A. Collier Cameron

University of St Andrews, Saint Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom

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Publications (360)1069.71 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we derive the fundamental properties of 1SWASPJ011351.29+314909.7 (J0113+31), a metal-poor (-0.40 +/- 0.04 dex), eclipsing binary in an eccentric orbit (~0.3) with an orbital period of ~14.277 d. Eclipsing M dwarfs orbiting solar-type stars (EBLMs), like J0113+31, have been identified from WASP light curves and follow-up spectroscopy in the course of the transiting planet search. We present the first binary of the EBLM sample to be fully analysed, and thus, define here the methodology. The primary component with a mass of 0.945 +/- 0.045 Msun has a large radius (1.378 +/- 0.058 Rsun) indicating that the system is quite old, ~9.5 Gyr. The M-dwarf secondary mass of 0.186 +/- 0.010 Msun and radius of 0.209 +/- 0.011 Rsun are fully consistent with stellar evolutionary models. However, from the near-infrared secondary eclipse light curve, the M dwarf is found to have an effective temperature of 3922 +/- 42 K, which is ~600 K hotter than predicted by theoretical models. We discuss different scenarios to explain this temperature discrepancy. The case of J0113+31 for which we can measure mass, radius, temperature and metallicity, highlights the importance of deriving mass, radius and temperature as a function of metallicity for M dwarfs to better understand the lowest mass stars. The EBLM Project will define the relationship between mass, radius, temperature and metallicity for M dwarfs providing important empirical constraints at the bottom of the main sequence.
    08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery from the WASP survey of two exoplanetary systems, each consisting of a Jupiter-sized planet transiting an 11th magnitude (V) main-sequence star. WASP-104b orbits its star in 1.75 d, whereas WASP-106b has the fourth-longest orbital period of any planet discovered by means of transits observed from the ground, orbiting every 9.29 d. Each planet is more massive than Jupiter (WASP-104b has a mass of $1.27 \pm 0.05~\mathrm{M_{Jup}}$, while WASP-106b has a mass of $1.93 \pm 0.08~\mathrm{M_{Jup}}$). Both planets are just slightly larger than Jupiter, with radii of $1.14 \pm 0.04$ and $1.09 \pm 0.04~\mathrm{R_{Jup}}$ for WASP-104 and WASP-106 respectively. No significant orbital eccentricity is detected in either system, and while this is not surprising in the case of the short-period WASP-104b, it is interesting in the case of WASP-106b, because many otherwise similar planets are known to have eccentric orbits.
    08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: CoRoT-7b, the first super-Earth with measured radius discovered, has opened the new field of rocky exoplanets characterisation. To better understand this interesting system, new observations were taken with the CoRoT satellite. During this run 90 new transits were obtained in the imagette mode. These were analysed together with the previous 151 transits obtained in the discovery run and HARPS radial velocity observations to derive accurate system parameters. A difference is found in the posterior probability distribution of the transit parameters between the previous CoRoT run (LRa01) and the new run (LRa06). We propose this is due to an extra noise component in the previous CoRoT run suspected to be transit spot occultation events. These lead to the mean transit shape becoming V-shaped. We show that the extra noise component is dominant at low stellar flux levels and reject these transits in the final analysis. We obtained a planetary radius, $R_p= 1.585\pm0.064\,R_{\oplus}$, in agreement with previous estimates. Combining the planetary radius with the new mass estimates results in a planetary density of $ 1.19 \pm 0.27\, \rho_{\oplus}$ which is consistent with a rocky composition. The CoRoT-7 system remains an excellent test bed for the effects of activity in the derivation of planetary parameters in the shallow transit regime.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of WASP-117b, the first planet with a period beyond 10 days found by the WASP survey. The planet has a mass of M_p = 0.2755 (+/-0.0090) M_jup, a radius of R_p = 1.021 (-0.065 +0.076) R_jup and is in an eccentric (e = 0.302 +/-0.023), 10.02165 +/- 0.00055 d orbit around a main-sequence F9 star. The host star's brightness (V=10.15 mag) makes WASP-117 a good target for follow-up observations, and with a planetary equilibrium temperature of T_eq = 1024 (-26 +30) K and a low planetary density (rho_p = 0.259 (-0.048 +0.054) rho_jup) it is one of the best targets for transmission spectroscopy among planets with periods around 10 days. From a measurement of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, we infer a projected angle between the planetary orbit and stellar spin axes of beta = -44 (+/-11) deg, and we further derive an orbital obliquity of psi = 69.5 (+3.6 -3.1) deg. Owing to the large orbital separation, tidal forces causing orbital circularization and realignment of the planetary orbit with the stellar plane are weak, having had little impact on the planetary orbit over the system lifetime. WASP-117b joins a small sample of transiting giant planets with well characterized orbits at periods above ~8 days.
