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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. The variety of physical processes at play in chemically peculiar stars makes it difficult to determine their fundamental parameters. In particular, for the magnetic ones, called Ap stars, the strong magnetic fields and the induced spotted stellar surfaces may lead to biased effective temperatures when these values are derived through spectro-photometry. Aims. We propose to benefit from the exquisite angular resolution provided by long-baseline interferometry in the visible to determine the accurate angular diameters of a number of Ap stars, and thus estimate their radii by a method that is as independent as possible of atmospheric models. Methods. We used the visible spectrograph VEGA at the CHARA interferometric array to complete the sample of Ap stars currently observable with this technique. We estimated the angular diameter and radius of six new targets. We estimated their bolometric flux based solely on observational spectroscopic and photometric data to derive nearly model-independent luminosities and effective temperatures. Results. We extend to 14 the number of Ap stars for which interferometric angular diameters have been measured. The fundamental parameters we derived for the complete Ap sample are compared with those obtained through a self-consistent spectroscopic analysis. Based on a model fitting approach of high-resolutionmore »spectra and spectro-photometric observations over a wide wavelength range, this method takes into account the anomalous chemical composition of the atmospheres and the inhomogeneous vertical distribution for different chemical elements. Regarding both the radii and the effective temperatures, the derived values from our interferometric observations and from self-consistent modelling are consistent within better than 2 σ for nine targets out of ten. We thus benchmark nine Ap stars for effective temperatures ranging from 7200 and 9100 K, and luminosities ranging between 7 L ⊙ and 86 L ⊙ . Conclusions. These results will be key for the future derivation of accurate radii and other fundamental parameters of fainter peculiar stars for which both the sensitivity and the angular resolution of the current interferometers are not sufficient. Within the context of the observations of Ap stars with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), these interferometric measurements are crucial for testing the mechanism of pulsation excitation at work in these peculiar stars. In particular, our interferometric measurements provide accurate locations in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram for hot Ap stars among which pulsations may be searched for with TESS, putting to test the blue edge of the theoretical instability strip. These accurate locations could be used to derive masses and ages of these stars through a specific grid of models, and to test correlations between the properties of these peculiar stars and their evolutionary state.« less
  3. 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
  4. Context. The surface brightness – color relationship (SBCR) is a poweful tool for determining the angular diameter of stars from photometry. It was for instance used to derive the distance of eclipsing binaries in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), which led to its distance determination with an accuracy of 1%. Aims. We calibrate the SBCR for red giant stars in the 2.1 ≤ V − K ≤ 2.5 color range using homogeneous VEGA/CHARA interferometric data secured in the visible domain, and compare it to the relation based on infrared interferometric observations, which were used to derive the distance to the LMC. Methods. Observations of eight G–K giants were obtained with the VEGA/CHARA instrument. The derived limb-darkened angular diameters were combined with a homogeneous set of infrared magnitudes in order to constrain the SBCR. Results. The average precision we obtain on the limb-darkened angular diameters of the eight stars in our sample is 2.4%. For the four stars in common observed by both VEGA/CHARA and PIONIER/VLTI, we find a 1 σ agreement for the angular diameters. The SBCR we obtain in the visible has a dispersion of 0.04 magnitude and is consistent with the one derived in the infrared (0.018 magnitude).more »Conclusions. The consistency of the infrared and visible angular diameters and SBCR reinforces the result of 1% precision and accuracy recently achieved on the distance of the LMC using the eclipsing-binary technique. It also indicates that it is possible to combine interferometric observations at different wavelengths when the SBCR is calibrated.« less
  5. 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
  6. 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