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See detailThe compositional evolution of C/2012 S1 (ISON) from ground-based high-resolution infrared spectroscopy as part of a worldwide observing campaign
Dello Russo, N.; Vervack, R. J.; Kawakita, H. et al

in Icarus (2016), 266

Volatile production rates, relative abundances, rotational temperatures, and spatial distributions in the coma were measured in C/2012 S1 (ISON) using long-slit high-dispersion (λ/Δλ ∼ 2.5 × 10[SUP]4[/SUP ... [more ▼]

Volatile production rates, relative abundances, rotational temperatures, and spatial distributions in the coma were measured in C/2012 S1 (ISON) using long-slit high-dispersion (λ/Δλ ∼ 2.5 × 10[SUP]4[/SUP]) infrared spectroscopy as part of a worldwide observing campaign. Spectra were obtained on UT 2013 October 26 and 28 with NIRSPEC at the W.M. Keck Observatory, and UT 2013 November 19 and 20 with CSHELL at the NASA IRTF. H[SUB]2[/SUB]O was detected on all dates, with production rates increasing markedly from (8.7 ± 1.5) × 10[SUP]27[/SUP] molecules s[SUP]-1[/SUP] on October 26 (R[SUB]h[/SUB] = 1.12 AU) to (3.7 ± 0.4) × 10[SUP]29[/SUP] molecules s[SUP]-1[/SUP] on November 20 (R[SUB]h[/SUB] = 0.43 AU). Short-term variability of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O production is also seen as observations on November 19 show an increase in H[SUB]2[/SUB]O production rate of nearly a factor of two over a period of about 6 h. C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]6[/SUB], CH[SUB]3[/SUB]OH and CH[SUB]4[/SUB] abundances in ISON are slightly depleted relative to H[SUB]2[/SUB]O when compared to mean values for comets measured at infrared wavelengths. On the November dates, C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]2[/SUB], HCN and OCS abundances relative to H[SUB]2[/SUB]O appear to be within the range of mean values, whereas H[SUB]2[/SUB]CO and NH[SUB]3[/SUB] were significantly enhanced. There is evidence that the abundances with respect to H[SUB]2[/SUB]O increased for some species but not others between October 28 (R[SUB]h[/SUB] = 1.07 AU) and November 19 (R[SUB]h[/SUB] = 0.46 AU). The high mixing ratios of H[SUB]2[/SUB]CO/CH[SUB]3[/SUB]OH and C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]2[/SUB]/C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]6[/SUB] on November 19, and changes in the mixing ratios of some species with respect to H[SUB]2[/SUB]O between October 28 to November 19, indicates compositional changes that may be the result of a transition from sampling radiation-processed outer layers in this dynamically new comet to sampling more pristine natal material as the outer processed layer was increasingly eroded and the thermal wave propagated into the nucleus as the comet approached perihelion for the first time. On November 19 and 20, the spatial distribution for dust appears asymmetric and enhanced in the antisolar direction, whereas spatial distributions for volatiles (excepting CN) appear symmetric with their peaks slightly offset in the sunward direction compared to the dust. Spatial distributions for H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, HCN, C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]6[/SUB], C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]2[/SUB], and H[SUB]2[/SUB]CO on November 19 show no definitive evidence for significant contributions from extended sources; however, broader spatial distributions for NH[SUB]3[/SUB] and OCS may be consistent with extended sources for these species. Abundances of HCN and C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]2[/SUB] on November 19 and 20 are insufficient to account for reported abundances of CN and C[SUB]2[/SUB] in ISON near this time. Differences in HCN and CN spatial distributions are also consistent with HCN as only a minor source of CN in ISON on November 19 as the spatial distribution of CN in the coma suggests a dominant distributed source that is correlated with dust and not volatile release. The spatial distributions for NH[SUB]3[/SUB] and NH[SUB]2[/SUB] are similar, suggesting that NH[SUB]3[/SUB] is the primary source of NH[SUB]2[/SUB] with no evidence of a significant dust source of NH[SUB]2[/SUB]; however, the higher production rates derived for NH[SUB]3[/SUB] compared to NH[SUB]2[/SUB] on November 19 and 20 remain unexplained. This suggests a more complete analysis that treats NH[SUB]2[/SUB] as a distributed source and accounts for its emission mechanism is needed for future work. [less ▲]

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See detailThe dust environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Rosetta OSIRIS and VLT observations in the 4.5 to 2.9 AU heliocentric distance range inbound
Moreno, F.; Snodgrass, C.; Hainaut, O. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 587

Context. The ESA Rosetta spacecraft, currently orbiting around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has already provided in situ measurements of the dust grain properties from several instruments,particularly ... [more ▼]