    06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Period or amplitude variations in eclipsing binaries may reveal the presence of additional massive bodies in the system, such as circumbinary planets. Here, we have studied twelve previously-known eclipsing post-common-envelope binaries for evidence of such light curve variations, on the basis of multi-year observations in the SuperWASP archive. The results for HW Vir provided strong evidence for period changes consistent with those measured by previous studies, and help support a two-planet model for the system. ASAS J102322-3737.0 exhibited plausible evidence for a period increase not previously suggested; while NY Vir, QS Vir and NSVS 14256825 afforded less significant support for period change, providing some confirmation to earlier claims. In other cases, period change was not convincingly observed; for AA Dor and NSVS 07826147, previous findings of constant period were confirmed. This study allows us to present hundreds of new primary eclipse timings for these systems, and further demonstrates the value of wide-field high-cadence surveys like SuperWASP for the investigation of variable stars.
    05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We used the light curve archive of the Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES) to investigate the RR Lyrae variable stars listed in the General Catalogue of Variable Stars (GCVS). Of 588 variables studied, we reclassify 14 as eclipsing binaries, one as an RS Canum Venaticorum-type variable, one as an irregular variable, four as classical Cepheids, and one as a type II Cepheid, while also improving their periods. We also report new RR Lyrae sub-type classifications for 65 variables and improve on the GCVS period estimates for 135 RR Lyrae variables. There are seven double-mode RR Lyrae stars in the sample for which we measured their fundamental and first overtone periods. Finally, we detect the Blazhko effect in 38 of the RR Lyrae stars for the first time and we successfully measured the Blazhko period for 26 of them.
    05/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We used the light curve archive of the Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES) to investigate the RR Lyrae variable stars listed in the General Catalogue of Variable Stars (GCVS). Of 588 variables studied, we reclassify 14 as eclipsing binaries, one as an RS Canum Venaticorum-type variable, one as an irregular variable, four as classical Cepheids, and one as a type II Cepheid, while also improving their periods. We also report new RR Lyrae sub-type classifications for 65 variables and improve on the GCVS period estimates for 135 RR Lyrae variables. There are seven double-mode RR Lyrae stars in the sample for which we measured their fundamental and first overtone periods. Finally, we detect the Blazhko effect in 38 of the RR Lyrae stars for the first time and we successfully measured the Blazhko period for 26 of them.
    04/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The majority of extra-solar planets have been discovered (or confirmed after follow-up) through radial-velocity (RV) surveys. Using ground-based spectrographs such as High Accuracy Radial Velocity Planetary Search (HARPS) and HARPS-North, it is now possible to detect planets that are only a few times the mass of the Earth. However, the presence of dark spots on the stellar surface produces RV signals that are very similar in amplitude to those caused by orbiting low-mass planets. Disentangling these signals has thus become the biggest challenge in the detection of Earth-mass planets using RV surveys. To do so, we use the star's lightcurve to model the RV variations produced by spots. Here we present this method and show the results of its application to CoRoT-7.
    03/2014; 13(2).
