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See detailUnveiling the β Pictoris system, coupling high contrast imaging, interferometric, and radial velocity data
Lagrange, A. M.; Rubini, P.; Nowak, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 642

Context. The nearby and young β Pictoris system hosts a well resolved disk, a directly imaged massive giant planet orbiting at ≃9 au, as well as an inner planet orbiting at ≃2.7 au, which was recently ... [more ▼]

Context. The nearby and young β Pictoris system hosts a well resolved disk, a directly imaged massive giant planet orbiting at ≃9 au, as well as an inner planet orbiting at ≃2.7 au, which was recently detected through radial velocity (RV). As such, it offers several unique opportunities for detailed studies of planetary system formation and early evolution. <BR /> Aims: We aim to further constrain the orbital and physical properties of β Pictoris b and c using a combination of high contrast imaging, long base-line interferometry, and RV data. We also predict the closest approaches or the transit times of both planets, and we constrain the presence of additional planets in the system. <BR /> Methods: We obtained six additional epochs of SPHERE data, six additional epochs of GRAVITY data, and five additional epochs of RV data. We combined these various types of data in a single Markov-chain Monte Carlo analysis to constrain the orbital parameters and masses of the two planets simultaneously. The analysis takes into account the gravitational influence of both planets on the star and hence their relative astrometry. Secondly, we used the RV and high contrast imaging data to derive the probabilities of presence of additional planets throughout the disk, and we tested the impact of absolute astrometry. <BR /> Results: The orbital properties of both planets are constrained with a semi-major axis of 9.8 ± 0.4 au and 2.7 ± 0.02 au for b and c, respectively, and eccentricities of 0.09 ± 0.1 and 0.27 ± 0.07, assuming the HIPPARCOS distance. We note that despite these low fitting error bars, the eccentricity of β Pictoris c might still be over-estimated. If no prior is provided on the mass of β Pictoris b, we obtain a very low value that is inconsistent with what is derived from brightness-mass models. When we set an evolutionary model motivated prior to the mass of β Pictoris b, we find a solution in the 10-11 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] range. Conversely, β Pictoris c's mass is well constrained, at 7.8 ± 0.4 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], assuming both planets are on coplanar orbits. These values depend on the assumptions on the distance of the β Pictoris system. The absolute astrometry HIPPARCOS-Gaia data are consistent with the solutions presented here at the 2σ level, but these solutions are fully driven by the relative astrometry plus RV data. Finally, we derive unprecedented limits on the presence of additional planets in the disk. We can now exclude the presence of planets that are more massive than about 2.5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] closer than 3 au, and more massive than 3.5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] between 3 and 7.5 au. Beyond 7.5 au, we exclude the presence of planets that are more massive than 1-2 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]. <BR /> Conclusions: Combining relative astrometry and RVs allows one to precisely constrain the orbital parameters of both planets and to give lower limits to potential additional planets throughout the disk. The mass of β Pictoris c is also well constrained, while additional RV data with appropriate observing strategies are required to properly constrain the mass of β Pictoris b. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect confirmation of the radial-velocity planet β Pictoris c
Nowak, M.; Lacour, S.; Lagrange, A.-M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 642

Context. Methods used to detect giant exoplanets can be broadly divided into two categories: indirect and direct. Indirect methods are more sensitive to planets with a small orbital period, whereas direct ... [more ▼]

Context. Methods used to detect giant exoplanets can be broadly divided into two categories: indirect and direct. Indirect methods are more sensitive to planets with a small orbital period, whereas direct detection is more sensitive to planets orbiting at a large distance from their host star. This dichotomy makes it difficult to combine the two techniques on a single target at once. <BR /> Aims: Simultaneous measurements made by direct and indirect techniques offer the possibility of determining the mass and luminosity of planets and a method of testing formation models. Here, we aim to show how long-baseline interferometric observations guided by radial-velocity can be used in such a way. <BR /> Methods: We observed the recently-discovered giant planet β Pictoris c with GRAVITY, mounted on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. <BR /> Results: This study constitutes the first direct confirmation of a planet discovered through radial velocity. We find that the planet has a temperature of T = 1250 ± 50 K and a dynamical mass of M = 8.2 ± 0.8 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]. At 18.5 ± 2.5 Myr, this puts β Pic c close to a `hot start' track, which is usually associated with formation via disk instability. Conversely, the planet orbits at a distance of 2.7 au, which is too close for disk instability to occur. The low apparent magnitude (M[SUB]K[/SUB] = 14.3 ± 0.1) favours a core accretion scenario. <BR /> Conclusions: We suggest that this apparent contradiction is a sign of hot core accretion, for example, due to the mass of the planetary core or the existence of a high-temperature accretion shock during formation. [less ▲]

