Michael Bessell

Michael Bessell
Australian National University | ANU · Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics

About

393
Publications
58,759
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
17,478
Citations
Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (393)
Preprint
Full-text available
A wide-field zenith-looking telescope operating in a mode similar to Time-Delay-Integration (TDI) or drift scan imaging can perform an infrared sky survey without active pointing control but it requires a high-speed, low-noise infrared detector. Operating from a hosted payload platform on the International Space Station (ISS), the Emu space telesco...
Preprint
Full-text available
Decades after their discovery, only four hydrogen-deficient carbon (HdC) stars were known to have no circumstellar dust shell. This is in complete contrast to the $\sim$130 known Galactic HdC stars that are notorious for being heavy dust producers, i.e. the R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars. Together they form a rare class of supergiant stars that are...
Article
Context. Decades after their discovery, only four hydrogen-deficient carbon (HdC) stars were known to have no circumstellar dust shell. This is in complete contrast to the 130 known Galactic HdC stars that are notorious for being heavy dust producers, i.e. the R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars. Together they form a rare class of supergiant stars that...
Article
Young open clusters are ideal laboratories to understand the star formation process. We present deep UBVI and Hα photometry for the young open cluster IC 1590 in the center of the H ii region NGC 281. Early-type members are selected from UBV photometric diagrams, and low-mass pre-main-sequence (PMS) members are identified by using Hα photometry. In...
Article
Full-text available
We report the discovery of a rare close binary system, SMSS J160639.78-100010.7, comprised of a magnetic white dwarf with a field of about 30 MG and a brown dwarf. We measured an orbital period of 92 min which is consistent with the photometric period. Minimum and maximum light occur at the orbital quadratures Φ = 0.25 and 0.75, respectively, and c...
Preprint
Full-text available
We report the discovery of a rare close binary system, SMSS J160639.78-100010.7, comprised of a magnetic white dwarf with a field of about 30 MG and a brown dwarf. We measured an orbital period of 92 min which is consistent with the photometric period. Minimum and maximum light occur at the orbital quadratures Phi=0.25 and 0.75, respectively, and c...
Article
We present chemical abundances for 21 elements (from Li to Eu) in 150 metal-poor Galactic stars spanning −4.1 < [Fe/H] < −2.1. The targets were selected from the SkyMapper survey and include 90 objects with [Fe/H] ≤ −3 of which some 15 have [Fe/H] ≤ −3.5. When combining the sample with our previous studies, we find that the metallicity distribution...
Preprint
We present chemical abundances for 21 elements (from Li to Eu) in 150 metal-poor Galactic stars spanning $-$4.1 $<$ [Fe/H] $<$ $-$2.1. The targets were selected from the SkyMapper survey and include 90 objects with [Fe/H] $\le$ $-$3 of which some 15 have [Fe/H] $\le$ $-$3.5. When combining the sample with our previous studies, we find that the meta...
Article
Full-text available
Neutron-star mergers were recently confirmed as sites of rapid-neutron-capture (r-process) nucleosynthesis1–3. However, in Galactic chemical evolution models, neutron-star mergers alone cannot reproduce the observed element abundance patterns of extremely metal-poor stars, which indicates the existence of other sites of r-process nucleosynthesis4–6...
Preprint
Neutron-star mergers were recently confirmed as sites of rapid-neutron-capture (r-process) nucleosynthesis. However, in Galactic chemical evolution models, neutron-star mergers alone cannot reproduce the observed element abundance patterns of extremely metal-poor stars, which indicates the existence of other sites of r-process nucleosynthesis. Thes...
Preprint
Young open clusters are ideal laboratories to understand star formation process. We present deep UBV I and Halpha photometry for the young open cluster IC 1590 in the center of the H II region NGC 281. Early-type members are selected from UBV photometric diagrams, and low-mass pre-main sequence (PMS) members are identified by using Halpha photometr...
Article
We present the results of a medium-resolution optical spectroscopic survey of 92 cool ($3000 \,\mathrm{ K}\lesssim T_{\rm eff} \lesssim 4500\,$K) southern TESS candidate planet hosts, and describe our spectral fitting methodology used to recover stellar parameters. We quantify model deficiencies at predicting optical fluxes, and while our technique...
