Recent Postings from Solar and Stellar

The Enigma of the Open Cluster M29 (NGC 6913) Solved

Determining the distance to the open cluster M29 (NGC 6913) has proven difficult, with distances determined by various authors differing by a factor of two or more. To solve this problem, we have initiated a new photometric investigation of the cluster in the Vilnius seven-color photometric system supplementing it with available data in the BV and JHK_s photometric systems, and spectra of the nine brightest stars of spectral classes O and B. Photometric spectral classes and luminosities of 260 stars in a 15 arcmin x 15 arcmin area down to V = 19 mag are used to investigate the interstellar extinction run with distance and to estimate the distance of the Great Cygnus Rift, 800 pc. The interstellar reddening law in the optical and near-infrared regions is found to be close to normal, with the ratio of extinction to color excess R(BV) = 2.87. The extinction A(V) of cluster members is between 2.5 to 3.8 mag, with a mean value of 2.97 mag or E(B-V) = 1.03. The average distance of eight stars of spectral types O9-B2 is 1.54 +- 0.15 kpc. Two stars from the seven brightest ones are field stars: HDE 229238 is a background B0.5 supergiant and HD 194378 is a foreground F star. In the intrinsic color-magnitude diagram, seven fainter stars of spectral classes B3-B8 are identified as possible members of the cluster. The 15 selected members of the cluster of spectral classes O9–B8 plotted on the log L/L(sun) vs. log T(eff) diagram, together with the isochrones from the Padova database, give the age of the cluster as 5 +- 1 Myr.

High-precision photometry by telescope defocussing. VI. WASP-24, WASP-25 and WASP-26

We present time-series photometric observations of thirteen transits in the planetary systems WASP-24, WASP-25 and WASP-26. All three systems have orbital obliquity measurements, WASP-24 and WASP-26 have been observed with Spitzer, and WASP-25 was previously comparatively neglected. Our light curves were obtained using the telescope-defocussing method and have scatters of 0.5 to 1.2 mmag relative to their best-fitting geometric models. We used these data to measure the physical properties and orbital ephemerides of the systems to high precision, finding that our improved measurements are in good agreement with previous studies. High-resolution Lucky Imaging observations of all three targets show no evidence for faint stars close enough to contaminate our photometry. We confirm the eclipsing nature of the star closest to WASP-24 and present the detection of a detached eclipsing binary within 4.25 arcmin of WASP-26.

Modeling SNR G1.9+0.3 as a Supernova Inside a Planetary Nebula

Using 3D numerical hydrodynamical simulations we show that a type Ia supernova (SN Ia) explosion inside a planetary nebula (PN) can explain the observed shape of the G1.9+0.3 supernova remnant (SNR), and its X-ray morphology. The SNR G1.9+0.3 morphology can be generally described as a sphere with two small and incomplete lobes protruding on opposite sides of the SNR, termed "ears", a structure resembling many elliptical PNe. Observations show the synchrotron X-ray emission to be much stronger inside the two ears than in the rest of the SNR. We numerically show that a spherical SN Ia explosion into a circumstellar matter (CSM) with the structure of an elliptical PN with ears can explain the X-ray properties of SNR G1.9+0.3. While the ejecta has already collided with the PN shell in most of the SNR and its forward shock has been slowed down, the ejecta is still advancing inside the ears. The fast forward shock inside the ears explains the stronger X-ray emission there. SN Ia inside PNe (SNIPs) seem to comprise a non-negligible fraction of resolved SN Ia remnants.

The ALMA view of the protostellar system HH212 - The wind, the cavity, and the disk

Context: Because it is viewed simply edge-on, the HH212 protostellar system is an ideal laboratory for studying the interplay of infall, outflow, and rotation in the earliest stages of low-mass star formation. Aims: We wish to exploit the unmatched combination of high angular resolution, high sensitivity, high-imaging fidelity, and spectral coverage provided by ALMA to shed light on the complex kinematics of the innermost central regions of HH212. Methods: We mapped the inner 10" (4500 AU) of the HH212 system at about 0.5 arcsec resolution in several molecular tracers and in the 850 $\mu$m dust continuum using the ALMA interferometer in band 7 in the extended configuration of the Early Science Cycle 0 operations. Results: Within a single ALMA spectral set-up, we simultaneously identify all the crucial ingredients known to be involved in the star formation recipe namely: (i) the fast, collimated bipolar SiO jet driven by the protostar, (ii) the large-scale swept-up CO outflow, (iii) the flattened rotating and infalling envelope, with bipolar cavities carved by the outflow (in C$^{17}$O(3–2)), and (iv) a rotating wide-angle flow that fills the cavities and surrounding the axial jet (in C$^{34}$S(7–6)). In addition, the compact high-velocity C$^{17}$O emission ($\pm$ 1.9–3.5 km s$^{-1}$ from systemic) shows a velocity gradient along the equatorial plane consistent with a rotating disk of about 0.2 arcsec = 90 AU around a $\simeq 0.3 \pm 0.1 M_{\rm \odot}$ source. The rotating disk is possibly Keplerian. Conclusions: HH212 is the third Class 0 protostar with possible signatures of a Keplerian disk of radius $\geq 30 AU$. The warped geometry in our CS data suggests that this large keplerian disk might result from misaligned magnetic and rotation axes during the collapse phase. The wide-angle CS flow suggests that disk winds may be present in this source.

Accretion discs as regulators of stellar angular momentum evolution in the ONC and Taurus-Auriga

In light of recent substantial updates to spectral type estimations and newly established intrinsic colours, effective temperatures, and bolometric corrections for pre-main sequence (PMS) stars, we re-address the theory of accretion-disc regulated stellar angular momentum (AM) evolution. We report on the compilation of a consistent sample of fully convective stars within two of the most well-studied and youngest, nearby regions of star formation: the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) and Taurus-Auriga. We calculate the average specific stellar AM ($j_{\star}$) assuming solid body rotation, using surface rotation periods gathered from the literature and new estimates of stellar radii and ages. We use published Spitzer IRAC fluxes to classify our stars as Class II or Class III and compare their $j_{\star}$ evolution. Our results suggest that disc dispersal is a rapid process that occurs at a variety of ages. We find a consistent $j_{\star}$ reduction rate between the Class II and Class III PMS stars which we interpret as indicating a period of accretion disc-regulated AM evolution followed by near-constant AM evolution once the disc has dissipated. Furthermore, assuming our observed spread in stellar ages is real, we find the removal rate of $j_{\star}$ during the Class II phase is more rapid than expected by contraction at constant stellar rotation rate. A much more efficient process of AM removal must exist, most likely in the form of an accretion-driven stellar wind or other outflow from the star-disc interaction region or extended disc surface.