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See detailOngoing flyby in the young multiple system UX Tauri
Ménard, F.; Cuello, N.; Ginski, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 639

We present observations of the young multiple system UX Tauri to look for circumstellar disks and for signs of dynamical interactions. We obtained SPHERE/IRDIS deep differential polarization images in the ... [more ▼]

We present observations of the young multiple system UX Tauri to look for circumstellar disks and for signs of dynamical interactions. We obtained SPHERE/IRDIS deep differential polarization images in the J and H bands. We also used ALMA archival CO data. Large extended spirals are well detected in scattered light coming out of the disk of UX Tau A. The southern spiral forms a bridge between UX Tau A and C. These spirals, including the bridge connecting the two stars, all have a CO (3-2) counterpart seen by ALMA. The disk of UX Tau C is detected in scattered light. It is much smaller than the disk of UX Tau A and has a major axis along a different position angle, suggesting a misalignment. We performed PHANTOM SPH hydrodynamical models to interpret the data. The scattered light spirals, CO emission spirals and velocity patterns of the rotating disks, and the compactness of the disk of UX Tau C all point to a scenario in which UX Tau A has been perturbed very recently (∼1000 years) by the close passage of UX Tau C. <P />Movies associated to Fig. 3 are available at <A href="https://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6 361/202038356/olm">http://https://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailGap, shadows, spirals, and streamers: SPHERE observations of binary-disk interactions in GG Tauri A
Keppler, M.; Penzlin, A.; Benisty, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 639

Context. A large portion of stars is found to be part of binary or higher-order multiple systems. The ubiquity of planets found around single stars raises the question of whether and how planets in binary ... [more ▼]

Context. A large portion of stars is found to be part of binary or higher-order multiple systems. The ubiquity of planets found around single stars raises the question of whether and how planets in binary systems form. Protoplanetary disks are the birthplaces of planets, and characterizing them is crucial in order to understand the planet formation process. <BR /> Aims: Our goal is to characterize the morphology of the GG Tau A disk, one of the largest and most massive circumbinary disks. We also aim to trace evidence for binary-disk interactions. <BR /> Methods: We obtained observations in polarized scattered light of GG Tau A using the SPHERE/IRDIS instrument in the H-band filter. We analyzed the observed disk morphology and substructures. We ran 2D hydrodynamical models to simulate the evolution of the circumbinary ring over the lifetime of the disk. <BR /> Results: The disk and also the cavity and the inner region are highly structured, with several shadowed regions, spiral structures, and streamer-like filaments. Some of these are detected here for the first time. The streamer-like filaments appear to connect the outer ring with the northern arc. Their azimuthal spacing suggests that they may be generated through periodic perturbations by the binary, which tear off material from the inner edge of the outer disk once during each orbit. By comparing observations to hydrodynamical simulations, we find that the main features, in particular, the gap size, but also the spiral and streamer filaments, can be qualitatively explained by the gravitational interactions of a binary with a semimajor axis of ~35 au on an orbit coplanar with the circumbinary ring. <P />Based on observations performed with VLT/SPHERE under program ID 198.C-0209(N). [less ▲]

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See detailSPHERE+: Imaging young Jupiters down to the snowline
Boccaletti, A.; Chauvin, G.; Mouillet, D. et al

E-print/Working paper (2020)

SPHERE (Beuzit et al,. 2019) has now been in operation at the VLT for more than 5 years, demonstrating a high level of performance. SPHERE has produced outstanding results using a variety of operating ... [more ▼]

SPHERE (Beuzit et al,. 2019) has now been in operation at the VLT for more than 5 years, demonstrating a high level of performance. SPHERE has produced outstanding results using a variety of operating modes, primarily in the field of direct imaging of exoplanetary systems, focusing on exoplanets as point sources and circumstellar disks as extended objects. The achievements obtained thus far with SPHERE (~200 refereed publications) in different areas (exoplanets, disks, solar system, stellar physics...) have motivated a large consortium to propose an even more ambitious set of science cases, and its corresponding technical implementation in the form of an upgrade. The SPHERE+ project capitalizes on the expertise and lessons learned from SPHERE to push high contrast imaging performance to its limits on the VLT 8m-telescope. The scientific program of SPHERE+ described in this document will open a new and compelling scientific window for the upcoming decade in strong synergy with ground-based facilities (VLT/I, ELT, ALMA, and SKA) and space missions (Gaia, JWST, PLATO and WFIRST). While SPHERE has sampled the outer parts of planetary systems beyond a few tens of AU, SPHERE+ will dig into the inner regions around stars to reveal and characterize by mean of spectroscopy the giant planet population down to the snow line. Building on SPHERE's scientific heritage and resounding success, SPHERE+ will be a dedicated survey instrument which will strengthen the leadership of ESO and the European community in the very competitive field of direct imaging of exoplanetary systems. With enhanced capabilities, it will enable an even broader diversity of science cases including the study of the solar system, the birth and death of stars and the exploration of the inner regions of active galactic nuclei. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatially Resolving the Quasar Broad Emission Line Region
Gravity Collaboration; Abuter, R.; Accardo, M. et al

in Messenger (2019), 178

The angular resolution of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) and the excellent sensitivity of GRAVITY have led to the first detection of spatially resolved kinematics of high velocity atomic ... [more ▼]

