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J.P. Magué & B. Ménard

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[1]  arXiv:1612.00008 [pdf, other]
Title: Constructing stable 3D hydrodynamical models of giant stars
Comments: 16 pages, 12 figures, 2 tables. Accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Hydrodynamical simulations of stellar interactions require stable models of stars as initial conditions. Such initial models, however, are difficult to construct for giant stars because of the wide range in spatial scales of the hydrostatic equilibrium and in dynamical timescales between the core and the envelope of the giant. They are needed for, e.g., modeling the common envelope phase where a giant envelope encompasses both the giant core and a companion star. Here, we present a new method of approximating and reconstructing giant profiles from a stellar evolution code to produce stable models for multi-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. We determine typical stellar stratification profiles with the 1D stellar evolution code MESA. After an appropriate mapping, hydrodynamical simulations are conducted using the moving-mesh code AREPO. The giant profiles are approximated by replacing the core of the giant with a point mass and by constructing a suitable continuation of the profile to the center. Different reconstruction methods are tested that can specifically control the convective behaviour of the model. After mapping to a grid, a relaxation procedure that includes damping of spurious velocities yields stable models in three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations. Initially convectively stable configurations lead to stable hydrodynamical models while for stratifications that are convectively unstable in the stellar evolution code, simulations recover the convective behaviour of the initial model and show large convective plumes with Mach numbers up to 0.8. Examples are shown for a $2M_\odot$ red giant and a $0.67M_\odot$ asymptotic giant branch star. A detailed analysis shows that the improved method reliably provides stable models of giant envelopes that can be used as initial conditions for subsequent hydrodynamical simulations of stellar interactions involving giant stars.

[2]  arXiv:1612.00010 [pdf, other]
Title: ALMA Observations Show Major Mergers Among the Host Galaxies of Fast-growing, High-redshift Supermassive Black Holes
Comments: 21 pages, 9 figures. Re-submitted to ApJ after addressing referee's comments
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present new ALMA band-7 data for a sample of six luminous quasars at z~4.8, powered by fast-growing supermassive black holes (SMBHs) with rather uniform properties: the typical accretion rates and black hole masses are L/L_Edd~0.7 and M_BH~10^9 M_sol. Our sample consists of three "FIR-bright" sources which were individually detected in previous Herschel/SPIRE observations, with star formation rates of SFR>1000 M_sol/yr, and three "FIR-faint" sources for which Herschel stacking analysis implies a typical SFR of ~400 M_sol/yr. The dusty interstellar medium in the hosts of all six quasars is clearly detected in the ALMA data, and resolved on scales of 2 kpc, in both continuum (\lambda_rest~150um) and [CII]157.74um line emission. The continuum emission is in good agreement with the expectations from the Herschel data, confirming the intense SF activity in the quasars' hosts. Importantly, we detect companion sub-mm galaxies (SMGs) for three sources -- one FIR-bright and two FIR-faint, separated by ~14-45 kpc and <450 km/s from the quasar hosts. The [CII]-based dynamical mass estimates for the interacting SMGs are within a factor of ~3 of the quasar hosts' masses, while the continuum emission implies SFR(quasar)~(2-11)xSFR(SMG). Our ALMA data therefore clearly support the idea that major mergers may be important drivers for rapid, early SMBH growth. However, the fact that not all high-SFR quasar hosts are accompanied by interacting SMGs, and the gas kinematics as observed by ALMA, suggest that other processes may fueling these systems. Our analysis thus demonstrates the diversity of host galaxy properties and gas accretion mechanisms associated with early and rapid SMBH growth.

[3]  arXiv:1612.00011 [pdf, other]
Title: Can tidal disruption events produce the IceCube neutrinos?
Authors: Lixin Dai, Ke Fang (University of Maryland)
Comments: 6 pages, submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Powerful jets and outflows generated in tidal disruption events (TDEs) around supermassive black holes have been suggested to be possible sites producing high-energy neutrinos, but it is unclear whether such environment can provide the bulk of the neutrinos detected by the IceCube Observatory. In this work, by considering realistic limits on the non-thermal emission power of a TDE jet and the birth rate of the TDEs with jets pointing towards us, we show that it is hard to use the jetted TDE population to explain the flux and the isotropic arrival directions of the observed TeV-PeV neutrinos. Therefore, TDEs cannot be the dominant sources, unless those without aligned jets can produce wide-angle emission of neutrino particles. Supposing that is the case, we list a few recent jetted and non-jetted TDEs that have the best chance to be detected by IceCube, based on their energetics, distances, and directions. A spatial and temporal association of these predicted events with the IceCube data should provide a decisive test on the full TDE population as origins of the IceCube neutrinos.

[4]  arXiv:1612.00013 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Stellar Initial Mass Function in Early-Type Galaxies From Absorption Line Spectroscopy. IV. A Super-Salpeter IMF in the center of NGC 1407 from Non-Parametric Models
Comments: 7 pages, 6 figures, submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

It is now well-established that the stellar initial mass function (IMF) can be determined from the absorption line spectra of old stellar systems, and this has been used to measure the IMF and its variation across the early-type galaxy population. Previous work focused on measuring the slope of the IMF over one or more stellar mass intervals, implicitly assuming that this is a good description of the IMF and that the IMF has a universal low-mass cutoff. In this work we consider more flexible IMFs, including two-component power-laws with a variable low-mass cutoff and a general non-parametric model. We demonstrate with mock spectra that the detailed shape of the IMF can be accurately recovered as long as the data quality are high (S/N$\gtrsim300$) and cover a wide wavelength range (0.4um-1.0um). We apply these flexible IMF models to a high S/N spectrum of the center of the massive elliptical galaxy NGC 1407. Fitting the spectrum with non-parametric IMFs, we find that the IMF in the center shows a continuous rise extending toward the hydrogen-burning limit, with a behavior that is well-approximated by a power-law with an index of -2.7. These results provide strong evidence for the existence of extreme (super-Salpeter) IMFs in the cores of massive galaxies.

[5]  arXiv:1612.00019 [pdf, other]
Title: Two is better than one: joint statistics of density and velocity in concentric spheres as a cosmological probe
Comments: 16 pages, 17 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The analytical formalism to obtain the probability distribution functions (PDFs) of spherically-averaged cosmic densities and velocity divergences in the mildly non-linear regime is presented. A large-deviation principle is applied to those cosmic fields assuming their most likely dynamics in spheres is set by the spherical collapse model. We validate our analytical results using state-of-the-art dark matter simulations with a phase-space resolved velocity field finding a 2% percent level agreement for a wide range of velocity divergences and densities in the mildly nonlinear regime (~10Mpc/h at redshift zero), usually inaccessible to perturbation theory. From the joint PDF of densities and velocity divergences measured in two concentric spheres, we extract with the same accuracy velocity profiles and conditional velocity PDF subject to a given over/under-density which are of interest to understand the non-linear evolution of velocity flows. Both PDFs are used to build a simple but accurate maximum likelihood estimators for the redshift evolution of the variance of both the density and velocity divergence fields, which have smaller relative errors than their sample variances when non-linearities appear. Given the dependence of the velocity divergence on the growth rate, there is a significant gain in using the full knowledge of both PDFs to derive constraints on the equation of state of dark energy. Thanks to the insensitivity of the velocity divergence to bias, its PDF can be used to obtain unbiased constraints on the growth of structures ($\sigma_8$,f) or it can be combined with the galaxy density PDF to extract bias parameters.

[6]  arXiv:1612.00020 [pdf, other]
Title: Gravitational waves and large field inflation
Authors: Andrei Linde
Comments: 6 pages, 1 figure
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th)

According to the famous Lyth bound, one can confirm large field inflation by finding tensor modes with sufficiently large tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$. Here we will try to answer two related questions: Is it possible to rule out all large field inflationary models by not finding tensor modes with $r$ above some critical value, and what can we say about the scale of inflation by measuring $r$? However, in order to answer these questions one should distinguish between two different definitions of the large field inflation and three different definitions of the scale of inflation. We will examine these issues using the theory of cosmological $\alpha$-attractors as a convenient testing ground.

[7]  arXiv:1612.00021 [pdf, other]
Title: Exploring Cosmic Origins with CORE: Cosmological Parameters
Comments: 90 pages, 25 Figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We forecast the main cosmological parameter constraints achievable with the CORE space mission which is dedicated to mapping the polarisation of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB). CORE was recently submitted in response to ESA's fifth call for medium-sized mission proposals (M5). Here we report the results from our pre-submission study of the impact of various instrumental options, in particular the telescope size and sensitivity level, and review the great, transformative potential of the mission as proposed. Specifically, we assess the impact on a broad range of fundamental parameters of our Universe as a function of the expected CMB characteristics, with other papers in the series focusing on controlling astrophysical and instrumental residual systematics. In this paper, we assume that only a few central CORE frequency channels are usable for our purpose, all others being devoted to the cleaning of astrophysical contaminants. On the theoretical side, we assume LCDM as our general framework and quantify the improvement provided by CORE over the current constraints from the Planck 2015 release. We also study the joint sensitivity of CORE and of future Baryon Acoustic Oscillation and Large Scale Structure experiments like DESI and Euclid. Specific constraints on the physics of inflation are presented in another paper of the series. In addition to the six parameters of the base LCDM, which describe the matter content of a spatially flat universe with adiabatic and scalar primordial fluctuations from inflation, we derive the precision achievable on parameters like those describing curvature, neutrino physics, extra light relics, primordial helium abundance, dark matter annihilation, recombination physics, variation of fundamental constants, dark energy, modified gravity, reionization and cosmic birefringence. (ABRIDGED)

[8]  arXiv:1612.00022 [pdf, other]
Title: Radiation Hydrodynamic Simulations of Dust-Driven Winds
Comments: 11 pages, 9 figures, 1 table, submitted
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We study dusty winds driven by radiation pressure in the atmosphere of a rapidly star-forming environment. We apply the variable Eddington tensor algorithm to re-examine the two-dimensional radiation hydrodynamic problem of a column of gas that is accelerated by a constant infrared radiation flux. In the absence of gravity, the system can be characterized by the initial optical depth of the gas. We perform several runs with different initial optical depth and resolution. We find that the gas spreads out along the vertical direction, as its mean velocity and velocity dispersion increase. In contrast to previous work using flux-limited diffusion algorithm, we find little evolution in the trapping factor. The momentum coupling between radiation and gas in the absence of gravity is similar to that with gravity. For Eddington ratio increasing with the height in the system, the momentum transfer from the radiation to the gas is not merely $\sim L/c$, but amplified by a factor of $1+\eta \tau_{\rm IR}$, where $\tau_{\rm IR}$ is the integrated infrared optical depth through the system, and $\eta\sim0.5-0.9$, decreasing with the optical depth. We apply our results to the atmosphere of galaxies and conclude that radiation pressure may be an important mechanism for driving winds in rapidly star-forming galaxies and starbursts.

