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See detailThe search for disks or planetary objects around directly imaged companions: a candidate around DH Tauri B
Lazzoni, C.; Zurlo, A.; Desidera, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 641

Context. In recent decades, thousands of substellar companions have been discovered with both indirect and direct methods of detection. While the majority of the sample is populated by objects discovered ... [more ▼]

Context. In recent decades, thousands of substellar companions have been discovered with both indirect and direct methods of detection. While the majority of the sample is populated by objects discovered using radial velocity and transit techniques, an increasing number have been directly imaged. These planets and brown dwarfs are extraordinary sources of information that help in rounding out our understanding of planetary systems. <BR /> Aims: In this paper, we focus our attention on substellar companions detected with the latter technique, with the primary goal of investigating their close surroundings and looking for additional companions and satellites, as well as disks and rings. Any such discovery would shed light on many unresolved questions, particularly with regard to their possible formation mechanisms. <BR /> Methods: To reveal bound features of directly imaged companions, whether for point-like or extended sources, we need to suppress the contribution from the source itself. Therefore, we developed a method based on the negative fake companion technique that first estimates the position in the field of view (FoV) and the flux of the imaged companion with high precision, then subtracts a rescaled model point spread function (PSF) from the imaged companion, using either an image of the central star or another PSF in the FoV. Next it performs techniques, such as angular differential imaging, to further remove quasi-static patterns of the star (i.e., speckle contaminants) that affect the residuals of close-in companions. <BR /> Results: After testing our tools on simulated companions and disks and on systems that were chosen ad hoc, we applied the method to the sample of substellar objects observed with SPHERE during the SHINE GTO survey. Among the 27 planets and brown dwarfs we analyzed, most objects did not show remarkable features, which was as expected, with the possible exception of a point source close to DH Tau B. This candidate companion was detected in four different SPHERE observations, with an estimated mass of ~1M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], and a mass ratio with respect to the brown dwarf of 1/10. This binary system, if confirmed, would be the first of its kind, opening up interesting questions for the formation mechanism, evolution, and frequency of such pairs. In order to address the latter, the residuals and contrasts reached for 25 companions in the sample of substellar objects observed with SPHERE were derived. If the DH Tau Bb companion is real, the binary fraction obtained is ~7%, which is in good agreement with the results obtained for field brown dwarfs. <BR /> Conclusions: While there may currently be many limitations affecting the exploration of bound features to directly imaged exoplanets and brown dwarfs, next-generation instruments from the ground and space (i.e., JWST, ELT, and LUVOIR) will be able to image fainter objects and, thus, drive the application of this technique in upcoming searches for exo-moons and circumplanetary disks. <P />Based on observations collected at Paranal Observatory, ESO (Chile) Program ID: 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, 097.C-0865, 198.C-0209, and 0104.C-0327(A) and on observations collected at LBT Observatory. [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 detailMutlidisciplinary management of acromegaly : a consensus
Giustina, A; Barkhoudarian, G; Beckers, Albert ULiege et al

in Reviews in Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders (2020)

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See detailSPHERE view of the jet and the envelope of RY Tauri
Garufi, Antonio; Podio, L.; Bacciotti, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 628

Context. Jets are rarely associated with pre-main sequence intermediate- mass stars. This contrasts with the frequent detection of jets in lower mass or younger stars. Optical and near-IR observations of ... [more ▼]

Context. Jets are rarely associated with pre-main sequence intermediate- mass stars. This contrasts with the frequent detection of jets in lower mass or younger stars. Optical and near-IR observations of jet-driving sources are often hindered by the presence of a natal envelope. <BR /> Aims: Jets around partly embedded sources are a useful diagnostic to constrain the geometry of the concealed protoplanetary disk. We intend to clarify how the jet-driving mechanisms are affected by both spatial anisotropies and episodic variations at the (sub-)au scale from the star. <BR /> Methods: We obtained a rich set of high-contrast VLT/SPHERE observations from 0.6 to 2.2 μm of the young intermediate-mass star RY Tau. Given the proximity to the Sun of this source, our images have the highest spatial resolution ever obtained for an atomic jet (down to 4 au). <BR /> Results: Optical observations in polarized light show no sign of the protoplanetary disk detected by ALMA. Instead, we observed a diffuse signal resembling a remnant envelope with an outflow cavity. The jet is detected in the Hα, [S II] at 1.03 μm, He I at 1.08 μm, and [Fe II] lines in the 1.25 μm and 1.64 μm. The jet appears to be wiggling and its radial width increasing with the distance is complementary to the shape of the outflow cavity suggesting a strong interaction with jet and envelope. Through the estimated tangential velocity ( 100 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]), we revealed a possible connection between the launching time of the jet substructures and the stellar activity of RY Tau. <BR /> Conclusions: RY Tau is at an intermediate stage toward the dispersal of the natal envelope. This source shows episodic increases of mass accretion and ejection similarly to other known intermediate-mass stars. The amount of observed jet wiggle is consistent with the presence of a precessing disk warp or misaligned inner disk that would be induced by an unseen planetary or sub-stellar companion at sub- or few-au scales respectively. The high disk mass of RY Tau and of two other jet-driving intermediate-mass stars, HD 163296 and MWC480, suggests that massive, full disks are more efficient at launching prominent jets. <P />Based on observations performed with VLT/SPHERE under program ID 096.C-0241(C), 096.C-0241(F), 096.C-0248(A), 096.C-0454(A), and 1100.C-0481(A). [less ▲]

