Recent Postings from Solar and Stellar

GrayStarServer: Server-side spectrum synthesis with a browser-based client-side user interface

I present GrayStarServer (GSS), a stellar atmospheric modeling and spectrum synthesis code of pedagogical accuracy that is accessible in any web browser on commonplace computational devices and that runs on a time-scale of a few seconds. The addition of spectrum synthesis annotated with line identifications extends the functionality and pedagogical applicability of GSS beyond that of its predecessor, GrayStar3 (GS3). The spectrum synthesis is based on a line list acquired from the NIST atomic spectra database, and the GSS post-processing and user interface (UI) client allows the user to inspect the plain text ASCII version of the line list, as well as to apply macroscopic broadening. Unlike GS3, GSS carries out the physical modeling on the server side in Java, and communicates with the JavaScript and HTML client via an asynchronous HTTP request. I also describe other improvements beyond GS3 such as more realistic modeling physics and use of the HTML <canvas> element for higher quality plotting and rendering of results, and include a comparison to Phoenix modeling. I also present LineListServer, a Java code for converting custom ASCII line lists in NIST format to the byte data type file format required by GSS so that users can prepare their own custom line lists. I propose a standard for marking up and packaging model atmosphere and spectrum synthesis output for data transmission and storage that will facilitate a web-based approach to stellar atmospheric modeling and spectrum synthesis. I describe some pedagogical demonstrations and exercises enabled by easily accessible, on-demand, responsive spectrum synthesis. GSS may serve as a research support tool by providing quick spectroscopic reconnaissance. GSS may be found at www.ap.smu.ca/~ishort/OpenStars/.

Strategies in seismic inference of supergranular flows on the Sun

Observations of the solar surface reveal the presence of flows with length scales of around $35$ Mm, commonly referred to as supergranules. Inferring the sub-surface flow profile of supergranules from measurements of the surface and photospheric wavefield is an important challenge faced by helioseismology. Traditionally, the inverse problem has been approached by studying the linear response of seismic waves in a horizontally translationally invariant background to the presence of the supergranule; following an iterative approach that does not depend on horizontal translational invariance might perform better, since the misfit can be analyzed post iterations. In this work, we construct synthetic observations using a reference supergranule, and invert for the flow profile using surface measurements of travel-times of waves belonging to modal ridges $f$ (surface-gravity) and $p_{1}$ through $p_{7}$ (acoustic). We study the extent to which individual modes and their combinations contribute to infer the flow. We show that this method of non-linear iterative inversion tends to underestimate the flow velocities as well as inferring a shallower flow profile, with significant deviations from the reference supergranule near the surface. We carry out a similar analysis for a sound-speed perturbation and find that analogous near-surface deviations persist, although the iterations converge faster and more accurately. We conclude that a better approach to inversion would be to expand the supergranule profile in an appropriate basis, thereby reducing the number of parameters being inverted for and appropriately regularizing them.

Planetary Nebulae in the Small Magellanic Cloud

We analyse the planetary nebulae (PNe) population of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC), based on evolutionary models of stars with metallicities in the range $10^{-3} \leq Z \leq 4\times 10^{-3}$ and mass $0.9 M\odot < M < 8M\odot$, evolved through the asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase. The models used account for dust formation in the circumstellar envelope. To characterise the PNe sample of the SMC, we compare the observed abundances of the various species with the final chemical composition of the AGB models: this study allows us to identify the progenitors of the PNe observed, in terms of mass and chemical composition. According to our interpretation, most of the PNe descend from low-mass ($M < 2 M\odot$) stars, which become carbon rich, after experiencing repeated third dredge-up episodes, during the AGB phase. A fraction of the PNe showing the signature of advanced CNO processing are interpreted as the progeny of massive AGB stars, with mass above $\sim 6 M\odot$, undergoing strong hot bottom burning. The differences with the chemical composition of the PNe population of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is explained on the basis of the diverse star formation history and age-metallicity relation of the two galaxies. The implications of the present study for some still highly debated points regarding the AGB evolution are also commented.

The slowly pulsating B-star 18 Peg: A testbed for upper main sequence stellar evolution

The predicted width of the upper main sequence in stellar evolution models depends on the empirical calibration of the convective overshooting parameter. Despite decades of discussions, its precise value is still unknown and further observational constraints are required to gauge it. Based on a photometric and preliminary asteroseismic analysis, we show that the mid B-type giant 18 Peg is one of the most evolved members of the rare class of slowly pulsating B-stars and, thus, bears tremendous potential to derive a tight lower limit for the width of the upper main sequence. In addition, 18 Peg turns out to be part of a single-lined spectroscopic binary system with an eccentric orbit that is greater than 6 years. Further spectroscopic and photometric monitoring and a sophisticated asteroseismic investigation are required to exploit the full potential of this star as a benchmark object for stellar evolution theory.

Pinwheels in the sky, with dust: 3D modeling of the Wolf-Rayet 98a environment

The Wolf-Rayet 98a (WR 98a) system is a prime target for interferometric surveys, since its identification as a "rotating pinwheel nebulae", where infrared images display a spiral dust lane revolving with a 1.4 year periodicity. WR 98a hosts a WC9+OB star, and the presence of dust is puzzling given the extreme luminosities of Wolf-Rayet stars. We present 3D hydrodynamic models for WR 98a, where dust creation and redistribution are self-consistently incorporated. Our grid-adaptive simulations resolve details in the wind collision region at scales below one percent of the orbital separation (~4 AU), while simulating up to 1300 AU. We cover several orbital periods under conditions where the gas component alone behaves adiabatic, or is subject to effective radiative cooling. In the adiabatic case, mixing between stellar winds is effective in a well-defined spiral pattern, where optimal conditions for dust creation are met. When radiative cooling is incorporated, the interaction gets dominated by thermal instabilities along the wind collision region, and dust concentrates in clumps and filaments in a volume-filling fashion, so WR 98a must obey close to adiabatic evolutions to demonstrate the rotating pinwheel structure. We mimic Keck, ALMA or future E-ELT observations and confront photometric long-term monitoring. We predict an asymmetry in the dust distribution between leading and trailing edge of the spiral, show that ALMA and E-ELT would be able to detect fine-structure in the spiral indicative of Kelvin-Helmholtz development, and confirm the variation in photometry due to the orientation. Historic Keck images are reproduced, but their resolution is insufficient to detect the details we predict.

A lambda 3mm and 1mm line survey toward the yellow hypergiant IRC +10420

Our knowledge of the chemical properties of the circumstellar ejecta of the most massive evolved stars is particularly poor. We aim to study the chemical characteristics of the prototypical yellow hypergiant star, IRC +10420. For this purpose, we obtained full line surveys at 1 and 3mm atmospheric windows. We have identified 106 molecular emission lines from 22 molecular species. Approximately half of the molecules detected are N-bearing species, in particular HCN, HNC, CN, NO, NS, PN, and N2H+. We used rotational diagrams to derive the density and rotational temperature of the di?erent molecular species detected. We introduced an iterative method that allows us to take moderate line opacities into account. We have found that IRC +10420 presents high abundances of the N-bearing molecules compared with O-rich evolved stars. This result supports the presence of a N-rich chemistry, expected for massive stars. Our analysis also suggests a decrease of the 12C/13C ratio from \gtrsim 7 to \sim 3.7 in the last 3800 years, which can be directly related to the nitrogen enrichment observed. In addition, we found that SiO emission presents a significant intensity decrease for high-J lines when compared with older observations. Radiative transfer modeling shows that this variation can be explained by a decrease in the infrared (IR) flux of the dust. The origin of this decrease might be an expansion of the dust shell or a lower stellar temperature due to the pulsation of the star.

