Recent Postings from Solar and Stellar

A proposed paradigm for solar cycle dynamics mediated via turbulent pumping of magnetic flux in Babcock-Leighton type solar dynamos

At present, Babcock-Leighton flux transport solar dynamo models appear as the most promising model for explaining diverse observational aspects of the sunspot cycle. The success of these flux transport dynamo models is largely dependent upon a single-cell meridional circulation with a deep equatorward component at the base of the Sun's convection zone. However, recent observations suggest that the meridional flow may in fact be very shallow (confined to the top 10 % of the Sun) and more complex than previously thought. Taken together these observations raise serious concerns on the validity of the flux transport paradigm. By accounting for the turbulent pumping of magnetic flux as evidenced in magnetohydrodynamic simulations of solar convection, we demonstrate that flux transport dynamo models can generate solar-like magnetic cycles even if the meridional flow is shallow. Solar-like periodic reversals is recovered even when meridional circulation is altogether absent, however, in this case the solar surface magnetic field dynamics does not extend all the way to the polar regions. Very importantly, our results demonstrate that the Parker-Yoshimura sign rule for dynamo wave propagation can be circumvented in Babcock-Leighton dynamo models by the latitudinal component of turbulent pumping -- which can generate equatorward propagating sunspot belts in the absence of a deep, equatorward meridional flow. We also show that variations in turbulent pumping coefficients can modulate the solar cycle amplitude and periodicity. Our results suggest the viability of an alternate magnetic flux transport paradigm -- mediated via turbulent pumping -- for sustaining solar-stellar dynamo action.

CARMENES input catalogue of M dwarfs II. High-resolution imaging with FastCam

Aims: We search for low-mass companions of M dwarfs and characterize their multiplicity fraction with the purpose of helping in the selection of the most appropriate targets for the CARMENES exoplanet survey. Methods: We obtained high-resolution images in the I band with the lucky imaging instrument FastCam at the 1.5 m Telescopio Carlos Sanchez for 490 mid- to late-M dwarfs. For all the detected binaries, we measured angular separations, position angles, and magnitude differences in the I band. We also calculated the masses of each individual component and estimated orbital periods, using the available magnitude and colour relations for M dwarfs and our own MJ-spectral type and mass-MI relations. To avoid biases in our sample selection, we built a volume-limited sample of M0.0-M5.0 dwarfs that is complete up to 86% within 14 pc. Results: From the 490 observed stars, we detected 80 companions in 76 systems, of which 30 are new discoveries. The multiplicity fraction in our observed sample is 16.7+-2.0% . In our volume-limited sample it is 19.5+-2.3% for angular separations of 0.2 to 5.0 arcsec (1.4-65.6 au), The distribution of the projected physical separations peaks at 2.5-7.5 au. For M0.0-M3.5 V primaries, our search is sensitive to mass ratios higher than 0.3. Binaries with projected physical separations shorter than 50 au tend to be of equal mass. For 26 of our systems, we estimated orbital periods shorter than 50 a, 10 of which are presented here for the first time. We measured variations in angular separation and position angle that are due to orbital motions in 17 of these systems. The contribution of binaries and multiples with angular separations shorter than 0.2 arcsec, longer than 5.0 arcsec, and of spectroscopic binaries identified from previous searches, although not complete, may increase the multiplicity fraction of M dwarfs in our volume-limited sample to at least 36%.

Cooling of neutron stars with diffusive envelopes

We study the effects of heat blanketing envelopes of neutron stars on their cooling. To this aim, we perform cooling simulations using newly constructed models of the envelopes composed of binary ion mixtures (H--He, He--C, C--Fe) varying the mass of lighter ions (H, He or C) in the envelope. The results are compared with those calculated using the standard models of the envelopes which contain the layers of lighter (accreted) elements (H, He and C) on top of the Fe layer, varying the mass of accreted elements. The main effect is that the chemical composition of the envelopes influences their thermal conductivity and, hence, thermal insulation of the star. For illustration, we apply these results to estimate the internal temperature of the Vela pulsar and to study the cooling of neutron stars of ages of 0.1 - 1 Myr at the photon cooling stage. The uncertainties of the cooling models associated with our poor knowledge of chemical composition of the heat insulating envelopes strongly complicate theoretical reconstruction of the internal structure of cooling neutron stars from observations of their thermal surface emission.

Magnetically-regulated fragmentation of a massive, dense and turbulent clump

Massive stars, multiple stellar systems and clusters are born from the gravitational collapse of massive dense gaseous clumps, and the way these systems form strongly depends on how the parent clump fragments into cores during collapse. Numerical simulations show that magnetic fields may be the key ingredient in regulating fragmentation. Here we present ALMA observations at ~0.25'' resolution of the thermal dust continuum emission at ~278 GHz towards a turbulent, dense, and massive clump, IRAS 16061-5048c1, in a very early evolutionary stage. The ALMA image shows that the clump has fragmented into many cores along a filamentary structure. We find that the number, the total mass and the spatial distribution of the fragments are consistent with fragmentation dominated by a strong magnetic field. Our observations support the theoretical prediction that the magnetic field plays a dominant role in the fragmentation process of massive turbulent clump.

The 2008 outburst in the Young Stellar System Z CMa. III - Multi-epoch high-angular resolution images and spectra of the components in near-infrared

Z CMa is a complex pre-main sequence binary with a current separation of 100 mas, known to consist of an FU Orionis star (SE component) and an embedded Herbig Be star (NW component). Immediately when the late-2008 outburst of Z CMa was announced to the community, we initiated a high angular resolution imaging campaign with VLT/NaCo, Keck/NIRC2, VLT/SINFONI, and Keck/OSIRIS which aimed at characterizing the outburst of both components of the system in the near-infrared. We confirm that the NW star dominates the system flux in the 1.1-3.8 microns range and is responsible for the photometric outburst. We extract the first medium-resolution (R=2000-4000) near-infrared (1.1-2.4 microns) spectra of the individual components during and after the outburst. The SE component has a spectrum typical of FU Orionis objects. The NW component spectrum is characteristic of embedded outbursting protostars and EX Or objects. It displays numerous emission lines during the outburst whose intensity correlates with the system activity. In particular, we find a correlation between the Brackett gamma equivalent width and the system brightness. The bluing of the continuum of the NW component along with the absolute flux and color-variation of the system during the outburst suggests that the outburst was caused by a complex interplay between a variation of the extinction in the line of sight of the NW component on one hand, and the emission of shocked regions close to the NW component on the other. We confirm the recently reported wiggling of the SE component jet from [Fe II] line emission. We find a point-like structure associated with a peak emission at 2.098 microns coincidental with the clump or arm seen in broadband polarization differential imaging as well as additional diffuse emission along a PA=214 degrees. The origin of these two structures is unclear and deserves further investigation.

On the maximum grain size entrained by photoevaporative winds

We model the behaviour of dust grains entrained by photoevaporation-driven winds from protoplanetary discs assuming a non-rotating, plane-parallel disc. We obtain an analytic expression for the maximum entrainable grain size in extreme-UV radiation-driven winds, which we demonstrate to be proportional to the mass loss rate of the disc. When compared with our hydrodynamic simulations, the model reproduces almost all of the wind properties for the gas and dust. In typical turbulent discs, the entrained grain sizes in the wind are smaller than the theoretical maximum everywhere but the inner disc due to dust settling.

