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J.P. Magué & B. Ménard

[1]
Title: The impact of stellar feedback on the structure, size and morphology of galaxies in Milky Way size dark matter haloes
Comments: 15 pages; 8 figures; submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We use cosmological zoom-in simulations of galaxy formation in a Milky Way (MW)-sized halo started from identical initial conditions to investigate the evolution of galaxy sizes, baryon fractions, morphologies and angular momenta in runs with different parameters of the star formation--feedback cycle. Our fiducial model with a high local star formation efficiency, which results in efficient feedback, produces a realistic late-type galaxy that matches the evolution of basic properties of late-type galaxies: stellar mass, disk size, morphology dominated by a kinematically cold disk, stellar and gas surface density profiles, and specific angular momentum. We argue that feedback's role in this success is twofold: (1) removal of low-angular momentum gas and (2) maintaining a low disk-to-halo mass fraction which suppresses disk instabilities that lead to angular momentum redistribution and a central concentration of baryons. However, our model with a low local star formation efficiency, but large energy input per supernova, chosen to produce a galaxy with a similar star formation history as our fiducial model, leads to a highly irregular galaxy with no kinematically cold component, overly extended stellar distribution and low angular momentum. This indicates that only when feedback is allowed to become vigorous via locally efficient star formation in dense cold gas, resulting galaxy sizes, gas/stellar surface density profiles and stellar disk angular momenta agree with observed $z=0$ galaxies.

[2]
Title: Segue 1 - A Compressed Star Formation History Before Reionization
Comments: 12 pages, 6 figures, submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Segue 1 is the current best candidate for a "first galaxy", a system which experienced only a single short burst of star formation and has since remained unchanged. Here we present possible star formation scenarios which can explain its unique metallicity distribution. While the majority of stars in all other ultra-faint dwarfs (UFDs) are within 0.5 dex of the mean [Fe/H] for the galaxy, 5 of the 7 stars in Segue 1 have a spread of $\Delta$[Fe/H] $>0.8$ dex. We show that this distribution of metallicities canot be explained by a gradual build-up of stars, but instead requires clustered star formation. Chemical tagging allows the separate unresolved delta functions in abundance space to be associated with discrete events in space and time. This provides an opportunity to put the enrichment events into a time sequence and unravel the history of the system. We investigate two possible scenarios for the star formation history of Segue 1 using Fyris Alpha simulations of gas in a $10^7$ M$_\odot$ dark matter halo. The lack of stars with intermediate metallicities $-3<$ [Fe/H] $<-2$ can be explained either by a pause in star formation caused by supernova feedback, or by the spread of metallicities resulting from one or two supernovae in a low-mass dark matter halo. Either possibility can reproduce the metallicity distribution function (MDF), as well as the other observed elemental abundances. The unusual MDF and the low luminosity of Segue 1 can be explained by it being a first galaxy that originated with $M_{\rm{vir}}\sim10^7$~M$_\odot$ at $z\sim10$.

[3]
Title: Modelling supernova line profile asymmetries to determine ejecta dust masses: SN 1987A from days 714 to 3604
Comments: Submitted to MNRAS, 26 pages, 18 figures, 8 tables
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The late time optical and near-IR line profiles of many core-collapse supernovae exhibit a red-blue asymmetry as a result of greater extinction by internal dust of radiation emitted from the receding parts of the supernova ejecta. We present here a new code, DAMOCLES, that models the effects of dust on the line profiles of core-collapse supernovae in order to determine the masses of newly formed dust. As noted by Lucy et al. (1989), the presence of an extended red scattering wing in late-time line profiles can also indicate dust formation. We find that dust-affected line profiles need not necessarily be flux-biased towards to the blue, although the profile peak will always be blue-shifted. We have collated optical spectra of SN 1987A from a variety of archival sources and have modelled the evolution of the H$\alpha$ line from days 714 to 3604, as well as that of the [OI] 6300,6363A doublet between days 714 and 1478. A variety of evidence points to the presence of clumping and we find that our clumped dust models require significantly higher dust masses than smoothly distributed dust models. Our line profile fits imply day 714 dust masses of <3 $\times$ 10$^{-3}$ M$_{\odot}$ for all grain types apart from very high albedo pure magnesium silicates, for which up to 0.07M$_{\odot}$ can be accommodated. Large grain radii (>0.6$\mu$m) are generally required to fit the line profiles even at the earlier epochs. We find that a large dust mass (>0.1M$_{\odot}$) had formed by day 3604 and infer that the majority of the present dust mass must have formed after this epoch. Our findings agree with recent estimates from SED fits for the dust mass evolution of SN 1987A and support the inference that the majority of SN 1987A's dust formed many years after the initial explosion.

[4]
Title: Isolating signatures of major cloud-cloud collisions II: The lifetimes of broad bridge features
Comments: 11 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in the MNRAS main journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

[5]
Title: Dark matter searches
Authors: Laura Baudis
Journal-ref: Ann. Phys. (Berlin), 1-10 (2015)
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

One of the major challenges of modern physics is to decipher the nature of dark matter. Astrophysical observations provide ample evidence for the existence of an invisible and dominant mass component in the observable universe, from the scales of galaxies up to the largest cosmological scales. The dark matter could be made of new, yet undiscovered elementary particles, with allowed masses and interaction strengths with normal matter spanning an enormous range. Axions, produced non-thermally in the early universe, and weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), which froze out of thermal equilibrium with a relic density matching the observations, represent two well-motivated, generic classes of dark matter candidates. Dark matter axions could be detected by exploiting their predicted coupling to two photons, where the highest sensitivity is reached by experiments using a microwave cavity permeated by a strong magnetic field. WIMPs could be directly observed via scatters off atomic nuclei in underground, ultra low-background detectors, or indirectly, via secondary radiation produced when they pair annihilate. They could also be generated at particle colliders such as the LHC, where associated particles produced in the same process are to be detected. After a brief motivation and an introduction to the phenomenology of particle dark matter detection, I will discuss the most promising experimental techniques to search for axions and WIMPs, addressing their current and future science reach, as well as their complementarity.

[6]
Title: Assessing Galaxy Limiting Magnitudes in Large Optical Surveys
Comments: 14 pages, 12 figures, submitted to AJ
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Large scale structure measurements require accurate and precise knowledge of the survey depth --- typically expressed in the form of a limiting magnitude --- as a function of position on the sky. To date, most surveys only compute the point-source limiting magnitude measured within a fixed metric aperture. However, this quantity is ill suited to describe the limiting depth of galaxies, which depends on the detailed interplay of survey systematics with galaxy shapes and sizes. We describe an empirical method for directly estimating the limiting magnitude for large photometric surveys, and apply it to $\sim10,000\,\mathrm{deg}^{2}$ of SDSS DR8 data. Combined with deeper imaging from SDSS Stripe 82 and CFHTLens, we are able to use these depth maps to estimate the location-dependent galaxy detection completeness at any point within the full BOSS DR8 survey region. We show that these maps can be used to construct random points suitable for unbiased estimation of correlation functions for galaxies near the survey limiting magnitude. Finally, we provide limiting magnitude maps for galaxies in SDSS DR8 in HEALPix format with NSIDE=2048.

