Posts Tagged dust grains

Recent Postings from dust grains

On the radiation driven alignment of dust grains: Detection of the polarization hole in a starless core

We aim to investigate the polarization properties of a starless core in a very early evolutionary stage. Linear polarization data reveal the properties of the dust grains in the distinct phases of the interstellar medium. Our goal is to investigate how the polarization degree and angle correlate with the cloud and core gas. We use optical, near infrared and submillimeter polarization observations toward the starless object Pipe-109 in the Pipe nebula. Our data cover a physical scale range of 0.08 to 0.4 pc, comprising the dense gas, envelope and the surrounding cloud. The cloud polarization is well traced by the optical data. The near infrared polarization is produced by a mixed population of grains from the core border and the cloud gas. The optical and near infrared polarization toward the cloud reach the maximum possible value and saturate with respect to the visual extinction. The core polarization is predominantly traced by the submillimeter data and have a steep decrease with respect to the visual extinction. Modeling of the submillimeter polarization indicates a magnetic field main direction projected onto the plane-of-sky and loss of grain alignment for densities higher than $6\times10^4$ cm$^{-3}$ (or $A_V > 30$ mag). Pipe-109 is immersed in a magnetized medium, with a very ordered magnetic field. The absence of internal source of radiation significantly affects the polarization efficiencies in the core, creating a polarization hole at the center of the starless core. This result supports the theory of dust grain alignment via radiative torques.

The gas-ice chemical interplay during cloud evolution

During the evolution of diffuse clouds to molecular clouds, gas-phase molecules freeze out on surfaces of small dust particles to form ices. On dust surfaces, water is the main constituent of the icy mantle in which a complex chemistry is taking place. We aim to study the formation pathways and the composition of the ices throughout the evolution of diffuse clouds. For this purpose, we use time-dependent rate equations to calculate the molecular abundances in both gas phase and on solid surfaces (onto dust grains). We fully consider the gas-dust interplay by including the details of freeze-out, chemical and thermal desorption, as well as the most important photo-processes on grain surfaces. The difference in binding energies of chemical species on bare and icy surfaces is also incorporated into our equations. Using the numerical code FLASH, we perform a hydrodynamical simulation of a gravitationally bound diffuse cloud and follow its contraction. We find that while the dust grains are still bare, water formation is enhanced by grain surface chemistry which is subsequently released into the gas phase, enriching the molecular medium. The CO molecules, on the other hand, tend to freeze out gradually on bare grains. This causes CO to be well mixed and strongly present within the first ice layer. Once one monolayer of water ice has formed, the binding energy of the grain surface changes significantly and an immediate and strong depletion of gas-phase water and CO molecules occur. While hydrogenation converts solid CO into formaldehyde (H$_2$CO) and methanol (CH$_3$OH), water ice becomes the main constituent of the icy grains. Inside molecular clumps formaldehyde is more abundant than water and methanol in the gas phase owing its presence mainly to chemical desorption.

Effect of lift force on the aerodynamics of dust grains in the protoplanetary disk

We newly introduce lift force into the aerodynamics of dust grains in the protoplanetary disk. Although many authors have so far investigated the effects of the drag force, gravitational force and electric force on the dust grains, the lift force has never been considered as a force exerted on the dust grains in the gas disk. If the grains are spinning and moving in the fluid, then the lift force is exerted on them. We show in this paper that the dust grains can be continuously spinning due to the frequent collisions so that the lift force continues to be exerted on them, which is valid in a certain parameter space where the grain size is larger than ~ 1 m and where the distance from the central star is larger than 1 AU for the minimum mass solar nebula. In addition, we estimate the effects of the force on the grain motion and obtain the result that the mean relative velocity between the grains due to the lift force is comparable to the gas velocity in the Kepler rotational frame when the Stokes number and lift-drag ratio are both ~ 1. This estimation is performed under the assumptions of the steady state and the isotropic spin angular momentum. We also estimate the mean relative velocity when the grains keep spinning and conclude that the lift force marginally affects the mean relative velocity in the minimum mass solar nebula. If there is a grain-concentrated part in the disk, the relative velocity due to the lift force may dominate there because of high collision rate.

A Study of Dust and Gas at Mars from Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)

Although the nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will safely pass Mars in October 2014, the dust in the coma and tail will more closely approach the planet. Using a dynamical model of comet dust, we estimate the impact fluence. Based on our nominal model no impacts are expected at Mars. Relaxing our nominal model’s parameters, the fluence is no greater than ~10^7 grains/m^2 for grain radii larger than 10 {\mu}m. Mars orbiting spacecraft are unlikely to be impacted by large dust grains, but Mars may receive as many as ~10^7 grains, or ~100 kg of total dust. We also estimate the flux of impacting gas molecules commonly observed in comet comae.

A Study of Dust and Gas at Mars from Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) [Replacement]

Although the nucleus of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will safely pass Mars in October 2014, the dust in the coma and tail will more closely approach the planet. Using a dynamical model of comet dust, we estimate the impact fluence. Based on our nominal model no impacts are expected at Mars. Relaxing our nominal model’s parameters, the fluence is no greater than ~10^-7 grains/m^2 for grain radii larger than 10 {\mu}m. Mars orbiting spacecraft are unlikely to be impacted by large dust grains, but Mars may receive as many as ~10^7 grains, or ~100 kg of total dust. We also estimate the flux of impacting gas molecules commonly observed in comet comae.

Deuterated methanol in the pre-stellar core L1544

Using the IRAM 30m telescope, we mapped the methanol emission in the pre-stellar core L1544 and observed singly deuterated methanol (CH$_2$DOH and CH$_3$OD) towards the dust peak of L1544. Non-LTE radiative transfer modelling was performed on three CH$_3$OH emissions lines at 96.7 GHz, using a Bonnor-Ebert sphere as a model for the source. We have also assumed a centrally decreasing abundance profile to take the molecule freeze-out in the inner core into account. The column density of CH$_2$DOH was derived assuming LTE excitation and optically thin emission. The CH$_3$OH emission has a highly asymmetric morphology, resembling a non-uniform ring surrounding the dust peak, where CO is mainly frozen onto dust grains. The observations provide an accurate measure of methanol deuteration in the cold pre-stellar gas. The derived abundance ratio is [CH$_2$DOH]/[CH$_3$OH] $= 0.10\pm 0.03$, which is significantly smaller than the ones found in low-mass Class 0 protostars and smaller than the deuterium Fraction measured in other molecules towards L1544. The low deuterium fractionation observed in L1544 and the morphology of the CH$_3$OH emission suggest that we are mainly tracing the outer parts of the core, where CO just started to freeze-out onto dust grains.

