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J.P. Magué & B. Ménard



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[1]  arXiv:1602.01462 [pdf, other]
Title: Bayesian Estimates of Astronomical Time Delays between Gravitationally Lensed Stochastic Light Curves
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Applications (stat.AP)

The gravitational field of a galaxy can act as a lens and deflect the light emitted by a more distant object such as a quasar. If the galaxy is a strong gravitational lens, it can produce multiple images of the same quasar in the sky. Since the light in each gravitationally lensed image traverses a different path length from the quasar to the Earth, fluctuations in the source brightness are observed in the several images at different times. The time delay between these fluctuations can be used to constrain cosmological parameters and can be inferred from the time series of brightness data or light curves of each image. To estimate the time delay, we construct a model based on a state-space representation for irregularly observed time series generated by a latent continuous-time Ornstein-Uhlenbeck process. We account for microlensing, an additional source of independent long-term extrinsic variability, via a polynomial regression. Our Bayesian strategy adopts a Metropolis-Hastings within Gibbs sampler. We improve the sampler by using an ancillarity-sufficiency interweaving strategy and adaptive Markov chain Monte Carlo. We introduce a profile likelihood of the time delay as an approximation of its marginal posterior distribution. The Bayesian and profile likelihood approaches complement each other, producing almost identical results; the Bayesian method is more principled but the profile likelihood is simpler to implement. We demonstrate our estimation strategy using simulated data of doubly- and quadruply-lensed quasars, and observed data from quasars Q0957+561 and J1029+2623.

[2]  arXiv:1602.01467 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Period-Luminosity-Colour Relation for Early-Type Contact Binaries
Authors: Michal Pawlak
Comments: 8 pages, 9 figures, accepted to MNRAS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

This work describes the analysis of 64 early-type, massive contact or near-contact eclipsing systems from the Large Magellanic Cloud discovered by the OGLE-III survey. It presents the determination of the period-luminosity-colour relation followed by these objects, that is different from the one previously known for late-type W UMa stars. The relation for massive stars has a significantly steeper dependence on the colour, which is related to a much higher bolometric correction, however it is shallower in the period term. This leads to the conclusion, that the relation for the total population of main sequence contact binaries is non-linear. When studied separately, genuinely-contact and near-contact systems follow two slightly different relations.

[3]  arXiv:1602.01468 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: External inverse-Compton emission from jetted tidal disruption events
Authors: Wenbin Lu, Pawan Kumar (UT Austin)
Comments: 13 pages, 6 figures, 1 table; MNRAS accepted
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The recent discoveries of Swift J1644+57 and J2058+05 show that tidal disruption events (TDEs) can launch relativistic jets. Super-Eddington accretion produces a strong radiation field of order Eddington luminosity. In a jetted TDE, electrons in the jet will inverse-Compton scatter the external radiation field from the accretion disk and wind. Motivated by observations of thermal optical-UV spectra in Swift J2058+05 and several other TDEs, we assume the spectrum of the external radiation field intercepted by the relativistic jet to be blackbody. Hot electrons in the jet scatter this thermal radiation and produce luminosities 10^45-10^48 erg/s in the X/gamma-ray band.
This model of thermal plus inverse-Compton radiation is applied to Swift J2058+05. First, we show that the blackbody component in the optical-UV spectrum most likely has its origin in the super-Eddington wind from the disk. Then, using the observed blackbody component as the external radiation field, we show that the X-ray luminosity and spectrum are consistent with the inverse-Compton emission, under the following conditions: (1) the jet Lorentz factor is ~5-10; (2) electrons in the jet have a powerlaw distribution with minimum Lorentz factor ~1 and powerlaw index p = 2.4; (3) the wind is mildly relativistic (Lorentz factor >~1.5) and has isotropic-equivalent mass-loss rate ~5 M_sun/yr. We describe the implications for jet composition and the radius where jet energy is converted to radiation.

[4]  arXiv:1602.01472 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Carbon Chains and Methanol toward Embedded Protostars
Comments: Accepted for publication by ApJ, 10 Pages, 7 Figures, 4 Tables
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Large interstellar organic molecules are potential precursors of prebiotic molecules. Their formation pathways and chemical relationships with one another and simpler molecules are therefore of great interest. In this paper, we address the relationship between two classes of large organic molecules, carbon chains and saturated complex organic molecules (COMs), at the early stages of star formation through observations of C4H and CH3OH. We surveyed these molecules with the IRAM 30m telescope toward 16 deeply embedded low-mass protostars selected from the Spitzer c2d ice survey. We find that CH3OH and C4H are positively correlated indicating that these two classes of molecules can coexist during the embedded protostellar stage. The C4H/CH3OH gas abundance ratio tentatively correlates with the CH4/CH3OH ice abundance ratio in the same lines of sight. This relationship supports a scenario where carbon chain formation in protostellar envelopes begins with CH4 ice desorption.

[5]  arXiv:1602.01480 [pdf, other]
Title: SPOKES: an End-to-End Simulation Facility for Spectroscopic Cosmological Surveys
Comments: 24 pages, 8 figures, 2 tables
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The nature of dark matter, dark energy and large-scale gravity pose some of the most pressing questions in cosmology today. These fundamental questions require highly precise measurements, and a number of wide-field spectroscopic survey instruments are being designed to meet this requirement. A key component in these experiments is the development of a simulation tool to forecast science performance, define requirement flow-downs, optimize implementation, demonstrate feasibility, and prepare for exploitation. We present SPOKES (SPectrOscopic KEn Simulation), an end-to-end simulation facility for spectroscopic cosmological surveys designed to address this challenge. SPOKES is based on an integrated infrastructure, modular function organization, coherent data handling and fast data access. These key features allow reproducibility of pipeline runs, enable ease of use and provide flexibility to update functions within the pipeline. The cyclic nature of the pipeline offers the possibility to make the science output an efficient measure for design optimization and feasibility testing. We present the architecture, first science, and computational performance results of the simulation pipeline. The framework is general, but for the benchmark tests, we use the Dark Energy Spectrometer (DESpec), one of the early concepts for the upcoming project, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI). We discuss how the SPOKES framework enables a rigorous process to optimize and exploit spectroscopic survey experiments in order to derive high-precision cosmological measurements optimally.

[6]  arXiv:1602.01493 [pdf, other]
Title: Distant activity of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014: Ground-based results during the Rosetta pre-landing phase
Comments: 12 pages, accepted in A&A
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

As the ESA Rosetta mission approached, orbited, and sent a lander to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, a large campaign of ground-based observations also followed the comet. We constrain the total activity level of the comet by photometry and spectroscopy to place Rosetta results in context and to understand the large-scale structure of the comet's coma pre-perihelion. We performed observations using a number of telescopes, but concentrate on results from the 8m VLT and Gemini South telescopes in Chile. We use R-band imaging to measure the dust coma contribution to the comet's brightness and UV-visible spectroscopy to search for gas emissions, primarily using VLT/FORS. In addition we imaged the comet in near-infrared wavelengths (JHK) in late 2014 with Gemini-S/Flamingos 2. We find that the comet was already active in early 2014 at heliocentric distances beyond 4 au. The evolution of the total activity (measured by dust) followed previous predictions. No gas emissions were detected despite sensitive searches. The comet maintains a similar level of activity from orbit to orbit, and is in that sense predictable, meaning that Rosetta results correspond to typical behaviour for this comet. The gas production (for CN at least) is highly asymmetric with respect to perihelion, as our upper limits are below the measured production rates for similar distances post-perihelion in previous orbits.

