Publications of Valérie Van Grootel
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See detailBasic Principles of White Dwarf Asteroseismology
Fontaine, Gilles; Brassard, Pierre; Charpinet, Stéphane et al

in Napiwotzki, R.; Burleigh, M. (Eds.) The White Dwarfs Stars (in press)

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See detailAmplitude and frequency variations of oscillation modes in the pulsating DB white dwarf star KIC~08626021. The likely signature of nonlinear resonant mode coupling
Zong, W.; Charpinet, S.; Vauclair, G. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 585

Context. The signatures of nonlinear effects affecting stellar oscillations are difficult to observe from ground observatories because of the lack of continuous high-precision photometric data spanning ... [more ▼]

Context. The signatures of nonlinear effects affecting stellar oscillations are difficult to observe from ground observatories because of the lack of continuous high-precision photometric data spanning extended enough time baselines. The unprecedented photometric quality and coverage provided by the Kepler spacecraft offers new opportunities to search for these phenomena. Aims: We use the Kepler data accumulated on the pulsating DB white dwarf KIC 08626021 to explore in detail the stability of its oscillation modes, searching, in particular, for evidence of nonlinear behaviors. Methods: We analyze nearly two years of uninterrupted short-cadence data, concentrating on identified triplets that are caused by stellar rotation and that show intriguing behaviors during the course of the observations. Results: We find clear signatures of nonlinear effects that could be attributed to resonant mode coupling mechanisms. These couplings occur between the components of the triplets and can induce different types of behaviors. We first notice that a structure at 3681 μHz, identified as a triplet in previous published studies, is in fact forming a doublet, with the third component being an independent mode. We find that a triplet at 4310 μHz and this doublet at 3681 μHz (most likely the two visible components of an incomplete triplet) have clear periodic frequency and amplitude modulations, which are typical of the so-called intermediate regime of the resonance, with timescales consistent with theoretical expectations. Another triplet at 5073 μHz is likely in a narrow transitory regime in which the amplitudes are modulated while the frequencies are locked. Using nonadiabatic pulsation calculations, based on a model representative of KIC 08626021 to evaluate the linear growth rates of the modes in the triplets, we also provide quantitative information that could be useful for future comparisons with numerical solutions of the amplitude equations. Conclusions: The observed modulations are the clearest hints of nonlinear resonant couplings occurring in white dwarf stars identified so far. These should resonate as a warning to projects that aim at measuring the evolutionary cooling rate of KIC 08626021, and of white dwarf stars in general. Nonlinear modulations of the frequencies can potentially jeopardize any attempt to measure such rates reliably, unless they can be corrected beforehand. These results should motivate further theoretical work to develop the nonlinear stellar pulsation theory. [less ▲]

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See detailHD 97658 and its super-Earth
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Gillon, Michaël ULg; Valencia, D. et al

in European Physical Journal Web of Conferences (2015, September 01)

Super-Earths transiting nearby bright stars are key objects that simultaneously allow for accurate measurements of both their mass and radius, providing essential constraints on their internal composition ... [more ▼]

Super-Earths transiting nearby bright stars are key objects that simultaneously allow for accurate measurements of both their mass and radius, providing essential constraints on their internal composition. We present the confirmation, based on Spitzer observations, that the super-Earth HD 97658 b transits its host star. HD 97658 is a low-mass (M*=0.77+-0.05 Msun) K1 dwarf, as determined from the Hipparcos parallax and stellar evolution modeling. To constrain the planet parameters, we carry out Bayesian global analyses of Keck-HIRES radial velocities, and MOST and Spitzer photometry. HD 97658 b is a massive (Mp=7.55 +0.83,-0.79 Mearth) and large (Rp = 2.247 +0.098,-0.095 Rearth at 4.5 microns) super-Earth. We investigate the possible internal compositions for HD 97658 b. Our results indicate a large rocky component, by at least 60% by mass, and very little H-He components, at most 2% by mass. We also discuss how future asteroseismic observations can improve the knowledge of the HD 97658 system, in particular by constraining its age. [less ▲]

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See detailPulsations in hot subdwarf stars: recent advances and prospects for testing stellar physics
Charpinet, Stéphane; Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Fontaine, Gilles et al

Conference (2015, August 01)

The evolved, core helium burning, extreme horizontal branch stars (also known as hot sudwarfs) host several classes of pulsators showing either p- or g-modes, or both. They offer particularly favorable ... [more ▼]

