Recent Postings from Solar and Stellar

Multiples among detached eclipsing binaries from the ASAS catalog

For more than three years now we have been conducting a spectroscopic survey of detached eclipsing binaries (DEBs) from the All-Sky Automated Survey (ASAS) database. Thousands of high-resolution spectra of over 300 systems were secured, and used for radial velocity measurements and spectral analysis. In our sample we found a zoo of multiple systems, such as spectroscopic triples and quadruples, visual binaries with eclipsing components, and circumbinary low-mass companions, including sub-stellar-mass candidates

Photoluminescence of silicon-vacancy defects in nanodiamonds of different chondrites

Photoluminescence spectra show that silicon impurity is present in lattice of some nanodiamond grains (ND) of various chondrites as a silicon-vacancy (SiV) defect. The relative intensity of the SiV band in the diamond-rich separates depends on chemical composition of meteorites and on size of ND grains. The strongest signal is found for the size separates enriched in small grains; thus confirming our earlier conclusion that the SiV defects preferentially reside in the smallest (less than 2 nm) grains. The difference in relative intensities of the SiV luminescence in the diamond-rich separates of individual meteorites are due to variable conditions of thermal metamorphism of their parent bodies and/or uneven sampling of nanodiamonds populations. Annealing of separates in air eliminates surface sp2-carbon, consequently, the SiV luminescence is enhanced. Strong and well-defined luminescence and absorption of the SiV defect is a promising feature to locate cold (< 250 {\deg}C) nanodiamonds in space.

A theoretical room-temperature line list for 15NH3

A new room temperature line list for $^{15}$NH$_3$ is presented. This line list comprised of transition frequencies and Einstein coefficients has been generated using the `spectroscopic’ potential energy surface NH3-Y2010 and an ab initio dipole moment surface. The $^{15}$NH$_3$ line list is based on the same computational procedure used for the line list for $^{14}$NH$_3$ BYTe reported recently and should be as accurate. Comparisons with experimental frequencies and intensities are presented. The synthetic spectra show excellent agreement with experimental spectra.

Imaging and Spectroscopic Diagnostics on the Formation of Two Magnetic Flux Ropes Revealed by SDO/AIA and IRIS

Helical magnetic flux rope (MFR) is a fundamental structure of corona mass ejections (CMEs) and has been discovered recently to exist as a sigmoidal channel structure prior to its eruption in the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) high temperature passbands of the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA). However, when and where the MFR is built up are still elusive. In this paper, we investigate two MFRs (MFR1 and MFR2) in detail, whose eruptions produced two energetic solar flares and CMEs on 2014 April 18 and 2014 September 10, respectively. The AIA EUV images reveal that for a long time prior to their eruption, both MFR1 and MFR2 are under formation, which is probably through magnetic reconnection between two groups of sheared arcades driven by the shearing and converging flows in the photosphere near the polarity inversion line. At the footpoints of the MFR1, the \textit{Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph} Si IV, C II, and Mg II lines exhibit weak to moderate redshifts and a non-thermal broadening in the pre-flare phase. However, a relatively large blueshift and an extremely strong non-thermal broadening are found at the formation site of the MFR2. These spectral features consolidate the proposition that the reconnection plays an important role in the formation of MFRs. For the MFR1, the reconnection outflow may propagate along its legs, penetrating into the transition region and the chromosphere at the footpoints. For the MFR2, the reconnection probably takes place in the lower atmosphere and results in the strong blueshift and non-thermal broadening for the Mg II, C II, and Si IV lines.

A statistical correlation of sunquakes based on their seismic, white light, and X-ray emission

Several mechanisms have been proposed to explain the transient seis- mic emission, i.e., sunquakes, from some solar flares. Some theories associate high-energy electrons and/or white-light emission with sunquakes. High-energy charged particles and their subsequent heating of the photosphere and/or chro- mosphere could induce acoustic waves in the solar interior. We carried out a correlative study of solar flares with emission in hard-X rays (HXRs), enhanced continuum emission at 6173{\AA}, and transient seismic emission. We selected those flares observed by RHESSI (Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager) with a considerable flux above 50 keV between January 1, 2010 and June 26, 2014. We then used data from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager onboard the Solar Dynamic Observatory (SDO/HMI) to search for excess visible continuum emission and new sunquakes not previously reported. We found a total of 18 sunquakes out of 75 investigated. All of the sunquakes were associated with a enhancement of the visible continuum during the flare time. Finally, we calculated a coefficient of correlation for a set of dichotomic variables related to these observations. We found a strong correlation between two of the standard helioseismic detection techniques, and between sunquakes and visible continuum enhancements. We discuss the phenomenological connectivity between these physical quantities and the observational difficulties of detecting seismic signals and excess continuum radiation.

The spin rate of pre-collapse stellar cores: wave driven angular momentum transport in massive stars

The core rotation rates of massive stars have a substantial impact on the nature of core collapse supernovae and their compact remnants. We demonstrate that internal gravity waves (IGW), excited via envelope convection during a red supergiant phase or during vigorous late time burning phases, can have a significant impact on the rotation rate of the pre-SN core. In typical ($10 \, M_\odot \lesssim M \lesssim 20 \, M_\odot$) supernova progenitors, IGW may substantially spin down the core, leading to iron core rotation periods $P_{\rm min,Fe} \gtrsim 50 \, {\rm s}$. Angular momentum (AM) conservation during the supernova would entail minimum NS rotation periods of $P_{\rm min,NS} \gtrsim 3 \, {\rm ms}$. In most cases, the combined effects of magnetic torques and IGW AM transport likely lead to substantially longer rotation periods. However, the stochastic influx of AM delivered by IGW during shell burning phases inevitably spin up a slowly rotating stellar core, leading to a maximum possible core rotation period. We estimate maximum iron core rotation periods of $P_{\rm max,Fe} \lesssim 10^4 \, {\rm s}$ in typical core collapse supernova progenitors, and a corresponding spin period of $P_{\rm max, NS} \lesssim 400 \, {\rm ms}$ for newborn neutron stars. This is comparable to the typical birth spin periods of most radio pulsars. Stochastic spin-up via IGW during shell O/Si burning may thus determine the initial rotation rate of most neutron stars. For a given progenitor, this theory predicts a Maxwellian distribution in pre-collapse core rotation frequency that is uncorrelated with the spin of the overlying envelope.

Broadband X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy of the Crab Nebula and Pulsar with NuSTAR

We present broadband (3 — 78 keV) NuSTAR X-ray imaging and spectroscopy of the Crab nebula and pulsar. We show that while the phase-averaged and spatially integrated nebula + pulsar spectrum is a power-law in this energy band, spatially resolved spectroscopy of the nebula finds a break at $\sim$9 keV in the spectral photon index of the torus structure with a steepening characterized by $\Delta\Gamma\sim0.25$. We also confirm a previously reported steepening in the pulsed spectrum, and quantify it with a broken power-law with break energy at $\sim$12 keV and $\Delta\Gamma\sim0.27$. We present spectral maps of the inner 100\as\ of the remnant and measure the size of the nebula as a function of energy in seven bands. These results find that the rate of shrinkage with energy of the torus size can be fitted by a power-law with an index of $\gamma = 0.094\pm 0.018$, consistent with the predictions of Kennel and Coroniti (1984). The change in size is more rapid in the NW direction, coinciding with the counter-jet where we find the index to be a factor of two larger. NuSTAR observed the Crab during the latter part of a $\gamma$-ray flare, but found no increase in flux in the 3 – 78 keV energy band.

Carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars: a window on AGB nucleosynthesis and binary evolution. I. Detailed analysis of 15 binary stars with known orbital periods

AGB stars are responsible for producing a variety of elements, including carbon, nitrogen, and the heavy elements produced in the slow neutron-capture process ($s$-elements). There are many uncertainties involved in modelling the evolution and nucleosynthesis of AGB stars, and this is especially the case at low metallicity, where most of the stars with high enough masses to enter the AGB have evolved to become white dwarfs and can no longer be observed. The stellar population in the Galactic halo is of low mass ($\lesssim 0.85M_{\odot}$) and only a few observed stars have evolved beyond the first giant branch. However, we have evidence that low-metallicity AGB stars in binary systems have interacted with their low-mass secondary companions in the past. The aim of this work is to investigate AGB nucleosynthesis at low metallicity by studying the surface abundances of chemically peculiar very metal-poor stars of the halo observed in binary systems. To this end we select a sample of 15 carbon- and $s$-element-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP-$s$) halo stars that are found in binary systems with measured orbital periods. With our model of binary evolution and AGB nucleosynthesis, we determine the binary configuration that best reproduces, at the same time, the observed orbital period and surface abundances of each star of the sample. The observed periods provide tight constraints on our model of wind mass transfer in binary stars, while the comparison with the observed abundances tests our model of AGB nucleosynthesis.

CSI 2264: Probing the inner disks of AA Tau-like systems in NGC 2264

The classical T Tauri star AA Tau presented photometric variability attributed to an inner disk warp, caused by the interaction between the inner disk and an inclined magnetosphere. Previous studies of NGC 2264 have shown that similar photometric behavior is common among CTTS. The goal of this work is to investigate the main causes of the observed photometric variability of CTTS in NGC 2264 that present AA Tau-like light curves, and verify if an inner disk warp could be responsible for their variability. We investigate veiling variability in their spectra and u-r color variations and estimate parameters of the inner disk warp using an occultation model proposed for AA Tau. We compare infrared and optical light curves to analyze the dust responsible for the occultations. AA Tau-like variability is transient on a timescale of a few years. We ascribe it to stable accretion regimes and aperiodic variability to unstable accretion regimes and show that a transition, and even coexistence, between the two is common. We find evidence of hot spots associated with occultations, indicating that the occulting structures could be located at the base of accretion columns. We find average values of warp maximum height of 0.23 times its radial location, consistent with AA Tau, with variations of on average 11% between rotation cycles. We show that extinction laws in the inner disk indicate the presence of grains larger than interstellar grains. The inner disk warp scenario is consistent with observations for all but one periodic star in our sample. AA Tau-like systems comprise 14% of CTTS observed in NGC 2264, though this increases to 35% among systems of mass 0.7M_sun<M<2.0M_sun. Assuming random inclinations, we estimate that nearly all systems in this mass range likely possess an inner disk warp, possibly because of a change in magnetic field configurations among stars of lower mass.

Seismic sensitivity to sub-surface solar activity from 18 years of GOLF/SoHO observations

Solar activity has significantly changed over the last two Schwabe cycles. After a long and deep minimum at the end of Cycle 23, the weaker activity of Cycle 24 contrasts with the previous cycles. In this work, the response of the solar acoustic oscillations to solar activity is used in order to provide insights on the structural and magnetic changes in the sub-surface layers of the Sun during this on-going unusual period of low activity. We analyze 18 years of continuous observations of the solar acoustic oscillations collected by the Sun-as-a-star GOLF instrument onboard the SoHO spacecraft. From the fitted mode frequencies, the temporal variability of the frequency shifts of the radial, dipolar, and quadrupolar modes are studied for different frequency ranges which are sensitive to different layers in the solar sub-surface interior. The low-frequency modes show nearly unchanged frequency shifts between Cycles 23 and 24, with a time evolving signature of the quasi-biennial oscillation, which is particularly visible for the quadrupole component revealing the presence of a complex magnetic structure. The modes at higher frequencies show frequency shifts 30% smaller during Cycle~24, which is in agreement with the decrease observed in the surface activity between Cycles 23 and 24. The analysis of 18 years of GOLF oscillations indicates that the structural and magnetic changes responsible for the frequency shifts remained comparable between Cycle 23 and Cycle 24 in the deeper sub-surface layers below 1400 km as revealed by the low-frequency modes. The frequency shifts of the higher-frequency modes, sensitive to shallower regions, show that Cycle 24 is magnetically weaker in the upper layers of Sun.

CARMENES input catalogue of M dwarfs. I. Low-resolution spectroscopy with CAFOS

Context. CARMENES is a stabilised, high-resolution, double-channel spectrograph at the 3.5 m Calar Alto telescope. It is optimally designed for radial-velocity surveys of M dwarfs with potentially habitable Earth-mass planets. Aims. We prepare a list of the brightest, single M dwarfs in each spectral subtype observable from the northern hemisphere, from which we will select the best planet-hunting targets for CARMENES. Methods. In this first paper on the preparation of our input catalogue, we compiled a large amount of public data and collected low-resolution optical spectroscopy with CAFOS at the 2.2 m Calar Alto telescope for 753 stars. We derived accurate spectral types using a dense grid of standard stars, a double least-squares minimisation technique, and 31 spectral indices previously defined by other authors. Additionally, we quantified surface gravity, metallicity, and chromospheric activity for all the stars in our sample. Results. We calculated spectral types for all 753 stars, of which 305 are new and 448 are revised. We measured pseudo-equivalent widths of Halpha for all the stars in our sample, concluded that chromospheric activity does not affect spectral typing from our indices, and tabulated 49 stars that had been reported to be young stars in open clusters, moving groups, and stellar associations. Of the 753 stars, two are new subdwarf candidates, three are T Tauri stars, 25 are giants, 44 are K dwarfs, and 679 are M dwarfs. Many of the 261 investigated dwarfs in the range M4.0-8.0 V are among the brightest stars known in their spectral subtype. Conclusions. This collection of low-resolution spectroscopic data serves as a candidate target list for the CARMENES survey and can be highly valuable for other radial-velocity surveys of M dwarfs and for studies of cool dwarfs in the solar neighbourhood.