Cosmological and Solar System Consequences of f(R,T) Gravity Models [Cross-Listing]

In order to find more deliberate f(R,T) cosmological solutions, we proceed our previous paper further by studying some new aspects of the considered models via investigation of some new cosmological parameters to attain the most acceptable cosmological results. Our investigations are performed by applying the dynamical system approach. We obtain the cosmological parameters in terms of some defined dimensionless parameters which are used in constructing the dynamical equations of motion. The investigated parameters are the evolution of the Hubble parameter and its inverse, the weight function, the ratio of the matter density to the dark energy density and its time variation, the deceleration, the jerk and the snap parameters, and the equation of state parameter of the dark energy. We numerically examine these quantities for two general models $R+\alpha R^{-n}+\sqrt{-T}$ and $R\log{[\alpha R]}^{q}+\sqrt{-T}$. All considered models have some inconsistent quantities (with respect to the available observational data), except the model with n=-0.9 which has more consistent quantities than the other ones. By considering the ratio of the matter density to the dark energy density, we find that the coincidence problem does~not refer to a unique cosmological event, rather this coincidence has also been occurred in the early universe. We also present the cosmological solutions for an interesting model $R+c_{1}\sqrt{-T}$ in the non-flat FLRW metric. We show that this model has an attractor solution for the late times, though with $w^{(\textrm{DE})}=-1/2$. This model indicates that the spatial curvature density parameter gets negligible values till the present era, in which it acquires the values of the order $10^{-4}$ or $10^{-3}$. [It continues ...]

Cosmological and Solar System Consequences of f(R,T) Gravity Models [Cross-Listing]

In order to find more deliberate f(R,T) cosmological solutions, we proceed our previous paper further by studying some new aspects of the considered models via investigation of some new cosmological parameters to attain the most acceptable cosmological results. Our investigations are performed by applying the dynamical system approach. We obtain the cosmological parameters in terms of some defined dimensionless parameters which are used in constructing the dynamical equations of motion. The investigated parameters are the evolution of the Hubble parameter and its inverse, the weight function, the ratio of the matter density to the dark energy density and its time variation, the deceleration, the jerk and the snap parameters, and the equation of state parameter of the dark energy. We numerically examine these quantities for two general models $R+\alpha R^{-n}+\sqrt{-T}$ and $R\log{[\alpha R]}^{q}+\sqrt{-T}$. All considered models have some inconsistent quantities (with respect to the available observational data), except the model with n=-0.9 which has more consistent quantities than the other ones. By considering the ratio of the matter density to the dark energy density, we find that the coincidence problem does~not refer to a unique cosmological event, rather this coincidence has also been occurred in the early universe. We also present the cosmological solutions for an interesting model $R+c_{1}\sqrt{-T}$ in the non-flat FLRW metric. We show that this model has an attractor solution for the late times, though with $w^{(\textrm{DE})}=-1/2$. This model indicates that the spatial curvature density parameter gets negligible values till the present era, in which it acquires the values of the order $10^{-4}$ or $10^{-3}$. [It continues ...]

Cosmological and Solar System Consequences of f(R,T) Gravity Models [Cross-Listing]

In order to find more deliberate f(R,T) cosmological solutions, we proceed our previous paper further by studying some new aspects of the considered models via investigation of some new cosmological parameters to attain the most acceptable cosmological results. Our investigations are performed by applying the dynamical system approach. We obtain the cosmological parameters in terms of some defined dimensionless parameters which are used in constructing the dynamical equations of motion. The investigated parameters are the evolution of the Hubble parameter and its inverse, the weight function, the ratio of the matter density to the dark energy density and its time variation, the deceleration, the jerk and the snap parameters, and the equation of state parameter of the dark energy. We numerically examine these quantities for two general models $R+\alpha R^{-n}+\sqrt{-T}$ and $R\log{[\alpha R]}^{q}+\sqrt{-T}$. All considered models have some inconsistent quantities (with respect to the available observational data), except the model with n=-0.9 which has more consistent quantities than the other ones. By considering the ratio of the matter density to the dark energy density, we find that the coincidence problem does~not refer to a unique cosmological event, rather this coincidence has also been occurred in the early universe. We also present the cosmological solutions for an interesting model $R+c_{1}\sqrt{-T}$ in the non-flat FLRW metric. We show that this model has an attractor solution for the late times, though with $w^{(\textrm{DE})}=-1/2$. This model indicates that the spatial curvature density parameter gets negligible values till the present era, in which it acquires the values of the order $10^{-4}$ or $10^{-3}$. [It continues ...]

White paper: Gaia and the end states of stellar evolution

This is the product of a Gaia GREAT workshop on "Gaia and the end states of stellar evolution" held at the University of Leicester in April 2011.

Atmospheric parameters and carbon abundance for hot DB white dwarfs

Atmospheric parameters for hot DB (helium atmosphere) white dwarfs near effective temperatures of 25000K are extremely difficult to determine from optical spectroscopy. This is particularly unfortunate, because this is the range of variable DBV or V777 Her stars. Accurate atmospheric parameters are needed to help or confirm the asteroseismic analysis of these objects. Another important aspect is the new class of white dwarfs – the hot DQ – detected by Dufour et al. (2007), with spectra dominated by carbon lines. The analysis shows that their atmospheres are pure carbon. The origin of these stars is not yet understood, but they may have an evolutionary link with the hotter DBs as studied here. Our aim is to determine accurate atmospheric parameters and element abundances and study the implications for the evolution white dwarfs of spectral classes DB and hot DQ. High resolution UV spectra of five DBs are studied with model atmospheres. We determine stellar parameters and abundances or upper limits of C and Si. These objects are compared with cooler DBs below 20000K. We find photospheric C and no other heavy elements – with extremely high limits on the C/Si ratio – in two of the five hot DBs. We compare various explanations for this unusual composition, which have been proposed in the literature: accretion of interstellar or circumstellar matter, radiative levitation, carbon dredge-up from deeper interior below the helium layer, and a residual stellar wind. None of these explanations is completely satisfactory, and the problem of the origin of the hot DQ remains an open question.

Roche tomography of cataclysmic variables - VI. Differential rotation of AE Aqr - Not tidally locked!

We present Roche tomograms of the K4V secondary star in the cataclysmic variable AE Aqr, reconstructed from two datasets taken 9 days apart, and measure the differential rotation of the stellar surface. The tomograms show many large, cool starspots, including a large high-latitude spot and a prominent appendage down the trailing hemisphere. We find two distinct bands of spots around 22$^{\circ}$ and 43$^{\circ}$ latitude, and estimate a spot coverage of 15.4-17% on the northern hemisphere. Assuming a solar-like differential rotation law, the differential rotation of AE Aqr was measured using two different techniques. The first method yields an equator-pole lap time of 269 d and the second yields a lap time of 262 d. This shows the star is not fully tidally locked, as was previously assumed for CVs, but has a co-rotation latitude of $\sim 40^{\circ}$. We discuss the implications that these observations have on stellar dynamo theory, as well as the impact that spot traversal across the first Lagrangian point may have on accretion rates in CVs as well as some of their other observed properties. The entropy landscape technique was applied to determine the system parameters of AE Aqr. For the two independent datasets we find M$_1$ = 1.20 and 1.17 M$_{\odot}$, M$_2$ = 0.81 and 0.78 M$_{\odot}$, and orbital inclinations of $50^{\circ}$ to $51^{\circ}$ at optimal systemic velocities of {\gamma} = -64.7 and -62.9 kms$^{-1}$.

