Recent Postings from Solar and Stellar

The Last Minutes of Oxygen Shell Burning in a Massive Star

We present the first 3D simulation of the last minutes of oxygen shell burning in an 18 solar mass supernova progenitor up to the onset of core collapse. A moving inner boundary is used to accurately model the contraction of the silicon and iron core according to a 1D stellar evolution model with a self-consistent treatment of core deleptonization and nuclear quasi-equilibrium. The simulation covers the full solid angle to allow the emergence of large-scale convective modes. Due to core contraction and the concomitant acceleration of nuclear burning, the convective Mach number increases to ~0.1 at collapse, and an l=2 mode emerges shortly before the end of the simulation. Aside from a growth of the oxygen shell from 0.51 to 0.56 solar masses due to entrainment from the carbon shell, the convective flow is reasonably well described by mixing length theory, and the dominant scales are compatible with estimates from linear stability analysis. We deduce that artificial changes in the physics, such as accelerated core contraction, can have precarious consequences for the state of convection at collapse. We argue that scaling laws for the convective velocities and eddy sizes furnish good estimates for the state of shell convection at collapse and develop a simple analytic theory for the impact of convective seed perturbations on shock revival in the ensuing supernova. We predict a reduction of the critical luminosity for explosion by 12--24% due to seed asphericities for our 3D progenitor model relative to the case without large seed perturbations.

The Chromospheric Solar Limb Brightening at Radio, Millimeter, Sub-millimeter, and Infrared Wavelengths

Observations of the emission at radio, millimeter, sub-millimeter, and infrared wavelengths in the center of the solar disk validate the auto-consistence of semi-empirical models of the chromosphere. Theoretically, these models must reproduce the emission at the solar limb. In this work, we tested both the VALC and the C7 semi-empirical models by computing their emission spectrum in the frequency range from 2 GHz to 10 THz, at solar limb altitudes. We calculate the Sun's theoretical radii as well as their limb brightening. Non-Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (NLTE) was computed for hydrogen, electron density, and H-. In order to solve the radiative transfer equation a 3D geometry was employed to determine the ray paths and Bremsstrahlung, H-, and inverse Bremsstrahlung opacity sources were integrated in the optical depth. We compared the computed solar radii with high resolution observations at the limb obtained by Clark (1994). We found that there are differences between observed and computed solar radii of 12000 km at 20 GHz, 5000 km at 100 GHz, and 1000 km at 3 THz for both semi-empirical models. A difference of 8000 km in the solar radii was found comparing our results against heights obtained from H{\alpha} observations of spicules-off at the solar limb. We conclude that the solar radii can not be reproduced by VALC and C7 semi-empirical models at radio - infrared wavelengths. Therefore, the structures in the high chromosphere provides a better measurement of the solar radii and their limb brightening as shown in previous investigations.

HD 35502: a hierarchical triple system with a magnetic B5IVpe primary

We present our analysis of HD~35502 based on high- and medium-resolution spectropolarimetric observations. Our results indicate that the magnetic B5IVsnp star is the primary component of a spectroscopic triple system and that it has an effective temperature of $18.4\pm0.6\,{\rm kK}$, a mass of $5.7\pm0.6\,M_\odot$, and a polar radius of $3.0^{+1.1}_{-0.5}\,R_\odot$. The two secondary components are found to be essentially identical A-type stars for which we derive effective temperatures ($8.9\pm0.3\,{\rm kK}$), masses ($2.1\pm0.2\,M_\odot$), and radii ($2.1\pm0.4\,R_\odot$). We infer a hierarchical orbital configuration for the system in which the secondary components form a tight binary with an orbital period of $5.66866(6)\,{\rm d}$ that orbits the primary component with a period of over $40\,{\rm yrs}$. Least-Squares Deconvolution (LSD) profiles reveal Zeeman signatures in Stokes $V$ indicative of a longitudinal magnetic field produced by the B star ranging from approximately $-4$ to $0\,{\rm kG}$ with a median uncertainty of $0.4\,{\rm kG}$. These measurements, along with the line variability produced by strong emission in H$\alpha$, are used to derive a rotational period of $0.853807(3)\,{\rm d}$. We find that the measured $v\sin{i}=75\pm5\,{\rm km\,s}^{-1}$ of the B star then implies an inclination angle of the star's rotation axis to the line of sight of $24^{+6}_{-10}\degree$. Assuming the Oblique Rotator Model, we derive the magnetic field strength of the B star's dipolar component ($14^{+9}_{-3}\,{\rm kG}$) and its obliquity ($63\pm13\degree$). Furthermore, we demonstrate that the calculated Alfv\'{e}n radius ($41^{+17}_{-6}\,R_\ast$) and Kepler radius ($2.1^{+0.4}_{-0.7}\,R_\ast$) place HD~35502's central B star well within the regime of centrifugal magnetosphere-hosting stars.

V470 Cas and GSC 2901-00089, Two New Double-mode Cepheids

We present a photometric study of two new double-mode Cepheids, pulsating in the first and second overtones modes: V470 Cas and GSC 2901-00089. For the search of the double-mode variability, we used all available observations from the ROTSE-I/NSVS and SuperWASP online public archives. Our multicolour CCD observations in the B, V and R bands in Johnson's system confirm the double periodicity of these variables. We study period variations of the two stars; variations of the first overtone periods were reliably detected. In addition, we consider the Petersen diagram for the Galactic 1O/2O Cepheids.

Expanding molecular bubble surrounding Tycho's supernova remnant (SN 1572) observed with IRAM 30 m telescope: evidence for a single-degenerate progenitor

Whether the progenitors of Type-Ia Supernovae, single degenerate or double-degenerate white dwarf (WD) systems, is a highly debated topic. To address the origin of the Type Ia Tycho's supernova remnant (SNR), SN 1572, we have carried out a 12CO J=1-0 mapping and a 3-mm line survey towards the remnant using the IRAM 30 m telescope. We show that Tycho is surrounded by a clumpy molecular bubble at the local standard of rest velocity $\sim 61$ km s$^{-1}$ which expands at a speed $\sim 4.5$ km s$^{-1}$ and has a mass of $\sim 220$ $M_\odot$ (at the distance of 2.5 kpc). Enhanced 12CO J=2-1 line emission relative to 12CO J=1-0 emission and possible line broadenings (in velocity range -64-- -60 km s$^{-1}$) are found at the northeastern boundary of the SNR where the shell is deformed and decelerated. These features, combined with the morphological correspondence between the expanding molecular bubble and Tycho, suggest that the SNR is associated with the bubble at velocity range -66-- -57 km s$^{-1}$. The most plausible origin for the expanding bubble is the fast outflow (with velocity $> 100$ km s$^{-1}$) driven from the vicinity of a WD as it accreted matter from a non-degenerate companion star. The SNR has been expanding in the low-density wind-blown bubble and the shock wave has just reached the molecular cavity wall. This is the first unambiguous detection of the expanding bubble driven by the progenitor of the Type-Ia SNR, which constitutes evidence for a single degenerate progenitor for this Type-Ia supernova.

