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[1]  arXiv:1404.3724 [pdf, other]
Title: Bent by baryons: the low mass galaxy-halo relation
Authors: Till Sawala (1), Carlos S. Frenk (1), Azadeh Fattahi (2), Julio F. Navarro (2), Richard G. Bower (1), Robert A. Crain (3), Claudio Dalla Vecchia (4), Michelle Furlong (1), Adrian Jenkins (1), Ian G. McCarthy (5), Yan Qu (1), Matthieu Schaller (1), Joop Schaye (3), Tom Theuns (1 and 6) ((1) Durham University, (2) University of Victoria, (3) Leiden University, (4) Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, (5) Liverpool John Moores University, (6) University of Antwerp)
Comments: 8 pages, submitted to MNRAS, comments welcome
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The relation between galaxies and dark matter halos is of vital importance for evaluating theoretical predictions of structure formation and galaxy formation physics. We show that the widely used method of abundance matching based on dark matter only simulations fails at the low mass end because two of its underlying assumptions are broken: only a small fraction of low mass (below 10^9.5 solar masses) halos host a visible galaxy, and halos grow at a lower rate due to the effect of baryons. In this regime, reliance on dark matter only simulations for abundance matching is neither accurate nor self-consistent. We find that the reported discrepancy between observational estimates of the halo masses of dwarf galaxies and the values predicted by abundance matching does not point to a failure of LCDM, but simply to a failure to account for baryonic effects. Our results also imply that the Local Group contains only a few hundred observable galaxies in contrast with the thousands of faint dwarfs that abundance matching would suggest. We show how relations derived from abundance matching can be corrected, so that they can be used self-consistently to calibrate models of galaxy formation.

[2]  arXiv:1404.3725 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Constraining Primordial Non-Gaussianity with Moments of the Large Scale Density Field
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We use cosmological N-body simulations to investigate whether measurements of the moments of large-scale structure can yield constraints on primordial non-Gaussianity. We measure the variance, skewness, and kurtosis of the evolved density field from simulations with Gaussian and three different non-Gaussian initial conditions: a local model with f_NL=100, an equilateral model with f_NL=-400, and an orthogonal model with f_NL=-400. We show that the moments of the dark matter density field differ significantly between Gaussian and non-Gaussian models. We also make the measurements on mock galaxy catalogs that contain galaxies with clustering properties similar to those of luminous red galaxies (LRGs). We find that, in the case of skewness and kurtosis, galaxy bias reduces the detectability of non-Gaussianity, though we can still clearly discriminate between different models in our simulation volume. However, in the case of the variance, galaxy bias greatly amplifies the detectability of non-Gaussianity. In all cases we find that redshift distortions do not significantly affect the detectability. When we restrict our measurements to volumes equivalent to the Sloan Digital Sky Survey II (SDSS-II) or Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) samples, the probability of detecting a departure from the Gaussian model is high by using measurements of the variance, but very low by using only skewness and kurtosis measurements. We find that skewness and kurtosis measurements are never likely to yield useful constraints on primordial non-Gaussianity, but future surveys should be large enough to place meaningful constraints using measurements of the galaxy variance.(Abridged)

[3]  arXiv:1404.3727 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Extreme Blazars Studied with Fermi-LAT and Suzaku: 1ES 0347-121 and Blazar Candidate HESS J1943+213
Comments: 10 pages, 7 figures, 3 tables. Accepted by ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We report on our study of high-energy properties of two peculiar TeV emitters: the "extreme blazar" 1ES 0347-121 and the "extreme blazar candidate" HESS J1943+213 located near the Galactic Plane. Both objects are characterized by quiescent synchrotron emission with flat spectra extending up to the hard X-ray range, and both were reported to be missing GeV counterparts in the Fermi-LAT 2-year Source Catalog. We analyze a 4.5 year accumulation of the Fermi-LAT data, resulting in the detection of 1ES 0347-121 in the GeV band, as well as in improved upper limits for HESS J1943+213. We also present the analysis results of newly acquired Suzaku data for HESS J1943+213. The X-ray spectrum is well represented by a single power law extending up to 25 keV with photon index 2.00+/-0.02 and a moderate absorption in excess of the Galactic value, in agreement with previous X-ray observations. No short-term X-ray variability was found over the 80 ks duration of the Suzaku exposure. Under the blazar hypothesis, we modeled the spectral energy distributions of 1ES 0347-121 and HESS J1943+213, and derived constraints on the intergalactic magnetic field strength and source energetics. We conclude that although the classification of HESS J1943+213 has not yet been determined, the blazar hypothesis remains the most plausible option, since in particular the broad-band spectra of the two analyzed sources along with the source model parameters closely resemble each other, and the newly available WISE and UKIDSS data for HESS J1943+213 are consistent with the presence of an elliptical host at the distance of approximately ~600 Mpc.

[4]  arXiv:1404.3730 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Tensor-induced B modes with no temperature fluctuations
Comments: 4 pages, submitted to PRD, comments welcome
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

The recent indications for a tensor-to-scalar ratio $ r \simeq 0.2$ from BICEP2 measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) B-mode polarization present some tension with upper limits $r \lesssim 0.1$ from measurements of CMB temperature fluctuations. Here we point out that tensor perturbations can induce B modes in the CMB polarization without inducing any temperature fluctuations nor E-mode polarization whatsoever, but only, at the expense of violating the Copernican principle. We present this mathematical possibility as a new ingredient for the model-builder's toolkit in case the tension between B modes and temperature fluctuations cannot be resolved with more conventional ideas.

