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See detailTwo new SB2 binaries with main sequence B-type pulsators in the Kepler field
Pápics, P. I.; Tkachenko, A.; Aerts, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 553(127),

Context: OB stars are important in the chemistry and evolution of the Universe, but the sample of targets well understood from an asteroseismological point of view is still too limited to provide feedback ... [more ▼]

Context: OB stars are important in the chemistry and evolution of the Universe, but the sample of targets well understood from an asteroseismological point of view is still too limited to provide feedback on the current evolutionary models. Our study extends this sample with two spectroscopic binary systems. AIMS. Our goal is to provide orbital solutions, fundamental parameters and abundances from disentangled high-resolution high signal-to-noise spectra, as well as to analyse and interpret the variations in the Kepler light curve of these carefully selected targets. This way we continue our efforts to map the instability strips of beta Cep and SPB stars using the combination of high-resolution ground-based spectroscopy and uninterrupted space-based photometry. Methods: We fit Keplerian orbits to radial velocities measured from selected absorption lines of high-resolution spectroscopy using synthetic composite spectra to obtain orbital solutions. We use revised masks to obtain optimal light curves from the original pixel-data from the Kepler satellite, which provided better long term stability compared to the pipeline processed light curves. We use various time-series analysis tools to explore and describe the nature of variations present in the light curve. Results: We find two eccentric double-lined spectroscopic binary systems containing a total of three main sequence B-type stars (and one F-type component) of which at least one in each system exhibits light variations. The light curve analysis (combined with spectroscopy) of the system of two B stars points towards the presence of tidally excited g modes in the primary component. We interpret the variations seen in the second system as classical g mode pulsations driven by the kappa mechanism in the B type primary, and explain the unexpected power in the p mode region as a result of nonlinear resonant mode excitation. [less ▲]

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See detailChemical surface inhomogeneities in late B-type stars with Hg and Mn peculiarity: I. Spot evolution in HD 11753 on short and long time scales
Korhonen, Heidi; Gonzalez, J.F.; Briquet, Maryline ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 553

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See detailThird generation stellar models for asteroseismology of hot B subdwarf stars. A test of accuracy with the pulsating eclipsing binary PG 1336–018
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Charpinet, Stéphane; Brassard, Pierre et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 553

Context. Asteroseismic determinations of structural parameters of hot B subdwarfs (sdB) have been carried out for more than a decade now. These analyses rely on stellar models whose reliability for the ... [more ▼]

Context. Asteroseismic determinations of structural parameters of hot B subdwarfs (sdB) have been carried out for more than a decade now. These analyses rely on stellar models whose reliability for the required task needs to be evaluated critically. Aims. We present new models of the so-called third generation (3G) dedicated to the asteroseismology of sdB stars, in particular to long-period pulsators observed from space. These parameterized models are complete static structures suitable for analyzing both p- and g-mode pulsators, contrary to the former second generation (2G) models that were limited to p-modes. While the reliability of the 2G models has been successfully verified in the past, this important test still has to be conducted on the 3G structures. Methods. The close eclipsing binary PG 1336−018 provides a unique opportunity to test the reliability of hot B subdwarf models. We compare the structural parameters of the sdB component in PG 1336−018 obtained from asteroseismology based on the 3G models, with those derived independently from the modeling of the reflection/irradiation effect and the eclipses observed in the light curve. Results. The stellar parameters inferred from asteroseismology using the 3G models are found to be remarkably consistent with both the preferred orbital solution obtained from the binary light curve modeling and the updated spectroscopic estimates for the surface gravity of the star. The seismology gives M∗ = 0.471 ± 0.006 M⊙ , R∗ = 0.1474 ± 0.0009 R⊙ , and log g = 5.775 ± 0.007, while orbitology leads to M∗ = 0.466 ± 0.006 M⊙ , R∗ = 0.15 ± 0.01 R⊙ , log g = 5.77 ± 0.06, and spectroscopy yields log g = 5.771 ± 0.015. In comparison seismology from a former analysis based on the 2G models gave very similar results with M∗ = 0.459 ± 0.005 M⊙ , R∗ = 0.151±0.001 R⊙, and log g = 5.739±0.002. We also show that the uncertainties on the input physics included in stellar models have no noticeable impact, at the current level of accuracy, on the structural parameters derived by asteroseismology. Conclusions. The stellar models (both of second and third generation) presently used to carry out quantitative seismic analyses of sdB stars are reliable for the task. The stellar parameters inferred by this technique, at least for those that could be tested (M∗, R, and log g), appear to be both very precise and accurate, as no significant systematic effect has been found. [less ▲]

