Posts Tagged galactic disk

Recent Postings from galactic disk

PDR Emission from the Arched-Filaments and Nearby Positions

We investigate the physical conditions of the gas, atomic and molecular, in the filaments in the context of Photo-Dissociation Regions (PDRs) using the KOSMA-PDR mode of clumpy clouds. We also compare the [CII] vs. [NII] integrated intensity predictions in Abel et al. 2005 for HII regions and adjacent PDRs in the Galactic disk, and check for their applicability under the extreme physical conditions present in the GC. Our preliminary results show that observed integrated intensities are well reproduced by the PDR model. The gas is exposed to a relatively low Far-UV field between 10^2 - 10^3 Draine fields. The total volume hydrogen density is well constrained between 10^4 - 10^5 cm^-3. The hydrogen ionization rate due to cosmic-rays varies between 10^-15 and 4x10^-15 s^-1, with the highest value ~ 10^-14 s^-1 found towards G0.07+0.04. Our results show that the line-of-sight contribution to the total distance of the filaments to the Arches Cluster is not negligible. The spatial distribution of the [CII]/[NII] ratio shows that the integrated intensity ratios are fairly homogeneously distributed for values below 10 in energy units. Calculations including variation on the [C/N] abundance ratio show that tight constraints on this ratio are needed to reproduce the observations.

Star Formation Close to Sgr A* and Beyond the Nuclear Cluster

Two modes of star formation are involved to explain the origin of young stars near Sgr A*. One is a disk-based mode, which explains the disk of stars orbiting Sgr A*. The other is the standard cloud-based mode observed in the Galactic disk. We discuss each of these modes of star formation and apply these ideas to the inner few parsecs of Sgr A*. In particular, we focus on the latter mode in more detail. We also discuss how the tidal force exerted by the nuclear cluster makes the Roche density approaching zero and contributes to the collapse of molecular clouds located tens of parsecs away from Sgr A*.

On the Survival of High-Altitude Open Clusters within the Milky Way Galaxy Tides

It is a common assumption that high-altitude open clusters live longer compared with clusters moving close to the Galactic plane. This is because at high altitudes, open clusters are far from the disruptive effects of in-plane substructures, such as spiral arms, molecular clouds and the bar. However, an important aspect to consider in this scenario is that orbits of high-altitude open clusters will eventually cross the Galactic plane, where the vertical tidal field of the disk is strong. In this work we simulate the interaction of open clusters with the tidal field of a detailed Milky Way Galactic model at different average altitudes and galactocentric radii. We find that the life expectancy of clusters decreases as the maximum orbital altitude increases and reaches a minimum at altitudes of approximately 600 pc. Clusters near the Galactic plane live longer because they do not experience strong vertical tidal shocks from the Galactic disk; then, for orbital altitudes higher than 600 pc, clusters start again to live longer due to the decrease in the number of encounters with the disk. With our study, we find that the compressive nature of the tides in the arms region and the bar have an important role on the survival of small clusters by protecting them from disruption: clusters inside the arms can live up to twice as long as those outside the arms at similar galactocentric distance.

Using the Multi-Object Adaptive Optics demonstrator RAVEN to observe metal-poor stars in and towards the Galactic Centre

The chemical abundances for five metal-poor stars in and towards the Galactic bulge have been determined from H-band infrared spectroscopy taken with the RAVEN multi-object adaptive optics science demonstrator and the IRCS spectrograph at the Subaru 8.2-m telescope. Three of these stars are in the Galactic bulge and have metallicities between -2.1 < [Fe/H] < -1.5, and high [alpha/Fe] ~+0.3, typical of Galactic disk and bulge stars in this metallicity range; [Al/Fe] and [N/Fe] are also high, whereas [C/Fe] < +0.3. An examination of their orbits suggests that two of these stars may be confined to the Galactic bulge and one is a halo trespasser, though proper motion values used to calculate orbits are quite uncertain. An additional two stars in the globular cluster M22 show [Fe/H] values consistent to within 1 sigma, although one of these two stars has [Fe/H] = -2.01 +/- 0.09, which is on the low end for this cluster. The [alpha/Fe] and [Ni/Fe] values differ by 2 sigma, with the most metal-poor star showing significantly higher values for these elements. M22 is known to show element abundance variations, consistent with a multi-population scenario (i.e. Marino et al. 2009, 2011; Alves-Brito et al. 2012) though our results cannot discriminate this clearly given our abundance uncertainties. This is the first science demonstration of multi-object adaptive optics with high resolution infrared spectroscopy, and we also discuss the feasibility of this technique for use in the upcoming era of 30-m class telescope facilities.

An alternative Explanation for the Fermi GeV Gamma-Ray Excess

The "GeV-excess" of the diffuse gamma-rays in the halo is studied with a template fit based on energy spectra for each possible process of gamma-ray emission. Such a fit allows to determine the background and signal simultaneously, so the Galactic Disk can be included in the analysis. We find evidence that the "excess", characterised by a gamma-ray spectrum peaking at 2 GeV, is much stronger in Molecular Clouds in the disk than the "GeV-excess" observed up to now in the halo. The possible reason why the emissivity of Molecular Clouds peaks at 2 GeV are the energy losses and magnetic cutoffs inside MCs, thus depleting the low energy part of the CR spectra and shifting the maximum of the gamma-ray spectra to higher energies. This peaking of the emissivity in Molecular Clouds at 2 GeV was clearly observed from the spectrum of the Central Molecular Zone, which dominates the emission in the inner few degrees of the Galactic Centre. Although the spectrum of the Central Molecular Zone peaks at 2 GeV, it cannot be responsible for the "GeV-excess" observed in the halo, since the latitude extension of the Zone is below $\rm |b|<0.5^\circ$. However, lines-of-sight into the halo cross Molecular Clouds in the disk, so the emissivity of clouds in the disk will be observed in the halo as an apparent "GeV-excess". The fact, that this "GeV-excess" has the same morphology in the disk {\it and} in the halo as the column density of Molecular Clouds, as traced by the CO map from the Planck satellite resembling an NFW-like latitude profile, and the fact the MCs have an emissivity peaking at 2 GeV shows that the "GeV-excess" originates from Molecular Clouds in the disk, not from a process surrounding the Galactic Centre.

