Recent Postings from Solar and Stellar

Prevalence of Small-scale Jets from the Networks of the Solar Transition Region and Chromosphere

As the interface between the Sun’s photosphere and corona, the chromosphere and transition region play a key role in the formation and acceleration of the solar wind. Observations from the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph reveal the prevalence of intermittent small-scale jets with speeds of 80-250 km/s from the narrow bright network lanes of this interface region. These jets have lifetimes of 20-80 seconds and widths of 300 km or less. They originate from small-scale bright regions, often preceded by footpoint brightenings and accompanied by transverse waves with ~20 km/s amplitudes. Many jets reach temperatures of at least ~100000 K and constitute an important element of the transition region structures. They are likely an intermittent but persistent source of mass and energy for the solar wind.

Statistical Survey of Type III Radio Bursts at Long Wavelengths Observed by the Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory (STEREO)/Waves Instruments: Goniopolarimetric Properties and Radio Source Locations

We have performed statistical analysis of a large number of Type III radio bursts observed by STEREO between May 2007 and February 2013. Only intense, simple, and isolated cases have been included in our data set. We have focused on the goniopolarimetric (GP, also referred to as direction-finding) properties at frequencies between $125$ kHz and $2$ MHz. The apparent source size $\gamma$ is very extended ($\approx60^\circ$) for the lowest analyzed frequencies. Observed apparent source sizes $\gamma$ expand linearly with a radial distance from the Sun at frequencies below $1$ MHz. We have shown that Type III radio bursts statistically propagate in the ecliptic plane. Calculated positions of radio sources suggest that scattering of the primary beam pattern plays an important role in the propagation of Type III radio bursts in the IP medium.

Evidence of Non-Thermal Particles in Coronal Loops Heated Impulsively by Nanoflares

The physical processes causing energy exchange between the Sun’s hot corona and its cool lower atmosphere remain poorly understood. The chromosphere and transition region (TR) form an interface region between the surface and the corona that is highly sensitive to the coronal heating mechanism. High resolution observations with the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) reveal rapid variability (about 20 to 60 seconds) of intensity and velocity on small spatial scales at the footpoints of hot dynamic coronal loops. The observations are consistent with numerical simulations of heating by beams of non-thermal electrons, which are generated in small impulsive heating events called "coronal nanoflares". The accelerated electrons deposit a sizable fraction of their energy in the chromosphere and TR. Our analysis provides tight constraints on the properties of such electron beams and new diagnostics for their presence in the nonflaring corona.

V444 Cyg X-ray and polarimetric variability: Radiative and Coriolis forces shape the wind collision region

We present results from a study of the eclipsing, colliding-wind binary V444 Cyg that uses a combination of X-ray and optical spectropolarimetric methods to describe the 3-D nature of the shock and wind structure within the system. We have created the most complete X-ray light curve of V444 Cyg to date using 40 ksec of new data from Swift, and 200 ksec of new and archived XMM-Newton observations. In addition, we have characterized the intrinsic, polarimetric phase-dependent behavior of the strongest optical emission lines using data obtained with the University of Wisconsin’s Half-Wave Spectropolarimeter. We have detected evidence of the Coriolis distortion of the wind-wind collision in the X-ray regime, which manifests itself through asymmetric behavior around the eclipses in the system’s X-ray light curves. The large opening angle of the X-ray emitting region, as well as its location (i.e. the WN wind does not collide with the O star, but rather its wind) are evidence of radiative braking/inhibition occurring within the system. Additionally, the polarimetric results show evidence of the cavity the wind-wind collision region carves out of the Wolf-Rayet star’s wind.

Polytropic models of filamentary interstellar clouds -II. Helical magnetic fields

We study the properties of magnetised cylindrical polytropes as models for interstellar filamentary clouds, extending the analysis presented in a companion paper (Toci & Galli 2014a). We formulate the general problem of magnetostatic equilibrium in the presence of a helical magnetic field, with the aim of determining the degree of support or compression resulting from the magnetisation of the cloud. We derive scale-free solutions appropriate to describe the properties of the envelopes of filaments at radii larger than the flat-density region. In these solutions, the polytropic exponent determines the radial profiles of the density and the magnetic field. The latter decreases with radius less steeply than the density, and field lines are helices twisted over cylindrical surfaces. A soft equation of state supports magnetic configurations that preferentially compress and confine the filament, whereas in the isothermal limit the field provides support. For each value of the polytropic exponent, the Lorentz force is directed outward or inward depending on whether the pitch angle is below or above some critical value which is a function of the polytropic exponent only.

Polytropic models of filamentary interstellar clouds - I. Structure and stability

The properties of filamentary interstellar clouds observed at sub-millimetre wavelengths, especially by the Herschel Space Observatory, are analysed with polytropic models in cylindrical symmetry. The observed radial density profiles are well reproduced by negative-index cylindrical polytropes with polytropic exponent $1/3\lesssim \gamma_{\rm p} \lesssim 2/3$ (polytropic index $-3\lesssim n \lesssim -3/2$), indicating either external heating or non-thermal pressure components. However, the former possibility requires unrealistically high gas temperatures at the filament’s surface and is therefore very unlikely. Non-thermal support, perhaps resulting from a superposition of small-amplitude Alfv\’en waves (corresponding to $\gamma_{\rm p}=1/2$), is a more realistic possibility, at least for the most massive filaments. If the velocity dispersion scales as the square root of the density (or column density) on the filament’s axis, as suggested by observations, then polytropic models are characterised by a uniform width. The mass per unit length of pressure-bounded cylindrical polytropes depends on the conditions at the boundary and is not limited as in the isothermal case. However, polytropic filaments can remain stable to radial collapse for values of the axis-to-surface density contrast as large as the values observed only if they are supported by a non-isentropic pressure component.

Gap interpolation by inpainting methods : Application to Ground and Space-based Asteroseismic data

In asteroseismology, the observed time series often suffers from incomplete time coverage due to gaps. The presence of periodic gaps may generate spurious peaks in the power spectrum that limit the analysis of the data. Various methods have been developed to deal with gaps in time series data. However, it is still important to improve these methods to be able to extract all the possible information contained in the data. In this paper, we propose a new approach to handle the problem, the so-called inpainting method. This technique, based on a sparsity prior, enables to judiciously fill-in the gaps in the data, preserving the asteroseismic signal, as far as possible. The impact of the observational window function is reduced and the interpretation of the power spectrum is simplified. This method is applied both on ground and space-based data. It appears that the inpainting technique improves the oscillation modes detection and estimation. Additionally, it can be used to study very long time series of many stars because its computation is very fast. For a time series of 50 days of CoRoT-like data, it allows a speed-up factor of 1000, if compared to methods of the same accuracy.

