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J.P. Magué & B. Ménard

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[1]  arXiv:1608.06938 [pdf, other]
Title: The impact of baryonic physics on the subhalo mass function and implications for gravitational lensing
Authors: Giulia Despali (MPA), Simona Vegetti (MPA)
Comments: 16 pages, 12 figures, submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We investigate the impact of baryonic physics on the subhalo population by analyzing the results of two recent hydrodynamical simulations (EAGLE and Illustris), which have very similar configuration, but a different model of baryonic physics. We concentrate on haloes with a mass between $10^{12.5}$ and $10^{14}M_{\odot}h^{-1}$ and redshift between 0.2 and 0.5, comparing with observational results and subhalo detections in early-type galaxy lenses. We compare the number and the spatial distribution of subhaloes in the fully hydro runs and in their dark matter only counterparts, focusing on the differences between the two simulations. We find that the presence of baryons reduces the number of subhaloes, especially at the low mass end ($\leq 10^{10}M_{\odot}h^{-1}$), by different amounts depending on the model. The variations in the subhalo mass function are strongly dependent on those in the halo mass function, which is shifted by the effect of stellar and AGN feedback: a lower number of low mass haloes available for accretion in the first place; then additional differences can be attributed to the action of baryonic physics inside the halo. Finally, we search for analogues of the observed lenses (SLACS) in the simulations, doing a selection in velocity dispersion and dynamical properties. We use the selected galaxies to quantify detection expectations based on the subhalo populations in the different simulations, calculating the detection probability and the predicted values for the dark matter fraction in subhaloes $f_{DM}$ and the slope of the mass function $\alpha$.

[2]  arXiv:1608.06942 [pdf, other]
Title: Geometric Corroboration of the Earliest Lensed Galaxy at z~10.8 from Robust Free-Form Modelling
Comments: arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1406.2702
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

A multiply-lensed galaxy, MACS0647-JD, with a probable photometric redshift of $z\simeq 10.7^{+0.6}_{-0.4}$ is claimed to constitute one of the very earliest known galaxies, formed well before reionization was completed. However, spectral evidence that MACS0647-JD lies at high redshift has proven infeasible and so here we seek an independent lensing based "geometric redshift" derived from the angles between the three lensed images of MACS0647-JD, using our free-form mass model (WSLAP+) for the lensing cluster MACSJ0647.7+7015 (at $z=0.591$). Our lens model uses the 9 sets of multiple images, including those of MACS0647-JD, identified by the CLASH survey towards this cluster. We convincingly exclude the low redshift regime of $z<3$, for which convoluted critical curves are generated by our method, as the solution bends to accommodate the wide angles of MACS0647-JD for this low redshift. Instead, a best fit to all sets of lensed galaxy positions and redshifts provides a geometric redshift of $z\simeq 10.8^{+0.3}_{-0.4}$ for MACS0647-JD, strongly supporting the higher photometric redshift solution. Importantly, we find a tight linear relation between the relative brightnesses of all 9 sets of multiply lensed images and their relative magnifications as predicted by our model. This agreement provides a benchmark for the quality of the lens model, and establishes the robustness of our free-form lensing method for measuring model-independent geometric source distances and for deriving objective central cluster mass distributions. After correcting for its magnification the luminosity of MACS0647-JD remains relatively high at $M_{UV}=-19.4$, which is within a factor of a few in flux of some surprisingly luminous $z\simeq 10$--$11$ candidates discovered recently in Hubble black field surveys.

[3]  arXiv:1608.06947 [pdf, other]
Title: Time-resolved optical/near-IR polarimetry of V404 Cyg during its 2015 outburst
Authors: T. Shahbaz (IAC/ULL), D.M. Russell (NYU Abu Dhabi), S. Covino (INAF-OAB), K. Mooley (Oxford), R.P. Fender (Oxford) C. Rumsey (Cavendish Lab)
Comments: 9 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication by MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present optical and near-IR linear polarimetry of V404 Cyg during its 2015 outburst and in quiescence. We obtained time resolved r'-band polarimetry when the source was in outburst, near-IR polarimetry when the source was near quiescence and multiple wave-band optical polarimetry later in quiescence. The optical to near-IR linear polarization spectrum can be described by interstellar dust and an intrinsic variable component. The intrinsic optical polarization, detected during the rise of one of the brightest flares of the outburst, is variable, peaking at 4.5 per cent and decaying to 3.5 per cent. We present several arguments that favour a synchrotron jet origin to this variable polarization, with the optical emission originating close to the jet base. The polarization flare occurs during the initial rise of a major radio flare event that peaks later, and is consistent with a classically evolving synchrotron flare from an ejection event. We conclude that the optical polarization flare represents a jet launching event; the birth of a major ejection. For this event we measure a rather stable polarization position angle of -9 degrees E of N, implying that the magnetic field near the base of the jet is approximately perpendicular to the jet axis. This may be due to the compression of magnetic field lines in shocks in the accelerated plasma, resulting in a partially ordered transverse field that have now been seen during the 2015 outburst. We also find that this ejection occurred at a similar stage in the repetitive cycles of flares.

[4]  arXiv:1608.06948 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Polarized synchrotron emission in quiescent black hole X-ray transients
Comments: Accepted to MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present near-infrared polarimetric observations of the black hole X-ray binaries Swift J1357.2-0933 and A0620-00. In both sources, recent studies have demonstrated the presence of variable infrared synchrotron emission in quiescence, most likely from weak compact jets. For Swift J1357.2-0933 we find that the synchrotron emission is polarized at a level of 8.0 +- 2.5 per cent (a 3.2 sigma detection of intrinsic polarization). The mean magnitude and rms variability of the flux (fractional rms of 19-24 per cent in K_s-band) agree with previous observations. These properties imply a continuously launched (stable on long timescales), highly variable (on short timescales) jet in the Swift J1357.2-0933 system in quiescence, which has a moderately tangled magnetic field close to the base of the jet. We find that for A0620-00, there are likely to be three components to the optical-infrared polarization; interstellar dust along the line of sight, scattering within the system, and an additional source that changes the polarization position angle in the reddest (H and K_s) wave-bands. We interpret this as a stronger contribution of synchrotron emission, and by subtracting the line-of-sight polarization, we measure an excess of ~ 1.25 +- 0.28 per cent polarization and a position angle of the magnetic field vector that is consistent with being parallel with the axis of the resolved radio jet. These results imply that weak jets in low luminosity accreting systems have magnetic fields which possess similarly tangled fields compared to the more luminous, hard state jets in X-ray binaries.

[5]  arXiv:1608.06952 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A novel approach for identifying host galaxies of nearby FRBs
Comments: 5 pages, 4 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We report on a search for host galaxies of a subset of Rotating Radio Transients (RRATs) that possess a dispersion measure (DM) near or above the maximum Galactic value in their direction. These RRATs could have an extragalactic origin and therefore be Fast Radio Bursts (FRBs). The sizes of related galaxies on the sky at such short distances are comparable to the beam size of a single-dish telescope (for example, the $7.0'$ radius of the Parkes beam). Hence the association, if found, could be more definitive as compared to finding host galaxies for more distant FRBs. We did not find any host galaxy associated with six RRATs near the maximum Galactic DM. This result is consistent with the fact that the probability of finding an FRB host galaxy within this volume is also very small. We propose that future follow-up observations of such RRATs be carried out in searching for local host galaxies as well as the sources of FRBs.

