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See detailVolume uncertainty of (7) Iris shape models from disk-resolved images.
Dudziński, G.; Podlewska-Gaca, E.; Bartczak, P. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2020)

High angular resolution disk-resolved images of (7) Iris collected by VLT/SPHERE instrument allowed for the detailed shape modelling of this large asteroid revealing its surface features. If (7) Iris did ... [more ▼]

High angular resolution disk-resolved images of (7) Iris collected by VLT/SPHERE instrument allowed for the detailed shape modelling of this large asteroid revealing its surface features. If (7) Iris did not suffer any events catastrophic enough to disrupt the body (which is very likely) by studying its topography we might get insights into the early Solar System's collisional history. When it comes to internal structure and composition, thoroughly assessing the volume and density uncertainties is necessary. In this work we propose a method of uncertainty calculation of asteroid shape models based on lightcurve and Adaptive Optics images. We apply this method on four models of (7) Iris produced from independent SAGE and ADAM inversion techniques and photoclinometry (MPCD). Obtained diameter uncertainties stem from both the observations from which the models were scaled and the models themselves. We show that despite the availability of high resolution AO images, the volume and density of (7) Iris have substantial error bars that were underestimated in the previous studies. [less ▲]

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See detailUnveiling the β Pictoris system, coupling high contrast imaging, interferometric, and radial velocity data
Lagrange, A. M.; Rubini, P.; Nowak, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 642

Context. The nearby and young β Pictoris system hosts a well resolved disk, a directly imaged massive giant planet orbiting at ≃9 au, as well as an inner planet orbiting at ≃2.7 au, which was recently ... [more ▼]

Context. The nearby and young β Pictoris system hosts a well resolved disk, a directly imaged massive giant planet orbiting at ≃9 au, as well as an inner planet orbiting at ≃2.7 au, which was recently detected through radial velocity (RV). As such, it offers several unique opportunities for detailed studies of planetary system formation and early evolution. <BR /> Aims: We aim to further constrain the orbital and physical properties of β Pictoris b and c using a combination of high contrast imaging, long base-line interferometry, and RV data. We also predict the closest approaches or the transit times of both planets, and we constrain the presence of additional planets in the system. <BR /> Methods: We obtained six additional epochs of SPHERE data, six additional epochs of GRAVITY data, and five additional epochs of RV data. We combined these various types of data in a single Markov-chain Monte Carlo analysis to constrain the orbital parameters and masses of the two planets simultaneously. The analysis takes into account the gravitational influence of both planets on the star and hence their relative astrometry. Secondly, we used the RV and high contrast imaging data to derive the probabilities of presence of additional planets throughout the disk, and we tested the impact of absolute astrometry. <BR /> Results: The orbital properties of both planets are constrained with a semi-major axis of 9.8 ± 0.4 au and 2.7 ± 0.02 au for b and c, respectively, and eccentricities of 0.09 ± 0.1 and 0.27 ± 0.07, assuming the HIPPARCOS distance. We note that despite these low fitting error bars, the eccentricity of β Pictoris c might still be over-estimated. If no prior is provided on the mass of β Pictoris b, we obtain a very low value that is inconsistent with what is derived from brightness-mass models. When we set an evolutionary model motivated prior to the mass of β Pictoris b, we find a solution in the 10-11 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] range. Conversely, β Pictoris c's mass is well constrained, at 7.8 ± 0.4 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], assuming both planets are on coplanar orbits. These values depend on the assumptions on the distance of the β Pictoris system. The absolute astrometry HIPPARCOS-Gaia data are consistent with the solutions presented here at the 2σ level, but these solutions are fully driven by the relative astrometry plus RV data. Finally, we derive unprecedented limits on the presence of additional planets in the disk. We can now exclude the presence of planets that are more massive than about 2.5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] closer than 3 au, and more massive than 3.5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] between 3 and 7.5 au. Beyond 7.5 au, we exclude the presence of planets that are more massive than 1-2 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]. <BR /> Conclusions: Combining relative astrometry and RVs allows one to precisely constrain the orbital parameters of both planets and to give lower limits to potential additional planets throughout the disk. The mass of β Pictoris c is also well constrained, while additional RV data with appropriate observing strategies are required to properly constrain the mass of β Pictoris b. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect confirmation of the radial-velocity planet β Pictoris c
Nowak, M.; Lacour, S.; Lagrange, A.-M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 642

Context. Methods used to detect giant exoplanets can be broadly divided into two categories: indirect and direct. Indirect methods are more sensitive to planets with a small orbital period, whereas direct ... [more ▼]

