References of "Dohlen, K"
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See detailK-Stacker: an algorithm to hack the orbital parameters of planets hidden in high-contrast imaging. First applications to VLT/SPHERE multi-epoch observations
Le Coroller, H.; Nowak, M.; Delorme, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 639

Context. Recent high-contrast imaging surveys, using the Spectro- Polarimetic High contrast imager for Exoplanets REsearch (SPHERE) or the Gemini Planet Imager in search of planets in young, nearby ... [more ▼]

Context. Recent high-contrast imaging surveys, using the Spectro- Polarimetic High contrast imager for Exoplanets REsearch (SPHERE) or the Gemini Planet Imager in search of planets in young, nearby systems, have shown evidence of a small number of giant planets at relatively large separation beyond 10-30 au, where those surveys are the most sensitive. Access to smaller physical separations between 5 and 30 au is the next step for future planet imagers on 10 m telescopes and the next generation of extremely large telescopes in order to bridge the gap with indirect techniques such as radial velocity, transit, and soon astrometry with Gaia. In addition to new technologies and instruments, the development of innovative observing strategies combined with optimized data processing tools is participating in the improvement of detection capabilities at very close angular separation. In that context, we recently proposed a new algorithm, Keplerian-Stacker, which combines multiple observations acquired at different epochs and takes into account the orbital motion of a potential planet present in the images to boost the ultimate detection limit. We showed that this algorithm is able to find planets in time series of simulated images of the SPHERE InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) even when a planet remains undetected at one epoch. <BR /> Aims: Our goal is to test and validate the K-Stacker algorithm performances on real SPHERE datasets to demonstrate the resilience of this algorithm to instrumental speckles and the gain offered in terms of true detection. This will motivate future dedicated multi-epoch observation campaigns of well- chosen, young, nearby systems and very nearby stars carefully selected to search for planets in emitted and reflected light, respectively, to open a new path concerning the observing strategy used with current and future planet imagers. <BR /> Methods: To test K-Stacker, we injected fake planets and scanned the low signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) regime in a series of raw observations obtained by the SPHERE/IRDIS instrument in the course of the SPHERE High-contrast ImagiNg survey for Exoplanets. We also considered the cases of two specific targets intensively monitored during this campaign: β Pictoris and HD 95086. For each target and epoch, the data were reduced using standard angular differential imaging processing techniques and then recombined with K-Stacker to recover the fake planetary signals. In addition, the known exoplanets β Pictoris b and HD 95086 b previously identified at lower S/N in single epochs have also been recovered by K-Stacker. <BR /> Results: We show that K-Stacker achieves a high success rate of ≈100% when the S/N of the planet in the stacked image reaches ≈9. The improvement of the S/N is given as the square root of the total exposure time contained in the data being combined. At S/N < 6-7, the number of false positives is high near the coronagraphic mask, but a chromatic study or astrophysical criteria can help to disentangle between a bright speckle and a true detection. During the blind test and the redetection of HD 95086 b, and β Pic b, we highlightthe ability of K-Stacker to find orbital solutions consistent with those derived by the current Markov chain Monte Carlo orbital fitting techniques. This confirms that in addition to the detection gain, K-Stacker offers the opportunity to characterize the most probable orbital solutions of the exoplanets recovered at low S/N. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory under programs: 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, 097.C-0865, 198.C-0209, 099.C-0127. [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 detailRefPlanets: Search for reflected light from extra-solar planets with SPHERE/ZIMPOL
Hunziker, S.; Schmid, H. M.; Mouillet, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), in press

RefPlanets is a guaranteed time observation (GTO) programme that uses the Zurich IMaging POLarimeter (ZIMPOL) of SPHERE/VLT for a blind search for exoplanets in wavelengths from 600-900 nm. The goals of ... [more ▼]

