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J.P. Magué & B. Ménard



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[1]  arXiv:1609.06715 [pdf, other]
Title: The effects of host galaxy properties on merging compact binaries detectable by LIGO
Comments: 9 pages, re-submitted to MNRAS after responding to referee comments
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Cosmological simulations of galaxy formation can produce present-day galaxies with a large range of assembly and star formation histories. A detailed study of the metallicity evolution and star formation history of such simulations can assist in predicting LIGO-detectable compact object binary mergers. Recent simulations of compact binary evolution suggest the compact object merger rate depends sensitively on the progenitor's metallicity. Rare low-metallicity star formation during galaxy assembly can produce more detected compact binaries than typical star formation. Using detailed simulations of galaxy and chemical evolution, we determine how sensitively the compact binary populations of galaxies with similar present-day appearance depend on the details of their assembly. We also demonstrate by concrete example the extent to which dwarf galaxies overabundantly produce compact binary mergers, particularly binary black holes, relative to more massive galaxies. We discuss the implications for transient multimessenger astronomy with compact binary sources.

[2]  arXiv:1609.06716 [pdf, other]
Title: Accretion in Radiative Equipartition (AiRE) Disks
Comments: 9 pages, 11 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

Standard accretion disk theory (Shakura & Sunyaev 1973) predicts that the total pressure in disks at typical (sub-)Eddington accretion rates becomes radiation pressure dominated. However, radiation pressure dominated disks are thermally unstable. Since these disks are observed in approximate steady state over the instability time-scale, our accretion models in the radiation pressure dominated regime (i.e. inner disk) need to be modified. Here, we present a modification to the SS model, where radiation pressure is in equipartition with gas pressure in the inner region. We call these flows Accretion in Radiative Equipartition (AiRE) Disks. We introduce the basic features of AiRE disks and show how they modify disk properties such as the Toomre parameter and central temperature. We then show that the accretion rate of AiRE disks is limited from above and below, by Toomre and nodal sonic point instabilities, respectively. The former leads to a strict upper limit on the mass of supermassive black holes as a function of cosmic time (and spin), while the latter could explain the transition between hard and soft states of X-ray binaries.

[3]  arXiv:1609.06718 [pdf, other]
Title: Exocometary gas structure, origin and physical properties around $β$ Pictoris through ALMA CO multi-transition observations
Comments: 21 pages, 13 figures, Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Recent ALMA observations unveiled the structure of CO gas in the 23 Myr-old $\beta$ Pictoris planetary system, a component that has been discovered in many similarly young debris disks. We here present ALMA CO J=2-1 observations, at an improved spectro-spatial resolution and sensitivity compared to previous CO J=3-2 observations. We find that 1) the CO clump is radially broad, favouring the resonant migration over the giant impact scenario for its dynamical origin, 2) the CO disk is vertically tilted compared to the main dust disk, at an angle consistent with the scattered light warp. We then use position-velocity diagrams to trace Keplerian radii in the orbital plane of the disk. Assuming a perfectly edge-on geometry, this shows a CO scale height increasing with radius as $R^{0.75}$, and an electron density (derived from CO line ratios through NLTE analysis) in agreement with thermodynamical models. Furthermore, we show how observations of optically thin line ratios can solve the primordial versus secondary origin dichotomy in gas-bearing debris disks. As shown for $\beta$ Pictoris, subthermal (NLTE) CO excitation is symptomatic of H$_2$ densities that are insufficient to shield CO from photodissociation over the system's lifetime. This means that replenishment from exocometary volatiles must be taking place, proving the secondary origin of the disk. In this scenario, assuming steady state production/destruction of CO gas, we derive the CO+CO$_2$ ice abundance by mass in $\beta$ Pic's exocomets to be at most $\sim$6%, consistent with comets in our own Solar System and in the coeval HD181327 system.

[4]  arXiv:1609.06719 [pdf, other]
Title: Anisotropy in the all-sky distribution of galaxy morphological types
Comments: Accepted for Publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics. 12 pages, 8 figures, 4 tables
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We present the first study of the isotropy of the distribution of morphological types of galaxies in the Local Universe out to around 200 Mpc using more than 60,000 galaxies from the HyperLeda database. We divide the sky into two opposite hemispheres and compare the abundance distribution of the morphological types, $T$, using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov (KS) test. This is repeated for different directions in the sky and the KS statistic as a function of sky coordinates is obtained. For three samples of galaxies within around 100, 150, and 200 Mpc, we find a significant hemispherical asymmetry with a vanishingly small chance of occurring in an isotropic distribution. Astonishingly, regardless of this extreme significance, the hemispherical asymmetry is aligned with the Celestial Equator at the 97.1-99.8% and with the Ecliptic at the 94.6-97.6% confidence levels, estimated using a Monte Carlo analysis. Shifting $T$ values randomly within their uncertainties has a negligible effect on this result. When a magnitude limit of $B\leq 15$ mag is applied, the sample within 100 Mpc shows no significant anisotropy after random shifting of $T$. However, the direction of the asymmetry in the samples within 150 and 200 Mpc and $B\leq 15$ mag is found to be within an angular separation of 32 degrees from $(l,b)=(123.7, 24.6)$ with 97.2% and 99.9% confidence levels, respectively. This direction is only 2.6 degrees away from the Celestial North Pole. Unless the Local Universe has a significant anisotropic distribution of galaxy types aligned with the orientation or the orbit of the Earth (which would be a challenge for the Cosmological Principle), our results show that there seems to be a systematic bias in the classification of galaxy morphological types between the data from the Northern and the Southern Equatorial sky. Further studies are absolutely needed to find out the exact source of this anisotropy.

[5]  arXiv:1609.06720 [pdf, other]
Title: The First Circumbinary Planet Found by Microlensing: OGLE-2007-BLG-349L(AB)c
Comments: 34 pages, with 9 figures. Accepted by the Astronomical Journal
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We present the analysis of the first circumbinary planet microlensing event, OGLE-2007-BLG-349. This event has a strong planetary signal that is best fit with a mass ratio of $q \approx 3.4\times 10^{-4}$, but there is an additional signal due to an additional lens mass, either another planet or another star. We find acceptable light curve fits with two classes of models: 2-planet models (with a single host star) and circumbinary planet models. The light curve also reveals a significant microlensing parallax effect, which constraints the mass of the lens system to be $M_L \approx 0.7 M_\odot$. Hubble Space Telescope images resolve the lens and source stars from their neighbors, and indicate excess flux due to the star(s) in the lens system. This is consistent with the predicted flux from the circumbinary models, where the lens mass is shared between two stars, but there is not enough flux to be consistent with the 2-planet, 1-star models. So, only the circumbinary models are consistent with the HST data. They indicate a planet of mass $m_c = 80\pm 13 M_\oplus$, orbiting a pair of M-dwarfs with masses of $M_A = 0.41\pm 0.07 M_\odot$ and $M_B = 0.30\pm 0.07 M_\odot$, which makes this the lowest mass circumbinary planet system known. The ratio of the planet:center-of-mass separation to the separations of the two stars is ~40, so unlike most of the circumbinary planets found by Kepler, the planet does not orbit near the stability limit.