M dwarf search for pulsations within Kepler GO program

We present the analysis of four M dwarf stars -plus one M giant that seeped past our selection criteria- observed in Cycle 3 of Kepler Guest Observer program (GO3) in a search for intrinsic pulsations. Stellar oscillations in M dwarfs were theoretically predicted by Rodr\’iguez-L\’opez et al. (2012) to be in the range ~20-40 min and ~4-8 h, depending on the age and the excitation mechanism. We requested Kepler short cadence observations to have an adequate sampling of the oscillations. The targets were chosen on the basis of detectable rotation in the initial Kepler results, biasing towards youth.The analysis reveals no oscillations attributable to pulsations at a detection limit of several parts per million, showing that either the driving mechanisms are not efficient in developing the oscillations to observable amplitudes, or that if pulsations are driven, the amplitudes are very low. The size of the sample, and the possibility that the instability strip is not pure, allowing the coexistence of pulsators and non-pulsators, prevent us from deriving definite conclusions. Inmediate plans include more M dwarfs photometric observations of similar precision with Kepler K2 mission and spectroscopic searches already underway within the Cool Tiny Beats Project (Anglada-Escud\’e et al. 2014, Berdi\~nas et al. 2014) with the high-resolution spectrographs HARPS and HARPS-N.

Relationship between Solar Energetic Particles and Properties of Flares and CMEs: Statistical Analysis of Solar Cycle 23 Events

A statistical analysis of the relationship between solar energetic particles (SEPs) and properties of solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs) is presented. SEP events during solar cycle 23 are selected which are associated with solar flares originating on the visible hemisphere of the Sun and at least of magnitude M1. Taking into account all flares and CMEs that occurred during this period, the probability for the occurrence of an SEP event near Earth is determined. A strong rise of this probability is observed for increasing flare intensities, more western locations, larger CME speeds and halo CMEs. The correlations between the proton peak flux and these solar parameters are derived for a low (>10 MeV) and high (>60 MeV) energy range excluding any flux enhancement due to the passage of fast interplanetary shocks. The obtained correlation coefficients are: 0.55+-0.07 (0.63+-0.06) with flare intensity and 0.56+-0.08 (0.40+-0.09) with the CME speed for E>10 MeV (E>60 MeV). For both energy ranges, the correlations with flare longitude and CME width are very small or non-existent. Furthermore, the occurrence probabilities, correlation coefficients and mean peak fluxes are derived in multi-dimensional bins combining the aforementioned solar parameters. The correlation coefficients are also determined in different proton energy channels ranging from 5 to 200 MeV. The results show that the correlation between the proton peak flux and the CME speed decreases with energy, while the correlation with the flare intensity shows the opposite behavior. Furthermore, the correlation with the CME speed is stronger than the correlation with the flare intensity below 15 MeV and becomes weaker above 20 MeV. Excluding the flux enhancements due to interplanetary shocks, only a small but not very significant change is observed in the correlation between the peak flux below 7 MeV and the CME speed.

Atmospheres of Brown Dwarfs

Brown Dwarfs are the coolest class of stellar objects known to date. Our present perception is that Brown Dwarfs follow the principles of star formation, and that Brown Dwarfs share many characteristics with planets. Being the darkest and lowest mass stars known makes Brown Dwarfs also the coolest stars known. This has profound implication for their spectral fingerprints. Brown Dwarfs cover a range of effective temperatures which cause brown dwarfs atmospheres to be a sequence that gradually changes from a M-dwarf-like spectrum into a planet-like spectrum. This further implies that below an effective temperature of < 2800K, clouds form already in atmospheres of objects marking the boundary between M-Dwarfs and brown dwarfs. Recent developments have sparked the interest in plasma processes in such very cool atmospheres: sporadic and quiescent radio emission has been observed in combination with decaying Xray-activity indicators across the fully convective boundary.

Hierarchical analysis of the quiet Sun magnetism

Standard statistical analysis of the magnetic properties of the quiet Sun rely on simple histograms of quantities inferred from maximum-likelihood estimations. Because of the inherent degeneracies, either intrinsic or induced by the noise, this approach is not optimal and can lead to highly biased results. We carry out a meta-analysis of the magnetism of the quiet Sun from Hinode observations using a hierarchical probabilistic method. This model allows us to infer the statistical properties of the magnetic field vector over the observed field-of-view consistently taking into account the uncertainties in each pixel due to noise and degeneracies. Our results point out that the magnetic fields are very weak, below 275 G with 95% credibility, with a slight preference for horizontal fields, although the distribution is not far from a quasi-isotropic distribution.

A Substellar-Mass Protostar and its Outflow of IRAS 15398-3359 Revealed by Subarcsecond-Resolution Observations of H$_2$CO and CCH

Sub-arcsecond ($0.^{\prime\prime}5$) images of H$_2$CO and CCH line emission have been obtained in the $0.8$ mm band toward the low-mass protostar IRAS 15398-3359 in the Lupus 1 cloud as one of the Cycle 0 projects of the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array. We have detected a compact component concentrated in the vicinity of the protostar and a well-collimated outflow cavity extending along the northeast-southwest axis. The inclination angle of the outflow is found to be about $20^\circ$, or almost edge-on, based on the kinematic structure of the outflow cavity. This is in contrast to previous suggestions of a more pole-on geometry. The centrally concentrated component is interpreted by use of a model of the infalling rotating envelope with the estimated inclination angle, and the mass of the protostar is estimated to be less than $0.09\ M_\odot$. Higher spatial resolution data are needed to infer the presence of a rotationally supported disk for this source, hinted at by a weak high-velocity H$_2$CO emission associated with the protostar.

Detailed ROSAT X-ray Analysis of the AM Her Cataclysmic Variable VV Pup

VV Pup is typical system of AM Her stars, where the main accreting pole rotates in and out of view during the orbital cycle. In the present paper we present ROSAT data analysis for the magnetic cataclysmic variable VV Pup. We obtained the X-ray light curves of VV Pup in high state, the PSPC count rate 0.1-2.0 keV is plotted as a function of time with bins of 10 sec and the count rate is folded over the orbital period of 100.4 min with bin size of 100 sec for individual observations. We calculate the mean best-fit PSPC spectrum, with a three-component spectral fit including a soft X-ray blackbody, hard X-ray bremsstrahlung, and Gaussian line covers the phase intervals, for a bright phase (phi_orb=0.9-1.1), the dip data (phi_orb=0.18-0.7), the egress from the dip (phi_orb=0.7-0.8), the phase interval phi = 0.1-0.18 and the mean best-fit spectrum for all data (phi_orb=0.0-1.0). We calculate spectral parameters, the hardness ratios, count rate and total integrated black body flux.

The dynamics of collapsing cores and star formation

Low-mass stars are generally understood to form by the gravitational collapse of the dense molecular clouds known as starless cores. Continuum observations have not been able to distinguish among the several different hypotheses that describe the collapse because the predicted density distributions are the almost the same, as they are for all spherical self-gravitating clouds. However, the predicted contraction velocities are different enough that the models can be discriminated by comparing the velocities at large and small radii. This can be done by observing at least two different molecular line transitions that are excited at different densities. For example, the spectral lines of the H2O (110 – 101) and C18O (1-0) have critical densities for collisional de-excitation that differ by 5 orders of magnitude. We compare observations of these lines from the contracting starless core L1544 against the spectra predicted for several different hypothetical models of contraction including the Larson-Penston flow, the inside-out collapse of the singular isothermal sphere, the quasi-equilibrium contraction of an unstable Bonnor-Ebert sphere, and the non-equilibrium collapse of an over-dense Bonnor-Ebert sphere. Only the model of the unstable quasi-equilibrium Bonnor-Ebert sphere is able to produce the observed shapes of both spectral lines. This model allows us to interpret other observations of molecular lines in L1544 to find that the inward velocities seen in observations of CS(2-1) and N2H+ are located within the starless core itself, in particular in the region where the density profile follows an inverse square law. If these conclusions were to hold in the analysis of other starless cores, this would imply that the formation of hydrostatic clouds within the turbulent interstellar medium is not only possible but not exceptional and may be an evolutionary phase in low-mass star formation.

