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

E-print/Working paper (2020)

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

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

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

in Messenger (2019), 178

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

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

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See 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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