Synthetic Stellar Photometry. I-General considerations and new transformations for broad-band systems

After a pedagogical introduction to the main concepts of synthetic photometry, colours and bolometric corrections in the Johnson-Cousins, 2MASS, and HST-ACS/WFC3 photometric systems are generated from MARCS synthetic fluxes for various [Fe/H] and [alpha/Fe] combinations, and virtually any value of reddening E(B-V) < 0.7. The successes and failures of model fluxes in reproducing the observed magnitudes are highlighted. Overall, extant synthetic fluxes predict quite realistic broad-band colours and bolometric corrections, especially at optical and longer wavelengths: further improvements of the predictions for the blue and ultraviolet spectral regions await the use of hydrodynamic models where the microturbulent velocity is not treated as a free parameter. We show how the morphology of the colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) changes for different values of [Fe/H] and [alpha/Fe]; in particular, how suitable colour combinations can easily discriminate between red giant branch and lower main sequence populations with different [alpha/Fe], due to the concomitant loops and swings in the CMD. We also provide computer programs to produce tables of synthetic bolometric corrections as well as routines to interpolate in them. These colour-Teff-metallicity relations may be used to convert isochrones for different chemical compositions to various bandpasses assuming observed reddening values, thus bypassing the standard assumption of a constant colour excess for stars of different spectral type. We also show how such an assumption can lead to significant systematic errors. The MARCS transformations presented in this study promise to provide important constraints on our understanding of the multiple stellar populations found in globular clusters (e.g., the colours of lower main sequence stars are predicted to depend strongly on [alpha/Fe]) and of those located towards/in the Galactic Bulge.

Rapid Change of Field Line Connectivity and Reconnection in Stochastic Magnetic Fields

Magnetic fields without a direction of continuous symmetry have the generic feature that neighboring field lines exponentiate away from each other and become stochastic, hence the ideal constraint of preserving magnetic field line connectivity becomes exponentially sensitive to small deviations from ideal Ohm’s law. The idea of breaking field line connectivity by stochasticity as a mechanism for fast reconnection is tested with numerical simulations based on reduced magnetohydrodynamics equations with a strong guide field line-tied to two perfectly conducting end plates. Starting from an ideally stable force-free equilibrium, the system is allowed to undergo resistive relaxation. Two distinct phases are found in the process of resistive relaxation. During the quasi-static phase, rapid change of field line connectivity and strong induced flow are found in regions of high field line exponentiation. However, although the field line connectivity of individual field lines can change rapidly, the overall pattern of field line mapping appears to deform gradually. From this perspective, field line exponentiation appears to cause enhanced diffusion rather than reconnection. In some cases, resistive quasi-static evolution can cause the ideally stable initial equilibrium to cross a stability threshold, leading to formation of intense current filaments and rapid change of field line mapping into a qualitatively different pattern. It is in this onset phase that the change of field line connectivity is more appropriately designated as magnetic reconnection. Our results show that rapid change of field line connectivity appears to be a necessary, but not a sufficient condition for fast reconnection.

Imaging survey of subsystems in secondary components to nearby southern dwarfs

To improve the statistics of hierarchical multiplicity, secondary components of wide nearby binaries with solar-type primaries were surveyed at the SOAR telescope for evaluating the frequency of subsystems. Images of 17 faint secondaries were obtained with the SOAR Adaptive Module that improved the seeing; one new 0.2" binary was detected. For all targets, photometry in the g’, i’, z’ bands is given. Another 46 secondaries were observed by speckle interferometry, resolving 7 close subsystems. Adding literature data, the binarity of 95 secondary components is evaluated. We found that the detection-corrected frequency of secondary subsystems with periods in the well-surveyed range from 10^3 to 10^5 days is 0.21+-0.06, same as the normal frequency of such binaries among solar-type stars, 0.18. This indicates that wide binaries are not produced by dynamical ejection from compact N-body systems during their early evolution, but are rather formed by fragmentation.

Methanol Maser Associated Outflows: Detection statistics and properties

We have selected the positions of 54 6.7GHz methanol masers from the Methanol Multibeam Survey catalogue, covering a range of longitudes between $20^{\circ}$ and $34^{\circ}$ of the Galactic Plane. These positions were mapped in the J=3-2 transition of both the $\rm{^{13}CO}$ and $\rm{C^{18}O}$ lines. A total of 58 $\rm{^{13}CO}$ emission peaks are found in the vicinity of these maser positions. We search for outflows around all $\rm{^{13}CO}$ peaks, and find evidence for high-velocity gas in all cases, spatially resolving the red and blue outflow lobes in 55 cases. Of these sources, 44 have resolved kinematic distances, and are closely associated with the 6.7GHz masers, a sub-set referred to as Methanol Maser Associated Outflows (MMAOs). We calculate the masses of the clumps associated with each peak using 870 $\rm{\mu m}$ continuum emission from the ATLASGAL survey. A strong correlation is seen between the clump mass and both outflow mass and mechanical force, lending support to models in which accretion is strongly linked to outflow. We find that the scaling law between outflow activity and clump masses observed for low-mass objects, is also followed by the MMAOs in this study, indicating a commonality in the formation processes of low-mass and high-mass stars.

On the Nature of the Extreme-Ultraviolet Late Phase of Solar Flares

The extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) late phase of solar flares is a second peak of warm coronal emissions (e.g., Fe XVI) for many minutes to a few hours after the GOES soft X-ray peak. It was first observed by the EUV Variability Experiment (EVE) on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The late phase emission originates from a second set of longer loops (late phase loops) that are higher than the main flaring loops. It is suggested as being caused by either additional heating or long-lasting cooling. In this paper, we study the role of long-lasting cooling and additional heating in producing the EUV late phase using the "enthalpy-based thermal evolution of loops" (EBTEL) model. We find that a long cooling process in late phase loops can well explain the presence of the EUV late phase emission, but we cannot exclude the possibility of additional heating in the decay phase. Moreover, we provide two preliminary methods based on the UV and EUV emissions from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on board SDO to determine whether an additional heating plays some role or not in the late phase emission. Using nonlinear force-free field modeling, we study the magnetic configuration of the EUV late phase. It is found that the late phase can be generated either in hot spine field lines associated with a magnetic null point or in large-scale magnetic loops of multipolar magnetic fields. In this paper, we also discuss why the EUV late phase is usually observed in warm coronal emissions and why the majority of flares do not exhibit an EUV late phase.

What is Generic Structure of the Three-dimensional Magnetic Reconnection? [Cross-Listing]

The probability of occurrence of various topological configurations of the three-dimensional reconnection in a random magnetic field is studied. It is found that a specific six-tail spatial configuration should play the dominant role, while all other types of reconnection (in particular, the axially-symmetric fan-like structures) are realized with a much less probability. A characteristic feature of the six-tail configuration is that at the sufficiently large scales it is approximately reduced to the well-known two-dimensional X-type structure; and this explains why the two-dimensional models of reconnection usually work quite well.

Proper Motions of Young Stellar Outflows in the Mid-Infrared with Spitzer. II. HH 377/Cep E

We have used multiple mid-infrared observations at 4.5 micron obtained with the Infrared Array Camera, of the compact (~1.4 arcmin) young stellar bipolar outflow Cep E to measure the proper motion of its brightest condensations. The images span a period of ~6 yr and have been reprocessed to achieve a higher angular resolution (~0.8 arcsec) than their normal beam (2 arcsec). We found that for a distance of 730 pc, the tangential velocities of the North and South outflow lobes are 62+/-29 and 94+/-6 km/s respectively, and moving away from the central source roughly along the major axis of the flow. A simple 3D hydrodynamical simulation of the H2 gas in a precessing outflow supports this idea. Observations and model confirm that the molecular Hydrogen gas, traced by the pure rotational transitions, moves at highly supersonic velocities without being dissociated. This suggests either a very efficient mechanism to reform H2 molecules along these shocks or the presence of some other mechanism (e.g. strong magnetic field) that shields the H2 gas.