[7]  arXiv:1602.01504 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Energetic emissions from deconfinement in compact stars and their relation to the critical end point in the QCD phase diagram
Comments: 7 pages, 3 figures, prepared for the Proceedings of the Conference "The International Workshop on Quark Phase Transition in Compact Objects and Multimessenger Astronomy: Neutrino Signals, Supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts", October 7-14,KChR, Nizhnij Arkhyz (SAO), KBR, Terskol (BNO), Russian Federation
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph); Nuclear Theory (nucl-th)

In this work we study the case of deconfinement in compact star interiors in the presence of a strong first order phase transition associated to a critical end point in the QCD phase diagram. Neutron stars fulfilling these conditions show a third branch in the mass-radius diagram with the first and second branches being the white dwarfs and neutron stars configurations. The transition to the third branch can be reached by a pure hadronic neutron star through an induced collapse releasing energy that corresponds to a mass-energy difference between the second and third branch configurations. Physical outcomes of this phenomenon that can potentially explain the already detected astrophysical signals are discussed. In particular we present energy estimations for the case of a fast radio burst, seen as a double-peak structure in the object's light curve.

[8]  arXiv:1602.01524 [pdf, other]
Title: Galaxy Infall by Interacting with its Environment: a Comprehensive Study of 340 Galaxy Clusters
Comments: 55 pages, 22 figures, accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

To study systematically the evolution on the angular extents of the galaxy, ICM, and dark matter components in galaxy clusters, we compiled the optical and X-ray properties of a sample of 340 clusters with redshifts $<0.5$, based on all the available data with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and {\it Chandra}/{\it XMM-Newton}. For each cluster, the member galaxies were determined primarily with photometric redshift measurements. The radial ICM mass distribution, as well as the total gravitational mass distribution, were derived from a spatially-resolved spectral analysis of the X-ray data. When normalizing the radial profile of galaxy number to that of the ICM mass, the relative curve was found to depend significantly on the cluster redshift; it drops more steeply towards outside in lower redshift subsamples. The same evolution is found in the galaxy-to-total mass profile, while the ICM-to-total mass profile varies in an opposite way. We interpret that the galaxies, the ICM, and the dark matter components had similar angular distributions when a cluster was formed, while the galaxies travelling interior of the cluster have continuously fallen towards the center relative to the other components, and the ICM has slightly expanded relative to the dark matter although it suffers strong radiative loss. This cosmological galaxy infall, accompanied by an ICM expansion, can be explained by considering that the galaxies interact strongly with the ICM while they are moving through it. The interaction is considered to create a large energy flow of $10^{44-45}$ erg $\rm s^{-1}$ per cluster from the member galaxies to their environment, which is expected to continue over cosmological time scales.

[9]  arXiv:1602.01550 [pdf, other]
Title: Using XMM-Newton to study the energy dependent variability of H 1743-322 during its 2014 outburst
Authors: H. Stiele, W. Yu
Comments: 9 pages, 7 figures, submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Black hole transients during bright outbursts show distinct changes of their spectral and variability properties as they evolve during an outburst, that are interpreted as evidence for changes in the accretion flow and X-ray emitting regions. We obtained an anticipated XMM-Newton ToO observation of H 1743-322 during its outburst in September 2014. Based on data of eight outbursts observed in the last 10 years we expected to catch the start of the hard-to-soft state transition. The fact that neither the general shape of the observed power density spectrum nor the characteristic frequency show an energy dependence implies that the source still stays in the low-hard state at the time of our observation near outburst peak. The spectral properties agree with the source being in the low-hard state and a Swift/XRT monitoring of the outburst reveals that H 1743-322 stays in the low-hard state during the entire outburst (a. k. a. 'failed outburst'). We derive the averaged QPO waveform and obtain phase-resolved spectra. Comparing the phase-resolved spectra to the phase averaged energy spectrum reveals spectral pivoting. We compare variability on long and short time scales using covariance spectra and find that the covariance ratio does not show an increase towards lower energies as has been found in other black hole X-ray binaries. There are two possible explanations: either the absence of additional disc variability on longer time scales is related to the rather high inclination of H 1743-322 compared to other black hole X-ray binaries or it is the reason why we observe H 1743-322 during a failed outburst. More data on failed outbursts and on high-inclination sources will be needed to investigate these two possibilities further.

[10]  arXiv:1602.01552 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Light Curve Solutions of an Eclipsing Binary OGLE-GD-ECL-04451 with a Dramatic Change in Amplitude
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present light curve solutions of the W UMa-type eclipsing binary OGLE-GD-ECL-04451, observed by both the \emph{Optical Gravitational Lensing Ex-periment} (\emph{OGLE}) program in 2006 and the \emph{Antarctica Survey Telescope} (\emph{AST3-1}) in 2012 at Dome A. We analyzed this binary system with the Wilson-Devinney(W-D) method 2013 version and derived the mass ratio $q=2.91 \pm 0.07$, the inclination $i=76.86^\circ \pm 0.23^\circ$, and the light variattion amplitud was $0^m.51$ based on the \emph{OGLE} data. From the \emph{AST3-1}'s data, we find that the amplitude dropped to $0^m.44$(2012) and the difference of magnitudes of the two light maxima is $0^m.03$. A hot spot was then added on the surface of the secondary to demonstrate the amplitude change and O'Conell effect of the binary system.

[11]  arXiv:1602.01555 [pdf, other]
Title: Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 Observations of Escaping Lyman Continuum Radiation from Galaxies and Weak AGN at Redshifts z~2.3--5
Authors: Brent M. Smith (1), Rogier A. Windhorst (1), Rolf A. Jansen (1), Seth H. Cohen (1), Linhua Jiang (2), Mark Dijkstra (3), Anton M. Koekemoer (4), Richard Bielby (5), Akio K. Inoue (6), John W. MacKenty (4), Robert W. O'Connell (7), Joseph I. Silk (8) ((1) ASU/SESE, (2) PKU/Kavli, China, (3) U. of Oslo, Norway, (4) STScI, (5) U. of Durham, UK, (6) Osaka Sangyo U., Japan, (7) UVa, (8) JHU)
Comments: 40 pages (4 appendices), 13 (+9) figures, 3 (+4) tables; AASTeX6, pdflatex; submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present observations of escaping Lyman Continuum (LyC) radiation from 50 massive star-forming galaxies and 14 weak AGN with reliable spectroscopic redshifts at z~2.3--5.8. We analyzed HST WFC3/UVIS mosaics of the ERS field in three UV filters, and ACS B in the GOODS-South field to sample the rest-frame LyC over these redshifts. The average LyC emission of galaxies at z_mean=2.38, 2.68, 3.47, and 5.02 is detected at the >=3sigma level in image stacks of 11--15 galaxies in the WFC3/UVIS F225W, F275W, F336W, and ACS/WFC F435W filters. Their average LyC flux corresponds to AB~29.5--30.7 mag. The LyC flux of weak AGN is typically ~1 mag brighter at z~2.3--4.8, but averaged over ~4x fewer galaxies. The stacked galaxy LyC profiles are flatter than their non-ionizing UV-continuum profiles out to r~0".7, possibly indicating a radial porosity dependence in the ISM. The average LyC emission from AGN is more extended and sometimes more elongated compared to galaxies without AGN, possibly due to the viewing-angle at which LyC escapes. With SED fits to UV-continuum longwards of Lya and IGM transmission models, we find absolute LyC escape fractions of fesc_abs~0.1--18% at z~2.3--3.9, and marginal constraints at z=5.02. Available data for galaxies, including published work, suggests a sudden increase of f_esc at z~3. Our models imply that dust accumulating in (massive) galaxies may be a major factor in reducing f_esc at z<=3. Our best fits of f_esc(z) suggest that star-forming galaxies collectively contributed to maintaining cosmic reionization at redshifts z>=3--6, while AGN likely dominated reionization at z<=2.5.