Atmospheres and radiating surfaces of neutron stars with strong magnetic fields

We review the current status of the theory of thermal emission from the surface layers of neutron stars with strong magnetic fields $B\sim 10^{10}-10^{15}$ G, including formation of the spectrum in a partially ionized atmosphere and at a condensed surface. In particular, we describe recent progress in modeling partially ionized atmospheres of central compact objects in supernova remnants, which may have moderately strong fields $B\sim 10^{10}-10^{11}$ G. Special attention is given to polarization of thermal radiation emitted by a neutron star surface. Finally, we briefly describe applications of the theory to observations of thermally emitting isolated neutron stars.

Suppression of a kinematic dynamo by large shear [Cross-Listing]

We numerically solve the magnetic induction equation in a spherical shell geometry, with a kinematically prescribed axisymmetric flow that consists of a superposition of a small-scale helical flow and a large-scale shear flow. The small-scale flow is chosen to be a local analog of the classical Roberts cells, consisting of strongly helical vortex rolls. The large-scale flow is a shearing motion in either the radial or the latitudinal directions. In the absence of large-scale shear, the small-scale flow is an efficient dynamo, in agreement with previous results. Adding increasingly large shear flows strongly suppresses the dynamo efficiency, indicating that shear is not always a favourable ingredient in dynamo action.

$f$-mode interaction with models of sunspot : near-field scattering and multi-frequency effects

We use numerical simulations to investigate the interaction of an $f$-mode wave packet with small and large models of a sunspot in a stratified atmosphere. While a loose cluster model has been largely studied before, we focus in this study on the scattering from an ensemble of tightly compact tubes. We showed that the small compact cluster produces a slight distorted scattered wave field in the transverse direction, which can be attributed to the simultaneous oscillations of the pairs of tubes within the cluster aligned in a perpendicular direction to the incoming wave. However, no signature of a multiple-scattering regime has been observed from this model, while it has been clearly observable for the large compact cluster model. Furthermore, we pointed out the importance of the geometrical shape of the monolithic model on the interaction of $f$-mode waves with a sunspot in a high frequency range ($\nu =$ 5 mHz). These results are a contribution to the observational effort to distinguish seismically between different configurations of magnetic flux tubes within sunspots and plage.

On the magnetism and dynamics of prominence legs hosting tornadoes

Solar tornadoes are dark vertical filamentary structures observed in the extreme ultraviolet associated with prominence legs and filament barbs. Their true nature and relationship to prominences requires understanding their magnetic structure and dynamic properties. Recently, a controversy has arisen: is the magnetic field organized forming vertical, helical structures or is it dominantly horizontal? And concerning their dynamics, are tornadoes really rotating or is it just a visual illusion? Here, we analyze four consecutive spectropolarimetric scans of a prominence hosting tornadoes on its legs which help us shed some light on their magnetic and dynamical properties. We show that the magnetic field is very smooth in all the prominence, probably an intrinsic property of the coronal field. The prominence legs have vertical helical fields that show slow temporal variation probably related to the motion of the fibrils. Concerning the dynamics, we argue that 1) if rotation exists, it is intermittent, lasting no more than one hour, and 2) the observed velocity pattern is also consistent with an oscillatory velocity pattern (waves).

Estimating stellar effective temperatures and detected angular parameters using stochastic particle swarm optimization

Considering features of stellar spectral radiation and survey explorers, we established a computational model for stellar effective temperatures, detected angular parameters, and gray rates. Using known stellar flux data in some band, we estimated stellar effective temperatures and detected angular parameters using stochastic particle swarm optimization (SPSO). We first verified the reliability of SPSO, and then determined reasonable parameters that produced highly accurate estimates under certain gray deviation levels. Finally, we calculated 177,860 stellar effective temperatures and detected angular parameters using the Midcourse Space Experiment (MSX) catalog data. These derived stellar effective temperatures were accurate when we compared them to known values from literatures. This research made full use of catalog data and presented an original technique for studying stellar characteristics. It proposed a novel method for calculating stellar effective temperatures and detected angular parameters, and provided theoretical and practical data support for finding radiation flow information for any band.

On the relationship between sunspot structure and magnetic field changes associated with solar flares

Many previous studies have shown that magnetic fields as well as sunspot structures present rapid and irreversible changes associated with solar flares. In this paper we first use five X-class flares observed by SDO/HMI to show that not only the magnetic fields and sunspot structures do show rapid, irreversible changes but also these changes are closely related, both spatially and temporally. The magnitudes of the correlation coefficients between the temporal variations of horizontal magnetic field and sunspot intensity are all larger than 0.90, with a maximum value of 0.99 and an average value of 0.96. Then using four active regions in quiescent times, three observed and one simulated, we show that in sunspot penumbra regions there also exists a close correlation between sunspot intensity and horizontal magnetic field strength, in addition to the well-known one between sunspot intensity and normal magnetic field strength. Connecting these two observational phenomena, we show that the sunspot structure change and the magnetic field change are the two facets of the same phenomena of solar flares, one change might be induced by the change of the other due to a linear correlation between sunspot intensity and magnetic field strength out of a local force balance.

Photometric variability of the nova-like object V380 Oph in 1976-2016

We combined photographic, photoelectric and CCD observations of the nova-like variable V380 Oph to get a light curve spanning the time range of 40 years. While the typical high-state brightness of V380 Oph was R~14.5, two low-brightness episodes identified in 1979 (B_pg~17.5) and 2015 (R~19) confirm its classification as a VY Scl-type "anti-dwarf nova". The Fourier period analysis of photoelectric and CCD V and B observations obtained in 2002-16 revealed the presence of two periods 0.148167d and 4.287d, that may be associated with negative superhumps and disc precession. We also compared measurements obtained with the iris micro-photometer and flatbed scanner at the same plates and found an agreement within the expected accuracy of photographic photometry.

Hyperons in neutron stars within Eddington-inspired Born-Infeld theory of gravity

We investigate the mass-radius relation of neutron star (NS) with hyperons inside its core by using the Eddington-inspired Born-Infeld (EiBI) theory of gravity. The equation of state of the star is calculated by using the relativistic mean field model under which the standard SU(6) prescription and hyperons potential depths are used to determine the hyperon coupling constants. We found that, for $4\times 10^{6}~\rm{m^2}~\lesssim~\kappa \lesssim~6\times 10^{6}~\rm{m^2}$, the corresponding NS mass and radius predicted by the EiBI theory of gravity is compatible with observational constraints of maximum NS mass and radius. The corresponding $\kappa$ value is also compatible with the $\kappa$ range predicted by the astrophysical-cosmological constraints. We also found that the parameter $\kappa$ could control the size and the compactness of a neutron star.

The Formation and Early Evolution of a Coronal Mass Ejection and its Associated Shock Wave on 2014 January 8

In this paper, we study the formation and early evolution of a limb coronal mass ejection (CME) and its associated shock wave that occurred on 2014 January 8. The extreme ultraviolet (EUV) images provided by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) on board \textit{Solar Dynamics Observatory} disclose that the CME first appears as a bubble-like structure. Subsequently, its expansion forms the CME and causes a quasi-circular EUV wave. Interestingly, both the CME and the wave front are clearly visible at all of the AIA EUV passbands. Through a detailed kinematical analysis, it is found that the expansion of the CME undergoes two phases: a first phase with a strong but transient lateral over-expansion followed by a second phase with a self-similar expansion. The temporal evolution of the expansion velocity coincides very well with the variation of the 25--50 keV hard X-ray flux of the associated flare, which indicates that magnetic reconnection most likely plays an important role in driving the expansion. Moreover, we find that, when the velocity of the CME reaches $\sim$600 km s$^{-1}$, the EUV wave starts to evolve into a shock wave, which is evidenced by the appearance of a type II radio burst. The shock's formation height is estimated to be $\sim$0.2$R_{sun}$, which is much lower than the height derived previously. Finally, we also study the thermal properties of the CME and the EUV wave. We find that the plasma in the CME leading front and the wave front has a temperature of $\sim$2 MK, while that in the CME core region and the flare region has a much higher temperature of $\ge$8 MK.

