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[1]  arXiv:1505.07454 [pdf, other]
Title: Filaments from the galaxy distribution and from the velocity field in the local universe
Comments: 6 Pages, 2 figures, Submitted to MNRAS Letters
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The cosmic web that characterizes the large-scale structure of the Universe can be quantified by a variety of methods. For example, large redshift surveys can be used in combination with point process algorithms to extract long curvilinear filaments in the galaxy distribution. Alternatively, given a full 3D reconstruction of the velocity field, kinematic techniques can be used to decompose the web into voids, sheets, filaments and knots. In this paper we look at how two such algorithms - the Bisous model and the velocity shear web - compare with each other in the local Universe (within 100 Mpc), finding good agreement. This is both remarkable and comforting, given that the two methods are radically different in ideology and applied to completely independent and different data sets. Unsurprisingly, the methods are in better agreement when applied to unbiased and complete data sets, like cosmological simulations, than when applied to observational samples. We conclude that more observational data is needed to improve on these methods, but that both methods are most likely properly tracing the underlying distribution of matter in the Universe.

[2]  arXiv:1505.07456 [pdf, other]
Title: The vertical effects of disc non-axisymmetries from perturbation theory: the case of the Galactic bar
Comments: 9 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Evidence for non-zero mean stellar velocities in the direction perpendicular to the Galactic plane has been accumulating from various recent large spectroscopic surveys. Previous analytical and numerical work has shown that a "breathing mode" of the Galactic disc, similar to what is observed in the Solar vicinity, can be the natural consequence of a non-axisymmetric internal perturbation of the disc. Here we provide a general analytical framework, in the context of perturbation theory, allowing us to compute the vertical bulk motions generated by a single internal perturber (bar or spiral pattern). In the case of the Galactic bar, we show that these analytically predicted bulk motions are well in line with the outcome of a numerical simulation. The mean vertical motions induced by the Milky Way bar are small (mean velocity of less than 1 km/sec) and cannot be responsible alone for the observed breathing mode, but they are existing. Our analytical treatment is valid close to the plane for all the non-axisymmetric perturbations of the disc that can be described by small-amplitude Fourier modes. Further work should study how the coupling of multiple internal perturbers and external perturbers is affecting the present analytical results.

[3]  arXiv:1505.07461 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Capella (alpha Aurigae) revisited: New binary orbit, physical properties, and evolutionary state
Authors: Guillermo Torres (1), Antonio Claret (2), Kresimir Pavlovski (3), Aaron Dotter (4) ((1) Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA, (2) Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia, Spain, (3) University of Zagreb, Croatia, (4) Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, ANU, Australia)
Comments: 15 pages in emulateapj format, including figures and tables, accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Knowledge of the chemical composition and absolute masses of Capella are key to understanding the evolutionary state of this benchmark binary system comprising two giant stars. Previous efforts, including our own 2009 study, have largely failed to reach an acceptable agreement between the observations and current stellar evolution models, preventing us from assessing the status of the primary. Here we report a revision of the physical properties of the components incorporating recently published high-precision radial velocity measurements, and a new detailed chemical analysis providing abundances for more than 20 elements in both stars. We obtain highly precise (to about 0.3%) masses of 2.5687 +/- 0.0074 and 2.4828 +/- 0.0067 solar masses, radii of 11.98 +/- 0.57 and 8.83 +/- 0.33 solar radii, effective temperatures of 4970 +/- 50 K and 5730 +/- 60 K, and independently measured luminosities based on the orbital parallax (78.7 +/- 4.2 and 72.7 +/- 3.6 solar luminosities). We find an excellent match to stellar evolution models at the measured composition of [Fe/H] = -0.04 +/- 0.06. Three different sets of models place the primary star firmly at the end of the core helium-burning phase (clump), while the secondary is known to be evolving rapidly across the Hertzprung gap. The measured lithium abundance, the C/N ratio, and the 12C/13C isotopic carbon abundance ratio, which change rapidly in the giant phase, are broadly in agreement with expectations from models. Predictions from tidal theory for the spin rates, spin-orbit alignment, and other properties do not fare as well, requiring a 40-fold increase in the efficiency of the dissipation mechanisms in order to match the observations.

[4]  arXiv:1505.07463 [pdf, other]
Title: An efficient, compact, and versatile fiber double scrambler for high precision radial velocity instruments
Comments: 10 pages, 13 figures, accepted in ApJ
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We present the design and test results of a compact optical fiber double-scrambler for high-resolution Doppler radial velocity instruments. This device consists of a single optic: a high-index $n$$\sim$2 ball lens that exchanges the near and far fields between two fibers. When used in conjunction with octagonal fibers, this device yields very high scrambling gains and greatly desensitizes the fiber output from any input illumination variations, thereby stabilizing the instrument profile of the spectrograph and improving the Doppler measurement precision. The system is also highly insensitive to input pupil variations, isolating the spectrograph from telescope illumination variations and seeing changes. By selecting the appropriate glass and lens diameter the highest efficiency is achieved when the fibers are practically in contact with the lens surface, greatly simplifying the alignment process when compared to classical double-scrambler systems. This prototype double-scrambler has demonstrated significant performance gains over previous systems, achieving scrambling gains in excess of 10,000 with a throughput of $\sim$87% using uncoated Polymicro octagonal fibers. Adding a circular fiber to the fiber train further increases the scrambling gain to $>$20,000, limited by laboratory measurement error. While this fiber system is designed for the Habitable-zone Planet Finder spectrograph, it is more generally applicable to other instruments in the visible and near-infrared. Given the simplicity and low cost, this fiber scrambler could also easily be multiplexed for large multi-object instruments.

[5]  arXiv:1505.07465 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The new Milky Way satellites: alignment with the VPOS and predictions for proper motions and velocity dispersions
Comments: 16 pages, 5 figures, 5 tables. Submitted to MNRAS, comments welcome
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The evidence that stellar systems surrounding the Milky Way (MW) are distributed in a Vast Polar Structure (VPOS) may be observationally biased by satellites detected in surveys of the northern sky. The recent discoveries of more than a dozen new systems in the southern hemisphere thus constitute a critical test of the VPOS phenomenon. We report that the new objects are located close to the original VPOS, with half of the sample having offsets less than 20 kpc. The positions of the new satellite galaxy candidates are so well aligned that the orientation of the revised best-fitting VPOS structure is preserved to within 9 degrees and the VPOS flattening is almost unchanged (31 kpc height). Interestingly, the shortest distance of the VPOS plane from the MW center is now only 2.5 kpc, indicating that the new discoveries balance out the VPOS at the Galactic center. The vast majority of the MW satellites are thus consistent with sharing a similar orbital plane as the Magellanic Clouds, confirming a hypothesis proposed by Kunkel & Demers and Lynden-Bell almost 40 years ago. We predict the absolute proper motions of the new objects assuming they orbit within the VPOS. Independent of the VPOS results we also predict the velocity dispersions of the new systems under three distinct assumptions: that they (i) are dark-matter-free star clusters obeying Newtonian dynamics, (ii) are dwarf satellites lying on empirical scaling relations of galaxies in dark matter halos, and (iii) obey MOND.

[6]  arXiv:1505.07466 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Composition Of A Disrupted Extrasolar Planetesimal At SDSS J0845+2257 (Ton 345)
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We present a detailed study of the metal-polluted DB white dwarf SDSS J0845+2257 (Ton 345). Using high-resolution HST/COS and VLT spectroscopy, we have detected hydrogen and eleven metals in the atmosphere of the white dwarf. The origin of these metals is almost certainly the circumstellar disc of dusty and gaseous debris from a tidally-disrupted planetesimal, accreting at a rate of 1.6E10 gs^-1. Studying the chemical abundances of the accreted material demonstrates that the planetesimal had a composition similar to the Earth, dominated by rocky silicates and metallic iron, with a low water content. The mass of metals within the convection zone of the white dwarf corresponds to an asteroid of at least ~130-170 km in diameter, although the presence of ongoing accretion from the debris disc implies that the planetesimal was probably larger than this. While a previous abundance study of the accreted material has shown an anomalously high mass fraction of carbon (15 percent) compared to the bulk Earth, our independent analysis results in a carbon abundance of just 2.5 percent. Enhanced abundances of core material (Fe, Ni) suggest that the accreted object may have lost a portion of its mantle, possibly due to stellar wind stripping in the asymptotic giant branch. Time-series spectroscopy reveals variable emission from the orbiting gaseous disc, demonstrating that the evolved planetary system at SDSS J0845+2257 is dynamically active.