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See detailL'-band AGPM vector vortex coronagraph's first light on VLT/NACO: Discovery of a late-type companion at two beamwidths from an F0V star
Mawet, D.; Absil, Olivier ULg; Delacroix, Christian ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

Context. High contrast imaging has thoroughly combed through the limited search space accessible with first-generation ground-based adaptive optics instruments and the Hubble Space Telescope. Only a few ... [more ▼]

Context. High contrast imaging has thoroughly combed through the limited search space accessible with first-generation ground-based adaptive optics instruments and the Hubble Space Telescope. Only a few objects were discovered, and many non-detections reported and statistically interpreted. The field is now in need of a technological breakthrough. Aim. Our aim is to open a new search space with first-generation systems such as NACO at the Very Large Telescope, by providing ground-breaking inner working angle (IWA) capabilities in the L' band. The L' band is a sweet spot for high contrast coronagraphy since the planet-to-star brightness ratio is favorable, while the Strehl ratio is naturally higher. Methods. An annular groove phase mask (AGPM) vector vortex coronagraph optimized for the L' band, made from diamond subwavelength gratings was manufactured and qualified in the lab. The AGPM enables high contrast imaging at very small IWA, potentially being the key to unexplored discovery space. Results. Here we present the installation and successful on-sky tests of an L'-band AGPM coronagraph on NACO. Using angular differential imaging, which is well suited to the rotational symmetry of the AGPM, we demonstrated a \Delta L' > 7.5 mag contrast from an IWA ~ 0".09 onwards, during average seeing conditions, and for total integration times of a few hundred seconds. [less ▲]

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See detailA massive parsec-scale dust ring nebula around the yellow hypergiant Hen 3-1379
Hutsemekers, Damien ULg; Cox, N. L. J.; Vamvatira-Nakou, Chloi ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

On the basis of far-infrared images obtained by the Herschel Space Observatory, we report the discovery of a large and massive dust shell around the yellow hypergiant Hen 3-1379. The nebula appears as a ... [more ▼]

On the basis of far-infrared images obtained by the Herschel Space Observatory, we report the discovery of a large and massive dust shell around the yellow hypergiant Hen 3-1379. The nebula appears as a detached ring of 1 pc diameter which contains 0.17 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB] of dust. We estimate the total gas mass to be 7 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB], ejected some 1.6 × 10[SUP]4[/SUP] years ago. The ring nebula is very similar to nebulae found around luminous blue variables (LBVs) except it is not photoionized. We argued that Hen 3-1379 is in a pre-LBV stage, providing direct evidence that massive LBV ring nebulae can be ejected during the red supergiant phase. [less ▲]

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See detailAbundance study of the two solar-analogue CoRoT targets HD 42618 and HD 43587 from HARPS spectroscopy
Morel, Thierry ULg; Rainer, M.; Poretti, E. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

We present a detailed abundance study based on spectroscopic data obtained with HARPS of two solar-analogue main targets for the asteroseismology programme of the CoRoT satellite: HD 42618 and HD 43587 ... [more ▼]

We present a detailed abundance study based on spectroscopic data obtained with HARPS of two solar-analogue main targets for the asteroseismology programme of the CoRoT satellite: HD 42618 and HD 43587. The atmospheric parameters and chemical composition are accurately determined through a fully differential analysis with respect to the Sun observed with the same instrumental set-up. Several sources of systematic errors largely cancel out with this approach, which allows us to narrow down the 1-σ error bars to typically 20 K in effective temperature, 0.04 dex in surface gravity, and less than 0.05 dex in the elemental abundances. Although HD 42618 fulfils many requirements for being classified as a solar twin, its slight deficiency in metals and its possibly younger age indicate that, strictly speaking, it does not belong to this class of objects. On the other hand, HD 43587 is slightly more massive and evolved. In addition, marked differences are found in the amount of lithium present in the photospheres of these two stars, which might reveal different mixing properties in their interiors. These results will put tight constraints on the forthcoming theoretical modelling of their solar-like oscillations and contribute to increase our knowledge of the fundamental parameters and internal structure of stars similar to our Sun. Based on observations collected at the La Silla Observatory, ESO (Chile) with the HARPS spectrograph at the 3.6-m telescope, under programme LP185.D-0056.Tables 1 and 2 are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-64b and WASP-72b: two new transiting highly irradiated giant planets
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Anderson, D. R.; Collier-Cameron, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