The K2-ESPRINT Project V: a short-period giant planet orbiting a subgiant star

We report on the discovery and characterization of the transiting planet K2-39b (EPIC 206247743b). With an orbital period of 4.6 days, it is the shortest-period planet orbiting a subgiant star known to date. Such planets are rare, with only a handful of known cases. The reason for this is poorly understood, but may reflect differences in planet occurrence around the relatively high-mass stars that have been surveyed, or may be the result of tidal destruction of such planets. K2-39 is an evolved star with a spectroscopically derived stellar radius and mass of $3.88^{+0.48}_{-0.42}~\mathrm{R_\odot}$ and $1.53^{+0.13}_{-0.12}~\mathrm{M_\odot}$, respectively, and a very close-in transiting planet, with $a/R_\star = 3.4$. Radial velocity (RV) follow-up using the HARPS, FIES and PFS instruments leads to a planetary mass of $50.3^{+9.7}_{-9.4}~\mathrm{M_\oplus}$. In combination with a radius measurement of $8.3 \pm 1.1~\mathrm{R_\oplus}$, this results in a mean planetary density of $0.50^{+0.29}_{-0.17}$ g~cm$^{-3}$. We furthermore discover a long-term RV trend, which may be caused by a long-period planet or stellar companion. Because K2-39b has a short orbital period, its existence makes it seem unlikely that tidal destruction is wholly responsible for the differences in planet populations around subgiant and main-sequence stars. Future monitoring of the transits of this system may enable the detection of period decay and constrain the tidal dissipation rates of subgiant stars.

KIC 6220497: A New Algol-type Eclipsing Binary with Multiperiodic Pulsations

We present both binarity and pulsation of KIC 6220497 from the {\it Kepler} observations. The light curve synthesis shows that the eclipsing system is a semi-detached Algol with parameters of $q$ = 0.243$\pm$0.001, $i$ = 77.3$\pm$0.3 deg, and $\Delta T$ = 3,372$\pm$58 K, in which the detached primary component fills its Roche lobe by $\sim$87\%. A multiple frequency analysis of the eclipse-subtracted light residuals reveals 33 frequencies in the range of 0.75$-$20.22 d$^{-1}$ with amplitudes between 0.27 and 4.56 mmag. Among these, four are pulsation frequencies in fundamental ($f_1$, $f_5$) and $p$ ($f_2$, $f_7$) modes, and six are orbital frequency ($f_8$, $f_{31}$) and its harmonics ($f_6$, $f_{11}$, $f_{20}$, $f_{24}$), which can be attributed to tidally excited modes. For the pulsation frequencies, the pulsation constants of 0.16$-$0.33 d and the period ratios of $P_{\rm pul}/P_{\rm orb}$ = 0.042$-$0.089 indicate that the primary component is a $\delta$ Sct pulsating star and, thus, KIC 6220497 is an oscillating eclipsing Algol (oEA) star. The dominant pulsation period of 0.1174051$\pm$0.0000004 d is significantly longer than that expected from empirical relations that link the pulsation period with the orbital period. The surface gravity of $\log g_1$ = 3.78$\pm$0.03 is clearly smaller than those of the other oEA stars with similar orbital periods. The pulsation period and the surface gravity of the pulsating primary demonstrate that KIC 6220497 would be the more evolved EB, compared with normal oEA stars.

Shock-Turbulence Interaction in Core-Collapse Supernovae

Nuclear shell burning in the final stages of the lives of massive stars is accompanied by strong turbulent convection. The resulting fluctuations aid supernova explosion by amplifying the non-radial flow in the post-shock region. In this work, we investigate the physical mechanism behind this amplification using a linear perturbation theory. We model the shock wave as a one-dimensional planar discontinuity and consider its interaction with vorticity and entropy perturbations in the upstream flow. We find that, as the perturbations cross the shock, their total turbulent kinetic energy is amplified by a factor of $\sim\!2$, while the average linear size of turbulent eddies decreases by about the same factor. These values are not sensitive to the parameters of the upstream turbulence and the nuclear dissociation efficiency at the shock. Finally, we discuss the implication of our results for the supernova explosion mechanism. We show that the upstream perturbations can decrease the critical neutrino luminosity for producing explosion by several percent.

Dense molecular gas star formation law in Galactic clumps: an extensive survey of HCN (4-3) and CS (7-6) with the ASTE telescope

We observed 146 Galactic clumps in HCN (4-3) and CS (7-6) with the Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE) 10-m telescope. The star formation rates probed by total infrared luminosities (LTIR) are linearly correlated with clump masses (Mclump) for those clumps with LTIR larger than 10^3 Lsun, leading to a constant gas depletion time of ~107 Myr. The correlations between LTIR and molecular line luminosities (Lmol) of HCN (4-3) and CS (7-6) are tight and sublinear extending down to clumps with LTIR 10^3 Lsun. These correlations become linear when extended to external galaxies. A bimodal behavior in the LTIR-Lmol correlations was found for clumps with different dust temperature, luminosity-to-mass ratio, and sigma_line-to-sigma_vir ratio. Such bimodal behavior may be due to evolutionary effects. The slopes of LTIR-Lmol correlations become more shallow as clumps evolve. We compared our results with lower J transition lines in Wu et al. (2010). The correlations between clump masses and line luminosities are close to linear for low effective excitation density tracers but become sublinear for high effective excitation density tracers for clumps with LTIR larger than LTIR 10^4.5 Lsun. High effective excitation density tracers cannot linearly trace the total clump masses, leading to a sublinear correlations for both Mclump-Lmol and LTIR-Lmol relations.

Looking for imprints of the first stellar generations in metal-poor bulge field stars

Context. Efforts to look for signatures of the first stars have concentrated on metal-poor halo objects. However, the low end of the bulge metallicity distribution has been shown to host some of the oldest objects in the Milky Way and hence this Galactic component potentially offers interesting targets to look at imprints of the first stellar generations. As a pilot project, we selected bulge field stars already identified in the ARGOS survey as having [Fe/H] ~ -1 and oversolar [alpha/Fe] ratios, and we used FLAMES-UVES to obtain detailed abundances of key elements that are believed to reveal imprints of the first stellar generations. Aims. The main purpose of this study is to analyse selected ARGOS stars using new high-resolution (R~45,000) and high-signal-to-noise (S/N >100) spectra. We aim to derive their stellar parameters and elemental ratios, in particular the abundances of C, N, the alpha-elements O, Mg, Si, Ca, and Ti, the odd-Z elements Na and Al, the neutron-capture s-process dominated elements Y, Zr, La, and Ba, and the r-element Eu. Methods. High-resolution spectra of five field giant stars were obtained at the 8m VLT UT2-Kueyen telescope with the UVES spectrograph in FLAMES-UVES configuration. Spectroscopic parameters were derived based on the excitation and ionization equilibrium of Fe I and Fe II. The abundance analysis was performed with a MARCS LTE spherical model atmosphere grid and the Turbospectrum spectrum synthesis code.

