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See detailDiscovery of a Companion Candidate in the HD 169142 Transition Disk and the Possibility of Multiple Planet Formation
Reggiani, Maddalena; Quanz, Sascha P.; Meyer, Michael R. et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2014), 792

We present L'- and J-band high-contrast observations of HD 169142, obtained with the Very Large Telescope/NACO AGPM vector vortex coronagraph and the Gemini Planet Imager, respectively. A source located ... [more ▼]

We present L'- and J-band high-contrast observations of HD 169142, obtained with the Very Large Telescope/NACO AGPM vector vortex coronagraph and the Gemini Planet Imager, respectively. A source located at 0.''156 ± 0.''032 north of the host star (P.A. = 7.4° ± 11.3°) appears in the final reduced L' image. At the distance of the star (~145 pc), this angular separation corresponds to a physical separation of 22.7 ± 4.7 AU, locating the source within the recently resolved inner cavity of the transition disk. The source has a brightness of L' = 12.2 ± 0.5 mag, whereas it is not detected in the J band (J >13.8 mag). If its L' brightness arose solely from the photosphere of a companion and given the J - L' color constraints, it would correspond to a 28-32 MJup object at the age of the star, according to the COND models. Ongoing accretion activity of the star suggests, however, that gas is left in the inner disk cavity from which the companion could also be accreting. In this case, the object could be lower in mass and its luminosity enhanced by the accretion process and by a circumplanetary disk. A lower-mass object is more consistent with the observed cavity width. Finally, the observations enable us to place an upper limit on the L'-band flux of a second companion candidate orbiting in the disk annular gap at ~50 AU, as suggested by millimeter observations. If the second companion is also confirmed, HD 169142 might be forming a planetary system, with at least two companions opening gaps and possibly interacting with each other. [less ▲]

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See detailToward a Unique Nitrogen Isotopic Ratio in Cometary Ices
Rousselot, Philippe; Pirali, Olivier; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2014), 780

Determination of the nitrogen isotopic ratios in different bodies of the solar system provides important information regarding the solar system's origin. We unambiguously identified emission lines in ... [more ▼]

Determination of the nitrogen isotopic ratios in different bodies of the solar system provides important information regarding the solar system's origin. We unambiguously identified emission lines in comets due to the [SUP]15[/SUP]NH[SUB]2[/SUB] radical produced by the photodissociation of [SUP]15[/SUP]NH[SUB]3[/SUB]. Analysis of our data has permitted us to measure the [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N isotopic ratio in comets for a molecule carrying the amine (-NH) functional group. This ratio, within the error, appears similar to that measured in comets in the HCN molecule and the CN radical, and lower than the protosolar value, suggesting that N[SUB]2[/SUB] and NH[SUB]3[/SUB] result from the separation of nitrogen into two distinct reservoirs in the solar nebula. This ratio also appears similar to that measured in Titan's atmospheric N[SUB]2[/SUB], supporting the hypothesis that, if the latter is representative of its primordial value in NH[SUB]3[/SUB], these bodies were assembled from building blocks sharing a common formation location. [less ▲]

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See detailRossiter-McLaughlin Observations of 55 Cnc e
Lopez-Morales, Mercedes; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Rodler, Florian et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2014), sous presse

We present Rossiter-McLaughlin observations of the transiting super-Earth 55 Cnc e collected during six transit events between January 2012 and November 2013 with HARPS and HARPS-N. We detect no radial ... [more ▼]

We present Rossiter-McLaughlin observations of the transiting super-Earth 55 Cnc e collected during six transit events between January 2012 and November 2013 with HARPS and HARPS-N. We detect no radial-velocity signal above 35 cm/s (3-sigma) and confine the stellar v sin i to 0.2 +/- 0.5 km/s. The star appears to be a very slow rotator, producing a very low amplitude Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. Given such a low amplitude, the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect of 55 Cnc e is undetected in our data, and any spin-orbit angle of the system remains possible. We also performed Doppler tomography and reach a similar conclusion. Our results offer a glimpse of the capacity of future instrumentation to study low amplitude Rossiter-McLaughlin effects produced by super-Earths. [less ▲]

