Publications of Michaël Gillon
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See detailHot Jupiters with relatives: discovery of additional planets in orbit around WASP-41 and WASP-47
Neveu-VanMalle, M.; Queloz, D.; Anderson, D. R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 586

We report the discovery of two additional planetary companions to WASP-41 and WASP-47. WASP-41 c is a planet of minimum mass 3.18 $\pm$ 0.20 M$_{\rm Jup}$ and eccentricity 0.29 $\pm$ 0.02, and it orbits ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of two additional planetary companions to WASP-41 and WASP-47. WASP-41 c is a planet of minimum mass 3.18 $\pm$ 0.20 M$_{\rm Jup}$ and eccentricity 0.29 $\pm$ 0.02, and it orbits in 421 $\pm$ 2 days. WASP-47 c is a planet of minimum mass 1.24 $\pm$ 0.22 M$_{\rm Jup}$ and eccentricity 0.13 $\pm$ 0.10, and it orbits in 572 $\pm$ 7 days. Unlike most of the planetary systems that include a hot Jupiter, these two systems with a hot Jupiter have a long-period planet located at only $\sim$1 au from their host star. WASP-41 is a rather young star known to be chromospherically active. To differentiate its magnetic cycle from the radial velocity effect induced by the second planet, we used the emission in the H$\alpha$ line and find this indicator well suited to detecting the stellar activity pattern and the magnetic cycle. The analysis of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect induced by WASP-41 b suggests that the planet could be misaligned, though an aligned orbit cannot be excluded. WASP-47 has recently been found to host two additional transiting super Earths. With such an unprecedented architecture, the WASP-47 system will be very important for understanding planetary migration. [less ▲]

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See detailNew and updated convex shape models of asteroids based on optical data from a large collaboration network
Hanuš, Josef; Ďurech, J.; Oszkiewicz, D. A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 586

Asteroid modeling efforts in the last decade resulted in a comprehensive dataset of almost 400 convex shape models and their rotation states. This amount already provided a deep insight into physical ... [more ▼]

Asteroid modeling efforts in the last decade resulted in a comprehensive dataset of almost 400 convex shape models and their rotation states. This amount already provided a deep insight into physical properties of main-belt asteroids or large collisional families. We aim to increase the number of asteroid shape models and rotation states. Such results are an important input for various further studies such as analysis of asteroid physical properties in different populations, including smaller collisional families, thermophysical modeling, and scaling shape models by disk-resolved images, or stellar occultation data. This provides, in combination with known masses, bulk density estimates, but constrains also theoretical collisional and evolutional models of the Solar System. We use all available disk-integrated optical data (i.e., classical dense-in-time photometry obtained from public databases and through a large collaboration network as well as sparse-in-time individual measurements from a few sky surveys) as an input for the convex inversion method, and derive 3D shape models of asteroids, together with their rotation periods and orientations of rotation axes. The key ingredient is the support of more that one hundred observers who submit their optical data to publicly available databases. We present updated shape models for 36 asteroids, for which mass estimates are currently available in the literature or their masses will be most likely determined from their gravitational influence on smaller bodies, which orbital deflection will be observed by the ESA Gaia astrometric mission. This was achieved by using additional optical data from recent apparitions for the shape optimization. Moreover, we also present new shape model determinations for 250 asteroids, including 13 Hungarias and 3 near-Earth asteroids. [less ▲]

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See detailVariability in the super-Earth 55 Cnc e
Demory, Brice-Olivier; Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Madhusudhan, Nikku et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016), 455

Considerable progress has been made in recent years in observations of atmospheric signatures of giant exoplanets, but processes in rocky exoplanets remain largely unknown due to major challenges in ... [more ▼]

Considerable progress has been made in recent years in observations of atmospheric signatures of giant exoplanets, but processes in rocky exoplanets remain largely unknown due to major challenges in observing small planets. Numerous efforts to observe spectra of super-Earths, exoplanets with masses of 1-10 Earth masses, have thus far revealed only featureless spectra. In this paper, we report a 4σ detection of variability in the dayside thermal emission from the transiting super-Earth 55 Cancri e. Dedicated space-based monitoring of the planet in the mid-infrared over eight eclipses revealed the thermal emission from its dayside atmosphere varying by a factor of 3.7 between 2012 and 2013. The amplitude and trend of the variability are not explained by potential influence of star spots or by local thermal or compositional changes in the atmosphere over the short span of the observations. The possibility of large-scale surface activity due to strong tidal interactions possibly similar to Io, or the presence of circumstellar/circumplanetary material appear plausible and motivate future long-term monitoring of the planet. [less ▲]