Context. Methods used to detect giant exoplanets can be broadly divided into two categories: indirect and direct. Indirect methods are more sensitive to planets with a small orbital period, whereas direct detection is more sensitive to planets orbiting at a large distance from their host star. This dichotomy makes it difficult to combine the two techniques on a single target at once. <BR /> Aims: Simultaneous measurements made by direct and indirect techniques offer the possibility of determining the mass and luminosity of planets and a method of testing formation models. Here, we aim to show how long-baseline interferometric observations guided by radial-velocity can be used in such a way. <BR /> Methods: We observed the recently-discovered giant planet β Pictoris c with GRAVITY, mounted on the Very Large Telescope Interferometer. <BR /> Results: This study constitutes the first direct confirmation of a planet discovered through radial velocity. We find that the planet has a temperature of T = 1250 ± 50 K and a dynamical mass of M = 8.2 ± 0.8 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]. At 18.5 ± 2.5 Myr, this puts β Pic c close to a `hot start' track, which is usually associated with formation via disk instability. Conversely, the planet orbits at a distance of 2.7 au, which is too close for disk instability to occur. The low apparent magnitude (M[SUB]K[/SUB] = 14.3 ± 0.1) favours a core accretion scenario. <BR /> Conclusions: We suggest that this apparent contradiction is a sign of hot core accretion, for example, due to the mass of the planetary core or the existence of a high-temperature accretion shock during formation. [less ▲]

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See detailThe search for disks or planetary objects around directly imaged companions: a candidate around DH Tauri B
Lazzoni, C.; Zurlo, A.; Desidera, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 641

Context. In recent decades, thousands of substellar companions have been discovered with both indirect and direct methods of detection. While the majority of the sample is populated by objects discovered ... [more ▼]

Context. In recent decades, thousands of substellar companions have been discovered with both indirect and direct methods of detection. While the majority of the sample is populated by objects discovered using radial velocity and transit techniques, an increasing number have been directly imaged. These planets and brown dwarfs are extraordinary sources of information that help in rounding out our understanding of planetary systems. <BR /> Aims: In this paper, we focus our attention on substellar companions detected with the latter technique, with the primary goal of investigating their close surroundings and looking for additional companions and satellites, as well as disks and rings. Any such discovery would shed light on many unresolved questions, particularly with regard to their possible formation mechanisms. <BR /> Methods: To reveal bound features of directly imaged companions, whether for point-like or extended sources, we need to suppress the contribution from the source itself. Therefore, we developed a method based on the negative fake companion technique that first estimates the position in the field of view (FoV) and the flux of the imaged companion with high precision, then subtracts a rescaled model point spread function (PSF) from the imaged companion, using either an image of the central star or another PSF in the FoV. Next it performs techniques, such as angular differential imaging, to further remove quasi-static patterns of the star (i.e., speckle contaminants) that affect the residuals of close-in companions. <BR /> Results: After testing our tools on simulated companions and disks and on systems that were chosen ad hoc, we applied the method to the sample of substellar objects observed with SPHERE during the SHINE GTO survey. Among the 27 planets and brown dwarfs we analyzed, most objects did not show remarkable features, which was as expected, with the possible exception of a point source close to DH Tau B. This candidate companion was detected in four different SPHERE observations, with an estimated mass of ~1M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], and a mass ratio with respect to the brown dwarf of 1/10. This binary system, if confirmed, would be the first of its kind, opening up interesting questions for the formation mechanism, evolution, and frequency of such pairs. In order to address the latter, the residuals and contrasts reached for 25 companions in the sample of substellar objects observed with SPHERE were derived. If the DH Tau Bb companion is real, the binary fraction obtained is ~7%, which is in good agreement with the results obtained for field brown dwarfs. <BR /> Conclusions: While there may currently be many limitations affecting the exploration of bound features to directly imaged exoplanets and brown dwarfs, next-generation instruments from the ground and space (i.e., JWST, ELT, and LUVOIR) will be able to image fainter objects and, thus, drive the application of this technique in upcoming searches for exo-moons and circumplanetary disks. <P />Based on observations collected at Paranal Observatory, ESO (Chile) Program ID: 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, 097.C-0865, 198.C-0209, and 0104.C-0327(A) and on observations collected at LBT Observatory. [less ▲]

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See detailBinary asteroid (31) Euphrosyne: ice-rich and nearly spherical★
Yang, Bin ULiege; Hanuš, J.; Carry, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 641

<BR /> Aims: Asteroid (31) Euphrosyne is one of the biggest objects in the asteroid main belt and it is also the largest member of its namesake family. The Euphrosyne family occupies a highly inclined ... [more ▼]

<BR /> Aims: Asteroid (31) Euphrosyne is one of the biggest objects in the asteroid main belt and it is also the largest member of its namesake family. The Euphrosyne family occupies a highly inclined region in the outer main belt and contains a remarkably large number of members, which is interpreted as an outcome of a disruptive cratering event. <BR /> Methods: The goals of this adaptive-optics imaging study are threefold: to characterize the shape of Euphrosyne, to constrain its density, and to search for the large craters that may be associated with the family formation event. <BR /> Results: We obtained disk-resolved images of Euphrosyne using SPHERE/ZIMPOL at the ESO 8.2 m VLT as part of our large program (ID: 199.C-0074, PI: Vernazza). We reconstructed its 3D shape via the ADAM shape modeling algorithm based on the SPHERE images and the available light curves of this asteroid. We analyzed the dynamics of the satellite with the Genoid meta-heuristic algorithm. Finally, we studied the shape of Euphrosyne using hydrostatic equilibrium models. <BR /> Conclusions: Our SPHERE observations show that Euphrosyne has a nearly spherical shape with the sphericity index of 0.9888 and its surface lacks large impact craters. Euphrosyne's diameter is 268 ± 6 km, making it one of the top ten largest main belt asteroids. We detected a satellite of Euphrosyne - S/2019 (31) 1 - that is about 4 km across, on a circular orbit. The mass determined from the orbit of the satellite together with the volume computed from the shape model imply a density of 1665 ± 242 kg m[SUP]-3[/SUP], suggesting that Euphrosyne probably contains a large fraction of water ice in its interior. We find that the spherical shape of Euphrosyne is a result of the reaccumulation process following the impact, as in the case of (10) Hygiea. However, our shape analysis reveals that, contrary to Hygiea, the axis ratios of Euphrosyne significantly differ from those suggested by fluid hydrostatic equilibrium following reaccumulation. <P />The reduced images 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/cat/J/A+A/641/A80">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/cat/J/A+A/641/A80</A> <P />Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under program 199.C-0074 (PI Vernazza). [less ▲]