Herbig AeBe stars: Multiplicity and consequences

By virtue of their young age and intermediate mass, Herbig AeBe stars represent a cornerstone for our understanding of the mass-dependency of both the stellar and planetary formation processes. In this contribution, I review the current state-of-the-art multiplicity surveys of Herbig AeBe stars to assess both the overall frequency of companions and the distribution of key orbital parameters (separation, mass ratio and eccentricity). In a second part, I focus on the interplay between the multiplicity of Herbig AeBe stars and the presence and properties of their protoplanetary disks. Overall, it appears that both star and planet formation in the context of intermediate-mass stars proceeds following similar mechanisms as lower-mass stars.

Discovery of Time Variation of the Intensity of Molecular Lines in IRC+10216 in The Submillimeter and Far Infrared Domains

We report on the discovery of strong intensity variations in the high rotational lines of abundant molecular species towards the archetypical circumstellar envelope of IRC+10216. The observations have been carried out with the HIFI instrument on board \textit{Herschel}\thanks{\textit{Herschel} is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA} and with the IRAM\thanks{This work was based on observations carried out with the IRAM 30-meter telescope. IRAM is supported by INSU/CNRS (France), MPG (Germany) and IGN (Spain)} 30-m telescope. They cover several observing periods spreading over 3 years. The line intensity variations for molecules produced in the external layers of the envelope most probably result from time variations in the infrared pumping rates. We analyze the main implications this discovery has on the interpretation of molecular line emission in the envelopes of Mira-type stars. Radiative transfer calculations have to take into account both the time variability of infrared pumping and the possible variation of the dust and gas temperatures with stellar phase in order to reproduce the observation of molecular lines at different epochs. The effect of gas temperature variations with stellar phase could be particularly important for lines produced in the innermost regions of the envelope. Each layer of the circumstellar envelope sees the stellar light radiation with a different lag time (phase). Our results show that this effect must be included in the models. The sub-mm and FIR lines of AGB stars cannot anymore be considered as safe intensity calibrators.

Hot Explosions in the Cool Atmosphere of the Sun

The solar atmosphere was traditionally represented with a simple one-dimensional model. Over the past few decades, this paradigm shifted for the chromosphere and corona that constitute the outer atmosphere, which is now considered a dynamic structured envelope. Recent observations by IRIS (Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph) reveal that it is difficult to determine what is up and down even in the cool 6000-K photosphere just above the solar surface: this region hosts pockets of hot plasma transiently heated to almost 100,000 K. The energy to heat and accelerate the plasma requires a considerable fraction of the energy from flares, the largest solar disruptions. These IRIS observations not only confirm that the photosphere is more complex than conventionally thought, but also provide insight into the energy conversion in the process of magnetic reconnection.

Stability of Hall equilibria in neutron star crusts

In the solid crusts of neutron stars, the advection of the magnetic field by the current-carrying electrons, an effect known as Hall drift, should play a very important role as the ions remain essentially fixed (as long as the solid does not break). Although Hall drift preserves the magnetic field energy, it has been argued that it may drive a turbulent cascade to scales at which Ohmic dissipation becomes effective, allowing a much faster decay in objects with very strong fields. On the other hand, it has been found that there are "Hall equilibria", i.e., field configurations that are unaffected by Hall drift. Here, we address the crucial question of the stability of these equilibria through axially symmetric (2D) numerical simulations of Hall drift and Ohmic diffusion, with the simplifying assumption of uniform electron density and conductivity. We demonstrate the 2D-stability of a purely poloidal equilibrium, for which Ohmic dissipation makes the field evolve towards an attractor state through adjacent stable configurations, around which damped oscillations occur. For this field, the decay scales with the Ohmic timescale. We also study the case of an unstable equilibrium consisting of both poloidal and toroidal field components that are confined within the crust. This field evolves into a stable configuration, which undergoes damped oscillations superimposed on a slow evolution towards an attractor, just as the purely poloidal one.

The formation of low-mass helium white dwarfs in close binaries

Recently, a large number of low-mass (<0.30 M_sun) helium white dwarfs (He WDs) have been discovered as a result of several surveys campaigns such as WASP, ELM, Kepler or SDSS. The far majority of them have as companion another compact object. There appears to be discrepancies between current theoretical modelling of low-mass He WDs and a number of key observational cases indicating that some details of their formation scenario yet remain to be understood.

Radial velocities from VLT-KMOS spectra of giant stars in the globular cluster NGC 6388

We present new radial velocity measurements for 82 stars, members of the Galactic globular cluster NGC 6388, obtained from ESO-VLT KMOS spectra acquired during the instrument Science Verification. The accuracy of the wavelength calibration is discussed and a number of tests of the KMOS response are presented. The cluster systemic velocity obtained (81.3 +/- 1.5 km/sec) is in very good agreement with previous determinations. While a hint of ordered rotation is found between 9” and 20” from the cluster centre, where the distribution of radial velocities is clearly bimodal, more data are needed before drawing any firm conclusions. The acquired sample of radial velocities has been also used to determine the cluster velocity dispersion profile between ~9” and 70”, supplementing previous measurements at r < 2” and r > 60” obtained with ESO-SINFONI and ESO-FLAMES spectroscopy, respectively. The new portion of the velocity dispersion profile nicely matches the previous ones, better defining the knee of the distribution. The present work clearly shows the effectiveness of a deployable Integral Field Unit in measuring the radial velocities of individual stars for determining the velocity dispersion profile of Galactic globular clusters. It represents the pilot project for an ongoing large program with KMOS and FLAMES at the ESO-VLT, aimed at determining the next generation of velocity dispersion and rotation profiles for a representative sample of globular clusters.

Optical Dual-Band Photometry and Spectroscopy of the WZ Sge-Type Dwarf Nova EZ Lyn during the 2010 Superoutburst

We performed optical simultaneous dual-band (SDSS $g’$- and $i’$- band) photometry and low-resolution spectroscopy for the WZ Sge-type dwarf nova EZ Lyn during its 2010 superoutburst. Dual-band photometry revealed that the $g’-i’$ color reddened with a decrease in brightness, during the main superoutburst and the following rebrightening phase, whereas the color became bluer with a further decrease in brightness during the slow, final decline phase. With a fit to our photometric results by a blackbody function, we estimated the disk radius ratio (ratio of the disk radius to the binary separation) and compared this with that of V455 And, a WZ Sge-type object that did not show any rebrightening in the 2007 superoutburst. The comparison revealed: (1) the disk radius ratio of EZ Lyn decreased more slowly than that of V455 And; and (2) the radius ratio of EZ Lyn at the end of the main superoutburst was larger than that of the V455 And. These results favor the mass reservoir model for the mechanism of rebrightening. During both the superoutburst plateau and subsequent rebrightening phase, H$\alpha$ and H$\beta$ lines were detected. The H$\alpha$ line showed a double-peak profile from which we estimated the disk radius ratio. The comparison of this ratio with that derived by photometry, indicates that the H$\alpha$ disk was larger than the photometric one, which suggests that the optically thin gas was extended to the outer region more than the optically thick gas disk and was possibly responsible for the rebrightening phenomenon. Time-series dual-band photometry during the main superoutburst revealed that color variations during the early superhump show roughly the same behavior as that of V455 And, whereas color variations during the ordinary superhump display clear anticorrelation with brightness, in contrast to that seen in the V455 And.

