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See detailGround-based monitoring of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko gas activity throughout the Rosetta mission
Opitom, C.; Snodgrass, C.; Fitzsimmons, A. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 469

Simultaneously to the ESA Rosetta mission, a world-wide ground-based campaign provided measurements of the large scale activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko through measurement of optically active ... [more ▼]

Simultaneously to the ESA Rosetta mission, a world-wide ground-based campaign provided measurements of the large scale activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko through measurement of optically active gas species and imaging of the overall dust coma. We present more than 2 yr of observations performed with the FORS2 low-resolution spectrograph at the VLT, TRAPPIST and ACAM at the WHT. We focus on the evolution of the CN production as a tracer of the comet activity. We find that it is asymmetric with respect to perihelion and different from that of the dust. The CN emission is detected for the first time at 1.34 au pre-perihelion and production rates then increase steeply to peak about 2 weeks after perihelion at (1.00 ± 0.10) × 10[SUP]25[/SUP] molecules s[SUP]-1[/SUP], while the post-perihelion decrease is more shallow. The evolution of the comet activity is strongly influenced by seasonal effects with enhanced CN production when the Southern hemisphere is illuminated. [less ▲]

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See detailThe 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko observation campaign in support of the Rosetta mission
Snodgrass, C.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Aceituno, F. et al

in Philosophical Transactions : Mathematical, Physical & Engineering Sciences (2017), 375

We present a summary of the campaign of remote observations that supported the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. Telescopes across the globe (and in space) followed comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko ... [more ▼]

We present a summary of the campaign of remote observations that supported the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. Telescopes across the globe (and in space) followed comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from before Rosetta's arrival until nearly the end of the mission in September 2016. These provided essential data for mission planning, large-scale context information for the coma and tails beyond the spacecraft and a way to directly compare 67P with other comets. The observations revealed 67P to be a relatively `well-behaved' comet, typical of Jupiter family comets and with activity patterns that repeat from orbit to orbit. Comparison between this large collection of telescopic observations and the in situ results from Rosetta will allow us to better understand comet coma chemistry and structure. This work is just beginning as the mission ends-in this paper, we present a summary of the ground-based observations and early results, and point to many questions that will be addressed in future studies. This article is part of the themed issue 'Cometary science after Rosetta'. [less ▲]

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See detailOrbital alignment and star-spot properties in the WASP-52 planetary system
Mancini, L.; Southworth, J.; Raia, G. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 465

We report 13 high-precision light curves of eight transits of the exoplanet WASP-52 b, obtained by using four medium-class telescopes, through different filters, and adopting the defocussing technique ... [more ▼]

We report 13 high-precision light curves of eight transits of the exoplanet WASP-52 b, obtained by using four medium-class telescopes, through different filters, and adopting the defocussing technique. One transit was recorded simultaneously from two different observatories and another one from the same site but with two different instruments, including a multiband camera. Anomalies were clearly detected in five light curves and modelled as star-spots occulted by the planet during the transit events. We fitted the clean light curves with the JKTEBOP code, and those with the anomalies with the PRISM+GEMC codes in order to simultaneously model the photometric parameters of the transits and the position, size and contrast of each star-spot. We used these new light curves and some from the literature to revise the physical properties of the WASP-52 system. Star-spots with similar characteristics were detected in four transits over a period of 43 d. In the hypothesis that we are dealing with the same star-spot, periodically occulted by the transiting planet, we estimated the projected orbital obliquity of WASP-52 b to be λ = 3.8° ± 8.4°. We also determined the true orbital obliquity, ψ = 20° ± 50°, which is, although very uncertain, the first measurement of ψ purely from star-spot crossings. We finally assembled an optical transmission spectrum of the planet and searched for variations of its radius as a function of wavelength. Our analysis suggests a flat transmission spectrum within the experimental uncertainties. [less ▲]

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See detailThe 19 Feb. 2016 Outburst of Comet 67P/CG: An ESA Rosetta Multi-Instrument Study
Grün, E.; Agarwal, J.; Altobelli, N. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016)