[5]  arXiv:1404.3732 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Cataclysmic Variables from the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey
Comments: 15 pages, 17 figures, accepted MNRAS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present 855 cataclysmic variable candidates detected by the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS) of which at least 137 have been spectroscopically confirmed and 705 are new discoveries. The sources were identified from the analysis of five years of data, and come from an area covering three quarters of the sky. We study the amplitude distribution of the dwarf novae CVs discovered by CRTS during outburst, and find that in quiescence they are typically two magnitudes fainter compared to the spectroscopic CV sample identified by SDSS. However, almost all CRTS CVs in the SDSS footprint have ugriz photometry. We analyse the spatial distribution of the CVs and find evidence that many of the systems lie at scale heights beyond those expected for a Galactic thin disc population. We compare the outburst rates of newly discovered CRTS CVs with the previously known CV population, and find no evidence for a difference between them. However, we find that significant evidence for a systematic difference in orbital period distribution. We discuss the CVs found below the orbital period minimum and argue that many more are yet to be identified among the full CRTS CV sample. We cross-match the CVs with archival X-ray catalogs and find that most of the systems are dwarf novae rather than magnetic CVs.

[6]  arXiv:1404.3735 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Hubble Expansion is Isotropic in the Epoch of Dark Energy
Authors: Jeremy Darling
Comments: 6 pages, 1 figure, 3 tables. Accepted for publication by MNRAS
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

The isotropy of the universal Hubble expansion is a fundamental tenet of physical cosmology, but it has not been precisely tested during the current epoch, when dark energy is dominant. Anisotropic expansion will produce a shearing velocity field, causing objects to stream toward directions of faster expansion and away from directions of slower expansion. This work tests the basic cosmological assumption of isotropic expansion and thus the isotropy of dark energy. The simplest anisotropy will manifest as a quadrupolar curl-free proper motion vector field. We derive this theoretical signature using a tri-axial expanding metric with a flat geometry (Bianchi I model), generalizing and correcting previous work. We then employ the best current data, the Titov & Lambert (2013) proper motion catalog of 429 objects, to measure the isotropy of universal expansion. We demonstrate that the Hubble expansion is isotropic to 7% (1 $\sigma$), corresponding to streaming motions of 1 microarcsecond/yr, in the best-constrained directions (-19% and +17% in the least-constrained directions) and does not significantly deviate from isotropy in any direction. The Gaia mission, which is expected to obtain proper motions for 500,000 quasars, will likely constrain the anisotropy below 1%.

[7]  arXiv:1404.3742 [pdf, other]
Title: A 2.5% measurement of the growth rate from small-scale redshift space clustering of SDSS-III CMASS galaxies
Comments: 24 pages, 20 figures, submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We perform the first fit to the anisotropic clustering of SDSS-III CMASS DR10 galaxies on scales of ~ 0.8 - 32 Mpc/h. A standard halo occupation distribution model evaluated near the best fit Planck LCDM cosmology provides a good fit to the observed anisotropic clustering, and implies a normalization for the peculiar velocity field of M ~ 2 x 10^13 Msun/h halos of f*sigma8(z=0.57) = 0.450 +/- 0.011. Since this constraint includes both quasi-linear and non-linear scales, it should severely constrain modified gravity models that enhance pairwise infall velocities on these scales. Though model dependent, our measurement represents a factor of 2.5 improvement in precision over the analysis of DR11 on large scales, f*sigma8(z=0.57) = 0.447 +/- 0.028, and is the tightest single constraint on the growth rate of cosmic structure to date. Our measurement is consistent with the Planck LCDM prediction of 0.480 +/- 0.010 at the ~1.9 sigma level. Assuming a halo mass function evaluated at the best fit Planck cosmology, we also find that 10% of CMASS galaxies are satellites in halos of mass M ~ 6 x 10^13 Msun/h. While none of our tests and model generalizations indicate systematic errors due to an insufficiently detailed model of the galaxy-halo connection, the precision of these first results warrant further investigation into the modeling uncertainties and degeneracies with cosmological parameters.

[8]  arXiv:1404.3743 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Study of Solar Magnetic and Gravitational Energies Through the Virial Theorem
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Virial theorem is important for understanding stellar structures. It produces an interesting connection between the magnetic energy and the gravitational one. Using the general form of the virial theorem including the magnetic field (toroidal magnetic field), we may explain the solar dynamo model in related to variations of the magnetic and gravitational energies. We emphasize the role of the gravitational energy in sub-surface layers which has been certainly minored up to now. We also consider two types of solar outer shape (spherical and spheroidal) to study the behavior of magnetic and gravitational energies. The magnetic energy affects the solar shape, while the gravitational energy is not changed by the considered shapes of the Sun.

[9]  arXiv:1404.3760 [pdf, other]
Title: Near Infrared Spectra and Intrinsic Luminosities of Candidate Type II Quasars at 2 < z < 3.4
Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ, 18 pages, 14 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We present JHK near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy of 25 candidate Type II quasars selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, using Triplespec on the Apache Point Observatory 3.5m telescope, FIRE at the Magellan/Baade 6.5m telescope, and GNIRS on Gemini. At redshifts of 2 < z < 3.4, our NIR spectra probe the rest-frame optical region of these targets, which were initially selected to have strong lines of CIV and Ly alpha, with FWHM<2000 km/s from the SDSS pipeline. We use the [OIII]5007 line shape as a model for the narrow line region emission, and find that \halpha\ consistently requires a broad component with FWHMs ranging from 1000 to 7500 km/s. Interestingly, the CIV lines also require broad bases, but with considerably narrower widths of 1000 to 4500 km/s. Estimating the extinction using the Balmer decrement and also the relationship in lower-z quasars between rest equivalent width and luminosity in the [OIII] line, we find typical A_V values of 0-2 mag, which naturally explain the attenuated CIV lines relative to Halpha. We propose that our targets are moderately obscured quasars. We also describe one unusual object with three distinct velocity peaks in its [OIII] spectrum.