[6]  arXiv:1608.06955 [pdf]
Title: New Horizons Constraints on Charon's Present Day Atmosphere
Comments: 17 pages, 7 figures. Submitted to Icarus, in revision
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We report on a variety of standard techniques used by New Horizons including a solar ultraviolet occultation, ultraviolet airglow observations, and high-phase look-back particulate search imaging to search for an atmosphere around Pluto's large moon Charon during its flyby in July 2015. Analyzing these datasets, no evidence for a present day atmosphere has been found for 14 potential atomic and molecular species, all of which are now constrained to have pressures below 0.3 nanobar, as we describe below, these are much more stringent upper limits than the previously available 15-110 nanobar constraints (e.g., Sicardy et al. 2006); for example, we find a 3$\sigma$ upper limit for an N$_2$ atmosphere on Charon is 4.2 picobars and a 3$\sigma$ upper limit for the brightness of any atmospheric haze on Charon of I/F=2.6x10$^{-5}$. A radio occultation search for an atmosphere around Charon was also conducted by New Horizons but will be published separately by other authors.

[7]  arXiv:1608.06957 [pdf, other]
Title: The Lost Dwarfs of Centaurus A and the Formation of its Dark Globular Clusters
Authors: Mia Sauda Bovill (STScI, PUC), Thomas H. Puzia (PUC), Massimo Ricotti (UMD), Matthew A. Taylor (PUC, ESO)
Comments: 11 pages, 10 figure, 1 table. Accepted to ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We present theoretical constraints for the formation of the newly discovered dark star clusters (DSCs) with high mass-to-light (M/L) ratios, from Taylor et al (2015). These compact stellar systems photometrically resemble globular clusters (GCs) but have dynamical M/L ratios of ~ 10 - 100, closer to the expectations for dwarf galaxies. The baryonic properties of the dark star clusters (DSCs) suggest their host dark matter halos likely virialized at high redshift with M > 10^8 M_sun. We use a new set of high-resolution N-body simulations of Centaurus A to determine if there is a set of z=0 subhalos whose properties are in line with these observations. While we find such a set of subhalos, when we extrapolate the dark matter density profiles into the inner 20 pc, no dark matter halo associated with Centaurus A in our simulations, at any redshift, can replicate the extremely high central mass densities of the DSCs. Among the most likely options for explaining 10^5 - 10^7 M_sun within 10 pc diameter subhalos is the presence of a central massive black hole. We, therefore, propose that the DSCs are remnant cusps of stellar systems surrounding the central black holes of dwarf galaxies which have been almost completely destroyed by interactions with Centaurus A.

[8]  arXiv:1608.06960 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A wind-driving disc model for the mm-wavelength polarization structure of HL Tau
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The recent advent of spatially resolved mm- and cm-wavelength polarimetry in protostellar accretion discs could help clarify the role of magnetic fields in the angular momentum transport in these systems. The best case to date is that of HL~Tau, where the inability to produce a good fit to the 1.25-mm data with a combination of vertical and azimuthal magnetic field components was interpreted as implying that centrifugally driven winds (CDWs) are probably not a significant transport mechanism on the $\sim 10^2\,$au scale probed by the observations. Using synthetic polarization maps of heuristic single-field-component discs and of a post-processed simulation of a wind-driving disc, we demonstrate that a much better fit to the data can be obtained if the radial field component, a hallmark of the CDW mechanism, dominates in the polarized emission region. A similar inference was previously made in modelling the far-infrared polarization map of the pc-scale dust ring in the Galactic centre. To reconcile this interpretation with theoretical models of protostellar discs, which indicate that the wind is launched from a comparatively high elevation above the mid-plane, we propose that most of the polarized emission originates -- with a high ($\ga 10$\%) intrinsic degree of polarization -- in small ($\la 0.1\,$mm) grains that remain suspended above the mid-plane, and that the bulk of the mm-wavelength emission is produced -- with low intrinsic polarization -- by larger grains that have settled to the mid-plane.

[9]  arXiv:1608.06973 [pdf, other]
Title: Millihertz quasi-periodic oscillations in 4U 1636-53 associated with bursts with positive convexity only
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS; 12 pages, 3 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We investigated the convexity of all type I X-ray bursts with millihertz quasi-periodic oscillations (mHz QPOs) in 4U 1636-53 using archival observations with the Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer. We found that, at a 3.5 $\sigma$ confidence level, in all 39 cases in which the mHz QPOs disappeared at the time of an X-ray burst, the convexity of the burst is positive. The convexity measures the shape of the rising part of the burst light curve and, according to recent models, it is related to the ignition site of bursts on the neutron star surface. This finding suggests that in 4U 1636-53 these 39 bursts and the marginally-stable nuclear burning process responsible for the mHz QPOs take place at the neutron-star equator. This scenario could explain the inconsistency between the high accretion rate required for triggering mHz QPOs in theoretical models and the relatively low accretion rate derived from observations.

[10]  arXiv:1608.06987 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Silicate Composition of the Interstellar Medium
Comments: 12 pages, 8 figures
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The composition of silicate dust in the diffuse interstellar medium and in protoplanetary disks around young stars informs our understanding of the processing and evolution of the dust grains leading up to planet formation. Analysis of the well-known 9.7{\mu}m feature indicates that small amorphous silicate grains represent a significant fraction of interstellar dust and are also major components of protoplanetary disks. However, this feature is typically modelled assuming amorphous silicate dust of olivine and pyroxene stoichiometries. Here, we analyze interstellar dust with models of silicate dust that include non-stoichiometric amorphous silicate grains. Modelling the optical depth along lines of sight toward the extinguished objects Cyg OB2 No. 12 and {\zeta} Ophiuchi, we find evidence for interstellar amorphous silicate dust with stoichiometry intermediate between olivine and pyroxene, which we simply refer to as "polivene." Finally, we compare these results to models of silicate emission from the Trapezium and protoplanetary disks in Taurus.

[11]  arXiv:1608.06992 [pdf, other]
Title: Tracing Slow Winds from T Tauri Stars via Low Velocity Forbidden Line Emission
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Using Keck/HIRES spectra {\Delta}v ~ 7 km/s, we analyze forbidden lines of [O I] 6300 {\AA}, [O I] 5577 {\AA} and [S II] 6731 {\AA} from 33 T Tauri stars covering a range of disk evolutionary stages. After removing a high velocity component (HVC) associated with microjets, we study the properties of the low velocity component (LVC). The LVC can be attributed to slow disk winds that could be magnetically (MHD) or thermally (photoevaporative) driven. Both of these winds play an important role in the evolution and dispersal of protoplanetary material.
LVC emission is seen in all 30 stars with detected [O I] but only in 2 out of eight with detected [S II] , so our analysis is largely based on the properties of the [O I] LVC. The LVC itself is resolved into broad (BC) and narrow (NC) kinematic components. Both components are found over a wide range of accretion rates and their luminosity is correlated with the accretion luminosity, but the NC is proportionately stronger than the BC in transition disks.
The FWHM of both the BC and NC correlates with disk inclination, consistent with Keplerian broadening from radii of 0.05 to 0.5 AU and 0.5 to 5 AU, respectively. The velocity centroids of the BC suggest formation in an MHD disk wind, with the largest blueshifts found in sources with closer to face-on orientations. The velocity centroids of the NC however, show no dependence on disk inclination. The origin of this component is less clear and the evidence for photoevaporation is not conclusive.