Probing the Terrestrial Regions of Planetary Systems: Warm Debris Disks with Emission Features

Observations of debris disks allow for the study of planetary systems, even where planets have not been detected. However, debris disks are often only characterized by unresolved infrared excesses that resemble featureless blackbodies, and the location of the emitting dust is uncertain due to a degeneracy with the dust grain properties. Here we characterize the Spitzer IRS spectra of 22 debris disks exhibiting 10 micron silicate emission features. Such features arise from small warm dust grains, and their presence can significantly constrain the orbital location of the emitting debris. We find that these features can be explained by the presence of an additional dust component in the terrestrial zones of the planetary systems, i.e. an exozodiacal belt. Aside from possessing exozodiacal dust, these debris disks are not particularly unique; their minimum grain sizes are consistent with the blowout sizes of their systems, and their brightnesses are comparable to those of featureless warm debris disks. These disks are in systems with a range of ages, although the older systems with features are found only around A-type stars. The features in young systems may be signatures of terrestrial planet formation. Analyzing the spectra of unresolved debris disks with emission features may be one of the simplest and most accessible ways to study the terrestrial regions of planetary systems.

Effect of dust grain porosity on the appearance of protoplanetary disks

We theoretically analyze protoplanetary disks consisting of porous dust grains. In the analysis of observations of protoplanetary disks the dust phase is often assumed to consist of spherical grains, allowing one to apply the Mie scattering formalism. However, in reality, the shape of dust grains is expected to deviate strongly from that of a sphere. We investigate the influence of porous dust grains on the temperature distribution and observable appearance of protoplanetary disks for dust grain porosities of up to 60 %. We performed radiative transfer modeling to simulate the temperature distribution, spectral energy distribution, and spatially resolved intensity and polarization maps. The optical properties of porous grains were calculated using the method of discrete dipole approximation. We find that the flux in the optical wavelength range is for porous grains higher than for compact, spherical grains. The profile of the silicate peak at 9.7 um strongly depends on the degree of grain porosity. The temperature distribution shows significant changes in the direction perpendicular to the midplane. Moreover, simulated polarization maps reveal an increase of the polarization degree by a factor of about four when porous grains are considered, regardless of the disk inclination. The polarization direction is reversed in selected disk regions, depending on the wavelength, grain porosity, and disk inclination. We discuss several possible explanations of this effect and find that multiple scattering explains the effect best. Porosity influences the observable appearance of protoplanetary disks. In particular, the polarization reversal shows a dependence on grain porosity. The physical conditions within the disk are altered by porosity, which might have an effect on the processes of grain growth and disk evolution.

Imaging the Inner and Outer Gaps of the Pre-Transitional Disk of HD 169142 at 7 mm

We present Very Large Array observations at 7 mm that trace the thermal emission of large dust grains in the HD 169142 protoplanetary disk. Our images show a ring of enhanced emission of radius ~25-30 AU, whose inner region is devoid of detectable 7 mm emission. We interpret this ring as tracing the rim of an inner cavity or gap, possibly created by a planet or a substellar companion. The ring appears asymmetric, with the western part significantly brighter than the eastern one. This azimuthal asymmetry is reminiscent of the lopsided structures that are expected to be produced as a consequence of trapping of large dust grains. Our observations also reveal an outer annular gap at radii from ~40 to ~70 AU. Unlike other sources, the radii of the inner cavity, the ring, and the outer gap observed in the 7 mm images, which trace preferentially the distribution of large (mm/cm sized) dust grains, coincide with those obtained from a previous near-infrared polarimetric image, which traces scattered light from small (micron- sized) dust grains. We model the broad-band spectral energy distribution and the 7 mm images to constrain the disk physical structure. From this modeling we infer the presence of a small (radius ~0.6 AU) residual disk inside the central cavity, indicating that the HD 169142 disk is a pre-transitional disk. The distribution of dust in three annuli with gaps in between them suggests that the disk in HD 169142 is being disrupted by at least two planets or substellar objects.

Formation and evolution of molecular hydrogen in disk galaxies with different masses and Hubble types

We investigate the physical properties of molecular hydrogen (H2) in isolated and interacting disk galaxies with different masses and Hubble types by using chemodynamical simulations with H2 formation on dust grains and dust growth and destruction in interstellar medium (ISM). We particularly focus on the dependences of H2 gas mass fractions (f_H2), spatial distributions of HI and H2, and local H2-scaling relations on initial halo masses (M_h), baryonic fractions (f_bary), gas mass fractions (f_g), and Hubble types. The principal results are as follows. The final f_H2 can be larger in disk galaxies with higher M_h, f_bary, and f_g. Some low-mass disk models with M_h smaller than 10^10 M_sun show extremely low f_H2 and thus no/little star formation, even if initial f_g is quite large (>0.9). Big galactic bulges can severely suppress the formation of H2 from HI on dust grains whereas strong stellar bars can not only enhance f_H2 but also be responsible for the formation of H2-dominated central rings. The projected radial distributions of H2 are significantly more compact than those of HI and the simulated radial profiles of H2-to-HI-ratios (R_mol) follow roughly R^-1.5 in MW-type disk models. Galaxy interaction can significantly increase f_H2 and total H2 mass in disk galaxies. The local surface mass densities of H2 can be correlated with those of dust in a galaxy. The observed correlation between R_mol and gas pressure (R_mol ~ P_g^0.92) can be well reproduced in the simulated disk galaxies.

A common column density threshold for scattering at 3.6 mum and water-ice in molecular clouds

Context: Observations of scattered light in the 1-5 $\mu$m range have revealed dust grains in molecular cores with sizes larger than commonly inferred for the diffuse interstellar medium. It is currently unclear whether these grains are grown within the molecular cores or are an ubiquitous component of the interstellar medium. Aims: We investigate whether the large grains necessary for efficient scattering at 1-5 mum are associated with the abundance of water-ice within molecular clouds and cores. Methods: We combined water-ice abundance measurements for sight lines through the Lupus IV molecular cloud complex with measurements of the scattered light at 3.6 mum for the same sight lines. Results: We find that there is a similar threshold for the cores in emission in scattered light at 3.6 mum (tau_9.7=0.15pm0.05, A_K=0.4pm0.2 as water-ice (tau_9.7=0.11pm0.01, A_K=0.19pm0.04) and that the scattering efficiency increases as the relative water-ice abundance increases. The ice layer increases the average grain size, which again strongly increases the albedo. Conclusions: The higher scattering efficiency is partly due to layering of ice on the dust grains. Although the layer can be relatively thin it can enhance the scattering substantially.