Connecting local and global star formation via molecular cloud complex

To link the physical and star formation properties of structures ranging from Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs), to Molecular Cloud Complexes (MCCs), and to Galaxies, we compare the mutual relations between their masses $M$, mass surface densities $\Sigma_{M_{\rm gas}}$, radii $R$, velocity dispersions $\sigma$, star formation rates $SFR$, and SFR densities $\Sigma_{\rm SFR}$ using data from the $^{12}$CO 1-0 CfA survey and from the literature. We derive universal scaling relations for a comprehensive compilation of molecular cloud structures, spanning 8 orders of magnitudes in size and 13 orders of magnitudes in mass: $\sigma\sim R^{0.47}$, $M\sim R^{1.96}$, $\Sigma_{\rm SFR}\sim \Sigma_{M_{\rm gas}}^{1.37}$, ${SFR}\sim {M}^{0.87}$, and ${SFR}\sim {\sigma}^{2.66}$. We also find that the slopes and the coefficients are different for individual scales. Additionally, there is a break at the MCC scale in the $\sigma-R$ relation and breaks between the starburst and the normal star-forming objects in the $SFR-M$ and $\Sigma_{\rm SFR}$-$\Sigma_{\rm M_{\rm gas}}$ relations. The Schmidt-Kennicutt diagram is used to distinguish starburst from normal star-forming structures by applying a $\Sigma_{M_{\rm gas}}$ threshold of $100\,M_\odot$ pc$^{-2}$ and a $\Sigma_{\rm SFR}$ threshold of $1\,M_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-2}$. Mini-starburst complexes are MCCs that have enhanced $\Sigma_{\rm SFR}$ ($>1\,M_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-2}$), probably caused by dynamic events such as radiation pressure, colliding flows, or spiral arm gravitational instability which compress material within the MCCs. Because of the dynamical evolution, gravitational boundedness does not play a significant role in characterizing the star formation activity of MCC, especially the mini-starburst complex, which leads to the conclusion that the formation of massive stars and clusters is dynamic.

An Open Catalog for Supernova Data

We present the Open Supernova Catalog, an online collection of observations and metadata for presently 20,000+ supernovae and related candidates. The catalog is freely available on the web (, with its main interface having been designed to be a user-friendly, rapidly-searchable table accessible on desktop and mobile devices. In addition to the primary catalog table containing supernova metadata, an individual page is generated for each supernova which displays its available metadata, light curves, and spectra spanning X-ray to radio frequencies. The data presented in the catalog is automatically rebuilt on a daily basis and is constructed by parsing several dozen sources, including the data presented in the supernova literature and from secondary sources such as other web-based catalogs. Individual supernova data is stored in the hierarchical, human- and machine-readable JSON format, with the entirety of each supernova's data being contained within a single JSON file bearing its name. The setup we present here, which is based upon open source software maintained via git repositories hosted on GitHub, enables anyone to download the entirety of the supernova data set to their home computer in minutes, and to make contributions of their own data back to the catalog via git. As the supernova data set continues to grow, especially in the upcoming era of all-sky synoptic telescopes which will increase the total number of events by orders of magnitude, we hope that the catalog we have designed will be a valuable tool for the community to analyze both historical and contemporary supernovae.

Photophoresis on particles hotter or colder than the ambient gas in the free molecular flow [Cross-Listing]

Aerosol particles experience significant photophoretic forces at low pressure. Previous work assumed the average particle temperature to be very close to the gas temperature. This might not always be the case. If the particle temperature or the thermal radiation field differs significantly from the gas temperature (optically thin gases), given approximations overestimate the photophoretic force by an order of magnitude on average with maximum errors up to more than three magnitudes. We therefore developed a new general approximation which on average only differs by 1 % from the true value.

Narrowband Gyrosynchrotron Bursts: Probing Electron Acceleration in Solar Flares

Recently, in a few case studies we demonstrated that gyrosynchrotron microwave emission can be detected directly from the acceleration region when the trapped electron component is insignificant. For the statistical study reported here, we have identified events with steep (narrowband) microwave spectra that do not show a significant trapped component and at the same time show evidence of source uniformity, which simplifies the data analysis greatly. Initially, we identified a subset of more than 20 radio bursts with such narrow spectra, having low- and high-frequency spectral indices larger than 3 in absolute value. A steep low-frequency spectrum implies that the emission is nonthermal (for optically-thick thermal emission, the spectral index cannot be steeper than 2), and the source is reasonably dense and uniform. A steep high-frequency spectrum implies that no significant electron trapping occurs; otherwise a progressive spectral flattening would be observed. Roughly half of these radio bursts have RHESSI data, which allows for detailed, joint diagnostics of the source parameters and evolution. Based on an analysis of radio-to-X-ray spatial relationships, timing, and spectral fits, we conclude that the microwave emission in these narrowband bursts originates directly from the acceleration regions, which have relatively strong magnetic field, high density, and low temperature. In contrast, the thermal X-ray emission comes from a distinct loop with smaller magnetic field, lower density, but higher temperature. Therefore, these flares occurred likely due to interaction between two (or more) magnetic loops.

Consequences of tidal interaction between disks and orbiting protoplanets for the evolution of multi-planet systems with architecture resembling that of Kepler 444

We study orbital evolution of multi-planet systems with masses in the terrestrial planet regime induced through tidal interaction with a protoplanetary disk assuming that this is the dominant mechanism for producing orbital migration and circularization. We develop a simple analytic model for a system that maintains consecutive pairs in resonance while undergoing orbital circularization and migration. Migration times for each planet may be estimated once planet masses, circularization times and the migration time for the innermost planet are given. We applied it to a model system with the current architecture of Kepler 444 interacting with a protoplanetary disk, the evolution time for the system as a whole being comparable to current protoplanetary disk lifetimes. In addition we performed numerical simulations with input data obtained from this model. These indicate that although the analytic model is inexact, relatively small corrections to estimated migration rates yield systems for which period ratios vary by a minimal extent. Because of relatively large deviations from exact resonance in the observed system of up to $2\%,$ the migration times obtained in this way indicate only weak convergent migration such that a system for which the planets did not interact would contract by only $\sim 1\%$ although undergoing significant inward migration as a whole. We performed additional simulations to investigate how the system could undergo significant convergent migration before reaching its final state. These indicate migration times have to be significantly shorter and resonances significantly closer. Relative migration rates would then have to decrease allowing period ratios to increase to become more distant from resonances as the system approached its final state in the inner regions of the protoplanetary disk (abridged).