[12]  arXiv:1608.06994 [pdf, other]
Title: Learning About the Magnetar Swift J1834.9-0846 from its Wind Nebula
Comments: 33 pages, 15 figures. Submitted to MNRAS. Comments are welcome
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The first wind nebula around a magnetar was recently discovered in X-rays around Swift~J1834.9$-$0846. We study this magnetar's global energetics and the properties of its particle wind or outflows. At a distance of $\sim4\;$kpc, Swift~J1834.9$-$0846 is located at the center of the supernova remnant (SNR) W41 whose radius is $\sim 19\;$pc, an order of magnitude larger than that of the X-ray nebula ($\sim2\;$pc). The association with SNR W41 suggests a common age of $\sim5-100\;$kyr, while its spin-down age is $4.9$~kyr. A small natal kick velocity may partly explain why a wind nebula was detected around this magnetar but not around other magnetars, most of which appear to have larger kick velocities and may have exited their birth SNR. We find that the GeV and TeV source detected by Fermi/LAT and H.E.S.S., respectively, of radius $\sim11\;$pc is most likely of hadronic origin. The dynamics and internal structure of the nebula are examined analytically to explain the nebula's current properties. Its size may naturally correspond to the diffusion-dominated cooling length of the X-ray emitting $e^+e^-$ pairs. This may also account for the spectral softening of the X-ray emission from the nebula's inner to outer parts. Analysis of the X-ray synchrotron nebula implies that (i) the nebular magnetic field is $\gtrsim 11\;\mu$G (and likely $\lesssim30\;\mu$G), and (ii) the nebula is not powered predominantly by the magnetar's quiescent spin-down-powered MHD wind, but by other outflows that contribute most of its energy. The latter are most likely associated with the magnetar's bursting activity, and possibly dominated by outflows associated with its past giant flares. The energy source for the required outflows cannot be the decay of the magnetar's dipole field alone, and is most likely the decay of its much stronger internal magnetic field.

[13]  arXiv:1608.06995 [pdf, other]
Title: Multi-phase Nature of a Radiation-Driven Fountain with Nuclear Starburst in a Low-mass Active Galactic Nucleus
Comments: 9 pages, 5 figures. Accepted for ApJL. A movie file for Fig.5b can be downloaded from this http URL
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The structures and dynamics of molecular, atomic, and ionized gases are studied around a low-luminosity active galactic nucleus (AGN) with a small ($2\times 10^6 M_\odot$) black hole using 3D radiation hydrodynamic simulations. We studied, for the first time, the non-equilibrium chemistry for the X-ray dominated region in the "radiation-driven fountain" (Wada 2012) with supernova feedback. A double hollow cone structure is naturally formed without postulating a thick "torus" around a central source. The cone is occupied with an inhomogeneous, diffuse ionized gas and surrounded by a geometrically thick ($h/r \gtrsim 1$) atomic gas. Dense molecular gases are distributed near the equatorial plane, and energy feedback from supernovae enhances their scale height. Molecular hydrogen exists in a hot phase ( > 1000 K) as well as in a cold ( < 100 K), dense ( >$10^3$ cm$^{-3}$) phase. The velocity dispersion of H$_2$ in the vertical direction is comparable to the rotational velocity, which is consistent with near infrared observations of nearby Seyfert galaxies. Using 3D radiation transfer calculations for the dust emission, we find polar emission in the mid-infrared band (12$\mu m$), which is associated with bipolar outflows, as suggested in recent interferometric observations of nearby AGNs. If the viewing angle for the nucleus is larger than 75 deg, the spectral energy distribution (~ 2 -- 60 $\mu m$) of this model is consistent with that of the Circinus galaxy. The multi-phase interstellar medium observed in optical/infrared and X-ray observations is also discussed.

[14]  arXiv:1608.07012 [pdf, other]
Title: Turbulence in the Ionized Gas of the Orion Nebula
Comments: 24 pages, 21 figures, accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

In order to study the nature, origin, and impact of turbulent velocity fluctuations in the ionized gas of the Orion Nebula, we apply a variety of statistical techniques to observed velocity cubes. The cubes are derived from high resolving power ($R \approx 40,000$) longslit spectroscopy of optical emission lines that span a range of ionizations. From Velocity Channel Analysis (VCA), we find that the slope of the velocity power spectrum is consistent with predictions of Kolmogorov theory between scales of 8 and 22 arcsec (0.02 to 0.05 pc). The outer scale, which is the dominant scale of density fluctuations in the nebula, approximately coincides with the autocorrelation length of the velocity fluctuations that we determine from the second order velocity structure function. We propose that this is the principal driving scale of the turbulence, which originates in the autocorrelation length of dense cores in the Orion molecular filament. By combining analysis of the non-thermal line widths with the systematic trends of velocity centroid versus ionization, we find that the global champagne flow and smaller scale turbulence each contribute in equal measure to the total velocity dispersion, with respective root-mean-square widths of 4-5 km/s. The turbulence is subsonic and can account for only one half of the derived variance in ionized density, with the remaining variance provided by density gradients in photoevaporation flows from globules and filaments. Intercomparison with results from simulations implies that the ionized gas is confined to a thick shell and does not fill the interior of the nebula.

[15]  arXiv:1608.07023 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: AstroSat/LAXPC reveals the high energy variability of GRS 1915+105 in the chi class
Comments: 9 pages, 11 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present the first quick look analysis of data from nine {\it AstroSat}'s LAXPC observations of GRS 1915+105 during March 2016 when the source had the characteristics of being in Radio-quiet $\chi$ class. We find that a simple empirical model of a disk blackbody emission, with Comptonization and a broad Gaussian Iron line can fit the time averaged 3--80 keV spectrum with a systematic uncertainty of 1.5\% and a background flux uncertainty of 4\%. A simple deadtime-corrected Poisson noise level spectrum matches well with the observed high frequency power spectra till 50 kHz and as expected the data show no significant high frequency ($> 20$ Hz) features. Energy dependent power spectra reveal a strong low frequency (2 - 8 Hz) Quasi-periodic oscillation (LFQPO) and its harmonic along with broad band noise. The QPO frequency changes rapidly with flux (nearly 4 Hz in ~ 5 hours). With increasing QPO frequency, an excess noise component appears significantly in the high energy regime (> 8 keV). At the QPO frequencies, the time-lag as a function of energy has a non-monotonic behavior such that the lags decrease with energy till about 15 -20 keV and then increase for higher energies. These first look results benchmark the performance of LAXPC at high energies and confirms that its data can be used for more sophisticated analysis such as flux or frequency-resolved spectro-timing studies.

[16]  arXiv:1608.07039 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Cosmological constraints on coupled dark energy
Comments: arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1409.5533
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The coupled dark energy model provides a possible approach to mitigate the coincidence problem of cosmological standard model. Here, the coupling term is assumed as $\bar{Q}=3H\xi_x\bar{\rho}_x$, which is related to the interaction rate and energy density of dark energy. We derive the background and perturbation evolution equations for several coupled models. Then, we test these models by currently available cosmic observations which include cosmic microwave background radiation from Planck 2015, baryon acoustic oscillation, type Ia supernovae, $f\sigma_8(z)$ data points from redshift-space distortions, and weak gravitational lensing. The constraint results tell us the interaction rate is close to zero in 1$\sigma$ region, it is very hard to distinguish different coupled models from other ones.