SDO/HMI survey of emerging active regions for helioseismology

Observations from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) have the potential for allowing the helioseismic study of the formation of hundreds of active regions, which would enable us to perform statistical analyses. Our goal is to collate a uniform data set of emerging active regions observed by the SDO/HMI instrument suitable for helioseismic analysis up to seven days before emergence. We restricted the sample to active regions that were visible in the continuum and emerged into quiet Sun largely avoiding pre-existing magnetic regions. As a reference data set we paired a control region (CR), with the same latitude and distance from central meridian, with each emerging active region (EAR). We call this data set, which is currently comprised of 105 emerging active regions observed between May 2010 and November 2012, the SDO Helioseismic Emerging Active Region (SDO/HEAR) survey. To demonstrate the utility of a data set of a large number of emerging active regions, we measure the relative east-west velocity of the leading and trailing polarities from the line-of-sight magnetogram maps during the first day after emergence. The latitudinally averaged line-of-sight magnetic field of all the EARs shows that, on average, the leading (trailing) polarity moves in a prograde (retrograde) direction with a speed of 121 +/- 22 m/s (-70 +/- 13 m/s) relative to the Carrington rotation rate in the first day. However, relative to the differential rotation of the surface plasma, the east-west velocity is symmetric, with a mean of 95 +/- 13 m/s. The SDO/HEAR data set will not only be useful for helioseismic studies, but will also be useful to study other features such as the surface magnetic field evolution of a large sample of EARs.

Sub-0.1" optical imaging of the Z CMa jets with SPHERE/ZIMPOL

Crucial information on the mass accretion-ejection in young stars can be obtained from high spatial resolution images of jets in sources with recurrent accretion outbursts. Using the SPHERE/ZIMPOL instrument, we observed the young binary Z CMa that is composed of a Herbig Be star and a FUor object, both driving a jet. We analyse the structure of the two jets in relation with previous accretion events observed in this target. We obtained optical images in the Halpha and OI 6300A lines at the unprecedented angular resolution of ~0.03 arcsec, on which we have performed both continuum subtraction and deconvolution, thereby deriving results that are consistent with each other. Our images reveal extended emission from both sources: a fairly compact and poorly collimated emission SW of the Herbig component and an extended collimated and precessing jet from the FUor component. The compact emission from the Herbig star is compatible with a wide-angle wind and is possibly connected to the recent outburst events shown by this component. The FUor jet is traced down to 70 mas (80 AU) from the source and is highly collimated with a width of 26-48 AU at distances 100-200 AU, which is similar to the width of jets from T Tauri stars. This strongly suggests that the same magneto-centrifugal jet-launching mechanism also operates in FUors. The observed jet wiggle can be modelled as originating from an orbital motion with a period of 4.2 yr around an unseen companion with mass between 0.48 and 1 Msun. The jet mass loss rate Mloss was derived from the OI luminosity and is in the range 1E-8 and 1E-6 Msun/yr. This is the first direct Mloss measurement from a jet in a FUor. If we assume previous Macc estimates obtained through modelling of the accretion disk, the derived range of Mloss would imply a very low mass-ejection efficiency (Mloss/Macc < 0.02), which is lower than that typical of T Tauri stars.

Plasma-screening effects in the atrophysically relevant He-like and Li-like Mg and Fe ions [Cross-Listing]

The effect of plasma environment on the atomic energy levels of He-like and Li-like Mg and Fe ions have been studied using Debye model. The equation-of-motion coupled-cluster (EOMCC) and Fock-space coupled-cluster (FSCC) formalisms in the relativistic frame work have been adopted to describe the atomic states and the energy levels of the above plasma embedded ions. Salient features of these methods have been described to account the two electron screening effects through the Debye potentials. The two-body screening potential has been derived in the multipole expansion form to evaluate the reduced matrix elements in solving the equation of motion. Using this extended model, we have also predicted that quasi-degeneracy among the energy states having same principal quantum number ($n$) but different angular momentum ($l$) is slacken, whereas fine structure splitting is unaffected with increasing plasma strength. These knowledge are useful in estimatingradiative opacity, photoionization cross sections, line intensities, etc of the aforementioned astrophysical plasmas.

Stellar Flares in the CSTAR Field: Results from the 2008 Data Set

The Chinese Small Telescope ARray (CSTAR) is the first Chinese astronomical instrument placed in Antarctica. It is a group of four identical, fully automatic $14.5\,\rm{cm}$ telescopes, with an field of view (FOV) of $20\,\rm{deg^2}$ centered on the South Celestial Pole. Placed at Antarctic Dome A, CSTAR is designed to provide high-cadence photometry for site monitoring and variable sources detection. During the 2008 observing season, CSTAR has taken high-precision photometric data for 18,145 stars around the South Celestial Pole. At $i\,=\,7.5$ and $12$, the photometric precision reaches $\sim 8$ mmag and $\sim 30$ mmag with a cadence of 20s or 30s, respectively. Using robust detection method, we have found 15 stellar flares on 13 sources, including two classified variables. We have also found a linear relation between the decay times and the total durations of the stellar flares. The details of all detected flares along with their stellar properties are presented in this work.

Calculations of periodicity from H{\alpha} profiles of Proxima Centauri

We investigate retrieval of the stellar rotation signal for Proxima Centauri. We make use of high-resolution spectra taken with uves and harps of Proxima Centauri over a 13-year period as well as photometric observations of Proxima Centauri from asas and hst. We measure the H{\alpha} equivalent width and H{\alpha} index, skewness and kurtosis and introduce a method that investigates the symmetry of the line, the Peak Ratio, which appears to return better results than the other measurements. Our investigations return a most significant period of 82.6 $\pm$ 0.1 days, confirming earlier photometric results and ruling out a more recent result of 116.6 days which we conclude to be an alias induced by the specific harps observation times. We conclude that whilst spectroscopic H{\alpha} measurements can be used for period recovery, in the case of Proxima Centauri the available photometric measurements are more reliable. We make 2D models of Proxima Centauri to generate simulated H{\alpha}, finding that reasonable distributions of plage and chromospheric features are able to reproduce the equivalent width variations in observed data and recover the rotation period, including after the addition of simulated noise and flares. However the 2D models used fail to generate the observed variety of line shapes measured by the peak ratio. We conclude that only 3D models which incorporate vertical motions in the chromosphere can achieve this.

Rapidly Rotating, X-ray Bright Stars in the Kepler Field

We present Kepler light curves and optical spectroscopy of twenty X-ray bright stars located in the Kepler field of view. The stars, spectral type FK, show evidence for rapid rotation including chromospheric activity 100 times or more above the Sun at maximum and flaring behavior in their light curves. Eighteen of our objects appear to be (sub)giants and may belong to the class of FK Com variables, that is evolved rapidly spinning single stars with no excretion disk and high levels of chromospheric activity. Such stars are rare and are likely the result of W UMa binary mergers, a process believed to produce the FK Com class of variable and their descendants. The FK Com stage, including the presence of an excretion disk, is short-lived but leads to longer-lived stages consisting of single, rapidly rotating evolved (sub)giants with high levels of stellar activity.

Mass measurements in protoplanetary disks from hydrogen deuteride

The total gas mass of a protoplanetary disk is a fundamental, but poorly determined, quantity. A new technique \citep{bergin+13} has been demonstrated to assess directly the bulk molecular gas reservoir of molecular hydrogen using the HD J=1-0 line at 112 $\mu$m. In this work we present a {\it Herschel} Space Observatory\footnote{Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA.} survey of six additional T Tauri disks in the HD line. Line emission is detected at $>$3$\sigma$ significance in two cases: DM Tau and GM Aur. For the other four disks, we establish upper limits to the line flux. Using detailed disk structure and ray tracing models, we calculate the temperature structure and dust mass from modeling the observed spectral energy distributions, and include the effect of UV gas heating to determine the amount of gas required to fit the HD line. The range of gas masses are 1.0-4.7$\times10^{-2}$ for DM Tau and 2.5-20.4$\times10^{-2}$ for GM Aur. These values are larger than those found using CO for GM Aur, while the CO-derived gas mass for DM Tau is consistent with the lower end of our mass range. This suggests a CO chemical depletion from the gas phase of up to a factor of five for DM Tau and up to two orders of magnitude for GM Aur. We discuss how future analysis can narrow the mass ranges further.