[6]  arXiv:1609.06721 [pdf, other]
Title: Mid-Infrared Colors of Dwarf Galaxies: Young Starbursts Mimicking Active Galactic Nuclei
Comments: 17 pages, 12 figures, accepted by the Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Searching for active galactic nuclei (AGN) in dwarf galaxies is important for our understanding of the seed black holes that formed in the early Universe. Here, we test infrared selection methods for AGN activity at low galaxy masses. Our parent sample consists of ~18,000 nearby dwarf galaxies (M*< 3 x 10^9 Msun, $z<0.055$) in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey with significant detections in the first three bands of the AllWISE data release from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). First, we demonstrate that the majority of optically-selected AGNs in dwarf galaxies are not selected as AGNs using WISE infrared color diagnostics and that the infrared emission is dominated by the host galaxies. We then investigate the infrared properties of optically-selected star-forming dwarf galaxies, finding that the galaxies with the reddest infrared colors are the most compact, with blue optical colors, young stellar ages and large specific star formation rates. These results indicate that great care must be taken when selecting AGNs in dwarf galaxies using infrared colors, as star-forming dwarf galaxies are capable of heating dust in such a way that mimics the infrared colors of more luminous AGNs. In particular, a simple $\mathrm{W1}-\mathrm{W2}$ color cut alone should not be used to select AGNs in dwarf galaxies. With these complications in mind, we present a sample of 41 dwarf galaxies worthy of follow-up observations that fall in WISE infrared color space typically occupied by more luminous AGNs.

[7]  arXiv:1609.06726 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Cluster and field elliptical galaxies at z~1.3. The marginal role of the environment and the relevance of the galaxy central regions
Comments: Accepted for publication in A&A; 20 pages, 13 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We compared the properties of 56 elliptical galaxies selected from three clusters at 1.2<z<1.4 with those of field galaxies at the same redshift in the GOODS-S (~30), COSMOS (~180) and CANDELS (~220) fields. We derived the relationships among effective radius, surface brightness, stellar mass, effective stellar mass density Sigma_Re and central mass density Sigma_1kpc within 1 kpc radius. We find that cluster elliptical galaxies do not differ from field ellipticals: they share the same structural parameters at fixed mass and the same scaling relations. On the other hand, the population of field ellipticals at z~1.3 shows a significant lack of massive (M*> 2x10^{11} Msun) and large (Re > 4-5 kpc) ellipticals with respect to the cluster. Nonetheless, at M*< 2x10^{11} Msun, the two populations are similar. The size-mass relation of cluster and field ellipticals at z~1.3 defines two different regimes, above and below a transition mass m_t~2-3x10^{10} Msun: at lower masses the relation is nearly flat (Re\propto M*^{-0.1\pm0.2}), the mean radius is constant at ~1 kpc and, consequenly, Sigma_Re ~ Sigma_1kpc while, at larger masses, the relation is Re\propto M*^{0.64\pm0.09}. The transition mass marks the mass at which galaxies reach the maximum Sigma_Re. Also the Sigma_1kpc-mass relation follows two different regimes, above and below m_t, (Sigma_1kpc\propto M*^{0.64\ >m_t}_{1.07\ <m_t}) defining a transition mass density Sigma_1kpc~2-3x10^3 Msun pc^{-2}. The effective stellar mass density Sigma_Re does not correlate with mass, dense/compact galaxies can be assembled over a wide mass regime, independently of the environment. The central stellar mass density, Sigma_1kpc, besides to be correlated with the mass, is correlated to the age of the stellar population: the higher the central stellar mass density, the higher the mass, the older the age of the stellar population. [Abridged]

[8]  arXiv:1609.06727 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Black hole clustering and duty cycles in the Illustris simulation
Comments: 14 pages, 13 figures; submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We use the high-resolution cosmological simulation Illustris to investigate the clustering of supermassive black holes across cosmic time, the link between black hole clustering and host halo masses, and the implications for black hole duty cycles. Our predicted black hole correlation length and bias match the observational data very well across the full redshift range probed. Black hole clustering is strongly luminosity-dependent on small, 1-halo scales, with some moderate dependence on larger scales of a few Mpc at intermediate redshifts. We find black hole clustering to evolve only weakly with redshift, initially following the behaviour of their hosts. However below z ~ 2 black hole clustering increases faster than that of their hosts, which leads to a significant overestimate of the clustering-predicted host halo mass. The full distribution of host halo masses is very wide, including a low-mass tail extending up to an order of magnitude below the naive prediction for minimum host mass. Our black hole duty cycles follow a power-law dependence on black hole mass and decrease with redshift, and we provide accurate analytic fits to these. The increase in clustering amplitude at late times, however, means that duty cycle estimates based on black hole clustering can overestimate duty cycles substantially, by more than two orders of magnitude. We find the best agreement when the minimum host mass is assumed to be $10^{11.2} M_\odot$ , which provides an accurate measure across all redshifts and luminosity ranges probed by our simulation.

[9]  arXiv:1609.06728 [pdf, other]
Title: ASTErIsM - Application of topometric clustering algorithms in automatic galaxy detection and classification
Comments: 20 pages, 13 Figures, 8 Tables, Accepted for publication in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present a study on galaxy detection and shape classification using topometric clustering algorithms. We first use the DBSCAN algorithm to extract, from CCD frames, groups of adjacent pixels with significant fluxes and we then apply the DENCLUE algorithm to separate the contributions of overlapping sources. The DENCLUE separation is based on the localization of pattern of local maxima, through an iterative algorithm which associates each pixel to the closest local maximum. Our main classification goal is to take apart elliptical from spiral galaxies. We introduce new sets of features derived from the computation of geometrical invariant moments of the pixel group shape and from the statistics of the spatial distribution of the DENCLUE local maxima patterns. Ellipticals are characterized by a single group of local maxima, related to the galaxy core, while spiral galaxies have additional ones related to segments of spiral arms. We use two different supervised ensemble classification algorithms, Random Forest, and Gradient Boosting. Using a sample of ~ 24000 galaxies taken from the Galaxy Zoo 2 main sample with spectroscopic redshifts, and we test our classification against the Galaxy Zoo 2 catalog. We find that features extracted from our pipeline give on average an accuracy of ~ 93%, when testing on a test set with a size of 20% of our full data set, with features deriving from the angular distribution of density attractor ranking at the top of the discrimination power.