[12]  arXiv:1602.01566 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Testing Einstein's Equivalence Principle With Gravitational Waves
Comments: 4 pages, 1 figure. Comments are welcome
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

A conservative constraint on the Einstein Equivalence Principle (EEP) can be obtained under the assumption that the observed time delay between correlated particles from astronomical sources is dominated by the gravitational fields through which they move. Current limits on the EEP are mainly based on the observed time delays of photons with different energies, and it is highly desirable to develop more accurate tests involving different types of particles. The expected detection by the advanced LIGO/VIRGO systems of gravitational waves (GWs) will provide attractive candidates for constraining the EEP, which would further extend the tested particle species to the gravitons, with potentially higher accuracy. Considering the capabilities of the advanced LIGO/VIRGO network and the source direction uncertainty, we propose that the joint detectioin of GWs and electromagnetic signals could potentially probe the EEP to an accuracy of $10^{-11}$, which is several orders of magnitude tighter than previous limits.

[13]  arXiv:1602.01575 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: An M dwarf Companion to an F-type Star in a young main-sequence binary
Comments: 7 pages, 5 figures, accepted by AJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Only a few well characterized very low-mass M dwarfs are known today. Our understanding of M dwarfs is vital as these are the most common stars in our solar neighborhood. We aim to characterize the properties of a rare F+dM stellar system for a better understanding of the low-mass end of the Hertzsprung-Russel diagram. We used photometric light curves and radial velocity follow-up measurements to study the binary. Spectro- scopic analysis was used in combination with isochrone fitting to characterize the primary star. The primary star is an early F-type main-sequence star with a mass of (1.493 +- 0.073) Msun and a radius of (1.474 +- 0.040) Rsun. The companion is an M dwarf with a mass of (0.188 +- 0.014) Msun and a radius of (0.234 +- 0.009) Rsun. The orbital period is (1.35121 +- 0:00001)d. The secondary star is among the lowest-mass M dwarfs known to date. The binary has not reached a 1:1 spin-orbit synchronization. This indicates a young main-sequence binary with an age below ~250 Myrs. The mass-radius relation of both components are in agreement with this finding.

[14]  arXiv:1602.01605 [pdf, other]
Title: NIKA 2: next-generation continuum/polarized camera at the IRAM 30 m telescope and its prototype
Comments: 5 pages, 4 figures, proceeding for the conference: Extragalactic radio surveys 2015
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

NIKA 2 (New Instrument of Kids Array) is a next generation continuum and polarized instrument successfully installed in October 2015 at the IRAM 30 m telescope on Pico-Veleta (Granada, Spain). NIKA 2 is a high resolution dual-band camera, operating with frequency multiplexed LEKIDs (Lumped Element Kinetic Inductance Detectors) cooled at 100 mK. Dual color images are obtained thanks to the simultaneous readout of a 1020 pixels array at 2 mm and 1140 x 2 pixels arrays at 1.15 mm with a final resolution of 18 and 12 arcsec respectively, and 6.5 arcmin of Field of View (FoV). The two arrays at 1.15 mm allow us to measure the linear polarization of the incoming light. This will place NIKA 2 as an instrument of choice to study the role of magnetic fields in the star formation process. The NIKA experiment, a prototype for NIKA 2 with a reduced number of detectors (about 400 LEKIDs) and FoV (1.8 arcmin), has been successfully operated at the IRAM 30 telescope in several open observational campaigns. The performance of the NIKA 2 polarization setup has been successfully validated with the NIKA prototype.

[15]  arXiv:1602.01607 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: SALT observation of X-ray pulse reprocessing in 4U 1626-67
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We investigate optical reprocessing of X-rays in the LMXB pulsar 4U 1626-67 in its current spin-up phase using observations with Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), near-simultaneous observations with Swift-XRT and non-simultaneous RXTE-PCA observations and present the results of timing analysis. Using SALT observations carried out on 5th and 6th March, 2014, we detect some interesting reprocessing signatures. We detect a weak optical Quasi Periodic Oscillation (QPO) in the power density spectrum on March 5th at 48 mHz with a fractional rms of 3.3% in spite of the fact that source shows no corresponding X-ray QPO in the spin-up phase. In the light curve obtained on March 5th, we detect a coherent pulsation at the spin period of ~7.677 s. A previously known, slightly down-shifted side-band is also detected at 129.92 mHz. The frequency spacing between main pulse and this side-band is different from earlier observations, though the statistical significance of the difference is limited. The light curve of 6th March displays short time-scale variability in the form of flares on timescales of a few minutes. Folded pulse profiles resulting from data of this night show an interesting trend of pulse peak drifting. This drift could be due to i) rapid changes in the reprocessing agent, like orbital motion of an accretion disk warp around the neutron star or ii) intrinsic pulse phase changes in X-rays. We also examine some X-ray light curves obtained with RXTE-PCA during 2008-2010 for pulse shape changes in short time scales during X-ray flares.

[16]  arXiv:1602.01615 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: High spatial resolution imaging of SO and H$_2$CO in AB Auriga: the first SO image in a transitional disk
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Transitional disks are structures of dust and gas around young stars with large inner cavities in which planet formation may occur. Lopsided dust distributions are observed in the dust continuum emission at millimeter wavelengths. These asymmetrical structures can be explained as the result of an enhanced gas density vortex where the dust is trapped potentially promoting the rapid growth to the planetesimal scale. AB Aur hosts a transitional disk with a clear horseshoe morphology which strongly suggests the presence of a dust trap. Our goal is to investigate its formation and the possible effects on the gas chemistry. We used the NOEMA interferometer to image the 1mm continuum dust emission and the $^{13}$CO J$=$2 $\rightarrow$1, C$^{18}$O J$=$2 $\rightarrow$1, SO J$=$5$_6$ $\rightarrow$4$_5$ and H$_2$CO J$=$3$_{03}$ $\rightarrow$2$_{02}$ rotational lines. Line integrated intensity ratio images are built to investigate the chemical changes within the disk. We have used a single point (n,T) chemical model to investigate the lifetime of gaseous CO, H$_2$CO and SO in the dust trap. Our model shows that for densities $>$10$^7$~cm$^{-3}$, the SO molecules are depleted (directly frozen or converted into SO$_2$ and then frozen out) in less than 0.1~Myr. The lower SO abundance towards the dust trap could indicate that a larger fraction of the gas is in a high density environment. Gas dynamics, grain growth and gas chemistry are coupled in the planet formation process. Because of the strong dependence of SO abundance on the gas density, the sulfur chemistry can be used as a chemical diagnostic to detect the birthsites of future planets. However, the large uncertainties inherent to chemical models and the limited knowledge of the disk physical structure and initial conditions are important drawbacks.