Photospheric Magnetic Free Energy Density of Solar Active Regions

We present the photospheric energy density of magnetic fields in two solar active regions inferred from observational vector magnetograms, and compare it with the possible different defined energy parameters of magnetic fields in the photosphere. We analyze the magnetic fields in active region NOAA 6580-6619-6659 and 11158. It is noticed that the quantity 1/4pi Bn.Bp is an important energy parameter that reflects the contribution of magnetic shear on the difference between the potential magnetic field (Bp) and non-potential one (Bn), and also the contribution to the free magnetic energy near the magnetic neutral lines in the active regions. It is found that the photospheric mean magnetic energy density changes obviously before the powerful solar flares in the active region NOAA 11158, it is consistent with the change of magnetic fields in the lower atmosphere with flares.

Chromospheric emission of planet candidate systems - a way to identify false positives

It has been hypothesized that the presence of closely orbiting giant planets is associated with enhanced chromospheric emission of their host stars. The main cause for such a relation would likely be enhanced dynamo action induced by the planet. We present measurements of chromospheric emission in 234 planet candidate systems from the Kepler mission. This ensemble includes 37 systems with giant planet candidates, which show a clear emission enhancement. The enhancement, however, disappears when systems which are also identified as eclipsing binary candidates are removed from the ensemble. This suggests that a large fraction of the giant planet candidate systems with chromospheric emission stronger than the Sun are not giant planet system, but false positives. Such false-positive systems could be tidally interacting binaries with strong chromospheric emission. This hypotesis is supported by an analysis of 188 eclipsing binary candidates that show increasing chromospheric emission as function of decreasing orbital period.

A constraint on the formation timescale of the young open cluster NGC 2264: Lithium abundance of pre-main sequence stars

The timescale of cluster formation is an essential parameter in order to understand the formation process of star clusters. Pre-main sequence (PMS) stars in nearby young open clusters reveal a large spread in brightness. If the spread were considered as a result of a real spread in age, the corresponding cluster formation timescale would be about 5 -- 20 Myr. Hence it could be interpreted that star formation in an open cluster is prolonged for up to a few tens of Myr. However, difficulties in reddening correction, observational errors, and systematic uncertainties introduced by imperfect evolutionary models for PMS stars, can result in an artificial age spread. Alternatively, we can utilize Li abundance as a relative age indicator of PMS star to determine the cluster formation timescale. The optical spectra of 134 PMS stars in NGC 2264 have been obtained with MMT/Hectochelle. The equivalent widths have been measured for 86 PMS stars with a detectable Li line (3500 < T_eff [K] <= 6500). Li abundance under the condition of local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) was derived using the conventional curve of growth method. After correction for non-LTE effects, we find that the initial Li abundance of NGC 2264 is A(Li) = 3.2 +/- 0.2. From the distribution of the Li abundances, the underlying age spread of the visible PMS stars is estimated to be about 3 -- 4 Myr and this, together with the presence of embedded populations in NGC 2264, suggests that the cluster formed on a timescale shorter than 5 Myr.

On the Observation and Simulation of Solar Coronal Twin Jets

We present the first observation, analysis and modeling of solar coronal twin jets, which occurred after a preceding jet. Detailed analysis on the kinetics of the preceding jet reveals its blowout-jet nature, which resembles the one studied in Liu et al. 2014. However the erupting process and kinetics of the twin jets appear to be different from the preceding one. In lack of the detailed information on the magnetic fields in the twin jet region, we instead use a numerical simulation using a three-dimensional (3D) MHD model as described in Fang et al. 2014, and find that in the simulation a pair of twin jets form due to reconnection between the ambient open fields and a highly twisted sigmoidal magnetic flux which is the outcome of the further evolution of the magnetic fields following the preceding blowout jet. Based on the similarity between the synthesized and observed emission we propose this mechanism as a possible explanation for the observed twin jets. Combining our observation and simulation, we suggest that with continuous energy transport from the subsurface convection zone into the corona, solar coronal twin jets could be generated in the same fashion addressed above.

On the Magnetic and Energy Characteristics of Recurrent Homologous Jets from An Emerging Flux

In this paper, we present the detailed analysis of recurrent homologous jets originating from an emerging negative magnetic flux at the edge of an Active Region. The observed jets show multi-thermal features. Their evolution shows high consistence with the characteristic parameters of the emerging flux, suggesting that with more free magnetic energy, the eruptions tend to be more violent, frequent and blowout-like. The average temperature, average electron number density and axial speed are found to be similar for different jets, indicating that they should have been formed by plasmas from similar origins. Statistical analysis of the jets and their footpoint region conditions reveals a strong positive relationship between the footpoint-region total 131 {\AA} intensity enhancement and jets' length/width. Stronger linearly positive relationships also exist between the total intensity enhancement/thermal energy of the footpoint regions and jets' mass/kinetic/thermal energy, with higher cross-correlation coefficients. All the above results, together, confirm the direct relationship between the magnetic reconnection and the jets, and validate the important role of magnetic reconnection in transporting large amount of free magnetic energy into jets. It is also suggested that there should be more free energy released during the magnetic reconnection of blowout than of standard jet events.

East Asian Observations of Low Latitude Aurora during the Carrington Magnetic Storm

The magnetic storm around 1859 September 2, caused by so-called Carrington flare, was the most intense in the history of modern scientific observations, and hence is considered to be the benchmark event for space weather. The magnetic storm caused worldwide observations of auroras even at very low latitudes such as Hawaii, Panama, or Santiago, and the available magnetic field measurement at Bombay, India, showed two peaks: the main was the Carrington event which occurred in day time in East Asia, and a second storm after the Carrington event which occurred at night in East Asia. In this paper, we present a result from surveys of aurora records in East Asia, which provides new information of the aurora activity of this important event. We found some new East Asian records of low latitude aurora observations caused by the storm which occurred after the Carrington event. The size of the aurora belt of the second peak of the Carrington magnetic storm was even wider than usual low-latitude aurora events.

Footprints of the weak s-process in the carbon-enhanced metal-poor star ET0097

Historically, the weak s-process contribution to metal-poor stars is thought to be extremely small, due to the effect of the secondary-like nature of the neutron source 22Ne(a;n)25Mg in massive stars, which means that metal-poor weak s-process stars could not be found. ET0097 is the first observed carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) star in the Sculptor dwarf spheroidal galaxy. Because C is enriched and the elements heavier than Ba are not overabundant, ET0097 can be classified as a CEMP-no star. However, this star shows overabundances of lighter n-capture elements (i.e., Sr, Y and Zr). In this work, having adopted the abundance decomposition approach, we investigate the astrophysical origins of the elements in ET0097. We find that the light elements and iron-peak elements (from O to Zn) of the star mainly originate from the primary process of massive stars and the heavier n-capture elements (heavier than Ba) mainly come from the main r-process. However, the lighter n-capture elements such as Sr, Y and Zr should mainly come from the primary weak s-process. The contributed fractions of the primary weak s-process to the Sr, Y and Zr abundances of ET0097 are about 82%, 84% and 58% respectively, suggesting that the CEMP star ET0097 should have the footprints of the weak s-process. The derived result should be a significant evidence that the weak s-process elements can be produced in metal-poor massive stars.

