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[1]  arXiv:1505.00777 [pdf, other]
Title: Late-Time Photometry of Type Ia Supernova SN2012cg Reveals the Radioactive Decay of $^{57}$Co
Comments: Submitted, comments welcome. 14 pages, 2 figures, 1 table
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Seitenzahl et al. (2009) have predicted that $\sim 3$ years after its explosion, the light we receive from a Type Ia supernova will come mostly from reprocessing of electrons and X-rays emitted by the radioactive decay chain $^{57}{\rm Co}~\to~^{57}{\rm Fe}$, instead of positrons from the decay chain $^{56}{\rm Co}~\to~^{56}{\rm Fe}$ that dominates the supernova light at earlier times. Using the Hubble Space Telescope, we followed the light curve of the Type Ia supernova SN2012cg out to $1055$ days after maximum light. Our measurements are consistent with the light curves predicted by the contribution of energy from the reprocessing of electrons and X-rays emitted by the decay of $^{57}$Co. This provides conclusive evidence that $^{57}$Co is produced in Type Ia supernova explosions. The ratio of luminosities produced by the decays of $^{57}$Co and $^{56}$Co, a strong constraint on any Type Ia supernova explosion model, is in the range $(0.4$ - $8.5)\times10^{-3}$.

[2]  arXiv:1505.00778 [pdf, other]
Title: An alternative validation strategy for the Planck cluster catalog and $y$-distortion maps
Authors: Rishi Khatri
Comments: CO mask and Annotations to second Planck cluster catalog available at: this http URL More products/maps will be publicly available at a later date
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present an all sky map of the $y$-type distortion calculated from the full mission Planck HFI (High Frequency Instrument) data using the recently proposed approach to component separation based on parametric model fitting and model selection. This simple model selection approach allows us to distinguish between carbon monoxide (CO) line emission and $y$-type distortion, something that is not possible using the internal linear combination based methods. We create a mask to cover the regions of significant CO emission relying on the information in the $\chi^2$ map obtained when fitting for the $y$-distortion and CO emission to the lowest four HFI channels. We revisit the second Planck cluster catalog and try to quantify the quality of the cluster candidates in an approach that is similar in spirit to Aghanim et al. (2014). We find that at least $93\%$ of the clusters in the cosmology sample are free of CO contamination. We also find that $59\%$ of unconfirmed candidates may have significant contamination from molecular clouds. We agree with Planck collaboration (2015) for the worst offenders. We suggest an alternative validation strategy of measuring and subtracting the CO emission from the Planck cluster candidates using radio telescopes thus improving the reliability of the catalog. Our CO mask and annotations to the Planck cluster catalog identifying cluster candidates with possible CO contamination are made publicly available.

[3]  arXiv:1505.00779 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Extracting Spectral Index of Intergalactic Magnetic Field from Radio Polarizations
Comments: 12 pages, 7 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We explain the large scale correlations in radio polarization in terms of the correlations of primordial/source magnetic field. The radio waves are dominantly produced by the synchrotron mechanism and hence their polarization angle is deemed to be correlated with the magnetic field of the radio source. The primordial intergalactic magnetic field seeds the source magnetic field and hence it is possible that during the source evolution the correlations of primordial magnetic field survived. We model the intergalactic magnetic field in all $3D$ space and fit its correlations with JVAS/CLASS radio polarization alignments. We find that the radio polarization alignments are best fitted with the magnetic field spectral index given by $-2.43\pm 0.02$. We show that primordial magnetic field correlation provides a good explanation of the observed radio polarization alignment.

[4]  arXiv:1505.00780 [pdf, other]
Title: Effects of Spot Size on Neutron-Star Radius Measurements from Pulse Profiles
Comments: 8 pages, 8 figures, submitted to ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We calculate the effects of spot size on pulse profiles of moderately rotating neutron stars. Specifically, we quantify the bias introduced in radius measurements from the common assumption that spots are infinitesimally small. We find that this assumption is reasonable for spots smaller than 10-18$^\circ$ and leads to errors that are $\le$10% in the radius measurement, depending on the location of the spot and the inclination of the observer. We consider the implications of our results for neutron star radius measurements with the upcoming and planned X-ray missions NICER and LOFT. We calculate the expected spot size for different classes of sources and investigate the circumstances under which the assumption of a small spot is justified.

[5]  arXiv:1505.00781 [pdf, other]
Title: Limits on the fluctuating part of $y$-type distortion monopole from Planck and SPT results
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

We use the published Planck and SPT cluster catalogs and recently published $y$-distortion maps to put strong observational limits on the contribution of the fluctuating part of the $y$-type distortions to the $y$-distortion monopole. Our bounds are $5.4\times 10^{-8} < \langle y\rangle < 2.2\times 10^{-6}$. Our upper bound is a factor of 6.8 stronger than the currently best upper $95\%$ confidence limit from COBE of $\langle y\rangle <15\times 10^{-6}$. In the standard cosmology, large scale structure is the only source of such distortions and our limits therefore constrain the baryonic physics involved in the formation of the large scale structure. Our lower limit, from the detected clusters in the Planck and SPT catalogs, also implies that a Pixie-like experiment should detect the $y$-distortion monopole at $>27$-$\sigma$. The biggest sources of uncertainty in our upper limit are the monopole offsets between different HFI channel maps that we estimate to be $<10^{-6}$.

[6]  arXiv:1505.00782 [pdf, other]
Title: Robust New Statistic for fitting the Baryon Acoustic Feature
Comments: 8 pages, 5 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We investigate the utility and robustness of a new statistic, $\omega_{\ell}\left(r_{c}\right)$, for analyzing Baryon Acoustic Oscillations (BAO). We apply $\omega_{\ell}\left(r_{c}\right)$, introduced in Xu et al. (2010), to mocks and data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)-III Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) included in the SDSS Data Release Eleven (DR11). We fit the anisotropic clustering using the monopole and quadrupole of the $\omega_{\ell}\left(r_{c}\right)$ statistic in a manner similar to conventional multipole fitting methods using the correlation function as detailed in (Xu et al. 2012). To test the performance of the $\omega_{\ell}\left(r_{c}\right)$ statistic we compare our results to those obtained using the multipoles. The results are in agreement. We also conduct a brief investigation into some of the possible advantages of using the $\omega_{\ell}\left(r_{c}\right)$ statistic for BAO analysis. The $\omega_{\ell}\left(r_{c}\right)$ analysis matches the stability of the multipoles analysis in response to artificially introduced distortions in the data, without using extra nuisance parameters to improve the fit. When applied to data with systematics, the $\omega_{\ell}\left(r_{c}\right)$ statistic again matches the performance of fitting the multipoles without using nuisance parameters. In all the analyzed circumstances, we find that fitting the $\omega_{\ell}\left(r_{c}\right)$ statistic removes the requirement for extra nuisance parameters.

[7]  arXiv:1505.00785 [pdf, other]
Title: Ruling out thermal dark matter with a spiky profile in the M87 galaxy
Comments: 12 pages, 8 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

Using the spectral energy distribution of M87, a nearby radio galaxy in the Virgo cluster, and assuming a spike in the dark matter halo profile, we exclude any dark matter candidate with a velocity-independent (s-wave) annihilation cross-section of the order of sigma v ~ 10^{-26} cm^3/s and a mass up to O(100) TeV. These limits supersede all previous constraints on thermal, s-wave, annihilating dark matter candidates by orders of magnitude, and rule out the entire canonical mass range. We remark in addition that, under the assumption of a spike, dark matter particles with a mass of a few TeV and an annihilation cross-section of ~ 10^{-27} cm^3/s could explain the TeV gamma-ray emission observed in M87. A central dark matter spike is plausibly present around the supermassive black hole at the center of M87, for various, although not all, formation scenarios, and would have profound implications for our understanding of the dark matter microphysics.

[8]  arXiv:1505.00786 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Herschel observations of interstellar chloronium. II - Detections toward G29.96-0.02, W49N, W51, and W3(OH), and determinations of the ortho-to-para and $^{35}$Cl/$^{37}$Cl isotopic ratios
Authors: David A. Neufeld (JHU), John H. Black (Chalmers), Maryvonne Gerin (Obs. de Paris), Javier R. Goicoechea (CSIC), Paul F. Goldsmith (JPL), Cecile Gry (Aix-Marseille Univ.), Harshal Gupta (Caltech), Eric Herbst (UVa), Nick Indriolo (Michigan), Dariusz Lis (Obs. de Paris, Caltech), Karl M. Menten (MPIfR), Raquel Monje (Caltech), Bhaswati Mookerjea (Tata Inst.), Carina Persson (Chalmers), Paule Sonnentrucker (STScI), Mark G. Wolfire (UMd)
Comments: 31 pages, including 7 figures. Accepted for publication in the ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We report additional detections of the chloronium molecular ion, H$_2$Cl$^+$, toward four bright submillimeter continuum sources: G29.96, W49N, W51, and W3(OH). With the use of the HIFI instrument on the Herschel Space Observatory, we observed the $2_{12}-1_{01}$ transition of ortho-H$_2^{35}$Cl$^+$ at 781.627 GHz in absorption toward all four sources. Much of the detected absorption arises in diffuse foreground clouds that are unassociated with the background continuum sources and in which our best estimates of the $N({\rm H_2Cl^+})/N({\rm H})$ ratio lie in the range $(0.9 - 4.8) \times 10^{-9}$. These chloronium abundances relative to atomic hydrogen can exceed the predictions of current astrochemical models by up to a factor of 5. Toward W49N, we have also detected the $2_{12}-1_{01}$ transition of ortho-H$_2^{37}$Cl$^+$ at 780.053 GHz and the $1_{11}-0_{00}$ transition of para-H$_2^{35}$Cl$^+$ at 485.418 GHz. These observations imply $\rm H_2^{35}Cl^+/H_2^{37}Cl^+$ column density ratios that are consistent with the solar system $^{35}$Cl/$^{37}$Cl isotopic ratio of 3.1, and chloronium ortho-to-para ratios consistent with 3, the ratio of spin statistical weights.

[9]  arXiv:1505.00787 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The star formation history of the Sagittarius stream
Comments: 15 pages, 12 figures. ccepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present the first detailed quantitative study of the stellar populations of the Sagittarius (Sgr) streams within the Stripe 82 region, using photometric and spectroscopic observations from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The star formation history (SFH) is determined separately for the bright and faint Sgr streams, to establish whether both components consist of a similar stellar population mix or have a distinct origin.
Best fit SFH solutions are characterised by a well-defined, tight sequence in age-metallicity space, indicating that star formation occurred within a well-mixed, homogeneously enriched medium. Star formation rates dropped sharply at an age of ~5-7 Gyr, possibly related to the accretion of Sgr by the MW. Finally, the Sgr sequence displays a change of slope in age-metallicity space at an age between 11-13 Gyr consistent with the Sgr alpha-element knee, indicating that supernovae type Ia started contributing to the abundance pattern ~1-3 Gyr after the start of star formation.
Results for both streams are consistent with being drawn from the parent Sgr population mix, but at different epochs. The SFH of the bright stream starts from old, metal-poor populations and extends to a metallicity of [Fe/H]~-0.7, with peaks at ~7 and 11 Gyr. The faint SFH samples the older, more metal-poor part of the Sgr sequence, with a peak at ancient ages and stars mostly with [Fe/H]<-1.3 and age>9 Gyr. Therefore, we argue in favour of a scenario where the faint stream consists of material stripped i) earlier, and ii) from the outskirts of the Sgr dwarf.

