References of "Benkhaldoun, Z"
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See detailLower atmosphere and pressure evolution on Pluto from ground-based stellar occultations, 1988-2016
Meza, E.; Sicardy, B.; Assafin, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 625(A42), 21

Context. The tenuous nitrogen (N[SUB]2[/SUB]) atmosphere on Pluto undergoes strong seasonal effects due to high obliquity and orbital eccentricity, and has recently (July 2015) been observed by the New ... [more ▼]

Context. The tenuous nitrogen (N[SUB]2[/SUB]) atmosphere on Pluto undergoes strong seasonal effects due to high obliquity and orbital eccentricity, and has recently (July 2015) been observed by the New Horizons spacecraft. <BR /> Aims: The main goals of this study are (i) to construct a well calibrated record of the seasonal evolution of surface pressure on Pluto and (ii) to constrain the structure of the lower atmosphere using a central flash observed in 2015. <BR /> Methods: Eleven stellar occultations by Pluto observed between 2002 and 2016 are used to retrieve atmospheric profiles (density, pressure, temperature) between altitude levels of 5 and 380 km (i.e. pressures from 10 μbar to 10 nbar). <BR /> Results: (i) Pressure has suffered a monotonic increase from 1988 to 2016, that is compared to a seasonal volatile transport model, from which tight constraints on a combination of albedo and emissivity of N[SUB]2[/SUB] ice are derived. (ii) A central flash observed on 2015 June 29 is consistent with New Horizons REX profiles, provided that (a) large diurnal temperature variations (not expected by current models) occur over Sputnik Planitia; and/or (b) hazes with tangential optical depth of 0.3 are present at 4-7 km altitude levels; and/or (c) the nominal REX density values are overestimated by an implausibly large factor of 20%; and/or (d) higher terrains block part of the flash in the Charon facing hemisphere. [less ▲]

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See detailDust properties of double-tailed active asteroid (6478) Gault
Moreno, F.; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege; Licandro, J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 624(L14), 11

Context. Asteroid (6478) Gault was discovered to exhibit a comet-like tail in observations from December 2018, becoming a new member of the so-called active asteroid population in the main asteroid belt ... [more ▼]

Context. Asteroid (6478) Gault was discovered to exhibit a comet-like tail in observations from December 2018, becoming a new member of the so-called active asteroid population in the main asteroid belt. <BR /> Aims: We seek to investigate the grain properties of the dust ejected from asteroid (6478) Gault and to give insight into the activity mechanism(s). <BR /> Methods: We use a Monte Carlo dust tail brightness code to retrieve the dates of dust ejection, the physical properties of the grains, and the total dust mass losses during each event. The code takes into account the brightness contribution of the asteroid itself. The model is applied to a large data set of images spanning the period from 2019 January 11 to 2019 March 13. In addition, we carried out both short- and long-term photometric measurements of the asteroid. <BR /> Results: It is shown that, to date, asteroid (6478) Gault has experienced two episodes of impulsive dust ejection, which took place around 2018 November 5 and 2019 January 2. These two episodes released at least 1.4 × 10[SUP]7[/SUP] kg and 1.6 × 10[SUP]6[/SUP] kg of dust, respectively, at escape speeds. The size distribution, consisting of particles in the 1 μm-1 cm radius range, follows a broken power law with bending points near 15 μm and 870 μm. On the other hand, the photometric series indicate a nearly constant magnitude over several 5-7.3 h periods, which is a possible effect of the masking of a rotational light curve by the dust. <BR /> Conclusions: The dust particles forming Gault's tails were released from the asteroid at escape speeds, but the specific ejection mechanism is unclear until photometry of the dust-free asteroid are conducted to assess whether this was related to rotational disruption or to other possible causes. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh resolution optical spectroscopy of the N2-rich comet C/2016 R2 (PanSTARRS)
Opitom, C.; Hutsemekers, Damien ULiege; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 624

Context. Early observations of comet C/2016 R2 (PanSTARRS) have shown that the composition of this comet is very peculiar. Radio observations have revealed a CO-rich and HCN-poor comet and an optical coma ... [more ▼]

