590 research outputs found

    Composition of Ices in Low-Mass Extrasolar Planets

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    We study the formation conditions of icy planetesimals in protoplanetary disks in order to determine the composition of ices in small and cold extrasolar planets. Assuming that ices are formed from hydrates, clathrates, and pure condensates, we calculate their mass fractions with respect to the total quantity of ices included in planetesimals, for a grid of disk models. We find that the composition of ices weakly depends on the adopted disk thermodynamic conditions, and is rather influenced by the initial composition of the gas phase. The use of a plausible range of molecular abundance ratios and the variation of the relative elemental carbon over oxygen ratio in the gas phase of protoplanetary disks, allow us to apply our model to a wide range of planetary systems. Our results can thus be used to constrain the icy/volatile phase composition of cold planets evidenced by microlensing surveys, hypothetical ocean-planets and carbon planets, which could be detected by Corot or Kepler.Comment: Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    Theoretical investigation of hydrogen storage in metal-intercalated graphitic materials

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    We have used first-principles methods to investigate how metal atoms dispersed in the interlayer space of graphitic materials affect their hydrogen-binding properties. We have considered ideal stage-one metal-intercalated graphites of various compositions as representative model systems. Our calculations suggest that alkaline earth metals can significantly enhance the hydrogen storage properties: for example, Be and Mg atoms would act as binding sites of three or four hydrogen molecules, with binding energies per H2_2 in the 0.2--0.7 eV range, as required for applications. We also find that alkali and transition metals are not as effective in enhancing the storage capacity.Comment: 11 pages with 4 figures embedded. More information at http://www.icmab.es/dmmis/leem/jorge

    Limb-darkening measurements for a cool red giant in microlensing event OGLE 2004-BLG-482

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    Aims: We present a detailed analysis of OGLE 2004-BLG-482, a relatively high-magnification single-lens microlensing event which exhibits clear extended-source effects. These events are relatively rare, but they potentially contain unique information on the stellar atmosphere properties of their source star, as shown in this study. Methods: Our dense photometric coverage of the overall light curve and a proper microlensing modelling allow us to derive measurements of the OGLE 2004-BLG-482 source star's linear limb-darkening coefficients in three bands, including standard Johnson-Cousins I and R, as well as in a broad clear filter. In particular, we discuss in detail the problems of multi-band and multi-site modelling on the expected precision of our results. We also obtained high-resolution UVES spectra as part of a ToO programme at ESO VLT from which we derive the source star's precise fundamental parameters. Results: From the high-resolution UVES spectra, we find that OGLE 2004-BLG-482's source star is a red giant of MK type a bit later than M3, with Teff = 3667 +/- 150 K, log g = 2.1 +/- 1.0 and an assumed solar metallicity. This is confirmed by an OGLE calibrated colour-magnitude diagram. We then obtain from a detailed microlensing modelling of the light curve linear limb-darkening coefficients that we compare to model-atmosphere predictions available in the literature, and find a very good agreement for the I and R bands. In addition, we perform a similar analysis using an alternative description of limb darkening based on a principal component analysis of ATLAS limb-darkening profiles, and also find a very good agreement between measurements and model predictions.Comment: Accepted in A&

    A systematic fitting scheme for caustic-crossing microlensing events

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    We outline a method for fitting binary-lens caustic-crossing microlensing events based on the alternative model parameterisation proposed and detailed in Cassan (2008). As an illustration of our methodology, we present an analysis of OGLE-2007-BLG-472, a double-peaked Galactic microlensing event with a source crossing the whole caustic structure in less than three days. In order to identify all possible models we conduct an extensive search of the parameter space, followed by a refinement of the parameters with a Markov Chain-Monte Carlo algorithm. We find a number of low-chi2 regions in the parameter space, which lead to several distinct competitive best models. We examine the parameters for each of them, and estimate their physical properties. We find that our fitting strategy locates several minima that are difficult to find with other modelling strategies and is therefore a more appropriate method to fit this type of events.Comment: 12 pages, 11 figure