RefPlanets is a guaranteed time observation (GTO) programme that uses the Zurich IMaging POLarimeter (ZIMPOL) of SPHERE/VLT for a blind search for exoplanets in wavelengths from 600-900 nm. The goals of this study are the characterization of the unprecedented high polarimetic contrast and polarimetric precision capabilities of ZIMPOL for bright targets, the search for polarized reflected light around some of the closest bright stars to the Sun and potentially the direct detection of an evolved cold exoplanet for the first time. For our observations of Alpha Cen A and B, Sirius A, Altair, Eps Eri and Tau Ceti we used the polarimetric differential imaging (PDI) mode of ZIMPOL which removes the speckle noise down to the photon noise limit for angular separations >0.6". We describe some of the instrumental effects that dominate the noise for smaller separations and explain how to remove these additional noise effects in post-processing. We then combine PDI with angular differential imaging (ADI) as a final layer of post-processing to further improve the contrast limits of our data at these separations. For good observing conditions we achieve polarimetric contrast limits of 15.0-16.3 mag at the effective inner working angle of about 0.13", 16.3-18.3 mag at 0.5" and 18.8-20.4 mag at 1.5". The contrast limits closer in (<0.6") depend significantly on the observing conditions, while in the photon noise dominated regime (>0.6"), the limits mainly depend on the brightness of the star and the total integration time. We compare our results with contrast limits from other surveys and review the exoplanet detection limits obtained with different detection methods. For all our targets we achieve unprecedented contrast limits. Despite the high polarimetric contrasts we are not able to find any additional companions or extended polarized light sources in the data that has been taken so far. [less ▲]

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See detailHint of curvature in the orbital motion of the exoplanet 51 Eridani b using 3 yr of VLT/SPHERE monitoring
Maire, Anne-Lise ULiege; Rodet, L.; Cantalloube, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 624

Context. The 51 Eridani system harbors a complex architecture with its primary star forming a hierarchical system with the binary GJ 3305AB at a projected separation of 2000 au, a giant planet orbiting ... [more ▼]

Context. The 51 Eridani system harbors a complex architecture with its primary star forming a hierarchical system with the binary GJ 3305AB at a projected separation of 2000 au, a giant planet orbiting the primary star at 13 au, and a low-mass debris disk around the primary star with possible cold and warm components inferred from the spectral energy distribution. <BR /> Aims: We aim to better constrain the orbital parameters of the known giant planet. <BR /> Methods: We monitored the system over three years from 2015 to 2018 with the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch (SPHERE) instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). <BR /> Results: We measure an orbital motion for the planet of 130 mas with a slightly decreasing separation ( 10 mas) and find a hint of curvature. This potential curvature is further supported at 3σ significance when including literature Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) astrometry corrected for calibration systematics. Fits of the SPHERE and GPI data using three complementary approaches provide broadly similar results. The data suggest an orbital period of 32[SUB]-9[/SUB][SUP]+17[/SUP] yr (i.e., 12[SUB]-2[/SUB][SUP]+4[/SUP] au in semi-major axis), an inclination of 133[SUB]-7[/SUB][SUP]+14[/SUP] deg, an eccentricity of 0.45[SUB]-0.15[/SUB][SUP]+0.10[/SUP], and an argument of periastron passage of 87[SUB]-30[/SUB][SUP]+34[/SUP] deg [mod 180°]. The time at periastron passage and the longitude of node exhibit bimodal distributions because we do not yet detect whether the planet is accelerating or decelerating along its orbit. Given the inclinations of the orbit and of the stellar rotation axis (134-144°), we infer alignment or misalignment within 18° for the star-planet spin- orbit. Further astrometric monitoring in the next 3-4 yr is required to confirm at a higher significance the curvature in the motion of the planet, determine if the planet is accelerating or decelerating on its orbit, and further constrain its orbital parameters and the star-planet spin-orbit. <P />The fitted orbits and the histogram distributions of the orbital parameters 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/A118">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/624/A118</A>Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programmes 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, 198.C-0209, and 1100.C-0481. [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 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 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 detailNEAR: New earths in the Alpha Cen Region (bringing VISIR as a "visiting instrument" to ESO-VLT-UT4)
Käufl, H.-U.; Kasper, M.; Arsenault, R. et al

in Evans, C.; Simard, L.; Takami (Eds.) Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII (2018, July 06)