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See detailSPHERE dynamical and spectroscopic characterization of HD 142527B
Claudi, R.; Maire, Anne-Lise ULiege; Mesa, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 622

<BR /> Aims: HD 142527 is one of the most frequently studied Herbig Ae/Be stars with a transitional disk that hosts a large cavity that is up to about 100 au in radius. For this reason, it has been ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: HD 142527 is one of the most frequently studied Herbig Ae/Be stars with a transitional disk that hosts a large cavity that is up to about 100 au in radius. For this reason, it has been included in the guaranteed time observation (GTO) SpHere INfrared survey for Exoplanets (SHINE) as part of the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in order to search for low-mass companions that might explain the presence of the gap. SHINE is a large survey within about 600 young nearby stars are observed with SPHERE with the aim to constrain the occurrence and orbital properties of the giant planet population at large (> 5 au) orbital separation around young stars. <BR /> Methods: We used the IRDIFS observing mode of SPHERE (IRDIS short for infrared dual imaging and spectrograph plus IFS or integral field spectrograph) without any coronagraph in order to search for and characterize companions as close as 30 mas of the star. Furthermore, we present the first observations that ever used the sparse aperture mask (SAM) for SPHERE both in IRDIFS and IRDIFS_EXT modes. All the data were reduced using the dedicated SPHERE pipeline and dedicated algorithms that make use of the principal component analysis (PCA) and reference differential imaging (RDI) techniques. <BR /> Results: We detect the accreting low-mass companion HD 142527B at a separation of 73 mas (11.4 au) from the star. No other companions with mass greater than 10 M[SUB]J[/SUB] are visible in the field of view of IFS (̃100 au centered on the star) or in the IRDIS field of view (̃400 au centered on the star). Measurements from IFS, SAM IFS, and IRDIS suggest an M6 spectral type for HD 142527B, with an uncertainty of one spectral subtype, compatible with an object of M = 0.11 ± 0.06 M[SUB]☉[/SUB] and R = 0.15 ± 0.07 R[SUB]☉[/SUB]. The determination of the mass remains a challenge using contemporary evolutionary models, as they do not account for the energy input due to accretion from infalling material. We consider that the spectral type of the secondary may also be earlier than the type we derived from IFS spectra. From dynamical considerations, we further constrain the mass to 0.26[SUP]+0.16[/SUP][SUB]-0.14[/SUB] M[SUB]☉[/SUB], which is consistent with both our spectroscopic analysis and the values reported in the literature. Following previous methods, the lower and upper dynamical mass values correspond to a spectral type between M2.5 and M5.5 for the companion. By fitting the astrometric points, we find the following orbital parameters: a period of P = 35 - 137 yr; an inclination of i = 121 - 130°, a value of Ω = 124 - 135° for the longitude of node, and an 68% confidence interval of ̃18 - 57 au for the separation at periapsis. Eccentricity and time at periapsis passage exhibit two groups of values: ̃0.2-0.45 and ̃0.45-0.7 for e, and ̃2015-2020 and ̃2020-2022 for T[SUB]0[/SUB]. While these orbital parameters might at first suggest that HD 142527B is not the companion responsible for the outer disk truncation, a previous hydrodynamical analysis of this system showed that they are compatible with a companion that is able to produce the large cavity and other observed features. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for astronomical research in the southern emisphere under ESO programmes 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, 097.C-0865 and 189.C-0209.The reduced 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/622/A96">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/622/A96</A> [less ▲]

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See detailPost-conjunction detection of β Pictoris b with VLT/SPHERE
Lagrange, A.-M.; Boccaletti, A.; Langlois, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 621

Context. With an orbital distance comparable to that of Saturn in the solar system, β Pictoris b is the closest (semi-major axis ≃9 au) exoplanet that has been imaged to orbit a star. Thus it offers ... [more ▼]