The angular resolution of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) and the excellent sensitivity of GRAVITY have led to the first detection of spatially resolved kinematics of high velocity atomic gas near an accreting super- massive black hole, revealing rotation on sub-parsec scales in the quasar 3C 273 at a distance of 550 Mpc. The observations can be explained as the result of circular orbits in a thick disc configuration around a 300 million solar mass black hole. Within an ongoing Large Programme, this capability will be used to study the kinematics of atomic gas and its relation to hot dust in a sample of quasars and Seyfert galaxies. We will measure a new radius-luminosity relation from spatially resolved data and test the current methods used to measure black hole mass in large surveys. [less ▲]

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See detailVLT/SPHERE exploration of the young multiplanetary system PDS70
Mesa, D.; Keppler, M.; Cantalloube, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 632

Context. PDS 70 is a young (5.4 Myr), nearby ( 113 pc) star hosting a known transition disk with a large gap. Recent observations with SPHERE and NACO in the near-infrared (NIR) allowed us to detect a ... [more ▼]

Context. PDS 70 is a young (5.4 Myr), nearby ( 113 pc) star hosting a known transition disk with a large gap. Recent observations with SPHERE and NACO in the near-infrared (NIR) allowed us to detect a planetary mass companion, PDS 70 b, within the disk cavity. Moreover, observations in H[SUB]α[/SUB] with MagAO and MUSE revealed emission associated to PDS 70 b and to another new companion candidate, PDS 70 c, at a larger separation from the star. PDS 70 is the only multiple planetary system at its formation stage detected so far through direct imaging. <BR /> Aims: Our aim is to confirm the discovery of the second planet PDS 70 c using SPHERE at VLT, to further characterize its physical properties, and search for additional point sources in this young planetary system. <BR /> Methods: We re-analyzed archival SPHERE NIR observations and obtained new data in Y, J, H and K spectral bands for a total of four different epochs. The data were reduced using the data reduction and handling pipeline and the SPHERE data center. We then applied custom routines (e.g., ANDROMEDA and PACO) to subtract the starlight. <BR /> Results: We re-detect both PDS 70 b and c and confirm that PDS 70 c is gravitationally bound to the star. We estimate this second planet to be less massive than 5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] and with a T[SUB]eff[/SUB] around 900 K. Also, it has a low gravity with logg between 3.0 and 3.5 dex. In addition, a third object has been identified at short separation ( 0.12'') from the star and gravitationally bound to the star. Its spectrum is however very blue, meaning that we are probably seeing stellar light reflected by dust and our analysis seems to demonstrate that it is a feature of the inner disk. We cannot however completely exclude the possibility that it is a planetary mass object enshrouded by a dust envelope. In this latter case, its mass should be of the order of a few tens of M[SUB]⊕[/SUB]. Moreover, we propose a possible structure for the planetary system based on our data, and find that this structure cannot be stable on a long timescale. <P />The reduced images are also 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/cat/J/A+A/632/A25">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/cat/J/A+A/632/A25</A> <P />Based on observation made with European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes at Paranal Observatory in Chile, under programs ID 095.C-0298(B), 1100.C-0481(D), 1100.C-0481(L) and 1100.C-0481(M). [less ▲]

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See detailMapping of shadows cast on a protoplanetary disk by a close binary system
D'Orazi, V.; Gratton, R.; Desidera, S. et al

in Nature Astronomy (2019), 3

For a comprehensive understanding of planetary formation and evolution, we need to investigate the environment in which planets form: circumstellar disks. Here we present high-contrast imaging ... [more ▼]

For a comprehensive understanding of planetary formation and evolution, we need to investigate the environment in which planets form: circumstellar disks. Here we present high-contrast imaging observations of V4046 Sagittarii, a 20-Myr-old close binary known to host a circumbinary disk. We have discovered the presence of rotating shadows in the disk, caused by mutual occultations of the central binary. Shadow-like features are often observed in disks[SUP]1,2[/SUP], but those found thus far have not been due to eclipsing phenomena. We have used the phase difference due to light travel time to measure the flaring of the disk and the geometrical distance of the system. We calculate a distance that is in very good agreement with the value obtained from the Gaia mission's Data Release 2 (DR2), and flaring angles of α = (6.2 ± 0.6)° and α = (8.5 ± 1.0)° for the inner and outer disk rings, respectively. Our technique opens up a path to explore other binary systems, providing an independent estimate of distance and the flaring angle, a crucial parameter for disk modelling. [less ▲]

