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See detailSurvey for Ortho-to-Para Abundance Ratios (OPRs) of NH2 in Comets: Revisit to the Meaning of OPRs of Cometary Volatiles
Kawakita, Hideyo; Shinnaka, Yoshiharu; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2016, October 01), 48

Since molecules having identical protons can be classified into nuclear-spin isomers (e.g., ortho-H[SUB]2[/SUB]O and para-H[SUB]2[/SUB]O for water) and their inter-conversions by radiative and non ... [more ▼]

Since molecules having identical protons can be classified into nuclear-spin isomers (e.g., ortho-H[SUB]2[/SUB]O and para-H[SUB]2[/SUB]O for water) and their inter-conversions by radiative and non-destructive collisional processes are believed to be very slow, the ortho-to-para abundance ratios (OPRs) of cometary volatiles such as H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, NH[SUB]3[/SUB] and CH[SUB]4[/SUB] in coma have been considered as primordial characters of cometary molecules [1]. Those ratios are usually interpreted as nuclear-spin temperatures although the real meaning of OPRs is in strong debate. Recent progress in laboratory studies about nuclear-spin conversion in gas- and solid-phases [2,3] revealed short-time nuclear-spin conversions for water, and we have to reconsider the interpretation for observed OPRs of cometary volatiles. We have already performed the survey for OPRs of NH[SUB]2[/SUB] in more than 20 comets by large aperture telescopes with high-resolution spectrographs (UVES/VLT, HDS/Subaru, etc.) in the optical wavelength region [4]. The observed OPRs of ammonia estimated from OPRs of NH[SUB]2[/SUB], cluster around ~1.1 (cf. 1.0 as a high-temperature limit), indicative of ~30 K as nuclear-spin temperatures. We present our latest results for OPRs of cometary NH[SUB]2[/SUB] and discuss about the real meaning of OPRs of cometary ammonia, in relation to OPRs of water in cometary coma. Chemical processes in the inner coma may play an important role to achieve un-equilibrated OPRs of cometary volatiles in coma.This work was financially supported by MEXT Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities, 2014–2018 (No. S1411028) (HK) and by Graint-in-Aid for JSPS Fellows, 15J10864 (YS).References:[1] Mumma & Charnley, 2011, Annu. Rev. Astro. Astrophys. 49, 471.[2] Hama & Watanabe, 2013, Chem. Rev. 113, 8783.[3] Hama et al., 2008, Science 351, 6268.[4] Shinnaka et al., 2011, ApJ 729, 81. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star
Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege; Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Lederer, Susan M. et al

in AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts (2016, October 01)

We report the discovery of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star using data collected by the Liège TRAPPIST telescope, located in la Silla (Chile). TRAPPIST-1 is ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star using data collected by the Liège TRAPPIST telescope, located in la Silla (Chile). TRAPPIST-1 is an isolated M8.0±0.5-type dwarf star at a distance of 12.0±0.4 parsecs as measured by its trigonometric parallax, with an age constrained to be > 500 Myr, and with a luminosity, mass, and radius of 0.05%, 8% and 11.5% those of the Sun, respectively. The small size of the host star, only slightly larger than Jupiter, translates into Earth-like radii for the three discovered planets, as deduced from their transit depths. The inner two planets receive four and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Several orbits remain possible for the third planet based on our current data. The infrared brightness of the host star combined with its Jupiter-like size offer the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the high-albedo NEA 3691 Bede
Wooden, Diane H.; Lederer, Susan M.; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege et al

in AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts (2016, October 01)

Characterization of NEAs provides important inputs to models for atmospheric entry, risk assessment and mitigation. Diameter is a key parameter because diameter translates to kinetic energy in atmospheric ... [more ▼]