Bayesian analysis of spatial-dependent cosmic-ray propagation: astrophysical background of antiprotons and positrons [Cross-Listing]

The AMS-02 experiment has reported a new measurement of the antiproton/proton ratio in Galactic cosmic rays (CRs). In the energy range $E\sim\,$60-450 GeV, this ratio is found to be remarkably constant. Using recent data on CR proton, helium, carbon, 10Be/9Be, and B/C ratio, we have performed a global Bayesian analysis based on a Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo sampling algorithm under a "two halo model" of CR propagation. In this model, CRs are allowed to experience a different type of diffusion when they propagate in the region close of the Galactic disk. We found that the vertical extent of this region is about 900 pc above and below the disk, and the corresponding diffusion coefficient scales with energy as $D\sim\,E^{0.15}$, describing well the observations on primary CR spectra, secondary/primary ratios and anisotropy. Under this model we have carried out improved calculations of antiparticle spectra arising from secondary CR production and their corresponding uncertainties. We made use of Monte-Carlo generators and accelerator data to assess the antiproton production cross-sections and their uncertainties. While the positron excess requires the contribution of additional unknown sources, we found that the new AMS-02 antiproton data are consistent, within the estimated uncertainties, with our calculations based on secondary production.

Bayesian analysis of spatial-dependent cosmic-ray propagation: astrophysical background of antiprotons and positrons [Replacement]

The AMS-02 experiment has reported a new measurement of the antiproton/proton ratio in Galactic cosmic rays (CRs). In the energy range $E\sim\,$60-450 GeV, this ratio is found to be remarkably constant. Using recent data on CR proton, helium, carbon, 10Be/9Be, and B/C ratio, we have performed a global Bayesian analysis based on a Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo sampling algorithm under a "two halo model" of CR propagation. In this model, CRs are allowed to experience a different type of diffusion when they propagate in the region close of the Galactic disk. We found that the vertical extent of this region is about 900 pc above and below the disk, and the corresponding diffusion coefficient scales with energy as $D\sim\,E^{0.15}$, describing well the observations on primary CR spectra, secondary/primary ratios and anisotropy. Under this model we have carried out improved calculations of antiparticle spectra arising from secondary CR production and their corresponding uncertainties. We made use of Monte-Carlo generators and accelerator data to assess the antiproton production cross-sections and their uncertainties. While the positron excess requires the contribution of additional unknown sources, we found that the new AMS-02 antiproton data are consistent, within the estimated uncertainties, with our calculations based on secondary production.

Bayesian analysis of spatial-dependent cosmic-ray propagation: astrophysical background of antiprotons and positrons [Replacement]

The AMS-02 experiment has reported a new measurement of the antiproton/proton ratio in Galactic cosmic rays (CRs). In the energy range $E\sim\,$60-450 GeV, this ratio is found to be remarkably constant. Using recent data on CR proton, helium, carbon, 10Be/9Be, and B/C ratio, we have performed a global Bayesian analysis based on a Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo sampling algorithm under a "two halo model" of CR propagation. In this model, CRs are allowed to experience a different type of diffusion when they propagate in the region close of the Galactic disk. We found that the vertical extent of this region is about 900 pc above and below the disk, and the corresponding diffusion coefficient scales with energy as $D\sim\,E^{0.15}$, describing well the observations on primary CR spectra, secondary/primary ratios and anisotropy. Under this model we have carried out improved calculations of antiparticle spectra arising from secondary CR production and their corresponding uncertainties. We made use of Monte-Carlo generators and accelerator data to assess the antiproton production cross-sections and their uncertainties. While the positron excess requires the contribution of additional unknown sources, we found that the new AMS-02 antiproton data are consistent, within the estimated uncertainties, with our calculations based on secondary production.

Bayesian analysis of spatial-dependent cosmic-ray propagation: astrophysical background of antiprotons and positrons

The AMS-02 experiment has reported a new measurement of the antiproton/proton ratio in Galactic cosmic rays (CRs). In the energy range $E\sim\,$60-450 GeV, this ratio is found to be remarkably constant. Using recent data on CR proton, helium, carbon, 10Be/9Be, and B/C ratio, we have performed a global Bayesian analysis based on a Markov-Chain Monte-Carlo sampling algorithm under a "two halo model" of CR propagation. In this model, CRs are allowed to experience a different type of diffusion when they propagate in the region close of the Galactic disk. We found that the vertical extent of this region is about 900 pc above and below the disk, and the corresponding diffusion coefficient scales with energy as $D\sim\,E^{0.15}$, describing well the observations on primary CR spectra, secondary/primary ratios and anisotropy. Under this model we have carried out improved calculations of antiparticle spectra arising from secondary CR production and their corresponding uncertainties. We made use of Monte-Carlo generators and accelerator data to assess the antiproton production cross-sections and their uncertainties. While the positron excess requires the contribution of additional unknown sources, we found that the new AMS-02 antiproton data are consistent, within the estimated uncertainties, with our calculations based on secondary production.

Physical properties of molecular clouds for the entire Milky Way disk

This study presents a catalog of 8107 molecular clouds that covers the entire Galactic plane and includes 98% of the $^{12}$CO emission observed within $b\pm5^\circ$. The catalog was produced using a hierarchical cluster identification method applied to the result of a Gaussian decomposition of the Dame et al. data. The total H$_2$ mass in the catalog is $1.2\times10^9$ M$_\odot$ in agreement with previous estimates. We find that 30% of the sight lines intersect only a single cloud, with another 25% intersecting only two clouds. The most probable cloud size is $R\sim30$ pc. We find that $M\propto R^{2.2\pm0.2}$, with no correlation between the cloud surface density, $\Sigma$, and $R$. In contrast with the general idea, we find a rather large range of values of $\Sigma$, from 2 to 300 M$_\odot$ pc$^{-2}$, and a systematic decrease with increasing Galactic radius, $R_{\rm gal}$. The cloud velocity dispersion as well as the normalization $\sigma_0=\sigma_v/R^{1/2}$ both decrease systematically with $R_{\rm gal}$. When studied over the whole Galactic disk, there is a large dispersion in the linewidth-size relation, and a significantly better correlation between $\sigma_v$ and $\Sigma R$. The normalization of this correlation is constant to better than a factor of two for $R_{\rm gal}<20$ kpc. This relation is used to disentangle the ambiguity between near and far kinematic distances. We report a strong variation of the turbulent energy injection rate. In the outer Galaxy it may be maintained by accretion through the disk and/or onto the clouds, but neither source can drive the 100 times higher cloud averaged injection rate in the inner Galaxy.

The Rotation-Metallicity Relation for the Galactic Disk as Measured in the Gaia DR1 TGAS and APOGEE Data [Replacement]

Previous studies have found that the Galactic rotation velocity-metallicity (V-[Fe/H]) relations for the thin and thick disk populations show negative and positive slopes, respectively. The first Gaia Data Release includes the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution (TGAS) information, which we use to analyze the V-[Fe/H] relation for a strictly selected sample with high enough astrometric accuracy. We aim to arrive at an explanation for the slopes of the V-[Fe/H] relationship. We measure the V-[Fe/H] relation for thin and thick disk stars classified on the basis of their [$\alpha$/Fe] and [Fe/H] abundances. We find dV/d[Fe/H]= -18 +/- 2 km/s/dex for stars in the thin disk and dV/d[Fe/H]= +23 +/- 10 km/s/dex for thick disk stars, so we confirm the different signs for the slopes. The negative value of dV/d[Fe/H] for thick disk stars is consistent with previous studies, but the combination of TGAS and APOGEE data provide higher precision, even though systematic errors could exceed +/-5 km/s/dex . Our average measurement of dV/d[Fe/H] for local thick disk stars shows a somewhat flatter slope than the previous studies, but we confirm a significant spread and a dependence of the slope on the [alpha/Fe] ratio of the stars. Using a simple N-body model, we demonstrate that the observed trend for the thick and thin disk can be explained by the observed radial metallicity gradients and the correlation between orbital eccentricity and metallicity in the thick disk.