An analytical model of prominence mass motion

Solar Prominences are intriguing, but poorly understood magnetic structures of the solar corona. Convective motions in the photosphere and sub-photosphere may be responsible for generating the magnetic fields that support long-lived quiescent solar prominence. The dynamics of solar prominence has been the subject of a large number of studies. We develop a theoretical model using analytical approximations to analyze the nature of the dynamics of these quiescent solar prominences based on the K-S model.

The evolutionary status of dense cores in the NGC 1333 IRAS 4 region

Protostellar evolution, following the formation of the protostar is becoming reasonably well characterized, but the evolution from a prestellar core to a protostar is not well known, although the first hydrostatic core (FHSC) must be a pivotal step. NGC 1333 IRAS 4C is a potentially very young object, that we directly compare with the nearby Class 0 IRAS 4A and IRAS 4B. Observational constraints are provided by spectral imaging from the JCMT Spectral Legacy Survey (330-373 GHz) and continuum and line observations from CARMA. We present integrated intensity and velocity maps of several species, including CO, H2CO and CH3OH. The velocity of an observed outflow, the degree of CO depletion, the deuteration of DCO+/HCO+ and gas kinetic temperatures are observational signatures that we present. We report differences between the three sources in four aspects: a) the kinetic temperature is much lower towards IRAS 4C, b) the line profiles of the detected species show strong outflow activity towards IRAS 4A and IRAS 4B but not towards IRAS 4C, c) the HCN/HNC is < 1 towards IRAS 4C, which confirms the cold nature of the source, d) the degree of CO depletion and the deuteration are the lowest towards the warmest of the sources, IRAS 4B. IRAS 4C seems to be in a different evolutionary state than the IRAS 4A and IRAS 4B sources. We can probably exclude the FHSC stage due to the relatively low Lsmm/Lbol (~6\%) and we investigate the earliest accretion phase of Class 0 stage and the transition between Class 0 to Class I. Our results do not show a consistent scenario for either case, with the major issue being the absence of outflow activity and the cold nature of IRAS 4C. The number of FHSC candidates in Perseus is ~10 times higher than current models predict, which suggests that the lifespan of these objects is greater than 1000 years, possibly due to an accretion rate lower than 4x10^-5 msun/yr.

What Is the Source of Quiet Sun Transition Region Emission?

Dating back to the first observations of the on-disk corona, there has been a qualitative link between the photosphere's magnetic network and enhanced transition-temperature plasma emission. These observations led to the development of a general model that describes emission structures through the partitioning of the atmospheric volume with different magnetic loop geometries that exhibit different energetic equilibria. Does the internetwork produce transition-temperature emission? What fraction of network flux connects to the corona? How does quiet sun emission compare with low-activity Sun-like stars? In this work, we revisit the canonical model of the quiet sun, with high-resolution observations from IRIS and HMI in hand, to address those questions. We use over 900 deep exposures of Si IV 1393A from IRIS along with nearly simultaneous HMI magnetograms to quantify the correlation between transition-temperature emission structures and magnetic field concentrations through a number of novel statistics. Our observational results are coupled with analysis of the Bifrost MHD model and a large-scale potential field model. Our results paint a complex portrait of the quiet sun. We measure an emission signature in the distant internetwork that cannot be attributed to network contribution. We find that the dimmest regions of emission are not linked to the local vertical magnetic field. Using the MHD simulation, we categorize the emission contribution from cool mid-altitude loops and high-altitude coronal loops and discuss the potential emission contribution of spicules. Our results provide new constraints on the coupled solar atmosphere so that we can build on our understanding of how dynamic thermal and magnetic structures generate the observed phenomena in the transition region.

NSV 1907 - A new eclipsing, nova-like cataclysmic variable

NSV 1907, formerly listed as an irregular variable in variability catalogues, was classified as an Algol-type eclipsing binary in the Catalina Surveys Periodic Variable Star Catalogue. We have identified NSV 1907 as an ultraviolet (UV) bright source using measurements from the GALEX space telescope and detected obvious out-of-eclipse variability in archival photometric data from the Catalina Sky Survey, which instigated a closer examination of the object. A spectrum and extensive multicolour photometric observations were acquired, from which we deduce that NSV 1907 is a deeply eclipsing, nova-like cataclysmic variable. Apart from the orbital variations (deep eclipses with a period of P ~ 6.63 hours), changes in mean brightness and irregular short-term variability (flickering) were observed. The presence of a secondary minimum at phase phi ~ 0.5 was established, which indicates a significant contribution of the companion star to the optical flux of the system. We find possible evidence for sinusoidal variations with a period of P ~ 4.2 d, which we interpret as the nodal precession period of the accretion disc. No outbursts or VY Scl-like drops in brightness were detected either by the CSS or during our photometric monitoring. Because of its spectral characteristics and the observed variability pattern, we propose NSV 1907 as a new moderately bright long-period SW Sextantis star. Further photometric and spectroscopic observations are encouraged.

Evolution of forced shear flows in polytropic atmospheres: A comparison of forcing methods and energetics

Shear flows are ubiquitous in astrophysical objects including planetary and stellar interiors, where their dynamics can have significant impact on thermo-chemical processes. Investigating the complex dynamics of shear flows requires numerical calculations that provide a long time evolution of the system. To achieve a sufficiently long lifetime in a local numerical model the system has to be forced externally. However, at present, there exist several different forcing methods to sustain large-scale shear flows in local models. In this paper we examine and compare various methods used in the literature in order to resolve their respective applicability and limitations. These techniques are compared during the exponential growth phase of a shear flow instability, such as the Kelvin-Helmholtz (KH) instability, and some are examined during the subsequent non-linear evolution. A linear stability analysis provides reference for the growth rate of the most unstable modes in the system and a detailed analysis of the energetics provides a comprehensive understanding of the energy exchange during the system's evolution. Finally, we discuss the pros and cons of each forcing method and their relation with natural mechanisms generating shear flows.

The fates of Solar system analogues with one additional distant planet

The potential existence of a distant planet ("Planet Nine") in the Solar system has prompted a re-think about the evolution of planetary systems. As the Sun transitions from a main sequence star into a white dwarf, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune are currently assumed to survive in expanded but otherwise unchanged orbits. However, a sufficiently-distant and sufficiently-massive extra planet would alter this quiescent end scenario through the combined effects of Solar giant branch mass loss and Galactic tides. Here, I estimate bounds for the mass and orbit of a distant extra planet that would incite future instability in systems with a Sun-like star and giant planets with masses and orbits equivalent to those of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. I find that this boundary is diffuse and strongly dependent on each of the distant planet's orbital parameters. Nevertheless, I claim that instability occurs more often than not when the planet is as massive as Jupiter and harbours a semimajor axis exceeding about 300 au, or has a mass of a super-Earth and a semimajor axis exceeding about 3000 au. These results hold for orbital pericentres ranging from 100 to at least 400 au. This instability scenario might represent a common occurrence, as potentially evidenced by the ubiquity of metal pollution in white dwarf atmospheres throughout the Galaxy.

