Extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs around A–F type stars. VIII. A giant planet orbiting the young star HD113337


In the frame of the search for extrasolar planets and brown dwarfs around early-type main-sequence stars, we present the detection of a giant planet around the young F-type star HD113337. We estimated the age of the system to be 150 +100/-50 Myr. Interestingly, an IR excess attributed to a cold debris disk was previously detected on this star. The SOPHIE spectrograph on the 1.93m telescope at Observatoire de Haute-Provence was used to obtain ~300 spectra over 6 years. We used our SAFIR tool, dedicated to the spectra analysis of A and F stars, to derive the radial velocity variations. The data reveal a 324.0 +1.7/-3.3 days period that we attribute to a giant planet with a minimum mass of 2.83 +- 0.24 Mjup in an eccentric orbit with e=0.46 +- 0.04. A long-term quadratic drift, that we assign to be probably of stellar origin, is superimposed to the Keplerian solution.

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Date added: Wed, 9 Oct 13

Parallax measurements of cool brown dwarfs


Accurate parallax measurements allow us to determine physical properties of brown dwarfs, and help us to constrain evolutionary and atmospheric models, break the age-mass degeneracy and reveal unresolved binaries.
We measured absolute trigonometric parallaxes and proper motions of 6 cool brown dwarfs using background galaxies to establish an absolute reference frame. We derive the absolute J-mag. The six T brown dwarfs in our sample have spectral types between T2.5 and T7.5 and magnitudes in J between 13.9 and 18.0, with photometric distances below 25 pc.
The observations were taken in the J-band with the Omega-2000 camera on the 3.5 m telescope at Calar Alto, during a time period of 27 months, between March 2011 and June 2013. The number of epochs varied between 11 and 12 depending on the object. The reduction of the astrometric measurements was carried out with respect to the field stars. The relative parallax and proper motions were transformed into absolute measurements using the background galaxies in our fields.
We obtained absolute parallaxes for our six brown dwarfs with a precision between 3 and 6 mas. We compared our results with the study by Dupuy and Liu (2012) and with the atmospheric models of Allard et al. (2012) as well. For four of the six targets we found a good agreement in luminosity with objects of similar spectral types. We obtained an improved accuracy in the parallaxes and proper motions in comparison to previous works. The object 2MASS J11061197+2754225 is more than 1 mag overluminous in all bands pointing to binarity or high order multiplicity.

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Date added: Wed, 9 Oct 13

TempoNest: A Bayesian approach to pulsar timing analysis


A new Bayesian software package for the analysis of pulsar timing data is presented in the form of TempoNest which allows for the robust determination of the non-linear pulsar timing solution simultaneously with a range of additional stochastic parameters. This includes both red spin noise and dispersion measure variations using either power law descriptions of the noise, or through a model-independent method that parameterises the power at individual frequencies in the signal. We use TempoNest to show that at noise levels representative of current datasets in the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA) and International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA) the linear timing model can underestimate the uncertainties of the timing solution by up to an order of magnitude. We also show how to perform Bayesian model selection between different sets of timing model and stochastic parameters, for example, by demonstrating that in the pulsar B1937+21 both the dispersion measure variations and spin noise in the data are optimally modelled by simple power laws. Finally we show that not including the stochastic parameters simultaneously with the timing model can lead to unpredictable variation in the estimated uncertainties, compromising the robustness of the scientific results extracted from such analysis.

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Date added: Wed, 9 Oct 13

Crowding Out of Giants by Dwarfs: an Origin for the Lack of Companion Planets in Hot Jupiter Systems


We investigate formation of close-in terrestrial planets from planetary embryos under the influence of a hot Jupiter (HJ) using gravitational N-body simulations that include gravitational interactions between the gas disk and the terrestrial planet (e.g., type I migration). Our simulations show that several terrestrial planets efficiently form outside the orbit of the HJ, making a chain of planets, and all of them gravitationally interact directly or indirectly with the HJ through resonance, which leads to inward migration of the HJ. We call this mechanism of induced migration of the HJ as “crowding out.” The HJ is eventually lost by collision with the central star, and only several terrestrial planets remain. We also find that the efficiency of the crowding-out effect depends on model parameters; for example, the heavier the disk is, the more efficient the crowding out is. When planet formation occurs in a massive disk, the HJ can be lost to the central star and is never observed. On the other hand, for a less massive disk, the HJ and terrestrial planets can coexist; however, the companion planets can be below the detection limit of current observations. In both cases, systems with the HJ and terrestrial planets have little chance for detection. Therefore, our model naturally explains the lack of companion planets in HJ systems regardless of the disk mass. In effect, our model provide a theoretical prediction for future observations; additional planets can be discovered just outside the HJ, and their masses should generally be small.

