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  1. Context. Magnetic fields influence the formation and evolution of stars and impact the observed stellar properties. magnetic A-type stars (Ap stars) are a prime example of this. Access to precise and accurate determinations of their stellar fundamental properties, such as masses and ages, is crucial to understand the origin and evolution of fossil magnetic fields. Aims. We propose using the radii and luminosities determined from interferometric measurements, in addition to seismic constraints when available, to infer fundamental properties of 14 Ap stars préviously characterised. Methods. We used a grid-based modelling approach, employing stellar models computed with the CESTAM stellar evolutionmore »code, and the parameter search performed with the AIMS optimisation method. The stellar model grid was built using a wide range of initial helium abundances and metallicities in order to avoid any bias originating from the initial chemical composition. The large frequency separations (Δ ν ) of HR 1217 (HD 24712) and α Cir (HD 128898), two rapidly oscillating Ap stars of the sample, were used as seismic constraints. Results. We inferred the fundamental properties of the 14 stars in the sample. The overall results are consistent within 1 σ with previous studies, however, the stellar masses inferred in this study are higher. This trend likely originates from the broader range of chemical compositions considered in this work. We show that the use of Δ ν in the modelling significantly improves our inferences, allowing us to set reasonable constraints on the initial metallicity which is, otherwise, unconstrained. This gives an indication of the efficiency of atomic diffusion in the atmospheres of roAp stars and opens the possibility of characterising the transport of chemical elements in their interiors.« less
  2. 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 inmore »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 between 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
  3. 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. Wemore »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-resolution 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
  4. null (Ed.)
    The angular size of the broad line region (BLR) of the nearby active galactic nucleus NGC 3783 has been spatially resolved by recent observations with VLTI/GRAVITY. A reverberation mapping (RM) campaign has also recently obtained high quality light curves and measured the linear size of the BLR in a way that is complementary to the GRAVITY measurement. The size and kinematics of the BLR can be better constrained by a joint analysis that combines both GRAVITY and RM data. This, in turn, allows us to obtain the mass of the supermassive black hole in NGC 3783 with an accuracy thatmore »is about a factor of two better than that inferred from GRAVITY data alone. We derive M BH = 2.54 −0.72 +0.90 × 10 7 M ⊙ . Finally, and perhaps most notably, we are able to measure a geometric distance to NGC 3783 of 39.9 −11.9 +14.5 Mpc. We are able to test the robustness of the BLR-based geometric distance with measurements based on the Tully–Fisher relation and other indirect methods. We find the geometric distance is consistent with other methods within their scatter. We explore the potential of BLR-based geometric distances to directly constrain the Hubble constant, H 0 , and identify differential phase uncertainties as the current dominant limitation to the H 0 measurement precision for individual sources.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  5. 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 themore »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). 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
  6. ABSTRACT The determination of fundamental parameters of stars is one of the main tasks of astrophysics. For magnetic chemically peculiar stars, this problem is complicated by the anomalous chemical composition of their atmospheres, which requires special analysis methods. We present the results of the effective temperature, surface gravity, abundance, and radius determinations for three CP stars HD 188041, HD 111133, and HD 204411. Our analysis is based on a self-consistent model fitting of high-resolution spectra and spectrophotometric observations over a wide wavelength range, taking into account the anomalous chemical composition of atmospheres and the inhomogeneous vertical distribution for three chemicalmore »elements: Ca, Cr, and Fe. For two stars, HD 188041 and HD 204411, we also performed interferometric observations that provided us with the direct estimates of stellar radii. Comparison of the radii determined from the analysis of spectroscopic/spectrophotometric observations with direct measurements of the radii by interferometry methods for seven CP stars shows that the radii agree within the limits of measurement errors, which proves indirect spectroscopic analysis capable of proving reliable determinations of the fundamental parameters of fainter Ap stars that are not possible to study with modern interferometric facilities.« less
  7. Context . We implement an electron avalanche photodiode (e-APD) in the MIRC-X instrument, which is an upgrade of the six-telescope near-infrared imager MIRC, at the CHARA array. This technology should improve the sensitivity of near-infrared interferometry. Aims . We aim to characterize a near-infrared C-RED ONE camera from First Light Imaging (FLI) using an e-APD from Leonardo (previously SELEX). Methods . We first used the classical mean-variance analysis to measure the system gain and the amplification gain. We then developed a physical model of the statistical distribution of the camera output signal. This model is based on multiple convolutions ofmore »the Poisson statistic, the intrinsic avalanche gain distribution, and the observed distribution of the background signal. At low flux level, this model independently constrains the incident illumination level, the total gain, and the excess noise factor of the amplification. Results . We measure a total transmission of 48 ± 3% including the cold filter and the Quantum Efficiency. We measure a system gain of 0.49 ADU/e, a readout noise of 10 ADU, and amplification gains as high as 200. These results are consistent between the two methods and therefore validate our modeling approach. The measured excess noise factor based on the modeling is 1.47 ± 0.03, with no obvious dependency with flux level or amplification gain. Conclusions . The presented model allows the characteristics of the e-APD array to be measured at low flux level independently of a preexisting calibration. With < 0.3 electron equivalent readout noise at kilohertz frame rates, we confirm the revolutionary performances of the camera with respect to the PICNIC or HAWAII technologies. However, the measured excess noise factor is significantly higher than what is claimed in the literature (< 1.25), and explains why counting multiple photons remains challenging with this camera.« less
  8. Using VLTI/GRAVITY and SINFONI data, we investigate the subparsec gas and dust structure around the nearby type 1 active galactic nucleus (AGN) hosted by NGC 3783. The K -band coverage of GRAVITY uniquely allows simultaneous analysis of the size and kinematics of the broad line region (BLR), the size and structure of the near-infrared(near-IR)-continuum-emitting hot dust, and the size of the coronal line region (CLR). We find the BLR, probed through broad Br γ emission, to be well described by a rotating, thick disc with a radial distribution of clouds peaking in the inner region. In our BLR model, themore »physical mean radius of 16 light-days is nearly twice the ten-day time-lag that would be measured, which closely matches the ten-day time-lag that has been measured by reverberation mapping. We measure a hot dust full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) size of 0.74 mas (0.14 pc) and further reconstruct an image of the hot dust, which reveals a faint (5% of the total flux) offset cloud that we interpret as an accreting or outflowing cloud heated by the central AGN. Finally, we directly measure the FWHM size of the nuclear CLR as traced by the [Ca  VIII ] and narrow Br γ line. We find a FWHM size of 2.2 mas (0.4 pc), fully in line with the expectation of the CLR located between the BLR and narrow line region. Combining all of these measurements together with larger scale near-IR integral field unit and mid-IR interferometry data, we are able to comprehensively map the structure and dynamics of gas and dust from 0.01 to 100 pc.« less
  9. Context. HD 113337 is a main-sequence F6V field star more massive than the Sun. This star hosts one confirmed giant planet and possibly a second candidate, detected by radial velocities (RVs). The star also hosts a cold debris disc detected through the presence of an infrared excess, making it an interesting system to explore. Aims. We aim to bring new constraints on the star’s fundamental parameters, debris disc properties, and planetary companion(s) by combining complementary techniques. Methods. We used the VEGA interferometer on the CHARA array to measure the angular diameter of HD 113337. We derived its linear radius usingmore »the parallax from the Gaia Second Data Release. We computed the bolometric flux to derive its effective temperature and luminosity, and we estimated its mass and age using evolutionary tracks. Then, we used Herschel images to partially resolve the outer debris disc and estimate its extension and inclination. Next, we acquired high-contrast images of HD 113337 with the LBTI to probe the ~10–80 au separation range. Finally, we combined the deduced contrast maps with previous RVs of the star using the MESS2 software to bring upper mass limits on possible companions at all separations up to 80 au. We took advantage of the constraints on the age and inclination brought by fundamental parameter analysis and disc imaging, respectively, for this analysis. Results. We derive a limb-darkened angular diameter of 0.386 ± 0.009 mas that converts into a linear radius of 1.50 ± 0.04 R ⊙ for HD 113337. The fundamental parameter analysis leads to an effective temperature of 6774 ± 125 K and to two possible age solutions: one young within 14–21 Myr and one old within 0.8–1.7 Gyr. We partially resolve the known outer debris disc and model its emission. Our best solution corresponds to a radius of 85 ± 20 au, an extension of 30 ± 20 au, and an inclination within 10–30° for the outer disc. The combination of imaging contrast limits, published RV, and age and inclination solutions allows us to derive a first possible estimation of the true masses of the planetary companions: ~7 −2 +4 M Jup for HD 113337 b (confirmed companion) and ~16 −3 +10 M Jup for HD 113337 c (candidate companion). We also constrain possible additional companions at larger separations.« less
  10. We present new near-infrared VLTI/GRAVITY interferometric spectra that spatially resolve the broad Br γ emission line in the nucleus of the active galaxy IRAS 09149−6206. We use these data to measure the size of the broad line region (BLR) and estimate the mass of the central black hole. Using an improved phase calibration method that reduces the differential phase uncertainty to 0.05° per baseline across the spectrum, we detect a differential phase signal that reaches a maximum of ∼0.5° between the line and continuum. This represents an offset of ∼120  μ as (0.14 pc) between the BLR and the centroidmore »of the hot dust distribution traced by the 2.3 μ m continuum. The offset is well within the dust sublimation region, which matches the measured ∼0.6 mas (0.7 pc) diameter of the continuum. A clear velocity gradient, almost perpendicular to the offset, is traced by the reconstructed photocentres of the spectral channels of the Br γ line. We infer the radius of the BLR to be ∼65  μ as (0.075 pc), which is consistent with the radius–luminosity relation of nearby active galactic nuclei derived based on the time lag of the H β line from reverberation mapping campaigns. Our dynamical modelling indicates the black hole mass is ∼1 × 10 8   M ⊙ , which is a little below, but consistent with, the standard M BH – σ * relation.« less