71 articles on Monday, March 25


arXiv:1903.09150v1 [pdf, other]
Understanding Exoplanet Atmospheres with UV Observations I: NUV and Blue/Optical
Comments: Astro2020 white paper

Much of the focus of exoplanet atmosphere analysis in the coming decade will be atinfrared wavelengths, with the planned launches of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST). However, without being placed in the context of broader wavelength coverage, especially in the optical and ultraviolet, infrared observations produce an incomplete picture of exoplanet atmospheres. Scattering information encoded in blue optical and near-UV observations can help determine whether muted spectral features observed in the infrared are due to a hazy/cloudy atmosphere, or a clear atmosphere with a higher mean molecular weight. UV observations can identify atmospheric escape and mass loss from exoplanet atmospheres, providing a greater understanding of the atmospheric evolution of exoplanets, along with composition information from above the cloud deck. In this white paper we focus on the science case for exoplanet observations in the near-UV; an accompanying white paper led by Eric Lopez will focus on the science case in the far-UV.


arXiv:1903.09151v1 [pdf, other]
The Metal-Rich Atmosphere of the Neptune HAT-P-26b
Comments: 25 pages, 17 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS

Transmission spectroscopy is enabling precise measurements of atmospheric H2O abundances for numerous giant exoplanets. For hot Jupiters, relating H2O abundances to metallicities provides a powerful probe of their formation conditions. However, metallicity measurements for Neptune-mass exoplanets are only now becoming viable. Exo-Neptunes are expected to possess super-solar metallicities from accretion of H2O-rich and solid-rich planetesimals. However, initial investigations into the exo-Neptune HAT-P-26b suggested a significantly lower metallicity than predicted by the core-accretion theory of planetary formation and solar system expectations from Uranus and Neptune. Here, we report an extensive atmospheric retrieval analysis of HAT-P-26b, combining all available observations, to reveal its composition, temperature structure, and cloud properties. Our analysis reveals an atmosphere containing 1.5(+2.1)(-0.9)% H2O, an O/H of 18.1(+25.9)(-11.3)x solar, and C/O < 0.33 (to 2$\sigma$). This updated metallicity, the most precise exo-Neptune metallicity reported to date, suggests a formation history with significant planetesimal accretion, albeit below that of Uranus and Neptune. We additionally report evidence for metal hydrides at 4.1$\sigma$ confidence. Potential candidates are identified as TiH (3.6$\sigma$), CrH (2.1$\sigma$), or ScH (1.8$\sigma$). Maintaining gas-phase metal hydrides at the derived temperature (~560 K) necessitates strong disequilibrium processes or external replenishment. Finally, we simulate the JWST Guaranteed Time Observations for HAT-P-26b. Assuming a composition consistent with current observations, we predict JWST can detect H2O (at 29$\sigma$), CH4 (6.2$\sigma$), CO2 (13$\sigma$), and CO (3.7$\sigma$), improving metallicity and C/O precision to 0.2 dex and 0.35 dex. Furthermore, NIRISS observations could detect several metal hydrides at >5$\sigma$ confidence.


arXiv:1903.09152v1 [pdf, other]
eleanor: An open-source tool for extracting light curves from the TESS Full-Frame Images
Comments: 18 pages, 10 figures, 2 tables, Submitted to PASP

During its two year prime mission the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will perform a time-series photometric survey covering over 80% of the sky. This survey comprises observations of 26 24 x 96 degree sectors that are each monitored continuously for approximately 27 days. The main goal of TESS is to find transiting planets around 200,000 pre-selected stars for which fixed aperture photometry is recorded every two minutes. However, TESS is also recording and delivering Full-Frame Images (FFIs) of each detector at a 30 minute cadence. We have created an open-source tool, eleanor, to produce light curves for objects in the TESS FFIs. Here, we describe the methods used in eleanor to produce light curves that are optimized for planet searches. The tool performs background subtraction, aperture and PSF photometry, decorrelation of instrument systematics, and cotrending using principal component analysis. We recover known transiting exoplanets in the FFIs to validate the pipeline and perform a limited search for new planet candidates in Sector 1. Our tests indicate that eleanor produces light curves with significantly less scatter than other tools that have been used in the literature. Cadence-stacked images, and raw and detrended eleanor light curves for each analyzed star will be hosted on MAST, with planet candidates on ExoFOP-TESS as Community TESS Objects of Interest (CTOIs). This work confirms the promise that the TESS FFIs will enable the detection of thousands of new exoplanets and a broad range of time domain astrophysics.


arXiv:1903.09153v1 [pdf, other]
Constraining the Active Galactic Nucleus and Starburst Properties of the IR-luminous Quasar Host Galaxy APM 08279+5255 at Redshift 4 with SOFIA
Comments: 14 pages, 6 figures, 2 tables, accepted to ApJ

We present far-IR photometry and infrared spectrum of the z=3.9114 quasar/starburst composite system APM 08279+5255 obtained using the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA)/HAWC+ and the Spitzer Space Telescope Infrared Spectrograph (IRS). We decompose the IR-to-radio spectral energy distribution (SED), sampled in 51 bands, using (i) a model comprised of two-temperature modified blackbodies (MBB) and radio power-laws and (ii) a semi-analytic model, which also accounts for emission from a clumpy torus. The latter is more realistic but requires a well-sampled SED, as possible here. In the former model, we find temperatures of T_warm = 296^17_15 K and T_cold = 110^3_3 K for the warm and cold dust components, respectively. This model suggests that the cold dust component dominates the FIR energy budget (66%) but contributes only 17% to the total IR luminosity. Based on the torus models, we infer an inclination angle of i=15^8_8 degree and the presence of silicate emission, in accordance with the Type-1 active galactic nucleus nature of APM 08279+5255. Accounting for the torus' contribution to the FIR luminosity, we find a lensing-corrected star formation rate of SFR=3075x(4/mu_L) Msun yr^-1. We find that the central quasar contributes 30% to the FIR luminosity but dominates the total IR luminosity (93%). The 30% correction is in contrast to the 90% reported in previous work. In addition, the IR luminosity inferred from the torus model is a factor of two higher. These differences highlight the importance of adopting physically motivated models to properly account for IR emission in high-z quasars, which is now possible with SOFIA/HAWC+.


arXiv:1903.09154v1 [pdf, other]
Direct millicharged dark matter cannot explain EDGES
Comments: 7 pages, 7 figures

Heat transfer between baryons and millicharged dark matter has been invoked as a possible explanation for the anomalous 21-cm absorption signal seen by EDGES. Prior work has shown that the solution requires that millicharged particles make up only a fraction $(m_\chi/{\rm MeV})\ 0.0115\% \lesssim f \lesssim 0.4\%$ of the dark matter and that their mass $m_\chi$ and charge $q_\chi$ have values $0.1 \lesssim (m_\chi/{\rm MeV})\lesssim 10$ and $10^{-6} \lesssim (q_\chi/e)\lesssim 10^{-4}$. Here we show that such particles come into chemical equilibrium before recombination, and so are subject to a constraint on the effective number $N_{\rm eff}$ of relativistic degrees of freedom, which we update using Planck 2018 data. We moreover determine the precise relic abundance $f$ that results for a given mass $m_\chi$ and charge $q_\chi$ and incorporate this abundance into the constraints on the millicharged-dark-matter solution to EDGES. With these two results, the solution is ruled out if the relic abundance is set by freeze-out.


arXiv:1903.09157v1 [pdf, other]
Precise radial velocities of giant stars. XII. Evidence against the proposed planet Aldebaran b
Comments: 17 pages, 10 figures, 6 tables, accepted for publication in A&A

Radial-velocity variations of the K giant star Aldebaran ($\alpha$ Tau) were first reported in the early 1990s. After subsequent analyses, the radial-velocity variability with a period of $\sim 629\,\mathrm{d}$ has recently been interpreted as caused by a planet of several Jovian masses. We want to further investigate the hypothesis of an extrasolar planet around Aldebaran. We combine 165 new radial-velocity measurements from Lick Observatory with seven already published data sets comprising 373 radial-velocity measurements. We perform statistical analyses and investigate whether a Keplerian model properly fits the radial velocities. We also perform a dynamical stability analysis for a possible two-planet solution. As best Keplerian fit to the combined radial-velocity data we obtain an orbit for the hypothetical planet with a smaller period ($P=607\,\mathrm{d}$) and a larger eccentricity ($e=0.33 \pm 0.04$) than the previously proposed one. However, the residual scatter around that fit is still large, with a standard deviation of $117\,\mathrm{ms}^{-1}$. In 2006/2007, the statistical power of the $\sim 620\,\mathrm{d}$ period showed a temporary but significant decrease. Plotting the growth of power in reverse chronological order reveals that a period around $620\,\mathrm{d}$ is clearly present in the newest data but not in the data taken before $\sim$ 2006. Furthermore, an apparent phase shift between radial-velocity data and orbital solution is observable at certain times. A two-planet Keplerian fit matches the data considerably better than a single-planet solution, but poses severe dynamical stability issues. The radial-velocity data from Lick Observatory do not further support but in fact weaken the hypothesis of a substellar companion around Aldebaran. Oscillatory convective modes might be a plausible alternative explanation of the observed radial-velocity variations.


arXiv:1903.09158v1 [pdf, other]
The ALMA Spectroscopic Survey in the HUDF: the molecular gas content of galaxies and tensions with IllustrisTNG and the Santa Cruz SAM
Comments: Re-submitted to ApJ after addressing the first round of comments by the referee, other comments welcome

The ALMA Spectroscopic Survey in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (ASPECS) provides new constraints for galaxy formation models on the molecular gas properties of galaxies. We compare results from ASPECS to predictions from two cosmological galaxy formation models: the IllustrisTNG hydrodynamical simulations and the Santa Cruz semi-analytic model (SC SAM). We explore several recipes to model the H$_2$ content of galaxies, finding them to be consistent with one another, and take into account the sensitivity limits and survey area of ASPECS. For a canonical CO-to-H$_2$ conversion factor of $\alpha_{\rm CO} = 3.6\,\rm{M}_\odot/(\rm{K}\,\rm{km/s}\,\rm{pc}^{2})$ the results of our work include: (1) the H$_2$ mass of $z>1$ galaxies predicted by the models as a function of their stellar mass is a factor of 2-3 lower than observed; (2) the models do not reproduce the number of H$_2$-rich ($M_{\rm H2} > 3\times 10^{10}\,\rm{M}_\odot$) galaxies observed by ASPECS; (3) the H$_2$ cosmic density evolution predicted by IllustrisTNG (the SC SAM) is in tension (only just agrees) with the observed cosmic density, even after accounting for the ASPECS selection function and field-to-field variance effects. The tension between models and observations at $z>1$ can be alleviated by adopting a CO-to-H$_2$ conversion factor in the range $\alpha_{\rm CO} = 2.0 - 0.8\,\rm{M}_\odot/(\rm{K}\,\rm{km/s}\,\rm{pc}^{2})$. Additional work on constraining the CO-to-H$_2$ conversion factor and CO excitation conditions of galaxies through observations and theory will be necessary to more robustly test the success of galaxy formation models.


arXiv:1903.09160v1 [pdf, other]
Black hole and neutron star mergers in Galactic Nuclei: the role of triples
Comments: 10 pages, 5 figures, 1 table

