K. Exter

University of Leuven, Louvain, Flemish, Belgium

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Publications (97)245.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In our series of papers presenting the Herschel imaging of evolved planetary nebulae, we present images of the dust distribution in the Helix nebula (NGC 7293). Images at 70, 160, 250, 350, and 500 micron were obtained with the PACS and SPIRE instruments on board the Herschel satellite. The broadband maps show the dust distribution over the main Helix nebula to be clumpy and predominantly present in the barrel wall. We determined the spectral energy distribution of the main nebula in a consistent way using Herschel, IRAS, and Planck flux values. The emissivity index of 0.99 +/- 0.09, in combination with the carbon rich molecular chemistry of the nebula, indicates that the dust consists mainly of amorphous carbon. The dust excess emission from the central star disk is detected at 70 micron and the flux measurement agree with previous measurement. We present the temperature and dust column density maps. The total dust mass across the Helix nebula (without its halo) is determined to be 0.0035 solar mass at a distance of 216 pc. The temperature map shows dust temperatures between 22 and 42 K, which is similar to the kinetic temperature of the molecular gas, strengthening the fact that the dust and gas co-exist in high density clumps. Archived images are used to compare the location of the dust emission in the far infrared (Herschel) with the ionized (GALEX, Hbeta) and molecular hydrogen component. The different emission components are consistent with the Helix consisting of a thick walled barrel-like structure inclined to the line of sight. The radiation field decreases rapidly through the barrel wall.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2014; 574. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201424189 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the first detections of OH+ emission in planetary nebulae (PNe). As part of an imaging and spectroscopy survey of 11 PNe in the far-IR using the PACS and SPIRE instruments aboard the Herschel Space Observatory, we performed a line survey in these PNe over the entire spectral range between 51 and 672$\mu$m to look for new detections. OH+ rotational emission lines at 152.99, 290.20, 308.48, and 329.77$\mu$m were detected in the spectra of three planetary nebulae: NGC 6445, NGC 6720, and NGC 6781. Excitation temperatures and column densities derived from these lines are in the range of 27 to 47 K and 2 x $10$^{10}$ to 4 x $10$^{11}$ cm$^{-2}$, respectively. In PNe, the OH+ rotational line emission appears to be produced in the photodissociation region (PDR) in these objects. The emission of OH+ is observed only in PNe with hot central stars (Teff > 100000 K), suggesting that high-energy photons may play a role in the OH+ formation and its line excitation in these objects, as it seems to be the case for ultraluminous galaxies.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 06/2014; 566:A79. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201322940 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This is the first of a series of investigations into far-IR characteristics of 11 planetary nebulae (PNs) under the Herschel Space Observatory Open Time 1 program, Herschel Planetary Nebula Survey (HerPlaNS). Using the HerPlaNS data set, we look into the PN energetics and variations of the physical conditions within the target nebulae. In the present work, we provide an overview of the survey, data acquisition and processing, and resulting data products. We perform (1) PACS/SPIRE broadband imaging to determine the spatial distribution of the cold dust component in the target PNs and (2) PACS/SPIRE spectral-energy-distribution (SED) and line spectroscopy to determine the spatial distribution of the gas component in the target PNs. For the case of NGC 6781, the broadband maps confirm the nearly pole-on barrel structure of the amorphous carbon-rich dust shell and the surrounding halo having temperatures of 26-40 K. The PACS/SPIRE multi-position spectra show spatial variations of far-IR lines that reflect the physical stratification of the nebula. We demonstrate that spatially-resolved far-IR line diagnostics yield the (T_e, n_e) profiles, from which distributions of ionized, atomic, and molecular gases can be determined. Direct comparison of the dust and gas column mass maps constrained by the HerPlaNS data allows to construct an empirical gas-to-dust mass ratio map, which shows a range of ratios with the median of 195+-110. The present analysis yields estimates of the total mass of the shell to be 0.86 M_sun, consisting of 0.54 M_sun of ionized gas, 0.12 M_sun of atomic gas, 0.2 M_sun of molecular gas, and 4 x 10^-3 M_sun of dust grains. These estimates also suggest that the central star of about 1.5 M_sun initial mass is terminating its PN evolution onto the white dwarf cooling track. The HerPlaNS data provide various diagnostics for both the dust and gas components in a spatially-resolved manner. In the forthcoming papers of the HerPlaNS series we will explore the HerPlaNS data set fully for the entire sample of 11 PNs.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2014; 565:A36. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423395 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: It is not an understatement to say that V838 Mon is one heck of an enigmatic object. It underwent a powerful eruptive outburst in Jan. 2002, increasing in luminosity by a factor of 100 over a period of 3 months. Immediately following this event, a spectacular light echo was formed from the outburst light reflecting off the surrounding dust; this has been beautifully followed by Hubble Space Telescope imaging. What makes V838 Mon an unusual star is that the outburst is not of any type heretofore seen. The theories that best explain the outburst are a giant star engulfing a planetary system, or a merger between two low-mass stars. To date, observations have shown that the envelope of the star expanded in response to the stellar impact, and than it may now be beginning to contract. Many O-bearing molecules, dust, an SiO maser and possibly a jet have been observed from the star. Spitzer imaging has shown dust surrounding the star, and has shown that new dust was forming right around the star itself. We obtained Herschel (SPIRE, PACS, and HIFI) data on V838 Mon, with the aim of seeing what was going on with the dust forming around the star, and to see if this new dust, and the older surrounding dust, were changing with time. We also wanted to see what was happening in the expanded stellar atmosphere. In this poster we present our results.