[10]  arXiv:1609.06734 [pdf, other]
Title: The Distribution of Dark and Luminous Matter in the Unique Galaxy Cluster Merger Abell 2146
Comments: 12 pages, 9 figures, published in MNRAS
Journal-ref: Code: 2016, MNRAS, 459, 517
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Abell 2146 ($z$ = 0.232) consists of two galaxy clusters undergoing a major merger. The system was discovered in previous work, where two large shock fronts were detected using the $\textit{Chandra X-ray Observatory}$, consistent with a merger close to the plane of the sky, caught soon after first core passage. A weak gravitational lensing analysis of the total gravitating mass in the system, using the distorted shapes of distant galaxies seen with ACS-WFC on $\textit{Hubble Space Telescope}$, is presented. The highest peak in the reconstruction of the projected mass is centred on the Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG) in Abell 2146-A. The mass associated with Abell 2146-B is more extended. Bootstrapped noise mass reconstructions show the mass peak in Abell 2146-A to be consistently centred on the BCG. Previous work showed that BCG-A appears to lag behind an X-ray cool core; although the peak of the mass reconstruction is centred on the BCG, it is also consistent with the X-ray peak given the resolution of the weak lensing mass map. The best-fit mass model with two components centred on the BCGs yields $M_{200}$ = 1.1$^{+0.3}_{-0.4}$$\times$10$^{15}$M$_{\odot}$ and 3$^{+1}_{-2}$$\times$10$^{14}$M$_{\odot}$ for Abell 2146-A and Abell 2146-B respectively, assuming a mass concentration parameter of $c=3.5$ for each cluster. From the weak lensing analysis, Abell 2146-A is the primary halo component, and the origin of the apparent discrepancy with the X-ray analysis where Abell 2146-B is the primary halo is being assessed using simulations of the merger.

[11]  arXiv:1609.06745 [pdf, other]
Title: Magnetorotational Instability Can Sustain Turbulence From Tangled Small-Scale Fields
Comments: Submitted to ApjL, 5 pages, 4 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Plasma Physics (physics.plasm-ph)

The initial conditions used in previous magnetorotational instability (MRI) simulations always consisted of a significant large or system-scale component, even if random. However it is of both conceptual and practical interest to assess whether the MRI can sustain when the initial field is turbulent, correlated on scales much smaller than the given system. More generally, we also study what minimum conditions the initial random small-scale field must have for the MRI to sustain the turbulence. The ubiquitous presence of turbulent or random flows in the high magnetic Reynolds number astrophysical plasmas in galaxies or stars for example, leads to a small-scale dynamo (SSD). This can generate random magnetic fields in the plasma that eventually enters an accretion disk. To simulate this scenario, we take the random field generated by the SSD as the input initial condition to a shearing box simulation that has uniform shear and rotation but with the forcing turned off. We find that the system becomes unstable to the MRI which then sustains the turbulence. The saturated stresses, large scale fields and power spectra in such simulations match the standard MRI simulation with an initial vertical large scale mode with zero net flux. For Gaussian random field initial conditions, the MRI does not grow. For MRI to grow, we determine that there is both a minimum field strength and minimum field coherence, which can be met naturally by an initial field configuration generated by the SSD, the most common form of magnetic field generation in the universe.

[12]  arXiv:1609.06747 [pdf, other]
Title: Neutrino Astrophysics
Authors: Cristina Volpe
Comments: Lectures presented at "52th Winter School of Theoretical Physics", Ladek Zdroj, 14-21 February 2016. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1503.01355, arXiv:1411.6533
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph); Nuclear Theory (nucl-th)

We summarize the progress in neutrino astrophysics and emphasize open issues in our understanding of neutrino flavor conversion in media. We discuss solar neutrinos, core-collapse supernova neutrinos and conclude with ultra-high energy neutrinos.

[13]  arXiv:1609.06752 [pdf, other]
Title: The Galactic Census of High- and Medium-mass Protostars. III $^{12}$CO Maps and Physical Properties of Dense Clump Envelopes and their Embedding GMCs
Authors: Peter J. Barnes (1 and 2), Audra K. Hernandez (3), Stefan N. O'Dougherty (4), William J. Schap III (1), Erik Muller (5) ((1) University of Florida, (2) University of New England, (3) University of Wisconsin, (4) University of Arizona, (5) National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)
Comments: Accepted by ApJS. Body of paper is 18 pages and 18 figures. Appendices (59 pages, 35 figure-sets, 3 tables, 67 Mb) available on request
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We report the second complete molecular line data release from the {\em Census of High- and Medium-mass Protostars} (CHaMP), a large-scale, unbiased, uniform mapping survey at sub-parsec resolution, of mm-wave line emission from 303 massive, dense molecular clumps in the Milky Way. This release is for all $^{12}$CO $J$=1$\rightarrow$0 emission associated with the dense gas, the first from Phase II of the survey, which includes $^{12}$CO, $^{13}$CO, and C$^{18}$O. The observed clump emission traced by both $^{12}$CO and HCO$^+$ (from Phase I) shows very similar morphology, indicating that, for dense molecular clouds and complexes of all sizes, parsec-scale clumps contain $\Xi$ ~ 75% of the mass, while only 25% of the mass lies in extended (>~ 10 pc) or "low density" components in these same areas. The mass fraction of all gas above a density 10$^9$ m$^{-3}$ is $\xi_9$ >~ 50%. This suggests that parsec-scale clumps may be the basic building blocks of the molecular ISM, rather than the standard GMC concept. Using $^{12}$CO emission, we derive physical properties of these clumps in their entirety, and compare them to properties from HCO$^+$, tracing their denser interiors. We compare the standard X-factor converting $I_{CO}$ to $N_{H_2}$ with alternative conversions, and show that only the latter give whole-clump properties that are physically consistent with those of their interiors. We infer that the clump population is systematically closer to virial equilibrium than when considering only their interiors, with perhaps half being long-lived (10s of Myr), pressure-confined entities which only terminally engage in vigorous massive star formation, supporting other evidence along these lines previously published.

[14]  arXiv:1609.06758 [pdf, other]
Title: Harmonic space analysis of pulsar timing array redshift maps
Comments: 11 pages, 6 figures. Comments welcome!
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

In this paper, we propose a new framework for treating the angular information in the pulsar timing array response to a gravitational wave background based on standard cosmic microwave background techniques. We calculate the angular power spectrum of the all-sky gravitational redshift pattern induced at the earth for both a single bright source of gravitational radiation and a statistically isotropic, unpolarized Gaussian random gravitational wave background. The angular power spectrum is the harmonic transform of the Hellings & Downs curve. We use the power spectrum to examine the expected variance in the Hellings & Downs curve in both cases. Finally, we discuss the extent to which pulsar timing arrays are sensitive to the angular power spectrum and find that the power spectrum sensitivity is dominated by the quadrupole anisotropy of the gravitational redshift map.

[15]  arXiv:1609.06765 [pdf, other]
Title: The Mass Distribution of the Unusual Merging Cluster Abell 2146 from Strong Lensing
Comments: 13 pages, 9 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Abell 2146 consists of two galaxy clusters that have recently collided close to the plane of the sky, and it is unique in showing two large shocks on $\textit{Chandra X-ray Observatory}$ images. With an early stage merger, shortly after first core passage, one would expect the cluster galaxies and the dark matter to be leading the X-ray emitting plasma. In this regard, the cluster Abell 2146-A is very unusual in that the X-ray cool core appears to lead, rather than lag, the Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG) in their trajectories. Here we present a strong lensing analysis of multiple image systems identified on $\textit{Hubble Space Telescope}$ images. In particular, we focus on the distribution of mass in Abell 2146-A in order to determine the centroid of the dark matter halo. We use object colours and morphologies to identify multiple image systems; very conservatively, four of these systems are used as constraints on a lens mass model. We find that the centroid of the dark matter halo, constrained using the strongly lensed features, is coincident with the BCG, with an offset of $\approx$ 2 kpc between the centres of the dark matter halo and the BCG. Thus from the strong lensing model, the X-ray cool core also leads the centroid of the dark matter in Abell 2146-A, with an offset of $\approx$ 30 kpc.