The unusual photometric variability of the PMS star GM Cep

Results from UBVRI photometric observations of the pre-main sequence star GM Cep obtained in the period April 2011 – August 2014 are reported in the paper. Presented data are a continuation of our photometric monitoring of the star started in 2008. GM Cep is located in the field of the young open cluster Trumpler 37 and over the past years it has been an object of intense photometric and spectral studies. The star shows a strong photometric variability interpreted as a possible outburst from EXor type in previous studies. Our photometric data for a period of over six years show a large amplitude variability (Delta V ~ 2.3 mag.) and several deep minimums in brightness are observed. The analysis of the collected multicolor photometric data shows the typical of UX Ori variables a color reversal during the minimums in brightness. The observed decreases in brightness have a different shape, and evidences of periodicity are not detected. At the same time, high amplitude rapid variations in brightness typical for the classical T Tauri stars also present on the light curve of GM Cep. The spectrum of GM Cep shows the typical of classical T Tauri stars wide H/alpha emission line and absorption lines of some metals. We calculate the outer radius of the H/alpha emitting region as 10.4 +/-0.5 Rsun and the accretion rate as 1.8 x 10 E-7 Msun/yr.

Investigating the Global Collapse of Filaments Using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics

We use Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamic simulations of cold, uniform density, self-gravitating filaments, to investigate their longitudinal collapse timescales; these timescales are important because they determine the time available for a filament to fragment into cores. A filament is initially characterised by its line-mass, $\mu$, its radius, $R$ (or equivalently its density $\rho\!=\!\mu/\pi R^2$), and its aspect ratio, $A\;\,(\equiv Z/R$, where $Z$ is its half-length). The gas is only allowed to contract longitudinally, i.e. parallel to the symmetry axis of the filament (the $z$-axis). Pon et al. (2012) have considered the global dynamics of such filaments analytically. They conclude that short filaments ($A\! < \!5$) collapse along the $z$-axis more-or-less homologously, on a time-scale $t_{_{\rm HOM}} \sim 0.44\,A\,(G\rho)^{-1/2}$; in contrast, longer filaments ($A\! > \!5$) undergo end-dominated collapse, i.e. two dense clumps form at the ends of the filament and converge on the centre sweeping up mass as they go, on a time-scale $t_{_{\rm END}} \sim 0.98\,A^{1/2}\,(G\rho)^{-1/2}$. Our simulations do not corroborate these predictions. First, for all $A\! > \!2$, the collapse time satisfies a single equation \[t_{_{\rm COL}}\;\sim\;(0.49+0.26A)(G\rho)^{-1/2}\,,\] which for large $A$ is much longer than the Pon et al. prediction. Second, for all $A\! > \!2$, the collapse is end-dominated. Third, before being swept up, the gas immediately ahead of an end-clump is actually accelerated outwards by the gravitational attraction of the approaching clump, resulting in a significant ram pressure. For high aspect ratio filaments the end-clumps approach an asymptotic inward speed, due to the fact that they are doing work both accelerating and compressing the gas they sweep up. Pon et al. appear to have neglected the outward acceleration and its consequences.

Planetary systems and real planetary nebulae from planets destruction near white dwarfs

We suggest that tidal destruction of Earth-like and icy planets near a white dwarf (WD) might lead to the formation of one or more low-mass planets in tight orbits around the WD. More massive planets contain hydrogen which will start burning on the surface of the WD and inflate an envelope, part of which be ejected to form a nebula. This nebula will be ionized and be observed as a planetary nebulae. The formation of the WD planetary system starts with a tidal break-up of icy or lower mass planets to planetesimals near their tidal radius of about 1Rsun. Internal stress forces keep the planetesimal from tidal break-up when their radius is less than about 100km. We suggest that the planetesimals then bind together to form new sub-Earth-like planets around the WD at a few solar radii. More massive planets that contain hydrogen will supply the WD with fresh nuclear fuel to reincarnate its stellar-giant phase. Some of the hydrogen will be inflated in a large envelope that will cause the planetesimal formed from the core of the giant planets to be evaporated. In the post-giant phase the hot WD ionizes the gas that was blown in the wind of the stellar-giant envelope, and form a nebula that originated from a planet–a real planetary nebula (RPN).

The Concept of Few-Parameter Modelling of Eclipsing Binary and Exoplanet Transit Light Curves

We present a new few-parameter phenomenological model of light curves of eclipsing binaries and stars with transiting planets that is able to fit the observed light curves with the accuracy better than 1\% of their amplitudes. The model can be used namely for appropriate descriptions of light curve shapes, classification, mid-eclipse time determination, and fine period analyses.

Optical - Near Infrared Photometric Calibration of M-dwarf Metallicity and Its Application

Based on a carefully constructed sample of dwarf stars, a new optical-near infrared photometric calibration to estimate the metallicity of late-type K and early-to-mid-type M dwarfs is presented. The calibration sample has two parts; the first part includes 18 M dwarfs with metallicities determined by high-resolution spectroscopy and the second part contains 49 dwarfs with metallicities obtained through moderate-resolution spectra. By applying this calibration to a large sample of around 1.3 million M dwarfs from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Two-Micron All Sky Survey, the metallicity distribution of this sample is determined and compared with those of previous studies. Using photometric parallaxes, the Galactic heights of M dwarfs in the large sample are also estimated. Our results show that stars farther from the Galactic plane, on average, have lower metallicity, which can be attributed to the age-metallicity relation. A scarcity of metal-poor dwarf stars in the metallicity distribution relative to the Simple Closed Box Model indicates the existence of the "M dwarf problem," similar to the previously known G and K dwarf problems. Several more complicated Galactic chemical evolution models which have been proposed to resolve the G and K dwarf problems are tested and it is shown that these models could, to some extent, mitigate the M dwarf problem as well.

Iron and s-elements abundance variations in NGC5286: comparison with anomalous globular clusters and Milky Way satellites

We present a high resolution spectroscopic analysis of 62 red giants in the Milky Way globular cluster NGC5286. We have determined abundances of representative light proton-capture, alpha, Fe-peak and neutron-capture element groups, and combined them with photometry of multiple sequences observed along the colour-magnitude diagram. Our principal results are: (i) a broad, bimodal distribution in s-process element abundance ratios, with two main groups, the s-poor and s-rich groups; (ii) substantial star-to-star Fe variations, with the s-rich stars having higher Fe, e.g. <[Fe/H]>_s-rich – <[Fe/H]>_s-poor ~ 0.2~dex; and (iii) the presence of O-Na-Al (anti-)correlations in both stellar groups. We have defined a new photometric index, c_{BVI}=(B-V)-(V-I), to maximise the separation in the colour-magnitude diagram between the two stellar groups with different Fe and s-element content, and this index is not significantly affected by variations in light elements (such as the O-Na anticorrelation). The variations in the overall metallicity present in NGC5286 add this object to the class of "anomalous" GCs. Furthermore, the chemical abundance pattern of NGC5286 resembles that observed in some of the anomalous GCs, e.g. M22, NGC1851, M2, and the more extreme Omega Centauri, that also show internal variations in s-elements, and in light elements within stars with different Fe and s-elements content. In view of the common variations in s-elements, we propose the term s-Fe-anomalous GCs to describe this sub-class of objects. The similarities in chemical abundance ratios between these objects strongly suggest similar formation and evolution histories, possibly associated with an origin in tidally disrupted dwarf satellites.

