Recent Postings from Solar and Stellar

Predicting alpha Comae Berenices Time of Eclipse II: How 3 Faulty Measurements Out of 609 Caused A 26 Year Binary's Eclipse To Be Missed

The dwarf stars in the 26 year period binary alpha Com were predicted to eclipse each other in early 2015. That prediction was based on an orbit model made with over 600 astrometric observations using micrometers, speckle interferometry, and long baseline optical interferometry. Unfortunately, it has been realized recently that the position angle measurements for three of the observations from ~100 years ago were in error by 180 degrees, which skewed the orbital fit. The eclipse was likely 2 months earlier than predicted, at which point the system was low on the horizon at sunrise.

The Puzzling Li-rich Red Giant Associated with NGC 6819

A Li-rich red giant star (2M19411367+4003382) recently discovered in the direction of NGC 6819 belongs to the rare subset of Li-rich stars that have not yet evolved to the luminosity bump, an evolutionary stage where models predict Li can be replenished. The currently favored model to explain Li enhancement in first-ascent red giants like 2M19411367+4003382 requires deep mixing into the stellar interior. Testing this model requires a measurement of 12C/13C, which is possible to obtain from APOGEE spectra. However, the Li-rich star also has abnormal asteroseismic properties that call into question its membership in the cluster, even though its radial velocity and location on color-magnitude diagrams are consistent with membership. To address these puzzles, we have measured a wide array of abundances in the Li-rich star and three comparison stars using spectra taken as part of the APOGEE survey to determine the degree of stellar mixing, address the question of membership, and measure the surface gravity. We confirm that the Li-rich star is a red giant with the same overall chemistry as the other cluster giants. However, its log g is significantly lower, consistent with the asteroseismology results and suggestive of a very low mass if the star is indeed a cluster member. Regardless of the cluster membership, the 12C/13C and C/N ratios of the Li-rich star are consistent with standard first dredge-up, indicating that Li dilution has already occurred, and inconsistent with internal Li enrichment scenarios that require deep mixing.

Unified line profiles for hydrogen perturbed by collisions with protons: satellites and asymmetries

We present new calculations of unified line profiles for hydrogen perturbed by collisions with protons. We report on new calculations of the potential energies and dipole moments which allow the evaluation of profiles for the lines of the Lyman series up to Lyman$\delta$ and the Balmer series up to Balmer10. Unified calculations only existed for the lines Lyman$\alpha$ to Lyman$\gamma$ and Balmer$\alpha$ including the H$_2^+$ quasi-molecule. These data are available as online material accompanying this paper and should be included in atmosphere models, in place of the Stark effect of protons, since the quasi-molecular contributions cause not only satellites, but large asymmetries that are unaccounted for in models that assume Stark broadening of electrons and protons are equal.

Application of Mutual Information Methods in Time-Distance Helioseismology

We apply a new technique, the mutual information (MI) from information theory, to time-distance helioseismology, and demonstrate that it can successfully reproduce several classic results based on the widely used cross-covariance method. MI quantifies the deviation of two random variables from complete independence, and represents a more general method for detecting dependencies in time series than the cross-covariance function, which only detects linear relationships. We provide a brief description of the MI-based technique and discuss the results of the application of MI to derive the solar differential profile, a travel-time deviation map for a sunspot and a time-distance diagram from quiet Sun measurements.

Multi-wavelength, Multi-Messenger Pulsar Science in the SKA Era

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an integral part of the next-generation observatories that will survey the Universe across the electromagnetic spectrum, and beyond, revolutionizing our view of fundamental physics, astrophysics and cosmology. Owing to their extreme nature and clock-like properties, pulsars discovered and monitored by SKA will enable a broad range of scientific endeavour and play a key role in this quest. This chapter summarizes the pulsar-related science goals that will be reached with coordinated efforts among SKA and other next-generation astronomical facilities.

Multi-wavelength, Multi-Messenger Pulsar Science in the SKA Era [Cross-Listing]

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an integral part of the next-generation observatories that will survey the Universe across the electromagnetic spectrum, and beyond, revolutionizing our view of fundamental physics, astrophysics and cosmology. Owing to their extreme nature and clock-like properties, pulsars discovered and monitored by SKA will enable a broad range of scientific endeavour and play a key role in this quest. This chapter summarizes the pulsar-related science goals that will be reached with coordinated efforts among SKA and other next-generation astronomical facilities.

Kinematics of ICMEs/shocks: blast wave reconstruction using type II emissions

We present a physical methodology to reconstruct the trajectory of interplanetary shocks using type II radio emission data. This technique calculates the shock trajectory assuming that the disturbance propagates as a blast wave in the interplanetary medium. We applied this Blast Wave Reconstruction (BWR) technique to analyze eight fast Earth-directed ICMEs/shocks associated with type II emissions. The technique deduces a shock trajectory that reproduces the type II frequency drifts, and calculates shock onset speed, shock transit time and shock speed at 1~AU. There were good agreements comparing the BWR results with the type II spectra, with data from coronagraph images, {\it in situ} measurements, and interplanetary scintillation (IPS) observations. Perturbations on the type II data affect the accuracy of the BWR technique. This methodology could be applied to track interplanetary shocks causing TII emissions in real-time, to predict the shock arrival time and shock speed at 1~AU.

Spectro-photometric distances to stars: a general-purpose Bayesian approach

We have developed a procedure that estimates distances to stars using measured spectroscopic and photometric quantities. It employs a Bayesian approach to build the probability distribution function over stellar evolutionary models given the data, delivering estimates of expected distance for each star individually. Our method provides several alternative distance estimates for each star in the output, along with their associated uncertainties. The code was first tested on simulations, successfully recovering input distances to mock stars with errors that scale with the uncertainties in the adopted spectro-photometric parameters, as expected. The code was then validated by comparing our distance estimates to parallax measurements from the Hipparcos mission for nearby stars (< 60 pc), to asteroseismic distances of CoRoT red giant stars, and to known distances of well-studied open and globular clusters. The photometric data of these reference samples cover both the optical and near infra-red wavelengths. The spectroscopic parameters are also based on spectra taken at various wavelengths, with varying spectral coverage and resolution: the Radial Velocity Experiment, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey programs SEGUE and APOGEE, and the ESO HARPS instrument. For Hipparcos and CoRoT samples, the typical random distance scatter is 20% or less, both for the nearby and farther data. There is a trend towards underestimating the distances by < 10%. The comparison to star clusters from SEGUE and APOGEE has led to systematic differences < 5% for most cluster stars although with significant scatter. Finally, we tested our distances against those previously determined for a high quality sample of giant stars from the RAVE survey, again finding a reasonable agreement, with only a small systematic trend. Efforts are underway to provide our code to the community by running it on a public server.

Persistent crust-core spin lag in neutron stars

It is commonly believed that the magnetic field threading a neutron star provides the ultimate mechanism (on top of fluid viscosity) for enforcing long-term corotation between the slowly spun down solid crust and the liquid core. We show that this argument fails for axisymmetric magnetic fields with closed field lines in the core, the commonly used `twisted torus’ field being the most prominent example. The failure of such magnetic fields to enforce global crust-core corotation leads to the development of a persistent spin lag between the core region occupied by the closed field lines and the rest of the crust and core. We discuss the repercussions of this spin lag for the evolution of the magnetic field, suggesting that, in order for a neutron star to settle to a stable state of crust-core corotation, the bulk of the toroidal field component should be deposited into the crust soon after the neutron star’s birth.