[16]  arXiv:1609.06787 [pdf, other]
Title: Observation of Magnetic reconnection at a 3D null point associated with a solar eruption
Comments: 13 pages, 5 figures, accepted by ApJL
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Magnetic null has long been recognized as a special structure serving as a preferential site for magnetic reconnection (MR). However, the direct observational study of MR at null-points is largely lacking. Here, we show the observations of MR around a magnetic null associated with an eruption that resulted in an M1.7 flare and a coronal mass ejection. The GOES X- ray profile of the flare exhibited two peaks at 02:23 UT and 02:40 UT on 2012 November 8, respectively. Based on the imaging observations, we find that the first and also primary X- ray peak was originated from MR in the current sheet underneath the erupting magnetic flux rope (MFR). On the other hand, the second and also weaker X-ray peak was caused by MR around a null-point located above the pre-eruption MFR. The interaction of the null-point and the erupting MFR can be described as a two-step process. During the first step, the erupting and fast expanding MFR passed through the null-point, resulting in a significant displacement of the magnetic field surrounding the null. During the second step, the displaced magnetic field started to move back, resulting in a converging inflow and subsequently the MR around the null. The null-point reconnection is a different process from the current sheet reconnection in this flare; the latter is the cause of the main peak of the flare, while the former is the cause of the secondary peak of the flare and the conspicuous high-lying cusp structure.

[17]  arXiv:1609.06801 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Numerical search for a potential planet sculpting the young disc of HD 115600
Comments: 17 pages, 12 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Radial and azimuthal features (such as disc offsets and eccentric rings) seen in high resolution images of debris discs, provide us with the unique opportunity of finding potential planetary companions which betray their presence by gravitationally sculpting such asymmetric features. The young debris disc around HD 115600, imaged recently by the Gemini Planet Imager, is such a disc with an eccentricity 0.1<e<0.2 and a projected offset from the star of 4 AU. Using our modified N-body code which incorporates radiation forces, we firstly aim to determine the orbit of a hidden planetary companion potentially responsible for shaping the disc. We run a suite of simulations covering a broad range of planetary parameters using a Monte Carlo Markov Chain sampling method and create synthetic images from which we extract the geometric disc parameters to be compared with the observed and model-derived quantities. We then repeat the study using a traditional grid to explore the planetary parameter space and aim secondly to compare the efficiency of both sampling methods. We find a planet of 7.8 Jupiter mass orbiting at 30 AU with an eccentricity of e = 0.2 to be the best fit to the observations of HD 115600. Technically, such planet has a contrast detectable by direct imaging, however the system's orientation does not favour such detection. In this study, at equal number of explored planetary configurations, the Monte Carlo Markov Chain not only converges faster but provides a better fit than a traditional grid.

[18]  arXiv:1609.06857 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: LOFAR Cassiopeia A spectral line survey
Comments: Submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We use the Low Frequency Array to perform a systematic high spectral resolution investigation of the low-frequency 33-78 MHz spectrum along the line of sight to Cassiopeia A. We complement this with a 304-386 MHz Westerbork Synthesis Radio telescope observation. In this first paper we focus on the carbon radio recombination lines.
We detect Cn$\alpha$ lines at -47 and -38 km s$^{-1}$ in absorption for quantum numbers n=438-584 and in emission for n=257-278 with high signal to noise. These lines are associated with cold clouds in the Perseus spiral arm component. Hn$\alpha$ lines are detected in emission for n=257-278. In addition, we also detect Cn$\alpha$ lines at 0 km s$^{-1}$ associated with the Orion arm.
We analyze the optical depth of these transitions and their line width. Our models show that the carbon line components in the Perseus arm are best fit with an electron temperature 85 K and an electron density 0.04 cm$^{-3}$ and can be constrained to within 15\%. The electron pressure is constrained to within 20\%. We argue that much of these carbon radio recombination lines arise in the CO-dark surface layers of molecular clouds where most of the carbon is ionized but hydrogen has made the transition from atomic to molecular. The hydrogen lines are clearly associated with the carbon line emitting clouds, but the low-frequency upperlimits indicate that they likely do not trace the same gas. Combining the hydrogen and carbon results we arrive at a firm lower limit to the cosmic ray ionization rate of 2.5$\times$10$^{-18}$ s$^{-1}$.

[19]  arXiv:1609.06859 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: On the difference between gamma-ray-detected and non-gamma-ray-detected pulsars
Comments: 10 pages, 3 figures, 1 table, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We compare radio profile widths of young, energetic gamma-ray-detected and non-gamma-ray-detected pulsars. We find that the latter typically have wider radio profiles, with the boundary between the two samples exhibiting a dependence on the rate of rotational energy loss. We also find that within the sample of gamma-ray-detected pulsars, radio profile width is correlated with both the separation of the main gamma-ray peaks and the presence of narrow gamma-ray components. These findings lead us to propose that these pulsars form a single population where the main factors determining gamma ray detectability are the rate of rotational energy loss and the proximity of the line of sight to the rotation axis. The expected magnetic inclination angle distribution will be different for radio pulsars with and without detectable gamma rays, naturally leading to the observed differences. Our results also suggest that the geometry of existing radio and outer-magnetosphere gamma-ray emission models are at least qualitatively realistic, implying that information about the viewing geometry can be extracted from profile properties of pulsars.

[20]  arXiv:1609.06879 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Ambipolar diffusion regulated collapse of filaments threaded by perpendicular magnetic fields
Comments: 10 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication by A&A
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We numerically reproduce the density profiles for filaments that are in magnetohydrostatic and pressure equilibrium with their surroundings obtained in Tomisaka (2014) and show that these equilibria are dynamically stable. If the effect of ambipolar diffusion is considered, these filaments lose magnetic support initiating cloud collapse. The filaments do not lose magnetic flux. Rather the magnetic flux is redistributed within the filament from the centre towards the envelope.
The rate of the collapse is inversely proportional to the fractional ionisation and two gravitationally-driven ambipolar diffusion regimes for the collapse are observed as predicted in Mouschovias & Morton (1991). For high values of the ionisation coefficient, that is $X \geq 10^{-7}$, the gas is strongly coupled to the magnetic field and the Jeans length is larger than the ambipolar diffusion length scale. Then the collapse is governed by magnetically-regulated ambipolar diffusion. For $X \lesssim 10^{-8}$, the gas is weakly coupled to the magnetic field and the magnetic support is removed by gravitationally-dominated ambipolar diffusion. Here, neutrals and ions only collide sporadically, that is the ambipolar diffusion length scale is larger than the Jeans length.
When decaying turbulence is included, additional support is provided to the filament. This slows down the collapse of the filament even in the absence of a magnetic field. When a magnetic field is present, the collapse rate increases by a ratio smaller than for the non-magnetic case. This is because of a speed-up of the ambipolar diffusion due to larger magnetic field gradients generated by the turbulence and because the ambipolar diffusion aids the dissipation of turbulence below the ambipolar diffusion length scale. The highest increase in the rate is observed for the lowest ionisation coefficient and the highest turbulent intensity.

