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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 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 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 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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See detailA Super-Jupiter orbiting a late-type star: A refined analysis of microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0406
Tsapras, Y.; Choi, J.-Y.; Street, R. A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2014), 782

We present a detailed analysis of survey and follow-up observations of microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0406 based on data obtained from 10 different observatories. Intensive coverage of the lightcurve ... [more ▼]

We present a detailed analysis of survey and follow-up observations of microlensing event OGLE-2012-BLG-0406 based on data obtained from 10 different observatories. Intensive coverage of the lightcurve, especially the perturbation part, allowed us to accurately measure the parallax effect and lens orbital motion. Combining our measurement of the lens parallax with the angular Einstein radius determined from finite-source effects, we estimate the physical parameters of the lens system. We find that the event was caused by a $2.73\pm 0.43\ M_{\rm J}$ planet orbiting a $0.44\pm 0.07\ M_{\odot}$ early M-type star. The distance to the lens is $4.97\pm 0.29$\ kpc and the projected separation between the host star and its planet at the time of the event is $3.45\pm 0.26$ AU. We find that the additional coverage provided by follow-up observations, especially during the planetary perturbation, leads to a more accurate determination of the physical parameters of the lens. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-precision photometry by telescope defocussing - VI. WASP-24, WASP-25 andWASP-26*
Southworth, J.; Hinse, T. C.; Burgdorf, M. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 444(1), 776-789

We present time series photometric observations of 13 transits in the planetary systems WASP-24, WASP-25 and WASP-26. All three systems have orbital obliquity measurements, WASP-24 andWASP-26 have been ... [more ▼]

We present time series photometric observations of 13 transits in the planetary systems WASP-24, WASP-25 and WASP-26. All three systems have orbital obliquity measurements, WASP-24 andWASP-26 have been observed with Spitzer, andWASP-25 was previously comparatively neglected. Our light curves were obtained using the telescope-defocussing method and have scatters of 0.5-1.2 mmag relative to their best-fitting geometric models. We use these data to measure the physical properties and orbital ephemerides of the systems to high precision, finding that our improved measurements are in good agreement with previous studies. High-resolution Lucky Imaging observations of all three targets show no evidence for faint stars close enough to contaminate our photometry. We confirm the eclipsing nature of the star closest to WASP-24 and present the detection of a detached eclipsing binary within 4.25 arcmin of WASP-26. © 2014 The Authors. [less ▲]

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See detailPhysical properties, transmission and emission spectra of the WASP-19 planetary system from multi-colour photometry
Mancini, L.; Ciceri, S.; Chen, G. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 436

We present new ground-based, multi-colour, broad-band photometric measurements of the physical parameters, transmission and emission spectra of the transiting extrasolar planet WASP-19b. The measurements ... [more ▼]

We present new ground-based, multi-colour, broad-band photometric measurements of the physical parameters, transmission and emission spectra of the transiting extrasolar planet WASP-19b. The measurements are based on observations of eight transits and four occultations through a Gunn i filter using the 1.54-m Danish Telescope, 14 transits through an R[SUB]c[/SUB] filter at the Perth Exoplanet Survey Telescope (PEST) observatory and one transit observed simultaneously through four optical (Sloan g[SUP]'[/SUP], r[SUP]'[/SUP], i[SUP]'[/SUP], z[SUP]'[/SUP]) and three near-infrared (J, H, K) filters, using the Gamma Ray Burst Optical and Near-Infrared Detector (GROND) instrument on the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope. The GROND optical light curves have a point-to-point scatter around the best-fitting model between 0.52 and 0.65 mmag rms. We use these new data to measure refined physical parameters for the system. We find the planet to be more bloated (R[SUB]b[/SUB] = 1.410 ± 0.017R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]; M[SUB]b[/SUB] = 1.139 ± 0.030M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) and the system to be twice as old as initially thought. We also used published and archived data sets to study the transit timings, which do not depart from a linear ephemeris. We detected an anomaly in the GROND transit light curve which is compatible with a spot on the photosphere of the parent star. The starspot position, size, spot contrast and temperature were established. Using our new and published measurements, we assembled the planet's transmission spectrum over the 370-2350 nm wavelength range and its emission spectrum over the 750-8000 nm range. By comparing these data to theoretical models we investigated the theoretically predicted variation of the apparent radius of WASP-19b as a function of wavelength and studied the composition and thermal structure of its atmosphere. We conclude that: (i) there is no evidence for strong optical absorbers at low pressure, supporting the common idea that the planet's atmosphere lacks a dayside inversion; (ii) the temperature of the planet is not homogenized, because the high warming of its dayside causes the planet to be more efficient in re-radiating than redistributing energy to the night side; (iii) the planet seems to be outside of any current classification scheme. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-precision photometry by telescope defocusing - V. WASP-15 and WASP-16
Southworth, John; Mancini, L.; Browne, P. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 434

