Results: (i) Pressure has suffered a monotonic increase from 1988 to 2016, that is compared to a seasonal volatile transport model, from which tight constraints on a combination of albedo and emissivity of N[SUB]2[/SUB] ice are derived. (ii) A central flash observed on 2015 June 29 is consistent with New Horizons REX profiles, provided that (a) large diurnal temperature variations (not expected by current models) occur over Sputnik Planitia; and/or (b) hazes with tangential optical depth of 0.3 are present at 4-7 km altitude levels; and/or (c) the nominal REX density values are overestimated by an implausibly large factor of 20%; and/or (d) higher terrains block part of the flash in the Charon facing hemisphere. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 23 (2 ULiège) The Structure of Chariklo’s Rings from Stellar OccultationsBérard, D.; Sicardy, B.; Camargo, J. I. B. et alin Astronomical Journal (2017), 154Two narrow and dense rings (called C1R and C2R) were discovered around the Centaur object (10199) Chariklo during a stellar occultation observed on 2013 June 3. Following this discovery, we planned ... [more ▼]Two narrow and dense rings (called C1R and C2R) were discovered around the Centaur object (10199) Chariklo during a stellar occultation observed on 2013 June 3. Following this discovery, we planned observations of several occultations by Chariklo’s system in order to better characterize the physical properties of the ring and main body. Here, we use 12 successful occulations by Chariklo observed between 2014 and 2016. They provide ring profiles (physical width, opacity, edge structure) and constraints on the radii and pole position. Our new observations are currently consistent with the circular ring solution and pole position, to within the ±3.3 km formal uncertainty for the ring radii derived by Braga-Ribas et al. The six resolved C1R profiles reveal significant width variations from ∼5 to 7.5 km. The width of the fainter ring C2R is less constrained, and may vary between 0.1 and 1 km. The inner and outer edges of C1R are consistent with infinitely sharp boundaries, with typical upper limits of one kilometer for the transition zone between the ring and empty space. No constraint on the sharpness of C2R’s edges is available. A 1σ upper limit of ∼20 m is derived for the equivalent width of narrow (physical width < 4 km) rings up to distances of 12,000 km, counted in the ring plane. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 28 (3 ULiège) Study of the plutino object (208996) 2003 AZ84 from stellar occultations: size, shape and topographic featuresDias-Oliveira, A.; Sicardy, B.; Ortiz, J. L. et alin Astronomical Journal (2017), 154(1), 13We present results derived from four stellar occultations by the plutino object (208996) 2003~AZ$_{84}$, detected at January 8, 2011 (single-chord event), February 3, 2012 (multi-chord), December 2, 2013 ... [more ▼]We present results derived from four stellar occultations by the plutino object (208996) 2003~AZ$_{84}$, detected at January 8, 2011 (single-chord event), February 3, 2012 (multi-chord), December 2, 2013 (single-chord) and November 15, 2014 (multi-chord). Our observations rule out an oblate spheroid solution for 2003~AZ$_{84}$'s shape. Instead, assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, we find that a Jacobi triaxial solution with semi axes $(470 \pm 20) \times (383 \pm 10) \times (245 \pm 8)$~km % axis ratios $b/a= 0.82 \pm 0.05$ and $c/a= 0.52 \pm 0.02$, can better account for all our occultation observations. Combining these dimensions with the rotation period of the body (6.75~h) and the amplitude of its rotation light curve, we derive a density $\rho=0.87 \pm 0.01$~g~cm$^{-3}$ a geometric albedo $p_V= 0.097 \pm 0.009$. A grazing chord observed during the 2014 occultation reveals a topographic feature along 2003~AZ$_{84}$'s limb, that can be interpreted as an abrupt chasm of width $\sim 23$~km and depth $> 8$~km or a smooth depression of width $\sim 80$~km and depth $\sim 13$~km (or an intermediate feature between those two extremes). [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 27 (5 ULiège) New and updated convex shape models of asteroids based on optical data from a large collaboration networkHanuš, J.; Ďurech, J.; Oszkiewicz, D. A. et alin Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 586Asteroid modeling efforts in the last decade resulted in a comprehensive dataset of almost 400 convex shape models and their rotation states. This amount already provided a deep insight into physical ... [more ▼]Asteroid modeling efforts in the last decade resulted in a comprehensive dataset of almost 400 convex shape models and their rotation states. This amount already provided a