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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 detailA search for accreting young companions embedded in circumstellar disks. High-contrast Hα imaging with VLT/SPHERE
Cugno, G.; Quanz, S. P.; Hunziker, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 622

Context. In recent years, our understanding of giant planet formation progressed substantially. There have even been detections of a few young protoplanet candidates still embedded in the circumstellar ... [more ▼]

Context. In recent years, our understanding of giant planet formation progressed substantially. There have even been detections of a few young protoplanet candidates still embedded in the circumstellar disks of their host stars. The exact physics that describes the accretion of material from the circumstellar disk onto the suspected circumplanetary disk and eventually onto the young, forming planet is still an open question. <BR /> Aims: We seek to detect and quantify observables related to accretion processes occurring locally in circumstellar disks, which could be attributed to young forming planets. We focus on objects known to host protoplanet candidates and/or disk structures thought to be the result of interactions with planets. <BR /> Methods: We analyzed observations of six young stars (age 3.5-10 Myr) and their surrounding environments with the SPHERE/ZIMPOL instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT) in the Hα filter (656 nm) and a nearby continuum filter (644.9 nm). We applied several point spread function (PSF) subtraction techniques to reach the highest possible contrast near the primary star, specifically investigating regions where forming companions were claimed or have been suggested based on observed disk morphology. <BR /> Results: We redetect the known accreting M-star companion HD142527 B with the highest published signal to noise to date in both Hα and the continuum. We derive new astrometry (r=62.8[SUB]-2.7[/SUB][SUP]+2.1[/SUP] mas and PA=(98.7±1.8)°) and photometry (∆N_Ha = 6.3[SUB]-0.3[/SUB][SUP]+0.2[/SUP] mag, ∆B_Ha = 6.7 ± 0.2 mag and ∆Cnt_Ha = 7.3[SUB]-0.2[/SUB][SUP]+0.3[/SUP] mag) for the companion in agreement with previous studies, and estimate its mass accretion rate (Ṁ ≈ 1-2 × 10[SUP]-10[/SUP] M[SUB]☉[/SUB]yr[SUP]-1[/SUP]). A faint point-like source around HD135344 B (SAO206462) is also investigated, but a second deeper observation is required to reveal its nature. No other companions are detected. In the framework of our assumptions we estimate detection limits at the locations of companion candidates around HD100546, HD169142, and MWC 758 and calculate that processes involving Hα fluxes larger than 8 × 10[SUP]-14[/SUP]-10[SUP]-15[/SUP] erg s[SUP]-1[/SUP] cm[SUP]-2[/SUP] (Ṁ > 10[SUP]-10[/SUP]-10[SUP]-12[/SUP] M[SUB]☉[/SUB]yr[SUP]-1[/SUP]) can be excluded. Furthermore, flux upper limits of 10[SUP]-14[/SUP]-10[SUP]-15[/SUP] erg s[SUP]-1[/SUP] cm[SUP]-2[/SUP] (Ṁ < 10[SUP]-11[/SUP]-10[SUP]-12[/SUP] M[SUB]☉[/SUB]yr[SUP]-1[/SUP]) are estimated within the gaps identified in the disks surrounding HD135344 B and TW Hya. The derived luminosity limits exclude Hα signatures at levels similar to those previously detected for the accreting planet candidate LkCa15 b. <P />Based on observations collected at the Paranal Observatory, ESO (Chile). Program ID: 096.C-0248(B), 096.C-0267(A),096.C-0267(B), 095.C-0273(A), 095.C-0298(A).The reduced images (FITS files) are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/622/A156">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/622/A156</A> [less ▲]

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

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 621

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

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

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See detailThe GJ 504 system revisited. Combining interferometric, radial velocity, and high contrast imaging data
Bonnefoy, M.; Perraut, K.; Lagrange, A.-M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 618

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

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

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See 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 detailOrbital and atmospheric characterization of the planet within the gap of the PDS 70 transition disk
Müller, A.; Keppler, M.; Henning, Th et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 617

Context. The observation of planets in their formation stage is a crucial but very challenging step in understanding when, how, and where planets form. PDS 70 is a young pre-main sequence star surrounded ... [more ▼]

