Recent Postings from Solar and Stellar

Resolved Companions of Cepheids: Testing the Candidates with X-Ray Observations

We have made {\it XMM-Newton\/} observations of 14 Galactic Cepheids that have candidate resolved ($\geq$5$\arcsec$) companion stars based on our earlier {\it HST\/} WFC3 imaging survey. Main-sequence stars that are young enough to be physical companions of Cepheids are expected to be strong X-ray producers in contrast to field stars. {\it XMM-Newton\/} exposures were set to detect essentially all companions hotter than spectral type M0 (corresponding to 0.5 $ M_\odot$.) The large majority of our candidate companions were not detected in X-rays, and hence are not confirmed as young companions. One resolved candidate (S~Nor \#4) was unambiguously detected, but the Cepheid is a member of a populous cluster. For this reason, it is likely that S~Nor \#4 is a cluster member rather than a gravitationally bound companion. Two further Cepheids (S~Mus and R~Cru) have X-ray emission that might be produced by either the Cepheid or the candidate resolved companion. A subsequent {\it Chandra} observation of S Mus shows that the X-rays are at the location of the Cepheid/spectroscopic binary. R Cru and also V659 Cen (also X-ray bright) have possible companions closer than 5$\arcsec$ (the limit for this study) which are the likely source of X-rays. One final X-ray detection (V473 Lyr) has no known optical companion, so the prime suspect is the Cepheid itself. It is a unique Cepheid with a variable amplitude.

Be Stars as Seen Through Telescopes in Survey Mode (I)

In spite of the almost all-encompassing variability of Be stars, surveys play a steadily increasing role in complementing the insights gained from single-star studies. The definition of classical Be stars as recently augmented by \cite{Rivinius2013} enables unambiguous identification of Be stars in a much increased range of observations. Results of targeted surveys are briefly reviewed for the effects of metallicity, binarity, and evolution. It still remains to be seen whether Be stars are safe benchmarks for the calibration of evolutionary models with rapid rotation.

The Global Solar Dynamo

A brief summary of the various observations and constraints that underlie solar dynamo research are presented. The arguments that indicate that the solar dynamo is an alpha-omega dynamo of the Babcock-Leighton type are then shortly reviewed. The main open questions that remain are concerned with the subsurface dynamics, including why sunspots emerge at preferred latitudes as seen in the familiar butterfly wings, why the cycle is about 11 years long, and why the sunspot groups emerge tilted with respect to the equator (Joy's law). Next, we turn to magnetic helicity, whose conservation property has been identified with the decline of large-scale magnetic fields found in direct numerical simulations at large magnetic Reynolds numbers. However, magnetic helicity fluxes through the solar surface can alleviate this problem and connect theory with observations, as will be discussed.

Short-term variability and mass loss in Be stars I. BRITE satellite photometry of $\eta$ and $\mu$ Centauri

Empirical evidence for the involvement of nonradial pulsations (NRP's) in the mass loss from Be stars ranges from (i) a singular case (\object{$\mu$ Cen}) of repetitive mass ejections triggered by multi-mode beating to (ii) several photometric reports about enormous numbers of pulsation modes popping up during outbursts and on to (iii) effective single-mode pulsators. The BRITE Constellation of nanosatellites was used to obtain mmag photometry of the Be stars $\eta$ and \object{$\mu$ Cen}. In the low-inclination star \object{$\mu$ Cen}, light pollution by variable amounts of near-stellar matter prevented any new insights into the variability and other properties of the central star. In the equator-on star \object{$\eta$ Cen}, BRITE photometry and {\sc Heros} echelle spectroscopy from the 1990s reveal an intricate clockwork of star-disk interactions. The mass transfer is modulated with the frequency difference of two NRP modes and an amplitude three times as large as the amplitude sum of the two NRP modes. This process feeds a high-amplitude circumstellar activity running with the incoherent and slightly lower so-called \v{S}tefl frequency. The mass loss-modulation cycles are tightly coupled to variations in the value of the \v{S}tefl frequency and in its amplitude, albeit with strongly drifting phase differences. The observations are well described by the decomposition of the mass loss into a pulsation-related engine in the star and a viscosity-dominated engine in the circumstellar disk. Arguments are developed that large-scale gas-circulation flows occur at the interface. The propagation rates of these eddies manifest themselves as \v{S}tefl frequencies. Bursts in power spectra during mass-loss events can be understood as the noise inherent to these gas flows.

Dust masses of disks around 8 Brown Dwarfs and Very Low-Mass Stars in Upper Sco OB1 and Ophiuchus

We present the results of ALMA band 7 observations of dust and CO gas in the disks around 7 objects with spectral types ranging between M5.5 and M7.5 in Upper Scorpius OB1, and one M3 star in Ophiuchus. We detect unresolved continuum emission in all but one source, and the $^{12}$CO J=3-2 line in two sources. We constrain the dust and gas content of these systems using a grid of models calculated with the radiative transfer code MCFOST, and find disk dust masses between 0.1 and 1 M$_\oplus$, suggesting that the stellar mass / disk mass correlation can be extrapolated for brown dwarfs with masses as low as 0.05 M$_\odot$. The one disk in Upper Sco in which we detect CO emission, 2MASS J15555600, is also the disk with warmest inner disk as traced by its H - [4.5] photometric color. Using our radiative transfer grid, we extend the correlation between stellar luminosity and mass-averaged disk dust temperature originally derived for stellar mass objects to the brown dwarf regime to $\langle T_{dust} \rangle \approx 22 (L_{*} /L_{\odot})^{0.16} K$, applicable to spectral types of M5 and later. This is slightly shallower than the relation for earlier spectral type objects and yields warmer low-mass disks. The two prescriptions cross at 0.27 L$_\odot$, corresponding to masses between 0.1 and 0.2 M$_\odot$ depending on age.

Detection of binary and multiple systems among rapidly rotating K and M dwarf stars from Kepler data

From an examination of ~18,000 Kepler light curves of K- and M-stars we find some 500 which exhibit rotational periods of less than 2 days. Among such stars, approximately 50 show two or more incommensurate periodicities. We discuss the tools that allow us to differentiate between rotational modulation and other types of light variations, e.g., due to pulsations or binary modulations. We find that these multiple periodicities are independent of each other and likely belong to different, but physically bound, stars. This scenario was checked directly by UKIRT and adaptive optics imaging, time-resolved Fourier transforms, and pixel-level analysis of the data. Our result is potentially important for discovering young multiple stellar systems among rapidly rotating K- and M-dwarfs.