Orbital and physical parameters, and the distance of the eclipsing binary system OGLE-LMC-ECL-25658 in the Large Magellanic Cloud

We present an analysis of a new detached eclipsing binary, OGLE-LMC-ECL-25658, in the Large Magellanic Cloud. The system consists of two late G-type giant stars on an eccentric orbit and orbital period of ~200 days. The system shows total eclipses and the components have similar temperatures, making it ideal for a precise distance determination. Using multi-color photometric and high resolution spectroscopic data, we have performed an analysis of light and radial velocity curves simultaneously using the Wilson Devinney code. We derived orbital and physical parameters of the binary with a high precision of < 1 %. The masses and surface metallicities of the components are virtually the same and equal to 2.23 +/- 0.02 M_sun and [Fe/H] = -0.63 +/- 0.10 dex. However their radii and rates of rotation show a distinct trace of differential stellar evolution. The distance to the system was calculated using an infrared calibration between V-band surface brightness and (V-K) color, leading to a distance modulus of (m-M) = 18.452 +/- 0.023 (statistical) +/- 0.046 (systematic). Because OGLE-LMC-ECL-25658 is located relatively far from the LMC barycenter we applied a geometrical correction for its position in the LMC disc using the van der Marel et al. model of the LMC. The resulting barycenter distance to the galaxy is d_LMC = 50.30 +/- 0.53 (stat.) kpc, and is in perfect agreement with the earlier result of Pietrzynski et al.(2013).

Different twins in the millisecond pulsar recycling scenario: optical polarimetry of PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859

We present the first optical polarimetric study of the two transitional pulsars PSR J1023+0038 and XSS J12270-4859. This work is focused on the search for intrinsical linear polarisation (LP) in the optical emission from the two systems. We carried out multiband optical and NIR photo-polarimetry of the two systems using the ESO NTT at La Silla (Chile), equipped with the EFOSC2 and the SOFI instruments. XSS J12270-4859 was observed during its radio-pulsar state; we did not detect LP in all bands, with 3 sigma upper limits of, e.g., 1.4% in the R-band. We built the NIR-optical averaged spectral energy distribution (SED) of the system, that could be well described by an irradiated black body with radius $R_{*} = 0.33\pm0.03\,R_{\odot}$ and albedo $\eta=0.32\pm0.05$, without the need of further components (thus excluding the visible presence of an extended accretion disc and/or of relativistic jets). The case was different for PSR J1023+0038, that was in its accretion phase during our campaign. We measured a LP of $1.09\pm0.27\%$ and $0.90\pm 0.17\%$ in the V and R bands, respectively. The phase-resolved polarimetric curve of the source in the R-band reveals a hint of a sinusoidal modulation at the source 4.75 hr orbital period, peaked at the same orbital phase as the light curve. The measured LP of PSR J1023+0038 could in principle be interpreted as scattering with free electrons (that can be found in the accretion disc of the system or even in the hot corona that surrounds the disc itself) or to synchrotron emission from a relativistic particles jet or outflow. However, the NIR-optical SED of the system built starting from our dataset did not suggest the presence of a jet. We conclude that the optical LP observed for PSR J1023+0038 is possibly due to Thomson scattering with electrons in the disc, as also suggested from the possible modulation of the R-band LP at the system orbital period.

The Unexpected, Long-Lasting, UV Rebrightening of the Super-Luminous Supernova ASASSN-15lh

ASASSN-15lh is the most luminous supernova (SN) ever discovered (Dong et al. 2016), based on its peak bolometric luminosity. Here we report a UV rebrightening of ASASSN-15lh observed with {\it Swift} during our follow-up photometric campaign. The rebrightening began at $t \simeq 90$ days (observer frame) after the primary peak and was followed by a $\sim 120$-day long plateau in the bolometric luminosity, before starting to fade again at $t\simeq 210$ days. The SN rebrightened in the {\it Swift} UV bands by $\Delta m_{UVW2} \simeq -1.75$ mag, $\Delta m_{UVM2} \simeq -1.25$ mag, and $\Delta m_{UVW1} \simeq -0.8$ mag, but did not rebrighten in the optical bands. Throughout its initial decline, subsequent rebrightening, and renewed decline, the spectra of ASASSN-15lh did not show evidence of interactions between the ejecta and circumstellar medium (CSM) such as narrow emission lines. There are hints of weak, broad, transient H$\alpha$ emission at late times, but the feature could also be an artifact. By fitting a blackbody model to the optical and UV photometric data we find that during the rebrightening the effective photospheric temperature increased from $T_{BB} \simeq 11000$ K to $T_{BB} \simeq 18000$ K. Over the $\sim$ 330 days since its detection, ASASSN-15lh has radiated a total energy of $E \simeq 1.55 - 1.70 \times 10^{52}$ ergs. The properties (spectra, luminosity, radii) of ASASSN-15lh are significantly different from the three well-studied ASAS-SN tidal disruption events (TDEs), reinforcing the argument that ASASSN-15lh is a super-luminous supernova (SLSN).

ElEvoHI: a novel CME prediction tool for heliospheric imaging combining an elliptical front with drag-based model fitting

In this study, we present a new method for forecasting arrival times and speeds of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) at any location in the inner heliosphere. This new approach enables the adoption of a highly flexible geometrical shape for the CME front with an adjustable CME angular width and an adjustable radius of curvature of its leading edge, i.e. the assumed geometry is elliptical. Using, as input, STEREO heliospheric imager (HI) observations, a new elliptic conversion (ElCon) method is introduced and combined with the use of drag-based model (DBM) fitting to quantify the deceleration or acceleration experienced by CMEs during propagation. The result is then used as input for the Ellipse Evolution Model (ElEvo). Together, ElCon, DBM fitting, and ElEvo form the novel ElEvoHI forecasting utility. To demonstrate the applicability of ElEvoHI, we forecast the arrival times and speeds of 21 CMEs remotely observed from STEREO/HI and compare them to in situ arrival times and speeds at 1 AU. Compared to the commonly used STEREO/HI fitting techniques (Fixed-$\Phi$, Harmonic Mean, and Self-similar Expansion fitting), ElEvoHI improves the arrival time forecast by about 2 hours to $\pm 6.5$ hours and the arrival speed forecast by $\approx 250$ km s$^{-1}$ to $\pm 53$ km s$^{-1}$, depending on the ellipse aspect ratio assumed. In particular, the remarkable improvement of the arrival speed prediction is potentially beneficial for predicting geomagnetic storm strength at Earth.

A HIFI view on circumstellar H2O in M-type AGB stars: radiative transfer, velocity profiles, and H2O line cooling

We aim to constrain the temperature and velocity structures, and H2O abundances in the winds of a sample of M-type AGB stars. We further aim to determine the effect of H2O line cooling on the energy balance in the inner circumstellar envelope. We use two radiative-transfer codes to model molecular emission lines of CO and H2O towards four M-type AGB stars. We focus on spectrally resolved observations of CO and H2O from HIFI. The observations are complemented by ground-based CO observations, and spectrally unresolved CO and H2O observations with PAC. The observed line profiles constrain the velocity structure throughout the circumstellar envelopes (CSEs), while the CO intensities constrain the temperature structure in the CSEs. The H2O observations constrain the o-H2O and p-H2O abundances relative to H2. Finally, the radiative-transfer modelling allows to solve the energy balance in the CSE, in principle including also H2O line cooling. The fits to the line profiles only set moderate constraints on the velocity profile, indicating shallower acceleration profiles in the winds of M-type AGB stars than predicted by dynamical models, while the CO observations effectively constrain the temperature structure. Including H2O line cooling in the energy balance was only possible for the low-mass-loss-rate objects in the sample, and required an ad hoc adjustment of the dust velocity profile in order to counteract extreme cooling in the inner CSE. H2O line cooling was therefore excluded from the models. The constraints set on the temperature profile by the CO lines nevertheless allowed us to derive H2O abundances. The derived H2O abundances confirm previous estimates and are consistent with chemical models. However, the uncertainties in the derived abundances are relatively large, in particular for p-H2O, and consequently the derived o/p-H2O ratios are not well constrained.