Super-diffusion versus competitive advection: a simulation

Magnetic element tracking is often used to study the transport and diffusion of the magnetic field on the solar photosphere. From the analysis of the displacement spectrum of these tracers, it has been recently agreed that a regime of super-diffusivity dominates the solar surface. Quite habitually this result is discussed in the framework of fully developed turbulence. But the debate whether the super-diffusivity is generated by a turbulent dispersion process, by the advection due to the convective pattern, or by even another process, is still open, as is the question about the amount of diffusivity at the scales relevant to the local dynamo process. To understand how such peculiar diffusion in the solar atmosphere takes places, we compared the results from two different data-sets (ground-based and space-borne) and developed a simulation of passive tracers advection by the deformation of a Voronoi network. The displacement spectra of the magnetic elements obtained by the data-sets are consistent in retrieving a super-diffusive regime for the solar photosphere, but the simulation also shows a super-diffusive displacement spectrum: its competitive advection process can reproduce the signature of super-diffusion. Therefore, it is not necessary to hypothesize a totally developed turbulence regime to explain the motion of the magnetic elements on the solar surface.

First detection of CF+ towards a high-mass protostar

We report the first detection of the J = 1 – 0 (102.6 GHz) rotational lines of CF+ (fluoromethylidynium ion) towards CygX-N63, a young and massive protostar of the Cygnus X region. This detection occurred as part of an unbiased spectral survey of this object in the 0.8-3 mm range, performed with the IRAM 30m telescope. The data were analyzed using a local thermodynamical equilibrium model (LTE model) and a population diagram in order to derive the column density. The line velocity (-4 km s-1) and line width (1.6 km s-1) indicate an origin from the collapsing envelope of the protostar. We obtain a CF+ column density of 4.10e11 cm-2. The CF+ ion is thought to be a good tracer for C+ and assuming a ratio of 10e-6 for CF+/C+, we derive a total number of C+ of 1.2x10e53 within the beam. There is no evidence of carbon ionization caused by an exterior source of UV photons suggesting that the protostar itself is the source of ionization. Ionization from the protostellar photosphere is not efficient enough. In contrast, X-ray ionization from the accretion shock(s) and UV ionization from outflow shocks could provide a large enough ionizing power to explain our CF+ detection. Surprisingly, CF+ has been detected towards a cold, massive protostar with no sign of an external photon dissociation region (PDR), which means that the only possibility is the existence of a significant inner source of C+. This is an important result that opens interesting perspectives to study the early development of ionized regions and to approach the issue of the evolution of the inner regions of collapsing envelopes of massive protostars. The existence of high energy radiations early in the evolution of massive protostars also has important implications for chemical evolution of dense collapsing gas and could trigger peculiar chemistry and early formation of a hot core.

Hyperons in neutron stars [Cross-Listing]

Using the Dirac-Brueckner-Hartree-Fock approach, the properties of neutron-star matter including hyperons are investigated. In the calculation, we consider both time and space components of the vector self-energies of baryons as well as the scalar ones. Furthermore, the effect of negative-energy states of baryons is partly taken into account. We obtain the maximum neutron-star mass of $2.08\,M_{\odot}$, which is consistent with the recently observed, massive neutron stars. We discuss a universal, repulsive three-body force for hyperons in matter.

Hyperons in neutron stars [Cross-Listing]

Using the Dirac-Brueckner-Hartree-Fock approach, the properties of neutron-star matter including hyperons are investigated. In the calculation, we consider both time and space components of the vector self-energies of baryons as well as the scalar ones. Furthermore, the effect of negative-energy states of baryons is partly taken into account. We obtain the maximum neutron-star mass of $2.08\,M_{\odot}$, which is consistent with the recently observed, massive neutron stars. We discuss a universal, repulsive three-body force for hyperons in matter.

The Asteroseismology of ZZ Ceti star GD1212

The ZZ Ceti star GD 1212 was detected to have 19 independent modes from the two-wheel-controlled Kepler Spacecraft in 2014. By asymptotic analysis, we identify most of pulsation modes. We find out two set of complete triplets, and four sets of doublet which are interpreted as rotation modes with $l=1$. For the other five modes, the four modes $f_{13}$, $f_{15}$, $f_{16}$ and $f_{4}$ are identified as ones with $l=2$; and the mode $f_{7}$ is identified to be the one with $l=1$. Meanwhile we derive a mean rotation period of $6.65\pm0.21$ h for GD 1212 according to the rotation splitting. Using the method of matching the observed periods to theoretical ones, we obtain the best-fitting model with the four parameters as $M_{\rm{*}}/M_{\rm{\odot}} = 0.775$, $T_{\rm{eff}} = 11400$ K, $\log (M_{\rm{H}}/M_{\rm{*}}) = -5.0$, $\log (M_{\rm{He}}/M_{\rm{*}})=-2.5$ for GD 1212. We find that due to the gradient of C/O abundance in the interior of white dwarf, some modes can not propagate to the stellar interior, which leads to the period spacing of the adjacent modes to become large. This feature is just proven by the observational data from GD 1212. All of these imply that GD 1212 may be evolved from an intermediate mass star.

The VMC Survey - XIV. First results on the look-back time star-formation rate tomography of the Small Magellanic Cloud

We analyse deep images from the VISTA survey of the Magellanic Clouds in the YJKs filters, covering 14 sqrdeg (10 tiles), split into 120 subregions, and comprising the main body and Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We apply a colour–magnitude diagram reconstruction method that returns their best-fitting star formation rate SFR(t), age-metallicity relation (AMR), distance and mean reddening, together with 68% confidence intervals. The distance data can be approximated by a plane tilted in the East-West direction with a mean inclination of 39 deg, although deviations of up to 3 kpc suggest a distorted and warped disk. After assigning to every observed star a probability of belonging to a given age-metallicity interval, we build high-resolution population maps. These dramatically reveal the flocculent nature of the young star-forming regions and the nearly smooth features traced by older stellar generations. They document the formation of the SMC Wing at ages <0.2 Gyr and the peak of star formation in the SMC Bar at 40 Myr. We clearly detect periods of enhanced star formation at 1.5 Gyr and 5 Gyr. The former is possibly related to a new feature found in the AMR, which suggests ingestion of metal-poor gas at ages slightly larger than 1 Gyr. The latter constitutes a major period of stellar mass formation. We confirm that the SFR(t) was moderately low at even older ages.