Context. The observation of planets in their formation stage is a crucial but very challenging step in understanding when, how, and where planets form. PDS 70 is a young pre-main sequence star surrounded by a transition disk, in the gap of which a planetary-mass companion has recently been discovered. This discovery represents the first robust direct detection of such a young planet, possibly still at the stage of formation. <BR /> Aims: We aim to characterize the orbital and atmospheric properties of PDS 70 b, which was first identified on May 2015 in the course of the SHINE survey with SPHERE, the extreme adaptive-optics instrument at the VLT. <BR /> Methods: We obtained new deep SPHERE/IRDIS imaging and SPHERE/IFS spectroscopic observations of PDS 70 b. The astrometric baseline now covers 6 yr, which allowed us to perform an orbital analysis. For the first time, we present spectrophotometry of the young planet which covers almost the entire near-infrared range (0.96-3.8 μm). We use different atmospheric models covering a large parameter space in temperature, log g, chemical composition, and cloud properties to characterize the properties of the atmosphere of PDS 70 b. <BR /> Results: PDS 70 b is most likely orbiting the star on a circular and disk coplanar orbit at 22 au inside the gap of the disk. We find a range of models that can describe the spectrophotometric data reasonably well in the temperature range 1000-1600 K and log g no larger than 3.5 dex. The planet radius covers a relatively large range between 1.4 and 3.7 R[SUB]J[/SUB] with the larger radii being higher than expected from planet evolution models for the age of the planet of 5.4 Myr. <BR /> Conclusions: This study provides a comprehensive data set on the orbital motion of PDS 70 b, indicating a circular orbit and a motion coplanar with the disk. The first detailed spectral energy distribution of PDS 70 b indicates a temperature typical of young giant planets. The detailed atmospheric analysis indicates that a circumplanetary disk may contribute to the total planetflux. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programmes 095.C-0298, 097.C-0206, 097.C-1001, 1100.C-0481. [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 detailPlanet formation imager: Project update
Monnier, J. D.; Ireland, M.; Kraus, S. et al

in Proceedings of SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering (2018, July 01), 10701

The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) is a near- and mid-infrared interferometer project with the driving science goal of imaging directly the key stages of planet formation, including the young proto-planets ... [more ▼]

The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) is a near- and mid-infrared interferometer project with the driving science goal of imaging directly the key stages of planet formation, including the young proto-planets themselves. Here, we will present an update on the work of the Science Working Group (SWG), including new simulations of dust structures during the assembly phase of planet formation and quantitative detection efficiencies for accreting and non-accreting young exoplanets as a function of mass and age. We use these results to motivate two reference PFI designs consisting of a) twelve 3m telescopes with a maximum baseline of 1.2km focused on young exoplanet imaging and b) twelve 8m telescopes optimized for a wider range of young exoplanets and protoplanetary disk imaging out to the 150K H2O ice line. Armed with 4 x 8m telescopes, the ESO/VLTI can already detect young exoplanets in principle and projects such as MATISSE, Hi-5 and Heimdallr are important PFI pathfinders to make this possible. We also discuss the state of technology development needed to make PFI more affordable, including progress towards new designs for inexpensive, small field-of-view, large aperture telescopes and prospects for Cubesat-based space interferometry. © 2018 SPIE. [less ▲]

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See detailThe HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets: XLIII. A compact system of four super-Earth planets orbiting HD 215152
Delisle, J.-B.; Ségransan, D.; Dumusque, X. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 614

We report the discovery of four super-Earth planets around HD 215152, with orbital periods of 5.76, 7.28, 10.86, and 25.2 d, and minimum masses of 1.8, 1.7, 2.8, and 2.9 M· respectively. This discovery is ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of four super-Earth planets around HD 215152, with orbital periods of 5.76, 7.28, 10.86, and 25.2 d, and minimum masses of 1.8, 1.7, 2.8, and 2.9 M· respectively. This discovery is based on 373 high-quality radial velocity measurements taken by HARPS over 13 yr. Given the low masses of the planets, the signal-to-noise ratio is not sufficient to constrain the planet eccentricities. However, a preliminary dynamical analysis suggests that eccentricities should be typically lower than about 0.03 for the system to remain stable. With two pairs of planets with a period ratio lower than 1.5, with short orbital periods, low masses, and low eccentricities, HD 215152 is similar to the very compact multi-planet systems found by Kepler, which is very rare in radial-velocity surveys. This discovery proves that these systems can be reached with the radial-velocity technique, but characterizing them requires a huge amount of observations. © 2018 ESO. [less ▲]