Nuclear star clusters that surround supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in galactic nuclei are thought to contain large numbers of black holes (BHs) and neutron stars (NSs), a fraction of which form binaries and could merge by Kozai-Lidov oscillations (KL). Triple compact objects are likely to be present, given what is known about the multiplicity of massive stars, whose life ends either as a NS or a BH. In this paper, we present a new possible scenario for merging BHs and NSs in galactic nuclei. We study the evolution of a triple black hole (BH) or neutron star (NS) system orbiting an SMBH in a galactic nucleus by means of direct high-precision $N$-body simulations, including Post-Newtonian terms. We find that the four-body dynamical interactions can increase the KL angle window for mergers compared to the binary case and make BH and NS binaries merge on shorter timescales. We show that the merger fraction can be up to $\sim 5$--$10$ times higher for triples than for binaries. Therefore, even if the triple fraction is only $\sim 10\%$--$20\%$ of the binary fraction, they could contribute to the merger events observed by LIGO/VIRGO in comparable numbers.


arXiv:1903.09161v1 [pdf, other]
The ALMA Spectroscopic Survey in the HUDF: CO emission lines and 3 mm continuum sources
Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ. 28 Pages and 13 Figures

The ALMA SPECtroscopic Survey in the {\it Hubble} Ultra Deep Field is an ALMA large program that obtained a frequency scan in the 3\,mm band to detect emission lines from the molecular gas in distant galaxies. We here present our search strategy for emission lines and continuum sources in the HUDF. We compare several line search algorithms used in the literature, and critically account for the line-widths of the emission line candidates when assessing significance. We identify sixteen emission lines at high fidelity in our search. Comparing these sources to multi-wavelength data we find that all sources have optical/infrared counterparts. Our search also recovers candidates that have lower significance that can be used statistically to derive, e.g. the CO luminosity function. We apply the same detection algorithm to obtain a sample of six 3 mm continuum sources. All of these are also detected in the 1.2 mm continuum with optical/near-infrared counterparts. We use the continuum sources to compute 3 mm number counts in the sub-mJy regime, and find them to be higher by an order of magnitude than expected for synchrotron-dominated sources. However, the number counts are consistent with those derived at shorter wavelengths (0.85--1.3\,mm) once extrapolating to 3\,mm with a dust emissivity index of $\beta=1.5$, dust temperature of 35\,K and an average redshift of $z=2.5$. These results represent the best constraints to date on the faint end of the 3 mm number counts.


arXiv:1903.09162v1 [pdf, other]
The ALMA Spectroscopic Survey in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field: Evolution of the molecular gas in CO-selected galaxies
Comments: Submitted to ApJ, 26 pages, 15 figures

We analyze the interstellar medium properties of a sample of sixteen bright CO line emitting galaxies identified in the ALMA Spectroscopic Survey in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (ASPECS) Large Program. This CO$-$selected galaxy sample is complemented by a couple of additional CO line emitters in the UDF that are identified based on their MUSE optical spectroscopic redshifts. The ASPECS CO$-$selected galaxies cover a larger range of star-formation rates and stellar masses compared to literature CO emitting galaxies at $z>1$ for which scaling relations have been established previously. Most of ASPECS CO-selected galaxies follow these established relations in terms of gas depletion timescales and gas fractions as a function of redshift, as well as the star-formation rate-stellar mass relation ('galaxy main sequence'). However, we find that $\sim30\%$ of the galaxies (5 out of 16) are offset from the galaxy main sequence at their respective redshift, with $\sim12\%$ (2 out of 16) falling below this relationship. Some CO-rich galaxies exhibit low star-formation rates, and yet show substantial molecular gas reservoirs, yielding long gas depletion timescales. Capitalizing on the well-defined cosmic volume probed by our observations, we measure the contribution of galaxies above, below, and on the galaxy main sequence to the total cosmic molecular gas density at different lookback times. We conclude that main sequence galaxies are the largest contributor to the molecular gas density at any redshift probed by our observations (z$\sim$1$-$3). The respective contribution by starburst galaxies above the main sequence decreases from z$\sim$2.5 to z$\sim$1, whereas we find tentative evidence for an increased contribution to the cosmic molecular gas density from the passive galaxies below the main sequence.


arXiv:1903.09163v1 [pdf, other]
Stellar content, planetary nebulae, and globular clusters of [KKS2000]04 (NGC1052-DF2)
Comments: 9 pages, 4 figures, submitted to MNRAS

[KKS2000]04 (NGC1052-DF2) has become a controversial and well-studied galaxy after the claims suggesting a lack of dark matter and the presence of an anomalously bright globular cluster (GC) system around it. A precise determination of its overall star formation history (SFH) as well as a better characterisation of its GC or planetary nebulae (PN) systems are crucial aspects to: i) understand its real nature, in particular placing it within the family of ultra diffuse galaxies; ii) shed light on its possible formation, evolution, and survival in the absence of dark matter. With this purpose we expand on the knowledge of [KKS2000]04 from the analysis of OSIRIS@GTC spectroscopic data. On the one hand, we claim the possible detection of two new PNe and confirm membership of 5 GCs. On the other hand, we find that the stars shaping [KKS2000]04 are intermediate-age to old (90\% of its stellar mass older than 5 Gyr, average age of 8.7 $\pm$ 0.7 Gyr) and metal-poor ([M/H] $\sim$ -1.18 $\pm$ 0.05), in general agreement with previous results. We do not find any clear hints of significant changes in its stellar content with radius. In addition, the possibility of [KKS2000]04 being a tidal dwarf galaxy with no dark matter is highly disfavoured.


arXiv:1903.09164v1 [pdf, other]
The ALMA Spectroscopic Survey in the HUDF: CO luminosity functions and the molecular gas content of galaxies through cosmic history
Comments: 22 pages, 11 figures. Paper re-submitted to ApJ after addressing the first round of comments by the referee

We use the results from the ALMA large program ASPECS, the spectroscopic survey in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), to constrain CO luminosity functions of galaxies and the resulting redshift evolution of $\rho$(H$_2$). The broad frequency range covered enables us to identify CO emission lines of different rotational transitions in the HUDF at $z>1$. We find strong evidence that the CO luminosity function evolves with redshift, with the knee of the CO luminosity function decreasing in luminosity by an order of magnitude from $\sim$2 to the local universe. Based on Schechter fits, we estimate that our observations recover the majority (up to $\sim$90%, depending on the assumptions on the faint end) of the total cosmic CO luminosity at $z$=1.0-3.1. After correcting for CO excitation, and adopting a Galactic CO-to-H$_2$ conversion factor, we constrain the evolution of the cosmic molecular gas density $\rho$(H$_2$): this cosmic gas density peaks at $z\sim1.5$ and drops by factor of $6.5_{-1.4}^{+1.8}$ to the value measured locally. The observed evolution in $\rho$(H$_2$) therefore closely matches the evolution of the cosmic star formation rate density $\rho_{\rm SFR}$. We verify the robustness of our result with respect to assumptions on source inclusion and/or CO excitation. As the cosmic star formation history can be expressed as the product of the star formation efficiency and the cosmic density of molecular gas, the similar evolution of $\rho$(H$_2$) and $\rho_{\rm SFR}$ leaves only little room for a significant evolution of the average star formation efficiency in galaxies since $z\sim 3$ (85% of cosmic history).


arXiv:1903.09166v1 [pdf, other]
Numerical simulations of neutron star-black hole binaries in the near-equal-mass regime
Comments: No comment found

Simulations of neutron star-black hole (NSBH) binaries generally consider black holes with masses in the range $(5-10)M_\odot$, where we expect to find most stellar mass black holes. The existence of lower mass black holes, however, cannot be theoretically ruled out. Low-mass black holes in binary systems with a neutron star companion could mimic neutron star-neutron (NSNS) binaries, as they power similar gravitational wave (GW) and electromagnetic (EM) signals. To understand the differences and similarities between NSNS mergers and low-mass NSBH mergers, numerical simulations are required. Here, we perform a set of simulations of low-mass NSBH mergers, including systems compatible with GW170817. Our simulations use a composition and temperature dependent equation of state (DD2) and approximate neutrino transport, but no magnetic fields. We find that low-mass NSBH mergers produce remnant disks significantly less massive than previously expected, and consistent with the post-merger outflow mass inferred from GW170817 for moderately asymmetric mass ratio. The dynamical ejecta produced by systems compatible with GW170817 is negligible except if the mass ratio and black hole spin are at the edge of the allowed parameter space. That dynamical ejecta is cold, neutron-rich, and surprisingly slow for ejecta produced during the tidal disruption of a neutron star : $v\sim (0.1-0.15)c$. We also find that the final mass of the remnant black hole is consistent with existing analytical predictions, while the final spin of that black hole is noticeably larger than expected -- up to $\chi_{\rm BH}=0.84$ for our equal mass case.


arXiv:1903.09167v1 [pdf, other]
The ALMA Spectroscopic Survey in the HUDF: Nature and physical properties of gas-mass selected galaxies using MUSE spectroscopy
Comments: 31 pages, 20 figures, 5 tables. Resubmitted to ApJ after addressing the first round of comments by the referee

We discuss the nature and physical properties of gas-mass selected galaxies in the ALMA spectroscopic survey (ASPECS) of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). We capitalize on the deep optical integral-field spectroscopy from the MUSE HUDF Survey and multi-wavelength data to uniquely associate all 16 line-emitters, detected in the ALMA data without preselection, with rotational transitions of carbon monoxide (CO). We identify ten as CO(2-1) at $1 < z < 2$, five as CO(3-2) at $2 < z < 3$ and one as CO(4-3) at $z = 3.6$. Using the MUSE data as a prior, we identify two additional CO(2-1)-emitters, increasing the total sample size to 18. We infer metallicities consistent with (super-)solar for the CO-detected galaxies at $z \le 1.5$, motivating our choice of a Galactic conversion factor between CO luminosity and molecular gas mass for these galaxies. Using deep Chandra imaging of the HUDF, we determine an X-ray AGN fraction of 20% and 60% among the CO-emitters at $z \sim 1.4$ and $z \sim 2.6$, respectively. Being a CO-flux limited survey, ASPECS-LP detects molecular gas in galaxies on, above and below the main sequence (MS) at $z \sim 1.4$. For stellar masses $\ge 10^{10} (10^{10.5})$ M$_{\odot}$, we detect about 40% (50%) of all galaxies in the HUDF at $1 < z < 2$ ($2 < z < 3$). The combination of ALMA and MUSE integral-field spectroscopy thus enables an unprecedented view on MS galaxies during the peak of galaxy formation.


arXiv:1903.09170v1 [pdf, other]
Quasar microlensing light curve analysis using deep machine learning
Comments: 11 pages, 7 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS

We introduce a deep machine learning approach to studying quasar microlensing light curves for the first time by analyzing hundreds of thousands of simulated light curves with respect to the accretion disc size and temperature profile. Our results indicate that it is possible to successfully classify very large numbers of diverse light curve data and measure the accretion disc structure. The detailed shape of the accretion disc brightness profile is found to play a negligible role, in agreement with Mortonson et al. (2005). The speed and efficiency of our deep machine learning approach is ideal for quantifying physical properties in a 'big-data' problem setup. This proposed approach looks promising for analyzing decade-long light curves for thousands of microlensed quasars, expected to be provided by the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope.


arXiv:1903.09173v1 [pdf, other]
Characterizing the Atmospheres of Irradiated Exoplanets at High Spectral Resolution
Comments: Science White Paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey; 7 pages, 3 figures

