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See detailImproving Interferometric null depth measurements using statistical distributions: theory and first results with the Palomar Fiber Nuller
Hanot, Charles ULg; Mennesson, Bertrand; Martin, Stefan et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 729(2), 110

A new "self-calibrated" statistical analysis method has been developed for the reduction of nulling interferometry data. The idea is to use the statistical distributions of the fluctuating null depth and ... [more ▼]

A new "self-calibrated" statistical analysis method has been developed for the reduction of nulling interferometry data. The idea is to use the statistical distributions of the fluctuating null depth and beam intensities to retrieve the astrophysical null depth (or equivalently the object's visibility) in the presence of fast atmospheric fluctuations. The approach yields an accuracy much better (about an order of magnitude) than is presently possible with standard data reduction methods, because the astrophysical null depth accuracy is no longer limited by the magnitude of the instrumental phase and intensity errors but by uncertainties on their probability distributions. This approach was tested on the sky with the two-aperture fiber nulling instrument mounted on the Palomar Hale telescope. Using our new data analysis approach alone—and no observations of calibrators—we find that error bars on the astrophysical null depth as low as a few 10–4 can be obtained in the near-infrared, which means that null depths lower than 10–3 can be reliably measured. This statistical analysis is not specific to our instrument and may be applicable to other interferometers. [less ▲]

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See detailOrtho-to-para Abundance Ratio (OPR) of Ammonia in 15 Comets: OPRs of Ammonia Versus 14N/15N Ratios in CN
Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Kawakita, Hideyo; Kobayashi, Hitomi et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 729

The ortho-to-para abundance ratio (OPR) of cometary molecules is considered to be one of the primordial characteristics of cometary ices. We present OPRs of ammonia (NH[SUB]3[/SUB]) in 15 comets based on ... [more ▼]

The ortho-to-para abundance ratio (OPR) of cometary molecules is considered to be one of the primordial characteristics of cometary ices. We present OPRs of ammonia (NH[SUB]3[/SUB]) in 15 comets based on optical high-dispersion spectroscopic observations of NH[SUB]2[/SUB], which is a photodissociation product of ammonia in the gaseous coma. The observations were mainly carried out with the VLT/UVES. The OPR of ammonia is estimated from the OPR of NH[SUB]2[/SUB] based on the observations of the NH[SUB]2[/SUB] (0, 9, 0) vibronic band. The absorption lines by the telluric atmosphere are corrected and the cometary C[SUB]2[/SUB] emission lines blended with NH[SUB]2[/SUB] lines are removed in our analysis. The ammonia OPRs show a cluster between 1.1 and 1.2 (this corresponds to a nuclear spin temperature of ~30 K) for all comets in our sample except for 73P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 3 (73P/SW3). Comet 73P/SW3 (both B- and C-fragments) shows the OPR of ammonia consistent with nuclear spin statistical weight ratio (1.0) that indicates a high-temperature limit as nuclear spin temperature. We compared the ammonia OPRs with other properties ([SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in CN, D/H ratios of water, and mixing ratios of volatiles). Comet 73P/SW3 is clearly different from the other comets in the plot of ammonia OPRs versus [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in CN. The ammonia OPRs of 1.0 and lower [SUP]15[/SUP]N-fractionation of CN in comet 73P/SW3 imply that icy materials in this comet formed under warmer conditions than other comets. Comets may be classified into two groups in the plot of ammonia OPRs against [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in CN. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a New AM CVn System with the Kepler Satellite
Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P.; Green, E. M. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 726