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See detailThe planet formation imager
Monnier, J. D.; Kraus, S.; Ireland, M. J. et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2018)

The Planet Formation Imager (PFI, www.planetformationimager.org) is a next-generation infrared interferometer array with the primary goal of imaging the active phases of planet formation in nearby star ... [more ▼]

The Planet Formation Imager (PFI, www.planetformationimager.org) is a next-generation infrared interferometer array with the primary goal of imaging the active phases of planet formation in nearby star forming regions. PFI will be sensitive to warm dust emission using mid-infrared capabilities made possible by precise fringe tracking in the near-infrared. An L/M band combiner will be especially sensitive to thermal emission from young exoplanets (and their disks) with a high spectral resolution mode to probe the kinematics of CO and H2O gas. In this paper, we give an overview of the main science goals of PFI, define a baseline PFI architecture that can achieve those goals, point at remaining technical challenges, and suggest activities today that will help make the Planet Formation Imager facility a reality. © 2018 Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature [less ▲]

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See detailIn-depth study of moderately young but extremely red, very dusty substellar companion HD 206893B
Delorme, Philippe; Schmidt, Tobias; Bonnefoy, Mickaël et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 608

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

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

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

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 605

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

<BR /> Aims: The SHINE program is a high-contrast near-infrared survey of 600 young, nearby stars aimed at searching for and characterizing new planetary systems using VLT/SPHERE's unprecedented high-contrast and high-angular-resolution imaging capabilities. It is also intended to place statistical constraints on the rate, mass and orbital distributions of the giant planet population at large orbits as a function of the stellar host mass and age to test planet-formation theories. <BR /> Methods: We used the IRDIS dual-band imager and the IFS integral field spectrograph of SPHERE to acquire high-contrast coronagraphic differential near-infrared images and spectra of the young A2 star HIP 65426. It is a member of the 17 Myr old Lower Centaurus-Crux association. <BR /> Results: At a separation of 830 mas (92 au projected) from the star, we detect a faint red companion. Multi-epoch observations confirm that it shares common proper motion with HIP 65426. Spectro-photometric measurements extracted with IFS and IRDIS between 0.95 and 2.2 μm indicate a warm, dusty atmosphere characteristic of young low-surface-gravity L5-L7 dwarfs. Hot-start evolutionary models predict a luminosity consistent with a 6-12 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], T[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 1300-1600 K and R = 1.5 ± 0.1 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] giant planet. Finally, the comparison with Exo-REM and PHOENIX BT-Settl synthetic atmosphere models gives consistent effective temperatures but with slightly higher surface gravity solutions of log (g) = 4.0-5.0 with smaller radii (1.0-1.3 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]). <BR /> Conclusions: Given its physical and spectral properties, HIP 65426 b occupies a rather unique placement in terms of age, mass, and spectral-type among the currently known imaged planets. It represents a particularly interesting case to study the presence of clouds as a function of particle size, composition, and location in the atmosphere, to search for signatures of non-equilibrium chemistry, and finally to test the theory of planet formation and evolution. <P />Based on observations collected at La Silla and Paranal Observatory, ESO (Chile) Program ID: 097.C-0865 and 098.C-0209 (SPHERE).The planet spectrum is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/605/L9">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/qcat?J/A+A/605/L9</A> [less ▲]

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See 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 detailThe VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits. IV. Gravitational instability rarely forms wide, giant planets
Vigan, A.; Bonavita, M.; Biller, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 603

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

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

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See detailThe HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXXVI. Eight HARPS multi-planet systems hosting 20 super-Earth and Neptune-mass companions
Udry, S.; Dumusque, X.; Lovis, C. et al

in arXiv e-prints (2017), 1705

We present radial-velocity measurement of eight stars observed with the HARPS Echelle spectrograph mounted on the 3.6-m telescope in La Silla (ESO, Chile). Data span more than ten years and highlight the ... [more ▼]