Context. Early observations of comet C/2016 R2 (PanSTARRS) have shown that the composition of this comet is very peculiar. Radio observations have revealed a CO-rich and HCN-poor comet and an optical coma dominated by strong emission bands of CO[SUP]+[/SUP] and, more surprisingly, N[SUB]2[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP]. <BR /> Aims: The strong detection of N[SUB]2[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP] in the coma of C/2016 R2 provided an ideal opportunity to measure the [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N isotopic ratio directly from N[SUB]2[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP] for the first time, and to estimate the N[SUB]2[/SUB]/CO ratio, which is an important diagnostic to constrain formation models of planetesimals, in addition to the more general study of coma composition. <BR /> Methods: We obtained high resolution spectra of the comet in February 2018 when it was at 2.8 au from the Sun. We used the UVES spectrograph of the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope, complemented with narrowband images obtained with the TRAPPIST telescopes. <BR /> Results: We detect strong emissions from the N[SUB]2[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP] and CO[SUP]+[/SUP] ions, but also CO[SUB]2[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP], emission lines from the CH radical, and much fainter emissions of the CN, C[SUB]2[/SUB], and C[SUB]3[/SUB] radicals that were not detected in previous observations of this comet. We do not detect OH or H[SUB]2[/SUB]O[SUP]+[/SUP], and we derive an upper limit of the H[SUB]2[/SUB]O[SUP]+[/SUP]/CO[SUP]+[/SUP] ratio of 0.4, implying that the comet has a low water abundance. We measure a N[SUB]2[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP]/CO[SUP]+[/SUP] ratio of 0.06 ± 0.01. The non-detection of NH[SUB]2[/SUB] indicates that most of the nitrogen content of the comet is in N[SUB]2[/SUB]. Together with the high N[SUB]2[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP]/CO[SUP]+[/SUP] ratio, this could indicate a low formation temperature of the comet or that the comet is a fragment of a large differentiated Kuiper Belt object. The CO[SUB]2[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP]/CO[SUP]+[/SUP] ratio is 1.1 ± 0.3. We do not detect [SUP]14[/SUP]N[SUP]15[/SUP]N[SUP]+[/SUP] lines and can only put a lower limit on the [SUP]14[/SUP]N/[SUP]15[/SUP]N ratio (measured from N[SUB]2[/SUB][SUP]+[/SUP]) of about 100, which is compatible with measurements of the same isotopic ratio for NH[SUB]2[/SUB] and CN in other comets. Finally, in addition to the [OI] and [CI] forbidden lines, we detect for the first time the forbidden nitrogen lines [NI] doublet at 519.79 and 520.03 nm in the coma of a comet. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of three new transiting hot Jupiters: WASP-161 b, WASP-163 b and WASP-170 b
Barkaoui, K.; Burdanov, Artem ULiege; Hellier, C. et al

in Astronomical Journal (2019), 157(2),

We present the discovery by the WASP-South transit survey of three new transiting hot Jupiters, WASP-161 b, WASP-163 b and WASP-170 b. Follow-up radial velocities obtained with the Euler/CORALIE ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery by the WASP-South transit survey of three new transiting hot Jupiters, WASP-161 b, WASP-163 b and WASP-170 b. Follow-up radial velocities obtained with the Euler/CORALIE spectrograph and high-precision transit light curves obtained with the TRAPPIST-North, TRAPPIST-South, SPECULOOS-South, NITES, and Euler telescopes have enabled us to determine the masses and radii for these transiting exoplanets. WASP-161\,b completes an orbit around its $V=11.1$ F6V-type host star in 5.406 days, and has a mass and radius of $2.5\pm 0.2$$M_{Jup}$ and $1.14\pm 0.06$ $R_{Jup}$ respectively. WASP-163\,b has an orbital period of 1.609 days, a mass of $1.9\pm0.2$ $M_{Jup}$, and a radius of $1.2\pm0.1$ $R_{Jup}$. Its host star is a $V=12.5$ G8-type dwarf. WASP-170\,b is on a 2.344 days orbit around a G1V-type star of magnitude $V=12.8$. It has a mass of $1.7\pm0.2$ $M_{Jup}$ and a radius of $1.14\pm0.09$ $R_{Jup}$. Given their irradiations ($\sim10^9$ erg.s$^{-1}$.cm$^{-2}$) and masses, the three new planets sizes are in good agreement with classical structure models of irradiated giant planets. [less ▲]