[7]
Title: Detectability of Planetesimal Impacts on Giant Exoplanets
Comments: Accepted to Icarus; 15 pages, 9 figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The detectability of planetesimal impacts on imaged exoplanets can be measured using Jupiter during the 1994 comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 events as a proxy. By integrating the whole planet flux with and without impact spots, the effect of the impacts at wavelengths from 2 - 4 microns is revealed. Jupiter's reflected light spectrum in the near-infrared is dominated by its methane opacity including a deep band at 2.3 microns. After the impact, sunlight that would have normally been absorbed by the large amount of methane in Jupiter's atmosphere was instead reflected by the cometary material from the impacts. As a result, at 2.3 microns, where the planet would normally have low reflectivity, it brightened substantially and stayed brighter for at least a month.

[8]
Title: Energy Dependence of Synchrotron X-Ray Rims in Tycho's Supernova Remnant
Comments: 17 pages, 9 figures; accepted by ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Several young supernova remnants exhibit thin X-ray bright rims of synchrotron radiation at their forward shocks. Thin rims require strong magnetic field amplification beyond simple shock compression if rim widths are only limited by electron energy losses. But, magnetic field damping behind the shock could produce similarly thin rims with less extreme field amplification. Variation of rim width with energy may thus discriminate between competing influences on rim widths. We measured rim widths around Tycho's supernova remnant in 5 energy bands using an archival 750 ks Chandra observation. Rims narrow with increasing energy and are well described by either loss-limited or damped scenarios, so X-ray rim width-energy dependence does not uniquely specify a model. But, radio counterparts to thin rims are not loss-limited and better reflect magnetic field structure. Joint radio and X-ray modeling favors magnetic damping in Tycho's SNR with damping lengths ~1--5% of remnant radius and magnetic field strengths ~50--400 $\mu$G assuming Bohm diffusion. X-ray rim widths are ~1% of remnant radius, somewhat smaller than inferred damping lengths. Electron energy losses are important in all models of X-ray rims, suggesting that the distinction between loss-limited and damped models is blurred in soft X-rays. All loss-limited and damping models require magnetic fields $\gtrsim$ 20 $\mu$G, affirming the necessity of magnetic field amplification beyond simple compression.

[9]
Title: Probing Efficient Cosmic-Ray Acceleration in Young Supernovae
Authors: Vikram V. Dwarkadas (University of Chicago), M. Renaud, A. Marcowith (Universite Montpellier II/CNRS), V. Tatischeff (CNRS / Univ Paris-Sud)
Comments: 8 pages, 1 figure. To be published in Proceedings of Science, as part of the proceedings of the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC), held in the Hague, Netherlands. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1409.3670
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The formation of a core collapse supernovae (SNe) results in a fast (but non- or mildly-relativistic) shock wave expanding outwards into the surrounding medium. The medium itself is likely modified due to the stellar mass-loss from the massive star progenitor, which may be Wolf-Rayet stars (for Type Ib/c SNe), red supergiant stars (for type IIP and perhaps IIb and IIL SNe), or some other stellar type. The wind mass-loss parameters determine the density structure of the surrounding medium. Combined with the velocity of the SN shock wave, this regulates the shock acceleration process. In this article we discuss the essential parameters that control the particle acceleration and gamma-ray emission in SNe, with particular reference to the Type IIb SN 1993J. The shock wave expanding into the high density medium leads to fast particle acceleration, giving rise to rapidly-growing plasma instabilities driven by the acceleration process itself. The instabilities grow over intraday timescales. This growth, combined with the interplay of non-linear processes, results in the amplification of the magnetic field at the shock front, which can adequately account for the magnetic field strengths deduced from radio monitoring of the source. The maximum particle energy can reach, and perhaps exceed, 1 PeV, depending on the dominant instability. The gamma-ray signal is found to be heavily absorbed by pair production process during the first week after the outburst. We derive the time dependent particle spectra and associated hadronic signatures of secondary particles (gamma-ray, leptons and neutrinos) arising from proton proton interactions. We find that the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) should be able to detect objects like SN 1993J above 1 TeV. We predict a low neutrino flux above 10 TeV, implying a detectability horizon with current or planned neutrino telescopes of 1 Mpc.

[10]
Title: Cosmic Ray Small Scale Anisotropies and Local Turbulent Magnetic Fields
Comments: 12 pages, 6 figures. Submitted to ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Cosmic ray anisotropy is observed in a wide energy range and at different angular scales by a variety of experiments. However, a comprehensive and satisfactory explanation has been elusive for over a decade now. The arrival distribution of cosmic rays on Earth is the convolution of the distribution of their sources and of the effects of geometry and properties of the magnetic field through which particles propagate. It is generally believed that the anisotropy topology at the largest angular scale is adiabatically shaped by diffusion in the structured interstellar magnetic field. On the contrary, the medium and small angular scale structure could be an effect of non diffusive propagation of cosmic rays in perturbed magnetic fields. In particular, a possible explanation of the observed small scale anisotropy observed at TeV energy scale, may come from the effect of particle scattering in turbulent magnetized plasmas. We perform numerical integration of test particle trajectories in low-$\beta$ compressible magnetohydrodynamic turbulence to study how the cosmic rays arrival direction distribution is perturbed when they stream along the local turbulent magnetic field. We utilize the Liouville theorem for obtaining the anisotropy at Earth and provide the theoretical framework for the application of the theorem in the specific case of cosmic ray arrival distribution. In this work, we discuss the effects on the anisotropy arising from propagation in this inhomogeneous and turbulent interstellar magnetic field.

[11]
Title: A Gibbs Sampler for Multivariate Linear Regression
Comments: 9 pages, 5 figures, 2 tables
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Methodology (stat.ME)

Kelly (2007, hereafter K07) described an efficient algorithm, using Gibbs sampling, for performing linear regression in the fairly general case where non-zero measurement errors exist for both the covariates and response variables, where these measurements may be correlated (for the same data point), where the response variable is affected by intrinsic scatter in addition to measurement error, and where the prior distribution of covariates is modeled by a flexible mixture of Gaussians rather than assumed to be uniform. Here I extend the K07 algorithm in two ways. First, the procedure is generalized to the case of multiple response variables. Second, I describe how to model the prior distribution of covariates using a Dirichlet process, which can be thought of as a Gaussian mixture where the number of mixture components is learned from the data. I present an example of multivariate regression using the extended algorithm, namely fitting scaling relations of the gas mass, temperature, and luminosity of dynamically relaxed galaxy clusters as a function of their mass and redshift. An implementation of the Gibbs sampler in the R language, called LRGS, is provided.