[10]  arXiv:1404.3769 [pdf, other]
Title: Carbon monoxide and water vapor in the atmosphere of the non-transiting exoplanet HD 179949 b
Comments: 10 pages, 9 figures. Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

(Abridged) In recent years, ground-based high-resolution spectroscopy has become a powerful tool for investigating exoplanet atmospheres. It allows the robust identification of molecular species, and it can be applied to both transiting and non-transiting planets. Radial-velocity measurements of the star HD 179949 indicate the presence of a giant planet companion in a close-in orbit. Here we present the analysis of spectra of the system at 2.3 micron, obtained at a resolution of R~100,000, during three nights of observations with CRIRES at the VLT. We targeted the system while the exoplanet was near superior conjunction, aiming to detect the planet's thermal spectrum and the radial component of its orbital velocity. We detect molecular absorption from carbon monoxide and water vapor with a combined S/N of 6.3, at a projected planet orbital velocity of K_P = (142.8 +- 3.4) km/s, which translates into a planet mass of M_P = (0.98 +- 0.04) Jupiter masses, and an orbital inclination of i = (67.7 +- 4.3) degrees, using the known stellar radial velocity and stellar mass. The detection of absorption features rather than emission means that, despite being highly irradiated, HD 179949 b does not have an atmospheric temperature inversion in the probed range of pressures and temperatures. Since the host star is active (R_HK > -4.9), this is in line with the hypothesis that stellar activity damps the onset of thermal inversion layers owing to UV flux photo-dissociating high-altitude, optical absorbers. Finally, our analysis favors an oxygen-rich atmosphere for HD 179949 b, although a carbon-rich planet cannot be statistically ruled out based on these data alone.

[11]  arXiv:1404.3799 [pdf, other]
Title: The 6dF Galaxy Velocity Survey: Cosmological constraints from the velocity power spectrum
Comments: 23 pages, 14 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We present the first scale-dependent measurements of the normalised growth rate of structure $f\sigma_{8}(k, z=0)$ using only the peculiar motions of galaxies. We use data from the 6-degree Field Galaxy Survey velocity sample (6dFGSv) together with a newly-compiled sample of low-redshift $(z < 0.07)$ type Ia supernovae. We constrain the growth rate in a series of $\Delta k \sim 0.03 h{\rm Mpc^{-1}}$ bins to $\sim35%$ precision, including a measurement on scales $>300 h^{-1}{\rm Mpc}$, which represents the largest-scale growth rate measurement to date. We find no evidence for a scale dependence in the growth rate, or any statistically significant variation from the growth rate as predicted by the Planck cosmology. Bringing all the scales together, we determine the normalised growth rate at $z=0$ to $\sim15%$ in a manner independent of galaxy bias and in excellent agreement with the constraint from the measurements of redshift-space distortions from 6dFGS. We pay particular attention to systematic errors. We point out that the intrinsic scatter present in Fundamental-Plane and Tully-Fisher relations is only Gaussian in logarithmic distance units; wrongly assuming it is Gaussian in linear (velocity) units can bias cosmological constraints. We also analytically marginalise over zero-point errors in distance indicators, validate the accuracy of all our constraints using numerical simulations, and we demonstrate how to combine different (correlated) velocity surveys using a matrix `hyper-parameter' analysis. Current and forthcoming peculiar velocity surveys will allow us to understand in detail the growth of structure in the low-redshift universe, providing strong constraints on the nature of dark energy.

[12]  arXiv:1404.3804 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Reconciling the Tension Between Planck and BICEP2 Through Early Dark Energy
Comments: 4 pages, 2 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We show the possibility that the observational results of the primordial gravitational waves from Planck and BICEP2 for the tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$ can be reconciled when an early dark energy was included. This early dark energy behaves like a radiation component at very early epoch. This is equivalent to induce additional number of effective neutrino species: $\Delta N_{eff}=[\frac{7}{8}(\frac{4}{11})^{4/3}]^{-1}\rho_{de}(a)/\rho_{\gamma}(a)$, where $\rho_{\gamma}(a)$ is the photon energy density and the numerical factors arise from converting to effective neutrino species. And $\rho_{de}(a)$ is the energy density of early dark energy. Combining the Planck temperature data, the WMAP9 polarization data, and the baryon acoustic oscillation data with and without BICEP2 data, we find that in this early dark energy model the tension between the observations from Planck and BICEP2 was relived at $2\sigma$ regions. But it cannot be removed completely due to the small ratio of early dark energy constrained by the other cosmic observations. As a byproduct, the tension between observed values of Hubble parameter from Planck and the direct measurement of the Hubble constant was removed in this early dark energy model.

[13]  arXiv:1404.3813 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Lagrangian Perturbation Theory : Exact One-Loop Power Spectrum in General Dark Energy Models
Authors: Seokcheon Lee
Comments: 6 pages, 2 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We obtain the fully consistent displacement vector and kernels up to the third order for the general dark energy models without using the Einstein-de Sitter (EdS) universe assumption in the Lagrangian perturbation theory (LPT). We also prove that the temporal and spatial components of the LPT solutions can be separable to any order in general dark energy models. Using these exact solutions, we investigate the present one-loop matter power spectrum in the \Lambda CDM model with \Omega_{m0} = 0.25 (0.3) to obtain about 1.4 (1.2) % error correction compared to that obtained from the EdS assumption for k = 0.1 h/Mpc mode. If we consider the total matter power spectrum, the correction is only 0.7 (0.6) % for k = 0.35 h/Mpc mode. It means that EdS assumption is a good approximation for \Lambda CDM model. However, one can use these exact solutions for the general dark energy models even including modified gravity theories where EdS assumption is improper.

[14]  arXiv:1404.3817 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Is Cosmological Constant Needed in Higgs Inflation?
Comments: 4 pages, 2 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th)

The detection of B-mode shows a very powerful constraint to theoretical inflation models through the measurement of the tensor-to-scalar ratio $r$. Higgs boson is the most likely candidate of the inflaton field. But usually, Higgs inflation models predict a small value of $r$, which is not quite consistent with the recent results from BICEP2. In this paper, we explored whether a cosmological constant energy component is needed to improve the situation. And we found the answer is yes. For the so-called Higgs chaotic inflation model with a quadratic potential, it predicts $r\approx 0.2$, $n_s\approx0.96$ with e-folds number $N\approx 56$, which is large enough to overcome the problems such as the horizon problem in the Big Bang cosmology. The required energy scale of the cosmological constant is roughly $\Lambda \sim (10^{14} \text{GeV})^2 $, which means a mechanism is still needed to solve the fine-tuning problem in the later time evolution of the universe, e.g. by introducing some dark energy component.