[7]  arXiv:1505.07467 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: RoboPol: First season rotations of optical polarization plane in blazars
Comments: 16 pages, 9 figures, submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present first results on polarization swings in optical emission of blazars obtained by RoboPol, a monitoring program of an unbiased sample of gamma-ray bright blazars specially designed for effective detection of such events. A possible connection of polarization swing events with periods of high activity in gamma rays is investigated using the dataset obtained during the first season of operation. It was found that the brightest gamma-ray flares tend to be located closer in time to rotation events, which may be an indication of two separate mechanisms responsible for the rotations. Blazars with detected rotations have significantly larger amplitude and faster variations of polarization angle in optical than blazars without rotations. Our simulations show that the full set of observed rotations is not a likely outcome (probability $\le 1.5 \times 10^{-2}$) of a random walk of the polarization vector simulated by a multicell model. Furthermore, it is highly unlikely ($\sim 5 \times 10^{-5}$) that none of our rotations is physically connected with an increase in gamma-ray activity.

[8]  arXiv:1505.07470 [pdf, other]
Title: Indirect Detection of Forming Protoplanets via Chemical Asymmetries in Disks
Authors: L. Ilsedore Cleeves (1), Edwin A. Bergin (1), Tim J. Harries (2) ((1) University of Michigan, (2) University of Exeter)
Comments: 14 pages, 14 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We examine changes in the molecular abundances resulting from increased heating due to a self-luminous planetary companion embedded within a narrow circumstellar disk gap. Using 3D models that include stellar and planetary irradiation, we find that luminous young planets locally heat up the parent circumstellar disk by many tens of Kelvin, resulting in efficient thermal desorption of molecular species that are otherwise locally frozen out. Furthermore, the heating is deposited over large regions of the disk, $\pm5$ AU radially and spanning $\lesssim60^\circ$ azimuthally. From the 3D chemical models, we compute rotational line emission models and full ALMA simulations, and find that the chemical signatures of the young planet are detectable as chemical asymmetries in $\sim10h$ observations. HCN and its isotopologues are particularly clear tracers of planetary heating for the models considered here, and emission from multiple transitions of the same species is detectable, which encodes temperature information in addition to possible velocity information from the spectra itself. We find submillimeter molecular emission will be a useful tool to study gas giant planet formation in situ, especially beyond $R\gtrsim10$ AU.

[9]  arXiv:1505.07471 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: XMM-Newton and Suzaku X-ray Shadowing Measurements of the Solar Wind Charge Exchange, Local Bubble, and Galactic Halo Emission
Authors: David B. Henley, Robin L. Shelton (University of Georgia)
Comments: 28 pages, 16 figures. Accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We present results from a sample of XMM-Newton and Suzaku observations of interstellar clouds that cast shadows in the soft X-ray background (SXRB) - the first uniform analysis of such a sample from these missions. By fitting to the on- and off-shadow spectra, we separated the foreground and Galactic halo components of the SXRB. We tested different foreground models - two solar wind charge exchange (SWCX) models and a Local Bubble (LB) model. We also examined different abundance tables. We found that Anders & Grevesse (1989) abundances, commonly used in previous SXRB studies, may result in overestimated foreground brightnesses and halo temperatures. We also found that assuming a single solar wind ionization temperature for a SWCX model can lead to unreliable results. We compared our measurements of the foreground emission with predictions of the SWCX emission from a smooth solar wind, finding only partial agreement. Using available observation-specific SWCX predictions and various plausible assumptions, we placed an upper limit on the LB's OVII intensity of ~0.8 photons/cm^2/s/sr (90% confidence). Comparing the halo results obtained with SWCX and LB foreground models implies that, if the foreground is dominated by SWCX and is brighter than ~1.5e-12 erg/cm^2/s/deg^2 (0.4-1.0 keV), then using an LB foreground model may bias the halo temperature upward and the 0.5-2.0 keV surface brightness downward by ~(0.2-0.3)e6 K and ~(1-2)e-12 erg/cm^2/s/deg^2, respectively. Similarly, comparing results from different observatories implies that there may be uncertainties in the halo temperature and surface brightness of up to ~0.2e6 K and ~25%, respectively, in addition to the statistical uncertainties. These uncertainties or biases may limit the ability of X-ray measurements to discriminate between Galactic halo models.

[10]  arXiv:1505.07474 [pdf, other]
Title: Confidence intervals for the encircled energy fraction and the half energy width
Authors: Giuseppe Vacanti
Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Optics (physics.optics)

The Encircled Energy Fraction and its quantiles, notably the Half Energy Width, are routinely used to characterize the quality of X-ray optical systems. They are however always quoted without a statistical error. We show how non-parametric statistical methods can be used to redress this situation, and we discuss how the knowledge of the statistical error can be used to speed up the characterization efforts for future X-ray observatories.

[11]  arXiv:1505.07475 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Probing the role of the galactic environment in the formation of stellar clusters; using M83 as a test-bench
Authors: Angela Adamo (SU), Diederik Kruijssen (MPA), Nate Bastian (LJMU), Esteban Silva-Villa (UA), Jenna Ryon (UWM)
Comments: 16 pages, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We present a study of the M83 cluster population, covering the disc of the galaxy between radii of 0.45 and 4.5 kpc. We aim to probe the properties of the cluster population as a function of distance from the galactic centre. We observe a net decline in cluster formation efficiency ($\Gamma$, i.e. the amount of star formation happening in bound clusters) from about 19 % in the inner region to 7 % in the outer part of the galaxy. The recovered $\Gamma$ values within different regions of M83 follow the same $\Gamma$ versus star formation rate density relation observed for entire galaxies. We also probe the initial cluster mass function (ICMF) as a function of galactocentric distance. We observe a significant steepening of the ICMF in the outer regions (from $-1.90\pm0.11$ to $-2.70\pm0.14$) and for the whole galactic cluster population (slope of $-2.18\pm0.07$) of M83. We show that this change of slope reflects a more fundamental change of the 'truncation mass' at the high-mass end of the distribution. This can be modelled as a Schechter function of slope $-2$ with an exponential cut-off mass ($M_{\rm c}$) that decreases significantly from the inner to the outer regions (from 4.00 to $0.25\times 10^5$ M$_\odot$) while the galactic $M_{\rm c}$ is $\approx1.60\times10^5$ M$_\odot$. The trends in \Gamma and ICMF are consistent with the observed radial decrease of the $\Sigma({\rm H}_2)$, hence in gas pressure. As gas pressure declines cluster formation becomes less efficient. We conclude that the host galaxy environment appears to regulate 1) the fraction of stars locked in clusters; 2) the upper mass limit of the ICMF, consistently described by a near-universal slope $-2$ truncated at the high-mass end.

[12]  arXiv:1505.07477 [pdf, other]
Title: The effect of massive neutrinos on the BAO peak
Comments: 26 pages, 11 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We study the impact of neutrino masses on the shape and height of the BAO peak of the matter correlation function, both in real and redshift space. In order to describe the nonlinear evolution of the BAO peak we run N-body simulations and compare them with simple analytic formulae. We show that the evolution with redshift of the correlation function and its dependence on the neutrino masses is well reproduced in a simplified version of the Zel'dovich approximation, in which the mode-coupling contribution to the power spectrum is neglected. While in linear theory the BAO peak decreases for increasing neutrino masses, the effect of nonlinear structure formation goes in the opposite direction, since the peak broadening by large scale flows is less effective. As a result of this combined effect, the peak decreases by $\sim 0.6 \%$ for $ \sum m_\nu = 0.15$ eV and increases by $\sim1.2 \%$ for $ \sum m_\nu = 0.3$ eV, with respect to a massless neutrino cosmology with equal value of the other cosmological parameters. We extend our analysis to redshift space and to halos, and confirm the agreement between simulations and the analytic formulae. We argue that all analytical approaches having the Zel'dovich propagator in their lowest order approximation should give comparable performances, irrespectively to their formulation in Lagrangian or in Eulerian space.

