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  1. Context. Surface brightness-color relations (SBCRs) are widely used for estimating angular diameters and deriving stellar properties. They are critical to derive extragalactic distances of early-type and late-type eclipsing binaries or, potentially, for extracting planetary parameters of late-type stars hosting planets. Various SBCRs have been implemented so far, but strong discrepancies in terms of precision and accuracy still exist in the literature. Aims. We aim to develop a precise SBCR for early-type B and A stars using selection criteria, based on stellar characteristics, and combined with homogeneous interferometric angular diameter measurements. We also improve SBCRs for late-type stars, in particular in the Gaia photometric band. Methods. We observed 18 early-type stars with the VEGA interferometric instrument, installed on the CHARA array. We then applied additional criteria on the photometric measurements, together with stellar characteristics diagnostics in order to build the SBCRs. Results. We calibrated a SBCR for subgiant and dwarf early-type stars. The RMS of the relation is σ F V 0  = 0.0051 mag, leading to an average precision of 2.3% on the estimation of angular diameters, with 3.1% for V − K < −0.2 mag and 1.8% for V − K > −0.2 mag. We found that the conversion betweenmore »Johnson- K and 2MASS- K s photometries is a key issue for early-type stars. Following this result, we have revisited our previous SBCRs for late-type stars by calibrating them with either converted Johnson- K or 2MASS- K s photometries. We also improve the calibration of these SBCRs based on the Gaia photometry. The expected precision on the angular diameter using our SBCRs for late-type stars ranges from 1.0 to 2.7%. Conclusions. By reaching a precision of 2.3% on the estimation of angular diameters for early-type stars, significant progress has been made to determine extragalactic distances, such as M31 and M33 galaxies, using early-type eclipsing binaries.« less
  2. Context. Surface brightness–colour relations (SBCRs) are used to derive the stellar angular diameters from photometric observations. They have various astrophysical applications, such as the distance determination of eclipsing binaries or the determination of exoplanet parameters. However, strong discrepancies between the SBCRs still exist in the literature, in particular for early and late-type stars. Aims. We aim to calibrate new SBCRs as a function of the spectral type and the luminosity class of the stars. Our goal is also to apply homogeneous criteria to the selection of the reference stars and in view of compiling an exhaustive and up-to-date list of interferometric late-type targets. Methods. We implemented criteria to select measurements in the JMMC Measured Diameters Catalog. We then applied additional criteria on the photometric measurements used to build the SBCRs, together with stellar characteristics diagnostics. Results. We built SBCRs for F5/K7–II/III, F5/K7–IV/V, M–II/III and M–V stars, with respective rms of σ F V  = 0.0022 mag, σ F V  = 0.0044 mag, σ F V  = 0.0046 mag, and σ F V  = 0.0038 mag. This results in a precision on the angular diameter of 1.0%, 2.0%, 2.1%, and 1.7%, respectively. These relations cover a large V  −  K colour range of magnitude, frommore »1 to 7.5. Our work demonstrates that SBCRs are significantly dependent on the spectral type and the luminosity class of the star. Through a new set of interferometric measurements, we demonstrate the critical importance of the selection criteria proposed for the calibration of SBCR. Finally, using the Gaia photometry for our samples, we obtained ( G  −  K ) SBCRs with a precision on the angular diameter between 1.1% and 2.4%. Conclusions. By adopting a refined and homogeneous methodology, we show that the spectral type and the class of the star should be considered when applying an SBCR. This is particularly important in the context of PLATO.« less
  3. Context. The harvest of exoplanet discoveries has opened the area of exoplanet characterisation. But this cannot be achieved without a careful analysis of the host star parameters. Aims. The system of HD 219134 hosts two transiting exoplanets and at least two additional non-transiting exoplanets. We revisit the properties of this system using direct measurements of the stellar parameters to investigate the composition of the two transiting exoplanets. Methods. We used the VEGA/CHARA interferometer to measure the angular diameter of HD 219134. We also derived the stellar density from the transits light curves, which finally gives a direct estimate of the mass. This allowed us to infer the mass, radius, and density of the two transiting exoplanets of the system. We then used an inference model to obtain the internal parameters of these two transiting exoplanets. Results. We measure a stellar radius, density, and mass of R ⋆ = 0.726 ± 0.014 R ⊙ , ρ ⋆ = 1.82 ± 0.19 ρ ⊙ , and M ⋆ = 0.696 ± 0.078 M ⊙ , respectively; there is a correlation of 0.46 between R ⋆ and M ⋆ . This new mass is lower than that derived from the C2kSMO stellar evolutionarymore »model, which provides a mass range of 0.755−0.810 (±0.040) M ⊙ . Moreover, we