[17]  arXiv:1602.01643 [pdf, other]
Title: MUSE crowded field 3D spectroscopy of over 12,000 stars in the globular cluster NGC 6397 - II. Probing the internal dynamics and the presence of a central black hole
Comments: 12 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present a detailed analysis of the kinematics of the Galactic globular cluster NGC 6397 based on more than ~18,000 spectra obtained with the novel integral field spectrograph MUSE. While NGC 6397 is often considered a core collapse cluster, our analysis suggests a flattening of the surface brightness profile at the smallest radii. Although it is among the nearest globular clusters, the low velocity dispersion of NGC 6397 of <5km/s imposes heavy demands on the quality of the kinematical data. We show that despite its limited spectral resolution, MUSE reaches an accuracy of 1km/s in the analysis of stellar spectra. We find slight evidence for a rotational component in the cluster and the velocity dispersion profile that we obtain shows a mild central cusp. To investigate the nature of this feature, we calculate spherical Jeans models and compare these models to our kinematical data. This comparison shows that if a constant mass-to-light ratio is assumed, the addition of an intermediate-mass black hole with a mass of 600M_sun brings the model predictions into agreement with our data, and therefore could be at the origin of the velocity dispersion profile. We further investigate cases with varying mass-to-light ratios and find that a compact dark stellar component can also explain our observations. However, such a component would closely resemble the black hole from the constant mass-to-light ratio models as this component must be confined to the central ~5arcsec of the cluster and must have a similar mass. Independent constraints on the distribution of stellar remnants in the cluster or kinematic measurements at the highest possible spatial resolution should be able to distinguish the two alternatives.

[18]  arXiv:1602.01649 [pdf, other]
Title: MUSE crowded field 3D spectroscopy of over 12,000 stars in the globular cluster NGC 6397 - I. The first spectroscopic HRD of a globular cluster
Comments: 14 pages, 16 figures, 3 tables, resubmitted to A&A after all referee comments have been addressed, data available on this http URL
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Aims. We demonstrate the high multiplex advantage of crowded field 3D spectroscopy using the new integral field spectrograph MUSE by means of a spectroscopic analysis of more than 12,000 individual stars in the globular cluster NGC 6397. Methods. The stars are deblended with a PSF fitting technique, using a photometric reference catalogue from HST as prior, including relative positions and brightnesses. This catalogue is also used for a first analysis of the extracted spectra, followed by an automatic in-depth analysis using a full-spectrum fitting method based on a large grid of PHOENIX spectra. Results. With 18,932 spectra from 12,307 stars in NGC 6397 we have analysed the largest sample so far available for a single globular cluster. We derived a mean radial velocity of vrad=17.84+-0.07 km/s and a mean metallicity of [Fe/H]=-2.120+-0.002, with the latter seemingly varying with temperature for stars on the RGB. We determine T_eff and [Fe/H] from the spectra, and log g from HST photometry. This is the first very comprehensive HRD for a globular cluster based on the analysis of several thousands of stellar spectra. Furthermore, two interesting objects were identified with one being a post-AGB star and the other a possible millisecond-pulsar companion.

[19]  arXiv:1602.01654 [pdf, other]
Title: Novel Analysis of the Multiwavelength Structure of Relativistic Jet in Quasar 3C 273
Comments: Submitted to ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present a detailed analysis of the best-quality multi-wavelength data gathered for the large-scale jet in the core-dominated quasar 3C 273. We analyze all the archival observations of the target with the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the far-ultraviolet observations with the Hubble Space Telescope, and a 8.4 GHz maps obtained with the Very Large Array. In our study we focus on investigating the morphology of the outflow at different frequencies, and therefore we apply various techniques for the image deconvolution, paying particular attention to a precise modeling of the Chandra and Hubble point spread functions. We find that the prominent brightness enhancements in the X-ray and far-ultraviolet jet of 3C 273 - the "knots" - are not point-like, and can be resolved transversely as extended features with sizes of about $\simeq 0.5$ kpc. Also, the radio outflow is wider than the deconvolved X-ray/ultraviolet jet. Finally, the intensity peaks of the X-ray knots are located systematically upstream of the corresponding radio intensity peaks; the distribution of the projected spatial offsets along the jet, ranging from $\lesssim 0.2$ kpc up to $\simeq 1$ kpc, seems to reflect to some extent a wiggling/curved appearance of the outflow. We discuss our findings in the wider context of multi-component models for the emission and structure of large-scale quasar jets, and speculate on the physical processes enabling an efficient acceleration of the emitting ultra-relativistic electrons along the entire jet length that exceeds 100 kpc.

[20]  arXiv:1602.01664 [pdf]
Title: The Moon Zoo citizen science project: Preliminary results for the Apollo 17 landing site
Comments: Accepted for publication in Icarus
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Moon Zoo is a citizen science project that utilises internet crowd-sourcing techniques. Moon Zoo users are asked to review high spatial resolution images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), onboard NASAs LRO spacecraft, and perform characterisation such as measuring impact crater sizes and identify morphological features of interest. The tasks are designed to address issues in lunar science and to aid future exploration of the Moon. We have tested various methodologies and parameters therein to interrogate and reduce the Moon Zoo crater location and size dataset against a validated expert survey. We chose the Apollo 17 region as a test area since it offers a broad range of cratered terrains, including secondary-rich areas, older maria, and uplands. The assessment involved parallel testing in three key areas: (1) filtering of data to remove problematic mark-ups; (2) clustering methods of multiple notations per crater; and (3) derivation of alternative crater degradation indices, based on the statistical variability of multiple notations and the smoothness of local image structures. We compared different combinations of methods and parameters and assessed correlations between resulting crater summaries and the expert census.
We derived the optimal data reduction steps and settings of the existing Moon Zoo crater data to agree with the expert census. Further, the regolith depth and crater degradation states derived from the data are also found to be in broad agreement with other estimates for the Apollo 17 region. Our study supports the validity of this citizen science project but also recommends improvements in key elements of the data acquisition planning and production.