We present new photometric observations of WASP-15 and WASP-16, two transiting extrasolar planetary systems with measured orbital obliquities but without photometric follow-up since their discovery papers ... [more ▼]

We present new photometric observations of WASP-15 and WASP-16, two transiting extrasolar planetary systems with measured orbital obliquities but without photometric follow-up since their discovery papers. Our new data for WASP-15 comprise observations of one transit simultaneously in four optical passbands using GROND on the MPG/European Southern Observatory (ESO) 2.2 m telescope, plus coverage of half a transit from DFOSC on the Danish 1.54 m telescope, both at ESO La Silla. For WASP-16 we present observations of four complete transits, all from the Danish telescope. We use these new data to refine the measured physical properties and orbital ephemerides of the two systems. Whilst our results are close to the originally determined values for WASP-15, we find that the star and planet in the WASP-16 system are both larger and less massive than previously thought. [less ▲]

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See detailA detailed census of variable stars in the globular cluster NGC 6333 (M9) from CCD differential photometry
Arellano Ferro, A.; Bramich, D. M.; Figuera Jaimes, R. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 434

We report CCD V and I time series photometry of the globular cluster NGC 6333 (M9). The technique of difference image analysis has been used, which enables photometric precision better than 0.05 mag for ... [more ▼]

We report CCD V and I time series photometry of the globular cluster NGC 6333 (M9). The technique of difference image analysis has been used, which enables photometric precision better than 0.05 mag for stars brighter than V ˜ 19.0 mag, even in the crowded central regions of the cluster. The high photometric precision has resulted in the discovery of two new RRc stars, three eclipsing binaries, seven long-term variables and one field RRab star behind the cluster. A detailed identification chart and equatorial coordinates are given for all the variable stars in the field of our images of the cluster. Our data together with the literature V-data obtained in 1994 and 1995 allowed us to refine considerably the periods for all RR Lyrae stars. The nature of the new variables is discussed. We argue that variable V12 is a cluster member and an Anomalous Cepheid. Secular period variations, double-mode pulsations and/or the Blazhko-like modulations in some RRc variables are addressed. Through the light-curve Fourier decomposition of 12 RR Lyrae stars we have calculated a mean metallicity of [Fe/H][SUB]ZW[/SUB] = -1.70 ± 0.01(statistical) ± 0.14(systematic) or [Fe/H]_{text{UVES}}=-1.67 ± 0.01(statistical) ± 0.19(systematic). Absolute magnitudes, radii and masses are also estimated for the RR Lyrae stars. A detailed search for SX Phe stars in the Blue Straggler region was conducted but none were discovered. If SX Phe exist in the cluster then their amplitudes must be smaller than the detection limit of our photometry. The colour-magnitude diagram has been corrected for heavy differential reddening using the detailed extinction map of the cluster of Alonso-García et al. This has allowed us to set the mean cluster distance from two independent estimates; from the RRab and RRc absolute magnitudes, we find 8.04 ± 0.19 and 7.88 ± 0.30 kpc, respectively. [less ▲]

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See detailEstimating the parameters of globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099) from time-series photometry
Kains, N.; Bramich, D. M.; Arellano Ferro, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 555