[13]  arXiv:1505.07483 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Lyman alpha Emitting Galaxies in the Nearby Universe
Authors: Matthew Hayes (Stockholm University, Dept of Astronomy & Oskar Klein Centre)
Comments: Invited review article, in press at PASA as part of the series on Lyman alpha emitting galaxies. 27 pages, 12 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The Lya emission line of HI is intrinsically the brightest feature in the spectrum of astrophysical nebulae, making it a very attractive observational tool with which to survey galaxies. Moreover as a UV resonance line, Lya possesses several unique characteristics that make it useful to study the ISM and ionizing stellar population at all cosmic epochs. In this review I present a summary of Lya observations of galaxies in the nearby universe. At UV magnitudes reachable with current facilities, only ~5% of the local galaxy population shows a Lya equivalent width (EW_Lya) that exceeds 20\AA. This fraction increases dramatically at higher z, but only in the local universe can we study galaxies in detail and assemble unprecedented multi-wavelength datasets. I discuss many local Lya observations, showing that when galaxies show net Lya emission, they ubiquitously produce large halos of scattered Lya, that dominate the integrated luminosity. We discuss how global EW_Lya and the Lya escape fraction (fescLya) are higher (EW_Lya >~ 20\AA\ and fescLya> 10%) in galaxies that represent the less massive and younger end of the distributions for local objects. This is connected with various properties, such that Lya-emitters have lower metallicities (median value of 12+log(O/H) ~ 8.1) and dust reddening. However, the presence of galactic outflows is also vital to Doppler shift the Lya line out of resonance with the HI, as high EW_Lya is found only among galaxies with winds faster than ~50km/s. The evidence is then assembled into a coherent picture, and the requirement for star formation driven feedback is discussed in the context of an evolutionary sequence where the ISM is accelerated and/or subject to fluid instabilities, which reduce the scattering of Lya. Concluding remarks take the form of perspectives upon the most pressing questions that can be answered by observation.

[14]  arXiv:1505.07504 [pdf, other]
Title: IN-SYNC III: The dynamical state of IC 348 - A super-virial velocity dispersion and a puzzling sign of convergence
Comments: online data available at this http URL
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Most field stars will have encountered the highest stellar density and hence the largest number of interactions in their birth environment. Yet the stellar dynamics during this crucial phase are poorly understood. Here we analyze the radial velocities measured for 152 out of 380 observed stars in the 2-6 Myr old star cluster IC 348 as part of the SDSS-III APOGEE. The radial velocity distribution of these stars is fitted with one or two Gaussians, convolved with the measurement uncertainties including binary orbital motions. Including a second Gaussian improves the fit; the high-velocity outliers that are best fit by this second component may either (1) be contaminants from the nearby Perseus OB2 association, (2) be a halo of ejected or dispersing stars from IC 348, or (3) reflect that IC 348 has not relaxed to a Gaussian velocity distribution. We measure a velocity dispersion for IC 348 of $0.72 \pm 0.07$ km s$^{-1}$ (or $0.64 \pm 0.08$ km s$^{-1}$ if two Gaussians are fitted), which implies a supervirial state, unless the gas contributes more to the gravitational potential than expected. No evidence is found for a dependence of this velocity dispersion on distance from the cluster center or stellar mass. We also find that stars with lower extinction (in the front of the cloud) tend to be redshifted compared with stars with somewhat higher extinction (towards the back of the cloud). This data suggests that the stars in IC 348 are converging along the line of sight. We show that this correlation between radial velocity and extinction is unlikely to be spuriously caused by the small cluster rotation of $0.024 \pm 0.013$ km s$^{-1}$ arcmin$^{-1}$ or by correlations between the radial velocities of neighboring stars. This signature, if confirmed, will be the first detection of line-of-sight convergence in a star cluster(...)

[15]  arXiv:1505.07516 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Gravitational Encounters and the Evolution of Galactic Nuclei. I. Method
Authors: David Merritt
Comments: 26 pages, 10 figures
Journal-ref: The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 804, Issue 1, article id. 52 (2015)
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

An algorithm is described for evolving the phase-space density of stars or compact objects around a massive black hole at the center of a galaxy. The technique is based on numerical integration of the Fokker-Planck equation in energy-angular momentum space, f(E,L,t), and includes, for the first time, diffusion coefficients that describe the effects of both random and correlated encounters (resonant relaxation), as well as energy loss due to emission of gravitational waves. Destruction or loss of stars into the black hole are treated by means of a detailed boundary-layer analysis. Performance of the algorithm is illustrated by calculating two-dimensional, time-dependent and steady-state distribution functions and their corresponding loss rates.

[16]  arXiv:1505.07540 [pdf, other]
Title: The NANOGrav Nine-year Data Set: Observations, Arrival Time Measurements, and Analysis of 37 Millisecond Pulsars
Comments: 36 pages, 43 figures, has been submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

We present high-precision timing observations spanning up to nine years for 37 millisecond pulsars monitored with the Green Bank and Arecibo radio telescopes as part of the North American Nanohertz Observatory for Gravitational Waves (NANOGrav) project. We describe the observational and instrumental setups used to collect the data, and methodology applied for calculating pulse times of arrival; these include novel methods for measuring instrumental offsets and characterizing low signal-to-noise ratio timing results. The time of arrival data are fit to a physical timing model for each source, including terms that characterize time-variable dispersion measure and frequency-dependent pulse shape evolution. In conjunction with the timing model fit, we have performed a Bayesian analysis of a parameterized timing noise model for each source, and detect evidence for time-correlated "red" signals in 10 of the pulsars. Subsequent papers in this series will present further analysis of this data set aimed at detecting or limiting the presence of nanohertz-frequency gravitational wave signals.

[17]  arXiv:1505.07550 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Analytical Formulas of Molecular Ion Abundances and N2H+ Ring in Protoplanetary Disks
Comments: accepted to ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We investigate the chemistry of ion molecules in protoplanetary disks, motivated by the detection of N$_2$H$^+$ ring around TW Hya. While the ring inner radius coincides with the CO snow line, it is not apparent why N$_2$H$^+$ is abundant outside the CO snow line in spite of the similar sublimation temperatures of CO and N$_2$. Using the full gas-grain network model, we reproduced the N$_2$H$^+$ ring in a disk model with millimeter grains. The chemical conversion of CO and N$_2$ to less volatile species (sink effect hereinafter) is found to affect the N$_2$H$^+$ distribution. Since the efficiency of the sink depends on various parameters such as activation barriers of grain surface reactions, which are not well constrained, we also constructed the no-sink model; the total (gas and ice) CO and N$_2$ abundances are set constant, and their gaseous abundances are given by the balance between adsorption and desorption. Abundances of molecular ions in the no-sink model are calculated by analytical formulas, which are derived by analyzing the full-network model. The N$_2$H$^+$ ring is reproduced by the no-sink model, as well. The 2D (R-Z) distribution of N$_2$H$^+$, however, is different among the full-network model and no-sink model. The column density of N$_2$H$^+$ in the no-sink model depends sensitively on the desorption rate of CO and N$_2$, and the flux of cosmic ray. We also found that N$_2$H$^+$ abundance can peak at the temperature slightly below the CO sublimation, even if the desorption energies of CO and N$_2$ are the same.

[18]  arXiv:1505.07554 [pdf, other]
Title: Blasting away a dwarf galaxy: The "tail" of ESO 324-G024
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present Australia Telescope Compact Array radio data of the dwarf irregular galaxy ESO 324-G024 which is seen in projection against the giant, northern lobe of the radio galaxy Centaurus A (Cen A, NGC 5128). The distorted morphology and kinematics of ESO 324-G024, as observed in the 21 cm spectral line emission of neutral hydrogen, indicate disruptions by external forces. We investigate whether tidal interactions and/or ram pressure stripping are responsible for the formation of the HI tail stretching to the northeast of ESO 324-G024 with the latter being most probable. Furthermore, we closely analyze the sub-structure of Cen A's polarized radio lobes to ascertain whether ESO 324-G024 is located in front, within or behind the northern lobe. Our multi-wavelength, multi-component approach allows us to determine that ESO 324-G024 is most likely behind the northern radio lobe of Cen A. This result helps to constrain the orientation of the lobe, which is likely inclined to our line of sight by approximately 60 degrees if NGC 5128 and ESO 324-G024 are at the same distance.

