248 research outputs found

    The nature of the recent extreme outburst of the Herbig Be/FU Ori binary Z CMa

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    Z CMa is a binary system which consists of two young stars: A Herbig AeBe component "Z CMa NW" embedded in a dust cocoon and a less massive component "Z CMa SE", which is classified as a FU Orionis type star. Recently, the system showed the largest outburst reported during the almost 90 years of available observations. During the recent outburst we detect that the Z CMa system is polarized by 2.6% in the continuum and emission line spectrum, with a position angle still perpendicular to the jet. From the high level of polarization we conclude that the outburst is associated with the dust embedded Herbig AeBe NW component. The main result of our studies is that the bolometric luminosity of Z CMa remained surprisingly constant during the recent "outburst". We conclude that either the geometry of the cavity through which the light escapes from the cocoon has opened a new path, or that the screen of dust, which reflects the light toward the observer became more efficient causing the observed increase of the visual brightness by about 2.5 magnitudes.Comment: letter to A&A, accepted 17/12/200

    Spectroscopic and photometric oscillatory envelope variability during the S Doradus outburst of the Luminous Blue Variable R71

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    To better understand the LBV phenomenon, we analyze multi-epoch and multi-wavelength spectra and photometry of R71. Pre-outburst spectra are analyzed with the radiative transfer code CMFGEN to determine the star's fundamental stellar parameters. During quiescence, R71 has an effective temperature of Teff=15‚ÄČ500¬†KT_\mathrm{{eff}} = 15\,500~K and a luminosity of log(L‚ąó/L‚äô)(L_*/L_{\odot}) = 5.78 and is thus a classical LBV, but at the lower luminosity end of this group. We determine its mass-loss rate to 4.0√ó10‚ąí6¬†M‚äô¬†4.0 \times 10^{-6}~M_{\odot}~yr‚ąí1^{-1}. We present R71's spectral energy distribution from the near-ultraviolet to the mid-infrared during its present outburst. Mid-infrared observations suggest that we are witnessing dust formation and grain evolution. Semi-regular oscillatory variability in the star's light curve is observed during the current outburst. Absorption lines develop a second blue component on a timescale twice that length. The variability may consist of one (quasi-)periodic component with P ~ 425/850 d with additional variations superimposed. During its current S Doradus outburst, R71 occupies a region in the HR diagram at the high-luminosity extension of the Cepheid instability strip and exhibits similar irregular variations as RV Tau variables. LBVs do not pass the Cepheid instability strip because of core evolution, but they develop comparable cool, low-mass, extended atmospheres in which convective instabilities may occur. As in the case of RV Tau variables, the occurrence of double absorption lines with an apparent regular cycle may be due to shocks within the atmosphere and period doubling may explain the factor of two in the lengths of the photometric and spectroscopic cycles.Comment: 18 pages, 14 figures, submitted to A&

    Millimagnitude Photometry for Transiting Extrasolar Planetary Candidates. V. Follow-up of 30 OGLE Transits. New Candidates

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    We used VLT/VIMOS images in the V band to obtain light curves of extrasolar planetary transits OGLE-TR-111 and OGLE-TR-113, and candidate planetary transits: OGLE-TR-82, OGLE-TR-86, OGLE-TR-91, OGLE-TR-106, OGLE-TR-109, OGLE-TR-110, OGLE-TR-159, OGLE-TR-167, OGLE-TR-170, OGLE-TR-171. Using difference imaging photometry, we were able to achieve millimagnitude errors in the individual data points. We present the analysis of the data and the light curves, by measuring transit amplitudes and ephemerides, and by calculating geometrical parameters for some of the systems. We observed 9 OGLE objects at the predicted transit moments. Two other transits were shifted in time by a few hours. For another seven objects we expected to observe transits during the VIMOS run, but they were not detected. The stars OGLE-TR-111 and OGLE-TR-113 are probably the only OGLE objects in the observed sample to host planets, with the other objects being very likely eclipsing binaries or multiple systems. In this paper we also report on four new transiting candidates which we have found in the data.Comment: 11 pages, 17 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    The First VLT FORS1 spectra of Lyman-break candidates in the HDF-S and AXAF Deep Field

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    We report on low-resolution multi-object spectroscopy of 30 faint targets (R \~ 24-25) in the HDF-S and AXAF deep field obtained with the VLT Focal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph (FORS1). Eight high-redshift galaxies with 2.75< z < 4 have been identified. The spectroscopic redshifts are in good agreement with the photometric ones with a dispersion ŌÉz=0.07\sigma_z = 0.07 at z<2 and ŌÉz=0.16\sigma_z = 0.16 at z>2. The inferred star formation rates of the individual objects are moderate, ranging from a few to a few tens solar masses per year. Five out of the eight high-z objects do not show prominent emission lines. One object has a spectrum typical of an AGN. In the AXAF field two relatively close pairs of galaxies have been identified, with separations of 8.7 and 3.1 proper Mpc and mean redshifts of 3.11 and 3.93, respectively.Comment: 5 pages Latex, with 2 PostScript figures. Astronomy and Astrophysics, in pres
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