The best-characterized exoplanets to date are planets on close-in transiting orbits around their host stars. The high level of irradiation and transiting geometry of these objects make them ideal targets for atmospheric investigations. However, the modest apertures of many current telescopes allow mostly low resolution spectra to be observed for transiting planets, failing to extract key physical and chemical properties of their atmospheres. Ground-based 30-meter class telescopes will set the stage for a substantial leap in our understanding of exoplanet atmospheres. We outline a two-pronged survey, recently submitted as a Key Science Project (KSP) for the US ELTs, which would yield unprecedented insight into the atmospheres of close-in exoplanets via combined observations with the GMT and TMT. (1) The first opportunity involves measuring the global-scale atmospheric circulation and planetary rotation for a sample of 40 hot Jupiters to glean insight into the unique radiative forcing regime governing highly-irradiated, tidally-locked giant planets. (2) The second opportunity involves measuring atmospheric mass-loss and extracting atmospheric composition and abundance ratio information for $\sim60$ sub-Neptunes and super-Earths (including candidate disintegrating planets) to constrain their formation and evolution histories. These efforts would be made possible by the unparalleled combination of high spectral resolution instrumentation and large aperture size of the ELTs. This survey would enable the first statistical study of atmospheric circulation in extrasolar giant planets, and would provide detections of trace gases and measurements of atmospheric escape in small-planet atmospheres, far exceeding the reach of \textit{JWST}.


arXiv:1903.09187v1 [pdf, other]
Big Bang Nucleosynthesis and Neutrino Cosmology
Comments: 11 pages, 3 figures. Same manuscript as version submitted to Astro2020 Decadal Survey, except for additions to references and endorsers

There exist a range of exciting scientific opportunities for Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) in the coming decade. BBN, a key particle astrophysics "tool" for decades, is poised to take on new capabilities to probe beyond standard model (BSM) physics. This development is being driven by experimental determination of neutrino properties, new nuclear reaction experiments, advancing supercomputing/simulation capabilities, the prospect of high-precision next-generation cosmic microwave background (CMB) observations, and the advent of 30m class telescopes.


arXiv:1903.09202v1 [pdf, other]
400 pc imaging of a quasar host galaxy at z=6.6
Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ Letters

We report high spatial resolution (~0.076", 410pc) ALMA imaging of the dust continuum and the ionised carbon line [CII] in a luminous quasar host galaxy at z=6.6, 800 million years after the Big Bang. Based on previous studies, this galaxy hosts a ~1x10^9 M_sun black hole and has a star-formation rate of ~1500 M_sun/yr. The unprecedented high resolution of the observations reveals a complex morphology of gas within 3kpc of the accreting central black hole. The gas has a high velocity dispersion with little ordered motion along the line-of-sight, as would be expected from gas accretion that has yet to settle in a disk. In addition, we find the presence of [CII] cavities in the gas distribution (with diameters of ~0.5kpc), offset from the central black hole. This unique distribution and kinematics cannot be explained by a simple model. Plausible scenarios are that the gas is located in a truncated or warped disk, or the holes are created by interactions with nearby galaxies or due to energy injection into the gas. In the latter case, the energy required to form the cavities must originate from the central active galactic nucleus, as the required energy far exceeds the energy output expected from supernovae. This energy input into the gas, however, does not inhibit the high rate of star-formation. Both star-formation and black-hole activity could have been triggered by interactions with satellite galaxies: our data reveal three additional companions detected in [CII] emission around the quasar.


arXiv:1903.09205v1 [pdf, other]
Astro2020 Science White Paper: gravity-wave asteroseismology of intermediate- and high-mass stars
Comments: 8 pages. White paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey

The evolution of a star is driven by the physical processes in its interior making the theory of stellar structure and evolution the most crucial ingredient for not only stellar evolution studies, but any field of astronomy which relies on the yields along stellar evolution. High-precision time-series photometric data assembled by recent space missions revealed that current models of stellar structure and evolution show major shortcomings already in the two earliest nuclear burning phases, impacting all subsequent phases prior to the formation of the end-of-life remnant. This white paper focuses specifically on the transport of chemical elements and of angular momentum in the stellar structure and evolution models of stars born with convective core, as revealed by their gravity-mode oscillations.


arXiv:1903.09208v1 [pdf, other]
Inflation and Dark Energy from spectroscopy at $z > 2$
Simone Ferraro, Michael J. Wilson, Muntazir Abidi, David Alonso, Behzad Ansarinejad, Robert Armstrong, Jacobo Asorey, Arturo Avelino, Carlo Baccigalupi, Kevin Bandura, Nicholas Battaglia, Chetan Bavdhankar, José Luis Bernal, Florian Beutler, Matteo Biagetti, Guillermo A. Blanc, Jonathan Blazek, Adam S. Bolton, Julian Borrill, Brenda Frye, Elizabeth Buckley-Geer, Philip Bull, Cliff Burgess, Christian T. Byrnes, Zheng Cai, Francisco J Castander, Emanuele Castorina, Tzu-Ching Chang, Jonás Chaves-Montero, Shi-Fan Chen, Xingang Chen, Christophe Balland, Christophe Yèche, J. D. Cohn, William Coulton, Helene Courtois, Rupert A. C. Croft, Francis-Yan Cyr-Racine, Guido D'Amico, Kyle Dawson, Jacques Delabrouille, Arjun Dey, Olivier Doré, Kelly A. Douglass, Duan Yutong, Cora Dvorkin, Alexander Eggemeier, Daniel Eisenstein, Xiaohui Fan, Pedro G. Ferreira, Andreu Font-Ribera, Simon Foreman, Juan García-Bellido, Martina Gerbino, Vera Gluscevic, Satya Gontcho A Gontcho, Daniel Green, Julien Guy, ChangHoon Hahn, Shaul Hanany, Will Handley, Nimish Hathi, Adam J. Hawken, César Hernández-Aguayo, Renée Hložek, Dragan Huterer, Mustapha Ishak, Marc Kamionkowski, Dionysios Karagiannis, Ryan E. Keeley, Robert Kehoe, Rishi Khatri, Alex Kim, Jean-Paul Kneib, Juna A. Kollmeier, Ely D. Kovetz, Elisabeth Krause, Alex Krolewski, Benjamin L'Huillier, Martin Landriau, Michael Levi, Michele Liguori, Eric Linder, Zarija Lukić, Axel de la Macorra, Andrés A. Plazas, Jennifer L. Marshall, Paul Martini, Kiyoshi Masui, Patrick McDonald, P. Daniel Meerburg, Joel Meyers, Mehrdad Mirbabayi, John Moustakas, Adam D. Myers, Nathalie Palanque-Delabrouille, Laura Newburgh, Jeffrey A. Newman, Gustavo Niz, Hamsa Padmanabhan, Povilas Palunas, Will J. Percival, Francesco Piacentini, Matthew M. Pieri, Anthony L. Piro, Abhishek Prakash, Jason Rhodes, Ashley J. Ross, Graziano Rossi, Gwen C. Rudie, Lado Samushia, Misao Sasaki, Emmanuel Schaan, David J. Schlegel, Marcel Schmittfull, Michael Schubnell, Neelima Sehgal, Leonardo Senatore, Hee-Jong Seo, Arman Shafieloo, Huanyuan Shan, Joshua D. Simon, Sara Simon, Zachary Slepian, Anže Slosar, Srivatsan Sridhar, Albert Stebbins, Stephanie Escoffier, Eric R. Switzer, Gregory Tarlé, Mark Trodden, Cora Uhlemann, L. Arturo Urenña-López, Eleonora Di Valentino, M. Vargas-Magaña, Yi Wang, Scott Watson, Martin White, Weishuang Xu, Byeonghee Yu, Gong-Bo Zhao, Yi Zheng, Hong-Ming Zhu
Comments: Science white paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey

The expansion of the Universe is understood to have accelerated during two epochs: in its very first moments during a period of Inflation and much more recently, at $z < 1$, when Dark Energy is hypothesized to drive cosmic acceleration. The undiscovered mechanisms behind these two epochs represent some of the most important open problems in fundamental physics. The large cosmological volume at $2 < z < 5$, together with the ability to efficiently target high-$z$ galaxies with known techniques, enables large gains in the study of Inflation and Dark Energy. A future spectroscopic survey can test the Gaussianity of the initial conditions up to a factor of ~50 better than our current bounds, crossing the crucial theoretical threshold of $\sigma(f_{NL}^{\rm local})$ of order unity that separates single field and multi-field models. Simultaneously, it can measure the fraction of Dark Energy at the percent level up to $z = 5$, thus serving as an unprecedented test of the standard model and opening up a tremendous discovery space.


arXiv:1903.09211v1 [pdf, other]
PSR J1306--40: An X-ray Luminous Redback with an Evolved Companion
Comments: 8 pages, 3 figures, 3 tables, Accepted for publication in ApJ

PSR J1306--40 is a millisecond pulsar binary with a non-degenerate companion in an unusually long $\sim$1.097 day orbit. We present new optical photometry and spectroscopy of this system, and model these data to constrain fundamental properties of the binary such as the component masses and distance. The optical data imply a minimum neutron star mass of $1.75\pm0.09\,M_{\odot}$ (1-sigma) and a high, nearly edge-on inclination. The light curves suggest a large hot spot on the companion, suggestive of a portion of the pulsar wind being channeled to the stellar surface by the magnetic field of the secondary, mediated via an intrabinary shock. The H$\alpha$ line profiles switch rapidly from emission to absorption near companion inferior conjunction, consistent with an eclipse of the compact emission region at these phases. At our optically-inferred distance of $4.7\pm0.5$ kpc, the X-ray luminosity is $\sim$10$^{33}$ erg s$^{\textrm{-1}}$, brighter than nearly all known redbacks in the pulsar state. The long period, subgiant-like secondary, and luminous X-ray emission suggest this system may be part of the expanding class of millisecond pulsar binaries that are progenitors to typical field pulsar--white dwarf binaries.


arXiv:1903.09213v1 [pdf, other]
The Weird Detector: Flagging periodic, coherent signals of arbitrary shape in time series photometry
Comments: 13 pages, 11 figures, accepted to MNRAS

By design, model-based approaches for flagging transiting exoplanets in light curves, such as boxed least squares, excel at detecting planets with low S/N at the expense of finding signals that are not well described by the assumed model, such as self-lensing binaries, disintegrating or evaporating planets, or planets with large rings. So far, such signals have typically been found through visual searches by professional or citizen scientists, or by inspection of the photometric power-spectra. We present a nonparametric detection algorithm, for short duty-cycle periodic signals in photometric time series based on phase dispersion minimization. We apply our code to 161,786 Kepler sources and detect 18 new periodic signals consistent with heartbeat binaries/planets, 4 new singly-transiting systems, and 2 new doubly-transiting systems. We show that our code is able to recover the majority of known Kepler objects of interest (KOIs) to high confidence, as well as more unusual events such as Boyajian's star and a comet passing through the Kepler field. Nonparametric signal-flagging techniques, such as the one presented here, will become increasingly valuable with the coming data from TESS and future transit surveys as the volume of data available to us exceeds that which can be feasibly examined manually.


arXiv:1903.09220v1 [pdf, other]
Deeper, Wider, Sharper: Next-Generation Ground-Based Gravitational-Wave Observations of Binary Black Holes
Comments: 14 pages, 3 figures, White Paper Submitted to Astro2020 (2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey) by GWIC 3G Science Case Team (GWIC: Gravitational Wave International Committee)

Next-generation observations will revolutionize our understanding of binary black holes and will detect new sources, such as intermediate-mass black holes. Primary science goals include: Discover binary black holes throughout the observable Universe; Reveal the fundamental properties of black holes; Uncover the seeds of supermassive black holes.