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of 26 nights of V and I time-series observations from 2011 and 2012 of the globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099). We used our data to search for variable stars in this ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of 26 nights of V and I time-series observations from 2011 and 2012 of the globular cluster M 30 (NGC 7099). We used our data to search for variable stars in this cluster and refine the periods of known variables; we then used our variable star light curves to derive values for the cluster's parameters. <BR /> Methods: We used difference image analysis to reduce our data to obtain high-precision light curves of variable stars. We then estimated the cluster parameters by performing a Fourier decomposition of the light curves of RR Lyrae stars for which a good period estimate was possible. We also derived an estimate for the age of the cluster by fitting theoretical isochrones to our colour-magnitude diagram (CMD). <BR /> Results: Out of 13 stars previously catalogued as variables, we find that only 4 are bona fide variables. We detect two new RR Lyrae variables, and confirm two additional RR Lyrae candidates from the literature. We also detect four other new variables, including an eclipsing blue straggler system, and an SX Phoenicis star. This amounts to a total number of confirmed variable stars in M 30 of 12. We perform Fourier decomposition of the light curves of the RR Lyrae stars to derive cluster parameters using empirical relations. We find a cluster metallicity [Fe/H][SUB]ZW[/SUB] = -2.01 ± 0.04, or [Fe/H][SUB]UVES[/SUB] = -2.11 ± 0.06, and a distance of 8.32 ± 0.20 kpc (using RR0 variables), 8.10 kpc (using one RR1 variable), and 8.35 ± 0.42 kpc (using our SX Phoenicis star detection in M 30). Fitting isochrones to the CMD, we estimate an age of 13.0 ± 1.0 Gyr for M 30. This work is based on data collected by MiNDSTEp with the Danish 1.54 m telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory.The full light curves, an extract of which is shown in Table 2 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/555/A36">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/555/A36</A>Tables 8-10, and Figs. 6 and 9 are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailWarm Spitzer Occultation Photometry of WASP-26b at 3.6{\mu}m and 4.5{\mu}m
Mahtani, D. P.; Maxted, P. F. L.; Anderson, D. R. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2013), 432(1), 693-701

We present new warm Spitzer occultation photometry of WASP-26 at 3.6{\mu}m and 4.5{\mu}m along with new transit photometry taken in the g,r and i bands. We report the first detection of the occultation of ... [more ▼]

We present new warm Spitzer occultation photometry of WASP-26 at 3.6{\mu}m and 4.5{\mu}m along with new transit photometry taken in the g,r and i bands. We report the first detection of the occultation of WASP-26b, with occultation depths at 3.6{\mu}m and 4.5{\mu}m of 0.00126 +/- 0.00013 and 0.00149 +/- 0.00016 corresponding to brightness temperatures of 1825+/-80K and 1725+/-89K, respectively. We find that the eccentricity of the orbit is consistent with a circular orbit at the 1{\sigma} level with a 3{\sigma} upper limit of e < 0.04. According to the activity-inversion relation of Knutson et al. (2010), WASP-26b is predicted to host a thermal inversion. The brightness temperatures deduced from the eclipse depths are consistent with an isothermal atmosphere, although it is within the uncertainties that the planet may host a weak thermal inversion. The data are equally well fit by atmospheric models with or without a thermal inversion. We find that variation in activity of solar-like stars does not change enough over the time-scales of months or years to change the interpretation of the Knutson et al. (2010) activity-inversion relation, provided that the measured activity level is averaged over several nights. Further data are required to fully constrain the thermal structure of the atmosphere because the planet lies very close to the boundary between atmospheres with and without a thermal inversion. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrolensing Discovery of a Population of Very Tight, Very Low Mass Binary Brown Dwarfs
Choi, J.-Y.; Han, C.; Udalski, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2013), 768

Although many models have been proposed, the physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of low-mass brown dwarfs (BDs) are poorly understood. The multiplicity properties and minimum mass of the BD ... [more ▼]

Although many models have been proposed, the physical mechanisms responsible for the formation of low-mass brown dwarfs (BDs) are poorly understood. The multiplicity properties and minimum mass of the BD mass function provide critical empirical diagnostics of these mechanisms. We present the discovery via gravitational microlensing of two very low mass, very tight binary systems. These binaries have directly and precisely measured total system masses of 0.025 M [SUB]⊙[/SUB] and 0.034 M [SUB]⊙[/SUB], and projected separations of 0.31 AU and 0.19 AU, making them the lowest-mass and tightest field BD binaries known. The discovery of a population of such binaries indicates that BD binaries can robustly form at least down to masses of ~0.02 M [SUB]⊙[/SUB]. Future microlensing surveys will measure a mass-selected sample of BD binary systems, which can then be directly compared to similar samples of stellar binaries. [less ▲]

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See detailEMCCD photometry reveals two new variable stars in the crowded central region of the globular cluster NGC 6981
Skottfelt, J.; Bramich, D. M.; Figuera Jaimes, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 553