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Date added: Wed, 9 Oct 13

HST absolute Proper Motions of NGC 6681 (M70) and the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy


We have measured absolute proper motions for the three populations intercepted in the direction of the Galactic globular cluster NGC 6681: the cluster itself, the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxy and the field. For this we used Hubble Space Telescope ACS/WFC and WFC3/UVIS optical imaging data separated by a temporal baseline of 5.464 years. Five background galaxies were used to determine the zero point of the absolute-motion reference frame. The resulting absolute proper motion of NGC 6681 is ($\mu_{\alpha}\cos\delta, \mu_{\delta}$)=($1.58\pm0.18, -4.57\pm0.16$) \masyr. This is the first estimate ever made for this cluster. For the Sgr dSph we obtain ($\mu_{\alpha}\cos\delta, \mu_{\delta})=(-2.54\pm0.18, -1.19\pm0.16$) \masyr, consistent with previous measurements and with the values predicted by theoretical models. The absolute proper motion of the Galaxy population in our field of view is ($\mu_{\alpha}\cos\delta, \mu_{\delta})=(-1.21\pm0.27, -4.39\pm0.26$) \masyr. In this study we also use background Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal stars to determine the rotation of the globular cluster in the plane of the sky and find that NGC 6681 is not rotating significantly:\ $v_{\rm rot}=0.82\pm1.02$ km$\,$s$^{-1}$ at a distance of 1 arcmin from the cluster center.

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Date added: Wed, 9 Oct 13

Perspectives for the study of gas in protoplanetary disks and accretion/ejection phenomena in young stars with the near-IR spectrograph SPIROU at the CFHT


Near-IR atomic and molecular transitions are powerful tools to trace the warm and hot gas in the circumstellar environment of young stars. Ro-vibrational transitions of H2 and H2O, and overtone transitions of CO at 2 micron centered at the stellar velocity trace hot (T~1500 K) gas in the inner few AU of protoplanetary disks. H2 near-IR lines displaying a blueshift of a few km/s probe molecular disk winds. H2 lines presenting blueshifts of hundreds of km/s reveal hot shocked gas in jets. Atomic lines such as the HeI line at 10830 A and the Hydrogen Paschen beta and Brakett gamma lines trace emission from accretion funnel flows and atomic disk winds. Bright forbidden atomic lines in the near-IR of species such as [Fe II], [N I], [S I], [S II], and [C I] trace atomic and ionized material in jets. The new near-IR high resolution spectrograph SPIROU planned for the Canada France Hawaii Telescope will offer the unique capability of combining high-spectral resolution (R~75000) with a large wavelength coverage (0.98 to 2.35 micron) in one single exposure. This will provide us with the means of probing accretion funnel flows, winds, jets, and hot gas in the inner disk simultaneously. This opens the exiting possibility of investigating their combined behavior in time by the means of monitoring observations and systematic surveys. SPIROU will be a powerful tool to progress our understanding of the connexion between the accretion/ejection process, disk evolution, and planet formation.

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Date added: Wed, 9 Oct 13

Brightness and Orbital Motion Peculiarities of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON): Comparison with Two Very Different Comets


To gain a greater insight into the impending evolution of the physical behavior of comet C/2012 S1, its light curve and orbital properties are compared with those for C/1962 C1 (Seki-Lines) and C/2002 O4 (Hoenig). All three are likely Oort Cloud comets. C/1962 C1 survived an encounter with the Sun at less than 7 Rsun, while C/2002 O4 disintegrated near perihelion at 0.78 AU from the Sun. Less than two months before its perihelion at 2.7 Rsun, C/2012 S1 has a light curve that is much closer to C/1962 C1 than C/2002 O4. It remains to be seen whether its motion is affected by nongravitational perturbations. As new data on C/2012 S1 keep coming in, its continuing comparison with the two comets will provide information on its health by updating and adjusting its status. Strengths and weaknesses of this approach for potential future applications will eventually be assessed.

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Date added: Wed, 9 Oct 13