[19]  arXiv:1505.07555 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Stellar populations of galaxies in the ALHAMBRA survey up to $z \sim 1$. I. MUFFIT: A Multi-Filter Fitting code for stellar population diagnostics
Comments: 31 pages, 18 figures, accepted for publication in A&A
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

We present MUFFIT, a new generic code optimized to retrieve the main stellar population parameters of galaxies in photometric multi-filter surveys, and we check its reliability and feasibility with real galaxy data from the ALHAMBRA survey. Making use of an error-weighted $\chi^2$-test, we compare the multi-filter fluxes of galaxies with the synthetic photometry of mixtures of two single stellar populations at different redshifts and extinctions, to provide through a Monte Carlo method the most likely range of stellar population parameters (mainly ages and metallicities), extinctions, redshifts, and stellar masses. To improve the diagnostic reliability, MUFFIT identifies and removes from the analysis those bands that are significantly affected by emission lines. We highlight that the retrieved age-metallicity locus for a sample of $z \le 0.22$ early-type galaxies in ALHAMBRA at different stellar mass bins are in very good agreement with the ones from SDSS spectroscopic diagnostics. Moreover, a one-to-one comparison between the redshifts, ages, metallicities, and stellar masses derived spectroscopically for SDSS and by MUFFIT for ALHAMBRA reveals good qualitative agreements in all the parameters. In addition, and using as input the results from photometric-redshift codes, MUFFIT improves the photometric-redshift accuracy by $\sim 10$-$20\%$, and it also detects nebular emissions in galaxies, providing physical information about their strengths. Our results show the potential of multi-filter galaxy data to conduct reliable stellar population studies with the appropiate analysis techniques, as MUFFIT.

[20]  arXiv:1505.07556 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Scalar-Fluid theories: cosmological perturbations and large-scale structure
Comments: 1+30 pages, a figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Theory (hep-th)

Recently a new Lagrangian framework was introduced to describe interactions between scalar fields and relativistic perfect fluids. This allows two consistent generalizations of coupled quintessence models: non-vanishing pressures and a new type of derivative interaction. Here the implications of these to the formation of cosmological large-scale structure are uncovered at the linear order. The full perturbation equations in the two cases are derived in a unified formalism and their Newtonian, quasi-static limit is studied analytically. Requiring the absence of an effective sound speed for the coupled dark matter fluid restricts the Lagrangian to be a linear function of the matter number density. This still leaves new potentially viable classes of both algebraically and derivatively interacting models wherein the coupling may impact the background expansion dynamics and imprint signatures into the large-scale structure.

[21]  arXiv:1505.07560 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Dynamical evolution of supernova remnants breaking through molecular clouds
Comments: 15 pages, 1 table, 17 figures, accepted for publication in the Journal of the Korean Astronomical Society (JKAS)
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We carry out three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations of the supernova remnants (SNRs) produced inside molecular clouds (MCs) near their surface using the HLL code (Harten et al. 1983). We explore the dynamical evolution and the X-ray morphology of SNRs after breaking through the MC surface for ranges of the explosion depths below the surface and the density ratios of the clouds to the intercloud media (ICM). We find that if an SNR breaks out through an MC surface in its Sedov stage, the outermost dense shell of the remnant is divided into several layers. The divided layers are subject to the Rayleigh-Taylor instability and fragmented. On the other hand, if an SNR breaks through an MC after the remnant enters the snowplow phase, the radiative shell is not divided to layers. We also compare the predictions of previous analytic solutions for the expansion of SNRs in stratified media with our onedimensional simulations. Moreover, we produce synthetic X-ray surface brightness in order to research the center-bright X-ray morphology shown in thermal composite SNRs. In the late stages, a breakout SNR shows the center-bright X-ray morphology inside an MC in our results. We apply our model to the observational results of the X-ray morphology of the thermal composite SNR 3C 391.

[22]  arXiv:1505.07566 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Dynamics of an ensemble of clumps embedded in a magnetized ADAF
Comments: Accepted for publication in RAA
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We investigate effects of a global magnetic field on the dynamics of an ensemble of clumps within a magnetized advection-dominated accretion flow by neglecting interactions between the clumps and then solving the collisionless Boltzman equation. In the strong-coupling limit, in which the averaged radial and the rotational velocities of the clumps follow the ADAF dynamics, the averaged radial velocity square of the clumps is calculated analytically for different magnetic field configurations. The value of the averaged radial velocity square of the clumps increases with increasing the strength of the radial or vertical components of the magnetic field. But a purely toroidal magnetic field geometry leads to a reduction of the value of the averaged radial velocity square of the clumps at the inner parts with increasing the strength of this component. Moreover, dynamics of the clumps strongly depends on the amount of the advected energy so that the value of the averaged radial velocity square of the clumps increases in the presence of a global magnetic field as the flow becomes more advective.

[23]  arXiv:1505.07568 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Cosmic Dawn and Epoch of Reionization with the Square Kilometre Array
Comments: Accepted for publication in the SKA Science Book 'Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array', to appear in 2015. PoS(AASKA14)001
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Concerted effort is currently ongoing to open up the Epoch of Reionization (EoR) ($z\sim$15-6) for studies with IR and radio telescopes. Whereas IR detections have been made of sources (Lyman-$\alpha$ emitters, quasars and drop-outs) in this redshift regime in relatively small fields of view, no direct detection of neutral hydrogen, via the redshifted 21-cm line, has yet been established. Such a direct detection is expected in the coming years, with ongoing surveys, and could open up the entire universe from $z\sim$6-200 for astrophysical and cosmological studies, opening not only the EoR, but also its preceding Cosmic Dawn ($z\sim$30-15) and possibly even the later phases of the Dark Ages ($z\sim$200-30). All currently ongoing experiments attempt statistical detections of the 21-cm signal during the EoR, with limited signal-to-noise. Direct imaging, except maybe on the largest (degree) scales at lower redshifts, as well as higher redshifts will remain out of reach. The Square Kilometre Array(SKA) will revolutionize the field, allowing direct imaging of neutral hydrogen from scales of arc-minutes to degrees over most of the redshift range $z\sim$6-28 with SKA1-LOW, and possibly even higher redshifts with the SKA2-LOW. In this SKA will be unique, and in parallel provide enormous potential of synergy with other upcoming facilities (e.g. JWST). In this chapter we summarize the physics of 21-cm emission, the different phases the universe is thought to go through, and the observables that the SKA can probe, referring where needed to detailed chapters in this volume (Abridged).

[24]  arXiv:1505.07580 [pdf, other]
Title: Angular Momentum Role in the Hypercritical Accretion of Binary-Driven Hypernovae
Comments: Submitted to ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); Nuclear Theory (nucl-th)

The induced gravitational collapse (IGC) paradigm explains a class of energetic, $E_{\rm iso}\gtrsim 10^{52}$~erg, long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) associated with Ic supernovae, recently named binary-driven hypernovae (BdHNe). The progenitor is a tight binary system formed of a carbon-oxygen (CO) core and a neutron star companion. The supernova ejecta of the exploding CO core triggers a hypercritical accretion process onto the neutron star, which reaches in a few seconds the critical mass, and gravitationally collapses to a black hole emitting a GRB. In our previous simulations of this process we adopted a spherically symmetric approximation to compute the features of the hypercritical accretion process. We here present the first estimates of the angular momentum transported by the supernova ejecta, $L_{\rm acc}$, and perform numerical simulations of the angular momentum transfer to the neutron star during the hyperaccretion process in full general relativity. We show that the neutron star: i) reaches in a few seconds either mass-shedding limit or the secular axisymmetric instability depending on its initial mass; ii) reaches a maximum dimensionless angular momentum value, $[c J/(G M^2)]_{\rm max}\approx 0.7$; iii) can support less angular momentum than the one transported by supernova ejecta, $L_{\rm acc} > J_{\rm NS,max}$, hence there is an angular momentum excess which necessarily leads to jetted emission.

[25]  arXiv:1505.07586 [pdf, other]
Title: First detection of thermal radio jets in a sample of proto-brown dwarf candidates
Comments: 18 pages, 8 figures, 14 tables, accepted by the Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We observed with the JVLA at 3.6 and 1.3 cm a sample of 11 proto-brown dwarf candidates in Taurus in a search for thermal radio jets driven by the most embedded brown dwarfs. We detected for the first time four thermal radio jets in proto-brown dwarf candidates. We compiled data from UKIDSS, 2MASS, Spitzer, WISE and Herschel to build the Spectral Energy Distribution (SED) of the objects in our sample, which are similar to typical Class~I SEDs of Young Stellar Objects (YSOs). The four proto-brown dwarf candidates driving thermal radio jets also roughly follow the well-known trend of centimeter luminosity against bolometric luminosity determined for YSOs, assuming they belong to Taurus, although they present some excess of radio emission compared to the known relation for YSOs. Nonetheless, we are able to reproduce the flux densities of the radio jets modeling the centimeter emission of the thermal radio jets using the same type of models applied to YSOs, but with corresponding smaller stellar wind velocities and mass-loss rates, and exploring different possible geometries of the wind or outflow from the star. Moreover, we also find that the modeled mass outflow rates for the bolometric luminosities of our objects agree reasonably well with the trends found between the mass outflow rates and bolometric luminosities of YSOs, which indicates that, despite the "excess" centimeter emission, the intrinsic properties of proto-brown dwarfs are consistent with a continuation of those of very low mass stars to a lower mass range. Overall, our study favors the formation of brown dwarfs as a scaled-down version of low-mass stars.