Context. With an orbital distance comparable to that of Saturn in the solar system, β Pictoris b is the closest (semi-major axis ≃9 au) exoplanet that has been imaged to orbit a star. Thus it offers unique opportunities for detailed studies of its orbital, physical, and atmospheric properties, and of disk-planet interactions. With the exception of the discovery observations in 2003 with NaCo at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), all following astrometric measurements relative to β Pictoris have been obtained in the southwestern part of the orbit, which severely limits the determination of the planet's orbital parameters. <BR /> Aims: We aimed at further constraining β Pictoris b orbital properties using more data, and, in particular, data taken in the northeastern part of the orbit. <BR /> Methods: We used SPHERE at the VLT to precisely monitor the orbital motion of beta β Pictoris b since first light of the instrument in 2014. <BR /> Results: We were able to monitor the planet until November 2016, when its angular separation became too small (125 mas, i.e., 1.6 au) and prevented further detection. We redetected β Pictoris b on the northeast side of the disk at a separation of 139 mas and a PA of 30° in September 2018. The planetary orbit is now well constrained. With a semi-major axis (sma) of a = 9.0 ± 0.5 au (1σ), it definitely excludes previously reported possible long orbital periods, and excludes β Pictoris b as the origin of photometric variations that took place in 1981. We also refine the eccentricity and inclination of the planet. From an instrumental point of view, these data demonstrate that it is possible to detect, if they exist, young massive Jupiters that orbit at less than 2 au from a star that is 20 pc away. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory under programmes 198.C-0209, 1100.C-0481. [less ▲]

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See detailSpace-based infrared interferometry to study exoplanetary atmospheres
Defrere, Denis ULiege; Léger, A.; Absil, Olivier ULiege et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2018), 46(3), 543-560

The quest for other habitable worlds and the search for life among them are major goals of modern astronomy. One way to make progress towards these goals is to obtain high-quality spectra of a large ... [more ▼]

The quest for other habitable worlds and the search for life among them are major goals of modern astronomy. One way to make progress towards these goals is to obtain high-quality spectra of a large number of exoplanets over a broad range of wavelengths. While concepts currently investigated in the United States are focused on visible/NIR wavelengths, where the planets are probed in reflected light, a compelling alternative to characterize planetary atmospheres is the mid-infrared waveband (5-20um). Indeed, mid-infrared observations provide key information on the presence of an atmosphere, the surface conditions (e.g., temperature, pressure, habitability), and the atmospheric composition in important species such as H2O, CO2, O3, CH4, and N2O. This information is essential to investigate the potential habitability of exoplanets and to make progress towards the search for life in the universe. Obtaining high-quality mid-infrared spectra of exoplanets from the ground is however extremely challenging due to the overwhelming brightness and turbulence of Earth's atmosphere. In this paper, we present a concept of space-based mid-infrared interferometer that can tackle this observing challenge and discuss the main technological developments required to launch such a sophisticated instrument. [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 detailThe GJ 504 system revisited. Combining interferometric, radial velocity, and high contrast imaging data
Bonnefoy, M.; Perraut, K.; Lagrange, A.-M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 618

Context. The G-type star GJ504A is known to host a 3-35 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] companion whose temperature, mass, and projected separation all contribute to making it a test case for planet formation theories ... [more ▼]

