Publications of Michaël Gillon
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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 impact crater at the origin of the Julia family detected with VLT/SPHERE?
Vernazza, Pierre; Brož, M.; Drouard, Alexis et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2018)

Context. The vast majority of the geophysical and geological constraints (e.g., internal structure, cratering history) for main belt asteroids have so far been obtained via dedicated interplanetary ... [more ▼]

Context. The vast majority of the geophysical and geological constraints (e.g., internal structure, cratering history) for main belt asteroids have so far been obtained via dedicated interplanetary missions (e.g., ESA Rosetta, NASA Dawn). The high angular resolution of SPHERE/ZIMPOL, the new-generation visible adaptive-optics camera at ESO VLT, implies that these science objectives can now be investigated from the ground for a large fraction of D 100 km main-belt asteroids. The sharp images acquired by this instrument can be used to constrain accurately the shape and thus volume of these bodies (hence density when combined with mass estimates) and to characterize the distribution and topography of D 30 km craters across their surfaces. Aims. Here, we evaluated - via several complementary approaches - the recently proposed hypothesis that S-type asteroid (89) Julia is the parent body of a small compact asteroid family that formed via a cratering collisional event. Methods. We observed (89) Julia with VLT/SPHERE/ZIMPOL throughout its rotation (these observations were taken as part of an ESO Large Program; ID: 199.C-0074), derived its 3D shape and performed a reconnaissance and characterization of the largest craters. We also performed numerical simulations to first confirm the existence of the Julia family and to determine its age as well as the size of the impact crater at its origin. Finally, we utilized the images/3D shape to attempt identifying the origin location of the small collisional family. Results. On the one hand, our VLT/SPHERE observations reveal the presence of a large crater (D~75 km) in Julia’s southern hemisphere. On the other hand, our numerical simulations suggest that (89) Julia was impacted 30 to 120 Myrs ago by a D~8km asteroid, thereby creating a D~60 km impact crater at the surface of Julia. Given the small size of the impactor, the obliquity of Julia and the particular orientation of the family in the (a,i) space, the imaged impact crater is likely the one at the origin of the family. Conclusions. New doors of ground-based asteroid exploration, namely geophysics and geology, are getting opened thanks to VLT/SPHERE’s unique capabilities. Also, the present work may represent the beginning of a new era of asteroid-family studies. In those fields (geophysics, geology and asteroid family studies), the future will only get brighter with the forthcoming arrival of 30-40m class telescopes (ELT, TMT, GMT). [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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See detailTemporal Evolution of the High-energy Irradiation and Water Content of TRAPPIST-1 Exoplanets
Bourrier, V.; de Wit, J.; Bolmont, E. et al

in Astronomical Journal (2017), 154

The ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 hosts seven Earth-size transiting planets, some of which could harbor liquid water on their surfaces. Ultraviolet observations are essential to measuring their high ... [more ▼]

The ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 hosts seven Earth-size transiting planets, some of which could harbor liquid water on their surfaces. Ultraviolet observations are essential to measuring their high-energy irradiation and searching for photodissociated water escaping from their putative atmospheres. Our new observations of the TRAPPIST-1 Lyα line during the transit of TRAPPIST-1c show an evolution of the star emission over three months, preventing us from assessing the presence of an extended hydrogen exosphere. Based on the current knowledge of the stellar irradiation, we investigated the likely history of water loss in the system. Planets b to d might still be in a runaway phase, and planets within the orbit of TRAPPIST-1g could have lost more than 20 Earth oceans after 8 Gyr of hydrodynamic escape. However, TRAPPIST-1e to h might have lost less than three Earth oceans if hydrodynamic escape stopped once they entered the habitable zone (HZ). We caution that these estimates remain limited by the large uncertainty on the planet masses. They likely represent upper limits on the actual water loss because our assumptions maximize the X-rays to ultraviolet-driven escape, while photodissociation in the upper atmospheres should be the limiting process. Late-stage outgassing could also have contributed significant amounts of water for the outer, more massive planets after they entered the HZ. While our results suggest that the outer planets are the best candidates to search for water with the JWST, they also highlight the need for theoretical studies and complementary observations in all wavelength domains to determine the nature of the TRAPPIST-1 planets and their potential habitability. [less ▲]