Comparing SSN Index to X-ray Flare and Coronal Mass Ejection Rates from Solar Cycles 22-24

The newly revised sunspot number series allows for placing historical geoeffective storms in the context of several hundred years of solar activity. Using statistical analyses of the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) X-ray observations from the past ~30 years and the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph (LASCO) Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) catalog (1996-present), we present sunspot-number-dependent flare and CME rates. In particular, we present X-ray flare rates as a function of sunspot number for the past three cycles. We also show that the 1-8 AA X-ray background flux is strongly correlated with sunspot number across solar cycles. Similarly, we show that the CME properties (e.g., proxies related to the CME linear speed and width) are also correlated with sunspot number for SC 23 and 24. These updated rates will enable future predictions for geoeffective events and place historical storms in the context of present solar activity.

Slipping reconnection in a solar flare observed in high resolution with the GREGOR solar telescope

A small flare ribbon above a sunspot umbra in active region 12205 was observed on November 7, 2014, at 12:00 UT in the blue imaging channel of the 1.5 m GREGOR telescope, using a 1 A Ca II H interference filter. Context observations from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) onboard Hinode, and the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) show that this ribbon is part of a larger one that extends through the neighboring positive polarities and also participates in several other flares within the active region. We reconstructed a time series of 140 seconds of Ca II H images by means of the multiframe blind deconvolution method, which resulted in spatial and temporal resolutions of 0.1 arcsec and 1 s. Light curves and horizontal velocities of small-scale bright knots in the observed flare ribbon were measured. Some knots are stationary, but three move along the ribbon with speeds of 7-11 km/s. Two of them move in the opposite direction and exhibit highly correlated intensity changes, which provides evidence of a slipping reconnection at small spatial scales.

Variations of the 3-D coronal magnetic field associated with the X3.4-class solar flare event of AR 10930

The variations of the 3-D coronal magnetic fields associated with the X3.4-class flare of active region 10930 are studied in this paper. The coronal magnetic field data are reconstructed from the photospheric vector magnetograms obtained by the Hinode satellite and using the nonlinear force-free field extrapolation method developed in our previous work (He et al., 2011). The 3-D force-free factor $\alpha$, 3-D current density, and 3-D magnetic energy density are employed to analyze the coronal data. The distributions of $\alpha$ and current density reveal a prominent magnetic connectivity with strong negative $\alpha$ values and strong current density before the flare. This magnetic connectivity extends along the main polarity inversion line and is found to be totally broken after the flare. The distribution variation of magnetic energy density reveals the redistribution of magnetic energy before and after the flare. In the lower space of the modeling volume the increase of magnetic energy dominates, and in the higher space the decrease of energy dominates. The comparison with the flare onset imaging observation exhibits that the breaking site of the magnetic connectivity and site with the highest values of energy density increase coincide with the location of flare initial eruption. We conclude that a cramped positive $\alpha$ region appearing in the photosphere causes the breaking of the magnetic connectivity. A scenario for flare initial eruption is proposed in which the Lorentz force acting on the isolated electric current at the magnetic connectivity breaking site lifts the associated plasmas and causes the initial ejection.

Hard X-ray emissions from Cassiopeia A observed by INTEGRAL

Cassiopeia A (Cas A) as the nearby young remnant of a core-collapse supernova is the best candidate for astrophysical studies in supernova explosion and its environment. We studied hard X-ray emissions from Cas A using the ten-year data of INTEGRAL observations, and first detected non-thermal continuum emission from the source up to 220 keV. The $^{44}$Ti line emissions at 68 and 78 keV are confirmed by our observations with a mean flux of $\sim (2.2\pm 0.4)\times 10^{-5}$ ph cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$, corresponding to a $^{44}$Ti yield in Cas A of $(1.3\pm 0.4)\times 10^{-4}$ \ms. The continuum emission from 3 -- 500 keV can be fitted with a thermal bremsstrahlung of $kT\sim 0.79\pm 0.08$ keV plus a power-law model of $\Gamma \sim 3.13\pm 0.03$. The non-thermal emission from Cas A is well fitted with a power-law model without a cutoff up to 220 keV. This radiation characteristic is inconsistent with the diffusive shock acceleration models with the remnant shock velocity of only 5000km s$^{-1}$. The central compact object in Cas A cannot contribute to the emission above 80 keV significantly. Some possible physical origins of the non-thermal emission above 80 keV from the remnant shock are discussed. We deduce that the asymmetrical supernova explosion scenario of Cas A is a promising scenario to produce high energy synchrotron radiation photons, where a part of ejecta with the velocity of $\sim 0.1c$ and opening angle of $\sim10^\circ$ can account for the 100-keV emission, consistent with the "jet" observed in Cas A.

Infalling-Rotating Motion and Associated Chemical Change in the Envelope of IRAS 16293-2422 Source A Studied with ALMA

We have analyzed rotational spectral line emission of OCS, CH3OH, HCOOCH3, and H2CS observed toward the low-mass Class 0 protostellar source IRAS 16293-2422 Source A at a sub-arcsecond resolution (~0".6 x 0".5) with ALMA. Significant chemical differentiation is found at a 50 AU scale. The OCS line is found to well trace the infalling-rotating envelope in this source. On the other hand, the CH3OH and HCOOCH3 distributions are found to be concentrated around the inner part of the infalling-rotating envelope. With a simple ballistic model of the infalling-rotating envelope, the radius of the centrifugal barrier (a half of the centrifugal radius) and the protostellar mass are evaluated from the OCS data to be from 40 to 60 AU and from 0.5 to 1.0 Msun, respectively, assuming the inclination angle of the envelope/disk structure to be 60 degrees (90 degrees for the edge-on configuration). Although the protostellar mass is correlated with the inclination angle, the radius of the centrifugal barrier is not. This is the first indication of the centrifugal barrier of the infalling-rotating envelope in a hot corino source. CH3OH and HCOOCH3 may be liberated from ice mantles due to weak accretion shocks around the centrifugal barrier, and/or due to protostellar heating. The H2CS emission seems to come from the disk component inside the centrifugal barrier in addition to the envelope component. The centrifugal barrier plays a central role not only in the formation of a rotationally-supported disk but also in the chemical evolution from the envelope to the protoplanetary disk.

Analysis of spatially deconvolved polar faculae

Polar faculae are bright features that can be detected in solar limb observations and they are related to magnetic field concentrations. Although there is a large number of works studying them, some questions about their nature as their magnetic properties at different heights are still open. Thus, we aim to improve the understanding of solar polar faculae. In that sense, we infer the vertical stratification of the temperature, gas pressure, line of sight velocity and magnetic field vector of polar faculae regions. We performed inversions of the Stokes profiles observed with Hinode/SP after removing the stray light contamination produced by the spatial point spread function of the telescope. Moreover, after solving the azimuth ambiguity, we transform the magnetic field vector to local solar coordinates. The obtained results reveal that the polar faculae are constituted by hot plasma with low line of sight velocities and single polarity magnetic fields in the kilogauss range that are nearly perpendicular to the solar surface. We also found that the spatial location of these magnetic fields is slightly shifted respect to the continuum observations towards the disc centre. We believe that this is due to the hot wall effect that allows detecting photons that come from deeper layers located closer to the solar limb.

