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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 detailVLT/SPHERE exploration of the young multiplanetary system PDS70
Mesa, D.; Keppler, M.; Cantalloube, F. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 632

Context. PDS 70 is a young (5.4 Myr), nearby ( 113 pc) star hosting a known transition disk with a large gap. Recent observations with SPHERE and NACO in the near-infrared (NIR) allowed us to detect a ... [more ▼]

Context. PDS 70 is a young (5.4 Myr), nearby ( 113 pc) star hosting a known transition disk with a large gap. Recent observations with SPHERE and NACO in the near-infrared (NIR) allowed us to detect a planetary mass companion, PDS 70 b, within the disk cavity. Moreover, observations in H[SUB]α[/SUB] with MagAO and MUSE revealed emission associated to PDS 70 b and to another new companion candidate, PDS 70 c, at a larger separation from the star. PDS 70 is the only multiple planetary system at its formation stage detected so far through direct imaging. <BR /> Aims: Our aim is to confirm the discovery of the second planet PDS 70 c using SPHERE at VLT, to further characterize its physical properties, and search for additional point sources in this young planetary system. <BR /> Methods: We re-analyzed archival SPHERE NIR observations and obtained new data in Y, J, H and K spectral bands for a total of four different epochs. The data were reduced using the data reduction and handling pipeline and the SPHERE data center. We then applied custom routines (e.g., ANDROMEDA and PACO) to subtract the starlight. <BR /> Results: We re-detect both PDS 70 b and c and confirm that PDS 70 c is gravitationally bound to the star. We estimate this second planet to be less massive than 5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] and with a T[SUB]eff[/SUB] around 900 K. Also, it has a low gravity with logg between 3.0 and 3.5 dex. In addition, a third object has been identified at short separation ( 0.12'') from the star and gravitationally bound to the star. Its spectrum is however very blue, meaning that we are probably seeing stellar light reflected by dust and our analysis seems to demonstrate that it is a feature of the inner disk. We cannot however completely exclude the possibility that it is a planetary mass object enshrouded by a dust envelope. In this latter case, its mass should be of the order of a few tens of M[SUB]⊕[/SUB]. Moreover, we propose a possible structure for the planetary system based on our data, and find that this structure cannot be stable on a long timescale. <P />The reduced images are also 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/cat/J/A+A/632/A25">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/cat/J/A+A/632/A25</A> <P />Based on observation made with European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes at Paranal Observatory in Chile, under programs ID 095.C-0298(B), 1100.C-0481(D), 1100.C-0481(L) and 1100.C-0481(M). [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 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 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 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 detailSpectral and atmospheric characterization of 51 Eridani b using VLT/SPHERE
Samland, M.; Mollière, P.; Bonnefoy, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 603

Context. 51 Eridani b is an exoplanet around a young (20 Myr) nearby (29.4 pc) F0-type star, which was recently discovered by direct imaging. It is one of the closest direct imaging planets in angular and ... [more ▼]

Context. 51 Eridani b is an exoplanet around a young (20 Myr) nearby (29.4 pc) F0-type star, which was recently discovered by direct imaging. It is one of the closest direct imaging planets in angular and physical separation ( 0.5'', 13 au) and is well suited for spectroscopic analysis using integral field spectrographs. <BR /> Aims: We aim to refine the atmospheric properties of the known giant planet and to constrain the architecture of the system further by searching for additional companions. <BR /> Methods: We used the extreme adaptive optics instrument SPHERE at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) to obtain simultaneous dual-band imaging with IRDIS and integral field spectra with IFS, extending the spectral coverage of the planet to the complete Y- to H-band range and providing additional photometry in the K12-bands (2.11, 2.25 μm). The object is compared to other known cool and peculiar dwarfs. The posterior probability distributions for parameters of cloudy and clear atmospheric models are explored using MCMC. We verified our methods by determining atmospheric parameters for the two benchmark brown dwarfs Gl 570D and HD 3651B. We used archival VLT-NACO (L') Sparse Aperture Masking data to probe the innermost region for additional companions. <BR /> Results: We present the first spectrophotometric measurements in the Y and K bands for the planet and revise its J-band flux to values 40% fainter than previous measurements. Cloudy models with uniform cloud coverage provide a good match to the data. We derive the temperature, radius, surface gravity, metallicity, and cloud sedimentation parameter f[SUB]sed[/SUB]. We find that the atmosphere is highly super-solar ([Fe/H] = 1.0 ± 0.1 dex), and the low f[SUB]sed[/SUB] = 1.26[SUP]+0.36[/SUP][SUB]-0.29[/SUB] value is indicative of a vertically extended, optically thick cloud cover with small sized particles. The model radius and surface gravity estimates suggest higher planetary masses of M[SUB]gravity[/SUB] = 9.1[SUP]+4.9[/SUP][SUB]-3.3[/SUB] M[SUB]J[/SUB]. The evolutionary model only provides a lower mass limit of > 2 M[SUB]J[/SUB] (for pure hot- start). The cold-start model cannot explain the luminosity of the planet. The SPHERE and NACO/SAM detection limits probe the 51 Eri system at solar system scales and exclude brown-dwarf companions more massive than 20 M[SUB]J[/SUB] beyond separations of 2.5 au and giant planets more massive than 2 M[SUB]J[/SUB] beyond 9 au. <P />Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under program ID 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241 and 084.C-0739(A).Spectra, covariances, and petitCODE (fits files) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (http://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/603/A57 [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 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 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 detailTurbiditic sedimentary record in the different basins of the Sea of Marmara
Hubert, Aurelia ULiege; Drab, Laureen; Schmidt, Sabine et al