The formation of ethylene glycol and other complex organic molecules in star-forming regions

We study the molecular abundance and spatial distribution of the simplest sugar alcohol, ethylene glycol (EG), the simplest sugar glycoladehyde (GA), and other chemically related complex organic species towards the massive star-forming region G31.41+0.31. We have analyzed multiple single dish and interferometric data, and obtained excitation temperatures and column densities using an LTE analysis. We have reported for the first time the presence of EG towards G31.41+0.31, and we have also detected multiple transitions of other complex organic molecules such as GA, methyl formate (MF), dimethyl ether (DME) and ethanol (ET). The high angular resolution images show that the EG emission is very compact, peaking towards the maximum of the continuum. These observations suggest that low abundance complex organic molecules, like EG or GA, are good probes of the gas located closer to the forming stars. Our analysis confirms that EG is more abundant than GA in G31.41+0.31, as previously observed in other interstellar regions. Comparing different star-forming regions we find evidence of an increase of the EG/GA abundance ratio with the luminosity of the source. The DME/MF and EG/ET ratios are nearly constant with luminosity. We have also found that the abundance ratios of pairs of isomers GA/MF and ET/DME decrease with the luminosity of the sources. The most likely explanation for the behavior of the EG/GA ratio is that these molecules are formed by different chemical formation routes not directly linked; although warm-up timescales effects and different formation and destruction efficiencies in the gas phase cannot be ruled out. The most likely formation route of EG is by combination of two CH$_{2}$OH radicals on dust grains. We also favor that GA is formed via the solid-phase dimerization of the formyl radical HCO, and a chemical link between MF and DME.

The Hamburg/ESO R-process Enhanced Star survey (HERES) XI. The highly $r$-process-enhanced star CS 29497-004

We report an abundance analysis for the highly r-process-enhanced (r-II) star CS 29497-004, a very metal-poor giant with Teff = 5013K and [Fe/H]=-2.85, whose nature was initially discovered in the course of the HERES project. Our analysis is based on high signal-to-noise, high-resolution (R~75000) VLT/UVES spectra and MARCS model atmospheres under the assumption of local thermodynamic equilibrium, and obtains abundance measurements for a total of 46 elements, 31 of which are neutron-capture elements. As is the case for the other 25 r-II stars currently known, the heavy-element abundance pattern of CS 29497-004 well-matches a scaled Solar System second peak r-process-element abundance pattern. We confirm our previous detection of Th, and demonstrate that this star does not exhibit an "actinide boost". Uranium is also detected (log e(U) =-2.20+/-0.30), albeit with a large measurement error that hampers its use as a precision cosmo-chronometer. Combining the various elemental chronometer pairs that are available for this star, we derive a mean age of 12.2+/-3.7 Gyr using the theoretical production ratios from waiting-point approximation models (Kratz et al. 2007). We further explore the high-entropy wind model (Farouqi et al. 2010) production ratios arising from different neutron richness of the ejecta (Y_e), and derive an age of 13.7+/-4.4 Gyr for a best-fitting Y_e=0.447. The U/Th nuclei-chronometer is confirmed to be the most resilient to theoretical production ratios and yields an age of 16.5+:-6.6 Gyr. Lead (Pb) is also tentatively detected in CS 29497-004, at a level compatible with a scaled Solar r-process, or with the theoretical expectations for a pure r-process in this star.

Self-consistent evolution of accreting low-mass stars and brown dwarfs

We present self-consistent calculations coupling numerical hydrodynamics simulations of collapsing pre-stellar cores and stellar evolution models of accreting objects. We analyse the main impact of consistent accretion history on the evolution and lithium depletion of young low-mass stars and brown dwarfs. These consistent models confirm the generation of a luminosity spread in Herzsprung-Russell diagrams at ages $\sim$ 1-10 Myr. They also confirm that early accretion can produce objects with abnormal Li depletion, as found in a previous study that was based on arbitrary accretion rates. The results strengthen that objects with anomalously high level of Li depletion in young clusters should be extremely rare. We also find that early phases of burst accretion can produce coeval models of similar mass with a range of different Li surface abundances, and in particular with Li-excess compared to the predictions of non-accreting counterparts. This result is due to a subtle competition between the effect of burst accretion and its impact on the central stellar temperature, the growth of the stellar radiative core and the accretion of fresh Li from the accretion disk. Only consistent models could reveal such a subtle combination of effects. This new result could explain the recent, puzzling observations of Li-excess of fast rotators in the young cluster NGC 2264. Present self-consistent accreting models are available in electronic form.

Evolution of active region outflows throughout an active region lifetime

We have shown previously that SOHO/UVCS data allow us to detect active region (AR) outflows at coronal altitudes higher than those reached by other instrumentation. These outflows are thought to be a component of the slow solar wind. Our purpose is to study the evolution of the outflows in the intermediate corona from AR 8100, from the time the AR first forms until it dissolves, after several transits at the solar limb. Data acquired by SOHO/UVCS at the time of the AR limb transits, at medium latitudes and at altitudes ranging from 1.5 to 2.3 R_sun, were used to infer the physical properties of the outflows through the AR evolution. To this end, we applied the Doppler dimming technique to UVCS spectra. These spectra include the H I Lyman alpha line and the O VI doublet lines at 1031.9 and 1037.6 A. Plasma speeds and electron densities of the outflows were inferred over several rotations of the Sun. AR outflows are present in the newly born AR and persist throughout the entire AR life. Moreover, we found two types of outflows at different latitudes, both possibly originating in the same negative polarity area of the AR. We also analyzed the behavior of the Si XII 520 A line along the UVCS slit in an attempt to reveal changes in the Si abundance when different regions are traversed. Although we found some evidence for a Si enrichment in the AR outflows, alternative interpretations are also plausible. Our results demonstrate that outflows from ARs are detectable in the intermediate corona throughout the whole AR lifetime. This confirms that outflows contribute to the slow wind.

Stellar magnetic cycles in the solar-like stars Kepler-17 and Kepler-63

The stellar magnetic field plays a crucial role in the star internal mechanisms, as in the interactions with its environment. The study of starspots provides information about the stellar magnetic field, and can characterise the cycle. Moreover, the analysis of solar-type stars is also useful to shed light onto the origin of the solar magnetic field. The objective of this work is to characterise the magnetic activity of stars. Here, we studied two solar-type stars Kepler-17 and Kepler-63 using two methods to estimate the magnetic cycle length. The first one characterises the spots (radius, intensity, and location) by fitting the small variations in the light curve of a star caused by the occultation of a spot during a planetary transit. This approach yields the number of spots present in the stellar surface and the flux deficit subtracted from the star by their presence during each transit. The second method estimates the activity from the excess in the residuals of the transit lightcurves. This excess is obtained by subtracting a spotless model transit from the lightcurve, and then integrating all the residuals during the transit. The presence of long term periodicity is estimated in both time series. With the first method, we obtained $P_{\rm cycle}$ = 1.12 $\pm$ 0.16 yr (Kepler-17) and $P_{\rm cycle}$ = 1.27 $\pm$ 0.16 yr (Kepler-63), and for the second approach the values are 1.35 $\pm$ 0.27 yr and 1.27 $\pm$ 0.12 yr, respectively. The results of both methods agree with each other and confirm their robustness.