[15]  arXiv:1404.3823 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Multi-frequency observations of a superbubble in the LMC: The case of LHA 120-N 70
Comments: 21 pages 8 figures accepted for publication in AJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present a detailed study of new Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and XMM-Newton observations of LHA 120-N 70 (hereafter N 70), a spherically shaped object in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) classified as a superbubble (SB). Both archival and new observations were used to produce high quality radio-continuum, X-ray and optical images. The radio spectral index of N 70 is estimated to be $\alpha=-0.12\pm 0.06$ indicating that while a supernova or supernovae have occurred in the region at some time in the distant past, N70 is not the remnant of a single specific supernova. N70 exhibits limited polarisation with a maximum fractional polarisation of 9% in a small area of the north west limb. We estimate the size of N 70 to have a diameter of 104 pc ($\pm 1$ pc). The morphology of N 70 in X-rays closely follows that in radio and optical, with most X-ray emission confined within the bright shell seen at longer wavelengths. Purely thermal models adequately fit the soft X-ray spectrum which lacks harder emission (above 1 keV). We also examine the pressure output of N 70 where the values for the hot (PX) and warm (PHii) phase are consistent with other studied Hii regions. However, the dust-processed radiation pressure (PIR) is significantly smaller than in any other object studied in Lopez et al. (2013). N70 is a very complex region that is likely to have had multiple factors contributing to both the origin and evolution of the entire region.

[16]  arXiv:1404.3842 [pdf, other]
Title: AGB stars and the plate archives heritage
Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, presented at ASTROPLATES2014, Prague 18-21 March 2014
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We report on the characterization of a number of AGB candidate stars identified with objective-prism plates of the Byurakan Observatory. Digitized photographic sky survey plates and recent CCD photometry have been used to improve the selection and distinguish variable and non-variable stars. Some comparisons among published catalog magnitudes are also made. Slit spectroscopy from the Asiago and Loiano Observatories allowed a firm spectral classification, separating C-Type, N-Type and normal M giants. Color-color plots using WISE, AKARI and 2MASS J-band data allow an efficient discrimination of spectral types, which can be used for the definition of larger statistical samples.

[17]  arXiv:1404.3844 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Gaia Survey Contribution to EChO Target Selection and Characterization
Authors: A. Sozzetti, M. Damasso (INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Torino)
Comments: 6 pages, 2 figures. Accepted for publication in Experimental Astronomy
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The scientific output of the proposed EChO mission (in terms of spectroscopic characterization of the atmospheres of transiting extrasolar planets) will be maximized by a careful selection of targets and by a detailed characterization of the main physical parameters (such as masses and radii) of both the planets and their stellar hosts. To achieve this aim, the availability of high-quality data from other space-borne and ground-based programs will play a crucial role. Here we identify and discuss the elements of the Gaia catalogue that will be of utmost relevance for the selection and characterization of transiting planet systems to be observed by the proposed EChO mission.

[18]  arXiv:1404.3848 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Gravitational-wave radiation from double compact objects with eLISA in the Galaxy
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The phase of in-spiral of double compact objects (DCOs: NS+WD, NS+NS, BH+NS, and BH+BH binaries) in the disk field population of the Galaxy provides a potential source in the frequency range from $10^{-4}$ to 0.1 Hz, which can be detected by the European New Gravitational Observatory (NGO: eLISA is derived from the previous LISA proposal) project. In this frequency range, much stronger gravitational wave (GW) radiation can be obtained from DCO sources because they possess more mass than other compact binaries (e.g., close double white dwarfs). In this study, we aim to calculate the gravitational wave signals from the resolvable DCO sources in the Galaxy using a binary population synthesis approach, and to carry out physical properties of these binaries using Monte Carlo simulations. Combining the sensitivity curve of the eLISA detector and a confusion-limited noise floor of close double white dwarfs, we find that only a handful of DCO sources can be detected by the eLISA detector. The detectable number of DCO sources reaches 160, in the context of low-frequency eLISA observations we find that the number of NS+WD, NS+NS, BH+NS, and BH+BH are 132, 16, 3, and 6, respectively.

[19]  arXiv:1404.3855 [pdf, other]
Title: Can Self-Ordering Scalar Fields explain the BICEP2 B-mode signal?
Comments: 14 pages, 5 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

We show that self-ordering scalar fields (SOSF), i.e. non-topological cosmic defects arising after a global phase transition, cannot explain the B-mode signal recently announced by BICEP2. We compute the full $C_\ell^{B}$ angular power spectrum of B-modes due to the vector and tensor perturbations of SOSF, modeled in the large-N limit of a spontaneous broken global O(N) symmetry. We conclude that the low-$\ell$ multipoles detected by BICEP2 cannot be due mainly to SOSF, since they have the wrong spectrum at low multipoles. As a byproduct we derive the first cosmological constraints on this model, showing that the BICEP2 B-mode polarization data admits at most a 2-3% contribution from SOSF in the temperature anisotropies, similar to (but somewhat tighter than) the recently studied case of cosmic strings.