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See detailRetrieving scattering clouds and disequilibrium chemistry in the atmosphere of HR 8799e
Mollière, P.; Stolker, T.; Lacour, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 640

Context. Clouds are ubiquitous in exoplanet atmospheres and they represent a challenge for the model interpretation of their spectra. When generating a large number of model spectra, complex cloud models ... [more ▼]

Context. Clouds are ubiquitous in exoplanet atmospheres and they represent a challenge for the model interpretation of their spectra. When generating a large number of model spectra, complex cloud models often prove too costly numerically, whereas more efficient models may be overly simplified. <BR /> Aims: We aim to constrain the atmospheric properties of the directly imaged planet HR 8799e with a free retrieval approach. <BR /> Methods: We used our radiative transfer code petitRADTRANS for generating the spectra, which we coupled to the PyMultiNest tool. We added the effect of multiple scattering which is important for treating clouds. Two cloud model parameterizations are tested: the first incorporates the mixing and settling of condensates, the second simply parameterizes the functional form of the opacity. <BR /> Results: In mock retrievals, using an inadequate cloud model may result in atmospheres that are more isothermal and less cloudy than the input. Applying our framework on observations of HR 8799e made with the GPI, SPHERE, and GRAVITY, we find a cloudy atmosphere governed by disequilibrium chemistry, confirming previous analyses. We retrieve that C/O = 0.60[SUB]-0.08[/SUB][SUP]+0.07[/SUP]. Other models have not yet produced a well constrained C/O value for this planet. The retrieved C/O values of both cloud models are consistent, while leading to different atmospheric structures: either cloudy or more isothermal and less cloudy. Fitting the observations with the self-consistent Exo-REM model leads to comparable results, without constraining C/O. <BR /> Conclusions: With data from the most sensitive instruments, retrieval analyses of directly imaged planets are possible. The inferred C/O ratio of HR 8799e is independent of the cloud model and thus appears to be a robust. This C/O is consistent with stellar, which could indicate that the HR 8799e formed outside the CO[SUB]2[/SUB] or CO iceline. As it is the innermost planet of the system, this constraint could apply to all HR 8799 planets. [less ▲]

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See detailK-Stacker: an algorithm to hack the orbital parameters of planets hidden in high-contrast imaging. First applications to VLT/SPHERE multi-epoch observations
Le Coroller, H.; Nowak, M.; Delorme, P. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 639

Context. Recent high-contrast imaging surveys, using the Spectro- Polarimetic High contrast imager for Exoplanets REsearch (SPHERE) or the Gemini Planet Imager in search of planets in young, nearby ... [more ▼]

Context. Recent high-contrast imaging surveys, using the Spectro- Polarimetic High contrast imager for Exoplanets REsearch (SPHERE) or the Gemini Planet Imager in search of planets in young, nearby systems, have shown evidence of a small number of giant planets at relatively large separation beyond 10-30 au, where those surveys are the most sensitive. Access to smaller physical separations between 5 and 30 au is the next step for future planet imagers on 10 m telescopes and the next generation of extremely large telescopes in order to bridge the gap with indirect techniques such as radial velocity, transit, and soon astrometry with Gaia. In addition to new technologies and instruments, the development of innovative observing strategies combined with optimized data processing tools is participating in the improvement of detection capabilities at very close angular separation. In that context, we recently proposed a new algorithm, Keplerian-Stacker, which combines multiple observations acquired at different epochs and takes into account the orbital motion of a potential planet present in the images to boost the ultimate detection limit. We showed that this algorithm is able to find planets in time series of simulated images of the SPHERE InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) even when a planet remains undetected at one epoch. <BR /> Aims: Our goal is to test and validate the K-Stacker algorithm performances on real SPHERE datasets to demonstrate the resilience of this algorithm to instrumental speckles and the gain offered in terms of true detection. This will motivate future dedicated multi-epoch observation campaigns of well- chosen, young, nearby systems and very nearby stars carefully selected to search for planets in emitted and reflected light, respectively, to open a new path concerning the observing strategy used with current and future planet imagers. <BR /> Methods: To test K-Stacker, we injected fake planets and scanned the low signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) regime in a series of raw observations obtained by the SPHERE/IRDIS instrument in the course of the SPHERE High-contrast ImagiNg survey for Exoplanets. We also considered the cases of two specific targets intensively monitored during this campaign: β Pictoris and HD 95086. For each target and epoch, the data were reduced using standard angular differential imaging processing techniques and then recombined with K-Stacker to recover the fake planetary signals. In addition, the known exoplanets β Pictoris b and HD 95086 b previously identified at lower S/N in single epochs have also been recovered by K-Stacker. <BR /> Results: We show that K-Stacker achieves a high success rate of ≈100% when the S/N of the planet in the stacked image reaches ≈9. The improvement of the S/N is given as the square root of the total exposure time contained in the data being combined. At S/N < 6-7, the number of false positives is high near the coronagraphic mask, but a chromatic study or astrophysical criteria can help to disentangle between a bright speckle and a true detection. During the blind test and the redetection of HD 95086 b, and β Pic b, we highlightthe ability of K-Stacker to find orbital solutions consistent with those derived by the current Markov chain Monte Carlo orbital fitting techniques. This confirms that in addition to the detection gain, K-Stacker offers the opportunity to characterize the most probable orbital solutions of the exoplanets recovered at low S/N. <P />Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory under programs: 095.C-0298, 096.C-0241, 097.C-0865, 198.C-0209, 099.C-0127. [less ▲]

