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[1]  arXiv:1710.05915 [pdf, other]
Title: GRAWITA: VLT Survey Telescope observations of the gravitational wave sources GW150914 and GW151226
Comments: 26 pages, 11 figures- Submitted to MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We report the results of deep optical follow-up surveys of the first two gravitational-wave sources, GW150914 and GW151226, done by the GRAvitational Wave Inaf TeAm Collaboration (GRAWITA). The VLT Survey Telescope (VST) responded promptly to the gravitational-wave alerts sent by the LIGO and Virgo Collaborations, monitoring a region of $90$ deg$^2$ and $72$ deg$^2$ for GW150914 and GW151226, respectively, and repeated the observations over nearly two months. Both surveys reached an average limiting magnitude of about 21 in the $r-$band. The paper describes the VST observational strategy and two independent procedures developed to search for transient counterpart candidates in multi-epoch VST images. Several transients have been discovered but no candidates are recognized to be related to the gravitational-wave events. Interestingly, among many contaminant supernovae, we find a possible correlation between the supernova VSTJ57.77559-59.13990 and GRB150827A detected by {\it Fermi}-GBM. The detection efficiency of VST observations for different types of electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational-wave events are evaluated for the present and future follow-up surveys.

[2]  arXiv:1710.05920 [pdf, other]
Title: Chaotic quadruple secular evolution and the production of misaligned exomoons and Warm Jupiters in stellar multiples
Comments: Sumbitted to MNRAS, comments are welcome
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We study the chaotic and secular evolution of hierarchical quadruple systems in the $3+1$ configuration, focusing on the evolution of mutual inclination of the inner binaries as the system undergoes coupled Lidov-Kozai (LK) oscillations. We include short-range forces (SRF; such as those due to tidal and rotational distortions) that control the eccentricity excitation of the inner binary. The evolution of mutual inclination is described, a priori, by two dimensionless parameters, $\pazocal{R}_0$, the ratio between the inner and outer LK time-scales and $\epsilon_{SRF}$, the ratio between the SRF precession and the inner LK precession rates. We find that the chaotic zones for the mutual inclination depend mainly on $\pazocal{R}_0$, while $\epsilon_{SRF}$ controls mainly the range of eccentricity excitation. The mutual inclination evolves chaotically for $1\lesssim \pazocal{R}_0\lesssim 10$, leading to large misalignments. For $0.4 \lesssim \pazocal{R}_0 \lesssim 0.8$, the system could be weakly excited and produce bimodal distribution of mutual inclination angles. Our results can be applied to exomoons-planets in stellar binaries and Warm/Hot Jupiters in stellar triples. Such systems could develop large mutual inclination angles if the inner binary is tight enough, and also high eccentricities, depending of the strength of the short-range forces. Future detections of tilted Warm/Hot Jupiters and exomoons could put our mechanism under observational tests.

[3]  arXiv:1710.05921 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: CANDELS: Elevated Black Hole Growth in the Progenitors of Compact Quiescent Galaxies at z~2
Comments: Published in the Astrophysical Journal
Journal-ref: 2017ApJ...846..112K
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We examine the fraction of massive ($M_{*}>10^{10} M_{\odot}$), compact star-forming galaxies (cSFGs) that host an active galactic nucleus (AGN) at $z\sim2$. These cSFGs are likely the direct progenitors of the compact quiescent galaxies observed at this epoch, which are the first population of passive galaxies to appear in large numbers in the early Universe. We identify cSFGs that host an AGN using a combination of Hubble WFC3 imaging and Chandra X-ray observations in four fields: the Chandra Deep Fields, the Extended Groth Strip, and the UKIDSS Ultra Deep Survey field. We find that $39.2^{+3.9}_{-3.6}$\% (65/166) of cSFGs at $1.4<z<3.0$ host an X-ray detected AGN. This fraction is 3.2 times higher than the incidence of AGN in extended star-forming galaxies with similar masses at these redshifts. This difference is significant at the $6.2\sigma$ level. Our results are consistent with models in which cSFGs are formed through a dissipative contraction that triggers a compact starburst and concurrent growth of the central black hole. We also discuss our findings in the context of cosmological galaxy evolution simulations that require feedback energy to rapidly quench cSFGs. We show that the AGN fraction peaks precisely where energy injection is needed to reproduce the decline in the number density of cSFGs with redshift. Our results suggest that the first abundant population of massive, quenched galaxies emerged directly following a phase of elevated supermassive black hole growth and further hints at a possible connection between AGN and the rapid quenching of star formation in these galaxies.

[4]  arXiv:1710.05922 [pdf, other]
Title: Detectability of thermal neutrinos from binary-neutron-star mergers and implication to neutrino physics
Comments: 12 pages, 3 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc); High Energy Physics - Phenomenology (hep-ph)

We propose a long-term strategy for detecting thermal neutrinos from the remnant of binary-neutron-star mergers with a future M-ton water-Cherenkov detector such as Hyper-Kamiokande. Monitoring >~2500 mergers within <~200 Mpc, we may be able to detect a single neutrino with a human-time-scale operation of ~80 Mt years for the merger rate of 1 Mpc^{-3} Myr^{-1}, which is slightly lower than the median value derived by the LIGO-Virgo collaboration with GW 170817. Although the number of neutrino events is minimal, contamination from other sources of neutrinos can be reduced efficiently to ~0.03 by analyzing only ~1 s after each merger identified with gravitational-wave detectors if Gadolinium is dissolved in the water. The contamination may be reduced further to ~0.01 if we allow the increase of waiting time by a factor of ~1.7. The detection of even a single neutrino can pin down the energy scale of thermal neutrino emission from binary-neutron-star mergers and could strongly support formation of remnant massive neutron stars. Because the mass of gravitons are now securely constrained to <~10^{-22} eV/c^2 by binary-black-hole mergers, the time delay of a neutrino from gravitational waves can be used to put an upper limit of <~O(10) meV/c^2 on the absolute neutrino mass in the lightest eigenstate. Large neutrino detectors will enhance the detectability, and in particular, 5 Mt Deep-TITAND and 10 Mt MICA planned in the future will allow us to detect thermal neutrinos every ~16 and 8 years, respectively, increasing the significance.

[5]  arXiv:1710.05924 [pdf, other]
Title: Flame: A Flexible Data Reduction Pipeline for Near-Infrared and Optical Spectroscopy
Comments: 16 pages, 10 figures, submitted
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

We present flame, a pipeline for reducing spectroscopic observations obtained with multi-slit near-infrared and optical instruments. Because of its flexible design, flame can be easily applied to data obtained with a wide variety of spectrographs. The flexibility is due to a modular architecture, which allows changes and customizations to the pipeline, and relegates the instrument-specific parts to a single module. At the core of the data reduction is the transformation from observed pixel coordinates (x, y) to rectified coordinates (lambda, gamma). This transformation consists in the polynomial functions lambda(x,y) and gamma(x,y) that are derived from arc or sky emission lines and slit edge tracing, respectively. The use of 2D transformations allows one to wavelength-calibrate and rectify the data using just one interpolation step. Furthermore, the gamma(x,y) transformation includes also the spatial misalignment between frames, which can be measured from a reference star observed simultaneously with the science targets. The misalignment can then be fully corrected during the rectification, without having to further resample the data. Sky subtraction can be performed via nodding and/or modeling of the sky spectrum; the combination of the two methods typically yields the best results. We illustrate the pipeline by showing examples of data reduction for a near-infrared instrument (LUCI at the Large Binocular Telescope) and an optical one (LRIS at the Keck telescope).

[6]  arXiv:1710.05925 [pdf, other]
Title: On Power-law Density Profiles in Time Delay Cosmography
Authors: Alessandro Sonnenfeld (Kavli IPMU)
Comments: Submitted to MNRAS. 9 pages, 8 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Time delay lensing is a mature and competitive cosmological probe. However, it is limited in accuracy by the well-known problem of the mass-sheet degeneracy: too rigid assumptions on the density profile of the lens can potentially bias the inference on cosmological parameters. I investigate the degeneracy between the choice of the lens density profile and the inference on the Hubble constant, focusing on double image systems. By expanding lensing observables in terms of the local derivatives of the lens potential around the Einstein radius, and assuming circular symmetry, I show that three degrees of freedom in the radial direction are necessary to achieve a few percent accuracy in the time-delay distance. Additionally, while the time delay is strongly dependent on the second derivative of the potential, observables typically used to constrain lens models in time-delay studies, such as image position and radial magnification information, are mostly sensitive to the first and third derivatives, making it very challenging to accurately determine time-delay distances with lensing data alone. Tests on mock observations show that the assumption of a power-law density profile results in a 5% average bias on $H_0$, with a 6% scatter. Using a more flexible model and adding unbiased velocity dispersion constraints allows to obtain an inference with 1% accuracy. A power-law model can still provide 3% accuracy if velocity dispersion measurements are used to constrain its slope. Although this work is based on the assumption of axisymmetry, its main findings can be generalized to cases with moderate ellipticity.