[17]  arXiv:1608.07040 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Charged dust grain dynamics subject to solar wind, Poynting-Robertson drag, and the interplanetary magnetic field
Comments: 32 pages, 5 figures, 2 tables
Journal-ref: The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 828, Number 1, p.10 (2016)
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Dynamical Systems (math.DS)

We investigate the combined effect of solar wind, Poynting-Robertson drag, and the frozen-in interplanetary magnetic field on the motion of charged dust grains in our solar system. For this reason we derive a secular theory of motion by the means of averaging method and validate it with numerical simulations of the un-averaged equations of motions. The theory predicts that the secular motion of charged particles is mainly affected by the z-component of the solar magnetic axis, or the normal component of the interplanetary magnetic field. The normal component of the interplanetary magnetic field leads to an increase or decrease of semi-major axis depending on its functional form and sign of charge of the dust grain. It is generally accepted that the combined effects of solar wind and photon absorption and re-emmision (Poynting-Robertson drag) lead to a decrease in semi-major axis on secular time scales. On the contrary, we demonstrate that the interplanetary magnetic field may counteract these drag forces under certain circumstances. We derive a simple relation between the parameters of the magnetic field, the physical properties of the dust grain as well as the shape and orientation of the orbital ellipse of the particle, which is a necessary conditions for the stabilization in semi-major axis.

[18]  arXiv:1608.07042 [pdf, other]
Title: Abundance ratios and IMF slope in the dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC~1396 with MUSE
Comments: 21 pages, 17 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Deep observations of the dwarf elliptical (dE) galaxy NGC 1396 (M$_V = -16.60$, Mass $\sim 4\times10^8$ M$_\odot$), located in the Fornax cluster, have been performed with the VLT/ MUSE spectrograph in the wavelength region from $4750-9350$ \AA{}. In this paper we present a stellar population analysis studying chemical abundances, the star formation history (SFH) and the stellar initial mass function (IMF) as a function of galacto-centric distance. Different, independent ways to analyse the stellar populations result in a luminosity-weighted age of $\sim$ 6 Gyr and a metallicity [Fe/H]$\sim$ $-0.4$, similar to other dEs of similar mass. We find unusually overabundant values of [Ca/Fe] $\sim +0.1$, and under-abundant Sodium, with [Na/Fe] values around $-0.1$, while [Mg/Fe] is overabundant at all radii, increasing from $\sim+0.1$ in the centre to $\sim +0.2$ dex. We notice a significant metallicity and age gradient within this dwarf galaxy. To constrain the stellar IMF of NGC 1396, we find that the IMF of NGC 1396 is consistent with either a Kroupa-like or a top-heavy distribution, while a bottom-heavy IMF is firmly ruled out. An analysis of the abundance ratios, and a comparison with galaxies in the Local Group, shows that the chemical enrichment history of NGC 1396 is similar to the Galactic disc, with an extended star formation history. This would be the case if the galaxy originated from a LMC-sized dwarf galaxy progenitor, which would lose its gas while falling into the Fornax cluster.

[19]  arXiv:1608.07049 [pdf, other]
Title: Observational implications of a strong phase transition in the dense matter equation of state for the rotational evolution of neutron stars
Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures, submitted to Astronomy and Astrophysics
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We explore the implications of a strong first-order phase transition region in the dense matter equation of state in the interiors of rotating neutron stars, and the resulting creation of two disjoint families of neutron-stars' configurations (the so-called high-mass twins). Rotating, axisymmetric and stationary stellar configurations are obtained numerically in the framework of general relativity, and their global parameters and stability are studied. The equation of state-induced instability divides stable neutron star configurations into two disjoint families: neutron stars (second family) and hybrid stars (third family), with an overlapping region in mass, the high-mass twin star region. These two regions are divided by an instability strip. Its existence has interesting astrophysical consequences for rotating neutron stars. We note that it provides a "natural" explanation for the rotational frequency cutoff in the observed distribution of neutron stars spins, and for the apparent lack of back-bending in pulsar timing. It also straightforwardly enables a substantial energy release in a mini-collapse to another neutron-star configuration (core quake), or to a black hole.

[20]  arXiv:1608.07053 [pdf, other]
Title: Noise modeling and analysis of an IMU-based attitude sensor: improvement of performance by filtering and sensor fusion
Comments: 10 pages, 9 figures, presented at SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation Symposium, 26 June-1 July 2016, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Journal-ref: Proc. SPIE. 9912, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 99126W, July 22, 2016
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

We describe the characterization and removal of noise present in the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) MPU-6050. This IMU was initially used in an attitude sensor (AS) developed in-house, and subsequently implemented in a pointing and stabilization platform developed for small balloon-borne astronomical payloads. We found that the performance of the IMU degrades with time due to the accumulation of different errors. Using the Allan variance analysis method, we identified the different components of noise present in the IMU and verified the results using a power spectral density analysis (PSD). We tried to remove the high-frequency noise using smoothing filters, such as moving average filter and Savitzky-Golay filter. Although we did manage to filter some of the high-frequency noise, the performance of these filters was not satisfactory for our application. We found the distribution of the random noise present in the IMU using a probability density analysis, and identified the noise to be white Gaussian in nature which we successfully removed by a Kalman filter in real time.

[21]  arXiv:1608.07057 [pdf, other]
Title: Dynamical analysis of the complex radio structure in 3C 293: Clues on a rapid jet realignment in X-shaped radio galaxies
Comments: Astronomy & Astrophysics, in press
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Radio galaxies classified as X-shaped/winged, are characterised by two pairs of extended and misaligned lobes, which suggest a rapid realignment of the jet axis, for which a potential cause is still under debate. Here we analyse the complex radio structure of 3C 293 winged source hosted by the post-merger galaxy, which uniquely displays a significant asymmetry between the sizes of the two pairs of lobes, indicating that an episode of jet realignment took place only very recently. Based on all the available radio data for 3C 293, we have performed a detailed spectral modelling for the older and younger lobes in the system. In this way we derived the lobes' ages and jet energetics, which we then compared to the accretion power in the source. We found that the 200 kpc-scale outer lobes of 3C 293 are ~60 Myr old and that jet activity related to the formation of the outer lobes ceased within the last Myr. Meanwhile, the inner 4 kpc-scale lobes, tilted by ~40 deg with respect to the outer ones, are only about ~0.3 Myr old. The best model fits also return identical values of the jet power supplying the outer and the inner structures. This power is of the order of the maximum kinetic luminosity of a Blandford-Znajek jet for a given black hole mass and accretion rate, but only in the case of relatively low values of a black hole spin, a~0.2. The derived jet energetics and timescales, along with the presence of two optical nuclei in 3C 293, all provide a strong support to the Lense-Thirring precession model in which the supermassive black hole spin, and therefore the jet axis, flips rapidly owing to the interactions with the tilted accretion disk in a new tidal interaction episode of the merging process. We further speculate that, in general, X-shape radio morphology forms in post-merger systems that are rich in cold molecular gas, and only host slowly spinning supermassive black holes.