On 19 Feb. 2016 nine Rosetta instruments serendipitously observed an outburst of gas and dust from the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among these instruments were cameras and spectrometers ... [more ▼]

On 19 Feb. 2016 nine Rosetta instruments serendipitously observed an outburst of gas and dust from the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among these instruments were cameras and spectrometers ranging from UV over visible to microwave wavelengths, in-situ gas, dust and plasma instruments, and one dust collector. At 9:40 a dust cloud developed at the edge of an image in the shadowed region of the nucleus. Over the next two hours the instruments recorded a signature of the outburst that significantly exceeded the background. The enhancement ranged from 50% of the neutral gas density at Rosetta to factors >100 of the brightness of the coma near the nucleus. Dust related phenomena (dust counts or brightness due to illuminated dust) showed the strongest enhancements (factors >10). However, even the electron density at Rosetta increased by a factor 3 and consequently the spacecraft potential changed from ˜-16 V to -20 V during the outburst. A clear sequence of events was observed at the distance of Rosetta (34 km from the nucleus): within 15 minutes the Star Tracker camera detected fast particles (˜25 m s[SUP]-1[/SUP]) while 100 μm radius particles were detected by the GIADA dust instrument ˜1 hour later at a speed of ~6 m s[SUP]-1[/SUP]. The slowest were individual mm to cm sized grains observed by the OSIRIS cameras. Although the outburst originated just outside the FOV of the instruments, the source region and the magnitude of the outburst could be determined. [less ▲]

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See detailLOTUS: a low-cost, ultraviolet spectrograph
Steele, I. A.; Marchant, J. M.; Jermak, H. E. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016), 460

We describe the design, construction and commissioning of a simple, low-cost long-slit spectrograph for the Liverpool Telescope. The design is optimized for near-UV and visible wavelengths and uses all ... [more ▼]

We describe the design, construction and commissioning of a simple, low-cost long-slit spectrograph for the Liverpool Telescope. The design is optimized for near-UV and visible wavelengths and uses all transmitting optics. It exploits the instrument focal plane field curvature to partially correct axial chromatic aberration. A stepped slit provides narrow (2.5 × 95 arcsec) and wide (5 × 25 arcsec) options that are optimized for spectral resolution and flux calibration, respectively. On sky testing shows a wavelength range of 3200-6300 Å with a peak system throughput (including detector quantum efficiency) of 15 per cent and wavelength dependent spectral resolution of R = 225-430. By repeated observations of the symbiotic emission line star AG Peg, we demonstrate the wavelength stability of the system is <2 Å rms and is limited by the positioning of the object in the slit. The spectrograph is now in routine operation monitoring the activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during its current post-perihelion apparition. [less ▲]

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See detailThe dust environment of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Rosetta OSIRIS and VLT observations in the 4.5 to 2.9 AU heliocentric distance range inbound
Moreno, F.; Snodgrass, C.; Hainaut, O. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 587

Context. The ESA Rosetta spacecraft, currently orbiting around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has already provided in situ measurements of the dust grain properties from several instruments,particularly ... [more ▼]

Context. The ESA Rosetta spacecraft, currently orbiting around comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, has already provided in situ measurements of the dust grain properties from several instruments,particularly OSIRIS and GIADA. We propose adding value to those measurements by combining them with ground-based observations of the dust tail to monitor the overall, time-dependent dust-production rate and size distribution. <BR /> Aims: To constrain the dust grain properties, we take Rosetta OSIRIS and GIADA results into account, and combine OSIRIS data during the approach phase (from late April to early June 2014) with a large data set of ground-based images that were acquired with the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) from February to November 2014. <BR /> Methods: A Monte Carlo dust tail code, which has already been used to characterise the dust environments of several comets and active asteroids, has been applied to retrieve the dust parameters. Key properties of the grains (density, velocity, and size distribution) were obtained from Rosetta observations: these parameters were used as input of the code to considerably reduce the number of free parameters. In this way, the overall dust mass-loss rate and its dependence on the heliocentric distance could be obtained accurately. <BR /> Results: The dust parameters derived from the inner coma measurements by OSIRIS and GIADA and from distant imaging using VLT data are consistent, except for the power index of the size-distribution function, which is α = -3, instead of α = -2, for grains smaller than 1 mm. This is possibly linked to the presence of fluffy aggregates in the coma. The onset of cometary activity occurs at approximately 4.3 AU, with a dust production rate of 0.5 kg/s, increasing up to 15 kg/s at 2.9 AU. This implies a dust-to-gas mass ratio varying between 3.8 and 6.5 for the best-fit model when combined with water-production rates from the MIRO experiment. [less ▲]

