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Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain

Cardesin Moinelo A.,ESAC ESA | Abildgaard S.,University of Aarhus | Garcia Munoz A.,TU Berlin | Piccioni G.,National institute for astrophysics | Grassi D.,National institute for astrophysics
Icarus | Year: 2016

In this study we describe a dedicated analysis of luminous transient events on Venus night side atmosphere with the visible channel of the VIRTIS instrument (280-1100. nm), this being the most comprehensive search of lightning conducted so far with Venus Express data. Our search results in thousands of signal detections, but unfortunately they can be all explained by cosmic rays impinging on the detector, and further statistical analysis shows that all of the events are randomly distributed along the spectral dimension, therefore not showing any clear evidence of signal coming from lightning emission in the Venus atmosphere. This does not exclude the existence of lightning, but imposes some constraints on their occurrence that are important for future research. © 2016 Elsevier Inc..

Ribas A.,ESAC ESA | Ribas A.,CSIC - National Institute of Aerospace Technology | Merin B.,Herschel Science Center | Bouy H.,CSIC - National Institute of Aerospace Technology | And 11 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2013

Context. Transitional disks are circumstellar disks with inner holes that in some cases are produced by planets and/or substellar companions in these systems. For this reason, these disks are extremely important for the study of planetary system formation. Aims. The Herschel Space Observatory provides an unique opportunity for studying the outer regions of protoplanetary disks. In this work we update previous knowledge on the transitional disks in the Chamaeleon I and II regions with data from the Herschel Gould Belt Survey. Methods. We propose a new method for transitional disk classification based on the WISE 12 μm-PACS 70 μm color, together with inspection of the Herschel images. We applied this method to the population of Class II sources in the Chamaeleon region and studied the spectral energy distributions of the transitional disks in the sample. We also built the median spectral energy distribution of Class II objects in these regions for comparison with transitional disks. Results. The proposed method allows a clear separation of the known transitional disks from the Class II sources. We find six transitional disks, all previously known, and identify five objects previously thought to be transitional as possibly non-transitional. We find higher fluxes at the PACS wavelengths in the sample of transitional disks than those of Class II objects. Conclusions. We show the Herschel 70 μm band to be a robust and efficient tool for transitional disk identification. The sensitivity and spatial resolution of Herschel reveals a significant contamination level among the previously identified transitional disk candidates for the two regions, which calls for a revision of previous samples of transitional disks in other regions. The systematic excess found at the PACS bands could be either a result of the mechanism that produces the transitional phase, or an indication of different evolutionary paths for transitional disks and Class II sources. © 2013 ESO.

Lavraud B.,CNRS Institute for research in astrophysics and planetology | Zhang Y.C.,CNRS Astrophysics and Planetology Research Institute | Vernisse Y.,CNRS Institute for research in astrophysics and planetology | Gershman D.J.,University of Maryland College Park | And 53 more authors.
Geophysical Research Letters | Year: 2016

Based on high-resolution measurements from NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale mission, we present the dynamics of electrons associated with current systems observed near the diffusion region of magnetic reconnection at Earth's magnetopause. Using pitch angle distributions (PAD) and magnetic curvature analysis, we demonstrate the occurrence of electron scattering in the curved magnetic field of the diffusion region down to energies of 20eV. We show that scattering occurs closer to the current sheet as the electron energy decreases. The scattering of inflowing electrons, associated with field-aligned electrostatic potentials and Hall currents, produces a new population of scattered electrons with broader PAD which bounce back and forth in the exhaust. Except at the center of the diffusion region the two populations are collocated and appear to behave adiabatically: the inflowing electron PAD focuses inward (toward lower magnetic field), while the bouncing population PAD gradually peaks at 90° away from the center (where it mirrors owing to higher magnetic field and probable field-aligned potentials). ©2016. American Geophysical Union.

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