Two previously unknown variable stars in the crowded central region of the globular cluster NGC 6981 are presented. The observations were made using the electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD) camera at the ... [more ▼]

Two previously unknown variable stars in the crowded central region of the globular cluster NGC 6981 are presented. The observations were made using the electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD) camera at the Danish 1.54 m Telescope at La Silla, Chile. The two variableswere not previously detected by conventional CCD imaging because of their proximity to a bright star. This discovery demonstrates that EMCCDs are a powerful tool for performing high-precision time-series photometry in crowded fields and near bright stars, especially when combined with difference image analysis. Based on data collected by MiNDSTEp with the Danish 1.54 m telescope. [less ▲]

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See detailA giant planet beyond the snow line in microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251
Kains, N.; Street, R. A.; Choi, J.-Y. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 552

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251. This anomalous event was observed by several survey and follow-up collaborations conducting microlensing ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present the analysis of the gravitational microlensing event OGLE-2011-BLG-0251. This anomalous event was observed by several survey and follow-up collaborations conducting microlensing observations towards the Galactic bulge. <BR /> Methods: Based on detailed modelling of the observed light curve, we find that the lens is composed of two masses with a mass ratio q = 1.9 × 10[SUP]-3[/SUP]. Thanks to our detection of higher-order effects on the light curve due to the Earth's orbital motion and the finite size of source, we are able to measure the mass and distance to the lens unambiguously. <BR /> Results: We find that the lens is made up of a planet of mass 0.53 ± 0.21 M[SUB]J[/SUB] orbiting an M dwarf host star with a mass of 0.26 ± 0.11 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]. The planetary system is located at a distance of 2.57 ± 0.61 kpc towards the Galactic centre. The projected separation of the planet from its host star is d = 1.408 ± 0.019, in units of the Einstein radius, which corresponds to 2.72 ± 0.75 AU in physical units. We also identified a competitive model with similar planet and host star masses, but with a smaller orbital radius of 1.50 ± 0.50 AU. The planet is therefore located beyond the snow line of its host star, which we estimate to be around ~1-1.5 AU. [less ▲]

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See detailThe transiting system GJ1214: high-precision defocused transit observations and a search for evidence of transit timing variation
Harpsøe, K. B. W.; Hardis, S.; Hinse, T. C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 549

<BR /> Aims: We present 11 high-precision photometric transitobservations of the transiting super-Earth planet GJ 1214 b. Combining these data with observations from other authors, we investigate the ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: We present 11 high-precision photometric transitobservations of the transiting super-Earth planet GJ 1214 b. Combining these data with observations from other authors, we investigate the ephemeris for possible signs of transit timing variations (TTVs) using a Bayesian approach. <BR /> Methods: The observations were obtained using telescope-defocusing techniques, and achieve a high precision with random errors in the photometry as low as 1 mmag per point. To investigate the possibility of TTVs in the light curve, we calculate the overall probability of a TTV signal using Bayesian methods. <BR /> Results: The observations are used to determine the photometric parameters and the physical properties of the GJ 1214 system. Our results are in good agreement with published values. Individual times of mid-transit are measured with uncertainties as low as 10 s, allowing us to reduce the uncertainty in the orbital period by a factor of two. <BR /> Conclusions: A Bayesian analysis reveals that it is highly improbable that the observed transit times is explained by TTV caused by a planet in the nominal habitable zone, when compared with the simpler alternative of a linear ephemeris. By the MiNDSTEp collaboration from the Danish 1.54 m telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory.Photometric data used in the light curves are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/549/A10 [less ▲]

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See detailMicrolensing Binaries with Candidate Brown Dwarf Companions
Shin, I.-G.; Han, C.; Gould, A. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2012), 760

Brown dwarfs are important objects because they may provide a missing link between stars and planets, two populations that have dramatically different formation histories. In this paper, we present the ... [more ▼]