Radial Variation in the Stellar Mass Functions of Star Clusters [Replacement]

A number of recent observational studies of Galactic globular clusters have measured the variation in the slope of a cluster's stellar mass function $\alpha$ with clustercentric distance $r$. In order to gather a deeper understanding of the information contained in such observations, we have explored the evolution of $\alpha(r)$ for star clusters with a variety of initial conditions using a large suite of $N$-body simulations. We have specifically studied how the time evolution of $\alpha(r)$ is affected by initial size, mass, binary fraction, primordial mass segregation, black hole retention, an external tidal field, and the initial mass function itself. Previous studies have shown that the evolution of $\alpha_G$ is closely related to the amount of mass loss suffered by a cluster. Hence for each simulation we have also followed the evolution of the slope of the cluster's global stellar mass function, $\alpha_G$, and have shown that clusters follow a well-defined track in the $\alpha_G$-$d\alpha(r)/d(ln(r/r_m))$ plane. The location of a cluster on the $\alpha_G-d\alpha(r)/d(ln(r/r_m))$ plane can therefore constrain its dynamical history and, in particular, constrain possible variations in the stellar initial mass function. The $\alpha_G$-$d\alpha(r)/d(ln(r/r_m))$ plane thus serves as a key tool for fully exploiting the information contained in wide field studies of cluster stellar mass functions.

Radial Variation in the Stellar Mass Functions of Star Clusters

A number of recent observational studies of Galactic globular clusters have measured the variation in the slope of a cluster's stellar mass function $\alpha$ with clustercentric distance $r$. In order to gather a deeper understanding of the information contained in such observations, we have explored the evolution of $\alpha(r)$ for star clusters with a variety of initial conditions using a large suite of $N$-body simulations. We have specifically studied how the time evolution of $\alpha(r)$ is affected by initial size, mass, binary fraction, primordial mass segregation, black hole retention, an external tidal field, and the initial mass function itself. Previous studies have shown that the evolution of $\alpha_G$ is closely related to the amount of mass loss suffered by a cluster. Hence for each simulation we have also followed the evolution of the slope of the cluster's global stellar mass function, $\alpha_G$, and have shown that clusters follow a well-defined track in the $\alpha_G$-$d\alpha(r)/d(ln(r/r_m))$ plane. The location of a cluster on the $\alpha_G-d\alpha(r)/d(ln(r/r_m))$ plane can therefore constrain its dynamical history and, in particular, constrain possible variations in the stellar initial mass function. The $\alpha_G$-$d\alpha(r)/d(ln(r/r_m))$ plane thus serves as a key tool for fully exploiting the information contained in wide field studies of cluster stellar mass functions.

Asteroseismic properties of solar-type stars observed with the NASA K2 mission: results from Campaigns 1-3 and prospects for future observations

We present an asteroseismic analysis of 33 solar-type stars observed in short cadence during Campaigns (C) 1-3 of the NASA K2 mission. We were able to extract both average seismic parameters and individual mode frequencies for stars with dominant frequencies up to ~3300{\mu}Hz, and we find that data for some targets are good enough to allow for a measurement of the rotational splitting. Modelling of the extracted parameters is performed by using grid-based methods using average parameters and individual frequencies together with spectroscopic parameters. For the target selection in C3, stars were chosen as in C1 and C2 to cover a wide range in parameter space to better understand the performance and noise characteristics. For C3 we still detected oscillations in 73% of the observed stars that we proposed. Future K2 campaigns hold great promise for the study of nearby clusters and the chemical evolution and age-metallicity relation of nearby field stars in the solar neighbourhood. We expect oscillations to be detected in ~388 short-cadence targets if the K2 mission continues until C18, which will greatly complement the ~500 detections of solar-like oscillations made for short-cadence targets during the nominal Kepler mission. For ~30-40 of these, including several members of the Hyades open cluster, we furthermore expect that inference from interferometry should be possible.

The peculiar dipping events in the disk-bearing young-stellar object EPIC 204278916

EPIC 204278916 has been serendipitously discovered from its K2 light curve which displays irregular dimmings of up to 65% for ~25 consecutive days out of 78.8 days of observations. For the remaining duration of the observations, the variability is highly periodic and attributed to stellar rotation. The star is a young, low-mass (M-type) pre-main-sequence star with clear evidence of a resolved tilted disk from ALMA observations. We examine the K2 light curve in detail and hypothesise that the irregular dimmings are caused by either a warped inner-disk edge or transiting cometary-like objects in either circular or eccentric orbits. The explanations discussed here are particularly relevant for other recently discovered young objects with similar absorption dips.

Asteroseismology of the Hyades with K2: first detection of main-sequence solar-like oscillations in an open cluster

The Hyades open cluster was targeted during Campaign 4 (C4) of the NASA K2 mission, and short-cadence data were collected on a number of cool main-sequence stars. Here, we report results on two F-type stars that show detectable oscillations of a quality that allows asteroseismic analyses to be performed. These are the first ever detections of solar-like oscillations in main-sequence stars in an open cluster.

The chaotic four-body problem in Newtonian gravity I: Identical point-particles

In this paper, we study the chaotic four-body problem in Newtonian gravity. Assuming point particles and total encounter energies $\le$ 0, the problem has three possible outcomes. We describe each outcome as a series of discrete transformations in energy space, using the diagrams first presented in Leigh \& Geller (2012; see the Appendix). Furthermore, we develop a formalism for calculating probabilities for these outcomes to occur, expressed using the density of escape configurations per unit energy, and based on the Monaghan description originally developed for the three-body problem. We compare this analytic formalism to results from a series of binary-binary encounters with identical point particles, simulated using the \texttt{FEWBODY} code. Each of our three encounter outcomes produces a unique velocity distribution for the escaping star(s). Thus, these distributions can potentially be used to constrain the origins of dynamically-formed populations, via a direct comparison between the predicted and observed velocity distributions. Finally, we show that, for encounters that form stable triples, the simulated single star escape velocity distributions are the same as for the three-body problem. This is also the case for the other two encounter outcomes, but only at low virial ratios. This suggests that single and binary stars processed via single-binary and binary-binary encounters in dense star clusters should have a unique velocity distribution relative to the underlying Maxwellian distribution (provided the relaxation time is sufficiently long), which can be calculated analytically.

New Halo White Dwarf Candidates in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

We present optical spectroscopy and near-infrared photometry of 57 faint ($g= 19-22$) high proper motion white dwarfs identified through repeat imaging of $\approx3100$ square degrees of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey footprint by Munn et al. (2014). We use $ugriz$ and $JH$ photometry to perform a model atmosphere analysis, and identify ten ultracool white dwarfs with $T_{\rm eff}<4000$ K, including the coolest pure H atmosphere white dwarf currently known, J1657+2638, with $T_{\rm eff}= 3550 \pm 100$K. The majority of the objects with cooling ages larger than 9 Gyr display thick disc kinematics and constrain the age of the thick disc to $\geq11$ Gyr. There are four white dwarfs in our sample with large tangential velocities ($v_{tan} > 120$ km $s^{-1}$) and UVW velocities that are more consistent with the halo than the Galactic disc. For typical $0.6 M_{\odot}$ white dwarfs, the cooling ages for these halo candidates range from 2.3 to 8.5 Gyr. However, the total main-sequence + white dwarf cooling ages of these stars would be consistent with the Galactic halo if they are slightly undermassive. Given the magnitude limits of the current large scale surveys, many of the coolest and oldest white dwarfs remain undiscovered in the solar neighborhood, but upcoming surveys such as GAIA and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) should find many of these elusive thick disc and halo white dwarfs.