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See detailDetermining mass limits around HD 163296 through SPHERE direct imaging data
Mesa, D.; Langlois, M.; Garufi, Antonio et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019), 488

HD 163296 is a Herbig Ae/Be star known to host a protoplanetary disc with a ringed structure. To explain the disc features, previous works proposed the presence of planets embedded into the disc. We have ... [more ▼]

HD 163296 is a Herbig Ae/Be star known to host a protoplanetary disc with a ringed structure. To explain the disc features, previous works proposed the presence of planets embedded into the disc. We have observed HD 163296 with the near-infrared (NIR) branch of SPHERE composed by IRDIS (InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph) and IFS (integral field spectrograph) with the aim to put tight constraints on the presence of substellar companions around this star. Despite the low rotation of the field of view during our observation we were able to put upper mass limits of few M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] around this object. These limits do not allow to give any definitive conclusion about the planets proposed through the disc characteristics. On the other hand, our results seem to exclude the presence of the only candidate proposed until now using direct imaging in the NIR even if some caution has to be taken considered the different wavelength bands of the two observations. [less ▲]

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See detailExploring the R CrA environment with SPHERE. Discovery of a new stellar companion
Mesa, D.; Bonnefoy, M.; Gratton, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 624

<BR /> Aims: R Coronae Australis (R CrA) is the brightest star of the Coronet nebula of the Corona Australis (CrA) star forming region. This star is very red in color, probably due to dust absorption, and ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: R Coronae Australis (R CrA) is the brightest star of the Coronet nebula of the Corona Australis (CrA) star forming region. This star is very red in color, probably due to dust absorption, and is strongly variable. High-contrast instruments allow for an unprecedented direct exploration of the immediate circumstellar environment of this star. <BR /> Methods: We observed R CrA with the near-infrared (NIR) channels (IFS and IRDIS) of SPHERE at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). In this paper, we used four different epochs, three of which are from open time observations while one is from SPHERE guaranteed time. The data were reduced using the data reduction and handling pipeline and the SPHERE Data Center. We implemented custom IDL routines on the reduced data with the aim to subtract the speckle halo. We have also obtained pupil-tracking H-band (1.45-1.85 μm) observations with the VLT/SINFONI NIR medium-resolution (R ̃ 3000) spectrograph. <BR /> Results: A companion was found at a separation of 0.156″ from the star in the first epoch and increasing to 0.184″ in the final epoch. Furthermore, several extended structures were found around the star, the most noteworthy of which is a very bright jet-like structure northeast from the star. The astrometric measurements of the companion in the four epochs confirm that it is gravitationally bound to the star. The SPHERE photometry and SINFONI spectrum, once corrected for extinction, point toward a spectral type object that is early M with a mass between 0.3 and 0.55 M[SUB]☉[/SUB]. The astrometric analyis provides constraints on the orbit paramenters: e ̃ 0.4, semimajor axis at 27-28 au, inclination of ̃70°, and a period larger than 30 yr. We were also able to put constraints of few M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] on the mass of possible other companions down to separations of few tens of au. <P />Based on observations made with European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes at Paranal Observatory in Chile, under programs ID 095.C-0787(A), 097.C-0591(A), 1100.C-0481(H), 0101.C-0350(A) and 2101.C-5048(A).The SPHERE and SINFONI images 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/624/A4">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/624/A4</A> [less ▲]

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See detailFirst direct detection of an exoplanet by optical interferometry. Astrometry and K-band spectroscopy of HR 8799 e
Gravity Collaboration; Lacour, S.; Nowak, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 623