Characterization of NEAs provides important inputs to models for atmospheric entry, risk assessment and mitigation. Diameter is a key parameter because diameter translates to kinetic energy in atmospheric entry. Diameters can be derived from the absolute magnitude, H(PA=0deg), and from thermal modeling of observed IR fluxes. For both methods, the albedo (pv) is important - high pv surfaces have cooler temperatures, larger diameters for a given Hmag, and shallower phase curves (larger slope parameter G). Thermal model parameters are coupled, however, so that a higher thermal inertia also results in a cooler surface temperature. Multiple parameters contribute to constraining the diameter.Observations made at multiple observing geometries can contribute to understanding the relationships between and potentially breaking some of the degeneracies between parameters. We present data and analyses on NEA 3691 Bede with the aim of best constraining the diameter and pv from a combination of thermal modeling and light curve analyses. We employ our UKIRT+Michelle mid-IR photometric observations of 3691 Bede's thermal emission at 2 phase angles (27&43 deg 2015-03-19 & 04-13), in addition to WISE data (33deg 2010-05-27, Mainzer+2011).Observing geometries differ by solar phase angles and by moderate changes in heliocentric distance (e.g., further distances produce somewhat cooler surface temperatures). With the NEATM model and for a constant IR beaming parameter (eta=constant), there is a family of solutions for (diameter, pv, G, eta) where G is the slope parameter from the H-G Relation. NEATM models employing Pravec+2012's choice of G=0.43, produce D=1.8 km and pv≈0.4, given that G=0.43 is assumed from studies of main belt asteroids (Warner+2009). We present an analysis of the light curve of 3691 Bede to constrain G from observations. We also investigate fitting thermophysical models (TPM, Rozitis+11) to constrain the coupled parameters of thermal inertia (Gamma) and surface roughness, which in turn affect diameter and pv. Surface composition can be related to pv. This study focuses on understanding and characterizing the dependency of parameters with the aim of constraining diameter, pv and thermal inertia for 3691 Bede. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-113b and WASP-114b, two inflated hot-Jupiters with contrasting densities
Barros, S. C. C.; Brown, D. J. A.; Hébrard, G. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 593

We present the discovery and characterisation of the exoplanets WASP-113b and WASP-114b by the WASP survey, {\it SOPHIE} and {\it CORALIE}. The planetary nature of the systems was established by ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery and characterisation of the exoplanets WASP-113b and WASP-114b by the WASP survey, {\it SOPHIE} and {\it CORALIE}. The planetary nature of the systems was established by performing follow-up photometric and spectroscopic observations. The follow-up data were combined with the WASP-photometry and analysed with an MCMC code to obtain system parameters. The host stars WASP-113 and WASP-114 are very similar. They are both early G-type stars with an effective temperature of $\sim 5900\,$K, [Fe/H]$\sim 0.12$ and $T_{\rm eff}$ $\sim 4.1$dex. However, WASP-113 is older than WASP-114. Although the planetary companions have similar radii, WASP-114b is almost 4 times heavier than WASP-113b. WASP-113b has a mass of $0.48\,$ $\mathrm{M}_{\rm Jup}$ and an orbital period of $\sim 4.5\,$days; WASP-114b has a mass of $1.77\,$ $\mathrm{M}_{\rm Jup}$ and an orbital period of $\sim 1.5\,$days. Both planets have inflated radii, in particular WASP-113 with a radius anomaly of $\Re=0.35$. The high scale height of WASP-113b ($\sim 950$ km ) makes it a good target for follow-up atmospheric observations. [less ▲]

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See detail2003 AZ84: Size, shape, albedo and first detection of topographic features
Dias-Oliveira, Alex; Sicardy, Bruno; Ortiz, Jose-Luis et al

in AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts (2016, October 01)

We analyze two multi-chord stellar occultations by the Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) 2003 AZ84 observed on February 3, 2012 and November 15, 2014.They provide different elliptical limb fits that are ... [more ▼]

We analyze two multi-chord stellar occultations by the Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) 2003 AZ84 observed on February 3, 2012 and November 15, 2014.They provide different elliptical limb fits that are consistent to within their respective error bars, but could also suggest a possible precession of the object (assumed here to be a Maclaurin spheroid). The derived equatorial radius and oblateness are R[SUB]e[/SUB] = 393 ± 7 km and ɛ = 0.057 in 2014 and R[SUB]e[/SUB] = 414 ± 13 km and ɛ = 0.165 in 2012, respectively. Those results are consistent with single-chord events observed in January 2011 and December 2013. The figures above provide geometric visual albedos of p[SUB]V(2014)[/SUB] = 0.112 ± 0.008 and p[SUB]V(2012)[/SUB] = 0.114 ± 0.020. Using the Maclaurin assumption, combined with possible rotational periods of 6.67 h and 10.56 h, we estimate density upper limits of 1.89 ± 0.16g/cm[SUP]3[/SUP] and 0.77 ± 0.07g/cm[SUP]3[/SUP] for the two dates, respectively.The 2014 event provides (for the first time during a TNO occultation) a grazing chord with a gradual disappearance of the star behind 2003[SUB]AZ[/SUB]84's limb that lasts for more than 10 seconds. We rule out the possibility of a localized dust concentration as it would imply very high optical depth for that cloud. We favor a local topographic feature (chasm) with minimum width and depth of 22 ± 2.5 km and 7 ± 2.0 km, respectively. Features with similar depths are in fact observed on Pluto's main satellite, Charon, which has a radius of about 605 km, comparable to that of 2003[SUB]AZ[/SUB]84. [less ▲]