Brown dwarfs are important objects because they may provide a missing link between stars and planets, two populations that have dramatically different formation histories. In this paper, we present the candidate binaries with brown dwarf companions that are found by analyzing binary microlensing events discovered during the 2004-2011 observation seasons. Based on the low mass ratio criterion of q < 0.2, we found seven candidate events: OGLE-2004-BLG-035, OGLE-2004-BLG-039, OGLE-2007-BLG-006, OGLE-2007-BLG-399/MOA-2007-BLG-334, MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172, MOA-2011-BLG-149, and MOA-201-BLG-278/OGLE-2011-BLG-012N. Among them, we are able to confirm that the companions of the lenses of MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149 are brown dwarfs by determining the mass of the lens based on the simultaneous measurement of the Einstein radius and the lens parallax. The measured masses of the brown dwarf companions are 0.02 ± 0.01 M [SUB]&sun;[/SUB] and 0.019 ± 0.002 M [SUB]&sun;[/SUB] for MOA-2011-BLG-104/OGLE-2011-BLG-0172 and MOA-2011-BLG-149, respectively, and both companions are orbiting low-mass M dwarf host stars. More microlensing brown dwarfs are expected to be detected as the number of lensing events with well-covered light curves increases with new-generation searches. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-precision photometry by telescope defocusing - IV. Confirmation of the huge radius of WASP-17 b
Southworth, John; Hinse, T. C.; Dominik, M. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2012), 426

We present photometric observations of four transits in the WASP-17 planetary system, obtained using telescope defocusing techniques and with scatters reaching 0.5 mmag per point. Our revised orbital ... [more ▼]

We present photometric observations of four transits in the WASP-17 planetary system, obtained using telescope defocusing techniques and with scatters reaching 0.5 mmag per point. Our revised orbital period is 4.0 ± 0.6 s longer than previous measurements, a difference of 6.6σ, and does not support the published detections of orbital eccentricity in this system. We model the light curves using the JKTEBOP code and calculate the physical properties of the system by recourse to five sets of theoretical stellar model predictions. The resulting planetary radius, R[SUB]b[/SUB] = 1.932 ± 0.052 ± 0.010 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] (statistical and systematic errors, respectively), provides confirmation that WASP-17 b is the largest planet currently known. All 14 planets with radii measured to be greater than 1.6 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] are found around comparatively hot (T[SUB]eff[/SUB] > 5900 K) and massive (M[SUB]A[/SUB] > 1.15 M[SUB]&sun;[/SUB]) stars. Chromospheric activity indicators are available for eight of these stars, and all imply a low activity level. The planets have small or zero orbital eccentricities, so tidal effects struggle to explain their large radii. The observed dearth of large planets around small stars may be natural but could also be due to observational biases against deep transits, if these are mistakenly labelled as false positives and so not followed up. Based on data collected by MiNDSTEp with the Danish 1.54-m telescope at the ESO La Silla Observatory.Royal Society University Research Fellow. [less ▲]

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See detailA New Type of Ambiguity in the Planet and Binary Interpretations of Central Perturbations of High-magnification Gravitational Microlensing Events
Choi, J.-Y.; Shin, I.-G.; Han, C. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2012), 756

High-magnification microlensing events provide an important channel to detect planets. Perturbations near the peak of a high-magnification event can be produced either by a planet or a binary companion ... [more ▼]

High-magnification microlensing events provide an important channel to detect planets. Perturbations near the peak of a high-magnification event can be produced either by a planet or a binary companion. It is known that central perturbations induced by both types of companions can be generally distinguished due to the essentially different magnification pattern around caustics. In this paper, we present a case of central perturbations for which it is difficult to distinguish the planetary and binary interpretations. The peak of a lensing light curve affected by this perturbation appears to be blunt and flat. For a planetary case, this perturbation occurs when the source trajectory passes the negative perturbation region behind the back end of an arrowhead-shaped central caustic. For a binary case, a similar perturbation occurs for a source trajectory passing through the negative perturbation region between two cusps of an astroid-shaped caustic. We demonstrate the degeneracy for two high-magnification events of OGLE-2011-BLG-0526 and OGLE-2011-BLG-0950/MOA-2011-BLG-336. For OGLE-2011-BLG-0526, the χ[SUP]2[/SUP] difference between the planetary and binary model is ~3, implying that the degeneracy is very severe. For OGLE-2011-BLG-0950/MOA-2011-BLG-336, the stellar binary model is formally excluded with Δχ[SUP]2[/SUP] ~ 105 and the planetary model is preferred. However, it is difficult to claim a planet discovery because systematic residuals of data from the planetary model are larger than the difference between the planetary and binary models. Considering that two events observed during a single season suffer from such a degeneracy, it is expected that central perturbations experiencing this type of degeneracy is common. [less ▲]

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