Preprint
We present the results of a medium resolution optical spectroscopic survey of 92 cool ($3,000 \lesssim T_{\rm eff} \lesssim 4,500\,$K) southern TESS candidate planet hosts, and describe our spectral fitting methodology used to recover stellar parameters. We quantify model deficiencies at predicting optical fluxes, and while our technique works well...
Article
2021. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. We analyze the dynamical properties of ∼1500 very metal-poor (VMP; [Fe/H] ≲ −2.0) halo stars, based primarily on medium-resolution spectroscopic data from the HK and Hamburg/ESO surveys. These data, collected over the past 30 yr, are supplemented by a number of calibration stars and othe...
Preprint
Full-text available
We analyze the dynamical properties of $\sim$1500 very metal-poor (VMP; [Fe/H] $\lesssim -2.0$) halo stars, based primarily on medium-resolution spectroscopic data from the HK and Hamburg/ESO surveys. These data, collected over the past thirty years, are supplemented by a number of calibration stars and other small samples, along with astrometric i...
Article
In this work we combine spectroscopic information from the SkyMapper survey for Extremely Metal-Poor stars and astrometry from Gaia DR2 to investigate the kinematics of a sample of 475 stars with a metallicity range of $-6.5 \le \rm [Fe/H] \le -2.05$ dex. Exploiting the action map, we identify 16 and 40 stars dynamically consistent with the Gaia Sa...
Preprint
In this work we combine spectroscopic information from the \textit{SkyMapper survey for Extremely Metal-Poor stars} and astrometry from Gaia DR2 to investigate the kinematics of a sample of 475 stars with a metallicity range of $ -6.5 \leq \rm [Fe/H] \leq -2.05$ dex. Exploiting the action map, we identify 16 and 40 stars dynamically consistent with...
Preprint
Full-text available
We present the second data release (DR2) of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, using six optical filters: $u,v,g,r,i,z$. DR2 is the first release to go beyond the $\sim$18mag (10${\sigma}$) limit of the Shallow Survey released in DR1, and includes p...
Article
We present the orbit and properties of 2MASS J050051.85−093054.9, establishing it as the closest (d ≈ 71 pc) extremely low-mass white dwarf to the Sun. We find that this star is hydrogen rich with $T_\textrm {eff}\approx 10\, 500$ K, log g ≈ 5.9, and, following evolutionary models, has a mass of ≈0.17 M⊙. Independent analysis of radial velocity and...
Preprint
We present the orbit and properties of 2MASS J050051.85-093054.9, establishing it as the closest (d ~ 71 pc) extremely low mass white dwarf to the Sun. We find that this star is hydrogen-rich with Teff ~ 10 500 K, log g ~ 5.9, and, following evolutionary models, has a mass of ~ 0.17 solar masses. Independent analysis of radial velocity and TESS pho...
Article
Context. Studying the accretion process in very low-mass objects has important implications for understanding their formation mechanism. Many nearby late-M dwarfs that have previously been identified in the field are in fact young brown dwarf members of nearby young associations. Some of them are still accreting. They are therefore excellent target...
Preprint
Studying the accretion process in very low-mass objects has important implications for understanding their formation mechanism. Many nearby late-M dwarfs that have previously been identified in the field are in fact young brown dwarf members of nearby young associations. Some of them are still accreting. They are therefore excellent targets for fur...
Article
Full-text available
Context. It is more and more suspected that R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars – rare hydrogen-deficient and carbon-rich supergiant stars – are the products of mergers of CO/He white-dwarf binary systems in the intermediate mass regime (0.6 < MTot < 1.2 M⊙ ). Following the merger, a short-lived cool supergiant phase starts. RCB stars are extremely rare...
Preprint
We present the characterization of CRTS J055255.7$-$004426 (=THOR 42), a young eclipsing binary comprising two pre-main sequence M dwarfs (combined spectral type M3.5). This nearby (103 pc), short-period (0.859 d) system was recently proposed as a member of the $\sim$24 Myr-old 32 Orionis Moving Group. Using ground- and space-based photometry in co...
Article
We present and discuss the results of a search for extremely metal-poor stars based on photometry from data release DR1.1 of the SkyMapper imaging survey of the southern sky. In particular, we outline our photometric selection procedures and describe the low-resolution (R ≈ 3000) spectroscopic follow-up observations that are used to provide estimat...