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

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 585

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

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

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See detailThree irradiated and bloated hot Jupiters:. WASP-76b, WASP-82b, and WASP-90b
West, R. G.; Hellier, C.; Almenara, J.-M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 585

We report on three new transiting hot Jupiter planets, discovered from the WASP surveys, which we combine with radial velocities from OHP/SOPHIE and Euler/CORALIE and photometry from Euler and TRAPPIST ... [more ▼]

We report on three new transiting hot Jupiter planets, discovered from the WASP surveys, which we combine with radial velocities from OHP/SOPHIE and Euler/CORALIE and photometry from Euler and TRAPPIST. The planets WASP-76b, WASP-82b, and WASP-90b are all inflated, with radii of 1.7-1.8 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]. All three orbit hot stars, of type F5-F7, with orbits of 1.8-3.9 d, and all three stars have evolved, post-main-sequence radii (1.7-2.2 R[SUB]⊙[/SUB]). Thus the three planets fit a known trend of hot Jupiters that receive high levels of irradiation being highly inflated. We caution, though, about the presence of a selection effect, in that non-inflated planets around ~2 R[SUB]⊙[/SUB] post-MS stars can often produce transits too shallow to be detected by the ground-based surveys that have found the majority of transiting hot Jupiters. Tables of the photometry and radial velocity 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/585/A126">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/585/A126</A> [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term activity and outburst of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) from narrow-band photometry and long-slit spectroscopy
Opitom, Cyrielle ULiege; Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 589

In this paper, we present a unique data set of more than one year's worth of regular observations of comet C/2013 A1(Siding Spring) with TRAPPIST in Chile, along with low-resolution spectra obtained with ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we present a unique data set of more than one year's worth of regular observations of comet C/2013 A1(Siding Spring) with TRAPPIST in Chile, along with low-resolution spectra obtained with the ESO/VLT FORS 2 instrument. The comet made a close approach to Mars on October 19, 2014 and was then observed by many space and ground-based telescopes. We followed the evolution of the OH, NH, CN, $\mathrm{C_3}$, and $\mathrm{C_2}$ production rates as well as the $Af\rho$ parameter as a proxy for the dust production. We detected an outburst two weeks after perihelion, with gas and dust production rates being multiplied by a factor five within a few days. By modelling the shape of the CN and $\mathrm{C_2}$ radial profiles, we determined that the outburst happened around on November 10 around 15:30 UT ($\pm$ 5h) and measured a gas ejection velocity of $1.1\pm0.2$ km/s. We used a thermal evolution model to reproduce the activity pattern and outburst. Our results are consistent with the progressive formation of a dust mantle explaining the shallow dependence of gas production rates, which may be partially blown off during the outburst. We studied the evolution of gas composition, using various ratios such as CN/OH, $\mathrm{C_2}$/OH, or $\mathrm{C_3}$/OH, which showed little or no variation with heliocentric distance including at the time of the outburst. This indicates a relative level of homogeneity of the nucleus composition. [less ▲]

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See detailThe HARPS-N Rocky Planet Search. I. HD 219134 b: A transiting rocky planet in a multi-planet system at 6.5 pc from the Sun
Motalebi, F.; Udry, S.; Gillon, Michaël ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 584

We know now from radial velocity surveys and transit space missions that planets only a few times more massive than our Earth are frequent around solar-type stars. Fundamental questions about their ... [more ▼]

