74 research outputs found

    The power of low-resolution spectroscopy: On the spectral classification of planet candidates in the ground-based CoRoT follow-up

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    Planetary transits detected by the CoRoT mission can be mimicked by a low-mass star in orbit around a giant star. Spectral classification helps to identify the giant stars and also early-type stars which are often excluded from further follow-up. We study the potential and the limitations of low-resolution spectroscopy to improve the photometric spectral types of CoRoT candidates. In particular, we want to study the influence of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the target spectrum in a quantitative way. We built an own template library and investigate whether a template library from the literature is able to reproduce the classifications. Including previous photometric estimates, we show how the additional spectroscopic information improves the constraints on spectral type. Low-resolution spectroscopy (R≈R\approx1000) of 42 CoRoT targets covering a wide range in SNR (1-437) and of 149 templates was obtained in 2012-2013 with the Nasmyth spectrograph at the Tautenburg 2m telescope. Spectral types have been derived automatically by comparing with the observed template spectra. The classification has been repeated with the external CFLIB library. The spectral class obtained with the external library agrees within a few sub-classes when the target spectrum has a SNR of about 100 at least. While the photometric spectral type can deviate by an entire spectral class, the photometric luminosity classification is as close as a spectroscopic classification with the external library. A low SNR of the target spectrum limits the attainable accuracy of classification more strongly than the use of external templates or photometry. Furthermore we found that low-resolution reconnaissance spectroscopy ensures that good planet candidates are kept that would otherwise be discarded based on photometric spectral type alone.Comment: accepted for publication in Astronomische Nachrichten; 12 pages, 4 figures, 7 table

    The Hercules-Lyra Association revisited New age estimation and multiplicity study

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    The Her-Lyr assoc., a nearby young MG, contains a few tens of ZAMS stars of SpT F to M. The existence and the properties of the Her-Lyr assoc. are controversial and discussed in the literature. The present work reassesses properties and the member list of Her-Lyr assoc., based on kinematics and age. Many objects form multiple systems or have low-mass companions and so we need to account for multiplicity. We use our own new imaging obs. and archival data to identify multiple systems. The colors and magnitudes of kinematic candidates are compared to isochrones. We derive further information on the age based on Li depletion, rotation, and coronal and chromospheric activity. A set of canonical members is identified to infer mean properties. Membership criteria are derived from the mean properties and used to discard non-members. The candidates selected from the literature belong to 35 stellar systems, 42.9% of which are multiple. Four multiple systems are confirmed in this work by common proper motion. An orbital solution is presented for the binary system HH Leo B and C. Indeed, a group of candidates displays signatures of youth. 7 canonical members are identified. The distribution of EWLi of canonical Her-Lyr members is spread widely and is similar to that of the Pleiades and the UMa group. Gyrochronology gives an age of 257+-46 Myr which is in between the ages of the Pleiades and the Ursa Major group. The measures of chromospheric and coronal activity support the young age. Four membership criteria are presented based on kinematics, EWLi, chromospheric activity, and gyro. age. In total, 11 stars are identified as certain members including co-moving objects plus additional 23 possible members while 14 candidates are doubtful or can be rejected. A comparison to the mass function, however, indicates the presence of a large number of additional unidentified low-mass members.Comment: 19 pages 16 figure

    Search for associations containing young stars (SACY):II. Chemical abundances of stars in 11 young Associations in the Solar neighborhood

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    The recently discovered coeval, moving groups of young stellar objects in the solar neighborhood represent invaluable laboratories to study recent star formation and to search for high metallicity stars which can be included in future exo-planet surveys. In this study we derived through an uniform and homogeneous method stellar atmospheric parameters and abundances for iron, silicium and nickel in 63 Post T-Tauri Stars from 11 nearby young associations. We further compare the results with two different pre-main sequence (PMS) and main sequence (MS) star populations. The stellar atmospheric parameters and the abundances presented here were derived using the equivalent width of individual lines in the stellar spectra through the excitation/ionization equilibrium of iron. Moreover, we compared the observed Balmer lines with synthetic profiles calculated for model atmospheres with a different line formation code. We found that the synthetic profiles agree reasonably well with the observed profiles, although the Balmer lines of many stars are substantially filled-in, probably by chromospheric emission. Solar metallicity is found to be a common trend on all the nearby young associations studied. The low abundance dispersion within each association strengthens the idea that the origin of these nearby young associations is related to the nearby Star Forming regions (SFR). Abundances of elements other than iron are consistent with previous results on Main Sequence stars in the solar neighborhood. The chemical characterization of the members of the newly found nearby young associations, performed in this study and intended to proceed in subsequent works, is essential for understanding and testing the context of local star formation and the evolutionary history of the galaxy.Comment: 13 pages, 7 figures, 6 tables, accepted for publication in A&A on 26/03/200