[21]  arXiv:1609.06883 [pdf, other]
Title: Damping of nonlinear standing kink oscillations: a numerical study
Comments: 10 pages, 8 figures
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We aim to study the standing fundamental kink mode of coronal loops in the nonlinear regime, investigating the changes in energy evolution in the cross-section and oscillation amplitude of the loop which are related to nonlinear effects, in particular to the development of the Kelvin-Helmholtz instability (KHI). We run idea, high-resolution three-dimensional (3D) magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations, studying the influence of the initial velocity amplitude and the inhomogeneous layer thickness. We model the coronal loop as a straight, homogeneous magnetic flux tube with an outer inhomogeneous layer, embedded in a straight, homogeneous magnetic field. We find that, for low amplitudes which do not allow for the KHI to develop during the simulated time, the damping time agrees with the theory of resonant absorption. However, for higher amplitudes, the presence of KHI around the oscillating loop can alter the loop's evolution, resulting in a significantly faster damping than predicted by the linear theory in some cases. This questions the accuracy of seismological methods applied to observed damping profiles, based on linear theory.

[22]  arXiv:1609.06903 [pdf, other]
Title: The universal rotation curve of dwarf disk galaxies
Comments: Submitted to MNRAS, revised after referee comments
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We use the concept of the spiral rotation curves universality (see Parsic et al. 1996) to investigate the luminous and dark matter properties of the dwarf disk galaxies in the local volume (size $\sim11$ Mpc). Our sample includes 36 objects with rotation curves carefully selected from the literature. We find that, despite the large variations of our sample in luminosities ($\sim$ 2 of dex), the rotation curves in specifically normalized units, look all alike and lead to the lower-mass version of the universal rotation curve of spiral galaxies found in Parsic et al. 1996.
We mass model $V(R/R_{opt})/V_{opt}$, the double normalized universal rotation curve of dwarf disk galaxies: the results show that these systems are totally dominated by dark matter whose density shows a core size between 2 and 3 stellar disk scale lengths. Similar to galaxies of different Hubble types and luminosities, the core radius $r_0$ and the central density $\rho_0$ of the dark matter halo of these objects are related by $ \rho_0 r_0 \sim 100 M_\odot pc^{-2}$.
The structural properties of the dark and luminous matter emerge very well correlated. In addition, to describe these relations, we need to introduce a new parameter, measuring the compactness of light distribution of a (dwarf) disk galaxy. These structural properties also indicate that there is no evidence of abrupt decline at the faint end of the baryonic to halo mass relation. Finally, we find that the distributions of the stellar disk and its dark matter halo are closely related.

[23]  arXiv:1609.06909 [pdf]
Title: The Surface Roughness of (433) Eros as Measured by Thermal-Infrared Beaming
Authors: Ben Rozitis
Comments: 23 pages, 8 figures, 2 tables. Accepted by MNRAS
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

In planetary science, surface roughness is regarded to be a measure of surface irregularity at small spatial scales, and causes the thermal-infrared beaming effect (i.e. re-radiation of absorbed sunlight back towards to the Sun). Typically, surface roughness exhibits a degeneracy with thermal inertia when thermophysical models are fitted to disc-integrated thermal-infrared observations of asteroids because of this effect. In this work, it is demonstrated how surface roughness can be constrained for near-Earth asteroid (433) Eros (i.e. the target of NASA's NEAR Shoemaker mission) when using the Advanced Thermophysical Model with thermal-infrared observations taken during an "almost pole-on" illumination and viewing geometry. It is found that the surface roughness of (433) Eros is characterised by an RMS slope of 38 $\pm$ 8{\deg} at the 0.5-cm spatial scale associated with its thermal-infrared beaming effect. This is slightly greater than the RMS slope of 25 $\pm$ 5{\deg} implied by the NEAR Shoemaker laser ranging results when extrapolated to this spatial scale, and indicates that other surface shaping processes might operate, in addition to collisions and gravity, at spatial scales under one metre in order to make asteroid surfaces rougher. For other high obliquity asteroids observed during "pole-on" illumination conditions, the thermal-infrared beaming effect allows surface roughness to be constrained when the sub-solar latitude is greater than 60{\deg}, and if the asteroids are observed at phase angles of less than 40{\deg}. They will likely exhibit NEATM beaming parameters that are lower than expected for a typical asteroid at all phase angles up to 100{\deg}.

[24]  arXiv:1609.06914 [pdf, other]
Title: The role of pebble fragmentation in planetesimal formation I. Experimental study
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Previous work on protoplanetary dust growth shows halt at centimeter sizes owing to the occurrence of bouncing at velocities of $\geq$ 0.1 $ms^{-1}$ and fragmentation at velocities $\geq$ 1 $ms^{-1}$. To overcome these barriers, spatial concentration of cm-sized dust pebbles and subsequent gravitational collapse have been proposed. However, numerical investigations have shown that dust aggregates may undergo fragmentation during the gravitational collapse phase. This fragmentation in turn changes the size distribution of the solids and thus must be taken into account in order to understand the properties of the planetesimals that form. To explore the fate of dust pebbles undergoing fragmenting collisions, we conducted laboratory experiments on dust-aggregate collisions with a focus on establishing a collision model for this stage of planetesimal formation. In our experiments, we analysed collisions of dust aggregates with masses between 1.4 g and 180 g, mass ratios between target and projectile from 125 to 1 at a fixed porosity of 65%, within the velocity range of 1.5 $-$ 8.7 $ms^{-1}$ , at low atmospheric pressure of $\sim 10^{-3}$ mbar and in free-fall conditions. We derived the mass of the largest fragment, the fragment size/mass distribution, and the efficiency of mass transfer as a function of collision velocity and projectile/target aggregate size. Moreover, we give recipes for an easy-to-use fragmentation and mass-transfer model for further use in modeling work. In a companion paper, we utilize the experimental findings and the derived dust-aggregate collision model to investigate the fate of dust pebbles during gravitational collapse.

[25]  arXiv:1609.06919 [pdf, other]
Title: A $K_s$-band selected catalogue of objects in the ALHAMBRA survey
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS, 19 pages, 21 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The original ALHAMBRA catalogue contained over 400,000 galaxies selected using a synthetic F814W image, to the magnitude limit AB(F814W)$\approx$24.5. Given the photometric redshift depth of the ALHAMBRA multiband data (<z>=0.86) and the approximately $I$-band selection, there is a noticeable bias against red objects at moderate redshift. We avoid this bias by creating a new catalogue selected in the $K_s$ band. This newly obtained catalogue is certainly shallower in terms of apparent magnitude, but deeper in terms of redshift, with a significant population of red objects at $z>1$. We select objects using the $K_s$ band images, which reach an approximate AB magnitude limit $K_s \approx 22$. We generate masks and derive completeness functions to characterize the sample. We have tested the quality of the photometry and photometric redshifts using both internal and external checks. Our final catalogue includes $\approx 95,000$ sources down to $K_s \approx 22$, with a significant tail towards high redshift. We have checked that there is a large sample of objects with spectral energy distributions that correspond to that of massive, passively evolving galaxies at $z > 1$, reaching as far as $z \approx 2.5$. We have tested the possibility of combining our data with deep infrared observations at longer wavelengths, particularly Spitzer IRAC data.