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See detailA combined transmission spectrum of the Earth-sized exoplanets TRAPPIST-1 b and c
de Wit, Julien; Wakeford, Hannah R.; Gillon, Michaël ULiege et al

in Nature (2016), 537

Three Earth-sized exoplanets were recently discovered close to the habitable zone of the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (ref. 3). The nature of these planets has yet to be determined, as their ... [more ▼]

Three Earth-sized exoplanets were recently discovered close to the habitable zone of the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (ref. 3). The nature of these planets has yet to be determined, as their masses remain unmeasured and no observational constraint is available for the planetary population surrounding ultracool dwarfs, of which the TRAPPIST-1 planets are the first transiting example. Theoretical predictions span the entire atmospheric range, from depleted to extended hydrogen-dominated atmospheres. Here we report observations of the combined transmission spectrum of the two inner planets during their simultaneous transits on 4 May 2016. The lack of features in the combined spectrum rules out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres for each planet at ≥10σ levels; TRAPPIST-1 b and c are therefore unlikely to have an extended gas envelope as they occupy a region of parameter space in which high-altitude cloud/haze formation is not expected to be significant for hydrogen-dominated atmospheres. Many denser atmospheres remain consistent with the featureless transmission spectrum—from a cloud-free water-vapour atmosphere to a Venus-like one. [less ▲]

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See detail2D-photochemical model for forbidden oxygen line emission for comet 1P/Halley
Cessateur, G.; De Keyser, J.; Maggiolo, R. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016)

We present here a 2D-model of photochemistry for computing the production and loss mechanisms of the O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) and O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) states, which are responsible for the emission lines at 577.7 nm ... [more ▼]

We present here a 2D-model of photochemistry for computing the production and loss mechanisms of the O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) and O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) states, which are responsible for the emission lines at 577.7 nm, 630 nm, and 636.4 nm, in case of the comet 1P/Halley. The presence of O[SUB]2[/SUB] within cometary atmospheres, measured by the in-situ ROSETTA and GIOTTO missions, necessitates a revision of the usual photochemical models. Indeed, the photodissociation of molecular oxygen also leads to a significant production of oxygen in excited electronic states. In order to correctly model the solar UV flux absorption, we consider here a 2D configuration. While the green to red-doublet ratio is not affected by the solar UV flux absorption, estimates of the red-doublet and green lines emissions are, however, overestimated by a factor of two in the 1D model compared to the 2D model. Considering a spherical symmetry, emission maps can be deduced from the 2D model in order to be directly compared to ground and/or in-situ observations. [less ▲]

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See detailLOTUS: a low-cost, ultraviolet spectrograph
Steele, I. A.; Marchant, J. M.; Jermak, H. E. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016), 460

We describe the design, construction and commissioning of a simple, low-cost long-slit spectrograph for the Liverpool Telescope. The design is optimized for near-UV and visible wavelengths and uses all ... [more ▼]

We describe the design, construction and commissioning of a simple, low-cost long-slit spectrograph for the Liverpool Telescope. The design is optimized for near-UV and visible wavelengths and uses all transmitting optics. It exploits the instrument focal plane field curvature to partially correct axial chromatic aberration. A stepped slit provides narrow (2.5 × 95 arcsec) and wide (5 × 25 arcsec) options that are optimized for spectral resolution and flux calibration, respectively. On sky testing shows a wavelength range of 3200-6300 Å with a peak system throughput (including detector quantum efficiency) of 15 per cent and wavelength dependent spectral resolution of R = 225-430. By repeated observations of the symbiotic emission line star AG Peg, we demonstrate the wavelength stability of the system is <2 Å rms and is limited by the positioning of the object in the slit. The spectrograph is now in routine operation monitoring the activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during its current post-perihelion apparition. [less ▲]

