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See detailVelocity monitoring of γ Cas stars reveals their binarity status
Nazé, Yaël ULiege; Rauw, Grégor ULiege; Czesla, Stefan et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2022), 510

The binary status of γ Cas stars has been discussed while theoretically examining the origin of their peculiar X-ray emission. However, except in two cases, no systematic radial velocity monitoring of ... [more ▼]

The binary status of γ Cas stars has been discussed while theoretically examining the origin of their peculiar X-ray emission. However, except in two cases, no systematic radial velocity monitoring of these stars had been undertaken yet to clarify their status. We now fill this gap using TIGRE, CARMENES, and UVES high-resolution spectroscopy. Velocities were determined for 16 stars, revealing shifts and/or changes in line profiles. The orbit of six new binaries could be determined: the long periods (80-120 d) and small velocity amplitudes (5-7 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]) suggest low mass companions (0.6-1 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]). The properties of the known γ Cas binaries appear similar to those of other Be systems, with no clear-cut separation between them. One of the new systems is a candidate for a rare case of quadruple system involving a Be star. Five additional γ Cas stars display velocity variations compatible with the presence of companions, but no orbital solution could yet be formally established for them hence they only receive the status of 'binary candidate'. [less ▲]

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See detailPROSE: a PYTHON framework for modular astronomical images processing
Garcia, Lionel ULiege; Timmermans, Mathilde ULiege; Pozuelos, Francisco J. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2022), 509

To reduce and analyse astronomical images, astronomers can rely on a wide range of libraries providing low-level implementations of legacy algorithms. However, combining these routines into robust and ... [more ▼]

To reduce and analyse astronomical images, astronomers can rely on a wide range of libraries providing low-level implementations of legacy algorithms. However, combining these routines into robust and functional pipelines requires a major effort that often ends up in instrument-specific and poorly maintainable tools, yielding products that suffer from a low level of reproducibility and portability. In this context, we present PROSE, a PYTHON framework to build modular and maintainable image processing pipelines. Built for astronomy, it is instrument-agnostic and allows the construction of pipelines using a wide range of building blocks, pre-implemented or user-defined. With this architecture, our package provides basic tools to deal with common tasks, such as automatic reduction and photometric extraction. To demonstrate its potential, we use its default photometric pipeline to process 26 TESS candidates follow-up observations and compare their products to the ones obtained with ASTROIMAGEJ, the reference software for such endeavours. We show that PROSE produces light curves with lower white and red noise while requiring less user interactions and offering richer functionalities for reporting. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysis of Early Science observations with the CHaracterising ExOPlanets Satellite (CHEOPS) using PYCHEOPS
Maxted, P. F. L.; Ehrenreich, D.; Wilson, T. G. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021)

CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is an ESA S-class mission that observes bright stars at high cadence from low-Earth orbit. The main aim of the mission is to characterize exoplanets that ... [more ▼]

CHEOPS (CHaracterising ExOPlanet Satellite) is an ESA S-class mission that observes bright stars at high cadence from low-Earth orbit. The main aim of the mission is to characterize exoplanets that transit nearby stars using ultrahigh precision photometry. Here we report the analysis of transits observed by CHEOPS during its Early Science observing programme for four well-known exoplanets: GJ 436 b, HD 106315 b, HD 97658 b and GJ 1132 b. The analysis is done using PYCHEOPS, an open-source software package we have developed to easily and efficiently analyse CHEOPS light curve data using state-of-the-art techniques that are fully described herein. We show that the precision of the transit parameters measured using CHEOPS is comparable to that from larger space telescopes such as Spitzer Space Telescope and Kepler. We use the updated planet parameters from our analysis to derive new constraints on the internal structure of these four exoplanets. [less ▲]

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See detailTransit Timings Variations in the three-planet system: TOI-270
Kaye, Laurel; Vissapragada, Shreyas; Günther, Maximilian N. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021)

We present ground and space-based photometric observations of TOI-270 (L231-32), a system of three transiting planets consisting of one super-Earth and two sub-Neptunes discovered by TESS around a bright ... [more ▼]

