54 articles on Wednesday, October 23


arXiv:1910.09541v1 [pdf, other]
Comparison of the Scaling Properties of EUV Intensity Fluctuations in Coronal Hole and Quiet-Sun Regions
Comments: 21 pages, 8 figures

Using detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) and rescaled range (R/S) analysis, we investigate the scaling properties of EUV intensity fluctuations of low-latitude coronal holes (CHs) and neighboring quiet-Sun (QS) regions in signals obtained with the Solar Dynamics Observatory/Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (SDO/AIA) instrument. Contemporaneous line-of-sight SDO/Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) magnetic fields provide a context for the physical environment. We find that the intensity fluctuations in the time series of EUV images present at each spatial point a scaling symmetry over the range $\sim 20$ min to $\sim$ 1 hour. Thus we are able to calculate a generalized Hurst exponent and produce image maps, not of physical quantities like intensity or temperature, but of a single dynamical parameter that sums up the statistical nature of the intensity fluctuations at each pixel. In quiet-Sun (QS) regions and in coronal holes (CHs) with magnetic bipoles, the scaling exponent ($1.0 < \alpha \leq 1.5$) corresponds to anti-correlated turbulent-like processes. In coronal holes, and in quiet-Sun regions primarily associated with (open) magnetic field of dominant polarity, the generalized exponent (0.5 $< \alpha <$ 1) corresponds to positively-correlated (persistent) processes. We identify a tendency for $\alpha$ $\sim$ $1$ near coronal hole boundaries and in other regions in which open and closed magnetic fields are in proximity. This is a signature of an underlying $1/f$ type process that is characteristic for self-organized criticality and shot-noise models.


arXiv:1910.09552v1 [pdf, other]
Empirical constraints on the formation of early-type galaxies
Comments: 20 pages, 17 figures, 1 table, submitted to MNRAS

We present constraints on the formation and evolution of early-type galaxies (ETGs) with the empirical model EMERGE. The parameters of this model are adjusted so that it reproduces the evolution of stellar mass functions, specific star formation rates, and cosmic star formation rates since $z\approx10$ as well as 'quenched' galaxy fractions and correlation functions. We find that at fixed halo mass present-day ETGs are more massive than late-type galaxies, whereas at fixed stellar mass ETGs populate more massive halos in agreement with lensing results. This effect naturally results from the shape and scatter of the stellar-to-halo mass relation and the galaxy formation histories. The ETG stellar mass assembly is dominated by 'in-situ' star formation below a stellar mass of $3\times10^{11}\mathrm{M}_\odot$ and by merging and accretion of 'ex-situ' formed stars at higher mass. The mass dependence is in tension with current cosmological simulations. Lower mass ETGs show extended star formation towards low redshift in agreement with recent estimates from IFU surveys. All ETGs have main progenitors on the 'main sequence of star formation' with the 'red sequence' appearing at $z \approx 2$. Above this redshift, over 95 per cent of the ETG progenitors are star-forming. More than 90 per cent of $z \approx 2$ 'main sequence' galaxies with $m_* > 10^{10}\mathrm{M}_\odot$ evolve into present-day ETGs. Above redshift 6, more than 80 per cent of the observed stellar mass functions above $10^{9}\mathrm{M}_\odot$ can be accounted for by ETG progenitors with $m_* > 10^{10}\mathrm{M}_\odot$. This implies that current and future high redshift observations mainly probe the birth of present-day ETGs. The source code and documentation of EMERGE are available at github.com/bmoster/emerge.


arXiv:1910.09554v1 [pdf, other]
Simple Yet Powerful: Hot Galactic Outflows Driven by Supernovae
Comments: 9 pages, 4 figures, submitted to ApJL

Supernovae (SNe) drive multiphase galactic outflows, impacting galaxy formation; however, cosmological simulations mostly use \textit{ad hoc} feedback models for outflows, making outflow-related predictions from first principles problematic. Recent small-box simulations resolve individual SNe remnants in the interstellar medium (ISM), naturally driving outflows and permitting a determination of the wind loading factors of energy \etaE, mass \etam, and metals \etaZ. In this Letter, we compile small-box results, and find consensus that the hot outflows are much more powerful than the cool outflows: (i) their energy flux is 2-20 times greater, and (ii) their specific energy $e_{s,h}$ is 10-1000 times higher. Moreover, the properties of hot outflows are remarkably simple: $e_{s,h} \propto \eta_{E,h}/\eta_{m,h}$ is almost invariant over four orders of magnitude of star formation surface density. Also, we find tentatively that $\eta_{E,h}/\eta_{Z,h} \sim$ 0.5. If corroborated by more simulation data, these correlations reduce the three hot phase loading factors into one. Finally, this one parameter is closely related to whether the ISM has a "breakout" condition. The narrow range of \esh\ indicates that hot outflows cannot escape dark matter halos with log $M_{\rm{halo}}\ [M_\odot] \gtrsim 12$. This mass is also where the galaxy mass-metallicity relation reaches its plateau, implying a deep connection between \textit{hot} outflows and galaxy formation. We argue that hot outflows should be included explicitly in cosmological simulations and (semi-)analytic modeling of galaxy formation.


arXiv:1910.09558v1 [pdf, other]
Double-White-Dwarf Merger Products among High-Mass White Dwarfs
Comments: comments are welcome

Double-white-dwarf (double-WD) binaries may merge within a Hubble time and produce high-mass WDs. Compared to other high-mass WDs, the double-WD merger products have higher velocity dispersion because they are older. With the power of Gaia data, we show strong evidence for double-WD merger products among high-mass WDs by analyzing the transverse-velocity distribution of more than a thousand high-mass WDs (0.8-1.3 $M_\odot$). We estimate that the fraction of double-WD merger products in our sample is about 20 %. We also calculate the double-WD merger rate and its mass dependence. Our results agree with binary population synthesis results and support the idea that double-WD mergers can contribute to a large fraction of type-Ia supernovae.


arXiv:1910.09561v1 [pdf, other]
The large-separation expansion of peak clustering in Gaussian random fields
Comments: 15 pages, 4 figures

In the peaks approach, the formation sites of observable structures in the Universe are identified as peaks in the matter density field. The statistical properties of the clustering of peaks are particularly important in this respect. In this paper, we investigate the large-separation expansion of the correlation function of peaks in Gaussian random fields. The analytic formula up to third order is derived, and the resultant expression can be evaluated by a combination of one-dimensional fast Fourier transforms, which are evaluated very fast. The analytic formula obtained perturbatively in the large-separation limit is compared with a method of Monte-Carlo integrations, and a complementarity between the two methods is demonstrated.


arXiv:1910.09565v1 [pdf, other]
Baryonic effects on CMB lensing and neutrino mass constraints
Comments: 9 pages, 2 figures, 2 tables

Measurements of gravitational lensing of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) hold the promise of yielding unique insights into cosmology at high redshift. Uncertainties due to baryonic effects associated with galaxy formation and evolution, including gas cooling, star formation, and feedback from active galactic nuclei (AGN) and supernovae, have typically been neglected when forecasting the sensitivity of future CMB surveys. In this paper, we determine the impact of these effects using four suites of hydrodynamical simulations which incorporate various prescriptions for baryonic processes, namely OWLS, BAHAMAS, Horizon, and IllustrisTNG. Our analysis shows characteristic power suppressions of several percent in CMB lensing due to baryonic effects, compared to dark-matter only simulations, at experimentally observable angular scales. We investigate the associated bias in the inferred neutrino mass for experiments like the upcoming Simons Observatory and CMB-S4. Depending on the experimental precision and the strength of the baryonic feedback within the simulations, biases in the neutrino mass sum show significant dispersion, ranging from very small to an over-estimation by 1.1$\sigma$. We conclude that baryonic effects will likely be non-negligible for a detection of neutrino mass using CMB lensing.


arXiv:1910.09566v1 [pdf, other]
Galactic outflow rates in the EAGLE simulations
Comments: 23 pages, submitted to MNRAS

We present measurements of galactic outflow rates from the EAGLE suite of cosmological simulations. We find that gas is removed from the interstellar medium (ISM) of central galaxies with a dimensionless mass loading factor that scales approximately with circular velocity as $V_{\mathrm{c}}^{-3/2}$ in the low-mass regime where stellar feedback dominates. Feedback from active galactic nuclei causes an upturn in the mass loading for halo masses $> 10^{12} \, \mathrm{M_\odot}$. We find that more gas outflows through the halo virial radius than is removed from the ISM of galaxies, particularly at low redshift, implying substantial mass loading within the circum-galactic medium. Outflow velocities span a wide range at a given halo mass/redshift, and on average increase positively with redshift and halo mass up to $M_{200} \sim 10^{12} \, \mathrm{M_\odot}$. We present a number of like-for-like comparisons to outflow rates from other recent cosmological hydrodynamical simulations, and show that comparing the propagation of galactic winds as a function of radius reveals substantial discrepancies between different models. Relative to some other simulations, EAGLE favours a scenario for stellar feedback where agreement with the galaxy stellar mass function is achieved by removing smaller amounts of gas from the ISM, but with galactic winds that then propagate and entrain ambient gas out to larger radii.


arXiv:1910.09572v1 [pdf, other]
Super-Massive Neutron Stars and Compact Binary Millisecond Pulsars
Comments: Invited review article, submitted for publication in the proceedings of the XIII Multifrequency Behaviour of High Energy Cosmic Sources Workshop (June 3-8, 2019, Palermo, Italy); 12 pages, 1 table, 4 figures