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    ABSTRACT: We present Rossiter-McLaughlin observations of WASP-13b and WASP-32b and determine the sky-projected angle between the normal of the planetary orbit and the stellar rotation axis ($\lambda$). WASP-13b and WASP-32b both have prograde orbits and are consistent with alignment with measured sky-projected angles of $\lambda={8^{\circ}}^{+13}_{-12}$ and $\lambda={-2^{\circ}}^{+17}_{-19}$, respectively. Both WASP-13 and WASP-32 have $T_{\mathrm{eff}}<6250$K and therefore these systems support the general trend that aligned planetary systems are preferentially found orbiting cool host stars. A Lomb-Scargle periodogram analysis was carried out on archival SuperWASP data for both systems. A statistically significant stellar rotation period detection (above 99.9\% confidence) was identified for the WASP-32 system with $P_{\mathrm{rot}}=11.6 \pm 1.0 $ days. This rotation period is in agreement with the predicted stellar rotation period calculated from the stellar radius, $R_{\star}$, and $v \sin i$ if a stellar inclination of $i_{\star}=90^{\circ}$ is assumed. With the determined rotation period, the true 3D angle between the stellar rotation axis and the planetary orbit, $\psi$, was found to be $\psi=11^{\circ} \pm 14$. We conclude with a discussion on the alignment of systems around cool host stars with $T_{\mathrm{eff}}<6150$K by calculating the tidal dissipation timescale. We find that systems with short tidal dissipation timescales are preferentially aligned and systems with long tidal dissipation timescales have a broad range of obliquities.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Context. Kepler observations revealed a brown dwarf eclipsing the M-type star LHS 6343 A with a period of 12.71 days. In addition, an out-of-eclipse light modulation with the same period and a relative semi-amplitude of 2 x 10^-4 was observed showing an almost constant phase lag to the eclipses produced by the brown dwarf. In a previous work, we concluded that this was due to the light modulation induced by photospheric active regions in LHS 6343 A. Aims. In the present work, we prove that most of the out-of-eclipse light modulation is caused by the Doppler-beaming induced by the orbital motion of the primary star. Methods. We introduce a model of the Doppler-beaming for an eccentric orbit and also considered the ellipsoidal effect. The data were fitted using a Bayesian approach implemented through a Monte Carlo Markov chain method. Model residuals were analysed by searching for periodicities using a Lomb-Scargle periodogram. Results. For the first seven quarters of Kepler observations and the orbit previously derived from the radial velocity measurements, we show that the light modulation of the system outside eclipses is dominated by the Doppler-beaming effect. A period search performed on the residuals shows a significant periodicity of 42.5 +- 3.2 days with a false-alarm probability of 5 x 10^-4, probably associated with the rotational modulation of the primary component.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The results of a search for eclipsing Am star binaries using photometry from the SuperWASP survey are presented. The light curves of 1742 Am stars fainter than V = 8.0 were analysed for the presences of eclipses. A total of 70 stars were found to exhibit eclipses, with 66 having sufficient observations to enable orbital periods to be determined and 28 of which are newly identified eclipsing systems. Also presented are spectroscopic orbits for 5 of the systems. The number of systems and the period distribution is found to be consistent with that identified in previous radial velocity surveys of `classical' Am stars.
    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of the planets WASP-20b and WASP-28b along with measurements of their sky-projected orbital obliquities. WASP-20b is an inflated, Saturn-mass planet (0.31 $M_{\rm Jup}$; 1.46 $R_{\rm Jup}$) in a 4.9-day, near-aligned ($\lambda = 8.1 \pm 3.6^\circ$) orbit around CD-24 102 ($V$=10.7; F9). WASP-28b is an inflated, Jupiter-mass planet (0.91 $M_{\rm Jup}$; 1.21 $R_{\rm Jup}$) in a 3.4-day, near-aligned ($\lambda = 8 \pm 18^\circ$) orbit around a $V$=12, F8 star. As intermediate-mass planets in short orbits around aged, cool stars ($7^{+2}_{-1}$ Gyr for WASP-20 and $5^{+3}_{-2}$ Gyr for WASP-28; both with $T_{\rm eff}$ < 6250 K), their orbital alignment is consistent with the hypothesis that close-in giant planets are scattered into eccentric orbits with random alignments, which are then circularised and aligned with their stars' spins via tidal dissipation.