The Rotation-Metallicity Relation for the Galactic Disk as Measured in the Gaia DR1 TGAS and APOGEE Data

Previous studies have found that the Galactic rotation velocity-metallicity (V-[Fe/H]) relations for the thin and thick disk populations show negative and positive slopes, respectively. The first Gaia Data Release includes the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution (TGAS) information, which we use to analyze the V-[Fe/H] relation for a strictly selected sample with high enough astrometric accuracy. We aim to arrive at an explanation for the slopes of the V-[Fe/H] relationship. We measure the V-[Fe/H] relation for thin and thick disk stars classified on the basis of their [$\alpha$/Fe] and [Fe/H] abundances. We find dV/d[Fe/H]= -18 +/- 2 km/s/dex for stars in the thin disk and dV/d[Fe/H]= +23 +/- 10 km/s/dex for thick disk stars, so we confirm the different signs for the slopes. The negative value of dV/d[Fe/H] for thick disk stars is consistent with previous studies, but the combination of TGAS and APOGEE data provide higher precision, even though systematic errors could exceed +/-5 km/s/dex . Our average measurement of dV/d[Fe/H] for local thick disk stars shows a somewhat flatter slope than the previous studies, but we confirm a significant spread and a dependence of the slope on the [alpha/Fe] ratio of the stars. Using a simple N-body model, we demonstrate that the observed trend for the thick and thin disk can be explained by the observed radial metallicity gradients and the correlation between orbital eccentricity and metallicity in the thick disk.

All-sky census of Galactic high-latitude molecular intermediate-velocity clouds [Replacement]

The HI halo clouds of the Milky Way, and in particular the intermediate-velocity clouds (IVCs), are thought to be connected to Galactic fountain processes. Observations of fountain clouds are important for understanding the role of matter recycling and accretion onto the Galactic disk and subsequent star formation. Here, we quantify the amount of molecular gas in the Galactic halo. We focus on the rare class of molecular IVCs (MIVCs) and search for new objects. The HI-FIR correlation was studied across the entire northern and southern Galactic hemispheres at Galactic latitudes $|b|>20^\circ$ to determine the amount and distribution of molecular gas in IVCs. We used the most recent large-scale HI and FIR data, the Effelsberg Bonn-HI Survey, the Parkes Galactic All-Sky Survey, and the Planck FIR surveys. We present a catalogue of 239 MIVC candidates on the northern and southern Galactic hemispheres. Among these candidates, all previously known MIVCs are recovered except for one single source. The frequency of candidates differs significantly between the northern and southern Galactic hemispheres and between negative and positive LSR velocities as well. In our approach we analyse the local Galactic environment. Extrapolating our results to the entire Galaxy, the global inflow of atomic and molecular IVC gas onto the Milky Way may account for the major fraction of the gaseous mass that is required to sustain the current Galactic star formation rate.

The shape of the inner Milky Way halo from observations of the Pal 5 and GD-1 stellar streams

We constrain the shape of the Milky Way's halo by dynamical modeling of the observed phase-space tracks of the Pal 5 and GD-1 tidal streams. We find that the only information about the potential gleaned from the tracks of these streams are precise measurements of the shape of the gravitational potential---the ratio of vertical to radial acceleration---at the location of the streams, with weaker constraints on the radial and vertical accelerations separately. The latter will improve significantly with precise proper-motion measurements from Gaia. We measure that the overall potential flattening is 0.95 +/- 0.04 at the location of GD-1 ([R,z] ~ [12.5,6.7] kpc) and 0.94 +/- 0.05 at the position of Pal 5 ([R,z] ~ [8.4,16.8] kpc). Combined with constraints on the force field near the Galactic disk, we determine that the axis ratio of the dark-matter halo's density distribution is 1.05 +/- 0.14 within the inner 20 kpc, with a hint that the halo becomes more flattened near the edge of this volume. The halo mass within 20 kpc is 1.1 +/- 0.1 x 10^{11} M_sun. A dark-matter halo this close to spherical is in tension with the predictions from numerical simulations of the formation of dark-matter halos.

Kinematics of the Galactic disk from LAMOST Dwarf sample

Based on the LAMOST survey and Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we use low-resolution spectra of 130,043 F/G-type dwarf stars to study the kinematics and metallicity properties of the Galactic disk. Our study shows that the stars with poorer metallicity and larger vertical distance from Galactic plane tend to have larger eccentricity and velocity dispersion. After separating the sample stars into likely thin-disk and thick-disk sub-sample, we find that there exits a negative gradient of rotation velocity $V_{\phi}$ with metallicity [Fe/H] for the likely thin-disk sub-sample, and the thick-disk sub-sample exhibit a larger positive gradient of rotation velocity with metallicity. By comparing with model prediction, we consider the radial migration of stars appears to have influenced on the thin-disk formation. In addition, our results shows that the observed thick-disk stellar orbital eccentricity distribution peaks at low eccentricity ($e \sim 0.2$) and extends to a high eccentricity ($e \sim 0.8$). We compare this result with four thick-disk formation simulated models, and it imply that our result is consistent with gas-rich merger model.

Galactoseismology in the GAIA Era

The GAIA satellite will provide unprecedented phase-space information for our Galaxy and enable a new era of Galactic dynamics. We may soon see successful realizations of Galactoseismology, i.e., inferring the characteristics of the Galactic potential and sub-structure from a dynamical analysis of observed perturbations in the gas or stellar disk of the Milky Way. Here, we argue that to maximally take advantage of the GAIA data and other complementary surveys, it is necessary to build comprehensive models for both the stars and the gas. We outline several key morphological puzzles of the Galactic disk and proposed solutions that may soon be tested.

