Publications of Michaël Gillon
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See detailWASP-189b: an ultra-hot Jupiter transiting the bright A star HR 5599 in a polar orbit
Anderson, D. R.; Temple, L. Y.; Nielsen, L. D. et al

E-print/Working paper (2018)

We report the discovery of WASP-189b: an ultra-hot Jupiter in a 2.72-d transiting orbit around the $V = 6.6$ A star WASP-189 (HR 5599). We detected periodic dimmings in the star's lightcurve, first with ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of WASP-189b: an ultra-hot Jupiter in a 2.72-d transiting orbit around the $V = 6.6$ A star WASP-189 (HR 5599). We detected periodic dimmings in the star's lightcurve, first with the WASP-South survey facility then with the TRAPPIST-South telescope. We confirmed that a planet is the cause of those dimmings via line-profile tomography and radial-velocity measurements using the HARPS and CORALIE spectrographs. Those reveal WASP-189b to be an ultra-hot Jupiter ($M_{\rm P}$ = 2.13 $\pm$ 0.28 $M_{\rm Jup}$; $R_{\rm P}$ = 1.374 $\pm$ 0.082 $R_{\rm Jup}$) in a polar orbit ($\lambda = 89.3 \pm 1.4^\circ$; $\Psi = 90.0 \pm 5.8^\circ$) around a rapidly rotating A6IV-V star ($T_{\rm eff}$ = 8000 $\pm$ 100 K; $v_* \sin i_*$ $\approx$ 100 km\, s$^{-1}$). We calculate a predicted equilibrium temperature of $T_{\rm eql}$ = 2641 $\pm$ 34 K, assuming zero albedo and efficient redistribution, which is the third hottest for the known exoplanets. WASP-189 is the brightest known host of a transiting hot Jupiter and the third-brightest known host of any transiting exoplanet. We note that of the eight hot-Jupiter systems with $T_{\rm eff}$ $>$ 7000 K, seven have strongly misaligned orbits, and two of the three systems with $T_{\rm eff}$ $\geq$ 8000 K have polar orbits (the third is aligned). [less ▲]

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See detailA low-density hot Jupiter in a near-aligned, 4.5-day orbit around a $V$ = 10.8, F5V star
Anderson, D. R.; Bouchy, F.; Brown, D. J. A. et al

E-print/Working paper (2018)

We report the independent discovery and characterisation of a hot Jupiter in a 4.5-d, transiting orbit around the star TYC 7282-1298-1 ($V$ = 10.8, F5V). The planet has been pursued by the NGTS team as ... [more ▼]

We report the independent discovery and characterisation of a hot Jupiter in a 4.5-d, transiting orbit around the star TYC 7282-1298-1 ($V$ = 10.8, F5V). The planet has been pursued by the NGTS team as NGTS-2b and by ourselves as WASP-179b. We characterised the system using a combination of photometry from WASP-South and TRAPPIST-South, and spectra from CORALIE (around the orbit) and HARPS (through the transit). We find the planet's orbit to be nearly aligned with its star's spin. From a detection of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, we measure a projected stellar obliquity of $\lambda = -19 \pm 6^\circ$. From line-profile tomography of the same spectra, we measure $\lambda = -11 \pm 5^\circ$. We find the planet to have a low density ($M_{\rm P}$ = 0.67 $\pm$ 0.09 $M_{\rm Jup}$, $R_{\rm P}$ = 1.54 $\pm$ 0.06 $R_{\rm Jup}$), which, along with its moderately bright host star, makes it a good target for transmission spectroscopy. We find a lower stellar mass ($M_*$ = $1.30 \pm 0.07$ $M_\odot$) than reported by the NGTS team ($M_*$ = $1.64 \pm 0.21$ $M_\odot$), though the difference is only $1.5$ $\sigma$. [less ▲]

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See detailA chemical survey of exoplanets with ARIEL
Tinetti, Giovanna; Drossart, Pierre; Eccleston, Paul et al

in Experimental Astronomy (2018)