We report the discovery by the WASP transit survey of two new highly irradiated giant planets. WASP-64 b is slightly more massive (1.271 ± 0.068 MJup) and larger (1.271 ± 0.039 RJup) than Jupiter, and is ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery by the WASP transit survey of two new highly irradiated giant planets. WASP-64 b is slightly more massive (1.271 ± 0.068 MJup) and larger (1.271 ± 0.039 RJup) than Jupiter, and is in very-short (a = 0.02648 ± 0.00024 AU, P = 1.5732918 ± 0.0000015 days) circular orbit around a V = 12.3 G7-type dwarf (1.004 ± 0.028 Msun, 1.058 ± 0.025 Rsun, Teff = 5500 ± 150 K). Its size is typical of hot Jupiters with similar masses. WASP-72 b has also a mass a bit higher than Jupiter's (1.461-0.056+0.059 MJup) and orbits very close (0.03708 ± 0.00050 AU, P = 2.2167421 ± 0.0000081 days) to a bright (V = 9.6) and moderately evolved F7-type star (1.386 ± 0.055 Msun, 1.98 ± 0.24 Rsun, Teff = 6250 ± 100 K). Despite its extreme irradiation (~5.5 × 109 erg s-1 cm-2), WASP-72 b has a moderate size (1.27 ± 0.20 RJup) that could suggest a significant enrichment in heavy elements. Nevertheless, the errors on its physical parameters are still too high to draw any strong inference on its internal structure or its possible peculiarity. [less ▲]

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See detailA giant planet beyond the snow line in microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251
Kains, N.; Street, R. A.; Choi, J.-Y. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251. This anomalous event was observed by several survey and follow-up collaborations conducting microlensing ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251. This anomalous event was observed by several survey and follow-up collaborations conducting microlensing observations towards the Galactic bulge. <BR /> Methods: Based on detailed modelling of the observed light curve, we find that the lens is composed of two masses with a mass ratio q = 1.9 × 10[SUP]-3[/SUP]. Thanks to our detection of higher-order effects on the light curve due to the Earth's orbital motion and the finite size of source, we are able to measure the mass and distance to the lens unambiguously. <BR /> Results: We find that the lens is made up of a planet of mass 0.53 ± 0.21 M[SUB]J[/SUB] orbiting an M dwarf host star with a mass of 0.26 ± 0.11 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]. The planetary system is located at a distance of 2.57 ± 0.61 kpc towards the Galactic centre. The projected separation of the planet from its host star is d = 1.408 ± 0.019, in units of the Einstein radius, which corresponds to 2.72 ± 0.75 AU in physical units. We also identified a competitive model with similar planet and host star masses, but with a smaller orbital radius of 1.50 ± 0.50 AU. The planet is therefore located beyond the snow line of its host star, which we estimate to be around ~1-1.5 AU. [less ▲]

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See detailSpectral modelling of massive binary systems
Palate, Matthieu ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Koenigsberger, Gloria et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

Context. The spectra of massive binaries may be affected by interactions between the stars in the system. These are believed to produce observational phenomena such as the Struve-Sahade effect. Aims: We ... [more ▼]