Dust properties inside molecular clouds from coreshine modeling and observations

Context. Using observations to deduce dust properties, grain size distribution, and physical conditions in molecular clouds is a highly degenerate problem. Aims. The coreshine phenomenon, a scattering process at 3.6 and 4.5 $\mu$m that dominates absorption, has revealed its ability to explore the densest parts of clouds. We want to use this effect to constrain the dust parameters. The goal is to investigate to what extent grain growth (at constant dust mass) inside molecular clouds is able to explain the coreshine observations. We aim to find dust models that can explain a sample of Spitzer coreshine data. We also look at the consistency with near-infrared data we obtained for a few clouds. Methods. We selected four regions with a very high occurrence of coreshine cases: Taurus-Perseus, Cepheus, Chameleon and L183/L134. We built a grid of dust models and investigated the key parameters to reproduce the general trend of surface bright- nesses and intensity ratios of both coreshine and near-infrared observations with the help of a 3D Monte-Carlo radiative transfer code. The grid parameters allow to investigate the effect of coagulation upon spherical grains up to 5 $\mu$m in size derived from the DustEm diffuse interstellar medium grains. Fluffiness (porosity or fractal degree), ices, and a handful of classical grain size distributions were also tested. We used the near- and mostly mid-infrared intensity ratios as strong discriminants between dust models. Results. The determination of the background field intensity at each wavelength is a key issue. In particular, an especially strong background field explains why we do not see coreshine in the Galactic plane at 3.6 and 4.5 $\mu$m. For starless cores, where detected, the observed 4.5 $\mu$m / 3.6 $\mu$m coreshine intensity ratio is always lower than $\sim$0.5 which is also what we find in the models for the Taurus-Perseus and L183 directions. Embedded sources can lead to higher fluxes (up to four times greater than the strongest starless core fluxes) and higher coreshine ratios (from 0.5 to 1.1 in our selected sample). Normal interstellar radiation field conditions are sufficient to find suitable grain models at all wavelengths for starless cores. The standard interstellar grains are not able to reproduce observations and, due to the multi-wavelength approach, only a few grain types meet the criteria set by the data. Porosity does not affect the flux ratios while the fractal dimension helps to explain coreshine ratios but does not seem able to reproduce near-infrared observations without a mix of other grain types. Conclusions. Combined near- and mid-infrared wavelengths confirm the potential to reveal the nature and size distribution of dust grains. Careful assessment of the environmental parameters (interstellar and background fields, embedded or nearby reddened sources) is required to validate this new diagnostic.

Disk Radii and Grain Sizes in Herschel-Resolved Debris Disks

(Abridged) The radii of debris disks and the sizes of their dust grains are tracers of the formation mechanisms and physical processes operating in these systems. We use a sample of 34 debris disks spatially resolved in various Herschel programs to constrain them. While we modeled disks with both warm and cold components, we focus our analysis only on the cold outer disks, i.e. Kuiper-belt analogs. The disk radii derived from the resolved images reveal a large dispersion, but no significant trend with the stellar luminosity, which argues against ice lines as a dominant player in setting the debris disk sizes. Fixing the disk radii to those inferred from the resolved images, we model the spectral energy distributions to determine the dust temperatures and the grain size distributions. While the dust temperature systematically increases towards earlier spectral types, its ratio to the blackbody temperature at the disk radius decreases with the stellar luminosity. This is explained by an increase of typical grain sizes towards more luminous stars. The sizes are compared to the radiation pressure blowout limit $s_\text{blow}$ that is proportional to the stellar luminosity-to-mass ratio and thus also increases towards earlier spectral classes. The grain sizes in the disks of G- to A-stars are inferred to be several times $s_\text{blow}$ at all stellar luminosities, in agreement with collisional models of debris disks. The sizes, measured in the units of $s_\text{blow}$, appear to decrease with the luminosity, which may be suggestive of the disk’s stirring level increasing towards earlier-type stars.

Rapid formation of large dust grains in the luminous supernova SN 2010jl

The origin of dust in galaxies is still a mystery. The majority of the refractory elements are produced in supernova explosions but it is unclear how and where dust grains condense and grow, and how they avoid destruction in the harsh environments of star-forming galaxies. The recent detection of 0.1-0.5 solar masses of dust in nearby supernova remnants suggests in situ dust formation, while other observations reveal very little dust in supernovae the first few years after explosion. Observations of the bright SN 2010jl have been interpreted as pre-existing dust, dust formation or no dust at all. Here we report the rapid (40-240 days) formation of dust in its dense circumstellar medium. The wavelength dependent extinction of this dust reveals the presence of very large (> 1 micron) grains, which are resistant to destructive processes. At later times (500-900 days), the near-IR thermal emission shows an accelerated growth in dust mass, marking the transition of the supernova from a circumstellar- to an ejecta-dominated source of dust. This provides the link between the early and late dust mass evolution in supernovae with dense circumstellar media.

Thermal design and performance of the balloon-borne large aperture submillimeter telescope for polarimetry BLASTPol

We present the thermal model of the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol). This instrument was successfully flown in two circumpolar flights from McMurdo, Antarctica in 2010 and 2012. During these two flights, BLASTPol obtained unprecedented information about the magnetic field in molecular clouds through the measurement of the polarized thermal emission of interstellar dust grains. The thermal design of the experiment addresses the stability and control of the payload necessary for this kind of measurement. We describe the thermal modeling of the payload including the sun-shielding strategy. We present the in-flight thermal performance of the instrument and compare the predictions of the model with the temperatures registered during the flight. We describe the difficulties of modeling the thermal behavior of the balloon-borne platform and establish landmarks that can be used in the design of future balloon-borne instruments.

ATLASGAL-selected massive clumps in the inner Galaxy: I. CO depletion and isotopic ratios

In the low-mass regime, it is found that the gas-phase abundances of C-bearing molecules in cold starless cores rapidly decrease with increasing density, as the molecules form mantles on dust grains. We study CO depletion in 102 massive clumps selected from the ATLASGAL 870 micron survey, and investigate its correlation with evolutionary stage and with the physical parameters of the sources. Moreover, we study the gradients in [12C]/[13C] and [18O]/[17O] isotopic ratios across the inner Galaxy, and the virial stability of the clumps. We use low-J emission lines of CO isotopologues and the dust continuum emission to infer the depletion factor fD. RATRAN one-dimensional models were also used to determine fD and to investigate the presence of depletion above a density threshold. The isotopic ratios and optical depth were derived with a Bayesian approach. We find a significant number of clumps with a large fD, up to ~20. Larger values are found for colder clumps, thus for earlier evolutionary phases. For massive clumps in the earliest stages of evolution we estimate the radius of the region where CO depletion is important to be a few tenths of a pc. Clumps are found with total masses derived from dust continuum emission up to ~20 times higher than the virial mass, especially among the less evolved sources. These large values may in part be explained by the presence of depletion: if the CO emission comes mainly from the low-density outer layers, the molecules may be subthermally excited, leading to an overestimate of the dust masses. CO depletion in high-mass clumps seems to behave as in the low-mass regime, with less evolved clumps showing larger values for the depletion than their more evolved counterparts, and increasing for denser sources. The C and O isotopic ratios are consistent with previous determinations, and show a large intrinsic scatter.

Using numerical models of bow shocks to investigate the circumstellar medium of massive stars

Many massive stars travel through the interstellar medium at supersonic speeds. As a result they form bow shocks at the interface between the stellar wind. We use numerical hydrodynamics to reproduce such bow shocks numerically, creating models that can be compared to observations. In this paper we discuss the influence of two physical phenomena, interstellar magnetic fields and the presence of interstellar dust grains on the observable shape of the bow shocks of massive stars. We find that the interstellar magnetic field, though too weak to restrict the general shape of the bow shock, reduces the size of the instabilities that would otherwise be observed in the bow shock of a red supergiant. The interstellar dust grains, due to their inertia can penetrate deep into the bow shock structure of a main sequence O-supergiant, crossing over from the ISM into the stellar wind. Therefore, the dust distribution may not always reflect the morphology of the gas. This is an important consideration for infrared observations, which are dominated by dust emission. Our models clearly show, that the bow shocks of massive stars are useful diagnostic tools that can used to investigate the properties of both the stellar wind as well as the interstellar medium.