A High-Velocity Cloud Impact Forming a Supershell in the Milky Way

Neutral atomic hydrogen (HI) gas in interstellar space is largely organized into filaments, loops, and shells, the most prominent of which are "supershells". These gigantic structures requiring $\gtrsim 3 \times 10^{52}$ erg to form are generally thought to be produced by either the explosion of multiple supernovae (SNe) in OB associations or alternatively by the impact of high-velocity clouds (HVCs) falling to the Galactic disk. Here we report the detection of a kiloparsec (kpc)-size supershell in the outskirts of the Milky Way with the compact HVC 040+01$-$282 (hereafter CHVC040) at its geometrical center using the "Inner-Galaxy Arecibo L-band Feed Array" HI 21-cm survey data. The morphological and physical properties of both objects suggest that CHVC040, which is either a fragment of a nearby disrupted galaxy or a cloud originated from an intergalactic accreting flow, collided with the disk $\sim 5$ Myrs ago to form the supershell. Our result shows that some compact HVCs can survive their trip through the Galactic halo and inject energy and momentum into the Milky Way disk.

Near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy of the low Galactic latitude globular cluster 2MASS-GC03

We present deep near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy of the globular cluster 2MASS-GC03 projected in the Galactic disk using MMIRS on the Clay telescope (Las Campanas Observatory) and VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea survey (VVV) data. Most probable cluster member candidates were identified from near-infrared photometry. Out of ten candidates that were followed-up spectroscopically, five have properties of cluster members, from which we calculate <[Fe/H]> = -0.9 +- 0.2 and a radial velocity of v_r > = -78 +- 12km/s. A distance of 10.8kpc is estimated from 3 likely RRLyrae members. Given that the cluster is currently at a distance of 4.2kpc from the Galactic center, the cluster's long survival time of an estimated 11.3 +- 1.2Gyr strengthens the case for its globular-cluster nature. The cluster has a hint of elongation in the direction of the Galactic center.

The Fossil Nuclear Outflow in the Central 30 pc of the Galactic Center

We report a new 1-pc (30") resolution CS($J=2-1$) line map of the central 30 pc of the Galactic Center (GC), made with the Nobeyama 45m telescope. We revisit our previous study of the extraplanar feature called polar arc (PA), which is a molecular cloud located above SgrA* with a velocity gradient perpendicular to the Galactic plane. We find that the PA can be traced back to the Galactic disk. This provides clues of the launching point of the PA , roughly $6\times10^{6}$ years ago. Implications of the dynamical time scale of the PA might be related to the Galactic Center Lobe (GCL) at parsec scale. Our results suggest that in the central 30 pc of the GC, the feedback from past explosions could alter the orbital path of the molecular gas down to the central tenth of parsec. In the follow-up work of our new CS($J=2-1$) map, we also find that near the systemic velocity, the molecular gas shows an extraplanar hourglass-shaped feature (HG-feature) with a size of $\sim$13 pc. The latitude-velocity diagrams show that the eastern edge of the HG-feature is associated with an expanding bubble B1, $\sim$7 pc away from SgrA*. The dynamical time scale of this bubble is $\sim3\times10^{5}$ years. This bubble is interacting with the 50 km s$^{-1}$ cloud. Part of the molecular gas from the 50 km s$^{-1}$ cloud was swept away by the bubble to $b=-0.2deg$. The western edge of the HG-feature seems to be the molecular gas entrained from the 20 km s$^{-1}$ cloud towards the north of the Galactic disk. Our results suggest a fossil explosion in the central 30 pc of the GC a few 10$^{5}$ years ago.

Models for the 3-D axisymmetric gravitational potential of the Milky Way Galaxy - A detailed modelling of the Galactic disk

Aims. Galaxy mass models based on simple and analytical functions for the density and potential pairs have been widely proposed in the literature. Disk models constrained by kinematic data alone give information on the global disk structure only very near the Galactic plane. We attempt to circumvent this issue by constructing disk mass models whose three-dimensional structures are constrained by a recent Galactic star counts model in the near-infrared and also by observations of the hydrogen distribution in the disk. Our main aim is to provide models for the gravitational potential of the Galaxy that are fully analytical but also with a more realistic description of the density distribution in the disk component. Methods. From the disk model directly based on the observations (here divided into the thin and thick stellar disks and the HI and H$_2$ disks subcomponents), we produce fitted mass models by combining three Miyamoto-Nagai disk profiles of any "model order" (1, 2, or 3) for each disk subcomponent. The Miyamoto-Nagai disks are combined with models for the bulge and "dark halo" components and the total set of parameters is adjusted by observational kinematic constraints. A model which includes a ring density structure in the disk, beyond the solar Galactic radius, is also investigated. Results. The Galactic mass models return very good matches to the imposed observational constraints. In particular, the model with the ring density structure provides a greater contribution of the disk to the rotational support inside the solar circle. The gravitational potential models and their associated force-fields are described in analytically closed forms, and in addition, they are also compatible with our best knowledge of the stellar and gas distributions in the disk component. The gravitational potential models are suited for investigations of orbits in the Galactic disk.

The chemistry of interstellar argonium and other probes of the molecular fraction in diffuse clouds

We present a general parameter study, in which the abundance of interstellar argonium (ArH$^+$) is predicted using a model for the physics and chemistry of diffuse interstellar gas clouds. Results have been obtained as a function of UV radiation field, cosmic-ray ionization rate, and cloud extinction. No single set of cloud parameters provides an acceptable fit to the typical ArH$^+$, OH$^+$ and $\rm H_2O^+$ abundances observed in diffuse clouds within the Galactic disk. Instead, the observed abundances suggest that ArH$^+$ resides primarily in a separate population of small clouds of total visual extinction of at most 0.02 mag per cloud, within which the column-averaged molecular fraction is in the range $10^{-5} - 10^{-2}$, while OH$^+$ and $\rm H_2O^+$ reside primarily in somewhat larger clouds with a column-averaged molecular fraction $\sim 0.2$. This analysis confirms our previous suggestion that the argonium molecular ion is a unique tracer of almost purely atomic gas.

Spatial Variations of the Extinction Law in the Galactic Disk from Infrared Observations

Infrared photometry in the J (1.2 microns), H (1.7 microns), Ks (2.2 microns) bands from the 2MASS catalogue and in the W1 (3.4 microns), W2 (4.6 microns), W3 (12 microns), W4 (22 microns) bands from the WISE catalogue is used to reveal the spatial variations of the interstellar extinction law in the infrared near the midplane of the Galaxy by the method of extrapolation of the extinction law applied to clump giants. The variations of the coefficients E(H-W1)/E(H-Ks), E(H-W2)/E(H-Ks), E(H-W3)/E(H-Ks), and E(H-W4)/E(H-Ks) along the line of sight in 2 deg per 2 deg squares of the sky centered at b=0 and l=20, 30, ..., 330, 340 deg as well as in several 4 deg per 4 deg squares with |b|=10 are considered. The results obtained here agree with those obtained by Zasowski et al. in 2009 using 2MASS and Spitzer-IRAC photometry for the same longitudes and similar photometric bands, confirming their main result: in the inner (relative to the Sun) Galactic disk, the fraction of fine dust increases with Galactocentric distance (or the mean dust grain size decreases). However, in the outer Galactic disk that was not considered by Zasowski et al., this trend is reversed: at the disk edge, the fraction of coarse dust is larger than that in the solar neighborhood. This general Galactic trend seems to be explained by the influence of the spiral pattern: its processes sort the dust by size and fragment it so that coarse and fine dust tend to accumulate, respectively, at the outer and inner (relative to the Galactic center) edges of the spiral arms. As a result, fine dust may exist only in the part of the Galactic disk far from both the Galactic center and the edge, while coarse dust dominates at the Galactic center, at the disk edge, and outside the disk.