The maximum mass of a neutron star has important implications across multiple research fields, including astrophysics, nuclear physics and gravitational wave astronomy. Compact binary millisecond pulsars (with orbital periods shorter than about a day) are a rapidly-growing pulsar population, and provide a good opportunity to search for the most massive neutron stars. Applying a new method to measure the velocity of both sides of the companion star, we previously found that the compact binary millisecond pulsar PSR J2215+5135 hosts one of the most massive neutron stars known to date, with a mass of 2.27$\pm$0.16 M$_\odot$ (Linares, Shahbaz & Casares, 2018). We reexamine the properties of the 0.33 M$_\odot$ companion star, heated by the pulsar, and argue that irradiation in this "redback" binary is extreme yet stable, symmetric and not necessarily produced by an extended source. We also review the neutron star mass distribution in light of this and more recent discoveries. We compile a list of all (nine) systems with published evidence for super-massive neutron stars, with masses above 2 M$_\odot$. We find that four of them are compact binary millisecond pulsars (one black widow, two redbacks and one redback candidate). This shows that compact binary millisecond pulsars are key to constraining the maximum mass of a neutron star.


arXiv:1910.09575v1 [pdf, other]
Vertical position of the Sun with $γ$-rays
Comments: 5 pages, 5 figures, accepted by A&A

We illustrate a method for estimating the vertical position of the Sun above the Galactic plane by $\gamma$-ray observations. Photons of $\gamma$-ray wavelengths are particularly well suited for geometrical and kinematic studies of the Milky Way because they are not subject to extinction by interstellar gas or dust. Here, we use the radioactive decay line of $\mathrm{^{26}Al}$ at $1.809\,\mathrm{MeV}$ to perform maximum likelihood fits to data from the spectrometer SPI on board the INTEGRAL satellite as a proof-of-concept study. Our simple analytic 3D emissivity models are line-of-sight integrated, and varied as a function of the Sun's vertical position, given a known distance to the Galactic centre. We find a vertical position of the Sun of $z_0 = 15 \pm 17\,\mathrm{pc}$ above the Galactic plane, consistent with previous studies, finding $z_0$ in a range between $5$ and $29\,\mathrm{pc}$. Even though the sensitivity of current MeV instruments is several orders of magnitude below that of telescopes for other wavelengths, this result reveals once more the disregarded capability of soft $\gamma$-ray telescopes. We further investigate possible biases in estimating the vertical extent of $\gamma$-ray emission if the Sun's position is set incorrectly, and find that the larger the true extent, the less is it affected by the observer position. In the case of $\mathrm{^{26}Al}$ with an exponential scale height of $150,\mathrm{pc}$ ($700\,\mathrm{pc}$) in the inner (full) Galaxy, this may lead to misestimates of up to $25\,\%$.


arXiv:1910.09582v1 [pdf, other]
The matter beyond the ring: the recent evolution of SN 1987A observed by the Hubble Space Telescope
Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ

The nearby SN 1987A offers a spatially resolved view of the evolution of a young supernova remnant. Here we precent recent Hubble Space Telescope imaging observations of SN 1987A, which we use to study the evolution of the ejecta, the circumstellar equatorial ring (ER) and the increasing emission from material outside the ER. We find that the inner ejecta have been brightening at a gradually slower rate and that the western side has been brighter than the eastern side since ~7000 days. This is expected given that the X-rays from the ER are most likely powering the ejecta emission. At the same time the optical emission from the ER continues to fade linearly with time. The ER is expanding at 680\pm 50 km/s, which reflects the typical velocity of transmitted shocks in the dense hotspots. A dozen spots and a rim of diffuse H-alpha emission have appeared outside the ER since 9500 days. The new spots are more than an order of magnitude fainter than the spots in the ER and also fade faster. We show that the spots and diffuse emission outside the ER may be explained by fast ejecta interacting with high-latitude material that extends from the ER toward the outer rings. Further observations of this emission will make it possible to determine the detailed geometry of the high-latitude material and provide insight into the formation of the rings and the mass-loss history of the progenitor.


arXiv:1910.09613v1 [pdf, other]
Overview to the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (Insight-HXMT) Satellite
ShuangNan Zhang, TiPei Li, FangJun Lu, LiMing Song, YuPeng Xu, CongZhan Liu, Yong Chen, XueLei Cao, QingCui Bu, Ce Cai, Zhi Chang, Gang Chen, Li Chen, TianXiang Chen, Wei Chen, YiBao Chen, YuPeng Chen, Wei Cui, WeiWei Cui, JingKang Deng, YongWei Dong, YuanYuan Du, MinXue Fu, GuanHua Gao, He Gao, Min Gao, MingYu Ge, YuDong Gu, Ju Guan, Can Gungor, ChengCheng Guo, DaWei Han, Wei Hu, Yan Huang, Yue Huang, Jia Huo, ShuMei Jia, LuHua Jiang, WeiChun Jiang, Jing Jin, YongJie Jin, Lingda Kong, Bing Li, ChengKui Li, Gang Li, MaoShun Li, Wei Li, Xian Li, XiaoBo Li, XuFang Li, YanGuo Li, ZiJian Li, ZhengWei Li, XiaoHua Liang, JinYuan Liao, Baisheng Liu, GuoQing Liu, HongWei Liu, ShaoZhen Liu, XiaoJing Liu, Yuan Liu, YiNong Liu, Bo Lu, XueFeng Lu, Qi Luo, Tao Luo, Xiang Ma, Bin Meng, Yi Nang, JianYin Nie, Ge Ou, JinLu Qu, Na Sai, RenCheng Shang, GuoHong Shen, XinYing Song, Liang Sun, Ying Tan, Lian Tao, WenHui Tao, YouLi Tuo, ChunQin Wang, GuoFeng Wang, HuanYu Wang, Juan Wang, WenShuai Wang, YuSa Wang, XiangYang Wen, BoBing Wu, Mei Wu, GuangCheng Xiao, Shuo Xiao, ShaoLin Xiong, He Xu, LinLi Yan, JiaWei Yang, Sheng Yang, YanJi Yang, Qibin Yi, JiaXi Yu, Bin Yuan, AiMei Zhang, ChunLei Zhang, ChengMo Zhang, Fan Zhang, HongMei Zhang, Juan Zhang, Liang Zhang, Qiang Zhang, ShenYi Zhang, Shu Zhang, Tong Zhang, Wei Zhang, WanChang Zhang, WenZhao Zhang, Yi Zhang, Yue Zhang, YiFei Zhang, YongJie Zhang, Zhao Zhang, Zhi Zhang, ZiLiang Zhang, HaiSheng Zhao, JianLing Zhao, XiaoFan Zhao, ShiJie Zheng, Yue Zhu, YuXuan Zhu, Renlin Zhuang, ChangLin Zou
Comments: 29 pages, 40 figures, 6 tables, to appear in Sci. China-Phys. Mech. Astron. arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:1910.04434

As China's first X-ray astronomical satellite, the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), which was dubbed as Insight-HXMT after the launch on June 15, 2017, is a wide-band (1-250 keV) slat-collimator-based X-ray astronomy satellite with the capability of all-sky monitoring in 0.2-3 MeV. It was designed to perform pointing, scanning and gamma-ray burst (GRB) observations and, based on the Direct Demodulation Method (DDM), the image of the scanned sky region can be reconstructed. Here we give an overview of the mission and its progresses, including payload, core sciences, ground calibration/facility, ground segment, data archive, software, in-orbit performance, calibration, background model, observations and some preliminary results.


arXiv:1910.09619v1 [pdf, other]
Two-index model for characterizing site-specific night sky brightness patterns
Comments: Author formatted text of the accepted version of the paper published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2019)

Determining the all-sky radiance distribution produced by artificial light sources is a computationally demanding task that generally requires an intensive calculation load. We develop in this work an analytic formulation that provides the all-sky radiance distribution produced by an artificial light source as an explicit and analytic function of the observation direction, depending on two single parameters that characterize the overall effects of the atmosphere. One of these parameters is related to the effective attenuation of the light beams, whereas the other accounts for the overall asymmetry of the combined scattering processes in molecules and aerosols. By means of this formulation a wide range of all-sky radiance distributions can be efficiently and accurately calculated in a short time. This substantial reduction in the number of required parameters, in comparison with other currently used approaches, is expected to facilitate the development of new applications in the field of light pollution research.


arXiv:1910.09634v1 [pdf, other]
Magnetic fields and cosmic rays in M 31. I. Spectral indices, scale lengths, Faraday rotation & magnetic field pattern
Comments: Accepted for publication in Astronomy 6 Astrophysics

Three deep radio continuum surveys of the Andromeda galaxy, M 31, were performed at 11.3, 6.2, and 3.6 cm wavelength with the Effelsberg 100-m telescope. At all wavelengths, the total and polarized emission is concentrated in a ring-like structure between about 7 kpc and 13 kpc radius from the center. Propagation of cosmic rays away from star-forming regions is evident: The ring of synchrotron emission is wider than the ring of the thermal radio emission and the radial scale length of synchrotron emission is larger than that of thermal emission. The polarized intensity from the ring varies double-periodically with azimuthal angle, indicating that the ordered magnetic field is almost oriented along the ring, with a pitch angle of -14{\deg} $\pm$ 2{\deg}. Faraday rotation measures (RM) show a large-scale sinusoidal variation with azimuthal angle, signature of an axisymmetric spiral (ASS) regular magnetic field, plus a superimposed double-periodic variation of a bisymmetric spiral (BSS) field with about 6x smaller amplitude. The dominating ASS field of M 31 is the most compelling case so far of a field generated by the action of a mean-field dynamo. The RM amplitude between 6.2 cm and 3.6 cm is about 50% larger than between 11.3 cm and 6.2 cm, indicating that Faraday depolarization at 11.3 cm is stronger than at 6.2 cm and 3.6 cm. The phase of the sinusoidal RM variation of -7{\deg} $\pm$ 1{\deg} is interpreted as the average spiral pitch angle of the regular field. The average pitch angle of the ordered field, as derived from the intrinsic orientation of the polarized emission (corrected for Faraday rotation), is significantly smaller: -26{\deg} $\pm$ 3{\deg}. The difference in pitch angle of the regular and the ordered fields indicates that the ordered field contains a significant fraction of an anisotropic turbulent field that has a different pattern than the regular (ASS + BSS) field.