Stellar Activity and Coronal Heating: an overview of recent results

Observations of the coronae of the Sun and of solar-like stars provide complementary information to advance our understanding of stellar magnetic activity, and of the processes leading to the heating of their outer atmospheres. While solar observations allow us to study the corona at high spatial and temporal resolution, the study of stellar coronae allows us to probe stellar activity over a wide range of ages and stellar parameters. Stellar studies therefore provide us with additional tools for understanding coronal heating processes, as well as the long-term evolution of solar X-ray activity. We discuss how recent studies of stellar magnetic fields and coronae contribute to our understanding of the phenomenon of activity and coronal heating in late-type stars.

An updated gamma-ray analysis of the Be-BH binary HD~215227

We report an updated analysis of the gamma-ray source AGL J2241+4454 that was detected as a brief two-day flare in 2010 by the AGILE satellite. The high-energy emission of AGL J2241+4454 has been attributed to the binary system HD 215227, which consists of a Be star being orbited by a black hole making it the first known Be-black hole binary system. We have analyzed the AGILE data and find a gamma-ray flux of $(1.8\pm0.7)\times10^{-6}$ ph cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$, in agreement with the initial report. Additionally, we examined data from the Fermi LAT over several time intervals including the two day flare, the folded orbital phase, and the entire mission ($\sim$6-years). We do not detect AGL J2241+4454 over any of these time periods with Fermi and find upper limits of $1.1\times10^{-7}$ ph cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ and $5.2\times10^{-10}$ ph cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ for the flare and the full mission, respectively. We conclude that the HD 215227 Be-black hole binary is not a true gamma-ray binary as previous speculated. While analyzing the Fermi data of the AGL J2241+4454 region, we discovered a previously unknown gamma-ray source with average flux of $(13.56\pm0.02)\times10^{-8}$ ph cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ that is highly variable on monthly timescales. We associate this emission with the known quasar 87GB 215950.2+503417.

WS1: one more new Galactic bona fide luminous blue variable

In this Letter, we report the results of spectroscopic and photometric monitoring of the candidate luminous blue variable (LBV) WS1, which was discovered in 2011 through the detection of a mid-infrared circular shell and follow-up optical spectroscopy of its central star. Our monitoring showed that WS1 brightened in the B, V and I bands by more than 1 mag during the last three years, while its spectrum revealed dramatic changes during the same time period, indicating that the star became much cooler. The light curve of WS1 demonstrates that the brightness of this star has reached maximum in 2013 December and then starts to decline. These findings unambiguously proved the LBV nature of WS1 and added one more member to the class of Galactic bona fide LBVs, bringing their number to sixteen (an updated census of these objects is provided).

A Census of Variability in Globular Cluster M68 (NGC 4590)

We analyse 20 nights of CCD observations in the V and I bands of the globular cluster M68 (NGC 4590), using these to detect variable objects. We also obtained electron-multiplying CCD (EMCCD) observations for this cluster in order to explore its core with unprecedented spatial resolution from the ground. We reduced our data using difference image analysis, in order to achieve the best possible photometry in the crowded field of the cluster. In doing so, we showed that when dealing with identical networked telescopes, a reference image from any telescope may be used to reduce data from any other telescope, which facilitates the analysis significantly. We then used our light curves to estimate the properties of the RR Lyrae (RRL) stars in M68 through Fourier decomposition and empirical relations. The variable star properties then allowed us to derive the cluster’s metallicity and distance. We determine new periods for the variable stars, and search for new variables, especially in the core of the cluster where our method performs particularly well. We detect an additional 4 SX Phe stars, and confirm the variability of another star, bringing the total number of confirmed variable stars in this cluster to 50. We also used archival data stretching back to 1951 in order to derive period changes for some of the single-mode RRL stars, and analyse the significant number of double-mode RRL stars in M68. Furthermore, we find evidence for double-mode pulsation in one of the SX Phe stars in this cluster. Using the different types of variables, we derived an estimate of the metallicity, [Fe/H]=$-2.07 \pm 0.06$ on the ZW scale, and 4 independent estimates of the distance modulus ($\mu_0 \sim$ 15.00 mag) for this cluster. Thanks to the first use of difference image analysis on time-series observations of M68, we are now confident that we have a complete census of the RRL stars in this cluster.

Long term variability of Cygnus X-1: VII. Orbital variability of the focussed wind in Cyg X-1 / HDE 226868 system

Binary systems with an accreting compact object are a unique chance to investigate the strong, clumpy, line-driven winds of early type supergiants by using the compact object’s X-rays to probe the wind structure. We analyze the two-component wind of HDE 226868, the O9.7Iab giant companion of the black hole Cyg X-1 using 4.77 Ms of RXTE observations of the system taken over the course of 16 years. Absorption changes strongly over the 5.6 d binary orbit, but also shows a large scatter at a given orbital phase, especially at superior conjunction. The orbital variability is most prominent when the black hole is in the hard X-ray state. Our data are poorer for the intermediate and soft state, but show signs for orbital variability of the absorption column in the intermediate state. We quantitatively compare the data in the hard state to a toy model of a focussed Castor-Abbott-Klein-wind: as it does not incorporate clumping, the model does not describe the observations well. A qualitative comparison to a simplified simulation of clumpy winds with spherical clumps shows good agreement in the distribution of the equivalent hydrogen column density for models with a porosity length on the order of the stellar radius at inferior conjunction; we conjecture that the deviations between data and model at superior conjunction could be either due to lack of a focussed wind component in the model or a more complicated clump structure.

When do stars in 47 Tucanae lose their mass?

By examining the diffusion of young white dwarfs through the core of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, we estimate the time when the progenitor star lost the bulk of its mass to become a white dwarf. We find this to be not earlier than 40 Myr before the star reaches the tip of the asymptotic giant branch. According to stellar evolution models of the white-dwarf progenitors in 47 Tucanae, we find this epoch to coincide approximately with the star ascending the asymptotic-giant branch and well after the helium flash. With the current data and analysis we cannot exclude some mass loss on the red-giant branch, but we argue that the bulk of the mass loss must occur very late in the star’s history on the asymptotic-giant branch. We also confront the observed magnitudes of stars on the horizontal branch in 47 Tucanae and find that they are consistent with the latest theoretical models of the horizontal branch stars of $0.8-0.9 M_\odot$, further supporting the conclusion that the stars in 47 Tucanae and likewise in other clusters lose the bulk of their mass on the asymptotic-giant branch.

Radiative charge transfer in cold and ultracold Sulfur atoms colliding with Protons [Cross-Listing]

Radiative decay processes at cold and ultra cold temperatures for Sulfur atoms colliding with protons are investigated. The MOLPRO quantum chemistry suite of codes was used to obtain accurate potential energies and transition dipole moments, as a function of internuclear distance, between low-lying states of the SH$^{+}$ molecular cation. A multi-reference configuration-interaction (MRCI) approximation together with the Davidson correction is used to determine the potential energy curves and transition dipole moments, between the states of interest, where the molecular orbitals (MO’s) are obtained from state-averaged multi configuration-self-consistent field (MCSCF) calculations. The collision problem is solved approximately using an optical potential method to obtain radiative loss, and a fully two-channel quantum approach for radiative charge transfer. Cross sections and rate coefficients are determined for the first time for temperatures ranging from 10 $\mu$ K up to 10,000 K. Results are obtained for all isotopes of Sulfur, colliding with H$^{+}$ and D$^{+}$ ions and comparison is made to a number of other collision systems.