On the 2015 outburst of the EXor variable star V1118 Ori

After a long-lasting period of quiescence of about a decade, the source V1118 Ori, one of the most representative members of the EXor variables, is now outbursting. Since the initial increase of the near-infrared flux of about 1 mag (JHK bands) registered on 2015 September 22, the source brightness has remained fairly stable. We estimate DeltaV about 3 mag with respect to the quiescence phase. An optical/near-IR low-resolution spectrum has been obtained with the Large Binocular Telescope instruments MODS and LUCI2, and compared with a spectrum of similar spectral resolution and sensitivity level taken during quiescence. Together with the enhancement of the continuum, the outburst spectrum presents a definitely higher number of emission lines, in particular HI recombination lines of the Balmer, Paschen, and Brackett series, along with bright permitted lines of several species, forbidden atomic lines, and CO ro-vibrational lines. Both mass accretion and mass loss rates have significantly increased (by to about an order of magnitude, mass accretion rate = 1.2-4.8 10^-8 M_sun/yr, mass loss rate = 0.8-2 10^-9 M_sun/yr) with respect to the quiescence phase. If compared with previous outbursts, the present one appears less energetic. Alternatively, it could already be in the fading phase (with the maximum brightness level reached when the source was not visible), or, viceversa, still in the rising phase.

A new insight into the V1184 Tau variability

V1184 Tau is a young variable for long time monitored at optical wavelengths. Its variability has been ascribed to a sudden and repetitive increase of the circumstellar extinction (UXor-type variable), but the physical origin of such variation, although hypothesized, has not been fully supported on observational basis. To get a new insight into the variability of V1184 Tau, we present new photometric and spectroscopic observations taken in the period 2008-2015. During these years the source has reached the same high brightness level that had before the remarkable fading of about 5 mag undergone in 2004. The optical spectrum is the first obtained when the continuum is at its maximum level. The observations are interpreted in the framework of extinction driven variability. We analyze light curves, optical and near-infrared colors, SED and optical spectrum. The emerging picture indicates that the source fading is due to an extinction increase of DeltaA_V about 5 mag, associated with a strong infrared excess, attributable to a thermal component at T=1000 K. From the flux of H(alpha) we derive a mass accretion rate between 10^-11 -5 10^-10 M_sun yr^-1 s, consistent with that of classical T Tauri stars of similar mass. The source SED was fitted for both the high and low level of brightness. A scenario consistent with the known stellar properties (such as spectral type, mass and radius) is obtained only if the distance to the source is of few hundreds of parsecs, in contrast with the commonly assumed value of 1.5 kpc. Our analysis partially supports that presented by Grinin (2009), according to which the circumstellar disk undergoes a periodical puffing, whose observational effects are both to shield the central star and to evidence a disk wind activity. However, since the mass accretion rate remains almost constant with time, the source is likely not subject to accretion bursts.

Indication of the High Mass-Transfer Ratio in S-type Symbiotic Binaries

By modelling H$^0$ column densities in eclipsing S-type symbiotic stars EG And and SY Mus, we derived the wind velocity profile and the corresponding mass-loss rate from their giants. Our analysis revealed a strong enhancement of the wind at the orbital plane.

MUSE crowded field 3D spectroscopy of over 12,000 stars in the globular cluster NGC 6397 - I. The first spectroscopic HRD of a globular cluster

Aims. We demonstrate the high multiplex advantage of crowded field 3D spectroscopy using the new integral field spectrograph MUSE by means of a spectroscopic analysis of more than 12,000 individual stars in the globular cluster NGC 6397. Methods. The stars are deblended with a PSF fitting technique, using a photometric reference catalogue from HST as prior, including relative positions and brightnesses. This catalogue is also used for a first analysis of the extracted spectra, followed by an automatic in-depth analysis using a full-spectrum fitting method based on a large grid of PHOENIX spectra. Results. With 18,932 spectra from 12,307 stars in NGC 6397 we have analysed the largest sample so far available for a single globular cluster. We derived a mean radial velocity of vrad=17.84+-0.07 km/s and a mean metallicity of [Fe/H]=-2.120+-0.002, with the latter seemingly varying with temperature for stars on the RGB. We determine T_eff and [Fe/H] from the spectra, and log g from HST photometry. This is the first very comprehensive HRD for a globular cluster based on the analysis of several thousands of stellar spectra. Furthermore, two interesting objects were identified with one being a post-AGB star and the other a possible millisecond-pulsar companion.

MUSE crowded field 3D spectroscopy of over 12,000 stars in the globular cluster NGC 6397 - II. Probing the internal dynamics and the presence of a central black hole

We present a detailed analysis of the kinematics of the Galactic globular cluster NGC 6397 based on more than ~18,000 spectra obtained with the novel integral field spectrograph MUSE. While NGC 6397 is often considered a core collapse cluster, our analysis suggests a flattening of the surface brightness profile at the smallest radii. Although it is among the nearest globular clusters, the low velocity dispersion of NGC 6397 of <5km/s imposes heavy demands on the quality of the kinematical data. We show that despite its limited spectral resolution, MUSE reaches an accuracy of 1km/s in the analysis of stellar spectra. We find slight evidence for a rotational component in the cluster and the velocity dispersion profile that we obtain shows a mild central cusp. To investigate the nature of this feature, we calculate spherical Jeans models and compare these models to our kinematical data. This comparison shows that if a constant mass-to-light ratio is assumed, the addition of an intermediate-mass black hole with a mass of 600M_sun brings the model predictions into agreement with our data, and therefore could be at the origin of the velocity dispersion profile. We further investigate cases with varying mass-to-light ratios and find that a compact dark stellar component can also explain our observations. However, such a component would closely resemble the black hole from the constant mass-to-light ratio models as this component must be confined to the central ~5arcsec of the cluster and must have a similar mass. Independent constraints on the distribution of stellar remnants in the cluster or kinematic measurements at the highest possible spatial resolution should be able to distinguish the two alternatives.

High spatial resolution imaging of SO and H$_2$CO in AB Auriga: the first SO image in a transitional disk

Transitional disks are structures of dust and gas around young stars with large inner cavities in which planet formation may occur. Lopsided dust distributions are observed in the dust continuum emission at millimeter wavelengths. These asymmetrical structures can be explained as the result of an enhanced gas density vortex where the dust is trapped potentially promoting the rapid growth to the planetesimal scale. AB Aur hosts a transitional disk with a clear horseshoe morphology which strongly suggests the presence of a dust trap. Our goal is to investigate its formation and the possible effects on the gas chemistry. We used the NOEMA interferometer to image the 1mm continuum dust emission and the $^{13}$CO J$=$2 $\rightarrow$1, C$^{18}$O J$=$2 $\rightarrow$1, SO J$=$5$_6$ $\rightarrow$4$_5$ and H$_2$CO J$=$3$_{03}$ $\rightarrow$2$_{02}$ rotational lines. Line integrated intensity ratio images are built to investigate the chemical changes within the disk. We have used a single point (n,T) chemical model to investigate the lifetime of gaseous CO, H$_2$CO and SO in the dust trap. Our model shows that for densities $>$10$^7$~cm$^{-3}$, the SO molecules are depleted (directly frozen or converted into SO$_2$ and then frozen out) in less than 0.1~Myr. The lower SO abundance towards the dust trap could indicate that a larger fraction of the gas is in a high density environment. Gas dynamics, grain growth and gas chemistry are coupled in the planet formation process. Because of the strong dependence of SO abundance on the gas density, the sulfur chemistry can be used as a chemical diagnostic to detect the birthsites of future planets. However, the large uncertainties inherent to chemical models and the limited knowledge of the disk physical structure and initial conditions are important drawbacks.