The Pan-Pacific Planet Search V. Fundamental Parameters for 164 Evolved Stars

We present spectroscopic stellar parameters for the complete target list of 164 evolved stars from the Pan-Pacific Planet Search, a five-year radial velocity campaign using the 3.9m Anglo-Australian Telescope. For 87 of these bright giants, our work represents the first determination of their fundamental parameters. Our results carry typical uncertainties of 100 K, 0.15 dex, and 0.1 dex in $T_{\rm eff}$, $\log g$, and [Fe/H] and are consistent with literature values where available. The derived stellar masses have a mean of $1.31^{+0.28}_{-0.25}$ Msun, with a tail extending to $\sim$2 Msun, consistent with the interpretation of these targets as "retired" A-F type stars.

Multiple gaps with large grain deficit in the protoplanetary disk around TW Hya

We report $\sim$3 au resolution imaging observations of the protoplanetary disk around TW Hya at 138 and 230 GHz with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array. Our observations revealed two deep gaps ($\sim$25--50 %) at 22 and 37 au and shallower gaps (a few %) at 6, 28, and 44 au, as recently reported by Andrews et al. (2016). The central hole with a radius of $\sim3$ au was also marginally resolved. The most remarkable finding is that the power-law index of the dust opacity $\beta$, derived from the spectral index $\alpha$ between bands 4 and 6, peaks at the 22 au gap with $\beta\sim1.7$ and decreases toward the disk center to $\beta\sim0$. Our model fitting suggests that the overall disk structure can be reproduced with the inner hole and the gaps at 22 and 37 au. The most prominent gap at 22~au could be caused by the gravitational interaction between the disk and an unseen planet with a mass of $\lesssim$1.5 $M_\mathrm{Neptune}$ although other origins may be possible. The planet-induced gap is supported by the fact that $\beta$ is enhanced at the 22 au gap, indicating a deficit of $\sim$mm-sized grains within the gap due to dust filtration by a planet. Alternatively, the destruction of large dust aggregates due to the sintering of major volatiles might cause the multiple ring structure. We also find weak sinusoidal patterns with wavelengths of 5--10 au, which may be related to dynamical instabilities within the disk.

The general dielectric tensor for bi-kappa magnetized plasmas [Cross-Listing]

In this paper we derive the dielectric tensor for a plasma containing particles described by an anisotropic superthermal (bi-kappa) velocity distribution function. The tensor components are written in terms of the two-variables kappa plasma special functions, recently defined by Gaelzer and Ziebell [Phys. Plasmas 23, 022110 (2016)]. We also obtain various new mathematical properties for these functions, which are useful for the analytical treatment, numerical implementation and evaluation of the functions and, consequently, of the dielectric tensor. The formalism developed here and in the previous paper provides a mathematical framework for the study of electromagnetic waves propagating at arbitrary angles and polarizations in a superthermal plasma.

Spectroscopic Diagnostics of Solar Magnetic Flux Ropes Using Iron Forbidden Line

In this Letter, we present Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph Fe XXI 1354.08 A forbidden line emission of two magnetic flux ropes (MFRs) that caused two fast coronal mass ejections with velocities of $\ge$1000 km s$^{-1}$ and strong flares (X1.6 and M6.5) on 2014 September 10 and 2015 June 22, respectively. The EUV images at the 131 A and 94 A passbands provided by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly on board Solar Dynamics Observatory reveal that both MFRs initially appear as suspended hot channel-like structures. Interestingly, part of the MFRs is also visible in the Fe XXI 1354.08 forbidden line, even prior to the eruption, e.g., for the SOL2014-09-10 event. However, the line emission is very weak and that only appears at a few locations but not the whole structure of the MFRs. This implies that the MFRs could be comprised of different threads with different temperatures and densities, based on the fact that the formation of the Fe XXI forbidden line requires a critical temperature ($\sim$11.5 MK) and density. Moreover, the line shows a non-thermal broadening and a blueshift in the early phase. It suggests that magnetic reconnection at that time has initiated; it not only heats the MFR and, at the same time, produces a non-thermal broadening of the Fe XXI line but also produces the poloidal flux, leading to the ascending of the MFRs.

Markov properties of the magnetic field in the quiet solar photosphere

The observed magnetic field on the solar surface is characterized by a very complex spatial and temporal behaviour. Although feature-tracking algorithms have allowed us to deepen our understanding of this behaviour, subjectivity plays an important role in the identification, tracking of such features. In this paper we study the temporal stochasticity of the magnetic field on the solar surface without relying on the concept of magnetic feature nor on subjective assumptions about their identification and interaction. The analysis is applied to observations of the magnetic field on the quiet solar photosphere carried out with the IMaX instrument on-board the stratospheric balloon Sunrise. We show that the joint probability distribution functions of the longitudinal ($B_\parallel$) and transverse ($B_\perp$) components of the magnetic field, as well as of the magnetic pressure ($B^2=B^2_\perp+B^2_\parallel$), verify the necessary and sufficient condition for the Markov chains. Therefore we establish that the magnetic field, as seen by IMaX with a resolution of 0.15''-0.18'' and $33$ sec cadence, can be considered as a memoryless temporal fluctuating quantity.

Ultraharmonics and Secondary Spiral Wakes Induced by a Planet

We investigate the ultraharmonics response of a protoplanetary disk to an orbiting planet. We find that the multi-armed spiral structure can be excited by the higher-order forcing due to nonlinear mode-coupling. In particular, the preferential excitation of gas response with small azimuthal wavenumber $(m\sim 2)$ is a direct consequence of mode-coupling among linear waves. The presence of multiple Fourier components in a planet's potential is a distinct feature compared to the previous studies in the context of spiral galaxies, which turns out to be crucial for the generation of ultraharmonics waves. This analysis may shed light on understanding some results regarding the spiral structures excited by a massive planet.

An accurate and self-consistent chemical abundance catalogue for the APOGEE/Kepler sample

Context. The APOGEE survey has obtained high-resolution infrared spectra of more than 100,000 stars. Deriving chemical abundances patterns of these stars is paramount to piecing together the structure of the Milky Way. While the derived chemical abundances have been shown to be precise for most stars, some calibration problems have been reported, in particular for more metal- poor stars. Aims. In this paper, we aim to (1) re-determine the chemical abundances of the APOGEE+Kepler stellar sample (APOKASC) with an independent procedure, line list and line selection, and high quality surface gravity information from astroseismology, and (2) extend the abundance catalogue by including abundances that are not currently reported in the most recent APOGEE release (DR12). Methods. We fixed the Teff and log g to those determined using spectrophotometric and asteroseismic techniques, respectively. We made use of the Brussels Automatic Stellar Parameter (BACCHUS) code to derive the metallicity and broadening parameters for the APOKASC sample. In addition, we derived differential abundances with respect to Arcturus. Results. We have validated the BACCHUS code on APOGEE data using several well-known stars, and stars from open and globular clusters. We also provide the abundances of C, N, O, Mg, Ca, Si, Ti, S, Al, Na, Ni, Mn, Fe, K, P, Cr, Co, Cu, Rb, Yb and V for every star, line, and show the impact of line selection on the final abundances. These include abundances of five new elements and improved abundances for Si, Ti, S, and V. Conclusions. In this paper, we present an independent analysis of the APOKASC sample and provide abundances of up to 21 elements. This catalogue can be used not only to study chemical abundance patterns of the Galaxy but also to train data driven spectral approaches which can improve the abundance precision in a restricted dataset, but also full APOGEE sample.