arXiv:1903.09221v2 [pdf, other]
Extreme Gravity and Fundamental Physics
Comments: 14 pages, 2 figures, White Paper submitted to the Astro-2020 (2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey) by GWIC-3G Science Case Team (GWIC: Gravitational-Wave International Committee)

Future gravitational-wave observations will enable unprecedented and unique science in extreme gravity and fundamental physics answering questions about the nature of dynamical spacetimes, the nature of dark matter and the nature of compact objects.


arXiv:1903.09224v1 [pdf, other]
The Yet-Unobserved Multi-Messenger Gravitational-Wave Universe
Comments: 13 pages, 1 figure, White Paper Submitted to Astro2020 (2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey) by GWIC 3G Science Case Team (GWIC: Gravitational Wave International Committee)

Observations with next-generation ground-based detectors further enhanced with multi-messenger (electromagnetic and neutrino) detections will allow us to probe new extreme astrophysics. Target sources included: core-collapse supernovae, continuous emission from isolated or accreting neutron stars, and bursts from magnetars and other pulsars.


arXiv:1903.09232v1 [pdf, other]
Flaring, Dust Formation, And Shocks In The Very Slow Nova ASASSN-17pf (LMCN 2017-11a)
Comments: Submitted to ApJ, 31 pages, 17 figures, and 7 tables

We present a detailed study of the 2017 eruption of the classical nova ASASSN-17pf (LMCN 2017-11a), which is located in the Large Magellanic Cloud, including data from AAVSO, ASAS-SN, SALT, SMARTS, SOAR, and the Neil Gehrels \textit{Swift} Observatory. The optical light-curve is characterized by multiple maxima (flares) on top of a slowly evolving light-curve (with a decline time, $t_2>$ 100 d). The maxima correlate with the appearance of new absorption line systems in the optical spectra characterized by increasing radial velocities. We suggest that this is evidence of multiple episodes of mass-ejection with increasing expansion velocities. The line profiles in the optical spectra indicate very low expansion velocities (FWHM $\sim$ 190 km s$^{-1}$), making this nova one of the slowest expanding ever observed, consistent with the slowly evolving light-curve. The evolution of the colors and spectral energy distribution show evidence of decreasing temperatures and increasing effective radii for the pseudo-photosphere during each maximum. The optical and infrared light-curves are consistent with dust formation 125 days post-discovery. We speculate that novae showing several optical maxima have multiple mass-ejection episodes leading to shocks that may drive $\gamma$-ray emission and dust formation.


arXiv:1903.09241v1 [pdf, other]
Constraining the size of the corona with fully relativistic calculations of spectra of extended corona. I - the Monte Carlo radiative transfer code
Comments: 17 pages, 14 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ

The size and geometry of the X-ray emitting corona in AGNs are still not well constrained. Dov\v{c}iak & Done (2016) proposed a method based on calculations assuming a point-like lamp-post corona. To perform more self-consistent calculations of energy spectra of extended coronae, we develop monk, a Monte Carlo radiative transfer code dedicated to calculations of Comptonised spectra in the Kerr spacetime. In monk we assume Klein-Nishina scattering cross section and include all general relativistic effects. We find that for a corona located above the disc, the spectrum is not isotropic, but with harder and less luminous spectra towards observers at lower inclinations, owing to anisotropic illumination of the seed photons. This anisotropy also leads to an underestimated size of the corona if we assume the corona to be a point-like, isotropic source located on the black hole rotation axis, demonstrating the necessity of more self-consistent calculations. We also inspect the effect of motion and geometry of the corona on the emergent spectrum. Finally, we discuss the implication of anisotropic corona emission for the reflection spectrum in AGNs as well as black hole X-ray binaries (BHXRBs). We find that by assuming the corona emission to be isotropic, one may underestimate the soft excess in AGNs and the reflection continuum and iron K fluorescent line flux in BHXRBs.


arXiv:1903.09258v1 [pdf, other]
Qatar Exoplanet Survey: Qatar-8b, 9b and 10b --- A Hot Saturn and Two Hot Jupiters
Comments: arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1812.05601, arXiv:1712.03216

In this paper we present three new extrasolar planets from the Qatar Exoplanet Survey (QES). Qatar-8b is a hot Saturn, with Mpl = 0.37 Mjup and Rpl = 1.3 Rjup, orbiting a solar-like star every Porb = 3.7 days. Qatar-9b is a hot Jupiter with a mass of Mpl = 1.2 Mjup and a radius of Rpl = 1 Rjup, in a Porb = 1.5 days orbit around a low mass, Mstar = 0.7 Msun, mid-K main-sequence star. Finally, Qatar-10b is a hot, Teq ~ 2000 K, sub-Jupiter mass planet, Mpl = 0.7 Mjup, with a radius of Rpl = 1.54 Rjup and an orbital period of Porb = 1.6 days, placing it on the edge of the sub-Jupiter desert.


arXiv:1903.09260v1 [pdf, other]
Cosmology and the Early Universe
Comments: 13 pages, 3 figures, White Paper submitted to the Astro-2020 (2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey) by GWIC-3G Science Case Team (GWIC: Gravitational-Wave International Committee)

This Astro-2020 White Paper deals with what we might learn from future gravitational wave observations about the early universe phase transitions and their energy scales, primordial black holes, Hubble parameter, dark matter and dark energy, modified theories of gravity and extra dimensions.


arXiv:1903.09262v1 [pdf, other]
ZTF18aalrxas: A Type IIb Supernova from a very extended low-mass progenitor
Comments: 14 pages, 7 figures, submitted to ApJ

We investigate ZTF18aalrxas, a double-peaked Type IIb core-collapse supernova (SN) discovered during science validation of the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF). ZTF18aalrxas was discovered while the optical emission was still rising towards the initial cooling peak (0.7 mag over 2 days). Our observations consist of multi-band (UV, optical) light-curves, and optical spectra spanning from $\approx0.7$ d to $\approx180$ d past the explosion. We use a Monte-Carlo based non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (NLTE) model, that simultanously reproduces both the $\rm ^{56}Ni$ powered bolometric light curve and our nebular spectrum. This model is used to constrain the synthesized radioactive nickel mass (0.17 $\mathrm{M}_{\odot}$) and the total ejecta mass (1.7 $\mathrm{M}_{\odot}$) of the SN. The cooling emission is modeled using semi-analytical extended envelope models to constrain the progenitor radius ($790-1050$ $\mathrm{R}_{\odot}$) at the time of explosion. Our nebular spectrum shows signs of interaction with a dense circumstellar medium (CSM), and this spetrum is modeled and analysed to constrain the amount of ejected oxygen ($0.3-0.5$ $\mathrm{M}_{\odot}$) and the total hydrogen mass ($\approx0.15$ $\mathrm{M}_{\odot}$) in the envelope of the progenitor. The oxygen mass of ZTF18aalrxas is consistent with a low ($12-13$ $\mathrm{M}_{\odot}$) Zero Age Main Sequence mass progenitor. The light curves and spectra of ZTF18aalrxas are not consistent with massive single star SN Type IIb progenitor models. The presence of an extended hydrogen envelope of low mass, the presence of a dense CSM, the derived ejecta mass, and the late-time oxygen emission can all be explained in a binary model scenario.


arXiv:1903.09273v1 [pdf, other]
$ν\texttt{bhlight}$: Radiation GRMHD for Neutrino-Driven Accretion Flows
Comments: Accepted in Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series

The 2017 detection of the in-spiral and merger of two neutron stars was a landmark discovery in astrophysics. We now know that such mergers are central engines of short gamma ray bursts and sites of r-process nucleosynthesis, where the heaviest elements in our universe are formed. In the coming years, we expect many more such mergers. Modeling such systems presents a significant computational challenge along with the observational one. To meet this challenge, we present $\nu\texttt{bhlight}$, a scheme for solving general relativistic magnetohydrodynamics with energy-dependent neutrino transport in full (3+1)-dimensions, facilitated by Monte Carlo methods. We present a suite of tests demonstrating the accuracy, efficacy, and necessity of our scheme. We demonstrate the potential of our scheme by running a sample calculation in a domain of interest---the dynamics and composition of the accretion disk formed by a binary neutron star merger.


arXiv:1903.09275v1 [pdf, other]
Astro2020 Science White Paper: Local Dwarf Galaxy Archaeology
Comments: White paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey

Nearby dwarf galaxies are local analogues of high-redshift and metal-poor stellar populations. Most of these systems ceased star formation long ago, but they retain signatures of their past that can be unraveled by detailed study of their resolved stars. Archaeological examination of dwarf galaxies with resolved stellar spectroscopy provides key insights into the first stars and galaxies, galaxy formation in the smallest dark matter halos, stellar populations in the metal-free and metal-poor universe, the nature of the first stellar explosions, and the origin of the elements. Extremely large telescopes with multi-object R=5,000-30,000 spectroscopy are needed to enable such studies for galaxies of different luminosities throughout the Local Group.


arXiv:1903.09277v1 [pdf, other]
Multimessenger Universe with Gravitational Waves from Binaries
Comments: 11 pages, two tables, White Paper submitted to the Astro-2020 (2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey) by GWIC-3G Science Case Team (GWIC: Gravitational-Wave International Committee)

Future GW detector networks and EM observatories will provide a unique opportunity to observe the most luminous events in the Universe involving matter in extreme environs. They will address some of the key questions in physics and astronomy: formation and evolution of compact binaries, sites of formation of heavy elements and the physics of jets.


arXiv:1903.09282v1 [pdf, other]
SDSS--IV MaNGA : The Inner Density Slopes of nearby galaxies
Comments: 11 pages, 10 figures, submitted to MNRAS

We derive the mass weighted total density slopes within the effective (half-light) radius, $\gamma'$, for more than 2000 nearby galaxies from the SDSS-IV MaNGA survey using Jeans-anisotropic-models applied to IFU observations. Our galaxies span a wide range of the stellar mass ($10^9$ $M_{\rm \odot}< M_* < 10^{12}$ M$_{\odot}$) and the velocity dispersion (30 km/s $< \sigma_v <$ 300 km/s). We find that for galaxies with velocity dispersion $\sigma_v>100$ km/s, the density slope has a mean value $\langle \gamma^{\prime} \rangle = 2.24$ and a dispersion $\sigma_{\gamma}=0.22$, almost independent of velocity dispersion. A clear turn over in the $\gamma'-\sigma_v$ relation is present at $\sigma\sim 100$ km/s, below which the density slope decreases rapidly with $\sigma_v$. Our analysis shows that a large fraction of dwarf galaxies (below $M_* = 10^{10}$ M$_{\odot}$) have total density slopes shallower than 1, which implies that they may reside in cold dark matter halos with shallow density slopes. We compare our results with that of galaxies in hydrodynamical simulations of EAGLE, Illustris and IllustrisTNG projects, and find all simulations predict shallower density slopes for massive galaxies with high $\sigma_v$. Finally, we explore the dependence of $\gamma'$ on the positions of galaxies in halos, namely centrals vs. satellites, and find that for the same velocity dispersion, the amplitude of $\gamma'$ is higher for satellite galaxies by about 0.1.


arXiv:1903.09301v1 [pdf, other]
Detecting Offset Active Galactic Nuclei
Comments: Science White Paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1810.06609

Gravitational wave (GW) and gravitational slingshot recoil kicks, which are natural products of SMBH evolution in merging galaxies, can produce active galactic "nuclei" that are offset from the centers of their host galaxies. Detections of offset AGN would provide key constraints on SMBH binary mass and spin evolution and on GW event rates. Although numerous offset AGN candidates have been identified, none have been definitively confirmed. Multi-wavelength observations with next-generation telescopes, including systematic large-area surveys, will provide unprecedented opportunities to identify and confirm candidate offset AGN from sub-parsec to kiloparsec scales. We highlight ways in which these observations will open a new avenue for multi-messenger studies in the dawn of low-frequency (~ nHz - mHz) GW astronomy.