[26]  arXiv:1505.07596 [pdf, other]
Title: Ultra-large scale cosmology with next-generation experiments
Comments: 27 pages, 19 figures. For the busy reader: See Table 2 and Section 8
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Future surveys of large-scale structure will be able to measure perturbations on the scale of the cosmological horizon, and so could potentially probe a number of novel relativistic effects that are negligibly small on sub-horizon scales. These effects leave distinctive signatures in the power spectra of clustering observables and, if measurable, would open a new window on relativistic cosmology. We quantify the size and detectability of the effects for a range of future large-scale structure surveys: spectroscopic and photometric galaxy redshift surveys, intensity mapping surveys of neutral hydrogen, and continuum surveys of radio galaxies. Our forecasts show that next-generation experiments, reaching out to redshifts z ~ 4, will not be able to detect previously-undetected general-relativistic effects from the single-tracer power spectra alone, although they may be able to measure the lensing magnification in the auto-correlation. We also perform a rigorous joint forecast for the detection of primordial non-Gaussianity through the excess power it produces in the clustering of biased tracers on large scales, finding that uncertainties of sigma(f_NL) ~ 1-2 should be achievable. We discuss the systematic effects that must be mitigated to achieve this level of sensitivity, and some alternative approaches that should help to improve the constraints.

[27]  arXiv:1505.07601 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Hard spectrum of cosmic rays in the Disks of Milky Way and Large Magellanic Cloud
Comments: 7 pages, 7 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The slope of the locally measured spectrum of cosmic rays varies from 2.8 for protons with energies below 200 GeV down to 2.5 for heavy nuclei with energies in the TeV-PeV range. It is not clear if the locally measured slope values are representative for those of the overall population of Galactic cosmic rays and if the slope of the cosmic ray spectrum varies across the Galaxy. We use the data of Fermi Space gamma-ray Telescope to derive a measurement of the slope of the cosmic ray spectrum across the Galactic Disk and to compare it with that of the Large Magellanic Cloud cosmic rays. A special choice of the background estimation regions allows us to single out the neutral pion decay component of the gamma-ray flux in the energy range above 10 GeV and to separate it from (a) emission from the local interstellar medium around the Solar system and (b) from the inverse Compton emission produced by cosmic ray electrons. Results. The spectrum of the pion decay gamma-ray emission from the Galactic disk in the energy band 10 GeV - 1 TeV has the slope 2.4. There is no evidence for the variation of the slope with Galactic longitude / distance from the Galactic Centre. The slope of the spectrum of cosmic rays derived from the gamma-ray data, 2.45, is harder than the slope of the locally observed cosmic ray proton spectrum. Pion decay emission from a powerlaw distribution of cosmic rays with the same hard slope also provides a fit to the gamma-ray spectrum of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Identical and hard slopes of the spectra of cosmic rays in the Milky Way and in the Large Magellanic Cloud are consistent with a straightforward theoretical model in which cosmic rays are injected by shock acceleration with the spectrum with the slope 2...2.1 which is subsequently modified by 1/3...1/2 by the energy-dependent escape of cosmic rays through the turbulent Galactic magnetic field.

[28]  arXiv:1505.07603 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Properties of AGN coronae in the NuSTAR era
Comments: 11 pages, 8 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The focussing optics of NuSTAR have enabled high signal-to-noise spectra to be obtained from many X-ray bright Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) and Galactic Black Hole Binaries (BHB). Spectral modelling then allows robust characterization of the spectral index and upper energy cutoff of the coronal power-law continuum, after accounting for reflection and absorption effects. Spectral-timing studies, such as reverberation and broad iron line fitting, of these sources yield coronal sizes, often showing them to be small and in the range of 3 to 10 gravitational radii in size. Our results indicate that coronae are hot and radiatively compact, lying close to the boundary of the region in the compactness - temperature diagram which is forbidden due to runaway pair production. The coincidence suggests that pair production and annihilation are essential ingredients in the coronae of AGN and BHB and that they control the shape of the observed spectra.

[29]  arXiv:1505.07608 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Gamma-ray activity of Seyfert galaxies and constraints on hot accretion flows
Comments: 12 pages, 5 figures, submitted to A&A
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We check how the Fermi/LAT data constrain physics of hot accretion flows, most likely present in low-luminosity AGNs. Using a precise model of emission from hot flows, we examine the dependence of their gamma-ray emission, resulting from proton-proton interactions, on accretion rate, black hole spin, magnetic field strength, electron heating efficiency and particle distribution. Then, we compare the hadronic gamma-ray luminosities predicted by the model for several nearby Seyfert 1 galaxies with the results of our analysis of 6.4 years of the Fermi/LAT observations of these AGNs. In agreement with previous studies, we find a significant gamma-ray detection in NGC 6814 and we could only derive upper limits for the remaining objects, although we note marginally significant (~3 sigma) signals at the positions of NGC 4151 and NGC 4258. The derived upper limits for the flux above 1 GeV allow us to constrain the proton acceleration efficiency in flows with heating of electrons dominated by Coulomb interactions, which case is favored by X-ray spectral properties. In such flows, at most ~10% of the accretion power can be used for a relativistic acceleration of protons. Upper limits for the flux below 1 GeV can constrain the magnetic field strength and black hole spin value, we find such constraints for NGC 7213 and NGC 4151. We also note that the spectral component above ~4 GeV found in the Fermi/LAT data of Centaurus A by Sahakyan et al. may be due to hadronic emission from a flow within the above constraint. We rule out such an origin of the gamma-ray emission from NGC 6814. Finally, we note that the three Seyfert 2/starburst galaxies, NGC 4595, NGC 1068 and Circinus, show an interesting correlation of their gamma-ray luminosities with properties of their active nuclei, and we discuss it in the context of the hot flow model.

[30]  arXiv:1505.07620 [pdf, other]
Title: Constraining Big Bang lithium production with recent solar neutrino data
Authors: Marcell P. Takács (HZDR, TU Dresden), Daniel Bemmerer (HZDR), Tamás Szücs (HZDR), Kai Zuber (TU Dresden)
Comments: Submitted to Phys. Rev. D
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

The 3He({\alpha},{\gamma})7Be reaction affects not only the production of 7Li in Big Bang nucleosynthesis, but also the fluxes of 7Be and 8B neutrinos from the Sun. This double role is exploited here to constrain the former by the latter. A number of recent experiments on 3He({\alpha},{\gamma})7Be provide precise cross section data at E = 0.5-1.0 MeV center-of-mass energy. However, there is a scarcity of precise data at Big Bang energies, 0.1-0.5 MeV, and below. This problem can be alleviated, based on precisely calibrated 7Be and 8B neutrino fluxes from the Sun that are now available, assuming the neutrino flavour oscillation framework to be correct. These fluxes and the standard solar model are used here to determine the 3He(alpha,gamma)7Be astrophysical S-factor at the solar Gamow peak, S(23+6-5 keV) = 0.548+/-0.054 keVb. This new data point is then included in a re-evaluation of the 3He({\alpha},{\gamma})7Be S-factor at Big Bang energies, following an approach recently developed for this reaction in the context of solar fusion studies. The re-evaluated S-factor curve is then used to re-determine the 3He({\alpha},{\gamma})7Be thermonuclear reaction rate at Big Bang energies. The predicted primordial lithium abundance is 7Li/H = 5.0e-10, far higher than the Spite plateau.

[31]  arXiv:1505.07626 [pdf, other]
Title: Three-dimensional extinction mapping and selection effects
Authors: S. E. Sale
Comments: 13 pages, 8 figures. Submitted for publication in MNRAS. Comments welcome
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Selection effects can bedevil the inference of the properties of a population of astronomical catalogues, unavoidably biasing the observed catalogue. This is particularly true when mapping interstellar extinction in three dimensions: more extinguished stars are fainter and so generally less likely to appear in any magnitude limited catalogue of observations. This paper demonstrates how to account for this selection effect when mapping extinction, so that accurate and unbiased estimates of the true extinction are obtained. We advocate couching the description of the problem explicitly as a Poisson point process, which allows the likelihoods employed to be easily and correctly normalised in such a way that accounts for the selection functions applied to construct the catalogue of observations.