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See detailErratum: Estimating the parameters of globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099) from time-series photometry (Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013) 555 (A36))
Kains, N.; Bramich, D. M.; Arellano Ferro, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 588

[No abstract available]

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See detailPhysical properties of the planetary systems WASP-45 and WASP-46 from simultaneous multiband photometry
Ciceri, S.; Mancini, L.; Southworth, J. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016), 456(1), 990-1002

Accurate measurements of the physical characteristics of a large number of exoplanets are useful to strongly constrain theoretical models of planet formation and evolution, which lead to the large variety ... [more ▼]

Accurate measurements of the physical characteristics of a large number of exoplanets are useful to strongly constrain theoretical models of planet formation and evolution, which lead to the large variety of exoplanets and planetary-system configurations that have been observed. We present a study of the planetary systemsWASP-45 andWASP-46, both composed of a mainsequence star and a close-in hot Jupiter, based on 29 new high-quality light curves of transits events. In particular, one transit of WASP-45 b and four of WASP-46 b were simultaneously observed in four optical filters, while one transit of WASP-46 b was observed with the NTT obtaining a precision of 0.30 mmag with a cadence of roughly 3 min. We also obtained five new spectra of WASP-45 with the FEROS spectrograph. We improved by a factor of 4 the measurement of the radius of the planet WASP-45 b, and found that WASP-46 b is slightly less massive and smaller than previously reported. Both planets now have a more accurate measurement of the density (0.959 ± 0.077 ρJup instead of 0.64 ± 0.30 ρJup for WASP-45 b, and 1.103 ± 0.052 ρJup instead of 0.94 ± 0.11 ρJup for WASP-46 b). We tentatively detected radius variations with wavelength for both planets, in particular in the case of WASP-45 b we found a slightly larger absorption in the redder bands than in the bluer ones. No hints for the presence of an additional planetary companion in the two systems were found either from the photometric or radial velocity measurements. © 2015 The Authors. [less ▲]

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See detailExploring the crowded central region of ten Galactic globular clusters using EMCCDs: Variable star searches and new discoveries
Figuera Jaimes, R.; Bramich, D. M.; Skottfelt, J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 588

Aims. We aim to obtain time-series photometry of the very crowded central regions of Galactic globular clusters; to obtain better angular resolution thanhas been previously achieved with conventional CCDs ... [more ▼]

Aims. We aim to obtain time-series photometry of the very crowded central regions of Galactic globular clusters; to obtain better angular resolution thanhas been previously achieved with conventional CCDs on ground-based telescopes; and to complete, or improve, the census of the variable star population in those stellar systems. Methods. Images were taken using the Danish 1.54-m Telescope at the ESO observatory at La Silla in Chile. The telescope was equipped with an electron-multiplying CCD, and the short-exposure-time images obtained (ten images per second) were stacked using the shift-and-add technique to produce the normal-exposure-time images (minutes). Photometry was performed via difference image analysis. Automatic detection of variable stars in the field was attempted. Results. The light curves of 12 541 stars in the cores of ten globular clusters were statistically analysed to automatically extract the variable stars. We obtained light curves for 31 previously known variable stars (3 long-period irregular, 2 semi-regular, 20 RR Lyrae, 1 SX Phoenicis, 3 cataclysmic variables, 1 W Ursae Majoris-type and 1 unclassified) and we discovered 30 new variables (16 long-period irregular, 7 semi-regular, 4 RR Lyrae, 1 SX Phoenicis and 2 unclassified). Fluxes and photometric measurements for these stars are available in electronic form through the Strasbourg astronomical Data Center. © ESO, 2016. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-resolution Imaging of Transiting Extrasolar Planetary systems (HITEP): I. Lucky imaging observations of 101 systems in the southern hemisphere
Evans, D. F.; Southworth, J.; Maxted, P. F. L. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 589