[9]  arXiv:1612.00030 [pdf]
Title: Element Abundances and Source Plasma Temperatures of Solar Energetic Particles
Authors: Donald V. Reames
Comments: 8pages,7 figures, 15th Ann. Intl. Astrophys. Conf. "The Science of Ed Stone: Celebrating his 80th Birthday"
Journal-ref: Journal of Physics: Conference Series 767 (2016) 012023
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Thirty years ago Breneman and Stone observed that the enhancement or suppression of element abundances in large solar energetic-particle (SEP) events varies as a power of the mass-to-charge ratio, A/Q, of the elements. Since Q during acceleration or transport may depend upon the source plasma temperature T, the pattern of element enhancements can provide a best-fit measure of T. The small SEP events we call 3He-rich or "impulsive" show average enhancements, relative to coronal abundances, rising as the 3.6 power of A/Q to a factor of ~1000 for (76<=Z<=82)/O and temperature in the range 2-4 MK. This acceleration is believed to occur in islands of magnetic reconnection on open field lines in solar flares and jets. It has been recently found that the large shock-accelerated "gradual" SEP events have a broad range of source plasma temperatures; 69% have coronal temperatures of T < 1.6 MK, while 24% have T ~ 3 MK, the latter suggesting a seed population containing residual impulsive suprathermal ions. Most of the large event-to-event abundance variations and their time variation are largely explained by variations in T magnified by A/Q-dependent fractionation during transport. However, the non-thermal variance of impulsive SEP events (~30%) exceeds that of the ~3 MK gradual events (~10%) so that several small impulsive events must be averaged together with the ambient plasma to form the seed population for shock acceleration in these events.

[10]  arXiv:1612.00038 [pdf, other]
Title: Constraining Black Holes with Light Boson Hair and Boson Stars using Quasi Periodic Oscillations
Comments: 21 pages, 8 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

Light bosonic fields are ubiquitous in extensions of the Standard Model. Even when minimally coupled to gravity, these fields might evade the assumptions of the black-hole no-hair theorems and give rise to spinning black holes which can be drastically different from the Kerr metric. Furthermore, they allow for self-gravitating compact solitons, known as (scalar or Proca) boson stars. The quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) observed in the X-ray flux emitted by accreting compact objects carry information about the strong-field region, thus providing a powerful tool to constrain deviations from Kerr's geometry and to search for exotic compact objects. By using the relativistic precession model, we investigate how the QPO frequencies could be used to test the no-hair theorem and the existence of light bosonic fields near accreting compact objects. We show that a detection of two QPO triplets with current sensitivity can already constrain these models, and that the future eXTP mission or a LOFT-like mission can set very stringent constraints on black holes with bosonic hair and on (scalar or Proca) boson stars. The peculiar geodesic structure of compact scalar/Proca boson stars implies that these objects can easily be ruled out as alternative models for X-ray source GRO J1655-40.

[11]  arXiv:1612.00045 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: An Upper Limit on the Mass of a Central Black Hole in the Large Magellanic Cloud from the Stellar Rotation Field
Comments: 13 pages, 12 figures, 1 table, submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We constrain the possible presence of a central black hole (BH) in the center of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). This requires spectroscopic measurements over an area of order a square degree, due to the poorly known position of the kinematic center. Such measurements are now possible with the impressive field of view of the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) on the ESO Very Large Telescope. We used the Calcium Triplet (~850nm) spectral lines in many short-exposure MUSE pointings to create a two-dimensional integrated-light line-of-sight velocity map from the ~$10^8$ individual spectra, taking care to identify and remove Galactic foreground populations. The data reveal a clear velocity gradient at an unprecedented spatial resolution of 1 arcmin$^{2}$. We fit kinematic models to arrive at a $3\sigma$ upper-mass-limit of $9\times10^{6}$ M$_{Sun}$ for any central BH - consistent with the known scaling relations for supermassive black holes and their host systems. This adds to the growing body of knowledge on the presence of BHs in low-mass and dwarf galaxies, and their scaling relations with host-galaxy properties, which can shed light on theories of BH growth and host system interaction.

[12]  arXiv:1612.00048 [pdf, other]
Title: Astroinformatics Challenges from Next-generation Radio Continuum Surveys
Authors: Ray P. Norris
Comments: Accepted for Proceedings of IAU Symposium 325
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

The tens of millions of radio sources to be detected with next-generation surveys pose new challenges, quite apart from the obvious ones of processing speed and data volumes. For example, existing algorithms are inadequate for source extraction or cross-matching radio and optical/IR sources, and a new generation of algorithms are needed using machine learning and other techniques. The large numbers of sources enable new ways of testing astrophysical models, using a variety of "large-n astronomy" techniques such as statistical redshifts. Furthermore, while unexpected discoveries account for some of the most significant discoveries in astronomy, it will be difficult to discover the unexpected in large volumes of data, unless specific software is developed to mine the data for the unexpected.

[13]  arXiv:1612.00052 [pdf]
Title: On a common carrier hypothesis for the 6613.6 and 6196.0 Å diffuse interstellar bands
Journal-ref: Astrophysics and Space Science, (2016) 316:305, p. 1-8
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We explore via spectroscopic modeling whether the highly correlated diffuse interstellar bands at 6613.6 and 6196.0 {\AA} might originate from a single molecule. Efforts were made to simulate the band contours of the DIBs along the three lines-of-sight, which have been observed by others at high resolution: HD179406, HD174165, and Her 36. Reasonable simultaneous fits were obtained using a prolate symmetric top molecule that exhibits transitions of two different band types, type-a parallel and type-b perpendicular bands. Two different excited states of a long- or heavy-chain, forked molecule are proposed. A minimum number of adjustable parameters were used including ground and excited state A and B rotational constants, an excited state centrifugal distortion constant, and three different rotational excitation temperatures. Points in favor and against the hypothesis are discussed.

[14]  arXiv:1612.00063 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A lower bound on adiabatic heating of compressed turbulence for simulation and model validation
Comments: 6 pages
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Fluid Dynamics (physics.flu-dyn)

The energy in turbulent flow can be amplified by compression, when the compression occurs on a timescale shorter than the turbulent dissipation time. This mechanism may play a part in sustaining turbulence in various astrophysical systems, including molecular clouds. The amount of turbulent amplification depends on the net effect of the compressive forcing and turbulent dissipation. By giving an argument for a bound on this dissipation, we give a lower bound for the scaling of the turbulent velocity with compression ratio in compressed turbulence. That is, turbulence undergoing compression will be enhanced at least as much as the bound given here, subject to a set of caveats that will be outlined. Used as a validation check, this lower bound suggests that some simulations and models of compressing astrophysical turbulence are too dissipative. The technique used highlights the relationship between compressed turbulence and decaying turbulence.

[15]  arXiv:1612.00065 [pdf, other]
Title: The Initial Mass Function in the Nearest Strong Lenses from SNELLS: Assessing the Consistency of Lensing, Dynamical, and Spectroscopic Constraints
Authors: Andrew B. Newman (Carnegie), Russell J. Smith (Durham), Charlie Conroy (Harvard), Alexa Villaume (UCSC), Pieter van Dokkum (Yale)
Comments: Submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present new observations of the three nearest early-type galaxy (ETG) strong lenses discovered in the SINFONI Nearby Elliptical Lens Locator Survey (SNELLS). Based on their lensing masses, they were inferred to have a stellar initial mass function (IMF) consistent with that of the Milky Way, not the bottom-heavy IMF that has been reported as typical for high-$\sigma$ ETGs based on lensing, dynamical, and stellar population synthesis techniques. We use these unique systems to test the consistency of IMF estimates derived from different methods. We first estimate the stellar $M_*/L$ using lensing and stellar dynamics. We then fit high-quality optical spectra of the lenses using an updated version of the stellar population synthesis models developed by Conroy & van Dokkum. When examined individually, we find find good agreement among these methods for one galaxy. The other two galaxies show 2-5$\sigma$ tension, depending on the dark matter contribution, when considering IMFs with a fixed low-mass cut-off of 0.08 Msol. Allowing a variable cut-off mass reduces the tension to 1-3$\sigma$ and can reach consistency with the lensing/dynamical $M_*/L$ if dark matter is assumed to be negligible. Compared to published scaling relations, the SNELLS lenses are distinctly offset to lower total $M/L$ and lighter IMFs than the mean matched-$\sigma$ ETG, as estimated from lensing and dynamics. However, their mean spectrum is virtually indistinguishable--at the 0.3% level--from the mean spectrum of matched-$\sigma$ ETGs drawn from the SDSS, and the derived IMF and abundance pattern are likewise consistent. This indicates a puzzling divergence between the masses and stellar population properties of the SNELLS sample. We discuss some possible resolutions.