    A homogeneous spectroscopic analysis of host stars of transiting planets

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    The analysis of transiting extra-solar planets provides an enormous amount of information about the formation and evolution of planetary systems. A precise knowledge of the host stars is necessary to derive the planetary properties accurately. The properties of the host stars, especially their chemical composition, are also of interest in their own right. Information about planet formation is inferred by, among others, correlations between different parameters such as the orbital period and the metallicity of the host stars. The stellar properties studied should be derived as homogeneously as possible. The present work provides new, uniformly derived parameters for 13 host stars of transiting planets. Effective temperature, surface gravity, microturbulence parameter, and iron abundance were derived from spectra of both high signal-to-noise ratio and high resolution by assuming iron excitation and ionization equilibria. For some stars, the new parameters differ from previous determinations, which is indicative of changes in the planetary radii. A systematic offset in the abundance scale with respect to previous assessments is found for the TrES and HAT objects. Our abundance measurements are remarkably robust in terms of the uncertainties in surface gravities. The iron abundances measured in the present work are supplemented by all previous determinations using the same analysis technique. The distribution of iron abundance then agrees well with the known metal-rich distribution of planet host stars. To facilitate future studies, the spectroscopic results of the current work are supplemented by the findings for other host stars of transiting planets, for a total dataset of 50 objects.Comment: accepted for publication in A&A, 7 pages, 6 figure

    A stellar flare during the transit of the extrasolar planet OGLE-TR-10b

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    We report a stellar flare occurring during a transit of the exoplanet OGLE-TR-10b, an event not previously reported in the literature. This reduces the observed transit depth, particularly in the u'-band, but flaring could also be significant in other bands and could lead to incorrect planetary parameters. We suggest that OGLE-TR-10a is an active planet-hosting star and has an unusually high X-ray luminosity

    An analysis of the CoRoT-2 system: A young spotted star and its inflated giant planet

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    Context: CoRoT-2b is one of the most anomalously large exoplanet known. Given its large mass, its large radius cannot be explained by standard evolution models. Interestingly, the planet's parent star is an active, rapidly rotating solar-like star with a large fraction (7 to 20%) of spots. Aims: We want to provide constraints on the properties of the star-planet system and understand whether the planet's inferred large size may be due to a systematic error on the inferred parameters, and if not, how it may be explained. Methods: We combine stellar and planetary evolution codes based on all available spectroscopic and photometric data to obtain self-consistent constraints on the system parameters. Results: We find no systematic error in the stellar modeling (including spots and stellar activity) that would yield the required ~10% reduction in size for the star and thus the planet. Two classes of solutions are found: the usual main sequence solution for the star yields for the planet a mass of 3.67+/-0.13 Mjup, a radius of 1.55+/-0.03 Rjup for an age that is at least 130Ma, and should be less than 500Ma given the star's fast rotation and significant activity. We identify another class of solutions on the pre-main sequence, in which case the planet's mass is 3.45\pm 0.27 Mjup, its radius is 1.50+/-0.06 Rjup for an age between 30 and 40 Ma. These extremely young solutions provide the simplest explanation for the planet's size which can then be matched by a simple contraction from an initially hot, expanded state, provided the atmospheric opacities are increased by a factor ~3 compared to usual assumptions for solar compositions atmospheres. Other solutions imply in any case that the present inflated radius of CoRoT-2b is transient and the result of an event that occurred less than 20 Ma ago: a giant impact with another Jupiter-mass planet, or interactions with another object in the system which caused a significant rise of the eccentricity followed by the rapid circularization of its orbit. Conclusions: Additional observations of CoRoT-2 that could help understanding this system include searches for infrared excess and the presence of a debris disk and searches for additional companions. The determination of a complete infrared lightcurve including both the primary and secondary transits would also be extremely valuable to constrain the planet's atmospheric properties and to determine the planet-to-star radius ratio in a manner less vulnerable to systematic errors due to stellar activity.Comment: 16 pages, 15 figures, accepted for A&