The evolved, core helium burning, extreme horizontal branch stars (also known as hot sudwarfs) host several classes of pulsators showing either p- or g-modes, or both. They offer particularly favorable conditions for probing with asteroseismology their internal structure, thus constituting arguably the most interesting seismic window for this intermediate stage of stellar evolution. G-modes in particular have the power to probe deep inside these stars, down to the convective He-burning core boundary where uncertain physics (convection, overshooting, semi-convection) is at work. Space data obtained with CoRoT and Kepler are offering us the possibility to probe these regions in detail and possibly shed new light on how these processes shape the core structure. In this review, I will present the most recent advances that have taken place in this field and I will provide hints of the foreseen future achievements of hot subdwarf asteroseismology. [less ▲]

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See detailClose-in planets around sdB stars: A step toward constraining their masses ?
Charpinet, S.; Grandjean, A. H. M. J.; Fontaine, G. et al

Poster (2015, July)

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See detailDriving Pulsation Modes in Models of the Two Pre-ELM Helium-Core White Dwarfs WASP 0247-25B and WASP 1628+10B
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P. et al

Poster (2015, July)

Multi-periodic pulsations have recently been detected in two pre-extremely low mass (pre- ELM) helium-core white dwarfs as reported in Maxted et al. (2013, Nature, 498, 463) and Maxted et al. (2014, MNRAS ... [more ▼]

Multi-periodic pulsations have recently been detected in two pre-extremely low mass (pre- ELM) helium-core white dwarfs as reported in Maxted et al. (2013, Nature, 498, 463) and Maxted et al. (2014, MNRAS, 444, 208). As such, they define a new class of pulsating stars in the HR diagram. Both objects are the secondary components in eclipsing close binaries, with solar-type main sequence stars as primaries. They are believed to be the remnants of former red giant stars stripped down of most of their mass through an active phase of binary evolution. The first of those is WASP 0247-25B, characterized by M = 0.186 ± 0.002 Mʘ, log g = 4.576 ± 0.011, and Teff = 11,380 ± 400 K (Maxted et al. 2013). Three pulsation modes have been detected so far, with periods of 381 s, 406 s, and 421 s. The second one, showing two modes with 669 s and 755 s, is WASP 1628+10B, with M = 0.135 ± 0.020 Mʘ, log g = 4.49 ± 0.05, and Teff = 9200 ± 600 K (Maxted et al. 2014). Adiabatic calculations using suitable evolutionary models have been presented in these publications, showing that the pulsation periods correspond to low-degree, mid-order p-mode oscillations (probably including radial modes). The question of the driving mechanism, however, has been left open, and we address that issue here. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Period-Effective Temperature Relation for DBV White Dwarfs
Fontaine, G.; Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Bergeron, P. et al

Poster (2015, July)

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See detailNew asteroseismic analysis of the subdwarf B pulsator PG 1219+534
Péters, M.-J.; Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Dupret, Marc-Antoine ULg et al

Poster (2015, July)

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See detailA First Look at the Nonadiabatic Properties of Pulsating Accreting White Dwarfs of the GW Lib Type
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P. et al

in Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series (2015, June), 493

We present results of a detailed stability survey of the pulsation properties of accreting white dwarfs of the GW Lib type. This is based on several state-of-the- art white dwarf evolutionary sequences ... [more ▼]

We present results of a detailed stability survey of the pulsation properties of accreting white dwarfs of the GW Lib type. This is based on several state-of-the- art white dwarf evolutionary sequences with varying envelope compositions, from pure hydrogen to pure helium. Using the same tools as in Van Grootel et al. (2013), where we have presented the first consistent view of the ZZ Ceti instability strip, we have mapped the GW Lib instability strip over the effective temperature-surface gravity plane, and as a function of envelope composition. We find that the location of the GW Lib instability domain is a strong and continuous function of the assumed envelope composition. We can accomodate all of the known GW Lib pulsators in various strips according to their atmospheric compositions. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Instability Strip of ZZ Ceti White Dwarfs
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Fontaine, G.; Brassard, P. et al

in Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series (2015, June), 493

The determination of the location of the theoretical ZZ Ceti instability strip in the log g − Teff diagram has remained a challenge over the years, due to the lack of a suitable treatment for convection ... [more ▼]