We report the discovery of a new AM CVn system on the basis of broadband photometry obtained with the Kepler satellite supplemented by ground-based optical spectroscopy. Initially retained on Kepler ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a new AM CVn system on the basis of broadband photometry obtained with the Kepler satellite supplemented by ground-based optical spectroscopy. Initially retained on Kepler target lists as a potential compact pulsator, the blue object SDSS J190817.07+394036.4 (KIC 004547333) has turned out to be a high-state AM CVn star showing the He-dominated spectrum of its accretion disk significantly reddened by interstellar absorption. We constructed new grids of NLTE synthetic spectra for accretion disks in order to analyze our spectroscopic observations. From this analysis, we infer preliminary estimates of the rate of mass transfer, the inclination angle of the disk, and the distance to the system. The AM CVn nature of the system is also evident in the Kepler light curve, from which we extracted 11 secure periodicities. The luminosity variations are dominated by a basic periodicity of 938.507 s, likely to correspond to a superhump modulation. The light curve folded on the period of 938.507 s exhibits a pulse shape that is very similar to the superhump wavefront seen in AM CVn itself, which is a high-state system and the prototype of the class. Our Fourier analysis also suggests the likely presence of a quasi-periodic oscillation similar to those already observed in some high-state AM CVn systems. Furthermore, some very low-frequency, low-amplitude aperiodic photometric activity is likely present, which is in line with what is expected in accreting binary systems. Inspired by previous work, we further looked for and found some intriguing numerical relationships between the 11 secure detected frequencies, in the sense that we can account for all of them in terms of only three basic clocks. This is further evidence in favor of the AM CVn nature of the system. [less ▲]

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See detailA sub-Saturn Mass Planet, MOA-2009-BLG-319Lb
Miyake, N.; Sumi, T.; Dong, Subo et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 1010

We report the gravitational microlensing discovery of a sub-Saturn mass planet, MOA-2009-BLG-319Lb, orbiting a K or M-dwarf star in the inner Galactic disk or Galactic bulge. The high cadence observations ... [more ▼]

We report the gravitational microlensing discovery of a sub-Saturn mass planet, MOA-2009-BLG-319Lb, orbiting a K or M-dwarf star in the inner Galactic disk or Galactic bulge. The high cadence observations of the MOA-II survey discovered this microlensing event and enabled its identification as a high magnification event approximately 24 hours prior to peak magnification. As a result, the planetary signal at the peak of this light curve was observed by 20 different telescopes, which is the largest number of telescopes to contribute to a planetary discovery to date. The microlensing model for this event indicates a planet-star mass ratio of q = (3.95 +/- 0.02) x 10^{-4} and a separation of d = 0.97537 +/- 0.00007 in units of the Einstein radius. A Bayesian analysis based on the measured Einstein radius crossing time, t_E, and angular Einstein radius, \theta_E, along with a standard Galactic model indicates a host star mass of M_L = 0.38^{+0.34}_{-0.18} M_{Sun} and a planet mass of M_p = 50^{+44}_{-24} M_{Earth}, which is half the mass of Saturn. This analysis also yields a planet-star three-dimensional separation of a = 2.4^{+1.2}_{-0.6} AU and a distance to the planetary system of D_L = 6.1^{+1.1}_{-1.2} kpc. This separation is ~ 2 times the distance of the snow line, a separation similar to most of the other planets discovered by microlensing. [less ▲]

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See detailHubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys Observations of Europa's Atmospheric Ultraviolet Emission at Eastern Elongation
Saur, Joachim; Feldman, Paul D; Roth, Lorenz et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 738

We report results of a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) campaign with the Advanced Camera for Surveys to observe Europa at eastern elongation, i.e., Europa's leading side, on 2008 June 29. With five ... [more ▼]