Molecular Emission in Dense Massive Clumps from the Star-Forming Regions S231-S235

The article deals with observations of star-forming regions S231-S235 in 'quasi-thermal' lines of ammonia (NH$_3$), cyanoacetylene (HC$_3$N) and maser lines of methanol (CH$_3$OH) and water vapor (H$_2$O). S231-S235 regions is situated in the giant molecular cloud G174+2.5. We selected all massive molecular clumps in G174+2.5 using archive CO data. For the each clump we determined mass, size and CO column density. After that we performed observations of these clumps. We report about first detections of NH$_3$ and HC$_3$N lines toward the molecular clumps WB89 673 and WB89 668. This means that high-density gas is present there. Physical parameters of molecular gas in the clumps were estimated using the data on ammonia emission. We found that the gas temperature and the hydrogen number density are in the ranges 16-30 K and 2.8-7.2$\times10^3$ cm$^{-3}$, respectively. The shock-tracing line of CH$_3$OH molecule at 36.2 GHz is newly detected toward WB89 673.

A Census of Young Stars and Brown Dwarfs in IC 348 and NGC 1333

We have obtained optical and near-infrared spectra of candidate members of the star-forming clusters IC 348 and NGC 1333. We classify 100 and 42 candidates as new members of the clusters, respectively, which brings the total numbers of known members to 478 and 203. We also have performed spectroscopy on a large majority of the previously known members of NGC 1333 in order to provide spectral classifications that are measured with the same scheme that has been applied to IC 348 in previous studies. The new census of members is nearly complete for Ks<16.8 at Aj<1.5 in IC 348 and for Ks<16.2 at Aj<3 in NGC 1333, which correspond to masses of <=0.01 Msun for ages of 3 Myr according to theoretical evolutionary models. The faintest known members extend below these completeness limits and appear to have masses of ~0.005 Msun. In extinction-limited samples of cluster members, NGC 1333 exhibits a higher abundance of objects at lower masses than IC 348. It would be surprising if the initial mass functions of these clusters differ significantly given their similar stellar densities and formation environments. Instead, it is possible that average extinctions are lower for less massive members of star-forming clusters, in which case extinction-limited samples could be biased in favor of low-mass objects in the more heavily embedded clusters like NGC 1333. In the H-R diagram, the median sequences of IC 348 and NGC 1333 coincide with each other for the adopted distances of 300 and 235 pc, which would suggest that they have similar ages. However, NGC 1333 is widely believed to be younger than IC 348 based on its higher abundance of disks and protostars and its greater obscuration. Errors in the adopted distances may be responsible for this discrepancy.

The Star-formation History and Accretion-Disk Fraction Among the K-Type Members of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB Association

We present results of a spectroscopic survey for new K- and M-type members of Scorpius-Centaurus (Sco-Cen), the nearest OB Association (~100-200 pc). Using an X-ray, proper motion and color-magnitude selected sample, we obtained spectra for 361 stars, for which we report spectral classifications and Li and Halpha equivalent widths. We identified 156 new members of Sco-Cen, and recovered 51 previously published members. We have combined these with previously known members to form a sample of 493 solar-mass (~0.7-1.3 Msun) members of Sco-Cen. We investigated the star-formation history of this sample, and re-assessed the ages of the massive main-sequence turn-off and the G-type members in all three subgroups. We performed a census for circumstellar disks in our sample using WISE infrared data and find a protoplanetary disk fraction for K-type stars of 4.4$^{+1.6}_{-0.9}$% for Upper Centaurus-Lupus and Lower Centaurus-Crux at ~16 Myr and 9.0$^{+4.0}_{-2.2}$% for Upper Scorpius at ~10 Myr. These data are consistent with a protoplanetary disk e-folding timescale of ~4-5 Myr for ~1 Msun stars, twice that previously quoted (Mamajek 2009), but consistent with the Bell et al. revised age scale of young clusters. Finally, we construct an age map of Scorpius-Centaurus which clearly reveals substructure consisting of concentrations of younger and older stars. We find evidence for strong age gradients within all three subgroups. None of the subgroups are consistent with being simple, coeval populations which formed in single bursts, but likely represents a multitude of smaller star formation episodes of hundreds to tens of stars each.

Modelling turbulent stellar convection zones: sub-grid scales effects

The impressive development of global numerical simulations of turbulent stellar interiors unveiled a variety of possible differential rotation (solar or anti-solar), meridional circulation (single or multi-cellular), and dynamo states (stable large scale toroidal field or periodically reversing magnetic fields). Various numerical schemes, based on the so-called anelastic set of equations, were used to obtain these results. It appears today mandatory to assess their robustness with respect to the details of the numerics, and in particular to the treatment of turbulent sub-grid scales. We report on an ongoing comparison between two global models, the ASH and EULAG codes. In EULAG the sub-grid scales are treated implicitly by the numerical scheme, while in ASH their effect is generally modelled by using enhanced dissipation coefficients. We characterize the sub-grid scales effect in a turbulent convection simulation with EULAG. We assess their effect at each resolved scale with a detailed energy budget. We derive equivalent eddy-diffusion coefficients and use the derived diffusivities in twin ASH numerical simulations. We find a good agreement between the large-scale flows developing in the two codes in the hydrodynamic regime, which encourages further investigation in the magnetohydrodynamic regime for various dynamo solutions.

Induced Hyperon-Nucleon-Nucleon Interactions and the Hyperon Puzzle [Cross-Listing]

We present the first ab initio calculations for $p$-shell hypernuclei including hyperon-nucleon-nucleon (YNN) contributions induced by a Similarity Renormalization Group transformation of the initial hyperon-nucleon interaction. The transformation including the YNN terms conserves the spectrum of the Hamiltonian while drastically improving model-space convergence of the Importance-Truncated No-Core Shell Model, allowing a precise extraction of binding and excitation energies. Results using a hyperon-nucleon interaction at leading order in chiral effective field theory for lower- to mid-$p$-shell hypernuclei show a good reproduction of experimental excitation energies while hyperon binding energies are typically overestimated. The induced YNN contributions are strongly repulsive and we show that they are related to a decoupling of the $\Sigma$ hyperons from the hypernuclear system, i.e., a suppression of the $\Lambda$-$\Sigma$ conversion terms in the Hamiltonian. This is linked to the so-called hyperon puzzle in neutron-star physics and provides a basic mechanism for the explanation of strong $\Lambda$NN three-baryon forces.

Induced Hyperon-Nucleon-Nucleon Interactions and the Hyperon Puzzle

We present the first ab initio calculations for $p$-shell hypernuclei including hyperon-nucleon-nucleon (YNN) contributions induced by a Similarity Renormalization Group transformation of the initial hyperon-nucleon interaction. The transformation including the YNN terms conserves the spectrum of the Hamiltonian while drastically improving model-space convergence of the Importance-Truncated No-Core Shell Model, allowing a precise extraction of binding and excitation energies. Results using a hyperon-nucleon interaction at leading order in chiral effective field theory for lower- to mid-$p$-shell hypernuclei show a good reproduction of experimental excitation energies while hyperon binding energies are typically overestimated. The induced YNN contributions are strongly repulsive and we show that they are related to a decoupling of the $\Sigma$ hyperons from the hypernuclear system, i.e., a suppression of the $\Lambda$-$\Sigma$ conversion terms in the Hamiltonian. This is linked to the so-called hyperon puzzle in neutron-star physics and provides a basic mechanism for the explanation of strong $\Lambda$NN three-baryon forces.