Preprint
We present and discuss the results of a search for extremely metal-poor stars based on photometry from data release DR1.1 of the SkyMapper imaging survey of the southern sky. In particular, we outline our photometric selection procedures and describe the low-resolution ($R$ $\approx$ 3000) spectroscopic follow-up observations that are used to provi...
Article
Full-text available
We present the second data release (DR2) of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia, using six optical filters: u, v, g, r, i, z . DR2 is the first release to go beyond the $\sim\!18$ mag (10 $\sigma$ ) limit of the Shallow Survey released in the first da...
Article
We report the discovery of SMSS J160540.18−144323.1, a new ultra-metal poor halo star discovered with the SkyMapper telescope. We measure [Fe/H] = −6.2 ± 0.2 (1D LTE), the lowest ever detected abundance of iron in a star. The star is strongly carbon-enhanced, [C/Fe] = 3.9 ± 0.2, while other abundances are compatible with an α-enhanced solar-like pa...
Article
We present optical photometric, spectroscopic data for the stars in the high Galactic latitude molecular cloud MBM 110. For the complete membership selection of MBM 110, we also analyse Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer(WISE) mid-infrared data and Gaia astrometric data. Membership of individual stars is critically evaluated using the data mention...
Article
We present results from the analysis of high-resolution spectra obtained with the Keck HIRES spectrograph for a sample of 17 candidate extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars originally selected from commissioning data obtained with the SkyMapper telescope. Fourteen of the stars have not been observed previously at high dispersion. Three have [Fe/H] ≤ −3....
Preprint
We present optical photometric, spectroscopic data for the stars in the high Galactic latitude molecular cloud MBM 110. For the complete membership selection of MBM 110, we also analyze WISE mid-infrared data and Gaia astrometric data. Membership of individual stars is critically evaluated using the data mentioned above. The Gaia parallax of stars...
Preprint
We present results from the analysis of high-resolution spectra obtained with the Keck HIRES spectrograph for a sample of 17 candidate extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars originally selected from commissioning data obtained with the SkyMapper telescope. Fourteen of the stars have not been observed previously at high dispersion. Three have [Fe/H]<=-3.0...
Preprint
It is increasingly suspected that R Coronae Borealis (RCB) stars - rare hydrogen-deficient and carbon-rich supergiant stars - are the product of mergers of white-dwarfs in the intermediary mass regime ($0.6<M_{Tot}<1.2 M_{\odot}$). Only 78 RCB stars are currently known in our Galaxy while up to 1000 were expected. It is necessary to find more of th...
Article
We report the discovery of an unusual stellar system SMSS J130522.47-293113.0. The optical spectrum is dominated by a blue continuum together with emission lines of hydrogen, neutral and ionized helium, and the N III, C III blend at ∼λ4640–4650Å. The emission line profiles vary in strength and position on timescales as short as 1 day, while optical...
Article
OB associations are the prevailing star forming sites in the Galaxy. Up to now, the process of how OB associations were formed remained a mystery. A possible process is self-regulating star formation driven by feedback from massive stars. However, although a number of observational studies uncovered various signposts of feedback-driven star formati...
Article
Full-text available
We present the first data release (DR1) of the SkyMapper Southern Survey, a hemispheric survey carried out with the SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. Here, we present the survey strategy, data processing, catalogue construction and database schema. The DR1 dataset includes over 66,000 images from the Shallow Survey comp...
Article
Full-text available
On 2017 August 17 a binary neutron star coalescence candidate (later designated GW170817) with merger time 12:41:04 UTC was observed through gravitational waves by the Advanced LIGO and Advanced Virgo detectors. The Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor independently detected a gamma-ray burst (GRB 170817A) with a time delay of with respect to the merger t...
Article
Full-text available
The discovery of the first electromagnetic counterpart to a gravitational wave signal has generated follow-up observations by over 50 facilities world-wide, ushering in the new era of multi-messenger astronomy. In this paper, we present follow-up observations of the gravitational wave event GW170817 and its electromagnetic counterpart SSS17a/DLT17c...
Article
Full-text available
We present deep wide-field optical CCD photometry and mid-infrared Spitzer/IRAC and MIPS 24micron data for about 100,000 stars in the young open cluster IC 1805. The members of IC 1805 were selected from their location in the various color-color and color-magnitude diagrams, and the presence of Halpha emission, mid-infrared excess emission, and X-r...