[20]  arXiv:1404.3858 [pdf, other]
Title: Catastrophic ice lake collapse in Aram Chaos, Mars
Comments: 20 pages, 17 figures. Icarus, 2014
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Geophysics (physics.geo-ph)

Hesperian chaotic terrains have been recognized as the source of outflow channels formed by catastrophic outflows. Four main scenarios have been proposed for the formation of chaotic terrains that involve different amounts of water and single or multiple outflow events. Here, we test these scenarios with morphological and structural analyses of imagery and elevation data for Aram Chaos in conjunction with numerical modeling of the morphological evolution of the catastrophic carving of the outflow valley. The morphological and geological analyses of Aram Chaos suggest large-scale collapse and subsidence (1500 m) of the entire area, which is consistent with a massive expulsion of liquid water from the subsurface in one single event. The combined observations suggest a complex process starting with the outflow of water from two small channels, followed by continuous groundwater sapping and headward erosion and ending with a catastrophic lake rim collapse and carving of the Aram Valley, which is synchronous with the 2.5 Ga stage of the Ares Vallis formation. The water volume and formative time scale required to carve the Aram channels indicate that a single, rapid (maximum tens of days) and catastrophic (flood volume of 9.3?104 km3) event carved the outflow channel. We conclude that a sub-ice lake collapse model can best explain the features of the Aram Chaos Valley system as well as the time scale required for its formation.

[21]  arXiv:1404.3863 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Multiwavelength campaign on Mrk 509. XIII. Testing ionized-reflection models on Mrk 509
Comments: 12 pages, A&A accepted
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are the most luminous persistent objects in the universe. An excess of X-ray emission below about 2 keV, called soft-excess, is very common in Type 1 AGN spectra. The origin of this feature remains debated. Originally modeled with a blackbody, there are now several possibilities to model the soft-excess, including warm Comptonization and blurred ionized reflection. In this paper, we test ionized-reflection models on Mrk 509, a bright Seyfert 1 galaxy for which we have a unique data set, in order to determine whether it can be responsible for the strong soft-excess. We use ten simultaneous XMM-Newton and INTEGRAL observations performed every four days. We present here the results of the spectral analysis, the evolution of the parameters and the variability properties of the X-ray emission. The application of blurred ionized-reflection models leads to a very strong reflection and an extreme geometry, but fails to reproduce the broad-band spectrum of Mrk 509. Two different scenarios for blurred ionized reflection are discussed: stable geometry and lamp-post configuration. In both cases we find that the model parameters do not follow the expected relations, indicating that the model is fine-tuned to fit the data without physical justification. A large, slow variation of the soft-excess without counterpart in the hard X-rays could be explained by a change in ionization of the reflector. However, such a change does not naturally follow from the assumed geometrical configuration. Warm Comptonization remains the most probable origin of the soft-excess in this object. Nevertheless, it is possible that both ionized reflection and warm Comptonization mechanisms can explain the soft-excess in all objects, one dominating the other one, depending on the physical conditions of the disk and the corona.

[22]  arXiv:1404.3896 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Astrometry of brown dwarfs with Gaia
Comments: Proceedings of the GREAT-ESF workshop "Gaia and the unseen - the brown dwarf question", Torino, 24-26 March 2014, to be published in Memorie della Societa' Astronomica Italiana (SAIt), eds Ricky Smart, David Barrado, Jackie Faherty
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Europe's Gaia spacecraft will soon embark on its five-year mission to measure the absolute parallaxes of the complete sample of 1,000 million objects down to 20 mag. It is expected that thousands of nearby brown dwarfs will have their astrometry determined with sub-milli-arcsecond standard errors. Although this level of accuracy is comparable to the standard errors of the relative parallaxes that are now routinely obtained from the ground for selected, individual objects, the absolute nature of Gaia's astrometry, combined with the sample increase from one hundred to several thousand sub-stellar objects with known distances, ensures the uniqueness of Gaia's legacy in brown-dwarf science for the coming decade(s). We shortly explore the gain in brown-dwarf science that could be achieved by lowering Gaia's faint-end limit from 20 to 21 mag and conclude that two spectral-type sub-classes could be gained in combination with a fourfold increase in the solar-neighbourhood-volume sampled by Gaia and hence in the number of brown dwarfs in the Gaia Catalogue.

[23]  arXiv:1404.3897 [pdf, other]
Title: On the Helicity of Open Magnetic Fields
Comments: 31 pages, 8 figures, accepted in ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Fluid Dynamics (physics.flu-dyn); Plasma Physics (physics.plasm-ph); Space Physics (

We reconsider the topological interpretation of magnetic helicity for magnetic fields in open domains, and relate this to the relative helicity. Specifically, our domains stretch between two parallel planes, and each of these ends may be magnetically open. It is demonstrated that, while the magnetic helicity is gauge-dependent, its value in any gauge may be physically interpreted as the average winding number among all pairs of field lines with respect to some orthonormal frame field. In fact, the choice of gauge is equivalent to the choice of reference field in the relative helicity, meaning that the magnetic helicity is no less physically meaningful. We prove that a particular gauge always measures the winding with respect to a fixed frame, and propose that this is normally the best choice. For periodic fields, this choice is equivalent to measuring relative helicity with respect to a potential reference field. But for aperiodic fields, we show that the potential field can be twisted. We prove by construction that there always exists a possible untwisted reference field.

[24]  arXiv:1404.3902 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Orbital phase resolved spectroscopy of GX 301-2 with MAXI
Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures. Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

GX 301-2, a bright HMXB with an orbital period of 41.5 days, exhibits stable periodic orbital intensity modulations with a strong pre-periastron X-ray flare. Several models have been proposed to explain the accretion at different orbital phases, invoking accretion via stellar wind, equatorial disk, and accretion stream from the companion star. We present results from exhaustive orbital phase resolved spectroscopic measurements of GX 301-2 using data from the Gas Slit Camera onboard MAXI. Using spectroscopic analysis of the MAXI data with unprecendented orbital coverage for many orbits continuously, we have found a strong orbital dependence of the absorption column density and equivalent width of the iron emission line. A very large equivalent width of the iron line along with a small value of the column density in the orbital phase range 0.10-0.30 after the periastron passage indicates presence of high density absorbing matter behind the neutron star in these orbital phase range. A low energy excess is also found in the spectrum at orbital phases around the pre-periastron X-ray flare. The orbital dependence of these parameters are then used to examine the various models about mode of accretion onto the neutron star in GX 301-2.