We know now from radial velocity surveys and transit space missions that planets only a few times more massive than our Earth are frequent around solar-type stars. Fundamental questions about their formation history, physical properties, internal structure, and atmosphere composition are, however, still to be solved. We present here the detection of a system of four low-mass planets around the bright (V = 5.5) and close-by (6.5 pc) star HD 219134. This is the first result of the Rocky Planet Search programme with HARPS-N on the Telescopio Nazionale Galileo in La Palma. The inner planet orbits the star in 3.0935 ± 0.0003 days, on a quasi-circular orbit with a semi-major axis of 0.0382 ± 0.0003 AU. Spitzer observations allowed us to detect the transit of the planet in front of the star making HD 219134 b the nearest known transiting planet to date. From the amplitude of the radial velocity variation (2.25 ± 0.22 ms[SUP]-1[/SUP]) and observed depth of the transit (359 ± 38 ppm), the planet mass and radius are estimated to be 4.36 ± 0.44 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] and 1.606 ± 0.086 R[SUB]⊕[/SUB], leading to a mean density of 5.76 ± 1.09 g cm[SUP]-3[/SUP], suggesting a rocky composition. One additional planet with minimum-mass of 2.78 ± 0.65 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] moves on a close-in, quasi-circular orbit with a period of 6.767 ± 0.004 days. The third planet in the system has a period of 46.66 ± 0.08 days and a minimum-mass of 8.94 ± 1.13 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB], at 0.233 ± 0.002 AU from the star. Its eccentricity is 0.46 ± 0.11. The period of this planet is close to the rotational period of the star estimated from variations of activity indicators (42.3 ± 0.1 days). The planetary origin of the signal is, however, thepreferred solution as no indication of variation at the corresponding frequency is observed for activity-sensitive parameters. Finally, a fourth additional longer-period planet of mass of 71 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] orbits the star in 1842 days, on an eccentric orbit (e = 0.34 ± 0.17) at a distance of 2.56 AU. The photometric time series and radial velocities used in this work are available in electronic form 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/584/A72">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/584/A72</A> [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 detailA rocky planet transiting a nearby low-mass star
Berta-Thompson, Zachory K.; Irwin, Jonathan; Charbonneau, David et al

in Nature (2015), 527

M-dwarf stars—hydrogen-burning stars that are smaller than 60 per cent of the size of the Sun—are the most common class of star in our Galaxy and outnumber Sun-like stars by a ratio of 12:1. Recent ... [more ▼]

M-dwarf stars—hydrogen-burning stars that are smaller than 60 per cent of the size of the Sun—are the most common class of star in our Galaxy and outnumber Sun-like stars by a ratio of 12:1. Recent results have shown that M dwarfs host Earth-sized planets in great numbers: the average number of M-dwarf planets that are between 0.5 to 1.5 times the size of Earth is at least 1.4 per star. The nearest such planets known to transit their star are 39 parsecs away, too distant for detailed follow-up observations to measure the planetary masses or to study their atmospheres. Here we report observations of GJ 1132b, a planet with a size of 1.2 Earth radii that is transiting a small star 12 parsecs away. Our Doppler mass measurement of GJ 1132b yields a density consistent with an Earth-like bulk composition, similar to the compositions of the six known exoplanets with masses less than six times that of the Earth and precisely measured densities. Receiving 19 times more stellar radiation than the Earth, the planet is too hot to be habitable but is cool enough to support a substantial atmosphere, one that has probably been considerably depleted of hydrogen. Because the host star is nearby and only 21 per cent the radius of the Sun, existing and upcoming telescopes will be able to observe the composition and dynamics of the planetary atmosphere. [less ▲]

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See detailPluto's atmosphere from stellar occultations in 2012 and 2013
Dias-Oliveira, Alex; Sicardy, Bruno; Lellouch, Emmanuel et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2015, November 01), 47

We present results from two Pluto stellar occultations observed on 18 July 2012 and 04 May 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites in South America. Both campaigns involved large ... [more ▼]