arXiv:1910.09637v1 [pdf, other]
Probing Primordial Stochastic Gravitational Wave Background with Multi-band Astrophysical Foreground Cleaning
Comments: 6 pages + appendix

The primordial stochastic gravitational wave background (SGWB) carries first-hand messages of early-universe physics, possibly including effects from inflation, preheating, cosmic strings, electroweak symmetry breaking, and etc. However, the astrophysical foreground from compact binaries may mask the SGWB, introducing difficulties in detecting the signal and measuring it accurately. In this Letter, we propose a foreground cleaning method taking advantage of gravitational wave observations in other frequency bands. We apply this method to probing the SGWB with space-borne gravitational wave detectors, such as the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA). We find that the spectral density of the LISA-band astrophysical foreground can be predicted with percent-level accuracy assuming $10$-years' observations of third-generation GW detectors, e.g., Cosmic Explorer. After the foreground cleaning, LISA's sensitivity to the primordial SGWB will be substantially improved.


arXiv:1910.09668v1 [pdf, other]
The LOFAR Tied-Array All-Sky Survey (LOTAAS): Characterization of 20 pulsar discoveries and their single-pulse behavior
Comments: No comment found

We are using the LOw-Frequency ARray (LOFAR) to perform the LOFAR Tied-Array All-Sky (LOTAAS) survey for pulsars and fast transients. Here we present the astrometric and rotational parameters of 20 pulsars discovered as part of LOTAAS. These pulsars have regularly been observed with LOFAR at 149 MHz and the Lovell telescope at 1532 MHz, supplemented by some observations with the Lovell telescope at 334 MHz and the Nancay Radio Telescope at 1484 MHz. Timing models are calculated for the 20 pulsars, some of which are among the slowest-spinning pulsars known. PSR J1236-0159 rotates with a period P ~ 3.6 s, while 5 additional pulsars show P > 2 s. Also, the spin-down rates Pdot are, on average, low, with PSR J0815+4611 showing Pdot ~ 4E-18. Some of the pulse profiles, generically single-peaked, present complex shapes evolving with frequency. Multi-frequency flux measurements show that these pulsars have generically relatively steep spectra but exceptions are present, with values ranging between ~ -4 and -1. Among the pulsar sample, a large fraction shows large single-pulse variability, with 4 pulsars being undetectable more than 15% of the time and one tentatively classified as a Rotating Radio Transient. Two single-peaked pulsars show drifting sub-pulses.


arXiv:1910.09680v1 [pdf, other]
The population of Galactic planetary nebulae: a study of distance scales and central stars based on the second GAIA release
Comments: The Astrophysical Journal, in press

We matched the astrometry of central stars (CSs) of spectroscopically-confirmed Galactic planetary nebulae (PNe) with DR2 Gaia parallaxes ($p$), finding 430 targets in common with $p>0$ and $|\sigma_{\rm p}/p|<1$. A catalog of PNe whose CSs have DR2 Gaia parallaxes is presented in Table 1. We compared DR2 parallaxes with those in the literature, finding a good correlation between the two samples. We used PNe parallaxes to calibrate the Galactic PN distance scale. Restricting the sample to objects with 20$\%$ parallax accuracy, we derive the distance scale ${\rm log}(R_{\rm pc})=-(0.226\pm0.0155)\times{\rm log}(S_{\rm H\beta})-(3.920\pm0.215)$, which represents a notable improvement with respect to previous ones. We found that the ionized mass vs. optical thickness distance scale for Galactic PNe is not as well constrained by the Gaia calibrators, but gives important insight on the nature of the PNe, and is essential to define the domain for our distance scale application. We placed the CSs whose distance has been determined directly by parallax on the HR diagram, and found that their location on the post-AGB H-burning evolutionary tracks is typical for post-AGB stars.


arXiv:1910.09683v1 [pdf, other]
Multiple populations in globular clusters and their parent galaxies
Comments: 18 pages, 13 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS

The 'chromosome map' diagram (ChM) proved a successful tool to identify and characterize multiple populations (MPs) in 59 Galactic Globular Clusters (GCs). Here, we construct ChMs for 11 GCs of both Magellanic Clouds (MCs) and with different ages to compare MPs in Galactic and extra-Galactic environments, and explore whether this phenomenon is universal through 'place' and 'time'. MPs are detected in five clusters. The fractions of 1G stars, ranging from about 50% to more than 80%, are significantly higher than those observed in Galactic GCs with similar present-day masses. By considering both Galactic and MC clusters, the fraction of 1G stars exhibits: (i) a strong anti-correlation with the present-day mass, and (ii) with the present-day mass of 2G stars; (iii) a mild anti-correlation with 1G present-day mass. All Galactic clusters without MPs have initial masses smaller than ~1.5 10^5 solar masses but a mass threshold governing the occurrence of MPs seems challenged by massive simple-population MC GCs; (iv) Milky Way clusters with large perigalactic distances typically host larger fractions of 1G stars, but the difference disappears when we use initial cluster masses. These facts are consistent with a scenario where the stars lost by GCs mostly belong to the 1G. By exploiting recent work based on Gaia, half of the known Type II GCs appear clustered in a distinct region of the integral of motions space, thus suggesting a common progenitor galaxy. Except for these Type II GCs,we do not find any significant difference in the MPs between clusters associated with different progenitors.


arXiv:1910.09693v1 [pdf, other]
Toward the Detection of Relativistic Image Doubling in Imaging Atmospheric Cerenkov Telescopes
Comments: 8 pages, 3 figures, comments welcome

Cosmic gamma-ray photons incident on the upper atmosphere create air showers that move to the Earth's surface with superluminal speed, relative to the air. Even though many of these air showers remain superluminal all along their trajectories, the shower's velocity component toward a single Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope (IACT) may drop from superluminal to subluminal. When this happens, an IACT that is able to resolve the air shower both in time and angle should be able to document an unusual optical effect known as relativistic image doubling (RID). The logic of RID is that the shower appears to precede its own Cherenkov radiation when its speed component toward the IACT is superluminal, but appears to trail its own Cherenkov radiation when its speed component toward the IACT is subluminal. The result is that the IACT will see the shower start not at the top of the atmosphere but in the middle -- at the point along the shower's path where its radial velocity component drops to subluminal. Images of the shower would then be seen by the IACT to go both up and down simultaneously. A simple simulation demonstrating this effect is presented. Clear identification of RID would confirm in the atmosphere a novel optical imaging effect caused not by lenses but solely by relativistic kinematics, and may aid in the accuracy of path and speed reconstructions of the relativistic air shower.


arXiv:1910.09709v1 [pdf, other]
Searching for Planets Orbiting Alpha Centauri A with the James Webb Space Telescope
Comments: PASP in press

Alpha Centauri A is the closest solar-type star to the Sun and offers an excellent opportunity to detect the thermal emission of a mature planet heated by its host star. The MIRI coronagraph on JWST can search the 1-3 AU (1"-2") region around alpha Cen A which is predicted to be stable within the alpha Cen AB system. We demonstrate that with reasonable performance of the telescope and instrument, a 20 hr program combining on-target and reference star observations at 15.5 um could detect thermal emission from planets as small as ~5 RE. Multiple visits every 3-6 months would increase the geometrical completeness, provide astrometric confirmation of detected sources, and push the radius limit down to ~3 RE. An exozodiacal cloud only a few times brighter than our own should also be detectable, although a sufficiently bright cloud might obscure any planet present in the system. While current precision radial velocity (PRV) observations set a limit of 50-100 ME at 1-3 AU for planets orbiting alpha Cen A, there is a broad range of exoplanet radii up to 10 RE consistent with these mass limits. A carefully planned observing sequence along with state-of-the-art post-processing analysis could reject the light from alpha Cen A at the level of ~10^-5 at 1"-2" and minimize the influence of alpha Cen B located 7-8" away in the 2022-2023 timeframe. These space-based observations would complement on-going imaging experiments at shorter wavelengths as well as PRV and astrometric experiments to detect planets dynamically. Planetary demographics suggest that the likelihood of directly imaging a planet whose mass and orbit are consistent with present PRV limits is small, ~5%, and possibly lower if the presence of a binary companion further reduces occurrence rates. However, at a distance of just 1.34 pc, alpha Cen A is our closest sibling star and certainly merits close scrutiny.


arXiv:1910.09712v1 [pdf, other]
LRP2020: The cosmic origin and evolution of the elements
Comments: White paper submitted to the Canadian Long Range Plan 2020. Minor formatting changes relative to submitted version

The origin of many elements of the periodic table remains an unsolved problem. While many nucleosynthetic channels are broadly understood, significant uncertainties remain regarding certain groups of elements such as the intermediate and rapid neutron-capture processes, the p-process, or the origin of odd-Z elements in the most metal-poor stars. Canada has a long tradition of leadership in nuclear astrophysics, dating back to the work of Alastair Cameron in the 1950s. Recent faculty hires have further boosted activity in the field, including transient observation and theory, survey science on galactic nucleosynthesis, and nuclear experiments. This white paper contains a brief overview of recent activity in the community, highlighting strengths in each sub-field, and provides recommendations to improve interdisciplinary collaboration. Sustaining Canadian leadership in the next decade will require, on the observational side, access to transient and non-transient surveys like LSST, SKA, or MSE, support for target-of-opportunity observing in current and future Canadian telescopes, and participation in next-generation X-ray telescopes such as ATHENA. State-of-the-art theoretical predictions will require an ambitious succession plan for the Niagara supercomputer to support large parallel jobs. We propose a funding instrument for postdoctoral training that reflects the interdisciplinary nature of nuclear astrophysics research, and the creation of a national collaborative funding program that allows for joint projects and workshop organization.