Thousands of exoplanets have now been discovered with a huge range of masses, sizes and orbits: from rocky Earth-like planets to large gas giants grazing the surface of their host star. However, the ... [more ▼]

Thousands of exoplanets have now been discovered with a huge range of masses, sizes and orbits: from rocky Earth-like planets to large gas giants grazing the surface of their host star. However, the essential nature of these exoplanets remains largely mysterious: there is no known, discernible pattern linking the presence, size, or orbital parameters of a planet to the nature of its parent star. We have little idea whether the chemistry of a planet is linked to its formation environment, or whether the type of host star drives the physics and chemistry of the planet's birth, and evolution. ARIEL was conceived to observe a large number ( 1000) of transiting planets for statistical understanding, including gas giants, Neptunes, super-Earths and Earth-size planets around a range of host star types using transit spectroscopy in the 1.25-7.8 μm spectral range and multiple narrow-band photometry in the optical. ARIEL will focus on warm and hot planets to take advantage of their well-mixed atmospheres which should show minimal condensation and sequestration of high-Z materials compared to their colder Solar System siblings. Said warm and hot atmospheres are expected to be more representative of the planetary bulk composition. Observations of these warm/hot exoplanets, and in particular of their elemental composition (especially C, O, N, S, Si), will allow the understanding of the early stages of planetary and atmospheric formation during the nebular phase and the following few million years. ARIEL will thus provide a representative picture of the chemical nature of the exoplanets and relate this directly to the type and chemical environment of the host star. ARIEL is designed as a dedicated survey mission for combined-light spectroscopy, capable of observing a large and well-defined planet sample within its 4-year mission lifetime. Transit, eclipse and phase-curve spectroscopy methods, whereby the signal from the star and planet are differentiated using knowledge of the planetary ephemerides, allow us to measure atmospheric signals from the planet at levels of 10-100 part per million (ppm) relative to the star and, given the bright nature of targets, also allows more sophisticated techniques, such as eclipse mapping, to give a deeper insight into the nature of the atmosphere. These types of observations require a stable payload and satellite platform with broad, instantaneous wavelength coverage to detect many molecular species, probe the thermal structure, identify clouds and monitor the stellar activity. The wavelength range proposed covers all the expected major atmospheric gases from e.g. H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, CO[SUB]2[/SUB], CH[SUB]4[/SUB] NH[SUB]3[/SUB], HCN, H[SUB]2[/SUB]S through to the more exotic metallic compounds, such as TiO, VO, and condensed species. Simulations of ARIEL performance in conducting exoplanet surveys have been performed - using conservative estimates of mission performance and a full model of all significant noise sources in the measurement - using a list of potential ARIEL targets that incorporates the latest available exoplanet statistics. The conclusion at the end of the Phase A study, is that ARIEL - in line with the stated mission objectives - will be able to observe about 1000 exoplanets depending on the details of the adopted survey strategy, thus confirming the feasibility of the main science objectives. [less ▲]

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See detailNon-detection of Contamination by Stellar Activity in the Spitzer Transit Light Curves of TRAPPIST-1
Morris, Brett M.; Agol, Eric; Hebb, Leslie et al

in Astrophysical Journal. Letters (2018), 863

We apply the transit light curve self-contamination technique of Morris et al. to search for the effect of stellar activity on the transits of the ultracool dwarf TRAPPIST-1 with 2018 Spitzer photometry ... [more ▼]

We apply the transit light curve self-contamination technique of Morris et al. to search for the effect of stellar activity on the transits of the ultracool dwarf TRAPPIST-1 with 2018 Spitzer photometry. The self-contamination method fits the transit light curves of planets orbiting spotted stars, allowing the host star to be a source of contaminating positive or negative flux that influences the transit depths but not the ingress/egress durations. We find that none of the planets show statistically significant evidence for self-contamination by bright or dark regions of the stellar photosphere. However, we show that small-scale magnetic activity, analogous in size to the smallest sunspots, could still be lurking undetected in the transit photometry. [less ▲]