deep insight into physical properties of main-belt asteroids or large collisional families. We aim to increase the number of asteroid shape models and rotation states. Such results are an important input for various further studies such as analysis of asteroid physical properties in different populations, including smaller collisional families, thermophysical modeling, and scaling shape models by disk-resolved images, or stellar occultation data. This provides, in combination with known masses, bulk density estimates, but constrains also theoretical collisional and evolutional models of the Solar System. We use all available disk-integrated optical data (i.e., classical dense-in-time photometry obtained from public databases and through a large collaboration network as well as sparse-in-time individual measurements from a few sky surveys) as an input for the convex inversion method, and derive 3D shape models of asteroids, together with their rotation periods and orientations of rotation axes. The key ingredient is the support of more that one hundred observers who submit their optical data to publicly available databases. We present updated shape models for 36 asteroids, for which mass estimates are currently available in the literature or their masses will be most likely determined from their gravitational influence on smaller bodies, which orbital deflection will be observed by the ESA Gaia astrometric mission. This was achieved by using additional optical data from recent apparitions for the shape optimization. Moreover, we also present new shape model determinations for 250 asteroids, including 13 Hungarias and 3 near-Earth asteroids. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 57 (15 ULiège) Pluto's atmosphere from stellar occultations in 2012 and 2013Dias-Oliveira, A.; Sicardy, B.; Lellouch, E. et alin Astrophysical Journal (2015), 1506We analyze two multi-chord stellar occultations by Pluto observed on July 18th, 2012 and May 4th, 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites. They provide a total of fifteen light-curves ... [more ▼]We analyze two multi-chord stellar occultations by Pluto observed on July 18th, 2012 and May 4th, 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites. They provide a total of fifteen light-curves, twelve of them being used for a simultaneous fit that uses a unique temperature profile, assuming a clear (no-haze) and pure N_2 atmosphere, but allowing for a possible pressure variation between the two dates. We find a solution that fits satisfactorily (i.e. within the noise level) all the twelve light-curves, providing atmospheric constraints between ~1,190 km (pressure ~ 11 \mubar) and ~ 1,450 km (pressure ~0.1 \mubar) from Pluto's center. Our main results are: (1) the best-fitting temperature profile shows a stratosphere with strong positive gradient between 1,190 km (at 36 K, 11 \mubar) and r = 1,215 km (6.0 \mubar), where a temperature maximum of 110 K is reached; above it is a mesosphere with negative thermal gradient of -0.2 K/km up to ~ 1,390 km (0.25 \mubar), where, the mesosphere connects itself to a more isothermal upper branch around 81 K; (2) the pressure shows a small (6 [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 37 (6 ULiège) The non-convex shape of (234) Barbara, the first BarbarianTanga, Paolo; Carry, B.; Colas, F. et alin Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015)Asteroid (234) Barbara is the prototype of a category of asteroids that has been shown to be extremely rich in refractory inclusions, the oldest material ever found in the Solar System. It exhibits ... [more ▼]Asteroid (234) Barbara is the prototype of a category of asteroids that has been shown to be extremely rich in refractory inclusions, the oldest material ever found in the Solar System. It exhibits several peculiar features, most notably its polarimetric behavior. In recent years other objects sharing the same property (collectively known as ”Barbarians”) have been discovered. Interferometric observations in the mid-infrared with the ESO VLTI suggested that (234) Barbara might have a bi-lobated shape or even a large companion satellite. We use a large set of 57 optical lightcurves acquired between 1979 and 2014, together with the timings of two stellar occultations in 2009, to determine the rotation period, spin-vector coordinates, and 3-D shape of (234) Barbara, using two different shape reconstruction algorithms. By using the lightcurves combined to the results obtained from stellar occultations, we are able to show that the shape of (234) Barbara exhibits large concave areas. Possible links of the shape to the polarimetric properties and the object evolution are discussed. We also show that VLTI data can be modeled without the presence of a satellite [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 52 (9 ULiège) Instrumental methods for professional and amateur collaborations in planetary astronomyMousis, O.; Hueso, R.; Beaulieu, J.