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See detailThe 19 Feb. 2016 Outburst of Comet 67P/CG: An ESA Rosetta Multi-Instrument Study
Grün, E.; Agarwal, J.; Altobelli, N. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016)

On 19 Feb. 2016 nine Rosetta instruments serendipitously observed an outburst of gas and dust from the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among these instruments were cameras and spectrometers ... [more ▼]

On 19 Feb. 2016 nine Rosetta instruments serendipitously observed an outburst of gas and dust from the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among these instruments were cameras and spectrometers ranging from UV over visible to microwave wavelengths, in-situ gas, dust and plasma instruments, and one dust collector. At 9:40 a dust cloud developed at the edge of an image in the shadowed region of the nucleus. Over the next two hours the instruments recorded a signature of the outburst that significantly exceeded the background. The enhancement ranged from 50% of the neutral gas density at Rosetta to factors >100 of the brightness of the coma near the nucleus. Dust related phenomena (dust counts or brightness due to illuminated dust) showed the strongest enhancements (factors >10). However, even the electron density at Rosetta increased by a factor 3 and consequently the spacecraft potential changed from ˜-16 V to -20 V during the outburst. A clear sequence of events was observed at the distance of Rosetta (34 km from the nucleus): within 15 minutes the Star Tracker camera detected fast particles (˜25 m s[SUP]-1[/SUP]) while 100 μm radius particles were detected by the GIADA dust instrument ˜1 hour later at a speed of ~6 m s[SUP]-1[/SUP]. The slowest were individual mm to cm sized grains observed by the OSIRIS cameras. Although the outburst originated just outside the FOV of the instruments, the source region and the magnitude of the outburst could be determined. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-120b, WASP-122b and WASP-123b: Three newly discovered planets from the WASP-South survey
Turner, O. D.; Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A. et al

in Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (2016), 128

We present the discovery by the WASP-South survey of three planets transiting moderately bright stars (V ~ 11). WASP-120b is a massive (5.0MJup) planet in a 3.6-day orbit that we find likely to be ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery by the WASP-South survey of three planets transiting moderately bright stars (V ~ 11). WASP-120b is a massive (5.0MJup) planet in a 3.6-day orbit that we find likely to be eccentric (e = 0.059+0.025-0.018) around an F5 star. WASP-122b is a hot-Jupiter (1.37MJup, 1.79RJup) in a 1.7-day orbit about a G4 star. Our predicted transit depth variation cause by the atmosphere of WASP-122b suggests it is well suited to characterisation. WASP-123b is a hot-Jupiter (0.92MJup, 1.33RJup) in a 3.0-day orbit around an old (~ 7 Gyr) G5 star. [less ▲]

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See detailFive transiting hot Jupiters discovered using WASP-South, Euler, and TRAPPIST: WASP-119 b, WASP-124 b, WASP-126 b, WASP-129 b, and WASP-133 b
Maxted, P. F. L.; Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 591

We have used photometry from the WASP-South instrument to identify 5 stars showing planet-like transits in their light curves. The planetary nature of the companions to these stars has been confirmed ... [more ▼]

We have used photometry from the WASP-South instrument to identify 5 stars showing planet-like transits in their light curves. The planetary nature of the companions to these stars has been confirmed using photometry from the EulerCam instrument on the Swiss Euler 1.2-m telescope and the TRAPPIST telescope, and spectroscopy obtained with the CORALIE spectrograph. The planets discovered are hot Jupiter systems with orbital periods in the range 2.17 to 5.75 days, masses from 0.3 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] to 1.2 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] and with radii from 1 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] to 1.5 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]. These planets orbit bright stars (V = 11-13) with spectral types in the range F9 to G4. WASP-126 is the brightest planetary system in this sample and hosts a low-mass planet with a large radius (0.3 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB],0.95 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]), making it a good target for transmission spectroscopy. The high density of WASP-129 A suggests that it is a helium-rich star similar to HAT-P-11 A. WASP-133 A has an enhanced surface lithium abundance compared to other old G-type stars, particularly other planet host stars. These planetary systems are good targets for follow-up observations with ground-based and space-based facilities to study their atmospheric and dynamical properties. Full Tables 2 and 3 are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/591/A55">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/591/A55</A> [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-121 b: a hot Jupiter close to tidal disruption transiting an active F star
Delrez, Laetitia ULiege; Santerne, A.; Almenara, J.-M. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016), 458(4), 4025-4043