Induced Hyperon-Nucleon-Nucleon Interactions and the Hyperon Puzzle [Cross-Listing]

We present the first ab initio calculations for $p$-shell hypernuclei including hyperon-nucleon-nucleon (YNN) contributions induced by a Similarity Renormalization Group transformation of the initial hyperon-nucleon interaction. The transformation including the YNN terms conserves the spectrum of the Hamiltonian while drastically improving model-space convergence of the Importance-Truncated No-Core Shell Model, allowing a precise extraction of binding and excitation energies. Results using a hyperon-nucleon interaction at leading order in chiral effective field theory for lower- to mid-$p$-shell hypernuclei show a good reproduction of experimental excitation energies while hyperon binding energies are typically overestimated. The induced YNN contributions are strongly repulsive and we show that they are related to a decoupling of the $\Sigma$ hyperons from the hypernuclear system, i.e., a suppression of the $\Lambda$-$\Sigma$ conversion terms in the Hamiltonian. This is linked to the so-called hyperon puzzle in neutron-star physics and provides a basic mechanism for the explanation of strong $\Lambda$NN three-baryon forces.

A comparison between grid and particle methods on the small-scale dynamo in magnetised supersonic turbulence

We perform a comparison between the smoothed particle magnetohydrodynamics (SPMHD) code, Phantom, and the Eulerian grid-based code, Flash, on the small-scale turbulent dynamo in driven, Mach 10 turbulence. We show, for the first time, that the exponential growth and saturation of an initially weak magnetic field via the small-scale dynamo can be successfully reproduced with SPMHD. The two codes agree on the behaviour of the magnetic energy spectra, the saturation level of magnetic energy, and the distribution of magnetic field strengths during the growth and saturation phases. The main difference is that the dynamo growth rate, and its dependence on resolution, differs between the codes, caused by differences in the numerical dissipation and shock capturing schemes leading to differences in the effective Prandtl number in Phantom and Flash.

Three-lane signatures of planets in planetesimal disks

In massive numerical experiments we show that a planet embedded in a planetesimal disk induces a characteristic three-lane "planetosignature" representing a pattern of three stellar-centric rings, one bright coorbital with the planet, and two dark gaps in the radial distribution of the particles. The gaps correspond to orbital resonances $2/1$ and $1/2$ with the planet. This theoretical prediction is in perfect agreement with recent ALMA observations of the disk of HL Tau.

Magnetic cycles of Sun-like stars with different levels of coronal and chromospheric activity -- comparison with the Sun

The atmospheric activity of the Sun and Sun-like stars is analyzed involving observations from HK-project at the Mount Wilson Observatory, the California and Carnegie Planet Search Program at the Keck and Lick Observatories and the Magellan Planet Search Program at the Las Campanas Observatory. We show that for stars of F, G and K spectral classes, the cyclic activity, similar to the 11-yr solar cycles, is different: it becomes more prominent in K-stars. Comparative study of Sun-like stars with different levels of the chromospheric and coronal activity confirms that the Sun belongs to stars with the low level of the chromospheric activity and stands apart among these stars by the minimum level of its coronal radiation and the minimum level of its variations of the photospheric flux.

Proper motions of 15 pulsars: a comparison between Bayesian and frequentist algorithms

We present proper motions for 15 pulsars which are observed regularly by the Nanshan 25-m radio telescope. Two methods, the frequentist method (Coles et al.2011) and the Bayesian (Lentati et al. 2014) method, are used and the results are compared. We demonstrate that the two methods can be applied to young pulsar data sets that exhibit large amounts of timing noise with steep spectral exponents and give consistent results. The measured positions also agree with very-long-baseline interferometric positions. Proper motions for four pulsars are obtained for the first time, and improved values are obtained for five pulsars.

On the chemistry of hydrides of N atoms and O$^+$ ions

Previous work by various authors has suggested that the detection by Herschel/HIFI of nitrogen hydrides along the low density lines of sight towards G10.6-0.4 (W31C) cannot be accounted for by gas-phase chemical models. In this paper we investigate the role of surface reactions on dust grains in diffuse regions, and we find that formation of the hydrides by surface reactions on dust grains with efficiency comparable to that for H$_2$ formation reconciles models with observations of nitrogen hydrides. However, similar surface reactions do not contribute significantly to the hydrides of O$^+$ ions detected by Herschel/HIFI present along many sight lines in the Galaxy. The O$^+$ hydrides can be accounted for by conventional gas-phase chemistry either in diffuse clouds of very low density with normal cosmic ray fluxes or in somewhat denser diffuse clouds with high cosmic ray fluxes. Hydride chemistry in dense dark clouds appears to be dominated by gas-phase ion-molecule reactions.

Episodic High Velocity Outflows from V899 Mon: A Constraint On The Outflow Mechanisms

We report the detection of large variations in the outflow wind velocity from a young eruptive star, V899 Mon during its ongoing high accretion outburst phase. Such large variations in the outflow velocity (from -722 km s$^{-1}$ to -425 km s$^{-1}$) have never been reported previously in this family of objects. Our continuous monitoring of this source shows that the multi-component, clumpy, and episodic high velocity outflows are stable in the time scale of a few days, and vary over the time scale of a few weeks to months. We detect significant decoupling in the instantaneous outflow strength to accretion rate. From the comparison of various possible outflow mechanisms in magnetospheric accretion of young stellar objects, we conclude magnetically driven polar winds to be the most consistent mechanism for the outflows seen in V899 Mon. The large scale fluctuations in outflow over the short period makes V899 Mon the most ideal source to constrain various magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulations of magnetospheric accretion. *footnote: based on observations made with the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT)

A study of the elements copper through uranium in Sirius A: Contributions from STIS and ground-based spectra

We determine abundances or upper limits for all of the 55 stable elements from copper to uranium for the A1 Vm star Sirius. The purpose of the study is to assemble the most complete picture of elemental abundances with the hope of revealing the chemical history of the brightest star in the sky, apart from the Sun. We also explore the relationship of this hot metallic-line (Am) star to its cooler congeners, as well as the hotter, weakly- or non-magnetic mercury-manganese (HgMn) stars. Our primary observational material consists of {\em Hubble Space Telescope} ($HST$) spectra taken with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) in the ASTRAL project. We have also used archival material from the %\citep/{ayr10}. $COPERNICUS$ satellite, and from the $HST$ Goddard High-Resolution Spectrograph (GHRS), as well as ground-based spectra from Furenlid, Westin, Kurucz, Wahlgren, and their coworkers, ESO spectra from the UVESPOP project, and NARVAL spectra retrieved from PolarBase. Our analysis has been primarily by spectral synthesis, and in this work we have had the great advantage of extensive atomic data unavailable to earlier workers. We find most abundances as well as upper limits range from 10 to 100 times above solar values. We see no indication of the huge abundance excesses of 1000 or more that occur among many chemically peculiar (CP) stars of the upper main sequence. The picture of Sirius as a hot Am star is reinforced.

Enabling science with Gaia observations of naked-eye stars

ESA's Gaia space astrometry mission is performing an all-sky survey of stellar objects. At the beginning of the nominal mission in July 2014, an operation scheme was adopted that enabled Gaia to routinely acquire observations of all stars brighter than the original limit of G~6, i.e. the naked-eye stars. Here, we describe the current status and extent of those observations and their on-ground processing. We present an overview of the data products generated for G<6 stars and the potential scientific applications. Finally, we discuss how the Gaia survey could be enhanced by further exploiting the techniques we developed.