Solar Abundances of Rock Forming Elements, Extreme Oxygen and Hydrogen in a Young Polluted White Dwarf

The Teff = 20,800 K white dwarf WD 1536+520 is shown to have broadly solar abundances of the major rock forming elements O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, and Fe, together with a strong relative depletion in the volatile elements C and S. In addition to the highest metal abundances observed to date, including log(O/He) = -3.4, the helium-dominated atmosphere has an exceptional hydrogen abundance at log(H/He) = -1.7. Within the uncertainties, the metal-to-metal ratios are consistent with the accretion of an H2O-rich and rocky parent body, an interpretation supported by the anomalously high trace hydrogen. The mixed atmosphere yields unusually short diffusion timescales for a helium atmosphere white dwarf, of no more than a few hundred yr, and equivalent to those in a much cooler, hydrogen-rich star. The overall heavy element abundances of the disrupted parent body deviate modestly from a bulk Earth pattern, and suggest the deposition of some core-like material. The total inferred accretion rate is 4.2e9 g/s, and at least 4 times higher than any white dwarf with a comparable diffusion timescale. Notably, when accretion is exhausted in this system, both metals and hydrogen will become undetectable within roughly 300 Myr, thus supporting a scenario where the trace hydrogen is related to the ongoing accretion of planetary debris.

Solar Abundances of Rock Forming Elements, Extreme Oxygen and Hydrogen in a Young Polluted White Dwarf [Replacement]

The Teff = 20,800 K white dwarf WD 1536+520 is shown to have broadly solar abundances of the major rock forming elements O, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, and Fe, together with a strong relative depletion in the volatile elements C and S. In addition to the highest metal abundances observed to date, including log(O/He) = -3.4, the helium-dominated atmosphere has an exceptional hydrogen abundance at log(H/He) = -1.7. Within the uncertainties, the metal-to-metal ratios are consistent with the accretion of an H2O-rich and rocky parent body, an interpretation supported by the anomalously high trace hydrogen. The mixed atmosphere yields unusually short diffusion timescales for a helium atmosphere white dwarf, of no more than a few hundred yr, and equivalent to those in a much cooler, hydrogen-rich star. The overall heavy element abundances of the disrupted parent body deviate modestly from a bulk Earth pattern, and suggest the deposition of some core-like material. The total inferred accretion rate is 4.2e9 g/s, and at least 4 times higher than any white dwarf with a comparable diffusion timescale. Notably, when accretion is exhausted in this system, both metals and hydrogen will become undetectable within roughly 300 Myr, thus supporting a scenario where the trace hydrogen is related to the ongoing accretion of planetary debris.

Time resolved spectroscopy and photometry of three little known bright cataclysmic variables: LS IV -08$^{\rm o}$ 3, HQ Monocerotis and ST Chamaeleontis

As part of a project to better characterize comparatively bright but so far little studied cataclysmic variables in the southern hemisphere, we have obtained spectroscopic and photometric data of the nova-like variables LS IV -08$^{\rm o}$ 3 and HQ Mon, and of the Z Cam type dwarf nova ST Cha. The spectra of all systems are as expected for their respective types. We derive improved orbital ephemeris of LS IV -08$^{\rm o}$ 3 and map its accretion disk in the light of the H$\alpha$ emission using Doppler tomography. We find that the emission has a two component origin, arising in the outer parts of the accretion disk and possibly on the illuminated face of the secondary star. The light curve of LS IV -08$^{\rm o}$ 3 exhibits a low level of flickering and indications for a modulation on the orbital period. Spectroscopy of HQ Mon suggests an orbital period of $\approx$5.15 hours which is incompatible with previous (uncertain) estimates. The light curves show the typical low scale flickering of UX UMa type nova-like systems, superposed upon variations on longer time scales. During one night a modulation with a period of $\approx$41 min is observed, visible for at least 4 hours. However, it does not repeat itself in other nights. A spectroscopic orbital period of $\approx$5.5 hours is derived for ST Cha. A previously suspected period of 6.8 hours (or alternatively 9.6 hours), based on historical photographic photometry is incompatible with the spectroscopic period. Moreover, we show that our new as well as previous photometry does not contain evidence for the quoted photometric period.

Sunspot positions, areas, and group tilt angles for 1611-1631 from observations by Christoph Scheiner

Digital images of the observations printed in the books "Rosa Ursina sive solis" and "Prodromus pro sole mobili" by Christoph Scheiner as well as the drawings from Scheiner's letters to Marcus Welser are analysed in order to obtain information on positions and sizes of sunspots that appeared before the Maunder minimum. In most cases, the given orientation of the ecliptic is used to set up the heliographic coordinate system for the drawings. Positions and sizes are measured manually on the screen. Very early drawings have no indication of their orientation. A rotational matching using common spots of adjacent days is used in some cases, while in other cases, the assumption of images being aligned with a zenith-horizon coordinate system appeared to be the most probable. In total, 8167 sunspots were measured. A distribution of sunspot latitudes versus time (butterfly diagram) is obtained for Scheiner's observations. The observations of 1611 are very inaccurate, the drawings of 1612 have at least an indication of their orientation, while the remaining part of the spot positions from 1618-1631 have good to very good accuracy. We also computed 697 tilt angles of apparently bipolar sunspot groups observed in the period 1618-1631. We find that the average tilt angle of nearly 4 degrees is not significantly different from 20th-century values.

The nature of the light variability of magnetic Of?p star HD 191612

A small fraction of hot OBA stars host global magnetic fields with field strengths of the order of 0.1-10 kG. This leads to the creation of persistent surface structures (spots) in stars with sufficiently weak winds as a result of the radiative diffusion. These spots become evident in spectroscopic and photometric variability. This type of variability is not expected in stars with strong winds, where the wind inhibits the radiative diffusion. Therefore, a weak photometric variability of the magnetic Of?p star HD 191612 is attributed to the light absorption in the circumstellar clouds. We study the nature of the photometric variability of HD 191612. We assume that the variability results from variable wind blanketing induced by surface variations of the magnetic field tilt and modulated by stellar rotation. We used our global kinetic equilibrium (NLTE) wind models with radiative force determined from the radiative transfer equation in the comoving frame (CMF) to predict the stellar emergent flux. Our models describe the stellar atmosphere in a unified manner and account for the influence of the wind on the atmosphere. The models are calculated for different wind mass-loss rates to mimic the effect of magnetic field tilt on the emergent fluxes. We integrate the emergent fluxes over the visible stellar surface for individual rotational phases, and calculate the rotationally modulated light curve of HD 191612. The wind blanketing that varies across surface is able to explain a part of the observed light variability in this star. The mechanism is able to operate even at relatively low mass-loss rates. The remaining variability is most likely caused by the flux absorption in circumstellar clouds. The variable wind blanketing is an additional source of the light variability in massive stars. The presence of the rotational light variability may serve as a proxy for the magnetic field.

Stellar classification of CoRoT targets

The CoRoT faint stars channel observed about 163 600 targets to detect transiting planetary companions. Because CoRoT targets are faint (11< r <16) and close to the galactic plane, only a small subsample has been observed spectroscopically. We describe the latest classification scheme used to derive the spectral type of CoRoT targets, which is based on broadband multi-colour photometry. We assess the accuracy of this spectral classification for the first time. We find that the classification method performs better for stars that were observed during the mission-dedicated photometric ground-based campaigns.The luminosity class is wrong for less than 7% of the targets. Generally, the effective temperature of stars classified as early type (O, B, and A) is overestimated. Conversely, the temperature of stars classified as later type tends to be underestimated. This is mainly due to the adverse effect of interstellar reddening. We find that the median error on the effective temperature is less than 5% for dwarf stars classified with a spectral later than F0, but it is worse for earlier type stars, with up to 20\% error for A and late-B dwarfs, and up to 70% for early-B and O-type dwarfs. Similar results are found for giants, with a median error that is lower than 7% for G- and later type giants, but greater than 25% for earlier types. Overall, we find an average median absolute temperature difference |Delta Teff| = 533+\-6 K for the whole sample of stars classified as dwarfs and |Delta Teff| = 280+\-3 K for the whole sample of giant stars. The corresponding standard deviation is of about 92+\-5 K for dwarfs and 304+\-4 K for giants. Typically for late-type stars, this means that the classification is accurate to about half a class.