Context. The spectra of massive binaries may be affected by interactions between the stars in the system. These are believed to produce observational phenomena such as the Struve-Sahade effect. Aims: We simulate the spectra of massive binaries at different phases of the orbital cycle, accounting for the gravitational influence of the companion star on the shape and physical properties of the stellar surface. Methods: We used the Roche potential modified to account for radiation pressure to compute the stellar surface of close circular systems. We furthermore used the tidal interactions with dissipation of energy through shear code for surface computations of eccentric systems. In both cases, we accounted for gravity darkening and mutual heating generated by irradiation to compute the surface temperature. We then interpolated non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) plane-parallel atmosphere model spectra in a grid to obtain the local spectrum at each surface point. We finally summed all contributions, accounting for the Doppler shift, limb-darkening, and visibility to obtain the total synthetic spectrum. We computed different orbital phases and different sets of physical and orbital parameters. Results: Our models predict line strength variations through the orbital cycle, but fail to completely reproduce the Struve-Sahade effect. Including radiation pressure allows us to reproduce a surface temperature distribution that is consistent with observations of semi-detached binary systems. Conclusions: Radiation pressure effects on the stellar surface are weak in (over)contact binaries and well-detached systems but can become very significant in semi-detached systems. The classical von Zeipel theorem is sufficient for the spectral computation. Broad-band light curves derived from the spectral computation are different from those computed with a model in which the stellar surfaces are equipotentials of the Roche potential scaled by the instantaneous orbital separation. In many cases, the fit of two Gaussian/Lorentzian profiles fails to properly measure the equivalent width of the lines and leads to apparent variations that could explain some of the effects reported in the literature. [less ▲]

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See detailThe twofold debris disk around HD 113766 A. Warm and cold dust as seen with VLTI/MIDI and Herschel/PACS
Olofsson, Johan; Henning, Thomas; Nielbock, Markus et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

Context. Warm debris disks are a sub-sample of the large population of debris disks, and display excess emission in the mid-IR. Around solar-type stars, very few objects show emission features in mid-IR ... [more ▼]

Context. Warm debris disks are a sub-sample of the large population of debris disks, and display excess emission in the mid-IR. Around solar-type stars, very few objects show emission features in mid-IR spectroscopic observations, that are attributed to small, warm silicate dust grains. The origin of this warm dust can possibly be explained either by a collision between several bodies or by transport from an outer belt. Aims. We present and analyse new far-IR Herschel/Pacs observations, supplemented by ground-based data in the mid-IR (VLTI/Midi and VLT/Visir), for one of these rare systems: the 10-16 Myr old debris disk around HD 113766 A. Methods. We improve an existing model to account for these new observations, and better constrain the spatial distribution of the dust and its composition. Results. We underline the limitations of SED modelling and the need for spatially resolved observations. We find that the system is best described by an inner disk located within the first AU, well constrained by the Midi data, and an outer disk located between 9-13 AU. In the inner dust belt, our previous finding of Fe-rich crystalline olivine grains still holds. We do not observe time variability of the emission features over at least a 8 years time span, in a environment subjected to strong radiation pressure. Conclusions. The time stability of the emission features indicates that µm-sized dust grains are constantly replenished from the same reservoir, with a possible depletion of sub-µm-sized grains. We suggest that the emission features may arise from multi-composition aggregates. We discuss possible scenarios concerning the origin of the warm dust. The compactness of the innermost regions as probed by Midi, as well as the dust composition, suggest that we are witnessing the outcomes of (at least) one collision between partially differentiated bodies, in an environment possibly rendered unstable by terrestrial planetary formation. [less ▲]

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See detailThe CORALIE survey for southern extrasolar planets XVII. New and updated long period and massive planets
Marmier, M.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

Context. Since 1998, a planet-search program around main sequence stars within 50 pc in the southern hemisphere has been carried out with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph at La Silla Observatory. Aims ... [more ▼]