[16]  arXiv:1612.00067 [pdf, other]
Title: Measuring alignments between galaxies and the cosmic web at $z \sim 2-3$ using IGM tomography
Comments: 15 pages, 6 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Many galaxy formation models predict alignments between galaxy spin and the cosmic web (i.e. the directions of filaments and sheets), leading to intrinsic alignment between galaxies that creates a systematic error in weak lensing measurements. These effects are often predicted to be stronger at high-redshifts ($z\gtrsim1$) that are inaccessible to massive galaxy surveys on foreseeable instrumentation, but IGM tomography of the Ly$\alpha$ forest from closely-spaced quasars and galaxies is starting to measure the $z\sim2-3$ cosmic web with the requisite fidelity. Using mock surveys from hydrodynamical simulations, we examine the utility of this technique, in conjunction with coeval galaxy samples, to measure alignment between galaxies and the cosmic web at $z\sim2.5$. We show that IGM tomography surveys with $\lesssim5$ $h^{-1}$ Mpc sightline spacing can accurately recover the eigenvectors of the tidal tensor, which we use to define the directions of the cosmic web. For galaxy spins and shapes, we use a model parametrized by the alignment strength, $\Delta\langle\cos\theta\rangle$, with respect to the tidal tensor eigenvectors from the underlying density field, and also consider observational effects such as errors in the galaxy position angle, inclination, and redshift. Measurements using the upcoming $\sim1\,\mathrm{deg}^2$ CLAMATO tomographic survey and 600 coeval zCOSMOS-Deep galaxies should place $3\sigma$ limits on extreme alignment models with $\Delta\langle\cos\theta\rangle\sim0.1$, but much larger surveys encompassing $>10,000$ galaxies, such as Subaru PFS, will be required to constrain models with $\Delta\langle\cos\theta\rangle\sim0.03$. These measurements will constrain models of galaxy-cosmic web alignment and test tidal torque theory at $z\sim2$, improving our understanding of the redshift dependence of galaxy-cosmic web alignment and the physics of intrinsic alignments.

[17]  arXiv:1612.00070 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Rotation Periods of Wide Binaries in the Kepler Field
Authors: K.A. Janes
Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

In a search of proper motion catalogs for common proper motion stars in the field of the Kepler spacecraft I identified 93 likely binary systems. A comparison of their rotation periods is a test of the gyrochronology concept. To find their periods I calculated the autocorrelation function of the Kepler mission photometry for each star. In most systems for which good periods can be found, the cooler star has a longer period than the hotter component in general agreement with models. However, there is a wide range in the gradients of lines connecting binary pairs in a period-color diagram. Furthermore, near the solar color, only a few stars have longer periods than the Sun, suggesting that they, and their cooler companions are not much older than the Sun. In addition, there is an apparent gap at intermediate periods in the period distribution of the late K and early M stars. Either star formation in this direction has been variable, or stars evolve in period at a non-uniform rate, or some stars evolve more rapidly than others at the same mass. Finally, using the autocorrelation function as a measure of the activity level, I found that while the F, G and early K stars become less active as their periods increase, there is no correlation between period and activity for the mid K to early M stars.

[18]  arXiv:1612.00091 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A homogeneous distance catalogue for Galactic RV Tauri objects
Comments: 2 pages, 1 figure, to appear in the Proceedings of IAU Symposium 323 (Planetary Nebulae: Multi-Wavelength Probes of Stellar and Galactic Evolution), eds. Xiaowei Liu, Letizia Stanghellini, and Amanda Karakas
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

A subset of Post-AGB (PAGB) objects are the highly luminous RV Tauri variables that show similarities to Type-II Cepheids. By using a sample of known RV Tauri stars from the Magellanic Clouds we are able to determine period luminosity relationships (PLRs) in various bands that have been used to determine the luminosities of their Galactic counterparts. We have gathered all available photometry in order to generate an SED for each object and determine the total integrated flux. This total flux combined with a calculated or inferred intrinsic luminosity leads to a distance (Vickers et al. 2015). This distance catalogue has allowed us to begin to constrain the physical parameters of this poorly understood evolutionary phase and to determine links between these physical characteristics as a function of their stellar population.

[19]  arXiv:1612.00107 [pdf, other]
Title: The Proper Motions of the Double Radio Source n in the Orion BN/KL Region
Comments: 18 pages, 7 figures, to appear in The Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We have extended the time baseline for observations of the proper motions of radio sources in the Orion BN/KL region from 14.7 to 22.5 years. We present improved determinations for the sources BN and I. In addition, we address the proper motions of the double radio source n, that have been questioned in the literature. We confirm that all three sources are moving away at transverse velocities of tens of km s$^{-1}$ from a region in-between them, where they were located about 500 years ago. Source n exhibits a new component that we interpret as due to a one-sided ejection of free-free emitting plasma that took place after 2006.36. We used the highly accurate relative proper motions between sources BN and I to determine that their closest separation took place in the year 1475$\pm$6, when they were within $\sim$100 AU or less from each other in the plane of the sky.

[20]  arXiv:1612.00113 [pdf]
Title: Physical Characterization of ~2-meter Diameter Near-Earth Asteroid 2015 TC25: A possible boulder from E-type Asteroid (44) Nysa
Journal-ref: The Astronomical Journal, 2016, Volume 152, Number 6
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Geophysics (physics.geo-ph); Space Physics (

Small near-Earth asteroids (>20 meters) are interesting because they are progenitors for meteorites in our terrestrial collection. Crucial to our understanding of the effectiveness of our atmosphere in filtering low-strength impactors is the physical characteristics of these small near-Earth asteroids (NEAs). In the past, characterization of small NEAs has been a challenge because of the difficulty in detecting them prior to close Earth flyby. In this study we physically characterized the 2-meter diameter near-Earth asteroid 2015 TC25 using ground-based optical, near-infrared and radar assets during a close flyby of the Earth (distance 69,000 miles) in Oct. 2015. Our observations suggest that its surface composition is similar to aubrites, a rare class of high albedo differentiated meteorites. Aubrites make up only 0.14 % of all know meteorites in our terrestrial meteorite collection. 2015 TC25 is also a very fast rotator with a rotation period of 133 seconds. We compared spectral and dynamical properties of 2015 TC25 and found the best candidate source body in the inner main belt to be the 70-km diameter E-type asteroid (44) Nysa. We attribute difference in spectral slope between the two objects to the lack of regolith on the surface of 2015 TC25. Using the albedo of E-type asteroids (50-60%) we refine the diameter of 2015 TC25 to 2-meters making it one of the smallest NEA ever to be characterized.

[21]  arXiv:1612.00116 [pdf, other]
Title: A novel method for transient detection in high-cadence optical surveys: Its application for a systematic search for novae in M31
Comments: 16 pages, 8 figures, accepted to A&A
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

[abridged] In large-scale time-domain surveys, the processing of data, from procurement up to the detection of sources, is generally automated. One of the main challenges is contamination by artifacts, especially in regions of strong unresolved emission. We present a novel method for identifying candidates for variables and transients from the outputs of such surveys' data pipelines. We use the method to systematically search for novae in iPTF observations of the bulge of M31. We demonstrate that most artifacts produced by the iPTF pipeline form a locally uniform background of false detections approximately obeying Poissonian statistics, whereas genuine variables and transients as well as artifacts associated with bright stars result in clusters of detections, whose spread is determined by the source localization accuracy. This makes the problem analogous to source detection on images produced by X-ray telescopes, enabling one to utilize tools developed in X-ray astronomy. In particular, we use a wavelet-based source detection algorithm from the Chandra data analysis package CIAO. Starting from ~2.5x10^5 raw detections made by the iPTF data pipeline, we obtain ~4000 unique source candidates. Cross-matching these candidates with the source-catalog of a deep reference image, we find counterparts for ~90% of them. These are either artifacts due to imperfect PSF matching or genuine variable sources. The remaining ~400 detections are transient sources. We identify novae among these candidates by applying selection cuts based on the expected properties of nova lightcurves. Thus, we recovered all 12 known novae registered during the time span of the survey and discovered three nova candidates. Our method is generic and can be applied for mining any target out of the artifacts in optical time-domain data. As it is fully automated, its incompleteness can be accurately computed and corrected for.

[22]  arXiv:1612.00117 [pdf, other]
Title: A universal angular momentum profile for dark matter haloes
Comments: 10 pages, 7 figures, submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The angular momentum distribution in dark matter haloes and galaxies is a key ingredient in understanding their formation. Especially, the internal distribution of angular momenta is closely related to the formation of disk galaxies. In this article, we use haloes identified from a high-resolution simulation, the Bolshoi simulation, to study the spatial distribution of specific angular momenta, $j(r,\theta)$. We show that by stacking haloes with similar masses to increase the signal-to-noise ratio, the profile can be fitted as a simple function, $j(r,\theta)=j_s \sin^2(\theta/\theta_s) (r/r_s)^2/(1+r/r_s)^4 $, with three free parameters, $j_s, r_s$, and $\theta_s$. Specifically, $j_s$ correlates with the halo mass $M_\mathrm{vir}$ as $j_s\propto M_\mathrm{vir}^{2/3}$, $r_s$ has a weak dependence on the halo mass as $r_s \propto M_\mathrm{vir}^{0.040}$, and $\theta_s$ is independent of $M_\mathrm{vir}$. This profile agrees with that from a rigid shell model, though its origin is unclear. Our universal specific angular momentum profile $j(r,\theta)$ is useful in modelling haloes' angular momenta. Furthermore, by using an empirical stellar mass - halo mass relation, we can infer the averaged angular momentum distribution of a dark matter halo. This is supported by the agreement between the maximum specific angular momentum predicted by our profile and those from observational data of disk galaxies.