[26]  arXiv:1609.06922 [pdf, other]
Title: Constraints on galaxy formation models from the galaxy stellar mass function and its evolution
Authors: Luiz Felippe S. Rodrigues (1), Ian Vernon (2), Richard Bower (2) ((1) Newcastle University, (2) Durham University)
Comments: 19 pages, 10 figures. Submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We explore the parameter space of the semi-analytic galaxy formation model GALFORM, studying the constraints imposed by measurements of the galaxy stellar mass function (GSMF) and its evolution. We use the Bayesian Emulator method to quickly eliminate vast implausible volumes of the parameter space and zoom in on the most interesting regions, allowing us to identify a set of models that match the observational data within the model uncertainties. We find that the GSMF strongly constrains parameters related to the quiescent star formation in discs, stellar and AGN feedback and the threshold for disc instabilities, but more weakly restricts other parameters. Constraining the model using the local data alone does not usually select models that match the evolution of the mass function well. Nevertheless, we show that a small subset of models provides an acceptable match to GSMF data out to redshift 1.5, without introducing an explicit redshift dependence of feedback parameters. We explore the physical significance of the parameters of these models, in particular exploring whether the model can provide a better description if the mass loading of the galactic winds generated by starbursts ($\beta_{0,\text{burst}}$) and quiescent disks ($\beta_{0,\text{disc}}$) is different. Performing a principal component analysis of the plausible volume of the parameter space, we write a set of relations between parameters obeyed by plausible models with respect to the GSMF evolution. We find that while $\beta_{0,\text{disc}}$ is strongly constrained by GSMF evolution data, constraints on $\beta_{0,\text{burst}}$ are weak. We discuss the implications of these results.

[27]  arXiv:1609.06938 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Low Frequency Carbon Radio Recombination Lines I: Calculations of Departure Coefficients
Comments: Submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

In the first paper of this series, we study the level population problem of recombining carbon ions. We focus our study on high quantum numbers anticipating observations of Carbon Radio Recombination Lines to be carried out by the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR). We solve the level population equation including angular momentum levels with updated collision rates up to high principal quantum numbers. We derive departure coefficients by solving the level population equation in the hydrogenic approximation and including low temperature dielectronic recombination effects. Our results in the hydrogenic approximation agree well with those of previous works. When comparing our results including dielectronic recombination we find differences which we ascribe to updates in the atomic physics (e.g., collision rates) and to the approximate solution method of the statistical equilibrium equations adopted in previous studies. A comparison with observations is discussed in an accompanying article, as radiative transfer effects need to be considered.

[28]  arXiv:1609.06940 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: On the White Dwarf Mass Problem of Cataclysmic Variables
Authors: Wei-Min Liu, Xiang-Dong Li (NJU)
Comments: 22 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Recent observations show that the white dwarfs (WDs) in cataclysmic Variables (CVs) have an average mass significantly higher than isolated WDs and WDs in post-common envelope binaries (PCEBs), which are thought to the progenitors of CVs. This suggests that either the WDs have grown in mass during the PCEB/CV evolution or the binaries with low-mass WDs are unable to evolve to be CVs. In this paper, we calculate the evolution of accreting WD binaries with updated hydrogen accumulation efficiency and angular momentum loss prescriptions. We show that thermal timescale mass transfer is not effective in changing the average WD mass distribution. The WD mass discrepancy is most likely related to unstable mass transfer in WD binaries in which an efficient mechanism of angular momentum loss is required.

[29]  arXiv:1609.06952 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Multi-wavelength Temporal Variability of the Blazar 3C 454.3 during 2014 Activity Phase
Authors: Pankaj Kushwaha (1, 2), Alok C. Gupta (3,4), Ranjeev Misra (1), K. P. Singh (5) ((1) IUCAA, Pune, India (2) IAG-USP, Brazil (3) ARIES, Nainital, India (4) SAO, Shanghai, China (5) TIFR, Mumbai, India)
Comments: 15 pages, 5 figures, 1 table, MNRAS accepted
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present a multi-wavelength temporal analysis of the blazar 3C 454.3 during the high $\gamma$-ray active period from May-December, 2014. Except for X-rays, the period is well sampled at near-infrared (NIR)-optical by the \emph{SMARTS} facility and the source is detected continuously on daily timescale in the \emph{Fermi}-LAT $\gamma$-ray band. The source exhibits diverse levels of variability with many flaring/active states in the continuously sampled $\gamma$-ray light curve which are also reflected in the NIR-optical light curves and the sparsely sampled X-ray light curve by the \emph{Swift}-XRT. Multi-band correlation analysis of this continuous segment during different activity periods shows a change of state from no lags between IR and $\gamma$-ray, optical and $\gamma$-ray, and IR and optical to a state where $\gamma$-ray lags the IR/optical by $\sim$3 days. The results are consistent with the previous studies of the same during various $\gamma$-ray flaring and active episodes of the source. This consistency, in turn, suggests an extended localized emission region with almost similar conditions during various $\gamma$-ray activity states. On the other hand, the delay of $\gamma$-ray with respect to IR/optical and a trend similar to IR/optical in X-rays along with strong broadband correlations favor magnetic field related origin with X-ray and $\gamma$-ray being inverse Comptonized of IR/optical photons and external radiation field, respectively.

[30]  arXiv:1609.06979 [pdf, other]
Title: A G2-QCD neutron star
Comments: 7 pages, 4 figures. poster presented at the "XXXIV International Symposium on Lattice Field Theory", July 2016, Southampton, UK
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); High Energy Physics - Lattice (hep-lat); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph); Nuclear Theory (nucl-th)

The determination of the properties of neutron stars from the underlying theory, QCD, is still an unsolved problem. This is mainly due to the difficulty to obtain reliable results for the equation of state for cold, dense QCD. As an alternative route to obtain qualitative insights, we determine the structure of a neutron star for a modified version of QCD: By replacing the gauge group SU(3) with the exceptional Lie group G2, it is possible to perform lattice simulations at finite density, while still retaining neutrons. Here, results of these lattice simulations are used to determine the mass-radius relation of a neutron star for this theory. The results show that phase changes express themselves in this relation. Also, the radius of the most massive neutron stars is found to vary very little, which would make radius determinations much simpler if this would also be true in QCD.

[31]  arXiv:1609.07041 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Primordial density and BAO reconstruction
Comments: 5 pages, 6 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We present a new method to reconstruct the primordial (linear) density field using the estimated nonlinear displacement field. The divergence of the displacement field gives the reconstructed density field. We solve the nonlinear displacement field in the 1D cosmology and show the reconstruction results. The new reconstruction algorithm recovers a lot of linear modes and reduces the nonlinear damping scale significantly. The successful 1D reconstruction results imply the new algorithm should also be a promising technique in the 3D case.