[32]  arXiv:1505.07640 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Radial abundance gradients from planetary nebulae at different distances from the galactic plane
Comments: 18 pages, 7 figures, accepted for publication in Revista Mexicana de Astronomia y Astrofisica
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We investigate the variations of the radial O/H abundance gradients from planetary nebulae (PN) located at different distances from the galactic plane. In particular, we determine the abundance gradients at different heights from the plane in order to investigate a possible gradient inversion for the objects at larger distances from the plane. We consider a large sample of PN with known distances, so that the height relative to the galactic plane can be derived, and accurate abundances, so that the gradients can be determined.

[33]  arXiv:1505.07641 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Real-time evolution of a large-scale relativistic jet
Comments: 5 pages, 3 figures, 2 tables. Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Context. Astrophysical jets are ubiquitous in the Universe on all scales, but their large-scale dynamics and evolution in time are hard to observe since they usually develop at a very slow pace.
Aims. We aim to obtain the first observational proof of the expected large-scale evolution and interaction with the environment in an astrophysical jet. Only jets from microquasars offer a chance to witness the real-time, full-jet evolution within a human lifetime, since they combine a 'short', few parsec length with relativistic velocities.
Methods. The methodology of this work is based on a systematic recalibraton of interferometric radio observations of microquasars available in public archives. In particular, radio observations of the microquasar GRS 1758-258 over less than two decades have provided the most striking results.
Results. Significant morphological variations in the extended jet structure of GRS 1758-258 are reported here that were previously missed. Its northern radio lobe underwent a major morphological variation that rendered the hotspot undetectable in 2001 and reappeared again in the following years. The reported changes confirm the Galactic nature of the source. We tentatively interpret them in terms of the growth of instabilities in the jet flow. There is also evidence of surrounding cocoon. These results can provide a testbed for models accounting for the evolution of jets and their interaction with the environment.

[34]  arXiv:1505.07669 [pdf, other]
Title: Imaging the cold molecular gas in SDSS J1148 + 5251 at z = 6.4
Comments: 6 pages, 5 figures, 1 table; accepted by MNRAS
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) observations of the CO ($J = 2 \rightarrow 1$) line emission towards the $z = 6.419$ quasar SDSS J$114816.64+525150.3$ (J$1148+5251$). The molecular gas is found to be marginally resolved with a major axis of $0.9"$ (consistent with previous size measurements of the CO ($J = 7 \rightarrow 6$) emission). We observe tentative evidence for extended line emission towards the south west on a scale of ~$1.4"$, but this is only detected at $3.3\sigma$ significance and should be confirmed. The position of the molecular emission region is in excellent agreement with previous detections of low frequency radio continuum emission as well as [C ii] line and thermal dust continuum emission. These CO ($J = 2 \rightarrow 1$) observations provide an anchor for the low excitation part of the molecular line SED. We find no evidence for extended low excitation component, neither in the spectral line energy distribution nor the image. We fit a single kinetic gas temperature model of 50 K. We revisit the gas and dynamical masses in light of this new detection of a low order transition of CO, and confirm previous findings that there is no extended reservoir of cold molecular gas in J$1148+5251$, and that the source departs substantially from the low $z$ relationship between black hole mass and bulge mass. Hence, the characteristics of J$1148+5251$ at $z = 6.419$ are very similar to $z$~$2$ quasars, in the lack of a diffuse cold gas reservoir and kpc-size compactness of the star forming region.

[35]  arXiv:1505.07671 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The Age-Redshift Relationship of Old Passive Galaxies
Comments: 36 pages, 13 figures, 1 table; accepted for publication in The Astronomical Journal. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1405.2388
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We use 32 age measurements of passively evolving galaxies as a function of redshift to test and compare the standard model ($\Lambda$CDM) with the $R_{\rm h}=ct$ Universe. We show that the latter fits the data with a reduced $\chi^2_{\rm dof}=0.435$ for a Hubble constant $H_{0}= 67.2_{-4.0}^{+4.5}$ km $\rm s^{-1}$ $\rm Mpc^{-1}$. By comparison, the optimal flat $\Lambda$CDM model, with two free parameters (including $\Omega_{\rm m}=0.12_{-0.11}^{+0.54}$ and $H_{0}=94.3_{-35.8}^{+32.7}$ km $\rm s^{-1}$ $\rm Mpc^{-1}$), fits the age-\emph{z} data with a reduced $\chi^2_{\rm dof}=0.428$. Based solely on their $\chi^2_{\rm dof}$ values, both models appear to account for the data very well, though the optimized $\Lambda$CDM parameters are only marginally consistent with those of the concordance model ($\Omega_{\rm m}=0.27$ and $H_{0}= 70$ km $\rm s^{-1}$ $\rm Mpc^{-1}$). Fitting the age-$z$ data with the latter results in a reduced $\chi^2_{\rm dof}=0.523$. However, because of the different number of free parameters in these models, selection tools, such as the Akaike, Kullback and Bayes Information Criteria, favour $R_{\rm h}=ct$ over $\Lambda$CDM with a likelihood of $\sim 66.5\%-80.5\%$ versus $\sim 19.5\%-33.5\%$. These results are suggestive, though not yet compelling, given the current limited galaxy age-$z$ sample. We carry out Monte Carlo simulations based on these current age measurements to estimate how large the sample would have to be in order to rule out either model at a $\sim 99.7\%$ confidence level. We find that if the real cosmology is $\Lambda$CDM, a sample of $\sim 45$ galaxy ages would be sufficient to rule out $R_{\rm h}=ct$ at this level of accuracy, while $\sim 350$ galaxy ages would be required to rule out $\Lambda$CDM if the real Universe were instead $R_{\rm h}=ct$.

[36]  arXiv:1505.07674 [pdf, other]
Title: Lensed: a code for the forward reconstruction of lenses and sources from strong lensing observations
Comments: 11 pages, 4 figures, submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

Robust modelling of strong lensing systems is fundamental to exploit the information they contain about the distribution of matter in galaxies and clusters. In this work, we present Lensed, a new code which performs forward parametric modelling of strong lenses. Lensed takes advantage of a massively parallel ray-tracing kernel to perform the necessary calculations on a modern graphics processing unit (GPU). This makes the precise rendering of the background lensed sources much faster, and allows the simultaneous optimisation of tens of parameters for the selected model. With a single run, the code is able to obtain the full posterior probability distribution for the lens light, the mass distribution and the background source at the same time. Lensed is first tested on mock images which reproduce realistic space-based observations of lensing systems. In this way, we show that it is able to recover unbiased estimates of the lens parameters, even when the sources do not follow exactly the assumed model. Then, we apply it to a subsample of the SLACS lenses, in order to demonstrate its use on real data. The results generally agree with the literature, and highlight the flexibility and robustness of the algorithm.

[37]  arXiv:1505.07696 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: H2O vapor excitation in dusty AGB envelopes. A PACS view of OH 127.8+0.0
Comments: 19 pages, 13 figures
Journal-ref: Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2013, Volume 554, id. A142, 19 pp
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Context: AGB stars lose a large percentage of their mass in a dust-driven wind. This creates a circumstellar envelope, which can be studied through thermal dust emission and molecular emission lines. In the case of high mass-loss rates, this study is complicated by the high optical depths and the intricate coupling between gas and dust radiative transfer characteristics. An important aspect of the physics of gas-dust interactions is the strong influence of dust on the excitation of several molecules, including H2O. Aims: The dust and gas content of the envelope surrounding the high mass-loss rate OH/IR star OH 127.8+0.0, as traced by Herschel observations, is studied, with a focus on the H2O content and the dust-to-gas ratio. We report detecting a large number of H2O vapor emission lines up to J = 9 in the Herschel data, for which we present the measured line strengths. Methods: The treatments of both gas and dust species are combined using two numerical radiative transfer codes. The method is illustrated for both low and high mass-loss-rate sources. Specifically, we discuss different ways of assessing the dust-to-gas ratio: 1) from the dust thermal emission spectrum and the CO molecular gas line strengths; 2) from the momentum transfer from dust to gas and the measured gas terminal velocity; and 3) from the determination of the required amount of dust to reproduce H2O lines for a given H2O vapor abundance. These three diagnostics probe different zones of the outflow, for the first time allowing an investigation of a possible radial dependence of the dust-to-gas ratio. Results: ... Continued in article.