[7]  arXiv:1710.05926 [pdf, other]
Title: The first frost in the Pipe Nebula
Authors: Miwa Goto (1,2), J. D. Bailey (1), Seyit Hocuk (1), Paola Caselli (1), Gisela B. Esplugues (1,3), Stephanie Cazaux (3,4,5), Marco Spaans (3) ((1) Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, (2) Universitäts-Sternwarte München, (3) Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, University of Groningen, (4) Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, (5) Delft University of Technology)
Comments: 17 pages, 8 figures, accepted by A&A
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Spectroscopic studies of ices in nearby star-forming regions indicate that ice mantles form on dust grains in two distinct steps, starting with polar ice formation (H2O rich) and switching to apolar ice (CO rich). We test how well the picture applies to more diffuse and quiescent clouds where the formation of the first layers of ice mantles can be witnessed. Medium-resolution near-infrared spectra are obtained toward background field stars behind the Pipe Nebula. The water ice absorption is positively detected at 3.0 micron in seven lines of sight out of 21 sources for which observed spectra are successfully reduced. The peak optical depth of the water ice is significantly lower than those in Taurus with the same visual extinction. The source with the highest water-ice optical depth shows CO ice absorption at 4.7 micron as well. The fractional abundance of CO ice with respect to water ice is 16+7-6 %, and about half as much as the values typically seen in low-mass star-forming regions. A small fractional abundance of CO ice is consistent with some of the existing simulations. Observations of CO2 ice in the early diffuse phase of a cloud play a decisive role in understanding the switching mechanism between polar and apolar ice formation.

[8]  arXiv:1710.05928 [pdf, other]
Title: Green Valley galaxies as a transition population in different environments
Comments: 14 pages, 13 figures, 1 table. MNRAS accepted
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present a comparative analysis of the properties of passive, star-forming and transition (green valley) galaxies, in four discrete environments: field, groups, the outskirts and the core of X-ray clusters. We construct samples of galaxies from the SDSS in these environments so that they are bound to have similar redshift distributions. The classification of galaxies into the three sequences is based on the UV-optical colour $NUV-r$. We study a number of galaxy properties: stellar mass, morphology, specific star formation rate and the history of star formation. The analysis of green valley galaxies reveals that the physical mechanisms responsible for external quenching become more efficient moving from the field to denser environments. We confirm previous findings that green valley galaxies have intermediate morphologies, moreover, we find that this appears to be independent of the environment. Regarding the stellar mass of green valley galaxies, we find that they tend to be more massive in the field than in denser environments. On average, green valley galaxies account for $\sim 20\%$ of all galaxies in groups and X-ray clusters. We find evidence that the field environment is inefficient in transforming low mass galaxies. Green valley galaxies have average star formation histories intermediate between passive and star forming galaxies, and have a clear and consistent dependence on the environment: both, the quenching time, and the amplitude of the star formation rate, decrease towards higher density environments.

[9]  arXiv:1710.05929 [pdf, other]
Title: Modelling the KIC8462852 light curves: compatibility of the dips and secular dimming with an exocomet interpretation
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS, 22 pages
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

This paper shows how the dips and secular dimming in the KIC8462852 light curve can originate in circumstellar material distributed around a single elliptical orbit (e.g., exocomets). The expected thermal emission and wavelength dependent dimming is derived for different orbital parameters and geometries, including dust that is optically thick to stellar radiation, and for a size distribution of dust with realistic optical properties. We first consider dust distributed evenly around the orbit, then show how to derive its uneven distribution from the optical light curve and to predict light curves at different wavelengths. The fractional luminosity of an even distribution is approximately the level of dimming times stellar radius divided by distance from the star at transit. Non-detection of dust thermal emission for KIC8462852 thus provides a lower limit on the transit distance to complement the 0.6au upper limit imposed by 0.4day dips. Unless the dust distribution is optically thick, the putative 16% century-long secular dimming must have disappeared before the WISE 12micron measurement in 2010, and subsequent 4.5micron observations require transits at >0.05au. However, self-absorption of thermal emission removes these constraints for opaque dust distributions. The passage of dust clumps through pericentre is predicted to cause infrared brightening lasting 10s of days and dimming during transit, such that total flux received decreases at wavelengths <5micron, but increases to potentially detectable levels at longer wavelengths. We suggest that lower dimming levels than seen for KIC8462852 are more common in the Galactic population and may be detected in future transit surveys.

[10]  arXiv:1710.05930 [pdf, other]
Title: iota Horologii is unlikely to be an evaporated Hyades star
Comments: ApJ, in press
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We present a high-precision chemical analysis of iota Horologii, a planet-host field star thought to have formed in the Hyades. Elements with atomic number 6<=Z<=30 have abundances that are in excellent agreement with those of the cluster within the +/-0.01 dex (or ~2%) precision errors. Heavier elements show a range of abundances such that about half of the Z>30 species analyzed are consistent with those of the Hyades, while the other half are marginally enhanced by 0.03+/-0.01 dex (~7+/-2%). The lithium abundance, A(Li), is very low compared to the well-defined A(Li)-Teff relation of the cluster. For its Teff, iota Horologii's lithium content is about half the Hyades'. Attributing the enhanced lithium depletion to the planet would require a peculiar rotation rate, which we are unable to confirm. Our analysis of the star's chromospheric activity suggests Prot=5d, which is significantly shorter than previously reported. Models of Galactic orbits place iota Horologii hundreds of parsecs away from the Hyades cluster at formation. Thus, we find the claim of a shared birthplace very difficult to justify.

[11]  arXiv:1710.05931 [pdf, other]
Title: Welcome to the Multi-Messenger Era! Lessons from a Neutron Star Merger and the Landscape Ahead
Authors: Brian D. Metzger
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The discovery by Advanced LIGO/Virgo of gravitational waves from the binary neutron star (NS) merger GW170817, and subsequently by astronomers of transient counterparts across the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum, has initiated the era of multi-messenger astronomy. Given the slew of papers appearing on this event, I thought it useful to summarize the EM discoveries in the context of theoretical models and present my views on the major take-away lessons from this watershed event. The weak GRB discovered in close time coincidence with GW170817, and potential evidence for a more powerful off-axis relativistic jet (initially beamed away from our line of sight) from the delayed rise of a non-thermal X-ray and radio orphan afterglow, provides the most compelling evidence yet that cosmological short GRBs originate from binary NS mergers. The luminosity and colors of the early optical emission discovered within a day of the merger agrees strikingly well with original predictions (Metzger et al. 2010) for "kilonova" emission powered by the radioactive decay of r-process nuclei, the NS merger origin of which was initially proposed by Lattimer & Schramm 1974. The transition of the spectral energy distribution to NIR wavelengths on timescales of days matches predictions by Barnes & Kasen 2013 and Tanaka & Hotokezaka 2013 if a portion of the ejecta contains heavy r-process nuclei with higher opacities. The "blue" and "red" ejecta components may possess distinct origins (e.g. dynamical ejecta versus accretion disk outflows), with key implications for the merger physics and the properties of neutron stars. I outline the diversity in the EM emission expected from additional mergers-observed with different binary masses and viewing angles-discovered once LIGO/Virgo reach design sensitivity and NS mergers are discovered as frequently as once per week.

[12]  arXiv:1710.05932 [pdf, other]
Title: Stellar feedback strongly alters the amplification and morphology of galactic magnetic fields
Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures, Accepted for publication in MNRAS Letters
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

Using high-resolution magnetohydrodynamic simulations of idealized, non-cosmological galaxies, we investigate how cooling, star formation, and stellar feedback affect galactic magnetic fields. We find that the amplification histories, saturation values, and morphologies of the magnetic fields vary considerably depending on the baryonic physics employed, primarily because of differences in the gas density distribution. In particular, adiabatic runs and runs with a sub-grid (effective equation of state) stellar feedback model yield lower saturation values and morphologies that exhibit greater large-scale order compared with runs that adopt explicit stellar feedback and runs with cooling and star formation but no feedback. The discrepancies mostly lie in gas denser than the galactic average, which requires cooling and explicit fragmentation to capture. Independent of the baryonic physics included, the magnetic field strength scales with gas density as $B\propto n^{2/3}$, suggesting isotropic flux freezing or equipartition between the magnetic and gravitational energies during the field amplification. We conclude that accurate treatments of cooling, star formation, and stellar feedback are crucial for obtaining the correct magnetic field strength and morphology in dense gas, which, in turn, is essential for properly modeling other physical processes that depend on the magnetic field, such as cosmic ray feedback.

[13]  arXiv:1710.05938 [pdf, other]
Title: Constraining the Maximum Mass of Neutron Stars From Multi-Messenger Observations of GW170817
Comments: submitted to ApJL
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We combine electromagnetic (EM) and gravitational wave (GW) information on the binary neutron star (NS) merger GW170817 in order to constrain the radii $R_{\rm ns}$ and maximum mass $M_{\rm max}$ of NSs. GW170817 was followed by a range of EM counterparts, including a weak gamma-ray burst (GRB), kilonova (KN) emission from the radioactive decay of the merger ejecta, and X-ray/radio emission consistent with being the synchrotron afterglow of a more powerful off-axis jet. The type of compact remnant produced in the immediate merger aftermath, and its predicted EM signal, depend sensitively on the high-density NS equation of state (EOS). For a soft EOS which supports a low $M_{\rm max}$, the merger undergoes a prompt collapse accompanied by a small quantity of shock-heated or disk wind ejecta, inconsistent with the large quantity $\gtrsim 10^{-2}M_{\odot}$ of lanthanide-free ejecta inferred from the KN. On the other hand, if $M_{\rm max}$ is sufficiently large, then the merger product is a rapidly-rotating supramassive NS (SMNS), which must spin-down before collapsing into a black hole. A fraction of the enormous rotational energy necessarily released by the SMNS during this process is transferred to the ejecta, either into the GRB jet (energy $E_{\rm GRB}$) or the KN ejecta (energy $E_{\rm ej}$), also inconsistent with observations. By combining the total binary mass of GW170817 inferred from the GW signal with conservative upper limits on $E_{\rm GRB}$ and $E_{\rm ej}$ from EM observations, we constrain the likelihood probability of a wide-range of previously-allowed EOS. These two constraints delineate an allowed region of the $M_{\rm max}-R_{\rm ns}$ parameter space, which once marginalized over NS radius places an upper limit of $M_{\rm max} \lesssim 2.17M_{\odot}$ (90\%), which is tighter or arguably less model-dependent than other current constraints.