Article
Late M-type dwarfs in the solar neighborhood include a mixture of very low-mass stars and brown dwarfs which is difficult to disentangle due to the lack of constraints on their age such as trigonometric parallax, lithium detection and space velocity. We search for young brown dwarf candidates among a sample of 28 nearby late-M dwarfs with spectral...
Article
The timescale of cluster formation is an essential parameter in order to understand the formation process of star clusters. Pre-main sequence (PMS) stars in nearby young open clusters reveal a large spread in brightness. If the spread were considered as a result of a real spread in age, the corresponding cluster formation timescale would be about 5...
Article
This paper presents the first major data release and survey description for the ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme. ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme is an ongoing supernova spectroscopy campaign utilising the Wide Field Spectrograph on the Australian National University 2.3-m telescope. The first and primary data release of this programme (AWSNAP-DR1) rele...
Article
Cosmological models predict the oldest stars in the Galaxy should be found closest to the centre of the potential well, in the bulge. The EMBLA Survey successfully searched for these old, metal-poor stars by making use of the distinctive SkyMapper photometric filters to discover candidate metal-poor stars in the bulge. Their metal-poor nature was t...
Article
Full-text available
There is much observational evidence that active star formation is taking place in the HII regions Sh 2-255 -- 257. We present a photometric study of this star forming region (SFR) using imaging data obtained in passbands from the optical to the mid-infrared in order to study the star formation process. A total of 218 members were identified using...
Article
Full-text available
SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 (hereafter SM0313-6708) is a sub-giant halo star, with no detectable Fe lines and large overabundances of C and Mg relative to Ca. We obtained VLT-UVES spectra extending to 3060 Angstroms showing strong OH A-X band lines enabling an oxygen abundance to be derived. The OH A-X band lines in SM0313-6708 are much stronger than...
Article
Full-text available
The SkyMapper Southern Sky Survey is carrying out a search for the most metal-poor stars in the Galaxy. It identifies candidates by way of its unique filter set that allows for estimation of stellar atmospheric parameters. The set includes a narrow filter centered on the Ca II K 3933A line, enabling a robust estimate of stellar metallicity. Promisi...
Article
Full-text available
Young open clusters located in the outer Galaxy provide us with an opportunity to study star formation activity in a different environment from the solar neighborhood. We present a UBVI and H alpha photometric study of the young open clusters NGC 1624 and NGC 1931 that are situated toward the Galactic anticenter. Various photometric diagrams are us...
Article
Full-text available
We present deep UBVIC photometric data of the young open cluster Westerlund 2. An abnormal reddening law of RV, cl = 4.14 ± 0.08 was found for the highly reddened early-type members ($E(B-V)\geqq 1.45$), whereas a fairly normal reddening law of RV, fg = 3.33 ± 0.03 was confirmed for the foreground early-type stars (E(B − V)fg < 1.05). The distance...
Article
Full-text available
We report the discovery of a wide comoving substellar companion to the nearby (D = 67.5 ± 1.1 pc) A3V star ζ Delphini based on imaging and follow-up spectroscopic observations obtained during the course of our Volume-limited A-Star (VAST) multiplicity survey. ζ Del was observed over a five-year baseline with adaptive optics, revealing the presence...
Article
Full-text available
We present a UBVI and Hα photometric study of the young open cluster NGC 1893 in the H ii region W8 (IC 410 or Sh 2-236). A total of 65 early-type members are selected from photometric diagrams. A mean reddening of the stars is 〈E(B − V)〉 = 0.563 ± 0.083 mag. The published photometric data in the near- and mid-infrared passbands are used to test th...
Article
Full-text available
We present the preliminary findings of an investigation of the multiplicity of debris disk stars identified within our Volume-limited A-star (VAST) multiplicity survey. Previous studies have produced conflicting results regarding the multiplicity fraction of debris disk-hosting stars compared with non-excess stars. By combining our large-scale volu...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a means to distinguish between warm dusty circumstellar debris disks produced by steady state collisional evolution of a planetesimal belt or through transient events.