A New Method to Calibrate the Stellar Color/Surface-Brightness Relation

I show that the standard microlensing technique to measure the angular radius of a star using color/surface-brightness relations can be inverted, via late-time proper motion measurements, to calibrate these relations. The method is especially useful for very metal-rich stars because such stars are in short supply in the solar neighborhood where other methods are most effective, but very abundant in Galactic bulge microlensing fields. I provide a list of eight spectroscopically identified high-metallicity bulge stars with the requisite finite-source effects, seven of which will be suitable calibrators when the Giant Magellan Telescope comes on line. Many more such sources can be extracted from current and future microlensing surveys.

Distributed Low-Mass Star Formation in the IRDC G34.43+00.24

We have used deep near-infrared observations with adaptive optics to discover a distributed population of low-mass protostars within the filamentary Infrared Dark Cloud G34.43+00.24. We use maps of dust emission at multiple wavelengths to determine the column density structure of the cloud. In combination with an empirically-verified model of the magnitude distribution of background stars, this column density map allows us to reliably determine overdensities of red sources that are due to embedded protostars in the cloud. We also identify protostars through their extended emission in K-band which comes from excited H2 in protostellar outflows or reflection nebulosity. We find a population of distributed low-mass protostars, suggesting that low-mass protostars may form earlier than, or contemporaneously with, high-mass protostars in such a filament. The low-mass protostellar population may also produce the narrow linewidth SiO emission observed in some clouds without high-mass protostars. Finally, we use a molecular line map of the cloud to determine the virial parameter per unit length along the filament and find that the highest mass protostars form in the most bound portion of the filament, as suggested by theoretical models.

Stellar intensity interferometry over kilometer baselines: Laboratory simulation of observations with the Cherenkov Telescope Array

A long-held astronomical vision is to realize diffraction-limited optical aperture synthesis over kilometer baselines. This will enable imaging of stellar surfaces and their environments, show their evolution over time, and reveal interactions of stellar winds and gas flows in binary star systems. An opportunity is now opening up with the large telescope arrays primarily erected for measuring Cherenkov light in air induced by gamma rays. With suitable software, such telescopes could be electronically connected and used also for intensity interferometry. With no optical connection between the telescopes, the error budget is set by the electronic time resolution of a few nanoseconds. Corresponding light-travel distances are on the order of one meter, making the method practically insensitive to atmospheric turbulence or optical imperfections, permitting both very long baselines and observing at short optical wavelengths. Theoretical modeling has shown how stellar surface images can be retrieved from such observations and here we report on experimental simulations. In an optical laboratory, artificial stars (single and double, round and elliptic) are observed by an array of telescopes. Using high-speed photon-counting solid-state detectors and real-time electronics, intensity fluctuations are cross correlated between up to a hundred baselines between pairs of telescopes, producing maps of the second-order spatial coherence across the interferometric Fourier-transform plane. These experiments serve to verify the concepts and to optimize the instrumentation and observing procedures for future observations with (in particular) CTA, the Cherenkov Telescope Array, aiming at order-of-magnitude improvements of the angular resolution in optical astronomy.

Transparent Helium in Stripped Envelope Supernovae

The light curves and velocity evolution of core-collapse supernovae (SNe) provide important clues to help constrain their progenitors. This may be especially important for stripped envelope SNe (Type Ib, Ic, and IIb), which have been elusive in providing direct connections with the massive stars that give rise to these explosions. Using simple arguments based on photometric light curves, we propose that many of these stripped envelope SNe show evidence that a significant fraction their helium is effectively transparent during the majority of their light curve evolution. This means that the helium should not contribute to the shaping of the main SN light curve and thus the total helium mass may be difficult to constrain from simple light curve modeling. Conversely, such modeling may be more useful for constraining the mass of the carbon/oxygen core of the SN progenitor. We discuss ways in which similar analysis can provide insights into the differences and similarities between SNe Ib and Ic, which will help lead to a better understanding of their respective formation mechanisms.

The RCB star V854 Cen is surrounded by a hot dusty shell

Aims. The hydrogen-deficient supergiants known as R Coronae Borealis Stars might be the result of a double degenerate merger of two white dwarfs (WDs), or a final helium shell flash in a PN central star. In this context, any information on the geometry of their circumstellar environment and, in particular, the potential detection of elongated structures is of great importance. Methods. We obtained near-IR observations of \object{V854\,Cen} with the {{\sc AMBER}} recombiner located at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer ({{\sc VLTI}}) array with the compact array (B$\leq$35m) in 2013 and the long array (B$\leq$140m) in 2014. At each time, \object{V854\,Cen} was at maximum light. The H- and K-band continua were investigated by means of spectrally-dependant geometric models. These data are supplemented with mid-IR {{\sc VISIR}}/VLT images. Results. A dusty slightly elongated over-density is discovered both in the H and K-band images. With the compact array, the central star is unresolved ($\Theta\leq2.5$\,mas), but a flattened dusty environment of $8 \times 11$ mas is discovered whose flux raises from about $\sim$20\% in the H band to reach about $\sim$50\% at 2.3\micron, indicative of the presence of hot (T$\sim$1500\,K) dust in the close vicinity of the star. The major axis is oriented at a position angle (P.A.) of 126$\pm$29\deg. Adding the long array configuration dataset provides tighter constraints on the star diameter ($\Theta\leq1.0$\,mas), a slight increase of the over-density representing $12 \times 15$ mas and a consistent P.A. of 133$\pm$49\deg. The closure phases, sensitive to asymmetries, are null and compatible with a centro-symmetric, unperturbed environment excluding point sources at the level of 3\% of the total flux in 2013 and 2014. The VISIR images exhibit at larger distances ($\sim$1\arcsec) a flattened aspect ratio at the 15-20\% level with a position angle of 92$\pm$19\deg, marginally consistent with the interferometric observations. Conclusions. This is the first time that a moderately elongated structure has been observed around an RCB star. These observations confirm the numerous suggestions for this star for a bipolar structure proposed in the literature, mainly based on polarimetric and spectroscopic observations.

V838 Monocerotis: the central star and its environment a decade after outburst

Aims. V838 Monocerotis erupted in 2002, brightened in a series of outbursts, and eventually developed a spectacular light echo. A very red star emerged a few months after the outburst. The whole event has been interpreted as the result of a merger. Methods. We obtained near-IR and mid-IR interferometric observations of V838 Mon with the AMBER and MIDI recombiners located at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) array. The MIDI two-beam observations were obtained with the 8m Unit Telescopes between October 2011 and February 2012. The AMBER three-beam observations were obtained with the compact array (B≤35m) in April 2013 and the long array (B≤140m) in May 2014, using the 1.8m Auxiliary Telescopes. Results. A significant new result is the detection of a compact structure around V838 Mon, as seen from MIDI data. The extension of the structure increases from a FWHM of 25 mas at 8 {\mu}m to 70 mas at 13 {\mu}m. At the adopted distance of D = 6.1 $\pm$ 0.6 kpc, the dust is distributed from about 150 to 400 AU around V838 Mon. The MIDI visibilities reveal a flattened structure whose aspect ratio increases with wavelength. The major axis is roughly oriented around a position angle of −10◦, which aligns with previous polarimetric studies reported in the literature. This flattening can be interpreted as a relic of the 2002 eruption or by the influence of the currently embedded B3V companion. The AMBER data provide a new diameter for the pseudo-photosphere, which shows that its diameter has decreased by about 40% in 10yrs, reaching a radius R∗ = 750 $\pm$ 200 R⊙ (3.5 $\pm$ 1.0 AU). Conclusions. After the 2002 eruption, interpreted as the merging of two stars, it seems that the resulting source is relaxing to a normal state. The nearby environment exhibits an equatorial over-density of dust up to several hundreds of AU.