[14]  arXiv:1710.05939 [pdf, other]
Title: GW170817: A Neutron Star Merger in a Mass-Transferring Triple System
Comments: submitted to MNRAS Letters, 5 pages, 1 figure
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The light curve of GW170817 is surprisingly blue and bright. Assuming that the event is a binary neutron star merger, we argue that blueness and brightness of the light curve is the result of ejecta that contains an substantial amount of thermal energy. To achieve this, the ejecta must be reheated at a substantial distance (1 to 2000 solar radii) from the merger to avoid losing the energy to adiabatic cooling. We show that this reheating can occur if the merger occurs in a hierarchical triple system where the outer star has evolved and filled its Roche lobe. The outer star feeds mass to the inner binary, forming a circumbinary disc, driving the inner binary to merge. Because the outer star fills its Roche lobe, a substantial fraction of the dynamical ejecta collides with the evolved star, reheating the ejecta in the process. We suggest that the process of mass transfer in heirarchical triples tends to form coplanar triple systems such as PSR J0337+1715, and may provide electromagnetic counterparts to binary black hole mergers.

[15]  arXiv:1710.05940 [pdf, other]
Title: Astrochemistry: overview and challenges
Comments: 20 pages, 5 figures, to appear in IAU Symposium 332 "Astrochemistry VII: Through the Cosmos from Galaxies to Planets", eds. M. Cunningham, T.J. Millar, Y. Aikawa
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

This paper provides a brief overview of the journey of molecules through the Cosmos, from local diffuse interstellar clouds and PDRs to distant galaxies, and from cold dark clouds to hot star-forming cores, protoplanetary disks, planetesimals and exoplanets. Recent developments in each area are sketched and the importance of connecting astronomy with chemistry and other disciplines is emphasized. Fourteen challenges for the field of Astrochemistry in the coming decades are formulated.

[16]  arXiv:1710.05942 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Is GRB 170817A Alone?
Comments: 6 pages, 5 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

GRB 170817A is the first short gamma-ray burst (GRB) with direct detection of the gravitational wave radiation and also the spectroscopically identified macronova emission (i.e., AT2017gfo). The prompt emission of this burst however is under-luminous in comparison with the other short GRBs with known redshift. In this work we examine whether GRB 170817A is indeed unique. We firstly show that GRB 130603B/macronova may be the on-beam "counterparts" of GRB 170817A/AT2017gfo, and the extremely dim afterglow emission of GRB 170817A may suggest a low number density ($\sim 10^{-4}~{\rm cm^{-3}}$) of its circum-burst medium. We then discuss whether GRB 070923, GRB 080121, GRB 090417A, GRB 111005A and GRB 170817A form a new group of very-nearby under-luminous GRBs originated from neutron star mergers. If the short events GRB 070923, GRB 080121 and GRB 090417A are indeed at a redshift of $\sim 0.076,0.046,0.088$, respectively, their isotropic energies of the prompt emission are $\sim 10^{47}$ erg and thus comparable to the rest two events. The non-detection of optical counterparts of GRB 070923, GRB 080121, GRB 090417A and GRB 111005A, however, strongly suggests that the macronovae from neutron star mergers are significantly diverse in luminosities or alternatively there is the other origin channel (for instance, the white dwarf and black hole mergers). We finally suggest that GW170817/GRB 170817A are likely not alone and similar events will be detected by the upgrading/upcoming gravitational wave detectors and the electromagnetic monitors.

[17]  arXiv:1710.05943 [pdf, other]
Title: A compact, large-range interferometer for precision measurement and inertial sensing
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Instrumentation and Detectors (physics.ins-det)

We present a compact, fibre-coupled interferometer with high sensitivity and a large working range. We propose to use this interferometer as a readout mechanism for future inertial sensors, removing a major limiting noise source, and in precision positioning systems. The interferometers peak sensitivity is $2 \times 10^{-{14}}$ m/${\sqrt{\rm{Hz}}}$ at 70 Hz and $8 \times 10^{-{11}}$ m/$\sqrt{\rm{Hz}}$ at 10 mHz. If deployed on a GS-13 geophone, the resulting inertial sensing output will be dominated by suspension thermal noise from 50 mHz to 2 Hz.

[18]  arXiv:1710.05950 [pdf, other]
Title: Using gravitational-wave data to constrain dynamical tides in neutron star binaries
Comments: 17 pages, 4 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

We discuss the role of dynamical tidal effects for inspiralling neutron star binaries, focussing on features that may be considered "unmodelled" in gravitational-wave searches. In order to cover the range of possibilities, we consider i) individual oscillation modes becoming resonant with the tide, ii) the elliptical instability, where a pair of inertial modes exhibit a nonlinear resonance with the tide, and iii) the non-resonant p-g instability which may arise as high order p- and g-modes in the star couple nonlinearly to the tide. In each case, we estimate the amount of additional energy loss that needs to be associated with the dynamical tide in order for the effect to impact on an observed gravitational-wave signal. We explore to what extent the involved neutron star physics may be considered known and how one may be able to use observational data to constrain theory.

[19]  arXiv:1710.05951 [pdf, other]
Title: An independent determination of the local Hubble constant
Comments: 30 pages, 28 figures, Accepted to be published in MNRAS
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

The relationship between the integrated H$\beta$ line luminosity and the velocity dispersion of the ionized gas of HII galaxies and giant HII regions represents an exciting standard candle that presently can be used up to redshifts z ~ 4. Locally it is used to obtain precise measurements of the Hubble constant by combining the slope of the relation obtained from nearby ($z \leq $ 0.2) HII galaxies with the zero point determined from giant HII regions belonging to an `anchor sample' of galaxies for which accurate redshift-independent distance moduli are available. We present new data for 36 giant HII regions in 13 galaxies of the anchor sample that includes the megamaser galaxy NGC 4258. Our data is the result of the first four years of observation of our primary sample of 130 giant HII regions in 73 galaxies with Cepheid determined distances. Our best estimate of the Hubble parameter is $71.0\pm2.8(random)\pm2.1(systematic)$ km /s Mpc This result is the product of an independent approach and, although at present less precise than the latest SNIa results, it is amenable to substantial improvement.

[20]  arXiv:1710.05954 [pdf, other]
Title: Emission of cocoon afterglow for short Gamma Ray Burst : a counterpart of gravitational waves?
Authors: O Teboul, T Piran
Comments: 33 pages, 24 figures, Master thesis submitted in June 2017 to Observatoire de Paris
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The three gravitational wave events detected by LIGO are opening a new era for high- energy astrophysics. Nevertheless, location of such events remain unknown. A promising solution to the localization problem is to find an electromagnetic (EM) counterpart of GW- generating events, such as binary neutron star mergers (BNS). Indeed, their GW emission will be above sensitivity threshold in the near future. BNS are also considered as short Gamma Ray Bursts (sGRB) progenitors. However, sGRB are highly beamed. In this study, we will therefore focus on another EM counterpart candidate: the cocoon afterglow. The propagation of the GRB jet inside the matter ejected by the BNS produces a cocoon. Then, similarly to the GRB afterglow, a cocoon afterglow is produced, but with a mildly relativistic velocity. Firstly, we propose a model that gives the full hydrodynamic evolution of the cocoon including the mildly relativistic regime. Then we calculate the cocoon afterglow emission in X-ray, optical and radio wavelengths. Finally, we compare the cocoon afterglow emission to the GRB afterglow emission and conclude that the cocoon afterglow is a promising EM counterpart.

[21]  arXiv:1710.06007 [pdf, other]
Title: Radiation Hydrodynamical Turbulence In Protoplanetary Disks: Numerical Models and Observational Constraints
Comments: Accepted for ApJ
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Planets are born in protostellar disks, which are now observed with enough resolution to address questions about internal gas flows. Candidates for driving the flows include magnetic forces, but ionization state estimates suggest much of the gas mass decouples from magnetic fields. Thus, hydrodynamical instabilities could play a major role. We investigate disk dynamics under conditions typical for a T Tauri system, using global 3D radiation hydrodynamics simulations with embedded particles and a resolution of 70 cells per scale height. Stellar irradiation heating is included with realistic dust opacities. The disk starts in joint radiative balance and hydrostatic equilibrium. The vertical shear instability (VSI) develops into turbulence that persists up to at least 1600 inner orbits (143 outer orbits). Turbulent speeds are a few percent of the local sound speed at the midplane, increasing to 20%, or 100 m/s, in the corona. These are consistent with recent upper limits on turbulent speeds from optically thin and thick molecular line observations of TW Hya and HD 163296. The predominantly vertical motions induced by the VSI efficiently lift particles upwards. Grains 0.1 and 1 mm in size achieve scale heights greater than expected in isotropic turbulence. We conclude that while kinematic constraints from molecular line emission do not directly discriminate between magnetic and nonmagnetic disk models, the small dust scale heights measured in HL Tau and HD 163296 favor turbulent magnetic models, which reach lower ratios of the vertical kinetic energy density to the accretion stress.