An M dwarf Companion to an F-type Star in a young main-sequence binary

Only a few well characterized very low-mass M dwarfs are known today. Our understanding of M dwarfs is vital as these are the most common stars in our solar neighborhood. We aim to characterize the properties of a rare F+dM stellar system for a better understanding of the low-mass end of the Hertzsprung-Russel diagram. We used photometric light curves and radial velocity follow-up measurements to study the binary. Spectro- scopic analysis was used in combination with isochrone fitting to characterize the primary star. The primary star is an early F-type main-sequence star with a mass of (1.493 +- 0.073) Msun and a radius of (1.474 +- 0.040) Rsun. The companion is an M dwarf with a mass of (0.188 +- 0.014) Msun and a radius of (0.234 +- 0.009) Rsun. The orbital period is (1.35121 +- 0:00001)d. The secondary star is among the lowest-mass M dwarfs known to date. The binary has not reached a 1:1 spin-orbit synchronization. This indicates a young main-sequence binary with an age below ~250 Myrs. The mass-radius relation of both components are in agreement with this finding.

Light Curve Solutions of an Eclipsing Binary OGLE-GD-ECL-04451 with a Dramatic Change in Amplitude

We present light curve solutions of the W UMa-type eclipsing binary OGLE-GD-ECL-04451, observed by both the \emph{Optical Gravitational Lensing Ex-periment} (\emph{OGLE}) program in 2006 and the \emph{Antarctica Survey Telescope} (\emph{AST3-1}) in 2012 at Dome A. We analyzed this binary system with the Wilson-Devinney(W-D) method 2013 version and derived the mass ratio $q=2.91 \pm 0.07$, the inclination $i=76.86^\circ \pm 0.23^\circ$, and the light variattion amplitud was $0^m.51$ based on the \emph{OGLE} data. From the \emph{AST3-1}'s data, we find that the amplitude dropped to $0^m.44$(2012) and the difference of magnitudes of the two light maxima is $0^m.03$. A hot spot was then added on the surface of the secondary to demonstrate the amplitude change and O'Conell effect of the binary system.

Carbon Chains and Methanol toward Embedded Protostars

Large interstellar organic molecules are potential precursors of prebiotic molecules. Their formation pathways and chemical relationships with one another and simpler molecules are therefore of great interest. In this paper, we address the relationship between two classes of large organic molecules, carbon chains and saturated complex organic molecules (COMs), at the early stages of star formation through observations of C4H and CH3OH. We surveyed these molecules with the IRAM 30m telescope toward 16 deeply embedded low-mass protostars selected from the Spitzer c2d ice survey. We find that CH3OH and C4H are positively correlated indicating that these two classes of molecules can coexist during the embedded protostellar stage. The C4H/CH3OH gas abundance ratio tentatively correlates with the CH4/CH3OH ice abundance ratio in the same lines of sight. This relationship supports a scenario where carbon chain formation in protostellar envelopes begins with CH4 ice desorption.

Period-Luminosity-Colour Relation for Early-Type Contact Binaries

This work describes the analysis of 64 early-type, massive contact or near-contact eclipsing systems from the Large Magellanic Cloud discovered by the OGLE-III survey. It presents the determination of the period-luminosity-colour relation followed by these objects, that is different from the one previously known for late-type W UMa stars. The relation for massive stars has a significantly steeper dependence on the colour, which is related to a much higher bolometric correction, however it is shallower in the period term. This leads to the conclusion, that the relation for the total population of main sequence contact binaries is non-linear. When studied separately, genuinely-contact and near-contact systems follow two slightly different relations.

Molecular cloud formation in high-shear, magnetized colliding flows

Evidence suggests that star formation may begin during or shortly after the formation of molecular clouds. Under this assumption, models of molecular cloud formation should provide mechanisms capable of driving rapid fragmentation of the gas into stars. Models of large-scale colliding flows have been shown to naturally generate such mechanisms via a variety of instabilities. Previously, we have explored hydrodynamical simulations of colliding flows to study morphology, dynamics, and protocluster formation within the collision zone (Carroll-Nellenback, Frank & Heitsch 2014). Here, we extend these simulations by exploring the effect of adding a weak magnetic field to the flows and including shear at the collision interface. Shear is generated in our simulations by varying the inclination of the collision interface. We find that both magnetic fields and shear impede gravitational collapse. In the presence of even a weak field, the protocluster formation rate and final mass distribution is decreased. This effect becomes stronger with increasing shear. We also identify mechanisms capable of driving large-scale realignment of an initially inclined interface, as happened in our most extreme case.

The Galactic O-Star Spectroscopic Survey (GOSSS). III. 142 additional O-type systems

This is the third installment of GOSSS, a massive spectroscopic survey of Galactic O stars, based on new homogeneous, high signal-to-noise ratio, R~2500 digital observations selected from the Galactic O-Star Catalog (GOSC). In this paper we present 142 additional stellar systems with O stars from both hemispheres, bringing the total of O-type systems published within the project to 590. Among the new objects there are 20 new O stars. We also identify 11 new double-lined spectroscopic binaries (SB2s), of which 6 are of O+O type and 5 of O+B type, and an additional new tripled-lined spectroscopic binary (SB3) of O+O+B type. We also revise some of the previous GOSSS classifications, present some egregious examples of stars erroneously classified as O-type in the past, introduce the use of luminosity class IV at spectral types O4-O5.5, and adapt the classification scheme to the work of Arias et al. (2016).

A temperature condensation trend in the debris-disk binary system Zet2 Ret

We explore condensation temperature Tc trends in the unique binary system Zet1 Ret - Zet2 Ret, to determine whether there is a depletion of refractories, which could be related to the planet formation process. The star Zet2 Ret hosts a debris disk which was detected by an IR excess and confirmed by direct imaging and numerical simulations, while Zet1 Ret does not present IR excess nor planets. We carried out a high-precision abundance determination in both components of the binary system via a line-by-line, strictly differential approach. The stellar parameters Teff , log g, [Fe/H] and vturb were determined by imposing differential ionization and excitation equilibrium of Fe I and Fe II lines, with an updated version of the program FUNDPAR. The star Zet1 Ret resulted slightly more metal rich than Zet2 Ret by 0.02 dex. In the differential calculation of Zet1 Ret using Zet2 Ret as reference, the abundances of the refractory elements resulted higher than the volatile elements, and the trend of the refractory elements with Tc showed a positive slope. These facts together show a lack of refractory elements in Zet2 Ret (a debris-disk host) relative to Zet1 Ret. The Tc trend would be in agreement with the proposed signature of planet formation (Melendez et al. 2009) rather than possible Galactic Chemical Evolution or age effects, which are largely diminished here. Then, following the interpretation of Melendez et al. (2009), we propose an scenario in which the refractory elements depleted in Zet2 Ret are possibly locked-up in the rocky material that orbits this star and produce the debris disk observed around this object. We estimated a lower limit of Mrock = 3 Me for the rocky mass of depleted material, which is compatible with a rough estimation of 3-50 Me of a debris disk mass around a solar-type star (Krivov et al. 2008). (abridged)