We present ground and space-based photometric observations of TOI-270 (L231-32), a system of three transiting planets consisting of one super-Earth and two sub-Neptunes discovered by TESS around a bright (K-mag=8.25) M3V dwarf. The planets orbit near low-order mean-motion resonances (5:3 and 2:1), and are thus expected to exhibit large transit timing variations (TTVs). Following an extensive observing campaign using 8 different observatories between 2018 and 2020, we now report a clear detection of TTVs for planets c and d, with amplitudes of ~10 minutes and a super-period of ~3 years, as well as significantly refined estimates of the radii and mean orbital periods of all three planets. Dynamical modeling of the TTVs alone puts strong constraints on the mass ratio of planets c and d and on their eccentricities. When incorporating recently published constraints from radial velocity observations, we obtain masses of $M_{\mathrm{b}}=1.48\pm 0.18\, M_{\oplus}$, $M_{\mathrm{c}}=6.20\pm 0.31\, M_{\oplus}$ and $M_{\mathrm{d}}=4.20\pm 0.16\, M_{\oplus}$ for planets b, c and d, respectively. We also detect small, but significant eccentricities for all three planets : e[SUB]b[/SUB] = 0.0167 ± 0.0084, e[SUB]c[/SUB] = 0.0044 ± 0.0006 and e[SUB]d[/SUB] = 0.0066 ± 0.0020. Our findings imply an Earth-like rocky composition for the inner planet, and Earth-like cores with an additional He/H[SUB]2[/SUB]O atmosphere for the outer two. TOI-270 is now one of the best-constrained systems of small transiting planets, and it remains an excellent target for atmospheric characterization. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing strong lensing to understand the microJy radio emission in two radio quiet quasars at redshift 1.7
Hartley, P.; Jackson, N.; Badole, S. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 508

The radio quasar luminosity function exhibits an upturn around $L_{6\rm \:GHz}=10^{23}$ W Hz[SUP]-1[/SUP] that is well-modelled by a star-forming host galaxy population. This distribution leads some ... [more ▼]

The radio quasar luminosity function exhibits an upturn around $L_{6\rm \:GHz}=10^{23}$ W Hz[SUP]-1[/SUP] that is well-modelled by a star-forming host galaxy population. This distribution leads some authors to cite star formation as the main radio emission mechanism in so-called radio-quiet quasars (RQQs). Understanding the origin of RQQ radio emission is crucial for our understanding of quasar feedback mechanisms - responsible for the regulation of star formation in the host galaxy - and for understanding galaxy evolution as a whole. By observing RQQs that have been magnified by strong gravitational lensing, we have direct access to the RQQ population out to cosmic noon, where evidence for twin mini-jets has recently been found in a sub-$\mu$Jy RQQ. Here we present radio observations of two lensed RQQs using the VLA at 5 GHz, the latest objects to be observed in a sample of quadruply-imaged RQQs above -30°. In SDSS J1004+4112 we find strong evidence for AGN-related radio emission in the variability of the source. In PG 1115+080 we find tentative evidence for AGN-related emission, determined by comparing the radio luminosity with modelled dust components. If confirmed in the case of PG 1115+080, which lies on the radio-FIR correlation, the result would reinforce the need for caution when applying the correlation to rule out jet activity and when assuming no AGN heating of FIR-emitting dust when calculating star formation rates. Our programme so far has shown that the two of the faintest radio sources ever imaged show strong evidence for AGN-dominated radio emission. [less ▲]

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See detailNGTS clusters survey - III. A low-mass eclipsing binary in the Blanco 1 open cluster spanning the fully convective boundary
Smith, Gareth D.; Gillen, Edward; Queloz, Didier et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 507