Confronting uncertainties in stellar physics: calibrating convective overshooting with eclipsing binaries

As part of a larger program aimed at better quantifying the uncertainties in stellar computations, we attempt to calibrate the extent of convective overshooting in low to intermediate mass stars by means of eclipsing binary systems. We model 12 such systems, with component masses between 1.3 and 6.2 solar masses, using the detailed binary stellar evolution code STARS, producing grids of models in both metallicity and overshooting parameter. From these, we determine the best fit parameters for each of our systems. For three systems, none of our models produce a satisfactory fit. For the remaining systems, no single value for the convective overshooting parameter fits all the systems, but most of our systems can be well described with an overshooting parameter between 0.09 and 0.15, corresponding to an extension of the mixed region above the core of about 0.1-0.3 pressure scale heights. Of the nine systems where we are able to obtain a good fit, seven can be reasonably well fit with a single parameter of 0.15. We find no evidence for a trend of the extent of overshooting with either mass or metallicity, though the data set is of limited size. We repeat our calculations with a second evolution code, MESA, and we find general agreement between the two codes. For the extension of the mixed region above the convective core required by the MESA models is about 0.15-0.4 pressure scale heights. For the system EI Cep, we find that MESA gives an overshooting region that is larger than the STARS one by about 0.1 pressure scale heights for the primary, while for the secondary the difference is only 0.05 pressure scale heights.

Observations of the Icy Universe

Freeze-out of the gas phase elements onto cold grains in dense interstellar and circumstellar media builds up ice mantles consisting of molecules that are mostly formed in situ (H2O, NH3, CO2, CO, CH3OH, and more). This review summarizes the detected infrared spectroscopic ice features and compares the abundances across Galactic, extragalactic, and solar system environments. A tremendous amount of information is contained in the ice band profiles. Laboratory experiments play a critical role in the analysis of the observations. Strong evidence is found for distinct ice formation stages, separated by CO freeze out at high densities. The ice bands have proven to be excellent probes of the thermal history of their environment. The evidence for the long-held idea that processing of ices by energetic photons and cosmic rays produces complex molecules is weak. Recent state of the art observations show promise for much progress in this area with planned infrared facilities.

A photometric selection of White Dwarf candidates in SDSS DR10

We present a method which uses cuts in colour-colour and reduced proper motion-colour space to select white dwarfs without the recourse to spectroscopy while allowing an adjustable compromise between completeness and efficiency. Rather than just producing a list of white dwarf candidates, our method calculates a probability of being a white dwarf (Pwd) for any object with available multi band photometry and proper motion. We applied this method to all objects in the SDSS DR10 photometric footprint and to a few selected sources in DR7 which did not have reliable photometry in DR9 or DR10. This application results in a sample of 61969 DR10 and 3799 DR7 photometric sources with calculated Pwd from which it is possible to select a sample of ~23000 high-fidelity white dwarf candidates with Teff >~ 7000 K and <= 19. This sample contains over 14000 high confidence white dwarfs candidates which have not yet received spectroscopic follow-up. These numbers show that, to date, the spectroscopic coverage of white dwarfs in the SDSS photometric footprint is, on average, only ~40% complete. While we describe here in detail the application of our selection to the SDSS catalogue, the same method could easily be applied to other multi colour, large area surveys. We also publish a list of 8701 bright (<= 19) WDs with SDSS spectroscopy, of which 1781 are new identifications in DR9/10.

Gamma-ray novae as probes of relativistic particle acceleration at non-relativistic shocks

The Fermi LAT discovery that classical novae produce >100 MeV gamma-rays establishes that shocks and relativistic particle acceleration are key features of these events. These shocks are likely to be radiative due to the high densities of the nova ejecta at early times coincident with the gamma-ray emission. Thermal X-rays radiated behind the shock are absorbed by neutral gas and reprocessed into optical emission, similar to Type IIn (interacting) supernovae. The ratio of gamma-ray and optical luminosities, L_gam/L_opt, thus sets a lower limit on the fraction of the shock power used to accelerate relativistic particles, e_nth. The measured values of L_gam/L_opt for two classical novae, V1324 Sco and V339 Del, constrains e_nth > 1e-2 and > 1e-3, respectively. Inverse Compton models for the gamma-ray emission are disfavored given the low electron acceleration efficiency, e_nth ~ 1e-4-1e-3, inferred from observations of Galactic cosmic rays and particle-in-cell (PIC) numerical simulations. Recent hybrid PIC simulations show yet lower proton acceleration efficiencies (consistent with zero) for shocks propagating perpendicular to the upstream magnetic field, the geometry relevant if the magnetic field in the nova outflow is dominated by its azimuthal component. However, localized regions of parallel shocks, created either by global asymmetries or local inhomogeneities ("clumpiness") in the ejecta, may account for the requisite proton acceleration. A fraction > 100(0.01/e_nth) and > 10(0.01/e_nth) per cent of the optical luminosity is powered by shocks in V1324 Sco and V339 Del, respectively. Such high fractions challenge standard models that instead attribute all nova optical emission to the direct outwards transport of thermal energy released near the white dwarf surface.

The Spatial Structure of Young Stellar Clusters. II. Total Young Stellar Populations

We investigate the intrinsic stellar populations (estimated total numbers of OB and pre-main-sequence stars down to 0.1 Mo) that are present in 17 massive star-forming regions (MSFRs) surveyed by the MYStIX project. The study is based on the catalog of >31,000 MYStIX Probable Complex Members with both disk-bearing and disk-free populations, compensating for extinction, nebulosity, and crowding effects. Correction for observational sensitivities is made using the X-ray Luminosity Function (XLF) and the near-infrared Initial Mass Function (IMF)–a correction that is often not made by infrared surveys of young stars. The resulting maps of the projected structure of the young stellar populations, in units of intrinsic stellar surface density, allow direct comparison between different regions. Several regions have multiple dense clumps, similar in size and density to the Orion Nebula Cluster. The highest projected density of ~34,000 stars/pc^2 is found in the core of the RCW38 cluster. Histograms of surface density show different ranges of values in different regions, supporting the conclusion of Bressert et al. (2010, B10) that no universal surface-density threshold can distinguish between clustered and distributed star-formation. However, a large component of the young stellar population of MSFRs resides in dense environments of 200-10,000 stars/pc^2 (including within the nearby Orion molecular clouds), and we find that there is no evidence for the B10 conclusion that such dense regions form an extreme "tail" of the distribution. Tables of intrinsic populations for these regions are used in our companion study of young cluster properties and evolution.

The rms-flux relation in accreting white dwarfs: another nova-like variable and the first dwarf nova

We report on the detection of the linear rms-flux relation in two accreting white dwarf binary systems: V1504 Cyg and KIC 8751494. The rms-flux relation relates the absolute root-mean-square (rms) variability of the light curve to its mean flux. The light curves analysed were obtained with the Kepler satellite at a 58.8 s cadence. The rms-flux relation was previously detected in only one other cataclysmic variable, MV Lyr. This result reenforces the ubiquity of the linear rms-flux relation as a characteristic property of accretion-induced variability, since it has been observed in several black hole binaries, neutron star binaries and active galactic nuclei. Moreover, its detection in V1504 Cyg is the first time the rms-flux relation has been detected in a dwarf nova-type CV during quiescence. This result, together with previous studies, hence points towards a common physical origin of accretion-induced variability, independent of the size, mass, or type of the central accreting compact object.