[22]  arXiv:1608.07074 [pdf, other]
Title: The effects of surface roughness on lunar Askaryan pulses
Authors: C.W. James
Comments: Presented at ARENA 2014: Acoustic and Radio EeV Neutrino Detection Activities, Annapolis, U.S.A 2014. Submitted to AIP Conference Proceedings
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

The effects of lunar surface roughness, on both small and large scales, on Askaryan radio pulses generated by particle cascades beneath the lunar surface has never been fully estimated. Surface roughness affects the chances of a pulse escaping the lunar surface, its coherency, and the characteristic detection geometry. It will affect the expected signal shape, the relative utility of different frequency bands, the telescope pointing positions on the lunar disk, and most fundamentally, the chances of detecting the known UHE cosmic ray and any prospective UHE neutrino flux. Near-future radio-telescopes such as FAST and the SKA promise to be able to detect the flux of cosmic rays, and it is critical that surface roughness be treated appropriately in simulations. of the lunar Askaryan technique. In this contribution, a facet model for lunar surface roughness is combined with a method to propagate coherent radio pulses through boundaries to estimate the full effects of lunar surface roughness on neutrino-detection probabilities. The method is able to produce pulses from parameterised particle cascades beneath the lunar surface as would be viewed by an observer at Earth, including all polarisation and coherency effects. Results from this calculation are presented for both characteristic cosmic ray and neutrino cascades, and estimates of the effects mentioned above - particularly signal shape, frequency-dependence, and sensitivity - are presented.

[23]  arXiv:1608.07078 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: An efficient and flexible Abel-inversion method for noisy data
Authors: I. I. Antokhin
Comments: 7 pages, 7 figures
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

We propose an efficient and flexible method for solving Abel integral equation of the first kind, frequently appearing in many fields of astrophysics, physics, chemistry, and applied sciences. This equation represents an ill-posed problem, thus solving it requires some kind of regularization. Our method is based on solving the equation on a so-called compact set of functions and/or using Tikhonov's regularization. A priori constraints on the unknown function, defining a compact set, are very loose and can be set using simple physical considerations. Tikhonov's regularization on itself does not require any explicit a priori constraints on the unknown function and can be used independently of such constraints or in combination with them. Various target degrees of smoothness of the unknown function may be set, as required by the problem at hand. The advantage of the method, apart from its flexibility, is that it gives uniform convergence of the approximate solution to the exact solution, as the errors of input data tend to zero. The method is illustrated on several simulated models with known solutions. An example of astrophysical application of the method is also given.

[24]  arXiv:1608.07088 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Do sound waves transport the AGN energy in the Perseus Cluster?
Comments: 5 pages, 4 figures, MNRAS Letters in press
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The level of random motions in the intracluster gas lying between 20 and 60 kpc radius in the core of the Perseus cluster has been measured by the Hitomi Soft X-ray Spectrometer at 164 +/- 10 km/s. The maximum energy density in turbulent motions on that scale is therefore low. If dissipated as heat the turbulent energy will be radiated away in less than 80 Myr and cannot spread across the core. A higher velocity is needed to prevent a cooling collapse. Gravity waves are shown to travel too slowly in a radial direction. Here we investigate propagation of energy by sound waves. The energy travels at about 1000 km/s and can cross the core in a cooling time. We show that the displacement velocity amplitude of the gas required to carry the power is consistent with the Hitomi result and that the inferred density and temperature variations are consistent with Chandra observations.

[25]  arXiv:1608.07095 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Narrow C IV absorption doublets on quasar spectra of the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey
Comments: 11 pages, 12 figures, prublished by MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

In this paper, we extend our works of Papers I and II, which are assigned to systematically survey \CIVab\ narrow absorption lines (NALs) with \zabs$\ll$\zem\ on quasar spectra of the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS), to collect \CIV\ NALs with \zabs$\approx$\zem\ from blue to red wings of \CIVwave\ emission lines. Together with Papers I and II, we have collected a total number of 41,479 \CIV\ NALs with $1.4544\le$\zabs$\le4.9224$ in surveyed spectral region redward of \lya\ until red wing of \CIVwave\ emission line. We find that the stronger \CIV\ NALs tend to be the more saturated absorptions, and associated systems (\zabs$\approx$\zem) seem to have larger absorption strengths when compared to intervening ones (\zabs$\ll$\zem). The redshift density evolution behavior of absorbers (the number of absorbers per redshift path) is similar to the history of the cosmic star formation. When compared to the quasar-frame velocity ($\beta$) distribution of \MgII\ absorbers, the $\beta$ distribution of \CIV\ absorbers is broader at $\beta\approx0$, shows longer extended tail, and exhibits a larger dispersion for environmental absorptions. In addition, for associated \CIV\ absorbers, we find that low-luminosity quasars seem to exhibit smaller $\beta$ and stronger absorptions when compared to high-luminosity quasars.

[26]  arXiv:1608.07101 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Solar-cycle variation of the rotational shear near the solar surface
Comments: 5 pages, 6 figures
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Helioseismology has revealed that the angular velocity of the Sun increases with depth in the outermost 35 Mm of the Sun. Recently, we have shown that the logarithmic radial gradient ($\rm d\ln\Omega/\rm d\ln r $) in the upper 10~Mm is close to $-1$ from the equator to $60^\circ$ latitude.We aim to measure the temporal variation of the rotational shear over solar cycle 23 and the rising phase of cycle 24 (1996-2015). We used f mode frequency splitting data spanning 1996 to 2011 from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) and 2010 to 2015 from the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI). In a first for such studies, the f mode frequency splitting data were obtained from 360-day time series. We used the same method as in our previous work for measuring $\rm d\ln\Omega/d\ln r $ from the equator to $80^\circ$ latitude in the outer 13~Mm of the Sun. Then, we calculated the variation of the gradient at annual cadence relative to the average over 1996 to 2015. We found the rotational shear at low latitudes ($0^\circ$ to $30^\circ$) to vary in-phase with the solar activity, varying by $\sim \pm 10$\% over the period 1996 to 2015. At high latitudes ($60^\circ$ to $80^\circ$), we found rotational shear to vary in anti-phase with the solar activity. By comparing the radial gradient obtained from the splittings of the 360-day and the corresponding 72-day time series of HMI and MDI data, we suggest that the splittings obtained from the 72-day HMI time series suffer from systematic errors. We provide a quantitative measurement of the temporal variation of the outer part of the near surface shear layer which may provide useful constraints on dynamo models and differential rotation theory.

[27]  arXiv:1608.07105 [pdf, other]
Title: Polarization measurement analysis III. Analysis of the polarization angle dispersion function with high precision polarization data
Comments: 12 pages, 12 figures. Accepted for publication to Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

High precision polarization measurements open new opportunities for the study of the magnetic field structure as traced by polarimetric measurements of the interstellar dust emission. Polarization parameters suffer from bias in the presence of measurement noise. It is critical to take into account all the information available in the data in order to accurately derive these parameters. The goal of this paper is to characterize the bias on the polarization angle dispersion function that is used to study the spatial coherence of the polarization angle. We characterize, for the first time, the bias on the conventional estimator of the polarization angle dispersion function (S hereafter) and show that it can be positive or negative depending on the true value. Monte Carlo simulations are performed in order to explore the impact of the noise properties of the polarization data, as well as the impact of the distribution of the true polarization angles on the bias. We show that in the case where the ellipticity of the noise in (Q, U) varies by less than 10 percent, one can use simplified, diagonal approximation of the noise covariance matrix. In other cases, the shape of the noise covariance matrix should be taken into account in the estimation of S. We also study new estimators such as the dichotomic and the polynomial estimators. Though the dichotomic estimator cannot be directly used to estimate S, we show that, on the one hand, it can serve as an indicator of the accuracy of the conventional estimator and, on the other hand, it can be used for deriving the polynomial estimator. We propose a method for determining the upper limit of the bias on the conventional estimator of S. The method is applicable to any linear polarization data set for which the noise covariance matrices are known.