Some Properties of Dust Outside the Galactic Disk

The joint use of accurate near- and mid-infrared photometry from the 2MASS and WISE catalogues has allowed the variations of the extinction law and the dust grain size distribution in high Galactic latitudes (|b|>50) at distances up to 3 kpc from the Galactic midplane to be analyzed. The modified method of extrapolation of the extinction law applied to clump giants has turned out to be efficient for separating the spatial variations of the sample composition, metallicity, reddening, and properties of the medium. The detected spatial variations of the coefficients E(H-W1)/E(H-Ks), E(H-W2)/E(H-Ks), and E(H-W3)/E(H-Ks) are similar for all high latitudes and depend only on the distance from the Galactic midplane. The ratio of short-wavelength extinction to long-wavelength one everywhere outside the Galactic disk has been found to be smaller than that in the disk and, accordingly, the mean dust grain size is larger, while the grain size distribution in the range 0.5-11 microns is shifted toward coarse dust. Specifically, the mean grain size initially increases sharply with distance from the Galactic midplane, then decreases gradually, approaching a value typical of the disk at $|Z|\approx2.4$ kpc, and, further out, stabilizes or may increase again. The coefficients under consideration change with coordinate $Z$ with a period of about 1312\pm40 pc, coinciding every 656\pm20 pc to the south and the north and showing a significant anticorrelation between their values in the southern and northern hemispheres at intermediate Z. Thus, there exists a unified large-scale periodic structure of the interstellar medium at high latitudes within at least 5 kpc. The same periodic variations have also been found for the extinction coefficient Rv within 600 pc of the Galactic midplane through the reduction of different photometric data for stars of different classes.

A lack of classical Cepheids in the inner part of the Galactic disk

Recent large-scale infrared surveys have been revealing stellar populations in the inner Galaxy seen through strong interstellar extinction in the disk. In particular, classical Cepheids with their period-luminosity and period-age relations are useful tracers of Galactic structure and evolution. Interesting groups of Cepheids reported recently include four Cepheids in the Nuclear Stellar Disk (NSD), about 200 pc around the Galactic Centre, found by Matsunaga et al. and those spread across the inner part of the disk reported by Dekany and collaborators. We here report our discovery of nearly thirty classical Cepheids towards the bulge region, some of which are common with Dekany et al., and discuss the large impact of the reddening correction on distance estimates for these objects. Assuming that the four Cepheids in the NSD are located at the distance of the Galactic Centre and that the near-infrared extinction law, i.e. wavelength dependency of the interstellar extinction, is not systematically different between the NSD and other bulge lines-of-sight, most of the other Cepheids presented here are located significantly further than the Galactic Centre. This suggests a lack of Cepheids in the inner 2.5 kpc region of the Galactic disk except the NSD. Recent radio observations show a similar distribution of star-forming regions.

NGC 2548: clumpy spatial and kinematic structure in an intermediate-age galactic cluster

NGC 2548 is a 400-500 Myr old open cluster with evidence of spatial substructures likely caused by its interaction with the Galactic disk. In this work we use precise astrometric data from the Carte du Ciel - San Fernando (CdC-SF) catalogue to study the clumpy structure in this cluster. We confirm the fragmented structure of NGC 2548 but, additionally, the relatively high precision of our kinematic data lead us to the first detection of substructures in the proper motion space of a stellar cluster. There are three spatially separated cores each of which has its own counterpart in the proper motion distribution. The two main cores lie nearly parallel to the Galactic plane whereas the third one is significantly fainter than the others and it moves toward the Galactic plane separating from the rest of the cluster. We derive core positions and proper motions, as well as the stars belonging to each core.

The nucleosynthetic history of elements in the Galactic disk: [X/Fe] - age relations from high-precision spectroscopy

Context: The chemical composition of stars is intimately linked to the Galaxy formation and evolution. Aims: We aim to trace the chemical evolution of the Galactic disk through the inspection of the [X/Fe]-age relations of 24 species from C to Eu. Methods: Using high-resolution and high-signal-to-noise UVES spectra of nine solar twins, we obtained precise estimates of stellar ages and chemical abundances. These determinations have been integrated with additional accurate age and abundance determinations from recent spectroscopic studies of solar twins existing in the literature, comprising superb abundances with 0.01~dex precision. Based on this data set, we outlined the [X/Fe]-age relations over a time interval of 10~Gyr. Results: We present the [X/Fe] - age relations for 24 elements (C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Y, Ba, La, Ce, Nd, and Eu). Each different class of elements showed distinct evolution with time that relies on the different characteristics, rates and timescales of the nucleosynthesis' sites from which they are produced. The $\alpha$-elements are characterised by a [X/Fe] decrement as time goes on. Strikingly, an opposite behaviour is observed for Ca. The iron-peak elements show an early [X/Fe] increase followed by a decrease towards the youngest stars. The [X/Fe] for the n-capture elements decrease with age. We also found that both [Mg/Y] and [Al/Y] are precise stellar clocks, with [Al/Y] showing the steepest dependence with age. Conslusions: Knowledge of the [X/Fe]-age relations is a gold mine from which we can achieve a great understanding about the processes that governed the formation and evolution of the Milky Way. Through the reverse engineering of these relations we will be able to put strong constraints on the nature of the stellar formation history, the SNe rates, the stellar yields, and the variety of the SNe progenitors.

The Paleoclimatic evidence for Strongly Interacting Dark Matter Present in the Galactic Disk

Using a recent geochemical reconstruction of the Phanerozoic climate which exhibits a 32 Ma oscillation with a phase and the secondary modulation expected from the vertical the motion of the solar system perpendicular to the galactic plane (shaviv et al. 2014), we show that a kinematically cold strongly interacting disk dark matter (dDM) component is necessarily present in the disk. It has a local density $\rho_\mathrm{dDM} = 0.11 \pm 0.03$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^3$. It is also consistent with the observed constraints on the total gravitating mass and the baryonic components, and it is the natural value borne from the Toomre stability criterion. It also has surface density $\Sigma_\mathrm{dDM} = 15 \pm 5$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^2$ and a vertical velocity dispersion of $\sigma_{W} = 8.0 \pm 4.5$ km/s. A dense ("dinosaur killing") thin disk is ruled out. The "normal" halo dark matter (hDM) component should then have a local density $\rho_\mathrm{hDM} \lesssim 0.01$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^3$. If the dDM component follows the baryons, its average density parameter is $\Omega_\mathrm{dDM} = 1.5 \pm 0.5\%$ and it comprises about 1/8 to 1/4 of Milky Way (MW) mass within the solar circle.