Galileon Radiation from a Spherical Collapsing Shell [Cross-Listing]

Galileon radiation in the collapse of a thin spherical shell of matter is analyzed. In the framework of a cubic Galileon theory, we compute the field profile produced at large distances by a short collapse, finding that the radiated field has two peaks traveling ahead of light fronts. The total energy radiated during the collapse follows a power law scaling with the shell's physical width and results from two competing effects: a Vainshtein suppression of the emission and an enhancement due to the thinness of the shell.

Galileon Radiation from a Spherical Collapsing Shell [Cross-Listing]

Galileon radiation in the collapse of a thin spherical shell of matter is analyzed. In the framework of a cubic Galileon theory, we compute the field profile produced at large distances by a short collapse, finding that the radiated field has two peaks traveling ahead of light fronts. The total energy radiated during the collapse follows a power law scaling with the shell's physical width and results from two competing effects: a Vainshtein suppression of the emission and an enhancement due to the thinness of the shell.

Galileon Radiation from a Spherical Collapsing Shell

Galileon radiation in the collapse of a thin spherical shell of matter is analyzed. In the framework of a cubic Galileon theory, we compute the field profile produced at large distances by a short collapse, finding that the radiated field has two peaks traveling ahead of light fronts. The total energy radiated during the collapse follows a power law scaling with the shell's physical width and results from two competing effects: a Vainshtein suppression of the emission and an enhancement due to the thinness of the shell.

Radio Pulsation Search and Imaging Study of SGR J1935+2154

We present the results obtained from imaging observations, and search for radio pulsations towards the magnetar SGR J1935+2154 made using the Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope, and the Ooty Radio Telescope. We present the high resolution radio image of the supernova remnant (SNR) G57.2+0.8, which is positionally associated with SGR J1935+2154. We did not detect significant periodic radio pulsations from the magnetar, with 8$\sigma$ upper limits on its flux density of 0.4, and 0.2 mJy at 326.5, and 610 MHz, respectively, for an assumed duty cycle of 10\%. The corresponding 6$\sigma$ upper limits at the two frequencies for any burst emission with an assumed width of 10 ms are 0.5 Jy, and 63 mJy, respectively. No continuum radio point source was detected at the position of SGR J1935+2154 with a 3$\sigma$ upper limit of 1.2 mJy. We also did not detect significant diffuse radio emission in a radius of 70 arc seconds in coincidence with the diffuse X-ray emission reported recently, with a 3$\sigma$ upper limit of 4.5 mJy. Using the archival HI spectra, we estimate the distance of SNR G57.2+0.8 to be 11.7 $\pm$ 2.8 kpc. Based on measured HI column density (N$_H$) along this line of sight, we argue that the magnetar could be physically associated with SNR G57.2+0.8. Based on present data, we can not rule out either a pulsar wind nebula or a dust scattering halo origin for the diffuse X-ray emission seen around the magnetar.

Phase relationships of solar hemispheric toroidal and poloidal cycles

The solar northern and southern hemispheres exhibit differences between the intensities and time profiles of the activity cycles. The time variation of these properties has been studied in a previous article on the data of Cycles 12-23. The hemispheric phase lags exhibited a characteristic variation: the leading role has been exchanged between the hemispheres by four cycles. The present work extends the investigation of this variation with the data of Schwabe and Staudacher in Cycles 1-4 and 7-10 as well as Sp\"orer's data in cycle 11. The previously found variation can not be clearly recognized using the data of Staudacher, Schwabe and Sp\"orer. However, it is more interesting that the phase lags of the reversals of the magnetic fields at the poles follow the same variation as that of the hemispheric cycles in Cycles 12-23, i.e. in four cyles one of the hemispheres leads and the leading role jumps to the opposite hemisphere in the next four cycles. This means that this variation is a long term property of the entire solar dynamo mechanism, both the toroidal and poloidal fields, that hints at an unidentified component of the process responsible for the long term memory.

Gaia FGK Benchmark Stars: New Candidates At Low-Metallicities

We have entered an era of large spectroscopic surveys in which we can measure, through automated pipelines, the atmospheric parameters and chemical abundances for large numbers of stars. Calibrating these survey pipelines using a set of "benchmark stars" in order to evaluate the accuracy and precision of the provided parameters and abundances is of utmost importance. The recent proposed set of Gaia FGK benchmark stars of Heiter et al. (2015) has no recommended stars within the critical metallicity range of $-2.0 <$ [Fe/H] $< -1.0$ dex. In this paper, we aim to add candidate Gaia benchmark stars inside of this metal-poor gap. We began with a sample of 21 metal-poor stars which was reduced to 10 stars by requiring accurate photometry and parallaxes, and high-resolution archival spectra. The procedure used to determine the stellar parameters was similar to Heiter et al. (2015) and Jofre et al. (2014) for consistency. The effective temperature (T$_{\mathrm{eff}}$) of all candidate stars was determined using the Infrared Flux Method utilizing multi-band photometry. The surface gravity (log g) was determined through fitting stellar evolutionary tracks. The [Fe/H] was determined using four different spectroscopic methods fixing the T$_{\mathrm{eff}}$ and log g from the values determined independent of spectroscopy. We discuss, star-by-star, the quality of each parameter including how it compares to literature, how it compares to a spectroscopic run where all parameters are free, and whether Fe I ionisation-excitation balance is achieved. From the 10 stars, we recommend a sample of five new metal-poor benchmark candidate stars which have consistent T$_{\mathrm{eff}}$ , log g, and [Fe/H] determined through several means. These stars can be used for calibration and validation purpose of stellar parameter and abundance pipelines and should be of highest priority for future interferometric studies.

Butterfly Diagram and Carrington Maps for Century-Long Ca II K Spectroheliograms from Kodaikanal Observatory

The century-long (1907-2007) Ca II K spectroheliograms from Kodaikanal Solar Observatory (KSO) are calibrated, processed and analysed in the present study to follow the evolution of bright on disc structures called plages, the possible representatives of magnetic activity on the Sun. This has been the longest dataset studied in Ca II K till date covering about 9.5 cycles of 11 year periods. Plages were segmented with area $\geq 1\:\textrm {arcmin}^2$ using global thresholds for individual full disc images and subsequent application of morphological closing operation. Plage index was calculated and seen to have close positive correlation with fractional disc area covered by plages. The newly generated plage area cycle (from KSO) was compared with the same from Mount Wilson observatory (Correlation~$95.6\%$) for the overlapping years i.e. 1915-2000. Study illustrated time-latitude distribution of plage centroids rendering butterfly diagram (as observed for sunspots). The 3D visualisation of the diagram showed one to one mapping between plage location, time and area. This work further delineated positional correlation between magnetic patches and plage regions through comparison of synoptic maps derived from both Kodaikanal Ca II K images and space based full disc LOS (line of sight) magnetograms. Regular synoptic magnetograms from ground based observatories are available only after 1970s. Thus the long term Ca II K data from KSO can be used as a proxy for estimating magnetic activity locations and their strengths at earlier times.