We present the discovery and characterization of an eclipsing binary identified by the Next Generation Transit Survey in the ~115-Myr-old Blanco 1 open cluster. NGTS J0002-29 comprises three M dwarfs: a ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery and characterization of an eclipsing binary identified by the Next Generation Transit Survey in the ~115-Myr-old Blanco 1 open cluster. NGTS J0002-29 comprises three M dwarfs: a short-period binary and a companion in a wider orbit. This system is the first well-characterized, low-mass eclipsing binary in Blanco 1. With a low mass ratio, a tertiary companion, and binary components that straddle the fully convective boundary, it is an important benchmark system, and one of only two well-characterized, low-mass eclipsing binaries at this age. We simultaneously model light curves from NGTS, TESS, SPECULOOS, and SAAO, radial velocities from VLT/UVES and Keck/HIRES, and the system's spectral energy distribution. We find that the binary components travel on circular orbits around their common centre of mass in Porb = 1.098 005 24 ± 0.000 000 38 d, and have masses Mpri = 0.3978 ± 0.0033 M⊙ and Msec = 0.2245 ± 0.0018 M⊙, radii Rpri = 0.4037 ± 0.0048 R⊙ and Rsec = 0.2759 ± 0.0055 R⊙, and effective temperatures $T_{\rm pri}=\mbox{$3372\, ^{+44}_{-37}$}$ K and $T_{\rm sec}=\mbox{$3231\, ^{+38}_{-31}$}$ K. We compare these properties to the predictions of seven stellar evolution models, which typically imply an inflated primary. The system joins a list of 19 well-characterized, low-mass, sub-Gyr, stellar-mass eclipsing binaries, which constitute some of the strongest observational tests of stellar evolution theory at low masses and young ages. [less ▲]

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See detailChlorine-bearing species and the 37Cl/35Cl isotope ratio in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
Dhooghe, Frederik; De Keyser, Johan; Hänni, Nora et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 508

A full-mission analysis has been conducted of Cl-bearing species in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as detected by the Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer (DFMS) of Rosetta's ROSINA instrument ... [more ▼]

A full-mission analysis has been conducted of Cl-bearing species in the coma of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as detected by the Double Focusing Mass Spectrometer (DFMS) of Rosetta's ROSINA instrument. The isotope ratio of the two stable chlorine isotopes 37Cl/35Cl is found to be 0.336 ± 0.017, to be compared with the standard mean ocean chloride value of 0.320. The isotope ratio does not change appreciably throughout the mission. The Cl-bearing species fingerprint in DFMS indicates that there is at least one additional chlorine-bearing species in the coma next to HCl, CH3Cl, and NH4Cl. The identity of this volatile or semivolatile species is unknown at this time. [less ▲]

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See detailprose: A Python framework for modular astronomical images processing
Garcia, Lionel ULiege; Timmermans, Mathilde ULiege; Pozuelos, Francisco J. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021)

To reduce and analyse astronomical images, astronomers can rely on a wide range of libraries providing low-level implementations of legacy algorithms. However, combining these routines into robust and ... [more ▼]

To reduce and analyse astronomical images, astronomers can rely on a wide range of libraries providing low-level implementations of legacy algorithms. However, combining these routines into robust and functional pipelines requires a major effort which often ends up in instrument-specific and poorly maintainable tools, yielding products that suffer from a low-level of reproducibility and portability. In this context, we present prose, a Python framework to build modular and maintainable image processing pipelines. Built for astronomy, it is instrument-agnostic and allows the construction of pipelines using a wide range of building blocks, pre-implemented or user-defined. With this architecture, our package provides basic tools to deal with common tasks such as automatic reduction and photometric extraction. To demonstrate its potential, we use its default photometric pipeline to process 26 TESS candidates follow-up observations and compare their products to the ones obtained with AstroImageJ, the reference software for such endeavors. We show that prose produces light curves with lower white and red noise while requiring less user interactions and offering richer functionalities for reporting. [less ▲]

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See detailErratum: VLA and ALMA observations of the lensed radio-quiet quasar SDSS J0924+0219: a molecular structure in a 3 µJy radio source
Badole, Shruti; Jackson, Neal; Hartley, Philippa et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 507

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See detailUltraviolet line profiles of slowly rotating massive star winds using the 'analytic dynamical magnetosphere' formalism
Erba, C.; David-Uraz, A.; Petit, V. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 506

Recent large-scale spectropolarimetric surveys have established that a small but significant percentage of massive stars host stable, surface dipolar magnetic fields with strengths on the order of kG ... [more ▼]