Suprathermal Electrons in the Solar Corona: Can Nonlocal Transport Explain Heliospheric Charge States?

There have been several ideas proposed to explain how the Sun’s corona is heated and how the solar wind is accelerated. Some models assume that open magnetic field lines are heated by Alfven waves driven by photospheric motions and dissipated after undergoing a turbulent cascade. Other models posit that much of the solar wind’s mass and energy is injected via magnetic reconnection from closed coronal loops. The latter idea is motivated by observations of reconnecting jets and also by similarities of ion composition between closed loops and the slow wind. Wave/turbulence models have also succeeded in reproducing observed trends in ion composition signatures versus wind speed. However, the absolute values of the charge-state ratios predicted by those models tended to be too low in comparison with observations. This letter refines these predictions by taking better account of weak Coulomb collisions for coronal electrons, whose thermodynamic properties determine the ion charge states in the low corona. A perturbative description of nonlocal electron transport is applied to an existing set of wave/turbulence models. The resulting electron velocity distributions in the low corona exhibit mild suprathermal tails characterized by "kappa" exponents between 10 and 25. These suprathermal electrons are found to be sufficiently energetic to enhance the charge states of oxygen ions, while maintaining the same relative trend with wind speed that was found when the distribution was assumed to be Maxwellian. The updated wave/turbulence models are in excellent agreement with solar wind ion composition measurements.

The properties of single WO stars

The enigmatic oxygen sequence Wolf-Rayet (WO) stars represent a very late stage in massive star evolution, although their exact nature is still under debate. The spectra of most of the WO stars have never been analysed through detailed modelling with a non-local thermodynamic equilibrium expanding atmosphere code. Here we present preliminary results of the first homogeneous analysis of the (apparently) single WOs.

Sunspot Count Periodicities in Different Zurich Sunspot Group Classes since 1986

In this study, we used two methods to investigate the periodic behavior of sunspot counts in four categories for the time period January 1986-October 2013. These categories include the counts from simple (A and B), medium (C), large (D, E, and F), and final (H) sunspot groups. We used: i) the Multi-taper Method with red noise approximation, and ii) the Morlet wavelet transform for periodicity analysis. Our main findings are: (1) the solar rotation periodicity of about 25 to 37 days, which is of obvious significance, is found in all groups with at least a 95% significance level; (2) the periodic behavior of a cycle is strongly related to its amplitude and group distribution during the cycle; (3) the appearance of periods follow the amplitude of the investigated solar cycles, (4) meaningful periods do not appear during the minimum phases of the investigated cycles. We would like to underline that the cyclic behavior of all categories is not completely the same; there are some differences between these groups. This result can provide a clue for the better understanding of solar cycles.

Abundance analysis of red clump stars in the old, inner disc, open cluster NGC 4337: a twin of NGC 752?

Open star clusters older than ~ 1 Gyr are rare in the inner Galactic disc. Still, they are objects that hold crucial information for probing the chemical evolution of these regions of the Milky Way. We aim at increasing the number of old open clusters in the inner disc for which high-resolution metal abundances are available. Here we report on NGC 4337, which was recently discovered to be an old, inner disc open cluster. We present the very first high-resolution spectroscopy of seven clump stars that are all cluster members. We performed a detailed abundance analysis for them. We find that NGC 4337 is marginally more metal-rich than the Sun, with [Fe/H]=+0.12$\pm$0.05. The abundance ratios of $\alpha$-elements are generally solar. At odds with recent studies on intermediate-age and old open clusters in the Galactic disc, Ba is under-abundant in NGC 4337 compared with the Sun. Our analysis of the iron-peak elements (Cr and Ni) does not reveal anything anomalous. Based on these results, we estimate the cluster age to be 1.6$^{+0.1}_{-0.1}$ Gyr, and derive a reddening E(B-V)=0.23$\pm$0.05, and an apparent distance modulus $(m-M)_{V}=12.80\pm0.15$. Its distance to the Galactic centre is 7.6 kpc. With this distance and metallicity, NGC 4337 fits the metallicity gradient for the inner Galactic disc fairly well. The age and metallicity we measured make NGC 4337 a twin of the well-known old open cluster NGC 752. The red clumps of these two clusters bear an amazing resemblance. But the main sequence of NGC 752 is significantly more depleted in stars than that of NGC 4337. This would mean that NGC 752 is in a much more advanced dynamical stage, being on the verge of dissolving into the general Galactic field. Our results make NGC 4337 an extremely interesting object for further studies of stellar evolution in the critical turn-off mass range 1.1-1.4 solar masses.

Parametric decay of parallel and oblique Alfven waves in the expanding solar wind

The long-term evolution of large-amplitude Alfven waves propagating in the solar wind is investigated by performing two-dimensional MHD simulations within the expanding box model. The linear and nonlinear phases of the parametric decay instability are studied for both circularly polarized waves in parallel propagation and for arc-polarized waves in oblique propagation. The non-monochromatic case is also considered. In the oblique case, the direct excitation of daughter modes transverse to the local background field is found for the first time in an expanding environment, and this transverse cascade seems to be favored for monochromatic mother waves. The expansion effect reduces the instability growth rate, and it can even suppress its onset for the lowest frequency modes considered here, possibly explaining the persistence of these outgoing waves in the solar wind.

Initiation of CME event observed on November 3, 2010: Multi-wavelength Perspective

One of the major unsolved problems in Solar Physics is that of CME initiation. In this paper, we have studied the initiation of a flare associated CME which occurred on 2010 November 03 using multi-wavelength observations recorded by Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on board Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI). We report an observation of an inflow structure initially in 304~{\AA} and in 1600~{\AA} images, a few seconds later. This inflow strucure was detected as one of the legs of the CME. We also observed a non-thermal compact source concurrent and near co-spatial with the brightening and movement of the inflow structure. The appearance of this compact non-thermal source, brightening and movement of the inflow structure and the subsequent outward movement of the CME structure in the corona led us to conclude that the CME initiation was caused by magnetic reconnection.