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See detailThe discoveries of WASP-91b, WASP-105b and WASP-107b: Two warm Jupiters and a planet in the transition region between ice giants and gas giants
Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A.; Delrez, Laetitia ULiege et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 604

We report the discoveries of three transiting exoplanets. WASP-91b is a warm Jupiter (1.34 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], 1.03 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) in a 2.8-day orbit around a metal-rich K3 star. WASP-105b is a warm ... [more ▼]

We report the discoveries of three transiting exoplanets. WASP-91b is a warm Jupiter (1.34 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], 1.03 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) in a 2.8-day orbit around a metal-rich K3 star. WASP-105b is a warm Jupiter (1.8 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], 0.96 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) in a 7.9-day orbit around a metal-rich K2 star. WASP-107b is a warm super-Neptune/sub-Saturn (0.12 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB], 0.94 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB]) in a 5.7-day orbit around a solar-metallicity K6 star. Considering that giant planets seem to be more common around stars of higher metallicity and stars of higher mass, it is notable that the hosts are all metal-rich, late-type stars. With orbital separations that place both WASP-105b and WASP-107b in the weak-tide regime, measurements of the alignment between the planets' orbital axes and their stars' spin axes may help us to understand the inward migration of short-period, giant planets. The mass of WASP-107b (2.2 M[SUB]Nep[/SUB], 0.40 M[SUB]Sat[/SUB]) places it in the transition region between the ice giants and gas giants of the Solar System. Its radius of 0.94 R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] suggests that it is a low-mass gas giant with a H/He-dominated composition. The planet thus sets a lower limit of 2.2 M[SUB]Nep[/SUB] on the planetary mass above which large gaseous envelopes can be accreted and retained by proto-planets on their way to becoming gas giants. We may discover whether WASP-107b more closely resembles an ice giant or a gas giant by measuring its atmospheric metallicity via transmission spectroscopy, for which WASP-107b is a very good target. Based on observations made with: the WASP-South photometric survey instrument, the 0.6-m TRAPPIST robotic imager, and the EulerCam camera and the CORALIE spectrograph mounted on the 1.2-m Euler-Swiss telescope.The photometric time-series and radial-velocity data used in this work are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/604/A110">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/604/A110</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe EBLM project. III. A Saturn-size low-mass star at the hydrogen-burning limit
von Boetticher, Alexander; Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Queloz, Didier et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 604

We report the discovery of an eclipsing binary system with mass-ratio q ˜ 0.07. After identifying a periodic photometric signal received by WASP, we obtained CORALIE spectroscopic radial velocities and ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of an eclipsing binary system with mass-ratio q ˜ 0.07. After identifying a periodic photometric signal received by WASP, we obtained CORALIE spectroscopic radial velocities and follow-up light curves with the Euler and TRAPPIST telescopes. From a joint fit of these data we determine that EBLM J0555-57 consists of a sun-like primary star that is eclipsed by a low-mass companion, on a weakly eccentric 7.8-day orbit. Using a mass estimate for the primary star derived from stellar models, we determine a companion mass of 85 ± 4 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB] (0.081 M[SUB]⊙[/SUB]) and a radius of 0.84[SUP]+ 0.14[/SUP][SUB]-0.04[/SUB]R[SUB]Jup[/SUB] (0.084 R[SUB]⊙[/SUB]) that is comparable to that of Saturn. EBLM J0555-57Ab has a surface gravity log g[SUB]2[/SUB] =5.50[SUP]+ 0.03[/SUP][SUB]-0.13[/SUB] and is one of the densest non-stellar-remnant objects currently known. These measurements are consistent with models of low-mass stars. The photometry tables and radial velocities are only available at the CDS and on demand via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/604/L6">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/604/L6</A> [less ▲]