[22]  arXiv:1710.06065 [pdf]
Title: Insight-HXMT observations of the first binary neutron star merger GW170817
Comments: accepted by Science China - Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy. Planned to publish on Oct 17, but postponed due to a problem on pdf file
Journal-ref: T. P. Li, S. L. Xiong, and S. N. Zhang et al., Insight-HXMT observations of the first binary neutron star merger GW170817, Sci. China-Phys. Mech. Astron. 61(3), 031011 (2018)
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Finding the electromagnetic (EM) counterpart of binary compact star merger, especially the binary neutron star (BNS) merger, is critically important for gravitational wave (GW) astronomy, cosmology and fundamental physics. On Aug. 17, 2017, Advanced LIGO and \textit{Fermi}/GBM independently triggered the first BNS merger, GW170817, and its high energy EM counterpart, GRB 170817A, respectively, resulting in a global observation campaign covering gamma-ray, X-ray, UV, optical, IR, radio as well as neutrinos. The High Energy X-ray telescope (HE) onboard \textit{Insight}-HXMT (Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope) is the unique high-energy gamma-ray telescope that monitored the entire GW localization area and especially the optical counterpart (SSS17a/AT2017gfo) with very large collection area ($\sim$1000 cm$^2$) and microsecond time resolution in 0.2-5 MeV. In addition, \textit{Insight}-HXMT quickly implemented a Target of Opportunity (ToO) observation to scan the GW localization area for potential X-ray emission from the GW source. Although it did not detect any significant high energy (0.2-5 MeV) radiation from GW170817, its observation helped to confirm the unexpected weak and soft nature of GRB 170817A. Meanwhile, \textit{Insight}-HXMT/HE provides one of the most stringent constraints (~10$^{-7}$ to 10$^{-6}$ erg/cm$^2$/s) for both GRB170817A and any other possible precursor or extended emissions in 0.2-5 MeV, which help us to better understand the properties of EM radiation from this BNS merger. Therefore the observation of \textit{Insight}-HXMT constitutes an important chapter in the full context of multi-wavelength and multi-messenger observation of this historical GW event.

[23]  arXiv:1710.06067 [pdf, other]
Title: Polarization Modeling and Predictions for DKIST Part 2: Application of the Berreman Calculus to Spectral Polarization Fringes of Beamsplitters and Crystal Retarders
Comments: Accepted for publication in JATIS
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM)

We outline polarization fringe predictions derived from a new application of the Berreman calculus for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) retarder optics. The DKIST retarder baseline design used 6 crystals, single-layer anti-reflection coatings, thick cover windows and oil between all optical interfaces. This new tool estimates polarization fringes and optic Mueller matrices as functions of all optical design choices. The amplitude and period of polarized fringes under design changes, manufacturing errors, tolerances and several physical factors can now be estimated. This tool compares well with observations of fringes for data collected with the SPINOR spectropolarimeter at the Dunn Solar Telescope using bi-crystalline achromatic retarders as well as laboratory tests. With this new tool, we show impacts of design decisions on polarization fringes as impacted by anti-reflection coatings, oil refractive indices, cover window presence and part thicknesses. This tool helped DKIST decide to remove retarder cover windows and also recommends reconsideration of coating strategies for DKIST. We anticipate this tool to be essential in designing future retarders for mitigation of polarization and intensity fringe errors in other high spectral resolution astronomical systems.

[24]  arXiv:1710.06068 [pdf, other]
Title: Data analysis recipes: Using Markov Chain Monte Carlo
Authors: David W. Hogg (Flatiron) (NYU) (MPIA), Daniel Foreman-Mackey (Flatiron) (UW)
Comments: A purely pedagogical contribution
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Data Analysis, Statistics and Probability (; Computation (stat.CO)

Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) methods for sampling probability density functions (combined with abundant computational resources) have transformed the sciences, especially in performing probabilistic inferences, or fitting models to data. In this primarily pedagogical contribution, we give a brief overview of the most basic MCMC method and some practical advice for the use of MCMC in real inference problems. We give advice on method choice, tuning for performance, methods for initialization, tests of convergence, troubleshooting, and use of the chain output to produce or report parameter estimates with associated uncertainties. We argue that autocorrelation time is the most important test for convergence, as it directly connects to the uncertainty on the sampling estimate of any quantity of interest. We emphasize that sampling is a method for doing integrals; this guides our thinking about how MCMC output is best used.

[25]  arXiv:1710.06097 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: High-Energy Variability of PSR J1311-3430
Comments: 10 pages, 3 tables, 8 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

We have studied the variability of the black-widow type binary millisecond pulsar PSR J1311$-$3430 from optical to gamma-ray energies. We confirm evidence for orbital modulation in the weak off-pulse $\ge$200-MeV emission, with a peak at $\phi_B\approx 0.8$, following pulsar inferior conjunction. The peak has a relatively hard spectrum, extending above $\sim 1$\,GeV. XMM-Newton and Swift UV observations also show that this source's strong X-ray flaring activity is associated with optical/UV flares. With a duty cycle $\sim 7-19$%, this flaring is quite prominent with an apparent power-law intensity distribution. Flares are present at all orbital phases, with a slight preference for $\phi_B=0.5-0.7$. We explore possible connections of these variabilities with the intrabinary shock and magnetic activity on the low mass secondary.

[26]  arXiv:1710.06101 [pdf, other]
Title: Probing The Local Environment of the Supernova Remnant HESS J1731$-$347 with CO and CS Observations
Comments: 16 pages, 13 figures, Accepted for publication in MNRAS
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The shell-type supernova remnant HESS J1731$-$347 emits TeV gamma-rays, and is a key object for the study of the cosmic ray acceleration potential of supernova remnants. We use 0.5-1 arcminute Mopra CO/CS(1-0) data in conjunction with HI data to calculate column densities towards the HESS J1731$-$347 region. We trace gas within at least four Galactic arms, typically tracing total (atomic+molecular) line-of-sight H column densities of 2-3$\times$10$^{22}$ cm$^{-2}$. Assuming standard X-factor values and that most of the HI/CO emission seen towards HESS J1731$-$347 is on the near-side of the Galaxy, X-ray absorption column densities are consistent with HI+CO-derived column densities foreground to, but not beyond, the Scutum-Crux Galactic arm, suggesting a kinematic distance of $\sim$3.2 kpc for HESS J1731$-$347. At this kinematic distance, we also find dense, infrared-dark gas traced by CS(1-0) emission coincident with the north of HESS J1731$-$347, the nearby HII region G353.43$-$0.37 and the nearby unidentified gamma-ray source HESS J1729$-$345. This dense gas lends weight to the idea that HESS J1729$-$345 and HESS J1731-347 are connected, perhaps via escaping cosmic-rays.

[27]  arXiv:1710.06102 [pdf, other]
Title: Exploring Short-GRB afterglow parameter space for observations in coincidence with gravitational waves
Comments: Submitted to MNRAS on 08 October 2017
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

Short duration Gamma Ray Bursts and their afterglows are believed to be one of the most promising electro-magnetic (EM) counterparts of Neutron Star (NS) mergers. The afterglow emission is broadband, visible across the entire electro-magnetic window from {\gamma}-ray to radio frequencies. The flux evolution in these frequencies is sensitive to the multi-dimensional afterglow physical parameter space. In future if the association of GRBs with NS mergers is confirmed through gravitational wave (GW) and EM observations, such joint observations can provide valuable constraints on afterglow physics. We run simulations of GW-detected BNS events and assuming all of them are associated with a GRB jet which also produces an afterglow, investigate how detections or non-detections in X-ray, optical and radio frequencies can be influenced by the parameter space. We narrow-down the regions of afterglow parameter space for a uniform top-hat jet model which would result in different detection scenarios. We list inferences which can be drawn on the physics of GRB afterglows from multi-messenger astronomy with coincident GW-EM observations.

[28]  arXiv:1710.06111 [pdf, other]
Title: Rates of Short-GRB afterglows in association with Binary Neutron Star mergers
Comments: Submitted to MNRAS on 08 Oct 2017
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

Assuming all binary Neutron Star mergers produce Short Gamma Ray Bursts (SGRBs), we combine the merger rates of binary Neutron Stars (BNS) from population synthesis studies, the sensitivities of advanced Gravitational Wave (GW) interferometer networks, and of the electromagnetic (EM) facilities in various wave bands, to compute the detection rate of associated afterglows in these bands. Using the inclination angle measured from GWs as a proxy for the viewing angle and assuming a uniform distribution of jet opening angle between 3 to 30 degrees, we generate light curves of the counterparts using the open access afterglow hydrodynamics package BoxFit for X-ray, Optical and Radio bands. For different EM detectors we obtain the fraction of EM counterparts detectable in these three bands by imposing appropriate detection thresholds. In association with BNS mergers detected by five (three) detector network of advanced GW interferometers, assuming a BNS merger rate of $0.6-774{\rm Gpc}^{-3}{\rm yr}^{-1}$(Dominik et al. 2012), we find the afterglow detection rates (per year) to be $0.04-53$ ($0.02-27$), $0.03-36$ ($0.01-19$) and $0.04-47$ ($0.02-25$) in the X-ray, optical and radio bands respectively. Our rates represent maximum possible detections for the given BNS rate since we ignore effects of cadence and field of view in EM follow up observations.