Energy levels and radiative rates for transitions in Fe V, Co VI and Ni VII [Cross-Listing]

Energy levels, Land\'{e} $g$-factors and radiative lifetimes are reported for the lowest 182 levels of the 3d$^4$, 3d$^3$4s and 3d$^3$4p configurations of Fe~V, Co~VI and Ni~VII. Additionally, radiative rates ($A$-values) have been calculated for the E1, E2 and M1 transitions among these levels. The calculations have been performed in a quasi-relativistic approach (QR) with a very large {\em configuration interaction} (CI) wavefunction expansion, which has been found to be necessary for these ions. Our calculated energies for all ions are in excellent agreement with the available measurements, for most levels. Discrepancies among various calculations for the radiative rates of E1 transitions in Fe~V are up to a factor of two for stronger transitions ($f \geq 0.1$), and larger (over an order of magnitude) for weaker ones. The reasons for these discrepancies have been discussed and mainly are due to the differing amount of CI and methodologies adopted. However, there are no appreciable discrepancies in similar data for M1 and E2 transitions, or the $g$-factors for the levels of Fe~V, the only ion for which comparisons are feasible.

Angular momentum loss in the envelope-disk transition region of HH 111 protostellar system: evidence for magnetic braking?

HH 111 is a Class I protostellar system at a distance of ~ 400 pc, with the central source VLA 1 associated with a rotating disk deeply embedded in a flattened envelope. Here we present the observations of this system at ~ 0.6" (240 AU) resolution in C18O (J=2-1) and 230 GHz continuum obtained with Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array, and in SO obtained with Submillimeter Array. The observations show for the first time how a Keplerian rotating disk can be formed inside a flattened envelope. The flattened envelope is detected in C18O, extending out to >~ 2400 AU from the VLA 1 source. It has a differential rotation, with the outer part (>~ 2000 AU) better described by a rotation that has constant specific angular momentum and the innermost part (<~ 160 AU) by a Keplerian rotation. The rotationally supported disk is therefore relatively compact in this system, which is consistent with the dust continuum observations. Most interestingly, if the flow is in steady state, there is a substantial drop in specific angular momentum in the envelope-disk transition region from 2000 AU to 160 AU, by a factor of ~ 3. Such a decrease is not expected outside a disk formed from simple hydrodynamic core collapse, but can happen naturally if the core is significantly magnetized, because magnetic fields can be trapped in the transition region outside the disk by the ram pressure of the protostellar accretion flow, which can lead to efficient magnetic braking. In addition, SO shock emission is detected around the outer radius of the disk and could trace an accretion shock around the disk.

Superposed epoch study of ICME sub-structures near Earth and their effects on galactic cosmic rays

Interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) are the interplanetary manifestations of solar eruptions. The overtaken solar wind forms a sheath of compressed plasma at the front of ICMEs. Magnetic clouds (MCs) are a subset of ICMEs with specific properties (e.g. the presence of a flux rope). When ICMEs pass near Earth, ground observations indicate that the flux of galactic cosmic rays (GCRs) decreases. The main aims of this paper are to find: common plasma and magnetic properties of different ICME sub-structures, and which ICME properties affect the flux of GCRs near Earth. We use a superposed epoch method applied to a large set of ICMEs observed \insitu\ by the spacecraft ACE, between 1998 and 2006. We also apply a superposed epoch analysis on GCRs time series observed with the McMurdo neutron monitors. We find that slow MCs at 1 AU have on average more massive sheaths. We conclude that it is because they are more effectively slowed down by drag during their travel from the Sun. Slow MCs also have a more symmetric magnetic field and sheaths expanding similarly as their following MC, while in contrast, fast MCs have an asymmetric magnetic profile and a compressing sheath in compression. In all types of MCs, we find that the proton density and the temperature, as well as the magnetic fluctuations can diffuse within the front of the MC due to 3D reconnection. Finally, we derive a quantitative model which describes the decrease of cosmic rays as a function of the amount of magnetic fluctuations and field strength. The obtained typical profiles of sheath/MC/GCR properties corresponding to slow, mid, and fast ICMEs, can be used for forecasting/modelling these events, and to better understand the transport of energetic particles in ICMEs. They are also useful for improving future operative space weather activities.

The LAMOST spectroscopic survey of star clusters in M31. II. Metallicities, ages and masses

We select from Paper I a sample of 306 massive star clusters observed with the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fibre Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) in the vicinity fields of M31 and M33 and determine their metallicities, ages and masses. Metallicities and ages are estimated by fitting the observed integrated spectra with stellar synthesis population (SSP) models with a pixel-to-pixel spectral fitting technique. Ages for most young clusters are also derived by fitting the multi-band photometric measurements with model spectral energy distributions (SEDs). The estimated cluster ages span a wide range, from several million years to the age of the universe. The numbers of clusters younger and older than 1 Gyr are respectively 46 and 260. With ages and metallicities determined, cluster masses are then estimated by comparing the multi-band photometric measurements with SSP model SEDs. The derived masses range from $\sim 10^{3}$ to $\sim 10^7$ $M_{\odot}$, peaking at $\sim 10^{4.3}$ and $\sim 10^{5.7}$ $M_{\odot}$ for young ($< 1$ Gyr) and old ($>1$ Gyr) clusters, respectively. Our estimated metallicities, ages and masses are in good agreement with available literature values. Old clusters richer than [Fe/H] $\sim -0.7$ dex have a wide range of ages. Those poorer than [Fe/H] $\sim -0.7$ dex seem to be composed of two groups, as previously found for Galactic GCs -- one of the oldest ages with all values of metallicity down to $\sim -2$ dex and another with metallicity increasing with decreasing age. The old clusters in the inner disk of M\,31 (0 -- 30 kpc) show a clear metallicity gradient measured at $-0.038\pm0.023$ dex/kpc.

Evolved stars in the Local Group galaxies. I. AGB evolution and dust production in IC 1613

We used models of thermally-pulsing asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, that also describe the dust-formation process in the wind, to interpret the combination of near- and mid-infrared photometric data of the dwarf galaxy IC 1613. This is the first time that this approach is extended to an environment different from the Milky Way and the Magellanic Clouds (MCs). Our analysis, based on synthetic population techniques, shows a nice agreement between the observations and the expected distribution of stars in the colour-magnitude diagrams obtained with JHK and Spitzer bands. This allows a characterization of the individual stars in the AGB sample in terms of mass, chemical composition, and formation epoch of the progenitors. We identify the stars exhibiting the largest degree of obscuration as carbon stars evolving through the final AGB phases, descending from 1-1.25Msun objects of metallicity Z=0.001 and from 1.5-2.5Msun stars with Z=0.002. Oxygen-rich stars constitute the majority of the sample (65%), mainly low mass stars (<2Msun) that produce a negligible amount of dust (<10^{-7}Msun/yr). We predict the overall dust-production rate from IC 1613, mostly determined by carbon stars, to be 6x10^{-7}Msun/yr with an uncertainty of 30%. The capability of the current generation of models to interpret the AGB population in an environment different from the MCs opens the possibility to extend this kind of analysis to other Local Group galaxies.

Interferometric mapping of magnetic fields: The ALMA view of the massive star forming clump W43-MM1

Here we present the first results from ALMA observations of 1 mm polarized dust emission towards the W43-MM1 high mass star forming clump. We have detected a highly fragmented filament with source masses ranging from 14Msun to 312Msun, where the largest fragment, source A, is believed to be one of the most massive in our Galaxy. We found a smooth, ordered, and detailed polarization pattern throughout the filament which we used to derived magnetic field morphologies and strengths for 12 out of the 15 fragments detected ranging from 0.2 to 9 mG. The dynamical equilibrium of each fragment was evaluated finding that all the fragments are in a super-critical state which is consistent with previously detected infalling motions towards W43-MM1. Moreover, there are indications suggesting that the field is being dragged by gravity as the whole filament is collapsing.