Context. The ESA Rosetta spacecraft, currently orbiting around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has already provided in situ measurements of the dust grain properties from several instruments,particularly OSIRIS and GIADA. We propose adding value to those measurements by combining them with ground-based observations of the dust tail to monitor the overall, time-dependent dust-production rate and size distribution. <BR /> Aims: To constrain the dust grain properties, we take Rosetta OSIRIS and GIADA results into account, and combine OSIRIS data during the approach phase (from late April to early June 2014) with a large data set of ground-based images that were acquired with the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) from February to November 2014. <BR /> Methods: A Monte Carlo dust tail code, which has already been used to characterise the dust environments of several comets and active asteroids, has been applied to retrieve the dust parameters. Key properties of the grains (density, velocity, and size distribution) were obtained from Rosetta observations: these parameters were used as input of the code to considerably reduce the number of free parameters. In this way, the overall dust mass-loss rate and its dependence on the heliocentric distance could be obtained accurately. <BR /> Results: The dust parameters derived from the inner coma measurements by OSIRIS and GIADA and from distant imaging using VLT data are consistent, except for the power index of the size-distribution function, which is α = -3, instead of α = -2, for grains smaller than 1 mm. This is possibly linked to the presence of fluffy aggregates in the coma. The onset of cometary activity occurs at approximately 4.3 AU, with a dust production rate of 0.5 kg/s, increasing up to 15 kg/s at 2.9 AU. This implies a dust-to-gas mass ratio varying between 3.8 and 6.5 for the best-fit model when combined with water-production rates from the MIRO experiment. [less ▲]

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See detailHot Jupiters with relatives: discovery of additional planets in orbit around WASP-41 and WASP-47
Neveu-VanMalle, M.; Queloz, D.; Anderson, D. R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 586

We report the discovery of two additional planetary companions to WASP-41 and WASP-47. WASP-41 c is a planet of minimum mass 3.18 $\pm$ 0.20 M$_{\rm Jup}$ and eccentricity 0.29 $\pm$ 0.02, and it orbits ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of two additional planetary companions to WASP-41 and WASP-47. WASP-41 c is a planet of minimum mass 3.18 $\pm$ 0.20 M$_{\rm Jup}$ and eccentricity 0.29 $\pm$ 0.02, and it orbits in 421 $\pm$ 2 days. WASP-47 c is a planet of minimum mass 1.24 $\pm$ 0.22 M$_{\rm Jup}$ and eccentricity 0.13 $\pm$ 0.10, and it orbits in 572 $\pm$ 7 days. Unlike most of the planetary systems that include a hot Jupiter, these two systems with a hot Jupiter have a long-period planet located at only $\sim$1 au from their host star. WASP-41 is a rather young star known to be chromospherically active. To differentiate its magnetic cycle from the radial velocity effect induced by the second planet, we used the emission in the H$\alpha$ line and find this indicator well suited to detecting the stellar activity pattern and the magnetic cycle. The analysis of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect induced by WASP-41 b suggests that the planet could be misaligned, though an aligned orbit cannot be excluded. WASP-47 has recently been found to host two additional transiting super Earths. With such an unprecedented architecture, the WASP-47 system will be very important for understanding planetary migration. [less ▲]

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See detailNew and updated convex shape models of asteroids based on optical data from a large collaboration network
Hanuš, J.; Ďurech, J.; Oszkiewicz, D. A. et al

in Astronomy & Astrophysics (2016), 586

Asteroid modeling efforts in the last decade resulted in a comprehensive dataset of almost 400 convex shape models and their rotation states. This amount already provided a deep insight into physical ... [more ▼]

Asteroid modeling efforts in the last decade resulted in a comprehensive dataset of almost 400 convex shape models and their rotation states. This amount already provided a deep insight into physical properties of main-belt asteroids or large collisional families. We aim to increase the number of asteroid shape models and rotation states. Such results are an important input for various further studies such as analysis of asteroid physical properties in different populations, including smaller collisional families, thermophysical modeling, and scaling shape models by disk-resolved images, or stellar occultation data. This provides, in combination with known masses, bulk density estimates, but constrains also theoretical collisional and evolutional models of the Solar System. We use all available disk-integrated optical data (i.e., classical dense-in-time photometry obtained from public databases and through a large collaboration network as well as sparse-in-time individual measurements from a few sky surveys) as an input for the convex inversion method, and derive 3D shape models of asteroids, together with their rotation periods and orientations of rotation axes. The key ingredient is the support of more that one hundred observers who submit their optical data to publicly available databases. We present updated shape models for 36 asteroids, for which mass estimates are currently available in the literature or their masses will be most likely determined from their gravitational influence on smaller bodies, which orbital deflection will be observed by the ESA Gaia astrometric mission. This was achieved by using additional optical data from recent apparitions for the shape optimization. Moreover, we also present new shape model determinations for 250 asteroids, including 13 Hungarias and 3 near-Earth asteroids. [less ▲]