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See detailProbing the atmosphere of a sub-Jovian planet orbiting a cool dwarf
Sedaghati, Elyar; Boffin, Henri M. J.; Delrez, Laetitia ULiege et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 468

We derive the 0.01 $\mu$m binned transmission spectrum, between 0.74 and 1.0 $\mu$m, of WASP-80b from low resolution spectra obtained with the FORS2 instrument attached to ESO's Very Large Telescope. The ... [more ▼]

We derive the 0.01 $\mu$m binned transmission spectrum, between 0.74 and 1.0 $\mu$m, of WASP-80b from low resolution spectra obtained with the FORS2 instrument attached to ESO's Very Large Telescope. The combination of the fact that WASP-80 is an active star, together with instrumental and telluric factors, introduces correlated noise in the observed transit light curves, which we treat quantitatively using Gaussian Processes. Comparison of our results together with those from previous studies, to theoretically calculated models reveals an equilibrium temperature in agreement with the previously measured value of 825K, and a sub-solar metallicity, as well as an atmosphere depleted of molecular species with absorption bands in the IR ($\gg 5\sigma$). Our transmission spectrum alone shows evidence for additional absorption from the potassium core and wing, whereby its presence is detected from analysis of narrow 0.003 $\mu$m bin light curves ($\gg 5\sigma$). Further observations with visible and near-UV filters will be required to expand this spectrum and provide more in-depth knowledge of the atmosphere. These detections are only made possible through an instrument-dependent baseline model and a careful analysis of systematics in the data. [less ▲]

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See detailGround-based monitoring of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko gas activity throughout the Rosetta mission
Opitom, C.; Snodgrass, C.; Fitzsimmons, A. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 469

Simultaneously to the ESA Rosetta mission, a world-wide ground-based campaign provided measurements of the large scale activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko through measurement of optically active ... [more ▼]

Simultaneously to the ESA Rosetta mission, a world-wide ground-based campaign provided measurements of the large scale activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko through measurement of optically active gas species and imaging of the overall dust coma. We present more than 2 yr of observations performed with the FORS2 low-resolution spectrograph at the VLT, TRAPPIST and ACAM at the WHT. We focus on the evolution of the CN production as a tracer of the comet activity. We find that it is asymmetric with respect to perihelion and different from that of the dust. The CN emission is detected for the first time at 1.34 au pre-perihelion and production rates then increase steeply to peak about 2 weeks after perihelion at (1.00 ± 0.10) × 10[SUP]25[/SUP] molecules s[SUP]-1[/SUP], while the post-perihelion decrease is more shallow. The evolution of the comet activity is strongly influenced by seasonal effects with enhanced CN production when the Southern hemisphere is illuminated. [less ▲]

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See detailMonitoring of comets activity and composition with the TRAPPIST-North telescope
Moulane, Youssef ULiege; Benkhaldoun, Zouhair; Jehin, Emmanuel ULiege et al

in Journal of Physics. Conference Series (2017, July), 869

TRAPPIST-North (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that was installed in May 2016 at the Oukaimeden Observatory. The project is led by the University of ... [more ▼]

TRAPPIST-North (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that was installed in May 2016 at the Oukaimeden Observatory. The project is led by the University of Liège (Belgium) and the Caddi Ayad University of Marrakech (Morocco). This telescope is a twin of the TRAPPIST-South telescope, which was installed at the ESO La Silla Observatory in 2010. The TRAPPIST telescopes are dedicated to the detection and characterization of planets orbiting stars other than our Sun (exoplanets) and the study of comets and other small bodies in our solar system. For the comets research, these telescopes have very sensitive CCD cameras with complete sets of narrow band filters to measure the production rates of several gases (OH, NH, CN, C3 and C2) and the dust. With TRAPPIST-North we can also observe comets that would not be visible in the southern hemisphere. Therfore, with these two telescopes, we can now observe continuously the comets around their orbit. We project to study individually the evolution of the activity, chemical composition, dust properties, and coma morphology of several comets per year and of different origins (New comets and Jupiter Family comets) over a wide range of heliocentric distances, and on both sides of perihelion. We measure the production rates of each daughter molecules using a Haser model, in addition to the Afρ parameter to estimate the dust production in the coma. In this work, we present the first measurements of the production rates of comet C/2013 X1 (PANSTARRS) observed with TN in June 2016, and the measurements of comet C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden) observed in 2014 with TRAPPIST-South. [less ▲]