3D radiative hydrodynamic simulations of protostellar collapse with H-C-O dynamical chemistry

Combining the co-evolving chemistry, hydrodynamics and radiative transfer is an important step for star formation studies. It allows both a better link to observations and a self-consistent monitoring of the magnetic dissipation in the collapsing core. Our aim is to follow a chemo-dynamical evolution of collapsing dense cores with a reduced gas-grain chemical network. We present the results of radiative hydrodynamic (RHD) simulations of 1 M$_\odot$ isolated dense core collapse. The physical setup includes RHD and dynamical evolution of a chemical network. To perform those simulations, we merged the multi-dimensional adaptive-mesh-refinement code RAMSES and the thermo-chemistry Paris-Durham shock code. We simulate the formation of the first hydro-static core (FHSC) and the co-evolution of 56 species describing mainly H-C-O chemistry. Accurate benchmarking is performed, testing the reduced chemical network against a well-establiched complex network. We show that by using a compact set of reactions, one can match closely the CO abundances with results of a much more complex network. Our main results are: (a) We find that gas-grain chemistry post-processing can lead to one order of magnitude lower CO gas-phase abundances compared to the dynamical chemistry, with strongest effect during the isothermal phase of collapse. (b) The free-fall time has little effect on the chemical abundances for our choice of the parameters. (c) Dynamical chemical evolution is required to describe the CO gas phase abundance as well as the CO ice formation for the mean grain size larger then 1$\mu{}$m. (d) Furthermore, dust mean size and size distribution have a strong effect on chemical abundances and hence on the ionization degree and magnetic dissipation. We conclude that dust grain growth in the collapse simulations can be as important as coupling the collapse with chemistry.

Doppler shifts on the spin period of the intermediate polar FO Aqr with K2

We analyse the K2 short cadence data of the intermediate polar FO Aqr and provide accurate and updated orbital and spin periodicities. We additionally find small spin period changes as a function of orbital phase of ~0.02 seconds translating to velocities of ~ a few km/s. The obtained orbital-folded velocity profile displays two clear maxima and minima, and cannot be explained by the radial velocity of the orbiting white dwarf. Instead we propose that the observed velocities are the sum of the radial velocities of both the white dwarf and of the stellar surface facing the white dwarf which reprocesses the WD spin pulses. This combination can explain the observed low velocities in FO Aqr. However asymmetries in the orbital configuration are required to explain the double peaked velocity profile. One possible scenario would invoke binary eccentricity. We thus developed a simple binary model to explain and fit our observations, and find a small binary eccentricity of e=0.03. Although small, persistent eccentricity in a close interacting binary would induce enhanced mass transfer occurring preferentially at periastron passages. We thus discuss alternative scenarios where other asymmetries might explain our observations assuming circular orbits. Since FO Aqr is the first system where the combined radial velocities of both the WD and secondary surface have been measured, it is possible that other mass-transferring binaries also display similar velocity curves when observed with Kepler. These will provide additional valuable tests to either confirm or rule out small eccentricities in similar systems.

Radiative transfer simulations of magnetar flare beaming

Magnetar giant flares show oscillatory modulations in the tails of their light curves, which can only be explained via some form of beaming. The fireball model for magnetar bursts has been used successfully to fit the phase-averaged light curves of the tails of giant flares, but so far no attempts have been made to fit the pulsations. We present a relatively simple numerical model to simulate beaming of magnetar flare emission. In our simulations, radiation escapes from the base of a fireball trapped in a dipolar magnetic field, and is scattered through the optically thick magnetosphere of the magnetar until it escapes. Beaming is provided by the presence of a relativistic outflow, as well as by the geometry of the system. We find that a simple picture for the relativistic outflow is enough to create the pulse fraction and sharp peaks observed in pulse profiles of magnetar flares, while without a relativistic outflow the beaming is insufficient to explain giant flare rotational modulations.

Asteroseismic modelling of the two F-type hybrid pulsators KIC10080943A and KIC10080943B

Pulsating binary stars are ideal targets for testing the theory of stellar structure and evolution. Fundamental parameters can be derived from binary modelling to high precision and provide crucial constraints for seismic modelling. High-order gravity modes are sensitive to the conditions near the convective core and therefore allow for a determination of parameters describing interior physics, especially the convective-core overshooting parameter. KIC 10080943 is a binary system, which contains two gravity- and pressure-mode hybrid pulsators. A detailed observational study has provided fundamental and seismic parameters for both components. We aim to find a model, which is able to predict the observed g-mode period spacings and stellar parameters of both components of KIC 10080943. By calculating model grids with the stellar evolution code MESA and the seismic code GYRE, we can compare theoretical properties to the observed mean period spacing and position in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. The masses of our best models are somewhat below the values estimated from binarity, which is a consequence of the low observed mean g-mode period spacing. We find that the amount of core overshooting and of diffusive mixing can be well constrained by the equal-age requirement for the two stars. However, we find no significant difference for different shapes of the core overshooting. The measured rotation rates are within the limit of validity for the first-order perturbation approximation. We can find a good fit by using the traditional approximation for the pulsations, when taking slightly younger models with a higher asymptotic period spacing. This is because the zonal modes experience a slight shift due to the Coriolis force, which the first-order perturbation approximation ignores.

Population Properties of Brown Dwarf Analogs to Exoplanets

We present a kinematic analysis of 152 low surface gravity M7-L8 dwarfs by adding 8 parallaxes, 38 radial velocities, and 19 proper motions. We find 39 objects to be high-likelihood or bona fide members of nearby moving groups, 92 objects to be ambiguous members and 21 objects that are non-members. We find that gravity classification and photometric color separate 5-150 Myr sources from > 3 Gyr field objects, but they do not correlate one-to-one with the narrower 5 -150 Myr age range. The absolute magnitudes of low-gravity sources from J band through W3 show a flux redistribution when compared to equivalent field sources that is correlated with spectral subtype. Clouds, which are a far more dominant opacity source for L dwarfs, are the likely cause. On CMDs, the latest-type low-gravity L dwarfs drive the elbow of the L/T transition up to 1 mag redder and 1 mag fainter than field dwarfs at M_J but are consistent with or brighter than the elbow at M_W1 and M_W2. Furthermore, there is an indication on CMD's (such as M_J versus (J-W2) of increasingly redder sequences separated by gravity classification. Examining bolometric luminosities for planets and low-gravity objects, we confirm that young M dwarfs are overluminous while young L dwarfs are normal compared to the field. This translates into warmer M dwarf temperatures compared to the field sequence while lower temperatures for L dwarfs.

Non-thermal line-broadening in solar prominence

We show that the line broadening in quiescent solar prominences is mainly due to non-thermal velocities. We have simultaneously observed a wide range of optically thin lines in quiescent prominences, selected for bright and narrow Mg\,b emission without line satellites from macro-shifts. We find a ratio of reduced widths of H-gamma and H-delta of 1.05 +-0.03 which can hardly be attributed to saturation, since both are optically thin for the prominences observed: tau(gamma)<0.3 ; tau(delta)<0.15. We confirm the ratio of reduced widths of He4772(triplet) and He5015(singlet of 1.1 +-0.05 at higher significance and detect a width ratio of Mgb2 and Mg4571 (both from the triplet system) of 1.3 +-0.1. The discrepant widths of lines from different atoms, and even from the same atom, cannot be represented by a unique pair [T_kin ; V_nth]. Values of T_kin deduced from observed line radiance using models, indicate low temperatures down to T_kin~5000K. Non-thermal velocities, related to different physical states of the respective emitting prominence region, seem to be the most important line broadening mechanism.