arXiv:1903.09306v1 [pdf, other]
Understanding Accretion Outbursts in Massive Protostars through Maser Imaging
Comments: Science white paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1806.06981

The bright maser emission produced by several molecular species at centimeter to long millimeter wavelengths provides an essential tool for understanding the process of massive star formation. Unimpeded by the high dust optical depths that affect shorter wavelength observations, the high brightness temperature of these emission lines offers a way to resolve accretion and outflow motions down to scales below $\sim$1 au in deeply embedded Galactic star-forming regions at kiloparsec distances. The recent identification of extraordinary accretion outbursts in two high-mass protostars, both of which were heralded by maser flares, has rapidly impacted the traditional view of massive protostellar evolution, leading to new hydrodynamic simulations that can produce such episodic outbursts. In order to understand how these massive protostars evolve in response to such events, larger, more sensitive ground-based centimeter wavelength interferometers are needed that can simultaneously image multiple maser species in the molecular gas along with faint continuum from the central ionized gas. Fiducial observations of a large sample of massive protostars will be essential in order to pinpoint the progenitors of future accretion outbursts, and to quantify the outburst-induced changes in their protostellar photospheres and outflow and accretion structures. Knowledge gained from these studies will have broader impact on the general topic of accretion onto massive objects.


arXiv:1903.09313v1 [pdf, other]
Kinematics of the Galaxy from a Sample of Young Open Star Clusters with Data from the Gaia DR2 Catalogue
Comments: 14 pages, 5 figures. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1809.10512, arXiv:1609.08341

We have selected a sample of 326 young $(\log t<8)$ open star clusters with the proper motions and distances calculated by various authors from Gaia DR2 data. The mean values of their line-of-sight velocities have also been taken from various publications. As a result of our kinematic analysis, we have found the following parameters of the angular velocity of Galactic rotation: $\Omega_0=29.34\pm0.31$ km s$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-1}$, $\Omega'_0=-4.012\pm0.074$ km s$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-2}$, and $\Omega''_0=0.779\pm0.062$ km s$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-3}$. The circular rotation velocity of the solar neighborhood around the Galactic center is $V_0=235\pm5$ km s$^{-1}$ for the adopted Galactocentric distance of the Sun $R_0=8.0\pm0.15$ kpc. The amplitudes of the tangential and radial velocity perturbations produced by the spiral density wave are $f_\theta=3.8\pm1.2$ km s$^{-1}$ and $f_R=4.7\pm1.0$ km s$^{-1}$, respectively; the perturbation wavelengths are $\lambda_\theta=2.3\pm0.5$ kpc and $\lambda_R=2.2\pm0.5$ kpc for the adopted four-armed spiral pattern. The Sun's phase in the spiral density wave is close to $-120\pm10^\circ.$


arXiv:1903.09320v2 [pdf, other]
Ages and kinematics of chemically selected, accreted Milky Way halo stars
Comments: 14 pages, 9 figures, 2 tables, submitted to MNRAS. Comments welcome!

We exploit the [Mg/Mn]-[Al/Fe] chemical abundance plane to help identify nearby halo stars in the 14th data release from the APOGEE survey that have been accreted on to the Milky Way. Applying a Gaussian Mixture Model, we find a 'blob' of 856 likely accreted stars, with a low disc contamination rate of ~7%. Cross-matching the sample with the second data release from Gaia gives us access to parallaxes and apparent magnitudes, which place constraints on distances and intrinsic luminosities. Using a Bayesian isochrone pipeline, this enables us to estimate new ages for the accreted stars, with typical uncertainties of ~20%. Our new catalogue is further supplemented with estimates of orbital parameters. The blob stars span a metallicities between -0.5 to -2.5, and [Mg/Fe] between -0.1 to 0.5. They constitute ~30% of the metal-poor ([Fe/H] < -0.8) halo at metallicities of ~-1.4. Our new ages are mainly range between 8 to 13 Gyr, with the oldest stars the metal-poorest, and with the highest [Mg/Fe] abundance. If the blob stars are assumed to belong to a single progenitor, the ages imply that the system merged with our Milky Way around 8 Gyr ago and that star formation proceeded for ~5 Gyr. Dynamical arguments suggest that such a single progenitor would have a total mass of ~1011Msun, similar to that found by other authors using chemical evolution models and simulations. Comparing the scatter in the [Mg/Fe]-[Fe/H] plane of the blob stars to that measured for stars belonging to the Large Magellanic Cloud suggests that the blob does indeed contain stars from only one progenitor.


arXiv:1903.09322v1 [pdf, other]
Imaging Cool Giant Planets in Reflected Light: Science Investigations and Synergy with Habitable Planets
Comments: Science white paper submitted to the Astro 2020 Decadal Survey on Astronomy and Astrophysics

Planned astronomical observatories of the 2020s will be capable of obtaining reflected light photometry and spectroscopy of cool extrasolar giant planets. Here we explain that such data are valuable both for understanding the origin and evolution of giant planets as a whole and for preparing for the interpretation of similar datasets from potentially habitable extrasolar terrestrial planets in the decades to follow.


arXiv:1903.09323v1 [pdf, other]
Wide-field Multi-object Spectroscopy to Enhance Dark Energy Science from LSST
Comments: Submitted to the call for Astro2020 science white papers; tables with estimates of telescope time needed for a supernova host survey can be seen at http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/id/eprint/36041

LSST will open new vistas for cosmology in the next decade, but it cannot reach its full potential without data from other telescopes. Cosmological constraints can be greatly enhanced using wide-field ($>20$ deg$^2$ total survey area), highly-multiplexed optical and near-infrared multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) on 4-15m telescopes. This could come in the form of suitably-designed large surveys and/or community access to add new targets to existing projects. First, photometric redshifts can be calibrated with high precision using cross-correlations of photometric samples against spectroscopic samples at $0 < z < 3$ that span thousands of sq. deg. Cross-correlations of faint LSST objects and lensing maps with these spectroscopic samples can also improve weak lensing cosmology by constraining intrinsic alignment systematics, and will also provide new tests of modified gravity theories. Large samples of LSST strong lens systems and supernovae can be studied most efficiently by piggybacking on spectroscopic surveys covering as much of the LSST extragalactic footprint as possible (up to $\sim20,000$ square degrees). Finally, redshifts can be measured efficiently for a high fraction of the supernovae in the LSST Deep Drilling Fields (DDFs) by targeting their hosts with wide-field spectrographs. Targeting distant galaxies, supernovae, and strong lens systems over wide areas in extended surveys with (e.g.) DESI or MSE in the northern portion of the LSST footprint or 4MOST in the south could realize many of these gains; DESI, 4MOST, Subaru/PFS, or MSE would all be well-suited for DDF surveys. The most efficient solution would be a new wide-field, highly-multiplexed spectroscopic instrument in the southern hemisphere with $>6$m aperture. In two companion white papers we present gains from deep, small-area MOS and from single-target imaging and spectroscopy.


arXiv:1903.09324v1 [pdf, other]
Single-object Imaging and Spectroscopy to Enhance Dark Energy Science from LSST
Comments: Submitted to the call for Astro2020 science white papers

Single-object imaging and spectroscopy on telescopes with apertures ranging from ~4 m to 40 m have the potential to greatly enhance the cosmological constraints that can be obtained from LSST. Two major cosmological probes will benefit greatly from LSST follow-up: accurate spectrophotometry for nearby and distant Type Ia supernovae will expand the cosmological distance lever arm by unlocking the constraining power of high-z supernovae; and cosmology with time delays of strongly-lensed supernovae and quasars will require additional high-cadence imaging to supplement LSST, adaptive optics imaging or spectroscopy for accurate lens and source positions, and IFU or slit spectroscopy to measure detailed properties of lens systems. We highlight the scientific impact of these two science drivers, and discuss how additional resources will benefit them. For both science cases, LSST will deliver a large sample of objects over both the wide and deep fields in the LSST survey, but additional data to characterize both individual systems and overall systematics will be key to ensuring robust cosmological inference to high redshifts. Community access to large amounts of natural-seeing imaging on ~2-4 m telescopes, adaptive optics imaging and spectroscopy on 8-40 m telescopes, and high-throughput single-target spectroscopy on 4-40 m telescopes will be necessary for LSST time domain cosmology to reach its full potential. In two companion white papers we present the additional gains for LSST cosmology that will come from deep and from wide-field multi-object spectroscopy.


arXiv:1903.09325v1 [pdf, other]
Deep Multi-object Spectroscopy to Enhance Dark Energy Science from LSST
Comments: Science white paper submitted to the Astro2020 decadal survey. A table of time requirements is available at http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/36036/

Community access to deep (i ~ 25), highly-multiplexed optical and near-infrared multi-object spectroscopy (MOS) on 8-40m telescopes would greatly improve measurements of cosmological parameters from LSST. The largest gain would come from improvements to LSST photometric redshifts, which are employed directly or indirectly for every major LSST cosmological probe; deep spectroscopic datasets will enable reduced uncertainties in the redshifts of individual objects via optimized training. Such spectroscopy will also determine the relationship of galaxy SEDs to their environments, key observables for studies of galaxy evolution. The resulting data will also constrain the impact of blending on photo-z's. Focused spectroscopic campaigns can also improve weak lensing cosmology by constraining the intrinsic alignments between the orientations of galaxies. Galaxy cluster studies can be enhanced by measuring motions of galaxies in and around clusters and by testing photo-z performance in regions of high density. Photometric redshift and intrinsic alignment studies are best-suited to instruments on large-aperture telescopes with wider fields of view (e.g., Subaru/PFS, MSE, or GMT/MANIFEST) but cluster investigations can be pursued with smaller-field instruments (e.g., Gemini/GMOS, Keck/DEIMOS, or TMT/WFOS), so deep MOS work can be distributed amongst a variety of telescopes. However, community access to large amounts of nights for surveys will still be needed to accomplish this work. In two companion white papers we present gains from shallower, wide-area MOS and from single-target imaging and spectroscopy.


arXiv:1903.09349v2 [pdf, other]
Determining the efficiency of converting magnetar spin-down energy into gamma-ray burst X-ray afterglow emission and its possible implications
Comments: 10 pages, 7 figures, accepted by ApJ

Plateaus are common in X-ray afterglows of gamma-ray bursts. Among a few scenarios for the origin of them, the leading one is that there exists a magnetar inside and persistently injects its spin-down energy into an afterglow. In previous studies, the radiation efficiency of this process is assumed to be a constant $\gtrsim0.1$, which is quite simple and strong. In this work we obtain the efficiency from a physical point of view and find that this efficiency strongly depends on the injected luminosity. One implication of this result is that those X-ray afterglow light curves which show steeper temporal decay than $t^{-2}$ after the plateau phase can be naturally understood now. Also, the braking indexes deduced from afterglow fitting are found to be larger than those in previous studies, which are more reasonable for newborn magnetars.


arXiv:1903.09356v1 [pdf, other]
Exploring Active Supermassive Black Holes at 100 Micro-arcsecond Resolution
Comments: 7 pages, 3 figures; science white paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey

Super-high spatial resolution observations in the infrared are now enabling major advances in our understanding of supermassive black hole systems at the centers of galaxies. Infrared interferometry, reaching resolutions of milliarcseconds to sub-milliarcseconds, is drastically changing our view of the central structure from a static to a very dynamic one by spatially resolving to the pc-scale. We are also starting to measure the dynamical structure of fast moving gas clouds around active supermassive black holes at a scale of less than a light year. With further improvements on resolution and sensitivity, we will be able to directly image the exact site of the black hole's feedback to its host galaxy, and quantify the effect of such interaction processes. Near-future high angular resolution studies will definitely advance our mass determinations for these black holes, and we might even witness the existence of binary black hole systems at the center of galaxies.


arXiv:1903.09384v1 [pdf, other]
On the varied origins of up-bending breaks in galaxy disks
Comments: 21 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in A&A

Aims: Using a sample of 175 low-inclination galaxies from the S$^{4}$G, we investigate the origins of up-bending (Type III) breaks in the 3.6 $\mu$m surface brightness profiles of disk galaxies. Methods: We re-analyze a sample of previously identified Type III disk break-hosting galaxies using a new, unbiased break-finding algorithm, which uncovered many new, sometimes subtle disk breaks across the whole sample. We classify each break by its likely origin through close examination of the galaxy images across wavelengths, and compare samples of galaxies separated by their outermost identified break types in terms of their stellar populations and local environments. Results: We find that more than half of the confirmed Type III breaks in our sample can be attributed to morphological asymmetry in the host galaxies. As these breaks are mostly an artifact of the azimuthal averaging process, their status as physical "breaks" is questionable. Such galaxies occupy some of the highest density environments in our sample, implying that much of this asymmetry is the result of tidal disturbance. Additionally, we find that Type III breaks related to extended spiral arms or star formation often host down-bending (Type II) breaks at larger radius which were previously unidentified. Such galaxies reside in the lowest density environments in our sample, in line with previous studies that found a lack of Type II breaks in clusters. Galaxies occupying the highest density environments most often show Type III breaks associated with outer spheroidal components. Conclusions: We find that Type III breaks in the outer disks of galaxies arise most often through environmental influence: either tidal disturbance (resulting in disk asymmetry) or heating through, e.g., galaxy harrassment (leading to spheroidal components). Galaxies hosting the latter break types also show... (abstract continues)


arXiv:1903.09392v1 [pdf, other]
Three-Dimensional Simulations of Massive Stars: I. Wave Generation and Propagation
Comments: 27 pages, 31 figures; accepted for publication in ApJ; an animation of Figure 8 can be found at https://www.mas.ncl.ac.uk/~npe27/videos/H6R10.html

We present the first three-dimensional (3D), hydrodynamic simulations of the core convection zone (CZ) and extended radiative zone spanning from 1% to 90% of the stellar radius of an intermediate mass (3 $\mathrm{M}_\odot$) star. This allows us to self-consistently follow the generation of internal gravity waves (IGWs) at the convective boundary and their propagation to the surface. We find that convection in the core is dominated by plumes. The frequency spectrum in the CZ and that of IGW generation is a double power law as seen in previous two-dimensional (2D) simulations. The spectrum is significantly flatter than theoretical predictions using excitation through Reynolds stresses induced by convective eddies alone. It is compatible with excitation through plume penetration. An empirically determined distribution of plume frequencies generally matches the one necessary to explain a large part of the observed spectrum. We observe waves propagating in the radiation zone and excited standing modes, which can be identified as gravity and fundamental modes. They show similar frequencies and node patterns to those predicted by the stellar oscillation code GYRE. The continuous part of the spectrum fulfills the IGW dispersion relation. A spectrum of tangential velocity and temperature fluctuations close to the surface is extracted, which are directly related to observable brightness variations in stars. Unlike 2D simulations we do not see the high frequencies associated with wave breaking, likely because these 3D simulations are more heavily damped.


arXiv:1903.09409v1 [pdf, other]
Fast and automated oscillation frequency extraction using Bayesian multi-modality
Comments: 10 pages, 2 figures, accepted for publication in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences. Invited contribution for the research topic "The Future of Asteroseismology"

Since the advent of CoRoT, and NASA Kepler and K2, the number of low- and intermediate-mass stars classified as pulsators has increased very rapidly with time, now accounting for several $10^4$ targets. With the recent launch of NASA TESS space mission, we have confirmed our entrance to the era of all-sky observations of oscillating stars. TESS is currently releasing good quality datasets that already allow for the characterization and identification of individual oscillation modes even from single 27-days shots on some stars. When ESA PLATO will become operative by the next decade, we will face the observation of several more hundred thousands stars where identifying individual oscillation modes will be possible. However, estimating the individual frequency, amplitude, and lifetime of the oscillation modes is not an easy task. This is because solar-like oscillations and especially their evolved version, the red giant branch (RGB) oscillations, can vary significantly from one star to another depending on its specific stage of the evolution, mass, effective temperature, metallicity, as well as on its level of rotation and magnetism. In this perspective I will present a novel, fast, and powerful way to derive individual oscillation mode frequencies by building on previous results obtained with \diamonds. I will show that the oscillation frequencies obtained with this new approach can reach precisions of about 0.1 % and accuracies of about 0.01 % when compared to published literature values for the RGB star KIC~12008916.


arXiv:1903.09420v1 [pdf, other]
S-band Polarization All Sky Survey (S-PASS): survey description and maps
Comments: Accepted for publication on MNRAS. Maps are available for download at the website indicated in the manuscript

We present the S-Band Polarization All Sky Survey (S-PASS), a survey of polarized radio emission over the southern sky at Dec~$< -1^\circ$ taken with the Parkes radio telescope at 2.3~GHz. The main aim was to observe at a frequency high enough to avoid strong depolarization at intermediate Galactic latitudes (still present at 1.4 GHz) to study Galactic magnetism, but low enough to retain ample Signal-to-Noise ratio (S/N) at high latitudes for extragalactic and cosmological science. We developed a new scanning strategy based on long azimuth scans, and a corresponding map-making procedure to make recovery of the overall mean signal of Stokes $Q$ and $U$ possible, a long-standing problem with polarization observations. We describe the scanning strategy, map-making procedure, and validation tests. The overall mean signal is recovered with a precision better than 0.5\%. The maps have a mean sensitivity of 0.81 mK on beam--size scales and show clear polarized signals, typically to within a few degrees of the Galactic plane, with ample S/N everywhere (the typical signal in low emission regions is 13 mK, and 98.6\% of the pixels have S/N $> 3$). The largest depolarization areas are in the inner Galaxy, associated with the Sagittarius Arm. We have also computed a Rotation Measure map combining S-PASS with archival data from the WMAP and Planck experiments. A Stokes $I$ map has been generated, with a sensitivity limited to the confusion level of 9 mK.


arXiv:1903.09423v1 [pdf, other]
A fast point-pattern matching algorithm based on statistical method
Comments: 13 pages,6 figures, 1 table

We propose a new pattern-matching algorithm for matching CCD images to a stellar catalogue based statistical method in this paper. The method of constructing star pairs can greatly reduce the computational complexity compared with the triangle method. We use a subsample of the brightest objects from the image and reference catalogue, and then find a coordinate transformation between the image and reference catalogue based on the statistical information of star pairs. Then all the objects are matched based on the initial plate solution. The matching process can be accomplished in several milliseconds for the observed images taken by Yunnan observatory 1-m telescope.


arXiv:1903.09430v1 [pdf, other]
Mapping Gas Phase Abundances and Enrichment Patterns Across Galaxy Disks
Comments: Submitted to the Astro2020 call for science white papers

The distribution of gas-phase abundances in galaxy disks encodes the history of nucleosynthesis and transport through the interstellar medium (ISM) over cosmic time. Multi-object and high resolution integral-field spectroscopy have started to measure these distributions across hundreds of HII regions individually resolved at $\lesssim 100$ pc scales in a handful of objects, but in the coming decade these studies will expand to larger samples of galaxies. This will allow us to understand the role of feedback and turbulence in driving the mixing and diffusion of metals in the ISM, and statistically assess the role of galaxy environment and disk dynamics in modifying how mixing proceeds. Detailed searches for over- and under-enriched regions can address to what extent star formation is triggered by previous generations of star formation and by pristine and recycled gas flows. Local galaxies, for which these detailed measurements will be possible within the next decade, will inform the interpretation of integrated measurements at high-z, where very different dynamical gas-rich environments are found in early disk galaxies. Currently, progress in the field is severely hampered by the 0.2-0.3 dex level systematic uncertainties plaguing nebular abundance diagnostics. Improving our detailed understanding of ionized nebulae at $<$20 pc scales will help us find a solution to this problem, which will prove key to the study of metal enrichment and mixing across the galaxy population in the next decade.


arXiv:1903.09455v1 [pdf, other]
Bright mini-outburst ends the 12-year long activity of the black hole candidate Swift J1753.5-0127
Comments: 12 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ

We present optical, UV and X-ray monitoring of the short orbital period black hole X-ray binary candidate Swift J1753.5-0127, focusing on the final stages of its 12$-$year long outburst that started in 2005. From September 2016 onward, the source started to fade and within three months, the optical flux almost reached the quiescent level. Soon after that, using a new proposed rebrightening classification method we recorded a mini-outburst and a reflare in the optical light curves, peaking in February (V$\rm\sim$17.0) and May (V$\rm\sim$17.9) 2017, respectively. Remarkably, the mini-outburst has a peak flux consistent with the extrapolation of the slow decay before the fading phase preceding it. The following reflare was fainter and shorter. We found from optical colors that the temperature of the outer disk was $\sim 11$,000 K when the source started to fade rapidly. According to the disk instability model, this is close to the critical temperature when a cooling wave is expected to form in the disk, shutting down the outburst. The optical color could be a useful tool to predict decay rates in some X-ray transients. We notice that all X-ray binaries that show mini-outbursts following a main outburst are short orbital period systems ($<$ 7 h). In analogy with another class of short period binaries showing similar mini-outbursts, the cataclysmic variables of the RZ LMi type, we suggest mini-outbursts could occur if there is a hot inner disk at the end of the outburst decay.


arXiv:1903.09456v1 [pdf, other]
Origin of the excess of high-energy retrograde stars in the Galactic halo
Comments: accepted for publication in ApJL

We report on the very low $\alpha$-element abundances of a group of metal-poor stars with high orbital energy and with large retrograde motion in the Milky Way halo, whose excess has been reported recently from metallicity and kinematics. We constructed a sample of halo stars with measured abundances and precise kinematics, including $\sim 880$ stars with [{{Fe}/{H}}]$<-0.7$, by crossmatching the Stellar Abundances for Galactic Archaeology database to the second data release of Gaia. Three regions in the energy-angular momentum space have been selected: innermost halo, Gaia Enceladus/Sausage, and high-energy retrograde halo. While the innermost halo and Gaia Enceladus regions have chemical abundances consistent with high- and low-$\alpha$ populations in the halo, respectively, chemical abundances of stars in the high-energy retrograde halo are different from the two populations; their [{X}/{Fe}], where X represents Na, Mg, and Ca, are even lower than those in Gaia Enceladus. These abundances, as well as their low mean metallicity, provide a new support for the idea that the retrograde component is dominated by an accreted dwarf galaxy which has a longer star formation timescale and is less massive than Gaia Enceladus/Sausage.


arXiv:1903.09459v1 [pdf, other]
On possible types of magnetospheres of hot Jupiters
Comments: Accepted in Astronomy Reports, 23 pages, 10 figures