[29]  arXiv:1710.06113 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Measuring peculiar velocities from gravitational waves and electromagnetic counterparts
Authors: F. Y. Wang (NJU), Y. C. Zou (HUST)
Comments: 8 pages, 1 figure
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The peculiar velocity field can be used to study the large-scale distribution of matter in the local universe and test cosmological models. However, present measurements of peculiar velocities are based on empirical distance indicators, which introduce large uncertainties. In this paper, we propose a method to derive the peculiar velocities, which bases on the distances measured from gravitational waves and the redshifts inferred from the host galaxies. Using the first gravitational wave event GW170817 from binary neutron star merger, we find that the peculiar velocity of the host galaxy NGC 4993 is $-275~\rm km~s^{-1}$, if the Hubble constant from Planck Collaboration is used. In future, with the uncertainty of the distance of GW events reducing to $0.1 \%$, the uncertainty of the peculiar velocity can be reduced to $\sim 10$ km/s at 100 Mpc. With accumulated GW events being observed, we can reconstruct the peculiar velocity field, which can be used to test the gravitational-instability paradigm and the $\Lambda$CDM model.

[30]  arXiv:1710.06140 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: MPI-AMRVAC 2.0 for Solar and Astrophysical Applications
Comments: 33 pages, 18 figures
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We report on the development of MPI-AMRVAC version 2.0, which is an open-source framework for parallel, grid-adaptive simulations of hydrodynamic and magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) astrophysical applications. The framework now supports radial grid stretching in combination with adaptive mesh refinement (AMR). The advantages of this combined approach are demonstrated with one-dimensional, two-dimensional and three-dimensional examples of spherically symmetric Bondi accretion, steady planar Bondi-Hoyle-Lyttleton flows, and wind accretion in Supergiant X-ray binaries. Another improvement is support for the generic splitting of any background magnetic field. We present several tests relevant for solar physics applications to demonstrate the advantages of field splitting on accuracy and robustness in extremely low plasma $\beta$ environments: a static magnetic flux rope, a magnetic null-point, and magnetic reconnection in a current sheet with either uniform or anomalous resistivity. Our implementation for treating anisotropic thermal conduction in multi-dimensional MHD applications is also described, which generalizes the original slope limited symmetric scheme from 2D to 3D. We perform ring diffusion tests that demonstrate its accuracy and robustness, and show that it prevents the unphysical thermal flux present in traditional schemes. The improved parallel scaling of the code is demonstrated with 3D AMR simulations of solar coronal rain, which show satisfactory strong scaling up to 2000 cores. Other framework improvements are also reported: the modernization and reorganization into a library, the handling of automatic regression tests, the use of inline/online Doxygen documentation, and a new future-proof data format for input/output

[31]  arXiv:1710.06168 [pdf, other]
Title: GW170817 Falsifies Dark Matter Emulators
Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

On August 17, 2017 the LIGO interferometers detected the gravitational wave (GW) signal (GW170817) from the coalescence of binary neutron stars. This signal was also simultaneously seen throughout the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum from radio waves to gamma-rays. We point out that this simultaneous detection of GW and EM signals rules out a class of modified gravity theories, which dispense with the need for dark matter. This simultaneous observation also provides the first ever test of Einstein's Weak Equivalence Principle (WEP) between gravitons and photons. We calculate the Shapiro time delay due to the gravitational potential of the total dark matter distribution along the line of sight (complementary to the calculation in arXiv:1710.05834) to be about 1000 days. Using this estimate for the Shapiro delay and from the time difference of 1.7 seconds between the GW signal and gamma-rays, we can constrain violations of WEP using the parameterized post-Newtonian (PPN) parameter $\gamma$, and is given by $|\gamma_{\rm {GW}}-\gamma_{\rm{EM}}|<3.9 \times 10^{-8}$.

[32]  arXiv:1710.06171 [pdf, other]
Title: The impact of Lyman-$α$ radiative transfer on large-scale clustering in the Illustris simulation
Comments: 11 pages, submitted to A&A
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

Lyman-$\alpha$ emitters (LAEs) are a promising probe of the large-scale structure at high redshift, $z\gtrsim 2$. In particular, the Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment aims at observing LAEs at 1.9 $<z<$ 3.5 to measure the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) scale and the Redshift-Space Distortion (RSD). However, Zheng et al. (2011) pointed out that the complicated radiative transfer (RT) of the resonant Lyman-$\alpha$ emission line generates an anisotropic selection bias in the LAE clustering on large scales, $s\gtrsim 10$ Mpc. This effect could potentially induce a systematic error in the BAO and RSD measurements. Also, Croft et al. (2016) claims an observational evidence of the effect in the Lyman-$\alpha$ intensity map, albeit statistically insignificant. We aim at quantifying the impact of the Lyman-$\alpha$ RT on the large-scale galaxy clustering in detail. For this purpose, we study the correlations between the large-scale environment and the ratio of an apparent Lyman-$\alpha$ luminosity to an intrinsic one, which we call the `observed fraction', at $2<z<6$. We apply our Lyman-$\alpha$ RT code by post-processing the full Illustris simulations. We simply assume that the intrinsic luminosity of the Lyman-$\alpha$ emission is proportional to the star formation rate of galaxies in Illustris, yielding a sufficiently large sample of LAEs to measure the anisotropic selection bias. We find little correlations between large-scale environment and the observed fraction induced by the RT, and hence a smaller anisotropic selection bias than what was claimed by Zheng et al. (2011). We argue that the anisotropy was overestimated in the previous work due to the insufficient spatial resolution: it is important to keep the resolution such that it resolves the high density region down to the scale of the interstellar medium, $\sim1$ physical kpc. (abridged)

[33]  arXiv:1710.06182 [pdf, other]
Title: Discovery of a new, 2.2 Mpc Giant Radio Galaxy at a redshift of 0.57
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS; 6 pages, 6 figures
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We report the discovery of one of the largest and most distant Giant Radio Galaxy (GRG) in the Lynx field which was discovered using deep Giant Metre-wave Radio Telescope (GMRT) 150 MHz observations. The core is detected at 150 MHz and also in the VLA FIRST survey. Spectroscopic observations carried out using the IUCAA Giravali Observatory(IGO) provided a redshift value of 0.57. This redshift was later confirmed with data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (Data Release 12). The angular size of the GRG is 5.5 arcmin and at the redshift of 0.57, its linear size is 2.2 Mpc. At this high redshift, only a few radio sources are known to have such large linear size. In order to estimate the spectral index of the bridge emission as well as the spectral age of the source, we observed this source at L-band, 610 MHz and 325 MHz bands with the GMRT. We present the spectral ageing analysis of the source which puts an upper limit of 20 Myr on the spectral age. The better resolution maps presented here as opposed to the original 150 MHz map shows evidence for a second episode of emission. We also find that the core is detected at all four frequencies with a spectral index of 0.85, which is steeper than normal, hence we speculate that the core may be a compact steep spectrum source (CSS), which makes this giant radio galaxy a candidate triple-double radio galaxy.

[34]  arXiv:1710.06186 [pdf, other]
Title: Role of Electon Excitation and Nature of Molecular Gas in Cluster Central Elliptical Galaxies
Comments: 41 pages, 1 table, 12 figures; accepted by ApJ
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We present observations in CO(3-2) that, combined with previous observations in CO(2-1), constrain the physical properties of the filamentary molecular gas in the central $\sim$6.5 kpc of NGC 1275, the central giant elliptical galaxy of the Perseus cluster. We find this molecular gas to have a temperature $\gtrsim 20$ K and a density $\sim$$10^2$-$10^4 {\rm \ cm^{-3}}$, typically warmer and denser than the bulk of Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) in the Galaxy. Bathed in the harsh radiation and particle field of the surrounding intracluster X-ray gas, the molecular gas likely has a much higher ionization fraction than that of GMCs. For an ionization fraction of $\sim$$10^{-4}$, similar to that of Galactic diffuse ($\lesssim 250 {\rm \ cm^{-3}}$) partially-molecular clouds that emit in HCN(1-0) and HCO$^+$(1-0), we show that the same gas traced in CO can produce the previously reported emissions in HCN(3-2), HCO$^+$(3-2), and CN(2-1) from NGC 1275; the dominant source of excitation for all the latter molecules is collisions with electrons. To prevent collapse, as evidenced by the lack of star formation in the molecular filaments, they must consist of thin strands that have cross-sectional radii $\lesssim$0.2-2 pc if supported solely by thermal gas pressure; larger radii are permissible if turbulence or poloidal magnetic fields provide additional pressure support. We point out that the conditions required to relate CO luminosities to molecular gas masses in our Galaxy are unlikely to apply in cluster central elliptical galaxies. Rather than being virialized structures analogous to GMCs, we propose that the molecular gas in NGC 1275 comprises pressure-confined structures created by turbulent flows.

[35]  arXiv:1710.06196 [pdf, other]
Title: Predicting the Loci of Solar Eruptions
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

The longitudinal distribution of solar active regions shows non-homogeneous spatial behaviour, which is often referred to as Active Longitude (AL). Evidence for a significant statistical relationships between the AL and the longitudinal distribution of flare and coronal mass ejections (CME) occurrences is found in Gyenge et al, 2017 (ApJ, 838, 18). The present work forecasts the spatial position of AL, hence the most flare/CME capable active regions are also predictable. Our forecast method applies Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average model for the next 2 years time period. We estimated the dates when the solar flare/CME capable longitudinal belts face towards Earth.