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    ABSTRACT: We study the impact of binary interaction processes on the evolution of low- and intermediate-mass stars using long-term monitoring of their radial velocity. Here we report on our results on the central stars of two planetary nebulae (PNe): the well-studied spectrophotometric standard BD+33.2642 (central star of PNG 052.7+50.7) and HD112313 (central star of PN LoTr5), the optical light of which is dominated by a rapidly rotating G star. The high-resolution spectra were cross-correlated with carefully selected masks of spectral lines. The individual masks were optimised for the spectral signatures of the dominant contributor of the optical light. We report on the first detection of orbital motion in these two objects. For BD+33.2642 we sampled 1.5 cycles of the 1105 +/- 24 day orbital period. For HD 112313 a full period is not yet covered, despite our 1807 days of monitoring. The radial-velocity amplitude shows that it is unlikely that the orbital plane is co-planar with the one defined by the nebular waist of the bipolar nebula. To our knowledge these are the first detections of orbits in PNe that are in a range from several weeks to a few years. The orbital properties and chemical composition of BD+33.2642 are similar to what is found in post-AGB binaries with circumbinary discs. The latter are probably progenitors of these PNe. For LoTr5 the Ba-rich central star and the long orbital period are similar to the Ba star giants, which hence serve as natural progeny. In contrast to the central star in LoTr5, normal Ba stars are slow rotators. The orbits of these systems have a low probability of occurrence according to recent population synthesis calculations.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 03/2014; 563. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201423650 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As part of the Herschel Guaranteed Time Key Project MESS (Mass loss of Evolved StarS) we have imaged a sample of planetary nebulae. In this paper we present the PACS and SPIRE images of the classical bipolar planetary nebula NGC 650. We used these images to derive a temperature map of the dust. We also constructed a photoionization and dust radiative transfer model using the spectral synthesis code Cloudy. To constrain this model, we used the PACS and SPIRE fluxes and combined these with hitherto unpublished IUE and Spitzer IRS spectra as well as various other data from the literature. The temperature map combined with the photoionization model were used to study various aspects of the central star, the nebula, and in particular the dust grains in the nebula. The central star parameters are determined to be T_eff = 208 kK and L = 261 L_sol assuming a distance of 1200 pc. The stellar temperature is much higher than previously published values. We confirm that the nebula is carbon-rich with a C/O ratio of 2.1. The nebular abundances are typical for a type IIa planetary nebula. With the photoionization model we determined that the grains in the ionized nebula are large (assuming single-sized grains, they would have a radius of 0.15 micron. Most likely these large grains were inherited from the asymptotic giant branch phase. The PACS 70/160 micron temperature map shows evidence for two radiation components heating the grains. The first component is direct emission from the central star, while the second component is diffuse emission from the ionized gas (mainly Ly alpha). We show that previous suggestions that there is a photo-dissociation region surrounding the ionized region are incorrect. The neutral material resides in dense clumps inside the ionized region. These may also harbor stochastically heated very small grains in addition to the large grains.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2013; 560. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201221023 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have obtained far-infrared Herschel PACS imaging and spectroscopic observations of the nebular environment of the luminous blue variable WRAY 15-751. These images clearly show that the main, dusty nebula is a shell of radius 0.5 pc and width 0.35 pc extending outside the H-alpha nebula. They also reveal a second, bigger and fainter dust nebula, observed for the first time. Both nebulae lie in an empty cavity, likely the remnant of the O-star wind bubble formed when the star was on the main sequence. The kinematic ages of the nebulae are about 20000 and 80000 years and each nebula contains about 0.05 Msun of dust. Modeling of the inner nebula indicates a Fe-rich dust. The far-infrared spectrum of the main nebula revealed forbidden emission lines coming from ionized and neutral gas. Our study shows that the main nebula consists of a shell of ionized gas surrounded by a thin photodissociation region illuminated by an "average" early-B star. The derived abundance ratios N/O=1.0+/-0.4 and C/O=0.4+/-0.2 indicate a mild N/O enrichment. We estimate that the inner shell contains 1.7+/-0.6 Msun of gas. Assuming a similar dust-to-gas ratio for the outer nebula, the total mass ejected by WRAY 15-751 amounts to 4+/-2 Msun. The measured abundances, masses and kinematic ages of the nebulae were used to constrain the evolution of the star and the epoch at which the nebulae were ejected. Our results point to an ejection of the nebulae during the RSG evolutionary phase of an ~ 40 Msun star. The presence of multiple shells around the star suggests that the mass-loss was not a continuous ejection but rather a series of episodes of extreme mass-loss. Our measurements are compatible with the recent evolutionary tracks computed for an 40 Msun star with little rotation. They support the O-BSG-RSG-YSG-LBV filiation and the idea that high-luminosity and low-luminosity LBVs follow different evolutionary paths.