Context. Wide binaries are a potential pathway for the formation of hot Jupiters. The binary fraction among host stars is an important discriminator between competing formation theories, but has not been ... [more ▼]

Context. Wide binaries are a potential pathway for the formation of hot Jupiters. The binary fraction among host stars is an important discriminator between competing formation theories, but has not been well characterised. Additionally, contaminating light from unresolved stars can significantly affect the accuracy of photometric and spectroscopic measurements in studies of transiting exoplanets. Aims. We observed 101 transiting exoplanet host systems in the Southern hemisphere in order to create a homogeneous catalogue of both bound companion stars and contaminating background stars, in an area of the sky where transiting exoplanetary systems have not been systematically searched for stellar companions. We investigate the binary fraction among the host stars in order to test theories for the formation of hot Jupiters. Methods. Lucky imaging observations from the Two Colour Instrument on the Danish 1.54 m telescope at La Silla were used to search for previously unresolved stars at small angular separations. The separations and relative magnitudes of all detected stars were measured. For 12 candidate companions to 10 host stars, previous astrometric measurements were used to evaluate how likely the companions are to be physically associated. Results. We provide measurements of 499 candidate companions within 20 arcsec of our sample of 101 planet host stars. 51 candidates are located within 5 arcsec of a host star, and we provide the first published measurements for 27 of these. Calibrations for the plate scale and colour performance of the Two Colour Instrument are presented. Conclusions. We find that the overall multiplicity rate of the host stars is 38-13 +17%, consistent with the rate among solar-type stars in our sensitivity range, suggesting that planet formation does not preferentially occur in long period binaries compared to a random sample of field stars. Long period stellar companions (P > 10 yr) appear to occur independently of short period companions, and so the population of close-in stellar companions is unconstrained by our study. © ESO, 2016. [less ▲]

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See detailTHE SPITZER MICROLENSING PROGRAM AS A PROBE for GLOBULAR CLUSTER PLANETS: ANALYSIS of OGLE-2015-BLG-0448
Poleski, R.; Zhu, W.; Christie, G. W. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2016), 823(1),

The microlensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-0448 was observed by Spitzer and lay within the tidal radius of the globular cluster NGC 6558. The event had moderate magnification and was intensively observed, hence ... [more ▼]

The microlensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-0448 was observed by Spitzer and lay within the tidal radius of the globular cluster NGC 6558. The event had moderate magnification and was intensively observed, hence it had the potential to probe the distribution of planets in globular clusters. We measure the proper motion of NGC 6558 ((μcl (N, E) = +0.36 ± 0.10, +1.42 ± 0.10 mas yr-1) as well as the source and show that the lens is not a cluster member. Even though this particular event does not probe the distribution of planets in globular clusters, other potential cluster lens events can be verified using our methodology. Additionally, we find that microlens parallax measured using Optical Gravitational Lens Experiment (OGLE) photometry is consistent with the value found based on the light curve displacement between the Earth and Spitzer. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailMASS MEASUREMENTS of ISOLATED OBJECTS from SPACE-BASED MICROLENSING
Zhu, W.; Calchi Novati, S.; Gould, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2016), 825(1),

We report on the mass and distance measurements of two single-lens events from the 2015 Spitzer microlensing campaign. With both finite-source effect and microlens parallax measurements, we find that the ... [more ▼]