[28]  arXiv:1608.07107 [pdf, other]
Title: Stellar classification of CoRoT targets
Comments: 24 pages, 30 figures, accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The CoRoT faint stars channel observed about 163 600 targets to detect transiting planetary companions. Because CoRoT targets are faint (11< r <16) and close to the galactic plane, only a small subsample has been observed spectroscopically. We describe the latest classification scheme used to derive the spectral type of CoRoT targets, which is based on broadband multi-colour photometry. We assess the accuracy of this spectral classification for the first time. We find that the classification method performs better for stars that were observed during the mission-dedicated photometric ground-based campaigns.The luminosity class is wrong for less than 7% of the targets. Generally, the effective temperature of stars classified as early type (O, B, and A) is overestimated. Conversely, the temperature of stars classified as later type tends to be underestimated. This is mainly due to the adverse effect of interstellar reddening. We find that the median error on the effective temperature is less than 5% for dwarf stars classified with a spectral later than F0, but it is worse for earlier type stars, with up to 20\% error for A and late-B dwarfs, and up to 70% for early-B and O-type dwarfs. Similar results are found for giants, with a median error that is lower than 7% for G- and later type giants, but greater than 25% for earlier types. Overall, we find an average median absolute temperature difference |Delta Teff| = 533+\-6 K for the whole sample of stars classified as dwarfs and |Delta Teff| = 280+\-3 K for the whole sample of giant stars. The corresponding standard deviation is of about 92+\-5 K for dwarfs and 304+\-4 K for giants. Typically for late-type stars, this means that the classification is accurate to about half a class.

[29]  arXiv:1608.07111 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Dwarf spheroidal J-factors without priors: A likelihood-based analysis for indirect dark matter searches
Comments: 8 pages, 8 figures, 2 tables
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Line-of-sight integrals of the squared density, commonly called the J-factor, are essential for inferring dark matter annihilation signals. The J-factors of dark matter-dominated dwarf spheroidal satellite galaxies (dSphs) have typically been derived using Bayesian techniques, which for small data samples implies that a choice of priors constitutes a non-negligible systematic uncertainty. Here we report the development of a new fully frequentist approach to construct the profile likelihood of the J-factor. Using stellar kinematic data from several classical and ultra-faint dSphs, we derive the maximum likelihood value for the J-factor and its confidence intervals. We validate this method, in particular its bias and coverage, using simulated data from the Gaia Challenge. We find that the method possesses good statistical properties. The J-factors and their uncertainties are generally in good agreement with the Bayesian-derived values, with the largest deviations restricted to the systems with the smallest kinematic datasets. We discuss improvements, extensions, and future applications of this technique.

[30]  arXiv:1608.07112 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Data-driven dissection of emission-line regions in Seyfert galaxies
Comments: Accepted into Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Indirectly resolving the line-emitting gas regions in distant Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) requires both high-resolution photometry and spectroscopy (i.e. through reverberation mapping). Emission in AGN originates on widely different scales; the broad-line region (BLR) has a typical radius less than a few parsec, the narrow-line region (NLR) extends out to hundreds of parsecs. But emission also appears on large scales from heated nebulae in the host galaxies (tenths of kpc).
We propose a novel, data-driven method based on correlations between emission-line fluxes to identify which of the emission lines are produced in the same kind of emission-line regions. We test the method on Seyfert galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 (DR7) and Galaxy Zoo project.
We demonstrate the usefulness of the method on Seyfert-1s and Seyfert-2 objects, showing similar narrow-line regions (NLRs). Preliminary results from comparing Seyfert-2s in spiral and elliptical galaxy hosts suggest that the presence of particular emission lines in the NLR depends both on host morphology and eventual radio-loudness. Finally, we explore an apparent linear relation between the final correlation coefficient obtained from the method and time lags as measured in reverberation mapping for Zw229-015.

[31]  arXiv:1608.07130 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A primordial origin for molecular oxygen in comets: A chemical kinetics study of the formation and survival of O$_2$ ice from clouds to disks
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. 20 pages, 13 figures, 2 tables
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Molecular oxygen has been confirmed as the fourth most abundant molecule in cometary material O$_2$/H$_2$O $\sim 4$ %) and is thought to have a primordial nature, i.e., coming from the interstellar cloud from which our solar system was formed. However, interstellar O$_2$ gas is notoriously difficult to detect and has only been observed in one potential precursor of a solar-like system. Here, the chemical and physical origin of O$_2$ in comets is investigated using sophisticated astrochemical models. Three origins are considered: i) in dark clouds, ii) during forming protostellar disks, and iii) during luminosity outbursts in disks. The dark cloud models show that reproduction of the observed abundance of O$_2$ and related species in comet 67P/C-G requires a low H/O ratio facilitated by a high total density ($\geq 10^5$ cm$^{-3}$), and a moderate cosmic ray ionisation rate ($\leq 10^{-16}$ s$^{-1}$) while a temperature of 20 K, slightly higher than the typical temperatures found in dark clouds, also enhances the production of O$_2$. Disk models show that O$_2$ can only be formed in the gas phase in intermediate disk layers, and cannot explain the strong correlation between O$_2$ and H$_2$O in comet 67P/C-G together with the weak correlation between other volatiles and H$_2$O. However, primordial O$_2$ ice can survive transport into the comet-forming regions of disks. Taken together, these models favour a dark cloud (or "primordial") origin for O$_2$ in comets, albeit for dark clouds which are warmer and denser than those usually considered as solar system progenitors.

[32]  arXiv:1608.07133 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Magnetar Behavior of a Rotation Powered Pulsar, PSR J1119-6127
Comments: Submitted to ApJL. An expanded version of Table 1, as well as the light curves of all Fermi/GBM detected bursts can be found at this http URL
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Two energetic hard X-ray bursts have recently triggered the Fermi and Swift space observatories from the rotation powered pulsar, PSR J1119-6127. We have performed in depth spectral and temporal analyses of these two events. Our extensive searches in both observatory data for lower luminosity, untriggered, bursts using two independent methods (a signal-to-noise ratio search and a Bayesian blocks based technique), uncovered 10 additional events from the source. We report here on the timing and energetics of the 12 bursts from PSR J1119-6127 during its burst active phase of 2016 July 26 and 28. We also found a softer, extended thermal burst tail emission, which shows evidence of cooling. We discuss here the implications of these results on the nature of this unusual high-field radio pulsar, which firmly place it within the typical magnetar population.

[33]  arXiv:1608.07157 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The nature of the light variability of magnetic Of?p star HD 191612
Authors: J. Krticka
Comments: 5 pages, accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

A small fraction of hot OBA stars host global magnetic fields with field strengths of the order of 0.1-10 kG. This leads to the creation of persistent surface structures (spots) in stars with sufficiently weak winds as a result of the radiative diffusion. These spots become evident in spectroscopic and photometric variability. This type of variability is not expected in stars with strong winds, where the wind inhibits the radiative diffusion. Therefore, a weak photometric variability of the magnetic Of?p star HD 191612 is attributed to the light absorption in the circumstellar clouds. We study the nature of the photometric variability of HD 191612. We assume that the variability results from variable wind blanketing induced by surface variations of the magnetic field tilt and modulated by stellar rotation. We used our global kinetic equilibrium (NLTE) wind models with radiative force determined from the radiative transfer equation in the comoving frame (CMF) to predict the stellar emergent flux. Our models describe the stellar atmosphere in a unified manner and account for the influence of the wind on the atmosphere. The models are calculated for different wind mass-loss rates to mimic the effect of magnetic field tilt on the emergent fluxes. We integrate the emergent fluxes over the visible stellar surface for individual rotational phases, and calculate the rotationally modulated light curve of HD 191612. The wind blanketing that varies across surface is able to explain a part of the observed light variability in this star. The mechanism is able to operate even at relatively low mass-loss rates. The remaining variability is most likely caused by the flux absorption in circumstellar clouds. The variable wind blanketing is an additional source of the light variability in massive stars. The presence of the rotational light variability may serve as a proxy for the magnetic field.