[12]
Title: Evidence of thermal conduction suppression in a solar flaring loop by coronal seismology of slow-mode waves
Comments: 7 pages, 5 figures, Accepted by ApJ Letters
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Analysis of a longitudinal wave event observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) is presented. A time sequence of 131 A images reveals that a C-class flare occurred at one footpoint of a large loop and triggered an intensity disturbance (enhancement) propagating along it. The spatial features and temporal evolution suggest that a fundamental standing slow-mode wave could be set up quickly after meeting of two initial disturbances from the opposite footpoints. The oscillations have a period of ~12 min and a decay time of ~9 min. The measured phase speed of 500$\pm$50 km/s matches the sound speed in the heated loop of ~10 MK, confirming that the observed waves are of slow mode. We derive the time-dependent temperature and electron density wave signals from six AIA extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) channels, and find that they are nearly in phase.The measured polytropic index from the temperature and density perturbations is 1.64$\pm$0.08 close to the adiabatic index of 5/3 for an ideal monatomic gas. The interpretation based on a 1D linear MHD model suggests that the thermal conductivity is suppressed by at least a factor of 3 in the hot flare loop at 9 MK and above. The viscosity coefficient is determined by coronal seismology from the observed wave when only considering the compressive viscosity dissipation. We find that to interpret the rapid wave damping, the classical compressive viscosity coefficient needs to be enhanced by a factor of 15 as the upper limit.

[13]
Title: Outflowing Diffuse Gas in the Active Galactic Nucleus of NGC 1068
Comments: Accepted by ApJ 2 Sep 2015
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Spectra of the archetypal Type II Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068 in a narrow wavelength interval near 3.7 microns have revealed a weak absorption feature due to two lines of the molecular ion H3+. The observed wavelength of the feature corresponds to velocity of -70 km/s relative to the systemic velocity of the galaxy, implying an outward flow from the nucleus along the line of sight. The absorption by H3+ along with the previously known broad hydrocarbon absorption at 3.4~microns probably are formed in diffuse gas that is in close proximity to the continuum source, i.e. within a few tens of parsecs of the central engine. Based on that conclusion and the measured H3+ absorption velocity and with the assumption of a spherically symmetric wind we estimate a rate of mass outflow from the AGN of ~1 Msun/yr.

[14]
Title: The Gaia-ESO Survey: chemical signatures of rocky accretion in a young solar-type star
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

It is well known that newly formed planetary systems undergo processes of orbital reconfiguration and planetary migration. As a result, planets or protoplanetary objects may accrete onto the central star, being fused and mixed into its external layers. If the accreted mass is sufficiently high and the star has a sufficiently thin convective envelope, such events may result in a modification of the chemical composition of the stellar photosphere in an observable way, enhancing it with elements that were abundant in the accreted mass. The recent Gaia-ESO Survey observations of the 10-20 Myr old Gamma Velorum cluster have enabled identifying a star that is significantly enriched in iron with respect to other cluster members. In this Letter we further investigate the abundance pattern of this star, showing that its abundance anomaly is not limited to iron, but is also present in the refractory elements, whose overabundances are correlated with the condensation temperature. This finding strongly supports the hypothesis of a recent accretion of rocky material.

[15]
Title: Luminosity and cooling of highly magnetised white dwarfs: Suppression of luminosity by strong magnetic fields
Comments: 20 pages including 12 figures and 15 tables
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

We investigate the luminosity and cooling of highly magnetised white dwarfs. We consider white dwarfs with electron-degenerate core and nondegenerate surface layers where cooling occurs by diffusion of photons. We find the temperature and density profiles in the surface layers or envelope of white dwarfs for radially constant and varying magnetic fields by solving the magnetostatic equilibrium and photon diffusion equations in a Newtonian framework. We also obtain the properties of white dwarfs at the core-envelope interface, when the core is assumed to be practically isothermal due to large thermal conductivity. With the increase in magnetic field, the interface temperature and density are found to be increasing. While the interface radius also increases with the increase in magnetic field when the field is hypothesised to be constant throughout the star, the interface radius decreases for varying fields. However, for white dwarfs having fixed interface radius or interface temperature, we find that the luminosity significantly decreases, falling in the range ~ 10^{-6}-10^{-13} solar luminosity, with the increase in magnetic field strength at the interface and hence envelope, in the corresponding range ~ 10^9-10^{11} G, in particular for the varying magnetic fields which are expected to be more realistic. This is remarkable as it argues for magnetised white dwarfs to be dimmer and be practically hidden in the H-R diagram. We also find the cooling rates corresponding to these luminosities. Interestingly, the decrease in temperature with time, for the fields under consideration, is not found to be appreciable --- at most by a factor of two and that is also for the constant field cases.

[16]
Title: Distance Priors from \emph{Planck} 2015 data
Comments: 17 pages, 8 figures, 3 tables
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)

We update the distance priors by adopting $Planck~ \textrm{TT,TE,EE}+\textrm{lowP}$ data released in 2015, and our results impose at least $30\%$ tighter constraints than those from $Planck~ \textrm{TT}+\textrm{lowP}$. Combining the distance priors with the combination of supernova Union~2.1 compilation of 580 SNe (Union~2.1) and low redshift Baryon Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) data, we constrain the cosmological parameters in the freely binned dark energy (FBDE) and FBDE$+\Omega_k$ models respectively, and find that the equations of state of dark energy in both models are consistent with $w=-1$. Furthermore, we show that the tension with the BAO data at $z=2.34$ from Ly$\alpha$ forest (Ly$\alpha$F) auto-correlation and Combined Ly$\alpha$F cannot be relaxed in the FBDE and FBDE$+\Omega_k$ models.

[17]
Title: New members of Datura family
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The problem of origin and age of asteroid families is studied very intensively. Youngest families are most interesting due to possibility of the reconstruction collisional history. Here we report about three new members of Datura Family

[18]
Title: Spectral Decline of PeV Neutrinos from Starburst Galaxies
Authors: I. Bartos, S. Marka
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Starburst galaxies represent one of the most plausible origins of the cosmic high-energy neutrino flux recently discovered by IceCube. At $\sim$ PeV energies, the neutrino flux from starburst galaxies is expected to exhibit a characteristic spectral break due to cosmic-rays escaping the galaxy. We examine the 'smearing' of this spectral break by a population of starburst galaxies with varying properties. We incorporate galaxy distribution w.r.t. star-formation rate and redshift. Our results (i) show characteristic spectral softening in IceCube's energy band; (ii) resolve the conflicting observations of soft neutrino spectrum and diffuse gamma-ray flux observed by Fermi-LAT; (iii) constrain the properties of the magnetic fields in starburst galaxies.