[23]  arXiv:1612.00158 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: X-ray/GeV emissions from Crab-like pulsars in LMC
Authors: J. Takata (1), K.S. Cheng (2) ((1) Huazhong University of Science and Technology, (2) The University of Hong Kong)
Comments: 23 pages, 7 figures, ApJ in press
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We discuss X-ray and gamma-ray emissions from Crab-like pulsars, PSRs~J0537-6910 and~J0540-6919, in Large Magellanic Cloud. Fermi-LAT observations have resolved the gamma-ray emissions from these two pulsars and found the pulsed emissions from PSR~J0540-6919. The total pulsed radiation in the X-ray/gamma-ray energy bands of PSR~J0540-6919 is observed with the efficiency $\eta_{J0540}\sim 0.06$ (in 4$\pi$ sr), which is about a factor of ten larger than $\eta_{Crab}\sim 0.006$ of the Crab pulsar. Although PSR~J0537-6910 has the highest spin-down power among currently known pulsars, the efficiency of the observed X-ray emissions is about two orders of magnitude smaller than that of PSR~J0540-6919. This paper mainly discusses what causes the difference in the radiation efficiencies of these three energetic Crab-like pulsars. We discuss electron/positron acceleration and high-energy emission processes within the outer gap model. By solving the outer gap structure with the dipole magnetic field, we show that the radiation efficiency decreases as the inclination angle between the magnetic axis and the rotation axis increases. To explain the difference in the pulse profile and in the radiation efficiency, our model suggests that PSR~J0540-6919 has an inclination angle much smaller than the that of Crab pulsar (here we assume the inclination angles of both pulsars are $\alpha<90^{\circ}$). On the other hand, we speculate that the difference in the radiation efficiencies between PSRs~J0537-6910 and J0549-6919 is mainly caused by the difference in the Earth viewing angle, and that we see PSR~J0537-6910 with an Earth viewing angle $\zeta>>90^{\circ}$ (or $<<90^{\circ}$) measured from the spin axis, while we see PSR~J0540-6919 with $\zeta\sim 90^{\circ}$.

[24]  arXiv:1612.00167 [pdf, other]
Title: Exploiting the HASH Planetary Nebula Research Platform
Comments: 4 pages 3 figures to appear in Planetary Nebulae: Multi-Wavelength Probes of Stellar and Galactic Evolution Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 323, 2017
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

The HASH (Hong Kong/ AAO/ Strasbourg/ H{\alpha}) planetary nebula research platform is a unique data repository with a graphical interface and SQL capability that offers the community powerful, new ways to undertake Galactic PN studies. HASH currently contains multi-wavelength images, spectra, positions, sizes, morphologies and other data whenever available for 2401 true, 447 likely, and 692 possible Galactic PNe, for a total of 3540 objects. An additional 620 Galactic post-AGB stars, pre-PNe, and PPN candidates are included. All objects were classified and evaluated following the precepts and procedures established and developed by our group over the last 15 years. The complete database contains over 6,700 Galactic objects including the many mimics and related phenomena previously mistaken or confused with PNe. Curation and updating currently occurs on a weekly basis to keep the repository as up to date as possible until the official release of HASH v1 planned in the near future.

[25]  arXiv:1612.00169 [pdf, other]
Title: Hunting Dark Matter in ultra-compact structures: from large scales to the solar system
Comments: 30 Pages, 22 figures, submitted to JCAP
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Ultra-Compact Micro Halos (UCMHs) are objects formed in the early universe that persist due to their large central density inuring them to the worst effects of later tidal stripping. Such objects are probes of many details of early universe physics, such as primordial phase-transitions, inflation, and non-Gaussianity of the primordial density perturbation field. The fact that they are also highly dark matter-dominated objects means that they are attractive objects of study in the continuing hunt for the nature of Dark Matter (DM). The local environment of our Milky-Way offers interesting perspectives for their possible detection with future radio and $\gamma$-ray telescopes. Their detection, or lack thereof, providing constraints on both cosmology and large-scale structure physics. Another reason to study such objects in the local environment of the solar system is found in the conjecture that encounters with UCMHs could induce catastrophic events on planets within our solar system, e.g. mass-extinction events on Earth. All these arguments provide compelling reasons to determine what fraction of WIMP DM could be contained in these structures, and what the consequences of its annihilation might be. In this work we studied the inter-relation of the WIMP annihilation cross-section and the maximum fraction of DM found in UCMHs using the multi-frequency consequences of DM annihilation within these objects, as well as constraints that can be further derived upon the primordial power spectrum of perturbations. Finally, we revisit the hypothesis of "volcanogenic" DM inducing mass extinction events on Earth. In so doing we cast doubts on this hypothesis but suggest that it could instead be motivated as a driver of Martian mantle de-gassing that eventually shuts down the geodynamo within the red planet.

[26]  arXiv:1612.00174 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Double-Cell Type Solar Meridional Circulation Based on Mean-Field Hydrodynamic Model
Comments: 16 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

The main object of the paper is to present the condition of the non-diffusive part of the Reynolds stress for driving the double-cell structure of the solar meridional circulation, which has been revealed by recent helioseismic observations. By conducting a set of mean-field hydrodynamic simulations, we confirm for the first time that the double-cell meridional circulation can be achieved along with the solar-like differential rotation when the Reynolds stress transports the angular momentum upward in the lower part and downward in the upper part of the convection zone. It is concluded that, in a stationary state, the accumulated angular momentum via the Reynolds stress in the middle layer is advected to both the upper and lower parts of the convection zone by each of the two meridional circulation cells, respectively.

[27]  arXiv:1612.00180 [pdf, other]
Title: Polarization and long-term variability of Sgr A* X-ray echo
Comments: 17 pages, 10 figures, submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We use a model of the molecular gas distribution within ~100 pc from the center of the Milky Way (Kruijssen, Dale & Longmore) to simulate time evolution and polarization properties of the reflected X-ray emission, associated with the past outbursts from Sgr A*. While this model is too simple to describe the complexity of the true gas distribution, it illustrates the importance and power of long-term observations of the reflected emission. We show that the variable part of X-ray emission observed by Chandra and XMM from prominent molecular clouds is well described by a pure reflection model, providing strong support of the reflection scenario. While the identification of Sgr A* as a primary source for this reflected emission is already a very appealing hypothesis, a decisive test of this model can be provided by future X-ray polarimetric observations, that will allow placing constraints on the location of the primary source. In addition, X-ray polarimeters (like, e.g., XIPE) have sufficient sensitivity to constrain the line-of-sight positions of molecular complexes, removing major uncertainty in the model.

[28]  arXiv:1612.00183 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The power of teaming up HST and Gaia: the first proper motion measurement of the distant cluster NGC 2419
Comments: 4 pages, 4 figures, submitted to A&A Letters
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Aims: We present the first measurement of the proper motion and orbit of the very distant and intriguing globular cluster NCG 2419. Methods: We have combined data from HST and Gaia DR1 to derive the relative proper motions of stars in the direction to the cluster. To tie to an absolute reference frame we have used a background galaxy located in the field. Results: We find the absolute proper motion of NGC 2419 to be $(\mu_{\alpha}\cos(\delta)$, $\mu_{\delta}$)=($-0.17\pm0.26,-0.49\pm0.17$) mas/yr. We have integrated the orbit of the cluster in a Galactic potential and found it to oscillate between $\sim$53 kpc and $\sim$98 kpc on a nearly polar orbit. This makes it very likely that NGC 2419 is a former cluster of the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxy, also because it shares the same sense of rotation around the Milky Way.

[29]  arXiv:1612.00202 [pdf, other]
Title: Measuring Diffuse Interstellar Bands with cool stars. An improved line list to model the background stellar spectra
Authors: A. Monreal-Ibero (1), R. Lallement (1) (GEPI, Observatoire de Paris)
Comments: 10 pages, 6 figures, accepted by A&A
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

DIBs are ubiquitous in stellar spectra. Traditionally, they have been studied through their extraction from hot stars, because of their smooth continuum. In an era where there are several going-on or planned massive Galactic surveys using multi-object spectrographs, cool stars constitute an appealing set of targets. From the technical point of view, the extraction of DIBs in their spectra is more challenging due to the complexity of the continuum. In this contribution we will provide the community with an improved set of stellar lines in the spectral regions associated to the strong DIBs at l6196, l6269, l6284, and l6379. These lines will allow for the creation of better stellar synthetic spectra, reproducing the background emission and a more accurate extraction of the magnitudes associated with a given DIB. The Sun and Arcturus were used as representative examples of dwarf and giant stars, respectively. A high quality spectrum for each of them was modeled using TURBOSPECTRUM and the VALD stellar line list. The oscillator strength log(gf) and/or wavelength of specific lines were modified to create synthetic spectra where the residuals in both the Sun and Arcturus were minimized. The synthetic spectra based on the improved line lists reproduce the observed spectra for the Sun and Arcturus in the mentioned spectral ranges with greater accuracy. Residuals between the synthetic and observed spectra are always <10%, much better than with previously existing options. The new line list has been tested with some characteristic spectra, from a variety of stars, including both giant and dwarf stars, and under different degrees of extinction. As it happened with the Sun and Arcturus residuals in the fits used to extract the DIB information are smaller when using synthetic spectra made with the updated line lists. Tables with the updated parameters are provided to the community.

[30]  arXiv:1612.00217 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Orbital periods and component masses of three double white dwarfs
Comments: Accepted for publication by MNRAS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

The merger of close double white dwarfs (CDWDs) is one of the favourite evolutionary channels for producing Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia). Unfortunately, current theories of the evolution and formation of CDWDs are still poorly constrained and have several serious uncertainties, which affect the predicted SN Ia rates. Moreover, current observational constraints on this evolutionary pathway for SN Ia mainly rely on only 18 double-lined and/or eclipsing CDWDs with measured orbital and stellar parameters for both white dwarfs. In this paper we present the orbital periods and the individual masses of three new double-lined CDWDs, derived using a new method. This method employs mass ratios, the Halpha core ratios and spectral model-fitting to constrain the masses of the components of the pair. The three CDWDs are WD0028-474 (Porb=9.350 +- 0.007 hours, M1=0.60 +- 0.06 Msun, M2=0.45 +- 0.04 Msun), HE0410-1137 (Porb = 12.208 +- 0.008 hours, M1= 0.51 +- 0.04 Msun, M2= 0.39 +- 0.03 Msun) and SDSSJ031813.25-010711.7 (Porb = 45.908 +- 0.006 hours, among the longest period systems, M1= 0.40 +- 0.05 Msun, M2= 0.49 +- 0.05 Msun). While the three systems studied here will merge in timescales longer than the Hubble time and are expected to become single massive (>~0.9 Msun) white dwarfs rather than exploding as SN Ia, increasing the small sample of CDWDs with determined stellar parameters is crucial for a better overall understanding of their evolution.