A long-lasting quiescence phase of the eruptive variable V1118 Ori

V1118 Ori is an eruptive variable belonging to the EXor class of Pre-Main Sequence stars whose episodic outbursts are attributed to disk accretion events. Since 2006, V1118 Ori is in the longest quiescence stage ever observed between two subsequent outbursts of its recent history. We present near-infrared photometry of V1118 Ori carried out during the last eight years, along with a complete spectroscopic coverage from 0.35 to 2.5 um. A longterm sampling of V1118 Ori in quiescence has never been done, hence we can benefit from the current circumstance to determine the lowest values (i.e. the zeroes) of the parameters to be used as a reference for evaluating the physical changes typical of more active phases. A quiescence mass accretion rate between 1–3 $\times$ 10$^{-9}$ M$_{\sun}$ yr$^{-1}$ can be derived and the difference with previous determinations is discussed. From line emission and IR colors analysis a visual extinction of 1-2 mag is consistently derived, confirming that V1118 Ori (at least in quiescence) is a low-extinction T Tauri star with a bolometric luminosity of about 2.1 L$_{\sun}$. An anti-correlation exists between the equivalent width of the emission lines and the underlying continuum. We searched the literature for evaluating whether or not such a behaviour is a common feature of the whole class. The anti-correlation is clearly recognizable for all the available EXors in the optical range (H$\beta$ and H$\alpha$ lines), while it is not as much evident in the infrared (Pa$\beta$ and Br$\gamma$ lines). The observed anti-correlation supports the accretion-driven mechanism as the most likely to account for continuum variations.

Three-dimensional modeling of ionized gas. II. Spectral energy distributions of massive and very massive stars in stationary and time-dependent modeling of the ionization of metals in HII regions

HII regions play a crucial role in the measurement of the chemical composition of the interstellar medium and provide fundamental data about element abundances that constrain models of galactic chemical evolution. Discrepancies that still exist between observed emission line strengths and those predicted by nebular models can be partly attributed to the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the sources of ionizing radiation used in the models as well as simplifying assumptions made in nebular modeling. The influence of stellar metallicity on nebular line strength ratios, via its effect on the SEDs, is of similar importance as variations in the nebular metallicity. We have computed a grid of model atmosphere SEDs for massive and very massive O-type stars covering a range of metallicities from significantly subsolar (0.1 Zsun) to supersolar (2 Zsun). The SEDs have been computed using a state-of-the-art model atmosphere code that takes into account the attenuation of the ionizing flux by the spectral lines of all important elements and the hydrodynamics of the radiatively driven winds and their influence on the SEDs. For the assessment of the SEDs in nebular simulations we have developed a (heretofore not available) 3d radiative transfer code that includes a time-dependent treatment of the metal ionization. Using the SEDs in both 1d and 3d nebular models we explore the relative influence of stellar metallicity, gas metallicity, and inhomogeneity of the gas on the nebular ionization structure and emission line strengths. We find that stellar and gas metallicity are of similar importance for establishing the line strength ratios commonly used in nebular diagnostics, whereas inhomogeneity of the gas has only a subordinate influence on the global line emission.

Cool dwarfs in wide multiple systems. Paper 5: New astrometry of 54 wide pairs with M dwarfs

We investigate the membership in double, triple or higher-order-multiplicity systems of 54 pairs with at least one bright M dwarf in the solar neighbourhood. These M dwarfs are potential targets of radial-velocity surveys for exoplanets. We measure angular separations and position angles from optical images taken with TCP and CAMELOT at the IAC80 telescope at the Observatorio del Teide, and complement them with our measurements on photographic plate digitizations. We also use data in the Washington Double Star Catalogue and other bibliographic sources. We confirm the physical binding of 52 multiple systems, for which we comprehensively compile, derive and provide basic astrophysical parameters in a homogeneous way (spectral types, heliocentric distances, projected physical separations, individual masses, estimated orbital periods, binding energies). Of the 52 systems, 38 are double, 11 are triple and three are quadruple with a variety of architectures. Four systems contain white dwarfs, six systems display variations of position angle larger than 12 deg (1/30 orbit) on a scale of decades and seven systems are located at less than 10 pc. We provide new information, or correct published data, of the most remarkable multiple systems and identify some of them for high-resolution imaging and spectroscopic follow-up.

Prominence seismology using the period ratio of transverse thread oscillations

The ratio of the period of the fundamental mode to that of the first overtone of kink oscillations, from here on the "period ratio", is a seismology tool that can be used to infer information about the spatial variation of density along solar magnetic flux tubes. The period ratio is 2 in longitudinally homogeneous thin tubes, but it differs from 2 due to longitudinal inhomogeneity. In this paper we investigate the period ratio in longitudinally inhomogeneous prominence threads and explore its implications for prominence seismology. We numerically solve the two-dimensional eigenvalue problem of kink oscillations in a model of a prominence thread. We take into account three nonuniform density profiles along the thread. In agreement with previous works that used simple piecewise constant density profiles, we find that the period ratio is larger than 2 in prominence threads. When the ratio of the central density to that at the footpoints is fixed, the period ratio depends strongly on the form of the density profile along the thread. The more concentrated the dense prominence plasma near the center of the tube, the larger the period ratio. However, the period ratio is found to be independent of the specific density profile when the spatially averaged density in the thread is the same for all the profiles. An empirical fit of the dependence of the period ratio on the average density is given and its use for prominence seismology is discussed.

Multi-epoch time-resolved photometry of the eclipsing polar CSS081231:J071126+440405

The eclipsing polar CSS081231 turned bright (V_max ~ 14.5) in late 2008 and was subsequently observed intensively with small and medium-sized telescopes. A homogeneous analysis of this comprehensive dataset comprising 109 eclipse epochs is presented and a linear ephemeris covering the five years of observations, about 24000 orbital cycles, is derived. Formally this sets rather tight constraints on the mass of a hypothetical circumbinary planet, M_pl <= 2 M_Jup. This preliminary result needs consolidation by long-term monitoring of the source. The eclipse lasts 433.08 +- 0.65 s, and the orbital inclination is found to be i=79.3 – 83.7 degrees. The centre of the bright phase displays accretion-rate dependent azimuthal shifts. No accretion geometry is found that explains all observational constraints, suggesting a complex accretion geometry with possible pole switches and a likely non-dipolar field geometry.

A Quiet Sun Transition Region Energetically Isolated Jet: Evidence to Cool Plasma Injections Into The Hot Corona

Increasing evidence for coronal heating contributions from cooler solar atmospheric layers challenges standard solar atmospheric descriptions of bright TR emission and pervasive lower TR plasma downflows. As such, questions related to the role of dynamic transients in contributing to the total coronal energy budget are elevated. Using AIA and HMI observations in conjunction with numerical models of 3D coronal magnetic field topologies, we investigate a jet that is: erupting from a footpoint shared by heated non-potential and potential loops, energetically isolated in the TR, and occurring adjacent to a small-scale coronal filament. A non-casual relationship is established between QSTR jet dynamics and magnetic flux emergence and cancelation events, witnessed in its underlying magnetic field environment. Non-potential and potential loop demise contribute to the jet via eruptive ejections driven from cooler atmospheric layers; however, in different fashions. Small-scale flaring events from potential loop reconnection with pre-existing fields, inject both hot and cool plasma blobs to coronal heights, i.e., the adjacent QSTR jet and coronal filament. Non-potential loop dynamics preludes a medium energy microflare deposit, just below the TR at the jet’s origin, that heats the jet from a cool chromospheric ballistic plasma injection. Our results are evidence to energy redistribution via chromospheric to coronal mass cycling, driven by small-scale flaring. Our results confirm speculations that cool atmospheric microflare energy deposits lead to injections of cool dense plasma to coronal heights, which here visibly shine bright as a dynamic QS transient. Finally, this work elevates arguments of non-negligible coronal heating contributions from cool atmospheric layers, in QS conditions, and increases evidence for solar wind mass feeding in the presence of dynamic QS transients.