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See detailOngoing flyby in the young multiple system UX Tauri
Ménard, F.; Cuello, N.; Ginski, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 639

We present observations of the young multiple system UX Tauri to look for circumstellar disks and for signs of dynamical interactions. We obtained SPHERE/IRDIS deep differential polarization images in the ... [more ▼]

We present observations of the young multiple system UX Tauri to look for circumstellar disks and for signs of dynamical interactions. We obtained SPHERE/IRDIS deep differential polarization images in the J and H bands. We also used ALMA archival CO data. Large extended spirals are well detected in scattered light coming out of the disk of UX Tau A. The southern spiral forms a bridge between UX Tau A and C. These spirals, including the bridge connecting the two stars, all have a CO (3-2) counterpart seen by ALMA. The disk of UX Tau C is detected in scattered light. It is much smaller than the disk of UX Tau A and has a major axis along a different position angle, suggesting a misalignment. We performed PHANTOM SPH hydrodynamical models to interpret the data. The scattered light spirals, CO emission spirals and velocity patterns of the rotating disks, and the compactness of the disk of UX Tau C all point to a scenario in which UX Tau A has been perturbed very recently (∼1000 years) by the close passage of UX Tau C. <P />Movies associated to Fig. 3 are available at <A href="https://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6 361/202038356/olm">http://https://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailOrbital and spectral characterization of the benchmark T-type brown dwarf HD 19467B
Maire, Anne-Lise ULiege; Molaverdikhani, K.; Desidera, S. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 639

Context. Detecting and characterizing substellar companions for which the luminosity, mass, and age can be determined independently is of utter importance to test and calibrate the evolutionary models due ... [more ▼]

Context. Detecting and characterizing substellar companions for which the luminosity, mass, and age can be determined independently is of utter importance to test and calibrate the evolutionary models due to uncertainties in their formation mechanisms. HD 19467 is a bright and nearby star hosting a cool brown dwarf companion detected with radial velocities and imaging, making it a valuable object for such studies. <BR /> Aims: We aim to further characterize the orbital, spectral, and physical properties of the HD 19467 system. <BR /> Methods: We present new high-contrast imaging data with the SPHERE and NaCo instruments. We also analyze archival data from the instruments HARPS, NaCo, HIRES, UVES, and ASAS. Furthermore, we use proper motion data of the star from HIPPARCOS and Gaia. <BR /> Results: We refined the properties of the host star and derived an age of 8.0[SUP]+2.0[/SUP][SUB]-1.0[/SUB] Gyr based on isochrones, gyrochronology, and chemical and kinematic arguments. This age estimate is slightly younger than previous age estimates of ~9-11 Gyr based on isochrones. No orbital curvature is seen in the current imaging, radial velocity, and astrometric data. From a joint fit of the data, we refined the orbital parameters for HD 19467B, including: a period of 398[SUP]+95[/SUP][SUB]-93[/SUB] yr, an inclination of 129.8[SUP]+8.1[/SUP][SUB]-5.1[/SUB] deg, an eccentricity of 0.56 ± 0.09, a longitude of the ascending node of 134.8 ± 4.5 deg, and an argument of the periastron of 64.2[SUP]+5.5[/SUP][SUB]-6.3[/SUB] deg. We assess a dynamical mass of 74[SUP]+12[/SUP][SUB]-9[/SUB] M[SUB]J[/SUB]. The fit with atmospheric models of the spectrophotometric data of the companion indicates an atmosphere without clouds or with very thin clouds, an effective temperature of 1042[SUP]+77[/SUP][SUB]-71[/SUB] K, and a high surface gravity of 5.34[SUP]+0.8[/SUP][SUB]-0.9[/SUB] dex. The comparison to model predictions of the bolometric luminosity and dynamical mass of HD 19467B, assuming our system age estimate, indicates a better agreement with the Burrows et al. (1997, ApJ, 491, 856) models; whereas, the other evolutionary models used tend to underestimate its cooling rate. <P />The reduced images shown in Fig. 3 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/cat/J/A+A/639/A47">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/cat/J/A+A/639/A47</A> <P />Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programmes 1100.C-0481, 0100.C-0234, 096.C-0602, 072.C-0488, 183.C-0972, 084.D-0965, 188.C-0265, 192.C-0852, and 0100.D-0444. [less ▲]