Hubble Space Telescope Proper Motion (HSTPROMO) Catalogs of Galactic Globular Clusters. I. Sample Selection, Data Reduction and NGC 7078 Results

We present the first study of high-precision internal proper motions (PMs) in a large sample of globular clusters, based on Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data obtained over the past decade with the ACS/WFC, ACS/HRC, and WFC3/UVIS instruments. We determine PMs for over 1.3 million stars in the central regions of 22 clusters, with a median number of ~60,000 stars per cluster. These PMs have the potential to significantly advance our understanding of the internal kinematics of globular clusters by extending past line-of-sight (LOS) velocity measurements to two- or three-dimensional velocities, lower stellar masses, and larger sample sizes. We describe the reduction pipeline that we developed to derive homogeneous PMs from the very heterogeneous archival data. We demonstrate the quality of the measurements through extensive Monte-Carlo simulations. We also discuss the PM errors introduced by various systematic effects, and the techniques that we have developed to correct or remove them to the extent possible. We provide in electronic form the catalog for NGC 7078 (M 15), which consists of 77,837 stars in the central 2.4 arcmin. We validate the catalog by comparison with existing PM measurements and LOS velocities, and use it to study the dependence of the velocity dispersion on radius, stellar magnitude (or mass) along the main sequence, and direction in the plane of the sky (radial/tangential). Subsequent papers in this series will explore a range of applications in globular-cluster science, and will also present the PM catalogs for the other sample clusters.

Radial velocity measurements of the pulsating zirconium star: LS IV -14 116

The helium-rich hot subdwarf LS IV -14 116 shows remarkably high surface abundances of zirconium, yttrium, strontium, and germanium, indicative of strong chemical stratification in the photosphere. It also shows photometric behaviour indicative of non-radial g-mode pulsations, despite having surface properties inconsistent with any known pulsational instability zone. We have conducted a search for radial velocity variability. This has demonstrated that at least one photometric period is observable in several absorption lines as a radial velocity variation with a semi-amplitude in excess of 5 km s$^{-1}$. A correlation between line strength and pulsation amplitude provides evidence that the photosphere pulsates differentially. The ratio of light to velocity amplitude is too small to permit the largest amplitude oscillation to be radial.

Small-Scale Structuring Of Ellerman Bombs at Solar Limb

Ellerman bombs (EBs) have been widely studied in recent years due to their dynamic, explosive nature and apparent links to the underlying photospheric magnetic field implying that they may be formed by magnetic reconnection in the photosphere. Despite a plethora of researches discussing the morphologies of EBs, there has been a limited investigation of how these events appear at the limb, specifically, whether they manifest as vertical extensions away from the disc. In this article, we make use of high-resolution, high-cadence observations of an AR at the solar limb, collected by the CRISP instrument, to identify EBs and infer their physical properties. The upper atmosphere is also probed using the SDO/AIA. We analyse 22 EB events evident within these data, finding that 20 appear to follow a parabolic path away from the solar surface at an average speed of 9 km s^(-1), extending away from their source by 580 km, before retreating back at a similar speed. These results show strong evidence of vertical motions associated with EBs, possibly explaining the dynamical `flaring’ (changing in area and intensity) observed in on-disc events. Two in-depth case studies are also presented which highlight the unique dynamical nature of EBs within the lower solar atmosphere. The viewing angle of these observations allows for a direct linkage between these EBs and other small-scale events in the H-alpha line wings, including a potential flux emergence scenario. The findings presented here suggest that EBs could have a wider-reaching influence on the solar atmosphere than previously thought, as we reveal a direct linkage between EBs and an emerging small-scale loop, and other near-by small-scale explosive events. However, as previous research found, these extensions do not appear to impact upon the H-alpha line core, and are not observed by the SDO/AIA EUV filters.

Unveiling new stellar companions from the PIONIER exozodi survey

The main goal of the EXOZODI survey is to detect and characterize circumstellar dust and to propose the first statistical study of exozodiacal disks in the near-infrared using telescopes in both hemispheres. For this purpose, Ertel et al. have conducted in 2012 a survey of nearby main sequence stars with VLTI/PIONIER to search for the presence of circumstellar dust. This survey, carried out during 12 nights, comprises about 100 stars. For each star, we obtained typically three OBs and we searched for circumstellar emission based on the measurement of squared visibilities at short baselines. A drop in the measured visibilities with respect to the expected photospheric visibility indicates the presence of resolved emission around the target star. It is however generally not possible to conclude on the morphology of the detected emission based solely on the squared visibilities. Here, we focus on closure phases to search for faint companions around the whole sample. Indeed, to derive robust statistics on the occurrence rate of bright exozodiacal disks, we need to discriminate between companions and disks. For this reason, the main goal of this paper is to discriminate between circumstellar disks (which show no closure phase provided that they are point-symmetric) and faint companions (point-like sources, creating non-zero closure phases). We also aim to reveal new companions that do not necessarily produce a significant signature in the squared visibilities, as the signature of the companion may show up more prominently in the closure phases. In this process, we reveal four new stellar companions with contrasts ranging from 2% to 95% (i.e., up to equal flux binaries). We also tentatively detect faint companions around one other target that will require follow-up observations to be confirmed or infirmed. We discuss the implications of these discoveries on the results of the exozodi survey.

Supernova neutrinos and the turbulence power spectrum: point source statistics

The neutrinos emitted from the proto-neutron star created in a core-collapse supernova must run through a significant amount of turbulence before exiting the star. Turbulence can modify the flavor evolution of the neutrinos imprinting itself upon the signal we will detect here at Earth. The turbulence effect upon individual neutrinos, and the correlation between pairs of neutrinos, is sensitive to the power spectrum of the turbulence and recent analysis of the turbulence in a two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulation of a core-collapse supernova indicates the power spectrum may not be the Kolmogorov 5/3 inverse power law as has been previously assumed. We study the effect of non-Kolmogorov turbulence power spectra upon individual neutrinos from a point source and find reasonable values for the turbulence amplitudes indicate supernova neutrinos and antineutrinos do possess sensitivity to the power spectrum when the turbulence is in the vicinity of the Mikheyev, Smirnov and Wolfenstein resonances.

Supernova neutrinos and the turbulence power spectrum: point source statistics [Cross-Listing]

The neutrinos emitted from the proto-neutron star created in a core-collapse supernova must run through a significant amount of turbulence before exiting the star. Turbulence can modify the flavor evolution of the neutrinos imprinting itself upon the signal we will detect here at Earth. The turbulence effect upon individual neutrinos, and the correlation between pairs of neutrinos, is sensitive to the power spectrum of the turbulence and recent analysis of the turbulence in a two-dimensional hydrodynamical simulation of a core-collapse supernova indicates the power spectrum may not be the Kolmogorov 5/3 inverse power law as has been previously assumed. We study the effect of non-Kolmogorov turbulence power spectra upon individual neutrinos from a point source and find reasonable values for the turbulence amplitudes indicate supernova neutrinos and antineutrinos do possess sensitivity to the power spectrum when the turbulence is in the vicinity of the Mikheyev, Smirnov and Wolfenstein resonances.