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See detailThe homogeneous internal structure of CM-like asteroid (41) Daphne
Carry, B.; Vachier, F.; Berthier, J. et al

E-print/Working paper (2019)

Context. CM-like asteroids (Ch and Cgh classes) are a major population within the broader C-complex, encompassing about 10% of the mass of the main asteroid belt. Their internal structure has been ... [more ▼]

Context. CM-like asteroids (Ch and Cgh classes) are a major population within the broader C-complex, encompassing about 10% of the mass of the main asteroid belt. Their internal structure has been predicted to be homogeneous, based on their compositional similarity as inferred from spectroscopy (Vernazza et al., 2016, AJ 152, 154) and numerical modeling of their early thermal evolution (Bland & Travis, 2017, Sci. Adv. 3, e1602514). Aims. Here we aim to test this hypothesis by deriving the density of the CM-like asteroid (41) Daphne from detailed modeling of its shape and the orbit of its small satellite. Methods. We observed Daphne and its satellite within our imaging survey with the Very Large Telescope extreme adaptive-optics SPHERE/ZIMPOL camera (ID 199.C-0074, PI P. Vernazza) and complemented this data set with earlier Keck/NIRC2 and VLT/NACO observations. We analyzed the dynamics of the satellite with our Genoid meta-heuristic algorithm. Combining our high-angular resolution images with optical lightcurves and stellar occultations, we determine the spin period, orientation, and 3-D shape, using our ADAM shape modeling algorithm. Results. The satellite orbits Daphne on an equatorial, quasi-circular, prograde orbit, like the satellites of many other large main-belt asteroids. The shape model of Daphne reveals several large flat areas that could be large impact craters. The mass determined from this orbit combined with the volume computed from the shape model implies a density for Daphne of 1.77+/-0.26 g/cm3 (3 {\sigma}). This density is consistent with a primordial CM-like homogeneous internal structure with some level of macroporosity (~17%). Conclusions. Based on our analysis of the density of Daphne and 75 other Ch/Cgh-type asteroids gathered from the literature, we conclude that the primordial internal structure of the CM parent bodies was homogeneous. [less ▲]

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See detailMonitoring of the activity and composition of comets 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak and 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova
Moulane, Y.; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege; Opitom, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 619

We report on photometry and imaging of the Jupiter Family Comets 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak and 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova with the TRAPPIST-North telescope. We observed 41P on 34 nights from February ... [more ▼]

We report on photometry and imaging of the Jupiter Family Comets 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak and 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova with the TRAPPIST-North telescope. We observed 41P on 34 nights from February 16, 2017 to July 27, 2017 pre- and post-perihelion (r$_h$=1.04 au), while we collected data for comet 45P from February 10 to March 30 after perihelion (r$_h$=0.53 au). We computed the production rates of the daughter species OH, NH, CN, C$_3$ and C$_2$ and we measured the dust proxy, Af$\rho$, for both comets. The peak of water production rate of 41P was (3.46$\pm$0.20)$\times$10$^{27}$ molecules/s on April 3, 2017 when the comet was at 1.05 au from the Sun. We have shown that the activity of 41P is decreasing by about 30% to 40% from one apparition to the next. We measured a mean water production rate for 45P of (1.43$\pm$0.62)$\times$10$^{27}$ molecules/s during a month after perihelion. Our results show that these Jupiter Family Comets had low gas and dust activity and no outburst was detected. Relative abundances, expressed as ratios of production rates and Af$\rho$ parameter with respect to OH and to CN, were compared to those measured in other comets. We found that 41P and 45P have a typical composition in term of carbon bearing species. The study of coma features exhibited by the CN gas species allowed the measurement of the rotation period of 41P, showing a surprisingly large increase of the rotation period from (30$\pm$5) hrs at the end of March to (50$\pm$10) hrs at the end of April, 2017 in agreement with recent observations by other teams. [less ▲]

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See detailReactive collision of electrons with CO+ in cometary coma
Moulane, Youssef ULiege; Mezei, J. Zs.; Laporta, V. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018)

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See detailThe First Post-Kepler Brightness Dips of KIC 8462852
Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Alonso, Roi; Ammerman, Alex et al

E-print/Working paper (2018)