[36]  arXiv:1710.06200 [pdf, other]
Title: Composition of Jupiter irregular satellites sheds light on their origin
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Irregular satellites of Jupiter with their highly eccentric, inclined and distant orbits suggest that their capture took place just before the giant planet migration. We aim to improve our understanding of the surface composition of irregular satellites of Jupiter to gain insight into a narrow time window when our Solar System was forming. We observed three Jovian irregular satellites, Himalia, Elara, and Carme, using a medium-resolution 0.8-5.5 micro m spectrograph on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF). Using a linear spectral unmixing model we have constrained the major mineral phases on the surface of these three bodies. Our results confirm that the surface of Himalia, Elara, and Carme are dominated by opaque materials such as those seen in carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. Our spectral modeling of NIR spectra of Himalia and Elara confirm that their surface composition is the same and magnetite is the dominant mineral. A comparison of the spectral shape of Himalia with the two large main C-type asteroids, Themis (D 176 km) and Europa (D 352 km), suggests surface composition similar to Europa. The NIR spectrum of Carme exhibits blue slope up to 1.5 microm and is spectrally distinct from those of Himalia and Elara. Our model suggests that it is compositionally similar to amorphous carbon. Himalia and Elara are compositionally similar but differ significantly from Carme. These results support the hypotheses that the Jupiter irregular satellites are captured bodies that were subject to further breakup events and clustered as families based on their similar physical and surface compositions.

[37]  arXiv:1710.06209 [pdf, other]
Title: The nature of the giant exomoon candidate Kepler-1625 b-i
Authors: René Heller (Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Göttingen, Germany)
Comments: 6 pages, 3 figures (2 col, 1b/w), 1 table, under review at A&A since 11 Aug 2017
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

The recent announcement of a Neptune-sized exomoon candidate around the transiting Jupiter-sized object Kepler-1625 b could indicate the presence of a hitherto unknown kind of gas giant moons, if confirmed. Three transits have been observed, allowing radius estimates of both objects. Here we investigate possible mass regimes of the transiting system that could produce the observed signatures and study them in the context of moon formation in the solar system, i.e. via impacts, capture, or in-situ accretion. The radius of Kepler-1625 b suggests it could be anything from a gas giant planet somewhat more massive than Saturn (0.4 M_Jup) to a brown dwarf (BD) (up to 75 M_Jup) or even a very-low-mass star (VLMS) (112 M_Jup ~ 0.11 M_sun). The proposed companion would certainly have a planetary mass. Possible extreme scenarios range from a highly inflated Earth-mass gas satellite to an atmosphere-free water-rock companion of about 180 M_Ear. Furthermore, the planet-moon dynamics during the transits suggest a total system mass of 17.6_{-12.6}^{+19.2} M_Jup. A Neptune-mass exomoon around a giant planet or low-mass BD would not be compatible with the common mass scaling relation of the solar system moons about gas giants. The case of a mini-Neptune around a high-mass BD or a VLMS, however, would be located in a similar region of the satellite-to-host mass ratio diagram as Proxima b, the TRAPPIST-1 system, and LHS 1140 b. The capture of a Neptune-mass object around a 10 M_Jup planet during a close binary encounter is possible in principle. The ejected object, however, would have had to be a super-Earth object, raising further questions of how such a system could have formed. In summary, this exomoon candidate is barely compatible with established moon formation theories. If it can be validated as orbiting a super-Jovian planet, then it would pose an exquisite riddle for formation theorists to solve.

[38]  arXiv:1710.06245 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: On the signatures of flare-induced global waves in the Sun: GOLF and VIRGO observations
Comments: 10 pages, 5 figures, 2 tables
Journal-ref: MNRAS, Vol. 471, Issue 4, November 2017
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

Recently, several efforts have been made to identify the seismic signatures of flares and magnetic activity in the Sun and Sun-like stars. In this work, we have analyzed the disk-integrated velocity and intensity observations of the Sun obtained from the GOLF and VIRGO/SPM instruments, respectively, on board the SOHO space mission covering several successive flare events, for the period from 11 February 2011 to 17 February 2011, of which 11 February 2011 remained a relatively quiet day and served as a "null test" for the investigation. Application of the spectral analysis to these disk-integrated Sun-as-a-star velocity and intensity signals indicates that there is enhanced power of the global modes of oscillations in the Sun during the flares, as compared to the quiet day. The GOLF instrument obtains velocity observations using the Na I D lines which are formed in the upper solar photosphere, while the intensity data used in our analysis are obtained by VIRGO/SPM instrument at 862~nm, which is formed within the solar photosphere. Despite the fact that the two instruments sample different layers of the solar atmosphere using two different parameters (velocity v/s intensity), we have found that both these observations show the signatures of flare-induced global waves in the Sun. These results could suffice in identifying the asteroseismic signatures of stellar flares and magnetic activity in the Sun-like stars.

[39]  arXiv:1710.06279 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Bubble nucleation and growth in slow cosmological phase transitions
Comments: 34 pages, 8 figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

We study the dynamics of cosmological phase transitions in the case of small velocities of bubble walls, $v_w<0.1$. We discuss the conditions in which this scenario arises in a physical model, and we compute the development of the phase transition. We consider different kinds of approximations and refinements for relevant aspects of the dynamics, such as the dependence of the wall velocity on hydrodynamics, the distribution of the latent heat, and the variation of the nucleation rate. Although in this case the common simplifications of a constant wall velocity and an exponential nucleation rate break down due to reheating, we show that a delta-function rate and a velocity which depends linearly on the temperature give a good description of the dynamics and allow to solve the evolution analytically. We also consider a Gaussian nucleation rate, which gives a more precise result for the bubble size distribution. We discuss the implications for the computation of cosmic remnants.

[40]  arXiv:1710.06295 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Turbulent density fluctuations and proton heating rate in the solar wind from 9-20~R_{\odot}
Comments: to appear in The Astrophysical Journal
Subjects: Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR)

We obtain scatter broadened images of the Crab Nebula at 80 MHz as it transits through the inner solar wind in June 2016 and 2017. These images are anisotropic, with the major axis oriented perpendicular to the radially outward coronal magnetic field. Using these data, we deduce that the density modulation index (\delta N_e/N_e) caused by turbulent density fluctuations in the solar wind ranges from 1.9 \times 10^{-3} to 7.7 \times 10^{-3} between 9-20 R_{\odot}. We also find that the heating rate of solar wind protons at these distances ranges from 2.2 \times 10^{-13} to 1.0 \times 10^{-11} ~erg~cm^{-3}~s^{-1}. On two occasions, the line of sight intercepted a coronal streamer. We find that the presence of the streamer approximately doubles the thickness of the scattering screen.

[41]  arXiv:1710.06318 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Bright "Merger-nova" Emission Powered by Magnetic wind from a New-Born Black Hole
Comments: 5 pages, 4 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Mergers of neutron star-neutron star (NS-NS) or neutron star-black hole (NS-BH) binaries are candidate sources of gravitational waves (GWs). At least a fraction of the merger remnant should be a stellar mass BH with a sub-relativistic ejecta. A collimated jet is launched via Blandford-Znajek mechanism from the central BH to trigger a short gamma-ray burst (SGRB). At the same time, a near-isotropic wind can be driven by the Blandford-Payne mechanism (BP). In previous work, additional energy injection to the ejecta from the BP mechanism was ignored, and radioactive decay has long been thought as the main source of energy for "kilonova" in the BH scenario. In this letter, we propose that the wind driven by BP mechanism from the new-born BH-disk can heat up and push the ejecta during the prompt emission phase or even at late time when there is mass fall-back. Such a BP-powered merger-nova could be bright at optical band even for a low-luminosity SGRB. The detection of a GW event with a merger product of BH, and accompanied by a bright merger-nova, would be a robust test of our model.

[42]  arXiv:1710.06321 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: The discovery of WASP-151b, WASP-153b, WASP-156b: Insights on giant planet migration and the upper boundary of the Neptunian desert
Comments: 23 pages, 10 figures, accepted in A&A
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

To investigate the origin of the features discovered in the exoplanet population, the knowledge of exoplanets' mass and radius with a good precision is essential. In this paper, we report the discovery of three transiting exoplanets by the SuperWASP survey and the SOPHIE spectrograph with mass and radius determined with a precision better than 15 %. WASP-151b and WASP-153b are two hot Saturns with masses, radii, densities and equilibrium temperatures of 0.31^{+0.04}_{-0.03} MJ, 1.13^{+0.03}_{-0.03} RJ, 0.22^{-0.03}_{-0.02} rhoJ and 1, 290^{+20}_{-10} K, and 0.39^{+0.02}_{-0.02} MJ, 1.55^{+0.10}_{-0.08} RJ, 0.11^{+0.02}_{-0.02} rhoJ and 1, 700^{+40}_{-40} K, respectively. Their host stars are early G type stars (with magV ~ 13) and their orbital periods are 4.53 and 3.33 days, respectively. WASP-156b is a Super-Neptune orbiting a K type star (magV = 11.6) . It has a mass of 0.128^{+0.010}_{-0.009} MJ, a radius of 0.51^{+0.02}_{-0.02} RJ, a density of 1.0^{+0.1}_{-0.1} rhoJ, an equilibrium temperature of 970^{+30}_{-20} K and an orbital period of 3.83 days. WASP-151b is slightly inflated, while WASP-153b presents a significant radius anomaly. WASP-156b, being one of the few well characterised Super-Neptunes, will help to constrain the formation of Neptune size planets and the transition between gas and ice giants. The estimates of the age of these three stars confirms the tendency for some stars to have gyrochronological ages significantly lower than their isochronal ages. We propose that high eccentricity migration could partially explain this behaviour for stars hosting a short period planet. Finally, these three planets also lie close to (WASP-151b and WASP-153b) or below (WASP-156b) the upper boundary of the Neptunian desert. Their characteristics support that the ultra-violet irradiation plays an important role in this depletion of planets observed in the exoplanet population.