We report results of a Hubble Space Telescope (HST) campaign with the Advanced Camera for Surveys to observe Europa at eastern elongation, i.e., Europa's leading side, on 2008 June 29. With five consecutive HST orbits, we constrain Europa's atmospheric O I 1304 Å and O I 1356 Å emissions using the prism PR130L. The total emissions of both oxygen multiplets range between 132 ± 14 and 226 ± 14 Rayleigh. An additional systematic error with values on the same order as the statistical errors may be due to uncertainties in modeling the reflected light from Europa's surface. The total emission also shows a clear dependence of Europa's position with respect to Jupiter's magnetospheric plasma sheet. We derive a lower limit for the O[SUB]2[/SUB] column density of 6 × 10[SUP]18[/SUP] m[SUP]-2[/SUP]. Previous observations of Europa's atmosphere with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph in 1999 of Europa's trailing side show an enigmatic surplus of radiation on the anti-Jovian side within the disk of Europa. With emission from a radially symmetric atmosphere as a reference, we searched for an anti-Jovian versus sub-Jovian asymmetry with respect to the central meridian on the leading side and found none. Likewise, we searched for departures from a radially symmetric atmospheric emission and found an emission surplus centered around 90° west longitude, for which plausible mechanisms exist. Previous work about the possibility of plumes on Europa due to tidally driven shear heating found longitudes with strongest local strain rates which might be consistent with the longitudes of maximum UV emissions. Alternatively, asymmetries in Europa's UV emission can also be caused by inhomogeneous surface properties, an optically thick atmospheric contribution of atomic oxygen, and/or by Europa's complex plasma interaction with Jupiter's magnetosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-22 b: A Transiting "Hot Jupiter" Planet in a Hierarchical Triple System
Maxted, P. F. L.; Anderson, D. R.; Gillon, Michaël ULg et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 140(6), 2007-2012

We report the discovery of a transiting planet orbiting the star TYC 6446-326-1. The star, WASP-22, is a moderately bright (V = 12.0) solar-type star (T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 6000 ± 100 K, [Fe/H] = –0.05 ± 0.08 ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a transiting planet orbiting the star TYC 6446-326-1. The star, WASP-22, is a moderately bright (V = 12.0) solar-type star (T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 6000 ± 100 K, [Fe/H] = –0.05 ± 0.08). The light curve of the star obtained with the WASP-South instrument shows periodic transit-like features with a depth of about 1% and a duration of 0.14 days. The presence of a transit-like feature in the light curve is confirmed using z-band photometry obtained with Faulkes Telescope South. High-resolution spectroscopy obtained with the CORALIE and HARPS spectrographs confirms the presence of a planetary mass companion with an orbital period of 3.533 days in a near-circular orbit. From a combined analysis of the spectroscopic and photometric data assuming that the star is a typical main-sequence star we estimate that the planet has a mass M [SUB]p[/SUB] = 0.56 ± 0.02M [SUB]Jup[/SUB] and a radius R [SUB]p[/SUB] = 1.12 ± 0.04R [SUB]Jup[/SUB]. In addition, there is a linear trend of 40 m s[SUP]–1[/SUP] yr[SUP]–1[/SUP] in the radial velocities measured over 16 months, from which we infer the presence of a third body with a long-period orbit in this system. The companion may be a low mass M-dwarf, a white dwarf, or a second planet. [less ▲]

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See detailOGLE-2009-BLG-092/MOA-2009-BLG-137: A Dramatic Repeating Event with the Second Perturbation Predicted by Real-time Analysis
Ryu, Y*-H; Han, C.; Hwang, K*-H et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 723(1), 81-88

We report the result of the analysis of a dramatic repeating gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2009-BLG-092/MOA-2009-BLG-137, for which the light curve is characterized by two distinct peaks with ... [more ▼]

We report the result of the analysis of a dramatic repeating gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2009-BLG-092/MOA-2009-BLG-137, for which the light curve is characterized by two distinct peaks with perturbations near both peaks. We find that the event is produced by the passage of the source trajectory over the central perturbation regions associated with the individual components of a wide-separation binary. The event is special in the sense that the second perturbation, occurring ~100 days after the first, was predicted by the real-time analysis conducted after the first peak, demonstrating that real-time modeling can be routinely done for binary and planetary events. With the data obtained from follow-up observations covering the second peak, we are able to uniquely determine the physical parameters of the lens system. We find that the event occurred on a bulge clump giant and it was produced by a binary lens composed of a K- and M-type main-sequence stars. The estimated masses of the binary components are M [SUB]1[/SUB] = 0.69 ± 0.11 M [SUB]sun[/SUB] and M [SUB]2[/SUB] = 0.36 ± 0.06 M [SUB]sun[/SUB], respectively, and they are separated in projection by r [SUB]bottom[/SUB] = 10.9 ± 1.3 AU. The measured distance to the lens is D [SUB]L[/SUB] = 5.6 ± 0.7 kpc. We also detect the orbital motion of the lens system. [less ▲]

