Recent Postings from Solar and Stellar

The flexibility of optical metrics [Cross-Listing]

We firstly revisit the importance, naturalness and limitations of the so-called optical metrics for describing the propagation of light rays in the limit of geometric optics. We then exemplify their flexibility and nontriviality in some nonlinear material media and in the context of nonlinear theories of the electromagnetism, both underlain by curved backgrounds, where optical metrics could be flat and impermeable membranes only to photons could be conceived, respectively. Finally, we underline and discuss the relevance and potential applications of our analyses in a broad sense, ranging from material media to compact astrophysical systems.

A study of spatial correlations in pulsar timing array data

Pulsar timing array experiments search for phenomena that produce angular correlations in the arrival times of signals from millisecond pulsars. The primary goal is to detect an isotropic and stochastic gravitational wave background. We use simulated data to show that this search can be affected by the presence of other spatially correlated noise, such as errors in the reference time standard, errors in the planetary ephemeris, the solar wind and instrumentation issues. All these effects can induce significant false detections of gravitational waves. We test mitigation routines to account for clock errors, ephemeris errors and the solar wind. We demonstrate that it is non-trivial to find an effective mitigation routine for the planetary ephemeris and emphasise that other spatially correlated signals may be present in the data.

V2653 Ophiuchii with a pulsating component and Ppuls-Porb, Ppuls-g correlations for gamma-Dor type pulsators

We present new spectroscopic observations of the double-lined eclipsing binary V2653\,Oph. The photometric observations obtained by $ASAS$ were analysed and combined with the analysis of radial velocities for deriving the absolute parameters of the components. Masses and radii were determined for the first time as M$_p$=1.537$\pm$0.021 M$_{\odot}$ and R$_p$=2.215$\pm$0.055 R$_{\odot}$, M$_s$=1.273$\pm$0.019 M$_{\odot}$ and R$_s$=2.000$\pm$0.056 R$_{\odot}$ for the components of V2653\,Oph. We estimate an interstellar reddening of 0.15$\pm$0.08\,mag and a distance of 300$\pm$50\,pc for the system, both supporting the membership of the open cluster Collinder\,359. Using the out-of-eclipse photometric data we have made frequency analysis and detected a periodic signal at 1.0029$\pm$0.0019\,c/d. This frequency and the location of the more massive star on the HR diagram lead to classification of a $\gamma$ Dor type variable. Up to date only eleven $\gamma$ Dor type pulsators in the eclipsing binaries have been discovered. For six out of 11 systems, the physical parameters were determined. Although a small sample, we find empirical relations that $P_{puls}$ $\propto$ $P_{orb}^{0.43}$ and $P_{puls}$ $\propto$ $g^{-0.83}$. While the pulsation periods increase with longer orbital periods, they decrease with increasing surface gravities of pulsating components and gravitational pull exerted by the companions. We present, briefly, the underlying physics behind

Wave-like Formation of Hot Loop Arcades

We present observations of hot arcades made with the Mg XII spectroheliograph onboard the CORONAS-F mission, which provides monochromatic images of hot plasma in the Mg XII 8.42 A resonance line. The arcades were observed to form above the polarity inversion line between Active Regions NOAA 09847 and 09848 at four successive episodes: at 09:18, 14:13, and 22:28 UT on 28 February 2002, and at 00:40 UT on 1 March 2002. The arcades all evolved in the same way: a) a small flare (precursor) appeared near the edge of the still invisible arcade, b) the arcade brightened in a wave-like manner - closer loops brightened earlier, and c) the arcade intensity gradually decreased in $\approx$ 1 h. The estimated wave speed was $\approx$ 700 km s$^{-1}$, and the distance between the hot loops was $\approx$ 50 Mm. The arcades formed without visible changes in their magnetic structure. The arcades were probably heated up by the instabilities of the current sheet above the arcade, which were caused by an MHD wave excited by the precursor.

Non-LTE Equivalent Widths for NII with Error Estimates

Non-LTE calculations are performed for NII in stellar atmospheric models appropriate to main sequence B-stars to produce new grids of equivalent widths for the strongest NII lines commonly used for abundance analysis. There is reasonable agreement between our calculations and previous results, although we find weaker non-LTE effects in the strongest optical NII transition. We also present a detailed estimation of the uncertainties in the equivalent widths due to inaccuracies in the atomic data via Monte Carlo simulation and investigate the completeness of our model atom in terms of included energy levels. Uncertainties in the basic NII atomic data limit the accuracy of abundance determinations to ~+/-0.10 dex at the peak of the NII optical spectrum near Teff~ 24,000 K.

The Effect of Interplanetary Scintillation on Epoch of Reionisation Power Spectra

Interplanetary Scintillation (IPS) induces intensity fluctuations in small angular size astronomical radio sources via the distortive effects of spatially and temporally varying electron density associated with outflows from the Sun. These radio sources are a potential foreground contaminant signal for redshifted HI emission from the Epoch of Reionisation (EoR) because they yield time-dependent flux density variations in bright extragalactic point sources. Contamination from foreground continuum sources complicates efforts to discriminate the cosmological signal from other sources in the sky. In IPS, at large angles from the Sun applicable to EoR observations, weak scattering induces spatially and temporally correlated fluctuations in the measured flux density of sources in the field, potentially affecting the detectability of the EoR signal by inducing non-static variations in the signal strength. In this work, we explore the impact of interplanetary weak scintillation on EoR power spectrum measurements, accounting for the instrumental spatial and temporal sampling. We use published power spectra of electron density fluctuations and parameters of EoR experiments to derive the IPS power spectrum in the wavenumber phase space of EoR power spectrum measurements. The contrast of IPS power to expected cosmological power is used as a metric to assess the impact of IPS. We show that IPS has a different spectral structure to power from foregrounds alone, but the additional leakage into the EoR observation parameter space is negligible under typical IPS conditions, unless data are used from deep within the foreground contamination region.

Ongoing star formation in the proto-cluster IRAS 22134+5834

IRAS 22134+5834 was observed in the centimeter with (E)VLA, 3~mm with CARMA, 2~mm with PdBI, and 1.3~mm with SMA, to study the continuum emission as well as the molecular lines, that trace different physical conditions of the gas to study the influence of massive YSOs on nearby starless cores, and the possible implications in the clustered star formation process. The multi-wavelength centimeter continuum observations revealed two radio sources within the cluster, VLA1 and VLA2. VLA1 is considered to be an optically thin UCHII region with a size of 0.01~pc and sits at the edge of the near-infrared (NIR) cluster. The flux of ionizing photons of the VLA1 corresponds to a B1 ZAMS star. VLA2 is associated with an infrared point source and has a negative spectral index. We resolved six millimeter continuum cores at 2~mm, MM2 is associated with the UCHII region VLA1, and other dense cores are distributed around the UCH{\sc ii} region. Two high-mass starless clumps (HMSC), HMSC-E (east) and HMSC-W (west), are detected around the NIR cluster with N$_2$H$^+$(1--0) and NH$_3$ emission, and show different physical and chemical properties. Two N$_2$D$^+$ cores are detected on an NH$_3$ filament close to the UCHII region, with a projected separation of $\sim$8000~AU at the assumed distance of 2.6~kpc. The kinematic properties of the molecular line emission confirm the expansion of the UCHII region and that the molecular cloud around the near infrared (NIR) cluster is also expanding. Our multi-wavelength study has revealed different generations of star formation in IRAS 22134+5834. The formed intermediate- to massive stars show strong impact on nearby starless clumps. We propose that while the stellar wind from the UCHII region and the NIR cluster drives the large scale bubble, the starless clumps and HMPOs formed at the edge of the cluster.