By adding a dedicated coronagraph, ESO in collaboration with the Breakthrough Initiatives, modifies the Very Large Telescope mid-IR imager (VISIR) to further boost the high dynamic range imaging ... [more ▼]

By adding a dedicated coronagraph, ESO in collaboration with the Breakthrough Initiatives, modifies the Very Large Telescope mid-IR imager (VISIR) to further boost the high dynamic range imaging capability this instru- ment has. After the VISIR upgrade in 2012, where coronagraphic masks were first added to VISIR, it became evident that coronagraphy at a ground-based 8m-class telescope critically needs adaptive optics, even at wavelengths as long as 10μm. For VISIR, a work-horse observatory facility instrument in normal operations, this is "easiest" achieved by bringing VISIR as a visiting instrument to the ESO-VLT-UT4 having an adaptive M2. This "visit" enables a meaningful search for Earth-like planets in the habitable zone around both α-Cen1,2. Meaningful here means, achieving a contrast of ∼ 10-6 within ∼ 0.8arcsec from the star while maintaining basically the normal sensitivity of VISIR. This should allow to detect a planet twice the diameter of Earth. Key components will be a diffractive coronagraphic mask, the annular groove phase mask (AGPM), optimized for the most sensitive spectral band-pass in the N-band, complemented by a sophisticated apodizer at the level of the Lyot stop. For VISIR noise filtering based on fast chopping is required. A novel internal chopper system will be integrated into the cryostat. This chopper is based on the standard technique from early radio astronomy, conceived by the microwave pioneer Robert Dicke in 1946, which was instrumental for the discovery of the 3K radio background. © 2018 SPIE. [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 detailNEAR: Low-mass Planets in α Cen with VISIR
Kasper, M.; Arsenault, R.; Käufl, H.-U. et al

in Messenger (2017), 169

ESO, in collaboration with the Breakthrough Initiatives, is working to modify the Very Large Telescope mid-IR imager (VISIR) to greatly enhance its ability to search for potentially habitable planets ... [more ▼]

ESO, in collaboration with the Breakthrough Initiatives, is working to modify the Very Large Telescope mid-IR imager (VISIR) to greatly enhance its ability to search for potentially habitable planets around both components of the binary Alpha Centauri, part of the closest stellar system to the Earth. Much of the funding for the NEAR (New Earths in the Alpha Cen Region) project is provided by the Breakthrough Initiatives, and ESO mostly provides staff and observing time. The concept combines adaptive optics using the deformable secondary mirror at Unit Telescope 4, a new annular groove phase mask (AGPM) coronagraph optimised for the most sensitive spectral bandpass in the N-band, and a novel internal chopper system for noise filtering based on a concept for longer wavelengths invented by the microwave pioneer Robert Dicke. The NEAR experiment is relevant to the mid-infrared METIS instrument on the Extremely Large Telescope, as the knowledge gained and proof of concept will be transferable. [less ▲]

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See detailShadows cast on the transition disk of HD 135344B. Multiwavelength VLT/SPHERE polarimetric differential imaging
Stolker, T.; Dominik, C.; Avenhaus, H. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

Context. The protoplanetary disk around the F-type star HD 135344B (SAO 206462) is in a transition stage and shows many intriguing structures both in scattered light and thermal (sub-)millimeter emission ... [more ▼]