arXiv:1910.09730v1 [pdf, other]
Understanding Galaxy Evolution through Emission Lines
Comments: 63 pages, 10 figures

We review the use of emission-lines for understanding galaxy evolution, focusing on excitation source, metallicity, ionization parameter, ISM pressure and electron density. We show that the UV, optical and infrared contain complementary diagnostics that can probe the conditions within different nebular ionization zones. In anticipation of upcoming telescope facilities, we provide new self-consistent emission-line diagnostic calibrations for complete spectral coverage from the UV to the infrared. These diagnostics can be used in concert to understand how fundamental galaxy properties have changed across cosmic time. We describe new 2D and 3D emission-line diagnostics to separate the contributions from star formation, AGN and shocks using integral field spectroscopy. We discuss the physics, benefits, and caveats of emission-line diagnostics, including the effect of theoretical model uncertainties, diffuse ionized gas, and sample selection bias. Accounting for complex density gradients and temperature profiles is critical for reliably estimating the fundamental properties of H ii regions and galaxies. Diffuse ionized gas can raise metallicity estimates, flatten metallicity gradients, and introduce scatter in ionization parameter measurements. We summarize with a discussion of the challenges and major opportunities for emission-line diagnostics in the coming years.


arXiv:1910.09735v1 [pdf, other]
The Structure of Solar Coronal Mass Ejections in the Extreme-Ultraviolet Passbands
Comments: 15 pages, 5 figures, accepted by ApJ

So far most studies on the structure of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are conducted through white-light coronagraphs, which demonstrate about one third of CMEs exhibit the typical three-part structure in the high corona (e.g., beyond 2 Rs), i.e., the bright front, the dark cavity and the bright core. In this paper, we address the CME structure in the low corona (e.g., below 1.3 Rs) through extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) passbands and find that the three-part CMEs in the white-light images can possess a similar three-part appearance in the EUV images, i.e., a leading edge, a low-density zone, and a filament or hot channel. The analyses identify that the leading edge and the filament or hot channel in the EUV passbands evolve into the front and the core later within several solar radii in the white-light passbands, respectively. What's more, we find that the CMEs without obvious cavity in the white-light images can also exhibit the clear three-part appearance in the EUV images, which means that the low-density zone in the EUV images (observed as the cavity in white-light images) can be compressed and/or transformed gradually by the expansion of the bright core and/or the reconnection of magnetic field surrounding the core during the CME propagation outward. Our study suggests that more CMEs can possess the clear three-part structure in their early eruption stage. The nature of the low-density zone between the leading edge and the filament or hot channel is discussed.


arXiv:1910.09737v1 [pdf, other]
A New Type of Jets in a Polar Limb of Solar Coronal Hole
Comments: 21 pages, 33 figures, published in ApJ Letters

A new type of chromospheric jets in a polar limb of a coronal hole is discovered in the Ca II filtergram of the Solar Optical Telescope on board the \textit{Hinode}. We identify 30 jets in the Ca II movie of duration of 53 min. The average speed at their maximum heights is found to be 132$\pm$44 km s$^{-1}$ ranging from 57 km s$^{-1}$ to 264 km s$^{-1}$ along the propagation direction. The average lifetime is 20$\pm$6 ranging from 11 seconds to 36 seconds. The speed and lifetime of the jets are located at end-tails of those parameters determined for type II spicules, hence implying a new type of jets. To confirm whether these jets are different from conventional spicules, we construct a time-height image averaged over horizontal region of 1$\arcsec$, and calculate lagged cross-correlations of intensity profiles at each height with the intensity at 2 Mm. From this, we obtain a cross-correlation map as a function of lag and height. We find that the correlation curve as a function of lag time is well fitted into three different Gaussian functions whose standard deviations of the lag time are 193 seconds, 42 seconds, and 17 seconds. The corresponding propagation speeds are calculated to be 9 km s$^{-1}$, 67 km s$^{-1}$, and 121 km s$^{-1}$, respectively. The kinematic properties of the former two components seem to correspond to the 3 minutes oscillations and type II spicules, while the latter component to the jets addressed in this study.


arXiv:1910.09740v1 [pdf, other]
Nonparametric Inference of Neutron Star Composition, Equation of State, and Maximum Mass with GW170817
Comments: 23 pages, 7 figures, 10 tables

The detection of GW170817 in gravitational waves provides unprecedented constraints on the equation of state (EOS) of the ultra-dense matter within the cores of neutron stars (NSs). We extend the nonparametric analysis first introduced in Landry & Essick (2019), and confirm that GW170817 favors soft EOSs. We infer macroscopic observables for a canonical 1.4 $M_{\odot}$ NS, including the tidal deformability $\Lambda_{1.4} = 211^{+312}_{-137}$ ($491^{+216}_{-181}$) and radius $R_{1.4}= 10.86^{+2.04}_{-1.42}$ ($12.51^{+1.00}_{-0.88}$) km, as well as the maximum mass for nonrotating NSs, $M_{max} = 2.064^{+0.260}_{-1.34}$ ($2.017^{0.238}_{-0.087}$) $M_\odot$, with nonparametric priors loosely (tightly) constrained to resemble candidate EOSs from the literature. Furthermore, we find weak evidence that GW170817 involved at least one NS based on gravitational-wave data alone ($B^{NS}_{BBH}= 3.3 \pm 1.4$), consistent with the observation of electromagnetic counterparts. We also investigate GW170817's implications for the maximum spin frequency of millisecond pulsars, and find that the fastest known pulsar is spinning at more than 50% of its breakup frequency at 90% confidence. We additionally find modest evidence in favor of quark matter within NSs, and GW170817 favors the presence of at least one disconnected hybrid star branch in the mass--radius relation over a single stable branch by a factor of 2. Assuming there are multiple stable branches, we find a suggestive posterior preference for a sharp softening around nuclear density followed by stiffening around twice nuclear density, consistent with a strong first-order phase transition. While the statistical evidence in favor of new physics within NS cores remains tenuous with GW170817 alone, these tantalizing hints reemphasize the promise of gravitational waves for constraining the supranuclear EOS.


arXiv:1910.09743v1 [pdf, other]
GRB 180620A: Evidence for late-time energy injection
Comments: 13 pages, 2 figures, 2 tables, submitted to ApJ

The early optical emission of gamma-ray bursts gives an opportunity to understand the central engine and first stages of these events. About 30\% of GRBs present flares whose origin is still a subject of discussion. We present optical photometry of GRB 180620A with the COATLI telescope and RATIR instrument. COATLI started to observe from the end of prompt emission at $T+39.3$~s and RATIR from $T+121.4$~s. We supplement the optical data with the X-ray light curve from \emph{Swift}/XRT. %The optical and X-ray light curves show very unusual behavior with features clearly beyond the standard fireball model. We observe an optical flare from $T+110$ to $T+550$~s, with a temporal index decay $\alpha_\mathrm{O,decay}=1.32\pm 0.01$, and a $\Delta t/t=1.63$, which we interpret as the signature of a reverse shock component. After the initial normal decay the light curves show a long plateau from $T+500$ to $T+7800$~s both in X-rays and the optical before decaying again after an achromatic jet break at $T+7800$~s. Fluctuations are seen during the plateau phase in the optical. Adding to the complexity of GRB afterglows, the plateau phase (typically associated with the coasting phase of the jet) is seen in this object after the ''normal'' decay phase (emitted during the deceleration phase of the jet) and the jet break phase occurs directly after the plateau. We suggest that this sequence of events can be explained by a rapid deceleration of the jet with $t_d\lesssim 40$ s due to the high density of the environment ($\approx 100$ cm$^{-3}$) followed by reactivation of the central engine which causes the flare and powers the plateau phase.


arXiv:1910.09794v1 [pdf, other]
Model-independent determination of cosmic curvature based on Padé approximation
Comments: 8 pages, 2 figures, submitted to ApJ

Given observations of the standard candles and the cosmic chronometers, we apply Pad\'{e} parameterization to the comoving distance and the Hubble paramter to find how stringent the constraint is set to the curvature parameter by the data. A weak informative prior is introduced in the modeling process to keep the inference away from the singularities. Bayesian evidence for different order of Pad\'{e} parameterizations is evaluated during the inference to select the most suitable parameterization in light of the data. The data we used prefer a parameterization form of comoving distance as $D_{01}(z)=\frac{a_0 z}{1+b_1 z}$ as well as a competitive form $D_{02}(z)=\frac{a_0 z}{1+b_1 z + b_2 z^2}$. Similar constraints on the spatial curvature parameter are established by those models and given the Hubble constant as a byproduct: $\Omega_k = 0.25^{+0.14}_{-0.13}$ (68\% confidence level [C.L.]), $H_0 = 67.7 \pm 2.0$ km/s/Mpc (68\% C.L.) for $D_{01}$, and $\Omega_k = -0.01 \pm 0.13$ (68\% C.L.), $H_0 = 68.8 \pm 2.0$ km/s/Mpc (68\% C.L.) for $D_{02}$. The evidence of different models demonstrates the qualitative analysis of the Pad\'{e} parameterizations for the comoving distance.


arXiv:1910.09795v1 [pdf, other]
Experimental characterization of modal noise in multimode fibers for astronomical spectrometers
Comments: 7 pages, 6 figures, accepted by Astronomy and Astrophysics