[25]  arXiv:1404.3907 [pdf, other]
Title: The shape of the radio wavefront of extensive air showers as measured with LOFAR
Comments: Submitted to Astroparticle Physics
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Extensive air showers, induced by high energy cosmic rays impinging on the Earth's atmosphere, produce radio emission that is measured with the LOFAR radio telescope. As the emission comes from a finite distance of a few kilometers, the incident wavefront is non-planar. A spherical or conical shape of the wavefront has been proposed, but measurements of individual air showers have been inconclusive so far. For a selected high-quality sample of 161 measured extensive air showers, we have reconstructed the wavefront by measuring pulse arrival times to sub-nanosecond accuracy in 200 to 350 individual antennas. For each measured air shower, we have fitted a conical, spherical, and hyperboloid shape to the arrival times. The fit quality and a likelihood analysis show that a hyperboloid is the best parametrization. Using a non-planar wavefront shape gives an improved angular resolution, when reconstructing the shower arrival direction. Furthermore, a dependence of the wavefront shape on the shower geometry can be seen. This suggests that it will be possible to use a wavefront shape analysis to get an additional handle on the atmospheric depth of the shower maximum, which is sensitive to the mass of the primary particle.

[26]  arXiv:1404.3909 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A particle dark matter footprint on the first generation of stars
Comments: 8 pages; 5 figures ; The article's link: this http URL
Journal-ref: The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 786, 25 (2014)
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th)

Dark matter particles with properties identical to dark matter candidates that are hinted at by several international collaborations dedicated to experimental detection of dark matter (DAMA, COGENT, CRESST and CDMS-II, although not, most notably, by LUX), and which also have a dark matter asymmetry identical to the observed baryon asymmetry (Planck and Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe), may produce a significant impact on the evolution of the first generation of low-metallicity stars. The lifetimes of these stars in different phases of stellar evolution are significantly extended, namely, in the pre-main sequence, main sequence, and red giant phases. In particular, intermediate-mass stars in the red giant phase experience significant changes in their luminosity and chemical composition. The annihilations of dark matter particles affect the interior of the star in such a way that the $3\alpha-$reaction becomes less efficient in the production of carbon and oxygen. This dark matter effect contradicts the excess of carbon and other metals observed today in stars of low mass and low metallicity. Hence, we can impose an upper limit on the dark matter halo density, and therefore on the redshift, at which the first generation of low-metallicity stars formed.

[27]  arXiv:1404.3923 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Transient Neutral Flux in Plasma: An Explanation of Heating for the Solar Corona?
Authors: Clifford Chafin
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

In this short note, we discuss a mechanism for the transport of energy, momentum and dipole moment via transient neutral carriers in plasma. This gives a way to rapidly convert bulk hydrodynamic flow energy into thermal energy over a distance of several mean free paths. In the transition region of the solar corona we estimate various processes and their potential to introduce the high energies needed to to reach the 2 x10^6K observed there. It implies that kinetic methods may be essential for modeling the corona and that there are more gentle but still robust means than reconnection to relax magnetic fields in plasmas.

[28]  arXiv:1404.3936 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Deriving model-based T$_e$-consistent chemical abundances in ionised gaseous nebulae
Comments: 14 pages, 9 figures. Accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The derivation of abundances in gaseous nebulae ionised by massive stars using optical collisionally excited emission lines is studied in this work comparing the direct or $T_e$ method with updated grids of photoionisation models covering a wide range of input conditions of O/H and N/O abundances and ionisation parameter. The abundances in a large sample of compiled objects with at least one auroral line are re-derived and later compared with the $\chi^2$ weighted-mean abundances from the models. The agreement between the abundances using the two methods both for O/H and N/O is excellent with no additional assumptions about the geometry or physics governing the HII regions. Although very inaccurate model-based O/H are obtained when no auroral lines are considered, this can be overcome assuming empirical laws between O/H, log $U$, and N/O to constrain the considered models. In this way, for 12+log(O/H) $>$ 8.0, a precision better than 0.1dex consistent with the direct method is attained. For very low-$Z$, models give higher O/H values and a high dispersion, possibly owing to the contamination of the low-excitation emission-lines. However, in this regime, the auroral lines are usually well-detected. The use of this procedure, in a publicly available script, HII-CHI-mistry}, leads to the derivation of abundances in faint/high redshift objects consistent with the direct method based on CELs.

[29]  arXiv:1404.3938 [pdf, other]
Title: Observations of Unresolved Photospheric Magnetic Fields in Solar Flares Using Fe I and Cr I Lines
Comments: Accepted for publication in Solar Physics
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

The structure of the photospheric magnetic field during solar flares is examined using echelle spectropolarimetric observations. The study is based on several Fe I and Cr I lines observed at locations corresponding to brightest H$\alpha$ emission during thermal phase of flares. The analysis is performed by comparing magnetic field values deduced from lines with different magnetic sensitivities, as well as by examining the fine structure of $I\pm V$ Stokes profiles splitting. It is shown that the field has at least two components, with stronger unresolved flux tubes embedded in weaker ambient field. Based on a two-component magnetic field model, we compare observed and synthetic line profiles and show that the field strength in small-scale flux tubes is about $2-3$ kG. Furthermore, we find that the small-scale flux tubes are associated with flare emission, which may have implications for flare phenomenology.

[30]  arXiv:1404.3942 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Optical supernova remnants in nearby galaxies and their influence on star formation rates derived from H$α$ emission
Comments: 15 pages, submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

In this paper we present the available sample of detected supernova remnants (SNRs) in optical range in nearby galaxies. We also discuss the contribution of the H$\alpha$ flux from the SNRs to the total H$\alpha$ flux and its influence to the derived star formation rate (SFR) for each galaxy. We obtain for the contribution of SNRs' flux to the total H$\alpha$ flux up to 12% for analyzed galaxies. Due to the observational selection effects, the contamination of derived SFRs by SNRs obtained in this paper represents only a lower limit.