[10]  arXiv:1505.00788 [pdf, other]
Title: The ecology of dark matter haloes I: The rates and types of halo interactions
Authors: Benjamin L'Huillier, Changbom Park, Juhan Kim (Korea Institute for Advanced Study)
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. 13 pages, 13 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Interactions such as mergers and flybys play a fundamental role in shaping galaxy morphology. Using the Horizon Run 4 cosmological N-body simulation, we studied the frequency and type of halo interactions, and their redshift evolution as a function of the environment defined by the large-scale density, pair separation, mass ratio, and target halo mass. Most interactions happen at large-scale density contrast $\delta \approx 20$, regardless of the redshift, corresponding to groups and relatively dense part of filaments. However, the fraction of interacting target is maximum at $\delta \approx 1000$. We provide a new empirical fitting form for the interaction rate as a function of the halo mass, large-scale density, and redshift. We also report the existence of two modes of interactions from the distributions of mass ratio and relative distance, implying two different physical origins of the interaction. Satellite targets lose their mass as they proceed deeper into the host halo. The relative importance of these two trends strongly depends on the large-scale density, target mass, and redshift.

[11]  arXiv:1505.00789 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The 0.3-30 keV Spectra of Powerful Starburst Galaxies: NuSTAR and Chandra Observations of NGC 3256 and NGC 3310
Comments: 13 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present nearly simultaneous Chandra and NuSTAR observations of two actively star-forming galaxies within 50 Mpc: NGC 3256 and NGC 3310. Both galaxies are detected by both Chandra and NuSTAR, which together provide the first-ever spectra of these two galaxies spanning 0.3-30 keV. The X-ray emission from both galaxies is spatially resolved by Chandra; we find that hot gas dominates the E < 1-3 keV emission while ultraluminous X-ray sources (ULXs) dominate at E > 1-3 keV. The NuSTAR galaxy-wide spectra of both galaxies follow steep power-law distributions with Gamma ~ 2.6 at E > 5-7 keV, similar to the spectra of bright individual ULXs and other galaxies that have been studied by NuSTAR. We find that both NGC 3256 and NGC 3310 have X-ray detected sources coincident with nuclear regions; however, the steep NuSTAR spectra of both galaxies restricts these sources to be either low luminosity AGN or non-AGN in nature (e.g., ULXs or crowded X-ray sources that reach L2-10 keV ~ 10^40 erg/s cannot be ruled out). Combining our constraints on the 0.3-30 keV spectra of NGC 3256 and NGC 3310 with equivalent measurements for nearby star-forming galaxies M83 and NGC 253, we analyze the SFR-normalized spectra of these starburst galaxies. The spectra of all four galaxies show sharply declining power-law slopes above 3-6 keV due to ULX populations. Our observations therefore constrain the average spectra of luminous accreting binaries (i.e., ULXs). This result is similar to the super-Eddington accreting ULXs that have been studied individually in a targeted NuSTAR ULX program. We also find that NGC 3310 exhibits a factor of ~3-10 elevation of X-ray emission over the other star-forming galaxies. We argue that the excess is most likely explained by the relatively low metallicity of the young stellar population in NGC 3310.

[12]  arXiv:1505.00791 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Calibrating UV Star Formation Rates for Dwarf Galaxies from STARBIRDS
Comments: 56 pages, 13 figures, 5 tables
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Integrating our knowledge of star formation traced by observations at different wavelengths is essential for correctly interpreting and comparing star formation activity in a variety of systems and environments. This study compares extinction corrected integrated ultraviolet (UV) emission from resolved galaxies with color-magnitude diagram (CMD) based star formation rates (SFRs) derived from resolved stellar populations and CMD fitting techniques in 19 nearby starburst and post-starburst dwarf galaxies. The datasets are from the panchromatic STARBurst IRregular Dwarf Survey (STARBIRDS) and include deep legacy GALEX UV imaging, HST optical imaging, and Spitzer MIPS imaging. For the majority of the sample, the integrated near UV fluxes predicted from the CMD-based SFRs - using four different models - agree with the measured, extinction corrected, integrated near UV fluxes from GALEX images, but the far UV predicted fluxes do not. Further, we find a systematic deviation between the SFRs based on integrated far UV luminosities and existing scaling relations, and the SFRs based on the resolved stellar populations. This offset is *not* driven by different star formation timescales, variations in SFRs, UV attenuation, nor stochastic effects. This first comparison between CMD-based SFRs and an integrated FUV emission SFR indicator suggests that the most likely cause of the discrepancy is the theoretical FUV-SFR calibration from stellar evolutionary libraries and/or stellar atmospheric models. We present an empirical calibration of the FUV-based SFR relation for dwarf galaxies, with uncertainties, which is ~65% larger than previous relations.

[13]  arXiv:1505.00792 [pdf, other]
Title: Binary Black Hole Mergers from Globular Clusters: Implications for Advanced LIGO
Comments: 5 pages, two appendices (included in preprint); submitted to PRL
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

The predicted rate of binary black hole mergers from galactic fields can vary over several orders of magnitude and is extremely sensitive to the assumptions of stellar evolution. But in dense stellar environments such as globular clusters, binary black holes form by well-understood gravitational interactions. In this letter, we study the formation of black hole binaries in an extensive collection of realistic globular cluster models. By comparing these models to observed Milky Way and extragalactic globular clusters, we find that the mergers of dynamically-formed binaries could be detected at a rate of ~100 per year, potentially dominating the binary black hole merger rate. We also find that a majority of cluster-formed binaries are more massive than their field-formed counterparts, suggesting that Advanced LIGO could identify certain binaries as originating from dense stellar environments.

[14]  arXiv:1505.00794 [pdf, other]
Title: Cosmological Signatures of Anisotropic Spatial Curvature
Comments: 21 pages, 1 figure
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

If one is willing to give up the cherished hypothesis of spatial isotropy, many interesting cosmological models can be developed beyond the simple anisotropically expanding scenarios. One interesting possibility is presented by shear-free models in which the anisotropy emerges at the level of the curvature of the homogeneous spatial sections, whereas the expansion is dictated by a single scale factor. We show that such models represent viable alternatives to describe the large-scale structure of the inflationary universe, leading to a kinematically equivalent Sachs-Wolfe effect. Through the definition of a complete set of spatial eigenfunctions we compute the two-point correlation function of scalar perturbations in these models. In addition, we show how such scenarios would modify the spectrum of the CMB assuming that the observations take place in a small patch of a universe with anisotropic curvature.

[15]  arXiv:1505.00798 [pdf, other]
Title: The Evolution of the Far-UV Luminosity Function and Star Formation Rate Density of the Chandra Deep Field South from z=0.2-1.2 with Swift/UVOT
Comments: 20 pages, 8 figures, 6 tables; accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We use deep Swift UV/Optical Telescope (UVOT) near-ultraviolet (1600A to 4000A) imaging of the Chandra Deep Field South to measure the rest-frame far-UV (FUV; 1500A) luminosity function (LF) in four redshift bins between z=0.2 and 1.2. Our sample includes 730 galaxies with u < 24.1 mag. We use two methods to construct and fit the LFs: the traditional V_max method with bootstrap errors and a maximum likelihood estimator. We observe luminosity evolution such that M* fades by ~2 magnitudes from z~1 to z~0.3 implying that star formation activity was substantially higher at z~1 than today. We integrate our LFs to determine the FUV luminosity densities and star formation rate densities from z=0.2 to 1.2. We find evolution consistent with an increase proportional to (1+z)^1.9 out to z~1. Our luminosity densities and star formation rates are consistent with those found in the literature, but are, on average, a factor of ~2 higher than previous FUV measurements. In addition, we combine our UVOT data with the MUSYC survey to model the galaxies' ultraviolet-to-infrared spectral energy distributions and estimate the rest-frame FUV attenuation. We find that accounting for the attenuation increases the star formation rate densities by ~1 dex across all four redshift bins.

[16]  arXiv:1505.00806 [pdf, other]
Title: Discovery of a young planetary mass companion to the nearby M dwarf VHS J125601.92-125723.9
Comments: 19 pages, 13 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

In a search for common proper motion companions using the VISTA Hemisphere Survey and 2MASS catalogs we have identified a very red (J-Ks=2.47 mag) late-L dwarf companion of a previously unrecognized M dwarf VHS J125601.92-125723.9, located at a projected angular separation of 8.06"+/-0.03". From low-resolution optical and near-IR spectroscopy we classified the primary and the companion as an M7.5+/-0.5 and L7+/-1.5, respectively. The primary shows weaker alkali lines than field dwarfs of similar spectral type, but still consistent with either a high-gravity dwarf or a younger object of hundreds of millions of years. The secondary shows spectral features characteristic for low surface gravity objects at ages below several hundred Myr, like the triangular shape of the H-band continuum and alkali lines weaker than in field dwarfs of the same spectral type. The absence of lithium in the atmosphere of the primary and the likely membership to the Local Association allowed us to constrain the age of the system to the range of 150-300 Myr. We report a measurement of the trigonometric parallax pi=78.8+/-6.4 mas, which translates into a distance of 12.7+/-1.0 pc; the pair thus has a projected physical separation of 102+/-9 AU. We derived the Lbol of the components and compared them with theoretical evolutionary models to estimate the masses and effective temperatures. For the primary, we determined log(Lbol/LSun)=-3.14+/-0.10, and a mass of 73 (+20,-15} MJup at the boundary between stars and brown dwarfs and Teff of 2620+/-140 K. For the companion we obtained log(Lbol/LSun)=-5.05+/-0.22 and a mass of 11.2 (+9.7,-1.8) MJup placing it near the deuterium-burning mass limit. The effective temperature derived from evolutionary models is 880 (+140,-110) K, about 400-700 K cooler than expected for field late-L dwarfs.