Non-linear propagation of kink waves to the solar chromosphere

Small-scale magnetic field concentrations (magnetic elements) in the quiet Sun are believed to contribute to the energy budget of the upper layers of the Sun’s atmosphere, as they are observed to support a large number of MHD modes. In recent years, kink waves in magnetic elements were observed at different heights in the solar atmosphere, from the photosphere to the corona. However, the propagation of these waves has not been fully evaluated. Our aim is to investigate the propagation of kink waves in small magnetic elements in the solar atmosphere. We analysed spectropolarimetric data of high-quality and long duration of a photospheric quiet Sun region observed near the disk center with the spectropolarimeter CRISP at the Swedish Solar Telescope (SST), and complemented by simultaneous and co-spatial broad-band chromospheric observations of the same region. Our findings reveal a clear upward propagation of kink waves with frequency above $~2.6$ mHz. Moreover, the signature of a non-linear propagation process is also observed. By comparing photospheric to chromospheric power spectra, no signature of an energy dissipation is found at least at the atmospheric heights at which the data analysed originate. This implies that most of the energy carried by the kink waves (within the frequency range under study $< 17$ mHz) flows to upper layers in the Sun’s atmosphere.

Direct Observation of Coronal Magnetic Fields by Vector Tomography of the Coronal Emission Line Polarizations

This article presents the first direct "observation" of the global-scale, 3D coronal magnetic fields of Carrington Rotation (CR) Cycle 2112 using vector tomographic inversion techniques. The Vector tomographic inversion uses observational measurements of the Fe {\sc{xiii}} 10747 \AA\ Hanle effect polarization signals by the Coronal Multichannel Polarimeter (CoMP) and coronal density and temperature structures derived from scalar tomographic inversion of STEREO/EUVI coronal emission lines (CELs) intensity images as inputs to derive a coronal magnetic field model that best reproduces the observed polarization signals. While independent verifications of the vector tomography results cannot be performed, we compared the tomography inverted coronal magnetic fields with those constructed by MagnetoHydroDynamic (MHD) simulation based on observed photospheric magnetic fields of CR 2112 and 2113. We found that the MHD model for CR 2112 is qualitatively consistent with the tomography inverted result for most of the reconstruction domain except for a couple of regions. Particularly for one of the most noticeable exception region, we found that the MHD simulation for CR 2113 predicted a model that more closely resemble the vector tomography inverted magnetic fields. We discuss the utilities and limitations of the tomographic inversion technique, and present ideas for future developments.

X-ray and EUV Observations of Simultaneous Short and Long Period Oscillations in Hot Coronal Arcade Loops

We report decaying quasi-periodic intensity oscillations in the X-ray (6-12 keV) and extreme ultraviolet (EUV) channels (131, 94, 1600, 304 \AA) observed by the Fermi GBM (Gamma-ray Burst Monitor) and SDO/AIA, respectively, during a C-class flare. The estimated period of oscillation and decay time in the X-ray channel (6-12 keV) was about 202 s and 154 s, respectively. A similar oscillation period was detected at the footpoint of the arcade loops in the AIA 1600 and 304 \AA channels. Simultaneously, AIA hot channels (94 and 131 \AA) reveal propagating EUV disturbances bouncing back and forth between the footpoints of the arcade loops. The period of the oscillation and decay time were about 409 s and 1121 s, respectively. The characteristic phase speed of the wave is about 560 km/s for about 115 Mm loop length, which is roughly consistent with the sound speed at the temperature about 10-16 MK (480-608 km/s). These EUV oscillations are consistent with the SOHO/SUMER Doppler-shift oscillations interpreted as the global standing slow magnetoacoustic wave excited by a flare. The flare occurred at one of the footpoints of the arcade loops, where the magnetic topology was a 3D fan-spine with a null-point. Repetitive reconnection at this footpoint could cause the periodic acceleration of non-thermal electrons that propagated to the opposite footpoint along the arcade and precipitating there, causing the observed 202-s periodicity. Other possible interpretations, e.g. the second harmonics of the slow mode are also discussed.

Turbulence in the solar wind: spectra from Voyager 2 data at 5 AU

The solar wind spectral properties are far from uniformity and evolve with the increasing distance from the sun. Most of the available spectra of solar wind turbulence were computed at 1 astronomical unit, while accurate spectra on wide frequency ranges at larger distances are still few. In this paper we consider solar wind spectra derived from the data recorded by the Voyager 2 mission during 1979 at about 5 AU from the sun. Voyager 2 data are an incomplete time series with a voids/signal ratio that typically increases as the spacecraft moves away from the sun (45% missing data in 1979), making the analysis challenging. In order to estimate the uncertainty of the spectral slopes, different methods are tested on synthetic turbulence signals with the same gap distribution as V2 data. Spectra of all variables show a power law scaling with exponents between -2.1 and -1.1, depending on frequency subranges. PDFs and correlations indicate that the flow has a significant intermittency.

Searching for signatures of planet formation in stars with circumstellar debris discs

(Abridged) Tentative correlations between the presence of dusty debris discs and low-mass planets have been presented. In parallel, detailed chemical abundance studies have reported different trends between samples of planet and non-planet hosts. We determine in a homogeneous way the metallicity, and abundances of a sample of 251 stars including stars with known debris discs, with debris discs and planets, and only with planets. Stars with debris discs and planets have the same [Fe/H] behaviour as stars hosting planets, and they also show a similar <[X/Fe]>-Tc trend. Different behaviour in the <[X/Fe]>-Tc trend is found between the samples of stars without planets and the samples of planet hosts. In particular, when considering only refractory elements, negative slopes are shown in cool giant planet hosts, whilst positive ones are shown in stars hosting low-mass planets. Stars hosting exclusively close-in giant planets show higher metallicities and positive <[X/Fe]>-Tc slope. A search for correlations between the <[X/Fe]>-Tc slopes and the stellar properties reveals a moderate but significant correlation with the stellar radius and as well as a weak correlation with the stellar age. The fact that stars with debris discs and stars with low-mass planets do not show neither metal enhancement nor a different <[X/Fe]>-Tc trend might indicate a correlation between the presence of debris discs and the presence of low-mass planets. We extend results from previous works which reported differences in the <[X/Fe]>-Tc trends between planet hosts and non hosts. However, these differences tend to be present only when the star hosts a cool distant planet and not in stars hosting exclusively low-mass planets.

HD188112: Supernova Ia progenitor?

HD188112 is an extremely low mass white dwarf in a close binary system. According to a previous study, the mass of HD188112 is $\sim$0.24 Msun and a lower limit of 0.73 Msun could be put for the mass of its unseen companion, a compact degenarate object. We used HST STIS spectra to measure the rotational broadening of UV metallic lines in HD188112, in order to put tighter constraints on the mass of its companion. By assuming that the system in is synchronous rotation, we derive a companion mass between 1.05 and 1.25 Msun. We also measure abundances for magnesium, silicon, and iron, respectively log $N$(X)/$N$(H) = $-$6.40, $-$7.25, and $-$5.81. The radial velocities measured from the UV spectra are found to be in very good agreement with the prediction based on the orbital parameters derived in the previous study made a decade ago.