Recent large-scale spectropolarimetric surveys have established that a small but significant percentage of massive stars host stable, surface dipolar magnetic fields with strengths on the order of kG. These fields channel the dense, radiatively driven stellar wind into circumstellar magnetospheres, whose density and velocity structure can be probed using ultraviolet (UV) spectroscopy of wind-sensitive resonance lines. Coupled with appropriate magnetosphere models, UV spectroscopy provides a valuable way to investigate the wind-field interaction, and can yield quantitative estimates of the wind parameters of magnetic massive stars. We report a systematic investigation of the formation of UV resonance lines in slowly rotating magnetic massive stars with dynamical magnetospheres. We pair the analytic dynamical magnetosphere (ADM) formalism with a simplified radiative transfer technique to produce synthetic UV line profiles. Using a grid of models, we examine the effect of magnetosphere size, the line strength parameter, and the cooling parameter on the structure and modulation of the line profile. We find that magnetic massive stars uniquely exhibit redshifted absorption at most viewing angles and magnetosphere sizes, and that significant changes to the shape and variation of the line profile with varying line strengths can be explained by examining the individual wind components described in the ADM formalism. Finally, we show that the cooling parameter has a negligible effect on the line profiles. [less ▲]

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See detailA dusty filament and turbulent CO spirals in HD135344B - SAO206462
Casassus, Simon; Christiaens, Valentin ULiege; Carcamo, Miguel et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 507

Planet-disc interactions build up local pressure maxima that may halt the radial drift of protoplanetary dust, and pile it up in rings and crescents. ALMA observations of the HD135344B disc revealed two ... [more ▼]

Planet-disc interactions build up local pressure maxima that may halt the radial drift of protoplanetary dust, and pile it up in rings and crescents. ALMA observations of the HD135344B disc revealed two rings in the thermal continuum stemming from ~mm-sized dust. At higher frequencies the inner ring is brighter relative to the outer ring, which is also shaped as a crescent rather than a full ring. In near-IR scattered light images, the disc is modulated by a 2-armed grand-design spiral originating inside the ALMA inner ring. Such structures may be induced by a massive companion evacuating the central cavity, and by a giant planet in the gap separating both rings, that channels the accretion of small dust and gas through its filamentary wakes while stopping the larger dust from crossing the gap. Here we present ALMA observations in the J=(2-1)CO isotopologue lines and in the adjacent continuum, with up to 12km baselines. Angular resolutions of 0.03'' reveal the tentative detection of a filament connecting both rings, and which coincides with a local discontinuity in the pitch angle of the IR spiral, proposed previously as the location of the protoplanet driving this spiral. Line diagnostics suggest that turbulence, or superposed velocity components, is particularly strong in the spirals. The 12CO(2-1) 3-D rotation curve points at stellocentric accretion at radii within the inner dust ring, with a radial velocity of up to ~6%+-0.5% Keplerian, which corresponds to an excessively large accretion rate of ~2E-6M_sun/yr if all of the CO layer follows the 12CO(2-1) kinematics. This suggests that only the surface layers of the disc are undergoing accretion, and that the line broadening is due to superposed laminar flows. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards constraining warm dark matter with stellar streams through neural simulation-based inference
Hermans, Joeri ULiege; Banik, Nilanjan; Weniger, Christophe et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021)

A statistical analysis of the observed perturbations in the density of stellar streams can in principle set stringent contraints on the mass function of dark matter subhaloes, which in turn can be used to ... [more ▼]

A statistical analysis of the observed perturbations in the density of stellar streams can in principle set stringent contraints on the mass function of dark matter subhaloes, which in turn can be used to constrain the mass of the dark matter particle. However, the likelihood of a stellar density with respect to the stream and subhaloes parameters involves solving an intractable inverse problem which rests on the integration of all possible forward realisations implicitly defined by the simulation model. In order to infer the subhalo abundance, previous analyses have relied on Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) together with domain-motivated but handcrafted summary statistics. Here, we introduce a likelihood-free Bayesian inference pipeline based on Amortised Approximate Likelihood Ratios (AALR), which automatically learns a mapping between the data and the simulator parameters and obviates the need to handcraft a possibly insufficient summary statistic. We apply the method to the simplified case where stellar streams are only perturbed by dark matter subhaloes, thus neglecting baryonic substructures, and describe several diagnostics that demonstrate the effectiveness of the new method and the statistical quality of the learned estimator. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling of two CoRoT solar analogues constrained by seismic and spectroscopic analysis
Castro, M.; Baudin, F.; Benomar, O. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 505

Solar analogues are important stars to study for understanding the properties of the Sun. Combined with seismic and spectroscopic analysis, evolutionary modelling becomes a powerful method to characterize ... [more ▼]