    A consistent analysis of three years of ground- and space-based photometry of TrES-2

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    The G0V dwarf TrES-2A, which is transited by a hot Jupiter, is one of the main short-cadence targets of the Kepler telescope and, therefore, among the photometrically best-studied planetary systems known today. Given the near-grazing geometry of the planetary orbit, TrES-2 offers an outstanding opportunity to search for changes in its orbital geometry. Our study focuses on the secular change in orbital inclination reported in previous studies. We present a joint analysis of the first four quarters of Kepler photometry together with the publicly available ground-based data obtained since the discovery of TrES-2b in 2006. We use a common approach based on the latest information regarding the visual companion of TrES-2A and stellar limb darkening to further refine the orbital parameters. We find that the Kepler observations rule out a secular inclination change of previously claimed order as well as variations of the transit timing, however, they also show slight indication for further variability in the inclination which remains marginally significant

    PLATO camera ghosts: simulations and measurements on the engineering model (EM)

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    The PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars mission (PLATO) is the M3 mission in ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 Programme, see Rauer et al. (2014).1 The PLATO mission aims at detecting and characterizing extrasolar planetary systems, including terrestrial exoplanets around bright solar-type stars up to the habitable zone. To be able to perform the required high precision photometric monitoring of the large target stars sample, PLATO is based on a multi-telescope configuration consisting of 26 Cameras, so as to provide simultaneously a large field of view and a large collecting aperture. The optical design is identical for all cameras and consists of a 6-lens dioptric design with a 120 mm entrance pupil and an effective field of view of more than 1000 square degrees. As for every optical system, especially dioptric ones, the presence of optical ghosts can dramatically affect the scientific observations. Thanks to the application of an excellent anti-reflection coating, PLATO’s cameras are by design very insensitive to ghosts. However, the residual faint back reflections focused on the detectors have to be simulated and considered during science operation (target selection) and in data correction algorithms. This article describes the different optical analyses performed to estimate the importance of ghosts in PLATO’s cameras, as well as the simulations performed to support the preparation of the test campaign on the first PLATO camera: the engineering model. Finally, the test execution, data analysis and results are presented and compared to the simulated data

    The corona and companion of CoRoT-2A. Insights from X-rays and optical spectroscopy

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    CoRoT-2 is one of the most unusual planetary systems known to date. Its host star is exceptionally active, showing a pronounced, regular pattern of optical variability caused by magnetic activity. The transiting hot Jupiter, CoRoT-2b, shows one of the largest known radius anomalies. We analyze the properties and activity of CoRoT-2A in the optical and X-ray regime by means of a high-quality UVES spectrum and a 15 ks Chandra exposure both obtained during planetary transits. The UVES data are analyzed using various complementary methods of high-resolution stellar spectroscopy. We characterize the photosphere of the host star by deriving accurate stellar parameters such as effective temperature, surface gravity, and abundances. Signatures of stellar activity, Li abundance, and interstellar absorption are investigated to provide constraints on the age and distance of CoRoT-2. Furthermore, our UVES data confirm the presence of a late-type stellar companion to CoRoT-2A that is gravitationally bound to the system. The Chandra data provide a clear detection of coronal X-ray emission from CoRoT-2A, for which we obtain an X-ray luminosity of 1.9e29 erg/s. The potential stellar companion remains undetected in X-rays. Our results indicate that the distance to the CoRoT-2 system is approximately 270 pc, and the most likely age lies between 100 and 300 Ma. Our X-ray observations show that the planet is immersed in an intense field of high-energy radiation. Surprisingly, CoRoT-2A's likely coeval stellar companion, which we find to be of late-K spectral type, remains X-ray dark. Yet, as a potential third body in the system, the companion could account for CoRoT-2b's slightly eccentric orbit.Comment: accepted for publication by A&
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