    A Jovian-mass Planet in Microlensing Event OGLE-2005-BLG-071

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    We report the discovery of a several-Jupiter mass planetary companion to the primary lens star in microlensing event OGLE-2005-BLG-071. Precise (<1%) photometry at the peak of the event yields an extremely high signal-to-noise ratio detection of a deviation from the light curve expected from an isolated lens. The planetary character of this deviation is easily and unambiguously discernible from the gross features of the light curve. Detailed modeling yields a tightly-constrained planet-star mass ratio of q=m_p/M=0.0071+/-0.0003. This is the second robust detection of a planet with microlensing, demonstrating that the technique itself is viable and that planets are not rare in the systems probed by microlensing, which typically lie several kpc toward the Galactic center.Comment: 4 pages. Minor changes. Accepted for publication in ApJ Letter

    Limits on additional planetary companions to OGLE-2005-BLG-390L

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    We investigate constraints on additional planets orbiting the distant M-dwarf star OGLE-2005-BLG-390L, around which photometric microlensing data has revealed the existence of the sub-Neptune-mass planet OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb. We specifically aim to study potential Jovian companions and compare our findings with predictions from core-accretion and disc-instability models of planet formation. We also obtain an estimate of the detection probability for sub-Neptune mass planets similar to OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb using a simplified simulation of a microlensing experiment. We compute the efficiency of our photometric data for detecting additional planets around OGLE-2005-BLG-390L, as a function of the microlensing model parameters and convert it into a function of the orbital axis and planet mass by means of an adopted model of the Milky Way. We find that more than 50 % of potential planets with a mass in excess of 1 M_J between 1.1 and 2.3 AU around OGLE-2005-BLG-390L would have revealed their existence, whereas for gas giants above 3 M_J in orbits between 1.5 and 2.2 AU, the detection efficiency reaches 70 %; however, no such companion was observed. Our photometric microlensing data therefore do not contradict the existence of gas giant planets at any separation orbiting OGLE-2005-BLG-390L. Furthermore we find a detection probability for an OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb-like planet of around 2-5 %. In agreement with current planet formation theories, this quantitatively supports the prediction that sub-Neptune mass planets are common around low-mass stars.Comment: 10 pages, 4 figures, accepted by A&

    Probing the atmosphere of the bulge G5III star OGLE-2002-BUL-069 by analysis of microlense H alpha line

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    We discuss high-resolution, time-resolved spectra of the caustic exit of the binary microlensing event OGLE 2002-BUL-69 obtained with UVES on the VLT. The source star is a G5III giant in the Galactic Bulge. During such events, the source star is highly magnified, and a strong differential magnification around the caustic resolves its surface. Using an appropriate model stellar atmosphere generated by the NextGEN code we obtained a model light curve for the caustic exit and compared it with a dense set of photometric observations obtained by the PLANET microlensing follow up network. We further compared predicted variations in the H alpha equivalent width with those measured from our spectra. While the model and observations agree in the gross features, there are discrepancies suggesting shortcomings in the model, particularly for the H alpha line core, where we have detected amplified emission from the stellar chromosphere as the source star's trailing limb exited the caustic. This achievement became possible by the provision of the OGLE-III Early Warning System, a network of small telescopes capable of nearly-continuous round-the-clock photometric monitoring, on-line data reduction, daily near-real-time modelling in order to predict caustic crossing parameters, and a fast and efficient response of a 8m-class telescope to a ``Target-Of-Opportunity'' observation request.Comment: 4 pages Latex, 3 figures, accepted for publication to astronomy and astrophysics letter

    The optical afterglow of the short gamma-ray burst GRB 050709

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    It has long been known that there are two classes of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), mainly distinguished by their durations. The breakthrough in our understanding of long-duration GRBs (those lasting more than ~2 s), which ultimately linked them with energetic Type Ic supernovae, came from the discovery of their long-lived X-ray and optical afterglows, when precise and rapid localizations of the sources could finally be obtained. X-ray localizations have recently become available for short (duration <2 s) GRBs, which have evaded optical detection for more than 30 years. Here we report the first discovery of transient optical emission (R-band magnitude ~23) associated with a short burst; GRB 050709. The optical afterglow was localized with subarcsecond accuracy, and lies in the outskirts of a blue dwarf galaxy. The optical and X-ray afterglow properties 34 h after the GRB are reminiscent of the afterglows of long GRBs, which are attributable to synchrotron emission from ultrarelativistic ejecta. We did not, however, detect a supernova, as found in most nearby long GRB afterglows, which suggests a different origin for the short GRBs.Comment: 11 pages, 3 figures, press material at http://www.astro.ku.dk/dark
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