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See detailDust modelling and dynamical study of comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak during 2017 perihelion passage
Pozuelos Romero, Francisco José ULiege; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege; Moulane, Youssef ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 615

Context. Thanks to the Rosetta mission, our understanding of comets has greatly improved. A very good opportunity to apply this knowledge appeared in early 2017 with the appearance of the Jupiter family ... [more ▼]

Context. Thanks to the Rosetta mission, our understanding of comets has greatly improved. A very good opportunity to apply this knowledge appeared in early 2017 with the appearance of the Jupiter family comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresak. The comet was only 0.15 au from the Earth as it passed through perihelion on April 12, 2017. We performed an observational campaign with the TRAPPIST telescopes that covered almost the entire period of time when the comet was active. Aims: In this work we present a comprehensive study of the evolution of the dust environment of 41P based on observational data from January to July, 2017. In addition, we performed numerical simulations to constrain its origin and dynamical nature. Methods: To model the observational data set we used a Monte Carlo dust tail model, which allowed us to derive the dust parameters that best describe its dust environment as a function of heliocentric distance: its dust production rate, the size distribution and ejection velocities of the dust particles, and its emission pattern. In order to study its dynamical evolution, we completed several experiments to evaluate the degree of stability of its orbit, its life time in its current region close to Earth, and its future behaviour. Results: From the dust analysis, we found that comet 41P is a dust-poor comet compared to other comets of the same family, with a complex emission pattern that shifted from full isotropic to anisotropic ejection sometime during February 24-March 14 in 2017, and then from anisotropic to full isotropic again between June 7 and 28. During the anisotropic period, the emission was controlled by two strongly active areas, where one was located in the southern and one in the northern hemisphere of the nucleus. The total dust mass loss is estimated to be 7.5 × 108 kg. From the dynamical simulations we estimate that 3600 yr is the period of time during which 41P will remain in a similar orbit. Taking into account the estimated mass loss per orbit, after 3600 yr, the nucleus may lose about 30% of its mass. However, based on its observed dust-to-water mass ratio and its propensity to outbursts, the lifetime of this comet could be much shorter. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling climate diversity, tidal dynamics and the fate of volatiles on TRAPPIST-1 planets
Turbet, Martin; Bolmont, Emeline; Leconte, Jeremy et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 612(86),

TRAPPIST-1 planets are invaluable for the study of comparative planetary science outside our Solar System and possibly habitability. First, we derive from N-body simulations possible planetary evolution ... [more ▼]

TRAPPIST-1 planets are invaluable for the study of comparative planetary science outside our Solar System and possibly habitability. First, we derive from N-body simulations possible planetary evolution scenarios, and show that each of the planets are likely to be in synchronous rotation. We then use a 3-D Global Climate Model to explore the possible climates of cool planets of the TRAPPIST-1 system. In particular, we look at the conditions required for cool planets to prevent possible volatile species to be lost by permanent condensation, irreversible burying or photochemical destruction. We also explore the resilience of the same volatiles (when in condensed phase) to a runaway greenhouse process. We find that background atmospheres made of N2, CO or O2 are resistant to atmospheric collapse. However, it should be difficult for TRAPPIST-1 planets to accumulate significant greenhouse gases like CO2, CH4, or NH3. CO2 can easily condense on the nightside, forming glaciers that would flow toward the substellar region. A complete CO2 ice cover is possible on TRAPPIST-1g and h only, although CO2 ice deposits could be gravitationally unstable and get buried beneath the water ice shell in geologically short timescales. Given TRAPPIST-1 planets large EUV irradiation (at least 1000x Titan's flux), CH4 and NH3 should be photodissociated rapidly and thus be hard to accumulate in the atmosphere. Photochemical hazes could then sedimentate and form a surface layer of tholins. Regarding habitability, we confirm that few bars of CO2 would suffice to warm the surface of TRAPPIST-1f and g above the melting point of water. We also show that TRAPPIST-1e is a remarkable candidate for surface habitability. If the planet is today synchronous and abundant in water, then it should always sustain surface liquid water at least in the substellar region, whatever the atmosphere considered. [less ▲]