find that planet b and c have smaller radii than previously estimated of 1.500 ± 0.057 and 1.415 ± 0.049 R ⊕ respectively; this clearly puts these planets out of the gap in the exoplanetary radii distribution and validates their super-Earth nature. Planet b is more massive than planet c , but the former is possibly less dense. We investigate whether this could be caused by partial melting of the mantle and find that tidal heating due to non-zero eccentricity of planet b may be powerful enough. Conclusions. The system of HD 219134 constitutes a very valuable benchmark for both stellar physics and exoplanetary science. The characterisation of the stellar hosts, and in particular the direct determination of the stellar density, radius, and mass, should be more extensively applied to provide accurate exoplanets properties and calibrate stellar models.« less
  4. Context. Asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars are cool luminous evolved stars that are well observable across the Galaxy and populating Gaia data. They have complex stellar surface dynamics, which amplifies the uncertainties on stellar parameters and distances. Aims. On the AGB star CL Lac, it has been shown that the convection-related variability accounts for a substantial part of the Gaia DR2 parallax error. We observed this star with the MIRC-X beam combiner installed at the CHARA interferometer to detect the presence of stellar surface inhomogeneities. Methods. We performed the reconstruction of aperture synthesis images from the interferometric observations at different wavelengths. Then, we used 3D radiative hydrodynamics (RHD) simulations of stellar convection with CO5BOLD and the post-processing radiative transfer code O PTIM 3D to compute intensity maps in the spectral channels of MIRC-X observations. Then, we determined the stellar radius using the average 3D intensity profile and, finally, compared the 3D synthetic maps to the reconstructed ones focusing on matching the intensity contrast, the morphology of stellar surface structures, and the photocentre position at two different spectral channels, 1.52 and 1.70 μ m, simultaneously. Results. We measured the apparent diameter of CL Lac at two wavelengths (3.299 ± 0.005 masmore »and 3.053 ± 0.006 mas at 1.52 and 1.70 μ m, respectively) and recovered the radius ( R = 307 ± 41 and R = 284 ± 38 R ⊙ ) using a Gaia parallax. In addition to this, the reconstructed images are characterised by the presence of a brighter area that largely affects the position of the photocentre. The comparison with 3D simulation shows good agreement with the observations both in terms of contrast and surface structure morphology, meaning that our model is adequate for explaining the observed inhomogenities. Conclusions. This work confirms the presence of convection-related surface structures on an AGB star of Gaia DR2. Our result will help us to take a step forward in exploiting Gaia measurement uncertainties to extract the fundamental properties of AGB stars using appropriate RHD simulations.« less
  5. Context. The ESA Gaia mission provides a unique time-domain survey for more than 1.6 billion sources with G ≲ 21 mag. Aims. We showcase stellar variability in the Galactic colour-absolute magnitude diagram (CaMD). We focus on pulsating, eruptive, and cataclysmic variables, as well as on stars that exhibit variability that is due to rotation and eclipses. Methods. We describe the locations of variable star classes, variable object fractions, and typical variability amplitudes throughout the CaMD and show how variability-related changes in colour and brightness induce “motions”. To do this, we use 22 months of calibrated photometric, spectro-photometric, and astrometric Gaia data of stars with a significant parallax. To ensure that a large variety of variable star classes populate the CaMD, we crossmatched Gaia sources with known variable stars. We also used the statistics and variability detection modules of the Gaia variability pipeline. Corrections for interstellar extinction are not implemented in this article. Results. Gaia enables the first investigation of Galactic variable star populations in the CaMD on a similar, if not larger, scale as was previously done in the Magellanic Clouds. Although the observed colours are not corrected for reddening, distinct regions are visible in which variable stars occur. Wemore »determine variable star fractions to within the current detection thresholds of Gaia . Finally, we report the most complete description of variability-induced motion within the CaMD to date. Conclusions. Gaia enables novel insights into variability phenomena for an unprecedented number of stars, which will benefit the understanding of stellar astrophysics. The CaMD of Galactic variable stars provides crucial information on physical origins of variability in a way that has previously only been accessible for Galactic star clusters or external galaxies. Future Gaia data releases will enable significant improvements over this preview by providing longer time series, more accurate astrometry, and additional data types (time series BP and RP spectra, RVS spectra, and radial velocities), all for much larger samples of stars.« less