Near Infrared Spectroscopy of M Dwarfs. I. CO Molecule as an Abundance Indicator of Carbon

Based on the near infrared spectra of 42 M dwarfs, carbon abundances are determined from the ro-vibrational lines of CO 2-0 band. We apply Teff values based on the angular diameters if available or use the Teff values in a logTeff – M3.4 (the absolute magnitude at 3.4 micron based on the WISE W1 flux and the Hipparcos parallax) relation to estimate Teff values of objects for which angular diameters are unknown. Also, we discuss briefly the HR diagram of low mass stars. On the observed spectrum of M dwarf, the continuum is depressed by the numerous weak lines of H2O and only the depressed continuum or the pseudo- continuum can be seen. On the theoretical spectrum of M dwarfs, we find that the pseudo-continuum can be evaluated accurately thanks to the recent H2O line database. Then quantitative analysis of the spectrum of M dwarf can be done by referring to the pseudo-continua both on the observed and theoretical spectra. Since the basic principle of the spectroscopic analysis should be the same whether the true- or pseudo-continuum is referred to, the difficulty related to the continuum in cool stars can in principle be overcome. Then, the numerous CO lines can be excellent abundance indicators of carbon, since almost all the carbon atoms are in stable CO molecules which remain almost unchanged for the changes of physical condition in the photosphere and, somewhat unexpectedly, carbon abundances in late-type stars can best be determined in M dwarfs rather than in solar type stars. The resulting C/Fe ratios for most M dwarfs are nearly constant at about the solar value based on the classical high carbon abundance rather than on the recently revised lower value. This result implies that the solar carbon abundance is atypical for its metallicity among the stellar objects in the solar neighborhood if the downward revised solar carbon abundance is correct.

ARES+MOOG - a practical overview of an EW method to derive stellar parameters

The goal of this document is to describe the important practical aspects in the use of an Equivalent Width (EW) method for the derivation of spectroscopic stellar parameters. A general description of the fundamental steps composing any EW method is given, together with possible differences that may be found in different methods used in the literature. Then ARES+MOOG is then used as an example where each step of the method is described in detail. A special focus is given for the specific steps of this method, namely the use of a differential analysis to define the atomic data for the adopted line list, the automatic EW determinations, and the way to find the best parameters at the end of the procedure. Finally, a practical tutorial is given, where we focus on simple exercises useful to illustrate and explain the dependence of the abundances with the assumed stellar parameters. The interdependences are described and a clear procedure is given to find the "final" stellar parameters.

The study of triple systems V819 Her, V2388 Oph, and V1031 Ori

The systems V819 Her, V2388 Oph, and V1031 Ori are triples comprised of an eclipsing binary orbiting with a distant visual component on a longer orbit. A detailed analysis of these interesting systems, combining the two observational techniques: interferometry and apparent period variation, was performed. The interferometric data for these three systems obtained during the last century determine the visual orbits of the distant components in the systems. The combined analysis of the positional measurements together with the analysis of apparent period changes of the eclipsing binary (using the minima timings) can be used to study these systems in a combined approach, resulting in a set of parameters otherwise unobtainable without the radial velocities. The main advantage of the technique presented here is the fact that one needs no spectroscopic monitoring of the visual orbits, which have rather long periods: 5.5 yr for V819 Her, 9.0 yr for V2388 Oph, and 31.3 yr for V1031 Ori, respectively. The eccentricities of the outer orbits are 0.69, 0.33, and 0.92, respectively. Moreover, the use of minima timings of the eclipsing pairs help us to derive the orientation of the orbit in space with no ambiguity around the celestial plane. And finally, the combined analysis yielded also an independent determination of the distance of V819 Her (68.7 +/- 1.8 pc), and V2388 Oph (70.6 +/- 8.9 pc). We also present a list of similar systems, which would be suitable for a combined analysis like this one.

On the Long-Term Modulation of Solar Differential Rotation

Long-term modulation of solar differential rotation was studied with data from Mt. Wilson and our original observations during Solar Cycles 16 through 23. The results are: i) The global B-value (i.e. latitudinal gradient of differential rotation), is modulated in a period of about six or seven solar cycles. ii) The B-values of the northern and southern hemispheres are also modulated with a similar period to the global one, but iii) they show quasi-oscillatory behavior with a phase shift between them. We examined the yearly fluctuations of the B-values in every solar cycle with reference to the phase of the sunspot cycle and found that the B-values show high values over the full-cycle years, when the cycle-averaged B-values are high. We discuss the independent long-term behavior of solar differential rotation between the northern and southern solar hemispheres and its implication for the solar dynamo.

Spectral atlases of the Sun from 3980 to 7100 {\AA} at the center and at the limb

In this work, we present digital and graphical atlases of spectra of both the solar disk-center and of the limb near the Solar poles using data taken at the UTS-IAP & RIAAM (the University of Tabriz Siderostat, telescope and spectrograph jointly developed with the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris and Research Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics of Maragha). High resolution and high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)CCD-slit spectra of the sun for 2 different parts of the disk, namely for $\mu$~=~1.0 (solar center) \& for $\mu$~=~ 0.3 solar limb) are provided and discussed. While there are several spectral atlases of the solar disk-center, this is the first spectral atlas ever produced for the solar limb at this spectral range. The resolution of the spectra is about \emph{R}~$\sim$~70 000 ($\Delta\lambda$~$\sim$~0.09 {\AA} with the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of 400$-$600. The full atlas covers the 3980 to 7100 {\AA} spectral regions and contains 44 pages with three partial spectra of the solar spectrum put on each page to make it compact. The difference spectrum of the normalized solar disk-center and the solar limb is also included in the graphic presentation of the atlas to show the difference of line profiles, including far wings. The identification of the most significant solar lines is included in the graphic presentation of the atlas. Telluric lines are producing a definite signature on the difference spectra which is easy to notice. At the end of this paper we present only two sample pages of the whole atlas while the graphic presentation of the whole atlas along with its ASCII file can be accessed via the ftp server of the CDS in Strasbourg via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (130.79.128.5) or via this link \footnote{\url{http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/other/ApSS}}.

Evidence of a Mira-like tail and bow shock about the semi-regular variable V CVn from four decades of polarization measurements

Polarization is a powerful tool for understanding stellar atmospheres and circumstellar environments. Mira and semi-regular variable stars have been observed for decades and some are known to be polarimetrically variable, however, the semi-regular variable V Canes Venatici displays an unusually large, unexplained amount of polarization. We present ten years of optical polarization observations obtained with the HPOL instrument, supplemented by published observations spanning a total interval of about forty years for V CVn. We find that V CVn shows large polarization variations ranging from 1 – 6%. We also find that for the past forty years the position angle measured for V CVn has been virtually constant suggesting a long-term, stable, asymmetric structure about the star. We suggest that this asymmetry is caused by the presence of a stellar wind bow shock and tail, consistent with the star’s large space velocity.

Challenges in Explaining the Galactic Center Gamma-Ray Excess with Millisecond Pulsars [Cross-Listing]

Millisecond pulsars have been discussed as a possible source of the gamma-ray excess observed from the region surrounding the Galactic Center. With this in mind, we use the observed population of bright low-mass X-ray binaries to estimate the number of millisecond pulsars in the Inner Galaxy. This calculation suggests that only ~1-5% of the excess is produced by millisecond pulsars. We also use the luminosity function derived from local measurements of millisecond pulsars, along with the number of point sources resolved by Fermi, to calculate an upper limit for the diffuse emission from such a population. While this limit is compatible with the millisecond pulsar population implied by the number of low-mass X-ray binaries, it strongly excludes the possibility that most of the excess originates from such objects.

Challenges in Explaining the Galactic Center Gamma-Ray Excess with Millisecond Pulsars

Millisecond pulsars have been discussed as a possible source of the gamma-ray excess observed from the region surrounding the Galactic Center. With this in mind, we use the observed population of bright low-mass X-ray binaries to estimate the number of millisecond pulsars in the Inner Galaxy. This calculation suggests that only ~1-5% of the excess is produced by millisecond pulsars. We also use the luminosity function derived from local measurements of millisecond pulsars, along with the number of point sources resolved by Fermi, to calculate an upper limit for the diffuse emission from such a population. While this limit is compatible with the millisecond pulsar population implied by the number of low-mass X-ray binaries, it strongly excludes the possibility that most of the excess originates from such objects.