Context. The protoplanetary disk around the F-type star HD 135344B (SAO 206462) is in a transition stage and shows many intriguing structures both in scattered light and thermal (sub-)millimeter emission which are possibly related to planet formation processes. <BR /> Aims: We aim to study the morphology and surface brightness of the disk in scattered light to gain insight into the innermost disk regions, the formation of protoplanets, planet-disk interactions traced in the surface and midplane layers, and the dust grain properties of the disk surface. <BR /> Methods: We have carried out high-contrast polarimetric differential imaging (PDI) observations with VLT/SPHERE and obtained polarized scattered light images with ZIMPOL in the R and I-bands and with IRDIS in the Y and J-bands. The scattered light images and surface brightness profiles are used to study in detail structures in the disk surface and brightness variations. We have constructed a 3D radiative transfer model to support the interpretation of several detected shadow features. <BR /> Results: The scattered light images reveal with unprecedented angular resolution and sensitivity the spiral arms as well as the 25 au cavity of the disk. Multiple shadow features are discovered on the outer disk with one shadow only being present during the second observation epoch. A positive surface brightness gradient is observed in the stellar irradiation corrected (r[SUP]2[/SUP]-scaled) images in southwest direction possibly due to an azimuthally asymmetric perturbation of the temperature and/or surface density by the passing spiral arms. The disk integrated polarized flux, normalized to the stellar flux, shows a positive trend towards longer wavelengths which we attribute to large (2πa ≳ λ) aggregate dust grains in the disk surface. Part of the non- azimuthal polarization signal in the U[SUB]φ[/SUB] image of the J-band observation can be attributed to multiple scattering in the disk. <BR /> Conclusions: The detected shadow features and their possible variability have the potential to provide insight into the structure of and processes occurring in the innermost disk regions. Possible explanations for the presence of the shadows include a 22° misaligned inner disk, a warped disk region that connects the inner disk with the outer disk, and variable or transient phenomena such as a perturbation of the inner disk or an asymmetric accretion flow. The spiral arms are best explained by one or multiple protoplanets in the exterior of the disk although no gap is detected beyond the spiral arms up to 1.''0. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, ESO No. 095.C-0273(A) and 095.C-0273(D). [less ▲]

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See detailPushing down with the contrast: scientific performances with SPHERE-IFS
Claudi, R.; Antichi, J.; Baruffolo, A. et al

in Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI (2016, August 01)

The VLT second generation instrument SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High- contrast Exoplanets Research) was commissioned in the Summer of 2014, and offered to the community in the Spring of 2015. SPHERE is ... [more ▼]

The VLT second generation instrument SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High- contrast Exoplanets Research) was commissioned in the Summer of 2014, and offered to the community in the Spring of 2015. SPHERE is a high contrast imager that exploits its three scientific channels in order to observe and discover young warm exoplanets in the glare of their host stars. The three scientific instrument are: ZIMPOL, a polarization analyzer and imager that works in the visible range of wavelength, IRDIS a dual band imager and spectro polarimetric Camera that works in the NIR range up to K band, and IFS, an integral field spectrograph working in the YJH band. Very important is the complementarity between IRDIS and IFS. The former has a larger Field of view (about 12 arcseconds) while the IFS push its examination very close to the central star (FoV 1.7 arcsec). In one year of operational time a lot of very interesting scientific cases were investigated and very nice results were gathered. In this paper we would like to focus the attention on the high quality results and performances obtained with the IFS. <P /> [less ▲]

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See detailFirst light of the VLT planet finder SPHERE. III. New spectrophotometry and astrometry of the HR 8799 exoplanetary system
Zurlo, A.; Vigan, A.; Galicher, Raphaël et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 587

Context. The planetary system discovered around the young A-type HR 8799 provides a unique laboratory to: a) test planet formation theories; b) probe the diversity of system architectures at these ... [more ▼]