[19]
Title: Ophiuchus: an optical view of a very massive cluster of galaxies hidden behind the Milky Way
Comments: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The Ophiuchus cluster, at a redshift z=0.0296, is known from X-rays to be one of the most massive nearby clusters, but due to its very low Galactic latitude its optical properties have not been investigated in detail. We discuss the optical properties of the galaxies in the Ophiuchus cluster, in particular with the aim of understanding better its dynamical properties. We have obtained deep optical imaging in several bands with various telescopes, and applied a sophisticated method to model and subtract the contributions of stars in order to measure galaxy magnitudes as accurately as possible. The colour-magnitude relations obtained show that there are hardly any blue galaxies in Ophiuchus (at least brighter than r'<=19.5), and this is confirmed by the fact that we only detect two galaxies in Halpha. We also obtained a number of spectra with ESO-FORS2, that we combined with previously available redshifts. Altogether, we have 152 galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts in the 0.02<=z<=0.04 range, and 89 galaxies with both a redshift within the cluster redshift range and a measured r' band magnitude (limited to the Megacam 1x1 deg^2 field). A complete dynamical analysis based on the galaxy redshifts available shows that the overall cluster is relaxed and has a mass of 1.1x10^15 solar masses. The Sernal-Gerbal method detects a main structure and a much smaller substructure that are not separated in projection. From its dynamical properties derived from optical data, the Ophiuchus cluster seems to be overall a relaxed structure, or at most a minor merger, though in X-rays the central region (radius ~ 150 kpc) may show evidence for merging effects.

[20]
Title: Cherenkov Telescope Array Data Management
Comments: 8 pages, 2 figures, In Proceedings of the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2015), The Hague, The Netherlands. All CTA contributions at arXiv:1508.05894
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Very High Energy gamma-ray astronomy with the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is evolving towards the model of a public observatory. Handling, processing and archiving the large amount of data generated by the CTA instruments and delivering scientific products are some of the challenges in designing the CTA Data Management. The participation of scientists from within CTA Consortium and from the greater worldwide scientific community necessitates a sophisticated scientific analysis system capable of providing unified and efficient user access to data, software and computing resources. Data Management is designed to respond to three main issues: (i) the treatment and flow of data from remote telescopes; (ii) "big-data" archiving and processing; (iii) and open data access. In this communication the overall technical design of the CTA Data Management, current major developments and prototypes are presented.

[21]
Title: Diffuse Radiation from the Aquila Rift
Comments: 7 pages, 13 figures, one table
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present an analysis of the diffuse ultraviolet (UV) background in a low latitude region near the Aquila Rift based on observations made by the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX). The UV background is at a level of about 2000 ph cm^-2 s^-1 sr^-1 \AA^-1 with no correlation with either the Galactic latitude or the 100 micron infrared (IR) emission. Rather, the UV emission falls off with distance from the bright B2 star HIP 88149, which is in the centre of the field. We have used a Monte Carlo model to derive an albedo of 0.6 - 0.7 in the UV with a phase function asymmetry factor (g) of 0.2 - 0.4. The value for the albedo is dependent on the dust distribution while g is determined by the extent of the halo.

[22]
Title: A Polarimetric Method for Measuring Black Hole Masses in Active Galactic Nuclei
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The structure of the broad emission line region (BLR) in active galactic nuclei (AGN) remains unclear. We test in this paper a flattened configuration model for BLR. The virial theorem, by taking into account the disc shape of BLR, allows us to get a direct connection between the mass of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and the inclination angle of the accretion flow. The inclination angle itself is derived from the spectropolarimetric data on broad emission lines using the theory for the generation of polarized radiation developed by Sobolev and Chandrasekhar. As the result, the new estimates of SMBH masses in AGN with measured polarization of BLR are presented. It is crucial that the polarimetric data allow also to determine the value of the virial coefficient that is essential for determining SMBH masses.

[23]
Title: RXTE & Swift Observations of SWIFT J0513.4--6547
Authors: S. Sahiner (1), M.M. Serim (1), A. Baykal (1), S.C. Inam (2) ((1) Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, (2) Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey)
Comments: 17 pages, 10 figures; submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present timing and spectral analysis of \emph{Swift}$-$XRT and \emph{RXTE}$-$PCA observations of the X-ray pulsar SWIFT J0513.4--6547 during its outburst in 2009 and its rebrightening in 2014. From 2009 observations, short term spin-up rate of the source was found to have about half of the value measured by Coe et al. From 2014 observations, short term spin-down rate of the source was measured to be about two orders of smaller than the average spin-down rate between 2009 and 2014. Pulse profiles of the source were found to contain double peaks, called primary and secondary. It was found that hardness ratios of the source correlate with the X-ray luminosity up to where 3-10 keV X-ray luminosity is $8.4\times 10^{36}$ erg s$^{-1}$. For higher luminosities, hardness ratios were found to be consistent with being constant. Pulsed fractions were found to be correlated with the source flux. Overall \emph{Swift}$-$XRT and \emph{RXTE}$-$PCA energy spectrum of the source fit equally well to a model consisting of blackbody and power law, and a model consisting of a power law with high energy cut-off. From the pulse phase resolved spectra and pulse phased resolved hardness ratios obtained using \emph{RXTE}$-$PCA, it was shown that spectrum is softer between primary and secondary peaks.

[24]
Title: First results of the two square meters multilayer glass composite mirror design proposed for the Cherenkov Telescope Array developed at INFN
Comments: 7 pages, 4 figures. In Proceedings of the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2015), The Hague, The Netherlands. All CTA contributions at arXiv:1508.05894"
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Instrumentation and Detectors (physics.ins-det)

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is a future ground-based gamma-ray astronomy detector that will consist of more than 100 Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes of different sizes. The total reflective surface of roughly 10 000 m$^2$ requires unprecedented technological efforts towards a cost-efficient production of light-weight and reliable mirror substrates at high production rate. We report on a new mirror concept proposed for CTA developed by INFN, which is based on the replication from a spherical convex mold under low pressure. The mirror substrate is an open structure design made by thin glass layers at the mirror's front and rear interspaced by steel cylinders. A first series of nominal size mirrors has been produced, for which we discuss the optical properties in terms of radius of curvature and focusing power.