    02/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of a survey using the WASP archive to search for high frequency pulsations in F-, A- and B-type stars. Over 1.5 million targets have been searched for pulsations with amplitudes greater than 0.5 millimagnitude. We identify over 350 stars which pulsate with periods less than 30 min. Spectroscopic follow-up of selected targets has enabled us to confirm 10 new rapidly oscillating Ap stars, 13 pulsating Am stars and the fastest known $\delta$ Scuti star. We also observe stars which show pulsations in both the high-frequency domain and in the low-frequency $\delta$ Scuti range. This work shows the power of the WASP photometric survey to find variable stars with amplitudes well below the nominal photometric precision per observation.
    01/2014; 439(2).
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    ABSTRACT: The Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES) is discovering hot Jupiters and aims to discover hot Saturns and hot Neptunes that transit in front of relatively bright host stars. QES currently operates a robotic wide-angle camera system to identify promising transiting exoplanet candidates among which are the confirmed exoplanets Qatar 1b and 2b. This paper describes the first generation QES instrument, observing strategy, data reduction techniques, and follow-up procedures. The QES cameras in New Mexico complement the SuperWASP cameras in the Canary Islands and South Africa, and we have developed tools to enable the QES images and light curves to be archived and analysed using the same methods developed for the SuperWASP datasets. With its larger aperture, finer pixel scale, and comparable field of view, and with plans to deploy similar systems at two further sites, the QES, in collaboration with SuperWASP, should help to speed the discovery of smaller radius planets transiting bright stars in northern skies.
    Acta Astronomica -Warsaw and Cracow- 01/2014; · 2.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We observed with HARPS, the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect for 40 of the 75 transiting hot Jupiters discovered in the Southern Hemisphere by WASP. Our observations reveal a wide distribution in orbital inclinations indicative of past dynamical interactions. Our data also demonstrate the important effect produced by tidal interactions in shaping the spin-orbit (β) angle distribution. We briefly present and interpret the data we collected in a series of graphs.
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union 01/2014;
  • Yue Xiang, Sheng-hong Gu, A. Collier Cameron, J. R. Barnes
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    ABSTRACT: We present Doppler images of RS CVn-type binary II Peg based on two data sets obtained in 2004 February and November. In order to improve signal-to-noise ratio and reliability, we apply least-squares deconvolution technique to calculate average profiles from 2032 photospheric absorption lines. Both of the resulting surface images show a wide latitude distribution of starspots. Most spots are concentrated at a high-latitude belt above 60° and a low-latitude belt near equator. The starspots evolved dramatically between two observing runs, which may indicate shorter time-scale evolution in this epoch, especially for low-latitude belt. There is no stable preferred active longitude that can be found in our images. We also find out a possible phenomenon that the intermediate-latitude spot migrated poleward and merged with the high-latitude spot to make it stronger, which may reveal a more complex behaviour of starspots on II Peg. A potential change of orbital ephemeris zero-point was detected. This may imply an orbital period change of II Peg like other active close binaries.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 12/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Many nearby main-sequence stars have been searched for debris using the far-infrared Herschel satellite, within the DEBRIS, DUNES and Guaranteed-Time Key Projects. We discuss here 11 stars of spectral types A to M where the stellar inclination is known and can be compared to that of the spatially-resolved dust belts. The discs are found to be well aligned with the stellar equators, as in the case of the Sun's Kuiper belt, and unlike many close-in planets seen in transit surveys. The ensemble of stars here can be fitted with a star-disc tilt of ~<10 degrees. These results suggest that proposed mechanisms for tilting the star or disc in fact operate rarely. A few systems also host imaged planets, whose orbits at tens of AU are aligned with the debris discs, contrary to what might be expected in models where external perturbers induce tilts.