Determining the evolutionary stage of HD163899 on the basis of its oscillation spectrum

We present the new interpretation of the oscillation spectrum of HD 163899 based on the new determinations of the effective temperature, mass-luminosity ratio and rotational velocity. These new parameters strongly prefer the more massive models than previously considered. Now it is also possible that the star could be in the main sequence stage. Using the oscillation spectrum as a gauge, we intend to establish which stage of evolution corresponds better to HD 163899.

Discovery of a Two-Armed Spiral Structure in the Gapped Disk in HD 100453

We present VLT/SPHERE adaptive optics imaging in Y$-$, J$-$, H$-$, and K-bands of the HD 100453 system and the discovery of a two-armed spiral structure in a disk extending to 0.37" ($\sim$42 AU) from the star, with highly symmetric arms to the Northeast and Southwest. Inside of the spiral arms, we resolve a ring of emission from 0.18"-0.25" ($\sim$21-29 AU). By assuming that the ring is intrinsically circular we estimate an inclination of $\sim$34$^{o}$ from face-on. We detect dark crescents on opposite sides (NW and SE) which begin at 0.18" and continue to radii smaller than our inner working angle of 0.15", which we interpret as the signature of a gap at $\lesssim$21 AU that has likely been cleared by forming planets. We also detect the $\sim$120 AU companion HD 100453 B, and by comparing our data to 2003 HST/ACS and VLT/NACO images we estimate an orbital period of $\sim$850 yr. We discuss what implications the discovery of the spiral arms and finer structures of the disk may have on our understanding of the possible planetary system in HD 100453, and how the morphology of this disk compares to other related objects.

Discovery of an Edge-on Debris Disk with a Dust Ring and an Outer Disk Wing-tilt Asymmetry

Using VLT/SPHERE near-infrared dual-band imaging and integral field spectroscopy we discovered an edge-on debris disk around the 17\,Myr old A-type member of the Scorpius-Centaurus OB association HD 110058. The edge-on disk can be traced to about 0.6" or 65 AU projected separation. In its northern and southern wings, the disk shows at all wavelengths two prominent, bright and symmetrically placed knots at 0.3" or 32 AU from the star. We interpret these knots as a ring of planetesimals whose collisions may produce most of the dust observed in the disk. We find no evidence for a bow in the disk, but we identify a pair of symmetric, hook-like features in both wings. Based on similar features in the Beta Pictoris disk we propose that this wing-tilt asymmetry traces either an outer planetesimal belt that is inclined with respect to the disk midplane or radiation-pressure-driven dust blown out from a yet unseen, inner belt which is inclined with respect to the disk midplane. The misaligned inner or outer disk may be a result of interaction with a yet unseen planet. Overall, the disk geometry resembles the nearby disk around Beta Pictoris, albeit seen at smaller radial scales.

Validation of LAMOST Stellar Parameters with the PASTEL Catalog

Recently the Large Sky Area Multi-Object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope (LAMOST) published its first data release (DR1), which is ranked as the largest stellar spectra dataset in the world so far. We combine the PASTEL catalog and SIMBAD radial velocities as a testing standard to validate the DR1 stellar parameters (effective temperature $T_{\mathrm{eff}}$, surface gravity $\log g$, metallicity $\mathrm{[Fe/H]}$ and radial velocity $V_{\mathrm{r}}$). Through cross-identification of the DR1 catalogs and the PASTEL catalog, we obtain a preliminary sample of 422 stars. After removal of stellar parameter measurements from problematic spectra and applying effective temperature constraints to the sample, we compare the stellar parameters from DR1 with those from PASTEL and SIMBAD to prove that the DR1 results are reliable in restricted $T_{\mathrm{eff}}$ ranges. We derive standard deviations of 110 K, 0.19 dex, 0.11 dex and 4.91 $\mathrm{km\,s^{-1}}$ , for $T_{\mathrm{eff}}$, $\log g$, $[\mathrm{Fe/H}]$ when $T_{\mathrm{eff}}<8000\,\mathrm{K}$, and for $V_{\mathrm{r}}$ when $T_{\mathrm{eff}}<10000\,\mathrm{K}$, respectively. Systematic errors are negligible except for that of $V_{\mathrm{r}}$. Besides, metallicities in DR1 are systematically higher than those in PASTEL, in the range of PASTEL $[\mathrm{Fe/H}]<-1.5$.

H$_{\alpha}$ line as an indicator of envelope presence around the Cepheid Polaris Aa ($\alpha~ UMi$)

We present the results of the radial velocity ($RV$) measurements of metallic lines as well as H$_{\alpha}$ (H$_{\beta}$) obtained in 55 high-resolution spectra of the Cepheid $\alpha$ UMi (Polaris Aa) in 1994-2010. While the $RV$ amplitudes of these lines are roughly equal, their mean $RV$ begin to differ essentially with growth of the Polaris Aa pulsational activity. This difference is accompanied by the H$_{\alpha}$ line core asymmetries on the red side mainly (so-called knife-like profiles) and reaches 8-12 km/s in 2003 with a subsequent decrease to 1.5-2 km/s. We interpret a so unusual behaviour of the H$_{\alpha}$ line core as dynamical changes in the envelope around Polaris Aa.

Kinematics of the Envelope and Two Bipolar Jets in the Class 0 Protostellar System L1157

A massive envelope and a strong bipolar outflow are the two main structures characterizing the youngest protostellar systems. In order to understand the physical properties of a bipolar outflow and the relationship with those of the envelope, we obtained a mosaic map covering the whole bipolar outflow of the youngest protostellar system L1157 with about $5"$ angular resolution in CO J=2-1 using the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy. By utilizing these observations of the whole bipolar outflow, we estimate its physical properties and show that they are consistent with multiple jets. We also constrain a preferred precession direction. In addition, we observed the central envelope structure with $2"$ resolution in the $\lambda=1.3$ and 3 mm continua and various molecular lines: C$^{17}$O, C$^{18}$O, $^{13}$CO, CS, CN, N$_2$H$^+$, CH$_3$OH, H$_2$O, SO, and SO$_2$. All the CO isotopes and CS, CN, and N$_2$H$^+$ have been detected and imaged. We marginally detected the features that can be interpreted as a rotating inner envelope in C$^{17}$O and C$^{18}$O and as an infalling outer envelope in N$_2$H$^+$. We also estimated the envelope and central protostellar masses and found that the dust opacity spectral index changes with radius.