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See detailThree irradiated and bloated hot Jupiters:. WASP-76b, WASP-82b, and WASP-90b
West, R. G.; Hellier, C.; Almenara, J.-M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 585

We report on three new transiting hot Jupiter planets, discovered from the WASP surveys, which we combine with radial velocities from OHP/SOPHIE and Euler/CORALIE and photometry from Euler and TRAPPIST ... [more ▼]

We report on three new transiting hot Jupiter planets, discovered from the WASP surveys, which we combine with radial velocities from OHP/SOPHIE and Euler/CORALIE and photometry from Euler and TRAPPIST. The planets WASP-76b, WASP-82b, and WASP-90b are all inflated, with radii of 1.7-1.8 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]. All three orbit hot stars, of type F5-F7, with orbits of 1.8-3.9 d, and all three stars have evolved, post-main-sequence radii (1.7-2.2 R[SUB]⊙[/SUB]). Thus the three planets fit a known trend of hot Jupiters that receive high levels of irradiation being highly inflated. We caution, though, about the presence of a selection effect, in that non-inflated planets around ~2 R[SUB]⊙[/SUB] post-MS stars can often produce transits too shallow to be detected by the ground-based surveys that have found the majority of transiting hot Jupiters. Tables of the photometry and radial velocity are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/585/A126">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/585/A126</A> [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term activity and outburst of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) from narrow-band photometry and long-slit spectroscopy
Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 589

In this paper, we present a unique data set of more than one year's worth of regular observations of comet C/2013 A1(Siding Spring) with TRAPPIST in Chile, along with low-resolution spectra obtained with ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we present a unique data set of more than one year's worth of regular observations of comet C/2013 A1(Siding Spring) with TRAPPIST in Chile, along with low-resolution spectra obtained with the ESO/VLT FORS 2 instrument. The comet made a close approach to Mars on October 19, 2014 and was then observed by many space and ground-based telescopes. We followed the evolution of the OH, NH, CN, $\mathrm{C_3}$, and $\mathrm{C_2}$ production rates as well as the $Af\rho$ parameter as a proxy for the dust production. We detected an outburst two weeks after perihelion, with gas and dust production rates being multiplied by a factor five within a few days. By modelling the shape of the CN and $\mathrm{C_2}$ radial profiles, we determined that the outburst happened around on November 10 around 15:30 UT ($\pm$ 5h) and measured a gas ejection velocity of $1.1\pm0.2$ km/s. We used a thermal evolution model to reproduce the activity pattern and outburst. Our results are consistent with the progressive formation of a dust mantle explaining the shallow dependence of gas production rates, which may be partially blown off during the outburst. We studied the evolution of gas composition, using various ratios such as CN/OH, $\mathrm{C_2}$/OH, or $\mathrm{C_3}$/OH, which showed little or no variation with heliocentric distance including at the time of the outburst. This indicates a relative level of homogeneity of the nucleus composition. [less ▲]

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See detailAn inversion method for cometary atmospheres
Hubert, Benoît ULg; Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Hutsemekers, Damien ULg et al

in Icarus (2016), 277

Remote observation of cometary atmospheres produces a measurement of the cometary emissions integrated along the line of sight. This integration is the so-called Abel transform of the local emission rate ... [more ▼]

Remote observation of cometary atmospheres produces a measurement of the cometary emissions integrated along the line of sight. This integration is the so-called Abel transform of the local emission rate. The observation is generally interpreted under the hypothesis of spherical symmetry of the coma. Under that hypothesis, the Abel transform can be inverted. We derive a numerical inversion method adapted to cometary atmospheres using both analytical results and least squares fitting techniques. This method, derived under the usual hypothesis of spherical symmetry, allows us to retrieve the radial distribution of the emission rate of any unabsorbed emission, which is the fundamental, physically meaningful quantity governing the observation. A Tikhonov regularization technique is also applied to reduce the possibly deleterious effects of the noise present in the observation and to warrant that the problem remains well posed. Standard error propagation techniques are included in order to estimate the uncertainties affecting the retrieved emission rate. Several theoretical tests of the inversion techniques are carried out to show its validity and robustness. In particular, we show that the Abel inversion of real data is only weakly sensitive to an offset applied to the input flux, which implies that the method, applied to the study of a cometary atmosphere, is only weakly dependent on uncertainties on the sky background which has to be subtracted from the raw observations of the coma. We apply the method to observations of three different comets observed using the TRAPPIST telescope: 103P/ Hartley 2, F6/ Lemmon and A1/ Siding Spring. We show that the method retrieves realistic emission rates, and that characteristic lengths and production rates can be derived from the emission rate for both CN and C2 molecules. We show that the retrieved characteristic lengths can differ from those obtained from a direct least squares fitting over the observed flux of radiation, and that discrepancies can be reconciled for by correcting this flux by an offset (to which the inverse Abel transform is nearly not sensitive). The A1/Siding Spring observations were obtained very shortly after the comet produced an outburst, and we show that the emission rate derived from the observed flux of CN emission at 387 nm and from the C2 emission at 514.1 nm both present an easily-identifiable shoulder that corresponds to the separation between pre- and post-outburst gas. As a general result, we show that diagnosing properties and features of the coma using the emission rate is easier than directly using the observed flux, because the Abel transform produces a smoothing that blurs the signatures left by features present in the coma. We also determine the parameters of a Haser model fitting the inverted data and fitting the line-of-sight integrated observation, for which we provide the exact analytical expression of the line-of-sight integration of the Haser model. [less ▲]