Starting from our puzzling on-sky experience with the GIANO-TNG spectrometer we set up an infrared high resolution spectrometer in our laboratory and used this instrument to characterize the modal noise generated in fibers of different types (circular and octagonal) and sizes. Our experiment includes two conventional scrambling systems for fibers: a mechanical agitator and an optical double scrambler. We find that the strength of the modal noise primarily depends on how the fiber is illuminated. It dramatically increases when the fiber is under-illuminated, either in the near field or in the far field. The modal noise is similar in circular and octagonal fibers. The Fourier spectrum of the noise decreases exponentially with frequency; i.e., the modal noise is not white but favors broad spectral features. Using the optical double scrambler has no effect on modal noise. The mechanical agitator has effects that vary between different types of fibers and input illuminations. In some cases this agitator has virtually no effect. In other cases, it mitigates the modal noise, but flattens the noise spectrum in Fourier space; i.e., the mechanical agitator preferentially filters the broad spectral features. Our results show that modal noise is frustratingly insensitive to the use of octagonal fibers and optical double scramblers; i.e., the conventional systems used to improve the performances of spectrographs fed via unevenly illuminated fibers. Fiber agitation may help in some cases, but its effect has to be verified on a case-by-case basis. More generally, our results indicate that the design of the fiber link feeding a spectrograph should be coupled with laboratory measurements that reproduce, as closely as possible, the conditions expected at the telescope


arXiv:1910.09809v1 [pdf, other]
Investigating the nature of the extended structure around the Herbig star RCrA using integral field and high-resolution spectroscopy
Comments: 13 pages, 9 figures

We present a detailed analysis of the extended structure detected around the young and close-by Herbig Ae/Be star RCrA. This is a young triple system with an intermediate mass central binary whose separation is of the order of a few tens of the radii of the individual components, and an M-star companion at about 30 au. Our aim is to understand the nature of the extended structure by means of combining integral-field and high-resolution spectroscopy. We conducted the analysis based on FEROS archival optical spectroscopy data and adaptive optics images and integral-field spectra obtained with SINFONI and SPHERE at the VLT. The observations reveal a complex extended structure that is composed of at least two components: a non-uniform wide cavity whose walls are detected in continuum emission up to 400~au, and a collimated wiggling-jet detected in the emission lines of Helium and Hydrogen. Moreover, the presence of [FeII] emission projected close to the cavity walls suggests the presence of a slower moving wind, most likely a disk wind. The multiple components of the optical forbidden lines also indicate the presence of a high-velocity jet co-existing with a slow wind. We constructed a geometrical model of the collimated jet flowing within the cavity using intensity and velocity maps, finding that its wiggling is consistent with the orbital period of the central binary. The cavity and the jet do not share the same position angle, suggesting that the jet is itself experiencing a precession motion possibly due to the wide M-dwarf companion. We propose a scenario that closely agrees with the general expectation of a magneto-centrifugal-launched jet. These results build upon the extensive studies already conducted on RCrA.


arXiv:1910.09811v1 [pdf, other]
A data-driven model of nucleosynthesis with chemical tagging in a lower-dimensional latent space
Comments: Accepted to ApJ

Chemical tagging seeks to identify unique star formation sites from present-day stellar abundances. Previous techniques have treated each abundance dimension as being statistically independent, despite theoretical expectations that many elements can be produced by more than one nucleosynthetic process. In this work we introduce a data-driven model of nucleosynthesis where a set of latent factors (e.g., nucleosynthetic yields) contribute to all stars with different scores, and clustering (e.g., chemical tagging) is modelled by a mixture of multivariate Gaussians in a lower-dimensional latent space. We use an exact method to simultaneously estimate the factor scores for each star, the partial assignment of each star to each cluster, and the latent factors common to all stars, even in the presence of missing data entries. We use an information-theoretic Bayesian principle to estimate the number of latent factors and clusters. Using the second Galah data release we find that six latent factors are preferred to explain N = 2,566 stars with 17 chemical abundances. We identify the rapid- and slow-neutron capture processes, as well as latent factors consistent with Fe-peak and \alpha-element production, and another where K and Zn dominate. When we consider N ~ 160,000 stars with missing abundances we find another 7 factors, as well as 16 components in latent space. Despite these components showing separation in chemistry that is explained through different yield contributions, none show significant structure in their positions or motions. We argue that more data, and joint priors on cluster membership that are constrained by dynamical models, are necessary to realise chemical tagging at a galactic-scale. We release software that allows for model parameters to be optimised in seconds given a fixed number of latent factors, components, and $10^7$ abundance measurements.


arXiv:1910.09815v1 [pdf, other]
Mapping electron temperature variations across a spiral arm in NGC 1672
Comments: 9 pages, 5 figure, accepted to ApJ Letter

We report one of the first extragalactic observations of electron temperature variations across a spiral arm. Using MUSE mosaic observations of the nearby galaxy NGC 1672, we measure the [N II]5755 auroral line in a sample of 80 HII regions in the eastern spiral arm of NGC1672. We discover systematic temperature variations as a function of distance perpendicular to the spiral arm. The electron temperature is lowest on the spiral arm itself and highest on the downstream side. Photoionization models of different metallicity, pressure, and age of the ionizing source are explored to understand what properties of the interstellar medium drive the observed temperature variations. An azimuthally varying metallicity appears to be the most likely cause of the temperature variations. The electron temperature measurements solidify recent discoveries of azimuthal variations of oxygen abundance based on strong lines, and rule out the possibility that the abundance variations are artefacts of the strong-line calibrations.


arXiv:1910.09849v1 [pdf, other]
Galaxies through cosmic time illuminated by gamma-ray bursts and quasars
Comments: PhD thesis, October 2019, University of Iceland, 83 pages. Abridged version from original 276 pp

In the early Universe, most of the cold neutral gas that will later form into individual stars and galaxies is practically invisible to us. These neutral gas reservoirs can, however, be illuminated by bright cosmic lightsources such as gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) and quasars. The aim of this thesis is to use these luminous objects as tools to study the environments of intervening or host galaxy absorption systems through cosmic time. Part I is dedicated to examining the gas, dust and metals in the immediate region surrounding GRBs. Part II presents a search for and the study of cold and molecular gas in high-z GRB host galaxy absorption systems. Part III focuses on using quasars to examine gas-rich intervening galaxies in the line of sight, with specific focus on absorption systems rich in dust and metals. This thesis demonstrates the importance of observing large samples of GRB afterglows to 1) allow for statistical studies of the GRB phenomena itself and the associated host galaxy environments and 2) to obtain spectra of peculiar or unusual GRB afterglows, that is only observed rarely. In addition, it highlights that defining a complete and unbiased sample of quasars is vital to fully exploit the potential of quasars as probes of cosmic chemical evolution. In this version of the thesis only the title, author list and abstract for each published paper, presented as individual chapters, are provided. Principal supervisor: Prof. P\'all Jakobsson.


arXiv:1910.09853v1 [pdf, other]
Non-minimal dark sector physics and cosmological tensions
Comments: 14 pages, 5 figures. Comments are welcome

We explore whether non-standard dark sector physics might be required to solve the existing cosmological tensions. The properties we consider in combination are: \textit{(a)} an interaction between the dark matter and dark energy components, and \textit{(b)} a dark energy equation of state $w$ different from that of the canonical cosmological constant $w=-1$. In principle, these two parameters are independent. In practice, to avoid early-time, superhorizon instabilities, their allowed parameter spaces are correlated. Moreover, a clear degeneracy exists between these two parameters in the case of CMB data. We analyze three classes of extended interacting dark energy models in light of the 2019 \textit{Planck} CMB results and Cepheid-calibrated local distance ladder $H_0$ measurements of Riess et al. (R19), as well as recent BAO and SNeIa distance data. We find that in \textit{quintessence} coupled dark energy models, where $w > -1$, the evidence for a non-zero coupling between the two dark sectors can surpass the $5\sigma$ significance. Moreover, for both Planck+BAO or Planck+SNeIa, we found a preference for $w>-1$ at about three standard deviations. Quintessence models are, therefore, in excellent agreement with current data when an interaction is considered. On the other hand, in \textit{phantom} coupled dark energy models, there is no such preference for a non-zero dark sector coupling. All the models we consider significantly raise the value of the Hubble constant easing the $H_0$ tension. In the interacting scenario, the disagreement between Planck+BAO and R19 is considerably reduced from $4.3\sigma$ in the case of $\Lambda$CDM to about $2.5\sigma$. The addition of low-redshift BAO and SNeIa measurements leaves, therefore, some residual tension with R19 but at a level that could be justified by a statistical fluctuation. (abridged)


arXiv:1910.09860v1 [pdf, other]
Horizontal shear instabilities in rotating stellar radiation zones: I. Inflectional and inertial instabilities and the effects of thermal diffusion
Comments: Submitted to A&A

The so-called rotational mixing, which transports angular momentum and chemical elements in stellar radiative zones, is one of the key processes for modern stellar evolution. In the two last decades, the stress has been put on the turbulent transport induced by the vertical shear instability. However, the instabilities of horizontal shears and the strength of the anisotropic turbulent transport they may trigger are still largely unknown. In this paper, we investigate the combined effects of stable stratification, rotation, and thermal diffusion on the instabilities of horizontal shears in the context of stellar radiative zones. The eigenvalue problem describing the instabilities of a flow with a hyperbolic-tangent horizontal shear profile is solved numerically and asymptotically by means of the Wentzel-Kramers-Brillouin-Jeffreys (WKBJ) analysis to provide explicit asymptotic dispersion relations in non-diffusive and highly diffusive limits. Two types of instabilities are identified: the inflectional and the inertial instabilities. The inflectional instability is most unstable at finite streamwise wavenumber and zero vertical wavenumber, independently of the stratification, rotation, and thermal diffusion. It is favored by stable stratification but stabilized by thermal diffusion. The inertial instability is driven by rotation and the WKBJ analysis reveals that the growth rate reaches its maximum in the inviscid limit: $\sqrt{f(1-f)}$ (where $f$ is the dimensionless Coriolis parameter). The inertial instability for finite vertical wavenumber is stabilized as the stratification increases for non-diffusive fluids, while it becomes independent of the stratification and stronger for fluids with high thermal diffusivity. Furthermore, we found a self-similarity of the instabilities based on the rescaled parameter $PeN^{2}$ with the P\'eclet number $Pe$ and the Brunt-V\"ais\"al\"a frequency $N$.