Identification of new transitional disk candidates in Lupus with Herschel

New data from the Herschel Space Observatory are broadening our understanding of the physics and evolution of the outer regions of protoplanetary disks in star forming regions. In particular they prove to be useful to identify transitional disk candidates. The goals of this work are to complement the detections of disks and the identification of transitional disk candidates in the Lupus clouds with data from the Herschel Gould Belt Survey. We extracted photometry at 70, 100, 160, 250, 350 and 500 $\mu$m of all spectroscopically confirmed Class II members previously identified in the Lupus regions and analyzed their updated spectral energy distributions. We have detected 34 young disks in Lupus in at least one Herschel band, from an initial sample of 123 known members in the observed fields. Using the criteria defined in Ribas et al. (2013) we have identified five transitional disk candidates in the region. Three of them are new to the literature. Their PACS-70 $\mu$m fluxes are systematically higher than those of normal T Tauri stars in the same associations, as already found in T Cha and in the transitional disks in the Chamaeleon molecular cloud. Herschel efficiently complements mid-infrared surveys for identifying transitional disk candidates and confirms that these objects seem to have substantially different outer disks than the T Tauri stars in the same molecular clouds.

Hybrid Pulsators -- Pulsating Stars with Multiple Identities

We have carried out a statistic survey on the pulsating variable stars with multiple identities. These stars were identified to exhibit two types of pulsation or multiple light variability types in the literature, and are usually called hybrid pulsators. We extracted the hybrid information based on the Simbad database. Actually, all the variables with multiple identities are retrieved. The survey covers various pulsating stars across the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. We aim at giving a clue in selecting interesting targets for further observation. Hybrid pulsators are excellent targets for asteroseismology. An important implication of such stars is their potential in advancing the theories of both stellar evolution and pulsation. By presenting the statistics, we address the open questions and prospects regarding current status of hybrid pulsation studies.

Transport by meridional circulations in solar-type stars

Transport by meridional flows has significant consequences for stellar evolution, but is difficult to capture in global-scale numerical simulations because of the wide range of timescales involved. Stellar evolution models therefore usually adopt parameterizations for such transport based on idealized laminar or mean-field models. Unfortunately, recent attempts to model this transport in global simulations have produced results that are not consistent with any of these idealized models. In an effort to explain the discrepancies between global simulations and idealized models, we here use three-dimensional local Cartesian simulations of compressible convection to study the efficiency of transport by meridional flows below a convection zone in several parameter regimes of relevance to the Sun and solar-type stars. In these local simulations we are able to establish the correct ordering of dynamical timescales, although the separation of the timescales remains unrealistic. We find that, even though the generation of internal waves by convective overshoot produces a high degree of time dependence in the meridional flow field, the mean flow has the qualitative behavior predicted by laminar, "balanced" models. In particular, we observe a progressive deepening, or "burrowing", of the mean circulation if the local Eddington-Sweet timescale is shorter than the viscous diffusion timescale. Such burrowing is a robust prediction of laminar models in this parameter regime, but has never been observed in any previous numerical simulation. We argue that previous simulations therefore underestimate the transport by meridional flows.

The Curious Case of ASAS J174600-2321.3: an Eclipsing Symbiotic Nova in Outburst?

The star ASAS J174600-2321.3 was found to exhibit peculiar photometric variability (conspicuous brightening of about 4 magnitudes (V), fast luminosity declines, intrinsic pulsations). It was rejected as an RCB candidate in recent investigations on spectroscopic grounds. We have collected and present all available data from public sky surveys, photometric catalogues, and the literature. From an analysis of these data, we have identified ASAS J174600-2321.3 as a long-period eclipsing binary (Porb = 1011.5 days). The primary star, which is probably a white dwarf, is currently in outburst and exhibits the spectral characteristics of a reddened, early F-type supergiant; the secondary star is a giant of spectral type late M. We discuss the possible origin of the observed brightening, which is related to the primary component. ASAS J174600-2321.3 is most certainly an eclipsing symbiotic binary – probably a symbiotic nova of GCVS type NC – that is currently in outburst. However, further photometric and spectroscopic data are needed to confirm this.

Three-dimensional simulations of the magnetic stress in a neutron star crust

We present the first fully self-consistent three-dimensional model of a neutron star’s magnetic field, generated by electric currents in the star’s crust via the Hall effect. We find that the global-scale field converges to a Hall-attractor state, as seen in recent axisymmetric models, but that small-scale features in the magnetic field survive even on much longer timescales. These small-scale features propagate toward the dipole equator, where the crustal electric currents organize themselves into a strong equatorial jet. By calculating the distribution of magnetic stresses in the crust, we predict that neutron stars with fields stronger than $10^{14}$G can still be subject to starquakes more than $10^5$yr after their formation.

Exploring Anticorrelations and Light Element Variations in Northern Globular Clusters Observed by the APOGEE Survey [Replacement]

We investigate the light-element behavior of red giant stars in Northern globular clusters (GCs) observed by the SDSS-III Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE). We derive abundances of nine elements (Fe, C, N, O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, and Ti) for 428 red giant stars in 10 globular clusters. The intrinsic abundance range relative to measurement errors is examined, and the well-known C-N and Mg-Al anticorrelations are explored using an extreme-deconvolution code for the first time in a consistent way. We find that Mg and Al drive the population membership in most clusters, except in M107 and M71, the two most metal-rich clusters in our study, where the grouping is most sensitive to N. We also find a diversity in the abundance distributions, with some clusters exhibiting clear abundance bimodalities (for example M3 and M53) while others show extended distributions. The spread of Al abundances increases significantly as cluster average metallicity decreases as previously found by other works, which we take as evidence that low metallicity, intermediate mass AGB polluters were more common in the more metal poor clusters. The statistically significant correlation of [Al/Fe] with [Si/Fe] in M15 suggests that $^{28}$Si leakage has occurred in this cluster. We also present C, N and O abundances for stars cooler than 4500 K and examine the behavior of A(C+N+O) in each cluster as a function of temperature and [Al/Fe]. The scatter of A(C+N+O) is close to its estimated uncertainty in all clusters and independent on stellar temperature. A(C+N+O) exhibits small correlations and anticorrelations with [Al/Fe] in M3 and M13, but we cannot be certain about these relations given the size of our abundance uncertainties. Star-to-star variations of $\alpha-$elements (Si, Ca, Ti) abundances are comparable to our estimated errors in all clusters.