A Numerical Model for Accretion in Intermediate Polars with Dipolar Magnetic Fields

A three-dimensional numerical model for an accretion process investigation in the magnetosphere of a white dwarf in magnetic cataclysmic variables is developed. The model assumes that the white dwarf has a dipole magnetic field with its symmetry axis inclined to the rotation axis. The model is based on the equations of modified MHD, that describe the mean flow parameters in the wave MHD turbulence. Diffusion of the magnetic field and radiative heating and cooling are taken into account. The suitability of the model is confirmed by modeling the accretion in a typical intermediate polar. The computations show that a magnetosphere forms around the accretor, with the accretion occurring via columns. The accretion columns have a curtain-like shape, and arc-shaped zones of energy release form on the surface of the white dwarf in the magnetic poles area as a result of the matter infall.

The Matryoshka Disk: Keck/NIRC2 Discovery of a Solar System-Scale, Radially Segregated Residual Protoplanetary Disk Around HD 141569A

Using Keck/NIRC2 $L^\prime$ (3.78 $\mu m$) data, we report the direct imaging discovery of a scattered light-resolved, solar system-scale residual protoplanetary disk around the young A-type star HD 141569A, interior to and concentric with the two ring-like structures at wider separations. The disk is resolved down to $\sim$ 0\farcs{}25 and appears as an arc-like rim with attached hook-like features. It is located at an angular separation intermediate between that of warm CO gas identified from spatially-resolved mid-infrared spectroscopy and diffuse dust emission recently discovered with the \textit{Hubble Space Telescope}. The inner disk has a radius of $\sim$ 39 AU, a position angle consistent with north-up, an inclination of $i$ $\sim$ 56$^{o}$, and has a center offset from the star. Forward-modeling of the disk favors a thick torus-like emission sharply truncated at separations beyond the torus' photocenter and heavily depleted at smaller separations. In particular, the best-fit density power law for the dust suggests that the inner disk dust and gas (as probed by CO) are radially segregated, a feature consistent with the dust trapping mechanism inferred from observations of "canonical" transitional disks. However, the inner disk component may instead be explained by radiation pressure-induced migration in optically-thin conditions, in contrast to the two stellar companion/planet-influenced ring-like structures at wider separations. HD 141569A's circumstellar environment --- with three nested, gapped, concentric dust populations --- is an excellent laboratory for understanding the relationship between planet formation and the evolution of both dust grains and disk architecture.

The UBV Color Evolution of Classical Novae. II. Color-Magnitude Diagram

We have examined the outburst tracks of 40 novae in the color-magnitude diagram (intrinsic B-V color versus absolute V magnitude). After reaching the optical maximum, each nova generally evolves toward blue from the upper-right to the lower-left and then turns back toward the right. The 40 tracks are categorized into one of six templates: very fast nova V1500 Cyg; fast novae V1668 Cyg, V1974 Cyg, and LV Vul; moderately fast nova FH Ser; and very slow nova PU Vul. These templates are located from the left (blue) to the right (red) in this order, depending on the envelope mass and nova speed class. A bluer nova has a less massive envelope and faster nova speed class. In novae with multiple peaks, the track of the first decay is more red than that of the second (or third) decay, because a large part of the envelope mass had already been ejected during the first peak. Thus, our newly obtained tracks in the color-magnitude diagram provide useful information to understand the physics of classical novae. We also found that the absolute magnitude at the beginning of the nebular phase is almost similar among various novae. We are able to determine the absolute magnitude (or distance modulus) by fitting the track of a target nova to the same classification of a nova with a known distance. This method for determining nova distance has been applied to some recurrent novae and their distances have been recalculated.

Eta Carinae's Thermal X-ray Tail Measured with XMM-Newton and NuSTAR

The evolved, massive highly eccentric binary system, eta Carinae, underwent a periastron passage in the summer of 2014. We obtained two coordinated X-ray observations with XMM-Newton and NuSTAR during the elevated X-ray flux state and just before the X-ray minimum flux state around this passage. These NuSTAR observations clearly detected X-ray emission associated with eta Car extending up to ~50 keV for the first time. The NuSTAR spectrum above 10 keV can be fit with the bremsstrahlung tail from a kT ~6 keV plasma. This temperature is Delta kT ~2 keV higher than those measured from the iron K emission line complex, if the shocked gas is in collisional ionization equilibrium. This result may suggest that the companion star's pre-shock wind velocity is underestimated. The NuSTAR observation near the X-ray minimum state showed a gradual decline in the X-ray emission by 40% at energies above 5 keV in a day, the largest rate of change of the X-ray flux yet observed in individual eta Car observations. The column density to the hardest emission component, NH ~1e24 cm-2, marked one of the highest values ever observed for eta Car, strongly suggesting increased obscuration of the wind-wind colliding X-ray emission by the thick primary stellar wind prior to superior conjunction. Neither observation detected the power-law component in the extremely hard band that INTEGRAL and Suzaku observed prior to 2011. If the non-detection by NuSTAR is caused by absorption, the power-law source must be small and located very near the WWC apex. Alternatively, it may be that the power-law source is not related to either eta Car or the GeV gamma-ray source.

Solar and Stellar Photospheric Abundances

The determination of photospheric abundances in late-type stars from spectroscopic observations is a well-established field, built on solid theoretical foundations. Improving those foundations to refine the accuracy of the inferred abundances has proven challenging, but progress has been made. In parallel, developments on instrumentation, chiefly regarding multi-object spectroscopy, have been spectacular, and a number of projects are collecting large numbers of observations for stars across the Milky Way and nearby galaxies, promising important advances in our understanding of galaxy formation and evolution. After providing a brief description of the basic physics and input data involved in the analysis of stellar spectra, a review is made of the analysis steps, and the available tools to cope with large observational efforts. The paper closes with a quick overview of relevant ongoing and planned spectroscopic surveys, and highlights of recent research on photospheric abundances.