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2013; 557. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201321853 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To determine the spectral type, the rotational velocity and the radial velocity amplitude of the primary, we obtained 46 high-resolution (R~85000) echelle spectra using the HERMES spectrograph at the 1.2-m Mercator telescope (La Palma, Canary Islands). These were reduced using the standard instrument-specific data reduction pipeline. Additionally, we obtained 29 spectra with the ISIS spectrograph mounted on the 4.2-m William Herschel Telescope (La Palma, Canary Islands). The Kepler data from Q0 (quarter 0), Q1, Q2 and Q3 were retrieved from the public archive (http://archive.stsci.edu/kepler/). The data span 229-d, resulting in a data set of 212-d of observations excluding the gaps. (6 data files).
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    ABSTRACT: A study of the blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxy Mrk 996 based on high resolution optical VLT VIMOS integral field unit spectroscopy is presented. Mrk 996 displays multi-component line emission, with most line profiles consisting of a narrow, central Gaussian (FWHM∼110 km s −1) with an underlying broad component (FWHM∼400 km s −1). The broad Hi Balmer component splits into two separate broad components inside a 1 ′ ′.5 radius from the nucleus; these are attributed to a two-armed mini-spiral. This spiral-like nucleus rotates in the same sense as the extended narrow-line ionised gas but is offset by ∼50 km s −1 from the systemic velocity of the galaxy. The rotation curve of Mrk 996 derived from the Hα narrow component yields a total mass of 5×10 8 M ⊙ within a radius of 3 kpc. From the Hα luminosity we infer a global star formation rate of ∼2M ⊙ yr −1. The high excitation energy, high critical density [O iii] λ4363 and [N ii] λ5755 lines are only detected from the inner region and exist purely in broad component form, implying unusual excitation conditions. Surface brightness, radial velocity, and
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of observations of blazar PKS 1510-089 with the Herschel Space Observatory PACS and SPIRE instruments, together with multiwavelength data from Fermi/LAT, Swift, SMARTS and SMA. The source was found in a quiet state, and its far-infrared spectrum is consistent with a power-law with a spectral index of alpha ~ 0.7. Our Herschel observations were preceded by two 'orphan' gamma-ray flares. The near-infrared data reveal the high-energy cut-off in the main synchrotron component, which cannot be associated with the main gamma-ray component in a one-zone leptonic model. This is because in such a model the luminosity ratio of the External-Compton and synchrotron components is tightly related to the frequency ratio of these components, and in this particular case an unrealistically high energy density of the external radiation would be implied. Therefore, we consider a well-constrained two-zone blazar model to interpret the entire dataset. In this framework, the observed infrared emission is associated with the synchrotron component produced in the hot-dust region at the supra-pc scale, while the gamma-ray emission is associated with the External-Compton component produced in the broad-line region at the sub-pc scale. In addition, the optical/UV emission is associated with the accretion disk thermal emission, with the accretion disk corona likely contributing to the X-ray emission.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2012; 760(1). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/760/1/69 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The predicted orbital period histogram of an sdB population is bimodal with a peak at short (< 10 days) and long (> 250 days) periods. Observationally, there are many short-period sdB systems known, but only very few long-period sdB binaries are identified. As these predictions are based on poorly understood binary interaction processes, it is of prime importance to confront the predictions to observational data. In this contribution we aim to determine the absolute dimensions of the long-period sdB+MS binary system PG1104+243. High-resolution spectroscopy time-series were obtained with HERMES at the Mercator telescope at La Palma, and analyzed to obtain radial velocities of both components. Photometry from the literature was used to construct the spectral energy distribution (SED) of the binary. Atmosphere models were used to fit this SED and determine the surface gravity and temperature of both components. The gravitational redshift provided an independent confirmation of the surface gravity of the sdB component. An orbital period of 753 +- 3 