Exploring Anticorrelations and Light Element Variations in Northern Globular Clusters Observed by the APOGEE Survey

We investigate the light-element behavior of red giant stars in Northern globular clusters (GCs) observed by the SDSS-III Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE). We derive abundances of nine elements (Fe, C, N, O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, and Ti) for 428 red giant stars in 10 globular clusters. The intrinsic abundance range relative to measurement errors is examined, and the well-known C-N and Mg-Al anticorrelations are explored using an extreme-deconvolution code for the first time in a consistent way. We find that Mg and Al drive the population membership in most clusters, except in M107 and M71, the two most metal-rich clusters in our study, where the grouping is most sensitive to N. We also find a diversity in the abundance distributions, with some clusters exhibiting clear abundance bimodalities (for example M3 and M53) while others show extended distributions. The spread of Al abundances increases significantly as cluster average metallicity decreases as previously found by other works, which we take as evidence that low metallicity, intermediate mass AGB polluters were more common in the more metal poor clusters. The statistically significant correlation of [Al/Fe] with [Si/Fe] in M15 suggests that $^{28}$Si leakage has occurred in this cluster. We also present C, N and O abundances for stars cooler than 4500 K and examine the behavior of A(C+N+O) in each cluster as a function of temperature and [Al/Fe]. The scatter of A(C+N+O) is close to its estimated uncertainty in all clusters and independent on stellar temperature. A(C+N+O) exhibits small correlations and anticorrelations with [Al/Fe] in M3 and M13, but we cannot be certain about these relations given the size of our abundance uncertainties. Star-to-star variations of $\alpha-$elements (Si, Ca, Ti) abundances are comparable to our estimated errors in all clusters.

MHD flows at astropauses and in astrotails

The geometrical shapes and the physical properties of stellar wind — interstellar medium interaction regions form an important stage for studying stellar winds and their embedded magnetic fields as well as cosmic ray modulation. Our goal is to provide a proper representation and classification of counter-flow configurations and counter-flow interfaces in the frame of fluid theory. In addition we calculate flows and large-scale electromagnetic fields based on which the large-scale dynamics and its role as possible background for particle acceleration, e.g. in the form of anomalous cosmic rays, can be studied. We find that for the definition of the boundaries, which are determining the astropause shape, the number and location of magnetic null points and stagnation points is essential. Multiple separatrices can exist, forming a highly complex environment for the interstellar and stellar plasma. Furthermore, the formation of extended tail structures occur naturally, and their stretched field and streamlines provide surroundings and mechanisms for the acceleration of particles by field-aligned electric fields.

"Dust, Ice, and Gas In Time" (DIGIT) Herschel Observations of GSS30-IRS1 in Ophiuchus

As a part of the "Dust, Ice, and Gas In Time" (DIGIT) key program on Herschel, we observed GSS30-IRS1, a Class I protostar located in Ophiuchus (d = 120 pc), with Herschel/Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS). More than 70 lines were detected within a wavelength range from 50 micron to 200 micron, including CO, H2O, OH, and two atomic [O I] lines at 63 and 145 micron. The [C II] line, known as a tracer of externally heated gas by the interstellar radiation field, is also detected at 158 micron. All lines, except [O I] and [C II], are detected only at the central spaxel of 9.4" X 9.4". The [O I] emissions are extended along a NE-SW orientation, and the [C II] line is detected over all spaxels, indicative of external PDR. The total [C II] intensity around GSS30 reveals that the far-ultraviolet radiation field is in the range of 3 to 20 G0, where G0 is in units of the Habing Field, 1.6 X 10^{-3} erg cm^{-2} s^{-1}. This enhanced external radiation field heats the envelope of GSS30-IRS1, causing the continuum emission to be extended, unlike the molecular emission. The best-fit continuum model of GSS30-IRS1 with the physical structure including flared disk, envelope, and outflow shows that the internal luminosity is 10 Lsun, and the region is externally heated by a radiation field enhanced by a factor of 130 compared to the standard local interstellar radiation field.

Ultrashort-period MS eclipsing systems. New observations and light curve solutions of six NSVS binaries

We carried out photometric and low-resolution spectral observations of six eclipsing ultrashort-period binaries with MS components. The light curve solutions of the Rozhen observations show that all targets are overcontact systems. We found well-defined empirical relation "period — semi-major axis" for the short-period binaries and used it for estimation of the global parameters of the targets. Our results revealed that NSVS 925605 is quite interesting target: (a) it is one of a few contact binaries with M components; (b) it exhibits high activity (emission in H$\alpha$ line, X-ray emission, large cool spots, non-Planck energy distribution); (c) its components differ in temperature by 700 K. All appearances of high magnetic activity and huge fillout factor (0.7) of NSVS 925605 might be assumed as a precursor of the predicted merging of close magnetic binaries. Another unusual binary is NSVS 2700153 which reveals considerable long-term variability.

Light curve solutions of the ultrashort-period $Kepler$ binaries

We carried out light curve solutions of the ultrashort-period binaries with MS components observed by $Kepler$. All six targets turned out almost in thermal contact with contact or slightly overcontact configurations. Two of them, KID 4921906 and KID 6309193, are not eclipsing but reveal ellipsoidal and spot variability. One of the components of KID 8108785 exhibits inherent, quasi-sinusoidal, small-amplitude variability. KID 12055255 turned out a very rare case of ultrashort-period overcontact binary consisting of two M dwarfs. Our modeling indicated that the variability of KID 9532219 is due to eclipses but not to $\delta$ Sct pulsations as it was previously supposed.

A 3D Search for Companions to 12 Nearby M-Dwarfs

We present a carefully vetted equatorial ($\pm$ 30$^\circ$ Decl.) sample of all known single (within 4”) mid M-dwarfs (M2.5V-M8.0V) extending out to 10 pc; their proximity and low masses make them ideal targets for planet searches. For this sample of 58 stars, we provide V$_J$, R$_{KC}$, I$_{KC}$ photometry, new low dispersion optical ($6000 – 9000$\AA) spectra from which uniform spectral types are determined, multi-epoch H$\alpha$ equivalent widths, and gravity sensitive $Na\,I$ indices. For 12 of these 58 stars, strict limits are placed on the presence of stellar and sub-stellar companions, based on a pioneering program described here that utilizes precise infrared radial velocities and optical astrometric measurements in an effort to search for Jupiter-mass, brown dwarf and stellar-mass companions. Our infrared radial velocity precision using CSHELL at NASA’s IRTF is $\sim$90 m s$^{-1}$ over timescales from 13 days to 5 years. With our spectroscopic results the mean companion masses that we rule out of existence are 1.5 M$_{JUP}$ or greater in 10 day orbital periods and 7 M$_{JUP}$ or greater in 100 day orbital periods. We use these spectra to determine rotational velocities and absolute radial velocities of these twelve stars. Our mean astrometric precision using RECONS data from 0.9-m telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory is $\sim$3 milli-arcseconds over baselines ranging from 9 to 13 years. With our astrometric results the mean companion masses that we rule out of existence are greater than 11.5 M$_{JUP}$ with an orbital period of 4 years and greater than 7.5 M$_{JUP}$ with an orbital period of 8 years. Although we do not detect companions around our sub-sample of 12 stars, we demonstrate that our two techniques probe a regime that is commonly missed in other companion searches of late type stars.