Simulated interaction of MHD shock waves with a complex network-like region

We provide estimates of the wave energy reaching the solar chromosphere and corona in a network-like magnetic field topology, including a coronal null point. The waves are excited by an instantaneous strong subphotospheric source and propagate through the subphotosphere, photosphere, chromosphere, transition region, and corona with the plasma beta and other atmospheric parameters varying by several orders of magnitude. We compare two regimes of the wave propagation: a linear and nonlinear regime. While the amount of energy reaching the corona is similar in both regimes, this energy is transmitted at different frequencies. In both cases the dominant periods of waves at each height strongly depend on the local magnetic field topology, but this distribution is only in accordance with observations in the nonlinear case.

Polarimetric Detection of Exoplanets Transiting T- and L- Brown Dwarfs

While scattering of light by atoms and molecules yields large amount of polarization at the B-band of both T- and L-dwarfs, scattering by dust grains in cloudy atmosphere of L-dwarfs gives rise to significant polarization at the far-optical and infra-red wavelengths where these objects are much brighter. However, the observable disk averaged polarization should be zero if the clouds are uniformly distributed and the object is spherically symmetric. Therefore, in order to explain the observed large polarization of several L-dwarfs, rotation-induced oblateness or horizontally inhomogeneous cloud distribution in the atmosphere is invoked. On the other hand, when an extra-solar planet of Earth-size or larger transits the brown dwarf along the line of sight, the asymmetry induced during the transit gives rise to a net non-zero, time dependent polarization. Employing atmospheric models for a range of effective temperature and surface gravity appropriate for T- and L-dwarfs, I derive the time dependent polarization profiles of these objects during transit phase and estimate the peak amplitude of polarization that occurs during the inner contact points of the transit ingress/egress phase. It is found that peak polarization in the range of 0.2-1.0 % at I- and J-band may arise of cloudy L dwarfs occulted by Earth-size or larger exoplanets. Such an amount of polarization is higher than that can be produced by rotation-induced oblateness of even the rapidly rotating L-dwarfs. Hence, I suggest that time resolved imaging polarization should be a potential technique to detect transiting exoplanets around L-dwarfs.

{\Delta}{\mu} Binaries among Stars with Large Proper Motions

Based on observations performed with the Pulkovo normal astrograph in 2008-2015 and data from sky surveys (DSS, 2MASS, SDSS DR12, WISE), we have investigated the motions of 1308 stars with proper motions larger than 300 mas/yr down to magnitude 17. The main idea of our search for binary stars based on this material is reduced to comparing the quasi-mean (POSS2-POSS1; an epoch difference of $\approx$50 yr) and quasi-instantaneous (2MASS, SDSS, WISE, Pulkovo; an epoch difference of $\approx$10 yr) proper motions. If the difference is statistically significant compared to the proper motion errors, then the object may be considered as a {\Delta}{\mu}-binary candidate. One hundred and twenty one stars from among those included in the observational program satisfy this requirement. Additional confirmations of binarity for a number of stars have been obtained by comparing the calculated proper motions with the data from several programs of stellar trigonometric parallax determinations and by analyzing the asymmetry of stellar images on sky-survey CCD frames. Analysis of the highly accurate SDSS photometric data for four stars (J0656+3827, J0838+3940, J1229+5332, J2330+4639) allows us to reach a conclusion about the probability that these {\Delta}{\mu} binaries are white dwarf + M dwarf pairs.

Inflow, Outflow, Yields, and Stellar Population Mixing in Chemical Evolution Models

Chemical evolution models are powerful tools for interpreting stellar abundance surveys and understanding galaxy evolution. However, their predictions depend heavily on the treatment of inflow, outflow, star formation efficiency (SFE), the IMF, the SNIa delay time distribution, stellar yields, and mixing of stellar populations. Using flexCE, a new, flexible one-zone chemical evolution code, we investigate the effects of individual parameters and the trade-offs between them. Two of the most important parameters are the SFE and outflow mass-loading parameter, which shift the knee in [O/Fe]-[Fe/H] and the equilibrium abundances, respectively. One-zone models with simple star formation histories follow narrow tracks in [O/Fe]-[Fe/H] that do not match the observed bimodality in this plane. A mix of one-zone models with variations in their inflow timescales and outflow mass-loading parameters, as motivated by the inside-out galaxy formation scenario with radial mixing, reproduces the high- and low-alpha sequences better than a single model with two infall epochs. We present [X/Fe]-[Fe/H] tracks for 20 elements assuming three different SN yield models and find some significant discrepancies with observations, especially for elements with strongly metallicity-dependent yields. Analyzing the high dimensional abundance space probed by surveys like APOGEE, GALAH, and Gaia-ESO will require more advanced statistical techniques. We applied one such technique, principal component abundance analysis, to the simulations and data to reveal the main correlations amongst abundances and quantify their contributions to variation in abundance space. PC1 and PC2 of the stellar population mixing scenario are dominated by alpha-elements and elements with metallicity-dependent yields, respectively, and they collectively explain 99% of the variance. flexCE is available at

MESA Isochrones and Stellar Tracks (MIST). I: Solar-Scaled Models

This is the first of a series of papers presenting the Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) Isochrones and Stellar Tracks (MIST) project, a new comprehensive set of stellar evolutionary tracks and isochrones computed using MESA, a state-of-the-art open-source 1D stellar evolution package. In this work, we present models with solar-scaled abundance ratios covering a wide range of ages ($5 \leq \rm \log(Age)\;[yr] \leq 10.3$), masses ($0.1 \leq M/M_{\odot} \leq 300$), and metallicities ($-2.0 \leq \rm [Z/H] \leq 0.5$). The models are self-consistently and continuously evolved from the pre-main sequence to the end of hydrogen burning, the white dwarf cooling sequence, or the end of carbon burning, depending on the initial mass. We also provide a grid of models evolved from the pre-main sequence to the end of core helium burning for $-4.0 \leq \rm [Z/H] < -2.0$. We showcase extensive comparisons with observational constraints as well as with some of the most widely used existing models in the literature. The evolutionary tracks and isochrones can be downloaded from the project website at

The impact of rotation on turbulent tidal friction in stellar and planetary convective regions

Turbulent friction in convective regions in stars and planets is one of the key physical mechanisms that drive the dissipation of the kinetic energy of tidal flows in their interiors and the evolution of their systems. This friction acts both on the equilibrium/non-wave like tide and on tidal inertial waves in these layers. It is thus necessary to obtain a robust prescription for this friction. In the current state-of-the-art, it is modeled by a turbulent eddy-viscosity coefficient, based on mixing-length theory, applied on velocities of tides. However, none of the current prescriptions take into account the action of rotation that can strongly affects turbulent convection. Therefore, we use theoretical scaling laws for convective velocities and characteristic lengthscales in rotating stars and planets that have been recently confirmed by 3-D high-resolution nonlinear Cartesian numerical simulations to derive a new prescription. A corresponding local model of tidal waves is used to understand the consequences for the linear tidal dissipation. Finally, new grids of rotating stellar models and published values of planetary convective Rossby numbers are used to discuss astrophysical consequences. The action of rotation on convection deeply modifies the turbulent friction applied on tides. In the regime of rapid rotation (with a convective Rossby number below 0.25), the eddy-viscosity may be decreased by several ordres of magnitude. It may lead to a loss of efficiency of the viscous dissipation of the equilibrium tide and to a more efficient complex and resonant dissipation of tidal inertial waves in the bulk of convective regions. Therefore, it is necessary to have a completely coupled treatment of the tidal/rotational evolution of star-planet systems and multiple stars with a coherent treatment of the variations of tidal flows and of their dissipation as a function of rotation.