Constraints on Core Collapse from the Black Hole Mass Function

We model the observed black hole mass function under the assumption that black hole formation is controlled by the compactness of the stellar core at the time of collapse. Low compactness stars are more likely to explode as supernovae and produce neutron stars, while high compactness stars are more likely to be failed supernovae that produce black holes with the mass of the helium core of the star. Using three sequences of stellar models and marginalizing over a model for the completeness of the black hole mass function, we find that the compactness xi(2.5) above which 50% of core collapses produce black holes is xi(2.5)=0.24 (0.15 < xi(2.5) < 0.37) at 90% confidence). While models with a sharp transition between successful and failed explosions are always the most likely, the width of the transition between the minimum compactness for black hole formation and the compactness above which all core collapses produce black holes is not well constrained. The models also predict that f=0.18 (0.09 < f < 0.39) of core collapses fail assuming a minimum mass for core collapse of 8Msun. We tested four other criteria for black hole formation based on xi(2.0) and xi(3.0), the compactnesses at enclosed masses of 2.0 or 3.0 rather than 2.5Msun, the mass of the iron core, and the mass inside the oxygen burning shell. We found that xi(2.0) works as well as xi(2.5), while the compactness xi(3.0) works significantly worse, as does using the iron core mass or the mass enclosed by the oxygen burning shell. As expected from the high compactness of 20-25Msun stars, black hole formation in this mass range provides a natural explanation of the red supergiant problem.

A New Determination of the Spectra and Luminosity Function of Gamma-Ray Millisecond Pulsars

In this article, we revisit the gamma-ray emission observed from millisecond pulsars and globular clusters. Based on 5.6 years of data from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, we report gamma-ray spectra for 61 millisecond pulsars, finding most to be well fit by a power-law with an exponential cutoff, producing to a spectral peak near ~1-2 GeV (in $E^2 dN/dE$ units). Additionally, while most globular clusters exhibit a similar spectral shape, we identify a few with significantly softer spectra. We also determine the gamma-ray luminosity function of millisecond pulsars using the population found in the nearby field of the Milky Way, and within the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. We find that the gamma-ray emission observed from globular clusters is dominated by a relatively small number of bright millisecond pulsars, and that low-luminosity pulsars account for only a small fraction of the total flux. Our results also suggest that the gamma-ray emission from millisecond pulsars is more isotropic and less strongly beamed than the emission at X-ray wavelengths. Furthermore, the observed distribution of apparent gamma-ray efficiencies provides support for the slot gap or the outer gap models over those in which the gamma-ray emission originates from regions close to the neutron star’s magnetic poles (polar cap models).

A New Determination of the Spectra and Luminosity Function of Gamma-Ray Millisecond Pulsars [Cross-Listing]

In this article, we revisit the gamma-ray emission observed from millisecond pulsars and globular clusters. Based on 5.6 years of data from the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, we report gamma-ray spectra for 61 millisecond pulsars, finding most to be well fit by a power-law with an exponential cutoff, producing to a spectral peak near ~1-2 GeV (in $E^2 dN/dE$ units). Additionally, while most globular clusters exhibit a similar spectral shape, we identify a few with significantly softer spectra. We also determine the gamma-ray luminosity function of millisecond pulsars using the population found in the nearby field of the Milky Way, and within the globular cluster 47 Tucanae. We find that the gamma-ray emission observed from globular clusters is dominated by a relatively small number of bright millisecond pulsars, and that low-luminosity pulsars account for only a small fraction of the total flux. Our results also suggest that the gamma-ray emission from millisecond pulsars is more isotropic and less strongly beamed than the emission at X-ray wavelengths. Furthermore, the observed distribution of apparent gamma-ray efficiencies provides support for the slot gap or the outer gap models over those in which the gamma-ray emission originates from regions close to the neutron star’s magnetic poles (polar cap models).

A WISE view of novae. I. The data

We present the results of data-mining the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) archive for data on classical and recurrent novae. We find that the detections are consistent with dust emission, line emission, emission by a stellar photosphere, or a combination of these. Of the 36 novae detected in one or more WISE bands, 16 are detected in all four; thirty-one known novae are not detected by WISE. We also searched for WISE data on post-WISE novae, to gain information about nova progenitors. In this first paper we consider only the WISE data. In future papers we will provide a more detailed modelling of the WISE data, and discuss WISE data on post-WISE novae – including their variability – and will complement the WISE data with data from other IR surveys.

Center to limb observations and modeling of the Ca I 4227 A line

The observed center-to-limb variation (CLV) of the scattering polarization in different lines of the Second Solar Spectrum can be used to constrain the height variation of various atmospheric parameters, in particular the magnetic fields via the Hanle effect. Here we attempt to model non-magnetic CLV observations of the $Q/I$ profiles of the Ca I 4227 A line recorded with the ZIMPOL-3 at IRSOL. For modeling, we use the polarized radiative transfer with partial frequency redistribution with a number of realistic 1-D model atmospheres. We find that all the standard FAL model atmospheres, used by us, fail to simultaneously fit the observed ($I$, $Q/I$) at all the limb distances ($\mu$). However, an attempt is made to find a single model which can provide a fit at least to the CLV of the observed $Q/I$ instead of a simultaneous fit to the ($I$, $Q/I$) at all $\mu$. To this end we construct a new 1-D model by combining two of the standard models after modifying their temperature structures in the appropriate height ranges. This new combined model closely reproduces the observed $Q/I$ at all the $\mu$, but fails to reproduce the observed rest intensity at different $\mu$. Hence we find that no single 1-D model atmosphere succeeds in providing a good representation of the real Sun. This failure of 1-D models does not however cause an impediment to the magnetic field diagnostic potential of the Ca I 4227 A line. To demonstrate this we deduce the field strength at various $\mu$ positions without invoking the use of radiative transfer.

Polarized light scattering with Paschen-Back effect, level-crossing of fine structure states and partial frequency redistribution

The quantum interference between the fine structure states of an atom modifies the shapes of the emergent Stokes profiles in the Second Solar Spectrum. This phenomenon has been studied in great detail both in the presence and absence of magnetic fields. By assuming a flat-spectrum for the incident radiation, the signatures of this effect have been explored for arbitrary field strengths. Even though the theory which takes into account the frequency dependence of the incident radiation is well developed, it is restricted to the regime in which the magnetic splitting is much smaller than the fine structure splitting. In the present paper, we carry out a generalization of our scattering matrix formalism including the effects of partial frequency redistribution (PRD) for arbitrary magnetic fields. We test the formalism using available benchmarks for special cases. In particular we apply it to the Li\,{\sc i} 6708\,\AA\ D$_1$ and D$_2$ line system, for which observable effects from the Paschen-Back regime are expected in the Sun’s spectrum.