We present radial-velocity measurement of eight stars observed with the HARPS Echelle spectrograph mounted on the 3.6-m telescope in La Silla (ESO, Chile). Data span more than ten years and highlight the long-term stability of the instrument. We search for potential planets orbiting HD20003, HD20781, HD21693, HD31527, HD45184, HD51608, HD134060 and HD136352 to increase the number of known planetary systems and thus better constrain exoplanet statistics. After a preliminary phase looking for signals using generalized Lomb-Scargle periodograms, we perform a careful analysis of all signals to separate \emph{bona-fide} planets from spurious signals induced by stellar activity and instrumental systematics. We finally secure the detection of all planets using the efficient MCMC available on the Data and Analysis Center for Exoplanets (DACE web-platform), using model comparison whenever necessary. In total, we report the detection of twenty new super-Earth to Neptune-mass planets, with minimum masses ranging from 2 to 30 M$_{\rm Earth}$, and periods ranging from 3 to 1300 days. By including CORALIE and HARPS measurements of HD20782 to the already published data, we also improve the characterization of the extremely eccentric Jupiter orbiting this host. [less ▲]

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See detailThe VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits . III. The frequency of brown dwarfs and giant planets as companions to solar-type stars
Reggiani, Maddalena ULiege; Meyer, M. R.; Chauvin, G. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 586

Context. In recent years there have been many attempts to characterize the occurrence and distribution of stellar, brown dwarf (BD), and planetary-mass companions to solar-type stars with the aim of ... [more ▼]

Context. In recent years there have been many attempts to characterize the occurrence and distribution of stellar, brown dwarf (BD), and planetary-mass companions to solar-type stars with the aim of constraining formation mechanisms. From radial velocity observations a dearth of companions with masses between 10-40 M[SUB]Jupiter[/SUB] has been noticed at close separations, suggesting the possibility of a distinct formation mechanism for objects above and below this range. <BR /> Aims: We present a model for the substellar companion mass function (CMF). This model consists of the superposition of the planet and BD companion mass distributions, assuming that we can extrapolate the radial velocity measured CMF for planets to larger separations and the stellar companion mass-ratio distribution over all separations into the BD mass regime. By using both the results of the VLT/NaCo large program (NaCo-LP) and the complementary archive datasets, which probe the occurrence of planets and BDs on wide orbits around solar-type stars, we place some constraints on the planet and BD distributions. <BR /> Methods: We developed a Monte Carlo simulation tool to predict the outcome of a given survey, depending on the shape of the orbital parameter distributions (mass, semimajor axis, eccentricity, and inclination). Comparing the predictions with the results of the observations, we calculate the likelihood of different models and which models can be ruled out. <BR /> Results: Current observations are consistent with the proposed model for the CMF, as long as a sufficiently small outer truncation radius (≲100 AU) is introduced for the planet separation distribution. Some regions of parameter space can be excluded by the observations. <BR /> Conclusions: We conclude that the results of the direct imaging surveys searching for substellar companions around Sun-like stars are consistent with a combined substellar mass spectrum of planets and BDs. This mass distribution has a minimum between 10 and 50 M[SUB]Jupiter[/SUB], in agreement with radial velocity measurements. In this picture the dearth of objects in this mass range would naturally arise from the shape of the mass distribution, without the introduction of any distinct formation mechanism for BDs. This kind of model for the CMF allows us to determine the probability for a substellar companion as a function of mass to have formed in a disk or from protostellar core fragmentation, as such mechanisms overlap in this mass range. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO Large Program 184.C-0157 and Open Time 089.C-0137A and 090.C-0252A). [less ▲]

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See detailThe HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXXVIII. Bayesian re-analysis of three systems. New super-Earths, unconfirmed signals, and magnetic cycles
Díaz, R. F.; Ségransan, D.; Udry, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 585

We present the analysis of the entire HARPS observations of three stars that host planetary systems: HD1461, HD40307, and HD204313. The data set spans eight years and contains more than 200 nightly ... [more ▼]