Effect of planet ingestion on low-mass stars evolution: the case of 2MASS J08095427--4721419 star in the Gamma Velorum cluster

We analysed the effects of planet ingestion on the characteristics of a pre-MS star similar to the Gamma Velorum cluster member 2MASS J08095427--4721419 (#52). We discussed the effects of changing the age $t_0$ at which the accretion episode occurs, the mass of the ingested planet and its chemical composition. We showed that the mass of the ingested planet required to explain the current [Fe/H]^#52 increases by decreasing the age $t_0$ and/or by decreasing the Iron content of the accreted matter. We compared the predictions of a simplified accretion method -- where only the variation of the surface chemical composition is considered -- with that of a full accretion model that properly accounts for the modification of the stellar structure. We showed that the two approaches result in different convective envelope extension which can vary up to 10 percent. We discussed the impact of the planet ingestion on a stellar model in the colour-magnitude diagram, showing that a maximum shift of about 0.06 dex in the colour and 0.07 dex in magnitude are expected and that such variations persist even much later the accretion episode. We also analysed the systematic bias in the stellar mass and age inferred by using a grid of standard non accreting models to recover the characteristics of an accreting star. We found that standard non accreting models can safely be adopted for mass estimate, as the bias is <= 6 percent, while much more caution should be used for age estimate where the differences can reach about 60 percent.

A Candidate Young Massive Planet in Orbit around the Classical T Tauri Star CI Tau

The ~2 Myr old classical T Tauri star CI Tau shows periodic variability in its radial velocity (RV) variations measured at infrared (IR) and optical wavelengths. We find that these observations are consistent with a massive planet in a ~9-day period orbit. These results are based on 71 IR RV measurements of this system obtained over 5 years, and on 26 optical RV measurements obtained over 9 years. CI Tau was also observed photometrically in the optical on 34 nights over ~one month in 2012. The optical RV data alone are inadequate to identify an orbital period, likely the result of star spot and activity induced noise for this relatively small dataset. The infrared RV measurements reveal significant periodicity at ~9 days. In addition, the full set of optical and IR RV measurements taken together phase coherently and with equal amplitudes to the ~9 day period. Periodic radial velocity signals can in principle be produced by cool spots, hot spots, and reflection of the stellar spectrum off the inner disk, in addition to resulting from a planetary companion. We have considered each of these and find the planet hypothesis most consistent with the data. The radial velocity amplitude yields an Msin(i) of ~8.1 M_Jup; in conjunction with a 1.3 mm continuum emission measurement of the circumstellar disk inclination from the literature, we find a planet mass of ~11.3 M_Jup, assuming alignment of the planetary orbit with the disk.

The Red Supergiant Content of M31

We investigate the red supergiant (RSG) population of M31, obtaining radial velocities of 255 stars. These data substantiate membership of our photometrically-selected sample, demonstrating that Galactic foreground stars and extragalactic RSGs can be distinguished on the basis of B-V, V-R two-color diagrams. In addition, we use these spectra to measure effective temperatures and assign spectral types, deriving physical properties for 192 RSGs. Comparison with the solar-metallicity Geneva evolutionary tracks indicates astonishingly good agreement. The most luminous RSGs in M31 are likely evolved from 25-30 Mo stars, while the vast majority evolved from stars with initial masses of 20 Mo or less. There is an interesting bifurcation in the distribution of RSGs with effective temperatures that increases with higher luminosities, with one sequence consisting of early K-type supergiants, and with the other consisting of M-type supergiants that become later (cooler) with increasing luminosities. This separation is only partially reflected in the evolutionary tracks, although that might be due to the mis-match in metallicities between the solar Geneva models and the higher-than-solar metallicity of M31. As the luminosities increase the median spectral type also increases; i.e., the higher mass RSGs spend more time at cooler temperatures than do those of lower luminosities, a result which is new to this study. Finally we discuss what would be needed observationally to successfully build a luminosity function that could be used to constrain the mass-loss rates of RSGs as our Geneva colleagues have suggested.

The injection of ten electron/$^{3}$He-rich SEP events

We have derived the particle injections at the Sun for ten good electron/$^{3}$He-rich solar energetic particle (SEP) events, using a 1.2 AU particle path length (suggested by analysis of the velocity dispersion). The inferred solar injections of high-energy ($\sim$10 to 300 keV) electrons and of $\sim$MeV/nucleon ions (carbon and heavier) start with a delay of 17$\pm$3 minutes and 75$\pm$14 minutes, respectively, after the injection of low-energy ($\sim$0.4 to 9 keV) electrons. The injection duration (averaged over energy) ranges from $\sim$200 to 550 minutes for ions, from $\sim$90 to 160 minutes for low-energy electrons, and from $\sim$10 to 30 minutes for high-energy electrons. Most of the selected events have no reported H$\alpha$ flares or GOES SXR bursts, but all have type III radio bursts that typically start after the onset of a low-energy electron injection. All nine events with SOHO/LASCO coverage have a relatively fast ($>$570km/s), mostly narrow ($\lesssim$30$^{\circ}$), west-limb coronal mass ejection (CME) that launches near the start of the low-energy electron injection, and reaches an average altitude of $\sim$1.0 and 4.7 $R_{S}$, respectively, at the start of the high-energy electron injection and of the ion injection. The electron energy spectra show a continuous power law extending across the transition from low to high energies, suggesting that the low-energy electron injection may provide seed electrons for the delayed high-energy electron acceleration. The delayed ion injections and high ionization states may suggest an ion acceleration along the lower altitude flanks, rather than at the nose of the CMEs.

The chemical composition of Galactic ring nebulae around massive stars

We present deep spectra of ring nebulae associated with Wolf-Rayet (WR) and O-type stars: NGC 6888, G2.4+1.4, RCW 58, S 308, NGC 7635 and RCW 52. The data have been taken with the 10m Gran Telescopio Canarias and the 6.5m Clay Telescope. We extract spectra of several apertures in some of the objects. We derive C$^{++}$ and O$^{++}$ abundances from faint recombination lines in NGC 6888 and NGC 7635, permitting to derive their C/H and C/O ratios and estimate the abundance discrepancy factor (ADF) of O$^{++}$. The ADFs are larger than the typical ones of normal HII regions but similar to those found in the ionised gas of star-forming dwarf galaxies. We find that chemical abundances are rather homogeneous in the nebulae where we have spectra of several apertures: NGC 6888, NGC 7635 and G2.4+1.4. We obtain very high values of electron temperature in a peripheral zone of NGC 6888, finding that shock excitation can reproduce its spectral properties. We find that all the objects associated with WR stars show N enrichment. Some of them also show He enrichment and O deficiency as well as a lower Ne/O than expected, this may indicate the strong action of the ON and NeNa cycles. We have compared the chemical composition of NGC 6888, G2.4+1.4, RCW 58 and S 308 with the nucleosynthesis predicted by stellar evolution models of massive stars. We find that non-rotational models of stars of initial masses between 25 and 40 solar masses seem to reproduce the observed abundance ratios of most of the nebulae.

 

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