[17]  arXiv:1505.00811 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Revisiting the Unified Model of Active Galactic Nuclei
Authors: Hagai Netzer
Comments: To appear in Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics (ARAA) vol. 53 (2015)
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

This review describes recent developments related to the unified model of active galactic nuclei (AGN). It focuses on new ideas about the origin and properties of the central obscurer (torus), and the connection with its surrounding. The review does not address radio unification. AGN tori must be clumpy but the uncertainties about their properties are still large. Todays most promising models involve disk winds of various types and hydrodynamical simulations that link the large scale galactic disk to the inner accretion flow. IR studies greatly improved the understanding of the spectral energy distribution of AGNs but they are hindered by various selection effects. X-ray samples are more complete. A basic relationship which is still unexplained is the dependence of the torus covering factor on luminosity. There is also much confusion regarding "real type-II AGNs" that do not fit into a simple unification scheme. The most impressive recent results are due to IR interferometry, which is not in accord with most torus models, and the accurate mapping of central ionization cones. AGN unification may not apply to merging systems and is possibly restricted to secularly evolving galaxies.

[18]  arXiv:1505.00814 [pdf]
Title: Beyond Chandra - the X-ray Surveyor
Comments: 6 pages, 6 figures, paper 9510-01 presented at SPIE Europe, Prague, April 2015
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Over the past 16 years, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided an unparalleled means for exploring the universe with its half-arcsecond angular resolution. Chandra studies have deepened our understanding of galaxy clusters, active galactic nuclei, galaxies, supernova remnants, planets, and solar system objects addressing almost all areas of current interest in astronomy and astrophysics. As we look beyond Chandra, it is clear that comparable or even better angular resolution with greatly increased photon throughput is essential to address even more demanding science questions, such as the formation and subsequent growth of black hole seeds at very high redshift; the emergence of the first galaxy groups; and details of feedback over a large range of scales from galaxies to galaxy clusters. Recently, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, together with the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, has initiated a concept study for such a mission named the X-ray Surveyor. This study starts with a baseline payload consisting of a high resolution X-ray telescope and an instrument set which may include an X-ray calorimeter, a wide-field imager and a dispersive grating spectrometer and readout. The telescope would consist of highly nested thin shells, for which a number of technical approaches are currently under development, including adjustable X-ray optics, differential deposition, and modern polishing techniques applied to a variety of substrates. In many areas, the mission requirements would be no more stringent than those of Chandra, and the study takes advantage of similar studies for other large area missions carried out over the past two decades. Initial assessments indicate that such an X-ray mission is scientifically compelling, technically feasible, and worthy of a high rioritization by the next American National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey for Astronomy and Astrophysics.

[19]  arXiv:1505.00815 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Dark Energy from $α$-Attractors
Authors: Eric V. Linder
Comments: 6 pages, 6 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

A class of inflation theories called $\alpha$-attractors has been investigated recently with interesting properties interpolating between quadratic potentials, the Starobinsky model, and an attractor limit. Here we examine their use for late time cosmic acceleration. We generalize the class and demonstrate how it can interpolate between thawing and freezing dark energy, and reduce the fine tuning of initial conditions, allowing $w\approx-1$ for a prolonged period or as a de Sitter attractor.

[20]  arXiv:1505.00817 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: HST/COS Detection of the Spectrum of the Subdwarf Companion of KOI-81
Comments: 34 pages, 11 figures, accepted for ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

KOI-81 is a totally eclipsing binary discovered by the Kepler mission that consists of a rapidly rotating B-type star and a small, hot companion. The system was forged through large scale mass transfer that stripped the mass donor of its envelope and spun up the mass gainer star. We present an analysis of UV spectra of KOI-81 that were obtained with the Cosmic Origins Spectrograph on the Hubble Space Telescope that reveal for the first time the spectral features of the faint, hot companion. We present a double-lined spectroscopic orbit for the system that yields mass estimates of 2.92 M_sun and 0.19 M_sun for the B-star and hot subdwarf, respectively. We used a Doppler tomography algorithm to reconstruct the UV spectra of the components, and a comparison of the reconstructed and model spectra yields effective temperatures of 12 kK and 19 - 27 kK for the B-star and hot companion, respectively. The B-star is pulsating, and we identified a number of peaks in the Fourier transform of the light curve, including one that may indicate an equatorial rotation period of 11.5~hours. The B-star has an equatorial velocity that is 74% of the critical velocity where centrifugal and gravitational accelerations balance at the equator, and we fit the transit light curve by calculating a rotationally distorted model for the photosphere of the B-star.

[21]  arXiv:1505.00825 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Energetics of Cusp Destruction
Comments: 9 pages, 7 figures (2 subfigures), accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present a new analytic estimate for the energy required to create a constant density core within a dark matter halo. Our new estimate, based on more realistic assumptions, leads to a required energy that is orders of magnitude lower than is claimed in earlier work. We define a core size based on the logarithmic slope of the dark matter density profile so that it is insensitive to the functional form used to fit observed data. The energy required to form a core depends sensitively on the radial scale over which dark matter within the cusp is redistributed within the halo. Simulations indicate that within a region of comparable size to the active star forming regions of the central galaxy that inhabits the halo, dark matter particles have their orbits radially increased by a factor of 2--3 during core formation. Thus the inner properties of the dark matter halo, such as halo concentration, and final core size, set the energy requirements. As a result, the energy cost increases slowly with halo mass as M$_{\rm{h}}^{0.3-0.7}$ for core sizes $\lesssim1$ kpc. We use the expected star formation history for a given dark matter halo mass to predict dwarf galaxy core sizes. We find that supernovae alone would create well over 4 kpc cores in $10^{10}$ M$_{\odot}$ dwarf galaxies \emph{if} 100% of the energy were transferred to dark matter particle orbits. We can directly constrain the efficiency factor by studying galaxies with known stellar content and core size, such as Fornax. We find that the efficiency of coupling between stellar feedback and dark matter orbital energy need only be at the 1% level or less to explain Fornax's 1 kpc core.

[22]  arXiv:1505.00834 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A search for rotating radio transients and fast radio bursts in the Parkes high-latitude pulsar survey
Comments: 10 pages, 8 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Discoveries of rotating radio transients and fast radio bursts (FRBs) in pulsar surveys suggest that further transient sources await discovery in archival data sets. Here we report on a single-pulse search for dispersed radio bursts over a wide range of Galactic latitudes ($|b| < 60^{\circ}$) in data previously searched for periodic sources by Burgay et al. We detected 20 of the 42 pulsars reported by Burgay et al. and one radio transient. No FRBs were discovered in this survey. Taking into account this null result, along with other recent surveys at Parkes, and correcting for detection sensitivity based on the search algorithms used in the analyses, we find that the all-sky FRB event rate for sources with peak fluxes $> 0.1$ Jy to be ${\cal R} = 3.3^{+5.0}_{-2.5} \times 10^3$ FRBs day$^{-1}$ sky$^{-1}$, where the uncertainties represent a $99\%$ confidence interval. While this rate is several times lower than inferred from previous studies, it is consistent with all systematic FRB searches at Parkes to date and does not require the need to postulate a dearth of FRBs at intermediate latitudes.

[23]  arXiv:1505.00836 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Simultaneous Multi-band Radio & X-ray Observations of the Galactic Center Magnetar SGR 1745-2900
Comments: 15 pages, 9 figures, 3 tables; submitted to ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We report on multi-frequency, wideband radio observations of the Galactic Center magnetar (SGR 1745$-$2900) with the Green Bank Telescope for $\sim$100 days immediately following its initial X-ray outburst in April 2013. We made multiple simultaneous observations at 1.5, 2.0, and 8.9 GHz, allowing us to examine the magnetar's flux evolution, radio spectrum, and interstellar medium parameters (such as the dispersion measure (DM), the scattering timescale and its index). During two epochs, we have simultaneous observations from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, which permitted the absolute alignment of the radio and X-ray profiles. As with the two other radio magnetars with published alignments, the radio profile lies within the broad peak of the X-ray profile, preceding the X-ray profile maximum by $\sim$0.2 rotations. We also find that the radio spectral index $\gamma$ is significantly negative between $\sim$2 and 9 GHz; during the final $\sim$30 days of our observations $\gamma \sim -1.4$, which is typical of canonical pulsars. The increasing radio flux has not turned over during this outburst, whereas the long-term trends in the other radio magnetars show concomitant fading of the radio and X-ray fluxes. Finally, our wideband measurements of the DMs taken in adjacent frequency bands in tandem are stochastically inconsistent with one another. Based on recent theoretical predictions, we consider the possibility that the dispersion measure is frequency-dependent. Despite having several properties in common with the other radio magnetars, such as $L_{\textrm{X,qui}}/L_{\textrm{rot}} \lesssim 1$, an increase in the radio flux during the X-ray flux decay has not been observed thus far in other systems.

[24]  arXiv:1505.00845 [pdf, other]
Title: SAGE-Var: An Infrared Survey of Variability in the Magellanic Clouds
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present the first results from the SAGE-Var program, a follow on to the Spitzer legacy program Surveying the Agents of Galaxy Evolution (SAGE; Meixner, et al. 2006). We obtained 4 epochs of photometry at 3.6 & 4.5 microns covering the bar of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and the central region of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) in order to probe the variability of extremely red sources missed by variability surveys conducted at shorter wavelengths, and to provide additional epochs of observation for known variables. Our 6 total epochs of observations allow us to probe infrared variability on 15 different timescales ranging from ~20 days to ~5 years. Out of a full catalog of 1,717,554 (LMC) and 457,760 (SMC) objects, we find 10 (LMC) and 6 (SMC) large amplitude AGB variables without optically measured variability owing to circumstellar dust obscuration. The catalog also contains multiple observations of known AGB variables, type I and II Cepheids, eclipsing variables, R CrB stars and young stellar objects which will be discussed in following papers. Here we present infrared Period-Luminosity (PL) relations for classical Cepheids in the Magellanic Clouds, as well as improved PL relationships for AGB stars pulsating in the fundamental mode using mean magnitudes constructed from 6 epochs of observations.

[25]  arXiv:1505.00847 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Evidence for Decay of Turbulence by MHD Shocks in Molecular Clouds via CO Emission
Comments: 6 pages, 8 figures. Accepted to The Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We utilize observations of sub-millimeter rotational transitions of CO from a Herschel Cycle 2 open time program ("COPS", PI: J. Green) to identify previously predicted turbulent dissipation by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) shocks in molecular clouds. We find evidence of the shocks expected for dissipation of MHD turbulence in material not associated with any protostar. Two models fit about equally well: model 1 has a density of 10$^{3}$ cm$^{-3}$, a shock velocity of 3 km s$^{-1}$, and a magnetic field strength of 4 ${\mu}$G; model 2 has a density of 10$^{3.5}$ cm$^{-3}$, a shock velocity of $2$ km s$^{-1}$, and a magnetic field strength of 8 $\mu$G. Timescales for decay of turbulence in this region are comparable to crossing times. Transitions of CO up to $J$ of 8, observed close to active sites of star formation, but not within outflows, can trace turbulent dissipation of shocks stirred by formation processes. Although the transitions are difficult to detect at individual positions, our Herschel-SPIRE survey of protostars provides a grid of spatially-distributed spectra within molecular clouds. We averaged all spatial positions away from known outflows near seven protostars. We find significant agreement with predictions of models of turbulent dissipation in slightly denser (10$^{3.5}$ cm$^{-3}$) material with a stronger magnetic field (24 $\mu$G) than in the general molecular cloud.