We report on the mass and distance measurements of two single-lens events from the 2015 Spitzer microlensing campaign. With both finite-source effect and microlens parallax measurements, we find that the lens of OGLE-2015-BLG-1268 is very likely a brown dwarf (BD). Assuming that the source star lies behind the same amount of dust as the Bulge red clump, we find the lens is a 45 ±7 BD at 5.9 ±1.0 kpc. The lens of of the second event, OGLE-2015-BLG-0763, is a 0.50 ±0.04 star at 6.9 ±1.0 kpc. We show that the probability to definitively measure the mass of isolated microlenses is dramatically increased once simultaneous ground- and space-based observations are conducted. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailMany new variable stars discovered in the core of the globular cluster NGC 6715 (M 54) with EMCCD observations
Figuera Jaimes, R.; Bramich, D. M.; Kains, N. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 592

Context. We show the benefits of using electron-multiplying CCDs and the shift-and-add technique as a tool to minimise the effects of atmospheric turbulence, such as blending between stars in crowded ... [more ▼]

Context. We show the benefits of using electron-multiplying CCDs and the shift-and-add technique as a tool to minimise the effects of atmospheric turbulence, such as blending between stars in crowded fields, and to avoid saturated stars in the fields observed. We intend to complete, or improve on, the census of the variable star population in globular cluster NGC 6715. Aims. Our aim is to obtain high-precision time-series photometry of the very crowded central region of this stellar system via the collection of better angular resolution images than has been previously achieved with conventional CCDs on ground-based telescopes. Methods. Observations were carried out using the Danish 1.54-m telescope at the ESO La Silla observatory in Chile. The telescope is equipped with an electron-multiplying CCD that enables short-exposure-time images to be obtained (ten images per second) that were stacked using the shift-and-add technique to produce the normal-exposure-time images (minutes). The high precision photometry was performed via difference image analysis employing the DanDIA pipeline. We attempted automatic detection of variable stars in the field. Results. We statistically analysed the light curves of 1405 stars in the crowded central region of NGC 6715 to automatically identify the variable stars present in this cluster. We found light curves for 17 previously known variable stars near the edges of our reference image (16 RR Lyrae and 1 semi-regular) and we discovered 67 new variables (30 RR Lyrae, 21 irregular (long-period type), 3 semi-regular, 1 W Virginis, 1 eclipsing binary, and 11 unclassified). Photometric measurements for these stars are available in electronic form through the Strasbourg Astronomical Data Centre. © 2016 ESO. [less ▲]

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See detailOGLE-2015-BLG-0479LA,B: BINARY GRAVITATIONAL MICROLENS CHARACTERIZED by SIMULTANEOUS GROUND-BASED and SPACE-BASED OBSERVATIONS
Han, C.; Udalski, A.; Gould, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2016), 828(1),

We present a combined analysis of the observations of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-0479 taken both from the ground and by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The light curves seen from the ... [more ▼]

We present a combined analysis of the observations of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2015-BLG-0479 taken both from the ground and by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The light curves seen from the ground and from space exhibit a time offset of ∼13 days between the caustic spikes, indicating that the relative lens-source positions seen from the two places are displaced by parallax effects. From modeling the light curves, we measure the space-based microlens parallax. Combined with the angular Einstein radius measured by analyzing the caustic crossings, we determine the mass and distance of the lens. We find that the lens is a binary composed of two G-type stars with masses of ∼1.0 M⊙ and ∼0.9 M⊙ located at a distance of ∼3 kpc. In addition, we are able to constrain the complete orbital parameters of the lens thanks to the precise measurement of the microlens parallax derived from the joint analysis. In contrast to the binary event OGLE-2014-BLG-1050, which was also observed by Spitzer, we find that the interpretation of OGLE-2015-BLG-0479 does not suffer from the degeneracy between (±, ±) and (±, ∓) solutions, confirming that the four-fold parallax degeneracy in single-lens events collapses into the two-fold degeneracy for the general case of binary-lens events. The location of the blend in the color-magnitude diagram is consistent with the lens properties, suggesting that the blend is the lens itself. The blend is bright enough for spectroscopy and thus this possibility can be checked from future follow-up observations. © 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailLarger and faster: revised properties and a shorter orbital period for the WASP-57 planetary system from a pro-am collaboration
Southworth, John; Mancini, L.; Tregloan-Reed, J. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015), 454