Context. The planetary system discovered around the young A-type HR 8799 provides a unique laboratory to: a) test planet formation theories; b) probe the diversity of system architectures at these separations, and c) perform comparative (exo)planetology. <BR /> Aims: We present and exploit new near-infrared images and integral-field spectra of the four gas giants surrounding HR 8799 obtained with SPHERE, the new planet finder instrument at the Very Large Telescope, during the commissioning and science verification phase of the instrument (July-December 2014). With these new data, we contribute to completing the spectral energy distribution (SED) of these bodies in the 1.0-2.5 μm range. We also provide new astrometric data, in particular for planet e, to further constrain the orbits. <BR /> Methods: We used the infrared dual-band imager and spectrograph (IRDIS) subsystem to obtain pupil-stabilized, dual-band H2H3 (1.593 μm, 1.667 μm), K1K2 (2.110 μm, 2.251 μm), and broadband J (1.245 μm) images of the four planets. IRDIS was operated in parallel with the integral field spectrograph (IFS) of SPHERE to collect low-resolution (R ~ 30), near-infrared (0.94-1.64 μm) spectra of the two innermost planets HR 8799 d and e. The data were reduced with dedicated algorithms, such as the Karhunen-Loève image projection (KLIP), to reveal the planets. We used the so-called negative planets injection technique to extract their photometry, spectra, and measure their positions. We illustrate the astrometric performance of SPHERE through sample orbital fits compatible with SPHERE and literature data. <BR /> Results: We demonstrated the ability of SPHERE to detect and characterize planets in this kind of systems, providing spectra and photometry of its components. The spectra improve upon the signal-to- noise ratio of previously obtained data and increase the spectral coverage down to the Y band. In addition, we provide the first detection of planet e in the J band. Astrometric positions for planets HR 8799 bcde are reported for the epochs of July, August, and December 2014. We measured the photometric values in J, H2H3, K1K2 bands for the four planets with a mean accuracy of 0.13 mag. We found upper limit constraints on the mass of a possible planet f of 3-7 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] . Our new measurements are more consistent with the two inner planets d and e being in a 2d:1e or 3d:2e resonance. The spectra of HR 8799 d and e are well matched by those of L6-8 field dwarfs. However, the SEDs of these objects are redder than field L dwarfs longward of 1.6 μm. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), Chile, during the commissioning of the SPHERE instrument and during the science verification (program number 60.A-9352(A)).Spectra of planets 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/587/A57">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/587/A57</A> [less ▲]

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See detailFirst light of the VLT planet finder SPHERE. II. The physical properties and the architecture of the young systems PZ Telescopii and HD 1160 revisited
Maire, Anne-Lise ULiege; Bonnefoy, M.; Ginski, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 587

Context. The young systemsPZ Tel and HD 1160, hosting known low-mass companions, were observed during the commissioning of the new planet finder of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) SPHERE with several ... [more ▼]

Context. The young systemsPZ Tel and HD 1160, hosting known low-mass companions, were observed during the commissioning of the new planet finder of the Very Large Telescope (VLT) SPHERE with several imaging and spectroscopic modes. <BR /> Aims: We aim to refine the physical properties and architecture of both systems. <BR /> Methods: We use SPHERE commissioning data and dedicated Rapid Eye Mount (REM) observations, as well as literature and unpublished data from VLT/SINFONI, VLT/NaCo, Gemini/NICI, and Keck/NIRC2. <BR /> Results: We derive new photometry and confirm the short-term (P = 0.94 d) photometric variability of the star PZ Tel A with values of 0.14 and 0.06 mag at optical and near-infrared wavelengths, respectively. We note from the comparison to literature data spanning 38 yr that the star also exhibits a long-term variability trend with a brightening of ~0.25 mag. The 0.63-3.8 μm spectral energy distribution of PZ Tel B (separation ~25 AU) allows us to revise its physical characteristics: spectral type M7 ± 1, T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 2700 ± 100 K, log(g) < 4.5 dex, luminosity log(L/L[SUB]☉[/SUB]) = -2.51 ± 0.10 dex, and mass 38-72 M[SUB]J[/SUB] from "hot-start" evolutionary models combining the ranges of the temperature and luminosity estimates. The 1-3.8 μm SED of HD 1160 B (~85 au) suggests a massive brown dwarf or a low-mass star with spectral type M6.0, T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 3000 ± 100 K, subsolar metallicity [M/H] = -0.5-0.0 dex, luminosity log(L/L[SUB]☉[/SUB]) = -2.81 ± 0.10 dex, and mass 39-166 M[SUB]J[/SUB]. The physical properties derived for HD 1160 C (~560 au) from K[SUB]s[/SUB]L'-band photometry are consistent with the discovery study. The orbital study of PZ Tel B confirms its deceleration and the high eccentricity of its orbit (e > 0.66). For eccentricities below 0.9, the inclination, longitude of the ascending node, and time of periastron passage are well constrained. In particular, both star and companion inclinations are compatible with a system seen edge-on. Based on "hot-start" evolutionary models, we reject other brown dwarf candidates outside 0.25'' for both systems, and giant planet companions outside 0.5'' that are more massive than 3 M[SUB]J[/SUB] for the PZ Tel system. We also show that K1-K2 color can be used along with YJH low- resolution spectra to identify young L-type companions, provided high photometric accuracy (≤0.05 mag) is achieved. <BR /> Conclusions: SPHERE opens new horizons in the study of young brown dwarfs and giant exoplanets using direct imaging thanks to high-contrast imaging capabilities at optical (0.5-0.9 μm) and near-infrared (0.95-2.3 μm) wavelengths, as well as high signal-to-noise spectroscopy in the near- infrared domain (0.95-2.3 μm) from low resolutions (R ~ 30-50) to medium resolutions (R ~ 350). <P />Based on data collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, during the commissioning of the SPHERE instrument and ESO programs 085.C-0277, 087.C-0109, 087.C-0535, and 060.A-9026. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst light of the VLT planet finder SPHERE. I. Detection and characterization of the substellar companion GJ 758 B
Vigan, A.; Bonnefoy, M.; Ginski, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 587