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See detailERRATUM: "Physical Properties of the 0.94 Day Period Transiting Planetary System WASP-18" (2009, ApJ, 707, 167)
Southworth, John; Hinse, T. C.; Dominik, M. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 723(2), 1829

Not Available

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See detailHD 259440: The Proposed Optical Counterpart of the γ-ray Binary HESS J0632+057
Aragona, C.; McSwain, M. V.; De Becker, Michaël ULg

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 724

HD 259440 is a B0pe star that was proposed as the optical counterpart to the γ-ray source HESS J0632+057. Here, we present optical spectra of HD 259440 acquired to investigate the stellar parameters, the ... [more ▼]

HD 259440 is a B0pe star that was proposed as the optical counterpart to the γ-ray source HESS J0632+057. Here, we present optical spectra of HD 259440 acquired to investigate the stellar parameters, the properties of the Be star disk, and evidence of binarity in this system. Emission from the Hα line shows evidence of a spiral density wave in the nearly edge-on disk. We find a best-fit stellar effective temperature of 27,500-30,000 K and a log surface gravity of 3.75-4.0, although our fits are somewhat ambiguous due to scattered light from the circumstellar disk. We derive a mass of 13.2-19.0 M sun and a radius of 6.0-9.6 R sun. By fitting the spectral energy distribution, we find a distance between 1.1 and 1.7 kpc. We do not detect any significant radial velocity shifts in our data, ruling out orbital periods shorter than one month. If HD 259440 is a binary, it is likely a long-period (>100 d) system. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-24 b: A New Transiting Close-in Hot Jupiter Orbiting a Late F-star
Street, R. A.; Simpson, E.; Barros, S. C. C. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 720

We report the discovery of a new transiting close-in giant planet, WASP-24 b, in a 2.341 day orbit, 0.037 AU from its F8-9 type host star. By matching the star's spectrum with theoretical models, we infer ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a new transiting close-in giant planet, WASP-24 b, in a 2.341 day orbit, 0.037 AU from its F8-9 type host star. By matching the star's spectrum with theoretical models, we infer an effective temperature T [SUB]eff[/SUB] = 6075 ± 100 K and a surface gravity of log g = 4.15 ± 0.10. A comparison of these parameters with theoretical isochrones and evolutionary mass tracks places only weak constraints on the age of the host star, which we estimate to be 3.8[SUP]+1.3[/SUP] [SUB]-1.2[/SUB] Gyr. The planetary nature of the companion was confirmed by radial velocity measurements and additional photometric observations. These data were fit simultaneously in order to determine the most probable parameter set for the system, from which we infer a planetary mass of 1.071[SUP]+0.036[/SUP] [SUB]-0.038[/SUB] M [SUB]Jup[/SUB] and radius 1.3[SUP]+0.039[/SUP] [SUB]-0.037[/SUB] R [SUB]Jup[/SUB]. [less ▲]

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See detailFrequency of Solar-like Systems and of Ice and Gas Giants Beyond the Snow Line from High-magnification Microlensing Events in 2005-2008
Gould, A.; Dong, Subo; Gaudi, B. S. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 720

We present the first measurement of the planet frequency beyond the "snow line," for the planet-to-star mass-ratio interval –4.5 < log q < –2, corresponding to the range of ice giants to gas giants. We ... [more ▼]