d and a mass ratio of q = 0.637 +- 0.015 were found from the RV-curves. The sdB component has an effective temperature of Teff = 33500 +- 1200 K and a surface gravity of logg = 5.84 +- 0.08 dex, while the cool companion is found to be a G-type star with Teff = 5930 +- 160 K and logg = 4.29 +- 0.05 dex. Assuming a canonical mass of Msdb = 0.47 Msun, the MS component has a mass of 0.74 +- 0.07 Msun, and its Teff corresponds to what is expected for a terminal age main-sequence star with sub-solar metalicity. PG1104+243 is the first long-period sdB binary in which accurate physical parameters of both components could be determined, and the first sdB binary in which the gravitational redshift is measured. Furthermore, PG1104+243 is the first sdB+MS system that shows consistent evidence for being formed through stable Roche-lobe overflow.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 10/2012; 548. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201219723 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present some extensions which were added to the Herschel Common Software System (HCSS) for processing and analyzing observations of the PACS instrument (Poglitsch et al. 2010) on the Herschel Space Observatory (Pilbratt et al. 2010). PACS users and developers worked closely together to improve the user experience when interactively analyzing observations, in such a way that user friendly scripts can be shared with the pipeline for systematic processing. In this way we can easily keep the pipeline up-to-date with user contributed improvements. The most important goals of these improvements are: (1) Hide all the administrative work done in pipeline tasks (such as handling meta data) from the user; (2) Make sure that all tasks can be run step-by-step, even if loops over several products are needed (such loops are all hidden inside the pipeline tasks); (3) Provide convenience tools to deal with observations which are split into many parts (which we call slices).
    09/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: We present our analysis of the spectra of NGC 7027 taken with the PACS and SPIRE instruments of the Herschel satellite.
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 08/2012; 7(S283):352-353. DOI:10.1017/S1743921312011386
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper we give a progress report on the Herschel observations of planetary nebulae that are carried out as part of the MESS guaranteed time key program.
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 08/2012; 7(S283):41-44. DOI:10.1017/S1743921312010666
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    ABSTRACT: CAL83 is a prototype of the class of Super Soft X-ray Sources (SXS). It is a binary consisting of a low mass secondary that is transferring mass onto a white dwarf primary and is the only known SXS surrounded by an ionisation nebula, made up of the interstellar medium (ISM) ionised by the source itself. With the VIMOS IFU we obtained spectra over a 25\times25" field of view, encompassing one quarter of the nebula. Emission line maps - H I, He II, [O III], [N II], and [S II] - are produced in order to study the morphology of the ionised gas. We include CAL83 on diagrams of various diagnostic ion ratios to compare it to other X-ray ionised sources. Finally we computed some simple models of the ionised gas around CAL83 and compare the predicted to the observed spectra. CAL83 appears to have a fairly standard ionisation nebula as far as the morphology goes: the edges where H is recombining are strong in the low stage ionisation lines and the central, clumpy regions are stronger in the higher stage ionisation lines. But the He II emission is unusual in being confined to one side of CAL83 rather than being homogeneously distributed as with the other ions. We model the CAL83 nebula with cloudy using model parameters for SXSs found in the literature. The He II emission does not fit in with model predictions; in fact none of the models is able to fit the observed spectrum very well. The spectral line images of the region surrounding CAL83 are revealing and instructive. However, more modelling of the spectrum of the ionised gas is necessary, and especially for the high-ionisation level emission from CAL83. In particular, we wish to know if the He II emission and the other nebular lines are powered by the same ionising source.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 06/2012; 544. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201219051 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a light-curve analysis and radial velocity study of KOI-74, an eclipsing A star + white dwarf binary with a 5.2-d orbit. Aside from new spectroscopy covering the orbit of the system, we used 212 d of publicly available Kepler observations and present the first complete light-curve fitting to these data, modelling the eclipses and transits, ellipsoidal modulation, reflection and Doppler beaming. Markov chain Monte Carlo simulations are used to determine the system parameters and uncertainty estimates. Our results are in agreement with earlier studies, except that we find an inclination of 87°.0 ± 0°.4, which is significantly lower than the previously published value. The altered inclination leads to different values for the relative radii