arXiv:1910.09864v1 [pdf, other]
First imaging spectroscopy observations of solar drift pair bursts
Comments: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics Letters

Drift pairs are an unusual type of fine structure sometimes observed in dynamic spectra of solar radio emission. They appear as two identical short narrowband drifting stripes separated in time; both positive and negative frequency drifts are observed. Using the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR), we report unique observations of a cluster of drift pair bursts in the frequency range of 30-70 MHz made on 12 July 2017. Spectral imaging capabilities of the instrument have allowed us for the first time to resolve the temporal and frequency evolution of the source locations and sizes at a fixed frequency and along the drifting pair components. Sources of two components of a drift pair have been imaged and found to propagate in the same direction along nearly the same trajectories. Motion of the second component source is delayed in time with respect to that of the first one. The source trajectories can be complicated and non-radial; positive and negative frequency drifts correspond to opposite propagation directions. The drift pair bursts with positive and negative frequency drifts, as well as the associated broadband type-III-like bursts, are produced in the same regions. The visible source velocities are variable from zero to a few $10^4$ (up to ${\sim 10^5}$) km/s, which often exceeds the velocities inferred from the drift rate ($\sim 10^4$ km/s). The visible source sizes are of about $10'-18'$; they are more compact than typical type III sources at the same frequencies. The existing models of drift pair bursts cannot adequately explain the observed features. We discuss the key issues that need to be addressed, and in particular the anisotropic scattering of the radio waves. The broadband bursts observed simultaneously with the drift pairs differ in some aspects from common type III bursts and may represent a separate type of emission.


arXiv:1910.09871v1 [pdf, other]
Stellar Proton Event-induced surface radiation dose as a constraint on the habitability of terrestrial exoplanets
Comments: Accepted in MNRAS Letters

The discovery of terrestrial exoplanets orbiting in habitable zones around nearby stars has been one of the significant developments in modern astronomy. More than a dozen such planets, like Proxima Centauri b and TRAPPIST-1 e, are in close-in configurations and their proximity to the host star makes them highly sensitive to stellar activity. Episodic events such as flares have the potential to cause severe damage to close-in planets, adversely impacting their habitability. Flares on fast rotating young M stars occur up to 100 times more frequently than on G-type stars which makes their planets even more susceptible to stellar activity. Stellar Energetic Particles (SEPs) emanating from Stellar Proton Events (SPEs) cause atmospheric damage (erosion and photochemical changes), and produce secondary particles, which in turn results in enhanced radiation dosage on planetary surfaces. We explore the role of SPEs and planetary factors in determining planetary surface radiation doses. These factors include SPE fluence and spectra, and planetary column density and magnetic field strength. Taking particle spectra from 70 major solar events (observed between 1956 and 2012) as proxy, we use the GEANT4 Monte Carlo model to simulate SPE interactions with exoplanetary atmospheres, and we compute surface radiation dose. We demonstrate that in addition to fluence, SPE spectrum is also a crucial factor in determining the surface radiation dose. We discuss the implications of these findings in constraining the habitability of terrestrial exoplanets.


arXiv:1910.09877v1 [pdf, other]
The Kepler-11 system: evolution of the stellar high-energy emission and {initial planetary} atmospheric mass fractions
Comments: 8 pages, 3 figures

The atmospheres of close-in planets are strongly influenced by mass loss driven by the high-energy (X-ray and extreme ultraviolet, EUV) irradiation of the host star, particularly during the early stages of evolution. We recently developed a framework to exploit this connection and enable us to recover the past evolution of the stellar high-energy emission from the present-day properties of its planets, if the latter retains some remnants of their primordial hydrogen-dominated atmospheres. Furthermore, the framework can also provide constraints on planetary initial atmospheric mass fractions. The constraints on the output parameters improve when more planets can be simultaneously analysed. This makes the Kepler-11 system, which hosts six planets with bulk densities between 0.66 and 2.45g cm^{-3}, an ideal target. Our results indicate that the star has likely evolved as a slow rotator (slower than 85\% of the stars with similar masses), corresponding to a high-energy emission at 150 Myr of between 1-10 times that of the current Sun. We also constrain the initial atmospheric mass fractions for the planets, obtaining a lower limit of 4.1% for planet c, a range of 3.7-5.3% for planet d, a range of 11.1-14% for planet e, a range of 1-15.6% for planet f, and a range of 4.7-8.7% for planet g assuming a disc dispersal time of 1 Myr. For planet b, the range remains poorly constrained. Our framework also suggests slightly higher masses for planets b, c, and f than have been suggested based on transit timing variation measurements. We coupled our results with published planet atmosphere accretion models to obtain a temperature (at 0.25 AU, the location of planet f) and dispersal time of the protoplanetary disc of 550 K and 1 Myr, although these results may be affected by inconsistencies in the adopted system parameters.


arXiv:1910.09881v1 [pdf, other]
Measuring the Hubble constant from the cooling of the CMB monopole
Comments: No comment found

The cosmic microwave background (CMB) monopole temperature evolves with the inverse of the cosmological scale factor, independent of many cosmological assumptions. With sufficient sensitivity, real-time cosmological observations could thus be used to measure the local expansion rate of the Universe using the cooling of the CMB. We forecast how well a CMB spectrometer could determine the Hubble constant via this method. The primary challenge of such a mission lies in the separation of Galactic and extra-Galactic foreground signals from the CMB at extremely high precision. However, overcoming these obstacles could potentially provide an independent, highly robust method to shed light on the current low-/high-$z$ Hubble tension. We find that a 3\% measurement of the Hubble constant requires an effective sensitivity to the CMB monopole temperature of approximately $60~\mathrm{pK \sqrt{yr}}$ throughout a 10-year mission. This sensitivity would also enable high-precision measurements of the expected $\Lambda$CDM spectral distortions, but remains futuristic at this stage.


arXiv:1910.09893v1 [pdf, other]
A MUSE study of the inner bulge globular cluster Terzan 9: a fossil record in the Galaxy
Comments: No comment found

Context. Moderately metal-poor inner bulge globular clusters are relics of a generation of long-lived stars that formed in the early Galaxy. Terzan 9, projected at 4d 12 from the Galactic center, is among the most central globular clusters in the Milky Way, showing an orbit which remains confined to the inner 1 kpc. Aims. Our aim is the derivation of the cluster's metallicity, together with an accurate measurement of the mean radial velocity. In the literature, metallicities in the range between have been estimated for Terzan 9 based on color-magnitude diagrams and CaII triplet (CaT) lines. Aims. Our aim is the derivation of the cluster's metallicity, together with an accurate measurement of the mean radial velocity. In the literature, metallicities in the range between -2.0 and -1.0 have been estimated for Terzan 9 based on color-magnitude diagrams and CaII triplet (CaT) lines. Methods. Given its compactness, Terzan 9 was observed using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) at the Very Large Telescope. The extraction of spectra from several hundreds of individual stars allowed us to derive their radial velocities, metallicities, and [Mg/Fe]. The spectra obtained with MUSE were analysed through full spectrum fitting using the ETOILE code. Results. We obtained a mean metallicity of [Fe/H] -1.10 0.15, a heliocentric radial velocity of vhr = 58.1 1.1 km/s , and a magnesium-to-iron [Mg/Fe] = 0.27 0.03. The metallicity-derived character of Terzan 9 sets it among the family of the moderately metal-poor Blue Horizontal Branch clusters HP 1, NGC 6558, and NGC 6522.


arXiv:1910.09906v1 [pdf, other]
Two-dimensional spectral simulations of neutron star spreading layers
Comments: submitted to A&A; 20 pages, 17 figures; abstract shortened with respect to the submitted version

When the accretion disc around a weakly magnerized neutron star (NS) meets the surface of the star, it should brake down to match the rotation of the NS, forming a boundary layer. As the mechanisms potentially responsible for this braking are apparently inefficient, it is reasonable to consider this layer as a spreading layer (SL) with negligible radial extent and structure. We perform spectral 2D simulations of an SL, considering the disc as a source of matter and angular momentum. Interaction of new, rapidly rotating matter with the pre-existing, relatively slow material co-rotating with the star leads to shear and thermal instabilities capable of transferring angular momentum and creating variability on dynamical time scales. We compute artificial light curves of an SL viewed at different inclination angles. Most of the simulated light curves show oscillations at frequencies close to 1kHz. Oscillations observed in our simulations are most likely inertial modes excited by shear instabilities near the boundary of the SL. Their frequencies, dependence on flux, and amplitude variations closely resemble those of the high-frequency pair quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) observed in many low-mass X-ray binaries.


arXiv:1910.09924v1 [pdf, other]
The First Billion Years Project: Finding Infant Globular Clusters at z=6
Comments: 15 pages, 8 figures, submitted to MNRAS