A spectro-polarimetric study of the planet-hosting G dwarf, HD 147513

The results from a spectro-polarimetric study of the planet-hosting Sun-like star, HD 147513 (G5V), are presented here. Robust detections of Zeeman signatures at all observed epochs indicate a surface magnetic field, with longitudinal magnetic field strengths varying between 1.0-3.2 G. Radial velocity variations from night to night modulate on a similar timescale to the longitudinal magnetic field measurements. These variations are therefore likely due to the rotational modulation of stellar active regions rather than the much longer timescale of the planetary orbit (Porb=528 d). Both the longitudinal magnetic field measurements and radial velocity variations are consistent with a rotation period of 10 +/- 2 days, which are also consistent with the measured chromospheric activity level of the star (log R'(HK)=-4.64). Together, these quantities indicate a low inclination angle, i~18 degrees. We present preliminary magnetic field maps of the star based on the above period and find a simple poloidal large-scale field. Chemical analyses of the star have revealed that it is likely to have undergone a barium-enrichment phase in its evolution because of a higher mass companion. Despite this, our study reveals that the star has a fairly typical activity level for its rotation period and spectral type. Future studies will enable us to explore the long-term evolution of the field, as well as to measure the stellar rotation period, with greater accuracy.

The "Binarity and Magnetic Interactions in various classes of Stars" (BinaMIcS) project

The "Binarity and Magnetic Interactions in various classes of stars" (BinaMIcS) project is based on two large programs of spectropolarimetric observations with ESPaDOnS at CFHT and Narval at TBL. Three samples of spectroscopic binaries with two spectra (SB2) are observed: known cool magnetic binaries, the few known hot magnetic binaries, and a survey sample of hot binaries to search for additional hot magnetic binaries. The goal of BinaMIcS is to understand the complex interplay between stellar magnetism and binarity. To this aim, we will characterise and model the magnetic fields, magnetospheric structure and coupling of both components of hot and cool close binary systems over a significant range of evolutionary stages, to confront current theories and trigger new ones. First results already provided interesting clues, e.g. about the origin of magnetism in hot stars.

The magnetic field of the hot spectroscopic binary HD5550

HD5550 is a spectroscopic binary composed of two A stars observed with Narval at TBL in the frame of the BinaMIcS (Binarity and Magnetic Interactions in various classes of Stars) Large Program. One component of the system is found to be an Ap star with a surprisingly weak dipolar field of ~65 G. The companion is an Am star for which no magnetic field is detected, with a detection threshold on the dipolar field of ~40 G. The system is tidally locked, the primary component is synchronised with the orbit, but the system is probably not completely circularised yet. This work is only the second detailed study of magnetic fields in a hot short-period spectroscopic binary. More systems are currently being observed with both Narval at TBL and ESPaDOnS at CFHT within the BinaMIcS project, with the goal of understanding how magnetism can impact binary evolution and vice versa.

Theoretical Model of Non-Conservative Mass Transfer with Uniform Mass Accretion Rate in Contact Binary Stars

In contact binaries mass transfer is usually non-conservative which ends into loss of mass as well as angular momentum in the system. In the present work we have presented a new mathematical model of the non-conservative mass transfer with a uniform mass accretion rate in a contact binary system with lower angular momentum. The model has been developed under the consideration of reverse mass transfer which may occur simultaneously with the original mass transfer as a result of the large scale circulations encircling the entire donor and a significant portion of the gainer. These circulations in contact binaries with lower angular momentum are caused by the overflow of the critical equipotential surface by both the components of the binary system making the governing system more intricate and uncertain.

An Exo-Jupiter Candidate in the Eclipsing Binary FL Lyr

Light curves of the eclipsing binary FL Lyr acquired by the Kepler space telescope are analyzed. Eclipse timing measurements for FL Lyr testify to the presence of a third body in the system. Preliminary estimates of its mass and orbital period are > 2M_Jupiter and > 7 yrs. The times of primary minimum in the light curve of FL Lyr during the operation of the Kepler mission are presented.

Mass Measurements of Isolated Objects from Space-based Microlensing

We report on the mass and distance measurements of two single-lens events from the 2015 \emph{Spitzer} microlensing campaign. With both finite-source effect and microlens parallax measurements, we find that the lens of OGLE-2015-BLG-1268 is a $47\pm7$ $M_{\rm J}$ brown dwarf at $5.4\pm1.0$ kpc, and that the lens of OGLE-2015-BLG-0763 is a $0.50\pm0.04$ $M_\odot$ star at $6.9\pm1.0$ kpc. We show that the probability to definitively measure the mass of isolated microlenses, including isolated stellar mass black holes and free floating planets, is dramatically increased once simultaneous ground- and space-based observations are conducted.

Formation of Black Hole Low-Mass X-ray Binaries in Hierarchical Triple Systems

The formation of Black Hole (BH) Low-Mass X-ray Binaries (LMXB) poses a theoretical challenge, as low-mass companions are not expected to survive the common-envelope scenario with the BH progenitor. Here we propose a formation mechanism that skips the common-envelope scenario and relies on triple-body dynamics. We study the evolution of hierarchical triples, following the secular dynamical evolution up to the octupole-level of approximation, including general relativity, tidal effects and post-main-sequence evolution, such as mass loss, changes to stellar radii and supernovae. During the dynamical evolution of the triple system, the "eccentric Kozai-Lidov" mechanism can cause large eccentricity excitations in the LMXB progenitor, resulting in three main BH-LMXB formation channels. Here we define BH-LMXB candidates as systems where the inner BH companion star crosses its Roche limit. In the "eccentric" channel (~ 81% of the LMXBs in our simulations), the donor star crosses its Roche limit during an extreme eccentricity excitation, while still on a wide orbit. Second, we find a "giant" LMXB channel (~ 11%), where a system undergoes only moderate eccentricity excitations, but the donor star fills its Roche lobe after evolving toward the giant branch. Third, we identify a "classical" channel (~8%), where tidal forces and magnetic braking shrink and circularize the orbit to short periods, triggering mass transfer. Finally, for the giant channel, we predict an eccentric ($\sim 0.3-0.6$), preferably inclined (~40, ~140 degreed) tertiary, typically on a wide enough orbit (~10^4AU), to potentially become unbound later in the triple evolution.

The Very Early Light Curve of SN 2015F in NGC 2442: A Possible Detection of Shock-Heated Cooling Emission and Constraints on SN Ia Progenitor System

The main progenitor candidate of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) is white dwarfs in binary systems where the companion star is another white dwarf (double degenerate system) or a less evolved non-degenerate star with R* >~ 0.1 Rsun (single degenerate system), but no direct observational evidence exists that tells which progenitor system is more common. Recent studies suggest that the light curve of a supernova shortly after its explosion can be used to set a limit on the progenitor size, R*. Here, we report a high cadence monitoring observation of SN 2015F, a normal SN Ia, in the galaxy NGC 2442 starting about 84 days before the first light time. With our daily cadence data, we catch the emergence of the radioactively powered light curve, but more importantly detect with a > 97.4% confidence a possible dim precursor emission that appears at roughly 1.5 days before the rise of the radioactively powered emission. The signal is consistent with theoretical expectations for a progenitor system involving a companion star with R* = ~0.1 -- 1 Rsun or a prompt explosion of a double degenerate system, but inconsistent with a typically invoked size of white dwarf progenitor of R* ~ 0.01 Rsun. Upper limits on the precursor emission also constrain the progenitor size to be R* < 0.1 Rsun, and a companion star size of R* < ~1.0 Rsun, excluding a very large companion star in the progenitor system. Additionally, we find that the distance to SN 2015F is 23.9 +-0.4 Mpc.