We present the first measurement of the planet frequency beyond the "snow line," for the planet-to-star mass-ratio interval –4.5 < log q < –2, corresponding to the range of ice giants to gas giants. We find \endgraf\vbox{\begin{center}$\displaystyle{d^2 N{_{\rm pl}}\over d\log q\, d\log s} = (0.36\pm 0.15)\;{\rm dex}^{-2}$\end{center}}\noindentat the mean mass ratio q = 5 × 10 –4 with no discernible deviation from a flat (Öpik's law) distribution in log-projected separation s. The determination is based on a sample of six planets detected from intensive follow-up observations of high-magnification ( A>200) microlensing events during 2005-2008. The sampled host stars have a typical mass M host ~ 0.5 M sun [less ▲]

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See detailFirst Orbital Solution for the Non-thermal Emitter Cyg OB2 No. 9
Nazé, Yaël ULg; Damerdji, Yassine ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 719

After the first detection of its binary nature, the spectroscopic monitoring of the non-thermal radio emitter Cyg OB2 No. 9 (P = 2.4 yr) has continued, doubling the number of available spectra of the star ... [more ▼]

After the first detection of its binary nature, the spectroscopic monitoring of the non-thermal radio emitter Cyg OB2 No. 9 (P = 2.4 yr) has continued, doubling the number of available spectra of the star. Since the discovery paper of 2008, a second periastron passage has occurred in 2009 February. Using a variety of techniques, the radial velocities could be estimated and a first, preliminary orbital solution was derived from the He I 5876 line. The mass ratio appears close to unity and the eccentricity is large, i.e., 0.7-0.75. X-ray data from 2004 and 2007 are also analyzed in quest of peculiarities linked to binarity. The observations reveal neither large overluminosity nor strong hardness, but it must be noted that the high-energy data were taken after the periastron passage, at a time where colliding wind emission may be low. Some unusual X-ray variability is however detected, with a 10% flux decrease between 2004 and 2007. To clarify their origin and find a more obvious signature of the wind-wind collision, additional data, taken at periastron and close to it, are needed. Based on observations collected at the Haute-Provence Observatory and 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 detailCombining Coronagraphy with Interferometry as a Tool for Measuring Stellar Diameters
Riaud, P.; Hanot, Charles ULg

in Astrophysical Journal (2010)

The classical approach for determining stellar angular diameters is to use interferometry and to measure fringe visibilities. Indeed, in the case of a source having a diameter larger than typically λ/6B ... [more ▼]

The classical approach for determining stellar angular diameters is to use interferometry and to measure fringe visibilities. Indeed, in the case of a source having a diameter larger than typically λ/6B, B being the interferometer's baseline and λ the wavelength of observation, the fringe contrast decreases. Similarly, it is possible to perform angular diameter determinations by measuring the stellar leakage from a coronagraphic device or a nulling interferometer. However, all coronagraphic devices (including those using nulling interferometry) are very sensitive to pointing errors and to the size of the source, two factors with significant impact on the rejection efficiency. In this work, we present an innovative idea for measuring stellar diameter variations, combining coronagraphy together with interferometry. We demonstrate that, using coronagraphic nulling statistics, it is possible to measure such variations for angular diameters down to ≈λ/40B with 1σ error-bars as low as ≈λ/1500B. For that purpose, we use a coronagraphic implementation on a two-aperture interferometer, a configuration that significantly increases the precision of stellar diameter measurements. Such a design offers large possibilities regarding the stellar diameter measurement of Cepheids or Mira stars, at a 60-80 μas level. We report on a simulation of a measurement applied to a typical Cepheid case, using the VLTI-UT interferometer on Paranal. [less ▲]

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See detailSolar-like Oscillations in Low-luminosity Red Giants: First Results from Kepler
Bedding, T. R.; Huber, D.; Stello, D. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 713

We have measured solar-like oscillations in red giants using time-series photometry from the first 34 days of science operations of the Kepler Mission. The light curves, obtained with 30 minute sampling ... [more ▼]

