Monday, June 3, 2013

1305.7428 (J. Rameau et al.)

Discovery of a probable 4-5 Jupiter-mass exoplanet to HD 95086 by direct-imaging    [PDF]

J. Rameau, G. Chauvin, A. -M. Lagrange, A. Boccaletti, S. P. Quanz, M. Bonnefoy, J. H. Girard, P. Delorme, S. Desidera, H. Klahr, C. Mordasini, C. Dumas, M. Bonavita, T. Meshkat, V. Bailey, M. Kenworthy
Direct imaging has just started the inventory of the population of gas giant planets on wide-orbits around young stars in the solar neighborhood. Following this approach, we carried out a deep imaging survey in the near-infrared using VLT/NaCo to search for substellar companions. We report here the discovery in L' (3.8 microns) images of a probable companion orbiting at 56 AU the young (10-17 Myr), dusty, and early-type (A8) star HD 95086. This discovery is based on observations with more than a year-time-lapse. Our first epoch clearly revealed the source at 10 sigma while our second epoch lacked good observing conditions hence yielding a 3 sigma detection. Various tests were thus made to rule out possible artifacts. This recovery is consistent with the signal at the first epoch but requires cleaner confirmation. Nevertheless, our astrometric precision suggests the companion to be comoving with the star, with a 3 sigma confidence level. The planetary nature of the source is reinforced by a non-detection in Ks-band (2.18 microns) images according to its possible extremely red Ks - L' color. Conversely, background contamination is rejected with good confidence level. The luminosity yields a predicted mass of about 4-5MJup (at 10-17 Myr) using "hot-start" evolutionary models, making HD 95086 b the exoplanet with the lowest mass ever imaged around a star.
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