Context. The G-type star GJ504A is known to host a 3-35 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] companion whose temperature, mass, and projected separation all contribute to making it a test case for planet formation theories and atmospheric models of giant planets and light brown dwarfs. <BR /> Aims: We aim at revisiting the system age, architecture, and companion physical and chemical properties using new complementary interferometric, radial-velocity, and high-contrast imaging data. <BR /> Methods: We used the CHARA interferometer to measure GJ504A's angular diameter and obtained an estimation of its radius in combinationwith the HIPPARCOS parallax. The radius was compared to evolutionary tracks to infer a new independent age range for the system. We collected dual imaging data with IRDIS on VLT/SPHERE to sample the near-infrared (1.02-2.25 μm) spectral energy distribution (SED) of the companion. The SED was compared to five independent grids of atmospheric models (petitCODE,Exo-REM, BT-SETTL, Morley et al., and ATMO) to infer the atmospheric parameters of GJ 504b and evaluate model-to-model systematic errors. In addition, we used a specific model grid exploring the effect of different C/O ratios. Contrast limits from 2011 to 2017 were combined with radial velocity data of the host star through the MESS2 tool to define upper limits on the mass of additional companions in the system from 0.01 to 100 au. We used an MCMC fitting tool to constrain the companion'sorbital parameters based on the measured astrometry, and dedicated formation models to investigate its origin. <BR /> Results: We report a radius of 1.35 ± 0.04 R[SUB]☉[/SUB] for GJ504A. The radius yields isochronal ages of 21 ± 2 Myr or 4.0 ± 1.8 Gyr for the system and line-of-sight stellar rotation axis inclination of 162.4[SUB]-4.3[/SUB][SUP]+3.8[/SUP] degrees or 186.6[SUB]-3.8[/SUB][SUP]+4.3[/SUP] degrees. We re-detect the companion in the Y2, Y3, J3, H2, and K1 dual-band images. The complete 1-4 μm SED shape of GJ504b is best reproduced by T8-T9.5 objects with intermediate ages (≤ 1.5Gyr), and/or unusual dusty atmospheres and/or super-solar metallicities. All atmospheric models yield T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 550 ± 50 K for GJ504b and point toward a low surface gravity (3.5-4.0 dex). The accuracy on the metallicity value is limited by model-to-model systematics; it is not degenerate with the C/O ratio. We derive log L/L[SUB]☉[/SUB] = -6.15 ± 0.15 dex for the companion from the empirical analysis and spectral synthesis. The luminosity and T[SUB]eff[/SUB] yield masses of M = 1.3[SUB]-0.3[/SUB][SUP]+0.6[/SUP] M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] and M = 23[SUB]-9[/SUB][SUP]+10[/SUP] M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] for the young and old age ranges, respectively. The semi-major axis (sma) is above 27.8 au and the eccentricity is lower than 0.55. The posterior on GJ 504b's orbital inclination suggests a misalignment with the rotation axis of GJ 504A. We exclude additional objects (90% prob.) more massive than 2.5 and 30 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] with semi-major axes in the range 0.01-80 au for the young and old isochronal ages, respectively. <BR /> Conclusions: The mass and semi-major axis of GJ 504b are marginally compatible with a formation by disk-instability if the system is 4 Gyr old. The companion is in the envelope of the population of planets synthesized with our core-accretion model. Additional deep imaging and spectroscopic data with SPHERE and JWST should help to confirm the possible spin-orbit misalignment and refine the estimates on the companion temperature, luminosity, and atmospheric composition. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programs 093.C-0500, 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, and 198.C-0209, and on interferometric observations obtained with the VEGA instrument on the CHARA Array. [less ▲]

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See detailDynamical masses of M-dwarf binaries in young moving groups. I. The case of TWA 22 and GJ 2060
Rodet, L.; Bonnefoy, M.; Durkan, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 618

Context. Evolutionary models are widely used to infer the mass of stars, brown dwarfs, and giant planets. Their predictions are thought to be less reliable at young ages (< 200 Myr) and in the low-mass ... [more ▼]

Context. Evolutionary models are widely used to infer the mass of stars, brown dwarfs, and giant planets. Their predictions are thought to be less reliable at young ages (< 200 Myr) and in the low-mass regime (< 1 M[SUB]☉[/SUB]). GJ 2060 AB and TWA 22 AB are two rare astrometric M-dwarf binaries, respectively members of the AB Doradus (AB Dor) and Beta Pictoris (β Pic) moving groups. As their dynamical mass can be measured to within a few years, they can be used to calibrate the evolutionary tracks and set new constraints on the age of young moving groups. <BR /> Aims: We provide the first dynamical mass measurement of GJ 2060 and a refined measurement of the total mass of TWA 22. We also characterize the atmospheric properties of the individual components of GJ 2060 that can be used as inputs to the evolutionary models. <BR /> Methods: We used NaCo and SPHERE observations at VLT and archival Keck/NIRC2 data to complement the astrometric monitoring of the binaries. We combined the astrometry with new HARPS radial velocities (RVs) and FEROS RVs of GJ 2060. We used a Markov chain Monte-Carlo (MCMC) module to estimate posteriors on the orbital parameters and dynamical masses of GJ 2060 AB and TWA 22 AB from the astrometry and RVs. Complementary data obtained with the integral field spectrograph VLT/SINFONI were gathered to extract the individual near-infrared (1.1-2.5 μm) medium-resolution (R ̃ 1500 - 2000) spectra of GJ 2060 A and B. We compared the spectra to those of known objects and to grids of BT-SETTL model spectra to infer the spectral type, bolometric luminosities, and temperatures of those objects. <BR /> Results: We find a total mass of 0.18 ± 0.02 M[SUB]☉[/SUB] for TWA 22, which is in good agreement with model predictions at the age of the β Pic moving group. We obtain a total mass of 1.09 ± 0.10 M[SUB]☉[/SUB] for GJ 2060. We estimate a spectral type of M1 ± 0.5, L/L[SUB]☉[/SUB] = -1.20 ± 0.05 dex, and T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 3700 ± 100 K for GJ 2060 A. The B component is a M3 ± 0.5 dwarf with L/L[SUB]☉[/SUB] = -1.63 ± 0.05 dex and T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 3400 ± 100 K. The dynamical mass of GJ 2060 AB is inconsistent with the most recent models predictions (BCAH15, PARSEC) for an AB Dor age in the range 50-150 Myr. It is 10%-20% (1-2σ, depending on the assumed age) above the model's predictions, corresponding to an underestimation of 0.10-0.20 M[SUB]☉[/SUB]. Coevality suggests a young age for the system (̃50 Myr) according to most evolutionary models. <BR /> Conclusions: TWA 22 validates the predictions of recent evolutionary tracks at ̃20 Myr. On the other hand, we evidence a 1-2σ mismatch between the predicted and observed mass of GJ 2060 AB. This slight departure may indicate that one of the stars hosts a tight companion. Alternatively, this would confirm the model's tendency to underestimate the mass of young low-mass stars. [less ▲]