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See detailThe First Post-Kepler Brightness Dips of KIC 8462852
Boyajian, Tabetha S.; Alonso, Roi; Ammerman, Alex et al

in Astrophysical Journal. Letters (2018), 853(1), 14

We present a photometric detection of the first brightness dips of the unique variable star KIC 8462852 since the end of the Kepler space mission in 2013 May. Our regular photometric surveillance started ... [more ▼]

We present a photometric detection of the first brightness dips of the unique variable star KIC 8462852 since the end of the Kepler space mission in 2013 May. Our regular photometric surveillance started in 2015 October, and a sequence of dipping began in 2017 May continuing on through the end of 2017, when the star was no longer visible from Earth. We distinguish four main 1%-2.5% dips, named “Elsie,” “Celeste,” “Skara Brae,” and “Angkor,” which persist on timescales from several days to weeks. Our main results so far are as follows: (i) there are no apparent changes of the stellar spectrum or polarization during the dips and (ii) the multiband photometry of the dips shows differential reddening favoring non-gray extinction. Therefore, our data are inconsistent with dip models that invoke optically thick material, but rather they are in-line with predictions for an occulter consisting primarily of ordinary dust, where much of the material must be optically thin with a size scale ≪1 μm, and may also be consistent with models invoking variations intrinsic to the stellar photosphere. Notably, our data do not place constraints on the color of the longer-term “secular” dimming, which may be caused by independent processes, or probe different regimes of a single process. [less ▲]

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See detailSearching for red worlds
Gillon, Michaël ULiege

in Nature Astronomy (2018), 2(4), 344

The SPECULOOS project aims to detect terrestrial exoplanets well suited for detailed atmospheric characterization, explains Principal Investigator Michaël Gillon. © 2018 The Author(s).

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See detailSPECULOOS Exoplanet Search and Its Prototype on TRAPPIST
Burdanov, Artem ULiege; Delrez, Laetitia ULiege; Gillon, Michaël ULiege et al

in Deeg, Hans; Belmonte, Juan Antonio (Eds.) Handbook of Exoplanets (2018)

One of the most significant goals of modern science is establishing whether life exists around other suns. The most direct path towards its achievement is the detection and atmospheric characterization of ... [more ▼]

One of the most significant goals of modern science is establishing whether life exists around other suns. The most direct path towards its achievement is the detection and atmospheric characterization of terrestrial exoplanets with potentially habitable surface conditions. The nearest ultracool dwarfs (UCDs), i.e., very-low-mass stars and brown dwarfs with effective temperatures lower than 2700 K, represent a unique opportunity to reach this goal within the next decade. The potential of the transit method for detecting potentially habitable Earth-sized planets around these objects is drastically increased compared to Earth-Sun analogs. A terrestrial planet transiting a nearby UCD could be an exquisite target for a thorough atmospheric characterization, including the search for possible biosignatures, with near-future facilities such as the James Webb Space Telescope. In this chapter, we first describe the physical properties of UCDs as well as the unique potential they offer for the detection of potentially habitable Earth-sized planets suitable for atmospheric characterization. Then, we present the SPECULOOS ground-based transit survey, that will search for Earth-sized planets transiting the nearest UCDs, as well as its prototype survey on the TRAPPIST telescopes. We conclude by discussing the prospects offered by the recent detection by this prototype survey of a system of seven temperate Earth-sized planets transiting a nearby UCD, TRAPPIST-1. [less ▲]

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See detailEarly 2017 observations of TRAPPIST-1 with Spitzer
Delrez, Laetitia ULiege; Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Triaud, A. H. M. J. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018), 475(3), 3577-3597

The recently detected TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, with its seven planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star, offers the first opportunity to perform comparative exoplanetology of temperate Earth ... [more ▼]