We show that the orbits of exoplanets of the "hot Jupiter" type, as a rule, are located close to the Alf\'{v}en point of the stellar wind of the parent star. At this, many hot Jupiters can be located in the sub-Alf\'{v}en zone in which the magnetic pressure of the stellar wind exceeds its dynamic pressure. Therefore, magnetic field of the wind must play an extremely important role for the flow of the stellar wind around the atmospheres of the hot Jupiters. This factor must be considered both in theoretical models and in the interpretation of observational data. The analysis shows that many typical hot Jupiters should have shock-less intrinsic magnetospheres, which, apparently, do not have counterparts in the Solar System. Such magnetospheres are characterized, primarily, by the absence of the bow shock, while the magnetic barrier (ionopause) is formed by the induced currents in the upper layers of the ionosphere. We confirmed this inference by the three-dimensional numerical simulation of the flow of the parent star stellar wind around the hot Jupiter HD 209458b in which we took into account both proper magnetic field of the planet and magnetic field of the wind.


arXiv:1903.09474v1 [pdf, other]
The role of dissipative evolution for three-planet, near-resonant extrasolar systems
Comments: Accepted in Astronomy & Astrophysics

Early dynamical evolution of close-in planetary systems is shaped by an intricate combination of planetary gravitational interactions, orbital migration, and dissipative effects. While the process of convergent orbital migration is expected to routinely yield resonant planetary systems, previous analyses have shown that the semi-major axes of initially resonant pairs of planets will gradually diverge under the influence of long-term energy damping, producing an overabundance of planetary period ratios in slight excess of exact commensurability. While this feature is clearly evident in the orbital distribution of close-in extrasolar planets, the existing theoretical picture is limited to the specific case of the planetary three-body problem. In this study, we generalise the framework of dissipative divergence of resonant orbits to multi-resonant chains, and apply our results to the current observational census of well-characterised three-planet systems. Focusing on the 2:1 and 3:2 commensurabilities, we identify three 3-planet systems, whose current orbital architecture is consistent with an evolutionary history wherein convergent migration first locks the planets into a multi-resonant configuration and subsequent dissipation repels the orbits away from exact commensurability. Nevertheless, we find that the architecture of the overall sample of multi planetary systems is incompatible with this simple scenario, suggesting that additional physical mechanisms must play a dominant role during the early stages of planetary systems' dynamical evolution.


arXiv:1903.09496v1 [pdf, other]
High-Drag Interstellar Objects And Galactic Dynamical Streams
Comments: 4 Figures, accepted for ApJL. Comments and discussion welcome

The nature of 1I/'Oumuamua (henceforth, 1I), the first interstellar object known to pass through the solar system, remains mysterious. Feng \& Jones noted that the incoming 1I velocity vector "at infinity" ($\textbf{v}_{\infty}$) is close to the motion of the Pleiades dynamical stream (or Local Association), and suggested that 1I is a young object ejected from a star in that stream. Micheli $\textit{et al.}$ subsequently detected non-gravitational acceleration in the 1I trajectory; this acceleration would not be unusual in an active comet, but 1I observations failed to reveal any signs of activity. Bialy $\&$ Loeb hypothesized that the anomalous 1I acceleration was instead due to radiation pressure, which would require an extremely low mass-to-area ratio (or area density). Here I show that a low area density can also explain the very close kinematic association of 1I and the Pleiades stream, as it renders 1I subject to drag capture by interstellar gas clouds. This supports the radiation pressure hypothesis and suggests that there is a significant population of low area density ISOs in the Galaxy, leading, through gas drag, to enhanced ISO concentrations in the galactic dynamical streams. Any interstellar object entrained in a dynamical stream will have a predictable incoming $\textbf{v}_{\infty}$; targeted deep surveys using this information should be able to find dynamical stream objects months to as much as a year before their perihelion, providing the lead time needed for fast-response missions for the future $\textit{in situ}$ exploration of such objects.


arXiv:1903.09501v1 [pdf, other]
Long uninterrupted photometric observations of the Wolf-Rayet star EZ CMa by the Toronto {\em{BRITE}} satellite reveal a very fast apsidal motion
Comments: A&A Letter in press, 5 pages, 3 figures

Context. The variability of the Wolf-Rayet star EZ CMa has been documented for close to half a century, and a clear periodicity of $\sim$3.7 days is established. However, all attempts to prove that it is a binary have failed because the photometric, spectroscopic, and polarimetric variations are not coherent over more than a few orbital cycles. Aims. In this letter we show that the lack of coherence in the variability can be explained with a very rapid apsidal motion in a binary orbit.} Methods. We measured the times of minima in a recently published exceptionally long photometric light curve obtained by the Toronto {\emph{BRITE}} satellite. The apsidal motion and the system eccentricity are determined from the length of the time intervals between these minima, which alternate in their duration, following a pattern that is clearly associated with apsidal motion. These minima are superposed on brightness enhancements of the emission from a shock zone, which occur at about the times of periastron phases. Results. We determine the orbital periodicity, $P_{a}=3.63\, $d, and the period of the apsidal motion, $U\simeq 100\, $d, which together yield an average sidereal period of $P_{s}=3.77\,$d. The eccentricity is found to be close to 0.1. The rate of periapsis retreat changes significantly over the period of observation and is determined to be $-16^\circ\,\mathrm{P}^{-1}_a$ at the beginning of the observing period and $-10^\circ\,\mathrm{P}^{-1}_a$ at the end. Conclusions. We demonstrate that by introducing a fast apsidal motion, the basic photometric variability is very well explained. The binary nature of EZ CMa is now established. This might imply that other apparently single Wolf-Rayet stars that emit hard X-rays, similar to EZ CMa, are also binaries.


arXiv:1903.09517v1 [pdf, other]
Probing ISM Structure in Trumpler 14 & Carina I Using The Stratospheric Terahertz Observatory 2
Comments: ApJ submitted

We present observations of the Trumpler 14/Carina I region carried out using the Stratospheric Terahertz Observatory 2 (STO2). The Trumpler 14/Carina I region is in the west part of the Carina Nebula Complex, which is one of the most extreme star-forming regions in the Milky Way. We observed Trumpler 14/Carina I in the 158 um transition of [CII] with a spatial resolution of 48" and a velocity resolution of 0.17 km/s. The observations cover a 0.25 deg by 0.28 deg area with central position l = 297.34 deg, b = -0.60 deg. The kinematics show that bright [CII] structures are spatially and spectrally correlated with the surfaces of CO clouds, tracing the photodissociation region and ionization front of each molecular cloud. Along 7 lines of sight that traverse Tr 14 into the dark ridge to the southwest, we find that the [CII] luminosity from the HII region is 3.7 times that from the PDR. In same los we find in the PDRs a ratio of 1:4.1: 5.6 for the mass in atomic gas:dark-CO gas, and gas traced by CO. Comparing multiple gas tracers including HI 21cm, [CII], CO, and radio recombination lines, we find that the HII regions of the Carina Nebula Complex are well-described as HII regions with one-side freely expanding towards us, consistent with the Champagne model of ionized gas evolution. The dispersal of the GMC in this region is dominated by EUV photoevaporation; the dispersal timescale is 20-30 Myr.


arXiv:1903.09523v1 [pdf, other]
Detecting Earth-like Biosignatures on Rocky Exoplanets around Nearby Stars with Ground-based Extremely Large Telescopes
Comments: 9 pages, 3 figures. Science White Paper submitted to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey

As we begin to discover rocky planets in the habitable zone of nearby stars with missions like TESS and CHEOPS, we will need quick advancements on instrumentation and observational techniques that will enable us to answer key science questions, such as What are the atmospheric characteristics of habitable zone rocky planets? How common are Earth-like biosignatures in rocky planets?} How similar or dissimilar are those planets to Earth? Over the next decade we expect to have discovered several Earth-analog candidates, but we will not have the tools to study the atmospheres of all of them in detail. Ground-based ELTs can identify biosignatures in the spectra of these candidate exo-Earths and understand how the planets' atmospheres compare to the Earth at different epochs. Transit spectroscopy, high-resolution spectroscopy, and reflected-light direct imaging on ELTs can identify multiple biosignatures for habitable zone, rocky planets around M stars at optical to near-infrared wavelengths. Thermal infrared direct imaging can detect habitable zone, rocky planets around AFGK stars, identifying ozone and motivating reflected-light follow-up observations with NASA missions like HabEx/LUVOIR. Therefore, we recommend that the Astro2020 Decadal Survey Committee support: (1) the search for Earth-like biosignatures on rocky planets around nearby stars as a key science case; (2) the construction over the next decade of ground-based Extremely Large Telecopes (ELTs), which will provide the large aperture and spatial resolution necessary to start revealing the atmospheres of Earth-analogues around nearby stars; (3) the development of instrumentation that optimizes the detection of biosignatures; and (4) the generation of accurate line lists for potential biosignature gases, which are needed as model templates to detect those molecules.


arXiv:1903.09529v1 [pdf, other]
AGN (and other) astrophysics with Gravitational Wave Events
Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures, Astro2020 Decadal Survey white paper

The stellar mass binary black hole (sBBH) mergers presently detected by LIGO may originate wholly or in part from binary black hole mergers embedded in disks of gas around supermassive black holes. Determining the contribution of these active galactic nucleus (AGN) disks to the sBBH merger rate enables us to uniquely measure important parameters of AGN disks, including their typical density, aspect ratio, and lifetime, thereby putting unique limits on an important element of galaxy formation. For the first time, gravitational waves will allow us to reveal the properties of the hidden interior of AGN disks, while electromagnetic radiation (EM) probes the disk photosphere. The localization of sBBH merger events from LIGO is generally insufficient for association with a single EM counterpart. However, the contribution to the LIGO event rate from rare source types (such as AGNs) can be determined on a statistical basis. To determine the contribution to the sBBH rate from AGNs in the next decade requires: {\em 1) a complete galaxy catalog for the LIGO search volume, 2) strategic multi-wavelength EM follow-up of LIGO events and 3) significant advances in theoretical understanding of AGN disks and the behavior of objects embedded within them.}


arXiv:1903.09539v1 [pdf, other]
Imaging Black Holes and Jets with a VLBI Array Including Multiple Space-Based Telescopes
Comments: Accepted to the Space VLBI special issue of Advances in Space Research

Very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) from the ground at millimeter wavelengths can resolve the black hole shadow around two supermassive black holes, Sagittarius A* and M87. The addition of modest telescopes in space would allow the combined array to produce higher-resolution, higher-fidelity images of these and other sources. This paper explores the potential benefits of adding orbital elements to the Event Horizon Telescope. We reconstruct model images using simulated data from arrays including telescopes in different orbits. We find that an array including one telescope near geostationary orbit and one in a high-inclination medium Earth or geosynchronous orbit can succesfully produce high-fidelity images capable of resolving shadows as small as 3 microarcseconds in diameter. One such key source, the Sombrero Galaxy, may be important to address questions regarding why some black holes launch powerful jets while others do not. Meanwhile, higher-resolution imaging of the substructure of M87 may clarify how jets are launched in the first place. The extra resolution provided by space VLBI will also improve studies of the collimation of jets from active galactic nuclei.


arXiv:1903.09540v1 [pdf, other]
The fastest components in stellar jets
Comments: Submitted to the 2020 Astronomy decadal survey as science white paper

