Post-conjunction detection of β Pictoris b with VLT/SPHERE

Anne-Marie Lagrange 1 Anthony Boccaletti 2 Maud Langlois 3, 4 Gael Chauvin 1, 5 Raffaele Gratton 6 Hervé Beust 1 Silvano Desidera 6 Julien Milli 7 Mickael Bonnefoy 1 Anthony Cheetham 8 Markus Feldt 9 Matthias Meyer 10, 11 Arthur Vigan 3 Beth Biller 9, 12 Mariangela Bonavita 6, 12 Jean-Loup Baudino 6, 13 Faustine Cantalloube 9 Maxime Cudel 1 Sebastian Daemgen 10 Philippe Delorme 1 Valentina d'Orazi 6 Julien Girard 1 Clemence Fontanive 6, 12 Janis Hagelberg 1 Martin Janson 9, 14 Miriam Keppler 9 T. Koypitova 9 Raphaël Galicher 2 Justine Lannier 1 Hervé Le Coroller 3 Roxanne Ligi 3, 15 Anne-Lise Maire 9 Dino Mesa 6 Sergio Messina 16 André Mueller 9 Sébastien Peretti 8 Clément Perrot 2 Daniel Rouan 2 Graeme Salter 3 Matthias Samland 9 Tobias Schmidt 2 Emanuele Sissa 6 Alice Zurlo 3, 17 Jean-Luc Beuzit 1 David Mouillet 1 Carsten Dominik 18 Thomas Henning 9 Eric Lagadec 19 François Menard 1 Hans Martin Schmid 10 Massimo Turatto 6 Stéphane Udry 8 Alexander Julian Bohn 20 Benjamin Charnay 2 Carlos. A. Gomez Gonzales 1 Cécile Gry 3 Matthew Kenworthy 20 Quentin Kral 2 Christoph Mordasini 21 Claire Moutou 3 Gerrit van der Plas 20 Joshua E. Schlieder 8, 22 Lyu Abe 19 Jacopo Antichi 23 Andrea Baruffolo 6 Pierre Baudoz 2 Jacques Baudrand 2 Patrick Blanchard 3 Andreas Bazzon 10 Tristan Buey 2 Marcel Carbillet 19 Michaël Carle 3 Julien Charton 1 Enrico Cascone 24 Riccardo Claudi 6 Anne Costille 3 Alain Deboulbe 1 Vincenzo de Caprio 24 Kjetil Dohlen 3 Daniela Fantinel 6 Philippe Feautrier 1 Thierry Fusco 25 Pierre Gigan 2 Enrico Giro 6 Daniel Gisler 10 Laurence Gluck 1 Norbert Hubin 26 Emmanuel Hugot 3 Marc Jaquet 3 Markus Kasper 26 Fabrice Madec 3 Yves Magnard 1 Patrice Martinez 19 Didier Maurel 1 David Le Mignant 3 O. Moller-Nilsson 9 Marc Llored 3 Thibaut Moulin 1 Alain Origné 3 A. Pavlov 9 Denis Perret 2 Cyril Petit 25 Johan Pragt 27 J. Szulagyi 28 François Wildi 8
Abstract : Context. With an orbital distance comparable to that of Saturn in the solar system, β Pictoris b is the closest (semi-major axis ≃9 au) exoplanet that has been imaged to orbit a star. Thus it offers unique opportunities for detailed studies of its orbital, physical, and atmospheric properties, and of disk-planet interactions. With the exception of the discovery observations in 2003 with NaCo at the Very Large Telescope (VLT), all following astrometric measurements relative to β Pictoris have been obtained in the southwestern part of the orbit, which severely limits the determination of the planet’s orbital parameters. Aims. We aimed at further constraining β Pictoris b orbital properties using more data, and, in particular, data taken in the northeastern part of the orbit. Methods. We used SPHERE at the VLT to precisely monitor the orbital motion of beta β Pictoris b since first light of the instrument in 2014. Results. We were able to monitor the planet until November 2016, when its angular separation became too small (125 mas, i.e., 1.6 au) and prevented further detection. We redetected β Pictoris b on the northeast side of the disk at a separation of 139 mas and a PA of 30° in September 2018. The planetary orbit is now well constrained. With a semi-major axis (sma) of a = 9.0 ± 0.5 au (1σ), it definitely excludes previously reported possible long orbital periods, and excludes β Pictoris b as the origin of photometric variations that took place in 1981. We also refine the eccentricity and inclination of the planet. From an instrumental point of view, these data demonstrate that it is possible to detect, if they exist, young massive Jupiters that orbit at less than 2 au from a star that is 20 pc away.
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Anne-Marie Lagrange, Anthony Boccaletti, Maud Langlois, Gael Chauvin, Raffaele Gratton, et al.. Post-conjunction detection of β Pictoris b with VLT/SPHERE. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2019, 621, pp.L8. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201834302⟩. ⟨hal-02107856⟩

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