The determination of the location of the theoretical ZZ Ceti instability strip in the log g − Teff diagram has remained a challenge over the years, due to the lack of a suitable treatment for convection in these stars. We report here a detailed stability survey over the whole ZZ Ceti regime, including the low and extremely low masses. We computed to this aim 29 evolutionary sequences of DA models with various masses, chemical layering, and core compositions. These models are characterized by the so- called ML2/α=1.0 convective efficiency and take into account the important feedback effect of convection on the atmospheric structure. We computed pulsation spectra for these models with the Liège nonadiabatic pulsation code MAD, which is the only one to conveniently incorporate a full time-dependent convection treatment and, thus, provides the best available description of the blue edge of the instability strip. On the other hand, given the failure of all nonadiabatic codes to account properly for the red edge of the strip, including MAD, we tested the idea that the red edge is due to energy leakage through the atmosphere. Using this approach, we found that our theoretical ZZ Ceti instability strip accounts remarkably well for the boundaries of the empirical strip. [less ▲]

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See detailMethod and Tools for an Objective Approach of White Dwarf Asteroseismology
Charpinet, S.; Giammichele, N.; Brassard, P. et al

in Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series (2015, June), 493

Stellar oscillation modes propagate deep inside stars and carry on information potentially allowing us to reconstruct, through asteroseismology, parts of their internal structure and dynamics. We present ... [more ▼]

Stellar oscillation modes propagate deep inside stars and carry on information potentially allowing us to reconstruct, through asteroseismology, parts of their internal structure and dynamics. We present and discuss here our strategy and tools developed to exploit objectively this potential for pulsating white dwarf stars. Our approach relies on a multimodal optimization technique aimed at identifying all potential seismic model solutions that best match the observed periods of a given star. This approach doesn't rely on model grids (hence avoiding their limitations) and makes use of static stellar structures of white dwarf stars as opposed to evolutionary models. The use of parameterized static models is a deliberate choice in this context and is aimed at approaching as closely as possible the real structure of the star as it is observed and probed by the detected oscillation modes without interferences from unavoidable model uncertainties propagated through billion years of evolution. We argue that this strategy is more likely to produce new tight constraints on the internal structure of white dwarf stars from which evolutionary models could be improved. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-speed Photometric Observations of ZZ Ceti White Dwarf Candidates
Green, E.M.; Limoges, M.-M.; Gianninas, A. et al

in Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series (2015, June), 493

We present high-speed photometric observations of ZZ Ceti white dwarf candidates drawn from the spectroscopic survey of bright DA stars from the Villanova White Dwarf Catalog by Gianninas et al., and from ... [more ▼]

We present high-speed photometric observations of ZZ Ceti white dwarf candidates drawn from the spectroscopic survey of bright DA stars from the Villanova White Dwarf Catalog by Gianninas et al., and from the recent spectroscopic survey of white dwarfs within 40 parsecs of the Sun by Limoges et al. We report the discovery of six new ZZ Ceti pulsators from these surveys, and several photometrically constant DA white dwarfs, which we then use to refine the location of the ZZ Ceti instability strip. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-121 b: a hot Jupiter in a polar orbit and close to tidal disruption
Delrez, Laetitia ULg; Santerne, A.; Almenara, J.-M. et al

E-print/Working paper (2015)

We present the discovery by the WASP-South survey, in close collaboration with the Euler and TRAPPIST telescopes, of WASP-121 b, a new remarkable short-period transiting hot Jupiter, whose planetary ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery by the WASP-South survey, in close collaboration with the Euler and TRAPPIST telescopes, of WASP-121 b, a new remarkable short-period transiting hot Jupiter, whose planetary nature has been statistically validated by the PASTIS software. The planet has a mass of 1.183+0.064−0.062 MJup, a radius of 1.865 ± 0.044 RJup, and transits every 1.2749255+0.0000020−0.0000025 days an active F6-type main-sequence star (V=10.4, 1.353+0.080−0.079 M⊙, 1.458 ± 0.030 R⊙, Teff = 6460 ± 140 K). A notable property of WASP-121 b is that its orbital semi-major axis is only ∼1.15 times larger than its Roche limit, which suggests that the planet might be close to tidal disruption. Furthermore, its large size and extreme irradiation (∼7.1 10^9 erg s−1cm−2) make it an excellent target for atmospheric studies via secondary eclipse observations. Using the TRAPPIST telescope, we indeed detect its emission in the z′-band at better than ∼4σ, the measured occultation depth being 603 ± 130 ppm. Finally, from a measurement of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect with the CORALIE spectrograph, we infer a sky-projected spin-orbit angle of 257.8+5.3−5.5 deg. This result indicates a significant misalignment between the spin axis of the host star and the orbital plane of the planet, the planet being in a nearly polar orbit. Such a high misalignment suggests a migration of the planet involving strong dynamical events with a third body. [less ▲]

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See detailThe CHEOPS mission: towards exoplanet characterisation
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg

Scientific conference (2015, March)

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See detailA connection between the instability strips of ZZ Ceti and V777 Her white dwarfs
Van Grootel, Valérie ULg; Fontaine, Gilles; Brassard, Pierre et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 575

Aims. We aim to determine the theoretical instability strips of white dwarfs with diverse H and He content in their atmospheres, from a solar composition to a H-depleted atmosphere. Pulsators with mixed H ... [more ▼]

Aims. We aim to determine the theoretical instability strips of white dwarfs with diverse H and He content in their atmospheres, from a solar composition to a H-depleted atmosphere. Pulsators with mixed H-He atmospheres are indeed known to exist, and these are the white dwarfs in cataclysmic accreting systems of the GW Lib type. We thus also aim to determine the range of periods of excited pulsation modes, and to qualitatively compare these to the observed periods in GW Lib white dwarf pulsators. Methods. In the first full nonadiabatic stability analysis of pulsators of this kind, we applied a time-dependent convection treatment and an energy leakage argument to compute, for cooling models of white dwarfs with various masses and envelope compositions, the location of the blue and the red edges, as well as the properties of pulsation modes. Results. We find that our derived instability strips form a true continuum in the log g-Teff plane and that their individual location depends uniquely on the assumed atmospheric composition, from the solar composition models at low effective temperatures to the H-depleted models at much higher temperatures. Taking into account our previous results from the ZZ Ceti (pure H atmosphere) and V777 Her (pure He atmosphere) white dwarf pulsators, this implies that all of these instability domains are connected via the same fundamental driving mechanism. Applying our results to the case of white dwarf pulsators of the GW Lib type, we find that our theoretical instability strips can qualitatively account for all of the known cases. The computed range of periods of excited modes also compares qualitatively very well to the observed ones. Conclusions. The GW Lib pulsators are very similar in nature to ZZ Ceti and V777 Her white dwarfs. It is the diverse chemical compositions in their atmosphere and envelope that defines their specific pulsation properties. Beyond GW Lib pulsators, white dwarfs can sometimes exhibit mixed H-He atmospheres, such as in the recently found proto-He white dwarf pulsators. Our results open the way towards quantitative asteroseismology of these various kinds of white dwarfs. [less ▲]

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See detailThe soundtrack of RR Lyrae in Omega Cen at high-frequency
Calamida, A.S.; Randall, S.K.; Monelli, M. et al

in Memorie della Società Astronomica Italiana : Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society (2015), 86

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See detailSpectral Analysis and Abundances of the Post-HB Star HD 76431
Khalack, V.; Yameogo, B.; LeBlanc, F. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 445

HD76431 is a slow rotating post-HB star that shows an underabundance of helium by 0.5 dex relative to the solar value. These observational facts suggest that atomic diffusion could be active in its ... [more ▼]

HD76431 is a slow rotating post-HB star that shows an underabundance of helium by 0.5 dex relative to the solar value. These observational facts suggest that atomic diffusion could be active in its atmosphere. We have used the MMT and Bok spectra to estimate the atmospheric parameters of the target star using the model atmospheres and synthetic spectra calculated with TLUSTY and SYNSPEC. The derived values of the effective temperature, surface gravity, helium abundance are consistent with those obtained by Ramspeck et al. (2001b). It appears that NLTE effect are not important for HD76431. We have used Stokes I spectra from ESPaDOnS at CFHT to perform an abundance analysis and a search for observational evidence of vertical stratification of the abundance of certain elements. The results of our abundance analysis are in good agreement with previously published data with respect to average abundances. Our numerical simulations show that carbon and nitrogen reveal signatures of vertical abundance stratification in the atmosphere of HD76431. It appears that the carbon abundance increases toward the deeper atmospheric layers. Nitrogen also shows a similar behaviour, but in deeper atmospheric layers we obtain a significant dispersion for the estimates of its abundance. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of vertical abundance stratification of metals in a post-HB star and up to now it is the hottest star to show such stratification features. We also report the detection of two SiIII and one TiIII emission lines in the spectra of HD76431 that were not detected in previous studies. [less ▲]

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See detailA BCool magnetic snapshot survey of solar-type stars
Marsden, S.C.; Petit, P.; Jeffers, S.V. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 444

We present the results of a major high-resolution spectropolarimetric BCool project magnetic survey of 170 solar-type stars. Surface magnetic fields were detected on 67 stars, with 21 classified as mature ... [more ▼]