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See detailImaging radial velocity planets with SPHERE
Zurlo, A.; Mesa, D.; Desidera, S. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018), 480

We present observations with the planet finder Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) of a selected sample of the most promising radial velocity (RV) companions for high-contrast ... [more ▼]

We present observations with the planet finder Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) of a selected sample of the most promising radial velocity (RV) companions for high-contrast imaging. Using a Monte Carlo simulation to explore all the possible inclinations of the orbit of wide RV companions, we identified the systems with companions that could potentially be detected with SPHERE. We found the most favourable RV systems to observe are: HD 142, GJ 676, HD 39091, HIP 70849, and HD 30177 and carried out observations of these systems during SPHERE Guaranteed Time Observing. To reduce the intensity of the starlight and reveal faint companions, we used principal component analysis algorithms alongside angular and spectral differential imaging. We injected synthetic planets with known flux to evaluate the self-subtraction caused by our data reduction and to determine the 5σ contrast in the J band versus separation for our reduced images. We estimated the upper limit on detectable companion mass around the selected stars from the contrast plot obtained from our data reduction. Although our observations enabled contrasts larger than 15 mag at a few tenths of arcsec from the host stars, we detected no planets. However, we were able to set upper mass limits around the stars using AMES-COND evolutionary models. We can exclude the presence of companions more massive than 25-28 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] around these stars, confirming the substellar nature of these RV companions. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a brown dwarf companion to the star HIP 64892
Cheetham, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Desidera, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 615

We report the discovery of a bright, brown dwarf companion to the star HIP 64892, imaged with VLT/SPHERE during the SHINE exoplanet survey. The host is a B9.5V member of the Lower-Centaurus-Crux subgroup ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a bright, brown dwarf companion to the star HIP 64892, imaged with VLT/SPHERE during the SHINE exoplanet survey. The host is a B9.5V member of the Lower-Centaurus-Crux subgroup of the Scorpius Centaurus OB association. The measured angular separation of the companion (1.2705 ± 0.0023") corresponds to a projected distance of 159 ± 12 AU. We observed the target with the dual-band imaging and long- slit spectroscopy modes of the IRDIS imager to obtain its spectral energy distribution (SED) and astrometry. In addition, we reprocessed archival NACO L-band data, from which we also recover the companion. Its SED is consistent with a young (<30 Myr), low surface gravity object with a spectral type of M9[SUB]γ[/SUB] ± 1. From comparison with the BT- Settl atmospheric models we estimate an effective temperature of T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 2600 ± 100 K, and comparison of the companion photometry to the COND evolutionary models yields a mass of 29-37 M[SUB]J[/SUB] at the estimated age of 16[SUB]-7[/SUB][SUP]+15[/SUP] Myr for the system. The star HIP 64892 is a rare example of an extreme-mass ratio system (q 0.01) and will be useful for testing models relating to the formation and evolution of such low-mass objects. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programmes 096.C-0241 and 198.C-0209 (PI: J.-L. Beuzit), 098.A-9007(A) (PI: P. Sarkis), and 087.C-0790(A) (PI: M. Ireland). [less ▲]

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See detailAstrometric and photometric accuracies in high contrast imaging: The SPHERE speckle calibration tool (SpeCal)
Galicher, R.; Boccaletti, A.; Mesa, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 615

Context. The consortium of the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch installed at the Very Large Telescope (SPHERE/VLT) has been operating its guaranteed observation time (260 nights over ... [more ▼]