Article
Full-text available
We have investigated the interstellar reddening law of young open clusters within 3kpc from the Sun using optical, near-IR 2MASS, and Spitzer IRAC data. The total-to-selective extinction ratio Rv of 162 young open clusters (log t{age} <= 7.3) listed in the open cluster database WEBDA is determined from the color excess ratios. The young open cluste...
Article
The classical T Tauri Star (cTTS) T Chamaeleontis (T Cha) presents a unique opportunity to probe pre-main sequence star-disk interactions and late-stage circumstellar disk evolution. T Cha is the only known example of a nearly edge-on, actively accreting star/disk system within ~110 pc, and furthermore may be orbited by a low-mass companion or mass...
Article
Full-text available
With a combination of adaptive optics imaging and a multi-epoch common proper motion search, we have conducted a large volume-limited (D $\le$ 75 pc) multiplicity survey of A-type stars, sensitive to companions beyond 30 au. The sample for the Volume-limited A-STar (VAST) survey consists of 435 A-type stars: 363 stars were observed with adaptive op...
Article
Full-text available
IC 1848 is one of the young open clusters in the giant star-forming Cas OB6 association. Several interesting aspects relating to star formation processes in giant star-forming regions attracted us to study the initial mass function (IMF), star formation mode and properties of pre-main-sequence (PMS) stars. A UBVI and Hα photometric study of the you...
Article
Full-text available
We report two new dramatically dusty main sequence stars: HD 131488 (A1V) and HD 121191 (A8V). HD 131488 is found to have substantial amounts of dust in its terrestrial planet zone (L_IR/L_bol~4x10^-3), cooler dust further out in its planetary system, and an unusual mid-infrared spectral feature. HD 121191 shows terrestrial planet zone dust (L_IR/L...
Article
Full-text available
We report an in-depth study of the F8-type star HD 166191, identified in an ongoing survey for stars exhibiting infrared emission above their expected photospheres in the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer all-sky catalog. The fractional IR luminosity measured from 3.5 to 70 μm is exceptionally high (L IR/L bol ~ 10%). Near-diffraction-limited ima...
Article
We present a comprehensive investigation of the Epsilon Chamaeleontis association, one of several young moving groups in the southern sky. Despite being an ideal laboratory to study circumstellar disc evolution around low-mass stars, Epsilon Cha remains one of the least-understood young moving groups in the solar neighbourhood. Our work aims to imp...
Article
Full-text available
Star clusters are superb astrophysical laboratories containing cospatial and coeval samples of stars with similar chemical composition. We have initiated the Sejong Open cluster Survey (SOS) - a project dedicated to providing homogeneous photometry of a large number of open clusters in the SAAO Johnson-Cousins' $UBVI$ system. To achieve our main go...
Article
Full-text available
We present a comprehensive investigation of the Epsilon Chamaeleontis association (Epsilon Cha), one of several young moving groups spread across the southern sky. We re-assess the putative membership of Epsilon Cha using the best-available proper motion and spectroscopic measurements, including new ANU 2.3-m/WiFeS observations. After applying a ki...
Article
Full-text available
Despite their large number in the Galaxy, M dwarfs remain elusive objects and the modeling of their photospheres has long remained a challenge (molecular opacities, dust cloud formation). Our objectives are to validate the BT-Settl model atmospheres, update the M dwarf T eff -spectral type relation, and find the atmospheric parameters of the stars...
Article
Full-text available
We present 65 optical spectra of the Type Ia supernova SN 2012fr, of which 33 were obtained before maximum light. At early times SN 2012fr shows clear evidence of a high-velocity feature (HVF) in the Si II 6355 line which can be cleanly decoupled from the lower velocity "photospheric" component. This Si II 6355 HVF fades by phase -5; subsequently,...
Article
We have calculated improved photonic passbands for the UBVRI, Hipparcos Hp, and Tycho BT and VT standard systems using the extensive spectrophotometric libraries of NGSL and MILES. Using the Hp passband, we adjusted the absolute flux levels of stars in the spectrophotometric libraries so that their synthetic Hp magnitudes matched the precise Hippar...
Article
The recent release of the all-sky WISE catalog has opened up a new frontier in the search for nearby, young, low-mass stars. Over the last few decades, many ~10-100 Myr-old stars have been identified in moving groups located closer than 100 parsecs of the Earth. Initial searches relied on optical identification (such as with Tycho and Hipparcos) an...