We present results from two Pluto stellar occultations observed on 18 July 2012 and 04 May 2013, and monitored respectively from five and six sites in South America. Both campaigns involved large telescopes (including the 8.2-m VLT at ESO/Paranal). The high SNR ratios and multi-chord coverage provide amoung the best Pluto atmospheric profiles ever obtained from the ground.We show that a spherically symmetric, clear (no-haze) and pure N2 atmosphere with a unique temperature profile satisfactorily fits the twelve lightcurves provided by the two events. We find, however, a small but significant increase of pressure of 6% (6-sigma level) between the two dates, with values of 2.16 ± 0.2 and 2.30 ± 0.01 μbar at the reference radius 1275 km, respectively.We provide atmospheric constrains between 1190 km and 1450 km from Pluto's center, and we determine the temperature profile with accuracy of a few km in vertical scale. Our model shows a stratosphere with strong positive gradient between 1190 km (at 36 K, 11 μbar) and r =1215 km (6.0 μbar), where a temperature maximum of 110 K is reached. Above it is a mesosphere with negative thermal gradient of -0.2 K/km up to 1,390 km (0.25 μbar), at which point, the mesosphere connects itself to a more isothermal upper branch at 81 K. This profile provides (assuming no troposphere) a Pluto surface radius of 1190 ± 5 km, consistent with preliminary values obtained by New Horizons. Currently measured CO abundances are too low to explain the negative mesospheric thermal gradient. We explore the possibility of an HCN (recently detected by ALMA) cooling. This model, however, requires largely supersaturated HCN. Zonal winds and vertical compositional variations of the atmosphere are also unable to explain the observed mesospheric trend.These events are the last useful ground-based occultations recorded before the 29 June 2015 occultation observed from Australia and New Zealand, and before the NASA's New Horizons flyby of July 2015. This work can serve as a benchmark in the New Horizons context, enabling comparisons between ground-based and space results concerning Pluto's atmospheric structure and temporal evolution. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of the K2-19 Multiple-Transiting Planetary System via High-Dispersion Spectroscopy, AO Imaging, and Transit Timing Variations
Narita, Norio; Hirano, Teruyuki; Fukui, Akihiko et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 815

K2-19 (EPIC201505350) is an interesting planetary system in which two transiting planets with radii ~ 7 $R_{Earth}$ (inner planet b) and ~ 4 $R_{Earth}$ (outer planet c) have orbits that are nearly in a 3 ... [more ▼]

K2-19 (EPIC201505350) is an interesting planetary system in which two transiting planets with radii ~ 7 $R_{Earth}$ (inner planet b) and ~ 4 $R_{Earth}$ (outer planet c) have orbits that are nearly in a 3:2 mean-motion resonance. Here, we present results of ground-based follow-up observations for the K2-19 planetary system. We have performed high-dispersion spectroscopy and high-contrast adaptive-optics imaging of the host star with the HDS and HiCIAO on the Subaru 8.2m telescope. We find that the host star is relatively old (>8 Gyr) late G-type star ($T_{eff}$ ~ 5350 K, $M_s$ ~ 0.9 $M_{Sun}$, and $R_{s}$ ~ 0.9 $R_{Sun}$). We do not find any contaminating faint objects near the host star which could be responsible for (or dilute) the transit signals. We have also conducted transit follow-up photometry for the inner planet with KeplerCam on the FLWO 1.2m telescope, TRAPPISTCAM on the TRAPPIST 0.6m telescope, and MuSCAT on the OAO 1.88m telescope. We confirm the presence of transit-timing variations, as previously reported by Armstrong and coworkers. We model the observed transit-timing variations of the inner planet using the synodic chopping formulae given by Deck & Agol (2015). We find two statistically indistinguishable solutions for which the period ratios ($P_{c}/P_{b}$) are located slightly above and below the exact 3:2 commensurability. Despite the degeneracy, we derive the orbital period of the inner planet $P_b$ ~ 7.921 days and the mass of the outer planet $M_c$ ~ 20 $M_{Earth}$. Additional transit photometry (especially for the outer planet) as well as precise radial-velocity measurements would be helpful to break the degeneracy and to determine the mass of the inner planet. [less ▲]

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See detailTests of the Planetary Hypothesis for PTFO 8-8695b
Yu, Liang; Winn, Joshua N.; Gillon, Michaël ULiege et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 812

The T Tauri star PTFO 8-8695 exhibits periodic fading events that have been interpreted as the transits of a giant planet on a precessing orbit. Here we present three tests of the planet hypothesis. First ... [more ▼]

The T Tauri star PTFO 8-8695 exhibits periodic fading events that have been interpreted as the transits of a giant planet on a precessing orbit. Here we present three tests of the planet hypothesis. First, we sought evidence for the secular changes in light-curve morphology that are predicted to be a consequence of orbital precession. We observed 28 fading events spread over several years and did not see the expected changes. Instead, we found that the fading events are not strictly periodic. Second, we attempted to detect the planet's radiation, based on infrared observations spanning the predicted times of occultations. We ruled out a signal of the expected amplitude. Third, we attempted to detect the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect by performing high-resolution spectroscopy throughout a fading event. No effect was seen at the expected level, ruling out most (but not all) possible orientations for the hypothetical planetary orbit. Our spectroscopy also revealed strong, time-variable, high-velocity Hα and Ca H & K emission features. All these observations cast doubt on the planetary hypothesis, and suggest instead that the fading events represent starspots, eclipses by circumstellar dust, or occultations of an accretion hotspot. [less ▲]