We present a photometric detection of the first brightness dips of the unique variable star KIC 8462852 since the end of the Kepler space mission in 2013 May. Our regular photometric surveillance started ... [more ▼]

We present a photometric detection of the first brightness dips of the unique variable star KIC 8462852 since the end of the Kepler space mission in 2013 May. Our regular photometric surveillance started in October 2015, and a sequence of dipping began in 2017 May continuing on through the end of 2017, when the star was no longer visible from Earth. We distinguish four main 1-2.5% dips, named "Elsie," "Celeste," "Skara Brae," and "Angkor", which persist on timescales from several days to weeks. Our main results so far are: (i) there are no apparent changes of the stellar spectrum or polarization during the dips; (ii) the multiband photometry of the dips shows differential reddening favoring non-grey extinction. Therefore, our data are inconsistent with dip models that invoke optically thick material, but rather they are in-line with predictions for an occulter consisting primarily of ordinary dust, where much of the material must be optically thin with a size scale <<1um, and may also be consistent with models invoking variations intrinsic to the stellar photosphere. Notably, our data do not place constraints on the color of the longer-term "secular" dimming, which may be caused by independent processes, or probe different regimes of a single process. [less ▲]

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See detailSPECULOOS: A network of robotic telescopes to hunt for terrestrial planets around the nearest ultracool dwarfs
Delrez, L.; Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Queloz, D. et al

in Proceedings of SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering (2018), 10700

We present here SPECULOOS, a new exoplanet transit search based on a network of 1m-class robotic telescopes targeting the ∼1200 ultracool (spectral type M7 and later) dwarfs bright enough in the infrared ... [more ▼]

We present here SPECULOOS, a new exoplanet transit search based on a network of 1m-class robotic telescopes targeting the ∼1200 ultracool (spectral type M7 and later) dwarfs bright enough in the infrared (K-mag ≤ 12.5) to possibly enable the atmospheric characterization of temperate terrestrial planets with next-generation facilities like the James Webb Space Telescope. The ultimate goals of the project are to reveal the frequency of temperate terrestrial planets around the lowest-mass stars and brown dwarfs, to probe the diversity of their bulk compositions, atmospheres and surface conditions, and to assess their potential habitability. © 2018 SPIE. [less ▲]

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See detailThe impact crater at the origin of the Julia family detected with VLT/SPHERE?
Vernazza, Pierre; Brož, M.; Drouard, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018)

Context. The vast majority of the geophysical and geological constraints (e.g., internal structure, cratering history) for main belt asteroids have so far been obtained via dedicated interplanetary ... [more ▼]

Context. The vast majority of the geophysical and geological constraints (e.g., internal structure, cratering history) for main belt asteroids have so far been obtained via dedicated interplanetary missions (e.g., ESA Rosetta, NASA Dawn). The high angular resolution of SPHERE/ZIMPOL, the new-generation visible adaptive-optics camera at ESO VLT, implies that these science objectives can now be investigated from the ground for a large fraction of D 100 km main-belt asteroids. The sharp images acquired by this instrument can be used to constrain accurately the shape and thus volume of these bodies (hence density when combined with mass estimates) and to characterize the distribution and topography of D 30 km craters across their surfaces. Aims. Here, we evaluated - via several complementary approaches - the recently proposed hypothesis that S-type asteroid (89) Julia is the parent body of a small compact asteroid family that formed via a cratering collisional event. Methods. We observed (89) Julia with VLT/SPHERE/ZIMPOL throughout its rotation (these observations were taken as part of an ESO Large Program; ID: 199.C-0074), derived its 3D shape and performed a reconnaissance and characterization of the largest craters. We also performed numerical simulations to first confirm the existence of the Julia family and to determine its age as well as the size of the impact crater at its origin. Finally, we utilized the images/3D shape to attempt identifying the origin location of the small collisional family. Results. On the one hand, our VLT/SPHERE observations reveal the presence of a large crater (D~75 km) in Julia’s southern hemisphere. On the other hand, our numerical simulations suggest that (89) Julia was impacted 30 to 120 Myrs ago by a D~8km asteroid, thereby creating a D~60 km impact crater at the surface of Julia. Given the small size of the impactor, the obliquity of Julia and the particular orientation of the family in the (a,i) space, the imaged impact crater is likely the one at the origin of the family. Conclusions. New doors of ground-based asteroid exploration, namely geophysics and geology, are getting opened thanks to VLT/SPHERE’s unique capabilities. Also, the present work may represent the beginning of a new era of asteroid-family studies. In those fields (geophysics, geology and asteroid family studies), the future will only get brighter with the forthcoming arrival of 30-40m class telescopes (ELT, TMT, GMT). [less ▲]