Equilibrium structure of white dwarfs at finite temperatures

Recently, it has been shown by S.~M. de Carvalho et al. (2014) that the deviations between the degenerate case and observations were already evident for 0.7-0.8 M$_{\odot}$ white dwarfs. Such deviations were related to the neglected effects of finite temperatures on the structure of a white dwarf. Therefore, in this work by employing the Chandrasekhar equation of state taking into account the effects of temperature we show how the total pressure of the white dwarf matter depends on the mass density at different temperatures. Afterwards we construct equilibrium configurations of white dwarfs at finite temperatures. We obtain the mass-radius relations of white dwarfs for different temperatures by solving the Tolman-Oppenheimer-Volkoff equation, and compare them with the estimated masses and radii inferred from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4.

Thresholded Power Law Size Distributions of Instabilities in Astrophysics

Power law-like size distributions are ubiquitous in astrophysical instabilities. There are at least four natural effects that cause deviations from ideal power law size distributions, which we model here in a generalized way: (1) a physical threshold of an instability; (2) incomplete sampling of the smallest events below a threshold $x_0$; (3) contamination by an event-unrelated background $x_b$; and (4) truncation effects at the largest events due to a finite system size. These effects can be modeled in simplest terms with a "thresholded power law" distribution function (also called generalized Pareto [type II] or Lomax distribution), $N(x) dx \propto (x+x_0)^{-a} dx$, where $x_0 > 0$ is positive for a threshold effect, while $x_0 < 0$ is negative for background contamination. We analytically derive the functional shape of this thresholded power law distribution function from an exponential-growth evolution model, which produces avalanches only when a disturbance exceeds a critical threshold $x_0$. We apply the thresholded power law distribution function to terrestrial, solar (HXRBS, BATSE, RHESSI), and stellar flare (Kepler) data sets. We find that the thresholded power law model provides an adequate fit to most of the observed data. Major advantages of this model are the automated choice of the power law fitting range, diagnostics of background contamination, physical inastability thresholds, instrumental detection thresholds, and finite system size limits. When testing self-organized criticality models, which predict ideal power laws, we suggest to include these natural truncation effects.

Instabilities in relativistic two-component (super)fluids

We study two-fluid systems with nonzero fluid velocities and compute their sound modes, which indicate various instabilities. For the case of two zero-temperature superfluids we employ a microscopic field-theoretical model of two coupled bosonic fields, including an entrainment coupling and a non-entrainment coupling. We analyse the onset of the various instabilities systematically and point out that the dynamical two-stream instability can only occur beyond Landau's critical velocity, i.e., in an already energetically unstable regime. A qualitative difference is found for the case of two normal fluids, where certain transverse modes suffer a two-stream instability in an energetically stable regime if there is entrainment between the fluids. Since we work in a fully relativistic setup, our results are very general and of potential relevance for (super)fluids in neutron stars and, in the non-relativistic limit of our results, in the laboratory.

Instabilities in relativistic two-component (super)fluids [Cross-Listing]

We study two-fluid systems with nonzero fluid velocities and compute their sound modes, which indicate various instabilities. For the case of two zero-temperature superfluids we employ a microscopic field-theoretical model of two coupled bosonic fields, including an entrainment coupling and a non-entrainment coupling. We analyse the onset of the various instabilities systematically and point out that the dynamical two-stream instability can only occur beyond Landau's critical velocity, i.e., in an already energetically unstable regime. A qualitative difference is found for the case of two normal fluids, where certain transverse modes suffer a two-stream instability in an energetically stable regime if there is entrainment between the fluids. Since we work in a fully relativistic setup, our results are very general and of potential relevance for (super)fluids in neutron stars and, in the non-relativistic limit of our results, in the laboratory.

The Circumstellar Disk of the Be Star $o$~Aquarii

Omicron Aquarii is late-type, Be shell star with a stable and nearly symmetric H$\alpha$ emission line. We combine H$\alpha$ interferometric observations obtained with the Navy Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI) covering 2007 through 2014 with H$\alpha$ spectroscopic observations over the same period and a 2008 observation of the system's near-infrared spectral energy distribution to constrain the properties of $o$~Aqr's circumstellar disk. All observations are consistent with a circumstellar disk seen at an inclination of $75\pm\,3^{\circ}$ with a position angle on the sky of $110\pm\,8^{\circ}$ measured E from N. From the best-fit disk density model, we find that 90\% of the H$\alpha$ emission arises from within $9.5$ stellar radii, and the mass associated with this H$\alpha$ disk is $\sim 1.8\times10^{-10}$ of the stellar mass and the associated angular momentum, assuming Keplerian rotation for the disk, is $\sim 1.6\times10^{-8}$ of the total stellar angular momentum. The occurrence of a central quasi-emission (CQE) feature in Mg\,{\sc ii} $\lambda\,4481$ is also predicted by this best-fit disk model and the computed profile compares successfully with observations from 1999. To obtain consistency between the H$\alpha$ line profile modelling and the other constraints, it was necessary in the profile fitting to weight the line core (emission peaks and central depression) more heavily than the line wings, which were not well reproduced by our models. This may reflect the limitation of assuming a single power-law for the disk's equatorial density variation. The best-fit disk density model for $o$~Aqr predicts that H$\alpha$ is near its maximum strength as a function of disk density, and hence the H$\alpha$ equivalent width and line profile change only weakly in response to large (factor of $\sim 5$) changes in the disk density.

On the variation of the scaling exponent of the flare fluence with temperature

Solar flares result in an increase of the solar irradiance at all wavelengths. While the distribution of the flare fluence observed in coronal emission has been widely studied and found to scale as f(E) ~ E^{-\alpha}, with \alpha slightly below 2, the distribution of the flare fluence in chromospheric lines is poorly known. We used the solar irradiance measurements observed by the SDO/EVE instrument at a 10s-cadence to investigate if there is a dependency of the scaling exponent on the formation region of the lines (or temperature). We analyzed all flares above the C1 level since the start of the EVE observation (May 2010) to determine the flare fluence distribution in 16 lines covering a large range of temperature, several of which were not studied before. Our results show a small downward trend with the temperature of the scaling exponent of the PDF, going from above 2 at lower temperature (a few 10^4 K) to about1.8 for hot coronal emission (several 10^6 K). However, because colder lines also have smaller contrast, we could not exclude that this behavior is caused by including more noise for smaller flare for these lines. We discuss the method and its limits and tentatively associate this possible trend to the different mechanisms responsible for the heating of the chromosphere and corona during flares.