We present the analysis of the entire HARPS observations of three stars that host planetary systems: HD1461, HD40307, and HD204313. The data set spans eight years and contains more than 200 nightly averaged velocity measurements for each star. This means that it is sensitive to both long-period and low-mass planets and also to the effects induced by stellar activity cycles. We modelled the data using Keplerian functions that correspond to planetary candidates and included the short- and long-term effects of magnetic activity. A Bayesian approach was taken both for the data modelling, which allowed us to include information from activity proxies such as $\log{(R'_{\rm HK})}$ in the velocity modelling, and for the model selection, which permitted determining the number of significant signals in the system. The Bayesian model comparison overcomes the limitations inherent to the traditional periodogram analysis. We report an additional super-Earth planet in the HD1461 system. Four out of the six planets previously reported for HD40307 are confirmed and characterised. We discuss the remaining two proposed signals. In particular, we show that when the systematic uncertainty associated with the techniques for estimating model probabilities are taken into account, the current data are not conclusive concerning the existence of the habitable-zone candidate HD40307 g. We also fully characterise the Neptune-mass planet that orbits HD204313 in 34.9 days. [less ▲]

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See detailPlanet Formation Imager (PFI): Science vision and key requirements
Kraus, S.; Monnier, J. D.; Ireland, M. J. et al

in Proceedings of SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering (2016)

The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) project aims to provide a strong scientific vision for ground-based optical astronomy beyond the upcoming generation of Extremely Large Telescopes. We make the case that ... [more ▼]

The Planet Formation Imager (PFI) project aims to provide a strong scientific vision for ground-based optical astronomy beyond the upcoming generation of Extremely Large Telescopes. We make the case that a breakthrough in angular resolution imaging capabilities is required in order to unravel the processes involved in planet formation. PFI will be optimised to provide a complete census of the protoplanet population at all stellocentric radii and over the age range from 0.1 to ∼100 Myr. Within this age period, planetary systems undergo dramatic changes and the final architecture of planetary systems is determined. Our goal is to study the planetary birth on the natural spatial scale where the material is assembled, which is the "Hill Sphere" of the forming planet, and to characterise the protoplanetary cores by measuring their masses and physical properties. Our science working group has investigated the observational characteristics of these young protoplanets as well as the migration mechanisms that might alter the system architecture. We simulated the imprints that the planets leave in the disk and study how PFI could revolutionise areas ranging from exoplanet to extragalactic science. In this contribution we outline the key science drivers of PFI and discuss the requirements that will guide the technology choices, the site selection, and potential science/technology tradeoffs. © 2016 SPIE. [less ▲]

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See detailThe VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits. II. Survey description, results, and performances
Chauvin, G.; Vigan, A.; Bonnefoy, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 573

Context. Young, nearby stars are ideal targets for direct imaging searches for giant planets and brown dwarf companions. After the first-imaged planet discoveries, vast efforts have been devoted to the ... [more ▼]

Context. Young, nearby stars are ideal targets for direct imaging searches for giant planets and brown dwarf companions. After the first-imaged planet discoveries, vast efforts have been devoted to the statistical analysis of the occurence and orbital distributions of giant planets and brown dwarf companions at wide (≥5-6 AU) orbits. <BR /> Aims: In anticipation of the VLT/SPHERE planet-imager, guaranteed-time programs, we have conducted a preparatory survey of 86 stars between 2009 and 2013 to identify new faint comoving companions to ultimately analyze the occurence of giant planets and brown dwarf companions at wide (10-2000 AU) orbits around young, solar-type stars. <BR /> Methods: We used NaCo at VLT to explore the occurrence rate of giant planets and brown dwarfs between typically 0.1 and 8''. Diffraction-limited observations in H-band combined with angular differential imaging enabled us to reach primary star-companion brightness ratios as small as 10[SUP]-6[/SUP] at 1.5''. Repeated observations at several epochs enabled us to discriminate comoving companions from background objects. <BR /> Results: During our survey, twelve systems were resolved as new binaries, including the discovery of a new white dwarf companion to the star HD 8049. Around 34 stars, at least one companion candidate was detected in the observed field of view. More than 400 faint sources were detected; 90% of them were in four crowded fields. With the exception of HD 8049 B, we did not identify any new comoving companions. The survey also led to spatially resolved images of the thin debris disk around HD 61005 that have been published earlier. Finally, considering the survey detection limits, we derive a preliminary upper limit on the frequency of giant planets for the semi-major axes of [10, 2000] AU: typically less than 15% between 100 and 500 AU and less than 10% between 50 and 500 AU for exoplanets that are more massive than 5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] and 10 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] respectively, if we consider a uniform input distribution and a confidence level of 95%. <BR /> Conclusions: The results from this survey agree with earlier programs emphasizing that massive, gas giant companions on wide orbits around solar-type stars are rare. These results will be part of a broader analysis of a total of ~210 young, solar-type stars to bring further statistical constraints for theoretical models of planetary formation and evolution. Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO Large Program 184.C-0157 and Open Time 089.C-0137A and 090.C-0252A).Tables 2 and 6 are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201423564/olm">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe PLATO 2.0 Mission
Rauer, Heike; Catala, Claude; Aerts, Conny et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2014)