[31]  arXiv:1612.00218 [pdf, other]
Title: Highly dynamically evolved intermediate-age open clusters
Comments: 18 pages, 11 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present a comprehensive UBVRI and Washington CT1T2 photometric analysis of seven catalogued open clusters, namely: Ruprecht 3, 9, 37, 74, 150, ESO 324-15 and 436-2. The multi-band photometric data sets in combination with 2MASS photometry and Gaia astrometry for the brighter stars were used to estimate their structural parameters and fundamental astrophysical properties. We found that Ruprecht 3 and ESO 436-2 do not show self-consistent evidence of being physical systems. The remained studied objects are open clusters of intermediate-age (9.0 < log(t yr-1) < 9.6), of relatively small size (r_cls ~ 0.4 - 1.3 pc) and placed between 0.6 and 2.9 kpc from the Sun. We analized the relationships between core, half-mass, tidal and Jacoby radii as well as half-mass relaxation times to conclude that the studied clusters are in an evolved dynamical stage. The cluster masses obtained by summing those of the observed cluster stars resulted to be ~ 10-15 per cent of the masses of open clusters of similar age located closer than 2 kpc from the Sun. We found that cluster stars occupy volumes as large as those for tidally filled clusters.

[32]  arXiv:1612.00225 [pdf, other]
Title: Non-thermal emission and dynamical state of massive galaxy clusters from CLASH sample
Comments: 6 pages, Soci\'et\'e Fran\c{c}aise d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique meeting, Lyon-France, 2016
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Massive galaxy clusters are the most violent large scale structures undergoing merger events in the Universe. Based upon their morphological properties in X-rays, they are classified as un-relaxed and relaxed clusters and often host (a fraction of them) different types of non-thermal radio emitting components, viz., haloes, mini-haloes, relics and phoenix within their Intra Cluster Medium (ICM). The radio haloes show steep (alpha = -1.2) and ultra steep (alpha < -1.5) spectral properties at low radio frequencies, giving important insights on the merger (pre or post) state of the cluster. Ultra steep spectrum radio halo emissions are rare and expected to be the dominating population to be discovered via LOFAR and SKA in the future. Further, the distribution of matter (morphological information), alignment of hot X-ray emitting gas from the ICM with the total mass (dark + baryonic matter) and the bright cluster galaxy (BCG) is generally used to study the dynamical state of the cluster. We present here a multi wavelength study on 14 massive clusters from the CLASH survey and show the correlation between the state of their merger in X-ray and spectral properties (1.4 GHz - 150 MHz) at radio wavelengths. Using the optical data we also discuss about the gas-mass alignment, in order to understand the interplay between dark and baryonic matter in massive galaxy clusters.

[33]  arXiv:1612.00228 [pdf, other]
Title: ACCESS I: An Optical Transmission Spectrum of GJ 1214b Reveals a Heterogeneous Stellar Photosphere
Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

GJ 1214b is the most studied sub-Neptune exoplanet to date. Recent measurements have shown its near-infrared transmission spectrum to be flat, pointing to a high-altitude opacity source in the exoplanet's atmosphere, either equilibrium condensate clouds or photochemical hazes. Many photometric observations have been reported in the optical by different groups, though simultaneous measurements spanning the entire optical regime are lacking. We present an optical transmission spectrum ($4,500-9,260$\AA) of GJ 1214b in 14 bins measured with Magellan/IMACS repeatedly over three transits. We measure a mean planet-to-star radius ratio of ${R_{p}/R_{s} = 0.1146\pm{2\times10^{-4}}}$ and mean uncertainty of $\sigma(R_{p}/R_{s})=8.7\times10^{-4}$ in the spectral bins. The optical transit depths are shallower on average than observed in the near-infrared. We present a model for jointly incorporating the effects of a composite photosphere and atmospheric transmission (CPAT) through the exoplanet's limb, and use it to examine the cases of absorber and temperature heterogeneities in the stellar photosphere. We find the optical and near-infrared measurements are best explained by the combination of (1) photochemical haze in the exoplanetary atmosphere with a mode particle size $r=0.1~\mu$m and haze-forming efficiency $f_{haze}=10 \%$ and (2) faculae in the unocculted stellar disk with a temperature contrast $\Delta T=354^{+46}_{-46}$ K, assuming 3.2% surface coverage. The CPAT model can be used to assess potential contributions of heterogeneous stellar photospheres to observations of exoplanet transmission spectra, which will be important for searches for spectral features in the optical.

[34]  arXiv:1612.00231 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: On the spectral curvature of VHE blazar 1ES\,1011+496: Effect of spatial particle diffusion
Comments: 29 pages, 8 figures; Accepted in ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

A detailed multi-epoch study of the broadband spectral behaviour of the very high energy (VHE) source, 1ES\,1011+496, provides us with valuable information regarding the underlying particle distribution. Simultaneous observations of the source at optical/ UV/ X-ray/ $\gamma$-ray during three different epochs, as obtained from Swift-UVOT/ Swift-XRT/ Fermi-LAT, are supplemented with the information available from the VHE telescope array, HAGAR. The longterm flux variability at the Fermi-LAT energies is clearly found to be lognormal. It is seen that the broadband spectral energy distribution (SED) of 1ES\,1011+496 can be successfully reproduced by synchrotron and synchrotron self Compton emission models. Notably, the observed curvature in the photon spectrum at X-ray energies demands a smooth transition of the underlying particle distribution from a simple power law to a power law with an exponential cutoff or a smooth broken power law distribution, which may possibly arise when the escape of the particles from the main emission region is energy dependent. Specifically, if the particle escape rate is related to its energy as $E^{0.5}$ then the observed photon spectrum is consistent with the ones observed during the various epochs.

[35]  arXiv:1612.00244 [pdf, other]
Title: The Precise and Powerful Chaos of the 5:2 Mean Motion Resonance with Jupiter
Authors: Natasa Todorovic
Comments: 9 pages, 7 figures, published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

This work reexamines the dynamics of the 5:2 mean motion resonance with Jupiter located in the Outer Belt at $a\sim 2.82$ AU. First, we compute dynamical maps revealing the precise structure of chaos inside the resonance. Being interested to verify the chaotic structures as sources of natural transportation routes, we additionally integrate 1000 massless particles initially placed along them and follow their orbital histories up to 5 Myr. As many as 99.5\% of our test particles became Near-Earth Objects, 23.4\% migrated to semi-major axis below 1 AU and more than 57\% entered the Hill sphere of Earth. We have also observed a borderline defined by the $q \simeq 2.6$ AU perihelion distance along which particles escape from the Solar System.

[36]  arXiv:1612.00245 [pdf, other]
Title: Dust in clusters: separating the contribution of galaxies and intracluster media
Comments: accepted to be published in ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We have analized a sample of 327 clusters of galaxies spanning the range 0.06-0.70 in redshift. Strong constraints on their mean intracluster emission by dust have been obtained using maps and catalogs from the HERSCHEL HerMES project; within a radius of 5 arcmin centered in each cluster, the 95% C.L. limits obtained are 86.6, 48.2 and 30.9 mJy at the observed frequencies of 250, 350 and 500 $\mu$m. From these restrictions, and assuming physical parameters typical of interstellar media in the Milky Way, we have obtained tight upper limits on the visual extinction of background galaxies due to the intracluster media: $A_V$(95% C.L.) <~$10^{-3}$ mags. Strong constraints are also obtained for the mass of such dust; for instance using the data at 350 $\mu$m we establish a 95% upper limit of $<10^9M_\odot$ within a circle with a radius of 5 arcmin centered in the clusters. This corresponds to a fraction of the total mass of the clusters of $9.5\times 10^{-6}$, and indicates a deficiency in the gas-to-dust ratio in the intracluster media by about three orders of magnitude as regards the value found in the Milky Way. Computing the total infrared luminosity of the clusters in three ranges of redshift (0.05-0.24, 0.24-0.42 and 0.42-0.71) and two ranges of mass ($<10^{14}$ and $>10^{14}M_\odot$) respectively, a strong evolution of luminosity in redshift ($L\sim z^{1.5}$) for both ranges of masses is found. The results indicate a strong declining in star formation rate with time in the last $\sim 6$ Gyr.

[37]  arXiv:1612.00253 [pdf, other]
Title: Stellar dynamo models with prominent surface toroidal fields
Authors: Alfio Bonanno (INAF, Catania Astrophysical Observatory)
Comments: 5 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in ApJL
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Recent spectro-polarimetric observations of solar-type stars have shown the presence of photospheric magnetic fields with a predominant toroidal component. If the external field is assumed to be current-free it is impossible to explain these observations within the framework of standard mean-field dynamo theory. In this work it will be shown that if the coronal field of these stars is assumed to be harmonic, the underlying stellar dynamo mechanism can support photospheric magnetic fields with a prominent toroidal component even in the presence of axisymmetric magnetic topologies. In particular it is argued that the observed increase in the toroidal energy in low mass fast rotating stars can be naturally explained with an underlying $\alpha\Omega$ mechanism.