Influence of Stellar Multiplicity On Planet Formation. IV. Adaptive Optics Imaging of Kepler Stars With Multiple Transiting Planet Candidates

The Kepler mission provides a wealth of multiple transiting planet systems (MTPS). The formation and evolution of multi-planet systems are likely to be influenced by companion stars given the abundance of multi stellar systems. We study the influence of stellar companions by measuring the stellar multiplicity rate of MTPS. We select 138 bright (KP < 13.5) Kepler MTPS and search for stellar companions with AO imaging data and archival radial velocity (RV) data. We obtain new AO images for 73 MTPS. Other MTPS in the sample have archival AO imaging data from the Kepler Community Follow-up Observation Program (CFOP). From these imaging data, we detect 42 stellar companions around 35 host stars. For stellar separation 1 AU < a < 100 AU, the stellar multiplicity rate is 5.2 $\pm$ 5.0% for MTPS, which is 2.8{\sigma} lower than 21.1 $\pm$ 2.8% for the control sample, i.e., the field stars in the solar neighborhood. We identify two origins for the deficit of stellar companions within 100 AU to MTPS: (1) a suppressive planet formation, and (2) the disruption of orbital coplanarity due to stellar companions. To distinguish between the two origins, we compare the stellar multiplicity rates of MTPS and single transiting planet systems (STPS). However, current data are not sufficient for this purpose. For 100 AU < a < 2000 AU, the stellar multiplicity rates are comparable for MTPS (8.0 $\pm$ 4.0%), STPS (6.4 $\pm$ 5.8%), and the control sample (12.5 $\pm$ 2.8%).

Kepler Eclipsing Binaries with Stellar Companions

Many short-period binary stars have distant orbiting companions that have played a role in driving the binary components into close separation. Indirect detection of a tertiary star is possible by measuring apparent changes in eclipse times of eclipsing binaries as the binary orbits the common center of mass. Here we present an analysis of the eclipse timings of 41 eclipsing binaries observed throughout the NASA Kepler mission of long duration and precise photometry. This subset of binaries is characterized by relatively deep and frequent eclipses of both stellar components. We present preliminary orbital elements for seven probable triple stars among this sample, and we discuss apparent period changes in seven additional eclipsing binaries that may be related to motion about a tertiary in a long period orbit. The results will be used in ongoing investigations of the spectra and light curves of these binaries for further evidence of the presence of third stars.

Cepheid distances from the SpectroPhoto-Interferometry of Pulsating Stars (SPIPS) - Application to the prototypes delta Cep and eta Aql

The parallax of pulsation, and its implementations such as the Baade-Wesselink method and the infrared surface bright- ness technique, is an elegant method to determine distances of pulsating stars in a quasi-geometrical way. However, these classical implementations in general only use a subset of the available observational data. Freedman & Madore (2010) suggested a more physical approach in the implementation of the parallax of pulsation in order to treat all available data. We present a global and model-based parallax-of-pulsation method that enables including any type of observational data in a consistent model fit, the SpectroPhoto-Interferometric modeling of Pulsating Stars (SPIPS). We implemented a simple model consisting of a pulsating sphere with a varying effective temperature and a combina- tion of atmospheric model grids to globally fit radial velocities, spectroscopic data, and interferometric angular diameters. We also parametrized (and adjusted) the reddening and the contribution of the circumstellar envelopes in the near-infrared photometric and interferometric measurements. We show the successful application of the method to two stars: delta Cep and eta Aql. The agreement of all data fitted by a single model confirms the validity of the method. Derived parameters are compatible with publish values, but with a higher level of confidence. The SPIPS algorithm combines all the available observables (radial velocimetry, interferometry, and photometry) to estimate the physical parameters of the star (ratio distance/ p-factor, Teff, presence of infrared excess, color excess, etc). The statistical precision is improved (compared to other methods) thanks to the large number of data taken into account, the accuracy is improved by using consistent physical modeling and the reliability of the derived parameters is strengthened thanks to the redundancy in the data.

A not so massive cluster hosting a very massive star

We present the first physical characterization of the young open cluster VVV CL041. We spectroscopically observed the cluster main-sequence stellar population and a very-massive star candidate: WR62-2. CMFGEN modeling to our near-infrared spectra indicates that WR62-2 is a very luminous (10$^{6.4\pm0.2} L_{\odot}$) and massive ($\sim80 M_{\odot}$) star.

The Berlin Exoplanet Search Telescope II Catalog of Variable Stars. II. Characterization of the CoRoT SRc02 field

Time-series photometry of the CoRoT field SRc02 was obtained by the Berlin Exoplanet Search Telescope II (BEST II) in 2009. The main aim was the ground based follow-up of the CoRoT field in order to detect variable stars with better spatial resolution than what can be achieved with the CoRoT space telescope. A total of 1,846 variable stars were detected, of which only 30 have been previously known. For nine eclipsing binaries the stellar parameters were determined by modeling their light curve.

Halpha line profile asymmetries and the chromospheric flare velocity field

The asymmetries observed in the line profiles of solar flares can provide important diagnostics of the properties and dynamics of the flaring atmosphere. In this paper the evolution of the Halpha and Ca II 8542 {\AA} lines are studied using high spatial, temporal and spectral resolution ground-based observations of an M1.1 flare obtained with the Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope. The temporal evolution of the Halpha line profiles from the flare kernel shows excess emission in the red wing (red asymmetry) before flare maximum, and excess in the blue wing (blue asymmetry) after maximum. However, the Ca II 8542 {\AA} line does not follow the same pattern, showing only a weak red asymmetry during the flare. RADYN simulations are used to synthesise spectral line profiles for the flaring atmosphere, and good agreement is found with the observations. We show that the red asymmetry observed in Halpha is not necessarily associated with plasma downflows, and the blue asymmetry may not be related to plasma upflows. Indeed, we conclude that the steep velocity gradients in the flaring chromosphere modifies the wavelength of the central reversal in the Halpha line profile. The shift in the wavelength of maximum opacity to shorter and longer wavelengths generates the red and blue asymmetries, respectively.

Polarimetric microlensing of circumstellar disks

We study the benefits of polarimetry observations of microlensing events to detect and characterize circumstellar disks around the microlensed stars located at the Galactic bulge. These disks which are unresolvable from their host stars make a net polarization effect due to their projected elliptical shapes. Gravitational microlensing can magnify these signals and make them be resolved. The main aim of this work is to determine what extra information about these disks can be extracted from polarimetry observations of microlensing events in addition to those given by photometry ones. Hot disks which are closer to their host stars are more likely to be detected by microlensing, owing to more contributions in the total flux. By considering this kind of disks, we show that although the polarimetric efficiency for detecting disks is similar to the photometric observation, but polarimetry observations can help to constraint the disk geometrical parameters e.g. the disk inner radius and the lens trajectory with respect to the disk semimajor axis. On the other hand, the time scale of polarimetric curves of these microlensing events generally increases while their photometric time scale does not change. By performing a Monte Carlo simulation, we show that almost 4 optically-thin disks around the Galactic bulge sources are detected (or even characterized) through photometry (or polarimetry) observations of high-magnification microlensing events during 10 years monitoring of 150 million objects.