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See detailTRAPPIST photometry and imaging monitoring of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy): Implications for the origin of daughter species
Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 584

We report the results of the narrow-band photometry and imaging monitoring of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) with the robotic telescope TRAPPIST (La Silla observatory). We gathered around 400 images over 8 ... [more ▼]

We report the results of the narrow-band photometry and imaging monitoring of comet C/2013 R1 (Lovejoy) with the robotic telescope TRAPPIST (La Silla observatory). We gathered around 400 images over 8 months pre- and post-perihelion between September 12, 2013 and July 6, 2014. We followed the evolution of the OH, NH, CN, C[SUB]3[/SUB], and C[SUB]2[/SUB] production rates computed with the Haser model, as well as the evolution of the dust production. All five gas species display an asymmetry about perihelion, since the rate of brightening is steeper than the rate of fading. The study of the coma morphology reveals gas and dust jets that indicate one or several active zone(s) on the nucleus. The dust, C[SUB]2[/SUB], and C[SUB]3[/SUB] morphologies present some similarities, while the CN morphology is different. OH and NH are enhanced in the tail direction. The study of the evolution of the comet activity shows that the OH, NH, and C[SUB]2[/SUB] production rate evolution with the heliocentric distance is correlated to the dust evolution. The CN and, to a lesser extent, the C[SUB]3[/SUB] do not display such a correlation with the dust. This evidence and the comparison with parent species production rates indicate that C[SUB]2[/SUB] and C[SUB]3[/SUB], on one hand, and OH and NH, on the other, could be - at least partially - released from organic - rich grains and icy grains. On the contrary, all evidences point to HCN being the main parent of CN in this comet. [less ▲]

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See detailCometary Isotopic Measurements
Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Calmonte, Ursina; Charnley, Steven et al

in Space Science Reviews (2015), 197

Isotopic ratios in comets provide keys for the understanding of the origin of cometary material, and the physical and chemical conditions in the early Solar Nebula. We review here measurements acquired on ... [more ▼]

Isotopic ratios in comets provide keys for the understanding of the origin of cometary material, and the physical and chemical conditions in the early Solar Nebula. We review here measurements acquired on the D/H, [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N, [SUP]16[/SUP]O/[SUP]18[/SUP]O, [SUP]12[/SUP]C/[SUP]13[/SUP]C, and [SUP]32[/SUP]S/[SUP]34[/SUP]S ratios in cometary grains and gases, and discuss their cosmogonic implications. The review includes analyses of potential cometary material available in collections on Earth, recent measurements achieved with the Herschel Space Observatory, large optical telescopes, and Rosetta, as well as recent results obtained from models of chemical-dynamical deuterium fractionation in the early solar nebula. Prospects for future measurements are presented. [less ▲]

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See detailLarger and faster: revised properties and a shorter orbital period for the WASP-57 planetary system from a pro-am collaboration
Southworth, John; Mancini, L.; Tregloan-Reed, J. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015), 454

Transits in the WASP-57 planetary system have been found to occur half an hour earlier than expected. We present 10 transit light curves from amateur telescopes, on which this discovery was based, 13 ... [more ▼]

Transits in the WASP-57 planetary system have been found to occur half an hour earlier than expected. We present 10 transit light curves from amateur telescopes, on which this discovery was based, 13 transit light curves from professional facilities which confirm and refine this finding, and high-resolution imaging which show no evidence for nearby companions. We use these data to determine a new and precise orbital ephemeris, and measure the physical properties of the system. Our revised orbital period is 4.5 s shorter than found from the discovery data alone, which explains the early occurrence of the transits. We also find both the star and planet to be larger and less massive than previously thought. The measured mass and radius of the planet are now consistent with theoretical models of gas giants containing no heavy-element core, as expected for the subsolar metallicity of the host star. Two transits were observed simultaneously in four passbands. We use the resulting light curves to measure the planet's radius as a function of wavelength, finding that our data are sufficient in principle but not in practise to constrain its atmospheric properties. We conclude with a discussion of the current and future status of transmission photometry studies for probing the atmospheres of gas-giant transiting planets. [less ▲]