We present the discovery by the WASP-South survey of WASP-121 b, a new remarkable short-period transiting hot Jupiter. The planet has a mass of 1.183_{-0.062}^{+0.064} MJup, a radius of 1.865 ± 0.044 RJup ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery by the WASP-South survey of WASP-121 b, a new remarkable short-period transiting hot Jupiter. The planet has a mass of 1.183_{-0.062}^{+0.064} MJup, a radius of 1.865 ± 0.044 RJup, and transits every 1.274 9255_{-0.000 0025}^{+0.000 0020} days an active F6-type main-sequence star (V = 10.4, 1.353_{-0.079}^{+0.080} M⊙, 1.458 ± 0.030 R⊙, Teff = 6460 ± 140 K). A notable property of WASP-121 b is that its orbital semimajor axis is only ˜1.15 times larger than its Roche limit, which suggests that the planet is close to tidal disruption. Furthermore, its large size and extreme irradiation (˜7.1 109 erg s-1 cm-2) make it an excellent target for atmospheric studies via secondary eclipse observations. Using the TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small 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°_{-5.5°}^{+5.3°}. This result may suggest a significant misalignment between the spin axis of the host star and the orbital plane of the planet. If confirmed, this high misalignment would favour a migration of the planet involving strong dynamical events with a third body. [less ▲]

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See detailTemperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star
Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege; Lederer, Susan M. et al

in Nature (2016), 533

Star-like objects with effective temperatures of less than 2,700 kelvin are referred to as ‘ultracool dwarfs’. This heterogeneous group includes stars of extremely low mass as well as brown dwarfs ... [more ▼]

Star-like objects with effective temperatures of less than 2,700 kelvin are referred to as ‘ultracool dwarfs’. This heterogeneous group includes stars of extremely low mass as well as brown dwarfs (substellar objects not massive enough to sustain hydrogen fusion), and represents about 15 per cent of the population of astronomical objects near the Sun. Core-accretion theory predicts that, given the small masses of these ultracool dwarfs, and the small sizes of their protoplanetary disks, there should be a large but hitherto undetected population of terrestrial planets orbiting them—ranging from metal-rich Mercury-sized planets to more hospitable volatile-rich Earth-sized planets. Here we report observations of three short-period Earth-sized planets transiting an ultracool dwarf star only 12 parsecs away. The inner two planets receive four times and two times the irradiation of Earth, respectively, placing them close to the inner edge of the habitable zone of the star. Our data suggest that 11 orbits remain possible for the third planet, the most likely resulting in irradiation significantly less than that received by Earth. The infrared brightness of the host star, combined with its Jupiter-like size, offers the possibility of thoroughly characterizing the components of this nearby planetary system. [less ▲]

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See detailAbel inversion method for cometary atmospheres.
Hubert, Benoît ULiege; Opitom, Cyrielle ULiege; Hutsemekers, Damien ULiege et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2016, April 01), 18

Remote observation of cometary atmospheres produces a measurement of the cometary emissions integrated along the line of sight joining the observing instrument and the gas of the coma. This integration is ... [more ▼]

Remote observation of cometary atmospheres produces a measurement of the cometary emissions integrated along the line of sight joining the observing instrument and the gas of the coma. This integration is the so-called Abel transform of the local emission rate. We develop a method specifically adapted to the inversion of the Abel transform of cometary emissions, that retrieves the radial profile of the emission rate of any unabsorbed emission, under the hypothesis of spherical symmetry of the coma. The method uses weighted least squares fitting and analytical results. A Tikhonov regularization technique is applied to reduce the possible effects of noise and ill-conditioning, and standard error propagation techniques are implemented. Several theoretical tests of the inversion techniques are carried out to show its validity and robustness, and show that the method is only weakly dependent on any constant offset added to the data, which reduces the dependence of the retrieved emission rate on the background subtraction. We apply the method to observations of three different comets observed using the TRAPPIST instrument: 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 emission rate derived from the observed flux of CN emission at 387 nm and from the C2 emission at 514.1 nm of comet Siding Spring 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. 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 detailDistant activity of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014: Ground-based results during the Rosetta pre-landing phase
Snodgrass, Colin; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege; Manfroid, Jean ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 588