We present the results of a major high-resolution spectropolarimetric BCool project magnetic survey of 170 solar-type stars. Surface magnetic fields were detected on 67 stars, with 21 classified as mature solar-type stars, a result that increases by a factor of 4 the number of mature solar-type stars on which magnetic fields have been observed. In addition, a magnetic field was detected for 3 out of 18 of the subgiant stars surveyed. For the population of K-dwarfs, the mean value of |Bl| (|Bl|mean) was also found to be higher (5.7 G) than |Bl|mean measured for the G-dwarfs (3.2 G) and the F-dwarfs (3.3 G). For the sample as a whole, |Bl|mean increases with rotation rate and decreases with age, and the upper envelope for |Bl| correlates well with the observed chromospheric emission. Stars with a chromospheric S-index greater than about 0.2 show a high magnetic field detection rate and so offer optimal targets for future studies. This survey constitutes the most extensive spectropolarimetric survey of cool stars undertaken to date, and suggests that it is feasible to pursue magnetic mapping of a wide range of moderately active solar-type stars to improve our understanding of their surface fields and dynamos. [less ▲]

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See detailKepler detection of a new extreme planetary system orbiting the subdwarf-B pulsator KIC 10001893
Silvotti, R.; Charpinet, S.; Green, E.M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 570

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See detailThe PLATO 2.0 Mission
Rauer, H.; Catala, C.; Aerts, C. et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2014)

PLATO 2.0 has recently been selected for ESA’s M3 launch opportunity (2022/24). Providing accurate key planet parameters (radius, mass, density and age) in statistical numbers, it addresses fundamental ... [more ▼]

PLATO 2.0 has recently been selected for ESA’s M3 launch opportunity (2022/24). Providing accurate key planet parameters (radius, mass, density and age) in statistical numbers, it addresses fundamental questions such as: How do planetary systems form and evolve? Are there other systems with planets like ours, including potentially habitable planets? The PLATO 2.0 instrument consists of 34 small aperture telescopes (32 with 25 s readout cadence and 2 with 2.5 s candence) providing a wide field-of-view (2232 deg 2) and a large photometric magnitude range (4–16 mag). It focusses on bright (4–11 mag) stars in wide fields to detect and characterize planets down to Earth-size by photometric transits, whose masses can then be determined by ground-based radial-velocity follow-up measurements. Asteroseismology will be performed for these bright stars to obtain highly accurate stellar parameters, including masses and ages. The combination of bright targets and asteroseismology results in high accuracy for the bulk planet parameters: 2 %, 4–10 % and 10 % for planet radii, masses and ages, respectively. The planned baseline observing strategy includes two long pointings (2–3 years) to detect and bulk characterize planets reaching into the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars and an additional step-and-stare phase to cover in total about 50 % of the sky. PLATO 2.0 will observe up to 1,000,000 stars and detect and characterize hundreds of small planets, and thousands of planets in the Neptune to gas giant regime out to the HZ. It will therefore provide the first large-scale catalogue of bulk characterized planets with accurate radii, masses, mean densities and ages. This catalogue will include terrestrial planets at intermediate orbital distances, where surface temperatures are moderate. Coverage of this parameter range with statistical numbers of bulk characterized planets is unique to PLATO 2.0. The PLATO 2.0 catalogue allows us to e.g.: - complete our knowledge of planet diversity for low-mass objects, - correlate the planet mean density-orbital distance distribution with predictions from planet formation theories,- constrain the influence of planet migration and scattering on the architecture of multiple systems, and - specify how planet and system parameters change with host star characteristics, such as type, metallicity and age. The catalogue will allow us to study planets and planetary systems at different evolutionary phases. It will further provide a census for small, low-mass planets. This will serve to identify objects which retained their primordial hydrogen atmosphere and in general the typical characteristics of planets in such low-mass, low-density range. Planets detected by PLATO 2.0 will orbit bright stars and many of them will be targets for future atmosphere spectroscopy exploring their atmosphere. Furthermore, the mission has the potential to detect exomoons, planetary rings, binary and Trojan planets. The planetary science possible with PLATO 2.0 is complemented by its impact on stellar and galactic science via asteroseismology as well as light curves of all kinds of variable stars, together with observations of stellar clusters of different ages. This will allow us to improve stellar models and study stellar activity. A large number of well-known ages from red giant stars will probe the structure and evolution of our Galaxy. Asteroseismic ages of bright stars for different phases of stellar evolution allow calibrating stellar age-rotation relationships. Together with the results of ESA’s Gaia mission, the results of PLATO 2.0 will provide a huge legacy to planetary, stellar and galactic science. [less ▲]

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