Solar analogues are important stars to study for understanding the properties of the Sun. Combined with seismic and spectroscopic analysis, evolutionary modelling becomes a powerful method to characterize stellar intrinsic parameters, such as mass, radius, metallicity and age. However, these characteristics, relevant for other aspects of astrophysics or exoplanetary system physics, for example, are difficult to obtain with high precision and/or accuracy. The goal of this study is to characterize the two solar analogues, HD 42618 and HD 43587, observed by CoRoT. In particular, we aim to infer their precise mass, radius and age, using evolutionary modelling constrained by spectroscopic, photometric and seismic analysis. These stars show evidence of being older than the Sun but with a relatively large lithium abundance. We present the seismic analysis of HD 42618, and the modelling of the two solar analogues, HD 42618 and HD 43587 using the CESTAM stellar evolution code. Models were computed to reproduce the spectroscopic (effective temperature and metallicity) and seismic (mode frequency) data, and the luminosity of the stars, based on Gaia parallaxes. We infer very similar values of mass and radius for both stars compared with the literature, within the uncertainties, and we reproduce correctly the seismic constraints. The modelling shows that HD 42618 is slightly less massive and older than the Sun, and that HD 43587 is more massive and older than the Sun, in agreement with previous results. The use of chemical clocks improves the reliability of our age estimates. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery of a young low-mass brown dwarf transiting a fast-rotating F-type star by the Galactic Plane eXoplanet (GPX) survey
Benni, P.; Burdanov, A. Y.; Krushinsky, V. V. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 505

We announce the discovery of GPX-1 b, a transiting brown dwarf with a mass of 19.7 ± 1.6 MJup and a radius of 1.47 ± 0.10 RJup, the first substellar object discovered by the Galactic Plane eXoplanet (GPX ... [more ▼]

We announce the discovery of GPX-1 b, a transiting brown dwarf with a mass of 19.7 ± 1.6 MJup and a radius of 1.47 ± 0.10 RJup, the first substellar object discovered by the Galactic Plane eXoplanet (GPX) survey. The brown dwarf transits a moderately bright (V = 12.3 mag) fast-rotating F-type star with a projected rotational velocity $v\sin {\, i_*}=40\pm 10$ km s-1. We use the isochrone placement algorithm to characterize the host star, which has effective temperature 7000 ± 200 K, mass 1.68 ± 0.10 $\mathrm{\it M}_\odot$, radius 1.56 ± 0.10 $\mathrm{\it R}_\odot$, and approximate age $0.27_{-0.15}^{+0.09}$ Gyr. GPX-1 b has an orbital period of ~1.75 d and a transit depth of 0.90 ± 0.03 per cent. We describe the GPX transit detection observations, subsequent photometric and speckle-interferometric follow-up observations, and SOPHIE spectroscopic measurements, which allowed us to establish the presence of a substellar object around the host star. GPX-1 was observed at 30-min integrations by TESS in Sector 18, but the data are affected by blending with a 3.4 mag brighter star 42 arcsec away. GPX-1 b is one of about two dozen transiting brown dwarfs known to date, with a mass close to the theoretical brown dwarf/gas giant planet mass transition boundary. Since GPX-1 is a moderately bright and fast-rotating star, it can be followed-up by the means of the Doppler tomography. [less ▲]

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See detail(6478) Gault: physical characterization of an active main-belt asteroid
Devogèle, Maxime; Ferrais, Marin ULiege; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 505

In 2018 December, the main-belt asteroid (6478) Gault was reported to display activity. Gault is an asteroid belonging to the Phocaea dynamical family and was not previously known to be active, nor was ... [more ▼]

