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Eggenberger P.,Observatoire de Geneva | Montalban J.,Luniversite Of Liege | Miglio A.,University of Birmingham
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

Context. Recent asteroseismic observations have led to the determination of rotational frequency splittings for ℓ = 1 mixed modes in red giants. Aims. We investigate how these observed splittings can constrain the modelling of the physical processes transporting angular momentum in stellar interiors. Methods. We first compare models including a comprehensive treatment of shellular rotation only, with the rotational splittings observed for the red giant KIC 8366239. We then study how these asteroseismic constraints can give us information about the efficiency of an additional mechanism for the internal transport of angular momentum. This is done by computing rotating models of KIC 8366239 that include a constant viscosity corresponding to this physical process, in addition to the treatment of shellular rotation. Results. We find that models of red giant stars including shellular rotation only predict steep rotation profiles, which are incompatible with the measurements of rotational splittings in the red giant KIC 8366239. Meridional circulation and shear mixing alone are found to produce an insufficient internal coupling so that an additional mechanism for the internal transport of angular momentum is needed during the post-main sequence evolution. We show that the viscosity ν add corresponding to this mechanism is strongly constrained to be ν add = 3 × 10 4 cm 2 s -1 thanks to the observed ratio of the splittings for modes in the wings to those at the centre of the dipole forests. Such a value of viscosity may suggest that the same unknown physical process is at work during the main sequence and the post-main sequence evolution. © 2012 ESO.

Martin D.V.,Observatoire de Geneva | Triaud A.H.M.J.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2014

The majority of binary stars do not eclipse. Current searches for transiting circumbinary planets concentrate on eclipsing binaries, and are therefore restricted to a small fraction of potential hosts. We investigate the concept of finding planets transiting non-eclipsing binaries, whose geometry would require mutually inclined planes. Using an N-body code we explore how the number and sequence of transits vary as functions of observing time and orbital parameters. The concept is then generalised thanks to a suite of simulated circumbinary systems. Binaries are constructed from radial-velocity surveys of the solar neighbourhood. They are then populated with orbiting gas giants, drawn from a range of distributions. The binary population is shown to be compatible with the Kepler eclipsing binary catalogue, indicating that the properties of binaries may be as universal as the initial mass function. These synthetic systems produce transiting circumbinary planets occurring on both eclipsing and non-eclipsing binaries. Simulated planets transiting eclipsing binaries are compared with published Kepler detections. We find 1) that planets transiting non-eclipsing binaries are probably present in the Kepler data; 2) that observational biases alone cannot account for the observed over-density of circumbinary planets near the stability limit, which implies a physical pile-up; and 3) that the distributions of gas giants orbiting single and binary stars are likely different. Estimating the frequency of circumbinary planets is degenerate with the spread in mutual inclination. Only a minimum occurrence rate can be produced, which we find to be compatible with 9%. Searching for inclined circumbinary planets may significantly increase the population of known objects and will test our conclusions. Their presence, or absence, will reveal the true occurrence rate and help develop circumbinary planet formation theories. © 2014 ESO.

Durrer R.,University of Geneva | Neronov A.,Observatoire de Geneva
Astronomy and Astrophysics Review | Year: 2013

We review the possible mechanisms for the generation of cosmological magnetic fields, discuss their evolution in an expanding Universe filled with the cosmic plasma and provide a critical review of the literature on the subject. We put special emphasis on the prospects for observational tests of the proposed cosmological magnetogenesis scenarios using radio and gamma-ray astronomy and ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. We argue that primordial magnetic fields are observationally testable. They lead to magnetic fields in the intergalactic medium with magnetic field strength and correlation length in a well defined range. We also state the unsolved questions in this fascinating open problem of cosmology and propose future observations to address them. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Triaud A.H.M.J.,Observatoire de Geneva
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

Via the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect, it is possible to measure the sky-projected angle between the stellar spin and a planet's orbital spin. Observed orbital inclinations have been found to range over all possible angles. A tentative detection of a correlation between the dispersion in spin/orbit angle and the youth of the system is revealed, using spin/orbit measurements for hot Jupiters around stars with masses ≥ 1.2 M⊙ for which age estimates are more accurately determined. The probability of this pattern arising by chance has been computed to be 7%. This appears in accordance with tidal dissipation, where non-coplanar hot Jupiters' orbits tidally realign. The results suggest they realign within about 2.5 Gyr. For the sample considered, the results imply that hot Jupiters are placed on noncoplanar orbits early in their history rather than late. The events producing these orbits could involve strong planet-planet scattering. © 2011 ESO.

Girardi L.,National institute for astrophysics | Eggenberger P.,Observatoire de Geneva | Miglio A.,Institute Dastrophysique Et Of Geophysique Of Luniversite Of Liege
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters | Year: 2011

Many intermediate-age star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds present multiple main-sequence turn-offs (MMSTOs), which challenge the classical idea that star formation in such objects took place over short time-scales. It has been recently suggested that the presence of fast rotators among main-sequence stars could be the cause of such features, hence relaxing the need for extended periods of star formation. In this Letter, we compute evolutionary tracks and isochrones of models with and without rotation. We find that, for the same age and input physics, both kinds of models present turn-offs with an almost identical position in the colour-magnitude diagrams (CMDs). As a consequence, a dispersion of rotational velocities in coeval ensembles of stars could not explain the presence of MMSTOs. We construct several synthetic CMDs for the different kinds of tracks and combinations of them. The models that best reproduce the morphology of observed MMSTOs are clearly those assuming a significant spread in the stellar ages - as long as ~400 Myr - added to a moderate amount of convective core overshooting. Only these models produce the detailed 'golf club' shape of observed MMSTOs. A spread in rotational velocities alone cannot do anything similar. We also discuss models involving a mixture of stars with and without overshooting, as an additional scenario to producing MMSTOs with coeval populations. We find that they produce turn-offs with a varying extension in the CMD direction perpendicular to the lower main sequence, which are clearly not present in observed MMSTOs. © 2011 The Authors. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society © 2011 RAS.

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