621 research outputs found

    The PLATO End-to-End CCD Simulator -- Modelling space-based ultra-high precision CCD photometry for the assessment study of the PLATO Mission

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    The PLATO satellite mission project is a next generation ESA Cosmic Vision satellite project dedicated to the detection of exo-planets and to asteroseismology of their host-stars using ultra-high precision photometry. The main goal of the PLATO mission is to provide a full statistical analysis of exo-planetary systems around stars that are bright and close enough for detailed follow-up studies. Many aspects concerning the design trade-off of a space-based instrument and its performance can best be tackled through realistic simulations of the expected observations. The complex interplay of various noise sources in the course of the observations made such simulations an indispensable part of the assessment study of the PLATO Payload Consortium. We created an end-to-end CCD simulation software-tool, dubbed PLATOSim, which simulates photometric time-series of CCD images by including realistic models of the CCD and its electronics, the telescope optics, the stellar field, the pointing uncertainty of the satellite (or Attitude Control System [ACS] jitter), and all important natural noise sources. The main questions that were addressed with this simulator were the noise properties of different photometric algorithms, the selection of the optical design, the allowable jitter amplitude, and the expected noise budget of light-curves as a function of the stellar magnitude for different parameter conditions. The results of our simulations showed that the proposed multi-telescope concept of PLATO can fulfil the defined scientific goal of measuring more than 20000 cool dwarfs brighter than mV =11 with a precision better than 27 ppm/h which is essential for the study of earth-like exo-planetary systems using the transit method.Comment: 5 pages, submitted for the Proceedings of the 4th HELAS International Conference: Seismological Challenges for Stellar Structur

    Spectroscopic Study of the Open Cluster NGC 6811

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    The NASA space telescope Kepler has provided unprecedented time-series observations which have revolutionised the field of asteroseismology, i.e. the use of stellar oscillations to probe the interior of stars. The Kepler-data include observations of stars in open clusters, which are particularly interesting for asteroseismology. One of the clusters observed with Kepler is NGC 6811, which is the target of the present paper. However, apart from high-precision time-series observations, sounding the interiors of stars in open clusters by means of asteroseismology also requires accurate and precise atmospheric parameters as well as cluster membership indicators for the individual stars. We use medium-resolution (R~25,000) spectroscopic observations, and three independent analysis methods, to derive effective temperatures, surface gravities, metallicities, projected rotational velocities and radial velocities, for 15 stars in the field of the open cluster NGC 6811. We discover two double-lined and three single-lined spectroscopic binaries. Eight stars are classified as either certain or very probable cluster members, and three stars are classified as non-members. For four stars, cluster membership could not been assessed. Five of the observed stars are G-type giants which are located in the colour-magnitude diagram in the region of the red clump of the cluster. Two of these stars are surely identified as red clump stars for the first time. For those five stars, we provide chemical abundances of 31 elements. The mean radial-velocity of NGC 6811 is found to be +6.68±\pm0.08 km s−1^{-1} and the mean metallicity and overall abundance pattern are shown to be very close to solar with an exception of Ba which we find to be overabundant.Comment: 18 pages, 11 tables, 7 figures, accepted for MNRA

    Stellar Oscillations Network Group

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    Stellar Oscillations Network Group (SONG) is an initiative aimed at designing and building a network of 1m-class telescopes dedicated to asteroseismology and planet hunting. SONG will have 8 identical telescope nodes each equipped with a high-resolution spectrograph and an iodine cell for obtaining precision radial velocities and a CCD camera for guiding and imaging purposes. The main asteroseismology targets for the network are the brightest (V<6) stars. In order to improve performance and reduce maintenance costs the instrumentation will only have very few modes of operation. In this contribution we describe the motivations for establishing a network, the basic outline of SONG and the expected performance.Comment: Proc. Vienna Workshop on the Future of Asteroseismology, 20 - 22 September 2006. Comm. in Asteroseismology, Vol. 150, in the pres

    Automated extraction of oscillation parameters for Kepler observations of solar-type stars

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    The recent launch of the Kepler space telescope brings the opportunity to study oscillations systematically in large numbers of solar-like stars. In the framework of the asteroFLAG project, we have developed an automated pipeline to estimate global oscillation parameters, such as the frequency of maximum power (nu_max) and the large frequency spacing (Delta_nu), for a large number of time series. We present an effective method based on the autocorrelation function to find excess power and use a scaling relation to estimate granulation timescales as initial conditions for background modelling. We derive reliable uncertainties for nu_max and Delta_nu through extensive simulations. We have tested the pipeline on about 2000 simulated Kepler stars with magnitudes of V~7-12 and were able to correctly determine nu_max and Delta_nu for about half of the sample. For about 20%, the returned large frequency spacing is accurate enough to determine stellar radii to a 1% precision. We conclude that the methods presented here are a promising approach to process the large amount of data expected from Kepler.Comment: 14 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in Communications in Asteroseismolog

    The role of turbulent pressure as a coherent pulsational driving mechanism: the case of the delta Scuti star HD 187547

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    HD 187547 was the first candidate that led to the suggestion that solar-like oscillations are present in delta Scuti stars. Longer observations, however, show that the modes interpreted as solar-like oscillations have either very long mode lifetimes, longer than 960 days, or are coherent. These results are incompatible with the nature of `pure' stochastic excitation as observed in solar-like stars. Nonetheless, one point is certain: the opacity mechanism alone cannot explain the oscillation spectrum of HD 187547. Here we present new theoretical investigations showing that convection dynamics can intrinsically excite coherent pulsations in the chemically peculiar delta Scuti star HD 187547. More precisely, it is the perturbations of the mean Reynold stresses (turbulent pressure) that drives the pulsations and the excitation takes place predominantly in the hydrogen ionization zone.Comment: 8 pages, 4 figures, accepted to Ap
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