[43]  arXiv:1710.06328 [pdf, other]
Title: Finding the Needles in the Haystacks: High-Fidelity Models of the Modern and Archean Solar System for Simulating Exoplanet Observations
Comments: Accepted for publication in PASP
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We present two state-of-the-art models of the solar system, one corresponding to the present day and one to the Archean Eon 3.5 billion years ago. Each model contains spatial and spectral information for the star, the planets, and the interplanetary dust, extending to 50 AU from the sun and covering the wavelength range 0.3 to 2.5 micron. In addition, we created a spectral image cube representative of the astronomical backgrounds that will be seen behind deep observations of extrasolar planetary systems, including galaxies and Milky Way stars. These models are intended as inputs to high-fidelity simulations of direct observations of exoplanetary systems using telescopes equipped with high-contrast capability. They will help improve the realism of observation and instrument parameters that are required inputs to statistical observatory yield calculations, as well as guide development of post-processing algorithms for telescopes capable of directly imaging Earth-like planets.

[44]  arXiv:1710.06343 [pdf]
Title: Associative detachment (AD) paths for H and CN- in the gas-phase: astrophysical implications
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA); Chemical Physics (physics.chem-ph)

The direct dynamical paths leading to Associative Detachment (AD) in the gas-phase, and specifically in the low-temperature regions of the Dark Molecular Clouds (DMC) in the ISM, or in cold trap laboratory experiments, are investigated with quantum chemical methods by using a high-level multi-reference Configuration Interaction (CI) approach that employs single and double excitations plus Davidson perturbative correction [MRSDCI(Q)] and the d-aug-cc-pV5Z basis set. The potential energy curves for H + CN- are constructed for different directions of the H partner approaching the CN- anion within the framework of the Born-Oppenheimer approximation. The present calculations found that the AD energetics at low temperature becomes favorable only along a selected range of approaching directions, thus showing that there is a preferred path of forming HCN at low temperatures, while that of forming its HNC isomer is found to be energetically forbidden. Given the existence in the ISM of different HCN/HNC ratios in different environments, we discuss the implications of our findings for selective formation of either isomer in the low-temperature conditions of the Molecular Cloud Cores.

[45]  arXiv:1710.06349 [pdf, other]
Title: Making 3D movies of Northern Lights
Authors: Eric Hivon (1), Jean Mouette (1), Thierry Legault ((1) Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris)
Comments: 9 pages, 5 figures, matches the version published in J. Space Weather Space Clim. 7, A24 (open access). Paper and code available at this http URL
Journal-ref: J. Space Weather Space Clim. 2017, 7, A24
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

We describe the steps necessary to create three-dimensional (3D) movies of Northern Lights or Aurorae Borealis out of real-time images taken with two distant high-resolution fish-eye cameras. Astrometric reconstruction of the visible stars is used to model the optical mapping of each camera and correct for it in order to properly align the two sets of images. Examples of the resulting movies can be seen at this http URL

[46]  arXiv:1710.06361 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: From Molecular Clouds to the IMF: Spatial and Temporal Effects
Comments: 10 pages, 4 figures, to appear in Memorie della SAIt
Subjects: Astrophysics of Galaxies (astro-ph.GA)

We review star formation in molecular clouds and describe why magnetic fields may be important and how they can influence filamentary structure and the column density probability distribution function (PDF). We also comment on the origin of the stellar and substellar initial mass function (IMF), which may require explanations beyond a simple Jeans length argument in turbulent molecular clouds. A mathematical model of the modified lognormal power-law (MLP) distribution function provides a framework within which to connect accretion processes with the IMF.

[47]  arXiv:1710.06370 [pdf, other]
Title: Cosmological constraints combining Planck with the recent gravitational-wave standard siren measurement of the Hubble constant
Comments: 5 pages, 4 Figures
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The recent observations of gravitational-wave and electromagnetic emission produced by the merger of the binary neutron-star system GW170817 have opened the possibility of using standard siren to constrain the value of the Hubble constant. While the reported bound is significantly weaker than those recently derived by usual luminosity distances methods, they do not require any form of cosmic distance ladder and can be considered as complementary and, in principle, more conservative. Here we combine the new measurement with the Planck Cosmic Microwave Background observations in a 12 parameters extended LambdaCDM scenario, where the Hubble constant is weakly constrained by CMB data and bound to a low value $H_0=55^{+7}_{-20}$ km/s/Mpc at 68 % C.L. The non-Gaussian shape of the GW170817 bound makes lower values of the Hubble constant in worst agreement with observations. The inclusion of the new GW170817 Hubble constant measurement significantly reduces the allowed parameter space, improving the cosmological bounds on several parameters as the neutrino mass, curvature and the dark energy equation of state.

[48]  arXiv:1710.06394 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Strong constraints on cosmological gravity from GW170817 and GRB 170817A
Authors: Tessa Baker (Oxford U.), Emilio Bellini (Oxford U.), Pedro G. Ferreira (Oxford U.), Macarena Lagos (Chicago U., KICP), Johannes Noller (Zurich, ETH), Ignacy Sawicki (Prague, Inst. Phys.)
Comments: 4 pages
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The detection of an electromagnetic counterpart (GRB 170817A) to the gravitational wave signal (GW170817) from the merger of two neutron stars opens a completely new arena for testing theories of gravity. We show that this measurement allows us to place stringent constraints on general scalar-tensor and vector-tensor theories, while allowing us to place an independent bound on the graviton mass in bimetric theories of gravity. These constraints severely reduce the viable range of cosmological models that have been proposed as alternatives to general relativistic cosmology.

[49]  arXiv:1710.06397 [pdf, other]
Title: LEADER: fast estimates of asteroid shape elongation and spin latitude distributions from scarce photometry
Comments: 10 pages, 6 figures, 3 tables
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Many asteroid databases with lightcurve brightness measurements (e.g. WISE, Pan-STARRS1) contain enormous amounts of data for asteroid shape and spin modelling. While lightcurve inversion is not plausible for individual targets with scarce data, it is possible for large populations with thousands of asteroids, where the distributions of the shape and spin characteristics of the populations are obtainable.
We aim to introduce a software implementation of a method that computes the joint shape elongation p and spin latitude beta distributions for a population, with the brightness observations given in an asteroid database. Other main goals are to include a method for performing validity checks of the algorithm, and a tool for a statistical comparison of populations.
The LEADER software package read the brightness measurement data for a user-defined subpopulation from a given database. The observations were used to compute estimates of the brightness variations of the population members. A cumulative distribution function (CDF) was constructed of these estimates. A superposition of known analytical basis functions yielded this CDF as a function of the (shape, spin) distribution. The joint distribution can be reconstructed by solving a linear constrained inverse problem. To test the validity of the method, the algorithm can be run with synthetic asteroid models, where the shape and spin characteristics are known, and by using the geometries taken from the examined database.
LEADER is a fast and robust software package for solving shape and spin distributions for large populations. There are major differences in the quality and coverage of measurements depending on the database used, so synthetic simulations are always necessary before a database can be reliably used. We show examples of differences in the results when switching to another database.

[50]  arXiv:1710.06400 [pdf, other]
Title: Direct Measurement of Interparticle Forces of Titan Aerosol Analogs ("Tholin") Using Atomic Force Microscopy
Comments: 8 figures
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

To understand the origin of the dunes on Titan, it is important to investigate the material properties of Titan's organic sand particles on Titan. The organic sand may behave distinctively compared to the quartz/basaltic sand on terrestrial planets (Earth, Venus, Mars) due to differences in interparticle forces. We measured the surface energy (through contact angle measurements) and elastic modulus (through Atomic Force Microscopy, AFM) of the Titan aerosol analog (tholin). We find the surface energy of a tholin thin film is about 70.9 mN/m and its elastic modulus is about 3.0 GPa (similar to hard polymers like PMMA and polystyrene). For two 20 {\mu}m diameter particles, the theoretical cohesion force is therefore 3.3 {\mu}N. We directly measured interparticle forces for relevant materials: tholin particles are 0.8{\pm}0.6 {\mu}N, while the interparticle cohesion between walnut shell particles (a typical model materials for the Titan Wind Tunnel, TWT) is only 0.4{\pm}0.1 {\mu}N. The interparticle cohesion forces are much larger for tholins and presumably Titan sand particles than materials used in the TWT. This suggests we should increase the interparticle force in both analog experiments (TWT) and threshold models to correctly translate the results to real Titan conditions. The strong cohesion of tholins may also inform us how the small aerosol particles ({\sim}1 {\mu}m) in Titan's atmosphere are transformed into large sand particles ({\sim}200 {\mu}m). It may also support the cohesive sand formation mechanism suggested by Rubin and Hesp (2009), where only unidirectional wind is needed to form linear dunes on Titan.