The formation and evolution of reconnection-driven slow-mode shocks in a partially ionised plasma

The role of slow-mode MHD shocks in magnetic reconnection is one of great importance for energy conversion and transport, but in many astrophysical plasmas the plasma is not fully ionised. In this paper, we investigate, using numerical simulations, the role of collisional coupling between a proton-electron charge-neutral fluid and a neutral hydrogen fluid for the 1D Riemann problem initiated in a constant pressure and density background state by a discontinuity in the magnetic field. This system, in the MHD limit, is characterised by two waves: a fast-mode rarefaction wave that drives a flow towards a slow-mode MHD shock. The system evolves through four stage: initiation, weak coupling, intermediate coupling and a quasi steady state. The initial stages are characterised by an over-pressured neutral region that expands with characteristics of a blast wave. In the later stages, the system tends towards a self-similar solution where the main drift velocity is concentrated in the thin region of the shock front. Due to the nature of the system, the neutral fluid is overpressured by the shock when compared to a purely hydrodynamic shock which results in the neutral fluid expanding to form the shock precursor. The thickness of the shockfront once it has formed proportional to the ionisation fraction to the power -1.2, which is a smaller exponent than would be naively expected from simple scaling arguments. One interesting result is that the shock front is a continuous transition of the physical variables for sub-sonic velocity upstream of the shock front (a c-shock) to a sharp jump in the physical variables followed by a relaxation to the downstream values for supersonic upstream velocity (a j-shock). The frictional heating that results from the velocity drift across the shock front can amount to approximately two per cent of the reference magnetic energy.

Measuring the neutron star equation of state using X-ray timing [Cross-Listing]

One of the primary science goals of the next generation of hard X-ray timing instruments is to determine the equation of state of the matter at supranuclear densities inside neutron stars, by measuring the radius of neutron stars with different masses to accuracies of a few percent. Three main techniques can be used to achieve this goal. The first involves waveform modelling. The flux we observe from a hotspot on the neutron star surface offset from the rotational pole will be modulated by the star's rotation, giving rise to a pulsation. Information about mass and radius is encoded into the pulse profile via relativistic effects, and tight constraints on mass and radius can be obtained. The second technique involves characterising the spin distribution of accreting neutron stars. The most rapidly rotating stars provide a very clean constraint, since the mass-shedding limit is a function of mass and radius. However the overall spin distribution also provides a guide to the torque mechanisms in operation and the moment of inertia, both of which can depend sensitively on dense matter physics. The third technique is to search for quasi-periodic oscillations in X-ray flux associated with global seismic vibrations of magnetars (the most highly magnetized neutron stars), triggered by magnetic explosions. The vibrational frequencies depend on stellar parameters including the dense matter equation of state. We illustrate how these complementary X-ray timing techniques can be used to constrain the dense matter equation of state, and discuss the results that might be expected from a 10m$^2$ instrument. We also discuss how the results from such a facility would compare to other astronomical investigations of neutron star properties. [Modified for arXiv]

Measuring the neutron star equation of state using X-ray timing

One of the primary science goals of the next generation of hard X-ray timing instruments is to determine the equation of state of the matter at supranuclear densities inside neutron stars, by measuring the radius of neutron stars with different masses to accuracies of a few percent. Three main techniques can be used to achieve this goal. The first involves waveform modelling. The flux we observe from a hotspot on the neutron star surface offset from the rotational pole will be modulated by the star's rotation, giving rise to a pulsation. Information about mass and radius is encoded into the pulse profile via relativistic effects, and tight constraints on mass and radius can be obtained. The second technique involves characterising the spin distribution of accreting neutron stars. The most rapidly rotating stars provide a very clean constraint, since the mass-shedding limit is a function of mass and radius. However the overall spin distribution also provides a guide to the torque mechanisms in operation and the moment of inertia, both of which can depend sensitively on dense matter physics. The third technique is to search for quasi-periodic oscillations in X-ray flux associated with global seismic vibrations of magnetars (the most highly magnetized neutron stars), triggered by magnetic explosions. The vibrational frequencies depend on stellar parameters including the dense matter equation of state. We illustrate how these complementary X-ray timing techniques can be used to constrain the dense matter equation of state, and discuss the results that might be expected from a 10m$^2$ instrument. We also discuss how the results from such a facility would compare to other astronomical investigations of neutron star properties. [Modified for arXiv]

Stellar Open Clusters' Membership Probabilities: an N-Dimensional Geometrical Approach

We present a new geometrical method aimed at determining the members of open clusters. The methodology estimates, in an N-dimensional space, the membership probabilities by means of the distances between every star and the cluster central overdensity. It can handle different sets of variables, which have to satisfy the simple condition of being more densely distributed for the cluster members than for the field stars (as positions, proper motions, radial velocities and/or parallaxes are). Unlike other existing techniques, this fact makes the method more flexible and so can be easily applied to different datasets. To quantify how the method identifies the clus- ter members, we design series of realistic simulations recreating sky regions in both position and proper motion subspaces populated by clusters and field stars. The re- sults, using different simulated datasets (N = 1, 2 and 4 variables), show that the method properly recovers a very high fraction of simulated cluster members, with a low number of misclassified stars. To compare the goodness of our methodology, we also run other existing algorithms on the same simulated data. The results show that our method has a similar or even better performance than the other techniques. We study the robustness of the new methodology from different subsamplings of the ini- tial sample, showing a progressive deterioration of the capability of our method as the fraction of missing objects increases. Finally, we apply all the methodologies to the real cluster NGC 2682, indicating that our methodology is again in good agreement with preceding studies.

A Search for Brief Optical Flashes Associated with the SETI Target KIC 8462852 [Replacement]

The F-type star KIC 8462852 has recently been identified as an exceptional target for SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) observations. We describe an analysis methodology for optical SETI, which we have used to analyse nine hours of serendipitous archival observations of KIC 8462852 made with the VERITAS gamma-ray observatory between 2009 and 2015. No evidence of pulsed optical beacons, above a pulse intensity at the Earth of approximately 1 photon per m^2, is found. We also discuss the potential use of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope arrays in searching for extremely short duration optical transients in general.

A Search for Brief Optical Flashes Associated with the SETI Target KIC 846285

The F-type star KIC~8462852 has recently been identified as an exceptional target for SETI (search for extraterrestrial intelligence) observations. We describe an analysis methodology for optical SETI, which we have used to analyse nine hours of serendipitous archival observations of KIC~8462852 made with the VERITAS gamma-ray observatory between 2009 and 2015. No evidence of pulsed optical beacons, above a pulse intensity at the Earth of approximately 1 photon per m^2, is found. We also discuss the potential use of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescope arrays in searching for extremely short duration optical transients in general.