[21]  arXiv:1602.01668 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Indication of the High Mass-Transfer Ratio in S-type Symbiotic Binaries
Comments: proceedings of the conference "The Physics of Evolved Stars: a Conference Dedicated to the Memory of Olivier Chesneau", 2 pages, 2 figures
Journal-ref: EAS Publication Series, Volume 71-72, 2015, pp. 195-196
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

By modelling H$^0$ column densities in eclipsing S-type symbiotic stars EG And and SY Mus, we derived the wind velocity profile and the corresponding mass-loss rate from their giants. Our analysis revealed a strong enhancement of the wind at the orbital plane.

[22]  arXiv:1602.01669 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Probing spacetime around Sagittarius A* using modeled VLBI closure phases
Comments: 13 pages, 7 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The emission region and black hole shadow of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the Galactic Center, can be probed with millimeter Very Long Baseline Interferometry. Our goal is to probe the geometry of the emitting plasma around Sgr A* by using modeled mm-VLBI closure phase calculations at 1.3 mm and to constrain the observer's inclination angle and position angle of the black hole spin axis. We have simulated images for three different models of the emission of Sgr A*: an orbiting spot, a disk model, and a jet model. The orbiting spot model was used as a test case scenario, while the disk and jet models are physically driven scenarios based on standard three-dimensional general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulations of hot accretion flows. Our results are compared to currently available closure phase observational limits. Our results indicate that more models with closer to edge-on viewing angles are consistent with observational limits. In general, jet and disk geometries can reproduce similar closure phases for different sets of viewing and position angles. Consequently, the favored black hole spin orientation and its magnitude are strongly model dependent. We find that both the jet and the disk models can explain current VLBI limits. We conclude that new observations at 1.3 mm and possibly at longer wavelengths including other triangles of VLBI baselines are necessary to interpret Sgr A* emission and the putative black hole spin parameters.

[23]  arXiv:1602.01676 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A new insight into the V1184 Tau variability
Comments: Accepted by A&A
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

V1184 Tau is a young variable for long time monitored at optical wavelengths. Its variability has been ascribed to a sudden and repetitive increase of the circumstellar extinction (UXor-type variable), but the physical origin of such variation, although hypothesized, has not been fully supported on observational basis. To get a new insight into the variability of V1184 Tau, we present new photometric and spectroscopic observations taken in the period 2008-2015. During these years the source has reached the same high brightness level that had before the remarkable fading of about 5 mag undergone in 2004. The optical spectrum is the first obtained when the continuum is at its maximum level. The observations are interpreted in the framework of extinction driven variability. We analyze light curves, optical and near-infrared colors, SED and optical spectrum. The emerging picture indicates that the source fading is due to an extinction increase of DeltaA_V about 5 mag, associated with a strong infrared excess, attributable to a thermal component at T=1000 K. From the flux of H(alpha) we derive a mass accretion rate between 10^-11 -5 10^-10 M_sun yr^-1 s, consistent with that of classical T Tauri stars of similar mass. The source SED was fitted for both the high and low level of brightness. A scenario consistent with the known stellar properties (such as spectral type, mass and radius) is obtained only if the distance to the source is of few hundreds of parsecs, in contrast with the commonly assumed value of 1.5 kpc. Our analysis partially supports that presented by Grinin (2009), according to which the circumstellar disk undergoes a periodical puffing, whose observational effects are both to shield the central star and to evidence a disk wind activity. However, since the mass accretion rate remains almost constant with time, the source is likely not subject to accretion bursts.

[24]  arXiv:1602.01683 [pdf]
Title: The Influence of Magnetic Fields on UHECR Propagation from Virgo A
Comments: In Proceedings of the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2015), The Hague, The Netherlands
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are considered as one of the most appropriate sources of cosmic rays with energy exceeding $\sim 10^{18}$ eV. Virgo A (M87 or NGC 4486) is the second closest to the Milky Way active galaxy. According to existing estimations it can be a prominent source of ultra high energy cosmic rays (UHECR). However not many events have been registered in the sky region near Virgo A, possibly due to magnetic field influence. In the present work we check UHECR events from the recent sets of data (AUGER, Telescope Array etc.) for possibility of their origination in this AGN. We carried out the simulation of UHECR motion from Virgo A taking into account their deflections in galactic (GMF) as well as extragalactic (EGMF) magnetic fields according to the several latest models. The maps of expected UHECR arrival directions were obtained as a result. It has been found the following: 1) UHECR deflection caused by EGMF is comparable with GMF one, moreover the influence of EGMF sometimes is dominating; 2) effect of EGMF demonstrates obvious asymmetry in the final distribution of expected UHECR arrival directions; 3) the results of simulations depend on chosen GMF model and are still open for the discussion.

[25]  arXiv:1602.01688 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: On the 2015 outburst of the EXor variable star V1118 Ori
Comments: Submitted to ApJ Letters
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

After a long-lasting period of quiescence of about a decade, the source V1118 Ori, one of the most representative members of the EXor variables, is now outbursting. Since the initial increase of the near-infrared flux of about 1 mag (JHK bands) registered on 2015 September 22, the source brightness has remained fairly stable. We estimate DeltaV about 3 mag with respect to the quiescence phase. An optical/near-IR low-resolution spectrum has been obtained with the Large Binocular Telescope instruments MODS and LUCI2, and compared with a spectrum of similar spectral resolution and sensitivity level taken during quiescence. Together with the enhancement of the continuum, the outburst spectrum presents a definitely higher number of emission lines, in particular HI recombination lines of the Balmer, Paschen, and Brackett series, along with bright permitted lines of several species, forbidden atomic lines, and CO ro-vibrational lines. Both mass accretion and mass loss rates have significantly increased (by to about an order of magnitude, mass accretion rate = 1.2-4.8 10^-8 M_sun/yr, mass loss rate = 0.8-2 10^-9 M_sun/yr) with respect to the quiescence phase. If compared with previous outbursts, the present one appears less energetic. Alternatively, it could already be in the fading phase (with the maximum brightness level reached when the source was not visible), or, viceversa, still in the rising phase.

[26]  arXiv:1602.01694 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Very Hight Energy Observationa of Shell-Type Supernova Remnants with SHALON Mirror Cherenkov Telescopes
Comments: Published in Bulletin of the Lebedev Physics Institute, 2015, vol. 42, issue 6, pp. 169-175
Journal-ref: Bulletin of the Lebedev Physics Institute, 2015, vol. 42, issue 6, pp. 169-175
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The investigation of VHE gamma-ray sources by any methods, including mirror Cherenkov telescopes, touches on the problem of the cosmic ray origin and, accordingly, the role of the Galaxy in their generation. The SHALON observations have yielded the results on Galactic shell-type supernova remnants (SNR) on different evolution stages. Among them are: SNRs Tycho's SNR, Cas A, IC 443, $\gamma$Cygni SNR and classical nova GK Per (Nova 1901). For each of SNRs the observation results are presented with spectral energy distribution by SHALON in comparison with other experiment data and images by SHALON. The collected experimental data have confirmed the prediction of the theory about the hadronic generation mechanism of very high energy 800 GeV - 100 TeV $\gamma$-rays in Tycho's SNR, Cas A and IC443.