[38]  arXiv:1505.07707 [pdf, other]
Title: Type Ia Supernova Cosmology in the Near-Infrared
Comments: 38 pages, 13 figures, submitted to A&A
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We main goal of this paper is to test whether the NIR peak magnitudes of SNe Ia could be accurately estimated with only a single observation obtained close to maximum light, provided the time of B band maximum and the optical stretch parameter are known. We obtained multi-epoch UBVRI and single-epoch J and H photometric observations of 16 SNe Ia in the redshift range z=0.037-0.183, doubling the leverage of the current SN Ia NIR Hubble diagram and the number of SNe beyond redshift 0.04. This sample was analyzed together with 102 NIR and 458 optical light curves (LCs) of normal SNe Ia from the literature.
The analysis of 45 well-sampled NIR LCs shows that a single template accurately describes them if its time axis is stretched with the optical stretch parameter. This allows us to estimate the NIR peak magnitudes even with one observation obtained within 10 days from B-band maximum. We find that the NIR Hubble residuals show weak correlation with DM_15 and E(B-V), and for the first time we report a possible dependence on the J_max-H_max color. The intrinsic NIR luminosity scatter of SNe Ia is estimated to be less than 0.08-0.10 mag, which is smaller than what can be derived for a similarly heterogeneous sample at optical wavelengths. In conclusion, we find that SNe Ia are at least as good standard candles in the NIR as in the optical. We showed that it is feasible to extended the NIR SN Ia Hubble diagram to z=0.2 with very modest sampling of the NIR LCs, if complemented by well-sampled optical LCs. Our results suggest that the most efficient way to extend the NIR Hubble diagram to high redshift would be to obtain a single observation close to the NIR maximum. (abridged)

[39]  arXiv:1505.07708 [pdf, other]
Title: SKIRT: the design of a suite of input models for Monte Carlo radiative transfer simulations
Comments: 15 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Computing
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The Monte Carlo method is the most popular technique to perform radiative transfer simulations in a general 3D geometry. The algorithms behind and acceleration techniques for Monte Carlo radiative transfer are discussed extensively in the literature, and many different Monte Carlo codes are publicly available. On the contrary, the design of a suite of components that can be used for the distribution of sources and sinks in radiative transfer codes has received very little attention. The availability of such models, with different degrees of complexity, has many benefits. For example, they can serve as toy models to test new physical ingredients, or as parameterised models for inverse radiative transfer fitting. For 3D Monte Carlo codes, this requires algorithms to efficiently generate random positions from 3D density distributions. We describe the design of a flexible suite of components for the Monte Carlo radiative transfer code SKIRT. The design is based on a combination of basic building blocks (which can be either analytical toy models or numerical models defined on grids or a set of particles) and the extensive use of decorators that combine and alter these building blocks to more complex structures. For a number of decorators, e.g. those that add spiral structure or clumpiness, we provide a detailed description of the algorithms that can be used to generate random positions. Advantages of this decorator-based design include code transparency, the avoidance of code duplication, and an increase in code maintainability. Moreover, since decorators can be chained without problems, very complex models can easily be constructed out of simple building blocks. Finally, based on a number of test simulations, we demonstrate that our design using customised random position generators is superior to a simpler design based on a generic black-box random position generator.

[40]  arXiv:1505.07709 [pdf]
Title: Results of a campaign to observe outbursts of the dwarf nova CSS 121005:212625+201948
Comments: 21 pages, 8 figures. Accepted for publication in the Journal of the British Astronomical Association
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

A monitoring programme of CSS 121005:212625+201948 covering nearly two observing seasons has shown that it is a typical SU UMa dwarf nova, but it has one of the shortest supercycles of its class, at 66.9(6) d. The superoutbursts are interspersed with 3 to 7 short duration (~2 days) normal outbursts each of which are separated by a mean interval of 11 days, but can be as short as 2 days. The most intensively studied superoutburst was that of 2014 November, which lasted 14 days and had an outburst amplitude of >4.8 magnitudes, reaching magnitude 15.7 at its brightest. Time resolved photometry revealed superhumps with a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.2 magnitudes, later declining to 0.1 magnitude. The superhump period was Psh = 0.08838(18) d. Time resolved photometry was conducted during several other superoutbursts, which gave broadly similar results.

[41]  arXiv:1505.07713 [pdf, other]
Title: Effect of O3 on the atmospheric temperature structure of early Mars
Comments: accepted for publication in Icarus (28.5.2015), 29 pages, 12 figures, 4 tables
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Ozone is an important radiative trace gas in the Earth's atmosphere. The presence of ozone can significantly influence the thermal structure of an atmosphere, and by this e.g. cloud formation. Photochemical studies suggest that ozone can form in carbon dioxide-rich atmospheres. We investigate the effect of ozone on the temperature structure of simulated early Martian atmospheres. With a 1D radiative-convective model, we calculate temperature-pressure profiles for a 1 bar carbon dioxide atmosphere. Ozone profiles are fixed, parameterized profiles. We vary the location of the ozone layer maximum and the concentration at this maximum. The maximum is placed at different pressure levels in the upper and middle atmosphere (1-10 mbar). Results suggest that the impact of ozone on surface temperatures is relatively small. However, the planetary albedo significantly decreases at large ozone concentrations. Throughout the middle and upper atmospheres, temperatures increase upon introducing ozone due to strong UV absorption. This heating of the middle atmosphere strongly reduces the zone of carbon dioxide condensation, hence the potential formation of carbon dioxide clouds. For high ozone concentrations, the formation of carbon dioxide clouds is inhibited in the entire atmosphere. In addition, due to the heating of the middle atmosphere, the cold trap is located at increasingly higher pressures when increasing ozone. This leads to wetter stratospheres hence might increase water loss rates on early Mars. However, increased stratospheric H2O would lead to more HOx, which could efficiently destroy ozone. This result emphasizes the need for consistent climate-chemistry calculations to assess the feedback between temperature structure, water content and ozone chemistry. Furthermore, convection is inhibited at high ozone amounts, leading to a stably stratified atmosphere.

[42]  arXiv:1505.07714 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Simultaneous X-ray and optical spectroscopy of the Oef supergiant lambda Cep
Comments: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Probing the structures of stellar winds is of prime importance for the understanding of massive stars. Based on their optical spectral morphology and variability, the stars of the Oef class have been suggested to feature large-scale structures in their wind. High-resolution X-ray spectroscopy and time-series of X-ray observations of presumably-single O-type stars can help us understand the physics of their stellar winds. We have collected XMM-Newton observations and coordinated optical spectroscopy of the O6Ief star lambda Cep to study its X-ray and optical variability and to analyse its high-resolution X-ray spectrum. We investigate the line profile variability of the He II 4686 and H-alpha emission lines in our time series of optical spectra, including a search for periodicities. We further discuss the variability of the broadband X-ray flux and analyse the high-resolution spectrum of lambda Cep using line-by-line fits as well as a code designed to fit the full high-resolution X-ray spectrum consistently. During our observing campaign, the He II 4686 line varies on a timescale of ~18 hours. On the contrary, the H-alpha line profile displays a modulation on a timescale of 4.1 days which is likely the rotation period of the star. The X-ray flux varies on time-scales of days and could in fact be modulated by the same 4.1 days period as H-alpha, although both variations are shifted in phase. The high-resolution X-ray spectrum reveals broad and skewed emission lines as expected for the X-ray emission from a distribution of wind-embedded shocks. Most of the X-ray emission arises within less than 2R* above the photosphere.

[43]  arXiv:1505.07732 [pdf, other]
Title: Accretion kinematics through the warped transition disk in HD142527 from resolved CO(6-5) observations
Comments: Submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The finding of residual gas in the large central cavity of the HD142527 disk motivates questions on the origin of its non-Keplerian kinematics, and possible connections with planet formation. We aim to understand the physical structure that underlies the intra-cavity gaseous flows, guided by new molecular-line data in CO(6-5) with unprecedented angular resolutions. Given the warped structure inferred from the identification of scattered-light shadows cast on the outer disk, the kinematics are consistent, to first order, with axisymmetric accretion onto the inner disk occurring at all azimuth. A steady-state accretion profile, fixed at the stellar accretion rate, explains the depth of the cavity as traced in CO isotopologues. The abrupt warp and evidence for near free-fall radial flows in HD 142527 resemble theoretical models for disk tearing, which could be driven by the reported low mass companion, whose orbit may be contained in the plane of the inner disk. The companion's high inclination with respect to the massive outer disk could drive Kozai oscillations over long time-scales; high-eccentricity periods may perhaps account for the large cavity. While shadowing by the tilted disk could imprint an azimuthal modulation in the molecular-line maps, further observations are required to ascertain the significance of azimuthal structure in the density field inside the cavity of HD142527.