The initial abundance and distribution of 92Nb in the Solar System

Niobium-92 is an extinct proton-rich nuclide, which decays to 92Zr with a half-life of 37 Ma. This radionuclide potentially offers a unique opportunity to determine the timescales of early Solar System processes and the site(s) of nucleosynthesis for p-nuclei, once its initial abundance and distribution in the Solar System are well established. Here we present internal Nb-Zr isochrons for three basaltic achondrites with known U-Pb ages: the angrite NWA 4590, the eucrite Agoult, and the ungrouped achondrite Ibitira. Our results show that the relative Nb-Zr isochron ages of the three meteorites are consistent with the time intervals obtained from the Pb-Pb chronometer for pyroxene and plagioclase, indicating that 92Nb was homogeneously distributed among their source regions. The Nb-Zr and Pb-Pb data for NWA 4590 yield the most reliable and precise reference point for anchoring the Nb-Zr chronometer to the absolute timescale: an initial 92Nb/93Nb ratio of $(1.4 \pm 0.5) \times 10^{-5}$ at $4557.93 \pm 0.36$ Ma, which corresponds to a 92Nb/93Nb ratio of $(1.7 \pm 0.6) \times 10^{-5}$ at the time of the Solar System formation. On the basis of this new initial ratio, we demonstrate the capability of the Nb-Zr chronometer to date early Solar System objects including troilite and rutile, such as iron and stony-iron meteorites. Furthermore, we estimate a nucleosynthetic production ratio of 92Nb to the p-nucleus 92Mo between 0.0015 and 0.035. This production ratio, together with the solar abundances of other p-nuclei with similar masses, can be best explained if these light p-nuclei were primarily synthesized by photodisintegration reactions in Type Ia supernovae.

Dynamics and gravitational-wave emission of neutron-star merger remnants

The coalescence of a neutron-star binary is likely to result in the formation of a neutron-star merger remnant for a large range of binary mass configurations. The massive merger remnant shows strong oscillations, which are excited by the merging process, and emits gravitational waves. Here we discuss possibilities and prospects of inferring unknown stellar properties of neutron stars by the detection of postmerger gravitational-wave emission, which thus leads to constraints of the equation of state of high-density matter. In particular, the dominant oscillation frequency of the postmerger remnant provides tight limits to neutron-star radii. We mention first steps towards a practical implementation of future gravitational-wave searches for the postmerger emission. Moreover, we outline possibilities to estimate the unknown maximum mass of nonrotating neutron stars from such types of measurements. Finally, we review the origin and scientific implications of secondary peaks in the gravitational-wave spectrum of neutron-star mergers and differences in the dynamical behavior of the postmerger remnant depending on the binary configuration. These considerations lead to a unified picture of the post-merger gravitational-wave emission and the post-merger dynamics.

Dynamics and gravitational-wave emission of neutron-star merger remnants [Cross-Listing]

The coalescence of a neutron-star binary is likely to result in the formation of a neutron-star merger remnant for a large range of binary mass configurations. The massive merger remnant shows strong oscillations, which are excited by the merging process, and emits gravitational waves. Here we discuss possibilities and prospects of inferring unknown stellar properties of neutron stars by the detection of postmerger gravitational-wave emission, which thus leads to constraints of the equation of state of high-density matter. In particular, the dominant oscillation frequency of the postmerger remnant provides tight limits to neutron-star radii. We mention first steps towards a practical implementation of future gravitational-wave searches for the postmerger emission. Moreover, we outline possibilities to estimate the unknown maximum mass of nonrotating neutron stars from such types of measurements. Finally, we review the origin and scientific implications of secondary peaks in the gravitational-wave spectrum of neutron-star mergers and differences in the dynamical behavior of the postmerger remnant depending on the binary configuration. These considerations lead to a unified picture of the post-merger gravitational-wave emission and the post-merger dynamics.

Multi-Layered Neural Networks Infer Fundamental Stellar Parameters

The advent of space-based observatories such as CoRoT and Kepler has enabled the testing of our understanding of stellar evolution on thousands of stars. Evolutionary models typically require five input parameters, the mass, initial Helium abundance, initial metallicity, mixing-length (assumed to be constant over time) and the age to which the star must be evolved. These parameters are also very useful in characterizing the associated planets and in studying galactic archaeology. How to obtain the parameters from observations rapidly and accurately, specifically in the context of surveys of thousands of stars, is an outstanding question, one that has eluded straightforward resolution. For a given star, we typically measure the effective temperature and surface metallicity spectroscopically and low-degree oscillation frequencies through space observatories. Here we demonstrate that statistical learning, using multi-layered neural networks, is successful in determining the evolutionary parameters based on spectroscopic and seismic measurements. Our trained networks show robustness over a broad range of parameter space, and critically, are entirely computationally inexpensive. This method is both computationally cheap and inferentially accurate, paving the way for analyzing the vast quantities of stellar observations from past, current and future missions.

Carbon stars in the X-shooter Spectral Library

We provide a new collection of spectra of 35 carbon stars obtained with the ESO/VLT X-shooter instrument as part of the X-shooter Spectral Library project. The spectra extend from 0.3$\mu$m to 2.4$\mu$m with a resolving power above $\sim$ 8000. The sample contains stars with a broad range of (J-K) color and pulsation properties located in the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds. We show that the distribution of spectral properties of carbon stars at a given (J-K) color becomes bimodal (in our sample) when (J-K) is larger than about 1.5. We describe the two families of spectra that emerge, characterized by the presence or absence of the absorption feature at 1.53$\mu$m, generally associated with HCN and C$_2$H$_2$. This feature appears essentially only in large-amplitude variables, though not in all observations. Associated spectral signatures that we interpret as the result of veiling by circumstellar matter, indicate that the 1.53$\mu$m feature might point to episodes of dust production in carbon-rich Miras.

The discovery and characterisation of binary central stars in planetary nebulae

Close binary central stars of planetary nebulae are key in constraining the poorly-understood common-envelope phase of evolution, which in turn is critical in understanding the formation of a wide-range of astrophysical phenomena (including cataclysmic variables, low-mass X-ray binaries and supernovae type Ia). Here, I present the results of our on-going, targeted search for close-binaries in planetary nebulae which has led to the discovery of more than 10 new central binaries in just the last few years (almost the same as the total discovered during the 1980s and 1990s together). This success has been rooted in the targeted selection of objects for study, based on morphological features deemed typical of binarity, as well as novel observing strategies (including the employment of narrow-band filters for photometry to minimise nebular contamination), both of which are discussed. These new discoveries, coupled with the painstaking characterisation of both newly discovered systems and those from the literature, mean that we are now in a position to begin to probe the physics of the common-envelope phase.

The first decade of RR Lyrae space photometric observations

Space-based photometric telescopes stirred up stellar astrophysics in the last decade, and RR Lyrae stars have not been an exception from that either. The long, quasi-continuous, high-precision data from MOST, CoRoT and Kepler revealed a wealth of new insights about this well-known variable class. One of the most surprising mysteries turned out to be the apparent omnipresence of a common additional mode in all RRd and RRc stars. Moreover, fundamental-mode stars seem to populate two distinct classes, one of which is characterized by the presence of additional modes and/or modulation, and another limited to strict single-mode pulsation. The presence of additional modes and multiple modulations in RRab stars allowed us to construct Petersen diagrams for these parameters: while the pulsation modes show clear structures according to period ratios, there seems to be no relation between the modulation periods themselves.