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See detailReport on the ground-based observation campaign of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Jehin, Emmanuel ULg

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2015, November 01), 47

Rosetta gets closer to the nucleus than any previous mission, and returns wonderfully detailed measurements from the heart of the comet, but at the cost of not seeing the large scale coma and tails. The ... [more ▼]

Rosetta gets closer to the nucleus than any previous mission, and returns wonderfully detailed measurements from the heart of the comet, but at the cost of not seeing the large scale coma and tails. The ground-based campaign fills in the missing part of the picture, studying the comet at about 1000 km resolution, and following how the overall activity of the comet varies. These data provide context information for Rosetta, so changes in the inner coma seen by the spacecraft can be correlated with the phenomena observable in comets. This will not only help to complete our understanding of the activity of 67P, but also to allow us to compare it with other comets that are only observed from the ground.The ground-based campaign includes observations with nearly all major facilities world-wide. In 2014 the majority of data came from the ESO VLT, as the comet was still relatively faint and in Southern skies, but as it returns to visibility from Earth in 2015 it is considerably brighter, approaching its perihelion in August, and at Northern declinations. I will present results from the 2014 campaign, including visible wavelength photometry and spectroscopy, and the latest results from 2015 observations. [less ▲]

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See detailFive years of comet narrow band photometry and imaging with TRAPPIST
Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2015, November 01), 47

TRAPPIST is a 60-cm robotic telescope in La Silla Observatory [1] mainly dedicated to the study of exoplanets and comets. The telescope is equipped with a set of narrow band cometary filters designed by ... [more ▼]

TRAPPIST is a 60-cm robotic telescope in La Silla Observatory [1] mainly dedicated to the study of exoplanets and comets. The telescope is equipped with a set of narrow band cometary filters designed by the NASA for the Hale-Bopp observing campaign [2]. Since its installation in 2010, we gathered a high quality and homogeneous data set of more than 30 bright comets observed with narrow band filters. Some comets were only observed for a few days but others have been observed weekly during several months on both sides of perihelion. From the images, we derived OH, NH, CN, C[SUB]2[/SUB], and C[SUB]3[/SUB] production rates using a Haser [3] model in addition to the Afρ parameter as a proxy for the dust production. We computed production rates ratios and the dust color for each comet to study their composition and followed the evolution of these ratios and colors with the heliocentric distance.The TRAPPIST data set, rich of more than 10000 images obtained and reduced in an homogeneous way, allows us to address several fundamental questions such as the pristine or evolutionary origin of composition differences among comets. The evolution of comet activity with the heliocentric distance, the differences between species, and from comet to comet, will be discussed. Finally, the first results about the one year campaign on comet C/2013 US10 (Catalina) and our recent work on the re-determination of Haser scalelengths will be presented.[1] Jehin et al., The Messenger, 145, 2-6, 2011[2] Farnham et al., Icarus, 147, 180-204, 2000[3] Haser, Bulletin de l’Académie Royal des Sciences de Belgique,63, 739, 1957 [less ▲]

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See detailNitrogen Isotopic Ratios in Cometary NH2: Implication for 15N-fractionation in Ammonia
Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Kawakita, Hideyo; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2015, November 01), 47

Isotopic ratios in cometary molecules are diagnostic for the physico-chemical conditions where molecules formed and are processed, from the interstellar medium to the solar nebula. Usually temperatures at ... [more ▼]