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See detailSearching for the near-infrared counterpart of Proxima c using multi-epoch high-contrast SPHERE data at VLT★
Gratton, R.; Zurlo, A.; Le Coroller, H. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 638

Context. Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Sun and it is known to host an Earth-like planet in its habitable zone; very recently a second candidate planet was proposed based on radial velocities ... [more ▼]

Context. Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Sun and it is known to host an Earth-like planet in its habitable zone; very recently a second candidate planet was proposed based on radial velocities. At quadrature, the expected projected separation of this new candidate is larger than 1 arcsec, making it a potentially interesting target for direct imaging. <BR /> Aims: While identification of the optical counterpart of this planet is expected to be very difficult, successful identification would allow for a detailed characterization of the closest planetary system. <BR /> Methods: We searched for a counterpart in SPHERE images acquired over four years through the SHINE survey. In order to account for the expected large orbital motion of the planet, we used a method that assumes the circular orbit obtained from radial velocities and exploits the sequence of observations acquired close to quadrature in the orbit. We checked this with a more general approach that considers Keplerian motion, called K-stacker. <BR /> Results: We did not obtain a clear detection. The best candidate has signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) = 6.1 in the combined image. A statistical test suggests that the probability that this detection is due to random fluctuation of noise is <1%, but this result depends on the assumption that the distribution of noise is uniform over the image, a fact that is likely not true. The position of this candidate and the orientation of its orbital plane fit well with observations in the ALMA 12 m array image. However, the astrometric signal expected from the orbit of the candidate we detected is 3σ away from the astrometric motion of Proxima as measured from early Gaia data. This, together with the unexpectedly high flux associated with our direct imaging detection, means we cannot confirm that our candidate is indeed Proxima c. <BR /> Conclusions: On the other hand, if confirmed, this would be the first observation in imaging of a planet discovered from radial velocities and the second planet (after Fomalhaut b) of reflecting circumplanetary material. Further confirmation observations should be done as soon as possible. <P />The reduced images 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/cat/J/A+A/638/A120">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/cat/J/A+A/638/A120</A> <P />Based on data collected at the European Southern Observatory, Chile (ESO Programs 095.D-0309, 096.C-0241, 096.D-0252, 097.C-0865, 198.C-D0209, 099.D-0098, 099.C-0127. [less ▲]

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See detailAsteroid (16) Psyche's primordial shape: A possible Jacobi ellipsoid
Ferrais, Marin ULiege; Vernazza, P.; Jorda, L. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 638

Context. Asteroid (16) Psyche is the largest M-type asteroid in the main belt and the target of the NASA Psyche mission. It is also the only asteroid of this size (D > 200 km) known to be metal rich ... [more ▼]

Context. Asteroid (16) Psyche is the largest M-type asteroid in the main belt and the target of the NASA Psyche mission. It is also the only asteroid of this size (D > 200 km) known to be metal rich. Although various hypotheses have been proposed to explain the rather unique physical properties of this asteroid, a perfect understanding of its formation and bulk composition is still missing. <BR /> Aims: We aim to refine the shape and bulk density of (16) Psyche and to perform a thorough analysis of its shape to better constrain possible formation scenarios and the structure of its interior. <BR /> Methods: We obtained disk-resolved VLT/SPHERE/ZIMPOL images acquired within our ESO large program (ID 199.C-0074), which complement similar data obtained in 2018. Both data sets offer a complete coverage of Psyche's surface. These images were used to reconstruct the three-dimensional (3D) shape of Psyche with two independent shape modeling algorithms (MPCD and ADAM). A shape analysis was subsequently performed, including a comparison with equilibrium figures and the identification of mass deficit regions. <BR /> Results: Our 3D shape along with existing mass estimates imply a density of 4.20 ± 0.60 g cm[SUP]-3[/SUP], which is so far the highest for a solar system object following the four telluric planets. Furthermore, the shape of Psyche presents small deviations from an ellipsoid, that is, prominently three large depressions along its equator. The flatness and density of Psyche are compatible with a formation at hydrostatic equilibrium as a Jacobi ellipsoid with a shorter rotation period of ∼3h. Later impacts may have slowed down Psyche's rotation, which is currently ∼4.2 h, while also creating the imaged depressions. <BR /> Conclusions: Our results open the possibility that Psyche acquired its primordial shape either after a giant impact while its interior was already frozen or while its interior was still molten owing to the decay of the short-lived radionuclide [SUP]26[/SUP]Al. <P />The reduced images 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/cat/J/A+A/638/L15">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/cat/J/A+A/638/L15</A> <P />Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the Paranal Observatory under programme ID 199.C-0074 (PI: P. Vernazza). [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterizing brown dwarf companions with IRDIS long-slit spectroscopy: HD 1160 B and HD 19467 B
Mesa, D.; D'Orazi, V.; Vigan, A. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2020), 495