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See detailThe K2-ESPRINT Project I: Discovery of the Disintegrating Rocky Planet K2-22b with a Cometary Head and Leading Tail
Sanchis-Ojeda, R.; Rappaport, S.; Pallé, E. et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 812(2), 112

We present the discovery of a transiting exoplanet candidate in the K2 Field-1 with an orbital period of 9.1457 hr: K2-22b. The highly variable transit depths, ranging from ∼0% to 1.3%, are suggestive of ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery of a transiting exoplanet candidate in the K2 Field-1 with an orbital period of 9.1457 hr: K2-22b. The highly variable transit depths, ranging from ∼0% to 1.3%, are suggestive of a planet that is disintegrating via the emission of dusty effluents. We characterize the host star as an M-dwarf with Teff ≃ 3800 K. We have obtained ground-based transit measurements with several 1-m class telescopes and with the GTC. These observations (1) improve the transit ephemeris; (2) confirm the variable nature of the transit depths; (3) indicate variations in the transit shapes; and (4) demonstrate clearly that at least on one occasion the transit depths were significantly wavelength dependent. The latter three effects tend to indicate extinction of starlight by dust rather than by any combination of solid bodies. The K2 observations yield a folded light curve with lower time resolution but with substantially better statistical precision compared with the ground-based observations. We detect a significant “bump” just after the transit egress, and a less significant bump just prior to transit ingress. We interpret these bumps in the context of a planet that is not only likely streaming a dust tail behind it, but also has a more prominent leading dust trail that precedes it. This effect is modeled in terms of dust grains that can escape to beyond the planet's Hill sphere and effectively undergo “Roche lobe overflow,” even though the planet's surface is likely underfilling its Roche lobe by a factor of 2. [less ▲]

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See detailHD 97658 and its super-Earth
Van Grootel, Valérie ULiege; Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Valencia, D. et al

in European Physical Journal Web of Conferences (2015, September 01)

Super-Earths transiting nearby bright stars are key objects that simultaneously allow for accurate measurements of both their mass and radius, providing essential constraints on their internal composition ... [more ▼]

Super-Earths transiting nearby bright stars are key objects that simultaneously allow for accurate measurements of both their mass and radius, providing essential constraints on their internal composition. We present the confirmation, based on Spitzer observations, that the super-Earth HD 97658 b transits its host star. HD 97658 is a low-mass (M*=0.77+-0.05 Msun) K1 dwarf, as determined from the Hipparcos parallax and stellar evolution modeling. To constrain the planet parameters, we carry out Bayesian global analyses of Keck-HIRES radial velocities, and MOST and Spitzer photometry. HD 97658 b is a massive (Mp=7.55 +0.83,-0.79 Mearth) and large (Rp = 2.247 +0.098,-0.095 Rearth at 4.5 microns) super-Earth. We investigate the possible internal compositions for HD 97658 b. Our results indicate a large rocky component, by at least 60% by mass, and very little H-He components, at most 2% by mass. We also discuss how future asteroseismic observations can improve the knowledge of the HD 97658 system, in particular by constraining its age. [less ▲]

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See detailThree WASP-South Transiting Exoplanets: WASP-74b, WASP-83b, and WASP-89b
Hellier, Coel; Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A. et al

in Astronomical Journal (2015), 150

We report the discovery of three new transiting hot Jupiters by WASP-South together with the TRAPPIST photometer and the Euler/CORALIE spectrograph. WASP-74b orbits a star of V = 9.7, making it one of the ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of three new transiting hot Jupiters by WASP-South together with the TRAPPIST photometer and the Euler/CORALIE spectrograph. WASP-74b orbits a star of V = 9.7, making it one of the brighter systems accessible to southern telescopes. It is a 0.95M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] planet with a moderately bloated radius of 1.5 {R}[SUB]{Jup[/SUB]} in a 2 day orbit around a slightly evolved F9 star. WASP-83b is a Saturn-mass planet at 0.3 {M}[SUB]{Jup[/SUB]} with a radius of 1.0 {R}[SUB]{Jup[/SUB]}. It is in a 5 day orbit around a fainter (V = 12.9) G8 star. WASP-89b is a 6 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] planet in a 3 day orbit with an eccentricity of e = 0.2. It is thus similar to massive, eccentric planets such as XO-3b and HAT-P-2b, except that those planets orbit F stars whereas WASP-89 is a K star. The V = 13.1 host star is magnetically active, showing a rotation period of 20.2 days, while star spots are visible in the transits. There are indications that the planet’s orbit is aligned with the stellar spin. WASP-89 is a good target for an extensive study of transits of star spots. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-80b has a dayside within the T-dwarf range
Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Ehrenreich, David et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015), 450