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters 10/2013; · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of the transiting exoplanets WASP-69b, WASP-70Ab and WASP-84b, each of which orbits a bright star (V~10). WASP-69b is a bloated Saturn-mass planet (0.26 M$_{\rm Jup}$, 1.06 R$_{\rm Jup}$) in a 3.868-d period around an active mid-K dwarf. We estimate a stellar age of 1 Gyr from both gyrochronological and age-activity relations, though an alternative gyrochronological relation suggests an age of 3 Gyr. ROSAT detected X-rays at a distance of 60$\pm$27 arcsec from WASP-69. If the star is the source then the planet could be undergoing mass-loss at a rate of ~10$^{12}$ g s$^{-1}$. This is 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than the evaporation rate estimated for HD 209458b and HD 189733b, both of which have exhibited anomalously-large Lyman-{\alpha} absorption during transit. WASP-70Ab is a sub-Jupiter-mass planet (0.59 M$_{\rm Jup}$, 1.16R$_{\rm Jup}$) in a 3.713-d orbit around the primary of a spatially-resolved G4+K3 binary, with a separation of 3.3 arcsec ($\geq$800 AU). We exploit the binary nature of the system to construct a H-R diagram, from which we estimate its age to be 9-10 Gyr. WASP-84b is a sub-Jupiter-mass planet (0.69 M$_{\rm Jup}$, 0.94 R$_{\rm Jup}$) in an 8.523-d orbit around an active early-K dwarf. Of the transiting planets discovered from the ground to date, WASP-84b has the third-longest period. From a combination of gyrochronological and age-activity relations we estimate the age of WASP-84 to be ~1 Gyr. For both the active stars WASP-69 and WASP-84 we find a modulation of the radial velocities with a period similar to the photometrically-determined stellar rotation period. We fit the residuals with a low-order harmonic series and subtract the best fit from the RVs prior to deriving the system parameters. In each case the solution is essentially unchanged, with much less than a 1-{\sigma} change to the planetary mass. We found...
    10/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the discovery of the transiting exoplanets WASP-95b, WASP-96b, WASP-97b, WASP-98b, WASP-99b, WASP-100b and WASP-101b. All are hot Jupiters with orbital periods in the range 2.1 to 5.7 d, masses of 0.5 to 2.8 Mjup, and radii of 1.1 to 1.4 Rjup. The orbits of all the planets are compatible with zero eccentricity. WASP-99b shows the shallowest transit yet found by WASP-South, at 0.4%. The host stars are of spectral type F2 to G8. Five have metallicities of [Fe/H] from -0.03 to +0.23, while WASP-98 has a metallicity of -0.60, exceptionally low for a star with a transiting exoplanet. Five of the host stars are brighter than V = 10.8, which significantly extends the number of bright transiting systems available for follow-up studies. WASP-95 shows a possible rotational modulation at a period of 20.7 d. We discuss the completeness of WASP survey techniques by comparing to the HAT project.
    10/2013; 440(3).
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    ABSTRACT: We report three new transiting hot-Jupiter planets discovered from the WASP surveys combined with radial velocities from OHP/SOPHIE and Euler/CORALIE and photometry from Euler and TRAPPIST. All three planets are inflated, with radii 1.7-1.8 Rjup. All orbit hot stars, F5-F7, and all three stars have evolved, post-MS radii (1.7-2.2 Rsun). Thus the three planets, with orbits of 1.8-3.9 d, are among the most irradiated planets known. This reinforces the correlation between inflated planets and stellar irradiation.
    10/2013;

Publication Stats

5k Citations
1,069.71 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1995–2014
    • University of St Andrews
      • School of Physics and Astronomy
      Saint Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2009–2012
    • Scottish Universities Physics Alliance
      Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • 2004–2011
    • Andrews University
      Berrien Springs, Michigan, United States
    • Vanderbilt University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Nashville, MI, United States
  • 2009–2010
    • Keele University
      • Department of Physics and Astrophysics
      Newcastle-under-Lyme, England, United Kingdom
  • 2006
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2002
    • Pennsylvania State University
      • Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics
      University Park, MD, United States
    • University of Vienna
      Wien, Vienna, Austria
  • 2001
    • University of Porto
      Oporto, Porto, Portugal
  • 1998
    • University of Helsinki
      Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
    • Complutense University of Madrid
      Madrid, Madrid, Spain
  • 1990–1995
    • University of Sussex
      • Astronomy Centre
      Brighton, ENG, United Kingdom
  • 1988–1992
    • University of Brighton
      Brighton, England, United Kingdom
  • 1986–1988
    • University of Cambridge
      Cambridge, England, United Kingdom