Electron density of active region outflows measured by the EUV Imaging Spectrometer onboard Hinode

In order to better understand the nature of active region outflows, the electron density was measured by using a density-sensitive line pair Fe xiv 264.78A/274.20A.Since coronal line profiles of the outflow region are composed of a major component with a Doppler shift of < 10 km s^-1 and a minor component (enhanced blue wing: EBW) blueshifted by up to 100 km s^-1, we extracted EBW from the line profiles through double-Gaussian fitting. We tried applying the simultaneous fitting to those two Fe xiv lines with several physical restrictions. Electron density for both components (n_Major and n_EBW, respectively) was calculated by referring to the theoretical intensity ratio as a function of electron density as per the CHIANTI database. We studied six locations in the outflow regions around NOAA AR10978. The average electron density was n_Major = 10^(9.16 +- 0.16) cm^-3 and n_EBW = 10^(8.74 +- 0.29) cm^-3. The magnitude relationship between n_Major and n_EBW was opposite in the eastern and western outflow regions. The column depth was also calculated for each component, which leads to the result that the outflows possess only a small fraction (~ 0.1) in the eastern region, while they dominate over the major component in the line profiles by a factor of five in the western region. When taking into account the extending coronal structures, the western region can be thought to represent the mass leakage. In contrast, we suggest a possibility that the eastern region actually contributes to the mass supply to coronal loops.

Models of Pulsar Glitches

Radio pulsars provide us with some of the most stable clocks in the universe. Nevertheless several pulsars exhibit sudden spin-up events, known as glitches. More than forty years after their first discovery, the exact origin of these phenomena is still open to debate. It is generally thought that they an observational manifestation of a superfluid component in the stellar interior and provide an insight into the dynamics of matter at extreme densities. In recent years there have been several advances on both the theoretical and observational side, that have provided significant steps forward in our understanding of neutron star interior dynamics and possible glitch mechanisms. In this article we review the main glitch models that have been proposed and discuss our understanding, in the light of current observations.

Models of Pulsar Glitches [Cross-Listing]

Radio pulsars provide us with some of the most stable clocks in the universe. Nevertheless several pulsars exhibit sudden spin-up events, known as glitches. More than forty years after their first discovery, the exact origin of these phenomena is still open to debate. It is generally thought that they an observational manifestation of a superfluid component in the stellar interior and provide an insight into the dynamics of matter at extreme densities. In recent years there have been several advances on both the theoretical and observational side, that have provided significant steps forward in our understanding of neutron star interior dynamics and possible glitch mechanisms. In this article we review the main glitch models that have been proposed and discuss our understanding, in the light of current observations.

The Solar Cycle

The Solar Cycle is reviewed. The 11-year cycle of solar activity is characterized by the rise and fall in the numbers and surface area of sunspots. A number of other solar activity indicators also vary in association with the sunspots including; the 10.7cm radio flux, the total solar irradiance, the magnetic field, flares and coronal mass ejections, geomagnetic activity, galactic cosmic ray fluxes, and radioisotopes in tree rings and ice cores. Individual solar cycles are characterized by their maxima and minima, cycle periods and amplitudes, cycle shape, the equatorward drift of the active latitudes, hemispheric asymmetries, and active longitudes. Cycle-to-cycle variability includes the Maunder Minimum, the Gleissberg Cycle, and the Gnevyshev-Ohl (even-odd) Rule. Short-term variability includes the 154-day periodicity, quasi-biennial variations, and double-peaked maxima. We conclude with an examination of prediction techniques for the solar cycle and a closer look at cycles 23 and 24.

Calibrating Gyrochronology using Kepler Asteroseismic targets

Among the available methods for dating stars, gyrochronology is a powerful one because it requires knowledge of only the star’s mass and rotation period. Gyrochronology relations have previously been calibrated using young clusters, with the Sun providing the only age dependence, and are therefore poorly calibrated at late ages. We used rotation period measurements of 310 Kepler stars with asteroseismic ages, 50 stars from the Hyades and Coma Berenices clusters and 6 field stars (including the Sun) with precise age measurements to calibrate the gyrochronology relation, whilst fully accounting for measurement uncertainties in all observable quantities. We calibrated a relation of the form $P=A^n\times(B-V-c)^b$, where $P$ is rotation period in days, $A$ is age in Myr, $B$ and $V$ are magnitudes and $a$, $b$ and $n$ are the free parameters of our model. We found $a = 0.40^{+0.3}_{-0.05}$, $b = 0.31^{+0.05}_{-0.02}$ and $n = 0.55^{+0.02}_{-0.09}$. Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods were used to explore the posterior probability distribution functions of the gyrochronology parameters and we carefully checked the effects of leaving out parts of our sample, leading us to find that no single relation beween rotation period, colour and age can adequately describe all the subsets of our data. The Kepler asteroseismic stars, cluster stars and local field stars cannot all be described by the same gyrochronology relation. The Kepler asteroseismic stars may be subject to observational biases, however the clusters show unexpected deviations from the predicted behaviour, providing concerns for the overall reliability of gyrochronology as a dating method.

Ultra-high-resolution Observations of MHD Waves in Photospheric Magnetic Structures

Here we review the recent progress made in the detection, examination, characterisation and interpretation of oscillations manifesting in small-scale magnetic elements in the solar photosphere. This region of the Sun’s atmosphere is especially dynamic, and importantly, permeated with an abundance of magnetic field concentrations. Such magnetic features can span diameters of hundreds to many tens of thousands of km, and are thus commonly referred to as the `building blocks’ of the magnetic solar atmosphere. However, it is the smallest magnetic elements that have risen to the forefront of solar physics research in recent years. Structures, which include magnetic bright points, are often at the diffraction limit of even the largest of solar telescopes. Importantly, it is the improvements in facilities, instrumentation, imaging techniques and processing algorithms during recent years that have allowed researchers to examine the motions, dynamics and evolution of such features on the smallest spatial and temporal scales to date. It is clear that while these structures may demonstrate significant magnetic field strengths, their small sizes make them prone to the buffeting supplied by the ubiquitous surrounding convective plasma motions. Here, it is believed that magnetohydrodynamic waves can be induced, which propagate along the field lines, carrying energy upwards to the outermost extremities of the solar corona. Such wave phenomena can exist in a variety of guises, including fast and slow magneto-acoustic modes, in addition to Alfven waves. Coupled with rapid advancements in magnetohydrodynamic wave theory, we are now in an ideal position to thoroughly investigate how wave motion is generated in the solar photosphere, which oscillatory modes are most prevalent, and the role that these waves play in supplying energy to various layers of the solar atmosphere.

Why Is the Great Solar Active Region 12192 CME-Poor?