Context. Since 1998, a planet-search program around main sequence stars within 50 pc in the southern hemisphere has been carried out with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph at La Silla Observatory. Aims: With an observing time span of more than 14 years, the CORALIE survey is now able to unveil Jovian planets on Jupiter's period domain. This growing period-interval coverage is important for building formation and migration models since observational constraints are still weak for periods beyond the ice line. Methods: Long-term precise Doppler measurements with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph, together with a few additional observations made with the HARPS spectrograph on the ESO 3.6 m telescope, reveal radial velocity signatures of massive planetary companions on long-period orbits. Results: In this paper we present seven new planets orbiting HD 27631, HD 98649, HD 106515A, HD 166724, HD 196067, HD 219077, and HD 220689, together with the CORALIE orbital parameters for three already known planets around HD 10647, HD 30562, and HD 86226. The period range of the new planetary companions goes from 2200 to 5500 days and covers a mass domain between 1 and 10.5 MJup. Surprisingly, five of them present very high eccentricities above e > 0.57. A pumping scenario by Kozai mechanism may be invoked for HD 106515Ab and HD 196067b, which are both orbiting stars in multiple systems. Since the presence of a third massive body cannot be inferred from the data of HD 98649b, HD 166724b, and HD 219077b, the origin of the eccentricity of these systems remains unknown. Except for HD 10647b, no constraint on the upper mass of the planets is provided by Hipparcos astrometric data. Finally, the hosts of these long period planets show no metallicity excess. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-80b: a gas giant transiting a cool dwarf
Triaud, A. H. M. J.; Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

We report the discovery of a planet transiting the star <ASTROBJ>WASP-80</ASTROBJ> (<ASTROBJ>1SWASP J201240.26-020838.2</ASTROBJ>; <ASTROBJ>2MASS J20124017-0208391</ASTROBJ>; <ASTROBJ>TYC 5165-481-1 ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a planet transiting the star <ASTROBJ>WASP-80</ASTROBJ> (<ASTROBJ>1SWASP J201240.26-020838.2</ASTROBJ>; <ASTROBJ>2MASS J20124017-0208391</ASTROBJ>; <ASTROBJ>TYC 5165-481-1</ASTROBJ>; <ASTROBJ>BPM 80815</ASTROBJ>; V = 11.9, K = 8.4). Our analysis shows this is a 0.55 ± 0.04 M[SUB]jup[/SUB], 0.95 ± 0.03 R[SUB]jup[/SUB] gas giant on a circular 3.07 day orbit around a star with a spectral type between K7V and M0V. This system produces one of the largest transit depths so far reported, making it a worthwhile target for transmission spectroscopy. We find a large discrepancy between the vsini[SUB]⋆[/SUB] inferred from stellar line broadening and the observed amplitude of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. This can be understood either by an orbital plane nearly perpendicular to the stellar spin or by an additional, unaccounted for source of broadening. Using WASP-South photometric observations, from Sutherland (South Africa), confirmed with the 60 cm TRAPPIST robotic telescope, EulerCam, and the CORALIE spectrograph on the Swiss 1.2 m Euler Telescope, and HARPS on the ESO 3.6 m (Prog ID 089.C-0151), all three located at La Silla Observatory, Chile.Radial velocity and photometric data are available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A>(<A href="http://130.79.128.5">130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/551/A80">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/551/A80</A> [less ▲]

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See detailA detailed X-ray investigation of ζ Puppis. III. Spectral analysis of the whole RGS spectrum
Hervé, Anthony ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Nazé, Yaël ULg

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

Context. ζ Pup is the X-ray brightest O-type star of the sky. This object was regularly observed with the RGS instrument onboard XMM-Newton for calibration purposes, which led to an unprecedented set of ... [more ▼]

Context. ζ Pup is the X-ray brightest O-type star of the sky. This object was regularly observed with the RGS instrument onboard XMM-Newton for calibration purposes, which led to an unprecedented set of high-quality spectra. <BR /> Aims: We have previously reduced and extracted this data set and integrated it into the most detailed high-resolution X-ray spectrum of any early-type star so far. Here we present the analysis of this spectrum, taking into account for the presence of structures in the stellar wind. <BR /> Methods: For this purpose, we used our new modeling tool that allows fitting the entire spectrum with a multi-temperature plasma. We illustrate the impact of a proper treatment of the radial dependence of the X-ray opacity of the cool wind on the best-fit radial distribution of the temperature of the X-ray plasma. <BR /> Results: The best-fit of the RGS spectrum of ζ Pup is obtained assuming no porosity. Four plasma components at temperatures between 0.10 and 0.69 keV are needed to adequately represent the observed spectrum. Whilst the hardest emission is concentrated between ~3 and 4 R[SUB]∗[/SUB], the softer emission starts already at 1.5 R[SUB]∗[/SUB] and extends to the outer regions of the wind. <BR /> Conclusions: The inferred radial distribution of the plasma temperatures agrees rather well with theoretical expectations. The mass-loss rate and CNO abundances corresponding to our best-fit model also agree quite well with the results of recent studies of ζ Pup in the UV and optical domain. 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). [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-54b, WASP-56b and WASP-57b: Three new sub-Jupiter mass planets from SuperWASP
Faedi, F.; Pollacco, D.; Barros, S. C. C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