We have measured solar-like oscillations in red giants using time-series photometry from the first 34 days of science operations of the Kepler Mission. The light curves, obtained with 30 minute sampling, reveal clear oscillations in a large sample of G and K giants, extending in luminosity from the red clump down to the bottom of the giant branch. We confirm a strong correlation between the large separation of the oscillations (Πν) and the frequency of maximum power (ν[SUB]max[/SUB]). We focus on a sample of 50 low-luminosity stars (ν[SUB]max[/SUB] > 100 μHz, L <~ 30 L [SUB]sun[/SUB]) having high signal-to-noise ratios and showing the unambiguous signature of solar-like oscillations. These are H-shell-burning stars, whose oscillations should be valuable for testing models of stellar evolution and for constraining the star formation rate in the local disk. We use a new technique to compare stars on a single échelle diagram by scaling their frequencies and find well-defined ridges corresponding to radial and non-radial oscillations, including clear evidence for modes with angular degree l = 3. Measuring the small separation between l = 0 and l = 2 allows us to plot the so-called C-D diagram of δν[SUB]02[/SUB] versus Πν. The small separation δν[SUB]01[/SUB] of l = 1 from the midpoint of adjacent l = 0 modes is negative, contrary to the Sun and solar-type stars. The ridge for l = 1 is notably broadened, which we attribute to mixed modes, confirming theoretical predictions for low-luminosity giants. Overall, the results demonstrate the tremendous potential of Kepler data for asteroseismology of red giants. [less ▲]

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See detailHybrid gamma Doradus-delta Scuti Pulsators: New Insights into the Physics of the Oscillations from Kepler Observations
Grigahcène, Ahmed; Antoci, V.; Balona, L. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 713

Observations of the pulsations of stars can be used to infer their interior structure and test theoretical models. The main-sequence γ Doradus (Dor) and δ Scuti (Sct) stars with masses 1.2-2.5 M [SUB ... [more ▼]

Observations of the pulsations of stars can be used to infer their interior structure and test theoretical models. The main-sequence γ Doradus (Dor) and δ Scuti (Sct) stars with masses 1.2-2.5 M [SUB]sun[/SUB] are particularly useful for these studies. The γ Dor stars pulsate in high-order g-modes with periods of order 1 day, driven by convective blocking at the base of their envelope convection zone. The δ Sct stars pulsate in low-order g- and p-modes with periods of order 2 hr, driven by the κ mechanism operating in the He II ionization zone. Theory predicts an overlap region in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram between instability regions, where "hybrid" stars pulsating in both types of modes should exist. The two types of modes with properties governed by different portions of the stellar interior provide complementary model constraints. Among the known γ Dor and δ Sct stars, only four have been confirmed as hybrids. Now, analysis of combined Quarter 0 and Quarter 1 Kepler data for hundreds of variable stars shows that the frequency spectra are so rich that there are practically no pure δ Sct or γ Dor pulsators, i.e., essentially all of the stars show frequencies in both the δ Sct and the γ Dor frequency range. A new observational classification scheme is proposed that takes into account the amplitude as well as the frequency and is applied to categorize 234 stars as δ Sct, γ Dor, δ Sct/γ Dor or γ Dor/δ Sct hybrids. [less ▲]

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See detailA New Investigation of the Binary HD 48099
Mahy, Laurent ULg; Rauw, Grégor ULg; Martins, F. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 708

With an orbital period of about 3.078 days, the double-lined spectroscopic binary HD 48099 is, until now, the only short-period O+O system known in the Mon OB2 association. Even though an orbital solution ... [more ▼]