Young stars accrete mass from a circumstellar disk, but at the same time disk and star eject outflows and jets. These outflows have an onion-like structure where the innermost and fastest layers are surrounded by increasingly lower velocity components. The outer layers are probably photo-evaporative and magnetocentrifugally launched disk winds, but the nature of the inner winds is still uncertain. Since the fastest components carry only a small fraction of the mass, they are best observed at high-energies (X-ray and UV) as the slower, more massive components do not reach plasma temperatures sufficient for relevant X-ray or UV emission. Outflows are the most likely way in which a star or its disk can shed angular momentum and allow accretion to proceed; thus we cannot understand the accretion and the rotation rate of young stars if we cannot solve the origin of the inner jet components. Stellar jets share characteristics with their counterparts in more massive astrophysical objects, such as stellar mass black holes and AGN, with the added benefit that young stars are found at much closer distances and thus scales not accessible in other types of objects can be resolved. To understand the origin and impact of the inner jets, sub-arcsecond imaging and spectroscopy in the UV and X-rays is required, together with theory and modelling to interpret existing and future observations.


arXiv:1903.09545v1 [pdf, other]
Investigating the dark matter signal in the cosmic ray antiproton flux with the machine learning method
Comments: 25 pages, 6 figures

We investigate the implications on the dark matter (DM) signal from the AMS-02 cosmic antiproton flux. Global fits to the data are performed under different propagation and hadronic interaction models. The uncertainties from the injection spectrum, propagation effects and solar modulation of the cosmic rays are taken into account comprehensively. Since we need to investigate extended parameter regions with multiple free parameters in the fit, the machine learning method is adopted to maintain a realistic time cost. We find all the effects considered in the fitting process interplay with each other, among which the hadronic interaction model is the most important factor affecting the result. In most hadronic interaction and CR propagation models no DM signal is found with significance larger than $2\sigma$ except that the EPOS-LHC interaction model requires a more than $3\sigma$ DM signal with DM mass around $1\,\mathrm{TeV}$. For the diffusive reacceleration propagation model there is a highly significant DM signal with mass around $100\,\mathrm{GeV}$. However, the signal becomes less than $1\sigma$ if we take a charge dependent solar modulation potential in the analysis.


arXiv:1903.09558v1 [pdf, other]
On massive dust clumps in the envelope of the red supergiant VY Canis Majoris
Comments: submitted to A&A

The envelope of the red supergiant VY CMa has long been considered an extreme example of episodic mass loss that is possibly taking place in other cool and massive evolved stars. Recent submm observations of the envelope revealed the presence of massive dusty clumps within 800 mas from the star which reinforce the picture of drastic mass-loss phenomena in VY CMa. We present ALMA observations at an unprecedented angular resolution and sensitivity that reveal further details about the dusty clumps. We resolve more discrete features and identify a submm counterpart of a more distant Clump SW known from visual observations. The brightest clump C is marginally resolved in the observations. Gas seen against the resolved photosphere of clump C produces a molecular spectrum in absorption, in lines of sulfur-bearing species. Except for SW Clump, no molecular emission is found to be associated with the dusty clumps and we propose that the dusty structures have an atypically low gas content. We attempt to reproduce the properties of the dusty clumps through three-dimensional radiative transfer modeling. Although a clump configuration explaining the observations is found, it is not unique. A very high optical depth of all clumps to the stellar radiation make the modeling very challenging and requires unrealistically high dust masses for one of them. It is suggested that the dusty features have a substructure, e.g. porosity, that allows deeper penetration of stellar photons within the clumps. A comparison of the estimated clumps ages to variations in the stellar visual flux for over a century suggests that the mechanism responsible for their formation is not uniquely manifested by enhanced or strongly diminished visual light. The study demonstrates that the dusty mass-loss episodes of VY CMa are indeed unparalleled among all known non-explosive stars. The origin of these episodes remains unclear.


arXiv:1903.09560v1 [pdf, other]
The star cluster survivability after gas expulsion is independent of the impact of the Galactic tidal field
Comments: accepted for publication in MNRAS, 8 pages, 5 figures,3 tables

We study the impact of the tidal field on the survivability of star clusters following instantaneous gas expulsion. Our model clusters are formed with a centrally-peaked star-formation efficiency profile as a result of star-formation taking place with a constant efficiency per free-fall time. We define the impact of the tidal field as the ratio of the cluster half-mass radius to its Jacobi radius immediately after gas expulsion, $\lambda = r_{h}/R_{J}$. We vary $\lambda$ by varying either the Galactocentric distance, or the size (hence volume density) of star clusters. We propose a new method to measure the violent relaxation duration, in which we compare the total mass-loss rate of star clusters with their stellar evolutionary mass-loss rate. That way, we can robustly estimate the bound mass fraction of our model clusters at the end of violent relaxation. The duration of violent relaxation correlates linearly with the Jacobi radius, when considering identical clusters at different Galactocentric distances. In contrast, it is nearly constant for the solar neighbourhood clusters, slightly decreasing with $\lambda$. The violent relaxation does not last longer than 50 Myr in our simulations. Identical model clusters placed at different Galactocentric distances have the same final bound fraction, despite experiencing different impacts of the tidal field. The solar neighbourhood clusters with different densities experience only limited variations of their final bound fraction. In general, we conclude that the cluster survivability after instantaneous gas expulsion, as measured by their bound mass fraction at the end of violent relaxation, $F_{bound}$, is independent of the impact of the tidal field, $\lambda$.


arXiv:1903.09582v1 [pdf, other]
Looking for Lurkers
Comments: 12 pages, 7 figures, 1 table

A recently discovered group of nearby co-orbital objects is an attractive location for extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) to locate a probe to observe Earth while not being easily seen. These near-Earth objects provide an ideal way to watch our world from a secure natural object. That provides resources an ETI might need: materials, a firm anchor, concealment. These have been little studied by astronomy and not at all by SETI or planetary radar observations. I describe these objects found thus far and propose both passive and active observations of them as possible sites for ET probes.


arXiv:1903.09591v1 [pdf, other]
Cluster induced quenching of galaxies in the massive cluster XMMXCSJ2215.9-1738 at z~1.5 traced by enhanced metallicities inside half R200
Comments: No comment found

(Abridged) We explore the massive cluster XMMXCSJ2215.9-1738 at z~1.5 with KMOS spectroscopy of Halpha and [NII] covering a region that corresponds to about one virial radius. Using published spectroscopic redshifts of 108 galaxies in and around the cluster we computed the location of galaxies in the projected velocity vs. position phase-space to separate our cluster sample into a virialized region of objects accreted longer ago (roughly inside half R200) and a region of infalling galaxies. We measured oxygen abundances for ten cluster galaxies with detected [NII] lines in the individual galaxy spectra and compared the MZR of the galaxies inside half R200 with the infalling galaxies and a field sample at similar redshifts. We find that the oxygen abundances of individual z~1.5 star-forming cluster galaxies inside half R200 are comparable, at the respective stellar mass, to the higher local SDSS metallicity values. The metallicities of these galaxies in the inner part of the cluster are higher by 0.1-0.2dex, at a given mass, than those of infalling galaxies and of field galaxies at z~1.5. This effect is more pronounced when using the O3N2 metallicity calibration compared to the N2 calibration, which can be explained by the different locations of cluster and field galaxies in the [OIII]/Hbeta vs. [NII]/Halpha diagram involving two line ratios compared to one line ratio information in the case of the N2 relation. The enhanced metallicities of cluster galaxies at z~1.5 inside half R200 indicate that the density of the ICM in this massive cluster becomes high enough toward the cluster center such that the ram pressure exceeds the restoring pressure of the hot gas reservoir of cluster galaxies and can remove this gas reservoir initiating quenching, although the galaxies continue to form stars, at slightly lower rates, using the available cold gas in the disk which is not stripped.


arXiv:1903.09594v1 [pdf, other]
Event horizon silhouette
Comments: 7 pages, 11 figures

We demonstrate that a dark silhouette of the black hole illuminated by a thin accretion disk and seen by a distant observer is, in fact, a silhouette of the event horizon hemisphere. The boundary of this silhouette is a contour of the event horizon equatorial circle if a thin accretion disk is placed in the black hole equatorial plane. A luminous matter plunging into black hole from different directions provides the observational opportunity for recovering a total silhouette of the invisible event horizon globe. The event horizon silhouette is projected on the celestial sphere within a position of the black hole shadow.


arXiv:1903.09598v1 [pdf, other]
Primordial Black Holes from Thermal Inflation
Comments: 21 pages, 5 figures

We present a novel mechanism for the production of primordial black holes (PBHs). The mechanism is based on a period of thermal inflation followed by fast-roll inflation due to tachyonic mass of order the Hubble scale. Large perturbations are generated at the end of the thermal inflation as the thermal inflaton potential turns from convex to concave. These perturbations can lead to copious production of PBHs when the relevant scales re-enter horizon. We show that such PBHs can naturally account for the observed dark matter in the Universe when the mass of the thermal inflaton is about $10^6\,$GeV and its coupling to the thermal bath preexisting the late inflation is of order unity. We consider also the possibility of forming the seeds of the supermassive black holes, and finally study a concrete realisation of our mechanism through a running mass model.


arXiv:1903.09599v1 [pdf, other]
Measuring the Inflaton Coupling in the CMB
Comments: 10 pages

We study under which conditions it is possible to establish analytic relations between CMB observables and the inflaton coupling to radiation. The crucial criterion is that the dissipation at the end of the reheating phase must be primarily driven by perturbative decays. When reheating is primarily driven by interactions that are linear in the inflaton field, then this is possible if the coupling constant is, roughly speaking, smaller than the ratio between the inflaton mass and the Planck mass. For interactions involving higher powers of the inflaton field the range of observationally accessible parameter values is generally smaller. The size of the inflaton coupling is not only interesting for particle physics model building, but crucially shapes the evolution of the cosmos by setting the initial condition for the hot big bang when reheating the universe.


arXiv:1903.09612v1 [pdf, other]
The Origins of Protostellar Core Angular Momenta
Comments: 12 pages, 9 figures, accepted to ApJ

We present the results of a suite of numerical simulations designed to explore the origin of the angular momenta of protostellar cores. Using the hydrodynamic grid code \emph{Athena} with a sink implementation, we follow the formation of protostellar cores and protostars (sinks) from the subvirial collapse of molecular clouds on larger scales to investigate the range and relative distribution of core properties. We find that the core angular momenta are relatively unaffected by large-scale rotation of the parent cloud; instead, we infer that angular momenta are mainly imparted by torques between neighboring mass concentrations and exhibit a log-normal distribution. Our current simulation results are limited to size scales $\sim 0.05$~pc ($\sim 10^4 \rm AU$), but serve as first steps toward the ultimate goal of providing initial conditions for higher-resolution studies of core collapse to form protoplanetary disks.


arXiv:1903.09629v1 [pdf, other]
The Pointing Limits of Transiting Exoplanet Light Curve Characterization with Pixel Level De-correlation
Comments: 11 pages, 4 figures

We present scope (Simulated CCD Observations for Photometric Experimentation), a Python package to create a forward model of telescope detectors and simulate stellar targets with motion relative to the CCD. The primary application of this package is the simulation of the Kepler Space Telescope detector to predict and characterize increased instrumental noise in the spacecraft's final campaigns of observation. As the fuel powering the spacecraft's stabilizing thrusters ran out and thruster fires began to sputter and fail, stellar Point Spread Functions (PSFs) experienced more extreme and less predictable motion relative to regions of varied sensitivity on the spacecraft detector, generating more noise in transiting exoplanet light curves. Using our simulations, we demonstrate that current de-trending techniques effectively capture and remove systematics caused by sensitivity variation for spacecraft motion as high as about ten times that typically experienced by K2. The scope package is open-source and has been generalized to allow custom detector and stellar target parameters. Future applications include simulating observations made by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and ground based observations with synthetic atmospheric interference as testbeds for noise-removal techniques.