The Paleoclimatic evidence for Strongly Interacting Dark Matter Present in the Galactic Disk [Cross-Listing]

Using a recent geochemical reconstruction of the Phanerozoic climate which exhibits a 32 Ma oscillation with a phase and the secondary modulation expected from the vertical the motion of the solar system perpendicular to the galactic plane (shaviv et al. 2014), we show that a kinematically cold strongly interacting disk dark matter (dDM) component is necessarily present in the disk. It has a local density $\rho_\mathrm{dDM} = 0.11 \pm 0.03$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^3$. It is also consistent with the observed constraints on the total gravitating mass and the baryonic components, and it is the natural value borne from the Toomre stability criterion. It also has surface density $\Sigma_\mathrm{dDM} = 15 \pm 5$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^2$ and a vertical velocity dispersion of $\sigma_{W} = 8.0 \pm 4.5$ km/s. A dense ("dinosaur killing") thin disk is ruled out. The "normal" halo dark matter (hDM) component should then have a local density $\rho_\mathrm{hDM} \lesssim 0.01$ M$_{\odot}/$pc$^3$. If the dDM component follows the baryons, its average density parameter is $\Omega_\mathrm{dDM} = 1.5 \pm 0.5\%$ and it comprises about 1/8 to 1/4 of Milky Way (MW) mass within the solar circle.

Kompaneets Model Fitting of the Orion-Eridanus Superbubble II: Thinking Outside of Barnard's Loop

The Orion star-forming region is the nearest active high-mass star-forming region and has created a large superbubble, the Orion-Eridanus superbubble. Recent work by Ochsendorf et al. (2015) has extended the accepted boundary of the superbubble. We fit Kompaneets models of superbubbles expanding in exponential atmospheres to the new, larger shape of the Orion-Eridanus superbubble. We find that this larger morphology of the superbubble is consistent with the evolution of the superbubble being primarily controlled by expansion into the exponential Galactic disk ISM if the superbubble is oriented with the Eridanus side farther from the Sun than the Orion side. Unlike previous Kompaneets model fits that required abnormally small scale heights for the Galactic disk (<40 pc), we find morphologically consistent models with scale heights of 80 pc, similar to that expected for the Galactic disk.

Action-based Dynamical Modelling for the Milky Way Disk

We present RoadMapping, a full-likelihood dynamical modelling machinery that aims to recover the Milky Way's (MW) gravitational potential from large samples of stars in the Galactic disk. RoadMapping models the observed positions and velocities of stars with a parametrized, three-integral distribution function (DF) in a parametrized axisymmetric potential. We investigate through differential test cases with idealized mock data how the breakdown of model assumptions and data properties affect constraints on the potential and DF. Our key results are: (i) If the MW's true potential is not included in the assumed model potential family, we can - in the axisymmetric case - still find a robust estimate for the potential, with only <~ 10% difference in surface density within |z| <= 1.1 kpc inside the observed volume. (ii) Modest systematic differences between the true and model DF are inconsequential. E.g, when binning stars to define sub-populations with simple DFs, binning errors do not affect the modelling as long as the DF parameters of neighbouring bins differ by < 20%. In addition, RoadMapping ensures unbiased potential estimates for either (iii) small misjudgements of the spatial selection function (i.e., <~ 15% at the survey volume's edge), (iv) if distances are known to within 10%, or (v) if proper motion uncertainties are known within 10% or are smaller than delta mu <~ 1 mas/yr. Challenges are the rapidly increasing computational costs for large sample sizes. Overall, RoadMapping is well suited to making precise new measurements of the MW's potential with data from the upcoming Gaia releases.

Radial motions in disk stars: ellipticity or secular flows?

Average stellar orbits of the Galactic disk may have some small intrinsic ellipticity which breaks the exact axisymmetry and there may also be some migration of stars inwards or outwards. Both phenomena can be detected through kinematic analyses. We use the red clump stars selected spectroscopically from APOGEE (APO Galactic Evolution Experiment), with known distances and radial velocities, to measure the radial component of the Galactocentric velocities within 5 kpc$<R<$16 kpc, $|b|<5^\circ$ and within 20 degrees from the Sun-Galactic center line. The average Galactocentric radial velocity is $V_R=(1.48\pm 0.35)[R({\rm kpc})-(8.8\pm 2.7)]$ km/s outwards in the explored range, with a higher contribution from stars below the Galactic plane. Two possible explanations can be given for this result: i) the mean orbit of the disk stars is intrinsically elliptical with a Galactocentric radial gradient of eccentricity around 0.01 kpc$^{-1}$; or ii) there is a net secular expansion of the disk, in which stars within $R\approx 9-11$ kpc are migrating to the region $R\gtrsim 11$ kpc at the rate of $\sim 2$ M$_\odot $/yr, and stars with $R\lesssim 9$ kpc are falling toward the center of the Galaxy. This migration ratio would be unattainable for a long time and it should decelerate, otherwise the Galaxy would fade away in around 1 Gyr. At present, both hypotheses are speculative and one would need data on the Galactocentric radial velocities for other azimuths different to the center or anticenter in order to confirm one of the scenarios.

Gravitational scattering of stars and clusters and the heating of the Galactic disk

Could the velocity spread, increasing with time, in the Galactic disk be explained as a result of gravitational interactions of stars with giant molecular clouds (GMCs) and spiral arms? Do the old open clusters high above the Galactic plane provide clues to this question? We explore the effects on stellar orbits of scattering by inhomogeneities in the Galactic potential due to GMCs, spiral arms and the Galactic bar, and whether high-altitude clusters could have formed in orbits closer to the Galactic plane and later been scattered. Simulations of test-particle motions are performed in a realistic Galactic potential. The effects of the internal structure of GMCs are explored. The destruction of clusters in GMC collisions is treated in detail with N-body simulations of the clusters. The observed velocity dispersions of stars as a function of time are well reproduced. The GMC structure is found to be significant, but adequate models produce considerable scattering effects. The fraction of simulated massive old open clusters, scattered into orbits with |z| > 400 pc, is typically 0:5%, in agreement with the observed number of high-altitude clusters and consistent with the present formation rate of massive open clusters. The heating of the thin Galactic disk is well explained by gravitational scattering by GMCs and spiral arms, if the local correlation between the GMC mass and the corresponding voids in the gas is not very strong. Our results suggest that the high-altitude metal-rich clusters were formed in orbits close to the Galactic plane and later scattered to higher orbits. It is possible, though not very probable, that the Sun formed in such a cluster before scattering occurred.