-P. et alin Experimental Astronomy (2014), 38Amateur contributions to professional publications have increased exponentially over the last decades in the field of planetary astronomy. Here we review the different domains of the field in which ... [more ▼]Amateur contributions to professional publications have increased exponentially over the last decades in the field of planetary astronomy. Here we review the different domains of the field in which collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers are effective and regularly lead to scientific publications.We discuss the instruments, detectors, software and methodologies typically used by amateur astronomers to collect the scientific data in the different domains of interest. Amateur contributions to the monitoring of planets and interplanetary matter, characterization of asteroids and comets, as well as the determination of the physical properties of Kuiper Belt Objects and exoplanets are discussed. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 41 (11 ULiège) A ring system detected around the Centaur (10199) CharikloBraga-Ribas; Sicardy; Ortiz et alin Nature (2014)Detailed reference viewed: 46 (6 ULiège) The Size, Shape, Albedo, Density, and Atmospheric Limit of Transneptunian Object (50000) Quaoar from Multi-chord Stellar OccultationsBraga-Ribas, F.; Sicardy, B.; Ortiz, J. L. et alin Astrophysical Journal (2013), 773We present results derived from the first multi-chord stellar occultations by the transneptunian object (50000) Quaoar, observed on 2011 May 4 and 2012 February 17, and from a single-chord occultation ... [more ▼]We present results derived from the first multi-chord stellar occultations by the transneptunian object (50000) Quaoar, observed on 2011 May 4 and 2012 February 17, and from a single-chord occultation observed on 2012 October 15. If the timing of the five chords obtained in 2011 were correct, then Quaoar would possess topographic features (crater or mountain) that would be too large for a body of this mass. An alternative model consists in applying time shifts to some chords to account for possible timing errors. Satisfactory elliptical fits to the chords are then possible, yielding an equivalent radius R [SUB]equiv[/SUB] = 555 ± 2.5 km and geometric visual albedo p[SUB]V[/SUB] = 0.109 ± 0.007. Assuming that Quaoar is a Maclaurin spheroid with an indeterminate polar aspect angle, we derive a true oblateness of \epsilon = 0.087^{+0.0268}_{-0.0175}, an equatorial radius of 569^{+24}_{-17} km, and a density of 1.99 ± 0.46 g cm[SUP]–3[/SUP]. The orientation of our preferred solution in the plane of the sky implies that Quaoar's satellite Weywot cannot have an equatorial orbit. Finally, we detect no global atmosphere around Quaoar, considering a pressure upper limit of about 20 nbar for a pure methane atmosphere. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 38 (0 ULiège) Detection of a Stellar Occultation by (87) Sylvia I (Romulus)Berthier, J.; Frappa, E.; Klotz, A. et alin Central Bureau Electronic Telegrams (2013)Report of the successful stellar occultations by the triple minor-planet system (87) Sylvia on Jan. 6.06742 UT of the star HD 244394 (mag 10.8). twelve positive chords of the occultation by the primary ... [more ▼]Report of the successful stellar occultations by the triple minor-planet system (87) Sylvia on Jan. 6.06742 UT of the star HD 244394 (mag 10.8). twelve positive chords of the occultation by the primary, lasting between 4 s and 26 s, were successfully reported. Observations recorded by 4 teams permitted the detection of a brief (0.5-2 s) stellar occultation at the expected position of the large satellite Romulus. Preliminary analysis of the Romulus chords suggest that the shape of the satellite is extremely elongated or irregular (a/b > 2), with a major axis oriented toward the primary, and an equivalent diameter between 18 and 28 km. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 45 (0 ULiège) Albedo and atmospheric constraints of dwarf planet Makemake from a stellar occultationOrtiz, J. L.; Sicardy, B.; Braga-Ribas, F. et alin Nature (2012), 491Pluto and Eris are icy dwarf planets with nearly identical sizes, comparable densities and similar surface compositions as revealed by spectroscopic studies. Pluto possesses an atmosphere whereas Eris ... [more ▼]Pluto and Eris are icy dwarf planets with nearly identical sizes, comparable densities and similar surface compositions as revealed by spectroscopic studies. Pluto possesses an atmosphere whereas Eris does not; the difference probably arises from their differing distances from the Sun, and explains their different albedos. Makemake is another icy dwarf planet with a spectrum similar to Eris and Pluto, and is currently at a distance to the Sun intermediate between the two. Although Makemake's size (1,420+/-60km) and albedo are roughly known, there has been no constraint on its density and there were expectations that it could have a Pluto-like atmosphere. Here we report the results from a stellar occultation by Makemake on 2011 April 23. Our preferred solution that fits the occultation chords corresponds to a body with projected axes of 1,430+/-9km (1σ) and 1,502+/-45km, implying a V-band geometric albedo p[SUB]V[/SUB] = 0.77+/-0.03. This albedo is larger than that of Pluto, but smaller than that of Eris. The disappearances and reappearances of the star were abrupt, showing that Makemake has no global Pluto-like atmosphere at an upper limit of 4-12nanobar (1σ) for the surface pressure, although a localized atmosphere is possible. A density of 1.7+/-0.3gcm[SUP]-3[/SUP] is inferred from the data. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 90 (3 ULiège) Stellar Occultations by Large TNOs on 2012: The February 3rd by (208996) 2003 AZ84, and the February 17th by (50000) QuaoarBraga Ribas, Felipe; Sicardy, B.; Ortiz, J. L. et alin AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts (2012, October 01)On February 2012, two stellar occultation's by large Trans-neptunian Objects (TNO's) were observed by our group. On the 3rd, an event by (208996) 2003 AZ84 was recorded from Mont Abu Observatory and IUCAA ... [more ▼]On February 2012, two stellar occultation's by large Trans-neptunian Objects (TNO's) were observed by our group. On the 3rd, an event by (208996) 2003 AZ84 was recorded from Mont Abu Observatory and IUCAA Girawali Observatory in India and from Weizmann Observatory in Israel. On the 17th, a stellar occultation by (50000) Quaoar was observed from south France and Switzerland. Both occultations are the second observed by our group for each object, and will be used to improve the results obtained on the previous events. The occultation by 2003 AZ84 is the first multi-chord event recorded for this object. From the single chord event on January 8th 2011, Braga-Ribas et al. 2011 obtained a lower limit of 573 +/- 21 km. From the 2012 occultation the longest chord has a size of 662 +/- 50 km. The other chords will permit to determine the size and shape of the TNO, and derive other physical parameters, such as the geometric albedo. The Quaoar occultation was observed from south of France (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, TAROT telescope and Valensole) and from Gnosca, Switzerland. Unfortunately, all three sites in France are almost at the same Quaoar's latitude, so in practice, we have two chords that can be used to fit Quaoar's limb. The resulting fit will be compared with the results obtained by Braga-Ribas et al. 2011. Braga-Ribas F., Sicardy B., et al. 2011, EPSC-DPS2011, 1060.Ribas F., Sicardy B., et al. 2011, EPSC-DPS2011, 1060. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 38 (1 ULiège) The stellar occultation by Makemake on 2011 April 23Ortiz, J. L.; Sicardy, B.; Assafin, M. et alin EPSC Abstracts (2011, October 01)We have taken advantage of a stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Makemake on 2011 April 23, to determine several of its main physical properties. We present results from a multisite campaign with 8 ... [more ▼]We have taken advantage of a stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Makemake on 2011 April 23, to determine several of its main physical properties. We present results from a multisite campaign with 8 positive occultation detections from 5 different sites, including data from the 8-m VLT and 3.5-m NTT telescopes in Chile, which have very high temporal resolution. Because the star was significantly fainter than Makemake (setting a record in the magnitude of a star whose occultation has been detected), the occultation resulted in a drop of just ~0.3 mag in the lightcurves. From the lightcurves we have been able to determine the size and shape of the body, its geometric albedo and constraints on its atmosphere. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 58 (7 ULiège) Size, density, albedo and atmosphere limit of dwarf planet Eris from a stellar occultationSicardy, B.; Ortiz, J. L.; Assafin, M. et alin EPSC Abstracts (2011, October 01)We report the observation of a multi-chord stellar occultation by the dwarf planet (136199) Eris. The event was observed on November 6, 2010 UT, from two sites in Chile. Our observation is consistent with ... [more ▼]We report the observation of a multi-chord stellar occultation by the dwarf planet (136199) Eris. The event was observed on November 6, 2010 UT, from two sites in Chile. Our observation is consistent with a spherical Eris with radius RE=1163±6 km, density =2.52±0.05 g cm-3, and visible geometric albedo pV=0.96+0.09 -0.04. Besides being remarkably similar in size to Pluto, Eris appears as one of the intrinsically brightest objects of the solar system, with a density suggesting a mainly rocky interior. Upper limits of about 1 nbar are derived for the surface pressure of possible nitrogen, argon or methane atmospheres of the dwarf planet. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 86 (1 ULiège) Stellar Occultations by TNOs: the January 08, 2011 by (208996) 2003 AZ84 and the May 04, 2011 by (50000) QuaoarBraga-Ribas, F.; Sicardy, B.; Ortiz, J. L. et alin EPSC Abstracts (2011, October 01)Between February 2010 and May 2011, our group has observed five stellar occultations by Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), giving the size and shape for some of the biggest TNO's: Varuna, Eris, 2003 AZ84 ... [more ▼]Between February 2010 and May 2011, our group has observed five stellar occultations by Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs), giving the size and shape for some of the biggest TNO's: Varuna, Eris, 2003 AZ84, Makemake and Quaoar. Here we present two of them: the January 08 stellar occultation by 2003 AZ84, and the May 04 by Quaoar. For the event of 2003 AZ84 we obtained one positive and another negative occultation chords in Chile. We give a lower limit to the diameter of the TNO. The event of Quaoar was observed from 16 sites distributed in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Five of them yielded positive detection of the occultation. A preliminary analysis shows that the body is probably elongated and significantly bigger than the size determined by Fraser & Brown 2010, with a diameter of 890km. Using the size determined by the occultation, we will discuss the implications for the body density and albedo determination. The upper limit of the atmosphere is also studied. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 78 (0 ULiège) A Pluto-like radius and a high albedo for the dwarf planet Eris from an occultationSicardy, B.; Ortiz, J. L.; Assafin, M. et alin Nature (2011), 478The dwarf planet Eris is a trans-Neptunian object with an orbital eccentricity of 0.44, an inclination of 44 degrees and a surface composition very similar to that of Pluto. It resides at present at 95.7 ... [more ▼]The dwarf planet Eris is a trans-Neptunian object with an orbital eccentricity of 0.44, an inclination of 44 degrees and a surface composition very similar to that of Pluto. It resides at present at 95.7 astronomical units (1AU is the Earth-Sun distance) from Earth, near its aphelion and more than three times farther than Pluto. Owing to this great distance, measuring its size or detecting a putative atmosphere is difficult. Here we report the observation of a multi-chord stellar occultation by Eris on 6 November 2010 UT. The event is consistent with a spherical shape for Eris, with radius 1,163+/-6kilometres, density 2.52+/-0.05 grams per cm[SUP]3[/SUP] and a high visible geometric albedo, . No nitrogen, argon or methane atmospheres are detected with surface pressure larger than ~1nanobar, about 10,000 times more tenuous than Pluto's present atmosphere. As Pluto's radius is estimated to be between 1,150 and 1,200 kilometres, Eris appears as a Pluto twin, with a bright surface possibly caused by a collapsed atmosphere, owing to its cold environment. We anticipate that this atmosphere may periodically sublimate as Eris approaches its perihelion, at 37.8 astronomical units from the Sun. [less ▲]Detailed reference viewed: 30 (7 ULiège) Stellar Occultation by Transneptunian Object (208996) 2003 AZ84Braga-Ribas, F.; Sicardy, B.; Colas, F. et alin Central Bureau Electronic Telegrams (2011), 2675CBET 2675 available at Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams.Detailed reference viewed: 34 (4 ULiège) Comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake)Tichy, M.; Galad, A.; Pravda, A. et alin Minor Planet Electronic Circulars (1996)Available from the Minor Planet Center.Detailed reference viewed: 16 (0 ULiège) The Saturn Ring Plane Crossings: May and August 1995Sicardy, B.; Beuzit, J.-L.; Colas, F. et alin Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1995, June 01)Detailed reference viewed: 11 (0 ULiège) Possible detection of a 10-kilometer sized object around Neptune.Roques, F.; Sicardy, B.; Bouchet, P. et alin Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (1984, September 01)Detailed reference viewed: 7 (0 ULiège) 1 2