On the structure and evolution of planets and their host stars $-$ effects of various heating mechanisms on the size of giant gas planets

It is already stated in the previous studies that the radius of the giant planets is affected by stellar irradiation. The confirmed relation between radius and incident flux depends on planetary mass intervals. In this study, we show that there is a single relation between radius and irradiated energy per gram per second ($l_-$), for all mass intervals. There is an extra increase in radius of planets if $l_-$ is higher than 1100 times energy received by the Earth ($l_\oplus$). This is likely due to dissociation of molecules. The tidal interaction as a heating mechanism is also considered and found that its maximum effect on the inflation of planets is about 15 per cent. We also compute age and heavy element abundances from the properties of host stars, given in the TEPCat catalogue (Southworth 2011). The metallicity given in the literature is as [Fe/H]. However, the most abundant element is oxygen, and there is a reverse relation between the observed abundances [Fe/H] and [O/Fe]. Therefore, we first compute [O/H] from [Fe/H] by using observed abundances, and then find heavy element abundance from [O/H]. We also develop a new method for age determination. Using the ages we find, we analyse variation of both radius and mass of the planets with respect to time, and estimate the initial mass of the planets from the relation we derive for the first time. According to our results, the highly irradiated gas giants lose 5 per cent of their mass in every 1 Gyr.

Viscosity effects on waves in partially and fully ionized plasma in magnetic field

Viscosity is discussed in multicomponent partially and fully ionized plasma, and its effects on two very different waves (Alfven and Langmuir) in solar atmosphere. A full set of viscosity coefficients is presented which includes coefficients for electrons, protons and hydrogen atoms. These are applied to layers with mostly magnetized protons in solar chromosphere where the Alfven wave could in principle be expected. The viscosity coefficients are calculated and presented graphically for the altitudes between 700 and 2200 km, and required corresponding cross sections for various types of collisions are given in terms of altitude. It is shown that in chromosphere the viscosity plays no role for the Alfven wave, which is only strongly affected by ion friction with neutrals. In corona, assuming the magnetic field of a few Gauss, the Alfven wave is more affected by ion viscosity than by ion-electron friction only for wavelengths shorter that 1-30 km, dependent on parameters and assuming the perturbed magnetic field of one percent of its equilibrium value. For the Langmuir wave the viscosity-friction interplay in chromosphere is shown to be dependent on altitude and on wavelengths. In corona the viscosity is the main dissipative mechanism acting on the Langmuir mode.

Key Aspects of Coronal Heating

We highlight ten key aspects of coronal heating that must be understood before we can consider the problem to be solved. (1) All coronal heating is impulsive. (2) The details of coronal heating matter. (3) The corona is filled with elemental magnetic stands. (4) The corona is densely populated with current sheets. (5) The strands must reconnect to prevent an infinite buildup of stress. (6) What determines the nanoflare frequency? (7) What is the quantum of energy release? (8) What causes the collective behavior responsible for loops? (9) What are the onset conditions for energy release? (10) Chromospheric nanoflares are not a primary source of coronal plasma. Significant progress in solving the coronal heating problem will require a coordination of approaches: observational studies, 1D hydro simulations, large-scale and localized 3D MHD simulations, and possibly also kinetic simulations. There is a unique value to each of these approaches, and the community must strive to coordinate better.

Deep $z$-band observations of the coolest Y dwarf

WISE J085510.83-071442.5 (hereafter, WISE 0855-07) is the coolest Y dwarf known to date and is located at a distance of 2.31$\pm 0.08$ pc, giving it the fourth largest parallax of any known star or brown dwarf system. We report deep $z$-band observations of WISE 0855-07 using FORS2 on UT1/VLT. We do not detect any counterpart to WISE 0855-07 in our $z$-band images and estimate a brightness upper limit of AB mag $>$ 24.8 ($F_{\nu}$ $<$ 0.45 $\mu$Jy) at 910 $\pm$ 65 nm with $3\sigma$-confidence. We combine our z-band upper limit with previous near- and mid-infrared photometry to place constraints on the atmospheric properties of WISE 0855-07 via comparison to models which implement water clouds in the atmospheres of $T_{eff} < 300$ K substellar objects. We find that none of the available models that implement water clouds can completely reproduce the observed SED of WISE 0855-07. Every model significantly disagrees with the (3.6 $\mu$m / 4.5 $\mu$m) flux ratio and at least one other bandpass. Since methane is predicted to be the dominant absorber at 3-4 $\mu$m, these mismatches might point to an incorrect or incomplete treatment of methane in current models. We conclude that \mbox{(a) WISE0855-07} has $T_{eff} \sim 200-250$~K, (b) $< 80 \%$ of its surface is covered by clouds, and (c) deeper observations, and improved models of substellar evolution, atmospheres, clouds, and opacities will be necessary to better characterize this object.

Dynamical analyses of the companions orbiting eclipsing binaries II. Z Draconis with four companions close to 6:3:2:1 mean motion resonances

All available mid-eclipse times of the short-period eclipsing binary Z Draconis are analysed, and multiple cyclic variations are found. Based on the light-travel time model, we find three companions around Z Draconis, and one or more possible short-period companions. The derived orbital periods suggest that the three outer companions and an inner one are in a near 6:3:2:1 mean-motion resonances. The most outer companion has the minimum mass of $\sim0.7M_{\bigodot}$, whereas other companions are M dwarfs. We have studied the stabilities of the companions moving on a series of mutually inclined orbits. The results show that no orbital configurations can survive for 200 yr. We speculate that the instability of the system can be attributed to the uncertainties of the short-period companions, which result from the low-precision mid-eclipse times. Thus, secular CCD observations with much higher precision are needed in the future.

Conversion from mutual helicity to self-helicity observed with IRIS

Context. In the upper atmosphere of the Sun observations show convincing evidence for crossing and twisted structures, which are interpreted as mutual helicity and self-helicity. Aims. We use observations with the new Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) to show the conversion of mutual helicity into self-helicity in coronal structures on the Sun. Methods. Using far UV spectra and slit-jaw images from IRIS and coronal images and magnetograms from SDO, we investigated the evolution of two crossing loops in an active region, in particular, the properties of the Si IV line profile in cool loops. Results. In the early stage two cool loops cross each other and accordingly have mutual helicity. The Doppler shifts in the loops indicate that they wind around each other. As a consequence, near the crossing point of the loops (interchange) reconnection sets in, which heats the plasma. This is consistent with the observed increase of the line width and of the appearance of the loops at higher temperatures. After this interaction, the two new loops run in parallel, and in one of them shows a clear spectral tilt of the Si IV line profile. This is indicative of a helical (twisting) motion, which is the same as to say that the loop has self-helicity. Conclusions. The high spatial and spectral resolution of IRIS allowed us to see the conversion of mutual helicity to self-helicity in the (interchange) reconnection of two loops. This is observational evidence for earlier theoretical speculations.