Gravitational scattering of stars and clusters and the heating of the Galactic disk [Replacement]

Could the velocity spread, increasing with time, in the Galactic disk be explained as a result of gravitational interactions of stars with giant molecular clouds (GMCs) and spiral arms? Do the old open clusters high above the Galactic plane provide clues to this question? We explore the effects on stellar orbits of scattering by inhomogeneities in the Galactic potential due to GMCs, spiral arms and the Galactic bar, and whether high-altitude clusters could have formed in orbits closer to the Galactic plane and later been scattered. Simulations of test-particle motions are performed in a realistic Galactic potential. The effects of the internal structure of GMCs are explored. The destruction of clusters in GMC collisions is treated in detail with N-body simulations of the clusters. The observed velocity dispersions of stars as a function of time are well reproduced. The GMC structure is found to be significant, but adequate models produce considerable scattering effects. The fraction of simulated massive old open clusters, scattered into orbits with |z| > 400 pc, is typically 0:5%, in agreement with the observed number of high-altitude clusters and consistent with the present formation rate of massive open clusters. The heating of the thin Galactic disk is well explained by gravitational scattering by GMCs and spiral arms, if the local correlation between the GMC mass and the corresponding voids in the gas is not very strong. Our results suggest that the high-altitude metal-rich clusters were formed in orbits close to the Galactic plane and later scattered to higher orbits. It is possible, though not very probable, that the Sun formed in such a cluster before scattering occurred.

Tracing the Milky Way Nuclear Wind with 21cm Atomic Hydrogen Emission

There is evidence in 21cm HI emission for voids several kpc in size centered approximately on the Galactic centre, both above and below the Galactic plane. These appear to map the boundaries of the Galactic nuclear wind. An analysis of HI at the tangent points, where the distance to the gas can be estimated with reasonable accuracy, shows a sharp transition at Galactic radii $R\lesssim 2.4$ kpc from the extended neutral gas layer characteristic of much of the Galactic disk, to a thin Gaussian layer with FWHM $\sim 125$ pc. An anti-correlation between HI and $\gamma$-ray emission at latitudes $10^{\circ} \leq |b| \leq 20^{\circ}$ suggests that the boundary of the extended HI layer marks the walls of the Fermi Bubbles. With HI we are able to trace the edges of the voids from $|z| > 2$ kpc down to $z\approx0$, where they have a radius $\sim 2$ kpc. The extended HI layer likely results from star formation in the disk, which is limited largely to $R \gtrsim 3$ kpc, so the wind may be expanding into an area of relatively little HI. Because the HI kinematics can discriminate between gas in the Galactic center and foreground material, 21cm HI emission may be the best probe of the extent of the nuclear wind near the Galactic plane.

A correlation between the HI 21-cm absorption strength and impact parameter in external galaxies

By combining the data from surveys for HI 21-cm absorption at various impact parameters in near-by galaxies, we report an anti-correlation between the 21-cm absorption strength (velocity integrated optical depth) and the impact parameter. Also, by combining the 21-cm absorption strength with that of the emission, giving the neutral hydrogen column density, we find no evidence that the spin temperature of the gas (degenerate with the covering factor) varies significantly across the disk. This is consistent with the uniformity of spin temperature measured across the Galactic disk. Furthermore, comparison with the Galactic distribution suggests that intervening 21-cm absorption preferentially arises in disks of high inclinations (near face-on). We also investigate the hypothesis that 21-cm absorption is favourably detected towards compact radio sources. Although there is insufficient data to determine whether there is a higher detection rate towards quasar, rather than radio galaxy, sight-lines, the 21-cm detections intervene objects with a mean turnover frequency of 5 x 10^8 Hz, compared to 1 x 10^8 Hz for the non-detections. Since the turnover frequency is anti-correlated with radio source size, this does indicate a preferential bias for detection towards compact background radio sources.

North Galactic plane structure with IPHAS Be stars

Our goal is to investigate the spiral structure of the Northern Galactic plane using as tracers the classical Be stars detected by INT Photometric H$\alpha$ Survey (IPHAS). IPHAS scans the $29^o<l<+215^o, -5^o<b<+5^o$ region in the $r$, $i$ and H$\alpha$ bands. Spectroscopic follow up has been done for the bright H$\alpha$ emitters. We have developed an automatic procedure for spectral analysis, based on the BCD spectrophotometric system. In this paper we present a cataloque of 1135 Classical Be stars, for which we have determined spectral types, astrophysical parameters and distances. From these results we make a first attempt to map the structure of the Galactic disk in the anticenter direction.

An extremely fast halo hot subdwarf star in a wide binary system

New spectroscopic observations of the halo hyper-velocity star candidate SDSS J121150.27+143716.2 ($V=17.92$ mag) revealed a cool companion to the hot subdwarf primary. The components have a very similar radial velocity and their absolute luminosities are consistent with the same distance, confirming the physical nature of the binary, which is the first double-lined hyper-velocity candidate. Our spectral decomposition of the Keck/ESI spectrum provided an sdB+K3V pair, analogous to many long-period subdwarf binaries observed in the Galactic disk. We found the subdwarf atmospheric parameters: $T_{\rm eff}=30\,600\pm500$ K, $\log{g}=5.57\pm0.06$ cm s$^{-2}$ and He abundance $\log(n{\rm He}/n{\rm H})=-3.0\pm0.2$. Oxygen is the most abundant metal in the hot subdwarf atmosphere, and Mg and Na lines are the most prominent spectral features of the cool companion, consistent with a metallicity of $[{\rm Fe}/{\rm H}]=-1.3$. The non-detection of radial velocity variations suggest the orbital period to be a few hundred days, in agreement with similar binaries observed in the disk. Using the SDSS-III flux calibrated spectrum we measured the distance to the system $d=5.5\pm0.5$ kpc, which is consistent with ultraviolet, optical, and infrared photometric constraints derived from binary spectral energy distributions. Our kinematic study shows that the Galactic rest-frame velocity of the system is so high that an unbound orbit cannot be ruled out. On the other hand, a bound orbit requires a massive dark matter halo. We conclude that the binary either formed in the halo or it was accreted from the tidal debris of a dwarf galaxy by the Milky Way.