[27]  arXiv:1602.01708 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The R1R2' outer ring revealed by young open cluster data
Comments: 7 pages, 2 figures, to be published in Baltic Astronomy. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1601.01282
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The distribution of young open clusters in the Galactic plane suggests the existence of the outer ring R1R2' in the Galaxy. The solar position angle theta_b providing the best agreement between the observed and model distribution is theta_b=35 +\- 10 degrees. We compared the theta_b values derived from three different catalogues of open cluster and they appear to be consistent within the errors.

[28]  arXiv:1602.01713 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Detection of binary and multiple systems among rapidly rotating K and M dwarf stars from Kepler data
Journal-ref: Living Together: Planets, Host Stars and Binaries, ASP Conference Series, 2015, Vol. 496., p.83
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

From an examination of ~18,000 Kepler light curves of K- and M-stars we find some 500 which exhibit rotational periods of less than 2 days. Among such stars, approximately 50 show two or more incommensurate periodicities. We discuss the tools that allow us to differentiate between rotational modulation and other types of light variations, e.g., due to pulsations or binary modulations. We find that these multiple periodicities are independent of each other and likely belong to different, but physically bound, stars. This scenario was checked directly by UKIRT and adaptive optics imaging, time-resolved Fourier transforms, and pixel-level analysis of the data. Our result is potentially important for discovering young multiple stellar systems among rapidly rotating K- and M-dwarfs.

[29]  arXiv:1602.01721 [pdf, other]
Title: Spiral-driven accretion in protoplanetary discs - II Self-similar solutions
Comments: accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Accretion discs are ubiquitous in the universe and it is a crucial issue to understand how angular momentum and mass are being radially transported in these objects. Here, we study the role played by non-linear spiral patterns within hydrodynamical and non self-gravitating accretion disc assuming that external disturbances such as infall onto the disc may trigger them. To do so, we computed self-similar solutions that describe discs in which a spiral wave propagates. Such solutions present both shocks and critical sonic points that we carefully analyze. For all allowed temperatures and for several spiral shocks, we calculated the wave structure. In particular we inferred the angle of the spiral patern, the stress it exerts on the disc as well as the associated flux of mass and angular momentum as a function of temperature. We quantified the rate of angular momentum transport by means of the dimensionless $\alpha$ parameter. For the thickest disc we considered (corresponding to $h/r$ values of about 1/3), we found values of $\alpha$ as high as $0.1$, and scaling with the temperature $T$ such that $\alpha \propto T^{3/2} \propto (h/r)^3$. The spiral angle scales with the temperature as $\arctan(r/h)$. The existence of these solutions suggests that perturbations occurring at disc outer boundaries, such as for example perturbations due to infall motions, can propagate deep inside the disc and therefore should not be ignored, even when considering small radii.

[30]  arXiv:1602.01724 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Dust masses of disks around 8 Brown Dwarfs and Very Low-Mass Stars in Upper Sco OB1 and Ophiuchus
Comments: 9 pages,6 figures, accepted to ApJ on 26/01/2016
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present the results of ALMA band 7 observations of dust and CO gas in the disks around 7 objects with spectral types ranging between M5.5 and M7.5 in Upper Scorpius OB1, and one M3 star in Ophiuchus. We detect unresolved continuum emission in all but one source, and the $^{12}$CO J=3-2 line in two sources. We constrain the dust and gas content of these systems using a grid of models calculated with the radiative transfer code MCFOST, and find disk dust masses between 0.1 and 1 M$_\oplus$, suggesting that the stellar mass / disk mass correlation can be extrapolated for brown dwarfs with masses as low as 0.05 M$_\odot$. The one disk in Upper Sco in which we detect CO emission, 2MASS J15555600, is also the disk with warmest inner disk as traced by its H - [4.5] photometric color. Using our radiative transfer grid, we extend the correlation between stellar luminosity and mass-averaged disk dust temperature originally derived for stellar mass objects to the brown dwarf regime to $\langle T_{dust} \rangle \approx 22 (L_{*} /L_{\odot})^{0.16} K$, applicable to spectral types of M5 and later. This is slightly shallower than the relation for earlier spectral type objects and yields warmer low-mass disks. The two prescriptions cross at 0.27 L$_\odot$, corresponding to masses between 0.1 and 0.2 M$_\odot$ depending on age.

[31]  arXiv:1602.01736 [pdf, other]
Title: The bolometric light curves and physical parameters of stripped-envelope supernovae
Comments: 33 pages, 29 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The optical and optical/near-infrared pseudobolometric light curves of 84 stripped-envelope supernovae (SNe) are constructed using a consistent method and a standard cosmology. The light curves are analysed to derive temporal characteristics and peak luminosity $L_{\mathrm{p}}$, enabling the construction of a luminosity function. Subsequently, the mass of $^{56}$Ni synthesised in the explosion, along with the ratio of ejecta mass to ejecta kinetic energy, are found. Analysis shows that host-galaxy extinction is an important factor in accurately determining luminosity values as it is significantly greater than Galactic extinction in most cases. It is found that broad-lined SNe Ic (SNe Ic-BL) and gamma-ray burst SNe are the most luminous subtypes with a combined median $L_{\mathrm{p}}$, in erg s$^{-1}$, of log($L_{\mathrm{p}})=42.99$ compared to $42.51$ for SNe Ic, $42.50$ for SNe Ib, and $42.36$ for SNe IIb. It is also found that SNe Ic-BL synthesise approximately twice the amount of $^{56}$Ni compared with SNe Ic, Ib, and IIb, with median $M_{\mathrm{Ni}} = 0.34$, 0.16, 0.14, and 0.11 M$_{\odot}$, respectively. SNe Ic-BL, and to a lesser extent SNe Ic, typically rise from $L_{\mathrm{p}}/2$ to $L_{\mathrm{p}}$ more quickly than SNe Ib/IIb; consequently, their light curves are not as broad.

[32]  arXiv:1602.01738 [pdf, other]
Title: MIMAC low energy electron-recoil discrimination measured with fast neutrons
Authors: Q. Riffard (1), D. Santos (1), O. Guillaudin (1), G. Bosson (1), O. Bourrion (1), J. Bouvier (1), T. Descombes (1), J.-F. Muraz (1), L. Lebreton (2), D. Maire (2), P. Colas (3), I. Giomataris (3), J. Busto (4), D. Fouchez (4), J. Brunner (4), C. Tao (4) ((1) LPSC Grenoble, (2) IRSN Cadarache, (3) IRFU Saclay,(4) CPPM Marseille)
Comments: 11 pages, 14 figures
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Instrumentation and Detectors (physics.ins-det)

MIMAC (MIcro-TPC MAtrix of Chambers) is a directional WIMP Dark Matter detector project. Direct dark matter experiments need a high level of electron/recoil discrimination to search for nuclear recoils produced by WIMP-nucleus elastic scattering. In this paper, we proposed an original method for electron event rejection based on a multivariate analysis applied to experimental data acquired using monochromatic neutron fields. This analysis shows that a $10^{5}$ rejection power is reachable for electron/recoil discrimination. Moreover, the efficiency was estimated by a Monte-Carlo simulation showing that a $10^{5}$ electron rejection power is reached with a 85.1\% nuclear recoil efficiency using the same detector gain that on the detectors running at Modane.