We explore a suite of high-resolution cosmological simulations from the First Billion Years (FiBY) project at $z \geq 6$ to identify low-mass stellar systems, with a particular focus on globular clusters (GCs). Within the demographics of substructures found in the simulations, two distinct groups of objects emerge. We associate the first group, which appear to have a high baryon fraction ($f_{\rm{b}} \geq 0.95$), with infant GC candidates. The second group exhibit a high stellar fraction ($f_* \geq 0.95$) and show a resemblance to ultra-faint dwarf galaxies. The infant GC candidates are characterised by a stellar content similar to the one observed in present-day GCs, but they still contain a high gas fraction ($f_{\rm{gas}} \sim 0.95$) and a relatively low amount of dark matter. They are very compact systems, with high stellar mass densities and sizes which are consistent with recent estimates based on the first observations of possible proto-GCs at high redshifts. Such infant GCs appear to be more massive and more abundant in massive host galaxies, indicating that the assembly of galaxies via mergers may play an important role in shaping up several GC-host scaling relations. Specifically, we express the relation between the mass of the most massive infant GC and its host stellar mass as $\log (M_{\rm cl}) = (0.31\pm0.15)\log (M_{\rm *,gal}) + (4.17\pm1.06)$. Finally, we assess that the present-day GC mass -- halo mass relation offers a satisfactory description of the behaviour of our infant GC candidates at high redshift, suggesting that such a relation may be set at formation.


arXiv:1910.09925v1 [pdf, other]
Neutron stars: new constraints on asymmetric dark matter
Comments: 6 pages, 4 figures

We study an impact of asymmetric dark matter on properties of the neutron stars and their ability to reach the two solar masses limit, which allows us to present a new upper constraint on the mass of dark matter particle. Our analysis is based on the observational fact of existence of three pulsars reaching this limit and on the theoretically predicted reduction of the neutron star maximal mass caused by accumulation of dark matter in its interior. Using modern data on spatial distribution of baryon and dark matter in the Milky Way we argue that particles of dark matter can not be heavier than 5 GeV. We also demonstrate that light dark matter particles with masses below 0.2 GeV can create an extended halo around the neutron star leading not to decrease, but to increase of its visible gravitational mass. Furthermore, we predict that high precision measurements of the neutron stars maximal mass near the Galactic center, will put a stringent constraint on the mass of the dark matter particle. This last result is particularly important to prepare ongoing, and future radio and X-ray surveys.


arXiv:1910.09940v1 [pdf, other]
Low-degree mixed modes in red giant stars with moderate core magnetic fields
Comments: 18 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS

Observations of pressure-gravity mixed modes, combined with a theoretical framework for understanding mode formation, can yield a wealth of information about deep stellar interiors. In this paper, we seek to develop a formalism for treating the effects of deeply buried core magnetic fields on mixed modes in evolved stars, where the fields are moderate, i.e. not strong enough to disrupt wave propagation, but where they may be too strong for non-degenerate first-order perturbation theory to be applied. The magnetic field is incorporated in a way that avoids having to use this. Inclusion of the Lorentz force term is shown to yield a system of differential equations that allows for the magnetically-affected eigenfunctions to be computed from scratch, rather than following the approach of first-order perturbation theory. For sufficiently weak fields, coupling between different spherical harmonics can be neglected, allowing for reduction to a second-order system of ordinary differential equations akin to the usual oscillation equations that can be solved analogously. We derive expressions for (i) the mixed-mode quantisation condition in the presence of a field and (ii) the frequency shift associated with the magnetic field. In addition, for modes of low degree we uncover an extra offset term in the quantisation condition that is sensitive to properties of the evanescent zone. These expressions may be inverted to extract information about the stellar structure and magnetic field from observational data.


arXiv:1910.09975v1 [pdf, other]
Connecting early and late epochs by f(z)CDM cosmography
Comments: 14 pages, 8 figures

The cosmographic approach is gaining considerable interest as a model-independent technique able to describe the late expansion of the universe. Indeed, given only the observational assumption of the cosmological principle, it allows to study the today observed accelerated evolution of the Hubble flow without assuming specific cosmological models. In general, cosmography is used to reconstruct the Hubble parameter as a function of the redshift, assuming an arbitrary fiducial value for the current matter density, $\Omega_m$, and analysing low redshift cosmological data. Here we propose a different strategy, linking together the parametric cosmographic behavior of the late universe expansion with the small scale universe. In this way, we do not need to assume any "a priori" values for the cosmological parameters, since these are constrained at early epochs using both the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) and Baryonic Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) data. In order to test this strategy, we describe the late expansion of the universe using the Pad\'e polynomials. This approach is discussed in the light of the recent $H(z)$ values indicators, combined with Supernovae Pantheon sample, galaxy clustering and early universe data, as CMBR and BAO. We found an interesting dependence of the current matter density value with cosmographic parameters, proving the inaccuracy of setting the value of $\Omega_m$ in cosmographic analyses, and a non-negligible effect of the cosmographic parameters on the CMBR temperature anisotropy power spectrum. Finally, we found that the cosmographic series, truncated at third order, shows a better $\chi^2$ best fit value then the vanilla $\Lambda$CDM model. This can be interpreted as the requirement that higher order corrections have to be considered to correctly describe low redshift data and remove the degeneration of the models.


arXiv:1910.09987v1 [pdf, other]
Constraining the cosmic ray spectrum in the vicinity of the supernova remnant W28: from sub-GeV to multi-TeV energies
Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures, submitted

Supernova remnants interacting with molecular clouds are ideal laboratories to study the acceleration of particles at shock waves and their transport and interactions in the surrounding interstellar medium. In this paper, we focus on the supernova remnant W28, which over the years has been observed in all energy domains from radio waves to very-high-energy gamma rays. The bright gamma-ray emission detected from molecular clouds located in its vicinity revealed the presence of accelerated GeV and TeV particles in the region. An enhanced ionization rate has also been measured by means of millimetre observations, but such observations alone cannot tell us whether the enhancement is due to low energy (MeV) cosmic rays (either protons or electrons) or the X-ray photons emitted by the shocked gas. The goal of this study is to determine the origin of the enhanced ionization rate and to infer from multiwavelength observations the spectrum of cosmic rays accelerated at the supernova remnant shock in the unprecedented range spanning from MeV to multi-TeV particle energies. We developed a model to describe the transport of X-ray photons into the molecular cloud, and we fitted the radio, millimeter, and gamma-ray data to derive the spectrum of the radiating particles. The contribution from X-ray photons to the enhanced ionization rate is negligible, and therefore the ionization must be due to cosmic rays. Even though we cannot exclude a contribution to the ionization rate coming from cosmic ray electrons, we show that a scenario where cosmic ray protons explain both the gamma-ray flux and the enhanced ionization rate provides the most natural fit to multiwavelength data. This strongly suggests that the intensity of CR protons is enhanced in the region for particle energies in a very broad range covering almost 6 orders of magnitude: from $\lesssim 100$ MeV up to several tens of TeV.


arXiv:1910.09988v1 [pdf, other]
New constraint on the atmosphere of (50000) Quaoar from a stellar occultation
Comments: 12 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal

We report observations of a stellar occultation by the classical Kuiper belt object (50000) Quaoar occurred on 28 June 2019. A single-chord high-cadence (2 Hz) photometry dataset was obtained with the Tomo-e Gozen CMOS camera mounted on the 1.05 m Schmidt telescope at Kiso Observatory. The obtained ingress and egress data do not show any indication of atmospheric refraction and allow to set new $1\sigma$ and $3\sigma$ upper limits of 6 and 16 nbar, respectively, for the surface pressure of a pure methane atmosphere. These upper limits are lower than the saturation vapor pressure of methane at Quaoar's expected mean surface temperature ($T \sim 44$ K) and imply the absence of a $\sim$10 nbar-level global atmosphere formed by methane ice on Quaoar's surface.


arXiv:1910.09994v1 [pdf, other]
Amateur telescopes discover a kilometre-sized Kuiper belt object from stellar occultation
Comments: 23 pages, 10 figures, author final submission version, published in Nature Astronomy on 28 January 2019 (free version: https://rdcu.be/biPGW)

Kuiper belt objects (KBOs) are thought to be the remnant of the early solar system, and their size distribution provides an opportunity to explore the formation and evolution of the outer solar system. In particular, the size distribution of kilometre-sized (radius = 1-10 km) KBO represents a signature of initial planetesimal sizes when planets form. These kilometre-sized KBOs are extremely faint, and it is impossible to detect them directly. Instead, monitoring of stellar occultation events is one possible way to discover these small KBOs. Hitherto, however, there has been no observational evidence for the occultation events by KBOs with radii of 1-10 km. Here we report the first detection of a single occultation event candidate by a KBO with a radius of $\sim$1.3 km, which is simultaneously provided by two low-cost small telescopes coupled with commercial CMOS cameras. From this detection, we conclude that a surface number density of KBOs with radii exceeding $\sim 1.2$ km is $\sim 6 \times 10^5 \ {\rm deg^{-2}}$. This surface number density favours a theoretical size distribution model with an excess signature at a radius of 1-2 km. If this is a true detection, this implies that planetesimals before their runaway growth phase grow into kilometre-sized objects in the primordial outer solar system and remain as a major population of the present-day Kuiper belt.


arXiv:1910.10010v1 [pdf, other]
Random fragmentation of turbulent molecular clouds lying in the central region of giant galaxies
Comments: 19 pages, 6 figures

A stochastic model of fragmentation of molecular clouds has been developed for studying the resulting Initial Mass Function (IMF) where the number of fragments, inter-occurrence time of fragmentation, masses and velocities of the fragments are random variables. Here two turbulent patterns of the velocities of the fragments have been considered, namely, Gaussian and Gamma distributions. It is found that for Gaussian distribution of the turbulent velocity, the IMFs are shallower in general compared to Salpeter mass function. On the contrary, a skewed distribution for turbulent velocity leads to an IMF which is much closer to Salpeter mass function. The above result might be due to the fact that strong driving mechanisms e.g. shocks, arising out of a big explosion occurring at the centre of the galaxy or due to big number of supernova explosions occurring simultaneously in massive parent clouds during the evolution of star clusters embedded into them are responsible for stripping out most of the gas from the clouds. This inhibits formation of massive stars in large numbers making the mass function a steeper one.