[26]  arXiv:1505.00849 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The HCN/HNC abundance ratio toward different evolutionary phases of massive star formation
Comments: 55 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in ApJS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Using the HCN and HNC J=1--0 line observations, the abundance ratio of HCN/HNC has been estimated for different evolutionary stages of massive star formation: Infrared dark clouds (IRDCs), High-mass protostellar object (HMPOs), and Ultra-compact HII regions (UCHIIs). IRDCs were divided into `quiescent IRDC cores' and `active IRDC cores', depending on star formation activity. The HCN/HNC ratio is known to be higher at active and high temperature regions related to ongoing star formation, compared to cold and quiescent regions. Our observations toward 8 quiescent IRDC cores, 16 active IRDC cores, 23 HMPOs, and 31 UCHIIs show consistent results; the ratio is 0.97~($\pm~0.10$), 2.65~($\pm~0.88$), 4.17~($\pm~1.03$) and 8.96~($\pm~3.32$) in these respective evolutionary stages, increasing from quiescent IRDC cores to UCHIIs. The change of the HCN/HNC abundance ratio, therefore, seems directly associated with the evolutionary stages of star formation, which have different temperatures. One suggested explanation for this trend is the conversion of HNC to HCN, which occurs effectively at higher temperatures. To test the explanation, we performed a simple chemical model calculation. In order to fit the observed results, the energy barrier of the conversion must be much lower than the value provided by theoretical calculations.

[27]  arXiv:1505.00859 [pdf, other]
Title: Super-Chandrasekhar White Dwarfs with Magnetic-dependent Equation of State
Comments: 6ps,5figs; welcome informing
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

Recently, some over-luminous Ia supernovaes are found, suggesting that their progenitors are white dwarfs more massive than the Chandrasekhar limit, which perhaps result from ultra-strong magnetic field inside the white dwarfs. We present an equation of state, explicitly magnetic-dependent and analytically practicable, and observe that the change of equation of states due to magnetic field waning along radium will so significantly influence the configuration of a white dwarf as that its density does not monotonically decrease, but goes down at first, re-peaks near the crust and falls off again. As a supernovae will, in the single degenerate Ia supernovae system, leave the remnant of its companion and a neutron star (pulsar star), we point out that the observations of these objects can put our model into tests

[28]  arXiv:1505.00871 [pdf, other]
Title: Red Supergiants as Cosmic Abundance Probes: The Sculptor Galaxy NGC 300
Comments: 11 pages
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present a quantitative spectroscopic study of twenty-seven red supergiants in the Sculptor Galaxy NGC 300. J-band spectra were obtained using KMOS on the VLT and studied with state of the art synthetic spectra including NLTE corrections for the strongest diagnostic lines. We report a central metallicity of [Z]= -0.03 +/- 0.05 with a gradient of -0.083 +/- 0.014 [dex/kpc], in agreement with previous studies of blue supergiants and H II-region auroral line measurements. This result marks the first application of the J-band spectroscopic method to a population of individual red supergiant stars beyond the Local Group of galaxies and reveals the great potential of this technique.

[29]  arXiv:1505.00882 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Evidence of fast pebble growth near condensation fronts in the HL Tau protoplanetary disk
Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, Accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal Letters
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Water and simple organic molecular ices dominate the mass of solid materials available for planetesimal and planet formation beyond the water snow line. Here we analyze ALMA long baseline 2.9, 1.3 and 0.87 mm continuum images of the young star HL Tau, and suggest that the emission dips observed are due to rapid pebble growth around the condensation fronts of abundant volatile species. Specifically, we show that the prominent innermost dip at 13 AU is spatially resolved in the 0.87 mm image, and its center radius is coincident with the expected mid-plane condensation front of water ice. In addition, two other prominent dips, at distances of 32 and 63 AU, cover the mid-plane condensation fronts of pure ammonia or ammonia hydrates and clathrate hydrates (especially with CO and N$_2$) formed from amorphous water ice. The spectral index map of HL Tau between 1.3 and 0.87 mm shows that the flux ratios inside the dips are statistically larger than those of nearby regions in the disk. This variation can be explained by a model with two dust populations, where most of solid mass resides in a component that has grown into decimeter size scales inside the dips. Such growth is in accord with recent numerical simulations of volatile condensation, dust coagulation and settling.

[30]  arXiv:1505.00884 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Predicting the Arrival Time of Coronal Mass Ejections with the Graduated Cylindrical Shell and Drag Force Model
Comments: 9 pages, 7 figures, 3 tables, ApJ in press
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Space Physics (physics.space-ph)

Accurately predicting the arrival of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) at the Earth based on remote images is of critical significance in the study of space weather. In this paper, we make a statistical study of 21 Earth directed CMEs, exploring in particular the relationship between CME initial speeds and transit times. The initial speed of a CME is obtained by fitting the CME with the Graduated Cylindrical Shell model and is thus free of projection effects. We then use the drag force model to fit results of the transit time versus the initial speed. By adopting different drag regimes, i.e., the viscous, aerodynamics, and hybrid regimes, we get similar results, with the least mean estimation error of the hybrid model of 12.9 hours. CMEs with a propagation angle (the angle between the propagation direction and the Sun-Earth line) larger than its half angular width arrive at the Earth with an angular deviation caused by factors other than the radial solar wind drag. The drag force model cannot be well applied to such events. If we exclude these events in the sample, the prediction accuracy can be improved, i.e., the estimation error reduces to 6.8 hours. This work suggests that it is viable to predict the arrival time of CMEs at the Earth based on the initial parameters with a fairly good accuracy. Thus, it provides a method of space weather forecast of 1--5 days following the occurrence of CMEs.

[31]  arXiv:1505.00892 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Accretion Wind Model of the Fermi Bubbles (II): Radiation
Comments: submitted to ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

In a previous work, we have shown that the formation of the Fermi bubbles can be due to the interaction between winds launched from the hot accretion flow in Sgr A* and the interstellar medium (ISM). In that work, we focus only on the morphology. In this paper we continue our study by calculating the gamma-ray radiation. Some cosmic ray protons (CRp) and electrons must be contained in the winds, which are likely formed by physical processes such as magnetic reconnection. We have performed MHD simulations to study the spatial distribution of CRp, considering the advection and diffusion of CRp in the presence of magnetic field. We find that a permeated zone is formed just outside of the contact discontinuity between winds and ISM, where the collisions between CRp and thermal nuclei mainly occur. The decay of neutral pions generated in the collisions, combined with the inverse Compton scattering of background soft photons by the secondary leptons generated in the collisions and primary CR electrons can well explain the observed gamma-ray spectral energy distribution. Other features such as the uniform surface brightness along the latitude and the boundary width of the bubbles are also explained. The advantage of this accretion wind model is that the adopted wind properties come from the detailed small scale MHD numerical simulation of accretion flows and the value of mass accretion rate has independent observational evidences. The success of the model suggests that we may seriously consider the possibility that cavities and bubbles observed in other contexts such as galaxy clusters may be formed by winds rather than jets.

[32]  arXiv:1505.00916 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Multiwavelength behaviour of the blazar OJ 248 from radio to γ-rays
Comments: 16 pages, 20 figures, 2 tables, in press for MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present an analysis of the multiwavelength behaviour of the blazar OJ 248 at z = 0.939 in the period 2006-2013. We use low-energy data (optical, near-infrared, and radio) obtained by 21 observatories participating in the GLAST-AGILE Support Program (GASP) of the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope (WEBT), as well as data from the Swift (optical-UV and X-rays) and Fermi (gamma-rays) satellites, to study flux and spectral variability and correlations among emissions in different bands. We take into account the effect of absorption by the Damped Lyman Alpha intervening system at z = 0.525. Two major outbursts were observed in 2006-2007 and in 2012-2013 at optical and near-IR wavelengths, while in the high-frequency radio light curves prominent radio outbursts are visible peaking at the end of 2010 and beginning of 2013, revealing a complex radio-optical correlation. Cross-correlation analysis suggests a delay of the optical variations after the gamma-ray ones of about a month, which is a peculiar behaviour in blazars. We also analyse optical polarimetric and spectroscopic data. The average polarization percentage P is less than 3 per cent, but it reaches about 19 per cent during the early stage of the 2012-2013 outburst. A vague correlation of P with brightness is observed. There is no preferred electric vector polarisation angle and during the outburst the linear polarization vector shows wide rotations in both directions, suggesting a complex behaviour or structure of the jet and possible turbulence. The analysis of 140 optical spectra acquired at the Steward Observatory reveals a strong Mg II broad emission line with an essentially stable flux of 6.2 e-15 erg cm-2 s-1 and a full width at half-maximum of 2053 km s-1.

[33]  arXiv:1505.00918 [pdf, other]
Title: Measurement of the radial velocity of the Sun as a star by means of a reflecting solar system body. The effect of the body rotation
Authors: A. F. Lanza (INAF-Catania, Italy), P. Molaro (INAF-Trieste, Italy)
Comments: 14 pages, 5 figures, 3 tables, accepted by Experimental Astronomy
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Minor bodies of the solar system can be used to measure the spectrum of the Sun as a star by observing sunlight reflected by their surfaces. To perform an accurate measurement of the radial velocity of the Sun as a star by this method, it is necessary to take into account the Doppler shifts introduced by the motion of the reflecting body. Here we discuss the effect of its rotation. It gives a vanishing contribution only when the inclinations of the body rotation axis to the directions of the Sun and of the Earth observer are the same. When this is not the case, the perturbation of the radial velocity does not vanish and can reach up to about 2.4 m/s for an asteroid such as 2 Pallas that has an inclination of the spin axis to the plane of the ecliptic of about 30 degrees. We introduce a geometric model to compute the perturbation in the case of a uniformly reflecting body of spherical or triaxial ellipsoidal shape and provide general results to easily estimate the magnitude of the effect.

[34]  arXiv:1505.00933 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Recollimation Shocks in Magnetized Relativistic Jets
Comments: 12 pages, 13 figures and 1 table
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

We have performed two-dimensional special-relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of non-equilibrium over-pressured relativistic jets in cylindrical geometry. Multiple stationary recollimation shock and rarefaction structures are produced along the jet by the nonlinear interaction of shocks and rarefaction waves excited at the interface between the jet and the surrounding ambient medium. Although initially the jet is kinematically dominated, we have considered axial, toroidal and helical magnetic fields to investigate the effects of different magnetic-field topologies and strengths on the recollimation structures. We find that an axial field introduces a larger effective gas-pressure and leads to stronger recollimation shocks and rarefactions, resulting in larger flow variations. The jet boost grows quadratically with the initial magnetic field. On the other hand, a toroidal field leads to weaker recollimation shocks and rarefactions, modifying significantly the jet structure after the first recollimation rarefaction and shock. The jet boost decreases systematically. For a helical field, instead, the behaviour depends on the magnetic pitch, with a phenomenology that ranges between the one seen for axial and toroidal magnetic fields, respectively. In general, however, a helical magnetic field yields a more complex shock and rarefaction substructure close to the inlet that significantly modifies the jet structure. The differences in shock structure resulting from different field configurations and strengths may have observable consequences for disturbances propagating through a stationary recollimation shock.