Context. The consortium of the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch installed at the Very Large Telescope (SPHERE/VLT) has been operating its guaranteed observation time (260 nights over five years) since February 2015. The main part of this time (200 nights) is dedicated to the detection and characterization of young and giant exoplanets on wide orbits. <BR /> Aims: The large amount of data must be uniformly processed so that accurate and homogeneous measurements of photometry and astrometry can be obtained for any source in the field. <BR /> Methods: To complement the European Southern Observatory pipeline, the SPHERE consortium developed a dedicated piece of software to process the data. First, the software corrects for instrumental artifacts. Then, it uses the speckle calibration tool (SpeCal) to minimize the stellar light halo that prevents us from detecting faint sources like exoplanets or circumstellar disks. SpeCal is meant to extract the astrometry and photometry of detected point-like sources (exoplanets, brown dwarfs, or background sources). SpeCal was intensively tested to ensure the consistency of all reduced images (cADI, Loci, TLoci, PCA, and others) for any SPHERE observing strategy (ADI, SDI, ASDI as well as the accuracy of the astrometry and photometry of detected point-like sources. <BR /> Results: SpeCal is robust, user friendly, and efficient at detecting and characterizing point-like sources in high contrast images. It is used to process all SPHERE data systematically, and its outputs have been used for most of the SPHERE consortium papers to date. SpeCal is also a useful framework to compare different algorithms using various sets of data (different observing modes and conditions). Finally, our tests show that the extracted astrometry and photometry are accurate and not biased. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programme 097.C-0865. [less ▲]

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See detailObservations of fast-moving features in the debris disk of AU Mic on a three-year timescale: Confirmation and new discoveries
Boccaletti, A.; Sezestre, E.; Lagrange, A.-M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 614

Context. The nearby and young M star AU Mic is surrounded by a debris disk in which we previously identified a series of large-scale arch-like structures that have never been seen before in any other ... [more ▼]

Context. The nearby and young M star AU Mic is surrounded by a debris disk in which we previously identified a series of large-scale arch-like structures that have never been seen before in any other debris disk and that move outward at high velocities. <BR /> Aims: We initiated a monitoring program with the following objectives: (1) track the location of the structures and better constrain their projected speeds, (2) search for new features emerging closer in, and ultimately (3) understand the mechanism responsible for the motion and production of the disk features. <BR /> Methods: AU Mic was observed at 11 different epochs between August 2014 and October 2017 with the IR camera and spectrograph of SPHERE. These high-contrast imaging data were processed with a variety of angular, spectral, and polarimetric differential imaging techniques to reveal the faintest structures in the disk. We measured the projected separations of the features in a systematic way for all epochs. We also applied the very same measurements to older observations from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) with the visible cameras STIS and ACS. <BR /> Results: The main outcomes of this work are (1) the recovery of the five southeastern broad arch-like structures we identified in our first study, and confirmation of their fast motion (projected speed in the range 4-12 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]); (2) the confirmation that the very first structures observed in 2004 with ACS are indeed connected to those observed later with STIS and now SPHERE; (3) the discovery of two new very compact structures at the northwest side of the disk (at 0.40'' and 0.55'' in May 2015) that move to the southeast at low speed; and (4) the identification of a new arch-like structure that might be emerging at the southeast side at about 0.4'' from the star (as of May 2016). <BR /> Conclusions: Although the exquisite sensitivity of SPHERE allows one to follow the evolution not only of the projected separation, but also of the specific morphology of each individual feature, it remains difficult to distinguish between possible dynamical scenarios that may explain the observations. Understanding the exact origin of these features, the way they are generated, and their evolution over time is certainly a significant challenge in the context of planetary system formation around M stars. <P />Based on data collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile under programs 060.A-9249, 095.C-0298, 096.C-0625, 097.C-0865, 097.C-0813, 598.C-0359.A movie associated to Fig. 6 is available at <A h ref="https://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201732462/olm">http://https ://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailDynamical models to explain observations with SPHERE in planetary systems with double debris belts
Lazzoni, C.; Desidera, S.; Marzari, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 611

Context. A large number of systems harboring a debris disk show evidence for a double belt architecture. One hypothesis for explaining the gap between the debris belts in these disks is the presence of ... [more ▼]