[51]  arXiv:1710.06407 [pdf, other]
Title: Lessons from the short GRB$\,$170817A -- the First Gravitational Wave Detection of a Binary Neutron Star Merger
Comments: 5 pages, 3 figure; submitted
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The first, long awaited, detection of a gravitational wave (GW) signal from the merger of a binary neutron-star (NS-NS) system was finally achieved, and was also accompanied by an electromagnetic counterpart - the short-duration GRB 170817A. It occurred in the nearby ($D\approx40\;$Mpc) elliptical galaxy NGC$\,$4993, and showed optical, IR and UV emission from half a day up to weeks after the event, as well as late time X-ray (at $\geq 9\;$days) and radio (at $\geq 17\;$days) emission. There was a delay of $\Delta t \approx 1.74\;$s between the GW merger chirp signal and the prompt-GRB emission onset, and an upper limit of $\theta_{\rm obs}<28^\circ$ was set on the viewing angle w.r.t the jet's symmetry axis from the GW signal. In this letter we examine some of the implications of these groundbreaking observations. The delay $\Delta t$ sets an upper limit on the prompt-GRB emission radius, $R_\gamma\lesssim 2c\Delta t/(\theta_{\rm obs}-\theta_0)^2$, for a jet with sharp edges at an angle $\theta_0<\theta_{\rm obs}$. GRB 170817A's relatively low isotropic equivalent $\gamma$-ray energy-output and peak $\nu F_\nu$ photon energy suggest either a viewing angle slightly outside the jet's sharp edge, $\theta_{\rm obs}-\theta_0\sim(0.05-0.1)(100/\Gamma)$, or that the jet does not have sharp edges and the prompt emission was dominated by less energetic material along our line of sight, at $\theta_{\rm obs}\gtrsim 2\theta_0$. Finally, we consider the type of remnant that is produced by the NS-NS merger and find that a relatively long-lived ($>2\;$s) massive NS is strongly disfavored, while a hyper-massive NS of lifetime $\sim1\;$s appears to be somewhat favored over the direct formation of a black hole.

[52]  arXiv:1710.06411 [pdf, other]
Title: Mapping Vinyl Cyanide and Other Nitriles in Titan's Atmosphere Using ALMA
Comments: Accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)

Vinyl cyanide (C$_2$H$_3$CN) is theorized to form in Titan's atmosphere via high-altitude photochemistry and is of interest regarding the astrobiology of cold planetary surfaces due to its predicted ability to form cell membrane-like structures (azotosomes) in liquid methane. In this work, we follow up on the initial spectroscopic detection of C$_2$H$_3$CN on Titan by Palmer et al. (2017) with the detection of three new C$_2$H$_3$CN rotational emission lines at submillimeter frequencies. These new, high-resolution detections have allowed for the first spatial distribution mapping of C$_2$H$_3$CN on Titan. We present simultaneous observations of C$_2$H$_5$CN, HC$_3$N, and CH$_3$CN emission, and obtain the first (tentative) detection of C$_3$H$_8$ (propane) at radio wavelengths. We present disk-averaged vertical abundance profiles, two-dimensional spatial maps, and latitudinal flux profiles for the observed nitriles. Similarly to HC$_3$N and C$_2$H$_5$CN, which are theorized to be short-lived in Titan's atmosphere, C$_2$H$_3$CN is most abundant over the southern (winter) pole, whereas the longer-lived CH$_3$CN is more concentrated in the north. This abundance pattern is consistent with the combined effects of high-altitude photochemical production, poleward advection, and the subsequent reversal of Titan's atmospheric circulation system following the recent transition from northern to southern winter. We confirm that C$_2$H$_3$CN and C$_2$H$_5$CN are most abundant at altitudes above 200 km. Using a 300 km step model, the average abundance of C$_2$H$_3$CN is found to be $3.03\pm0.29$ ppb, with a C$_2$H$_5$CN/C$_2$H$_3$CN abundance ratio of $2.43\pm0.26$. Our HC$_3$N and CH$_3$CN spectra can be accurately modeled using abundance gradients above the tropopause, with fractional scale-heights of $2.05\pm0.16$ and $1.63\pm0.02$, respectively.

[53]  arXiv:1710.06421 [pdf, other]
Title: Off-Axis Emission of Short GRB Jets from Double Neutron Star Mergers and GRB 170817A
Comments: 14 pages, 10 figures
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

The short-duration ($\lesssim2\;$s) GRB 170817A in the nearby ($D=40\;$Mpc) elliptical galaxy NGC 4993 is the first electromagnetic counterpart of the first gravitational wave (GW) detection of a binary neutron-star (NS-NS) merger. It was followed by optical, IR and UV emission from half a day up to weeks after the event, as well as late time X-ray and radio emission. The early UV, optical and IR emission showed a quasi-thermal spectrum suggestive of radioactive-decay powered kilonova-like emission. Comparison to kilonova models favors the formation of a short-lived ($\sim1\;$s) hypermassive NS, which is also supported by the $\Delta t\approx1.74\;$s delay between the GW chirp signal and the prompt GRB onset. However, the late onset of the X-ray (9$\;$days) and radio (17$\;$days) emission, together with the low isotropic equivalent $\gamma$-ray energy output ($E_{\rm\gamma,iso}\approx5\times10^{46}\;$erg), strongly suggest emission from a narrow relativistic jet viewed off-axis. Here we set up a general framework for off-axis GRB jet afterglow emission, comparing analytic and numerical approaches, and showing their general predictions for short-hard GRBs that accompany binary NS mergers. The prompt GRB emission suggests a viewing angle well outside the jet's core, and we compare the afterglow lightcurves expected in such a case to the X-ray to radio emission from GRB 170817A. We fit an afterglow off-axis jet model to the X-ray and radio data using a maximum likelihood analysis, and find that the data favor a viewing angle $\theta_{\rm obs}\approx37^\circ-42^\circ$, GRB jet energy $E\sim10^{48}-10^{49}~{\rm erg}$, and external density $n\sim10^{-2}-10^{-1}~{\rm cm}^{-3}$.

[54]  arXiv:1710.06424 [pdf, ps, other]
Title: Prospects of the local Hubble parameter measurement using gravitational waves from double neutron stars
Comments: 6 pages
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO); High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE)

Following the detection of the GW170817 signal and its associated electromagnetic emissions, we discuss the prospects of the local Hubble parameter measurement using double neutron stars (DNSs). The kilonova emissions of GW170817 are genuinely unique in terms of the rapid evolution of color and magnitude and we expect that, for a good fraction $\gtrsim 50\%$ of the DNS events within $\sim 200$Mpc, we could identify their host galaxies, using their kilonovae. At present, the estimated DNS merger rate $(1.5^{+3.2}_{-1.2})\times 10^{-6} {\rm Mpc^{-3} yr^{-1}}$ has a large uncertainty. But, if it is at the high end, we could measure the local Hubble parameter $H_L$ with the level of $\Delta H_L/H_L\sim 0.042$ ($1\sigma$ level), after the third observational run (O3). This accuracy is four times better than that obtained from GW170817 alone, and we will be able to examine the Hubble tension at $2.1\sigma$ level.

[55]  arXiv:1710.06426 [pdf, other]
Title: Improved Constraints on H0 from a combined analysis of gravitational-wave and electromagnetic emission from GW170817
Comments: Submitted to ApJL. Comments Welcome
Subjects: Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (astro-ph.CO)

The luminosity distance measurement of GW170817 derived from the gravitational wave analysis in Abbott et al. 2017 (here, A17:H0) is highly correlated with the measured inclination of the NS-NS system. To improve the precision of the distance measurement, we attempt to constrain the inclination by modeling the broad-band X-ray-to-radio emission from GW170817, which is dominated by the interaction of the jet with the environment. We update our previous analysis of the GW170817 afterglow and we consider the entire radio and X-ray data set obtained at $t<40$ days since merger. We find that the broad-band X-ray to radio emission from GW170817 is consistent with an off-axis relativistic jet with kinetic energy $10^{48}\,\rm{erg}<E_{k}\le 3\times 10^{50} \,\rm{erg}$ propagating into an environment with circumbinary density $n\sim10^{-2}-10^{-4} \,\rm{cm^{-3}}$, with a preference for wider jets with opening angle $\theta_j=15$ deg. For these jets, our modeling indicates an off-axis angle $\theta_{\rm obs}\sim25-50$ deg. We combine our constraints on $\theta_{\rm obs}$ with the joint distance-inclination constraint from A17:H0. Using the same $\sim 170$ km/sec peculiar velocity uncertainty assumed in A17:H0 but with an inclination constraint from the radio and X-ray data, we get a value of $H_0=$$74.0 \pm \frac{13.7}{5.3}$ km/s/Mpc, which is higher than the value of $H_0=$$70.0 \pm \frac{12.0}{8.0}~$ km/s/Mpc found in A17:H0. Further, using a more realistic peculiar velocity uncertainty of 250 km/sec derived from previous work, we find $H_0=$$75.5 \pm \frac{14.0}{7.3}$ km/s/Mpc for H0 from this system. We note that this is in modestly better agreement with the local distance ladder than the Planck CMB, though a significant such discrimination will require $\sim 50$ such events. Future measurements at $t>100$ days of the X-ray and radio emission will lead to tighter constraints.

[56]  arXiv:1710.06427 [pdf, other]
Title: Constraints from the Time Lag between Gravitational Waves and Gamma Rays: Implications of GW 170817 and GRB 170817A
Comments: 6 pages, 1 figure
Subjects: High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (astro-ph.HE); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has recently discovered gravitational waves (GWs) from its first neutron star-neutron star merger at a distance of $\sim 40$ Mpc from the Earth. The associated electromagnetic (EM) detection of the event, including the short gamma-ray burst within $\Delta t \sim 2$ s after the GW arrival, can be used to test various aspects of sources physics and GW propagation. Using GW 170817 as the first GW-EM example, we show that this event provides a stringent direct test that GWs travel at the speed of light. The gravitational potential of the Milky Way provides a potential source of Shapiro time delay difference between the arrival of photons and GWs, and we demonstrate that the nearly coincident detection of the GW and EM signals can yield strong limits on anomalous gravitational time delay, through updating the previous limits taking into account details of Milky Way's gravitational potential. Finally, we also obtain an intriguing limit on the size of the prompt emission region of GRB 170817A, and discuss implications for the emission mechanism of short gamma-ray bursts.