The recently detected TRAPPIST-1 planetary system, with its seven planets transiting a nearby ultracool dwarf star, offers the first opportunity to perform comparative exoplanetology of temperate Earth-sized worlds. To further advance our understanding of these planets' compositions, energy budgets, and dynamics, we are carrying out an intensive photometric monitoring campaign of their transits with the Spitzer Space Telescope. In this context, we present 60 new transits of the TRAPPIST-1 planets observed with Spitzer/Infrared Array Camera (IRAC) in 2017 February and March. We combine these observations with previously published Spitzer transit photometry and perform a global analysis of the resulting extensive data set. This analysis refines the transit parameters and provides revised values for the planets' physical parameters, notably their radii, using updated properties for the star. As part of our study, we also measure precise transit timings that will be used in a companion paper to refine the planets' masses and compositions using the transit timing variations method. TRAPPIST-1 shows a very low level of low-frequency variability in the IRAC 4.5-μmband, with a photometric RMS of only 0.11 per cent at a 123-s cadence. We do not detect any evidence of a (quasi-)periodic signal related to stellar rotation. We also analyse the transit light curves individually, to search for possible variations in the transit parameters of each planet due to stellar variability, and find that the Spitzer transits of the planets are mostly immune to the effects of stellar variations. These results are encouraging for forthcoming transmission spectroscopy observations of the TRAPPIST-1 planets with the James Webb Space Telescope. © 2018 The Author(s). [less ▲]

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See detailAtmospheric reconnaissance of the habitable-zone Earth-sized planets orbiting TRAPPIST-1
De Wit, J.; Wakeford, H. R.; Lewis, N. K. et al

in Nature Astronomy (2018), 2(3), 214-219

Seven temperate Earth-sized exoplanets readily amenable for atmospheric studies transit the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (refs 1,2 ). Their atmospheric regime is unknown and could range from ... [more ▼]

Seven temperate Earth-sized exoplanets readily amenable for atmospheric studies transit the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 (refs 1,2 ). Their atmospheric regime is unknown and could range from extended primordial hydrogen-dominated to depleted atmospheres 3-6 . Hydrogen in particular is a powerful greenhouse gas that may prevent the habitability of inner planets while enabling the habitability of outer ones 6-8 . An atmosphere largely dominated by hydrogen, if cloud-free, should yield prominent spectroscopic signatures in the near-infrared detectable during transits. Observations of the innermost planets have ruled out such signatures 9 . However, the outermost planets are more likely to have sustained such a Neptune-like atmosphere 10, 11 . Here, we report observations for the four planets within or near the system's habitable zone, the circumstellar region where liquid water could exist on a planetary surface 12-14 . These planets do not exhibit prominent spectroscopic signatures at near-infrared wavelengths either, which rules out cloud-free hydrogen-dominated atmospheres for TRAPPIST-1 d, e and f, with significance of 8σ, 6σ and 4σ, respectively. Such an atmosphere is instead not excluded for planet g. As high-altitude clouds and hazes are not expected in hydrogen-dominated atmospheres around planets with such insolation 15, 16, these observations further support their terrestrial and potentially habitable nature. © 2018 The Author(s). [less ▲]

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See detailHigh-precision multi-wavelength eclipse photometry of the ultra-hot gas giant exoplanet WASP-103 b
Delrez, Laetitia ULiege; Madhusudhan, Nikku; Lendl, Monika et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018), 474(2), 2334-2351

We present 16 occultation and three transit light curves for the ultra-short period hot Jupiter WASP-103b, in addition to five new radial velocity measurements. We combine these observations with archival ... [more ▼]

We present 16 occultation and three transit light curves for the ultra-short period hot Jupiter WASP-103b, in addition to five new radial velocity measurements. We combine these observations with archival data and perform a global analysis of the resulting extensive data set, accounting for the contamination from a nearby star. We detect the thermal emission of the planet in both the z' and KS bands, the measured occultation depths being 699±110 ppm (6.4σ) and 3567-350 +400 ppm (10.2σ), respectively. We use these two measurements, together with recently published HST/WFC3 data, to derive joint constraints on the properties of WASP- 103b's dayside atmosphere. On one hand, we find that the z' band and WFC3 data are best fit by an isothermal atmosphere at 2900K or an atmosphere with a low H2O abundance. On the other hand, we find an unexpected excess in the KS band measured flux compared to these models, which requires confirmation with additional observations before any interpretation can be given. From our global data analysis, we also derive a broad-band optical transmission spectrum that shows a minimum around 700 nm and increasing values towards both shorter and longer wavelengths. This is in agreement with a previous study based on a large fraction of the archival transit light curves used in our analysis. The unusual profile of this transmission spectrum is poorly matched by theoretical spectra and is not confirmed by more recent observations at higher spectral resolution. Additional data, in both emission and transmission, are required to better constrain the atmospheric properties of WASP-103b. © 2017 The Author(s). [less ▲]