A Full Study on the Sun-Earth Connection of an Earth-Directed CME Magnetic Flux Rope

We present an investigation of an eruption event of coronal mass ejection (CME) magnetic flux rope (MFR) from source active region (AR) NOAA 11719 on 11 April 2013 utilizing observations from SDO, STEREO, SOHO, and WIND spacecraft. The source AR consists of pre-existing sigmoidal structure stacked over a filament channel which is regarded as MFR system. EUV observations of low corona suggest a further development of this MFR system by added axial flux through tether-cutting reconnection of loops at the middle of sigmoid under the influence of continuous slow flux motions during past two days. Our study implies that the MFR system in the AR is initiated to upward motion by kink-instability and further driven by torus-instability. The CME morphology, captured in simultaneous three-point coronagraph observations, is fitted with Graduated Cylindrical Shell (GCS) model and discerns an MFR topology with orientation aligning with magnetic neutral line in the source AR. This MFR expands self-similarly and is found to have source AR twist signatures in the associated near Earth magnetic cloud (MC). We further derived kinematics of this CME propagation by employing a plethora of stereoscopic as well as single spacecraft reconstruction techniques. While stereoscopic methods perform relatively poorly compared to other methods, fitting methods worked best in estimating the arrival time of the CME compared to in-situ measurements. Supplied with values of constrained solar wind velocity, drag parameter and 3D kinematics from GCS fit, we construct CME kinematics from the drag based model consistent with in-situ MC arrival.

Meridional circulation in the solar convection zone: time-distance helioseismic inferences from four years of HMI/SDO observations

We present and discuss results from time-distance helioseismic measurements of meridional circulation in the solar convection zone using 4 years of Doppler velocity observations by the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) onboard the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). Using an in-built mass conservation constraint in terms of the stream function we invert helioseismic travel times to infer meridional circulation in the solar convection zone. We find that the return flow that closes the meridional circulation is possibly beneath the depth of $0.77 R_{\odot}$. We discuss the significance of this result in relation to other helioseismic inferences published recently and possible reasons for the differences in the results. Our results show clearly the pitfalls involved in the measurements of material flows in the deep solar interior given the current limits on signal-to-noise and our limited understanding of systematics in the data. We also discuss the implications of our results for the dynamics of solar interior and popular solar dynamo models.

HIP 10725: The First Solar Twin/Analogue Field Blue Straggler

[Context]. Blue stragglers are easy to identify in globular clusters, but are much harder to identify in the field. Here we present the serendipitous discovery of one field blue straggler, HIP 10725, that closely matches the Sun in mass and age, but with a metallicity slightly lower than the Sun's. [Methods]. We employ high resolution (R $\sim 10^5$) high S/N (330) VLT/UVES spectra to perform a differential abundance analysis of the solar analogue HIP 10725. Radial velocities obtained by other instruments were also used to check for binarity. We also study its chromospheric activity, age and rotational velocity. [Results]. We find that HIP 10725 is severely depleted in beryllium ([Be/H] <= -1.2 dex) for its stellar parameters and age. The abundances relative to solar of the elements with Z <= 30 show a correlation with condensation temperature and the neutron capture elements produced by the s-process are greatly enhanced, while the r-process elements seem normal. We found its projected rotational velocity (v sin i = 3.3+/-0.1 km/s) to be significantly larger than solar, and incompatible with its isochrone-derived age. Radial velocity monitoring shows that the star has a binary companion. [Conclusions]. Based on the high s-process element enhancements and low beryllium abundance, we suggest that HIP 10725 has been polluted by mass-transfer from an AGB star, probably with initial mass of about 2 M_Sun. The radial velocity variations suggest the presence of an unseen binary companion, probably the remnant of a former AGB star. Isochrones predict a solar-age star, but this is in disagreement with the high projected rotational velocity and high chromospheric activity. We conclude that HIP 10725 is a field blue straggler, rejuvenated by the mass transfer process of its former AGB companion.

Looking at the bright side - The story of AA Dor as revealed by its cool companion

Irradiation effects in close binaries are crucial for a reliable determination of system parameters and understanding the close binary evolution. We study irradiated light originating from the low mass component of an eclipsing system comprising a hot subdwarf primary and a low mass companion, to precisely interpret their high precision photometric and spectroscopic data, and accurately determine their system and surface parameters. We re-analyse the archival VLT/UVES spectra of AA Dor system where irradiation features have already been detected. After removing the predominant contribution of the hot subdwarf primary, the residual spectra reveal more than 100 emission lines from the heated side of the secondary with maximum intensity close to the phases around secondary eclipse. We analyse 22 narrow emission lines of the irradiated secondary, mainly of OII, with a few CII lines. Their phase profiles constrain the emission region of the heated side to a radius $\geq$ 95% of the radius of the secondary. The shape of their velocity profiles reveals two distinct asymmetry features one at the quadrature and the other at the secondary eclipse. We identify more than 70 weaker emission lines originating from HeI, NII, SiIII, CaII and MgII. We correct the radial velocity semi-amplitude of the center-of-light to the centre-of-mass of the secondary and calculate accurate masses of both components. The resulting masses $M_{1}$=0.46 $\pm$ 0.01$M_{\odot}$ and $M_{2}$=0.079 $\pm$ 0.002$M_{\odot}$ are in perfect accordance with those of a canonical hot subdwarf primary and a low mass star just at the substellar limit for the companion. We compute a first generation atmosphere model of the irradiated low mass secondary, which matches the observed spectrum well. We find an indication of an extended atmosphere of the irradiated secondary star.

Proper motions of the outer knots of the HH 80/81/80N radio-jet

(abridged) The HH 80/81/80N jet extends from the HH 80 object to the recently discovered Source 34 and has a total projected jet size of 10.3 pc, constituting the largest collimated radio-jet system known so far. It is powered by IRAS 18162-2048 associated with a massive young stellar object. We report 6 cm JVLA observations that, compared with previous 6 cm VLA observations carried out in 1989, allow us to derive proper motions of the HH 80, HH 81 and HH 80N radio knots located about 2.5 pc away in projection from the powering source. For the first time, we measure proper motions of the optically obscured HH 80N object providing evidence that HH 81, 80 and 80N are associated with the same radio-jet. We derived tangential velocities of these HH objects between 260 and 350 km/s, significantly lower than those for the radio knots of the jet close to the powering source (600-1400 km/s) derived in a previous work, suggesting that the jet material is slowing down due to a strong interaction with the ambient medium. The HH 80 and HH 80N emission at 6 cm is, at least in part, probably synchrotron radiation produced by relativistic electrons in a magnetic field of 1 mG. If these electrons are accelerated in a reverse adiabatic shock, we estimate a jet total density of $\lesssim1000$ cm$^{-3}$. All these features are consistent with a jet emanating from a high mass protostar and make evident its capability of accelerating particles up to relativistic velocities.