Evolved stars and the origin of abundance trends in planet hosts

Tentative evidence that the properties of evolved stars with planets may be different from what we know for MS hosts has been recently reported. We aim to test whether evolved stars with planets show any chemical peculiarity that could be related to the planet formation process. We determine in a consistent way the metallicity and individual abundances of a large sample of evolved (subgiants and red giants) and MS stars with and without known planetary companions. No differences in the <[X/Fe]> vs. condensation temperature (Tc) slopes are found between the samples of planet and non-planet hosts when all elements are considered. However, if the analysis is restricted to only refractory elements, differences in the Tc-slopes between stars with and without known planets are found. This result is found to be dependent on the stellar evolutionary stage, as it holds for MS and subgiant stars, while there seem to be no difference between planet and non-planet hosts among the sample of giants. A search for correlations between the Tc-slope and the stellar properties reveals significant correlations with the stellar mass and the stellar age. The data also suggest that differences in terms of mass and age between MS planet and non-planet hosts may be present. Our results are well explained by radial mixing in the Galaxy. The sample of giant contains stars more massive and younger than their MS counterparts. This leads to a sample of stars possibly less contaminated by stars not born in the solar neighbourhood, leading to no chemical differences between planet and non planet hosts. The sample of MS stars may contain more stars from the outer disc (specially the non-planet host sample) which might led to the differences observed in the chemical trends.

Forward Modelling of Propagating Slow Waves in Coronal Loops and Their Frequency-Dependent Damping

Propagating slow waves in coronal loops exhibit a damping which depends upon the frequency of the waves. In this study we aim to investigate the relationship of the damping length (L$_d$) with the frequency of the propagating wave. We present a 3-D coronal loop model with uniform density and temperature and investigate the frequency dependent damping mechanism for the four chosen wave periods. We include the thermal conduction to damp the waves as they propagate through the loop. The numerical model output has been forward modelled to generate synthetic images of SDO/AIA 171 \r{A} and 193 \r{A} channels. The use of forward modelling, which incorporates the atomic emission properties into the intensity images, allows us to directly compare our results with the real observations. The results show that the damping lengths vary linearly with the periods. We also measure the contributions of the emission properties on the damping lengths by using density values from the simulation. In addition to that} we have also calculated the theoretical dependence of L$_d$ with wave periods and showed that it is consistent with the results we obtained from the numerical modelling and earlier observations.

The DRAGON simulations: globular cluster evolution with a million stars

Introducing the DRAGON simulation project, we present direct $N$-body simulations of four massive globular clusters (GCs) with $10^6$ stars and 5$\%$ primordial binaries at a high level of accuracy and realism. The GC evolution is computed with NBODY6++GPU and follows the dynamical and stellar evolution of individual stars and binaries, kicks of neutron stars and black holes, and the effect of a tidal field. We investigate the evolution of the luminous (stellar) and dark (faint stars and stellar remnants) GC components and create mock observations of the simulations (i.e. photometry, color-magnitude diagrams, surface brightness and velocity dispersion profiles). By connecting internal processes to observable features we highlight the formation of a long-lived 'dark' nuclear subsystem made of black holes (BHs), which results in a two-component structure. The inner core is dominated by the BH subsystem and experiences a core collapse phase within the first Gyr. It can be detected in the stellar (luminous) line-of-sight velocity dispersion profiles. The outer extended core - commonly observed in the (luminous) surface brightness profiles - shows no collapse features and is continuously expanding. We demonstrate how a King (1966) model fit to observed clusters might help identify the presence of post core-collapse BH subsystems. For global observables like core and half-mass radii the direct simulations agree well with Monte-Carlo models. Variations in the initial mass function can result in significantly different GC properties (e.g. density distributions) driven by varying amounts of early mass loss and the number of forming BHs.

A Hubble Space Telescope Survey for Novae in M87. I. Light and Color Curves, Spatial Distributions and the Nova Rate

The Hubble Space Telescope has imaged the central part of M87 over a 10 week span, leading to the discovery of 32 classical novae. In this first in a series of papers we present the M87 nova finder charts, and the light and color curves of the novae. We demonstrate that the rise and decline times, and the colors of M87 novae are uncorrelated with each other and with position in the galaxy. The spatial distribution of the M87 novae follows the light of the galaxy, suggesting that novae accreted by M87 during cannibalistic episodes are well-mixed. We derive the nova rate for M87: $363_{-45}^{+33}$ novae/yr. We also derive the luminosity-specific nova rate for this galaxy, which is $9.17_{-3.0}^{+2.7} /yr/ 10^{10}L_\odot,_{K}$. Both rates are 4 times higher higher than those reported for M87 in the past, and similarly higher than those reported for all other galaxies. We suggest that most previous ground-based surveys for novae in external galaxies, including M87, miss most faint, fast novae, and almost all slow novae near the centers of galaxies.

Collision strengths and transition probabilities for Co III forbidden lines [Cross-Listing]

In this paper we compute the collision strengths and their thermally-averaged Maxwellian values for electron transitions between the fifteen lowest levels of doubly-ionised cobalt, Co^{2+}, which give rise to forbidden emission lines in the visible and infrared region of spectrum. The calculations also include transition probabilities and predicted relative line emissivities. The data are particularly useful for analysing the thermodynamic conditions of supernova ejecta.

The JCMT Gould Belt Survey: Dense Core Clusters in Orion B

The JCMT Gould Belt Legacy Survey obtained SCUBA-2 observations of dense cores within three sub-regions of Orion B: LDN 1622, NGC 2023/2024, and NGC 2068/2071, all of which contain clusters of cores. We present an analysis of the clustering properties of these cores, including the two-point correlation function and Cartwright's Q parameter. We identify individual clusters of dense cores across all three regions using a minimal spanning tree technique, and find that in each cluster, the most massive cores tend to be centrally located. We also apply the independent M-Sigma technique and find a strong correlation between core mass and the local surface density of cores. These two lines of evidence jointly suggest that some amount of mass segregation in clusters has happened already at the dense core stage.

Self-induced neutrino flavor conversion without flavor mixing

Neutrino-neutrino refraction in dense media can cause self-induced flavor conversion triggered by collective run-away modes of the interacting flavor oscillators. The growth rates were usually found to be of order a typical vacuum oscillation frequency $\Delta m^2/2E$. However, even in the simple case of a $\nu_e$ beam interacting with an opposite-moving $\bar\nu_e$ beam, and allowing for spatial inhomogeneities, the growth rate of the fastest-growing Fourier mode is of order $\mu=\sqrt{2} G_{\rm F} n_{\nu}$, a typical $\nu$--$\nu$ interaction energy. This growth rate is much larger than the vacuum oscillation frequency and gives rise to flavor conversion on a much shorter time scale. This phenomenon of "fast flavor conversion" occurs even for vanishing $\Delta m^2/2E$ and thus does not depend on energy, but only on the angle distributions. Moreover, it does not require neutrinos to mix or to have masses, except perhaps for providing seed disturbances. We also construct a simple homogeneous example consisting of intersecting beams and study a schematic supernova model proposed by Ray Sawyer, where $\nu_e$ and $\bar\nu_e$ emerge with different zenith-angle distributions, the key ingredient for fast flavor conversion. What happens in realistic astrophysical scenarios remains to be understood.