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See detailThe HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets: XLIII. A compact system of four super-Earth planets orbiting HD 215152
Delisle, J.-B.; Ségransan, D.; Dumusque, X. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 614

We report the discovery of four super-Earth planets around HD 215152, with orbital periods of 5.76, 7.28, 10.86, and 25.2 d, and minimum masses of 1.8, 1.7, 2.8, and 2.9 M· respectively. This discovery is ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of four super-Earth planets around HD 215152, with orbital periods of 5.76, 7.28, 10.86, and 25.2 d, and minimum masses of 1.8, 1.7, 2.8, and 2.9 M· respectively. This discovery is based on 373 high-quality radial velocity measurements taken by HARPS over 13 yr. Given the low masses of the planets, the signal-to-noise ratio is not sufficient to constrain the planet eccentricities. However, a preliminary dynamical analysis suggests that eccentricities should be typically lower than about 0.03 for the system to remain stable. With two pairs of planets with a period ratio lower than 1.5, with short orbital periods, low masses, and low eccentricities, HD 215152 is similar to the very compact multi-planet systems found by Kepler, which is very rare in radial-velocity surveys. This discovery proves that these systems can be reached with the radial-velocity technique, but characterizing them requires a huge amount of observations. © 2018 ESO. [less ▲]

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See detailSPECULOOS: A network of robotic telescopes to hunt for terrestrial planets around the nearest ultracool dwarfs
Delrez, Laetitia ULiege; Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Queloz, D. et al

in Proceedings of SPIE: The International Society for Optical Engineering (2018), 10700

We present here SPECULOOS, a new exoplanet transit search based on a network of 1m-class robotic telescopes targeting the ∼1200 ultracool (spectral type M7 and later) dwarfs bright enough in the infrared ... [more ▼]

We present here SPECULOOS, a new exoplanet transit search based on a network of 1m-class robotic telescopes targeting the ∼1200 ultracool (spectral type M7 and later) dwarfs bright enough in the infrared (K-mag ≤ 12.5) to possibly enable the atmospheric characterization of temperate terrestrial planets with next-generation facilities like the James Webb Space Telescope. The ultimate goals of the project are to reveal the frequency of temperate terrestrial planets around the lowest-mass stars and brown dwarfs, to probe the diversity of their bulk compositions, atmospheres and surface conditions, and to assess their potential habitability. © 2018 SPIE. [less ▲]

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See detailThe nature of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanets
Grimm, S. L.; Demory, B.-O.; Gillon, Michaël ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 613

Context. The TRAPPIST-1 system hosts seven Earth-sized, temperate exoplanets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star. As such, it represents a remarkable setting to study the formation and evolution of ... [more ▼]