Unprecedented Fine Structure of a Solar Flare Revealed by the 1.6~m New Solar Telescope

Solar flares signify the sudden release of magnetic energy and are sources of so called space weather. The fine structures (below 500 km) of flares are rarely observed and are accessible to only a few instruments world-wide. Here we present observation of a solar flare using exceptionally high resolution images from the 1.6~m New Solar Telescope (NST) equipped with high order adaptive optics at Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO). The observation reveals the process of the flare in unprecedented detail, including the flare ribbon propagating across the sunspots, coronal rain (made of condensing plasma) streaming down along the post-flare loops, and the chromosphere's response to the impact of coronal rain, showing fine-scale brightenings at the footpoints of the falling plasma. Taking advantage of the resolving power of the NST, we measure the cross-sectional widths of flare ribbons, post-flare loops and footpoint brighenings, which generally lie in the range of 80-200 km, well below the resolution of most current instruments used for flare studies. Confining the scale of such fine structure provides an essential piece of information in modeling the energy transport mechanism of flares, which is an important issue in solar and plasma physics.

Stark broadening of B IV spectral lines

Stark broadening parameters for 157 multiplets of helium like boron (B IV) have been calculated using the impact semiclassical perturbation formalism. Obtained results have been used to investigate the regularities within spectral series. An example of the influence of Stark broadening on B IV lines in DO white dwarfs is given.

SU Lyncis, a hard X-ray bright M giant: Clues point to a large hidden population of symbiotic stars

Symbiotic star surveys have traditionally relied almost exclusively on low resolution optical spectroscopy. However, we can obtain a more reliable estimate of their total Galactic population by using all available signatures of the symbiotic phenomenon. Here we report the discovery of a hard X-ray source, 4PBC J0642.9+5528, in the Swift hard X-ray all-sky survey, and identify it with a poorly studied red giant, SU Lyn, using pointed Swift observations and ground-based optical spectroscopy. The X-ray spectrum, the optical to UV spectrum, and the rapid UV variability of SU Lyn are all consistent with our interpretation that it is a symbiotic star containing an accreting white dwarf. The symbiotic nature of SU Lyn went unnoticed until now, because it does not exhibit emission lines strong enough to be obvious in low resolution spectra. We argue that symbiotic stars without shell-burning have weak emission lines, and that the current lists of symbiotic stars are biased in favor of shell-burning systems. We conclude that the true population of symbiotic stars has been underestimated, potentially by a large factor.

Massive Quiescent Cores in Orion: VI. The Internal Structures and a Candidate of Transiting Core in NGC 2024 Filament

We present a multi-wavelength observational study of the NGC 2024 filament using infrared to sub-millimeter continuum and the \nht\ $(1,1)$ and $(2,2)$ inversion transitions centered on FIR-3, the most massive core therein. FIR-3 is found to have no significant infrared point sources in the Spitzer/IRAC bands. But the \nht\ kinetic temperature map shows a peak value at the core center with $T_{\rm k}=25$ K which is significantly higher than the surrounding level ($T_{\rm k}=15-19$ K). Such internal heating signature without an infrared source suggests an ongoing core collapse possibly at a transition stage from first hydrostatic core (FHSC) to protostar. The eight dense cores in the filament have dust temperatures between 17.5 and 22 K. They are much cooler than the hot ridge ($T_{\rm d}=55$ K) around the central heating star IRS-2b. Comparison with a dust heating model suggests that the filament should have a distance of $3-5$ pc from IRS-2b. This value is much larger than the spatial extent of the hot ridge, suggesting that the filament is spatially separated from the hot region along the line of sight.

SpaceInn hare-and-hounds exercise: Estimation of stellar properties using space-based asteroseismic data

Context: Detailed oscillation spectra comprising individual frequencies for numerous solar-type stars and red giants are or will become available. These data can lead to a precise characterisation of stars. Aims: Our goal is to test and compare different methods for obtaining stellar properties from oscillation frequencies and spectroscopic constraints, in order to evaluate their accuracy and the reliability of the error bars. Methods: In the context of the SpaceInn network, we carried out a hare-and-hounds exercise in which one group produced "observed" oscillation spectra for 10 artificial solar-type stars, and various groups characterised these stars using either forward modelling or acoustic glitch signatures. Results: Results based on the forward modelling approach were accurate to 1.5 % (radius), 3.9 % (mass), 23 % (age), 1.5 % (surface gravity), and 1.8 % (mean density). For the two 1 Msun stellar targets, the accuracy on the age is better than 10 % thereby satisfying PLATO 2.0 requirements. The average accuracies for the acoustic radii of the base of the convection zone, the He II ionisation, and the Gamma_1 peak were 17 %, 2.4 %, and 1.9 %, respectively. Glitch fitting analysis seemed to be affected by aliasing problems for some of the targets. Conclusions: Forward modelling is the most accurate approach, but needs to be complemented by model-independent results from, e.g., glitch analysis. Furthermore, global optimisation algorithms provide more robust error bars.

A new star-forming region in Canis Major

A new southern star-formation region, located at an estimated distance of ~1.5 kpc in the Lynds 1664 dark cloud in Canis Major, is described. Lynds 1664 contains several compact star clusters, small stellar groups, and young stars associated with reflection nebulae. Narrow-band H{\alpha} and [SII] images obtained with 4-m CTIO telescope reveal more than 20 new Herbig-Haro objects associated with several protostellar outflows.

Kea: a new tool to obtain stellar parameters from low to moderate signal/noise and high-resolution Echelle spectra

In this paper we describe Kea a new spectroscopic fitting method to derive stellar parameters from moderate to low signal/noise, high-resolution spectra. We developed this new tool to analyze the massive data set of the Kepler mission reconnaissance spectra that we have obtained at McDonald Observatory. We use Kea to determine effective temperatures (T_eff), metallicity ([Fe/H]), surface gravity (log g) and projected rotational velocity (v sin i). Kea compares the observations to a large library of synthetic spectra that covers a wide range of different T_eff, [Fe/H] and log g values. We calibrated Kea on observations of well-characterized standard stars (the Kepler field "platinum" sample) which range in T_eff from 5000 to 6500 K, in [Fe/H] from -0.5 to +0.4 dex and in log g from 3.2 to 4.6 dex. We then compared the Kea results from reconnaissance spectra of 45 KOIs (Kepler Object of Interest) to stellar parameters derived from higher signal/noise spectra obtained with Keck/HIRES. We find typical uncertainties of 100 K in T_eff, 0.12 dex in [Fe/H] and 0.18 dex in log g.


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