[35]  arXiv:1505.00935 [pdf, other]
Title: $γ$-ray observations of extraterrestrial neutrino track event positions
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS, 10 pages, 8 figures, 3 tables
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

In this paper we report the results of a $\gamma$-ray study of IceCube's extraterrestrial neutrino candidates detected as track-like events. Using 70 months of Fermi-LAT observations, a likelihood analysis of all $1-300$ GeV photons within 5 degrees of the track-like neutrino candidates' origin was undertaken, to search for spatially coincident $\gamma$-ray emission. One of IceCube's HESE track events was found to be spatially coincident with a $\gamma$-ray bright active galactic nucleus (AGN), PKS 0723-008. We find however, that the chance probability for Fermi-LAT detected AGN to be spatially coincident with a single HESE track-like event is high ($\sim37$\%). We therefore find no evidence of $\gamma$-ray emission associated with the detection of IceCube's HESE track-like neutrino candidates. Upper limits were calculated in the energy range of $1-300$ GeV, assuming a point source origin for the neutrino events considered. The implications for the non-detection of $\gamma$-ray emission from the source of the HESE track-like events are briefly discussed.
The large time period analysed in our study did however, reveal two new $\gamma$-ray point sources. With a flux of ($1.28 \pm 0.08$) $\times 10^{-9}$ photons cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$, in the $1-300$ GeV energy range, and an associated TS value of 220.6, one of these new point sources is positionally coincident with the AGN PKS 1346-112. The other point source has a $1-300$ GeV flux of ($7.95 \pm 1.23$) $\times 10^{-10}$ photons cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ and an associated TS value of 92.4. This new point source is spatially coincident with the radio source NVSS J072534+021645 suggesting that it too is an AGN.

[36]  arXiv:1505.00936 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Autoencoding Time Series for Visualisation
Comments: Published in ESANN 2015
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Neural and Evolutionary Computing (cs.NE)

We present an algorithm for the visualisation of time series. To that end we employ echo state networks to convert time series into a suitable vector representation which is capable of capturing the latent dynamics of the time series. Subsequently, the obtained vector representations are put through an autoencoder and the visualisation is constructed using the activations of the bottleneck. The crux of the work lies with defining an objective function that quantifies the reconstruction error of these representations in a principled manner. We demonstrate the method on synthetic and real data.

[37]  arXiv:1505.00941 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Orbital period changes and the higher-order multiplicity fraction amongst SuperWASP eclipsing binaries
Authors: M. E. Lohr (1), A. J. Norton (1), S. G. Payne (1), R. G. West (2), P. J. Wheatley (2) ((1) The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, (2) University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)
Comments: 7 pages, 10 figures (24 pages including appendices to be published at the CDS), accepted for publication by Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Orbital period changes of binary stars may be caused by the presence of a third massive body in the system. Here we have searched the archive of the Wide Angle Search for Planets (SuperWASP) project for evidence of period variations in 13927 eclipsing binary candidates. Sinusoidal period changes, strongly suggestive of third bodies, were detected in 2% of cases; however, linear period changes were observed in a further 22% of systems. We argue on distributional grounds that the majority of these apparently linear changes are likely to reflect longer-term sinusoidal period variations caused by third bodies, and thus estimate a higher-order multiplicity fraction of 24% for SuperWASP binaries, in good agreement with other recent figures for the fraction of triple systems amongst binary stars in general.

[38]  arXiv:1505.00942 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Long-Slit Spectroscopy of Parsec-Scale Jets from DG Tauri
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present observational results from optical long-slit spectroscopy of parsec-scale jets of DG Tau. From HH 158 and HH 702, the optical emission lines of H_alpha, [O I] 6300, 6363, [N II] 6548, 6584, and [S II] 6716, 6731 are obtained. The kinematics and physical properties (i.e., electron density, electron temperature, ionization fraction, and mass-loss rate) are investigated along the blueshifted jet up to 650 arcseconds distance from the source. For HH 158, the radial velocity ranges from -50 to -250 km/s. The proper motion of the knots is 0.196 - 0.272 /yr. The electron density is ~ 10^{4}/cm^{3} close to the star, and decreases to ~ 10^{2} /cm^{3} at 14 arcseconds away from the star. Ionization fraction indicates that the gas is almost neutral in the vicinity of the source. It increases up to over 0.4 along the distance. HH 702 is located at ~ 650 arcseconds from the source. It shows ~ -80 km/s in the radial velocity. Its line ratios are similar to those at knot C of HH 158. The mass-loss rate is estimated to be about ~ 10^{-7} M_{sun}/yr, which is similar to values obtained from previous studies.

[39]  arXiv:1505.00949 [pdf, other]
Title: A CO-rich merger shaping a powerful and hyper-luminous infrared radio galaxy at z=2: the Dragonfly Galaxy
Authors: B.H.C. Emonts (1), M.Y. Mao (2), A. Stroe (3), L. Pentericci (4), M. Villar-Martin (1,5), R.P. Norris (6), G. Miley (3), C. De Breuck (7), G.A. van Moorsel (2), M.D. Lehnert (8), C.L. Carilli (2,9), H.J.A. Rottgering (3), N. Seymour (10), E.M. Sadler (11), R.D. Ekers (6), G. Drouart (12), I. Feain (11), L. Colina (1,5), J. Stevens (6), J. Holt (13) ((1) Centro de Astrobiologia, CSIC-INTA, (2) NRAO, (3) Leiden Observatory, (4) INAF, (5) UAM, Unidad Asociada CSIC, (6) CASS/ATNF, (7) ESO, (8) IAP, (9) Cavendish Lab., (10) ICRAR, (11) Univ. Sydney, (12) Onsala Observatory, (13) ESA)
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS (12 pages, 5 figures)
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

In the low-redshift Universe, the most powerful radio sources are often associated with gas-rich galaxy mergers or interactions. We here present evidence for an advanced, gas-rich (`wet') merger associated with a powerful radio galaxy at a redshift of z~2. This radio galaxy, MRC 0152-209, is the most infrared-luminous high-redshift radio galaxy known in the southern hemisphere. Using the Australia Telescope Compact Array, we obtained high-resolution CO(1-0) data of cold molecular gas, which we complement with HST/WFPC2 imaging and WHT long-slit spectroscopy. We find that, while roughly M(H2) ~ 2 x 10$^{10}$ M$_{\odot}$ of molecular gas coincides with the central host galaxy, another M(H2) ~ 3 x 10$^{10}$ M$_{\odot}$ is spread across a total extent of ~60 kpc. Most of this widespread CO(1-0) appears to follow prominent tidal features visible in the rest-frame near-UV HST/WFPC2 imaging. Ly$\alpha$ emission shows an excess over HeII, but a deficiency over L(IR), which is likely the result of photo-ionisation by enhanced but very obscured star formation that was triggered by the merger. In terms of feedback, the radio source is aligned with widespread CO(1-0) emission, which suggests that there is a physical link between the propagating radio jets and the presence of cold molecular gas on scales of the galaxy's halo. Its optical appearance, combined with the transformational stage at which we witness the evolution of MRC 0152-209, leads us to adopt the name `Dragonfly Galaxy'.

[40]  arXiv:1505.00951 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The resonant nature of tidal stirring of disky dwarf galaxies orbiting the Milky Way
Comments: 10 pages, 10 figures, submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Using N-body simulations we study the tidal evolution of initially disky dwarf galaxies orbiting a Milky Way-like host, a process known to lead to the formation of dwarf spheroidal galaxies. We focus on the effect of the orientation of the dwarf galaxy disk's angular momentum with respect to the orbital one and find very strong dependence of the evolution on this parameter. We consider four different orientations: the exactly prograde, the exactly retrograde and two intermediate ones. Tidal evolution is strongest for the exactly prograde and weakest for the exactly retrograde orbit. In the prograde case the stellar component forms a strong bar and remains prolate until the end of the simulation, while its rotation is very quickly replaced by random motions of the stars. In the retrograde case the dwarf remains oblate, does not form a bar and loses rotation very slowly. In the two cases of intermediate orientation of the disk, the evolution is between the two extremes, suggesting a monotonic dependence on the inclination. We interpret the results in terms of the resonance between the angular velocity of the stars in the dwarf and its orbital motion by comparing the measurements from simulations to semi-analytic predictions. We conclude that resonant effects are the most important mechanism underlying the tidal evolution of disky dwarf galaxies.

[41]  arXiv:1505.00968 [pdf, other]
Title: On the Three Primordial Numbers
Comments: 5 pages, 3 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th)

Cosmological observations have provided us with the measurement of just three numbers that characterize the very early universe: $ 1-n_{s} $, $ N $ and $\ln\Delta_R^2$. Although each of the three numbers individually carries limited information about the physics of inflation, one may hope to extract non-trivial information from relations among them. Invoking minimality, namely the absence of ad hoc large numbers, we find two viable and mutually exclusive inflationary scenarios. The first is the well-known inverse relation between $1- n_{s} $ and $ N $. The second implies a new relation between $ 1-n_{s} $ and $\ln\Delta_R^2$, which might provide us with a handle on the beginning of inflation and predicts the intriguing $\textit{lower}$ bound on the tensor-to-scalar ratio $ r> 0.007 $ ($ 95\% $ CL).

[42]  arXiv:1505.00969 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A fast and explicit algorithm for simulating the dynamics of small dust grains with smoothed particle hydrodynamics
Authors: Daniel J. Price (Monash), Guillaume Laibe (St Andrews)
Comments: 15 pages, 10 figures, accepted to MNRAS. Code implementation (ndspmhd v2.1) and setup of test problems available at: this http URL DP is particularly proud of appendix A
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We describe a simple method for simulating the dynamics of small grains in a dusty gas, relevant to micron-sized grains in the interstellar medium and grains of centimetre size and smaller in protoplanetary discs. The method involves solving one extra diffusion equation for the dust fraction in addition to the usual equations of hydrodynamics. This "diffusion approximation for dust" is valid when the dust stopping time is smaller than the computational timestep. We present a numerical implementation using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) that is conservative, accurate and fast. It does not require any implicit timestepping and can be straightforwardly ported into existing 3D codes.