Isotopic ratios in cometary molecules are diagnostic for the physico-chemical conditions where molecules formed and are processed, from the interstellar medium to the solar nebula. Usually temperatures at the molecular formation control the fractionation of the heavier element in molecular species, e.g., D-fractionation in water.In cometary volatiles, the [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in CN have been well observed (Manfroid et al. 2009, A&A, 503, 613, and reference therein) and is consistent with the ratio in HCN (a most probable parent of CN) measured in few comets (Bockelée-Morvan et al. 2008, ApJ, 679, L49). Those ratios are enriched compared to the proto-solar value by a factor of ~3. In contrast to those Nitriles, there are only few reports on [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in Ammonia (as Amine) (Rousselot et al. 2014, ApJ, 780, L17; Shinnaka et al. 2014, ApJ, 782, L16). Ammonia (NH[SUB]3[/SUB]) is usually the most abundant and HCN is the second most abundant N-bearing volatiles in cometary ice. Especially, recent observations of [SUP]15[/SUP]NH[SUB]2[/SUB] revealed the [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in NH[SUB]3[/SUB] are comparable to those of CN. However, from the viewpoint of theoretical work, the enrichment of [SUP]15[/SUP]N in cometary NH[SUB]3[/SUB] cannot be reproduced by current chemical network models. Information about the diversity of the [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in NH[SUB]3[/SUB] of individual comets is needed to understand the formation mechanisms/environments of NH[SUB]3[/SUB] in the early solar system.To clarify the diversity of the [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in cometary NH[SUB]3[/SUB], we determine the [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in NH[SUB]3[/SUB] for more than ten comets individually which include not only Oort cloud comets but also short period comets by using the high-resolution optical spectra of NH[SUB]2[/SUB]. These spectra were obtained with both the UVES mounted on the VLT in Chile and the HDS on the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii.The derived [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratios in NH[SUB]3[/SUB] for more than ten comets show high [SUP]15[/SUP]N-enrichment compared with the elemental abundances of nitrogen in the Sun by about factor of ~3 and has no large diversity depending on these dynamical properties. We discuss about the origin of the formation conditions of cometary NH[SUB]3[/SUB] and its physico-chemical evolution in the solar nebula based on our and other results.This work was supported by JSPS, 15J10864 (Y. Shinnaka). [less ▲]

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See detailOutgassing and chemical evolution of C/2012 S1 (ISON)
Dello Russo, Neil; Vervack, Ronald J.; Kawakita, Hideyo et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2015, November 01), 47

Volatile production rates, relative abundances, rotational temperatures, and spatial distributions in the coma were measured in C/2012 S1 (ISON) using long-slit high-dispersion (λ/Δλ ~ 25,000) infrared ... [more ▼]

Volatile production rates, relative abundances, rotational temperatures, and spatial distributions in the coma were measured in C/2012 S1 (ISON) using long-slit high-dispersion (λ/Δλ ~ 25,000) infrared spectroscopy as part of a worldwide observing campaign. Spectra were obtained on UT 2013 October 26 and 28 with NIRSPEC at the W. M. Keck Observatory, and UT 2013 November 19 and 20 with CSHELL at the NASA IRTF. H[SUB]2[/SUB]O was detected on all dates, with production rates increasing by about a factor of 40 between October 26 (R[SUB]h[/SUB] = 1.12 AU) and November 20 (R[SUB]h[/SUB] = 0.43 AU). Short-term variability of H[SUB]2[/SUB]O was also seen as the production rate increased by nearly a factor of two during observations obtained over a period of about six hours on November 19. C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]6[/SUB], CH[SUB]3[/SUB]OH and CH[SUB]4[/SUB] abundances were slightly depleted relative to H[SUB]2[/SUB]O in ISON compared to mean values for comets measured at infrared wavelengths. On the November dates, C[SUB]2[/SUB]H[SUB]2[/SUB], HCN and OCS abundances relative to H[SUB]2[/SUB]O appear to be close to the range of mean values, whereas H[SUB]2[/SUB]CO and NH[SUB]3[/SUB] were significantly enhanced. We will compare derived chemical abundances in ISON to other comets measured with infrared spectroscopy. [less ▲]

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See detailChariklo's size, shape and orientation from stellar occultations
Bérard, Diane; Sicardy, Bruno; Assafin, Marcelo et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2015, November 01), 47

Chariklo is the largest Centaur object known to date, and it is surrounded by dense and narrow rings (Braga-Ribas et al. Nature 508, 72, 2014). The size, shape and orientation of the central body are ... [more ▼]

Chariklo is the largest Centaur object known to date, and it is surrounded by dense and narrow rings (Braga-Ribas et al. Nature 508, 72, 2014). The size, shape and orientation of the central body are important parameters to better understand the dynamics of the rings.In that context, we have analyzed three stellar occultations by Chariklo and its main ring observed on June 3, 2013, April 29, 2014 and June 28, 2014. Elliptical limb fitting to Chariklo’s main body occultation chords has been performed, where we denote a (resp. b) the semi-major (resp. semi-minor) axis of the limb. Preliminary results indicate that Chariklo’s limb is elliptical with axes ratio b/a~0.89. We obtain a~133 km and b~119 km, providing an equivalent radius of R[SUB]equiv[/SUB]=√(ab)~126 km. The rms dispersion of the fit, about 4 km, is compatible with local topographic features on a small icy body. For comparison, an equivalent radius of R[SUB]equiv[/SUB]= 119±5 km, based on thermal data, is given by Fornasier et al, AA 518, L11, 2014, while Duffard et al. AA 568, A79, 2014 estimate a= 122 km and b= 117 km.Our results are obtained under the simplifying assumption that the main ring is circular and that its center coincides with that of Chariklo. Caveats and error bars will be discussed, and dynamical implications will be presented. In particular, rough estimations of the ring apsidal precession rates will be given, as well as constraints on Chariklo's density. [less ▲]