[25]
Title: Future prospects of testing Lorentz invariance with UHECRs
Comments: 8 pages, 8 eps figures, talk given by D. Boncioli at the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference, 30 July - 6 August 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1408.5213
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

In the last years a general consensus has emerged on the use of ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECR) data as a powerful probe of the validity of special relativity. This applies in particular to the propagation of cosmic rays from their sources to Earth, responsible for energy suppressions due to pion photoproduction by UHE protons (the Greisen-Zatsepin Kuzmin limit) and photo disintegration of UHE nuclei (the Gerasimova-Rozental limit). A suppression in the flux of UHECRs at energies above 40 EeV -- as expected from both these interactions -- has been established experimentally beyond any doubt by current experiments. However, such an observation is still not conclusive on the origin of the suppression. In particular, data from the Pierre Auger Observatory can be interpreted in a scenario in which the suppression is due to the maximum acceleration energy at the sources rather than to interactions in the background radiation. In this scenario, UHECR data can no longer yield bounds on Lorentz invariance violations which increase the thresholds for interactions of nuclei on background photons, in particular through modification of the dispersion relations. Here we argue in turn that the study of UHECRs still represents an opportunity to test Lorentz invariance, by discussing the possibility of deriving limits on violation parameters from UHECR phenomena other than propagation. In particular we study the modifications of the shower development in the atmosphere due to the possible inhibition of the decay of unstable particles, especially neutral pions.

[26]
Title: Deconstructing the narrow-line region of the nearest obscured quasar
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. 20 pages, 15 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We study the physical and kinematic properties of the narrow line region (NLR) of the nearest obscured quasar MRK 477 (z=0.037), using optical and near-infrared spectroscopy. We explore a diversity of aspects that provide a more complete understanding of the nature of this object, example of a type 2 quasar in the nearby Universe, as well as a starburst-AGN hybrid system [abridged].

[27]
Title: Magnetic Flux and Helicity of Magnetic Clouds
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Magnetic clouds (MCs) are formed by flux ropes (FRs) launched from the Sun as part of coronal mass ejections (CMEs). They carry away an important amount of magnetic flux and helicity. The main aim of this study is to quantify these quantities from insitu measurements of MCs at 1 AU. The fit of these data by a local FR model provides the axial magnetic field strength, the radius, the magnetic flux and the helicity per unit length along the FR axis. We show that these quantities are statistically independent of the position along the FR axis. We then derive the generic shape and length of the FR axis from two sets of MCs. These results improve the estimation of magnetic helicity. Next, we evaluate the total magnetic flux and helicity crossing the sphere of radius of 1 AU, centered at the Sun, per year and during a solar cycle. We also include in the study two sets of small FRs which do not have all the typical characteristics of MCs. While small FRs are at least ten times more numerous than MCs, the magnetic flux and helicity are dominated by the contribution from the larger MCs. They carry in one year the magnetic flux of about 25 large active regions and the magnetic helicity of 200 of them. MCs carry away an amount of unsigned magnetic helicity comparable to the one estimated for the solar dynamo and the one measured in emerging active regions.

[28]
Title: XMM-Newton observation of a sample of four close dSph galaxies
Comments: MNRAS, in press, tables available on line
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present the results of the analysis of deep archival \sat\ observations towards the dwarf spheroidal galaxies Draco, Leo I, Ursa Major II and Ursa Minor in the Milky Way neighbourhood. The X-ray source population is characterized and cross-correlated with available databases with the aim to infer their nature. We also investigate if intermediate-mass black holes are hosted in the center of these galaxies. In the case of Draco, we detect 96 high-energy sources, two of them being possibly local stars, while no evidence for any X-ray emitting central compact object is found. Towards the Leo I and UMa II field of view we reveal 116 and 49 X-ray sources, respectively. None of them correlates with the putative central black holes and only one is likely associated with a UMa II local source. The study of the UMi dwarf galaxy shows 54 high-energy sources and a possible association {with a source at the dSph center}. We put an upper limit to the central compact object luminosity of 4.02$\times$10$^{33}$ erg/s. Furthermore, via the correlation with a radio source near the galactic center, we get that the putative black hole should have a mass of $\left(2.76^{+32.00}_{-2.54}\right)\times10^6 M_{\odot}$ and be radiatively inefficient. This confirms a previous result obtained by using Chandra data alone.

[29]
Title: Understanding star formation in molecular clouds III. Probability distribution functions of molecular lines in Cygnus X
Authors: N.Schneider (1,2), S. Bontemps (1), F. Motte (3), V. Ossenkopf (2), R.S. Klessen (4), R. Simon (2), S. Fechtenbaum (1), F. Herpin (1), P. Tremblin (5), T. Csengeri (6), P.C. Myers (7), T. Hill (8), M. Cunningham (9), C. Federrath (10) ((1) LAB/OASU Bordeaux, UMR 5804, Floirac, France, (2) I.Physik. Institut, University of Cologne, Germany, (3) IRFU/SAp CEA/DSM, Gif-sur-Yvette, France,(4) Zentrum fuer Astronomie, Heidelberg, Germany, (5) Maison de la simulation, CEA Saclay, France, (6) MPIfR Bonn, Germany, (7) CfA, Cambridge MA 02138, USA, (8) Joint ALMA observatory, Santiago, Chile, (9) School of Physics, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, (10) Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Canberra, Australia)
Comments: sub. to A&A on 10.8.2015
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Column density (N) PDFs serve as a powerful tool to characterize the physical processes that influence the structure of molecular clouds. Star-forming clouds can best be characterized by lognormal PDFs for the lower N range and a power-law tail for higher N, commonly attributed to turbulence and self-gravity and/or pressure, respectively. We report here on PDFs obtained from observations of 12CO, 13CO, C18O, CS, and N2H+ in the Cygnus X North region and compare to a PDF derived from dust observations with the Herschel satellite. The PDF of 12CO is lognormal for Av~1-30, but is cut for higher Av due to optical depth effects. The PDFs of C18O and 13CO are mostly lognormal up for Av~1-15, followed by excess up to Av~40. Above that value, all CO PDFs drop, most likely due to depletion. The high density tracers CS and N2H+ exhibit only a power law distribution between Av~15 and 400, respectively. The PDF from dust is lognormal for Av~2-15 and has a power-law tail up to Av~500. Absolute values for the molecular line column densities are, however, rather uncertain due to abundance and excitation temperature variations. Taken the dust PDF face value, we 'calibrate' the molecular line PDF of CS to the one of the dust and determined an abundance [CS]/[H2] of 10^-9. The slopes of the power-law tails of the CS, N2H+, and dust PDFs are -1.6, -1.4, and -1.9, respectively, and are thus consistent with free-fall collapse of filaments and clumps. A quasi static configuration of filaments and clumps can possibly also account for the observed N-pdfs, as long as they have a sufficiently condensed density structure and external ram pressure by gas accretion is provided. The somehow flatter slopes of N2H+ and CS can reflect an abundance change and/or subthermal excitation at low column densities.