Transits in the WASP-57 planetary system have been found to occur half an hour earlier than expected. We present 10 transit light curves from amateur telescopes, on which this discovery was based, 13 ... [more ▼]

Transits in the WASP-57 planetary system have been found to occur half an hour earlier than expected. We present 10 transit light curves from amateur telescopes, on which this discovery was based, 13 transit light curves from professional facilities which confirm and refine this finding, and high-resolution imaging which show no evidence for nearby companions. We use these data to determine a new and precise orbital ephemeris, and measure the physical properties of the system. Our revised orbital period is 4.5 s shorter than found from the discovery data alone, which explains the early occurrence of the transits. We also find both the star and planet to be larger and less massive than previously thought. The measured mass and radius of the planet are now consistent with theoretical models of gas giants containing no heavy-element core, as expected for the subsolar metallicity of the host star. Two transits were observed simultaneously in four passbands. We use the resulting light curves to measure the planet's radius as a function of wavelength, finding that our data are sufficient in principle but not in practise to constrain its atmospheric properties. We conclude with a discussion of the current and future status of transmission photometry studies for probing the atmospheres of gas-giant transiting planets. [less ▲]

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See detailPluto's atmosphere from stellar occultations in 2012 and 2013
Dias-Oliveira, A.; Sicardy, B.; Lellouch, E. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 1506

We analyze two multi-chord stellar occultations by Pluto observed on July 18th, 2012 and May 4th, 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites. They provide a total of fifteen light-curves ... [more ▼]

We analyze two multi-chord stellar occultations by Pluto observed on July 18th, 2012 and May 4th, 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites. They provide a total of fifteen light-curves, twelve of them being used for a simultaneous fit that uses a unique temperature profile, assuming a clear (no-haze) and pure N_2 atmosphere, but allowing for a possible pressure variation between the two dates. We find a solution that fits satisfactorily (i.e. within the noise level) all the twelve light-curves, providing atmospheric constraints between ~1,190 km (pressure ~ 11 \mubar) and ~ 1,450 km (pressure ~0.1 \mubar) from Pluto's center. Our main results are: (1) the best-fitting temperature profile shows a stratosphere with strong positive gradient between 1,190 km (at 36 K, 11 \mubar) and r = 1,215 km (6.0 \mubar), where a temperature maximum of 110 K is reached; above it is a mesosphere with negative thermal gradient of -0.2 K/km up to ~ 1,390 km (0.25 \mubar), where, the mesosphere connects itself to a more isothermal upper branch around 81 K; (2) the pressure shows a small (6 [less ▲]

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See detailCastalia — A Mission to a Main Belt Comet
Jones, G. H.; Altwegg, K.; Bertini, I. et al

in LPI (2015, January 01), 1829

Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a newly identified class of solar system object, having asteroid-like orbits but sometimes exhibiting comet-like behavior. We present the case for a mission to an MBC, to be ... [more ▼]

Main Belt Comets (MBCs) are a newly identified class of solar system object, having asteroid-like orbits but sometimes exhibiting comet-like behavior. We present the case for a mission to an MBC, to be submitted to the European Space Agency. [less ▲]

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See detailSearching for variable stars in the cores of five metal-rich globular clusters using EMCCD observations
Skottfelt, J.; Bramich, D. M.; Figuera Jaimes, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 573

Aims. In this paper, we present the analysis of time-series observations from 2013 and 2014 of five metal-rich ([Fe/H] > -1) globular clusters: NGC 6388, NGC 6441, NGC 6528, NGC 6638, and NGC 6652. The ... [more ▼]