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See detailA rocky planet transiting a nearby low-mass star
Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Irwin, Jonathan; Charbonneau, David et al

in Nature (2015), 527

M-dwarf stars—hydrogen-burning stars that are smaller than 60 per cent of the size of the Sun—are the most common class of star in our Galaxy and outnumber Sun-like stars by a ratio of 12:1. Recent ... [more ▼]

M-dwarf stars—hydrogen-burning stars that are smaller than 60 per cent of the size of the Sun—are the most common class of star in our Galaxy and outnumber Sun-like stars by a ratio of 12:1. Recent results have shown that M dwarfs host Earth-sized planets in great numbers: the average number of M-dwarf planets that are between 0.5 to 1.5 times the size of Earth is at least 1.4 per star. The nearest such planets known to transit their star are 39 parsecs away, too distant for detailed follow-up observations to measure the planetary masses or to study their atmospheres. Here we report observations of GJ 1132b, a planet with a size of 1.2 Earth radii that is transiting a small star 12 parsecs away. Our Doppler mass measurement of GJ 1132b yields a density consistent with an Earth-like bulk composition, similar to the compositions of the six known exoplanets with masses less than six times that of the Earth and precisely measured densities. Receiving 19 times more stellar radiation than the Earth, the planet is too hot to be habitable but is cool enough to support a substantial atmosphere, one that has probably been considerably depleted of hydrogen. Because the host star is nearby and only 21 per cent the radius of the Sun, existing and upcoming telescopes will be able to observe the composition and dynamics of the planetary atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailPluto's atmosphere from stellar occultations in 2012 and 2013
Dias-Oliveira, Alex; Sicardy, Bruno; Lellouch, Emmanuel et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2015, November 01), 47

We present results from two Pluto stellar occultations observed on 18 July 2012 and 04 May 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites in South America. Both campaigns involved large ... [more ▼]

We present results from two Pluto stellar occultations observed on 18 July 2012 and 04 May 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites in South America. Both campaigns involved large telescopes (including the 8.2-m VLT at ESO/Paranal). The high SNR ratios and multi-chord coverage provide amoung the best Pluto atmospheric profiles ever obtained from the ground.We show that a spherically symmetric, clear (no-haze) and pure N2 atmosphere with a unique temperature profile satisfactorily fits the twelve lightcurves provided by the two events. We find, however, a small but significant increase of pressure of 6% (6-sigma level) between the two dates, with values of 2.16 ± 0.2 and 2.30 ± 0.01 μbar at the reference radius 1275 km, respectively.We provide atmospheric constrains between 1190 km and 1450 km from Pluto's center, and we determine the temperature profile with accuracy of a few km in vertical scale. Our model shows a stratosphere with strong positive gradient between 1190 km (at 36 K, 11 μbar) and r =1215 km (6.0 μbar), where a temperature maximum of 110 K is reached. Above it is a mesosphere with negative thermal gradient of -0.2 K/km up to 1,390 km (0.25 μbar), at which point, the mesosphere connects itself to a more isothermal upper branch at 81 K. This profile provides (assuming no troposphere) a Pluto surface radius of 1190 ± 5 km, consistent with preliminary values obtained by New Horizons. Currently measured CO abundances are too low to explain the negative mesospheric thermal gradient. We explore the possibility of an HCN (recently detected by ALMA) cooling. This model, however, requires largely supersaturated HCN. Zonal winds and vertical compositional variations of the atmosphere are also unable to explain the observed mesospheric trend.These events are the last useful ground-based occultations recorded before the 29 June 2015 occultation observed from Australia and New Zealand, and before the NASA's New Horizons flyby of July 2015. This work can serve as a benchmark in the New Horizons context, enabling comparisons between ground-based and space results concerning Pluto's atmospheric structure and temporal evolution. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the K2-19 Multiple-Transiting Planetary System via High-Dispersion Spectroscopy, AO Imaging, and Transit Timing Variations
Narita, Norio; Hirano, Teruyuki; Fukui, Akihiko et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 815

K2-19 (EPIC201505350) is an interesting planetary system in which two transiting planets with radii ~ 7 $R_{Earth}$ (inner planet b) and ~ 4 $R_{Earth}$ (outer planet c) have orbits that are nearly in a 3 ... [more ▼]