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See detailA seven-planet resonant chain in TRAPPIST-1
Luger, Rodrigo; Sestovic, Marko; Kruse, Ethan et al

in Nature Astronomy (2017), 1

The TRAPPIST-1 system is the first transiting planet system found orbiting an ultracool dwarf star[SUP] 1 [/SUP]. At least seven planets similar in radius to Earth were previously found to transit this ... [more ▼]

The TRAPPIST-1 system is the first transiting planet system found orbiting an ultracool dwarf star[SUP] 1 [/SUP]. At least seven planets similar in radius to Earth were previously found to transit this host star[SUP] 2 [/SUP]. Subsequently, TRAPPIST-1 was observed as part of the K2 mission and, with these new data, we report the measurement of an 18.77 day orbital period for the outermost transiting planet, TRAPPIST-1 h, which was previously unconstrained. This value matches our theoretical expectations based on Laplace relations[SUP] 3 [/SUP] and places TRAPPIST-1 h as the seventh member of a complex chain, with three-body resonances linking every member. We find that TRAPPIST-1 h has a radius of 0.752 R [SUB]⊕[/SUB] and an equilibrium temperature of 173 K. We have also measured the rotational period of the star to be 3.3 days and detected a number of flares consistent with a low-activity, middle-aged, late M dwarf. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Spitzer search for the transits of HARPS low-mass planets. II. Null results for 19 planets
Gillon, Michaël ULiege; Demory, B.-O.; Lovis, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 601

Short-period super-Earths and Neptunes are now known to be very frequent around solar-type stars. Improving our understanding of these mysterious planets requires the detection of a significant sample of ... [more ▼]

Short-period super-Earths and Neptunes are now known to be very frequent around solar-type stars. Improving our understanding of these mysterious planets requires the detection of a significant sample of objects suitable for detailed characterization. Searching for the transits of the low-mass planets detected by Doppler surveys is a straightforward way to achieve this goal. Indeed, Doppler surveys target the most nearby main-sequence stars, they regularly detect close-in low-mass planets with significant transit probability, and their radial velocity data constrain strongly the ephemeris of possible transits. In this context, we initiated in 2010 an ambitious Spitzer multi-Cycle transit search project that targeted 25 low-mass planets detected by radial velocity, focusing mainly on the shortest-period planets detected by the HARPS spectrograph. We report here null results for 19 targets of the project. For 16 planets out of 19, a transiting configuration is strongly disfavored or firmly rejected by our data for most planetary compositions. We derive a posterior probability of 83% that none of the probed 19 planets transits (for a prior probability of 22%), which still leaves a significant probability of 17% that at least one of them does transit. Globally, our Spitzer project revealed or confirmed transits for three of its 25 targeted planets, and discarded or disfavored the transiting nature of 20 of them. Our light curves demonstrate for Warm Spitzer excellent photometric precisions: for 14 targets out of 19, we were able to reach standard deviations that were better than 50 ppm per 30 min intervals. Combined with its Earth-trailing orbit, which makes it capable of pointing any star in the sky and to monitor it continuously for days, this work confirms Spitzer as an optimal instrument to detect sub-mmag-deep transits on the bright nearby stars targeted by Doppler surveys. The photometric and radial velocity time series used in this work are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/601/A117">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/601/A117</A> [less ▲]