[34]  arXiv:1608.07172 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Sunspot positions, areas, and group tilt angles for 1611-1631 from observations by Christoph Scheiner
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Digital images of the observations printed in the books "Rosa Ursina sive solis" and "Prodromus pro sole mobili" by Christoph Scheiner as well as the drawings from Scheiner's letters to Marcus Welser are analysed in order to obtain information on positions and sizes of sunspots that appeared before the Maunder minimum. In most cases, the given orientation of the ecliptic is used to set up the heliographic coordinate system for the drawings. Positions and sizes are measured manually on the screen. Very early drawings have no indication of their orientation. A rotational matching using common spots of adjacent days is used in some cases, while in other cases, the assumption of images being aligned with a zenith-horizon coordinate system appeared to be the most probable. In total, 8167 sunspots were measured. A distribution of sunspot latitudes versus time (butterfly diagram) is obtained for Scheiner's observations. The observations of 1611 are very inaccurate, the drawings of 1612 have at least an indication of their orientation, while the remaining part of the spot positions from 1618-1631 have good to very good accuracy. We also computed 697 tilt angles of apparently bipolar sunspot groups observed in the period 1618-1631. We find that the average tilt angle of nearly 4 degrees is not significantly different from 20th-century values.

[35]  arXiv:1608.07178 [pdf, other]
Title: Constraints on hadronic models in extensive air showers with the Pierre Auger Observatory
Authors: J. Espadanal (for the Pierre Auger Collaboration)
Comments: Proceeding of the MESON 2016 (14th International Workshop on Meson Production, Properties and Interaction KRAK\'OW, POLAND 2nd - 7th June 2016)
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); High Energy Physics - Experiment (hep-ex); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

Extensive air showers initiated by ultra-high energy cosmic rays are sensitive to the details of hadronic interactions models, so we present the main results obtained using the data of the Pierre Auger Observatory. The depth at which the maximum of the electromagnetic development takes place is the most sensitive parameter to infer the nature of the cosmic rays. However, the hadronic models cannot describe consistently the maximum and the muon measurements at energies higher than those reached at the LHC.

[36]  arXiv:1608.07181 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Time resolved spectroscopy and photometry of three little known bright cataclysmic variables: LS IV -08$^{\rm o}$ 3, HQ Monocerotis and ST Chamaeleontis
Journal-ref: New Astronomy, Vol. 50, p. 109 - 119 (January 2017)
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

As part of a project to better characterize comparatively bright but so far little studied cataclysmic variables in the southern hemisphere, we have obtained spectroscopic and photometric data of the nova-like variables LS IV -08$^{\rm o}$ 3 and HQ Mon, and of the Z Cam type dwarf nova ST Cha. The spectra of all systems are as expected for their respective types. We derive improved orbital ephemeris of LS IV -08$^{\rm o}$ 3 and map its accretion disk in the light of the H$\alpha$ emission using Doppler tomography. We find that the emission has a two component origin, arising in the outer parts of the accretion disk and possibly on the illuminated face of the secondary star. The light curve of LS IV -08$^{\rm o}$ 3 exhibits a low level of flickering and indications for a modulation on the orbital period. Spectroscopy of HQ Mon suggests an orbital period of $\approx$5.15 hours which is incompatible with previous (uncertain) estimates. The light curves show the typical low scale flickering of UX UMa type nova-like systems, superposed upon variations on longer time scales. During one night a modulation with a period of $\approx$41 min is observed, visible for at least 4 hours. However, it does not repeat itself in other nights. A spectroscopic orbital period of $\approx$5.5 hours is derived for ST Cha. A previously suspected period of 6.8 hours (or alternatively 9.6 hours), based on historical photographic photometry is incompatible with the spectroscopic period. Moreover, we show that our new as well as previous photometry does not contain evidence for the quoted photometric period.

[37]  arXiv:1608.07184 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Search for gamma-ray line features from Milky Way satellites with Fermi-LAT Pass 8 data
Comments: 9 pages, 3 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

With 91 months of the publicly available Fermi-LAT Pass 8 data, we analyze the gamma-ray emission from the Milky Way satellites to search for potential line signals due to the annihilation of dark matter particles into double photons. The searched targets include a sample of dwarf spheroidal galaxies, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) and Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). No significant line emission has been found neither in the stacked dwarf galaxy sample nor in the direction of LMC/SMC. The corresponding upper limits on the cross section of DM annihilation into two photons are derived. Compared with results of previous gamma-ray line searches with the Pass 7 data, the current constraints on the line emission from dwarf spheroidal galaxies has been significantly improved in a wide energy range. With the rapid increase of the sample of dwarf spheroidal galaxies (candidates), we expect that the sensitivity of gamma ray line searches will be significantly improved in the near future.

[38]  arXiv:1608.07198 [pdf, other]
Title: Spitzer Space Telescope Mid-IR Light Curves of Neptune
Comments: Accepted by AJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We have used the Spitzer Space Telescope in February 2016 to obtain high cadence, high signal-to-noise, 17-hour duration light curves of Neptune at 3.6 and 4.5 $\mu$m. The light curve duration was chosen to correspond to the rotation period of Neptune. Both light curves are slowly varying with time, with full amplitudes of 1.1 mag at 3.6 $\mu$m and 0.6 mag at 4.5 $\mu$m. We have also extracted sparsely sampled 18-hour light curves of Neptune at W1 (3.4 $\mu$m) and W2 (4.6 $\mu$m) from the WISE/NEOWISE archive at six epochs in 2010-2015. These light curves all show similar shapes and amplitudes compared to the Spitzer light curves but with considerable variation from epoch to epoch. These amplitudes are much larger than those observed with Kepler/K2 in the visible (amplitude $\sim$0.02 mag) or at 845 nm with the Hubble Space Telescope in 2015 and at 763 nm in 2016 (amplitude $\sim$ 0.2 mag). We interpret the Spitzer and WISE light curves as arising entirely from reflected solar photons, from higher levels in Neptune's atmosphere than for K2. Methane gas is the dominant opacity source in Neptune's atmosphere, and methane absorption bands are present in the HST 763, and 845 nm, WISE W1, and Spitzer 3.6 $\mu$m filters.