[32]  arXiv:1609.07052 [pdf, other]
Title: The role of pebble fragmentation in planetesimal formation II. Numerical simulations
Comments: in APJ 2016
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Some scenarios for planetesimal formation go through a phase of collapse of gravitationally bound clouds of mm-cm-sized pebbles. Such clouds can form for example through the streaming instability in protoplanetary disks. We model the collapse process with a statistical model to obtain the internal structure of planetesimals with solid radii between 10 and 1,000 km. In the collapse, pebbles collide and, depending on relative speed, collisions have different outcomes. A mixture of particle sizes inside a planetesimal leads to better packing capabilities and higher densities. In this paper we apply results from new laboratory experiments of dust aggregate collisions (presented in a companion paper) to model collision outcomes. We find that the internal structure of a planetesimal is strongly dependent on both its mass and the applied fragmentation model. Low-mass planetesimals have no/few fragmenting pebble collisions in the collapse phase and end up as porous pebble-piles. The amount of fragmenting collisions increases with increasing cloud mass, resulting in wider particle size distributions and higher density. The collapse is nevertheless "cold" in the sense that collision speeds are damped by the high collision frequency. This ensures that a significant fraction of large pebbles survive the collapse in all but the most massive clouds. Our results are in broad agreement with the observed increase in density of Kuiper belt objects with increasing size as exemplified by the recent characterization of the highly porous comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

[33]  arXiv:1609.07062 [pdf, other]
Title: Spectral energy distribution of M-subdwarfs: A study of their atmospheric properties
Comments: 11 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Context. M-type subdwarfs are metal-poor low-mass stars and probe for the old populations in our Galaxy. Accurate knowledge of their atmospheric parameters and especially the composition is essential for understanding the chemical history of our Galaxy. Aims. The purpose of this work is to perform a detailed study of M-subdwarf spectra covering the full wavelength range from the optical to the near-infrared. It allows to do a more detailed analysis of the atmospheric composition in order to determine the stellar parameters, and to constrain the atmospheric models. The study will allow us to further understand physical and chemical processes such as increasing condensation of gas into dust, to point out the missing continuum opacities and see how the main band features are reproduced by the models. The spectral resolution and the large wavelength coverage used is a unique combination to constrain the process that occur in cool atmosphere. Methods. We obtained medium-resolution (R = 5000-7000) spectra over the wavelength range 0.3-2.5 {\mu}m of ten M-type subdwarfs with X-SHOOTER at VLT. These data constitute an unique atlas of M-subdwarfs from optical to near-infrared. We performed spectral synthesis analysis using a full grid of synthetic spectra computed from BT-Settl models and obtained consistent stellar parameters such as effective temperature, surface gravity and metallicity. Results. We show that state-of the-art atmospheric models correctly represent the overall shape of their spectral energy distribution, as well as atomic and molecular line profiles both in the optical and near-infrared. We found that the actual fitted gravities of almost all our sample are consistent with old objects, except for LHS 73 where it is found surprisingly low.

[34]  arXiv:1609.07106 [pdf, other]
Title: Gravity-Darkened Seasons: Insolation Around Rapid Rotators
Authors: John P. Ahlers
Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

I model the effect of rapid stellar rotation on a planet's insolation. Fast-rotating stars have induced pole-to-equator temperature gradients (known as gravity-darkening) of up to several thousand Kelvin that affect the star's luminosity and peak emission wavelength as a function of latitude. When orbiting such a star, a planet's annual insolation can strongly vary depending on its orbit inclination. Specifically, inclined orbits result in temporary exposure to the star's hotter poles. I find that gravity-darkening can drive changes in a planet's equilibrium temperature of up to $\sim15\%$ due to increased irradiance near the stellar poles. This effect can also vary a planet's exposure to UV radiation by up to $\sim80\%$ throughout its orbit as it is exposed to an irradiance spectrum corresponding to different stellar effective temperatures over time.

[35]  arXiv:1609.07107 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Structure, Dynamics and Deuterium Fractionation of Massive Pre-Stellar Cores
Comments: 20 pages, 18 figures, 1 table; submitted to ApJ, comments welcome
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

High levels of deuterium fraction in N$_2$H$^+$ are observed in some pre-stellar cores. Single-zone chemical models find that the timescale required to reach observed values ($D_{\rm frac}^{{\rm N}_2{\rm H}^+} \equiv {\rm N}_2{\rm D}^+/{\rm N}_2{\rm H}^+ \gtrsim 0.1$) is longer than the free-fall time, possibly ten times longer. Here, we explore the deuteration of turbulent, magnetized cores with 3D magnetohydrodynamics simulations. We use an approximate chemical model to follow the growth in abundances of N$_2$H$^+$ and N$_2$D$^+$. We then examine the dynamics of the core using each tracer for comparison to observations. We find that the velocity dispersion of the core as traced by N$_2$D$^+$ appears slightly sub-virial compared to predictions of the Turbulent Core Model of McKee & Tan, except at late times just before the onset of protostar formation. By varying the initial mass surface density, the magnetic energy, the chemical age, and the ortho-to-para ratio of H$_2$, we also determine the physical and temporal properties required for high deuteration. We find that low initial ortho-to-para ratios ($\lesssim 0.01$) and/or multiple free-fall times ($\gtrsim 3$) of prior chemical evolution are necessary to reach the observed values of deuterium fraction in pre-stellar cores.

[36]  arXiv:1609.07110 [pdf, other]
Title: How bright are the gaps in circumbinary disk systems?
Comments: ApJ accepted
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

When a circumbinary disk surrounds a binary whose secondary's mass is at least $\sim 10^{-2}\times$ the primary's mass, a nearly empty cavity with radius a few times the binary separation is carved out of the disk. Narrow streams of material pass from the inner edge of the circumbinary disk into the domain of the binary itself, where they eventually join onto the small disks orbiting the members of the binary. Using data from 3-d MHD simulations of this process, we determine the luminosity of these streams; it is mostly due to weak laminar shocks, and is in general only a few percent of the luminosity of adjacent regions of either the circumbinary disk or the "mini-disks". This luminosity therefore hardly affects the deficit in the thermal continuum predicted on the basis of a perfectly dark gap region.

[37]  arXiv:1609.07113 [pdf, other]
Title: Breaking news from the HST: The central star of the Stingray Nebula is now returning towards the AGB
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS Letters. 5 pages + appendix
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

SAO244567 is a rare example of a star that allows us to witness stellar evolution in real time. Between 1971 and 1990 it changed from a B-type star into the hot central star of the Stingray Nebula. This observed rapid heating has been a mystery for decades, since it is in strong contradiction with the low mass of the star and canonical post-asymptotic giant branch (AGB) evolution. We speculated that SAO244567 might have suffered from a late thermal pulse (LTP) and obtained new observations with HST/COS to follow the evolution of the surface properties of SAO244567 and to verify the LTP hypothesis. Our non-LTE spectral analysis reveals that the star cooled significantly since 2002 and that its envelope is now expanding. Therefore, we conclude that SAO244567 is currently on its way back towards the AGB, which strongly supports the LTP hypothesis. A comparison with state-of-the-art LTP evolutionary calculations shows that these models cannot fully reproduce the evolution of all surface parameters simultaneously, pointing out possible shortcomings of stellar evolution models. Thereby, SAO244567 keeps on challenging stellar evolution theory and we highly encourage further investigations.