K2-19 (EPIC201505350) is an interesting planetary system in which two transiting planets with radii ~ 7 $R_{Earth}$ (inner planet b) and ~ 4 $R_{Earth}$ (outer planet c) have orbits that are nearly in a 3:2 mean-motion resonance. Here, we present results of ground-based follow-up observations for the K2-19 planetary system. We have performed high-dispersion spectroscopy and high-contrast adaptive-optics imaging of the host star with the HDS and HiCIAO on the Subaru 8.2m telescope. We find that the host star is relatively old (>8 Gyr) late G-type star ($T_{eff}$ ~ 5350 K, $M_s$ ~ 0.9 $M_{Sun}$, and $R_{s}$ ~ 0.9 $R_{Sun}$). We do not find any contaminating faint objects near the host star which could be responsible for (or dilute) the transit signals. We have also conducted transit follow-up photometry for the inner planet with KeplerCam on the FLWO 1.2m telescope, TRAPPISTCAM on the TRAPPIST 0.6m telescope, and MuSCAT on the OAO 1.88m telescope. We confirm the presence of transit-timing variations, as previously reported by Armstrong and coworkers. We model the observed transit-timing variations of the inner planet using the synodic chopping formulae given by Deck & Agol (2015). We find two statistically indistinguishable solutions for which the period ratios ($P_{c}/P_{b}$) are located slightly above and below the exact 3:2 commensurability. Despite the degeneracy, we derive the orbital period of the inner planet $P_b$ ~ 7.921 days and the mass of the outer planet $M_c$ ~ 20 $M_{Earth}$. Additional transit photometry (especially for the outer planet) as well as precise radial-velocity measurements would be helpful to break the degeneracy and to determine the mass of the inner planet. [less ▲]

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See detailThe K2-ESPRINT Project I: Discovery of the Disintegrating Rocky Planet K2-22b with a Cometary Head and Leading Tail
Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Rappaport, S.; Pallé, E. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 812(2), 112

We present the discovery of a transiting exoplanet candidate in the K2 Field-1 with an orbital period of 9.1457 hr: K2-22b. The highly variable transit depths, ranging from ∼0% to 1.3%, are suggestive of ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery of a transiting exoplanet candidate in the K2 Field-1 with an orbital period of 9.1457 hr: K2-22b. The highly variable transit depths, ranging from ∼0% to 1.3%, are suggestive of a planet that is disintegrating via the emission of dusty effluents. We characterize the host star as an M-dwarf with Teff ≃ 3800 K. We have obtained ground-based transit measurements with several 1-m class telescopes and with the GTC. These observations (1) improve the transit ephemeris; (2) confirm the variable nature of the transit depths; (3) indicate variations in the transit shapes; and (4) demonstrate clearly that at least on one occasion the transit depths were significantly wavelength dependent. The latter three effects tend to indicate extinction of starlight by dust rather than by any combination of solid bodies. The K2 observations yield a folded light curve with lower time resolution but with substantially better statistical precision compared with the ground-based observations. We detect a significant “bump” just after the transit egress, and a less significant bump just prior to transit ingress. We interpret these bumps in the context of a planet that is not only likely streaming a dust tail behind it, but also has a more prominent leading dust trail that precedes it. This effect is modeled in terms of dust grains that can escape to beyond the planet's Hill sphere and effectively undergo “Roche lobe overflow,” even though the planet's surface is likely underfilling its Roche lobe by a factor of 2. [less ▲]

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See detailTests of the Planetary Hypothesis for PTFO 8-8695b
Yu, Liang; Winn, Joshua N.; Gillon, Michaël ULg et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 812

The T Tauri star PTFO 8-8695 exhibits periodic fading events that have been interpreted as the transits of a giant planet on a precessing orbit. Here we present three tests of the planet hypothesis. First ... [more ▼]

The T Tauri star PTFO 8-8695 exhibits periodic fading events that have been interpreted as the transits of a giant planet on a precessing orbit. Here we present three tests of the planet hypothesis. First, we sought evidence for the secular changes in light-curve morphology that are predicted to be a consequence of orbital precession. We observed 28 fading events spread over several years and did not see the expected changes. Instead, we found that the fading events are not strictly periodic. Second, we attempted to detect the planet's radiation, based on infrared observations spanning the predicted times of occultations. We ruled out a signal of the expected amplitude. Third, we attempted to detect the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect by performing high-resolution spectroscopy throughout a fading event. No effect was seen at the expected level, ruling out most (but not all) possible orientations for the hypothetical planetary orbit. Our spectroscopy also revealed strong, time-variable, high-velocity Hα and Ca H & K emission features. All these observations cast doubt on the planetary hypothesis, and suggest instead that the fading events represent starspots, eclipses by circumstellar dust, or occultations of an accretion hotspot. [less ▲]

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