[30]
Title: The Lyman Continuum escape fraction of galaxies at z=3.3 in the VUDS-LBC/COSMOS field
Comments: 21 pages, 9 figures. Accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The Lyman continuum (LyC) flux escaping from high-z galaxies into the IGM is a fundamental quantity to understand the physical processes involved in the reionization epoch. We have investigated a sample of star-forming galaxies at z~3.3 in order to search for possible detections of LyC photons escaping from galaxy halos. UV deep imaging in the COSMOS field obtained with the prime focus camera LBC at the LBT telescope was used together with a catalog of spectroscopic redshifts obtained by the VIMOS Ultra Deep Survey (VUDS) to build a sample of 45 galaxies at z~3.3 with L>0.5L*. We obtained deep LBC images of galaxies with spectroscopic redshifts in the interval 3.27<z<3.40 both in the R and deep U bands. A sub-sample of 10 galaxies apparently shows escape fractions>28% but a detailed analysis of their properties reveals that, with the exception of two marginal detections (S/N~2) in the U band, all the other 8 galaxies are most likely contaminated by the UV flux of low-z interlopers located close to the high-z targets. The average escape fraction derived from the stacking of the cleaned sample was constrained to fesc_rel<2%. The implied HI photo-ionization rate is a factor two lower than that needed to keep the IGM ionized at z~3, as observed in the Lyman forest of high-z QSO spectra or by the proximity effect. These results support a scenario where high redshift, relatively bright (L>0.5L*) star-forming galaxies alone are unable to sustain the level of ionization observed in the cosmic IGM at z~3. Star-forming galaxies at higher redshift and at fainter luminosities (L<<L*) can be the major contributors to the reionization of the Universe only if their physical properties are subject to rapid changes from z~3 to z~6-10. Alternatively, ionizing sources could be discovered looking for fainter sources among the AGN population at high-z.

[31]
Title: Search for Dark Matter from Dwarf Galaxies using VERITAS
Comments: To appear in the proceedings of the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands); 8 pages, 4 figures, 1 table
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

In the cosmological paradigm, cold dark matter (DM) dominates the mass content of the Universe and is present at every scale. Candidates for DM include many extensions of the standard model, such as weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) in the mass range from $\sim$10 GeV to greater than 10 TeV. The self-annihilation or decay of WIMPs in astrophysical regions of high DM density can produce secondary particles including very high energy (VHE) gamma rays with energy up to the DM particle mass. VERITAS, an array of atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes, sensitive to VHE gamma rays in the 85 GeV-30 TeV energy range, has been utilized for the search for this DM signature. The astrophysical objects considered to be candidates for indirect DM detection by VERITAS are dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs) of the Local Group and the Galactic Center, among others. This presentation reports on the observations of five dSphs, and the results from a joint DM search from these objects.

[32]
Title: Observational $Δν$-$\barρ$ relation for $δ$ Sct stars using eclipsing binaries and space photometry
Comments: 11 pages, including 2 pages of appendix, 2 figures, 2 tables, accepted for publication in ApJL
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Delta Scuti ($\delta$ Sct) stars are intermediate-mass pulsators, whose intrinsic oscillations have been studied for decades. However, modelling their pulsations remains a real theoretical challenge, thereby even hampering the precise determination of global stellar parameters. In this work, we used space photometry observations of eclipsing binaries with a $\delta$ Sct component to obtain reliable physical parameters and oscillation frequencies. Using that information, we derived an observational scaling relation between the stellar mean density and a frequency pattern in the oscillation spectrum. This pattern is analogous to the solar-like large separation but in the low order regime. We also show that this relation is independent of the rotation rate. These findings open the possibility of accurately characterizing this type of pulsator and validate the frequency pattern as a new observable for $\delta$ Sct stars.

[33]
Title: Mapping the inner regions of the polar disk galaxy NGC4650A with MUSE
Comments: 14 pages, 10 figures; accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

[abridged] The polar disk galaxy NGC4650A was observed during the commissioning of the MUSE at the ESO VLT to obtain the first 2D map of the velocity and velocity dispersion for both stars and gas. The new MUSE data allow the analysis of the structure and kinematics towards the central regions of NGC4650A, where the two components co-exist. These regions were unexplored by the previous long-slit literature data available for this galaxy. The extended view of NGC~4650A given by the MUSE data is a galaxy made of two perpendicular disks that remain distinct and drive the kinematics right into the very centre of this object. In order to match this observed structure for NGC4650A, we constructed a multicomponent mass model made by the combined projection of two disks. By comparing the observations with the 2D kinematics derived from the model, we found that the modelled mass distribution in these two disks can, on average, account for the complex kinematics revealed by the MUSE data, also in the central regions of the galaxy where the two components coexist. This result is a strong constraint on the dynamics and formation history of this galaxy; it further supports the idea that polar disk galaxies like NGC~4650A were formed through the accretion of material that has different angular momentum.

[34]
Title: Physical properties of distant red galaxies in the COSMOS/UltraVISTA field
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present a study on physical properties for a large distant red galaxy (DRG) sample, using the $K$-selected multi-band photometry catalog of the COSMOS/UltraVISTA field and the CANDELS NIR data. Our sample includes 4485 DRGs with $(J-K)_\mathrm{AB}>1.16$ and $K_\mathrm{AB}<$23.4 mag, and 132 DRGs have HST/WFC3 morphological measurements. The results of nonparametric measurements of DRG morphology are consistent with our rest-frame UVJ color classification: quiescent DRGs are generally compact while star-forming DRGs tend to have extended structures. We find the star formation rate (SFR) and the stellar mass of star-forming DRGs present tight "main sequence" relations in all redshift bins. Moreover, the specific SFR (sSFR) of DRGs increase with redshift in all stellar mass bins and DRGs with higher stellar masses generally have lower sSFRs, which indicates that galaxies were much more active on average in the past, and star formation contributes more to the mass growth of low-mass galaxies than to high-mass galaxies. The infrared (IR) derived SFR dominate the total SFR of DRGs which occupy the high-mass range, implying that the $J-K$ color criterion effectively selects massive and dusty galaxies. DRGs with higher $M_{*}$ generally have redder $(U-V)_\mathrm{rest}$ colors, and the $(U-V)_\mathrm{rest}$ colors of DRGs become bluer at higher redshifts, suggesting high-mass galaxies have higher internal dust extinctions or older stellar ages and they evolve with time. Finally, we find that DRGs have different overlaps with EROs, BzKs, IEROs and high-$z$ ULIRGs indicating DRGs is not a special population and they can also be selected by other color criteria.