<BR /> Aims: To date, infrared interferometry at best achieved contrast ratios of a few times 10[SUP]-4[/SUP] on bright targets. GRAVITY, with its dual-field mode, is now capable of high contrast ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: To date, infrared interferometry at best achieved contrast ratios of a few times 10[SUP]-4[/SUP] on bright targets. GRAVITY, with its dual-field mode, is now capable of high contrast observations, enabling the direct observation of exoplanets. We demonstrate the technique on HR 8799, a young planetary system composed of four known giant exoplanets. <BR /> Methods: We used the GRAVITY fringe tracker to lock the fringes on the central star, and integrated off-axis on the HR 8799 e planet situated at 390 mas from the star. Data reduction included post-processing to remove the flux leaking from the central star and to extract the coherent flux of the planet. The inferred K band spectrum of the planet has a spectral resolution of 500. We also derive the astrometric position of the planet relative to the star with a precision on the order of 100 μas. <BR /> Results: The GRAVITY astrometric measurement disfavors perfectly coplanar stable orbital solutions. A small adjustment of a few degrees to the orbital inclination of HR 8799 e can resolve the tension, implying that the orbits are close to, but not strictly coplanar. The spectrum, with a signal-to-noise ratio of ≈5 per spectral channel, is compatible with a late-type L brown dwarf. Using Exo-REM synthetic spectra, we derive a temperature of 1150 ± 50 K and a surface gravity of 10[SUP]4.3 ± 0.3[/SUP] cm s[SUP]2[/SUP]. This corresponds to a radius of 1.17[SUB]-0.11[/SUB][SUP]+0.13[/SUP] R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] and a mass of 10[SUB]-4[/SUB][SUP]+7[/SUP] M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], which is an independent confirmation of mass estimates from evolutionary models. Our results demonstrate the power of interferometry for the direct detection and spectroscopic study of exoplanets at close angular separations from their stars. <P />The reduced spectrum is 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/623/L11">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/623/L11</A>.Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere, ID 60.A-9102(G). [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-contrast study of the candidate planets and protoplanetary disk around HD 100546
Sissa, E.; Gratton, R.; Garufi, Antonio et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 619

The nearby Herbig Be star HD 100546 is known to be a laboratory for the study of protoplanets and their relation with the circumstellar disk, which is carved by at least two gaps. We observed the HD ... [more ▼]

The nearby Herbig Be star HD 100546 is known to be a laboratory for the study of protoplanets and their relation with the circumstellar disk, which is carved by at least two gaps. We observed the HD 100546 environment with high-contrast imaging exploiting several different observing modes of SPHERE, including data sets with and without coronagraphs, dual band imaging, integral field spectroscopy and polarimetry. The picture emerging from these different data sets is complex. Flux-conservative algorithm images clearly show the disk up to 200 au. More aggressive algorithms reveal several rings and warped arms that are seen overlapping the main disk. Some of these structures are found to lie at considerable height over the disk mid-plane at about 30 au. Our images demonstrate that the brightest wings close to the star in the near side of the disk are a unique structure, corresponding to the outer edge of the intermediate disk at 40 au. Modeling of the scattered light from the disk with a geometrical algorithm reveals that a moderately thin structure (H/r = 0.18 at 40 au) can well reproduce the light distribution in the flux-conservative images. We suggest that the gap between 44 and 113 au spans between the 1:2 and 3:2 resonance orbits of a massive body located at 70 au, which mightcoincide with the candidate planet HD 100546b detected with previous thermal infrared (IR) observations. In this picture, the two wings can be the near side of a ring formed by disk material brought out of the disk at the 1:2 resonance with the same massive object. While we find no clear evidence confirming detection of the planet candidate HD 100546c in our data, we find a diffuse emission close to the expected position of HD 100546b. This source can be described as an extremely reddened substellar object surrounded by a dust cloud or its circumplanetary disk. Its astrometry is broadly consistent with a circular orbital motion on the disk plane, a result that could be confirmed with new observations. Further observations at various wavelengths are required to fully understand the complex phenomenology of HD 100546. <P />Based on data collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO Programs 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, 096.C-0248, 097.C-0523, 097.C-0865, and 098.C-0209). [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a planetary-mass companion within the gap of the transition disk around PDS 70
Keppler, M.; Benisty, M.; Müller, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 617

Context. Young circumstellar disks are the birthplaces of planets. Their study is of prime interest to understand the physical and chemical conditions under which planet formation takes place. Only very ... [more ▼]