Searching for Dust around Hyper Metal-Poor Stars

We examine the mid-infrared fluxes and spectral energy distributions for metal-poor stars with iron abundances [Fe/H] $\lesssim-5$, as well as two CEMP-no stars, to eliminate the possibility that their low metallicities are related to the depletion of elements onto dust grains in the formation of a debris disk. Six out of seven stars examined here show no mid-IR excess. These non-detections rule out many types of circumstellar disks, e.g. a warm debris disk ($T\!\le\!290$ K), or debris disks with inner radii $\le1$ AU, such as those associated with the chemically peculiar post-AGB spectroscopic binaries and RV Tau variables. However, we cannot rule out cooler debris disks, nor those with lower flux ratios to their host stars due to, e.g. a smaller disk mass, a larger inner disk radius, an absence of small grains, or even a multicomponent structure, as often found with the chemically peculiar Lambda Bootis stars. The only exception is HE0107-5240, for which a small mid-IR excess near 10 microns is detected at the 2-$\sigma$ level; if the excess is real and associated with this star, it may indicate the presence of (recent) dust-gas winnowing or a binary system.

Regular and Chaotic Motion in General Relativity: The Case of a Massive Magnetic Dipole

Circular motion of particles, dust grains and fluids in the vicinity of compact objects has been investigated as a model for accretion of gaseous and dusty environment. Here we further discuss, within the framework of general relativity, figures of equilibrium of matter under the influence of combined gravitational and large-scale magnetic fields, assuming that the accreted material acquires a small electric charge due to interplay of plasma processes and photoionization. In particular, we employ an exact solution describing the massive magnetic dipole and we identify the regions of stable motion. We also investigate situations when the particle dynamics exhibits the onset of chaos. In order to characterize the measure of chaoticness we employ techniques of Poincar\’e surfaces of section and of recurrence plots.

Characterizing the chemical pathways for water formation -- A deep search for hydrogen peroxide

In 2011, hydrogen peroxide (HOOH) was observed for the first time outside the solar system (Bergman et al., A&A, 2011, 531, L8). This detection appeared a posteriori quite natural, as HOOH is an intermediate product in the formation of water on the surface of dust grains. Following up on this detection, we present a search for HOOH in a diverse sample of sources in different environments, including low-mass protostars and regions with very high column densities, such as Infrared Dark Clouds (IRDCs). We do not detect the molecule in any other source than Oph A, and derive 3$\sigma$ upper limits for the abundance of HOOH relative to H$_2$ lower than in Oph A for most sources. This result sheds a different light on our understanding of the detection of HOOH in Oph A, and shifts the puzzle to why this source seems to be special. Therefore we rediscuss the detection of HOOH in Oph A, as well as the implications of the low abundance of HOOH, and its similarity with the case of O$_2$. Our chemical models show that the production of HOOH is extremely sensitive to the temperature, and favored only in the range 20$-$30 K. The relatively high abundance of HOOH observed in Oph A suggests that the bulk of the material lies at a temperature in the range 20$-$30 K.

Explaining Mercury's Density through Magnetic Erosion

In protoplanetary disks, dust grains rich in metallic iron can attract each other magnetically. If they are magnetized to values near saturation, the magnetically induced collision speeds are high enough to knock off the non-magnetized, loosely bound silicates. This process enriches the surviving portions of the dust grains in metallic iron, which further enhances the magnetically mediated collisions. The magnetic enhancement to the collisional cross-section between the iron rich dust results in rapid grain growth leading to planetesimal formation. While this process of knocking off silicates, which we term "magnetic erosion", occurs only in a very limited portion of a protoplanetary disk, it is a possible explanation for Mercury’s disproportionately large iron core.

Shadows and cavities in protoplanetary disks: HD163296, HD141569A, and HD150193A in polarized light

The morphological evolution of dusty disks around young (few Myr-old) stars is pivotal to better understand planet formation. Since both dust grains and the global disk geometry evolve on short timescale, high-resolution imaging of a sample of objects may provide important hints towards such an evolution. We enlarge the sample of protoplanetary disks imaged in polarized light with high-resolution by observing the Herbig Ae/Be stars HD163296, HD141569A, and HD150193A. We integrate our data with previous datasets to paint a larger picture of their morphology. We report a weak detection of the disk around HD163296 in both H and Ks band. The disk is resolved as a broken ring structure with a significan surface brightness drop inward of 0.6 arcsec. No sign of extended polarized emission is detected from the disk around HD141569A and HD150193A. We propose that the absence of scattered light in the inner 0.6 arcsec around HD163296 and the non-detection of the disk around HD150193A may be due to similar geometric factors. Since these disks are known to be flat or only moderately flared, self-shadowing by the disk inner wall is the favored explanation. We show that the polarized brightness of a number of disks is indeed related to their flaring angle. Other scenarios (such as dust grain growth or interaction with icy molecules) are also discussed. On the other hand, the non-detection of HD141569A is consistent with previous datasets revealing the presence of a huge cavity in the dusty disk.

Shadows and cavities in protoplanetary disks: HD163296, HD141569A, and HD150193A in polarized light [Replacement]

The morphological evolution of dusty disks around young (few Myr-old) stars is pivotal to better understand planet formation. Since both dust grains and the global disk geometry evolve on short timescale, high-resolution imaging of a sample of objects may provide important hints towards such an evolution. We enlarge the sample of protoplanetary disks imaged in polarized light with high-resolution by observing the Herbig Ae/Be stars HD163296, HD141569A, and HD150193A. We integrate our data with previous datasets to paint a larger picture of their morphology. We report a weak detection of the disk around HD163296 in both H and Ks band. The disk is resolved as a broken ring structure with a significan surface brightness drop inward of 0.6 arcsec. No sign of extended polarized emission is detected from the disk around HD141569A and HD150193A. We propose that the absence of scattered light in the inner 0.6 arcsec around HD163296 and the non-detection of the disk around HD150193A may be due to similar geometric factors. Since these disks are known to be flat or only moderately flared, self-shadowing by the disk inner wall is the favored explanation. We show that the polarized brightness of a number of disks is indeed related to their flaring angle. Other scenarios (such as dust grain growth or interaction with icy molecules) are also discussed. On the other hand, the non-detection of HD141569A is consistent with previous datasets revealing the presence of a huge cavity in the dusty disk.

Comparison of the dust and gas radial structure in the transition disk [PZ99] J160421.7-213028

We present ALMA observations of the 880um continuum and CO J= 3-2 line emission from the transition disk around [PZ99] J160421.7-213028, a solar mass star in the Upper Scorpius OB association. Analysis of the continuum data indicates that 80% of the dust mass is concentrated in an annulus extending between 79 and 114AU in radius. Dust is robustly detected inside the annulus, at a mass surface density 100 times lower than that at 80 AU. The CO emission in the inner disk also shows a significantly decreased mass surface density, but we infer a cavity radius of only 31AU for the gas. The large separation of the dust and gas cavity edges, as well as the high radial concentration of millimeter-sized dust grains, is qualitatively consistent with the predictions of pressure trap models that include hydrodynamical disk-planet interactions and dust coagulation/fragmentation processes.