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See detail3D shape of asteroid (6)~Hebe from VLT/SPHERE imaging: Implications for the origin of ordinary H chondrites
Marsset, M.; Carry, B.; Dumas, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 604

Context. The high-angular-resolution capability of the new-generation ground-based adaptive-optics camera SPHERE at ESO VLT allows us to assess, for the very first time, the cratering record of medium ... [more ▼]

Context. The high-angular-resolution capability of the new-generation ground-based adaptive-optics camera SPHERE at ESO VLT allows us to assess, for the very first time, the cratering record of medium-sized (D~100-200 km) asteroids from the ground, opening the prospect of a new era of investigation of the asteroid belt's collisional history. Aims. We investigate here the collisional history of asteroid (6) Hebe and challenge the idea that Hebe may be the parent body of ordinary H chondrites, the most common type of meteorites found on Earth (~34% of the falls). Methods. We observed Hebe with SPHERE as part of the science verification of the instrument. Combined with earlier adaptive-optics images and optical light curves, we model the spin and three-dimensional (3D) shape of Hebe and check the consistency of the derived model against available stellar occultations and thermal measurements. Results. Our 3D shape model fits the images with sub-pixel residuals and the light curves to 0.02 mag. The rotation period (7.274 47 h), spin (343 deg,+47 deg), and volume-equivalent diameter (193 +/- 6km) are consistent with previous determinations and thermophysical modeling. Hebe's inferred density is 3.48 +/- 0.64 g.cm-3 , in agreement with an intact interior based on its H-chondrite composition. Using the 3D shape model to derive the volume of the largest depression (likely impact crater), it appears that the latter is significantly smaller than the total volume of close-by S-type H-chondrite-like asteroid families. Conclusions. Our results imply that (6) Hebe is not the most likely source of H chondrites. Over the coming years, our team will collect similar high-precision shape measurements with VLT/SPHERE for ~40 asteroids covering the main compositional classes, thus providing an unprecedented dataset to investigate the origin and collisional evolution of the asteroid belt. [less ▲]

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See detailPeculiar architectures for the WASP-53 and WASP-81 planet-hosting systems★
Triaud, Amaury H. M. J.; Neveu-VanMalle, Marion; Lendl, Monika et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 467

We report the detection of two new systems containing transiting planets. Both were identified by WASP as worthy transiting planet candidates. Radial velocity observations quickly verified that the ... [more ▼]

We report the detection of two new systems containing transiting planets. Both were identified by WASP as worthy transiting planet candidates. Radial velocity observations quickly verified that the photometric signals were indeed produced by two transiting hot Jupiters. Our observations also show the presence of additional Doppler signals. In addition to short-period hot Jupiters, we find that the WASP-53 and WASP-81 systems also host brown dwarfs, on fairly eccentric orbits with semimajor axes of a few astronomical units. WASP-53c is over 16 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]sin i[SUB]c[/SUB] and WASP-81c is 57 M[SUB]Jup[/SUB]sin i[SUB]c[/SUB]. The presence of these tight, massive companions restricts theories of how the inner planets were assembled. We propose two alternative interpretations: the formation of the hot Jupiters within the snow line or the late dynamical arrival of the brown dwarfs after disc dispersal. We also attempted to measure the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect for both hot Jupiters. In the case of WASP-81b, we fail to detect a signal. For WASP-53b, we find that the planet is aligned with respect to the stellar spin axis. In addition we explore the prospect of transit-timing variations, and of using Gaia's astrometry to measure the true masses of both brown dwarfs and also their relative inclination with respect to the inner transiting hot Jupiters. [less ▲]

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See detailThe HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets. XXXVI. Eight HARPS multi-planet systems hosting 20 super-Earth and Neptune-mass companions
Udry, S.; Dumusque, X.; Lovis, C. et al

in arXiv e-prints (2017), 1705

We present radial-velocity measurement of eight stars observed with the HARPS Echelle spectrograph mounted on the 3.6-m telescope in La Silla (ESO, Chile). Data span more than ten years and highlight the ... [more ▼]