[35]
Title: Correlated X-ray/Ultraviolet/Optical Variability in NGC 6814
Comments: 11 pages, 8 figures, submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present results of a 3-month combined X-ray/UV/optical monitoring campaign of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 6814. The object was monitored by Swift from June through August 2012 in the X-ray and UV bands and by the Liverpool Telescope from May through July 2012 in B and V. The light curves are variable and significantly correlated between wavebands. Using cross-correlation analysis, we compute the time lag between the X-ray and lower energy bands. These lags are thought to be associated with the light travel time between the central X-ray emitting region and areas further out on the accretion disc. The computed lags support a thermal reprocessing scenario in which X-ray photons heat the disc and are reprocessed into lower energy photons. Additionally, we fit the lightcurves using CREAM, a Markov Chain Monte Carlo code for a standard disc. The best-fitting standard disc model yields unreasonably high super-Eddington accretion rates. Assuming more reasonable accretion rates would result in significantly under-predicted lags. If the majority of the reprocessing originates in the disc, then this implies the UV/optical emitting regions of the accretion disc are farther out than predicted by the standard thin disc model. Accounting for contributions from broad emission lines reduces the lags in B and V by approximately 25% (less than the uncertainty in the lag measurements), though additional contamination from the Balmer continuum may also contribute to the larger than expected lags. This discrepancy between the predicted and measured interband delays is now becoming common in AGN where wavelength-dependent lags are measured.

[36]
Title: Highly eccentric exoplanets trapped in mean-motion resonances
Comments: Proceedings of 12th Hel.A.S Conference, Thessaloniki, 28 June - 2 July, 2015. Contributed Lecture
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We herein utilize the general three-body problem (GTBP) as a model, in order to simulate resonant systems consisting of a star and two planets, where at least one of them is highly eccentric. We study them in terms of their long-term stability, via the construction of maps of dynamical stability and the computation of the corresponding families of periodic orbits. We identify the way their survival is connected with the regions of regular motion in phase space, which, in turn, were created by stable resonant periodic orbits in their vicinity. Consequently, a phase protection mechanism is provided and the planets avoid close encounters and collisions even on long timescales. We apply our methodology to the extrasolar system HD 82943.

[37]
Title: On the Conservation of Cross Helicity and Wave Action in Solar-Wind Models with Non-WKB Alfven Wave Reflection
Comments: 9 pages, 1 figure, in press at ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

The interaction between Alfven-wave turbulence and the background solar wind affects the cross helicity in two ways. Non-WKB reflection converts outward-propagating Alfven waves into inward-propagating Alfven waves and vice versa, and the turbulence transfers momentum to the background flow. When both effects are accounted for, the total cross helicity is conserved. In the special case that the background density and flow speed are independent of time, the equations of cross-helicity conservation and total-energy conservation can be combined to recover a well-known equation derived by Heinemann and Olbert that has been interpreted as a non-WKB generalization of wave-action conservation. This latter equation (in contrast to cross-helicity and energy conservation) does not hold when the background varies in time.

[38]
Title: The Earth transiting the Sun as seen from Jupiter's moons: detection of an inverse Rossiter-McLaughlin effect produced by the Opposition Surge of the icy Europa
Journal-ref: MNRAS 2015 453, 1684
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We report on a multi-wavelength observational campaign which followed the Earth's transit on the Sun as seen from Jupiter on 5 Jan the 2014. Simultaneous observations of Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede obtained with HARPS from La Silla, Chile, and HARPS-N from La Palma, Canary Islands, were performed to measure the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect due to the Earth's passage using the same technique successfully adopted for the 2012 Venus Transit (Molaro et al 2013). The expected modulation in radial velocities was of about 20 cm/s but an anomalous drift as large as 38 m/s, i.e. more than two orders of magnitude higher and opposite in sign, was detected instead. The consistent behaviour of the two spectrographs rules out instrumental origin of the radial velocity drift and BiSON observations rule out the possible dependence on the Sun's magnetic activity. We suggest that this anomaly is produced by the Opposition Surge on Europa's icy surface, which amplifies the intensity of the solar radiation from a portion of the solar surface centered around the crossing Earth which can then be observed as a a sort of inverse Rossiter-McLaughling effect. in fact, a simplified model of this effect can explain in detail most features of the observed radial velocity anomalies, namely the extensions before and after the transit, the small differences between the two observatories and the presence of a secondary peak closer to Earth passage. This phenomenon, observed here for the first time, should be observed every time similar Earth alignments occur with rocky bodies without atmospheres. We predict it should be observed again during the next conjunction of Earth and Jupiter in 2026.

[39]
Title: Construction of a Schwarzschild-Couder telescope as a candidate for the Cherenkov Telescope Array: status of the optical system
Comments: In Proceedings of the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2015), The Hague, The Netherlands. All CTA contributions at arXiv:1508.05894
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present the design and the status of procurement of the optical system of the prototype Schwarzschild-Couder telescope (pSCT), for which construction is scheduled to begin in fall at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory in southern Arizona, USA. The Schwarzschild-Couder telescope is a candidate for the medium-sized telescopes of the Cherenkov Telescope Array, which utilizes imaging atmospheric Cherenkov techniques to observe gamma rays in the energy range of 60Gev-60TeV. The pSCT novel aplanatic optical system is made of two segmented aspheric mirrors. The primary mirror has 48 mirror panels with an aperture of 9.6 m, while the secondary, made of 24 panels, has an diameter of 5.4 m. The resulting point spread function (PSF) is required to be better than 4 arcmin within a field of view of 6.4 degrees (80% of the field of view), which corresponds to a physical size of 6.4 mm on the focal plane. This goal represents a challenge for the inexpensive fabrication of aspheric mirror panels and for the precise alignment of the optical system as well as for the rigidity of the optical support structure. In this submission we introduce the design of the Schwarzschild-Couder optical system and describe the solutions adopted for the manufacturing of the mirror panels and their integration with the optical support structure.

[40]
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Computational Physics (physics.comp-ph); Physics Education (physics.ed-ph)

This article presents an on-line tool (rttools.irap.omp.eu) and its accompanying software ressources for the numerical solution of basic radiation transfer out of local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE). State-of-the-art stationary iterative methods such as Accelerated $\Lambda$-Iteration and Gauss-Seidel schemes, using a short characteristics-based formal solver are used. We also comment on typical numerical experiments associated to the basic non-LTE radiation problem. These ressources are intended for the largest use and benefit, in support to more classical radiation transfer lectures usually given at the Master level.

[41]
Title: Spherically Symmetric N-body Simulations with General Relativistic Dynamics
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Within a cosmological context, we study the behaviour of collisionless particles in the weak field approximation to General Relativity, allowing for large gradients of the fields and relativistic velocities for the particles. We consider a spherically symmetric setup such that high resolution simulations are possible with minimal computational resources. We test our formalism by comparing it to two exact solutions: the Schwarzschild solution and the Lema\^itre-Tolman-Bondi model. In order to make the comparison we consider redshifts and lensing angles of photons passing through the simulation. These are both observable quantities and hence are gauge independent. We demonstrate that our scheme is more accurate than a Newtonian scheme, correctly reproducing the leading-order post-Newtonian correction. In addition, our setup is able to handle shell-crossings, which is not possible within a fluid model. Furthermore, by introducing angular momentum, we find configurations corresponding to bound objects which may prove useful for numerical studies of the effects of modified gravity, dynamical dark energy models or even compact bound objects within General Relativity.