Context. Young circumstellar disks are the birthplaces of planets. Their study is of prime interest to understand the physical and chemical conditions under which planet formation takes place. Only very few detections of planet candidates within these disks exist, and most of them are currently suspected to be disk features. <BR /> Aims: In this context, the transition disk around the young star PDS 70 is of particular interest, due to its large gap identified in previous observations, indicative of ongoing planet formation. We aim to search for the presence of an embedded young planet and search for disk structures that may be the result of disk-planet interactions and other evolutionary processes. <BR /> Methods: We analyse new and archival near-infrared images of the transition disk PDS 70 obtained with the VLT/SPHERE, VLT/NaCo, and Gemini/NICI instruments in polarimetric differential imaging and angular differential imaging modes. <BR /> Results: We detect a point source within the gap of the disk at about 195 mas ( 22 au) projected separation. The detection is confirmed at five different epochs, in three filter bands and using different instruments. The astrometry results in an object of bound nature, with high significance. The comparison of the measured magnitudes and colours to evolutionary tracks suggests that the detection is a companion of planetary mass. The luminosity of the detected object is consistent with that of an L-type dwarf, but its IR colours are redder, possibly indicating the presence of warm surrounding material. Further, we confirm the detection of a large gap of 54 au in size within the disk in our scattered light images, and detect a signal from an inner disk component. We find that its spatial extent is very likely smaller than 17 au in radius, and its position angle is consistent with that of the outer disk. The images of the outer disk show evidence of a complex azimuthal brightness distribution which is different at different wavelengths and may in part be explained by Rayleigh scattering from very small grains. <BR /> Conclusions: The detection of a young protoplanet within the gap of the transition disk around PDS 70 opens the door to a so far observationally unexplored parameter space of planetary formation and evolution. Future observations of this system at different wavelengths and continuing astrometry will allow us to test theoretical predictions regarding planet-disk interactions, planetary atmospheres, and evolutionary models. <P />Based on observations performed with ESO Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under programmes 095.C-0298, 095.C-0404, 096.C-0333, 097.C-0206, 097.C-1001, and 099.C-0891.The reduced images and datacubes 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/617/A44">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/617/A44</A> [less ▲]

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See detailOrbital and atmospheric characterization of the planet within the gap of the PDS 70 transition disk
Müller, A.; Keppler, M.; Henning, Th et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 617

Context. The observation of planets in their formation stage is a crucial but very challenging step in understanding when, how, and where planets form. PDS 70 is a young pre-main sequence star surrounded ... [more ▼]

Context. The observation of planets in their formation stage is a crucial but very challenging step in understanding when, how, and where planets form. PDS 70 is a young pre-main sequence star surrounded by a transition disk, in the gap of which a planetary-mass companion has recently been discovered. This discovery represents the first robust direct detection of such a young planet, possibly still at the stage of formation. <BR /> Aims: We aim to characterize the orbital and atmospheric properties of PDS 70 b, which was first identified on May 2015 in the course of the SHINE survey with SPHERE, the extreme adaptive-optics instrument at the VLT. <BR /> Methods: We obtained new deep SPHERE/IRDIS imaging and SPHERE/IFS spectroscopic observations of PDS 70 b. The astrometric baseline now covers 6 yr, which allowed us to perform an orbital analysis. For the first time, we present spectrophotometry of the young planet which covers almost the entire near-infrared range (0.96-3.8 μm). We use different atmospheric models covering a large parameter space in temperature, log g, chemical composition, and cloud properties to characterize the properties of the atmosphere of PDS 70 b. <BR /> Results: PDS 70 b is most likely orbiting the star on a circular and disk coplanar orbit at 22 au inside the gap of the disk. We find a range of models that can describe the spectrophotometric data reasonably well in the temperature range 1000-1600 K and log g no larger than 3.5 dex. The planet radius covers a relatively large range between 1.4 and 3.7 R[SUB]J[/SUB] with the larger radii being higher than expected from planet evolution models for the age of the planet of 5.4 Myr. <BR /> Conclusions: This study provides a comprehensive data set on the orbital motion of PDS 70 b, indicating a circular orbit and a motion coplanar with the disk. The first detailed spectral energy distribution of PDS 70 b indicates a temperature typical of young giant planets. The detailed atmospheric analysis indicates that a circumplanetary disk may contribute to the total planetflux. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programmes 095.C-0298, 097.C-0206, 097.C-1001, 1100.C-0481. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst scattered light detection of a nearly edge-on transition disk around the T Tauri star RY Lupi
Langlois, M.; Pohl, A.; Lagrange, A.-M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 614

Context. Transition disks are considered sites of ongoing planet formation, and their dust and gas distributions could be signposts of embedded planets. The transition disk around the T Tauri star RY Lup ... [more ▼]

Context. Transition disks are considered sites of ongoing planet formation, and their dust and gas distributions could be signposts of embedded planets. The transition disk around the T Tauri star RY Lup has an inner dust cavity and displays a strong silicate emission feature. <BR /> Aims: Using high-resolution imaging we study the disk geometry, including non-axisymmetric features, and its surface dust grain, to gain a better understanding of the disk evolutionary process. Moreover, we search for companion candidates, possibly connected to the disk. <BR /> Methods: We obtained high-contrast and high angular resolution data in the near-infrared with the VLT/SPHERE extreme adaptive optics instrument whose goal is to study the planet formation by detecting and characterizing these planets and their formation environments through direct imaging. We performed polarimetric imaging of the RY Lup disk with IRDIS (at 1.6 μm), and obtained intensity images with the IRDIS dual-band imaging camera simultaneously with the IFS spectro-imager (0.9-1.3 μm). <BR /> Results: We resolved for the first time the scattered light from the nearly edge-on circumstellar disk around RY Lup, at projected separations in the 100 au range. The shape of the disk and its sharp features are clearly detectable at wavelengths ranging from 0.9 to 1.6 μm. We show that the observed morphology can be interpreted as spiral arms in the disk. This interpretation is supported by in-depth numerical simulations. We also demonstrate that these features can be produced by one planet interacting with the disk. We also detect several point sources which are classified as probable background objects. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of the inner structures around HD 169142 with VLT/SPHERE
Ligi, R.; Vigan, A.; Gratton, R. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018), 473