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See detailInference of Inhomogeneous Clouds in an Exoplanet Atmosphere
Demory, Brice-Olivier; de Wit, Julien; Lewis, Nikole et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2013), 776

We present new visible and infrared observations of the hot Jupiter Kepler-7b to determine its atmospheric properties. Our analysis allows us to (1) refine Kepler-7b's relatively large geometric albedo of ... [more ▼]

We present new visible and infrared observations of the hot Jupiter Kepler-7b to determine its atmospheric properties. Our analysis allows us to (1) refine Kepler-7b's relatively large geometric albedo of Ag = 0.35 ± 0.02, (2) place upper limits on Kepler-7b thermal emission that remains undetected in both Spitzer bandpasses and (3) report a westward shift in the Kepler optical phase curve. We argue that Kepler-7b's visible flux cannot be due to thermal emission or Rayleigh scattering from H[SUB]2[/SUB] molecules. We therefore conclude that high altitude, optically reflective clouds located west from the substellar point are present in its atmosphere. We find that a silicate-based cloud composition is a possible candidate. Kepler-7b exhibits several properties that may make it particularly amenable to cloud formation in its upper atmosphere. These include a hot deep atmosphere that avoids a cloud cold trap, very low surface gravity to suppress cloud sedimentation, and a planetary equilibrium temperature in a range that allows for silicate clouds to potentially form in the visible atmosphere probed by Kepler. Our analysis does not only present evidence of optically thick clouds on Kepler-7b but also yields the first map of clouds in an exoplanet atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailA Herschel Study of D/H in Water in the Jupiter-family Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková and Prospects for D/H Measurements with CCAT
Lis, D. C.; Biver, N.; Bockelée-Morvan, D. et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2013), 774

We present Herschel observations of water isotopologues in the atmosphere of the Jupiter-family comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková. No HDO emission is detected, with a 3σ upper limit of 2.0 × 10[SUP]–4 ... [more ▼]

We present Herschel observations of water isotopologues in the atmosphere of the Jupiter-family comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková. No HDO emission is detected, with a 3σ upper limit of 2.0 × 10[SUP]–4[/SUP] for the D/H ratio. This value is consistent with the earlier Herschel measurement in the Jupiter-family comet 103P/Hartley 2. The canonical value of 3 × 10[SUP]–4[/SUP] measured pre-Herschel in a sample of Oort-cloud comets can be excluded at a 4.5σ level. The observations presented here further confirm that a diversity of D/H ratios exists in the comet population and emphasize the need for additional measurements with future ground-based facilities, such as CCAT, in the post-Herschel era. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of Thermal Emission from a Super-Earth
Demory, Brice*-Olivier; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Seager, Sara et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2012), 751(2), 28

We report on the detection of infrared light from the super-Earth 55 Cnc e, based on four occultations obtained with Warm Spitzer at 4.5 microns. Our data analysis consists of a two-part process. In a ... [more ▼]

We report on the detection of infrared light from the super-Earth 55 Cnc e, based on four occultations obtained with Warm Spitzer at 4.5 microns. Our data analysis consists of a two-part process. In a first step, we perform individual analyses of each dataset and compare several baseline models to optimally account for the systematics affecting each lightcurve. We apply independent photometric correction techniques, including polynomial detrending and pixel-mapping, that yield consistent results at the 1-sigma level. In a second step, we perform a global MCMC analysis including all four datasets, that yields an occultation depth of 131+-28ppm, translating to a brightness temperature of 2360+-300 K in the IRAC-4.5 micron channel. This occultation depth suggests a low Bond albedo coupled to an inefficient heat transport from the planetary dayside to the nightside, or else possibly that the 4.5-micron observations probe atmospheric layers that are hotter than the maximum equilibrium temperature (i.e., a thermal inversion layer or a deep hot layer). The measured occultation phase and duration are consistent with a circular orbit and improves the 3-sigma upper limit on 55 Cnc e's orbital eccentricity from 0.25 to 0.06. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Non-thermal Radio Emitter HD 93250 Resolved by Long Baseline Interferometry
Sana, H.; Le Bouquin, J.-B.; De Becker, Michaël ULg et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2011), 740

As the brightest O-type X-ray source in the Carina nebula, HD 93250 (O4 III(fc)) is X-ray overluminous for its spectral type and has an unusually hard X-ray spectrum. Two different scenarios have been ... [more ▼]