WASP-80b is a missing link in the study of exoatmospheres. It falls between the warm Neptunes and the hot Jupiters and is amenable for characterization, thanks to its host star's properties. We observed ... [more ▼]

WASP-80b is a missing link in the study of exoatmospheres. It falls between the warm Neptunes and the hot Jupiters and is amenable for characterization, thanks to its host star's properties. We observed the planet through transit and during occultation with Warm Spitzer. Combining our mid-infrared transits with optical time series, we find that the planet presents a transmission spectrum indistinguishable from a horizontal line. In emission, WASP-80b is the intrinsically faintest planet whose dayside flux has been detected in both the 3.6 and 4.5 μm Spitzer channels. The depths of the occultations reveal that WASP-80b is as bright and as red as a T4 dwarf, but that its temperature is cooler. If planets go through the equivalent of an L-T transition, our results would imply that this happens at cooler temperatures than for brown dwarfs. Placing WASP-80b's dayside into a colour-magnitude diagram, it falls exactly at the junction between a blackbody model and the T-dwarf sequence; we cannot discern which of those two interpretations is the more likely. WASP-80b's flux density is as low as GJ 436b at 3.6 μm; the planet's dayside is also fainter, but bluer than HD 189733Ab's nightside (in the [3.6] and [4.5]Spitzer bands). Flux measurements on other planets with similar equilibrium temperatures are required to establish whether irradiated gas giants, such as brown dwarfs, transition between two spectral classes. An eventual detection of methane absorption in transmission would also help lift that degeneracy. We obtained a second series of high-resolution spectra during transit, using HARPS. We reanalyse the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect. The data now favour an aligned orbital solution and a stellar rotation nearly three times slower than stellar line broadening implies. A contribution to stellar line broadening, maybe macroturbulence, is likely to have been underestimated for cool stars, whose rotations have therefore been systematically overestimated. [less ▲]

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See detailHubble Space Telescope search for the transit of the Earth-mass exoplanet α Centauri B b
Demory, Brice-Olivier; Ehrenreich, David; Queloz, Didier et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2015), 450

Results from exoplanet surveys indicate that small planets (super-Earth size and below) are abundant in our Galaxy. However, little is known about their interiors and atmospheres. There is therefore a ... [more ▼]

Results from exoplanet surveys indicate that small planets (super-Earth size and below) are abundant in our Galaxy. However, little is known about their interiors and atmospheres. There is therefore a need to find small planets transiting bright stars, which would enable a detailed characterization of this population of objects. We present the results of a search for the transit of the Earth-mass exoplanet α Centauri B b with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). We observed α Centauri B twice in 2013 and 2014 for a total of 40 h. We achieve a precision of 115 ppm per 6-s exposure time in a highly saturated regime, which is found to be consistent across HST orbits. We rule out the transiting nature of α Centauri B b with the orbital parameters published in the literature at 96.6 per cent confidence. We find in our data a single transit-like event that could be associated with another Earth-sized planet in the system, on a longer period orbit. Our programme demonstrates the ability of HST to obtain consistent, high-precision photometry of saturated stars over 26 h of continuous observations. [less ▲]

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

in Astrophysical Journal (2015), 1506

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

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

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See detailWISE J072003.20-084651.2: an Old and Active M9.5 + T5 Spectral Binary 6 pc from the Sun
Burgasser, Adam J.; Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Melis, Carl et al

in Astronomical Journal (2015), 149

We report observations of the recently discovered, nearby late-M dwarf WISE J072003.20-084651.2. New astrometric measurements obtained with the TRAPPIST telescope improve the distance measurement to 6.0 ± ... [more ▼]