We present radial-velocity measurement of eight stars observed with the HARPS Echelle spectrograph mounted on the 3.6-m telescope in La Silla (ESO, Chile). Data span more than ten years and highlight the long-term stability of the instrument. We search for potential planets orbiting HD20003, HD20781, HD21693, HD31527, HD45184, HD51608, HD134060 and HD136352 to increase the number of known planetary systems and thus better constrain exoplanet statistics. After a preliminary phase looking for signals using generalized Lomb-Scargle periodograms, we perform a careful analysis of all signals to separate \emph{bona-fide} planets from spurious signals induced by stellar activity and instrumental systematics. We finally secure the detection of all planets using the efficient MCMC available on the Data and Analysis Center for Exoplanets (DACE web-platform), using model comparison whenever necessary. In total, we report the detection of twenty new super-Earth to Neptune-mass planets, with minimum masses ranging from 2 to 30 M$_{\rm Earth}$, and periods ranging from 3 to 1300 days. By including CORALIE and HARPS measurements of HD20782 to the already published data, we also improve the characterization of the extremely eccentric Jupiter orbiting this host. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of the plutino object (208996) 2003 AZ84 from stellar occultations: size, shape and topographic features
Dias-Oliveira, A.; Sicardy, B.; Ortiz, J. L. et al

in Astronomical Journal (2017), 154(1), 13

We present results derived from four stellar occultations by the plutino object (208996) 2003~AZ$_{84}$, detected at January 8, 2011 (single-chord event), February 3, 2012 (multi-chord), December 2, 2013 ... [more ▼]

We present results derived from four stellar occultations by the plutino object (208996) 2003~AZ$_{84}$, detected at January 8, 2011 (single-chord event), February 3, 2012 (multi-chord), December 2, 2013 (single-chord) and November 15, 2014 (multi-chord). Our observations rule out an oblate spheroid solution for 2003~AZ$_{84}$'s shape. Instead, assuming hydrostatic equilibrium, we find that a Jacobi triaxial solution with semi axes $(470 \pm 20) \times (383 \pm 10) \times (245 \pm 8)$~km % axis ratios $b/a= 0.82 \pm 0.05$ and $c/a= 0.52 \pm 0.02$, can better account for all our occultation observations. Combining these dimensions with the rotation period of the body (6.75~h) and the amplitude of its rotation light curve, we derive a density $\rho=0.87 \pm 0.01$~g~cm$^{-3}$ a geometric albedo $p_V= 0.097 \pm 0.009$. A grazing chord observed during the 2014 occultation reveals a topographic feature along 2003~AZ$_{84}$'s limb, that can be interpreted as an abrupt chasm of width $\sim 23$~km and depth $> 8$~km or a smooth depression of width $\sim 80$~km and depth $\sim 13$~km (or an intermediate feature between those two extremes). [less ▲]

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See detailThe 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko observation campaign in support of the Rosetta mission
Snodgrass, C.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Aceituno, F. et al

in Philosophical Transactions. Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences (2017), 375

We present a summary of the campaign of remote observations that supported the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. Telescopes across the globe (and in space) followed comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko ... [more ▼]

We present a summary of the campaign of remote observations that supported the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission. Telescopes across the globe (and in space) followed comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from before Rosetta's arrival until nearly the end of the mission in September 2016. These provided essential data for mission planning, large-scale context information for the coma and tails beyond the spacecraft and a way to directly compare 67P with other comets. The observations revealed 67P to be a relatively `well-behaved' comet, typical of Jupiter family comets and with activity patterns that repeat from orbit to orbit. Comparison between this large collection of telescopic observations and the in situ results from Rosetta will allow us to better understand comet coma chemistry and structure. This work is just beginning as the mission ends-in this paper, we present a summary of the ground-based observations and early results, and point to many questions that will be addressed in future studies. This article is part of the themed issue 'Cometary science after Rosetta'. [less ▲]

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