Solar active region (AR) 12192 of October 2014 hosts the largest sunspot group in 24 years. It is the most prolific flaring site of Cycle 24, but surprisingly produced no coronal mass ejection (CME) from the core region during its disk passage. Here, we study the magnetic conditions that prevented eruption and the consequences that ensued. We find AR 12192 to be "big but mild"; its core region exhibits weaker non-potentiality, stronger overlying field, and smaller flare-related field changes compared to two other major flare-CME-productive ARs (11429 and 11158). These differences are present in the intensive-type indices (e.g., means) but generally not the extensive ones (e.g., totals). AR 12192′s large amount of magnetic free energy does not translate into CME productivity. The unexpected behavior suggests that AR eruptiveness is limited by some relative measure of magnetic non-potentiality over the restriction of background field, and that confined flares may leave weaker photospheric and coronal imprints compared to their eruptive counterparts.

Dust dynamics and evolution in expanding HII regions. I. Radiative drift of neutral and charged grains

We consider dust drift under the influence of stellar radiation pressure during the pressure-driven expansion of an HII region using the chemo-dynamical model MARION. Dust size distribution is represented by four dust types: conventional polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), very small grains (VSGs), big grains (BGs) and also intermediate-sized grains (ISGs), which are larger than VSGs and smaller than BGs. The dust is assumed to move at terminal velocity determined locally from the balance between the radiation pressure and gas drag. As Coulomb drag is an important contribution to the overall gas drag, we evaluate a grain charge evolution within the HII region for each dust type. BGs are effectively swept out of the HII region. The spatial distribution of ISGs within the HII region has a double peak structure, with a smaller inner peak and a higher outer peak. PAHs and VSGs are mostly coupled to the gas. The mean charge of PAHs is close to zero, so they can become neutral from time to time because of charge fluctuations. These periods of neutrality occur often enough to cause the removal of PAHs from the very interior of the HII region. For VSGs, the effect of charge fluctuations is less pronounced but still significant. We conclude that accounting for charge dispersion is necessary to describe the dynamics of small grains.

Single pulse and profile variability study of PSR J1022+1001

Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are known as highly stable celestial clocks. Nevertheless, recent studies have revealed the unstable nature of their integrated pulse profiles, which may limit the achievable pulsar timing precision. In this paper, we present a case study on the pulse profile variability of PSR J1022+1001. We have detected approximately 14,000 sub-pulses (components of single pulses) in 35-hr long observations, mostly located at the trailing component of the integrated profile. Their flux densities and fractional polarisation suggest that they represent the bright end of the energy distribution in ordinary emission mode and are not giant pulses. The occurrence of sub-pulses from the leading and trailing components of the integrated profile is shown to be correlated. For sub-pulses from the latter, a preferred pulse width of approximately 0.25 ms has been found. Using simultaneous observations from the Effelsberg 100-m telescope and the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope, we have found that the integrated profile varies on a timescale of a few tens of minutes. We show that improper polarisation calibration and diffractive scintillation cannot be the sole reason for the observed instability. In addition, we demonstrate that timing residuals generated from averages of the detected sub-pulses are dominated by phase jitter, and place an upper limit of ~700 ns for jitter noise based on continuous 1-min integrations.

The sunspot observations by Rheita in 1642 [Cross-Listing]

The correct interpretation of a fragment of Rheita about a sunspot observation in 1642 has crucial importance in estimating the amplitude of the solar cycle just before the Maunder Minimum. We show here that this record has been misinterpreted, presenting the original Latin text and a modern English translation.

Micron-sized forsterite grains in the pre-planetary nebula of IRAS 17150-3224 - Searching for clues on the mysterious evolution of massive AGB stars

We study the grain properties and location of the forsterite crystals in the circumstellar environment of the pre-planetary nebula (PPN) IRAS 17150-3224 in order to learn more about the as yet poorly understood evolutionary phase prior to the PPN. We use the best-fit model for IRAS 17150-3224 of Meixner et al. (2002) and add forsterite to this model. We investigate different spatial distributions and grain sizes of the forsterite crystals in the circumstellar environment. We compare the spectral bands of forsterite in the mid-infrared and at 69 micrometre in radiative transport models to those in ISO-SWS and Herschel/PACS observations. We can reproduce the non-detection of the mid-infrared bands and the detection of the 69 micrometre feature with models where the forsterite is distributed in the whole outflow, in the superwind region, or in the AGB-wind region emitted previous to the superwind, but we cannot discriminate between these three models. To reproduce the observed spectral bands with these three models, the forsterite crystals need to be dominated by a grain size population of 2 micrometre up to 6 micrometre. We hypothesise that the large forsterite crystals were formed after the superwind phase of IRAS 17150-3224, where the star developed an as yet unknown hyperwind with an extremely high mass-loss rate (10^-3 Msol/yr). The high densities of such a hyperwind could be responsible for the efficient grain growth of both amorphous and crystalline dust in the outflow. Several mechanisms are discussed that might explain the lower-limit of 2 micrometre found for the forsterite grains, but none are satisfactory. Among the mechanisms explored is a possible selection effect due to radiation pressure based on photon scattering on micron-sized grains.

The slow decline of the Galactic recurrent novae T Pyxidis, IM Normae, and CI Aquilae

A distinguishing trait of the three known Galactic recurrent novae with the shortest orbital periods, T Pyx, IM Nor, and CI Aql, is that their optical decline time-scales are significantly longer than those of the other recurrent systems. On the other hand, some estimates of the mass of the ejecta, the velocity of the ejecta, and the duration of the soft X-rays emission of these systems are of the order of those of the other recurrent systems and the fast classical novae. We put forth a tentative explanation of this phenomenon. We propose that in these systems part of the material transferred from the companion during the first few days of the eruption remains within the Roche lobe of the white dwarf, preventing the radiation from ionizing the ejecta of the system and increasing the optical decline time-scale. We explain why this phenomenon is more likely in systems with a high mass transfer rate and a short orbital period. Finally, we present a schematic model that shows that the material transferred from the companion is sufficient to absorb the radiation from the white dwarf in these systems, ultimately supporting this scenario as quantitatively realistic.

Flux density measurements of GPS candidate pulsars at 610 MHz using interferometric imaging technique

We conducted radio interferometric observations of six pulsars at 610 MHz using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT). All these objects were claimed or suspected to be the gigahertz-peaked spectra (GPS) pulsars. For a half of the sources in our sample the interferometric imaging provides the only means to estimate their flux at 610 MHz due to a strong pulse scatter-broadening. In our case, these pulsars have very high dispersion measure values and we present their spectra containing for the first time low-frequency measurements. The remaining three pulsars were observed at low frequencies using the conventional pulsar flux measurement method. The interferometric imaging technique allowed us to re-examine their fluxes at 610 MHz. We were able to confirm the GPS feature in the PSR B1823$-$13 spectrum and select a GPS candidate pulsar. These results clearly demonstrate that the interferometric imaging technique can be successfully applied to estimate flux density of pulsars even in the presence of strong scattering.