MY Camelopardalis, a very massive merger progenitor

Context. The early-type binary MY Cam belongs to the young open cluster Alicante 1, embedded in Cam OB3. Aims. MY Cam consists of two early-O type main-sequence stars and shows a photometric modulation suggesting an orbital period slightly above one day. We intend to confirm this orbital period and derive orbital and stellar parameters. Methods. Timing analysis of a very exhaustive (4607 points) light curve indicates a period of 1.1754514 +- 0.0000015 d. High- resolution spectra and the cross-correlation technique implemented in the TODCOR program were used to derive radial velocities and obtain the corresponding radial velocity curves for MY Cam. Modelling with the stellar atmosphere code FASTWIND was used to obtain stellar parameters and create templates for cross-correlation. Stellar and orbital parameters were derived using the Wilson-Devinney code, such that a complete solution to the binary system could be described. Results. The determined masses of the primary and secondary stars in MY Cam are 37.7 +- 1.6 and 31.6 +- 1.4 Msol, respectively. The corresponding temperatures, derived from the model atmosphere fit, are 42 000 and 39 000 K, with the more massive component being hotter. Both stars are overfilling their Roche lobes, sharing a common envelope. Conclusions. MY Cam contains the most massive dwarf O-type stars found so far in an eclipsing binary. Both components are still on the main sequence, and probably not far from the zero-age main sequence. The system is a likely merger progenitor, owing to its very short period.

Investigation of Force-Freeness of Solar Emerging Magnetic Field via Application of the Virial Theorem to MHD Simulations

Force-freeness of a solar magnetic field is a key to reconstructing invisible coronal magnetic structure of an emerging flux region on the Sun where active phenomena such as flares and coronal mass ejections frequently occur. We have performed magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations which are adjusted to investigate force-freeness of an emerging magnetic field by using the virial theorem. Our focus is on how the force-free range of an emerging flux region develops and how it depends on the twist of a pre-emerged magnetic field. As an emerging flux region evolves, the upper limit of the force-free range continuously increases while the lower limit is asymptotically reduced to the order of a photospheric pressure scale height above the solar surface. As the twist becomes small the lower limit increases and then seems to be saturated. We also discuss the applicability of the virial theorem to an evolving magnetic structure on the Sun.

Kiloparsec-Scale Simulations of Star Formation in Disk Galaxies II. Structure and Dynamics of Filaments and Clumps in Giant Molecular Clouds

We present hydrodynamic simulations of self-gravitating dense gas in a galactic disk, exploring scales ranging from 1 kpc down to $\sim 0.1$~pc. Our primary goal is to understand how dense filaments form in Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs). These structures, often observed as Infrared Dark Clouds (IRDCs) in the Galactic plane, are thought to be the precursors to massive stars and star clusters, so their formation may be the rate limiting step controlling global star formation rates in galactic systems as described by the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation. Our study follows on from Van Loo et al. (2013, Paper I), which carried out simulations to 0.5~pc resolution and examined global aspects of the formation of dense gas clumps and the resulting star formation rate. Here, using our higher resolution, we examine the detailed structural, kinematic and dynamical properties of dense filaments and clumps, including mass surface density ($\Sigma$) probability distribution functions, filament mass per unit length and its dispersion, lateral $\Sigma$ profiles, filament fragmentation, filament velocity gradients and infall, and degree of filament and clump virialization. Where possible, these properties are compared to observations of IRDCs. By many metrics, especially too large mass fractions of high $\Sigma>1\:{\rm g\:cm^{-2}}$ material, too high mass per unit length dispersion due to dense clump formation, too high velocity gradients and too high velocity dispersion for a given mass per unity length, the simulated filaments differ from observed IRDCs. We thus conclude that IRDCs do not form from global fast collapse of GMCs. Rather, we expect IRDC formation and collapse is slowed significantly by the influence of dynamically important magnetic fields, which may thus play a crucial role in regulating galactic star formation rates.

Transit light curve and inner structure of close-in planets

Planets orbiting very close to their host stars have been found, some of them on the verge of tidal disruption. The ellipsoidal shape of these planets can significantly differ from a sphere, which modifies the transit light curves. Here we present an easy method for taking the effect of the tidal bulge into account in the transit photometric observations. We show that the differences in the light curve are greater than previously thought. When detectable, these differences provide us an estimation of the fluid Love number, which is invaluable information on the internal structure of close-in planets. We also derive a simple analytical expression to correct the bulk density of these bodies, that can be 20% smaller than current estimates obtained assuming a spherical radius.

The Solar Energetic Particle Event on 2013 April 11: An Investigation of its Solar Origin and Longitudinal Spread

We investigate the solar phenomena associated with the origin of the solar energetic particle (SEP) event observed on 2013 April 11 by a number of spacecraft distributed in the inner heliosphere over a broad range of heliolongitudes. We use Extreme UltraViolet (EUV) and white-light coronagraph observations from the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO), the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) and the twin Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory spacecraft (STEREO-A and STEREO-B) to determine the angular extent of the EUV wave and coronal mass ejection (CME) associated with the origin of the SEP event. We compare the estimated release time of SEPs observed at each spacecraft with the arrival time of the structures associated with the CME at the footpoints of the field lines connecting each spacecraft with the Sun. Whereas the arrival of the EUV wave and CME-driven shock at the footpoint of STEREO-B is consistent, within uncertainties, with the release time of the particles observed by this spacecraft, the EUV wave never reached the footpoint of the field lines connecting near-Earth observers with the Sun, even though an intense SEP event was observed there. We show that the west flank of the CME-driven shock propagating at high altitudes above the solar surface was most likely the source of the particles observed near Earth, but it did not leave any EUV trace on the solar disk. We conclude that the angular extent of the EUV wave on the solar surface did not agree with the longitudinal extent of the SEP event in the heliosphere. Hence EUV waves cannot be used reliably as a proxy for the solar phenomena that accelerates and injects energetic particles over broad ranges of longitudes.

The timescale of low-mass proto-helium white dwarf evolution

A large number of low-mass (< 0.20 M_sun) helium white dwarfs (He WDs) have recently been discovered. The majority of these are orbiting another WD or a millisecond pulsar (MSP) in a close binary system; a few examples are found to show pulsations or to have a main-sequence star companion. There appear to be discrepancies between the current theoretical modelling of such low-mass He WDs and a number of key observed cases, indicating that their formation scenario remains to be fully understood. Here we investigate the formation of detached proto-He WDs in close-orbit low-mass X-ray binaries (LMXBs). Our prime focus is to examine the thermal evolution and the contraction phase towards the WD cooling track and investigate how this evolution depends on the WD mass. Our calculations are then compared to the most recent observational data. Numerical calculations with a detailed stellar evolution code were used to trace the mass-transfer phase in a large number of close-orbit LMXBs. Subsequently, we followed the evolution of the detached low-mass proto-He WDs, including stages with residual shell hydrogen burning and vigorous flashes caused by unstable CNO burning. We find that the time between Roche-lobe detachment until the low-mass proto-He WD reaches the WD cooling track is typically Delta_t_proto = 0.5 – 2 Gyr, depending systematically on the WD mass and therefore on its luminosity. The lowest WD mass for developing shell flashes is ~0.21 M_sun for progenitor stars of mass M2 <= 1.5 M_sun (and ~0.18 M_sun for M2 = 1.6 M_sun). The long timescale of low-mass proto-He WD evolution can explain a number of recent observations, including some MSP systems hosting He WD companions with very low surface gravities and high effective temperatures. We find no evidence for Delta_t_proto to depend on the occurrence of flashes and thus question the suggested dichotomy in thermal evolution of proto-WDs.