Interactions of adsorbed CO$_2$ on water ice at low temperatures

We present a computational study into the adsorption properties of CO$_2$ on amorphous and crystalline water surfaces under astrophysically relevant conditions. Water and carbon dioxide are two of the most dominant species in the icy mantles of interstellar dust grains and a thorough understanding of their solid phase interactions at low temperatures is crucial for understanding the structural evolution of the ices due to thermal segregation. In this paper, a new H$_2$O-CO$_2$ interaction potential is proposed and used to model the ballistic deposition of CO$_2$ layers on water ice surfaces, and to study the individual binding sites at low coverages. Contrary to recent experimental results, we do not observe CO$_2$ island formation on any type of water substrate. Additionally, density functional theory calculations are performed to assess the importance of induced electrostatic interactions.

Influence of surface coverage on the chemical desorption process [Cross-Listing]

In cold astrophysical environments, some molecules are observed in the gas phase whereas they should have been depleted, frozen on dust grains. In order to solve this problem, astrochemists have proposed that a fraction of molecules synthesized on the surface of dust grains could desorb just after their formation. Recently the chemical desorption process has been demonstrated experimentally, but the key parameters at play have not yet been fully understood. In this article we propose a new procedure to analyze the ratio of di-oxygen and ozone synthesized after O atoms adsorption on oxidized graphite. We demonstrate that the chemical desorption efficiency of the two reaction paths (O+O and O+O$_2$) is different by one order of magnitude. We show the importance of the surface coverage: for the O+O reaction, the chemical desorption efficiency is close to 80 $\%$ at zero coverage and tends to zero at one monolayer coverage. The coverage dependence of O+O chemical desorption is proved by varying the amount of pre-adsorbed N$_2$ on the substrate from 0 to 1.5 ML. Finally, we discuss the relevance of the different physical parameters that could play a role in the chemical desorption process: binding energy, enthalpy of formation, and energy transfer from the new molecule to the surface or to other adsorbates.

Some Stars are Totally Metal: A New Mechanism Driving Dust Across Star-Forming Clouds, and Consequences for Planets, Stars, and Galaxies

Dust grains in neutral gas behave as aerodynamic particles, so they can develop large local density fluctuations entirely independent of gas density fluctuations. Specifically, gas turbulence can drive order-of-magnitude ‘resonant’ fluctuations in the dust density on scales where the gas stopping/drag timescale is comparable to the turbulent eddy turnover time. Here we show that for large grains (size >0.1 micron, containing most grain mass) in sufficiently large molecular clouds (radii >1-10 pc, masses >10^4 solar), this scale becomes longer than the characteristic sizes of pre-stellar cores (the sonic length), so large fluctuations in the dust-to-gas ratio are imprinted on cores. As a result, star clusters and protostellar disks formed in large clouds should exhibit substantial abundance spreads in the elements preferentially found in large grains (C, O, Si). This naturally predicts populations of carbon-enhanced stars, certain highly unusual stellar populations observed in nearby open clusters, and may explain the ‘UV upturn’ in early-type galaxies. It will also dramatically change planet formation in the resulting protostellar disks, by preferentially seeding disks with an enhancement in large carbonaceous or silicate grains. The relevant threshold for this behavior scales simply with cloud densities and temperatures, making straightforward predictions for clusters in starbursts and high-redshift galaxies. Because of the selective sorting by size, this process is not visible in extinction mapping. We also predict the shape of the abundance distribution. When these fluctuations occur, a small fraction of the cores are actually seeded with abundances Z~100 Z_mean, such that they are almost ‘totally metal’ (Z~1)! Assuming the cores collapse, these totally metal stars would be rare (1 in 10^4 in clusters where this occurs), but represent a fundamentally new stellar evolution channel.

Two fluid dust and gas mixtures in SPH: A semi-implicit approach

A method to avoid the explicit time integration of small dust grains in the two fluid gas/dust smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) approach is proposed. By assuming a very simple exponential decay model for the relative velocity between the gas and dust components, all the effective characteristics of the drag force can be reproduced. A series of tests has been performed to compare the accuracy of the method with analytical and explicit integration results. We find that the method performs well on a wide range of tests, and can provide large speed ups over explicit integration when the dust stopping time is small. We have also found that the method is much less dissipative than conventional explicit or implicit two-fluid SPH approaches when modelling dusty shocks.

Debris disc formation induced by planetary growth

Several hundred stars older than 10 million years have been observed to have infrared excesses. These observations are explained by dust grains formed by the collisional fragmentation of hidden planetesimals. Such dusty planetesimal discs are known as debris discs. In a dynamically cold planetesimal disc, collisional coagulation of planetesimals produces planetary embryos which then stir the surrounding leftover planetesimals. Thus, the collisional fragmentation of planetesimals that results from planet formation forms a debris disc. We aim to determine the properties of the underlying planetesimals in debris discs by numerically modelling the coagulation and fragmentation of planetesimal populations. The brightness and temporal evolution of debris discs depend on the radial distribution of planetesimal discs, the location of their inner and outer edges, their total mass, and the size of planetesimals in the disc. We find that a radially narrow planetesimal disc is most likely to result in a debris disc that can explain the trend of observed infrared excesses of debris discs around G-type stars, for which planet formation occurs only before 100 million years. Early debris disc formation is induced by planet formation, while the later evolution is explained by the collisional decay of leftover planetesimals around planets that have already formed. Planetesimal discs with underlying planetesimals of radii $\sim 100\,$km at $\approx 30$ AU most readily explain the Spitzer Space Telescope 24 and 70$ \mu$m fluxes from debris discs around G-type stars.

Deuterium chemistry of dense gas in the vicinity of low-mass and massive star forming regions

The standard interstellar ratio of deuterium to hydrogen (D/H) atoms is $\sim 1.5 \times 10^{-5}$. However, the deuterium fractionation is in fact found to be enhanced, to different degrees, in cold, dark cores, hot cores around massive star forming regions, lukewarm cores, and warm cores ({\it hereafter}, hot corinos) around low-mass star forming regions. In this paper, we investigate the overall differences in the deuterium chemistry between hot cores and hot corinos. We have modelled the chemistry of dense gas around low-mass and massive star forming regions using a gas-grain chemical model. We investigate the influence of varying the core density, the depletion efficiency of gaseous species on to dust grains, the collapse mode and the final mass of the protostar on the chemical evolution of star forming regions. We find that the deuterium chemistry is, in general, most sensitive to variations of the depletion efficiency on to grain surfaces, in agreement with observations. In addition, the results showed that the chemistry is more sensitive to changes in the final density of the collapsing core in hot cores than in hot corinos. Finally, we find that ratios of deuterated sulphur bearing species in dense gas around hot cores and corinos may be good evolutionary indicators in a similar way as their non deuterated counterparts.