[44]  arXiv:1505.07740 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: LMC S63: a historical reappraisal of the outburst behaviour of a deeply eclipsing Magellanic symbiotic star
Comments: 13 pages, 7 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present an analysis of multi-epoch low-resolution spectrophotometry, complemented by the light curves provided by massive photometric surveys spanning over 100 years, of the symbiotic binary LMC S63. We showed that it is an eclipsing binary with the orbital period of 1050d. We also found evidence of outbursts in history of the white dwarf. If it was a Z-And type outburst, as is most likely, it would be a second such outburst recorded in the Magellanic Cloud symbiotic system. We confirmed that the red giant is enhanced in carbon, and estimated C/O~1.2 by fitting a model atmosphere to the SALT spectrum. We also found bi-periodic pulsations of the red giant, and demonstrated that it is similar to other carbon variables with confirmed bi-periodicity.

[45]  arXiv:1505.07743 [pdf, other]
Title: A compact concentration of large grains in the HD142527 protoplanetary dust trap
Comments: Submitted to ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

A pathway to the formation of planetesimals, and eventually giant planets, may occur in concentrations of dust grains trapped in pressure maxima. Dramatic crescent-shaped dust concentrations have been seen in recent radio images at sub-mm wavelengths. These disk asymmetries could represent the initial phases of planet formation in the dust trap scenario, provided that grain sizes are spatially segregated. A testable prediction of azimuthal dust trapping is that progressively larger grains should be more sharply confined and furthermore the trapped grains should follow a distribution that is markedly different from the gas. However, gas tracers such as CO and the infrared emission from small grains are both very optically thick where the submm continuum originates, so observations have been unable to test the trapping predictions or to identify compact concentrations of larger grains required for planet formation by core-accretion. Here we report multifrequency observations of HD142527, from 34GHz to 700GHz, that reveal a compact concentration of ~cm-sized grains, with a few Earth masses, embedded in a large-scale crescent of ~mm-sized particles. The emission peaks at wavelengths shorter than ~1mm are optically thick and trace the temperature structure resulting from shadows cast by the inner regions. Given this temperature structure, we infer that the largest dust grains are concentrated in the 34 GHz clump. We conclude that dust trapping is efficient for approximately cm-sized grains and leads to enhanced concentrations, while the smaller grains largely reflect the gas distribution.

[46]  arXiv:1505.07759 [pdf, other]
Title: Excitation of gravity waves by fingering convection, and the formation of compositional staircases in stellar interiors
Comments: To be published in ApJ
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Fingering convection (or thermohaline convection) is a weak yet important kind of mixing that occurs in stably-stratified stellar radiation zones in the presence of an inverse mean-molecular-weight gradient. Brown et al. (2013) recently proposed a new model for mixing by fingering convection, which contains no free parameter, and was found to fit the results of direct numerical simulations in almost all cases. Notably, however, they found that mixing was substantially enhanced above their predicted values in the few cases where large-scale gravity waves, followed by thermo-compositional layering, grew spontaneously from the fingering convection. This effect is well-known in the oceanographic context, and is attributed to the excitation of the so-called "collective instability". In this work, we build on the results of Brown et al. (2013) and of Traxler et al. (2011b) to determine the conditions under which the collective instability may be expected. We find that it is only relevant in stellar regions which have a relatively large Prandtl number (the ratio of the kinematic viscosity to the thermal diffusivity), $O(10^{-3})$ or larger. This implies that the collective instability cannot occur in main sequence stars, where the Prandtl number is always much smaller than this (except in the outer layers of surface convection zones where fingering is irrelevant anyway). It could in principle be excited in regions of high electron degeneracy, during He core flash, or in the interiors of white dwarfs. We discuss the implications of our findings for these objects, both from a theoretical and from an observational point of view.

[47]  arXiv:1505.07761 [pdf, other]
Title: A low-mass protostar's disk-envelope interface: disk-shadowing evidence from ALMA DCO+ observations of VLA1623
Authors: Nadia M. Murillo (1 and 2), Simon Bruderer (1), Ewine F. van Dishoeck (1 and 3), Catherine Walsh (3), Daniel Harsono (3 and 4), Shih-Ping Lai (2 and 5), Christian M. Fuchs (6) ((1) Max Planck Institute for extraterrestrial physics, Garching, Germany, (2) Institute of Astronomy and Department of Physics, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan, (3), Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands, (4) SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Groningen, The Netherlands, (5) Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Taipei, Taiwan, (6) Institute of Astronautics, Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany)
Comments: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics, 16 pages with appendices, 17 figures and 3 tables
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Due to instrumental limitations and a lack of disk detections, the structure between the envelope and the rotationally supported disk has been poorly studied. This is now possible with ALMA through observations of CO isotopologs and tracers of freezeout. Class 0 sources are ideal for such studies given their almost intact envelope and young disk. The structure of the disk-envelope interface of the prototypical Class 0 source, VLA1623A which has a confirmed Keplerian disk, is constrained from ALMA observations of DCO+ 3-2 and C18O 2-1. The physical structure of VLA1623 is obtained from the large-scale SED and continuum radiative transfer. An analytic model using a simple network coupled with radial density and temperature profiles is used as input for a 2D line radiative transfer calculation for comparison with the ALMA Cycle 0 12m array and Cycle 2 ACA observations of VLA1623. DCO+ emission shows a clumpy structure bordering VLA1623A's Keplerian disk, suggesting a cold ring-like structure at the disk-envelope interface. The radial position of the observed DCO+ peak is reproduced in our model only if the region's temperature is between 11-16K, lower than expected from models constrained by continuum and SED. Altering the density has little effect on the DCO+ position, but increased density is needed to reproduce the disk traced in C18O. The DCO+ emission around VLA1623A is the product of shadowing of the envelope by the disk. Disk-shadowing causes a drop in the gas temperature outside of the disk on >200AU scales, encouraging deuterated molecule production. This indicates that the physical structure of the disk-envelope interface differs from the rest of the envelope, highlighting the drastic impact that the disk has on the envelope and temperature structure. The results presented here show that DCO+ is an excellent cold temperature tracer.

[48]  arXiv:1505.07806 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: A climb on the cosmic ladder with stellar twins
Comments: submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Distances to stars are key to revealing a three-dimensional view of the Milky Way, yet their determination is a major challenge in astronomy. Whilst the brightest nearby stars benefit from direct parallax measurements, fainter stars are subject of indirect determinations with uncertainties exceeding 30%. We present an alternative approach to measuring distances using spectroscopically-identified twin stars. Given a star with known parallax, the distance to its twin is assumed to be directly related to the difference in their apparent magnitudes. We found 175 twin pairs from the ESO public HARPS archives and report excellent agreement with Hipparcos parallaxes within 7.5%. Most importantly, the accuracy of our results does not degrade with increasing stellar distance. With the ongoing collection of high-resolution stellar spectra, our method is well-suited to complement Gaia.

[49]  arXiv:1505.07808 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The January 2015 outburst of a red nova in M31
Comments: 5 pages, 4 figures, 4 tables, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics as a Letter to the Editor; page 5 is online material only
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

M31N 2015-01a (or M31LRN 2015) is a red nova that erupted in January 2015 -- the first event of this kind observed in M31 since 1988. Very few similar events have been confirmed as of 2015. Most of them are considered to be products of stellar mergers. Results of an extensive optical monitoring of the transient in the period January-March 2015 are presented. Eight optical telescopes were used for imaging. Spectra were obtained on BTA, GTC and the Rozhen 2m telescope. We present a highly accurate 70 d lightcurve and astrometry with a 0.05" uncertainty. The color indices reached a minimum 2-3 d before peak brightness and rapidly increased afterwards. The spectral type changed from F5I to F0I in 6 d before the maximum and then to K3I in the next 30 d. The luminosity of the transient was estimated to $8.7^{+3.3}_{-2.2}\times10^{5}L_{\odot}$ during the optical maximum. Both the photometric and the spectroscopic results confirm that the object is a red nova, similar to V838 Monocerotis.

[50]  arXiv:1505.07820 [pdf, other]
Title: NEOWISE: Observations of the Irregular Satellites of Jupiter and Saturn
Comments: 17 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We present thermal model fits for 11 Jovian and 3 Saturnian irregular satellites based on measurements from the WISE/NEOWISE dataset. Our fits confirm spacecraft-measured diameters for the objects with in situ observations (Himalia and Phoebe) and provide diameters and albedo for 12 previously unmeasured objects, 10 Jovian and 2 Saturnian irregular satellites. The best-fit thermal model beaming parameters are comparable to what is observed for other small bodies in the outer Solar System, while the visible, W1, and W2 albedos trace the taxonomic classifications previously established in the literature. Reflectance properties for the irregular satellites measured are similar to the Jovian Trojan and Hilda Populations, implying common origins.