[43]  arXiv:1505.00970 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Gaia spectrophotometric standard stars survey -II. Instrumental effects of six ground-based observing campaigns
Comments: 16 pages, 13 figures, accepted for publication in Astron. Nachr
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

The Gaia SpectroPhotometric Standard Stars (SPSS) survey started in 2006, it was awarded almost 450 observing nights, and accumulated almost 100,000 raw data frames, with both photometric and spectroscopic observations. Such large observational effort requires careful, homogeneous, and automated data reduction and quality control procedures. In this paper, we quantitatively evaluate instrumental effects that might have a significant (i.e.,$\geq$1%) impact on the Gaia SPSS flux calibration. The measurements involve six different instruments, monitored over the eight years of observations dedicated to the Gaia flux standards campaigns: DOLORES@TNG in La Palma, EFOSC2@NTT and ROSS@REM in La Silla, CAFOS@2.2m in Calar Alto, BFOSC@Cassini in Loiano, and LaRuca@1.5m in San Pedro Martir. We examine and quantitatively evaluate the following effects: CCD linearity and shutter times, calibration frames stability, lamp flexures, second order contamination, light polarization, and fringing. We present methods to correct for the relevant effects, which can be applied to a wide range of observational projects at similar instruments.

[44]  arXiv:1505.00973 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Two phase mixtures in SPH - A new approach
Authors: Daniel J. Price (Monash), Guillaume Laibe (St Andrews)
Comments: 8 pages, 9 figures, proceedings of 10th international SPHERIC workshop, Parma, Italy, June, 16-18 2015
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

We present a new approach to simulating mixtures of gas and dust in smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH). We show how the two-fluid equations can be rewritten to describe a single-fluid 'mixture' moving with the barycentric velocity, with each particle carrying a dust fraction. We show how this formulation can be implemented in SPH while preserving the conservation properties (i.e. conservation of mass of each phase, momentum and energy). We also show that the method solves two key issues with the two fluid approach: it avoids over-damping of the mixture when the drag is strong and prevents a problem with dust particles becoming trapped below the resolution of the gas.
We also show how the general one-fluid formulation can be simplified in the limit of strong drag (i.e. small grains) to the usual SPH equations plus a diffusion equation for the evolution of the dust fraction that can be evolved explicitly and does not require any implicit timestepping. We present tests of the simplified formulation showing that it is accurate in the small grain/strong drag limit. We discuss some of the issues we have had to solve while developing this method and finally present a preliminary application to dust settling in protoplanetary discs.

[45]  arXiv:1505.00975 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Formation depths of Fraunhofer lines
Comments: 25 pages, 8 figures, 1 table, published in The Preprints of The Main Astronomical Observatory of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, MAO-97-1P, p.3-35, 1997
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We have summed up our investigations performed in 1970--1993. The main task of this paper is clearly to show processes of formation of spectral lines as well as their distinction by validity and by location. For 503 photospheric lines of various chemical elements in the wavelength range 300--1000 nm we list in Table the average formation depths of the line depression and the line emission for the line centre and on the half-width of the line, the average formation depths of the continuum emission as well as the effective widths of the layer of the line depression formation. Dependence of average depths of line depression formation on excitation potential, equivalent widths, and central line depth are demonstrated by iron lines.

[46]  arXiv:1505.00976 [pdf]
Title: Hard X-ray polarimetry with Caliste, a high performance CdTe based imaging spectrometer
Comments: 17 pages, 14 figures, 2 tables in Experimental Astronomy, 2015
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); High Energy Physics - Experiment (hep-ex)

Since the initial exploration of soft gamma-ray sky in the 60's, high-energy celestial sources have been mainly characterized through imaging, spectroscopy and timing analysis. Despite tremendous progress in the field, the radiation mechanisms at work in sources such as neutrons stars and black holes are still unclear. The polarization state of the radiation is an observational parameter which brings key additional information about the physical process. This is why most of the projects for the next generation of space missions covering the tens of keV to the MeV region require a polarization measurement capability. A key element enabling this capability is a detector system allowing the identification and characterization of Compton interactions as they are the main process at play. The hard X-ray imaging spectrometer module, developed in CEA with the generic name of Caliste module, is such a detector. In this paper, we present experimental results for two types of Caliste-256 modules, one based on a CdTe crystal, the other one on a CdZnTe crystal, which have been exposed to linearly polarized beams at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility. These results, obtained at 200-300 keV, demonstrate their capability to give an accurate determination of the polarization parameters (polarization angle and fraction) of the incoming beam. Applying a selection to our data set, equivalent to select 90 degrees Compton scattered interactions in the detector plane, we find a modulation factor Q of 0.78. The polarization angle and fraction are derived with accuracies of approximately 1 degree and 5%. The modulation factor remains larger than 0.4 when essentially no selection is made at all on the data. These results prove that the Caliste-256 modules have performances allowing them to be excellent candidates as detectors with polarimetric capabilities, in particular for future space missions.

[47]  arXiv:1505.00987 [pdf, other]
Title: Preliminary results of giant pulse investigations from Crab pulsar with Radioastron
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Giant pulses from Crab pulsar were observed together with Radioastron space radiotelescope, Global EVN radio telescopes and Kvazar-KVO VLBI stations to study the scattering effects in the ISM. Five observing sessions were conducted at 18 cm (EVN codes: EG060A, EG060B, EG067B, EG075) and one at 92 cm (EVN code: GS033A). We have estimated distance to the scattering screen, angular size of scattering disk, scattering time. All estimations were done in an assumption of single thin scattering screen. Also, a significant change in the shape of cross-correlation functions for space-ground baselines was found (starting from 4 up to 12 Earth diameters).

[48]  arXiv:1505.01002 [pdf]
Title: Fine pitch CdTe-based Hard-X-ray polarimeter performance for space science in the 70-300 keV energy range
Comments: 8 pages, 5 figures in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research A, Avalaible online January 2015
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); High Energy Physics - Experiment (hep-ex)

X-rays astrophysical sources have been almost exclusively characterized through imaging, spectroscopy and timing analysis. Nevertheless, more observational parameters are needed because some radiation mechanisms present in neutrons stars or black holes are still unclear. Polarization measurements will play a key role in discrimination between different X-ray emission models. Such a capability becomes a mandatory requirement for the next generation of high-energy space proposals. We have developed a CdTe-based fine-pitch imaging spectrometer, Caliste, able to respond to these new requirements. With a 580-micron pitch and 1 keV energy resolution at 60 keV, we are able to accurately reconstruct the polarization angle and polarization fraction of an impinging flux of photons which are scattered by 90{\deg} after Compton diffusion within the crystal. Thanks to its high performance in both imaging and spectrometry, Caliste turns out to be a powerful device for high-energy polarimetry. In this paper, we present the principles and the results obtained for this kind of measurements: on one hand, we describe the simulation tool we have developed to predict the polarization performances in the 50-300 keV energy range. On the other hand, we compare simulation results with experimental data taken at ESRF ID15A (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) using a mono-energetic polarized beam tuned between 35 and 300 keV. We show that it is possible with this detector to determine with high precision the polarization parameters (direction and fraction) for different irradiation conditions. Applying a judicious energy selection to our data set, we reach a remarkable sensitivity level characterized by an optimum Quality Factor of 0.78 in the 200-300 keV range. We also evaluate the sensitivity of our device at 70 keV, where hard X-ray mirrors are already available; the measured Q factor is 0.64 at 70 keV.

[49]  arXiv:1505.01003 [pdf, other]
Title: Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA): maximum likelihood determination of the luminosity function and its evolution
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. 13 pages, 11 figures. Comments welcome
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We describe modifications to the joint stepwise maximum likelihood method of Cole (2011) in order to simultaneously fit the GAMA-II galaxy luminosity function (LF), corrected for radial density variations, and its evolution with redshift. The whole sample is reasonably well-fit with luminosity (Qe) and density (Pe) evolution parameters Qe, Pe = 1.0, 1.0 but with significant degeneracies characterized by Qe = 1.4 - 0.4Pe. Blue galaxies exhibit larger luminosity density evolution than red galaxies, as expected. We present the evolution-corrected r-band LF for the whole sample and for blue and red sub-samples, using both Petrosian and Sersic magnitudes. Petrosian magnitudes miss a substantial fraction of the flux of de Vaucouleurs profile galaxies: the Sersic LF is substantially higher than the Petrosian LF at the bright end.

[50]  arXiv:1505.01011 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: GASS: The Parkes Galactic All-Sky Survey. Update: improved correction for instrumental effects and new data release
Comments: 11 pages, 12 figures, accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The Galactic All-Sky Survey is a survey of Galactic atomic hydrogen emission in the southern sky observed with the Parkes 64-m Radio Telescope. The first data release (GASS I) concerned survey goals and observing techniques, the second release (GASS II) focused on stray radiation and instrumental corrections. We seek to remove the remaining instrumental effects and present a third data release. We use the HEALPix tessellation concept to grid the data on the sphere. Individual telescope records are compared with averages on the nearest grid position for significant deviations. All averages are also decomposed into Gaussian components with the aim of segregating unacceptable solutions. Improved priors are used for an iterative baseline fitting and cleaning. In the last step we generate 3-D FITS data cubes and examine them for remaining problems. We have removed weak, but systematic baseline offsets with an improved baseline fitting algorithm. We have unraveled correlator failures that cause time dependent oscillations; errors cause stripes in the scanning direction. The remaining problems from radio frequency interference (RFI) are spotted. Classifying the severeness of instrumental errors for each individual telescope record (dump) allows us to exclude bad data from averages. We derive parameters that allow us to discard dumps without compromising the noise of the resulting data products too much. All steps are reiterated several times: in each case, we check the Gaussian parameters for remaining problems and inspect 3-D FITS data cubes visually. We find that in total ~1.5% of the telescope dumps need to be discarded in addition to ~0.5% of the spectral channels that were excluded in GASS II.The new data release facilitates data products with improved quality. A new web interface, compatible with the previous version, is available for download of GASS III FITS cubes and spectra.

[51]  arXiv:1505.01020 [pdf, other]
Title: Galaxy cluster constraints on the coupling to photons of low-mass scalars
Comments: 17 pages, 10 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

We consider a broad class of interactions between radiation and a light scalar field, including both conformal and disformal couplings. Such a scalar field potentially acts on cosmological scales as dark energy and could also appear in modified gravity theories. We study the consequences of these couplings on the mixing between the scalar field and photons in galaxy clusters in the presence of a magnetic field. In particular we focus on the resulting turbulence-induced irregularities in the X-ray and UV bands. We find new bounds on the photon-to-scalar couplings, both conformal and disformal, which complement laboratory experiments and other astrophysical constraints.