Solar-cycle variation of the rotational shear near the solar surface

Helioseismology has revealed that the angular velocity of the Sun increases with depth in the outermost 35 Mm of the Sun. Recently, we have shown that the logarithmic radial gradient ($\rm d\ln\Omega/\rm d\ln r $) in the upper 10~Mm is close to $-1$ from the equator to $60^\circ$ latitude.We aim to measure the temporal variation of the rotational shear over solar cycle 23 and the rising phase of cycle 24 (1996-2015). We used f mode frequency splitting data spanning 1996 to 2011 from the Michelson Doppler Imager (MDI) and 2010 to 2015 from the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI). In a first for such studies, the f mode frequency splitting data were obtained from 360-day time series. We used the same method as in our previous work for measuring $\rm d\ln\Omega/d\ln r $ from the equator to $80^\circ$ latitude in the outer 13~Mm of the Sun. Then, we calculated the variation of the gradient at annual cadence relative to the average over 1996 to 2015. We found the rotational shear at low latitudes ($0^\circ$ to $30^\circ$) to vary in-phase with the solar activity, varying by $\sim \pm 10$\% over the period 1996 to 2015. At high latitudes ($60^\circ$ to $80^\circ$), we found rotational shear to vary in anti-phase with the solar activity. By comparing the radial gradient obtained from the splittings of the 360-day and the corresponding 72-day time series of HMI and MDI data, we suggest that the splittings obtained from the 72-day HMI time series suffer from systematic errors. We provide a quantitative measurement of the temporal variation of the outer part of the near surface shear layer which may provide useful constraints on dynamo models and differential rotation theory.

Observational implications of a strong phase transition in the dense matter equation of state for the rotational evolution of neutron stars

We explore the implications of a strong first-order phase transition region in the dense matter equation of state in the interiors of rotating neutron stars, and the resulting creation of two disjoint families of neutron-stars' configurations (the so-called high-mass twins). Rotating, axisymmetric and stationary stellar configurations are obtained numerically in the framework of general relativity, and their global parameters and stability are studied. The equation of state-induced instability divides stable neutron star configurations into two disjoint families: neutron stars (second family) and hybrid stars (third family), with an overlapping region in mass, the high-mass twin star region. These two regions are divided by an instability strip. Its existence has interesting astrophysical consequences for rotating neutron stars. We note that it provides a "natural" explanation for the rotational frequency cutoff in the observed distribution of neutron stars spins, and for the apparent lack of back-bending in pulsar timing. It also straightforwardly enables a substantial energy release in a mini-collapse to another neutron-star configuration (core quake), or to a black hole.

Observational implications of a strong phase transition in the dense matter equation of state for the rotational evolution of neutron stars [Replacement]

We explore the implications of a strong first-order phase transition region in the dense matter equation of state in the interiors of rotating neutron stars, and the resulting creation of two disjoint families of neutron-stars' configurations (the so-called high-mass twins). Rotating, axisymmetric and stationary stellar configurations are obtained numerically in the framework of general relativity, and their global parameters and stability are studied. The equation of state-induced instability divides stable neutron star configurations into two disjoint families: neutron stars (second family) and hybrid stars (third family), with an overlapping region in mass, the high-mass twin star region. These two regions are divided by an instability strip. Its existence has interesting astrophysical consequences for rotating neutron stars. We note that it provides a "natural" explanation for the rotational frequency cutoff in the observed distribution of neutron stars spins, and for the apparent lack of back-bending in pulsar timing. It also straightforwardly enables a substantial energy release in a mini-collapse to another neutron-star configuration (core quake), or to a black hole.

Tracing Slow Winds from T Tauri Stars via Low Velocity Forbidden Line Emission

Using Keck/HIRES spectra {\Delta}v ~ 7 km/s, we analyze forbidden lines of [O I] 6300 {\AA}, [O I] 5577 {\AA} and [S II] 6731 {\AA} from 33 T Tauri stars covering a range of disk evolutionary stages. After removing a high velocity component (HVC) associated with microjets, we study the properties of the low velocity component (LVC). The LVC can be attributed to slow disk winds that could be magnetically (MHD) or thermally (photoevaporative) driven. Both of these winds play an important role in the evolution and dispersal of protoplanetary material. LVC emission is seen in all 30 stars with detected [O I] but only in 2 out of eight with detected [S II] , so our analysis is largely based on the properties of the [O I] LVC. The LVC itself is resolved into broad (BC) and narrow (NC) kinematic components. Both components are found over a wide range of accretion rates and their luminosity is correlated with the accretion luminosity, but the NC is proportionately stronger than the BC in transition disks. The FWHM of both the BC and NC correlates with disk inclination, consistent with Keplerian broadening from radii of 0.05 to 0.5 AU and 0.5 to 5 AU, respectively. The velocity centroids of the BC suggest formation in an MHD disk wind, with the largest blueshifts found in sources with closer to face-on orientations. The velocity centroids of the NC however, show no dependence on disk inclination. The origin of this component is less clear and the evidence for photoevaporation is not conclusive.

Silicate Composition of the Interstellar Medium

The composition of silicate dust in the diffuse interstellar medium and in protoplanetary disks around young stars informs our understanding of the processing and evolution of the dust grains leading up to planet formation. Analysis of the well-known 9.7{\mu}m feature indicates that small amorphous silicate grains represent a significant fraction of interstellar dust and are also major components of protoplanetary disks. However, this feature is typically modelled assuming amorphous silicate dust of olivine and pyroxene stoichiometries. Here, we analyze interstellar dust with models of silicate dust that include non-stoichiometric amorphous silicate grains. Modelling the optical depth along lines of sight toward the extinguished objects Cyg OB2 No. 12 and {\zeta} Ophiuchi, we find evidence for interstellar amorphous silicate dust with stoichiometry intermediate between olivine and pyroxene, which we simply refer to as "polivene." Finally, we compare these results to models of silicate emission from the Trapezium and protoplanetary disks in Taurus.

A wind-driving disc model for the mm-wavelength polarization structure of HL Tau

The recent advent of spatially resolved mm- and cm-wavelength polarimetry in protostellar accretion discs could help clarify the role of magnetic fields in the angular momentum transport in these systems. The best case to date is that of HL~Tau, where the inability to produce a good fit to the 1.25-mm data with a combination of vertical and azimuthal magnetic field components was interpreted as implying that centrifugally driven winds (CDWs) are probably not a significant transport mechanism on the $\sim 10^2\,$au scale probed by the observations. Using synthetic polarization maps of heuristic single-field-component discs and of a post-processed simulation of a wind-driving disc, we demonstrate that a much better fit to the data can be obtained if the radial field component, a hallmark of the CDW mechanism, dominates in the polarized emission region. A similar inference was previously made in modelling the far-infrared polarization map of the pc-scale dust ring in the Galactic centre. To reconcile this interpretation with theoretical models of protostellar discs, which indicate that the wind is launched from a comparatively high elevation above the mid-plane, we propose that most of the polarized emission originates -- with a high ($\ga 10$\%) intrinsic degree of polarization -- in small ($\la 0.1\,$mm) grains that remain suspended above the mid-plane, and that the bulk of the mm-wavelength emission is produced -- with low intrinsic polarization -- by larger grains that have settled to the mid-plane.

 

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