arXiv:1910.10023v1 [pdf, other]
Metal-enriched Galaxies in the First ~1 Billion Years: Evidence of a Smooth Metallicity Evolution at z ~ 5
Comments: 19 pages, 21 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS

We present seven new abundance measurements of the elements O, C and Si at z > 4.5, doubling the existing sample of weakly depleted elements in gas-rich galaxies, in order to constrain the first ~1 billion years of cosmic metal evolution. These measurements are based on quasar spectra of damped Lyman-alpha absorbers (DLAs) and sub-DLAs obtained with the Magellan Inamori Kyocera Echelle (MIKE) and Magellan Echellette (MagE) spectrographs on Magellan-South, and the X-Shooter spectrograph on the Very Large Telescope. We combine these new measurements with those drawn from the literature to estimate the NHI-weighted binned mean metallicity of -1.51 +\- 0.18 at z = 4.8. This metallicity value is in excellent agreement with the prediction from lower redshift DLAs, supporting the interpretation that the metallicity evolution is smooth at z ~ 5, rather than showing a sudden decline at z > 4.7. Furthermore, the metallicity evolution trends for the DLAs and sub-DLAs are similar within our uncertainties. We also find that the [C/O] ratios for z ~ 5 DLAs are consistent with those of the very metal-poor DLAs. Additionally, using [C/O] and [Si/O] to constrain the nucleosynthesis models, we estimate that the probability distributions of the progenitor star masses for three relatively metal-poor DLAs are centered around 12 M_{\odot} to 17 M_{\odot}. Finally, the z ~ 5 absorbers show a different metallicity-velocity dispersion relation than lower redshift DLAs, suggesting that they may be tracing a different population of galaxies.


arXiv:1910.10030v1 [pdf, other]
Diffusive acceleration in relativistic shocks: particle feedback
Comments: 8 pages, 6 figures, comments welcome

The spectral index $s$ of particles diffusively accelerated in a relativistic shock depends on the unknown angular diffusion function $\mathcal{D}$, which itself depends on the particle distribution function $f$ if acceleration is efficient. We develop a relaxation code to compute $s$ and $f$ for an arbitrary functional $\mathcal{D}$ that depends on $f$. A local $\mathcal{D}(f)$ dependence is motivated and shown, when rising (falling) upstream, to soften (harden) $s$ with respect to the isotropic case, shift the angular distribution towards upstream (downstream) directions, and strengthen (weaken) the particle confinement to the shock; an opposite effect on $s$ is found downstream. However, variations in $s$ remain modest even when $\mathcal{D}$ is a strong function of $f$, so the standard, isotropic-diffusion results remain approximately applicable unless $\mathcal{D}$ is both highly anisotropic and not a local function of $f$. A mild, $\sim 0.1$ softening of $s$, in both 2D and 3D, when $\mathcal{D}(f)$ rises sufficiently fast, may be indicated by ab-initio simulations.


arXiv:1910.10038v1 [pdf, other]
Identification of a Group III CEMP-no Star in the Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy Canes Venatici I
Comments: 18 pages, 3 tables, 9 figures, submitted to the Astrophysical Journal

CEMP-no stars, a subclass of carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars, are one of the most significant stellar populations in Galactic Archaeology, because they dominate the low end of the metallicity distribution function, providing information on the early star-formation and chemical-evolution history of the Milky Way and its satellite galaxies. Here we present an analysis of medium-resolution ($R \sim 1,800$) optical spectroscopy for a CEMP giant, SDSS J132755.56+333521.7, observed with the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT), one of the brightest ($g \sim 20.5$) members of the classical dwarf spheroidal galaxy, Canes Venatici I (CVn I). Many CEMP stars discovered to date have very cool effective temperatures ($T_{\mathrm{eff}}< 4500$ K), resulting in strong veiling by molecular carbon bands over their optical spectra at low/medium spectral resolution. We introduce a technique to mitigate the carbon-veiling problem to obtain reliable stellar parameters, and validate this method with the LBT medium-resolution optical spectra of the ultra metal-poor ([Fe/H] = $-4.0$) CEMP-no dwarf, G 77-61, and seven additional very cool CEMP stars, which have published high-resolution spectroscopic parameters. We apply this technique to the LBT spectrum of SDSS J132755.56+333521.7. We find that this star is well-described with parameters $T_{\mathrm{eff}}=4530$ K, log $g=$ 0.7, [Fe/H] $ = -3.38$, and absolute carbon abundance $A$(C) = 7.23, indicating that it is likely the first Group III CEMP-no star identified in CVn I. The Group III identification of this star suggests that it is a member of the extremely metal-poor population in CVn I, which may have been accreted into its halo.


arXiv:1910.10047v1 [pdf, other]
Complex organic molecules in comets from remote-sensing observations at millimeter wavelengths
Comments: 15 pages, 5 figures

Remote observations of comets, especially using high spectral resolution millimeter spectroscopy, have enabled the detection of over 25 molecules in comets for the last twenty years. Among the molecules identified at radio wavelengths, complex organic molecules (COMs) such as acetaldehyde, ethylene-glycol, formamide, methyl-formate or ethanol have been observed in several comets and their abundances relative to water and methanol precisely determined. Significant upper limits on the abundance of several other COMs have been determined and put constraints on the dominant isomer for three of them. The abundances measured in comets are generally of comparable order of magnitude as those measured in star-forming regions, suggesting that comets contain preserved material from the presolar cloud from which the solar system was born.


arXiv:1910.10058v1 [pdf, other]
Effect of the isotropic collisions with neutral hydrogen on the polarization of the CN solar molecule
Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS (Accepted October 22, 2019). 23 pages, 3 tables, 13 figures

Our work is concerned with the case of the solar molecule CN which presents conspicuous profiles of scattering polarization. We start by calculating accurate PES for the singlet and triplet electronic ground states in order to characterize the collisions between the CN molecule in its $X \; ^2\Sigma$ state and the hydrogen in its ground state $^2S$. The PES are included in the Schr\"oodinger equation to obtain the scattering matrix and the probabilities of collisions. Depolarizing collisional rate coefficients are computed in the framework of the infinite order sudden approximation for temperatures ranging from $T= 2000$ K to $T= 15000$ K. Interpretation of the results and comparison between singlet and triplet collisional rate coefficients are detailed. We show that, for typical photospheric hydrogen density ($n_{H} = 10^{15}-10^{16}$ cm$^{-3}$), the $X \; ^2\Sigma$ state of CN is partially or completely depolarized by isotropic collisions.


arXiv:1910.10092v1 [pdf, other]
ESA Voyage 2050 white paper: A Polarized View of the Hot and Violent Universe
Comments: White Paper submitted in response to the ESA Voyage 2050 call, 20 pages + title page + references + list of team members, 10 figures

Since the birth of X-ray Astronomy, spectacular advances have been seen in the imaging, spectroscopic and timing studies of the hot and violent X-ray Universe, and further leaps forward are expected in the future. On the other hand, polarimetry is very much lagging behind: after the measurements of the Crab Nebula and Scorpius X-1, obtained by OSO-8 in the 70s, no more observations have been performed in the classical X-ray band, even if some interesting results have been obtained in hard X-rays and in soft gamma-rays. The NASA/ASI mission IXPE, scheduled for the launch in 2021, is going to provide for the first time imaging X-ray polarimetry in the 2-8 keV band thanks to its photoelectric polarimeter, coupled with ~25'' angular resolution X-ray mirrors. Its orders of magnitude improvement in sensitivity with respect to the OSO-8 Bragg polarimeter implies scientifically meaningful polarimetric measurements for at least the brightest specimens of most classes of X-ray sources. In 2027, the Chinese-led mission eXTP should also be launched. In addition to timing and spectroscopic instruments, eXTP will have on board photoelectric polarimeters very similar to those of IXPE, but with a total effective area 2-3 times larger. Building on IXPE results, eXTP will increase the number of sources for which significant polarimetric measurements could be obtained. However, further progresses, such as exploring a broader energy range, considering a larger effective area, improving the angular resolution, and performing wide-field polarization measurements, are needed to reach a mature phase for X-ray polarimetry. In the first part of this White Paper we will discuss a few scientific cases in which a next generation X-ray Polarimetry mission can provide significant advances. In the second part, a possible concept for a medium-class Next Generation X-ray Polarimetry (NGXP) mission will be sketched.


arXiv:1910.10134v1 [pdf, other]
Stellar Density Profiles of Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies
Comments: 22 pages, 10 figures. Submitted to ApJ

We apply a flexible parametric model, a combination of generalized Plummer profiles, to infer the shapes of the stellar density profiles of the Milky Way's satellite dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs). We apply this model to 38 dSphs using star counts from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, PanStarrs-1 Survey, and Dark Energy Survey. Using mock data, we examine systematic errors associated with modelling assumptions and identify conditions under which our model can identify "non-standard" stellar density profiles that have central cusps and/or steepened outer slopes. Applying our model to real dwarf spheroidals, we do not find evidence for centrally cusped density profiles among the ~10 Milky Way satellites for which our tests with mock data indicate there would be sufficient detectability. We do detect steepened (with respect to a standard Plummer model) outer profiles in several dSphs - Fornax, Leo I, Leo II, Reticulum II - which may point to distinct evolutionary pathways for these objects. However, the outer slope of the stellar density profile does not yet obviously correlate with other observed galaxy properties.