[52]  arXiv:1505.01026 [pdf, other]
Title: Modelling the high-energy emission from gamma-ray binaries using numerical relativistic hydrodynamics
Comments: 18 pages, 12 figures, under review with A&A (appendix with movies could not be uploaded to ArXiV)
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Detailed modeling of the high-energy emission from gamma-ray binaries has been propounded as a path to pulsar wind physics. Fulfilling this ambition requires a coherent model of the flow and its emission in the region where the pulsar wind interacts with the stellar wind of its companion. We developed a code that follows the evolution and emission of electrons in the shocked pulsar wind based on inputs from a relativistic hydrodynamical simulation. The code is used to model the well-documented spectral energy distribution and orbital modulations from LS 5039. The pulsar wind is fully confined by a bow shock and a back shock. The particles are distributed into a narrow Maxwellian, emitting mostly GeV photons, and a power law radiating very efficiently over a broad energy range from X-rays to TeV gamma rays. Most of the emission arises from the apex of the bow shock. Doppler boosting shapes the X-ray and VHE lightcurves, constraining the system inclination to $i\approx 35^{\rm o}$. There is a tension between the hard VHE spectrum and the level of X-ray to MeV emission, which requires differing magnetic field intensities that are hard to achieve with a constant magnetisation $\sigma$ and Lorentz factor $\Gamma_{p}$ of the pulsar wind. Our best compromise implies $\sigma\approx 1$ and $\Gamma_{p}\approx 5\times 10^{3}$, respectively higher and lower than the typical values in pulsar wind nebulae. The high value of $\sigma$ derived here, where the wind is confined close to the pulsar, supports the classical picture that has pulsar winds highly magnetised at launch. However, such magnetisations will require further investigations to be based on relativistic MHD simulations.

[53]  arXiv:1505.01031 [pdf, other]
Title: The matter distribution in z ~ 0.5 redshift clusters of galaxies. II : The link between dark and visible matter
Comments: 25 pages, 9 figues + 11 figures in Annex, 4 tables. Accepted for publication in A&A. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1007.3264 by other authors
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present an optical analysis of a sample of 11 clusters built from the EXCPRES sample of X-ray selected clusters at intermediate redshift (z ~ 0.5). With a careful selection of the background galaxies we provide the mass maps reconstructed from the weak lensing by the clusters. We compare them with the light distribution traced by the early-type galaxies selected along the red sequence for each cluster. The strong correlations between dark matter and galaxy distributions are confirmed, although some discrepancies arise, mostly for merging or perturbed clusters. The average M/L ratio of the clusters is found to be: M/L_r = 160 +/- 60 in solar units (with no evolutionary correction), in excellent agreement with similar previous studies. No strong evolutionary effects are identified even if the small sample size reduces the significance of the result. We also provide a individual analysis of each cluster in the sample with a comparison between the dark matter, the galaxies and the gas distributions. Some of the clusters are studied for the first time in the optical.

[54]  arXiv:1505.01040 [pdf]
Title: Dimming of the Mid-20th Century Sun
Authors: Peter Foukal
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Advances in understanding of the white light faculae measured at the Royal Greenwich Observatory from 1874 to 1976 suggest that they offer a more direct measure of solar brightening by small diameter photospheric magnetic flux tubes than do chromospheric proxies. Proxies such as the area of Ca K plages, the Mg index or the microwave flux include many dark photospheric structures as well as pores and sunspots. Our reconstruction of variation in total solar irradiance,TSI,based on the faculae indicates that the sun dimmed by almost 0.1 percent in the mid- twentieth century rather than brightening as represented in previous reconstructions. This dimmimg at the sun's highest activity level since the seventeenth century is consistent with the photometric behavior observed in somewhat younger sun like stars. The prolonged TSI decrease may have contributed more to the cooling of climate between about 1940 and 1970 than present models indicate.

[55]  arXiv:1505.01050 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A Steady-State Alignment Front in an Accretion Disk Subjected to Lense-Thirring Torques
Comments: accepted to ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Using only physical mechanisms, i.e., 3D MHD with no phenomenological viscosity, we have simulated the dynamics of a moderately thin accretion disk subject to torques whose radial scaling mimics those produced by lowest-order post-Newtonian gravitomagnetism. In this simulation, we have shown how, in the presence of MHD turbulence, a time-steady transition can be achieved between an inner disk region aligned with the equatorial plane of the central mass's spin and an outer region orbiting in a different plane. The position of the equilibrium orientation transition is determined by a balance between gravitomagnetic torque and warp-induced inward mixing of misaligned angular momentum from the outer disk. If the mixing is interpreted in terms of diffusive transport, the implied diffusion coefficient is ~(0.6--0.8)c_s^2/Omega for sound speed c_s and orbital frequency Omega. This calibration permits estimation of the orientation transition's equilibrium location given the central mass, its spin parameter, and the disk's surface density and scaleheight profiles. However, the alignment front overshoots before settling into an equilibrium, signaling that a diffusive model does not fully represent the time-dependent properties of alignment fronts under these conditions. Because the precessional torque on the disk at the alignment front is always comparable to the rate at which misaligned angular momentum is brought inward to the front by warp-driven radial motions, no break forms between the inner and outer portions of the disk in our simulation. Our results also raise questions about the applicability to MHD warped disks of the traditional distinction between "bending wave" and "diffusive" regimes.

[56]  arXiv:1505.01052 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Neutral hydrogen absorption towards Fast Radio Bursts
Authors: Rob Fender (Oxford), Tom Oosterloo (ASTRON)
Comments: Accepted for publications as a Letter in MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

If Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs) are truly at astronomical, in particular cosmological, distances, they represent one of the most exciting discoveries in astrophysics of the past decade. However, the distance to FRBs has, to date, been estimated purely from their excess dispersion, and has not been corroborated by any independent means. In this paper we discuss the possibility of detecting neutral hydrogen absorption against FRBs both from spiral arms within our own galaxy, or from intervening extragalactic HI clouds. In either case a firm lower limit on the distance to the FRB would be established. Absorption against galactic spiral arms may already be detectable for bright low-latitude bursts with existing facilities, and should certainly be so by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Absorption against extragalactic HI clouds, which would confirm the cosmological distances of FRBs, should also be detectable with the SKA, and maybe also Arecibo. Quantitatively, we estimate that SKA1-MID should be able to detect extragalactic HI absorption against a few percent of FRBs at a redshift z~1.

[57]  arXiv:1505.01062 [pdf, other]
Title: Hypercritical accretion phase and neutrino expectation in the evolution of Cassiopeia A
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS (14 pages, 6 figures)
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Cassiopeia A the youngest supernova remnant known in the Milky Way is one of the brightest radio sources in the sky and a unique laboratory for supernova physics. Although its compact remnant was discovered in 1999 by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, nowadays it is widely accepted that a neutron star lies in the center of this supernova remnant. In addition, new observations suggest that such neutron star with a low magnetic field and evidence of a carbon atmosphere could have suffered a hypercritical accretion phase seconds after the explosion. Considering this hypercritical accretion episode, we compute the neutrino cooling effect, the number of events and neutrino flavor ratios expected on Hyper-Kamiokande Experiment. The neutrino cooling effect (the emissivity and luminosity of neutrinos) is obtained through numerical simulations performed in a customized version of the FLASH code. Based on these simulations, we forecast that the number of events expected on the Hyper-Kamiokande Experiment is around 3195. Similarly, we estimate the neutrino flavor ratios to be detected considering the neutrino effective potential due to the thermal and magnetized plasma and thanks to the envelope of the star. It is worth noting that our estimates correspond to the only trustworthy method for verifying the hypercritical phase and although this episode took place 330 years ago, at present supernova remnants with these similarities might occur thus confirming our predictions for this phase.

[58]  arXiv:1505.01063 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: XO-2b: a hot Jupiter with a variable host star that potentially affects its measured transit depth
Comments: accepted to ApJ, 8 pages, 7 figures, 2 tables
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The transiting hot Jupiter XO-2b is an ideal target for multi-object photometry and spectroscopy as it has a relatively bright ($V$-mag = 11.25) K0V host star (XO-2N) and a large planet-to-star contrast ratio (R$_{p}$/R$_{s}\approx0.015$). It also has a nearby (31.21") binary stellar companion (XO-2S) of nearly the same brightness ($V$-mag = 11.20) and spectral type (G9V), allowing for the characterization and removal of shared systematic errors (e.g., airmass brightness variations). We have therefore conducted a multiyear (2012--2015) study of XO-2b with the University of Arizona's 61" (1.55~m) Kuiper Telescope and Mont4k CCD in the Bessel U and Harris B photometric passbands to measure its Rayleigh scattering slope to place upper limits on the pressure-dependent radius at, e.g., 10~bar. Such measurements are needed to constrain its derived molecular abundances from primary transit observations. We have also been monitoring XO-2N since the 2013--2014 winter season with Tennessee State University's Celestron-14 (0.36~m) automated imaging telescope to investigate stellar variability, which could affect XO-2b's transit depth. Our observations indicate that XO-2N is variable, potentially due to spots, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of $0.00455 \pm 0.00090$~R-mag and period of $29.87 \pm 0.19$ days. Due to the likely influence of XO-2N's variability on the derivation of XO-2b's transit depth, we cannot bin multiple nights of data to decrease our uncertainties, preventing us from constraining its gas abundances. This study demonstrates that long-term monitoring programs of exoplanet host stars are crucial for understanding host star variability.

[59]  arXiv:1505.01076 [pdf, other]
Title: Big Bang Nucleosynthesis: 2015
Comments: 50 pages, 14 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Big-bang nucleosynthesis (BBN) describes the production of the lightest nuclides via a dynamic interplay among the four fundamental forces during the first seconds of cosmic time. We briefly overview the essentials of this physics, and present new calculations of light element abundances through li6 and li7, with updated nuclear reactions and uncertainties including those in the neutron lifetime. We provide fits to these results as a function of baryon density and of the number of neutrino flavors, N_nu. We review recent developments in BBN, particularly new, precision Planck cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurements that now probe the baryon density, helium content, and the effective number of degrees of freedom, n_eff. These measurements allow for a tight test of BBN and of cosmology using CMB data alone. Our likelihood analysis convolves the 2015 Planck data chains with our BBN output and observational data. Adding astronomical measurements of light elements strengthens the power of BBN. We include a new determination of the primordial helium abundance in our likelihood analysis. New D/H observations are now more precise than the corresponding theoretical predictions, and are consistent with the Standard Model and the Planck baryon density. Moreover, D/H now provides a tight measurement of N_nu when combined with the CMB baryon density, and provides a 2sigma upper limit N_nu < 3.2. The new precision of the CMB and of D/H observations together leave D/H predictions as the largest source of uncertainties. Future improvement in BBN calculations will therefore rely on improved nuclear cross section data. In contrast with D/H and he4, li7 predictions continue to disagree with observations, perhaps pointing to new physics.