Context. The TRAPPIST-1 system hosts seven Earth-sized, temperate exoplanets orbiting an ultra-cool dwarf star. As such, it represents a remarkable setting to study the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets that formed in the same protoplanetary disk. While the sizes of the TRAPPIST-1 planets are all known to better than 5% precision, their densities have significant uncertainties (between 28% and 95%) because of poor constraints on the planet's masses. Aims. The goal of this paper is to improve our knowledge of the TRAPPIST-1 planetary masses and densities using transit-timing variations (TTVs). The complexity of the TTV inversion problem is known to be particularly acute in multi-planetary systems (convergence issues, degeneracies and size of the parameter space), especially for resonant chain systems such as TRAPPIST-1. Methods. To overcome these challenges, we have used a novel method that employs a genetic algorithm coupled to a full N-body integrator that we applied to a set of 284 individual transit timings. This approach enables us to efficiently explore the parameter space and to derive reliable masses and densities from TTVs for all seven planets. Results. Our new masses result in a five- to eight-fold improvement on the planetary density uncertainties, with precisions ranging from 5% to 12%. These updated values provide new insights into the bulk structure of the TRAPPIST-1 planets. We find that TRAPPIST-1 c and e likely have largely rocky interiors, while planets b, d, f, g, and h require envelopes of volatiles in the form of thick atmospheres, oceans, or ice, in most cases with water mass fractions less than 5%. © ESO 2018. [less ▲]

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See detailUnmasking the hidden NGTS-3Ab: A hot Jupiter in an unresolved binary system
Günther, M. N.; Queloz, D.; Gillen, E. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2018), 478(4), 4720-4737

We present the discovery of NGTS-3Ab, a hot Jupiter found transiting the primary star of an unresolved binary system. We develop a joint analysis of multicolour photometry, centroids, radial velocity (RV ... [more ▼]

We present the discovery of NGTS-3Ab, a hot Jupiter found transiting the primary star of an unresolved binary system. We develop a joint analysis of multicolour photometry, centroids, radial velocity (RV) cross-correlation function (CCF) profiles, and their bisector inverse slopes (BIS) to disentangle this three-body system. Data from the Next Generation Transit Survey (NGTS), SPECULOOS and HARPS are analysed and modelled with our new BLENDFITTER software. We find that the binary consists of NGTS-3A (G6V-dwarf) and NGTS-3B (K1Vdwarf) at < 1 arcsec separation. NGTS-3Ab orbits every 1.675 d. The planet radius and mass are Rplanet = 1.48 ± 0.37 RJ and Mplanet = 2.38 ± 0.26MJ, suggesting it is potentially inflated. We emphasize that only combining all the information frommulticolour photometry, centroids and RV CCF profiles can resolve systems like NGTS-3. Such systems cannot be disentangled from single-colour photometry and RV measurements alone. Importantly, the presence of a BIS correlation indicates a blend scenario, but is not sufficient to determine which star is orbited by the third body. Moreover, even if no BIS correlation is detected, a blend scenario cannot be ruled out without further information. The choice of methodology for calculating the BIS can influence the measured significance of its correlation. The presented findings are crucial to consider for wide-field transit surveys, which require wide CCD pixels (> 5 arcsec) and are prone to contamination by blended objects. With TESS on the horizon, it is pivotal for the candidate vetting to incorporate all available follow-up information from multicolour photometry and RV CCF profiles. © 2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. [less ▲]

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See detailThe discovery of WASP-151b, WASP-153b, WASP-156b: Insights on giant planet migration and the upper boundary of the Neptunian desert
Demangeon, O. D. S.; Faedi, F.; Hébrard, G. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018), 610

To investigate the origin of the features discovered in the exoplanet population, the knowledge of exoplanets' mass and radius with a good precision (10%) is essential. To achieve this purpose the ... [more ▼]