In 2018 December, the main-belt asteroid (6478) Gault was reported to display activity. Gault is an asteroid belonging to the Phocaea dynamical family and was not previously known to be active, nor was any other member of the Phocaea family. In this work, we present the results of photometric and spectroscopic observations that commenced soon after the discovery of activity. We obtained observations over two apparitions to monitor its activity, rotation period, composition, and possible non-gravitational orbital evolution. We find that Gault has a rotation period of P = 2.4929 ± 0.0003 h with a light-curve amplitude of 0.06 magnitude. This short rotation period close to the spin barrier limit is consistent with Gault having a density no smaller than ρ = 1.85 g cm^-3 and its activity being triggered by the YORP (Yarkovsky-O'Keefe-Radzievskii-Paddack) spin-up mechanism. Analysis of the Gault phase curve over phase angles ranging from 0.4° to 23.6° provides an absolute magnitude of H = 14.81 ± 0.04, G1 = 0.25 ± 0.07, and G2 = 0.38 ± 0.04. Model fits to the phase curve find the surface regolith grain size constrained between 100 and 500 $\rm {\mu }$m. Using relations between the phase curve and albedo, we determine that the geometrical albedo of Gault is p[SUB]v[/SUB] = 0.26 ± 0.05 corresponding to an equivalent diameter of $D = 2.8^{+0.4}_{-0.2}$ km. Our spectroscopic observations are all consistent with an ordinary chondrite-like composition (S, or Q-type in the Bus-DeMeo taxonomic classification). A search through archival photographic plate surveys found previously unidentified detections of Gault dating back to 1957 and 1958. Only the latter had been digitized, which we measured to nearly double the observation arc of Gault. Finally, we did not find any signal of activity during the 2020 apparition or non-gravitational effects on its orbit. [less ▲]

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See detailFocal plane wavefront sensing using machine learning: performance of convolutional neural networks compared to fundamental limits
Orban De Xivry, Gilles ULiege; Quesnel, Maxime ULiege; Vanberg, P.-O. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 505(4), 5702-5713

Focal plane wavefront sensing (FPWFS) is appealing for several reasons. Notably, it offers high sensitivity and does not suffer from non-common path aberrations (NCPAs). The price to pay is a high ... [more ▼]

Focal plane wavefront sensing (FPWFS) is appealing for several reasons. Notably, it offers high sensitivity and does not suffer from non-common path aberrations (NCPAs). The price to pay is a high computational burden and the need for diversity to lift any phase ambiguity. If those limitations can be overcome, FPWFS is a great solution for NCPA measurement, a key limitation for high-contrast imaging, and could be used as adaptive optics wavefront sensor. Here, we propose to use deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to measure NCPAs based on focal plane images. Two CNN architectures are considered: ResNet-50 and U-Net that are used, respectively, to estimate Zernike coefficients or directly the phase. The models are trained on labelled data sets and evaluated at various flux levels and for two spatial frequency contents (20 and 100 Zernike modes). In these idealized simulations, we demonstrate that the CNN-based models reach the photon noise limit in a large range of conditions. We show, for example, that the root mean squared wavefront error can be reduced to <λ/1500 for 2 × 106 photons in one iteration when estimating 20 Zernike modes. We also show that CNN-based models are sufficiently robust to varying signal-to-noise ratio, under the presence of higher order aberrations, and under different amplitudes of aberrations. Additionally, they display similar to superior performance compared to iterative phase retrieval algorithms. CNNs therefore represent a compelling way to implement FPWFS, which can leverage the high sensitivity of FPWFS over a broad range of conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailA transit timing variation observed for the long-period extremely low-density exoplanet HIP 41378 f
Bryant, Edward M.; Bayliss, Daniel; Santerne, Alexandre et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 504

HIP 41378 f is a temperate 9.2 ± 0.1 R⊕ planet with period of 542.08 d and an extremely low density of 0.09 ± 0.02 g cm-3. It transits the bright star HIP 41378 (V = 8.93), making it an exciting target ... [more ▼]

HIP 41378 f is a temperate 9.2 ± 0.1 R⊕ planet with period of 542.08 d and an extremely low density of 0.09 ± 0.02 g cm-3. It transits the bright star HIP 41378 (V = 8.93), making it an exciting target for atmospheric characterization including transmission spectroscopy. HIP 41378 was monitored photometrically between the dates of 2019 November 19 and 28. We detected a transit of HIP 41378 f with NGTS, just the third transit ever detected for this planet, which confirms the orbital period. This is also the first ground-based detection of a transit of HIP 41378 f. Additional ground-based photometry was also obtained and used to constrain the time of the transit. The transit was measured to occur 1.50 h earlier than predicted. We use an analytic transit timing variation (TTV) model to show the observed TTV can be explained by interactions between HIP 41378 e and HIP 41378 f. Using our TTV model, we predict the epochs of future transits of HIP 41378 f, with derived transit centres of TC, 4 = 2459 355.087-0.022+0.031 (2021 May) and TC, 5 = 2459 897.078-0.060+0.114 (2022 November). [less ▲]

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See detailGalaxy-lens determination of H0: the effect of the ellipse + shear modelling assumption
Gomer, Matthew ULiege; Williams, Liliya L. R.