[33]  arXiv:1602.01740 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Five transiting hot Jupiters discovered using WASP-South, Euler and TRAPPIST: WASP-119 b, WASP-124 b, WASP-126 b, WASP-129 b and WASP-133 b
Authors: P. F. L. Maxted (Keele, UK), D. R. Anderson (Keele, UK), A. Collier Cameron (St Andrews, UK), L. Delrez (Liège, Belgium), M. Gillon (Liège, Belgium), C. Hellier (Keele, UK), E. Jehin (Liège, Belgium), M. Lendl (Graz, Austria), M. Neveu-VanMalle (Geneva), F. Pepe (Geneva), D. Pollacco (Warwick, UK), D. Queloz (Cambridge, UK), D. Ségransan (Geneva), B. Smalley (Keele, UK), A. M. S. Smith (DLR, Berlin), J. Southworth (Keele, UK), A. H. M. J. Triaud (Cambridge, UK), S. Udry (Geneva), T. Wagg (Keele, UK), R. G. West (Warwick, UK)
Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures. Submitted to A&A. Subheadings in abstract required for correct processing of LaTeX file do not appear in the submitted version
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We have used photometry from the WASP-South instrument to identify 5 stars showing planet-like transits in their light curves. The planetary nature of the companions to these stars has been confirmed using photometry from the EulerCam instrument on the Swiss Euler 1.2-m telescope and the TRAPPIST telescope, and spectroscopy obtained with the CORALIE spectrograph. The planets discovered are hot Jupiter systems with orbital periods in the range 2.17 to 5.75 days, masses from 0.3M$_{\rm Jup}$ to 1.2M$_{\rm Jup}$ and with radii from 1R$_{\rm Jup}$ to 1.5R$_{\rm Jup}$. These planets orbit bright stars (V = 11-13) with spectral types in the range F9 to G4. WASP-126 is the brightest planetary system in this sample and hosts a low-mass planet with a large radius (0.3 M$_{\rm Jup}$ , 0.95R$_{\rm Jup}$), making it a good target for transmission spectroscopy. The high density of WASP-129 A suggests that it is a helium-rich star similar to HAT-P-11 A. WASP-133 has an enhanced surface lithium abundance compared to other old G-type stars, particularly other planet host stars. These planetary systems are good targets for follow-up observations with ground-based and space-based facilities to study their atmospheric and dynamical properties.

[34]  arXiv:1602.01744 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Short-term variability and mass loss in Be stars I. BRITE satellite photometry of $η$ and $μ$ Centauri
Comments: Recommended for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Empirical evidence for the involvement of nonradial pulsations (NRP's) in the mass loss from Be stars ranges from (i) a singular case (\object{$\mu$ Cen}) of repetitive mass ejections triggered by multi-mode beating to (ii) several photometric reports about enormous numbers of pulsation modes popping up during outbursts and on to (iii) effective single-mode pulsators.
The BRITE Constellation of nanosatellites was used to obtain mmag photometry of the Be stars $\eta$ and \object{$\mu$ Cen}.
In the low-inclination star \object{$\mu$ Cen}, light pollution by variable amounts of near-stellar matter prevented any new insights into the variability and other properties of the central star. In the equator-on star \object{$\eta$ Cen}, BRITE photometry and {\sc Heros} echelle spectroscopy from the 1990s reveal an intricate clockwork of star-disk interactions. The mass transfer is modulated with the frequency difference of two NRP modes and an amplitude three times as large as the amplitude sum of the two NRP modes. This process feeds a high-amplitude circumstellar activity running with the incoherent and slightly lower so-called \v{S}tefl frequency. The mass loss-modulation cycles are tightly coupled to variations in the value of the \v{S}tefl frequency and in its amplitude, albeit with strongly drifting phase differences.
The observations are well described by the decomposition of the mass loss into a pulsation-related engine in the star and a viscosity-dominated engine in the circumstellar disk. Arguments are developed that large-scale gas-circulation flows occur at the interface. The propagation rates of these eddies manifest themselves as \v{S}tefl frequencies. Bursts in power spectra during mass-loss events can be understood as the noise inherent to these gas flows.

[35]  arXiv:1602.01746 [pdf, other]
Title: Optimizing parameter constraints: a new tool for Fisher matrix forecasts
Authors: L. Amendola, E. Sellentin (University of Heidelberg, Germany)
Comments: 6 pages, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

In a Bayesian context, theoretical parameters are correlated random variables. Then, the constraints on one parameter can be improved by either measuring this parameter more precisely - or by measuring the other parameters more precisely. Especially in the case of many parameters, a lengthy process of guesswork is then needed to determine the most efficient way to improve one parameter's constraints. In this short article, we highlight an extremely simple analytical expression that replaces the guesswork and that facilitates a deeper understanding of optimization with interdependent parameters.

[36]  arXiv:1602.01754 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Global Solar Dynamo
Comments: Accepted in Space Science Reviews NORDITA-2015-97
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

A brief summary of the various observations and constraints that underlie solar dynamo research are presented. The arguments that indicate that the solar dynamo is an alpha-omega dynamo of the Babcock-Leighton type are then shortly reviewed. The main open questions that remain are concerned with the subsurface dynamics, including why sunspots emerge at preferred latitudes as seen in the familiar butterfly wings, why the cycle is about 11 years long, and why the sunspot groups emerge tilted with respect to the equator (Joy's law). Next, we turn to magnetic helicity, whose conservation property has been identified with the decline of large-scale magnetic fields found in direct numerical simulations at large magnetic Reynolds numbers. However, magnetic helicity fluxes through the solar surface can alleviate this problem and connect theory with observations, as will be discussed.

[37]  arXiv:1602.01757 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Be Stars as Seen Through Telescopes in Survey Mode (I)
Comments: To appear in conference proceedings "Bright Emissaries: Be Stars as Messengers of Star-Disk Physics", eds. A. Sigut and C. Jones (11 Aug 2014 - 13 Aug 2014, London, Ontario, Canada)
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

In spite of the almost all-encompassing variability of Be stars, surveys play a steadily increasing role in complementing the insights gained from single-star studies. The definition of classical Be stars as recently augmented by \cite{Rivinius2013} enables unambiguous identification of Be stars in a much increased range of observations. Results of targeted surveys are briefly reviewed for the effects of metallicity, binarity, and evolution. It still remains to be seen whether Be stars are safe benchmarks for the calibration of evolutionary models with rapid rotation.