[38]  arXiv:1612.00258 [pdf, other]
Title: The TeV supernova remnant shell HESS J1731-347 and its surroundings
Comments: 4 pages, 4 figures. Contribution to the 6th International Symposium on High Energy Gamma-Ray Astronomy (Gamma2016), July 11-15, 2016, Heidelberg, Germany. To be published in the AIP Conference Proceedings
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

HESS J1731-347 is a shell-type supernova remnant emitting both TeV gamma rays and non-thermal X-ray photons, spatially coincident with the radio SNR G353.6-0.7. Hadronic and leptonic scenarios (or a blend of both) are discussed in the literature to explain the TeV emission from the object. In 2011, a $\gamma$-ray excess was also found in the neighborhood of the source (HESS J1729-345). Here we present results of an updated analysis obtained with the meanwhile available additional H.E.S.S. data. Beyond HESS J1731-347, the analysis reveals the morphology of the emission of the adjacent TeV source HESS J1729-345 and the emission in between the two sources in greater detail. The results permit us to correlate the TeV emission outside of the SNR with molecular gas tracers, and to confront the data with scenarios in which the TeV emission outside the SNR is produced by escaping cosmic rays.

[39]  arXiv:1612.00261 [pdf, other]
Title: Discovery of new TeV supernova remnant shells in the Galactic plane with H.E.S.S
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Supernova remnants (SNRs) are prime candidates for efficient particle acceleration up to the knee in the cosmic ray particle spectrum. In this work we present a new method for a systematic search for new TeV-emitting SNR shells in 2864 hours of H.E.S.S. phase I data used for the H.E.S.S. Galactic Plane Survey. This new method, which correctly identifies the known shell morphologies of the TeV SNRs covered by the survey, HESS J1731-347, RX 1713.7-3946, RCW 86, and Vela Junior, reveals also the existence of three new SNR candidates. All three candidates were extensively studied regarding their morphological, spectral, and multi-wavelength (MWL) properties. HESS J1534-571 was associated with the radio SNR candidate G323.7-1.0, and thus is classified as an SNR. HESS J1912+101 and HESS J1614-518, on the other hand, do not have radio or X-ray counterparts that would permit to identify them firmly as SNRs, and therefore they remain SNR candidates, discovered first at TeV energies as such. Further MWL follow up observations are needed to confirm that these newly discovered SNR candidates are indeed SNRs.

[40]  arXiv:1612.00273 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: On the dearth of ultra-faint extremely metal poor galaxies
Authors: J. Sanchez Almeida (1 and 2), M. E. Filho (1, 2, and 3), C. Dalla Vecchia (1 and 2), E. D. Skillman (4) ((1) Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain, (2) Departamento de Astrofisica, Universidad de La Laguna, (3) SIM/FEUP, Porto, Portugal, (4) Minnesota Institute for Astrophysics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA.)
Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Local extremely metal-poor (XMP) galaxies are of particular astrophysical interest since they allow us to look into physical processes characteristic of the early Universe, from the assembly of galaxy disks to the formation of stars in conditions of low metallicity. Given the luminosity-metallicity relationship, all galaxies fainter than Mr < -13 are expected to be XMPs. Therefore, XMPs should be common in galaxy surveys. However, they are not, because several observational biases hamper their detection. This work compares the number of faint XMPs in the SDSS-DR7 spectroscopic survey with the expected number, given the known biases and the observed galaxy luminosity function. The faint end of the luminosity function is poorly constrained observationally, but it determines the expected number of XMPs. Surprisingly, the number of observed faint XMPs (around 10) is over-predicted by our calculation, unless the upturn in the faint end of the luminosity function is not present in the model. The lack of an upturn can be naturally understood if most XMPs are central galaxies in their low-mass dark matter halos, which are highly depleted in baryons due to interaction with the cosmic ultraviolet background and to other physical processes. Our result also suggests that the upturn towards low luminosity of the observed galaxy luminosity function is due to satellite galaxies.

[41]  arXiv:1612.00275 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Hungaria region as possible source of Trojans and satellites in the inner solar-system
Journal-ref: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 445, 3999, 2014
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The Hungaria Family (the closest region of the Main Belt to Mars) is an important source of Planet-Crossing-Asteroids and even impactors of terrestrial planets. We present the possibility that asteroids coming from the Hungaria Family get captured into co-orbital motion with the terrestrial planets in the inner solar system. Therefore we carried out long term numerical integrations (up to 100 Myr) to analyze the migrations from their original location - the Hungaria family region- into the inner solar system. During the integration time we observed whether or not the Hungarias get captured into a co-orbital motion with the terrestrial planets. Our results show that 5.5% of 200 Hungarias, selected as a sample of the whole group, escape from the Hungaria region and the probability from that to become co-orbital objects (Trojans, satellites or horseshoes) turns out to be about 3.3%: 1.8% for Mars and 1.5% for the Earth. In addition, we distinguished in which classes of co-orbital motion the asteroids get captured and for how long they stay there in stable motion. Most of the escaped Hungarias become Quasi-satellites and the ones captured as Trojans favor the L_5 lagrangian point. This work highlights that the Hungaria region is a source of Mars and also Earth co-orbital objects.

[42]  arXiv:1612.00286 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Optical Spectra of Ultracool Dwarfs with the Southern African Large Telescope
Authors: C. Koen (UWC), B. Miszalski (SAAO/SALT), P. Väisänen (SAAO/SALT), T. Koen (SALT)
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. 33 pages, 12 figures, 6 tables
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

New spectra of 81 ultracool dwarfs (spectral types M7 and later) are discussed. Spectral classifications of 49 objects are available in the literature, while 32 objects are newly classified. The known spectral types were used to test an automated classification scheme, which relies primarily on template fitting, supplemented by matching of spectral indices calibrated against the template spectra. An attempt was made to quantify the uncertainty in the spectral types, which is generally better than two subclasses. Objects for which spectral types differ by more than one subclass from the literature classifications are discussed individually. Discrepancies between automated classifications based on respectively template fitting and spectral index matching, may be useful for flagging objects with unusual spectra. Aside from the 32 first-time classifications, alternative classifications are presented for 32 previously classified dwarfs. Very large (equivalent width greater than 130 \AA) H$\alpha$ flares are reported for the known ultracool dwarf binary 2MASS J15200224$-$4422419; curiously, the object does not appear to have quiescent emission lines. Non-zero equivalent width measurements are listed for a further 29 objects.

[43]  arXiv:1612.00292 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: SALT spectroscopy of evolved massive stars
Comments: 4 pages, 2 figures, in Stars: from collapse to collapse. Proceedings of the International Conference held in Nizhnij Arkhyz, Karachai-Cherkessian Republic, Special Astrophysical Observatory, October 3-7, 2016, ASP Conf. Ser. 2017 (in press)
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Long-slit spectroscopy with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) of central stars of mid-infrared nebulae detected with the Spitzer Space Telescope and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) led to the discovery of numerous candidate luminous blue variables (cLBVs) and other rare evolved massive stars. With the recent advent of the SALT fibre-fed high-resolution echelle spectrograph (HRS), a new perspective for the study of these interesting objects is appeared. Using the HRS we obtained spectra of a dozen newly identified massive stars. Some results on the recently identified cLBV Hen 3-729 are presented.

[44]  arXiv:1612.00299 [pdf, other]
Title: IVOA Data Access Layer: Goals, Achievements and Current Trends
Comments: in ADASS XXV, Oct 2015, Sydney, Australia. 25, ADASS conference series
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

The IVOA Data Access Layer (DAL) working group was created in 2002 to define protocols to homogenize data discovery, data description, data retrieval, and data access processes. We describe its history and status today, and look at current trends for future development of the DAL protocols.

[45]  arXiv:1612.00307 [pdf, other]
Title: A Joint Analysis for Cosmology and Photometric Redshift Calculation Using Cross Correlations
Comments: 12 Pages, 6 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We present a method of calibrating the properties of photometric redshift bins as part of a larger Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis for the inference of cosmological parameters. The redshift bins are characterised by their mean and variance, which are varied as free parameters and marginalised over when obtaining the cosmological parameters. We demonstrate that the likelihood function for cross-correlations in an angular power spectrum framework tightly constrains the properties of bins such that they may be well determined, reducing their influence on cosmological parameters and avoiding the bias from poorly estimated redshift distributions. We demonstrate that even with only three photometric and three spectroscopic bins, we can recover accurate estimates of the mean redshift of a bin to within $\Delta\mu \approx 3-4 \times10^{-3}$ and the width of the bin to $\Delta\sigma \approx 1\times10^{-3}$ for galaxies near $z = 1$. This indicates that we may be able to bring down the photometric redshift errors to a level which is in line with the requirements for the next generation of cosmological experiments.

[46]  arXiv:1612.00319 [pdf, other]
Title: Morphological properties of slender Ca II H fibrils observed by SUNRISE II
Comments: Accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We use seeing-free high spatial resolution Ca II H data obtained by the SUNRISE observatory to determine properties of slender fibrils in the lower solar chromosphere. In this work we use intensity images taken with the SUFI instrument in the Ca II H line during the second scientific flight of the SUNRISE observatory to identify and track elongated bright structures. After the identification, we analyze theses structures in order to extract their morphological properties. We identify 598 slender Ca II H fibrils (SCFs) with an average width of around 180 km, a length between 500 km and 4000 km, an average lifetime of ~400 s, and an average curvature of 0.002 arcsec^-1. The maximum lifetime of the SCFs within our time series of 57 minutes is ~2000 s. We discuss similarities and differences of the SCFs with other small-scale, chromospheric structures such as spicules of type I and II, or Ca II K fibrils.

[47]  arXiv:1612.00325 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A fast spinning magnetic white dwarf in the double-degenerate, super-Chandrasekhar system NLTT 12758
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present an analysis of the close double degenerate NLTT 12758, which is comprised of a magnetic white dwarf with a field of about 3.1 MG and an apparently non-magnetic white dwarf. We measured an orbital period of 1.154 days and found that the magnetic white dwarf is spinning around its axis with a period of 23 minutes. An analysis of the atmospheric parameters has revealed that the cooling ages of the two white dwarfs are comparable, suggesting that they formed within a short period of time from each other. Our modelling indicates that the non-magnetic white dwarf is more massive (M=0.83 M_sun) than its magnetic companion (M=0.69 M_sun) and that the total mass of the system is higher than the Chandrasekhar mass. Although the stars will not come into contact over a Hubble time, when they do come into contact, dynamically unstable mass transfer will take place leading to either an accretion induced collapse into a rapidly spinning neutron star or a Type Ia supernova.