[42]
Title: Status and Plans for the Array Control and Data Acquisition System of the Cherenkov Telescope Array
Comments: In Proceedings of the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2015), The Hague, The Netherlands. All CTA contributions at arXiv:1508.05894
Journal-ref: PoS(ICRC2015)975
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA) is the next-generation atmospheric Cherenkov gamma-ray observatory. CTA will consist of two installations, one in the northern, and the other in the southern hemisphere, containing tens of telescopes of different sizes. The CTA performance requirements and the inherent complexity associated with the operation, control and monitoring of such a large distributed multi-telescope array leads to new challenges in the field of the gamma-ray astronomy. The ACTL (array control and data acquisition) system will consist of the hardware and software that is necessary to control and monitor the CTA arrays, as well as to time-stamp, read-out, filter and store -at aggregated rates of few GB/s- the scientific data. The ACTL system must be flexible enough to permit the simultaneous automatic operation of multiple sub-arrays of telescopes with a minimum personnel effort on site. One of the challenges of the system is to provide a reliable integration of the control of a large and heterogeneous set of devices. Moreover, the system is required to be ready to adapt the observation schedule, on timescales of a few tens of seconds, to account for changing environmental conditions or to prioritize incoming scientific alerts from time-critical transient phenomena such as gamma ray bursts. This contribution provides a summary of the main design choices and plans for building the ACTL system.

[43]
Title: Search for Pulsed Emission in Archival VERITAS Data
Comments: To appear in the proceedings of The 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC 2015)
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Since the 2011 VERITAS discovery of very high energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) gamma rays from the Crab pulsar, there has been concerted effort by the gamma-ray astrophysics community to detect other pulsars in the VHE band in order to place better constraints on emission models. Pulsar modelling demonstrates that much of the magnetosphere is opaque to VHE photons, limiting emission regions to the outer magnetosphere or beyond the light cylinder. The locations of 19 known pulsars have been observed by VERITAS since full observations began in 2007 with 11 locations having more than 20 hours of observations. Observations of VHE emission from more sources could provide key data to help constrain current models of emission location and mechanisms. We present the status of the ongoing VERITAS program searching for pulsed emission in archival data.

[44]
Title: Photometry of the Stingray Nebula (V839 Ara) from 1889-2015 Across the Ionization of Its Planetary Nebula
Comments: ApJ accepted, 54 pages, 4 figures, one long data table
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Up until around 1980, the Stingray was an ordinary B1 post-AGB star, but then it suddenly sprouted bright emission lines like in a planetary nebula (PN), and soon after this the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) discovered a small PN around the star, so apparently we have caught a star in the act of ionizing a PN. We report here on a well-sampled light curve from 1889 to 2015, with unique coverage of the prior century plus the entire duration of the PN formation plus three decades of its aftermath. Surprisingly, the star anticipated the 1980's ionization event by declining from B=10.30 in 1889 to B=10.76 in 1980. Starting in 1980, the central star faded fast, at a rate of 0.20 mag/year, reaching B=14.64 in 1996. This fast fading is apparently caused by the central star shrinking in size. From 1994-2015, the V-band light curve is almost entirely from the flux of two bright [OIII] emission lines from the unresolved nebula, and it shows a consistent decline at a rate of 0.090 mag/year. This steady fading (also seen in the radio and infrared) has a time scale equal to that expected for ordinary recombination within the nebula, immediately after a short-duration ionizing event in the 1980s. We are providing the first direct measure of the rapidly changing luminosity of the central star on both sides of a presumed thermal pulse in 1980, with this providing a strong and critical set of constraints, and these are found to sharply disagree with theoretical models of PN evolution.

[45]
Title: Machine Learning Model of the Swift/BAT Trigger Algorithm for Long GRB Population Studies
Comments: 16 pages, 18 figures, 5 tables, submitted to ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability (physics.data-an); Machine Learning (stat.ML)

To draw inferences about gamma-ray burst (GRB) source populations based on Swift observations, it is essential to understand the detection efficiency of the Swift burst alert telescope (BAT). This study considers the problem of modeling the Swift/BAT triggering algorithm for long GRBs, a computationally expensive procedure, and models it using machine learning algorithms. A large sample of simulated GRBs from Lien 2014 is used to train various models: random forests, boosted decision trees (with AdaBoost), support vector machines, and artificial neural networks. The best models have accuracies of $\gtrsim97\%$ ($\lesssim 3\%$ error), which is a significant improvement on a cut in GRB flux which has an accuracy of $89.6\%$ ($10.4\%$ error). These models are then used to measure the detection efficiency of Swift as a function of redshift $z$, which is used to perform Bayesian parameter estimation on the GRB rate distribution. We find a local GRB rate density of $n_0 \sim 0.48^{+0.41}_{-0.23} \ {\rm Gpc}^{-3} {\rm yr}^{-1}$ with power-law indices of $n_1 \sim 1.7^{+0.6}_{-0.5}$ and $n_2 \sim -5.9^{+5.7}_{-0.1}$ for GRBs above and below a break point of $z_1 \sim 6.8^{+2.8}_{-3.2}$. This methodology is able to improve upon earlier studies by more accurately modeling Swift detection and using this for fully Bayesian model fitting. The code used in this is analysis is publicly available online (https://github.com/PBGraff/SwiftGRB_PEanalysis).

[46]
Title: A major electronics upgrade for the H.E.S.S. Cherenkov telescopes 1-4
Comments: Proceedings of the 34th International Cosmic Ray Conference, 30 July- 6 August, 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

The High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.) is an array of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs) located in the Khomas Highland in Namibia. It consists of four 12-m telescopes (CT1-4), which started operations in 2003, and a 28-m diameter one (CT5), which was brought online in 2012. It is the only IACT system featuring telescopes of different sizes, which provides sensitivity for gamma rays across a very wide energy range, from ~30 GeV up to ~100 TeV. Since the camera electronics of CT1-4 are much older than the one of CT5, an upgrade is being carried out; first deployment was in 2015, full operation is planned for 2016. The goals of this upgrade are threefold: reducing the dead time of the cameras, improving the overall performance of the array and reducing the system failure rate related to aging. Upon completion, the upgrade will assure the continuous operation of H.E.S.S. at its full sensitivity until and possibly beyond the advent of CTA. In the design of the new components, several CTA concepts and technologies were used and are thus being evaluated in the field: The upgraded read-out electronics is based on the NECTAR readout chips; the new camera front- and back-end control subsystems are based on an FPGA and an embedded ARM computer; the communication between subsystems is based on standard Ethernet technologies. These hardware solutions offer good performance, robustness and flexibility. The design of the new cameras is reported here.