The determination of the fundamental properties (mass, separation, age, gravity, and atmospheric properties) of brown dwarf companions allows us to infer crucial informations on their formation and ... [more ▼]

The determination of the fundamental properties (mass, separation, age, gravity, and atmospheric properties) of brown dwarf companions allows us to infer crucial informations on their formation and evolution mechanisms. Spectroscopy of substellar companions is available to date only for a limited number of objects (and mostly at very low resolution, R < 50) because of technical limitations, I.e. contrast and angular resolution. We present medium resolution (R = 350), coronagraphic long-slit spectroscopic observations with SPHERE of two substellar companions, HD 1160 B and HD 19467 B. We found that HD 1160 B has a peculiar spectrum that cannot be fitted by spectra in current spectral libraries. A good fit is possible only considering separately the Y+J and the H spectral band. The spectral type is between M5 and M7. We also estimated a T[SUB]eff[/SUB] of 2800-2900 K and a log g of 3.5-4.0 dex. The low surface gravity seems to favour young age (10-20 Myr) and low mass (∼20 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] ) for this object. HD 19467 B is instead a fully evolved object with a T[SUB]eff[/SUB] of ∼1000 K and log g of ∼5.0 dex. Its spectral type is T6 ± 1. [less ▲]

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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 detail(704) Interamnia: a transitional object between a dwarf planet and a typical irregular-shaped minor body
Hanuš, Josef; Vernazza, Pierre; Viikinkoski, Matti et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2020), 633(A65), 17

Context. With an estimated diameter in the 320-350 km range, (704) Interamnia is the fifth largest main belt asteroid and one of the few bodies that fills the gap in size between the four largest bodies ... [more ▼]

Context. With an estimated diameter in the 320-350 km range, (704) Interamnia is the fifth largest main belt asteroid and one of the few bodies that fills the gap in size between the four largest bodies with D > 400 km (Ceres, Vesta, Pallas and Hygiea) and the numerous smaller bodies with diameter ≤200 km. However, despite its large size, little is known about the shape and spin state of Interamnia and, therefore, about its bulk composition and past collisional evolution. <BR /> Aims: We aimed to test at what size and mass the shape of a small body departs from a nearly ellipsoidal equilibrium shape (as observed in the case of the four largest asteroids) to an irregular shape as routinely observed in the case of smaller (D ≤ 200 km) bodies. <BR /> Methods: We observed Interamnia as part of our ESO VLT/SPHERE large program (ID: 199.C-0074) at thirteen different epochs. In addition, several new optical lightcurves were recorded. These data, along with stellar occultation data from the literature, were fed to the All-Data Asteroid Modeling algorithm to reconstruct the 3D-shape model of Interamnia and to determine its spin state. <BR /> Results: Interamnia's volume-equivalent diameter of 332 ± 6 km implies a bulk density of ρ = 1.98 ± 0.68 g cm[SUP]-3[/SUP], which suggests that Interamnia - like Ceres and Hygiea - contains a high fraction of water ice, consistent with the paucity of apparent craters. Our observations reveal a shape that can be well approximated by an ellipsoid, and that is compatible with a fluid hydrostatic equilibrium at the 2σ level. <BR /> Conclusions: The rather regular shape of Interamnia implies that the size and mass limit, under which the shapes of minor bodies with a high amount of water ice in the subsurface become irregular, has to be searched among smaller (D ≤ 300 km) less massive (m ≤ 3 × 10[SUP]19[/SUP] kg) bodies. <P />The reduced images 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/cat/J/A+A/633/A65">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/cat/J/A+A/633/A65</A> <P />Based on observations made with ESO Telescopes at the La Silla Paranal Observatory under program 199.C-0074 (PI: Vernazza). [less ▲]

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

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 632

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

Context. PDS 70 is a young (5.4 Myr), nearby ( 113 pc) star hosting a known transition disk with a large gap. Recent observations with SPHERE and NACO in the near-infrared (NIR) allowed us to detect a planetary mass companion, PDS 70 b, within the disk cavity. Moreover, observations in H[SUB]α[/SUB] with MagAO and MUSE revealed emission associated to PDS 70 b and to another new companion candidate, PDS 70 c, at a larger separation from the star. PDS 70 is the only multiple planetary system at its formation stage detected so far through direct imaging. <BR /> Aims: Our aim is to confirm the discovery of the second planet PDS 70 c using SPHERE at VLT, to further characterize its physical properties, and search for additional point sources in this young planetary system. <BR /> Methods: We re-analyzed archival SPHERE NIR observations and obtained new data in Y, J, H and K spectral bands for a total of four different epochs. The data were reduced using the data reduction and handling pipeline and the SPHERE data center. We then applied custom routines (e.g., ANDROMEDA and PACO) to subtract the starlight. <BR /> Results: We re-detect both PDS 70 b and c and confirm that PDS 70 c is gravitationally bound to the star. We estimate this second planet to be less massive than 5 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] and with a T[SUB]eff[/SUB] around 900 K. Also, it has a low gravity with logg between 3.0 and 3.5 dex. In addition, a third object has been identified at short separation ( 0.12'') from the star and gravitationally bound to the star. Its spectrum is however very blue, meaning that we are probably seeing stellar light reflected by dust and our analysis seems to demonstrate that it is a feature of the inner disk. We cannot however completely exclude the possibility that it is a planetary mass object enshrouded by a dust envelope. In this latter case, its mass should be of the order of a few tens of M[SUB]⊕[/SUB]. Moreover, we propose a possible structure for the planetary system based on our data, and find that this structure cannot be stable on a long timescale. <P />The reduced images are also available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/cat/J/A+A/632/A25">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz- bin/cat/J/A+A/632/A25</A> <P />Based on observation made with European Southern Observatory (ESO) telescopes at Paranal Observatory in Chile, under programs ID 095.C-0298(B), 1100.C-0481(D), 1100.C-0481(L) and 1100.C-0481(M). [less ▲]