As the brightest O-type X-ray source in the Carina nebula, HD 93250 (O4 III(fc)) is X-ray overluminous for its spectral type and has an unusually hard X-ray spectrum. Two different scenarios have been invoked to explain its X-ray properties: wind-wind interaction and magnetic wind confinement. Yet, HD 93250 shows absolutely constant radial velocities over timescales of years suggesting either a single star, a binary system seen pole-on view or a very long period, and/or highly eccentric system. Using the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer, we resolved HD 93250 as a close pair with similar components. We measured a near-infrared flux ratio of 0.8 ± 0.1 and a separation of (1.5 ± 0.2) × 10-3 arcsec. At the distance of Carina, this corresponds to a projected physical distance of 3.5 AU. While a quantitative investigation would require a full characterization of the orbit, the binary nature of HD 93250 allows us to qualitatively explain both its X-ray flux and hardness and its non-thermal radio emission in the framework of a colliding wind scenario. We also discuss various observational biases. We show that, due to line blending of two similar spectral components, HD 93250 could have a period as short as 1 to several years despite the lack of measurable radial velocity variations. [less ▲]

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See detailA Dim Candidate Companion to epsilon Cephei
Mawet, D.; Mennesson, B.; Serabyn, E. et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2011), 738

Using a vector vortex coronagraph behind the 1.5 m well-corrected subaperture (WCS) at Palomar, we detected a second object very close to epsilon Cephei, a δ Scuti F0 IV star. The candidate companion, ~50 ... [more ▼]

Using a vector vortex coronagraph behind the 1.5 m well-corrected subaperture (WCS) at Palomar, we detected a second object very close to epsilon Cephei, a δ Scuti F0 IV star. The candidate companion, ~50 times fainter than epsilon Cephei, if physically associated, is a late-type K or early M star, and lies at an angular separation of 330 mas, or 1.1 λ/D for the WCS, making it the smallest angle detection ever realized with a coronagraph in terms of λ/D units. The projected separation of the putative companion is ~8.6 AU, most likely on a highly eccentric orbit. The recently detected near-infrared excess is thus likely not due to hot dust. Moreover, we also show that the previously reported IRAS 60 μm excess was due to source confusion on the galactic plane. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst Magnetic Field Models for Recently Discovered Magnetic β Cephei and Slowly Pulsating B Stars
Hubrig, S.; Ilyin, Ilya; Schöller, Markus et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2011), 726

In spite of recent detections of magnetic fields in a number of β Cephei and slowly pulsating B (SPB) stars, their impact on stellar rotation, pulsations, and element diffusion has not yet been ... [more ▼]

In spite of recent detections of magnetic fields in a number of β Cephei and slowly pulsating B (SPB) stars, their impact on stellar rotation, pulsations, and element diffusion has not yet been sufficiently studied. The reason for this is the lack of knowledge of rotation periods, the magnetic field strength distribution and temporal variability, and the field geometry. New longitudinal field measurements of four β Cephei and candidate β Cephei stars, and two SPB stars were acquired with FORS 2 at the Very Large Telescope. These measurements allowed us to carry out a search for rotation periods and to constrain the magnetic field geometry for four stars in our sample. Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory (ESO programme 084.D-0230(A)). [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-30b: a 61 Mjup brown dwarf transiting a V=12, F8 star
Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A.; Hellier, C. et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2011), 726(2), 19

We report the discovery of a 61-Jupiter-mass brown dwarf (BD), which transits its F8V host star, WASP-30, every 4.16 days. From a range of age indicators we estimate the system age to be 1-2 Gyr. We ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a 61-Jupiter-mass brown dwarf (BD), which transits its F8V host star, WASP-30, every 4.16 days. From a range of age indicators we estimate the system age to be 1-2 Gyr. We derive a radius (0.89 ± 0.02 R Jup) for the companion that is consistent with that predicted (0.914 R Jup) by a model of a 1 Gyr old, non-irradiated BD with a dusty atmosphere. The location of WASP-30b in the minimum of the mass-radius relation is consistent with the quantitative prediction of Chabrier & Baraffe, thus confirming the theory. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling the oxygen K absorption in the interstellar medium : an XMM-Newton view of Sco X-1
Garcia, J; Ramirez, J M; Kallman, T R et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2011), 731