GJ 758 B is a brown dwarf companion to a nearby (15.76%) solar-type, metal-rich (M / H = + 0.2 dex) main-sequence star (G9V) that was discovered with Subaru/HiCIAO in 2009. From previous studies, it has ... [more ▼]

GJ 758 B is a brown dwarf companion to a nearby (15.76%) solar-type, metal-rich (M / H = + 0.2 dex) main-sequence star (G9V) that was discovered with Subaru/HiCIAO in 2009. From previous studies, it has drawn attention as being the coldest (~600 K) companion ever directly imaged around a neighboring star. We present new high-contrast data obtained during the commissioning of the SPHERE instrument at the Very Large Telescope (VLT). The data was obtained in Y-, J-, H-, and K[SUB]s[/SUB]-bands with the dual-band imaging (DBI) mode of IRDIS, thus providing a broad coverage of the full near-infrared (near-IR) range at higher contrast and better spectral sampling than previously reported. In this new set of high-quality data, we report the re-detection of the companion, as well as the first detection of a new candidate closer-in to the star. We use the new eight photometric points for an extended comparison of GJ 758 B with empirical objects and four families of atmospheric models. From comparison to empirical object, we estimate a T8 spectral type, but none of the comparison objects can accurately represent the observed near-IR fluxes of GJ 758 B. From comparison to atmospheric models, we attribute a T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 600 ± 100 K, but we find that no atmospheric model can adequately fit all the fluxes of GJ 758 B. The lack of exploration of metal enrichment in model grids appears as a major limitation that prevents an accurate estimation of the companion physical parameters. The photometry of the new candidate companion is broadly consistent with L-type objects, but a second epoch with improved photometry is necessary to clarify its status. The new astrometry of GJ 758 B shows a significant proper motion since the last epoch. We use this result to improve the determination of the orbital characteristics using two fitting approaches: Least-Squares Monte Carlo and Markov chain Monte Carlo. We confirm the high-eccentricity of the orbit (peak at 0.5), and find a most likely semi-major axis of 46.05 AU. We also use our imaging data, as well as archival radial velocity data, to reject the possibility that this is a false positive effect created by an unseen, closer-in, companion. Finally, we analyze the sensitivity of our data to additional closer-in companions and reject the possibility of other massive brown dwarf companions down to 4-5 AU. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, during the commissioning of the SPHERE instrument. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst light of the VLT planet finder SPHERE. IV. Physical and chemical properties of the planets around HR8799
Bonnefoy, M.; Zurlo, A.; Baudino, J. L. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 587

Context. The system of fourplanets discovered around the intermediate- mass star HR8799 offers a unique opportunity to test planet formation theories at large orbital radii and to probe the physics and ... [more ▼]