[38]  arXiv:1609.07120 [pdf, other]
Title: Not a Copernican observer: biased peculiar velocity statistics in the local Universe
Authors: Wojciech A. Hellwing (ICG, Portsmouth), Adi Nusser (Technion, Haifa), Martin Feix (IAP, Paris), Maciej Bilicki (Universiteit Leiden)
Comments: 10 pages, 4 figures, submitted to MNRAS, comments are welcome
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We assess the effect of the local large scale structure on the estimation of two-point statistics of the observed radial peculiar velocities of galaxies. A large N-body simulation is used to examine these statistics from the perspective of random observers as well as "Local Group (LG)-like" observers conditioned to reside in an environment resembling the observed universe within 20 Mpc. The local environment systematically distorts the shape and amplitude of velocity statistics with respect to ensemble-averaged measurements made by a Copernican (random) observer. The Virgo cluster has the most significant impact, introducing large systematic deviations in all the statistics. For a simple "top-hat" selection function, an idealized survey extending to $\sim 160h^{-1}\,{\rm Mpc}$ or deeper is needed to completely mitigate the effects of the local environment. Using shallower catalogues leads to systematic deviations of the order of $50$ to $200\%$ depending on the scale considered. For a flat redshift distribution similar to the one of the CosmicFlows-3 survey, the deviations are even more prominent in both the shape and amplitude at all separations considered $({\stackrel{<}{{}_\sim}} 100h^{-1}\,{\rm Mpc})$. Conclusions based on statistics calculated without taking into account the impact of the local environment should be revisited.

[39]  arXiv:1609.07129 [pdf, other]
Title: Discovery of coherent pulsations from the Ultraluminous X-ray Source NGC 7793 P13
Authors: F. Fuerst (1), D. J. Walton (2,1), F. A. Harrison (1), D. Stern (2), D. Barret (3), M. Brightman (1), A. C. Fabian (4), K. K. Madsen (1), M. J. Middleton (5), J. M. Miller (6), K. Pottschmidt (7,8), A. Ptak (8), V. Rana (1) ((1) SRL/Caltech, (2) JPL, (3) IRAP/CNRS, (4) IoA Cambridge, (5) U Southampton, (6) U Michigan, (7) CRESST/UMBC, (8) NASA/GSFC)
Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, submitted to ApJL
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We report the detection of coherent pulsations from the ultraluminous X-ray source NGC 7793 P13. The ~0.42s nearly sinusoidal pulsations were initially discovered in broadband X-ray observations using XMM-Newton and NuSTAR taken in 2016. We subsequently also found pulsations in archival XMM-Newton data taken in 2013 and 2014. The significant (>>5 sigma) detection of coherent pulsations demonstrates that the compact object in P13 is a neutron star with an observed peak luminosity of ~1e40 erg/s, well above the Eddington limit for a 1.4 M_sun accretor. This makes P13 the second ultraluminous X-ray source known to be powered by an accreting neutron star. The pulse period varies between epochs, with a slow but persistent spin up over the 2013-2016 period. This spin-up indicates a magnetic field of B ~ 1.5e12 G, typical of many accreting pulsars. The most likely explanation for the extreme luminosity is a high degree of beaming, however this is difficult to reconcile with the sinusoidal pulse profile.

[40]  arXiv:1609.07136 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Timescale-Dependent Color Variability of Quasars Viewed with GALEX
Authors: Fei-Fan Zhu (USTC), Jun-Xian Wang (USTC), Zhen-Yi Cai (USTC), Yu-Han Sun (USTC)
Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures. Accepted by APJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

In recent work done by Sun et. al., the color variation of quasars, namely the bluer-when-brighter trend, was found to be timescale-dependent using SDSS $g/r$ band light curves in the Stripe 82. Such timescale dependence, i.e., bluer variation at shorter timescales, supports the thermal fluctuation origin of the UV/optical variation in quasars, and can be well modeled with the inhomogeneous accretion disk model. In this paper, we extend the study to much shorter wavelengths in the rest frame (down to extreme UV), using GALaxy Evolution eXplorer (GALEX) photometric data of quasars collected in two ultraviolet bands (near-UV and far-UV). We develop Monte-Carlo simulations to correct possible biases due to the considerably larger photometric uncertainties in GALEX light curves (particularly in far-UV, comparing with SDSS $g/r$ bands), which otherwise could produce artificial results. We securely confirm the previously discovered timescale dependence of the color variability with independent datasets and at shorter wavelengths. We further find the slope of the correlation between the amplitude of color variation and timescale however appears even steeper than that predicted by the inhomogeneous disk model, which assumes that disk fluctuations follow damped random walk process. In line with the much flatter structure function observed in far-UV comparing with that at longer wavelengths, this implies deviation from DRW process in the inner disk where rest frame extreme UV radiation is produced.

[41]  arXiv:1609.07137 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Hyperaccreting black holes in galactic nuclei
Comments: 6 pages, 1 figure, to appear in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The rate at which matter flows into a galactic nucleus during early phases of galaxy evolution can sometimes exceed the Eddington limit of the growing central black hole by several orders of magnitude. We discuss the necessary conditions for the black hole to actually accrete this matter at such a high rate, and consider the observational appearance and detectability of a hyperaccreting black hole. In order to be accreted at a hyper-Eddington rate, the infalling gas must have a sufficiently low angular momentum. Although most of the gas is accreted, a significant fraction accumulates in an optically thick envelope with luminosity $\sim L_{\rm Edd}$, probably pierced by jets of much higher power. If $\dot M > 10^3 \dot M_{\rm Edd}$, the envelope spectrum resembles a blackbody with a temperature of a few thousand K, but for lower (but still hyper-Eddington) accretion rates the spectrum becomes a very dilute and hard Wien spectrum. We consider the likelihood of various regimes of hyperaccretion, and discuss its possible observational signatures.

[42]  arXiv:1609.07139 [pdf, other]
Title: NEWS: the near-infrared Echelle for wideband spectroscopy
Comments: Proc. SPIE 9908, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 99086M (August 9, 2016)
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present an updated optical and mechanical design of NEWS: the Near-infrared Echelle for Wide-band Spectroscopy (formerly called HiJaK: the High-resolution J, H and K spectrometer), a compact, high-resolution, near-infrared spectrometer for 5-meter class telescopes. NEWS provides a spectral resolution of 60,000 and covers the full 0.8-2.5 micron range in 5 modes. We adopt a compact, lightweight, monolithic design and developed NEWS to be mounted to the instrument cube at the Cassegrain focus of the the new 4.3-meter Discovery Channel Telescope.