and NH_2 arose ... [more ▼]

The compositional evolution of the coma of Rosetta target comet 46P/Wirtanen was studied along its pre-perihelion orbit. At 2.34 AU the first gaseous species, CN and C_3, were detected. C_2 and NH_2 arose at 2.0 AU. The production rate curves of gas and dust show a steep increase between 1.8 AU and 1.6 AU indicating a distinct change of the outgassing conditions. The C_2 production increases more rapidly with decreasing solar distance than CN. As one consequence the C_2/CN ratio strongly varies with heliocentric distance. Due to this variation a classification of 46P/Wirtanen by the taxonomy introduced by A'Hearn et al. (\cite{AMSOB}) distinguishing comets with typical abundance ratios from carbon-chain depleted comets, is impossible. It would be classified as depleted beyond about 1.6 AU whereas it would be designated typical at smaller distances. The knowledge of the unexpected changes in the activity curves of 46P/Wirtanen will help to optimize the Rosetta mission scenario in particular with regard to science operations. based on observations obtained at ESO La Silla within ESO programmes No. 57.F-0290 and 58.F-0413 [less ▲]

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See detailThe spatial sodium distribution in the coma of comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1)
Rauer, H.; Arpigny, Claude ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1998), 334

Long-slit spectra of sodium D-line emission in the coma of comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) have been obtained on 14 March and 16 April 1997 from the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France, and the William ... [more ▼]

Long-slit spectra of sodium D-line emission in the coma of comet Hale-Bopp (C/1995 O1) have been obtained on 14 March and 16 April 1997 from the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, France, and the William Herschel Telescope on La Palma, Spain. The spectra show Na spatial profiles within ~ 2.5 10(5) km from the nucleus along and perpendicular to the sun-comet line. In both observing periods secondary maxima are present, indicating spatial structures in the coma sodium distribution. A comparison with the structures seen in the cometary dust continuum is made. A Na production rate of ~ 3 10(24) - 5 10(25) s(-1) could be derived on March 14, 1997, corresponding to less than 0.3% of the normal cosmic abundance ratio Na/O. Based on observations obtained at the William-Herschel-Telescope, La Palma, and the Obs. de Haute-Provence, France [less ▲]

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See detailEvidence for very large-scale coherent orientations of quasar polarization vectors
Hutsemekers, Damien ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1998), 332

On the basis of a new sample of quasar optical polarization measurements, we have found that, in a region of the sky, the quasar polarization vectors are not randomly oriented as naturally expected, but ... [more ▼]

On the basis of a new sample of quasar optical polarization measurements, we have found that, in a region of the sky, the quasar polarization vectors are not randomly oriented as naturally expected, but appear concentrated around one preferential direction. In order to verify this surprising although preliminary result, we have compiled a large sample of quasar polarization measurements from the literature. With quite severe criteria to eliminate at best the contamination by our Galaxy, a sample of 170 quasars with good quality polarization measurements has been defined. Maps in redshift slices reveal a few regions where the polarization vectors are apparently aligned. To handle the problem more quantitatively, non-parametric 3D statistical tests were designed, as well as a method for visualizing spatially the results. The significance is evaluated through Monte-Carlo simulations. Applied to our sample of 170 polarized quasars, two different statistical tests provide evidence, with significance levels of 0.005 and 0.015 respectively, that the optical polarization vectors of quasars are not randomly distributed over the sky but are coherently oriented on very large spatial scales. This orientation effect appears spatially delimited in the 3D Universe, mainly occuring in a few groups of 10-20 objects. The polarization vectors of objects located along the same line of sight but at different redshifts do not appear accordingly aligned. Essentially for this reason, instrumental bias and contamination by interstellar polarization in our Galaxy are unlikely to be responsible for the observed effect. The very large scale at which this local orientation effect is observed indicates the presence of correlations in objects or fields on spatial scales ~ 1000 h(-1) Mpc at redshifts z =~ 1-2, suggesting an effect of cosmological importance. Several possible and testable interpretations are discussed. Tables~2 and 3 are also available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of the lensing galaxy in HE 1104-1805
Courbin, F.; Lidman, C.; Magain, Pierre ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1998), 330

We report on deep IR imaging of the double quasar HE 1104-1805. A new image deconvolution technique has been applied to the data in order to optimally combine the numerous frames obtained. The resulting J ... [more ▼]

We report on deep IR imaging of the double quasar HE 1104-1805. A new image deconvolution technique has been applied to the data in order to optimally combine the numerous frames obtained. The resulting J and K' images allow us to detect and study the lensing galaxy between the two lensed QSO images. The near infrared images not only confirm the lensed nature of this double quasar, but also support the previous redshift estimate of z=1.66 for the lensing galaxy. No obvious overdensity of galaxies is detected in the immediate region surrounding the lens, down to limiting magnitudes of J=22 and K=20. The geometry of the system, together with the time delays expected for this lensed quasar, make HE 1104-1805 a remarkable target for future photometric monitoring programs, for the study of microlensing and for the determination of the cosmological parameters in the IR and optical domains. Based on observations obtained at ESO, La Silla, Chile [less ▲]

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