[38]  arXiv:1602.01765 [pdf, other]
Title: Constraints on the Coupling between Dark Energy and Dark Matter from CMB data
Comments: 19 pages, 8 figures, 6 tables
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

We investigate a phenomenological non-gravitational coupling between dark energy and dark matter, where the interaction in the dark sector is parameterized as an energy transfer either from dark matter to dark energy or the opposite. The models are constrained by a whole host of updated cosmological data: cosmic microwave background temperature anisotropies and polarization, high-redshift supernovae, baryon acoustic oscillations, redshift space distortions and gravitational lensing. Both models are found to be compatible with all cosmological observables, but in the case where dark matter decays into dark energy, the tension with the independent determinations of $H_0$ and $\sigma_8$, already present for standard cosmology, increases: this model in fact predicts lower $H_0$ and higher $\sigma_8$, mostly as a consequence of the higher amount of dark matter at early times, leading to a stronger clustering during the evolution. Instead, when dark matter is fed by dark energy, the reconstructed values of $H_0$ and $\sigma_8$ nicely agree with their local determinations, with a full reconciliation between high- and low-redshift observations. A non-zero coupling between dark energy and dark matter, with an energy flow from the former to the latter, appears therefore to be in better agreement with cosmological data.

[39]  arXiv:1602.01769 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: On the mass and origin of Chariklo's rings
Authors: Margaret Pan (Toronto/MIT), Yanqin Wu (Toronto)
Comments: 26 pages, 4 figures, accepted to ApJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Observations in 2013 and 2014 of the Centaur 10199 Chariklo and its ring system consistently indicated that the radial width of the inner, more massive ring varies with longitude. That strongly suggests that this ring has a finite eccentricity despite the fast differential precession that Chariklo's large quadrupole moment should induce. If the inferred apse alignment is maintained by the ring's self-gravity, as it is for the Uranian rings, we estimate a ring mass of a few times 10^16 g and a typical particle size of a few meters. These imply a short collisional spreading time of ~10^5 years, somewhat shorter than the typical Centaur dynamical lifetime of a few Myrs and much shorter than the age of the solar system. In light of this time constraint, we evaluate previously suggested ring formation pathways including collisional ejection and satellite disruption. We also investigate in detail a contrasting formation mechanism, the lofting of dust particles off Chariklo's surface into orbit via outflows of sublimating CO and/or N_2 triggered after Chariklo was scattered inward by giant planets. This latter scenario predicts that rings should be common among 100-km class Centaurs but rare among Kuiper belt objects and smaller Centaurs. It also predicts that Centaurs should show seasonal variations in cometary activity with activity maxima occurring shortly after equinox.

[40]  arXiv:1602.01784 [pdf, other]
Title: Constraints on cosmology and gravity from the dynamics of voids
Comments: 9 pages, 5 figures. Comments welcome
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

The universe is mostly composed of large and relatively empty domains known as cosmic voids, whereas its matter content is predominantly distributed along their boundaries. The remaining material inside them, either dark or luminous matter, is attracted to these boundaries and causes voids to expand faster and to grow emptier over cosmic time. Using clustering statistics centered on voids identified in the CMASS galaxy sample from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we constrain the matter density and gravitational growth of cosmic structure at a median redshift $\bar{z}=0.57$. Our analysis models the detailed anisotropic shape of stacked voids in redshift space which arises from the dynamics of galaxies in their interior and vicinity. Adopting minimal assumptions on the statistical distribution and motion of these galaxies, we constrain the average matter content in the universe, as well as the linear growth rate of structure to be $\Omega_\mathrm{m}=0.281\pm0.031$ and $f/b=0.417\pm0.089$ (68% c.l.), where $b$ is the galaxy bias. These measurements are robust to a battery of consistency tests. They improve on existing constraints by accessing smaller-scale clustering information in galaxy surveys through an accurate model of non-linear dynamics in void environments. As such, our analysis furnishes a powerful probe of deviations from Einstein's general relativity in the low density regime which has largely remained untested so far. We find no evidence for such deviations in the data at hand.

[41]  arXiv:1602.01797 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Resolved Companions of Cepheids: Testing the Candidates with X-Ray Observations
Comments: 30 pages, 7 figures, accepted by AJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We have made {\it XMM-Newton\/} observations of 14 Galactic Cepheids that have candidate resolved ($\geq$5$\arcsec$) companion stars based on our earlier {\it HST\/} WFC3 imaging survey. Main-sequence stars that are young enough to be physical companions of Cepheids are expected to be strong X-ray producers in contrast to field stars. {\it XMM-Newton\/} exposures were set to detect essentially all companions hotter than spectral type M0 (corresponding to 0.5 $ M_\odot$.) The large majority of our candidate companions were not detected in X-rays, and hence are not confirmed as young companions. One resolved candidate (S~Nor \#4) was unambiguously detected, but the Cepheid is a member of a populous cluster. For this reason, it is likely that S~Nor \#4 is a cluster member rather than a gravitationally bound companion. Two further Cepheids (S~Mus and R~Cru) have X-ray emission that might be produced by either the Cepheid or the candidate resolved companion. A subsequent {\it Chandra} observation of S Mus shows that the X-rays are at the location of the Cepheid/spectroscopic binary. R Cru and also
V659 Cen (also X-ray bright) have possible companions closer than 5$\arcsec$ (the limit for this study) which are the likely source of X-rays. One final X-ray detection (V473 Lyr) has no known optical companion, so the prime suspect is the Cepheid itself. It is a unique Cepheid with a variable amplitude.

[42]  arXiv:1602.01800 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Modelling the flaring emission at the Galactic Centre
Authors: E. M. Howard
Comments: 3 pages, 2 figures, Galactic Center Workshop (19 - 23 October 2009 : Shanghai, China), The Galactic Center: a Window to the Nuclear Environment of Disk Galaxies. Proceedings of a workshop held at Shanghai, China Oct. 19-23, 2009. Ed. M. R. Morris, Q. D. Wang, F. Yuan. Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 2011, p.378
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The massive black hole at the Galactic Centre is known to be variable in radio, millimeter, near-IR and X-rays. We investigate the physical processes responsible for the variable observed emissions from the compact radio source Sgr A*. We study the evolution of the variable emission region and present light curves and time-resolved spectra of emissions from the accretion disk, close to the event horizon, near the marginally stable orbit of a Kerr black hole.

[43]  arXiv:1602.01805 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Analysing the impact of far-out side-lobes on the imaging performance of the SKA-LOW telescope
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

The Square Kilometre Array's Low Frequency instrument (SKA-LOW) will be the most sensitive aperture array ever used for radio astronomy, and will operate in the under-sampled regime for most of the frequency band where grating-lobes pose particular challenges. To achieve the expected level of sensitivity for SKA-LOW, it is particularly important to understand how interfering sources in both near and far side-lobes of the station beam affect the imaging performance. We discuss options for station designs, and adopting a random element layout, we assess its effectiveness by investigating how sources far from the main lobe of the station beam degrade images of the target field. These sources have the effect of introducing a noise-like corruption to images, which we call the Far Side-lobe Source Noise (FSSN). Using OSKAR, a GPU-accelerated software simulator, we carried out end-to-end simulations using an all-sky model and telescope configuration representative of the SKA-LOW instrument. The FSSN is a function of both the station beam and the interferometric point spread function, and decreases with increasing observation time until the coverage of the aperture plane no longer improves. Using apodisation to reduce the level of near-in side-lobes of the station beam had a noticeable improvement on the level of FSSN at low frequencies. Our results indicate that the effects of picking up sources in the side-lobes are worse at low frequencies, where the array is less sparse.