With an orbital period of about 3.078 days, the double-lined spectroscopic binary HD 48099 is, until now, the only short-period O+O system known in the Mon OB2 association. Even though an orbital solution has already been derived for this system, few information are available about the individual stars. We present, in this paper, the results of a long-term spectroscopic campaign. We derive a new orbital solution and apply a disentangling method to recover the mean spectrum of each star. To improve our knowledge concerning both components, we determine their spectral classifications and their projected rotational velocities. We also constrain the main stellar parameters of both stars by using the CMFGEN atmosphere code and provide the wind properties for the primary star through the study of International Ultraviolet Explorer spectra. This investigation reveals that HD 48099 is an O5.5 V ((f)) + O9 V binary with M [SUB]1[/SUB]sin[SUP]3[/SUP] i = 0.70 M [SUB]sun[/SUB] and M [SUB]2[/SUB]sin[SUP]3[/SUP] i = 0.39 M [SUB]sun[/SUB], implying a rather low orbital inclination. This result, combined with both a large effective temperature and log g, suggests that the primary star (vsin i sime 91 km s[SUP]â 1[/SUP]) is actually a fast rotator with a strongly clumped wind and a nitrogen abundance of about 8 times the solar value. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-19b: The Shortest Period Transiting Exoplanet Yet Discovered
Hebb, L.; Collier-Cameron, A.; Triaud, A H M J et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 708

We report on the discovery of a new extremely short period transiting extrasolar planet, WASP-19b. The planet has mass M [SUB]pl[/SUB] = 1.15 ± 0.08 M[SUB]J[/SUB] , radius R [SUB]pl[/SUB] = 1.31 ± 0.06 ... [more ▼]

We report on the discovery of a new extremely short period transiting extrasolar planet, WASP-19b. The planet has mass M [SUB]pl[/SUB] = 1.15 ± 0.08 M[SUB]J[/SUB] , radius R [SUB]pl[/SUB] = 1.31 ± 0.06 R[SUB]J[/SUB] , and orbital period P = 0.7888399 ± 0.0000008 days. Through spectroscopic analysis, we determine the host star to be a slightly super-solar metallicity ([M/H] = 0.1 ± 0.1 dex) G-dwarf with T [SUB]eff[/SUB] = 5500 ± 100 K. In addition, we detect periodic, sinusoidal flux variations in the light curve which are used to derive a rotation period for the star of P [SUB]rot[/SUB] = 10.5 ± 0.2 days. The relatively short stellar rotation period suggests that either WASP-19 is somewhat young (~ 600 Myr old) or tidal interactions between the two bodies have caused the planet to spiral inward over its lifetime resulting in the spin-up of the star. Due to the detection of the rotation period, this system has the potential to place strong constraints on the stellar tidal quality factor, Q'[SUB] s [/SUB], if a more precise age is determined. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-17b: an ultra-low density planet in a probable retrograde orbit
Anderson, D. R.; Hellier, C.; Gillon, Michaël ULg et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 709(1), 159-167

We report the discovery of the transiting giant planet WASP-17b, the least-dense planet currently known. It is 1.6 Saturn masses but 1.5-2 Jupiter radii, giving a density of 6-14 per cent that of Jupiter ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of the transiting giant planet WASP-17b, the least-dense planet currently known. It is 1.6 Saturn masses but 1.5-2 Jupiter radii, giving a density of 6-14 per cent that of Jupiter. WASP-17b is in a 3.7-day orbit around a sub-solar metallicity, V = 11.6, F6 star. Preliminary detection of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect suggests that WASP-17b is in a retrograde orbit (lambda ~ -150 deg), indicative of a violent history involving planet-planet or planet-star scattering. WASP-17b's bloated radius could be due to tidal heating resulting from recent or ongoing tidal circularisation of an eccentric orbit, such as the highly eccentric orbits that typically result from scattering interactions. It will thus be important to determine more precisely the current orbital eccentricity by further high-precision radial velocity measurements or by timing the secondary eclipse, both to reduce the uncertainty on the planet's radius and to test tidal-heating models. Owing to its low surface gravity, WASP-17b's atmosphere has the largest scale height of any known planet, making it a good target for transmission spectroscopy. [less ▲]

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See detailFrequency of Solar-Like Systems and Planet Mass-Ratio Distribution Function Beyond the Snow Line from High-Magnification Microlensing Events
Gould, A.; Dong, S.; Gaudi, B~S et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 720

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See detailAtomic data and spectral model for Fe III
Bautista, M A; Ballance, C; Quinet, Pascal ULg

in Astrophysical Journal (2010), 718