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See detailWASP-29b: A Saturn-sized Transiting Exoplanet
Hellier, Coel; Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2010), 723

We report the discovery of a Saturn-sized planet transiting a V = 11.3, K4 dwarf star every 3.9 days. WASP-29b has a mass of 0.24 ± 0.02 M [SUB]Jup[/SUB] and a radius of 0.79 ± 0.05 R [SUB]Jup[/SUB ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a Saturn-sized planet transiting a V = 11.3, K4 dwarf star every 3.9 days. WASP-29b has a mass of 0.24 ± 0.02 M [SUB]Jup[/SUB] and a radius of 0.79 ± 0.05 R [SUB]Jup[/SUB], making it the smallest planet so far discovered by the WASP survey, and the exoplanet most similar in mass and radius to Saturn. The host star WASP-29 has an above-solar metallicity and fits a possible correlation for Saturn-mass planets such that planets with higher-metallicity host stars have higher core masses and thus smaller radii. [less ▲]

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See detailSeismic Diagnostics of Red Giants: First Comparison with Stellar Models
Montalban Iglesias, Josefa ULg; Miglio, Andrea ULg; Noels-Grötsch, Arlette ULg et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2010), 721

The clear detection with CoRoT and KEPLER of radial and non-radial solar-like oscillations in many red giants paves the way for seismic inferences on the structure of such stars. We present an overview of ... [more ▼]

The clear detection with CoRoT and KEPLER of radial and non-radial solar-like oscillations in many red giants paves the way for seismic inferences on the structure of such stars. We present an overview of the properties of the adiabatic frequencies and frequency separations of radial and non-radial oscillation modes for an extended grid of models. We highlight how their detection allows a deeper insight into the internal structure and evolutionary state of red giants. In particular, we find that the properties of dipole modes constitute a promising seismic diagnostic tool of the evolutionary state of red giant stars. We compare our theoretical predictions with the first 34 days of KEPLER data and predict the frequency diagram expected for red giants in the CoRoT exofield in the galactic center direction. [less ▲]

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See detailEarly asteroseismic results from Kepler: structural and core parameters of the hot B subdwarf KPD 1943+4058 as inferred from g-mode oscillations
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Charpinet, Stéphane; Fontaine, Gilles et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2010), 718

We present a seismic analysis of the pulsating hot B subdwarf KPD 1943+4058 (KIC 005807616) on the basis of the long-period, gravity-mode pulsations recently uncovered by Kepler. This is the first time ... [more ▼]

We present a seismic analysis of the pulsating hot B subdwarf KPD 1943+4058 (KIC 005807616) on the basis of the long-period, gravity-mode pulsations recently uncovered by Kepler. This is the first time that g-mode seismology can be exploited quantitatively for stars on the extreme horizontal branch, all previous successful seismic analyses having been confined so far to short-period, p-mode pulsators. We demonstrate that current models of hot B subdwarfs can quite well explain the observed g-mode periods, while being consistent with independent constraints provided by spectroscopy. We identify the 18 pulsations retained in our analysis as low- degree (l = 1 and 2), intermediate-order (k = −9 through −58) g-modes. The periods (frequencies) are recovered, on average, at the 0.22% level, which is comparable to the best results obtained for p-mode pulsators. We infer the following structural and core parameters for KPD 1943+4058 (formal fitting uncertainties only): Teff = 28,050 ± 470 K, log g = 5.52 ± 0.03, M∗ = 0.496 ± 0.002 M⊙, log (Menv/M∗) = −2.55 ± 0.07, log (1 − Mcore/M∗) = −0.37 ± 0.01, and Xcore (C+O) = 0.261 ± 0.008. We additionally derive the age of the star since the zero-age extended horizontal branch 18.4 ± 1.0 Myr, the radius R = 0.203 ± 0.007 R⊙, the luminosity L = 22.9 ± 3.13 L⊙, the absolute magnitude MV = 4.21 ± 0.11, the reddening index E(B − V ) = 0.094 ± 0.017, and the distance d = 1180 ± 95 pc. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Asteroseismic Potential of Kepler: First Results for Solar-Type Stars
Chaplin, W. J.; Appourchaux, T.; Elsworth, Y. et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2010), 713