The formation of low-mass helium white dwarfs orbiting pulsars: Evolution of low-mass X-ray binaries below the bifurcation period

Millisecond pulsars (MSPs) are generally believed to be old neutron stars (NSs) which have been spun up to high rotation rates via accretion of matter from a companion star in a low-mass X-ray binary (LMXB). However, many details of this recycling scenario remain to be understood. Here we investigate binary evolution in close LMXBs to study the formation of radio MSPs with low-mass helium white dwarf companions (He WDs) in tight binaries with orbital periods P_orb = 2-9 hr. In particular, we examine: i) if such observed systems can be reproduced from theoretical modelling using standard prescriptions of orbital angular momentum losses (i.e. with respect to the nature and the strength of magnetic braking), ii) if our computations of the Roche-lobe detachments can match the observed orbital periods, and iii) if the correlation between WD mass and orbital period (M_WD, P_orb) is valid for systems with P_orb < 2 days. Numerical calculations with a detailed stellar evolution code were used to trace the mass-transfer phase in ~ 400 close LMXB systems with different initial values of donor star mass, NS mass, orbital period and the so-called gamma-index of magnetic braking. Subsequently, we followed the orbital and the interior evolution of the detached low-mass (proto) He WDs, including stages with residual shell hydrogen burning. We find that a severe fine-tuning is necessary to reproduce the observed MSPs in tight binaries with He WD companions of mass < 0.20 M_sun, which suggests that something needs to be modified or is missing in the standard input physics of LMXB modelling. We demonstrate that the theoretically calculated (M_WD, P_orb)-relation is in general also valid for systems with P_orb < 2 days, although with a large scatter in He WD masses between 0.15-0.20 M_sun. The results of the thermal evolution of the (proto) He WDs are reported in a follow-up paper (Paper II).

New NIR light-curve templates for classical Cepheids

We present new near-infrared (NIR) light-curve templates for fundamental (FU, JHK) and first overtone (FO, J) Cepheids. The new templates together with PL and PW relations provide Cepheid distances from single-epoch observations with a precision only limited by the intrinsic accuracy of the method adopted. The templates rely on a very large set of Galactic and Magellanic Clouds (MCs) Cepheids (FU,~600; FO,~200) with well sampled NIR (IRSF data) and optical (V,I; OGLE data) light curves. To properly trace the change in the shape of the light curve as a function of period, we split the sample of calibrating Cepheids into 10 different period bins. The templates for the first time cover FO Cepheids and the FU short-period Cepheids (P<5 days). Moreover, the zero-point phase is anchored to the phase of the mean magnitude along the rising branch. The new approach has several advantages in sampling the light curve of bump Cepheids when compared with the phase of maximum light. We also provide new estimates of the NIR-to-optical amplitude ratios for FU and FO Cepheids. We perform detailed analytical fits using both 7th-order Fourier series and multi-Gaussian periodic functions. The latter are characterized by a smaller number of free parameters (9 vs 15). Mean NIR magnitudes based on the new templates are up to 80% more accurate than single-epoch measurements and up to 50% more accurate than mean magnitudes based on previous templates, with typical associated uncertainties ranging from 0.015 mag (J) to 0.019 mag (K). Moreover, the errors on individual distances of Small MC Cepheids derived from NIR PW relations, are essentially reduced to the intrinsic scatter of the adopted relations. Thus, the new templates are the ultimate tool to estimate precise Cepheid distances from NIR single-epoch observations, which can be adopted to derive the 3D structure of the MCs.

Hot Ammonia around O-type Young Stars. I. JVLA imaging of Ammonia (6,6) to (14,14) in NGC7538 IRS1

To constrain theoretical models of high-mass star formation, observational signatures of mass accretion in O-type forming stars are desirable. Using the JVLA, we have mapped the hot and dense molecular gas in the hot core NGC7538 IRS1, with 0.2” angular resolution, in seven metastable (J=K) inversion transitions of ammonia: (J,K)=(6,6), (7,7), (9,9), (10,10), (12,12), (13,13), and (14,14). These lines arise from energy levels between ~400 K and ~1950 K above the ground state, and are observed in absorption against the HC-HII region associated with NGC7538 IRS1. With a 500 AU linear resolution, we resolve the elongated North-South ammonia structure into two compact components: the main core and a southernmost component. Previous observations of the radio continuum with a 0.08” (or 200 AU) resolution, resolved in turn the compact core in two (northern and southern) components. These features correspond to a triple system of high-mass YSOs IRS1a, IRS1b, and IRS1c identified with VLBI measurements of methanol masers. The velocity maps of the compact core show a clear velocity gradient in all lines, which is indicative of rotation in a (circumbinary) envelope, containing ~40 solar masses (dynamical mass). In addition, we derived physical conditions of the molecular gas: rotational temperatures ~280 K, ammonia column densities ~1.4-2.5 x 10^19 cm-2, H_2 volume densities ~3.5-6.2 x 10^10 cm-3, and a total gas mass in the range of 19-34 solar masses, for the main core. We conclude that NGC7538 IRS1 is the densest hot molecular core known, containing a rotating envelope which hosts a multiple system of high-mass YSOs, possibly surrounded by accretion disks. Future JVLA observations in the A-configuration are needed to resolve the binary system in the core and may allow to study the gas kinematics in the accretion disks associated with individual binary members.

A Pulsation Search Among Young Brown Dwarfs and Very Low Mass Stars

In 2005, Palla & Baraffe proposed that brown dwarfs (BDs) and very low mass stars (VLMSs; <0.1 solar masses) may be unstable to radial oscillations during the pre-main-sequence deuterium burning phase. With associated periods of 1-4 hours, this potentially new class of pulsation offers unprecedented opportunities to probe the interiors and evolution of low-mass objects in the 1-15 million year age range. Following up on reports of short-period variability in young clusters, we designed a high-cadence photometric monitoring campaign to search for deuterium-burning pulsation among a sample of 348 BDs and VLMSs in the four young clusters $\sigma$ Orionis, Chamaeleon I, IC 348, and Upper Scorpius. In the resulting light curves we achieved sensitivity to periodic signals of amplitude several millimagnitudes, on timescales from 15 minutes to two weeks. Despite the exquisite data quality, we failed to detect any periodicities below seven hours. We conclude that D-burning pulsations are not able to grow to observable amplitudes in the early pre-main sequence. In spite of the non-detection, we did uncover a rich set of variability behavior- both periodic and aperiodic- on day to week timescales. We present new compilations of variable sources from our sample, as well as three new candidate cluster members in Chamaeleon I.