To investigate the origin of the features discovered in the exoplanet population, the knowledge of exoplanets' mass and radius with a good precision (10%) is essential. To achieve this purpose the discovery of transiting exoplanets around bright stars is of prime interest. In this paper, we report the discovery of three transiting exoplanets by the SuperWASP survey and the SOPHIE spectrograph with mass and radius determined with a precision better than 15%. WASP-151b and WASP-153b are two hot Saturns with masses, radii, densities and equilibrium temperatures of 0.31-0.03 +0.04 MJ, 1.13-0.03 +0.03 RJ, 0.22-0.02 +0.03 ρJ and 1290-10 +20 K, and 0.39-0.02 +0.02 MJ, 1.55-0.08 +0.10 RJ, 0.11-0.02 +0.02 ρJ and 1700-40 +40 K, respectively. Their host stars are early G type stars (with mag V ~ 13) and their orbital periods are 4.53 and 3.33 days, respectively. WASP-156b is a super-Neptune orbiting a K type star (mag V = 11.6). It has a mass of 0.128-0.009 +0.010 MJ, a radius of 0.51-0.02 +0.02 RJ, a density of 1.0-0.1 +0.1 ρJ, an equilibrium temperature of 970-20 +30 K and an orbital period of 3.83 days. The radius of WASP-151b appears to be only slightly inflated, while WASP-153b presents a significant radius anomaly compared to a recently published model. WASP-156b, being one of the few well characterized super-Neptunes, will help to constrain the still debated formation of Neptune size planets and the transition between gas and ice giants. The estimates of the age of these three stars confirms an already observed tendency for some stars to have gyrochronological ages significantly lower than their isochronal ages. We propose that high eccentricity migration could partially explain this behavior for stars hosting a short period planet. Finally, these three planets also lie close to (WASP-151b and WASP-153b) or below (WASP-156b) the upper boundary of the Neptunian desert. Their characteristics support that the ultra-violet irradiation plays an important role in this depletion of planets observed in the exoplanet population. © 2018 ESO. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Science Case for an Extended Spitzer Mission
Yee, Jennifer C.; Fazio, Giovanni G.; Benjamin, Robert et al

E-print/Working paper (2017)

Although the final observations of the Spitzer Warm Mission are currently scheduled for March 2019, it can continue operations through the end of the decade with no loss of photometric precision. As we ... [more ▼]

Although the final observations of the Spitzer Warm Mission are currently scheduled for March 2019, it can continue operations through the end of the decade with no loss of photometric precision. As we will show, there is a strong science case for extending the current Warm Mission to December 2020. Spitzer has already made major impacts in the fields of exoplanets (including microlensing events), characterizing near Earth objects, enhancing our knowledge of nearby stars and brown dwarfs, understanding the properties and structure of our Milky Way galaxy, and deep wide-field extragalactic surveys to study galaxy birth and evolution. By extending Spitzer through 2020, it can continue to make ground-breaking discoveries in those fields, and provide crucial support to the NASA flagship missions JWST and WFIRST, as well as the upcoming TESS mission, and it will complement ground-based observations by LSST and the new large telescopes of the next decade. This scientific program addresses NASA's Science Mission Directive's objectives in astrophysics, which include discovering how the universe works, exploring how it began and evolved, and searching for life on planets around other stars. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Structure of Chariklo’s Rings from Stellar Occultations
Bérard, D.; Sicardy, B.; Camargo, J. I. B. et al

in Astronomical Journal (2017), 154

Two narrow and dense rings (called C1R and C2R) were discovered around the Centaur object (10199) Chariklo during a stellar occultation observed on 2013 June 3. Following this discovery, we planned ... [more ▼]

Two narrow and dense rings (called C1R and C2R) were discovered around the Centaur object (10199) Chariklo during a stellar occultation observed on 2013 June 3. Following this discovery, we planned observations of several occultations by Chariklo’s system in order to better characterize the physical properties of the ring and main body. Here, we use 12 successful occulations by Chariklo observed between 2014 and 2016. They provide ring profiles (physical width, opacity, edge structure) and constraints on the radii and pole position. Our new observations are currently consistent with the circular ring solution and pole position, to within the ±3.3 km formal uncertainty for the ring radii derived by Braga-Ribas et al. The six resolved C1R profiles reveal significant width variations from ∼5 to 7.5 km. The width of the fainter ring C2R is less constrained, and may vary between 0.1 and 1 km. The inner and outer edges of C1R are consistent with infinitely sharp boundaries, with typical upper limits of one kilometer for the transition zone between the ring and empty space. No constraint on the sharpness of C2R’s edges is available. A 1σ upper limit of ∼20 m is derived for the equivalent width of narrow (physical width < 4 km) rings up to distances of 12,000 km, counted in the ring plane. [less ▲]

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See detailExoplanetary Transits
Gillon, Michaël ULiege

Scientific conference (2017, September 15)

Exoplanetary Transits

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