We present observations of the Herbig Ae star HD 169142 with the VLT/SPHERE instruments InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) (K1K2 and H2H3 bands) and the Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS ... [more ▼]

We present observations of the Herbig Ae star HD 169142 with the VLT/SPHERE instruments InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) (K1K2 and H2H3 bands) and the Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS) (Y, J and H bands). We detect several bright blobs at ̃180 mas separation from the star, and a faint arc-like structure in the IFS data. Our reference differential imaging (RDI) data analysis also finds a bright ring at the same separation. We show, using a simulation based on polarized light data, that these blobs are actually part of the ring at 180 mas. These results demonstrate that the earlier detections of blobs in the H and K[SUB]S[/SUB] bands at these separations in Biller et al. as potential planet/substellar companions are actually tracing a bright ring with a Keplerian motion. Moreover, we detect in the images an additional bright structure at ̃93 mas separation and position angle of 355°, at a location very close to previous detections. It appears point-like in the YJ and K bands but is more extended in the H band. We also marginally detect an inner ring in the RDI data at ̃100 mas. Follow-up observations are necessary to confirm the detection and the nature of this source and structure. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Circumstellar Disk HD 169142: Gas, Dust, and Planets Acting in Concert?
Pohl, A.; Benisty, M.; Pinilla, P. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2017), 850

HD 169142 is an excellent target for investigating signs of planet-disk interaction due to previous evidence of gap structures. We perform J-band (̃1.2 μm) polarized intensity imaging of HD 169142 with ... [more ▼]

HD 169142 is an excellent target for investigating signs of planet-disk interaction due to previous evidence of gap structures. We perform J-band (̃1.2 μm) polarized intensity imaging of HD 169142 with VLT/SPHERE. We observe polarized scattered light down to 0.″16 (̃19 au) and find an inner gap with a significantly reduced scattered-light flux. We confirm the previously detected double-ring structure peaking at 0.″18 (̃21 au) and 0.″56 (̃66 au) and marginally detect a faint third gap at 0.″70-0.″73 (̃82-85 au). We explore dust evolution models in a disk perturbed by two giant planets, as well as models with a parameterized dust size distribution. The dust evolution model is able to reproduce the ring locations and gap widths in polarized intensity but fails to reproduce their depths. However, it gives a good match with the ALMA dust continuum image at 1.3 mm. Models with a parameterized dust size distribution better reproduce the gap depth in scattered light, suggesting that dust filtration at the outer edges of the gaps is less effective. The pileup of millimeter grains in a dust trap and the continuous distribution of small grains throughout the gap likely require more efficient dust fragmentation and dust diffusion in the dust trap. Alternatively, turbulence or charging effects might lead to a reservoir of small grains at the surface layer that is not affected by the dust growth and fragmentation cycle dominating the dense disk midplane. The exploration of models shows that extracting planet properties such as mass from observed gap profiles is highly degenerate. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO program 095.C-0273. [less ▲]

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See detailNew constraints on the disk characteristics and companion candidates around T Chamaeleontis with VLT/SPHERE
Pohl, A.; Sissa, E.; Langlois, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 605

Context. The transition disk around the T Tauri star T Cha possesses a large gap, making it a prime target for high-resolution imaging in the context of planet formation. <BR /> Aims: We aim to find signs ... [more ▼]