Ejection of globular cluster interstellar media through ionization by white dwarfs

UV radiation from white dwarfs can efficiently clear Galactic globular clusters (GCs) of their intra-cluster medium (ICM). This solves the problem of the missing ICM in clusters, which is otherwise expected to build up to easily observable quantities. To show this, we recreate the ionizing flux in 47 Tuc, following randomly generated stars through their AGB, post-AGB and white dwarf evolution. Each white dwarf can ionize all the material injected into the cluster by stellar winds for ~3 Myr of its evolution: ~40 such white dwarfs exist at any point. Every GC’s ICM should be ionized. The neutral cloud in M15 should be caused by a temporary overdensity. A pressure-supported ICM will expand over the cluster’s tidal radius, where it will be truncated, allowing Jeans escape. The modelled Jeans mass-loss rate approximates the total stellar mass-loss rate, allowing efficient clearing of ICM. Any cluster’s ICM mass should equal the mass injected by its stars over the sound-travel time between the cluster core and tidal radius. We predict ~11.3 solar masses of ICM within 47 Tuc, cleared over ~4 Myr, compared to a dynamical timescale of 4.3 Myr. We present a new mass hierarchy, discussing the transition between globular clusters dwarf galaxies.

Super and massive AGB stars - IV. Final fates - Initial to final mass relation

We explore the final fates of massive intermediate-mass stars by computing detailed stellar models from the zero age main sequence until near the end of the thermally pulsing phase. These super-AGB and massive AGB star models are in the mass range between 5.0 and 10.0 Msun for metallicities spanning the range Z=0.02-0.0001. We probe the mass limits M_up, M_n and M_mass, the minimum masses for the onset of carbon burning, the formation of a neutron star, and the iron core-collapse supernovae respectively, to constrain the white dwarf/electron-capture supernova boundary. We provide a theoretical initial to final mass relation for the massive and ultra-massive white dwarfs and specify the mass range for the occurrence of hybrid CO(Ne) white dwarfs. We predict electron-capture supernova (EC-SN) rates for lower metallicities which are significantly lower than existing values from parametric studies in the literature. We conclude the EC-SN channel (for single stars and with the critical assumption being the choice of mass-loss rate) is very narrow in initial mass, at most approximately 0.2 Msun. This implies that between ~ 2-5 per cent of all gravitational collapse supernova are EC-SNe in the metallicity range Z=0.02 to 0.0001. With our choice for mass-loss prescription and computed core growth rates we find, within our metallicity range, that CO cores cannot grow sufficiently massive to undergo a Type 1.5 SN explosion.

First Space-based Microlens Parallax Measurement of an Isolated Star: Spitzer Observations of OGLE-2014-BLG-0939

We present the first space-based microlens parallax measurement of an isolated star. From the striking differences in the lightcurve as seen from Earth and from Spitzer (~1 AU to the West), we infer a projected velocity v_helio,projected ~ 240 km/s, which strongly favors a lens in the Galactic Disk with mass M=0.23 +- 0.07 M_sun and distance D_L=3.1 +- 0.4 kpc. An ensemble of such measurements drawn from our ongoing program could be used to measure the single-lens mass function including dark objects, and also is necessary for measuring the Galactic distribution of planets since the ensemble reflects the underlying Galactic distribution of microlenses. We study the application of the many ideas to break the four-fold degeneracy first predicted by Refsdal 50 years ago. We find that this degeneracy is clearly broken, but by two unanticipated mechanisms.

First Space-based Microlens Parallax Measurement of an Isolated Star: Spitzer Observations of OGLE-2014-BLG-0939 [Replacement]

We present the first space-based microlens parallax measurement of an isolated star. From the striking differences in the lightcurve as seen from Earth and from Spitzer (~1 AU to the West), we infer a projected velocity v_helio,projected ~ 240 km/s, which strongly favors a lens in the Galactic Disk with mass M=0.23 +- 0.07 M_sun and distance D_L=3.1 +- 0.4 kpc. An ensemble of such measurements drawn from our ongoing program could be used to measure the single-lens mass function including dark objects, and also is necessary for measuring the Galactic distribution of planets since the ensemble reflects the underlying Galactic distribution of microlenses. We study the application of the many ideas to break the four-fold degeneracy first predicted by Refsdal 50 years ago. We find that this degeneracy is clearly broken, but by two unanticipated mechanisms.

Conduction in low Mach number flows: Part I Linear & weakly nonlinear regimes

Thermal conduction is an important energy transfer and damping mechanism in astrophysical flows. Fourier’s law – the heat flux is proportional to the negative temperature gradient, leading to temperature diffusion – is a well-known empirical model of thermal conduction. However, entropy diffusion has emerged as an alternative thermal conduction model, despite not ensuring the monotonicity of entropy. This paper investigates the differences between temperature and entropy diffusion for both linear internal gravity waves and weakly nonlinear convection. In addition to simulating the two thermal conduction models with the fully compressible Navier-Stokes equations, we also study their effects in the reduced, "sound-proof" anelastic and pseudo-incompressible equations. We find that in the linear and weakly nonlinear regimes, temperature and entropy diffusion give quantitatively similar results, although there are some larger errors in the pseudo-incompressible equations with temperature diffusion due to inaccuracies in the equation of state. Extrapolating our weakly nonlinear results, we speculate that differences between temperature and entropy diffusion might become more important for strongly turbulent convection.

On the Accretion-Fed Growth of Neutron Stars During Common Envelope

This paper models the orbital inspiral of a neutron star (NS) through the envelope of its giant-branch companion during a common envelope (CE) episode. These CE episodes are necessary to produce close pairs of NSs that can inspiral and merge due to gravitational wave losses in less than a Hubble time. Because cooling by neutrinos can be very efficient, NSs have been predicted to accumulate significant mass during CE events, perhaps enough to lead them to collapse to black holes. We revisit this conclusion with the additional consideration of CE structure, particularly density gradients across the embedded NS’s accretion radius. This work is informed by our recent numerical simulations that find that the presence of a density gradient strongly limits accretion by imposing a net angular momentum to the flow around the NS. Our calculations suggest that NSs should survive CE encounters. They accrete only modest amounts of envelope material, $\lesssim 0.1M_\odot$, which is broadly consistent with mass determinations of double NS binaries. With less mass gain, NSs must spiral deeper to eject their CE, leading to a potential increase in mergers. The survival of NSs in CE events has implications for the formation mechanism of observed double NS binaries, as well as for predicted rates of NS binary gravitational wave inspirals and their electromagnetic counterparts.

Close stellar binary systems by grazing envelope evolution

I suggest a spiral-in process by which a stellar companion graze the envelope of a giant star while both the orbital separation and the giant radius shrink simultaneously, and a close binary system is formed. The binary system might be viewed as evolving in a constant state of `just entering a common envelope (CE) phase’. In cases where this process takes place it can be an alternative to the CE evolution where the secondary star is immerses in the giant’s envelope. The grazing envelope evolution (GEE) is made possible only if the companion manages to accreted mass at a high rate and launch jets that remove the outskirts of the giant envelope, hence preventing the formation of a CE . The high accretion rate is made possible by the accretion disk that launches jets that efficiently carry the excess angular momentum and energy from the accreted mass. Mass loss through the second Lagrangian point can carry additional angular momentum and envelope mass. The GEE lasts for tens to hundreds of years. The high accretion rate with peaks lasting months to years might lead to a bright object termed intermediate luminosity optical transient (ILOT; Red Novae; Red Transients). A bipolar nebula and/or equatorial ring are formed around the binary remnant.


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