of the two stars and therefore also the mass ratio deduced from the ellipsoidal modulations seen in this system. We find that the mass ratio derived from the radial velocity amplitude (q= 0.104 ± 0.004) disagrees with that derived from the ellipsoidal modulation (q= 0.052 ± 0.004 assuming corotation). This was found before, but with our smaller inclination, the discrepancy is even larger than previously reported. Accounting for the rapid rotation of the A-star, instead of assuming corotation with the binary orbit, is found to increase the discrepancy even further by lowering the mass ratio to q= 0.047 ± 0.004. These results indicate that one has to be extremely careful in using the amplitude of an ellipsoidal modulation signal in a close binary to determine the mass ratio, when a proof of corotation is not firmly established. The same problem could arise whenever an ellipsoidal modulation amplitude is used to derive the mass of a planet orbiting a host star that is not in corotation with the planet's orbit. The radial velocities that can be inferred from the detected Doppler beaming in the light curve are found to be in agreement with our spectroscopic radial velocity determination. We also report the first measurement of Rømer delay in a light curve of a compact binary. This delay amounts to -56 ± 17 s and is consistent with the mass ratio derived from the radial velocity amplitude. The firm establishment of this mass ratio at q= 0.104 ± 0.004 leaves little doubt that the companion of KOI-74 is a low-mass white dwarf.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 05/2012; 422(3):2600-2608. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.20818.x · 5.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Fomalhaut is a young, nearby star that is suspected to harbor an infant planetary system, interspersed with one or more belts of dusty debris. We present far-infrared images obtained with the Herschel Space Observatory with an angular resolution between 5.7 and 36.7 arcsec at wavelengths between 70 and 500 micrometer. The images show the main debris belt in great detail. Even at high spatial resolution, the belt appears smooth. The region in between the belt and the central star is not devoid of material; thermal emission is observed here as well. Also at the location of the star, excess emission is detected. We use a dynamical model together with radiative-transfer tools to derive the parameters of the debris disk. We include detailed models of the interaction of the dust grains with radiation, for both the radiation pressure and the temperature determination. Comparing these models to the spatially resolved temperature information contained in the images allows us to place strong constraints on the presence of grains that will be blown out of the system by radiation pressure. We use this to derive the dynamical parameters of the system. The appearance of the belt points towards a remarkably active system in which dust grains are produced at a very high rate by a collisional cascade in a narrow region filled with dynamically excited planetesimals. Dust particles with sizes below the blow-out size are abundantly present. The equivalent of 2000 one-km-sized comets are destroyed every day, out of a cometary reservoir amounting to 110 Earth masses. From comparison of their scattering and thermal properties, we find evidence that the dust grains are fluffy aggregates, which indicates a cometary origin. The excess emission at the location of the star may be produced by hot dust with a range of temperatures, but may also be due to gaseous free-free emission from a stellar wind.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2012; 540. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201118581 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a light curve analysis and radial velocity study of KOI-74, an eclipsing A star + white dwarf binary with a 5.2 day orbit. Aside from new spectroscopy covering the orbit of the system, we used 212 days of publicly available Kepler observations and present the first complete light curve fitting to these data, modelling the eclipses and transits, ellipsoidal modulation, reflection, and Doppler beaming. Markov Chain Monte Carlo simulations are used to determine the system parameters and uncertainty estimates. Our results are in agreement with earlier studies, except that we find an inclination of 87.0 \pm 0.4\degree, which is significantly lower than the previously published value. We find that the mass ratio derived from the radial velocity amplitude (q=0.104 \pm 0.004) disagrees with that derived from the ellipsoidal modulation (q=0.052 \pm 0.004} assuming corotation). This was found before, but with our smaller inclination, the discrepancy is even larger than previously reported. Accounting for the rapid rotation of the A-star is found to increase the discrepancy even further by lowering the mass ratio to q=0.047 \pm 0.004. These results indicate that one has to be extremely careful in using the amplitude of an ellipsoidal modulation signal in a close binary to determine the mass ratio, when a proof of corotation is not firmly established. The radial velocities that can be inferred from the detected Doppler beaming in the light curve are found to be in agreement with our spectroscopic radial velocity determination. We also report the first measurement of R{\o}mer delay in a light curve of a compact binary. This delay amounts to -56 \pm 17 s and is consistent with the mass ratio derived from the radial velocity amplitude. The firm establishment of this mass ratio at q=0.104 \pm 0.004 leaves little doubt that the companion of KOI-74 is a low mass white dwarf.