Aims. In this paper, we present the analysis of time-series observations from 2013 and 2014 of five metal-rich ([Fe/H] > -1) globular clusters: NGC 6388, NGC 6441, NGC 6528, NGC 6638, and NGC 6652. The data have been used to perform a census of the variable stars in the central parts of these clusters. Methods. The observations were made with the electron-multiplying charge-couple device (EMCCD) camera at the Danish 1.54m Telescope at La Silla, Chile, and they were analysed using difference image analysis to obtain high-precision light curves of the variable stars. Results. It was possible to identify and classify all of the previously known or suspected variable stars in the central regions of the five clusters. Furthermore, we were able to identify and, in most cases, classify 48, 49, 7, 8, and 2 previously unknown variables in NGC 6388, NGC 6441, NGC 6528, NGC 6638, and NGC 6652, respectively. Especially interesting is the case of NGC 6441, for which the variable star population of about 150 stars has been thoroughly examined by previous studies, including a Hubble Space Telescope study. In this paper we are able to present 49 new variable stars for this cluster, of which one (possibly two) are RR Lyrae stars, two are W Virginis stars, and the rest are long-period semi-regular or irregular variables on the red giant branch. We have also detected the first double-mode RR Lyrae in the cluster. © ESO 2015. [less ▲]

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See detailTransits and starspots in the WASP-6 planetary system
Tregloan-Reed, J.; Southworth, J.; Burgdorf, M. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015), 450(2), 1760-1769

We present updates to PRISM, a photometric transit-starspot model, and GEMC, a hybrid optimization code combining MCMC and a genetic algorithm. We then present high-precision photometry of four transits ... [more ▼]

We present updates to PRISM, a photometric transit-starspot model, and GEMC, a hybrid optimization code combining MCMC and a genetic algorithm. We then present high-precision photometry of four transits in the WASP-6 planetary system, two of which contain a starspot anomaly. All four transits were modelled using PRISM and GEMC, and the physical properties of the system calculated. We find the mass and radius of the host star to be 0.836 ± 0.063 M<inf>⊙</inf> and 0.864 ± 0.024 R<inf>⊙</inf>, respectively. For the planet, we find a mass of 0.485 ± 0.027 M<inf>Jup</inf>, a radius of 1.230 ± 0.035 R<inf>Jup</inf> and a density of 0.244 ± 0.014 ρ<inf>Jup</inf>. These values are consistent with those found in the literature. In the likely hypothesis that the two spot anomalies are caused by the same starspot or starspot complex, we measure the stars rotation period and velocity to be 23.80 ± 0.15 d and 1.78 ± 0.20 km s-1, respectively, at a colatitude of 75.8°. We find that the sky-projected angle between the stellar spin axis and the planetary orbital axis is λ = 7.2° ± 3.7°, indicating axial alignment. Our results are consistent with and more precise than published spectroscopic measurements of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. These results suggest that WASP-6 b formed at amuch greater distance from its host star and suffered orbital decay through tidal interactions with the protoplanetary disc. © 2015 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. [less ▲]

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See detailOGLE-2011-BLG-0265Lb: A jovian microlensing planet orbiting an m dwarf
Skowron, J.; Shin, I.-G.; Udalski, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 804(1),

We report the discovery of a Jupiter-mass planet orbiting an M-dwarf star that gave rise to the microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0265. Such a system is very rare among known planetary systems and thus the ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a Jupiter-mass planet orbiting an M-dwarf star that gave rise to the microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0265. Such a system is very rare among known planetary systems and thus the discovery is important for theoretical studies of planetary formation and evolution. High-cadence temporal coverage of the planetary signal, combined with extended observations throughout the event, allows us to accurately model the observed light curve. However, the final microlensing solution remains degenerate, yielding two possible configurations of the planet and the host star. In the case of the preferred solution, the mass of the planet is Mp = 0.9 ± 0.3 MJ, and the planet is orbiting a star with a mass M = 0.22 ± 0.06 M. The second possible configuration (2? away) consists of a planet with Mp = 0.6 ± 0.3 MJ and host star with M = 0.14 ± 0.06 M. The system is located in the Galactic disk 34 kpc toward the Galactic bulge. In both cases, with an orbit size of 1.52.0 AU, the planet is a cold Jupiterlocated well beyond the snow line of the host star. Currently available data make the secure selection of the correct solution difficult, but there are prospects for lifting the degeneracy with additional follow-up observations in the future, when the lens and source star separate. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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