[48]  arXiv:1612.00329 [pdf, other]
Title: Sensitivity of lunar particle-detection experiments
Authors: Justin D. Bray
Comments: To be published in the Proceedings of the ARENA2016 conference, Groningen, The Netherlands
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The use of the Moon as a detector volume for ultra-high-energy neutrinos and cosmic rays, by searching for the Askaryan radio pulse produced when they interact in the lunar regolith, has been attempted by a range of projects over the past two decades. In this contribution, I discuss some of the technical considerations relevant to these experiments, and their consequent sensitivity to ultra-high-energy particles. I also discuss some possible future experiments, and highlight their potential.

[49]  arXiv:1612.00333 [pdf, other]
Title: Discovery of a low-mass companion inside the debris ring surrounding the F5V star HD206893
Comments: 7 pages, 6 figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Uncovering the ingredients and the architecture of planetary systems is a very active field of research that has fuelled many new theories on giant planet formation, migration, composition, and interaction with the circumstellar environment. We aim at discovering and studying new such systems, to further expand our knowledge of how low-mass companions form and evolve. We obtained high-contrast H-band images of the circumstellar environment of the F5V star HD206893, known to host a debris disc never detected in scattered light. These observations are part of the SPHERE High Angular Resolution Debris Disc Survey (SHARDDS) using the InfraRed Dual-band Imager and Spectrograph (IRDIS) installed on VLT/SPHERE. We report the detection of a source with a contrast of 3.6x10^{-5} in the H-band, orbiting at a projected separation of 270 milliarcsecond or 10 au, corresponding to a mass in the range 24 to 73 Mjup for an age of the system in the range 0.2 to 2 Gyr. The detection was confirmed ten months later with VLT/NaCo, ruling out a background object with no proper motion. A faint extended emission compatible with the disc scattered light signal is also observed. The detection of a low-mass companion inside a massive debris disc makes this system an analog of other young planetary systems such as beta Pictoris, HR8799 or HD95086 and requires now further characterisation of both components to understand their interactions.

[50]  arXiv:1612.00340 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Statistical link between the structure of molecular clouds and their density distribution
Comments: 8 pages, 1 figure; accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We introduce the concept of a class of equivalence of molecular clouds represented by an abstract spherically symmetric, isotropic object. This object is described by use of abstract scales in respect to a given mass density distribution. Mass and average density are ascribed to each scale and thus are linked to the density distribution: a power-law type and an arbitrary continuous one. In the latter case, we derive a differential relationship between the mean density at a given scale and the structure parameter which defines the mass-density relationship. The two-dimensional (2D) projection of the cloud along the line of sight is also investigated. Scaling relations of mass and mean density are derived in the considered cases of power-law and arbitrary continuous distributions. We obtain relations between scaling exponents in the 2D and 3D cases. The proposed classes of equivalence are representative for the general structure of real clouds with various types of column-density distributions: power law, lognormal or combination of both.

[51]  arXiv:1612.00342 [pdf]
Title: Atmospheric Retrieval for Direct Imaging Spectroscopy of Gas Giants In Reflected Light II: Orbital Phase and Planetary Radius
Comments: Accepted to PASP
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Future space-based telescopes, such as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), will observe the reflected-light spectra of directly imaged extrasolar planets. Interpretation of such data presents a number of novel challenges, including accounting for unknown planet radius and uncertain stellar illumination phase angle. Here we report on our continued development of Markov Chain Monte Carlo retrieval methods for addressing these issues in the interpretation of such data. Specifically we explore how the unknown planet radius and potentially poorly known observer-planet-star phase angle impacts retrievals of parameters of interest such as atmospheric methane abundance, cloud properties and surface gravity. As expected, the uncertainty in retrieved values is a strong function of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the observed spectra, particularly for low metallicity atmospheres, which lack deep absorption signatures. Meaningful results may only be possible above certain SNR thresholds; for cases across a metallicity range of 1-50 times solar, we find that only an SNR of 20 systematically reproduces close to the correct methane abundance at all phase angles. However, even in cases where the phase angle is poorly known we find that the planet radius can be constrained to within a factor of two. We find that uncertainty in planet radius decreases at phase angles past quadrature, as the highly forward scattering nature of the atmosphere at these geometries limits the possible volume of phase space that relevant parameters can occupy. Finally, we present an estimation of possible improvement that can result from combining retrievals against observations at multiple phase angles.

[52]  arXiv:1612.00345 [pdf, other]
Title: Holographic Dark Energy
Comments: 95 pages, 20 figures. Review article for Physics Reports. Comments welcome
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th)

We review the paradigm of holographic dark energy (HDE), which arises from a theoretical attempt of applying the holographic principle (HP) to the dark energy (DE) problem. Making use of the HP and the dimensional analysis, we derive the general formula of the energy density of HDE. Then, we describe the properties of HDE model, in which the future event horizon is chosen as the characteristic length scale. We also introduce the theoretical explorations and the observational constraints for this model. Next, in the framework of HDE, we discuss various topics, such as spatial curvature, neutrino, instability of perturbation, time-varying gravitational constant, inflation, black hole and big rip singularity. In addition, from both the theoretical and the observational aspects, we introduce the interacting holographic dark energy scenario, where the interaction between dark matter and HDE is taken into account. Furthermore, we discuss the HDE scenario in various modified gravity (MG) theories, such as Brans-Dicke theory, braneworld theory, scalar-tensor theory, Horava-Lifshitz theory, and so on. Besides, we introduce the attempts of reconstructing various scalar-field DE and MG models from HDE. Moreover, we introduce other DE models inspired by the HP, in which different characteristic length scales are chosen. Finally, we make comparisons among various HP-inspired DE models, by using cosmological observations and diagnostic tools.

[53]  arXiv:1612.00364 [pdf, other]
Title: Evidence for a constant IMF as a function of radius in two massive ETGs
Comments: Submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We investigate radial gradients in the stellar initial mass function (IMF) in two early type galaxies using resolved measurements of several far red gravity sensitive absorption features, including the "Wing-Ford" band (FeH). We use the Oxford Short Wavelength Integral Field SpecTrogaph (SWIFT) to obtain resolved spectroscopic observations of NGC~1277 and IC~843, two galaxies with large central velocity dispersions and evidence for "heavy" IMFs from spectroscopic and dynamical measurements. Our observations cover the IMF sensitive features sodium \NaI, calcium triplet CaT as well as FeH, along with MgI 0.88 and TiO 0.89. We also use published optical indices to help untangle the degenerate parameters of age, metallicity, [$\alpha$/Fe] abundance and IMF slope. Within NGC~1277 we measure a flat FeH profile at $\sim$0.38\AA~with a strong [Na/Fe] gradient, from which we use stellar population models to infer an old, $\alpha$-enhanced population with a Chabrier IMF at all radii. IC~843 also displays a (slightly stronger) flat FeH profile at $\sim$0.4\AA, which together with optical indices suggests a similarly old, $\alpha$-enhanced population with a Chabrier IMF at all radii. Our results rule out bottom-heavy single power law IMFs in these objects and present galaxies which are in conflict with any simple IMF-$\sigma$ relationship.

[54]  arXiv:1612.00384 [pdf, other]
Title: A strongly truncated inner accretion disk in the Rapid Burster
Comments: 5 pages, 3 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS Letters
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The neutron star (NS) low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB) the Rapid Burster (RB; MXB 1730-335) uniquely shows both Type-I and Type-II X-ray bursts. The origin of the latter is ill-understood but has been linked to magnetospheric gating of the accretion flow. We present a spectral analysis of simultaneous Swift, NuSTAR and XMM-Newton observations of the RB during its 2015 outburst. Although a broad Fe-K line has been observed before, the high quality of our observations allows us to model this line using relativistic reflection models for the first time. We find that the disk is strongly truncated at $41.8^{+6.7}_{-5.3}$ gravitational radii ($\sim 87$ km), which supports magnetospheric Type-II burst models and strongly disfavors models involving instabilities at the innermost stable circular orbit. Assuming that the RB magnetic field indeed truncates the disk, we find $B = (6.2 \pm 1.5) \times 10^8$ G, larger than typically inferred for NS LMXBs. In addition, we find a low inclination ($i = 29\pm2^{\rm o}$). Finally, we comment on the origin of the Comptonized and thermal components in the RB spectrum.

[55]  arXiv:1612.00387 [pdf]
Title: Molecular Gas in the Halo Fuels the Growth of a Massive Cluster Galaxy at High Redshift
Authors: B.H.C. Emonts (1), M.D. Lehnert (2), M. Villar-Martin (1), R.P. Norris (3,4), R.D. Ekers (3), G.A. van Moorsel (5), H. Dannerbauer (6), L. Pentericci (7), G.K. Miley (8), J.R. Allison (3), E.M. Sadler (9), P. Guillard (2), C.L. Carilli (5,10), M.Y. Mao (11), H.J.A. Rottgering (8), C. De Breuck (12), N. Seymour (13), B. Gullberg (14), D. Ceverino (15), P. Jagannathan (5), J. Vernet (12), B.T. Indermuehle (3) ((1) Centro de Astrobiologia (CSIC-INTA), (2) IAP, (3) CASS-ATNF, (4) Western Sydney Univ., (5) NRAO, (6), IAC, (7) INAF, (8) Univ. Leiden, (9) Univ. Sydney, (10) Cavendish Lab., (11) Univ. Manchester, (12) ESO, (13) Curtin Univ., (14) Durham Univ., (15) Univ. Heidelberg)
Comments: Published in Science on 2 Dec 2016 (accepted 21 Oct 2016), 20 pages, 5 figures, 3 tables. Contains minor copy-editing differences with published version
Journal-ref: Science, Vol. 354, Issue 6316, pp. 1128-1130 (2016)
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The largest galaxies in the Universe reside in galaxy clusters. Using sensitive observations of carbon-monoxide, we show that the Spiderweb Galaxy -a massive galaxy in a distant protocluster- is forming from a large reservoir of molecular gas. Most of this molecular gas lies between the protocluster galaxies and has low velocity dispersion, indicating that it is part of an enriched inter-galactic medium. This may constitute the reservoir of gas that fuels the widespread star formation seen in earlier ultraviolet observations of the Spiderweb Galaxy. Our results support the notion that giant galaxies in clusters formed from extended regions of recycled gas at high redshift.