Vacuum-UV spectroscopy of interstellar ice analogs. II. Absorption cross-sections of nonpolar ice molecules

Dust grains in cold circumstellar regions and dark-cloud interiors at 10-20 K are covered by ice mantles. A nonthermal desorption mechanism is invoked to explain the presence of gas-phase molecules in these environments, such as the photodesorption induced by irradiation of ice due to secondary ultraviolet photons. To quantify the effects of ice photoprocessing, an estimate of the photon absorption in ice mantles is required. In a recent work, we reported the vacuum-ultraviolet (VUV) absorption cross sections of nonpolar molecules in the solid phase. The aim was to estimate the VUV-absorption cross sections of nonpolar molecular ice components, including CH4, CO2, N2, and O2. The column densities of the ice samples deposited at 8 K were measured in situ by infrared spectroscopy in transmittance. VUV spectra of the ice samples were collected in the 120-160 nm (10.33-7.74 eV) range using a commercial microwave-discharged hydrogen flow lamp. We found that, as expected, solid N2 has the lowest VUV-absorption cross section, which about three orders of magnitude lower than that of other species such as O2, which is also homonuclear. Methane (CH4) ice presents a high absorption near Ly-alpha (121.6 nm) and does not absorb below 148 nm. Estimating the ice absorption cross sections is essential for models of ice photoprocessing and allows estimating the ice photodesorption rates as the number of photodesorbed molecules per absorbed photon in the ice.

Planck intermediate results. XXI. Comparison of polarized thermal emission from Galactic dust at 353 GHz with optical interstellar polarization

The Planck survey provides unprecedented full-sky coverage of the submillimetre polarized emission from Galactic dust, bringing new constraints on the properties of dust. The dust grains that emit the radiation seen by Planck in the submillimetre also extinguish and polarize starlight in the optical. Using ancillary catalogues of interstellar polarization and extinction of starlight, we obtain the degree of polarization, $p_V$, and the optical depth in the $V$ band to the star, $\tau_V$. We extract the submillimetre polarized intensity, $P_S$, and total intensity, $I_S$, measured toward these stars in the Planck 353 GHz channel. We compare the position angle measured in the optical with that measured at 353 GHz, and the column density measure $E(B – V)$ with that inferred from the Planck product map of the submillimetre dust optical depth. For those lines of sight suitable for this comparison, we measure the polarization ratios $R_{S/V} = (P_S/I_S)/(p_V/\tau_V)$ and $R_{P/p} = P_S / p_V$ through a correlation analysis. We find $R_{S/V} = 4.3$ with statistical and systematic uncertainties 0.2 and 0.4, respectively, and $R_{P/p} = 5.6$ MJy sr$^{-1}$, with statistical and systematic uncertainties 0.2 and 0.4 MJy sr$^{-1}$, respectively. Our estimate of $R_{S/V}$ is reasonably compatible with current dust models, not yet very discriminating among them. However, the observed $R_{P/p}$ is a more discriminating diagnostic for the polarizing grain population and is not compatible with predictions of dust models, the observations being higher by a factor of about 2.5. These new diagnostics from Planck, including the spectral dependence in the submillimetre, will be important for constraining and understanding the full complexity of the grain models, and for further interpretation of the Planck thermal dust polarization.

What sodium absorption lines tell us about type Ia supernovae

We propose that the sodium responsible for the variable Na I D absorption lines in some type Ia supernovae (SN Ia) originate from dust residing at ~1pc from the supernovae. In this Na-from-dust absorption (NaDA) model the process by which the SN Ia peak luminosity releases sodium from dust at ~1pc from the SN is similar to the processes by which solar radiation releases sodium from comet dust when comets approach a distance of ~1AU from the Sun. The dust grains are not sublimated but rather stay intact, and release sodium by photon-stimulated desorption (PSD; or photo-sputtering). We apply the NaDA model to SN 2006X and SN 2007le, and find it to comply better with the observed time variability of the Na I D absorption lines than the Na recombination model. The mass in the dusty shell of the NaDA model is much too high to be accounted for in the single-degenerate scenario for SN Ia. Therefore, the presence of variable Na I D lines in some SN Ia further weakens the already very problematic single-degenerate scenario for SN Ia.

What sodium absorption lines tell us about type Ia supernovae [Replacement]

We propose that the sodium responsible for the variable NaI D absorption lines in some type Ia supernovae (SN Ia) originate mainly from dust residing at ~1 pc from the supernovae. In this Na-from-dust absorption (NaDA) model the process by which the SN Ia peak luminosity releases sodium from dust at 1 pc from the SN is similar to the processes by which solar radiation releases sodium from cometary dust when comets approach a distance of 1 AU from the Sun. The dust grains are not sublimated but rather stay intact, and release sodium by photon-stimulated desorption (PSD; or photo-sputtering). Some of the Na might start in the gas phase before the explosion. Weakening in absorption strength is caused by Na-ionizing radiation of the SN. We apply the NaDA model to SN 2006X and SN 2007le, and find it to comply better with the observed time variability of the NaI D absorption lines than the Na recombination model. The mass in the dusty shell of the NaDA model is much too high to be accounted for in the single-degenerate scenario for SN Ia. Therefore, the presence of variable NaI D lines in some SN Ia further weakens the already very problematic single-degenerate scenario for SN Ia.

Chemical complexity in the Horsehead photodissociation region

The interstellar medium is known to be chemically complex. Organic molecules with up to 11 atoms have been detected in the interstellar medium, and are believed to be formed on the ices around dust grains. The ices can be released into the gas-phase either through thermal desorption, when a newly formed star heats the medium around it and completely evaporates the ices; or through non-thermal desorption mechanisms, such as photodesorption, when a single far-UV photon releases only a few molecules from the ices. The first one dominates in hot cores, hot corinos and strongly UV-illuminated PDRs, while the second one dominates in colder regions, such as low UV-field PDRs. This is the case of the Horsehead were dust temperatures are ~20-30K, and therefore offers a clean environment to investigate what is the role of photodesorption. We have carried-out an unbiased spectral line survey at 3, 2 and 1mm with the IRAM-30m telescope in the Horsehead nebula, with an unprecedented combination of bandwidth high spectral resolution and sensitivity. Two positions were observed: the warm PDR and a cold condensation shielded from the UV field (dense core), located just behind the PDR edge. We summarize our recently published results from this survey and present the first detection of the complex organic molecules HCOOH, CH2CO, CH3CHO and CH3CCH in a PDR. These species together with CH3CN present enhanced abundances in the PDR compared to the dense core. This suggests that photodesorption is an efficient mechanism to release complex molecules into the gas-phase in far-UV illuminated regions.

Do cement nanoparticles exist in space ?