Context. The transition disk around the T Tauri star T Cha possesses a large gap, making it a prime target for high-resolution imaging in the context of planet formation. <BR /> Aims: We aim to find signs of disk evolutionary processes by studying the disk geometry and the dust grain properties at its surface, and to search for companion candidates. <BR /> Methods: We analyze a set of VLT/SPHERE data at near-infrared and optical wavelengths. We performed polarimetric imaging of T Cha with IRDIS (1.6 μm) and ZIMPOL (0.5-0.9 μm), and obtained intensity images from IRDIS dual-band imaging with simultaneous spectro-imaging with IFS (0.9-1.3 μm). <BR /> Results: The disk around T Cha is detected in all observing modes and its outer disk is resolved in scattered light with unprecedented angular resolution and signal-to-noise. The images reveal a highly inclined disk with a noticeable east-west brightness asymmetry. The significant amount of non-azimuthal polarization signal in the U[SUB]φ[/SUB] images, with a U[SUB]φ[/SUB]/Q[SUB]φ[/SUB] peak-to-peak value of 14%, is in accordance with theoretical studies on multiple scattering in an inclined disk. Our optimal axisymmetric radiative transfer model considers two coplanar inner and outer disks, separated by a gap of 0.̋28 ( 30 au) in size, which is larger than previously thought. We derive a disk inclination of 69 deg and PA of 114 deg. In order to self-consistently reproduce the intensity and polarimetric images, the dust grains, responsible for the scattered light, need to be dominated by sizes of around ten microns. A point source is detected at an angular distance of 3.5'' from the central star. It is, however, found not to be co-moving. <BR /> Conclusions: We confirm that the dominant source of emission is forward scattered light from the near edge of the outer disk. Our point source analysis rules out the presence of a companion with mass larger than 8.5 M[SUB]jup[/SUB] between 0.̋1 and 0.̋3. The detection limit decreases to 2 M[SUB]jup[/SUB] for 0.̋3 to 4.0''. <P />Based on observations made with European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes at the Paranal Observatory in Chile, under program IDs 095.C-0298(B), 096.C-0248(B) and 096.C-0248(C). [less ▲]

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See detailStructure of Herbig AeBe disks at the milliarcsecond scale. A statistical survey in the H band using PIONIER-VLTI
Lazareff, B.; Berger, J.-P.; Kluska, J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 599

Context. It is now generally accepted that the near-infrared excess of Herbig AeBe stars originates in the dust of a circumstellar disk. Aims. The aims of this article are to infer the radial and vertical ... [more ▼]

Context. It is now generally accepted that the near-infrared excess of Herbig AeBe stars originates in the dust of a circumstellar disk. Aims. The aims of this article are to infer the radial and vertical structure of these disks at scales of order one au, and the properties of the dust grains. Methods. The program objects (51 in total) were observed with the H-band (1.6micron) PIONIER/VLTI interferometer. The largest baselines allowed us to resolve (at least partially) structures of a few tenths of an au at typical distances of a few hundred parsecs. Dedicated UBVRIJHK photometric measurements were also obtained. Spectral and 2D geometrical parameters are extracted via fits of a few simple models: ellipsoids and broadened rings with azimuthal modulation. Model bias is mitigated by parallel fits of physical disk models. Sample statistics were evaluated against similar statistics for the physical disk models to infer properties of the sample objects as a group. Results. We find that dust at the inner rim of the disk has a sublimation temperature Tsub~1800K. A ring morphology is confirmed for approximately half the resolved objects; these rings are wide delta_r>=0.5. A wide ring favors a rim that, on the star-facing side, looks more like a knife edge than a doughnut. The data are also compatible with a the combination of a narrow ring and an inner disk of unspecified nature inside the dust sublimation radius. The disk inner part has a thickness z/r~0.2, flaring to z/r~0.5 in the outer part. We confirm the known luminosity-radius relation; a simple physical model is consistent with both the mean luminosity-radius relation and the ring relative width; however, a significant spread around the mean relation is present. In some of the objects we find a halo component, fully resolved at the shortest interferometer spacing, that is related to the HAeBe class. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect detection of scattered light gaps in the transitional disk around HD 97048 with VLT/SPHERE
Ginski, C.; Stolker, T.; Pinilla, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

<BR /> Aims: We studied the well-known circumstellar disk around the Herbig Ae/Be star HD 97048 with high angular resolution to reveal undetected structures in the disk which may be indicative of disk ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We studied the well-known circumstellar disk around the Herbig Ae/Be star HD 97048 with high angular resolution to reveal undetected structures in the disk which may be indicative of disk evolutionary processes such as planet formation. <BR /> Methods: We used the IRDIS near-IR subsystem of the extreme adaptive optics imager SPHERE at the ESO/VLT to study the scattered light from the circumstellar disk via high resolution polarimetry and angular differential imaging. <BR /> Results: We imaged the disk in unprecedented detail and revealed four ring-like brightness enhancements and corresponding gaps in the scattered light from the disk surface with radii between 39 au and 341 au. We derived the inclination and position angle as well as the height of the scattering surface of the disk from our observational data. We found that the surface height profile can be described by a single power law up to a separation 270 au. Using the surface height profile we measured the scattering phase function of the disk and found that it is consistent with theoretical models of compact dust aggregates. We discuss the origin of the detected features and find that low mass (≤1 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) nascent planets are a possible explanation. <P />Based on data collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO Programs 096.C-0248, 096.C-0241, 077.C-0106). [less ▲]

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