We present three newly discovered sub-Jupiter mass planets from the SuperWASP survey: WASP-54b is a heavily bloated planet of mass 0.636+0.025-0.024RJ. It orbits a F9 star, evolving off the main sequence ... [more ▼]

We present three newly discovered sub-Jupiter mass planets from the SuperWASP survey: WASP-54b is a heavily bloated planet of mass 0.636+0.025-0.024RJ. It orbits a F9 star, evolving off the main sequence, every 3.69 days. Our MCMC fit of the system yields a slightly eccentric orbit (e = 0.067+0.033-0.025) for WASP-54b. We investigated further the veracity of our detection of the eccentric orbit for WASP-54b, and we find that it could be real. However, given the brightness of WASP-54 V = 10.42 mag, we encourage observations of a secondary eclipse to draw robust conclusions on both the orbital eccentricity and the thermal structure of the planet. WASP-56b and WASP-57b have masses of 0.571+0.034-0.035MJ and 0.672+0.049-0.046MJ, respectively; and radii of 1.092+0.035-0.033RJ for WASP-56b and 0.916+0.017-0.014RJ for WASP-57b. They orbit main sequence stars of spectral type G6 every 4.67 and 2.84 days, respectively. WASP-56b and WASP-57b show no radius anomaly and a high density possibly implying a large core of heavy elements; possibly as high as ~50 M⊕ in the case of WASP-57b. However,the composition of the deep interior of exoplanets remains still undetermined. Thus, more exoplanet discoveries such as the ones presented in this paper, are needed to understand and constrain giant planets' physical properties. [less ▲]

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See detailExploring the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars: II. New magnetic field measurements in cluster and field stars
Hubrig, S.; Schoeller, M.; Ilyin, I. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

Theories on the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars remain poorly developed, because the properties of their magnetic field as function of stellar parameters could not yet be investigated. To ... [more ▼]

Theories on the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars remain poorly developed, because the properties of their magnetic field as function of stellar parameters could not yet be investigated. To investigate whether magnetic fields in massive stars are ubiquitous or appear only in stars with a specific spectral classification, certain ages, or in a special environment, we acquired 67 new spectropolarimetric observations for 30 massive stars. Among the observed sample, roughly one third of the stars are probable members of clusters at different ages, whereas the remaining stars are field stars not known to belong to any cluster or association. Spectropolarimetric observations were obtained during four different nights using the low-resolution spectropolarimetric mode of FORS2 (FOcal Reducer low dispersion Spectrograph) mounted on the 8-m Antu telescope of the VLT. Furthermore, we present a number of follow-up observations carried out with the high-resolution spectropolarimeters SOFIN mounted at the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT) and HARPS mounted at the ESO 3.6m between 2008 and 2011. To assess the membership in open clusters and associations, we used astrometric catalogues with the highest quality kinematic and photometric data currently available. The presence of a magnetic field is confirmed in nine stars previously observed with FORS1/2: HD36879, HD47839, CPD-282561, CPD-472963, HD93843, HD148937, HD149757, HD328856, and HD164794. New magnetic field detections at a significance level of at least 3sigma were achieved in five stars: HD92206c, HD93521, HD93632, CPD-468221, and HD157857. Among the stars with a detected magnetic field, five stars belong to open clusters with high membership probability. According to previous kinematic studies, five magnetic O-type stars in our sample are candidate runaway stars. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-precision CoRoT space photometry and fundamental parameter determination of the B2.5V star HD 48977
Thoul, Anne ULg; Degroote, Pieter; Catala, Claude et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

We present the CoRoT light curve of the bright B2.5V star HD 48977 observed during a short run of the mission in 2008, as well as a high-resolution spectrum gathered with the HERMES spectrograph at the ... [more ▼]

