Xavier Bonfils

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A decade ago, the detection of the first transiting extrasolar planet provided a direct constraint on its composition and opened the door to spectroscopic investigations of extrasolar planetary atmospheres. Because such characterization studies are feasible only for transiting systems that are both nearby and for which the planet-to-star radius ratio is(More)
Exoplanets orbiting close to their parent stars may lose some fraction of their atmospheres because of the extreme irradiation. Atmospheric mass loss primarily affects low-mass exoplanets, leading to the suggestion that hot rocky planets might have begun as Neptune-like, but subsequently lost all of their atmospheres; however, no confident measurements have(More)
In this paper we report a refined determination of the orbital parameters and the detection of the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect of the recently discovered transiting exoplanet HAT-P-2b. The large orbital eccentricity and short orbital period of this exoplanet are unexpected and distinguish it from other known transiting exoplanets. We performed high precision(More)
We report the discovery of a Neptune-mass planet around Gl 581 (M3V, M = 0.31 M⊙), based on precise Doppler measurements with the HARPS spectrograph at La Silla Observatory. The radial velocities reveal a circular orbit of period P = 5.366 days and semi-amplitude K1 = 13.2 m s−1. The resulting minimum mass of the planet (m2 sin i) is only 0.052 MJup = 0.97(More)
Context. PIONIER stands for Precision Integrated-Optics Near-infrared Imaging ExpeRiment. It combines four 1.8m Auxilliary Telescopes or four 8m Unit Telescopes of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (ESO, Chile) using an integrated optics combiner. The instrument has been integrated at IPAG starting in December 2009 and commissioned at the Paranal(More)
M-dwarf stars--hydrogen-burning stars that are smaller than 60 per cent of the size of the Sun--are the most common class of star in our Galaxy and outnumber Sun-like stars by a ratio of 12:1. Recent results have shown that M dwarfs host Earth-sized planets in great numbers: the average number of M-dwarf planets that are between 0.5 to 1.5 times the size of(More)
We present Spitzer Space Telescope infrared photometry of a primary transit of the hot Neptune GJ 436b. The observations were obtained using the 8 μm band of the InfraRed Array Camera (IRAC). The high accuracy of the transit data and the weak limb-darkening in the 8 μm IRAC band allow us to derive (assuming M = 0.44 ± 0.04 M⊙ for the primary) a precise(More)