Conference (2011, June 13)

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See detailThe 2500 yr long paleoseismological record of the Hazar Lake, East Anatolian fault, Turkey
Hubert, Aurelia ULiege; Vanneste, Kris; Cagatay, N et al

Conference (2010, September)

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See detailSeismicity history over the last 4000 years in the Marmara Sea in Turkey: a preliminary study for risk assessment of the city of Istanbul
Drab, Laureen; Hubert, Aurelia ULiege; Schmidt, S. et al

Conference (2010, September)

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See detailThe earthquake sedimentary record of the Marmara Sea, Turkey
Drab, Laureen; Hubert, Aurelia ULiege; Schmidt, Sabine et al

in Geophysical Research Abstracts (2010, May)

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See detailPost-AGB stars with hot circumstellar dust: binarity of the low-amplitude pulsators
van Winckel, H.; Lloyd Evans, T.; Briquet, Maryline ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2009), 505

Context: The influence of binarity on the late stages of stellar evolution remains an open issue. <BR />Aims: While the first binary post-AGB stars were serendipitously discovered, the distinct ... [more ▼]

Context: The influence of binarity on the late stages of stellar evolution remains an open issue. <BR />Aims: While the first binary post-AGB stars were serendipitously discovered, the distinct characteristics of their spectral energy distribution (SED) allowed us to launch a more systematic search for binaries. We selected post-AGB objects, which exhibit a broad dust excess starting either at H or K, pointing to the presence of a gravitationally bound dusty disc in the system. We initiated an extensive multiwavelength study of those systems and here report on our radial velocity and photometric monitoring results for six stars of early F type, which are pulsators of small amplitude. <BR />Methods: To determine the radial velocity of low signal-to-noise ratio time-series data, we constructed dedicated autocorrelation masks based on high signal-to-noise ratio spectra, used in our published chemical studies. The radial velocity variations were analysed in detail to differentiate between pulsational variability and variability caused by orbital motion. When available, the photometric monitoring data were used to complement the time series of radial velocity data and to establish the nature of the pulsation. Finally, orbital minimalisation was performed to constrain the orbital elements. <BR />Results: All of the six objects are binaries with orbital periods ranging from 120 to 1800 days. Five systems have non-circular orbits. The mass functions range from 0.004 to 0.57 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB] and the companions are probably unevolved objects of (very) low initial mass. We argue that these binaries must have evolved through a phase of strong binary interaction when the primary was a cool supergiant. Although the origin of the circumstellar disc is not well understood, the disc is generally believed to have formed during this strong interaction phase. The eccentric orbits of these highly evolved objects remain poorly understood. In one object, the line-of-sight grazes the edge of the puffed-up inner rim of the disc. <BR />Conclusions: These results corroborate our earlier statement that evolved objects in binary stars create a Keplerian dusty circumbinary disc. With the measured orbits and mass functions, we conclude that the circumbinary discs seem to have a major impact on the evolution of a significant fraction of binary systems. based on observations collected with the Flemish 1.2 m Mercator telescope at Roque de los Muchachos (Spain), the Swiss 1.2 m Euler telescope at La Silla (Chile) and the 0.5 m and 0.75 m telescopes at SAAO (South-Africa). Tables [see full textsee full text]-[see full textsee full text] are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org Postdoctoral fellow of the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders. Ph.D. student of the Fund for Scientific Research, Flanders. [less ▲]

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