We report observations of the recently discovered, nearby late-M dwarf WISE J072003.20-084651.2. New astrometric measurements obtained with the TRAPPIST telescope improve the distance measurement to 6.0 ± 1.0 pc and confirm the low tangential velocity (3.5 ± 0.6 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]) reported by Scholz. Low-resolution optical spectroscopy indicates a spectral type of M9.5 and prominent Hα emission (< {{log }[SUB]10[/SUB]}{{L}[SUB]Hα [/SUB]}/{{L}[SUB]bol[/SUB]}> = -4.68 ± 0.06), but no evidence of subsolar metallicity or Li i absorption. Near-infrared spectroscopy reveals subtle peculiarities that can be explained by the presence of a T5 binary companion, and high-resolution laser guide star adaptive optics imaging reveals a faint (ΔH = 4.1) candidate source 0\buildrel{\prime\prime}\over{.} 14 (0.8 AU) from the primary. With high-resolution optical and near-infrared spectroscopy, we measure a stable radial velocity of +83.8 ± 0.3 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP], indicative of old disk kinematics and consistent with the angular separation of the possible companion. We measure a projected rotational velocity of v sin i = 8.0 ± 0.5 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP] and find evidence of low-level variabilty (˜1.5%) in a 13 day TRAPPIST light curve, but cannot robustly constrain the rotational period. We also observe episodic changes in brightness (1%-2%) and occasional flare bursts (4%-8%) with a 0.8% duty cycle, and order-of-magnitude variations in Hα line strength. Combined, these observations reveal WISE J0720-0846 to be an old, very low-mass binary whose components straddle the hydrogen burning minimum mass, and whose primary is a relatively rapid rotator and magnetically active. It is one of only two known binaries among late M dwarfs within 10 pc of the Sun, both of which harbor a mid T-type brown dwarf companion. We show that while this specific configuration is rare (≲1.6% probability), roughly 25% of binary companions to late-type M dwarfs in the local population are likely low-temperature T or Y brown dwarfs. Some of the data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. [less ▲]

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See detailThe HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXXVI. Planetary systems and stellar activity of the M dwarfs GJ 3293, GJ 3341, and GJ 3543
Astudillo-Defru, N.; Bonfils, X.; Delfosse, X. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2015), 575

Context. Planetary companions of a fixed mass induce reflex motions with a larger amplitude around lower-mass stars, which adds to making M dwarfs excellent targets for extra-solar planet searches. The ... [more ▼]

Context. Planetary companions of a fixed mass induce reflex motions with a larger amplitude around lower-mass stars, which adds to making M dwarfs excellent targets for extra-solar planet searches. The most recent velocimeters with a stability of ~1 m s[SUP]-1[/SUP] can detect very low-mass planets out to the habitable zone of these stars. Low-mass small planets are abundant around M dwarfs, and most of the known potentially habitable planets orbit one of these cool stars. <BR /> Aims: Our M-dwarf radial velocity monitoring with HARPS on the ESO 3.6 m telescope at La Silla observatory makes a major contribution to this sample. <BR /> Methods: We present here dense radial velocity (RV) time series for three M dwarfs observed over ~five years: GJ 3293 (0.42 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]), GJ 3341 (0.47 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]), and GJ 3543 (0.45 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]). We extracted these RVs through minimum χ[SUP]2[/SUP]-matching of each spectrum against a stack of all observed spectra for the same star that has a high signal-to-noise ratio. We then compared potential orbital signals against several stellar activity indicators to distinguish the Keplerian variations induced by planets from the spurious signals that result from rotational modulation of stellar surface inhomogeneities and from activity cycles. <BR /> Results: Two Neptune-mass planets - msin(i) = 1.4 ± 0.1 and 1.3 ± 0.1M[SUB]nept[/SUB] - orbit GJ 3293 with periods P = 30.60 ± 0.02 d and P = 123.98 ± 0.38 d, possibly together with a super-Earth - msin(i) ~ 7.9 ± 1.4 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] - with period P = 48.14 ± 0.12d. A super-Earth - msin(i) ~ 6.1 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] - orbits GJ 3341 with P = 14.207 ± 0.007d. The RV variations of GJ 3543, on the other hand, reflect its stellar activity rather than planetary signals. Based on observations made with the HARPS instrument on the ESO 3.6 m telescope under the program IDs 072.C-0488, 082.C-0718 and 183.C-0437 at Cerro La Silla (Chile).Tables A.1-A.3 (radial velocity data) are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201424253/olm">http://www.aanda.org</A> and 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/575/A119">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/575/A119</A> [less ▲]

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