PLATO 2.0 has recently been selected for ESA’s M3 launch opportunity (2022/24). Providing accurate key planet parameters (radius, mass, density and age) in statistical numbers, it addresses fundamental ... [more ▼]

PLATO 2.0 has recently been selected for ESA’s M3 launch opportunity (2022/24). Providing accurate key planet parameters (radius, mass, density and age) in statistical numbers, it addresses fundamental questions such as: How do planetary systems form and evolve? Are there other systems with planets like ours, including potentially habitable planets? The PLATO 2.0 instrument consists of 34 small aperture telescopes (32 with 25 s readout cadence and 2 with 2.5 s candence) providing a wide field-of-view (2232 deg 2) and a large photometric magnitude range (4–16 mag). It focusses on bright (4–11 mag) stars in wide fields to detect and characterize planets down to Earth-size by photometric transits, whose masses can then be determined by ground-based radial-velocity follow-up measurements. Asteroseismology will be performed for these bright stars to obtain highly accurate stellar parameters, including masses and ages. The combination of bright targets and asteroseismology results in high accuracy for the bulk planet parameters: 2 %, 4–10 % and 10 % for planet radii, masses and ages, respectively. The planned baseline observing strategy includes two long pointings (2–3 years) to detect and bulk characterize planets reaching into the habitable zone (HZ) of solar-like stars and an additional step-and-stare phase to cover in total about 50 % of the sky. PLATO 2.0 will observe up to 1,000,000 stars and detect and characterize hundreds of small planets, and thousands of planets in the Neptune to gas giant regime out to the HZ. It will therefore provide the first large-scale catalogue of bulk characterized planets with accurate radii, masses, mean densities and ages. This catalogue will include terrestrial planets at intermediate orbital distances, where surface temperatures are moderate. Coverage of this parameter range with statistical numbers of bulk characterized planets is unique to PLATO 2.0. The PLATO 2.0 catalogue allows us to e.g.: - complete our knowledge of planet diversity for low-mass objects, - correlate the planet mean density-orbital distance distribution with predictions from planet formation theories,- constrain the influence of planet migration and scattering on the architecture of multiple systems, and - specify how planet and system parameters change with host star characteristics, such as type, metallicity and age. The catalogue will allow us to study planets and planetary systems at different evolutionary phases. It will further provide a census for small, low-mass planets. This will serve to identify objects which retained their primordial hydrogen atmosphere and in general the typical characteristics of planets in such low-mass, low-density range. Planets detected by PLATO 2.0 will orbit bright stars and many of them will be targets for future atmosphere spectroscopy exploring their atmosphere. Furthermore, the mission has the potential to detect exomoons, planetary rings, binary and Trojan planets. The planetary science possible with PLATO 2.0 is complemented by its impact on stellar and galactic science via asteroseismology as well as light curves of all kinds of variable stars, together with observations of stellar clusters of different ages. This will allow us to improve stellar models and study stellar activity. A large number of well-known ages from red giant stars will probe the structure and evolution of our Galaxy. Asteroseismic ages of bright stars for different phases of stellar evolution allow calibrating stellar age-rotation relationships. Together with the results of ESA’s Gaia mission, the results of PLATO 2.0 will provide a huge legacy to planetary, stellar and galactic science. [less ▲]

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