The calcium-silicate-hydrate is used to model properties of cement on Earth. We study cementitious nanoparticles and propose these structures as components of cosmic dust grains. Quantum density functional theory methods are applied for the calculation of infrared spectra of Ca4Si4O14H4, Ca6Si3O13H2, and Ca12Si6O26H4 clusters. We find bands distributed over the near, mid and far-infrared region. A specific calcium-silicate-hydrate spectral feature at 14 microns, together with the bands at 10 and 18 microns which exist for other silicates as well, could be used for a detection of cosmic cement. We compare calculated bands with the 14 microns features in the spectra of HD 45677, HD 44179, and IRC+10420 which were observed by Infrared Space Observatory and classified as remaining. High abundance of oxygen atoms in cementitious nanoparticles could partially explain observed depletion of this element from the interstellar medium into dust grains.

Delivery of dust grains from comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) to Mars

Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) will have a close encounter with Mars on October 19, 2014. We model the dynamical evolution of dust grains from the time of their ejection from the comet nucleus to the Mars close encounter, and determine the flux at Mars. Constraints on the ejection velocity from Hubble Space Telescope observations indicate that the bulk of the grains will likely miss Mars, although it is possible that a few-percent of grains with higher velocities will reach Mars, peaking approximately 90–100 minutes after the close approach of the nucleus, and consisting mostly of millimeter-radius grains ejected from the comet nucleus at a heliocentric distance of approximately 9~AU or larger. At higher velocities, younger grains from sub-millimeter to several millimeter can reach Mars too, although an even smaller fraction of grains is expected have these velocities, with negligible effect on the peak timing. Using NEOWISE observations of the comet, we can estimate that the maximum fluence will be of the order of $10^{-7}$ grains/m$^2$. We include a detailed analysis of how the expected fluence depends on the grain density, ejection velocity, and size-frequency distribution, to account for current model uncertainties and in preparation of possible refined model values in the near future.

Lingering grains of truth around comet 17P/Holmes

Comet 17P/Holmes underwent a massive outburst in 2007 Oct., brightening by a factor of almost a million in under 48 hours. We used infrared images taken by the Wide-Field Survey Explorer mission to characterize the comet as it appeared at a heliocentric distance of 5.1 AU almost 3 years after the outburst. The comet appeared to be active with a coma and dust trail along the orbital plane. We constrained the diameter, albedo, and beaming parameter of the nucleus to 4.135 $\pm$ 0.610 km, 0.03 $\pm$ 0.01 and 1.03 $\pm$ 0.21, respectively. The properties of the nucleus are consistent with those of other Jupiter Family comets. The best-fit temperature of the coma was 134 $\pm$ 11 K, slightly higher than the blackbody temperature at that heliocentric distance. Using Finson-Probstein modeling we found that the morphology of the trail was consistent with ejection during the 2007 outburst and was made up of dust grains between 250 $\mu$m and a few cm in radius. The trail mass was $\sim$ 1.2 – 5.3 $\times$ 10$^{10}$ kg.

Dust Production Factories in the Early Universe: Formation of Carbon Grains in Red-supergiant Winds of Very Massive Population III Stars

We investigate the formation of dust in a stellar wind during the red-supergiant (RSG) phase of a very massive Population III star with the zero-age main sequence mass of 500 M_sun. We show that, in a carbon-rich wind with a constant velocity, carbon grains can form with a lognormal-like size distribution, and that all of the carbon available for dust formation finally condense into dust for wide ranges of the mass-loss rate ((0.1-3)x10^{-3} M_sun yr^{-1}) and wind velocity (1-100 km s^{-1}). We also find that the acceleration of the wind driven by newly formed dust suppresses the grain growth but still allows more than half of gas-phase carbon to be finally locked up in dust grains. These results indicate that at most 1.7 M_sun of carbon grains can form in total during the RSG phase of 500 M_sun Population III stars. Such a high dust yield could place very massive primordial stars as important sources of dust at the very early epoch of the universe if the initial mass function of Population III stars was top-heavy. We also briefly discuss a new formation scenario of carbon-rich ultra-metal-poor stars considering the feedback from very massive Population III stars.

Tracing the ISM magnetic field morphology: The potential of multi-wavelength polarization measurements

$\textit{Aims.}$ We present a case study to demonstrate the potential of multi-wavelength polarization measurements. The aim is to investigate the effects that dichroic polarization and thermal re-emission have on tracing the magnetic field in the interstellar medium (ISM). Furthermore, we analyze the crucial influence of imperfectly aligned compact dust grains on the resulting synthetic continuum polarization maps.$\\ \textit{Methods.}$ We developed an extended version of the well-known 3D Monte-Carlo radiation transport code MC3D for multi-wavelength polarization simulations running on an adaptive grid.We investigated the interplay between radiation, magnetic fields and dust grains. Our results were produced by post-processing both ideal density distributions and sophisticated magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) collapse simulations with radiative transfer simulations. We derived spatially resolved maps of intensity, optical depth, and linear and circular polarization at various inclination angles and scales in a wavelength range from 7 $\mu m$ to 1 $mm$.$\\ \textit{Results.}$ We predict unique patterns in linear and circular polarization maps for different types of density distributions and magnetic field morphologies for test setups and sophisticated MHD collapse simulations. We show that alignment processes of interstellar dust grains can significantly influence the resulting synthetic polarization maps. Multi-wavelength polarization measurements allow one to predict the morphology of the magnetic field inside the ISM. The interpretation of polarization measurements of complex structures still remains ambiguous because of the large variety of the predominant parameters in the ISM.

Will New Horizons see dust clumps in the Edgeworth-Kuiper belt?

Debris disks are thought to be sculptured by neighboring planets. The same is true for the Edgeworth-Kuiper debris disk, yet no direct observational evidence for signatures of giant planets in the Kuiper belt dust distribution has been found so far. Here we model the dust distribution in the outer solar system to reproduce the dust impact rates onto the dust detector onboard the New Horizons spacecraft measured so far and to predict the rates during the Neptune orbit traverse. To this end, we take a realistic distribution of transneptunian objects to launch a sufficient number of dust grains of different sizes and follow their orbits by including radiation pressure, Poynting-Robertson and stellar wind drag, as well as the perturbations of four giant planets. In a subsequent statistical analysis, we calculate number densities and lifetimes of the dust grains in order to simulate a collisional cascade. In contrast to the previous work, our model not only considers collisional elimination of particles, but also includes production of finer debris. We find that particles captured in the 3:2 resonance with Neptune build clumps that are not removed by collisions, because the depleting effect of collisions is counteracted by production of smaller fragments. Our model successfully reproduces the dust impact rates measured by New Horizons out to ~23AU and predicts an increase of the impact rate of about a factor of two or three around the Neptune orbit crossing. This result is robust with respect to the variation of the vaguely known number of dust-producing scattered disk objects, collisional outcomes, and the dust properties.

Protoplanetary dust porosity and FU Orionis Outbursts: Solving the mystery of Earth's missing volatiles

The Earth is known to be depleted in volatile lithophile elements in a fashion that defies easy explanation. We resolve this anomaly with a model that combines the porosity of collisionally grown dust grains in protoplanetary disks with heating from FU Orionis events that dramatically raise protoplanetary disk temperatures. The heating from an FU Orionis event alters the aerodynamical properties of the dust while evaporating the volatiles. This causes the dust to settle, abandoning those volatiles. The success of this model in explaining the elemental composition of the Earth is a strong argument in favor of highly porous collisionally grown dust grains in protoplanetary disks outside our Solar System. Further, it demonstrates how thermal (or condensation based) alterations of dust porosity, and hence aerodynamics, can be a strong factor in planet formation, leading to the onset of rapid gravitational instabilities in the dust disk and the subsequent collapse that forms planetesimals.