[60]  arXiv:1505.01078 [pdf, other]
Title: LSQ14bdq: A Type Ic super-luminous supernova with a double-peaked light curve
Comments: Submitted to ApJL
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present data for LSQ14bdq, a hydrogen-poor super-luminous supernova (SLSN) discovered by the La Silla QUEST survey and classified by the Public ESO Spectroscopic Survey of Transient Objects. The spectrum and light curve are very similar to slow-declining SLSNe such as PTF12dam. However, detections within $\sim1$ day after explosion show a bright and relatively fast initial peak, lasting for $\sim15$ days, prior to the usual slow rise to maximum light. The broader, main peak can be fit with either central engine or circumstellar interaction models. We discuss the implications of the precursor peak in the context of these models. It is too bright and narrow to be explained as a normal \Ni-powered SN, and we suggest that interaction models may struggle to fit the precursor and main peak simultaneously. We propose that the initial peak is from the post-shock cooling of an extended stellar envelope, and reheating by a central engine drives the second peak. In this picture, we show that an explosion energy of $\sim2\times10^{52}$\,erg and a progenitor radius of a few hundred solar radii are required to power the early emission. The two competing engine models involve rapidly spinning magnetars (neutron stars) or fall-back accretion onto a central black hole. The prompt energy required may favour the black hole scenario. The remarkably bright initial peak effectively rules out a compact Wolf-Rayet star as a progenitor, since the inferred energies and ejected masses become unphysical.

[61]  arXiv:1505.01082 [pdf, other]
Title: Neutrino Nucleosynthesis of radioactive nuclei in supernovae
Comments: 6 pages, 2 figures, 2 tables
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Nuclear Theory (nucl-th)

We study the neutrino-induced production of nuclides in explosive supernova nucleosynthesis for progenitor stars with solar metallicity and initial main sequence masses between 15 M$_\odot$ and 40 M$_\odot$. We improve previous investigations i) by using a global set of partial differential cross sections for neutrino-induced charged- and neutral-current reactions on nuclei with charge numbers $Z < 76 $ and ii) by considering modern supernova neutrino spectra which have substantially lower average energies compared to those previously adopted in neutrino nucleosynthesis studies. We confirm the production of $^7$Li, $^{11}$B, $^{138}$La, and $^{180}$Ta by neutrino nucleosynthesis, albeit at slightly smaller abundances due to the changed neutrino spectra. We find that for stars with a mass smaller than 20 M$_\odot$, $^{19}$F is produced mainly by explosive nucleosynthesis while for higher mass stars it is produced by the $\nu$ process. We also find that neutrino-induced reactions, either directly or indirectly by providing an enhanced abundance of light particles, noticeably contribute to the production of the radioactive nuclides $^{22}$Na and $^{26}$Al. Both nuclei are prime candidates for gamma-ray astronomy. Other prime targets, $^{44}$Ti and $^{60}$Fe, however, are insignificantly produced by neutrino-induced reactions. We also find a large increase in the production of the long-lived nuclei $^{92}$Nb and $^{98}$Tc due to charged-current neutrino capture.

[62]  arXiv:1505.01086 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Formation of terrestrial planets in disks evolving via disk winds and implications for the origin of the solar system's terrestrial planets
Comments: 8 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Recent three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamical simulations have identified a disk wind by which gas materials are lost from the surface of a protoplanetary disk, which can significantly alter the evolution of the inner disk and the formation of terrestrial planets. A simultaneous description of the realistic evolution of the gaseous and solid components in a disk may provide a clue for solving the problem of the mass concentration of the terrestrial planets in the solar system. We simulate the formation of terrestrial planets from planetary embryos in a disk that evolves via magnetorotational instability and a disk wind. The aim is to examine the effects of a disk wind on the orbital evolution and final configuration of planetary systems. We perform N-body simulations of sixty 0.1 Earth-mass embryos in an evolving disk. The evolution of the gas surface density of the disk is tracked by solving a one-dimensional diffusion equation with a sink term that accounts for the disk wind. We find that even in the case of a weak disk wind, the radial slope of the gas surface density of the inner disk becomes shallower, which slows or halts the type I migration of embryos. If the effect of the disk wind is strong, the disk profile is significantly altered (e.g., positive surface density gradient, inside-out evacuation), leading to outward migration of embryos inside ~ 1 AU. Disk winds play an essential role in terrestrial planet formation inside a few AU by changing the disk profile. In addition, embryos can undergo convergent migration to ~ 1 AU in certainly probable conditions. In such a case, the characteristic features of the solar system's terrestrial planets (e.g., mass concentration around 1 AU, late giant impact) may be reproduced.

[63]  arXiv:1505.01088 [pdf, other]
Title: Pulsations of rapidly rotating stars: II. Realistic modelling for intermediate-mass stars
Comments: 7 pages, 7 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Very high precision seismic space missions such as CoRoT and Kepler provide the means for testing the modelling of transport processes in stellar interiors. For some stars, such as $\delta$ Scuti $\gamma$ Doradus and Be stars, for instance, the observed pulsation spectra are modified by rotation to such an extent that it prevents any fruitful interpretation. Our aim is to characterise acoustic pulsation spectra of realistic stellar models in order to be able to interpret asteroseismic data from such stars. The 2-dimensional oscillation code ACOR, which treats rotation in a non-perturbative manner, is used to study pulsation spectra of highly distorted evolved models of stars. 2D models of stars are obtained by a self-consistent method which distorts spherically averaged stellar models a posteriori, at any stage of evolution, and for any type of rotation law. Four types of modes are calculated in a very dense frequency spectrum, among which are island modes. The regularity of the island modes spectrum is confirmed and yields a new set of quantum numbers, with which an \'echelle diagram can be built. Mixed gravito-acoustic modes are calculated in rapidly rotating models for the first time.

[64]  arXiv:1505.01091 [pdf, other]
Title: Inflationary perturbations in bimetric gravity
Comments: 20 pages, 28 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th)

In this paper we study the generation of primordial perturbations in a cosmological setting of bigravity during inflation. We consider a model of bigravity which can reproduce the Lambda-CDM background and large scale structure and a simple model of inflation with a single scalar field and a quadratic potential. Reheating is implemented with a toy-model in which the energy density of the inflaton is entirely dissipated into radiation. We present analytic and numerical results for the evolution of primordial perturbations in this cosmological setting. We find that even for low-scale inflation, the amplitude of tensor perturbations generated during inflation is not sufficiently suppressed to avoid the generation of the tensor instability discovered in Ref.[1] which develops during the cosmological evolution. We argue that, for viable reheating temperatures, this bigravity model is seriously affected by the power-law instability in the tensor sector on observable scales and therefore it is ruled out by present observations.

[65]  arXiv:1505.01093 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Tidal disruption of stars by supermassive black holes: Status of observations
Authors: S. Komossa
Comments: Review, 12 pages, to appear in Journal of High-Energy Astrophysics. Proceedings (review contributions) of "Swift: 10 years of discovery"
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Stars in the immediate vicinity of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) can be ripped apart by the tidal forces of the black hole. The subsequent accretion of the stellar material causes a spectacular flare of electromagnetic radiation. Here, we provide a review of the observations of tidal disruption events (TDEs), with an emphasis on the important contributions of Swift to this field. TDEs represent a new probe of matter under strong gravity, and have opened up a new window into studying accretion physics under extreme conditions. The events probe relativistic effects, provide a new means of measuring black hole spin, and represent signposts of intermediate-mass BHs, binary BHs and recoiling BHs. Luminous, high-amplitude X-ray flares, matching key predictions of the tidal disruption scenario, have first been discovered with ROSAT, and more recently with other missions and in other wavebands. The Swift discovery of two gamma-ray emitting, jetted TDEs, never seen before, has provided us with a unique probe of the early phases of jet formation and evolution, and SwiftJ1644+75 has the best covered lightcurve of any TDE to date. Further, Swift has made important contributions in providing well-covered lightcurves of TDEs discovered with other instruments, setting constraints on the physics that govern the TDE evolution, and including the discovery of the first candidate binary SMBH identified from a TDE lightcurve.

[66]  arXiv:1505.01124 [pdf]
Title: Characteristic structure of star-forming clouds
Authors: Philip C. Myers
Comments: accepted by The Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

This paper gives a new way to diagnose the star-forming potential of a molecular cloud region from the probability density function of its column density (N-pdf). It gives expressions for the column density and mass profiles of a symmetric filament having the same N-pdf as a filamentary region. The central concentration of this characteristic filament can distinguish regions and can quantify their fertility for star formation. Profiles are calculated for N-pdfs which are pure lognormal, pure power law, or a combination. In relation to models of singular polytropic cylinders, characteristic filaments can be unbound, bound, or collapsing depending on their central concentration. Such filamentary models of the dynamical state of N-pdf gas are more relevant to star-forming regions than are models of spherical collapse. The star formation fertility of a bound or collapsing filament is quantified by its mean mass accretion rate when in radial free fall. For a given mass per length, the fertility increases with the filament mean column density and with its initial concentration. In selected regions the fertility of their characteristic filaments increases with the level of star formation.

[67]  arXiv:1505.01132 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: CARMA observations of massive Planck-discovered cluster candidates at z>0.5 associated with WISE overdensities: Breaking the size-flux degeneracy
Comments: 26 pages, 8 figures, appearing in MNRAS (responded to referee report)
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We use a Bayesian software package to analyze CARMA-8 data towards 19 unconfirmed Planck SZ-cluster candidates from Rodriguez-Gonzalvez et al. (2015), that are associated with significant overdensities in WISE. We used two cluster parameterizations, one based on a (fixed shape) generalized-NFW pressure profile and another based on a beta-gas-density profile (with varying shape parameters) to obtain parameter estimates for the nine CARMA-8 SZ-detected clusters. We find our sample is comprised of massive, Y_{500}=0.0010 \pm 0.0015 arcmin^2, relatively compact, theta_{500}= 3.9 \pm 2.0 arcmin systems. Results from the beta model show that our cluster candidates exhibit a heterogeneous set of brightness-temperature profiles. Comparison of Planck and CARMA-8 measurements showed good agreement in Y_{500} and an absence of obvious biases. We estimated the total cluster mass M_{500} as a function of z for one of the systems; at the preferred photometric redshift of 0.5, the derived mass, M_{500} \approx 0.8 \pm 0.2 \times 10^{15} Msun. Spectroscopic Keck/MOSFIRE data confirmed a galaxy member of one of our cluster candidates to be at z=0.565. Applying a Planck prior in Y_{500} to the CARMA-8 results reduces uncertainties for both parameters by a factor >4, relative to the independent Planck or CARMA-8 measurements. We here demonstrate a powerful technique to find massive clusters at intermediate z \gtrsim 0.5 redshifts using a cross-correlation between Planck and WISE data, with high-resolution follow-up with CARMA-8. We also use the combined capabilities of Planck and CARMA-8 to obtain a dramatic reduction by a factor of several, in parameter uncertainties.