We present the CoRoT light curve of the bright B2.5V star HD 48977 observed during a short run of the mission in 2008, as well as a high-resolution spectrum gathered with the HERMES spectrograph at the Mercator telescope. We use several time series analysis tools to explore the nature of the variations present in the light curve. We perform a detailed analysis of the spectrum of the star to determine its fundamental parameters and its element abundances. We find a large number of high-order g-modes, and one rotationally induced frequency. We find stable low-amplitude frequencies in the p-mode regime as well. We conclude that HD 48977 is a new Slowly Pulsating B star with fundamental parameters found to be Teff = 20000 $\pm$ 1000 K and log(g)=4.2 $/pm$ 0.1. The element abundances are similar to those found for other B stars in the solar neighbourhood. HD 48977 was observed during a short run of the CoRoT satellite implying that the frequency precision is insufficient to perform asteroseismic modelling of the star. Nevertheless, we show that a longer time series of this star would be promising for such modelling. Our present study contributes to a detailed mapping of the instability strips of B stars in view of the dominance of g-mode pulsations in the star, several of which occur in the gravito-inertial regime. [less ▲]

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See detailThe 2.35 year itch of Cyg OB2 #9. II. Radio monitoring
Blomme, R.; Nazé, Yaël ULg; Volpi, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 550

Cyg OB2 #9 is one of a small set of non-thermal radio emitting massive O-star binaries. The non-thermal radiation is due to synchrotron emission in the colliding-wind region. Cyg OB2 #9 was only recently ... [more ▼]

Cyg OB2 #9 is one of a small set of non-thermal radio emitting massive O-star binaries. The non-thermal radiation is due to synchrotron emission in the colliding-wind region. Cyg OB2 #9 was only recently discovered to be a binary system and a multiwavelength campaign was organized to study its 2011 periastron passage. We want to better determine the parameters of this system and model the wind-wind collision. This will lead to a better understanding of the Fermi mechanism that accelerates electrons up to relativistic speeds in shocks, and its occurrence in colliding-wind binaries. We report here on the results of the radio observations obtained in the monitoring campaign and present a simple model to interpret the data. We used the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA) radio interferometer to obtain 6 and 20 cm continuum fluxes during the Cyg OB2 #9 periastron passage in 2011. We introduce a simple model to solve the radiative transfer in the stellar winds and the colliding-wind region, and thus determine the expected behaviour of the radio light curve. The observed radio light curve shows a steep drop in flux sometime before periastron. The fluxes drop to a level that is comparable to the expected free-free emission from the stellar winds, suggesting that the non-thermal emitting region is completely hidden at that time. After periastron passage, the fluxes slowly increase. We use the asymmetry of the light curve to show that the primary has the stronger wind. This is somewhat unexpected if we use the astrophysical parameters based on theoretical calibrations. But it becomes entirely feasible if we take into account that a given spectral type – luminosity class combination covers a range of astrophysical parameters. The colliding-wind region also contributes to the free-free emission, which can help to explain the high values of the spectral index seen after periastron passage. Combining our data with older Very Large Array (VLA) data allows us to derive a period P = 860:0 3:7 days for this system. With this period, we update the orbital parameters that were derived in the first paper of this series. A simple model introduced to explain only the radio data already allows some constraints to be put on the parameters of this binary system. Future, more sophisticated, modelling that will also include optical, X-ray and interferometric information will provide even better constraints. [less ▲]

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See detailFlux and color variations of the doubly imaged quasar UM673
Ricci, Davide ULg; Elyiv, Andrii ULg; Finet, François ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 551

With the aim of characterizing the flux and color variations of the multiple components of the gravitationally lensed quasar UM673 as a function of time, we have performed multi-epoch and multi-band ... [more ▼]