Context. A large number of systems harboring a debris disk show evidence for a double belt architecture. One hypothesis for explaining the gap between the debris belts in these disks is the presence of one or more planets dynamically carving it. For this reason these disks represent prime targets for searching planets using direct imaging instruments, like the Spectro-Polarimetric High-constrast Exoplanet Research (SPHERE) at the Very Large Telescope. Aim. The goal of this work is to investigate this scenario in systems harboring debris disks divided into two components, placed, respectively, in the inner and outer parts of the system. All the targets in the sample were observed with the SPHERE instrument, which performs high-contrast direct imaging, during the SHINE guaranteed time observations. Positions of the inner and outer belts were estimated by spectral energy distribution fitting of the infrared excesses or, when available, from resolved images of the disk. Very few planets have been observed so far in debris disks gaps and we intended to test if such non-detections depend on the observational limits of the present instruments. This aim is achieved by deriving theoretical predictions of masses, eccentricities, and semi-major axes of planets able to open the observed gaps and comparing such parameters with detection limits obtained with SPHERE. <BR /> Methods: The relation between the gap and the planet is due to the chaotic zone neighboring the orbit of the planet. The radial extent of this zone depends on the mass ratio between the planet and the star, on the semi-major axis, and on the eccentricity of the planet, and it can be estimated analytically. We first tested the different analytical predictions using a numerical tool for the detection of chaotic behavior and then selected the best formula for estimating a planet's physical and dynamical properties required to open the observed gap. We then apply the formalism to the case of one single planet on a circular or eccentric orbit. We then consider multi-planetary systems: two and three equal-mass planets on circular orbits and two equal-mass planets on eccentric orbits in a packed configuration. As a final step, we compare each couple of values (M[SUB]p[/SUB], a[SUB]p[/SUB]), derived from the dynamical analysis of single and multiple planetary models, with the detection limits obtained with SPHERE. <BR /> Results: For one single planet on a circular orbit we obtain conclusive results that allow us to exclude such a hypothesis since in most cases this configuration requires massive planets which should have been detected by our observations. Unsatisfactory is also the case of one single planet on an eccentric orbit for which we obtained high masses and/or eccentricities which are still at odds with observations. Introducing multi planetary architectures is encouraging because for the case of three packed equal-mass planets on circular orbits we obtain quite low masses for the perturbing planets which would remain undetected by our SPHERE observations. The case of two equal-mass planets on eccentric orbits is also of interest since it suggests the possible presence of planets with masses lower than the detection limits and with moderate eccentricity. Our results show that the apparent lack of planets in gaps between double belts could be explained by the presence of a system of two or more planets possibly of low mass and on eccentric orbits whose sizes are below the present detection limits. <P />Based on observations collected at Paranal Observatory, ESO (Chile) Program ID: 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, 097.C-0865, and 198.C-0209. [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 detailIn-depth study of moderately young but extremely red, very dusty substellar companion HD 206893B
Delorme, Philippe; Schmidt, Tobias; Bonnefoy, Mickaël et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 608

Context. The substellar companion HD 206893b has recently been discovered by direct imaging of its disc-bearing host star with the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) instrument ... [more ▼]

Context. The substellar companion HD 206893b has recently been discovered by direct imaging of its disc-bearing host star with the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) instrument. <BR /> Aims: We investigate the atypical properties of the companion, which has the reddest near-infrared colours among all known substellar objects, either orbiting a star or isolated, and we provide a comprehensive characterisation of the host star-disc-companion system. <BR /> Methods: We conducted a follow-up of the companion with adaptive optics imaging and spectro-imaging with SPHERE, and a multi-instrument follow-up of its host star. We obtain a R = 30 spectrum from 0.95 to 1.64 μm of the companion and additional photometry at 2.11 and 2.25 μm. We carried out extensive atmosphere model fitting for the companions and the host star in order to derive their age, mass, and metallicity. <BR /> Results: We found no additional companion in the system in spite of exquisite observing conditions resulting in sensitivity to 6 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] (2 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) at 0.5'' for an age of 300 Myr (50 Myr). We detect orbital motion over more than one year and characterise the possible Keplerian orbits. We constrain the age of the system to a minimum of 50 Myr and a maximum of 700 Myr, and determine that the host-star metallicity is nearly solar. The comparison of the companion spectrum and photometry to model atmospheres indicates that the companion is an extremely dusty late L dwarf, with an intermediate gravity (log g 4.5-5.0) which is compatible with the independent age estimate of the system. <BR /> Conclusions: Though our best fit corresponds to a brown dwarf of 15-30 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] aged 100-300 Myr, our analysis is also compatible with a range of masses and ages going from a 50 Myr 12 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] planetary-mass object to a 50 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] Hyades-age brown dwarf. Even though this companion is extremely red, we note that it is more probable that it has an intermediate gravity rather than the very low gravity that is often associated with very red L dwarfs. We also find that the detected companion cannot shape the observed outer debris disc, hinting that one or several additional planetary mass objects in the system might be necessary to explain the position of the disc inner edge. Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under Programs ID 097.C-0865(D) (SPHERE GTO, SHINE Program) and Program ID: 082.A-9007(A) (FEROS) 098.C-0739(A), 192.C-0224(C) (HARPS). This work has made use of the SPHERE Data Centre. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a warm, dusty giant planet around HIP 65426
Chauvin, G.; Desidera, S.; Lagrange, A.-M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 605