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See detailRefPlanets: Search for reflected light from extra-solar planets with SPHERE/ZIMPOL
Hunziker, S.; Schmid, H. M.; Mouillet, D. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), in press

RefPlanets is a guaranteed time observation (GTO) programme that uses the Zurich IMaging POLarimeter (ZIMPOL) of SPHERE/VLT for a blind search for exoplanets in wavelengths from 600-900 nm. The goals of ... [more ▼]

RefPlanets is a guaranteed time observation (GTO) programme that uses the Zurich IMaging POLarimeter (ZIMPOL) of SPHERE/VLT for a blind search for exoplanets in wavelengths from 600-900 nm. The goals of this study are the characterization of the unprecedented high polarimetic contrast and polarimetric precision capabilities of ZIMPOL for bright targets, the search for polarized reflected light around some of the closest bright stars to the Sun and potentially the direct detection of an evolved cold exoplanet for the first time. For our observations of Alpha Cen A and B, Sirius A, Altair, Eps Eri and Tau Ceti we used the polarimetric differential imaging (PDI) mode of ZIMPOL which removes the speckle noise down to the photon noise limit for angular separations >0.6". We describe some of the instrumental effects that dominate the noise for smaller separations and explain how to remove these additional noise effects in post-processing. We then combine PDI with angular differential imaging (ADI) as a final layer of post-processing to further improve the contrast limits of our data at these separations. For good observing conditions we achieve polarimetric contrast limits of 15.0-16.3 mag at the effective inner working angle of about 0.13", 16.3-18.3 mag at 0.5" and 18.8-20.4 mag at 1.5". The contrast limits closer in (<0.6") depend significantly on the observing conditions, while in the photon noise dominated regime (>0.6"), the limits mainly depend on the brightness of the star and the total integration time. We compare our results with contrast limits from other surveys and review the exoplanet detection limits obtained with different detection methods. For all our targets we achieve unprecedented contrast limits. Despite the high polarimetric contrasts we are not able to find any additional companions or extended polarized light sources in the data that has been taken so far. [less ▲]

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See detailMapping of shadows cast on a protoplanetary disk by a close binary system
D'Orazi, V.; Gratton, R.; Desidera, S. et al

in Nature Astronomy (2019), 3

For a comprehensive understanding of planetary formation and evolution, we need to investigate the environment in which planets form: circumstellar disks. Here we present high-contrast imaging ... [more ▼]

For a comprehensive understanding of planetary formation and evolution, we need to investigate the environment in which planets form: circumstellar disks. Here we present high-contrast imaging observations of V4046 Sagittarii, a 20-Myr-old close binary known to host a circumbinary disk. We have discovered the presence of rotating shadows in the disk, caused by mutual occultations of the central binary. Shadow-like features are often observed in disks[SUP]1,2[/SUP], but those found thus far have not been due to eclipsing phenomena. We have used the phase difference due to light travel time to measure the flaring of the disk and the geometrical distance of the system. We calculate a distance that is in very good agreement with the value obtained from the Gaia mission's Data Release 2 (DR2), and flaring angles of α = (6.2 ± 0.6)° and α = (8.5 ± 1.0)° for the inner and outer disk rings, respectively. Our technique opens up a path to explore other binary systems, providing an independent estimate of distance and the flaring angle, a crucial parameter for disk modelling. [less ▲]

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See detailOrbital and spectral analysis of the benchmark brown dwarf HD 4747B
Peretti, S.; Ségransan, D.; Lavie, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2019), 631

Context. The study of high-contrast imaged brown dwarfs and exoplanets depends strongly on evolutionary models. To estimate the mass of a directly imaged substellar object, its extracted photometry or ... [more ▼]