Context. As the ESA Rosetta mission approached, orbited, and sent a lander to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, a large campaign of ground-based observations also followed the comet. <BR /> Aims ... [more ▼]

Context. As the ESA Rosetta mission approached, orbited, and sent a lander to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, a large campaign of ground-based observations also followed the comet. <BR /> Aims: We constrain the total activity level of the comet by photometry and spectroscopy to place Rosetta results in context and to understand the large-scale structure of the comet's coma pre-perihelion. <BR /> Methods: We performed observations using a number of telescopes, but concentrate on results from the 8 m VLT and Gemini South telescopes in Chile. We use R-band imaging to measure the dust coma contribution to the comet's brightness and UV-visible spectroscopy to search for gas emissions, primarily using VLT/FORS. In addition we imaged the comet in near-infrared wavelengths (JHK) in late 2014 with Gemini-S/Flamingos-2. <BR /> Results: We find that the comet was already active in early 2014 at heliocentric distances beyond 4 au. The evolution of the total activity (measured by dust) followed previous predictions. No gas emissions were detected despite sensitive searches. <BR /> Conclusions: The comet maintains a similar level of activity from orbit to orbit, and is in that sense predictable, meaning that Rosetta results correspond to typical behaviour for this comet. The gas production (for CN at least) is highly asymmetric with respect to perihelion, as our upper limits are below the measured production rates for similar distances post-perihelion in previous orbits. Based on observations made with ESO telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under programme IDs 592.C-0924, 093.C-0593, 094.C-0054, and at Gemini South under GS-2014B-Q-15 and GS-2014B-Q-76. [less ▲]

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See detailFORS2 observes a multi-epoch transmission spectrum of the hot Saturn-mass exoplanet WASP-49b
Lendl, M.; Delrez, Laetitia ULiege; Gillon, Michaël ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 587

Context. Transmission spectroscopy has proven to be a useful tool for the study of exoplanet atmospheres, because the absorption and scattering signatures of the atmosphere manifest themselves as ... [more ▼]

Context. Transmission spectroscopy has proven to be a useful tool for the study of exoplanet atmospheres, because the absorption and scattering signatures of the atmosphere manifest themselves as variations in the planetary transit depth. Several planets have been studied with this technique, leading to the detection of a small number of elements and molecules (Na, K, H[SUB]2[/SUB]O), but also revealing that many planets show flat transmission spectra consistent with the presence of opaque high-altitude clouds. <BR /> Aims: We apply this technique to the M[SUB]P[/SUB] = 0.40M[SUB]J[/SUB], R[SUB]p[/SUB] = 1.20R[SUB]J[/SUB], P = 2.78 d planet WASP-49b, aiming to characterize its transmission spectrum between 0.73 and 1 ¯m and search for the features of K and H[SUB]2[/SUB]O. Owing to its density and temperature, the planet is predicted to possess an extended atmosphere and is thus a good target for transmission spectroscopy. <BR /> Methods: Three transits of WASP-49b have been observed with the FORS2 instrument installed at the VLT/UT1 telescope at the ESO Paranal site. We used FORS2 in MXU mode with grism GRIS_600z, producing simultaneous multiwavelength transit light curves throughout the i' and z' bands. We combined these data with independent broadband photometry from the Euler and TRAPPIST telescopes to obtain a good measurement of the transit shape. Strong correlated noise structures are present in the FORS2 light curves, which are due to rotating flat-field structures that are introduced by inhomogeneities of the linear atmospheric dispersion corrector's transparency. We accounted for these structures by constructing common noise models from the residuals of light curves bearing the same noise structures and used them together with simple parametric models to infer the transmission spectrum. <BR /> Results: We present three independent transmission spectra of WASP-49b between 0.73 and 1.02 ¯m, as well as a transmission spectrum between 0.65 and 1.02 ¯m from the combined analysis of FORS2 and broadband data. The results obtained from the three individual epochs agree well. The transmission spectrum of WASP-49b is best fit by atmospheric models containing a cloud deck at pressure levels of 1 mbar or lower. Based on photometric observations made with FORS2 on the ESO VLT/UT1 (Prog. ID 090.C-0758), EulerCam on the Euler-Swiss telescope and the Belgian TRAPPIST telescope.The photometric time series data in this work are only available in electronic form 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/587/A67">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/587/A67</A> [less ▲]

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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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