We present preliminary asteroseismic results from Kepler on three G-type stars. The observations, made at one-minute cadence during the first 33.5 days of science operations, reveal high signal-to-noise ... [more ▼]

We present preliminary asteroseismic results from Kepler on three G-type stars. The observations, made at one-minute cadence during the first 33.5 days of science operations, reveal high signal-to-noise solar-like oscillation spectra in all three stars: about 20 modes of oscillation may be clearly distinguished in each star. We discuss the appearance of the oscillation spectra, use the frequencies and frequency separations to provide first results on the radii, masses, and ages of the stars, and comment in the light of these results on prospects for inference on other solar-type stars that Kepler will observe. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of Solar-like Oscillations from Kepler Photometry of the Open Cluster NGC 6819
Stello, Dennis; Basu, Sarbani; Bruntt, Hans et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2010), 713

Asteroseismology of stars in clusters has been a long-sought goal because the assumption of a common age, distance, and initial chemical composition allows strong tests of the theory of stellar evolution ... [more ▼]

Asteroseismology of stars in clusters has been a long-sought goal because the assumption of a common age, distance, and initial chemical composition allows strong tests of the theory of stellar evolution. We report results from the first 34 days of science data from the Kepler Mission for the open cluster NGC 6819—one of the four clusters in the field of view. We obtain the first clear detections of solar-like oscillations in the cluster red giants and are able to measure the large frequency separation, Δν, and the frequency of maximum oscillation power, ν[SUB]max[/SUB]. We find that the asteroseismic parameters allow us to test cluster membership of the stars, and even with the limited seismic data in hand, we can already identify four possible non-members despite their having a better than 80% membership probability from radial velocity measurements. We are also able to determine the oscillation amplitudes for stars that span about 2 orders of magnitude in luminosity and find good agreement with the prediction that oscillation amplitudes scale as the luminosity to the power of 0.7. These early results demonstrate the unique potential of asteroseismology of the stellar clusters observed by Kepler. [less ▲]

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See detailDegree-scale GeV "Jets" from Active and Dead TeV Blazars
Neronov, A.; Semikoz, D.; Kachelriess, M. et al

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2010), 719

We show that images of TeV blazars in the GeV energy band should contain, along with point-like sources, degree-scale jet-like extensions. These GeV extensions are the result of electromagnetic cascades ... [more ▼]

We show that images of TeV blazars in the GeV energy band should contain, along with point-like sources, degree-scale jet-like extensions. These GeV extensions are the result of electromagnetic cascades initiated by TeV γ-rays interacting with extragalactic background light and the deflection of the cascade electrons/positrons in extragalactic magnetic fields (EGMFs). Using Monte Carlo simulations, we study the spectral and timing properties of the degree-scale extensions in simulated GeV band images of TeV blazars. We show that the brightness profile of such degree-scale extensions can be used to infer the light curve of the primary TeV γ-ray source over the past 10[SUP]7[/SUP] yr, i.e., over a time scale comparable to the lifetime of the parent active galactic nucleus. This implies that the degree-scale jet-like GeV emission could be detected not only near known active TeV blazars, but also from "TeV blazar remnants," whose central engines were switched off up to 10 million years ago. Since the brightness profile of the GeV "jets" depends on the strength and the structure of the EGMF, their observation provides additional information about the EGMF. [less ▲]

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See detailLimitation of the Pupil Replication Technique in the Presence of Instrumental Defects
Riaud, Pierre ULg; Mawet, Dimitri; Absil, Olivier ULg

in Astrophysical Journal Letters (2005), 628

Pupil replication has been proposed by Greenaway et al. as a new optical technique to improve the suppression of starlight in high dynamic imaging. This Letter extends numerical simulations in the two ... [more ▼]

Pupil replication has been proposed by Greenaway et al. as a new optical technique to improve the suppression of starlight in high dynamic imaging. This Letter extends numerical simulations in the two-dimensional case with various realistic imperfections (surface error, chromatic smearing, and pupil shift). These results demonstrate some strong limitations compared to single-pupil apodization techniques for exoplanet detection. [less ▲]

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