WASP 1628+10 - an EL CVn-type binary with a very-low-mass stripped-red-giant star and multi-periodic pulsations [Replacement]

The star 1SWASP J162842.31+101416.7 (WASP 1628+10) is one of several EL CVn-type stars recently identified using the WASP database, i.e., an eclipsing binary star in which an A-type dwarf star (WASP 1628+10A) eclipses the remnant of a disrupted red giant star (WASP1628+10B). We have measured the masses, radii and luminosities of the stars in WASP 1628+10 using photometry obtained in three bands (u’, g’, r’) with the Ultracam instrument and medium-resolution spectroscopy. The properties of the remnant are well-matched by models for stars in a rarely-observed state evolving to higher effective temperatures at nearly constant luminosity prior to becoming a very low-mass white dwarf composed almost entirely of helium, i.e., we confirm that WASP 1628+10B is a pre-He-WD. WASP 1628+10A appears to be a normal A2V star with a mass of $1.36 \pm 0.05 M_{\odot}$. By fitting models to the spectrum of this star around the H$\gamma$ line we find that it has an effective temperature T$_{\rm eff,A} = 7500 \pm 200$K and a metallicity [Fe/H]$ = -0.3 \pm 0.3$. The mass of WASP 1628+10B is only $0.135 \pm 0.02M_{\odot}$. The effective temperature of this pre-He-WD is approximately 9200K. The Ultracam photometry of WASP 1628+10 shows variability at several frequencies around 40 cycles per day, which is typical for $\delta$ Sct-type pulsations often observed in early A-type stars like WASP 1628+10A. We also observe frequencies near 114 cycles/day and 129 cycles/day, much higher than the frequencies normally seen in $\delta$ Sct stars. Additional photometry through the primary eclipse will be required to confirm that these higher frequencies are due to pulsations in WASP 1628+10B. If confirmed, this would be only the second known example of a pre-He-WD showing high-frequency pulsations.

WASP 1628+10 - an EL CVn-type binary with a very-low-mass stripped-red-giant star and multi-periodic pulsations

The star 1SWASP J162842.31+101416.7 (WASP 1628+10) is one of several EL CVn-type stars recently identified using the WASP database, i.e., an eclipsing binary star in which an A-type dwarf star (WASP 1628+10A) eclipses the remnant of a disrupted red giant star (WASP1628+10B). We have measured the masses, radii and luminosities of the stars in WASP 1628+10 using photometry obtained in three bands (u’, g’, r’) with the Ultracam instrument and medium-resolution spectroscopy. The properties of the remnant are well-matched by models for stars in a rarely-observed state evolving to higher effective temperatures at nearly constant luminosity prior to becoming a very low-mass white dwarf composed almost entirely of helium, i.e., we confirm that WASP 1628+10B is a pre-He-WD. WASP 1628+10A appears to be a normal A2V star with a mass of $1.36 \pm 0.05 M_{\odot}$. By fitting models to the spectrum of this star around the H$\gamma$ line we find that it has an effective temperature T$_{\rm eff,A} = 7500 \pm 200$K and a metallicity [Fe/H]$ = -0.3 \pm 0.3$. The mass of WASP 1628+10B is only $0.135 \pm 0.02M_{\odot}$. The effective temperature of this pre-He-WD is approximately 9200K. The Ultracam photometry of WASP 1628+10 shows variability at several frequencies around 40 cycles per day, which is typical for $\delta$ Sct-type pulsations often observed in early A-type stars like WASP 1628+10A. We also observe frequencies near 114 cycles/day and 129 cycles/day, much higher than the frequencies normally seen in $\delta$ Sct stars. Additional photometry through the primary eclipse will be required to confirm that these higher frequencies are due to pulsations in WASP 1628+10B. If confirmed, this would be only the second known example of a pre-He-WD showing high-frequency pulsations.

The Hamburg/ESO R-process Enhanced Star survey (HERES) X. HE 2252-4225, one more r-process enhanced and actinide-boost halo star

We report on a detailed abundance analysis of the r-process enhanced giant star, HE 2252-4225 ([Fe/H] = -2.63, [r/Fe] = 0.80). Determination of stellar parameters and element abundances was based on analysis of high-quality VLT/UVES spectra. The surface gravity was calculated from the NLTE ionisation balance between Fe I and Fe II. Accurate abundances were determined for a total of 38 elements, including 22 neutron-capture elements beyond Sr and up to Th. This object is deficient in carbon, as expected for a giant star with Teff < 4800 K. The stellar Na-Zn abundances are well fitted by the yields of a single supernova of 14.4 Msun. For the neutron-capture elements in the Sr-Ru, Ba-Yb, and Os-Ir regions, the abundance pattern of HE 2252-4225 is in excellent agreement with the average abundance pattern of the strongly r-process enhanced stars CS 22892-052, CS 31082-001, HE 1219-0312, and HE 1523-091. This suggests a common origin of the first, second, and third r-process peak elements in HE 2252-4225 in the classical r-process. We tested the solar r-process pattern based on the most recent s-process calculations of Bisterzo et al. (2014) and found that elements in the range from Ba to Ir match it very well. No firm conclusion can be drawn about the relationship between the fisrt neutron-capture peak elements, Sr to Ru, in HE 2252-4225 and the solar r-process, due to the uncertainty in the solar r-process. The investigated star has an anomalously high Th/Eu abundance ratio, so that radioactive age dating results in a stellar age of tau = 1.5+-1.5 Gyr that is not expected for a very metal-poor halo star.

High Resolution Echelle Spectroscopy of Two High Proper Motion Stars: HD 102870 and BD+20 3603

In this study performed as a part of an on-going project: chemical abundance analysis of F type high proper motion (HPM) stars selected from the {\sc ELODIE} archive. High resolution (R=42\,000) and high signal to noise ratio (S/N=103, 36 $-$per$-$pixel) \’{e}chelle spectra from the {\sc ELODIE} archive for HD\,102870 and BD\,+20\,3603, two representative F type HPM stars, are used to determine the fundamental parameters and photospheric abundances of 16 chemical elements including Fe and heavy slow (s)$-$ and rapid (r)$-$process elements from Y to Ba. The chemical composition and kinematic parameters of the stars imply that they belong to different Galactic populations: we report HD\,102870, an IAU standard radial velocity star, to be a thin disk star and BD\,+20\,3603, a metal-poor high proper motion star, to be a halo star.

SIMP J2154-1055: A New Low-Gravity L4$\beta$ Brown Dwarf Candidate Member of the Argus Association

We present SIMP J21543454-1055308, a new L4$\beta$ brown dwarf identified in the Sondage Infrarouge de Mouvement Propre (SIMP) survey that display signs of low gravity in its near-infrared spectrum. Using the Bayesian Analysis for Nearby Young AssociatioNs II (BANYAN II), we show that it is a candidate member of the Argus association, albeit with a 21% probability that it is a contaminant from the field. Measurements of radial velocity and parallax will be needed to verify its membership. If it is a member of Argus (age 30-50 Myr), then this object would have a planetary mass of 10 $\pm$ 0.5 $M_{\mathrm{Jup}}$.

Sunspot Catalogue of the Valencia Observatory (1920-1928)

A sunspot catalogue was maintained by the Astronomical Observatory of Valencia University (Spain) from 1920 to 1928. Here we present a machine-readable version of this catalogue (OV catalog or OVc), including a quality control analysis. Sunspot number (total and hemispheric) and sunspot area series are constructed using this catalogue. The OV catalog’s data are compared with other available solar data, demonstrating that the present contribution provides the scientific community with a reliable catalogue of sunspot data.

 

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