[31]  arXiv:1404.3946 [pdf, other]
Title: On Binary Driven Hypernovae and their nested late X-ray emission
Comments: 4 pages, 4 figures, submitted to A&A
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Context: The induced gravitational collapse (IGC) paradigm addresses the very energetic (10^{52}-10^{54}erg) long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) associated to supernovae (SNe). In alternative to the traditional "collapsar" model, an evolved FeCO core with a companion neutron star (NS) in a tight binary system is considered as progenitor. This special class of sources, here named "binary driven hypernovae" (BdHNe), presents a composite sequence made by four different episodes [...]. Aims: a) To compare and contrast the steep decay, the plateau and the power-law decay of the X-ray luminosities of three selected BdHNe [...]; b) to explain the different sizes and Lorentz factors of the emitting regions of the four Episodes, [...]; c) to evidence the possible role of r-process, originating in the binary system of the progenitor. Methods: We compare and contrast the late X-ray luminosity of the above three BdHNe. We examine correlations between the time at the starting point of the constant late power-law decay, t^*_a, the average prompt luminosity, <L_{iso}>, and the luminosity at the end of the plateau, L_a. We analyze a thermal emission (~0.97-0.29 keV), observed during the X-ray steep decay phase of GRB 090618. Results: The late X-ray luminosities of the three BdHNe [...] evidence a precisely constrained "nested" structure [...]. Conclusions: We confirm a constant slope power-law behavior for the late X-ray luminosity in the source rest-frame, which may lead to a new distance indicator for BdHNe. These results, as well as the emitter size and Lorentz factor, appear to be inconsistent with the traditional afterglow model based on synchrotron emission from an ultra-relativistic [...] collimated jet outflow. We argue, instead, the possible role of r-process, originating in the binary system, to power the mildly relativistic X-ray source.

[32]  arXiv:1404.3956 [pdf, other]
Title: Large-Scale Structure Formation: from the first non-linear objects to massive galaxy clusters
Comments: Review article. Accepted for publication in Space Science Reviews. It will appear as a contribution to an ISSI book
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The large-scale structure of the Universe formed from initially small perturbations in the cosmic density field, leading to galaxy clusters with up to 10^15 Msun at the present day. Here, we review the formation of structures in the Universe, considering the first primordial galaxies and the most massive galaxy clusters as extreme cases of structure formation where fundamental processes such as gravity, turbulence, cooling and feedback are particularly relevant. The first non-linear objects in the Universe formed in dark matter halos with 10^5-10^8 Msun at redshifts 10-30, leading to the first stars and massive black holes. At later stages, larger scales became non-linear, leading to the formation of galaxy clusters, the most massive objects in the Universe. We describe here their formation via gravitational processes, including the self-similar scaling relations, as well as the observed deviations from such self-similarity and the related non-gravitational physics (cooling, stellar feedback, AGN). While on intermediate cluster scales the self-similar model is in good agreement with the observations, deviations from such self-similarity are apparent in the core regions, where numerical simulations do not reproduce the current observational results. The latter indicates that the interaction of different feedback processes may not be correctly accounted for in current simulations. Both in the most massive clusters of galaxies as well as during the formation of the first objects in the Universe, turbulent structures and shock waves appear to be common, suggesting them to be ubiquitous in the non-linear regime.

[33]  arXiv:1404.3957 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A multiple system of high-mass YSOs surrounded by disks in NGC7538 IRS1
Comments: 34 pages, 18 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

NGC7538 IRS1 is considered the best high-mass accretion disk candidate around an O-type young star in the northern hemisphere. We investigated the 3D kinematics and dynamics of circumstellar gas with very high linear resolution, from tens to 1500 AU, with the ultimate goal of building a comprehensive dynamical model for this YSO. We employed four different observing epochs of EVN data at 6.7 GHz, spanning almost eight years, which enabled us to measure, besides line-of-sight (l.o.s.) velocities and positions, also l.o.s. accelerations and proper motions of methanol masers. In addition, we imaged with the JVLA-B array highly-excited ammonia inversion lines, from (6,6) to (13,13), which enabled us to probe the hottest molecular gas very close to the exciting source(s). We found five 6.7 GHz maser clusters which are distributed over a region extended N-S across ~1500 AU and are associated with three peaks of the radio continuum. We proposed that these maser clusters identify three individual high-mass YSOs, named IRS1a, IRS1b, and IRS1c. We modeled the maser clusters in IRS1a and IRS1b in terms of edge-on disks in centrifugal equilibrium. In the first case, masers may trace a quasi-Keplerian thin disk, orbiting around a high-mass YSO, IRS1a, of up to 25 solar masses. This YSO dominates the bolometric luminosity of the region. The second disk is both massive (<16 Msun within ~500 AU) and thick, and the mass of the central YSO, IRS1b, is constrained to be at most a few solar masses. In summary, we present compelling evidence that NGC7538 IRS1 is not forming just one single high-mass YSO, but consists of a multiple system of high-mass YSOs, which are surrounded by accretion disks, and are probably driving individual outflows. This new model naturally explains all the different orientations and disk/outflow structures proposed for the region in previous models.