[39]  arXiv:1608.07212 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Nature of the soft ULX in NGC 247: super-Eddington outflow and transition between the supersoft and soft ultraluminous regimes
Comments: ApJ to appear
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We report on XMM-Newton/Chandra/Swift/HST observations of the ultraluminous X-ray source (ULX) in NGC 247, which is found to make transitions between the supersoft ultraluminous (SSUL) regime with a spectrum dominated by a cool ($\sim 0.1$ keV) blackbody component and the soft ultraluminous (SUL) regime with comparable luminosities shared by the blackbody and power-law components. Multi-epoch observations revealed an anti-correlation between the blackbody radius and temperature, $R_{\rm bb} \propto T_{\rm bb}^{-2.8 \pm 0.3}$, ruling out a standard accretion disk as the origin of the soft X-ray emission. The soft X-ray emission is much more variable on both short and long timescales in the SSUL regime than in the SUL regime. We suggest that the SSUL regime may be an extension of the ultraluminous state toward the high accretion end, being an extreme case of the SUL regime, with the blackbody emission arising from the photosphere of thick outflows and the hard X-rays being emission leaked from the embedded accretion disk via the central low-density funnel or advected through the wind. However, the scenario that the supersoft ULXs are standard ULXs viewed nearly edge-on cannot be ruled out. Flux dips on a timescale of 200 s were observed. The dips cannot be explained by an increase of absorption, but could be due to the change of accretion rate or related to thermal fluctuations in the wind or disk. The optical emission of NGC 247 ULX exhibits a blackbody spectrum at a temperature of 19,000 K with a radius of 20 $R_\odot$, likely arising from an OB supergiant companion star.

[40]  arXiv:1608.07215 [pdf, other]
Title: A Demonstration of Spectral Level Reconstruction of Intrinsic $B$-mode Power
Authors: Barun Pal
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

We investigate the prospects and consequences of the spectral level reconstruction of primordial $B$-mode power by solving the systems of linear equations assuming that the lensing potential together with the lensed polarization spectra are already in hand. We find that this reconstruction technique may be very useful to have an estimate of the amplitude of primordial gravity waves or more specifically the value of tensor to scalar ratio. We also see that one can have cosmic variance limited reconstruction of the intrinsic $B$-mode power up to few hundred multipoles ($\ell\sim500$) which is more than sufficient to have an estimate of the tensor to scalar ratio. Since the small scale cosmic microwave background (CMB henceforth) anisotropies are not sourced by the primordial gravity waves generated during inflation. We also find that the impact of instrumental noise may be bypassed within this reconstruction algorithm. A simple demonstration for the nullification of the instrumental noise anticipating COrE like futuristic space mission complemented with Planck 2013 cosmology has been presented.

[41]  arXiv:1608.07230 [pdf, other]
Title: Dynamics of tidally captured planets in the Galactic Center
Comments: 12 pages, 12 figures, 1 table, accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Recent observations suggest ongoing planet formation in the innermost parsec of the Galactic center (GC). The super-massive black hole (SMBH) might strip planets or planetary embryos from their parent star, bringing them close enough to be tidally disrupted. Photoevaporation by the ultraviolet field of young stars, combined with ongoing tidal disruption, could enhance the near-infrared luminosity of such starless planets, making their detection possible even with current facilities. In this paper, we investigate the chance of planet tidal captures by means of high-accuracy N-body simulations exploiting Mikkola's algorithmic regularization. We consider both planets lying in the clockwise (CW) disk and planets initially bound to the S-stars. We show that tidally captured planets remain on orbits close to those of their parent star. Moreover, the semi-major axis of the planet orbit can be predicted by simple analytic assumptions in the case of prograde orbits. We find that starless planets that were initially bound to CW disk stars have mild eccentricities and tend to remain in the CW disk. However, we speculate that angular momentum diffusion and scattering with other young stars in the CW disk might bring starless planets on low-angular momentum orbits. In contrast, planets initially bound to S-stars are captured by the SMBH on highly eccentric orbits, matching the orbital properties of the G1 and G2 clouds. Our predictions apply not only to planets but also to low-mass stars initially bound to the S-stars and tidally captured by the SMBH.

[42]  arXiv:1608.07252 [pdf, other]
Title: A high precision technique to correct for residual atmospheric dispersion in high-contrast imaging systems
Comments: 8 Pages, 10 figures
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Direct detection and spectroscopy of exoplanets requires high contrast imaging. For habitable exoplanets in particular, located at small angular separation from the host star, it is crucial to employ small inner working angle (IWA) coronagraphs that efficiently suppress starlight. These coronagraphs, in turn, require careful control of the wavefront which directly impacts their performance. For ground-based telescopes, atmospheric refraction is also an important factor, since it results in a smearing of the PSF, that can no longer be efficiently suppressed by the coronagraph. Traditionally, atmospheric refraction is compensated for by an atmospheric dispersion compensator (ADC). ADC control relies on an a priori model of the atmosphere whose parameters are solely based on the pointing of the telescope, which can result in imperfect compensation. For a high contrast instrument like the Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) system, which employs very small IWA coronagraphs, refraction-induced smearing of the PSF has to be less than 1 mas in the science band for optimum performance. In this paper, we present the first on-sky measurement and correction of residual atmospheric dispersion. Atmospheric dispersion is measured from the science image directly, using an adaptive grid of artificially introduced speckles as a diagnostic to feedback to the telescope's ADC. With our current setup, we were able to reduce the initial residual atmospheric dispersion from 18.8 mas to 4.2 in broadband light (y- to H-band), and to 1.4 mas in H-band only. This work is particularly relevant to the upcoming extremely large telescopes (ELTs) that will require fine control of their ADC to reach their full high contrast imaging potential.

[43]  arXiv:1608.07263 [pdf, other]
Title: Tutorial models of the climate and habitability of Proxima Centauri b: a thin atmosphere is sufficient to distribute heat given low stellar flux
Authors: Colin Goldblatt
Comments: 7 pages, 3 figures. Submitted to ApJ Lett
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (

Proxima Centauri b, an Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of our nearest stellar neighbour, has just been discovered. A theoretical framework of synchronously rotating planets, in which the risk of a runaway greenhouse on the sunlight side and atmospheric collapse on the reverse side are mutually ameliorated via heat transport is discussed. This is developed via simple (tutorial) models of the climate. These show that lower incident stellar flux means that less heat transport, so less atmospheric mass, is required. The incident stellar flux at Proxima Centauri b is indeed low, which may help enhance habitability if it has suffered some atmospheric loss or began with a low volatile inventory.

[44]  arXiv:1608.07278 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Solar Abundances of Rock Forming Elements, Extreme Oxygen and Hydrogen in a Young Polluted White Dwarf
Comments: To be published in MNRAS
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

The Teff = 20,800 K white dwarf WD 1536+520 is shown to have broadly solar abundances of the major rock forming elements O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, and Fe, together with a strong relative depletion in the volatile elements C and S. In addition to the highest metal abundances observed to date, including log(O/He) = -3.4, the helium-dominated atmosphere has an exceptional hydrogen abundance at log(H/He) = -1.7. Within the uncertainties, the metal-to-metal ratios are consistent with the accretion of an H2O-rich and rocky parent body, an interpretation supported by the anomalously high trace hydrogen. The mixed atmosphere yields unusually short diffusion timescales for a helium atmosphere white dwarf, of no more than a few hundred yr, and equivalent to those in a much cooler, hydrogen-rich star. The overall heavy element abundances of the disrupted parent body deviate modestly from a bulk Earth pattern, and suggest the deposition of some core-like material. The total inferred accretion rate is 4.2e9 g/s, and at least 4 times higher than any white dwarf with a comparable diffusion timescale. Notably, when accretion is exhausted in this system, both metals and hydrogen will become undetectable within roughly 300 Myr, thus supporting a scenario where the trace hydrogen is related to the ongoing accretion of planetary debris.