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 504(1), 1340-1354

Galaxy lenses are frequently modelled as an elliptical mass distribution with external shear and isothermal spheres to account for secondary and line-of-sight galaxies. There is statistical evidence that ... [more ▼]

Galaxy lenses are frequently modelled as an elliptical mass distribution with external shear and isothermal spheres to account for secondary and line-of-sight galaxies. There is statistical evidence that some fraction of observed quads are inconsistent with these assumptions, and require a dipole-like contribution to the mass with respect to the light. Simplifying assumptions about the shape of mass distributions can lead to the incorrect recovery of parameters such as H[SUB]0[/SUB]. We create several tests of synthetic quad populations with different deviations from an elliptical shape, then fit them with an ellipse + shear model, and measure the recovered values of H[SUB]0[/SUB]. Kinematic constraints are not included. We perform two types of fittings - one with a single point source and one with an array of sources emulating an extended source. We carry out two model-free comparisons between our mock quads and the observed population. One result of these comparisons is a statistical inconsistency not yet mentioned in the literature: the image distance ratios with respect to the lens centre of observed quads appear to span a much wider range than those of synthetic or simulated quads. Bearing this discrepancy in mind, our mock populations can result in biases on H[SUB]0[/SUB] $\sim 10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ . [less ▲]

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See detailTime delay lens modelling challenge
Ding, X.; Treu, T.; Birrer, S. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 503

In recent years, breakthroughs in methods and data have enabled gravitational time delays to emerge as a very powerful tool to measure the Hubble constant H[SUB]0[/SUB]. However, published state-of-the ... [more ▼]

In recent years, breakthroughs in methods and data have enabled gravitational time delays to emerge as a very powerful tool to measure the Hubble constant H[SUB]0[/SUB]. However, published state-of-the-art analyses require of order 1 yr of expert investigator time and up to a million hours of computing time per system. Furthermore, as precision improves, it is crucial to identify and mitigate systematic uncertainties. With this time delay lens modelling challenge, we aim to assess the level of precision and accuracy of the modelling techniques that are currently fast enough to handle of order 50 lenses, via the blind analysis of simulated data sets. The results in Rungs 1 and 2 show that methods that use only the point source positions tend to have lower precision ( $10\!-\!20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ ) while remaining accurate. In Rung 2, the methods that exploit the full information of the imaging and kinematic data sets can recover H[SUB]0[/SUB] within the target accuracy (|A| < 2 per cent) and precision (<6 per cent per system), even in the presence of a poorly known point spread function and complex source morphology. A post-unblinding analysis of Rung 3 showed the numerical precision of the ray-traced cosmological simulations to be insufficient to test lens modelling methodology at the percent level, making the results difficult to interpret. A new challenge with improved simulations is needed to make further progress in the investigation of systematic uncertainties. For completeness, we present the Rung 3 results in an appendix and use them to discuss various approaches to mitigating against similar subtle data generation effects in future blind challenges. [less ▲]

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See detailRed noise and pulsations in evolved massive stars
Nazé, Yaël ULiege; Rauw, Grégor ULiege; Gosset, Eric ULiege

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2021), 502

We examine high-cadence space photometry taken by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) of a sample of evolved massive stars: 26 Wolf-Rayet stars (WRs) and eight luminous blue variables (LBVs ... [more ▼]

We examine high-cadence space photometry taken by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) of a sample of evolved massive stars: 26 Wolf-Rayet stars (WRs) and eight luminous blue variables (LBVs) or candidate LBVs. To avoid confusion problems, only stars without bright Gaia neighbours and without evidence of bound companions are considered. This leads to a clean sample, the variability properties of which should truly reflect the properties of the WR and LBV classes. Red noise is detected in all cases and its fitting reveals characteristics very similar to those found for OB stars. Coherent variability is also detected for 20 per cent of the WR sample. Most detections occur at moderately high frequency (3-14 d[SUP]-1[/SUP]), hence they are most probably linked to pulsational activity. This work doubles the number of WRs known to exhibit high-frequency signals. [less ▲]

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