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See detailElectron/molecular-cation collisions in cold plasmas: super-excited states at "zero" energy
Mezei, J. Zs; Colboc, F; Moulane, Youssef ULiege et al

Conference (2017, July)

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See detailStudy of the plutino object (208996) 2003 AZ84 from stellar occultations: size, shape and topographic features
Dias-Oliveira, A.; Sicardy, B.; Ortiz, J. L. et al

in Astronomical Journal (2017), 154(1), 13

We present results derived from four stellar occultations by the plutino object (208996) 2003~AZ$_{84}$, detected at January 8, 2011 (single-chord event), February 3, 2012 (multi-chord), December 2, 2013 ... [more ▼]

We present results derived from four stellar occultations by the plutino object (208996) 2003~AZ$_{84}$, detected at January 8, 2011 (single-chord event), February 3, 2012 (multi-chord), December 2, 2013 (single-chord) and November 15, 2014 (multi-chord). Our observations rule out an oblate spheroid solution for 2003~AZ$_{84}$'s shape. Instead, assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, we find that a Jacobi triaxial solution with semi axes $(470 \pm 20) \times (383 \pm 10) \times (245 \pm 8)$~km % axis ratios $b/a= 0.82 \pm 0.05$ and $c/a= 0.52 \pm 0.02$, can better account for all our occultation observations. Combining these dimensions with the rotation period of the body (6.75~h) and the amplitude of its rotation light curve, we derive a density $\rho=0.87 \pm 0.01$~g~cm$^{-3}$ a geometric albedo $p_V= 0.097 \pm 0.009$. A grazing chord observed during the 2014 occultation reveals a topographic feature along 2003~AZ$_{84}$'s limb, that can be interpreted as an abrupt chasm of width $\sim 23$~km and depth $> 8$~km or a smooth depression of width $\sim 80$~km and depth $\sim 13$~km (or an intermediate feature between those two extremes). [less ▲]

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See detailStellar Occultations by Large TNOs on 2012: The February 3rd by (208996) 2003 AZ84, and the February 17th by (50000) Quaoar
Braga Ribas, Felipe; Sicardy, B.; Ortiz, J. L. et al

in AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts (2012, October 01)

On February 2012, two stellar occultation's by large Trans-neptunian Objects (TNO's) were observed by our group. On the 3rd, an event by (208996) 2003 AZ84 was recorded from Mont Abu Observatory and IUCAA ... [more ▼]

On February 2012, two stellar occultation's by large Trans-neptunian Objects (TNO's) were observed by our group. On the 3rd, an event by (208996) 2003 AZ84 was recorded from Mont Abu Observatory and IUCAA Girawali Observatory in India and from Weizmann Observatory in Israel. On the 17th, a stellar occultation by (50000) Quaoar was observed from south France and Switzerland. Both occultations are the second observed by our group for each object, and will be used to improve the results obtained on the previous events. The occultation by 2003 AZ84 is the first multi-chord event recorded for this object. From the single chord event on January 8th 2011, Braga-Ribas et al. 2011 obtained a lower limit of 573 +/- 21 km. From the 2012 occultation the longest chord has a size of 662 +/- 50 km. The other chords will permit to determine the size and shape of the TNO, and derive other physical parameters, such as the geometric albedo. The Quaoar occultation was observed from south of France (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, TAROT telescope and Valensole) and from Gnosca, Switzerland. Unfortunately, all three sites in France are almost at the same Quaoar's latitude, so in practice, we have two chords that can be used to fit Quaoar's limb. The resulting fit will be compared with the results obtained by Braga-Ribas et al. 2011. Braga-Ribas F., Sicardy B., et al. 2011, EPSC-DPS2011, 1060.Ribas F., Sicardy B., et al. 2011, EPSC-DPS2011, 1060. [less ▲]

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