Context. The study of high-contrast imaged brown dwarfs and exoplanets depends strongly on evolutionary models. To estimate the mass of a directly imaged substellar object, its extracted photometry or spectrum is used and adjusted with model spectra together with the estimated age of the system. These models still need to be properly tested and constrained. HD 4747B is a brown dwarf close to the H burning mass limit, orbiting a nearby (d = 19.25 ± 0.58 pc), solar-type star (G9V); it has been observed with the radial velocity method for over almost two decades. Its companion was also recently detected by direct imaging, allowing a complete study of this particular object. <BR /> Aims: We aim to fully characterize HD 4747B by combining a well-constrained dynamical mass and a study of its observed spectral features in order to test evolutionary models for substellar objects and to characterize its atmosphere. <BR /> Methods: We combined the radial velocity measurements of High Resolution Echelle Spectrometer (HIRES) and CORALIE taken over two decades and high-contrast imaging of several epochs from NACO, NIRC2, and SPHERE to obtain a dynamical mass. From the SPHERE data we obtained a low-resolution spectrum of the companion from Y to H band, and two narrow band-width photometric measurements in the K band. A study of the primary star also allowed us to constrain the age of the system and its distance. <BR /> Results: Thanks to the new SPHERE epoch and NACO archival data combined with previous imaging data and high- precision radial velocity measurements, we were able to derive a well- constrained orbit. The high eccentricity (e = 0.7362 ± 0.0025) of HD 4747B is confirmed, and the inclination and the semi-major axis are derived (i = 47.3 ± 1.6°, a = 10.01 ± 0.21 au). We derive a dynamical mass of m[SUB]B[/SUB] = 70.0 ± 1.6 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], which is higher than a previous study but in better agreement with the models. By comparing the object with known brown dwarfs spectra, we derive a spectral type of L9 and an effective temperature of 1350 ± 50 K. With a retrieval analysis we constrain the oxygen and carbon abundances and compare them with the values from the HR 8799 planets. <P />Based on observations made with the instrument SPHERE (Prog. ID 198.C-0209) and NaCo (Prog. ID 081.C-0917(A)) at the Paranal observatory and with the CORALIE echelle spectrograph mounted on the 1.2 m Swiss telescope at La Silla Observatory. [less ▲]

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See detailA basin-free spherical shape as an outcome of a giant impact on asteroid Hygiea
Vernazza, Pierre; Jorda, Laurent; Ševeček, P. et al

in Nature Astronomy (2019)

(10) Hygiea is the fourth largest main belt asteroid and the only known asteroid whose surface composition appears similar to that of the dwarf planet (1) Ceres[SUP]1,2[/SUP], suggesting a similar origin ... [more ▼]

(10) Hygiea is the fourth largest main belt asteroid and the only known asteroid whose surface composition appears similar to that of the dwarf planet (1) Ceres[SUP]1,2[/SUP], suggesting a similar origin for these two objects. Hygiea suffered a giant impact more than 2 Gyr ago[SUP]3[/SUP] that is at the origin of one of the largest asteroid families. However, Hygeia has never been observed with sufficiently high resolution to resolve the details of its surface or to constrain its size and shape. Here, we report high-angular-resolution imaging observations of Hygiea with the VLT/SPHERE instrument ( 20 mas at 600 nm) that reveal a basin-free nearly spherical shape with a volume- equivalent radius of 217 ± 7 km, implying a density of 1,944 ± 250 kg m[SUP]-[/SUP][SUP]3[/SUP] to 1σ. In addition, we have determined a new rotation period for Hygiea of 13.8 h, which is half the currently accepted value. Numerical simulations of the family-forming event show that Hygiea's spherical shape and family can be explained by a collision with a large projectile (diameter 75-150 km). By comparing Hygiea's sphericity with that of other Solar System objects, it appears that Hygiea is nearly as spherical as Ceres, opening up the possibility for this object to be reclassified as a dwarf planet. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Potential of Exozodiacal Disks Observations with the WFIRST Coronagraph Instrument
Mennesson, B.; Bailey, V.; Kasdin, J. et al

E-print/Working paper (2019)

The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) will be the first high-performance stellar coronagraph using active wavefront control for deep starlight suppression in space ... [more ▼]

The Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) Coronagraph Instrument (CGI) will be the first high-performance stellar coronagraph using active wavefront control for deep starlight suppression in space, providing unprecedented levels of contrast, spatial resolution, and sensitivity for astronomical observations in the optical. One science case enabled by the CGI will be taking images and(R~50)spectra of faint interplanetary dust structures present in the habitable zone of nearby sunlike stars (~10 pc) and within the snow-line of more distant ones(~20pc), down to dust density levels commensurate with that of the solar system zodiacal cloud. Reaching contrast levels below~10-7 for the first time, CGI will cross an important threshold in debris disks physics, accessing disks with low enough optical depths that their structure is dominated by transport phenomena than collisions. Hence, CGI results will be crucial for determining how exozodiacal dust grains are produced and transported in low-density disks around mature stars. Additionally, CGI will be able to measure the brightness level and constrain the degree of asymmetry of exozodiacal clouds around individual nearby sunlike stars in the optical, at the ~10x solar zodiacal emission level. This information will be extremely valuable for optimizing the observational strategy of possible future exo-Earth direct imaging missions, especially those planning to operate at optical wavelengths, such as Habitable Exoplanet Observatory (HabEx) and the Large Ultraviolet/Optical/Infrared Surveyor (LUVOIR). <P /> [less ▲]

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