With the aim of characterizing the flux and color variations of the multiple components of the gravitationally lensed quasar UM673 as a function of time, we have performed multi-epoch and multi-band photometric observations with the Danish 1.54m telescope at the La Silla Observatory. The observations were carried out in the VRi spectral bands during four seasons (2008--2011). We reduced the data using the PSF (Point Spread Function) photometric technique as well as aperture photometry. Our results show for the brightest lensed component some significant decrease in flux between the first two seasons (+0.09/+0.11/+0.05 mag) and a subsequent increase during the following ones (-0.11/-0.11/-0.10 mag) in the V/R/i spectral bands, respectively. Comparing our results with previous studies, we find smaller color variations between these seasons as compared with previous ones. We also separate the contribution of the lensing galaxy from that of the fainter and close lensed component. [less ▲]

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See detailMode visibilities in rapidly rotating stars
Reese, Daniel ULg; Prat, V.; Barban, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 550

Context: Mode identification is a crucial step to comparing observed frequencies with theoretical ones, but has proven to be difficult in rapidly rotating stars. Aims: To further constrain mode ... [more ▼]

Context: Mode identification is a crucial step to comparing observed frequencies with theoretical ones, but has proven to be difficult in rapidly rotating stars. Aims: To further constrain mode identification, we aim to accurately calculate mode visibilities and amplitude ratios in rapid rotators. Methods: We derive the relevant equations for calculating mode visibilities in different photometric bands while fully taking into account the geometric distortion from both the centrifugal deformation and the pulsation modes, the variations in effective gravity, and an approximate treatment of the temperature variations. These equations are then applied to 2D oscillation modes, calculated using the TOP code, in fully distorted 2D models based on the SCF method. The specific intensities come from a grid of Kurucz atmospheres, thereby taking into account limb and gravity darkening. Results: We obtain mode visibilities and amplitude ratios for 2 M_{\odot} models rotating at 0 to 80 % of the critical rotation rate. These calculations confirm previous results, such as the increased visibility of chaotic modes, the simpler frequency spectra of pole-on stars, or the dependence of amplitude ratios on inclination and azimuthal order. In addition, the geometric shape of the star reduces the contrast between pole-on and equator-on visibilities of island modes. We also show that modes with similar (ell, |m|) values frequently have similar amplitude ratios, even in the most rapidly rotating models. [less ▲]

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See detailThe HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets: XXXI. The M-dwarf sample
Bonfils, X.; Delfosse, X.; Udry, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 549

(Abridged) Searching for planets around stars with different masses probes the outcome of planetary formation for different initial conditions. This drives observations of a sample of 102 southern nearby ... [more ▼]

(Abridged) Searching for planets around stars with different masses probes the outcome of planetary formation for different initial conditions. This drives observations of a sample of 102 southern nearby M dwarfs, using a fraction of our guaranteed time on the ESO/HARPS spectrograph (Feb. 11th, 2003 to Apr. 1st 2009). This paper makes available the sample's time series, presents their precision and variability. We apply systematic searches and diagnostics to discriminate whether the observed Doppler shifts are caused by stellar surface inhomogeneities or by the radial pull of orbiting planets. We recover the planetary signals corresponding to 9 planets already announced by our group (Gl176b, Gl581b, c, d & e, Gl674b, Gl433b, Gl 667Cb and c). We present radial velocities that confirm GJ 849 hosts a Jupiter-mass planet, plus a long-term radial-velocity variation. We also present RVs that precise the planetary mass and period of Gl 832b. We detect long-term RV changes for Gl 367, Gl 680 and Gl 880 betraying yet unknown long-period companions. We identify candidate signals in the radial-velocity time series and demonstrate they are most probably caused by stellar surface inhomogeneities. Finally, we derive a first estimate of the occurrence of M-dwarf planets as a function of their minimum mass and orbital period. In particular, we find that giant planets (m sin i = 100-1,000 Mearth) have a low frequency (e.g. f<1% for P=1-10 d and f=0.02^{+0.03}_{-0.01} for P=10-100 d), whereas super-Earths (m sin i = 1-10 Mearth) are likely very abundant (f=0.36^{+0.25}_{-0.10} for P=1-10 d and f=0.35^{+0.45}_{-0.11} for P=10-100 d). We also obtained eta_earth=0.41^{+0.54}_{-0.13}, the frequency of habitable planets orbiting M dwarfs (1<m sin i<10 Mearth). For the first time, eta_earth is a direct measure and not a number extrapolated from the statistic of more massive and/or shorter-period planets. [less ▲]

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