Context. The system of fourplanets discovered around the intermediate- mass star HR8799 offers a unique opportunity to test planet formation theories at large orbital radii and to probe the physics and chemistry at play in the atmospheres of self-luminous young (~30 Myr) planets. We recently obtained new photometry of the four planets and low-resolution (R ~ 30) spectra of HR8799 d and e with the SPHERE instrument (Paper III). <BR /> Aims: In this paper (Paper IV), we aim to use these spectra and available photometry to determine how they compare to known objects, what the planet physical properties are, and how their atmospheres work. <BR /> Methods: We compare the available spectra, photometry, and spectral energy distribution (SED) of the planets to field dwarfs and young companions. In addition, we use the extinction from corundum, silicate (enstatite and forsterite), or iron grains likely to form in the atmosphere of the planets to try to better understand empirically the peculiarity of their spectrophotometric properties. To conclude, we use three sets of atmospheric models (BT-SETTL14, Cloud-AE60, Exo-REM) to determine which ingredients are critically needed in the models to represent the SED of the objects, and to constrain their atmospheric parameters (T[SUB]eff[/SUB], log g, M/H). <BR /> Results: We find that HR8799d and e properties are well reproduced by those of L6-L8 dusty dwarfs discovered in the field, among which some are candidate members of young nearby associations. No known object reproduces well the properties of planets b and c. Nevertheless, we find that the spectra and WISE photometry of peculiar and/or young early-T dwarfs reddened by submicron grains made of corundum, iron, enstatite, or forsterite successfully reproduce the SED of these planets. Our analysis confirms that only the Exo-REM models with thick clouds fit (within 2σ) the whole set of spectrophotometric datapoints available for HR8799 d and e for T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 1200 K, log g in the range 3.0-4.5, and M/H = +0.5. The models still fail to reproduce the SED of HR8799c and b. The determination of the metallicity, log g, and cloud thickness are degenerate. <BR /> Conclusions: Our empirical analysis and atmospheric modelling show that an enhanced content in dust and decreased CIA of H[SUB]2[/SUB] is certainly responsible for the deviation of the properties of the planet with respect to field dwarfs. The analysis suggests in addition that HR8799c and b have later spectral types than the two other planets, and therefore could both have lower masses. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile, during the commissioning of the SPHERE instrument [less ▲]

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See detailPerformance of the VLT Planet Finder SPHERE. II. Data analysis and results for IFS in laboratory
Mesa, D.; Gratton, R.; Zurlo, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 576

<BR /> Aims: We present the performance of the Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS) of SPHERE, the high-contrast imager for the ESO VLT telescope designed to perform imaging and spectroscopy of extrasolar ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present the performance of the Integral Field Spectrograph (IFS) of SPHERE, the high-contrast imager for the ESO VLT telescope designed to perform imaging and spectroscopy of extrasolar planets, obtained from tests performed at the Institut de Planétologie et d'Astrophysique de Grenoble facility during the integration phase of the instrument. <BR /> Methods: The tests were performed using the instrument software purposely prepared for SPHERE. The output data were reduced applying the SPHERE data reduction and handling software, adding an improved spectral deconvolution procedure. To this aim, we prepared an alternative procedure for the spectral subtraction exploiting the principal component analysis algorithm. Moreover, a simulated angular differential imaging procedure was also implemented to estimate how the instrument performed once this procedure was applied at telescope. The capability of the IFS to faithfully retrieve the spectra of the detected faint companions was also considered. <BR /> Results: We found that the application of the updated version of the spectral deconvolution procedure alone, when the algorithm throughput is properly taken into account, gives us a 5σ limiting contrast of the order of 5 × 10[SUP]-6[/SUP] or slightly better. The further application of the angular differential imaging procedure on these data should allow us to improve the contrast by one order of magnitude down to around 7 × 10[SUP]-7[/SUP] at a separation of 0.3 arcsec. The application of a principal component analysis procedure that simultaneously uses spectral and angular data gives comparable results. Finally, we found that the reproducibility of the spectra of the detected faint companions is greatly improved when angular differential imaging is applied in addition to the spectral deconvolution. [less ▲]