A New Analysis of the Exoplanet Hosting System HD 6434

The current goal of exoplanetary science is not only focused on detecting but characterizing planetary systems in hopes of understanding how they formed, evolved, and relate to the Solar System. The Transit Ephemeris Refinement and Monitoring Survey (TERMS) combines both radial velocity (RV) and photometric data in order to achieve unprecedented ground-based precision in the fundamental properties of nearby, bright, exoplanet-hosting systems. Here we discuss HD 6434 and its planet, HD 6434b, which has a M_p*sin(i) = 0.44 M_J mass and orbits every 22.0170 days with an eccentricity of 0.146. We have combined previously published RV data with new measurements to derive a predicted transit duration of ~6 hrs, or 0.25 days, and a transit probability of 4%. Additionally, we have photometrically observed the planetary system using both the 0.9m and 1.0m telescopes at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, covering 75.4% of the predicted transit window. We reduced the data using the automated TERMS Photometry Pipeline, developed to ensure consistent and accurate results. We determine a dispositive null result for the transit of HD 6434b, excluding the full transit to a depth of 0.9% and grazing transit due to impact parameter limitations to a depth of 1.6%

ExoCat-1: The Nearby Stellar Systems Catalog for Exoplanet Imaging Missions

We present the first version of a Nearby Stellar Systems Catalog for Exoplanet Imaging Missions (dubbed by the direct imaging community as "ExoCat") for use in exoplanet direct imaging mission planning. This version, ExoCat-1, includes 2347 stars taken from the Hipparcos Catalogue with measured parallaxes > 33.33 mas (corresponding to a distance of 30 pc). This sample is nearly complete down to V=8, corresponding to stars brighter than ~0.5 solar luminosities (late G-/early K-type dwarf stars at the 30 pc distance limit). For each star we provide astrometry (including Equatorial and Galactic coordinates, parallax, and proper motions), Johnson B and V magnitudes (converted from Hipparcos or Tycho data or taken from the literature), and Ks-band magnitudes from 2MASS (for fainter stars) or K-band magnitudes taken from the literature and converted to 2MASS Ks magnitudes (for bright stars). Using these data we estimate stellar luminosity, effective temperature, stellar radius (in solar and angular units), Earth-equivalent insolation distances (in AU and in angular units), and fraction planet brightness for an exo=Earth at the Earth-equivalent insolation distance. We provide published spectral types and simple labels on stellar type for quick assessment of design reference mission-selected targets lists. The number of known exoplanet companions is indicated for each star, and for bright stars (V<7) we provide separations and delta-magnitudes for the brightest stellar companion within 10 arcseconds. Other important stellar data such as log(g), chromospheric activity level, and age estimates are provided where readily available. ExoCat-1 can be found through the Exoplanets Exploration Program (ExEP) website.

The Impact of Starspots on Mass and Age Estimates During The Pre-Main Sequence

We investigate the impact of starspots on the evolution of late-type stars during the pre-main sequence (pre-MS). We find that heavy spot coverage increases the radii of stars by 4-10%, consistent with inflation factors in eclipsing binary systems, and suppresses the rate of pre-MS lithium depletion, leading to a dispersion in zero-age MS Li abundance (comparable to observed spreads) if a range of spot properties exist within clusters from 3-10 Myr. This concordance with data implies that spots induce a range of radii at fixed mass during the pre-MS. These spots decrease the luminosity and $T_{\rm eff}$ of stars, leading to a displacement on the HR diagram. This displacement causes isochrone derived masses and ages to be systematically under-estimated, and can lead to the spurious appearance of an age spread in a co-eval population.

On the nature of rapidly fading Type II supernovae

It has been suggested that Type II supernovae with rapidly fading light curves (a.k.a. Type IIL supernovae) are explosions of progenitors with low-mass hydrogen-rich envelopes which are of the order of 1 Msun. We investigate light-curve properties of supernovae from such progenitors. We confirm that such progenitors lead to rapidly fading Type II supernovae. We find that the luminosity of supernovae from such progenitors with the canonical explosion energy of 1e51 erg and 56Ni mass of 0.05 Msun can increase temporarily shortly before all the hydrogen in the envelope recombines. As a result, a bump appears in their light curves. The bump appears because the heating from the nuclear decay of 56Ni can keep the bottom of hydrogen-rich layers in the ejecta ionized, and thus the photosphere can stay there for a while. We find that the light-curve bump becomes less significant when we make explosion energy larger (>~ 2e51 erg), 56Ni mass smaller (<~ 0.01 Msun), 56Ni mixed in the ejecta, or the progenitor radius larger. Helium mixing in hydrogen-rich layers makes the light-curve decline rates large but does not help reducing the light-curve bump. Because the light-curve bump we found in our light-curve models has not been observed in rapidly fading Type II supernovae, they may be characterized by not only low-mass hydrogen-rich envelopes but also higher explosion energy, larger degrees of 56Ni mixing, and/or larger progenitor radii than slowly fading Type II supernovae, so that the light-curve bump does not become significant.

Impact of Declining Proposal Success Rates on Scientific Productivity [Cross-Listing]

Over the last decade proposal success rates in the fundamental sciences have dropped significantly. Astronomy and related fields funded by NASA and NSF are no exception. Data across agencies show that this is not principally the result of a decline in proposal merit (the proportion of proposals receiving high rankings is largely unchanged), nor of a shift in proposer demographics (seniority, gender, and institutional affiliation have all remained unchanged), nor of an increase (beyond inflation) in the average requested funding per proposal, nor of an increase in the number of proposals per investigator in any one year. Rather, the statistics are consistent with a scenario in which agency budgets for competed research are flat or decreasing in inflation-adjusted dollars, the overall population of investigators has grown, and a larger proportion of these investigators are resubmitting meritorious but unfunded proposals. This White Paper presents statistics which support this conclusion, as well as recent research on the time cost of proposal writing versus that of producing publishable results. We conclude that an aspirational proposal success rate of 30-35% would still provide a healthily competitive environment for researchers, would more fully utilize the scientific capacity of the community's facilities and missions, and provide relief to the funding agencies who face the logistics of ever-increasing volumes of proposals.

The VISTA Carina Nebula Survey II. Spatial distribution of the infrared-excess-selected young stellar population

We performed a deep wide-field (6.76 deg^2) near-infrared survey with the VISTA telescope that covers the entire extent of the Carina nebula complex (CNC). The point-source catalog created from these data contains around four million individual objects down to masses of 0.1 M_sun. We present a statistical study of the large-scale spatial distribution and an investigation of the clustering properties of infrared-excesses objects, which are used to trace disk-bearing young stellar objects (YSOs). We find that a (J - H) versus (Ks - [4.5]) color-color diagram is well suited to tracing the population of YSO-candidates (cYSOs) by their infrared excess. We identify 8781 sources with strong infrared excess, which we consider as cYSOs. This sample is used to investigate the spatial distribution of the cYSOs with a nearest-neighbor analysis. The surface density distribution of cYSOs agrees well with the shape of the clouds as seen in our Herschel far-infrared survey. The strong decline in the surface density of excess sources outside the area of the clouds supports the hypothesis that our excess-selected sample consists predominantly of cYSOs with a low level of background contamination. This analysis allows us to identify 14 groups of cYSOs outside the central area. Our results suggest that the total population of cYSOs in the CNC comprises about 164000 objects, with a substantial fraction (~35%) located in the northern, still not well studied parts. Our cluster analysis suggests that roughly half of the cYSOs constitute a non-clustered, dispersed population.