[34]  arXiv:1404.3961 [pdf, other]
Title: Determining the nature of orbits in disk galaxies with non spherical nuclei
Comments: Published in Nonlinear Dynamics (NODY) journal. arXiv admin note: substantial text overlap with arXiv:1309.5607
Journal-ref: Nonlinear Dynamics (NODY), 2014, vol. 76, pp. 323-344
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Chaotic Dynamics (nlin.CD)

We investigate the regular or chaotic nature of orbits of stars moving in the meridional plane $(R,z)$ of an axially symmetric galactic model with a flat disk and a central, non spherical and massive nucleus. In particular, we study the influence of the flattening parameter of the central nucleus on the nature of orbits, by computing in each case the percentage of chaotic orbits, as well as the percentages of orbits of the main regular families. In an attempt to maximize the accuracy of our results upon distinguishing between regular and chaotic motion, we use both the Fast Lyapunov Indicator (FLI) and the Smaller ALingment Index (SALI) methods to extensive samples of orbits obtained by integrating numerically the equations of motion as well as the variational equations. Moreover, a technique which is based mainly on the field of spectral dynamics that utilizes the Fourier transform of the time series of each coordinate is used for identifying the various families of regular orbits and also to recognize the secondary resonances that bifurcate from them. Varying the value of the flattening parameter, we study three different cases: (i) the case where we have a prolate nucleus (ii) the case where the central nucleus is spherical and (iii) the case where an oblate massive nucleus is present. Furthermore, we present some additional findings regarding the reliability of short time (fast) chaos indicators, as well as a new method to define the threshold between chaos and regularity for both FLI and SALI, by using them simultaneously. Comparison with early related work is also made.

[35]  arXiv:1404.3970 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Spectroscopically confirmed brown dwarf members of Coma Berenices and the Hyades
Comments: 7 pages, 4 figures, 6 tables. Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We have obtained low and medium resolution spectra of 9 brown dwarf candidate members of Coma Berenices and the Hyades using SpEX on the NASA InfaRed Telescope Facility and LIRIS on the William Herschel Telescope. We conclude that 7 of these objects are indeed late M or early L dwarfs, and that two are likely members of Coma Berenices, and four of the Hyades. Two objects, cbd40 and Hy3 are suggested to be a field L dwarfs, although there is also a possibility that Hy3 is an unresolved binary belonging to the cluster. These objects have masses between 71 and 53 M$_{\rm Jup}$, close to the hydrogen burning boundary for these clusters, however only an optical detection of Lithium can confirm if they are truly substellar.

[36]  arXiv:1404.3974 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Faraday scaling and the Bicep2 observations
Comments: 8 pages, no figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th)

As repeatedly speculated in the past, the linear polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background can be rotated via the Faraday effect. An economic explanation of the recent Bicep2 observations, not relying on long-wavelength tensor modes of the geometry, would stipulate that the detected B mode comes exclusively from a Faraday rotated E mode polarization. We show hereunder that this interpretation is ruled out by the existing upper limits on the B mode polarization obtained by independent experiments at observational frequencies much lower than the operating frequency of the Bicep2 experiment. We then derive the fraction of the observed B mode polarization ascribable to the Faraday effect and suggest a dedicated experimental strategy for its detection.

[37]  arXiv:1404.3995 [pdf, other]
Title: Protoplanetary dust porosity and FU Orionis Outbursts: Solving the mystery of Earth's missing volatiles
Comments: 14 pages, 6 figures, accepted, Icarus
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The Earth is known to be depleted in volatile lithophile elements in a fashion that defies easy explanation. We resolve this anomaly with a model that combines the porosity of collisionally grown dust grains in protoplanetary disks with heating from FU Orionis events that dramatically raise protoplanetary disk temperatures. The heating from an FU Orionis event alters the aerodynamical properties of the dust while evaporating the volatiles. This causes the dust to settle, abandoning those volatiles. The success of this model in explaining the elemental composition of the Earth is a strong argument in favor of highly porous collisionally grown dust grains in protoplanetary disks outside our Solar System. Further, it demonstrates how thermal (or condensation based) alterations of dust porosity, and hence aerodynamics, can be a strong factor in planet formation, leading to the onset of rapid gravitational instabilities in the dust disk and the subsequent collapse that forms planetesimals.

[38]  arXiv:1404.4012 [pdf, other]
Title: Probing Big Bounce with Dark Matter
Authors: Changhong Li
Comments: 12pages, 4 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We investigate the production of dark matter in a generic bouncing universe framework. Our result shows that, if the future-experimentally-measured cross section and mass of dark matter particle satisfy the cosmological constraint, $\langle \sigma v\rangle m_\chi^2 < 1.82\times 10^{-26}$, it becomes a strong indication that our universe went through a Big Bounce---instead of the inflationary phase as postulated in Standard Big Bang Cosmology---at the early stage of the cosmological evolution.

[39]  arXiv:1404.4027 [pdf, other]
Title: A Comprehensive Method of Estimating Electric Fields from Vector Magnetic Field and Doppler Measurements
Comments: 61 pages, 10 figures, submitted to ApJ on April 15, 2014
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Photospheric electric fields, estimated from sequences of vector magnetic field and Doppler measurements, can be used to estimate the flux of magnetic energy (the Poynting flux) into the corona and as time-dependent boundary conditions for dynamic models of the coronal magnetic field. We have modified and extended an existing method to estimate photospheric electric fields that combines a poloidal-toroidal (PTD) decomposition of the evolving magnetic field vector with Doppler and horizontal plasma velocities. Our current, more comprehensive method, which we dub the "{\bf P}TD-{\bf D}oppler-{\bf F}LCT {\bf I}deal" (PDFI) technique, can now incorporate Doppler velocities from non-normal viewing angles. It uses the \texttt{FISHPACK} software package to solve several two-dimensional Poisson equations, a faster and more robust approach than our previous implementations. Here, we describe systematic, quantitative tests of the accuracy and robustness of the PDFI technique using synthetic data from anelastic MHD (\texttt{ANMHD}) simulations, which have been used in similar tests in the past. We find that the PDFI method has less than $1%$ error in the total Poynting flux and a $10%$ error in the helicity flux rate at a normal viewing angle $(\theta=0$) and less than $25%$ and $10%$ errors respectively at large viewing angles ($\theta<60^\circ$). We compare our results with other inversion methods at zero viewing angle, and find that our method's estimates of the fluxes of magnetic energy and helicity are comparable to or more accurate than other methods. We also discuss the limitations of the PDFI method and its uncertainties.