Simulations of Gyrosynchrotron Microwave Emission from an Oscillating 3D Magnetic Loop

Radio observations of solar flares often reveal various periodic or quasi-periodic oscillations. Most likely, these oscillations are caused by magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) oscillations of flaring loops which modulate the emission. Interpretation of the observations requires comparing them with simulations. We simulate the gyrosynchrotron radio emission from a semi-circular (toroidal-shaped) magnetic loop containing sausage-mode MHD oscillations. The aim is to detect the observable signatures specific to the considered MHD mode and to study their dependence on the various source parameters. The MHD waves are simulated using a linear three-dimensional model of a magnetized plasma cylinder; both standing and propagating waves are considered. The curved loop is formed by replicating the MHD solutions along the plasma cylinder and bending the cylinder; this model allows us to study the effect of varying the viewing angle along the loop. The radio emission is simulated using a three-dimensional model and its spatial and temporal variations are analyzed. We consider several loop orientations and different parameters of the magnetic field, plasma, and energetic electrons in the loop. In the model with low plasma density, the intensity oscillations at all frequencies are synchronous (with the exception of a narrow spectral region below the spectral peak). In the model with high plasma density, the emission at low frequencies (where the Razin effect is important) oscillates in anti-phase with the emissions at higher frequencies. The oscillations at high and low frequencies are more pronounced in different parts of the loop (depending on the loop orientation). The layers where the line-of-sight component of the magnetic field changes sign can produce additional peculiarities in the oscillation patterns.

The detection of heavy metals in the circumstellar envelopes of post-AGB stars

A new type of peculiarity — a splitting or asymmetry of strong absorption lines, is found in the optical spectra of selected post-AGB stars with C-rich circumstellar envelopes. The effect is maximal in BaII lines whose profile is split into two-three components. The particular components of the split absorption lines are shown to be formed in a structured circumstellar envelope, suggesting an efficient dredge-up of the heavy metals produced during the preceding evolution of this star into the envelope. We suspect that the splitting (or asymmetry) of the profiles of strongest absorptions with low excitation potential of the low level can be associated with the kinematic and chemical properties of the circumstellar environment and with type of its morphology.

MHD Generation Code

A program to generate codes in Fortran and C of the full Magnetohydrodynamic equations is shown. The program used the free computer algebra system software REDUCE. This software has a package called EXCALC, which is an exterior calculus program. The advantage of this program is that it can be modified to include another complex metric or spacetime. The output of this program is modified by means of a LINUX script which creates a new REDUCE program to manipulate the MHD equations to obtain a code that can be used as a seed for a MHD code for numerical applications. As an example, we present part of output of our programs for Cartesian coordinates and how to do the discretization.

A tidal encounter caught in the act: modelling a star-disc fly-by in the young RW Aurigae system

RW Aurigae (RW Aur) is a binary star system with a long molecular arm trailing the primary star. Cabrit et al. (2006) noted the resemblance between this extended structure and the tidal arm stripped from the primary star in the simulations of star-disc encounters by Clarke & Pringle (1993). In this paper we use new hydrodynamical models and synthetic observations to fit many of the parameters of RW Aur. Using hydrodynamic models we find that the morphological appearance of RW Aur can be indeed explained by a tidal encounter with the secondary star. We reproduce all the major morphological and kinematic features of the system. Using radiative transfer calculations, we find that synthetic CO and dust continuum observations of our hydrodynamic models agree well with observations. We reproduce all the main features of the line profiles, from emission fluxes to the optical depth of the different components of the system. The agreement between observations and simulations thus lends strong support to the hypothesis of a tidal encounter scenario. Finally, we propose a possible solution for the origin of the dimming of the primary star observed in 2010/2011 by Rodriguez et al. (2013).

Evidence of tidal distortions and mass loss from the old open cluster NGC 6791

We present the first evidence of clear signatures of tidal distortions in the density distribution of the fascinating open cluster NGC 6791. We used deep and wide-field data obtained with the Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope covering a 2×2 square degrees area around the cluster. The two-dimensional density map obtained with the optimal matched filter technique shows a clear elongation and an irregular distribution starting from ~300" from the cluster center. At larger distances, two tails extending in opposite directions beyond the tidal radius are also visible. These features are aligned to both the absolute proper motion and to the Galactic center directions. Moreover, other overdensities appear to be stretched in a direction perpendicular to the Galactic plane. Accordingly to the behaviour observed in the density map, we find that both the surface brightness and the star count density profiles reveal a departure from a King model starting from ~600" from the center. These observational evidence suggest that NGC 6791 is currently experiencing mass loss likely due to gravitational shocking and interactions with the tidal field. We use this evidence to argue that NGC 6791 should have lost a significant fraction of its original mass. A larger initial mass would in fact explain why the cluster survived so long. Using available recipes based on analytic studies and N-body simulations, we derived the expected mass loss due to stellar evolution and tidal interactions and estimated the initial cluster mass to be M_ini=(1.5-4) x 10^5 M_sun.

Know The Star, Know the Planet. IV. A Stellar Companion to the Host star of the Eccentric Exoplanet HD 8673b [Replacement]

HD 8673 hosts a massive exoplanet in a highly eccentric orbit (e=0.723). Based on two epochs of speckle interferometry a previous publication identi?ed a candidate stellar companion. We observed HD 8673 multiple times with the 10 m Keck II telescope, the 5 m Hale telescope, the 3.63 m AEOS telescope and the 1.5m Palomar telescope in a variety of ?lters with the aim of con?rming and characterizing the stellar companion. We did not detect the candidate companion, which we now conclude was a false detection, but we did detect a fainter companion. We collected astrometry and photometry of the companion on six epochs in a variety of ?lters. The measured di?erential photometry enabled us to determine that the companion is an early M dwarf with a mass estimate of 0.33-0.45 M?. The companion has a projected separation of 10 AU, which is one of the smallest projected separations of an exoplanet host binary system. Based on the limited astrometry collected, we are able to constrain the orbit of the stellar companion to a semi-major axis of 35{60 AU, an eccentricity ? 0.5 and an inclination of 75{85?. The stellar companion has likely strongly in uenced the orbit of the exoplanet and quite possibly explains its high eccentricity.

Know The Star, Know the Planet. IV. A Stellar Companion to the Host star of the Eccentric Exoplanet HD 8673b [Replacement]

HD 8673 hosts a massive exoplanet in a highly eccentric orbit (e=0.723). Based on two epochs of speckle interferometry a previous publication identi?ed a candidate stellar companion. We observed HD 8673 multiple times with the 10 m Keck II telescope, the 5 m Hale telescope, the 3.63 m AEOS telescope and the 1.5m Palomar telescope in a variety of ?lters with the aim of con?rming and characterizing the stellar companion. We did not detect the candidate companion, which we now conclude was a false detection, but we did detect a fainter companion. We collected astrometry and photometry of the companion on six epochs in a variety of ?lters. The measured di?erential photometry enabled us to determine that the companion is an early M dwarf with a mass estimate of 0.33-0.45 M?. The companion has a projected separation of 10 AU, which is one of the smallest projected separations of an exoplanet host binary system. Based on the limited astrometry collected, we are able to constrain the orbit of the stellar companion to a semi-major axis of 35{60 AU, an eccentricity ? 0.5 and an inclination of 75{85?. The stellar companion has likely strongly in uenced the orbit of the exoplanet and quite possibly explains its high eccentricity.

 

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