Occurrence of high-speed solar wind streams over the Grand Modern Maximum

In the declining phase of the solar cycle, when the new-polarity fields of the solar poles are strengthened by the transport of same-signed magnetic flux from lower latitudes, the polar coronal holes expand and form non-axisymmetric extensions toward the solar equator. These extensions enhance the occurrence of high-speed solar wind streams (HSS) and related co-rotating interaction regions in the low-latitude heliosphere, and cause moderate, recurrent geomagnetic activity in the near-Earth space. Here, using a novel definition of geomagnetic activity at high (polar cap) latitudes and the longest record of magnetic observations at a polar cap station, we calculate the annually averaged solar wind speeds as proxies for the effective annual occurrence of HSS over the whole Grand Modern Maximum (GMM) from 1920s onwards. We find that a period of high annual speeds (frequent occurrence of HSS) occurs in the declining phase of each solar cycle 16-23. For most cycles the HSS activity clearly maximizes during one year, suggesting that typically only one strong activation leading to a coronal hole extension is responsible for the HSS maximum. We find that the most persistent HSS activity occurred in the declining phase of solar cycle 18. This suggests that cycle 19, which marks the sunspot maximum period of the GMM, was preceded by exceptionally strong polar fields during the previous sunspot minimum. This gives interesting support for the validity of solar dynamo theory during this dramatic period of solar magnetism.

Temporal Pointing Variations of The Solar Dynamics Observatory's HMI and AIA Instruments on Sub-Weekly Time Scales

Achieving sub-arcsecond co-registration across varying time-lines of multi-wavelength and instrument images is not trivial, and requires accurate characterization of instrument pointing jitter. In this work we have investigated internal pointing errors, on daily and yearly time-scales, occurring across the \textit{Solar Dynamics Observatory}’s (SDO) {\it Atmospheric Imaging Assembly} (AIA) and { \it Helioseismic Magnetic Imager} (HMI). Using cross-correlation techniques on AIA 1700\,{\AA} passband and HMI line-of-sight (LOS) magnetograms, from three years of observational image pairs at approximately three day intervals, internal pointing errors are quantified. Pointing variations of $\pm$\,0.26$\arcsec$ (jitter limited) and $\pm$\,0.50$\arcsec$ in the solar East-West ($x$) and North-South ($y$) directions, respectively, are measured. AIA observations of the Venus June 2012 transit are used to measure existing coalignment offsets in all passbands. We find AIA passband pointing variations are $< \Delta X_{CO} >$\,$=$\, 1.10$\arcsec$\,$\pm$\,1.41$\arcsec$ and $< \Delta Y_{CO} >$\,$=$\, 1.25$\arcsec$\,$\pm$\,1.24$\arcsec$, when aligned to HMI’s nominal image center, referred to herein as the CutOut technique (CO). Minimal long-term pointing variations found between limb and correlation derived pointings provide evidence that image center positions provided by the instrument teams achieve single pixel accuracy on time-scales below their characterization. However, daily AIA passband pointing variations of $\lesssim$\,1.18$\arcsec$ indicate autonomous sub-arcsecond co-registration is not yet fully achievable.

Direct Observations of Plasma Upflows and Condensation in a Catastrophically Cooling Solar Transition Region Looop

Minimal observational evidence exists for fast transition region (TR) upflows in the presence of cool loops. Observations of such occurrences challenge notions of standard solar atmospheric heating models, as well as their description of bright TR emission. Using the {\it EUV Imaging Spectrometer} (EIS) onboard {\it Hinode}, we observe fast upflows ($v_\lambda$\,$\le$\,$-$10 km s$^{-1}$) over multiple TR temperatures (5.8\,$\le$\,$\log T$\,$\le$ 6.0) at the footpoint sites of a cool loop ($\log T$\,$\le$\,6.0). Prior to cool loop energizing, asymmetric flows of $+$\,5 km s$^{-1}$ and $-$\,60 km s$^{-1}$ are observed at footpoint sites. These flows speeds and patterns occur simultaneously with both magnetic flux cancellation (at site of upflows only) derived from the {\it Solar Dynamics Observatory}’s (SDOs) { \it Helioseismic Magnetic Imager}’s (HMI) line-of-sight magnetogram images, and a 30\% mass in-flux at coronal heights. The incurred non-equilibrium structure of the cool loop leads to a catastrophic cooling event, with subsequent plasma evaporation indicating the TR as the heating site. From the magnetic flux evolution we conclude that magnetic reconnection between the footpoint and background field are responsible for observed fast TR plasma upflows.

Comparative Analysis of a Transition Region Bright Point with a Blinker and Coronal Bright Point Using Multiple EIS Emission Lines

Since their discovery twenty year ago, transition region bright points (TRBPs) have never been observed spectroscopically. Bright point properties have not been compared with similar transition region and coronal structures. In this work we have investigated three transient quiet Sun brightenings including a TRBP, a coronal BP (CBP) and a blinker. We use time-series observations of the extreme ultraviolet emission lines of a wide range of temperature T (log T = 5.3 – 6.4) from the EUV imaging spectrometer (EIS) onboard the Hinode satellite. We present the EIS temperature maps and Doppler maps, which are compared with magnetograms from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) onboard the SOHO satellite. Doppler velocities of the TR BP and blinker are <,25 km s$^{-1}$, which is typical of transient TR phenomena. The Dopper velocities of the CBP were found to be < 20 km s^{-1} with exception of those measured at log T = 6.2 where a distinct bi-directional jet is observed. From an EM loci analysis we find evidence of single and double isothermal components in the TRBP and CBP, respectively. TRBP and CBP loci curves are characterized by broad distributions suggesting the existence of unresolved structure. By comparing and contrasting the physical characteristics of the events we find the BP phenomena are an indication of multi-scaled self similarity, given similarities in both their underlying magnetic field configuration and evolution in relation to EUV flux changes. In contrast, the blinker phenomena and the TRBP are sufficiently dissimilar in their observed properties as to constitute different event classes. Our work indicates that the measurement of similar characteristics across multiple event types holds class-predictive power, and is a significant step towards automated solar atmospheric multi-class classification of unresolved transient EUV sources.

Spectroscopic Abundances in the Open Cluster, NGC 6819

High-dispersion spectra of 333 stars in the open cluster NGC 6819, obtained using the HYDRA spectrograph on the WIYN 3.5m telescope, have been analyzed to determine the abundances of iron and other metals from lines in the 400 A region surrounding the Li 6708 A line. Our spectra, with signal-to-noise per pixel (SNR) ranging from 60 to 300, span the luminosity range from the tip of the red giant branch to a point two magnitudes below the top of the cluster turnoff. We derive radial and rotational velocities for all stars, as well as [Fe/H] based on 17 iron lines, [Ca/H], [Si/H], and [Ni/H] in the 247 most probable, single members of the cluster. Input temperature estimates for model atmosphere analysis are provided by (B-V) colors merged from several sources, with individual reddening corrections applied to each star relative to a cluster mean of E(B-V) = 0.16. Extensive use is made of ROBOSPECT, an automatic equivalent width measurement program; its effectiveness on large spectroscopic samples is discussed. From the sample of likely single members, [Fe/H] = -0.03 +/- 0.06, where the error describes the median absolute deviation about the sample median value, leading to an internal precision for the cluster below 0.01 dex. The final uncertainty in the cluster abundance is therefore dominated by external systematics due to the temperature scale, surface gravity, and microturbulent velocity, leading to [Fe/H] = -0.02 +/- 0.02 for a sub-sample restricted to main sequence and turnoff stars. This result is consistent with our recent intermediate-band photometric determination of a slightly subsolar abundance for this cluster. [Ca/Fe], [Si/Fe], and [Ni/Fe] are determined to be solar within the uncertainties. NGC 6819 has an abundance distribution typical of solar metallicity thin disk stars in the solar neighborhood.