Revealing the binary origin of Type Ic superluminous supernovae through nebular hydrogen emission

We propose that nebular Halpha emission as detected in the Type Ic superluminous supernova iPTF13ehe stems from matter which is stripped from a companion star when the supernova ejecta collide with it. The temporal evolution, the line broadening, and the overall blueshift of the emission are consistent with this interpretation. We scale the nebular Halpha luminosity predicted for Type Ia supernovae in single-degenerate systems to derive the stripped mass required to explain the Halpha luminosity of iPTF13ehe. We find a stripped mass of 0.1 - 0.9 solar masses, assuming that the supernova luminosity is powered by radioactivity or magnetar spin down. Because a central heating source is required to excite the Halpha emission, an interaction-powered model is not favored for iPTF13ehe. We derive a companion mass of more than 20 solar masses and a binary separation of less than about 20 companion radii based on the stripping efficiency during the collision, indicating that the supernova progenitor and the companion formed a massive close binary system. If Type Ic superluminous supernovae generally occur in massive close binary systems, the early brightening observed previously in several Type Ic superluminous supernovae may also be due to the collision with a close companion. Observations of nebular hydrogen emission in future Type Ic superluminous supernovae will enable us to test this interpretation.

Herschel-PACS observations of discs in the Eta Chamaeleontis association [Replacement]

Protoplanetary discs are the birthplace for planets. Studying protoplanetary discs is the key to constraining theories of planet formation. By observing dust and gas in associations at different ages we can study the evolution of these discs, their clearing timescales, and their physical and geometrical properties. The stellar association Eta Cha is peculiar; some members still retain detectable amounts of gas in their discs at the late age of 7 Myr, making it one of the most interesting young stellar associations in the solar neighbourhood. We characterise the properties of dust and gas in protoplanetary and transitional discs in the Eta Cha young cluster, with special emphasis on explaining the peculiarities that lead to the observed high disc detection fraction and prominent IR excesses at an age of 7 Myr. We observed 17 members of the Eta Cha association with Herschel-PACS in photometric mode and line spectroscopic mode. A subset of members were also observed in range spectroscopic mode. The observations trace [OI] and $H2O emissions at 63.18 and 63.32 microns, respectively, as well as CO, OH, CH+ and [CII] at different wavelengths for those systems observed in range mode. The photometric observations were used to build complete spectral energy distributions (SEDs) from the optical to the far-IR. High-resolution multi-epoch optical spectra with high signal-to-noise ratios were also analysed to study the multiplicity of the sources and look for further gas (accreting) and outflow indicators.

Herschel-PACS observations of discs in the Eta Chamaeleontis association

Protoplanetary discs are the birthplace for planets. Studying protoplanetary discs is the key to constraining theories of planet formation. By observing dust and gas in associations at different ages we can study the evolution of these discs, their clearing timescales, and their physical and geometrical properties. The stellar association Eta Cha is peculiar; some members still retain detectable amounts of gas in their discs at the late age of 7 Myr, making it one of the most interesting young stellar associations in the solar neighbourhood. We characterise the properties of dust and gas in protoplanetary and transitional discs in the Eta Cha young cluster, with special emphasis on explaining the peculiarities that lead to the observed high disc detection fraction and prominent IR excesses at an age of 7 Myr. We observed 17 members of the Eta Cha association with Herschel-PACS in photometric mode and line spectroscopic mode. A subset of members were also observed in range spectroscopic mode. The observations trace [OI] and $H2O emissions at 63.18 and 63.32 microns, respectively, as well as CO, OH, CH+ and [CII] at different wavelengths for those systems observed in range mode. The photometric observations were used to build complete spectral energy distributions (SEDs) from the optical to the far-IR. High-resolution multi-epoch optical spectra with high signal-to-noise ratios were also analysed to study the multiplicity of the sources and look for further gas (accreting) and outflow indicators.

How do giant planetary cores shape the dust disk? HL Tau system

We are observing, thanks to ALMA, the dust distribution in the region of active planet formation around young stars. This is a powerful tool to connect observations with theoretical models and improve our understandings of the processes at play. We want to test how a multi-planetary system shapes its birth disk and study the influence of the planetary masses and particle sizes on the final dust distribution. Moreover, we apply our model to the HL Tau system in order to obtain some insights on the physical parameters of the planets that are able to create the observed features. We follow the evolution of a population of dust particles, treated as Lagrangian particles, in two-dimensional, locally isothermal disks where two equal mass planets are present. The planets are kept in fixed orbits and they do not accrete mass. The outer planet plays a major role removing the dust particles in the co-orbital region of the inner planet and forming a particle ring which promotes the development of vortices respect to the single planetary case. The ring and gaps width depends strongly on the planetary mass and particle stopping times, and for the more massive cases the ring clumps in few stable points that are able to collect a high mass fraction. The features observed in the HL Tau system can be explained through the presence of several massive cores that shape the dust disk, where the inner planet(s) should have a mass on the order of 0.07 Jupiter masses and the outer one(s) on the order of 0.35 Jupiter masses. These values can be significantly lower if the disk mass turns out to be less than previously estimated. Decreasing the disk mass by a factor 10 we obtain similar gap widths for planets with a mass of 10 and 20 Earth masses respectively. Although the particle gaps are prominent, the expected gaseous gaps would be barely visible.

Understanding the water emission in the mid- and far-IR from protoplanetary disks around T~Tauri stars

We investigate which properties of protoplanetary disks around T Tauri stars affect the physics and chemistry in the regions where mid- and far-IR water lines originate and their respective line fluxes. We search for diagnostics for future observations. With the code ProDiMo, we build a series of models exploring a large parameter space, computing rotational and rovibrational transitions of water in nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE). We select a sample of transitions in the mid- IR regime and the fundamental ortho and para water transitions in the far-IR. We investigate the chemistry and the local physical conditions in the line emitting regions. We calculate Spitzer spectra for each model and compare far-IR and mid-IR lines. In addition, we use mid-IR colors to tie the water line predictions to the dust continuum. Parameters affecting the water line fluxes in disks by more than a factor of three are : the disk gas mass, the dust-to-gas mass ratio, the dust maximum grain size, ISM(InterStellarMedium) UV radiation field, the mixing parameter of Dubrulle settling, the disk flaring parameter, and the dust size distribution. The first four parameters affect the mid-IR lines much more than the far-IR lines. A key driver behind water spectroscopy is the dust opacity, which sets the location of the water line emitting region. We identify three types of parameters. Parameters, such as dust-to-gas ratio, ISM radiation field, and dust size distribution, affect the mid-IR lines more, while the far-IR transitions are more affected by the flaring index. The gas mass greatly affects lines in both regimes. Higher spectral resolution and line sensitivities, like from the James Webb Space Telescope, are needed to detect a statistically relevant sample of individual water lines to distinguish further between these types of parameters.


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