On the interplay between star formation and feedback in galaxy formation simulations

Using high resolution cosmological zoom-in simulations of galaxy formation, we investigate the star formation-feedback cycle at high redshifts ($z>1$), focusing on progenitors of Milky Way-sized galaxies. Our star formation model is based on the local density of molecular hydrogen (H$_2$) forming on dust grains, as this may be an important ingredient for regulating star formation in the high redshift, metal-poor regime of galaxy formation. Our stellar feedback model accounts for energy and momentum from supernovae, stellar winds and radiation pressure. We use a suite of simulations with different parameters and assumptions about star formation and prescription recipes. We find that in order to reproduce global properties of the Milky Way progenitors, such as star formation history and stellar mass-halo mass relation, simulations should include 1) a combination of local early ($t\lesssim 4$ Myr) momentum feedback via radiation pressure and stellar winds and subsequent efficient supernovae feedback, and 2) the global star formation efficiency on kiloparsec scales should be feedback regulated. In particular, we find that in models with efficient feedback, the local efficiency of star formation per free fall time can be substantially larger than the global star formation efficiency inferred from the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation. We find that simulations that adopt inefficient star formation inferred from such relation fail to produce vigorous outflows and eject sufficient amounts of enriched gas in order to regulate the galactic baryon content. This illustrates the importance of understanding the complex interplay between star formation and feedback and the detailed processes that contribute to the feedback-regulated formation of galaxies. (Abridged for arXiv)

Planetesimal driven migration as an explanation for observations of high levels of warm, exozodiacal dust

High levels of exozodiacal dust have been observed in the inner regions of a large fraction of main sequence stars. Given the short lifetime of the observed small dust grains, these ‘exozodis’ are difficult to explain, especially for old (>100 Myr) stars. The exozodiacal dust may be observed as excess emission in the mid-infrared, or using interferometry. We hypothesise that exozodi are sustained by planetesimals scattered by planets inwards from an outer planetesimal belt, where collision timescales are long. In this work, we use N-body simulations to show that the outwards migration of a planet into a belt, driven by the scattering of planetesimals, can increase, or sustain, the rate at which planetesimals are scattered from the outer belt to the exozodi region. We hypothesise that this increase is sufficient to sustain the observed exozodi on Gyr timescales. No correlation between observations of an outer belt and an exozodi is required for this scenario to work, as the outer belt may be too faint to detect. If planetesimal driven migration does explain the observed exozodi, this work suggests that the presence of an exozodi indicates the presence of outer planets and a planetesimal belt.

The importance of monopole antennas for dust observations: why Wind/WAVES does not detect nanodust

The charge released by impact ionization of fast dust grains impinging on spacecraft is at the basis of a well-known technique for dust detection by wave instruments. Since most of the impact charges are recollected by the spacecraft, monopole antennas generally detect a much greater signal than dipoles. This is illustrated by comparing dust signals in monopole and dipole mode on different spacecraft and environments. It explains the weak sensitivity of Wind/WAVES dipole antennas for dust detection, so that it is not surprising that this instrument did not detect the interplanetary nanodust discovered by STEREO/WAVES. We propose an interpretation of the Wind dust data, elsewhere discussed by Malaspina et al. (2014), which explains the observed pulse amplitude and polarity for interstellar dust impacts, as well as the non-detection of nanodust. This proposed mechanism might be the dominant dust detection mechanism by some wave instruments using dipole antennas.

Fingerprints of Galactic Loop I on the Cosmic Microwave Background

We investigate possible imprints of galactic foreground structures such as the `radio loops’ in the derived maps of the cosmic microwave background. Surprisingly there is evidence for these not only at radio frequencies through their synchrotron radiation, but also at microwave frequencies where emission by dust dominates. This suggests the mechanism is magnetic dipole radiation from dust grains enriched by metallic iron, or ferrimagnetic molecules. This new foreground we have identified is present at high galactic latitudes, and potentially dominates over the expected B-mode polarisation signal due to primordial gravitational waves from inflation.

Fingerprints of Galactic Loop I on the Cosmic Microwave Background [Replacement]

We investigate possible imprints of galactic foreground structures such as the "radio loops" in the derived maps of the cosmic microwave background. Surprisingly there is evidence for these not only at radio frequencies through their synchrotron radiation, but also at microwave frequencies where emission by dust dominates. This suggests the mechanism is magnetic dipole radiation from dust grains enriched by metallic iron or ferrimagnetic materials. This new foreground we have identified is present at high galactic latitudes, and potentially dominates over the expected $B$-mode polarization signal due to primordial gravitational waves from inflation.

Fingerprints of Galactic Loop I on the Cosmic Microwave Background [Replacement]

We investigate possible imprints of galactic foreground structures such as the `radio loops’ in the derived maps of the cosmic microwave background. Surprisingly there is evidence for these not only at radio frequencies through their synchrotron radiation, but also at microwave frequencies where emission by dust dominates. This suggests the mechanism is magnetic dipole radiation from dust grains enriched by metallic iron, or ferrimagnetic materials. This new foreground we have identified is present at high galactic latitudes, and potentially dominates over the expected B-mode polarisation signal due to primordial gravitational waves from inflation.

Transport of charged dust grains into the galactic halo

We develop a 3D dynamical model of dust outflows from galactic discs. The outflows are initiated by multiple SN explosions in a magnetized interstellar medium (ISM) with a gravitationally stratified density distribution. Dust grains are treated as particles in cells interacting collisionally with gas, and forced by stellar radiation of the disc and Lorenz force. We show that magnetic field plays a crucial role in accelerating the charged dust grains and expelling them out of the disc: in 10–20~Myr they can be elevated at distances up to 10~kpc above the galactic plane. The dust-to-gas ratio in the outflowing medium varies in the range $5 \cdot 10^{-4} – 5 \cdot 10^{-2}$ along the vertical stream. Overall the dust mass loss rate depends on the parameters of ISM and may reach up to $3\times 10^{-2}$~\Msun~yr$^{-1}$

Dust formation in macronovae [Replacement]

We examine dust formation in macronovae (as known as kilonovae), which are the bright ejecta of neutron star binary mergers and one of the leading sites of r-process nucleosynthesis. We find that dust grains of r-process elements are difficult to form because of the low number density of the r-process atoms, while carbon or elements lighter than irons can condense into dust if they are abundant, in light of the first macronova candidate associated with GRB 130603B. Dust grains absorb emission from ejecta with opacity even greater than that of the r-process elements, and re-emit photons at infrared wavelengths. Such dust emission can potentially account for the macronova without r-process nucleosynthesis as an alternative model. This dust scenario predicts a more featureless spectrum than the r-process model and day-scale optical-to-ultraviolet emission.

 

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