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that stellar chromospheric activity, and its effect on convective energy transport in the envelope, is most likely the cause of significant radius and temperature discrepancies between theoretical evolution models and observations. We aim to determine absolute dimensions and abundances for the solar-type detached eclipsing binary EF Aqr, and to perform a detailed comparison with results from recent stellar evolutionary models. uvby-beta standard photometry was obtained with the Stromgren Automatic Telescope. The broadening function formalism was applied on spectra observed with HERMES at the Mercator telescope in La Palma, to obtain radial velocity curves. Masses and radii with a precision of 0.6% and 1.0% respectively have been established for both components of EF Aqr. The active 0.956 M_sol secondary shows star spots and strong Ca II H and K emission lines. The 1.224 M_sol primary shows signs of activity as well, but at a lower level. An [Fe/H] abundance of 0.00+-0.10 is derived with similar abundances for Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Co, and Ni. Solar calibrated evolutionary models such as Yonsei-Yale, Victoria-Regina and BaSTI isochrones and evolutionary tracks are unable to reproduce EF Aqr, especially for the secondary, which is 9% larger and 400 K cooler than predicted. Models adopting significantly lower mixing length parameters l/H_p remove these discrepancies, as seen in other solar type binaries. For the observed metallicity, Granada models with a mixing length of l/H_p=1.30 (primary) and 1.05 (secondary) reproduce both components at a common age of 1.5+-0.6 Gyr. Observations of EF Aqr suggests that magnetic activity, and its effect on envelope convection, is likely to be the cause of discrepancies in both radius and temperature, which can be removed by adjusting the mixing length parameter of the models downwards.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 02/2012; 540(0004-6361). DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201118606 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: S-type AGB stars are thought to be in the transitional phase between M-type and C-type AGB stars. Because of their peculiar chemical composition, one may expect a strong influence of the stellar C/O ratio on the molecular chemistry and the mineralogy of the circumstellar dust. In this paper, we present a large sample of 87 intrinsic galactic S-type AGB stars, observed at infrared wavelengths with the Spitzer Space Telescope, and supplemented with ground-based optical data. On the one hand, we derive the stellar parameters from the optical spectroscopy and photometry, using a grid of model atmospheres. On the other, we decompose the infrared spectra to quantify the flux-contributions from the different dust species. Finally, we compare the independently determined stellar parameters and dust properties. For the stars without significant dust emission, we detect a strict relation between the presence of SiS absorption in the Spitzer spectra and the C/O ratio of the stellar atmosphere. These absorption bands can thus be used as an additional diagnostic for the C/O ratio. For stars with significant dust emission, we define three groups, based on the relative contribution of certain dust species to the infrared flux. We find a strong link between group-membership and C/O ratio. We show that these groups can be explained by assuming that the dust-condensation can be cut short before silicates are produced, while the remaining free atoms and molecules can then form the observed magnesium sulfides or the carriers of the unidentified 13 and 20 micron features. Finally, we present the detection of emission features attributed to molecules and dust characteristic to C-type stars, such as molecular SiS, hydrocarbons and magnesium sulfide grains. We show that we often detect magnesium sulfides together with molecular SiS and we propose that it is formed by a reaction of SiS molecules with Mg.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 02/2012; 540. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201118242 · 4.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

772 Citations
245.79 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2014
    • University of Leuven
      Louvain, Flemish, Belgium
  • 2009–2010
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2002–2008
    • Queen's University Belfast
      • Department of Applied Mathematics & Theoretical Physics
      Béal Feirste, N Ireland, United Kingdom
  • 2005–2006
    • Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias
      San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Canary Islands, Spain
  • 2004
    • Andrews University
      Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States
  • 1998
    • University of St Andrews
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Saint Andrews, SCT, United Kingdom