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See detailThe SPHERE IFS at work
Claudi, R.; Giro, E.; Turatto, M. et al

in Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V (2014, July 01)

SPHERE is an extrasolar planet imager whose goal is to detect giant extrasolar planets in the vicinity of bright stars and to characterize them through spectroscopic and polarimetric observations. It is a ... [more ▼]

SPHERE is an extrasolar planet imager whose goal is to detect giant extrasolar planets in the vicinity of bright stars and to characterize them through spectroscopic and polarimetric observations. It is a complete system with a core made of an extreme-Adaptive Optics (AO) turbulence correction, a pupil tracker and NIR and Visible coronagraph devices. At its back end, a differential dual imaging camera and an integral field spectrograph (IFS) work in the Near Infrared (NIR) (0.95 <=λ<=2.32 μm) and a high resolution polarization camera covers the visible (0.6 <=λ<=0.9 μm). The IFS is a low resolution spectrograph (R~50) operates in the near IR (0.95<=λ<=1.6 μm), an ideal wavelength range for the detection of planetary features, over a field of view of about 1.7 x 1.7 square arcsecs. Form spectra it is possible to reconstruct monochromatic images with high contrast (10[SUP]-7[/SUP]) and high spatial resolution, well inside the star PSF. In this paper we describe the IFS, its calibration and the results of several performance which IFS underwent. Furthermore, using the IFS characteristics we give a forecast on the planetary detection rate. <P /> [less ▲]

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See detailSPICES: spectro-polarimetric imaging and characterization of exoplanetary systems. From planetary disks to nearby Super Earths
Boccaletti, Anthony; Schneider, Jean; Traub, Wes et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2012), 34

SPICES (Spectro-Polarimetric Imaging and Characterization of Exoplanetary Systems) is a five-year M-class mission proposed to ESA Cosmic Vision. Its purpose is to image and characterize long-period ... [more ▼]

SPICES (Spectro-Polarimetric Imaging and Characterization of Exoplanetary Systems) is a five-year M-class mission proposed to ESA Cosmic Vision. Its purpose is to image and characterize long-period extrasolar planets and circumstellar disks in the visible (450-900 nm) at a spectral resolution of about 40 using both spectroscopy and polarimetry. By 2020/2022, present and near-term instruments will have found several tens of planets that SPICES will be able to observe and study in detail. Equipped with a 1.5 m telescope, SPICES can preferentially access exoplanets located at several AUs (0.5-10 AU) from nearby stars (<25 pc) with masses ranging from a few Jupiter masses to Super Earths (̃2 Earth radii, ̃10 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB]) as well as circumstellar disks as faint as a few times the zodiacal light in the Solar System. [less ▲]

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See detailDiversity among other worlds: characterization of exoplanets by direct detection (Update of a White Paper submitted to the ESA ExoPlanet Roadmap Advisory Team)
Schneider, J.; Boccaletti, A.; Aylward, A. et al

Report (2008)

The physical characterization of exoplanets will require to take spectra at several orbital positions. For that purpose, a direct imaging capability is necessary. Direct imaging requires an efficient ... [more ▼]

The physical characterization of exoplanets will require to take spectra at several orbital positions. For that purpose, a direct imaging capability is necessary. Direct imaging requires an efficient stellar suppression mechanism, associated with an ultrasmooth telescope. We show that before future large space missions (interferometer, 4-8 m class coronograph, external occulter or Fresnel imager), direct imaging of giant planets and close-by super-Earth are at the cross-road of a high scientific interest and a reasonable feasibility. The scientific interest lies in the fact that super-Earths share common geophysical attributes with Earths. They already begin to be detected by radial velocity (RV) and, together with giant planets, they have a larger area than Earths, making them detectable with a 1.5-2 m class telescope in reflected light. We propose such a (space) telescope be a first step before large direct imaging missions. [less ▲]

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