Interferometric Observations of High-Mass Star-Forming Clumps with Unusual N2H+/HCO+ Line Ratios

The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz (MALT90) survey has detected high-mass star-forming clumps with anomalous N$_2$H$^+$/HCO$^+$(1-0) integrated intensity ratios that are either unusually high ("N$_2$H$^+$ rich") or unusually low ("N$_2$H$^+$ poor"). With 3 mm observations from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), we imaged two N$_2$H$^+$ rich clumps, G333.234-00.061 and G345.144-00.216, and two N$_2$H$^+$ poor clumps, G351.409+00.567 and G353.229+00.672. In these clumps, the N$_2$H$^+$ rich anomalies arise from extreme self-absorption of the HCO$^+$ line. G333.234-00.061 contains two of the most massive protostellar cores known with diameters of less than 0.1 pc, separated by a projected distance of only 0.12 pc. Unexpectedly, the higher mass core appears to be at an earlier evolutionary stage than the lower mass core, which may suggest that two different epochs of high-mass star formation can occur in close proximity. Through careful analysis of the ATCA observations and MALT90 clumps (including the G333, NGC 6334, and NGC 6357 star formation regions), we find that N$_2$H$^+$ poor anomalies arise at clump-scales and are caused by lower relative abundances of N$_2$H$^+$ due to the distinct chemistry of H II regions or photodissociation regions.

Transiting the Sun: The impact of stellar activity on X-ray and ultraviolet transits

Transits of hot Jupiters in X-rays and the ultraviolet have been shown to be both deeper and more variable than the corresponding optical transits. This variability has been attributed to hot Jupiters having extended atmospheres at these wavelengths. Using resolved images of the Sun from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory spanning 3.5 years of Solar Cycle 24 we simulate transit light curves of a hot Jupiter to investigate the impact of Solar like activity on our ability to reliably recover properties of the planet’s atmosphere in soft X-rays (94 {\AA}), the UV (131-1700 {\AA}), and the optical (4500 {\AA}). We find that for stars with similar activity levels to the Sun, the impact of stellar activity results in the derived radius of the planet in soft X-ray/EUV to be underestimated by up-to 25% or overestimated by up-to 50% depending on whether the planet occults active regions. We also find that in up-to 70% of the X-ray light curves the planet transits over bright star spots. In the far ultraviolet (1600 & 1700 {\AA}), we find the mean recovered value of the planet-to-star radius ratio to be over-estimated by up-to 20%. For optical transits we are able to consistently recover the correct planetary radius. We also address the implications of our results for transits of WASP-12b and HD 189733b at short wavelengths.

Statistical Time-Resolved Spectroscopy: A higher fraction of short-period binaries for metal-rich F-type dwarfs in SDSS

Stellar multiplicity lies at the heart of many problems in modern astrophysics, including the physics of star formation, the observational properties of unresolved stellar populations, and the rates of interacting binaries such as cataclysmic variables, X-ray binaries, and Type Ia supernovae. However, little is known about the stellar multiplicity of field stars in the Milky Way, in particular about the differences in the multiplicity characteristics between metal-rich disk stars and metal-poor halo stars. In this study we perform a statistical analysis of ~15,000 F-type dwarf stars in the Milky Way through time-resolved spectroscopy with the sub-exposures archived in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We obtain absolute radial velocity measurements through template cross-correlation of individual sub-exposures with temporal baselines varying from minutes to years. These sparsely sampled radial velocity curves are analyzed using Markov chain Monte Carlo techniques to constrain the very short-period binary fraction for field F-type stars in the Milky Way. We find that metal-rich disk stars are 30% more likely to have companions with periods shorter than 4 days than metal-poor halo stars.

Evolution of field line helicity during magnetic reconnection [Cross-Listing]

We investigate the evolution of field line helicity for non-zero magnetic fields that connect two boundaries, with emphasis on localized finite-B magnetic reconnection. Total (relative) magnetic helicity is already recognized as an important topological constraint on magnetohydrodynamic processes. Field line helicity offers further advantages because it preserves all topological information and can distinguish between different magnetic fields with the same total helicity. Magnetic reconnection changes field topology and field line helicity reflects these changes; the goal of this paper is to characterize that evolution. We start by deriving the evolution equation for field line helicity and examining its terms, also obtaining a simplified form for cases where dynamics are localized within the domain. The main result, which we support using kinematic examples, is that during localized reconnection in a topologically complex magnetic field, the evolution of field line helicity is dominated by a work-like term that is evaluated at the field line endpoints, namely the scalar product of the generalized field line velocity and the vector potential. Furthermore, the flux integral of this term over certain areas is very small compared to the integral of the unsigned quantity, which indicates that changes of field line helicity happen in a well-organized pairwise manner. It follows that reconnection is very efficient at redistributing helicity in topologically complex magnetic fields despite having little effect on the total helicity.

Active star formation at intermediate Galactic latitude: the case of IRAS 06345-3023

We report the discovery of a small aggregate of young stars seen in high-resolution, deep near-infrared ($JHK_S$) images towards IRAS 06345-3023 in the outer Galaxy and well below the mid-plane of the Galactic disc. The group of young stars is likely to be composed of low-mass stars, mostly Class I young stellar objects. The stars are seen towards a molecular cloud whose CO map peaks at the location of the IRAS source. The near-infrared images reveal, additionally, the presence of nebular emission with rich morphological features, including arcs in the vicinity of embedded stars, wisps and bright rims of a butterfly-shaped dark cloud. The location of this molecular cloud as a new star formation site well below the Galactic plane in the outer Galaxy indicates that active star formation is taking place at vertical distances larger than those typical of the (thin) disc.

Extreme Ultra-Violet Spectroscopy of the Flaring Solar Chromosphere

The extreme ultraviolet portion of the solar spectrum contains a wealth of diagnostic tools for probing the lower solar atmosphere in response to an injection of energy, particularly during the impulsive phase of solar flares. These include temperature and density sensitive line ratios, Doppler shifted emission lines and nonthermal broadening, abundance measurements, differential emission measure profiles, and continuum temperatures and energetics, among others. In this paper I shall review some of the advances made in recent years using these techniques, focusing primarily on studies that have utilized data from Hinode/EIS and SDO/EVE, while also providing some historical background and a summary of future spectroscopic instrumentation.


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