<BR /> Aims: The SHINE program is a high-contrast near-infrared survey of 600 young, nearby stars aimed at searching for and characterizing new planetary systems using VLT/SPHERE's unprecedented high ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: The SHINE program is a high-contrast near-infrared survey of 600 young, nearby stars aimed at searching for and characterizing new planetary systems using VLT/SPHERE's unprecedented high-contrast and high-angular-resolution imaging capabilities. It is also intended to place statistical constraints on the rate, mass and orbital distributions of the giant planet population at large orbits as a function of the stellar host mass and age to test planet-formation theories. <BR /> Methods: We used the IRDIS dual-band imager and the IFS integral field spectrograph of SPHERE to acquire high-contrast coronagraphic differential near-infrared images and spectra of the young A2 star HIP 65426. It is a member of the 17 Myr old Lower Centaurus-Crux association. <BR /> Results: At a separation of 830 mas (92 au projected) from the star, we detect a faint red companion. Multi-epoch observations confirm that it shares common proper motion with HIP 65426. Spectro-photometric measurements extracted with IFS and IRDIS between 0.95 and 2.2 μm indicate a warm, dusty atmosphere characteristic of young low-surface-gravity L5-L7 dwarfs. Hot-start evolutionary models predict a luminosity consistent with a 6-12 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 1300-1600 K and R = 1.5 ± 0.1 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] giant planet. Finally, the comparison with Exo-REM and PHOENIX BT-Settl synthetic atmosphere models gives consistent effective temperatures but with slightly higher surface gravity solutions of log (g) = 4.0-5.0 with smaller radii (1.0-1.3 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]). <BR /> Conclusions: Given its physical and spectral properties, HIP 65426 b occupies a rather unique placement in terms of age, mass, and spectral-type among the currently known imaged planets. It represents a particularly interesting case to study the presence of clouds as a function of particle size, composition, and location in the atmosphere, to search for signatures of non-equilibrium chemistry, and finally to test the theory of planet formation and evolution. <P />Based on observations collected at La Silla and Paranal Observatory, ESO (Chile) Program ID: 097.C-0865 and 098.C-0209 (SPHERE).The planet spectrum is 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/605/L9">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/605/L9</A> [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 detailThe VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits. IV. Gravitational instability rarely forms wide, giant planets
Vigan, A.; Bonavita, M.; Biller, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 603

Understanding the formation and evolution of giant planets (≥1 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) at wide orbital separation (≥5 AU) is one of the goals of direct imaging. Over the past 15 yr, many surveys have placed ... [more ▼]

Understanding the formation and evolution of giant planets (≥1 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) at wide orbital separation (≥5 AU) is one of the goals of direct imaging. Over the past 15 yr, many surveys have placed strong constraints on the occurrence rate of wide-orbit giants, mostly based on non-detections, but very few have tried to make a direct link with planet formation theories. In the present work, we combine the results of our previously published VLT/NaCo large program with the results of 12 past imaging surveys to constitute a statistical sample of 199 FGK stars within 100 pc, including three stars with sub-stellar companions. Using Monte Carlo simulations and assuming linear flat distributions for the mass and semi-major axis of planets, we estimate the sub-stellar companion frequency to be within 0.75-5.70% at the 68% confidence level (CL) within 20-300 AU and 0.5-75 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], which is compatible with previously published results. We also compare our results with the predictions of state-of-the-art population synthesis models based on the gravitational instability (GI) formation scenario with and without scattering. We estimate that in both the scattered and non-scattered populations, we would be able to detect more than 30% of companions in the 1-75 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] range (95% CL). With the threesub-stellar detections in our sample, we estimate the fraction of stars that host a planetary system formed by GI to be within 1.0-8.6% (95% CL). We also conclude that even though GI is not common, it predicts a mass distribution of wide-orbit massive companions that is much closer to what is observed than what the core accretion scenario predicts. Finally, we associate the present paper with the release of the Direct Imaging Virtual Archive (DIVA), a public database that aims at gathering the results of past, present, and future direct imaging surveys. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO Large Program 184.C-0157 and Open Time 089.C-0137A and 090.C-0252A). [less ▲]

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