Self-induced neutrino flavor conversion without flavor mixing [Cross-Listing]

Neutrino-neutrino refraction in dense media can cause self-induced flavor conversion triggered by collective run-away modes of the interacting flavor oscillators. The growth rates were usually found to be of order a typical vacuum oscillation frequency $\Delta m^2/2E$. However, even in the simple case of a $\nu_e$ beam interacting with an opposite-moving $\bar\nu_e$ beam, and allowing for spatial inhomogeneities, the growth rate of the fastest-growing Fourier mode is of order $\mu=\sqrt{2} G_{\rm F} n_{\nu}$, a typical $\nu$--$\nu$ interaction energy. This growth rate is much larger than the vacuum oscillation frequency and gives rise to flavor conversion on a much shorter time scale. This phenomenon of "fast flavor conversion" occurs even for vanishing $\Delta m^2/2E$ and thus does not depend on energy, but only on the angle distributions. Moreover, it does not require neutrinos to mix or to have masses, except perhaps for providing seed disturbances. We also construct a simple homogeneous example consisting of intersecting beams and study a schematic supernova model proposed by Ray Sawyer, where $\nu_e$ and $\bar\nu_e$ emerge with different zenith-angle distributions, the key ingredient for fast flavor conversion. What happens in realistic astrophysical scenarios remains to be understood.

Neutronization During Carbon Simmering In Type Ia Supernova Progenitors

When a Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) progenitor first ignites carbon in its core, it undergoes ${\sim} \,10^{3}-10^{4} \,$yr of convective burning prior to the onset of thermonuclear runaway. This carbon simmering phase is important for setting the thermal profile and composition of the white dwarf. Using the \texttt{MESA} stellar evolution code, we follow this convective burning and examine the production of neutron-rich isotopes. The neutron content of the SN fuel has important consequences for the ensuing nucleosynthesis, and, in particular, for the production of secondary Fe-peak nuclei like Mn and stable Ni. These elements have been observed in the X-ray spectra of SN remnants like Tycho, Kepler, and 3C 397, and their yields can provide valuable insights into the physics of SNe Ia and the properties of their progenitors. We find that weak reactions during simmering can at most generate a neutron excess of ${\approx} \, 3 \times 10^{-4}$. This is ${\approx} \, 8 \times 10^{-4}$ lower than that found in previous studies that do not take the full density and temperature profile of the simmering region into account. Our results imply that the progenitor metallicity is the main contributor to the neutron excess in SN Ia fuel for $Z \gtrsim 1/3 \, Z_{\odot}$. Alternatively, at lower metallicities, this neutron excess provides a floor that should be present in any centrally-ignited SN~Ia scenario.

The K2-ESPRINT Project IV: A Hot Jupiter in a Prograde Orbit with a Possible Stellar Companion

We report on the detection and early characterization of a hot Jupiter in a 3-day orbit around EPIC 212110888, a metal-rich F-type star located in the K2 Cycle 5 field. Our follow-up campaign involves precise radial velocity (RV) measurements and high-contrast imaging using multiple facilities. The absence of a bright nearby source in our high-contrast data suggests that the transit-like signals are not due to light variations from such a contaminant star. Our intensive RV measurements show that EPIC 212110888b has a mass of $1.726\pm0.085M_J$, confirming its status as a planet. We also detect the Rossiter-McLaughlin effect for EPIC 212110888b and show that the system has a good spin-orbit alignment ($\lambda=4_{-10}^{+11}$ degrees). High-contrast images obtained by the HiCIAO camera on the Subaru 8.2-m telescope reveal a faint companion candidate ($\Delta m_H=6.19\pm 0.11$) at a separation of $\sim 0\farcs36$. Follow-up observations are needed to confirm that the companion candidate is physically associated with EPIC 212110888. EPIC 212110888b appears to be an example of a typical ``hot Jupiter,' albeit one which can be precisely characterized using a combination of K2 photometry and ground-based follow-up.

The Vertical Current Approximation Nonlinear Force-Free Field Code - Description, Performance Tests, and Measurements of Magnetic Energies Dissipated in Solar Flares

In this work we provide an updated description of the Vertical Current Approximation Nonlinear Force-Free Field (VCA-NLFFF) code, which is designed to measure the evolution of the potential, nonpotential, free energies, and the dissipated magnetic energies during solar flares. This code provides a complementary and alternative method to existing traditional NLFFF codes. The chief advantages of the VCA-NLFFF code over traditional NLFFF codes are the circumvention of the unrealistic assumption of a force-free photosphere in the magnetic field extrapolation method, the capability to minimize the misalignment angles between observed coronal loops (or chromospheric fibril structures) and theoretical model field lines, as well as computational speed. In performance tests of the VCA-NLFFF code, by comparing with the NLFFF code of Wiegelmann (2004), we find agreement in the potential, nonpotential, and free energy within a factor of about 1.3, but the Wiegelmann code yields in the average a factor of 2 lower flare energies. The VCA-NLFFF code is found to detect decreases in flare energies in most X, M, and C-class flares. The successful detection of energy decreases during a variety of flares with the VCA-NLFFF code indicates that current-driven twisting and untwisting of the magnetic field is an adequate model to quantify the storage of magnetic energies in active regions and their dissipation during flares. - The VCA-NLFFF code is also publicly available in the Solar SoftWare (SSW).

Effects of neutron-star dynamic tides on gravitational waveforms within the effective-one-body approach [Cross-Listing]

Extracting the unique information on ultradense nuclear matter from the gravitational waves emitted by merging, neutron-star binaries requires robust theoretical models of the signal. We develop a novel effective-one-body waveform model that includes, for the first time, dynamic (instead of only adiabatic) tides of the neutron star, as well as the merger signal for neutron-star--black-hole binaries. We demonstrate the importance of the dynamic tides by comparing our model against new numerical-relativity simulations of nonspinning neutron-star--black-hole binaries spanning more than 24 gravitational-wave cycles, and to other existing numerical simulations for double neutron-star systems. Furthermore, we derive an effective description that makes explicit the dependence of matter effects on two key parameters: tidal deformability and fundamental oscillation frequency.

Effects of neutron-star dynamic tides on gravitational waveforms within the effective-one-body approach

Extracting the unique information on ultradense nuclear matter from the gravitational waves emitted by merging, neutron-star binaries requires robust theoretical models of the signal. We develop a novel effective-one-body waveform model that includes, for the first time, dynamic (instead of only adiabatic) tides of the neutron star, as well as the merger signal for neutron-star--black-hole binaries. We demonstrate the importance of the dynamic tides by comparing our model against new numerical-relativity simulations of nonspinning neutron-star--black-hole binaries spanning more than 24 gravitational-wave cycles, and to other existing numerical simulations for double neutron-star systems. Furthermore, we derive an effective description that makes explicit the dependence of matter effects on two key parameters: tidal deformability and fundamental oscillation frequency.

 

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