[56]  arXiv:1612.00400 [pdf, other]
Title: The Search for Multiple Populations in Magellanic Cloud Clusters II: The Detection of Multiple Populations in Three Intermediate-Age SMC Clusters
Comments: 7 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

This is the second paper in our series about the search for multiple populations in Magellanic Cloud star clusters using the Hubble Space Telescope. Here we report the detection of multiple stellar populations in the colour-magnitude diagrams of the intermediate-age clusters Lindsay 1, NGC 416 and NGC 339. With ages between 6.0 and 7.5 Gyr, these clusters are the youngest ones in which chemical abundance spreads have been detected so far. This confirms that the appearance of multiple populations is not restricted to only ancient globular clusters, but may also be a common feature in clusters as young as 6 Gyr. Our results are in agreement with a recent spectroscopic study of Lindsay 1. We found that the fraction of enriched stars in NGC 416 is ~45% whereas it is ~25% in NGC 339 and ~36% in Lindsay 1. Similar to NGC 121, these fractions are lower than the average value for globular clusters in the Milky Way.

[57]  arXiv:1612.00405 [pdf, other]
Title: Accurate Pre-Eruption and Post-Eruption Orbital Periods for the Dwarf/Classical Nova V1017 Sgr
Comments: 18 pages, 8 figures, MNRAS submitted
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

V1017 Sgr is a classical nova (in 1919) that displayed an earlier dwarf nova eruption (in 1901), and two more dwarf nova events (in 1973 and 1991). Previous work on this bright system in quiescence (V=13.5) has only been a few isolated magnitudes, a few spectra, and an ambiguous claim for an orbital period of 5.714 days as based on nine radial velocities. To test this period, we have collected 2896 magnitudes (plus 53 in the literature) in the UBVRIJHKL bands from 1897 to 2016, making an essentially complete photometric history of this unique cataclysmic variable. We find that the light curve in all bands is dominated by the ellipsoidal modulations of a G giant companion star, with a post-eruption (after the 1919 nova event) orbital period of 5.786290 +- 0.000032 days. This is the longest period for any classical nova, the accretion must be powered by the nuclear evolution of the companion star, and the dwarf nova events occur only because the outer parts of the large disk are cool enough to be unstable. Furthermore, we measure the pre-eruption orbital period (from 1907 to 1916), and there is a small steady period change in quiescence. The orbital period has decreased by 273 +- 61 parts-per-million across the 1919 eruption, with the significance of the period change being at the 5.7-sigma confidence level. This is startling and mystifying for nova-theory, because the three known period change effects cannot account for a period decrease in V1017 Sgr, much less one of such a large size.

[58]  arXiv:1612.00412 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Sensitivity improvement of radio receivers by exploiting an arithmetic pattern in photon bunching noise
Authors: Richard Lieu
Comments: 13 pages, 64 equations
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

A hierarchy of statistics of increasing sophistication and accuracy is proposed, to exploit an interesting and fundamental arithmetic structure in the photon bunching noise of incoherent light of large photon occupation number, with the purpose of suppressing the noise and rendering a more reliable and unbiased measurement of the light intensity. The method does not require any new hardware, rather it operates at the software level, with the help of high precision computers, to reprocess the intensity time series of the incident light to create a new series with smaller bunching noise coherence length. The ultimate accuracy improvement of this method of flux measurement is limited by the timing resolution of the detector, the precision of the computer in manipulating numbers, and the photon occupation number of the beam (the higher the photon number the better the performance). The principal application is sensitivity enhancement of radio astronomical observations.

[59]  arXiv:1612.00419 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Restructuring and destruction of hydrocarbon dust in the interstellar medium
Comments: Published in Astronomy Reports
Journal-ref: Astronomy Reports, 2016, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp.233-251
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

A model of key processes influencing the evolution of a hydrocarbon grain of an arbitrary size under astrophysical conditions corresponding to ionized hydrogen regions (HII regions) and supernova remnants is presented. The considered processes include aromatization and photodestruction, sputtering by electrons and ions, and shattering due to collisions between grains. The model can be used to simulate the grain size distribution and the aromatization degree during the evolution of HII regions and supernova remnants for a specified radiation field, relative velocity of gas and dust, etc. The contribution of various processes to the evolution of hydrocarbon dust grains for parameters typical for the interstellar medium of our Galaxy is presented. Small grains (less than 50 carbon atoms) should be fully aromatized in the general interstellar medium. If larger grains initially have an aliphatic structure, it is preserved to a substantial extent. Variations in the size distribution of the grains due to their mutual collisions depend appreciably on the adopted initial size distribution. For the MRN initial distribution a significant redistribution of grain sizes is obtained, which increases the mass fraction of smaller grains. Characteristic for an initial distribution from the work of Jones et al. (2013), with high initial fraction of small grains, is a general decrease in the number of grains of all sizes.

[60]  arXiv:1612.00420 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The evolution of hydrocarbon dust grains in the interstellar medium and its influence on the infrared spectra of dust
Comments: Published in Astronomy Reports
Journal-ref: Astronomy Reports, 2016, Volume 60, Issue 7, pp.669-681
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present evolutionary calculations for the size and aromatization degree distributions of interstellar dust grains, driven by their destruction by radiation, collisions with gas particles, and shattering due to grain-grain collisions. Based on these calculations we model dust emission spectra. The initial grain size distribution play the important role in the evolution of an ensemble of dust particles. Radiation in the considered intensity range mostly aromatizes grains. The smallest grains are mainly destructed via sputtering by collisions with gas particles. There are no grains smaller than 20~\AA\ in the medium at relative gas-dust velocities more than 50~km/s, which is typical for shocks in supernova remnants. The IR emission spectrum changes significantly due to the dust evolution depending on the adopted grain properties, in particular, on the energy of the C--C bonds ($E_0$). Aromatic bands in the near-IR (2--15~$\mu$m) are absent, if $E_0$ is low, even when the medium properties correspond to the average interstellar medium in our Galaxy. As in reality these bands are observed, high $E_0$ values are more preferable. We consider dependence of the emission intensity ratios for various photometric bands on the medium properties. The aromatization degree of small grains shows up most strongly in the $I_{3.4}/I_{11.3}$ intensity ratio while the fraction of aromatic grains in the total dust mass influences the $I_{3.3}/I_{70+160}$ ratio.

[61]  arXiv:1612.00430 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A Microfilament-Eruption Mechanism for Solar Spicules
Journal-ref: Astrophysical Journal (Letters) 2016, 828, L9
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Recent investigations indicate that solar coronal jets result from eruptions of small-scale chromospheric filaments, called minifilaments; that is, the jets are produced by scaled-down versions of typical-sized filament eruptions. We consider whether solar spicules might in turn be scaled-down versions of coronal jets, being driven by eruptions of "microfilaments." Assuming a microfilament's size is about a spicule's width ($\sim$300~km), the estimated occurrence number plotted against the estimated size of erupting filaments, minifilaments, and microfilaments approximately follows a power-law distribution (based on counts of CMEs, coronal jets, and spicules), suggesting that many or most spicules could result from microfilament eruptions. Observed spicule-base Ca II brightenings plausibly result from such microfilament eruptions. By analogy with coronal jets, microfilament eruptions might produce spicules with many of their observed characteristics, including smooth rise profiles, twisting motions, and EUV counterparts. The postulated microfilament eruptions are presumably eruptions of twisted-core micro magnetic bipoles that are $\sim$1$".0$ wide. These explosive bipoles might be built and destabilized by merging and cancelation of magnetic-flux elements of $\sim$few$\times 100$~G and of size <~$0".5$---$1".0$. If however spicules are relatively more numerous than indicated by our extrapolated distribution, then only a fraction of spicules might result from this proposed mechanism.

[62]  arXiv:1612.00436 [pdf, other]
Title: Standing on the shoulders of Dwarfs: the $Kepler$ asteroseismic LEGACY sample I - oscillation mode parameters
Comments: 29 pages, 27 Figures, 8 Tables, Accepted for publication in Apj
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

The advent of space-based missions like $Kepler$ has revolutionized the study of solar-type stars, particularly through the measurement and modeling of their resonant modes of oscillation. Here we analyze a sample of 66 $Kepler$ main-sequence stars showing solar-like oscillations as part of the $Kepler$ seismic LEGACY project. We use $Kepler$ short-cadence data, of which each star has at least 12 months, to create frequency power spectra optimized for asteroseismology. For each star we identify its modes of oscillation and extract parameters such as frequency, amplitude, and line width using a Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo `peak-bagging' approach. We report the extracted mode parameters for all 66 stars, as well as derived quantities such as frequency difference ratios, the large and small separations $\Delta\nu$ and $\delta\nu_{02}$; the behavior of line widths with frequency and line widths at $\nu_{\rm max}$ with $T_{\rm eff}$, for which we derive parametrizations; and behavior of mode visibilities. These average properties can be applied in future peak-bagging exercises to better constrain the parameters of the stellar oscillation spectra. The frequencies and frequency ratios can tightly constrain the fundamental parameters of these solar-type stars, and mode line widths and amplitudes can test models of mode damping and excitation.