"Grandeur in this view of life": N-body simulation models of the Galactic habitable zone

We present an isolated Milky Way-like simulation in GADGET2 N-body SPH code. The Galactic disk star formation rate (SFR) surface densities and stellar mass indicative of Solar neighbourhood are used as thresholds to model the distribution of stellar mass in life friendly environments. SFR and stellar component density are calculated averaging the GADGET2 particle properties on a 2D grid mapped on the Galactic plane. The peak values for possibly habitable stellar mass surface density move from $10$ to $15$ kpc cylindrical galactocentric distance in $10$ Gyr simulated time span. At $10$ Gyr the simulation results imply the following. Stellar particles which have spent almost all of their life time in habitable friendly conditions reside typically at $\sim16$ kpc from Galactic centre and are $\sim 3$ Gyr old. Stellar particles that have spent $\ge 90 \%$ of their $4-5$ Gyr long life time in habitable friendly conditions, are also predominantly found in the outskirts of the Galactic disk. Less then $1 \%$ of these particles can be found at a typical Solar system galactocentric distance of $8-10$ kpc. Our results imply that the evolution of an isolated spiral galaxy is likely to result in galactic civilizations emerging at the outskirts of the galactic disk around stellar hosts younger than the Sun.

"Grandeur in this view of life": N-body simulation models of the Galactic habitable zone [Replacement]

We present an isolated Milky Way-like simulation in GADGET2 N-body SPH code. The Galactic disk star formation rate (SFR) surface densities and stellar mass indicative of Solar neighbourhood are used as thresholds to model the distribution of stellar mass in life friendly environments. SFR and stellar component density are calculated averaging the GADGET2 particle properties on a 2D grid mapped on the Galactic plane. The peak values for possibly habitable stellar mass surface density move from $10$ to $15$ kpc cylindrical galactocentric distance in $10$ Gyr simulated time span. At $10$ Gyr the simulation results imply the following. Stellar particles which have spent almost all of their life time in habitable friendly conditions reside typically at $\sim16$ kpc from Galactic centre and are $\sim 3$ Gyr old. Stellar particles that have spent $\ge 90 \%$ of their $4-5$ Gyr long life time in habitable friendly conditions, are also predominantly found in the outskirts of the Galactic disk. Less then $1 \%$ of these particles can be found at a typical Solar system galactocentric distance of $8-10$ kpc. Our results imply that the evolution of an isolated spiral galaxy is likely to result in galactic civilizations emerging at the outskirts of the galactic disk around stellar hosts younger than the Sun.

Sagittarius A* as an Origin of the Galactic TeV-PeV Cosmic Rays? [Replacement]

We explore the possibility that Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), which is the low-luminosity active galactic nucleus of the Milky Way Galaxy, significantly contributes to the observed TeV-PeV cosmic rays (CRs) as a Galactic PeV particle accelerator ("Pevatron"). In our previous study (Fujita et al. Phys. Rev. D 92, 023001), we investigated Sgr A* as a Pevatron and studied neutrino and gamma-ray emissions from escaping CRs. In this work, we show that a large number of TeV-PeV CRs may have been injected from Sgr A*, and that those CRs may have filled in the Galactic halo and some of them may have entered the Galactic disk. Based on a diffusion-halo model, we solve diffusion equations for the CRs and compare the results with the CR spectrum and the anisotropy observed on the Earth as well as the diffuse gamma-ray emission from the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) surrounding Sgr A*. We find that the CR spectrum, the anisotropy and the recent gamma-ray observations with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) can be explained simultaneously if (1) Sgr A* was more active in the past, (2) the CR spectrum at the source (Sgr A*) is relatively hard, (3) the diffusion coefficient for the Galactic disk is small, and (4) the energy dependence of the diffusion coefficient is different between the CMZ and the halo.

Sagittarius A* as an Origin of the Galactic TeV-PeV Cosmic Rays?

We explore the possibility that Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*), which is the low-luminosity active galactic nucleus of the Milky Way Galaxy, significantly contributes to the observed TeV-PeV cosmic rays (CRs) as a Galactic PeV particle accelerator ("Pevatron"). In our previous study (Fujita et al. Phys. Rev. D 92, 023001), we investigated Sgr A* as a Pevatron and studied neutrino and gamma-ray emissions from escaping CRs. In this work, we show that a large number of TeV-PeV CRs may have been injected from Sgr A*, and that those CRs may have filled in the Galactic halo and some of them may have entered the Galactic disk. Based on a diffusion-halo model, we solve diffusion equations for the CRs and compare the results with the CR spectrum and the anisotropy observed on the Earth as well as the diffuse gamma-ray emission from the Central Molecular Zone (CMZ) surrounding Sgr A*. We find that the CR spectrum, the anisotropy and the recent gamma-ray observations with the High Energy Stereoscopic System (HESS) can be explained simultaneously if (1) Sgr A* was more active in the past, (2) the CR spectrum at the source (Sgr A*) is relatively hard, (3) the diffusion coefficient for the Galactic disk is small, and (4) the energy dependence of the diffusion coefficient is different between the CMZ and the halo.

Galactic masers: kinematics, spiral structure and the disk dynamic state [Replacement]

We applied the currently most comprehensive version of the statistical-parallax technique to derive kinematical parameters of the maser sample with 136 sources. Our kinematic model comprises the overall rotation of the Galactic disk and the spiral density-wave effects. We take into account the variation of radial velocity dispersion with Galactocentric distance. The best description of the velocity field is provided by the model with constant radial and vertical velocity dispersions, $(\sigma U0, \sigma W0) \approx (9.4 \pm 0.9~, 5.9 \pm 0.8)~ km/s$. We compute flat Galactic rotation curve over the Galactocentric distance interval from 3 to 15 kpc and find the local circular rotation velocity to be $ V_0 \approx (235-238)$~ km/s $\pm 7$~ km/s. We also determine the parameters of the four-armed spiral pattern (pitch angle $i \approx (-10.4 \pm 0.3)^\circ$ and the phase of the Sun $\chi_0 \approx (125 \pm 10) ^\circ$). The radial and tangential spiral perturbations are about $f_R \approx (-6.9 \pm 1.4)$~km/s, $f_\Theta \approx (+2.8 \pm 1.0$) ~km/s. The kinematic data yield a solar Galactocentric distance of $R_0 \approx (8.24 \pm 0.12)~kpc$. Based on rotation curve parameters and the asymmetric drift we Infer the exponential disk scale $H_D \approx (2.7 \pm 0.2)$ ~kpc under assumption of marginal stability of the intermediate-age disk, and finally we estimate the minimum local surface disk density, $\Sigma (R_0) > (26 \pm 3) ~ M_\odot pc^{-2}$.

Galactic masers: kinematics, spiral structure and the disk dynamic state

We investigate the kinematics of 131 Milky-Way masers associated with star-forming regions and with trigonometric parallaxes measured by Very Large Baseline Radio Interferometry. We developed a new algorithm for computing the structural and kinematic parameters of the Galactic disk, which implements the currently most comprehensive version of the statistical-parallax technique. To take into account the variation of the form and size of the ellipsoid of residual velocities as a function of Galactocentric distance, we assume that radial velocity dispersion is related to disk surface density and apply the Jeans hydrodynamic equations. We compute the Galactic rotation curve over the Galactocentric distance interval from 3 to 14 kpc and find the local circular rotation velocity to be 243 +/- 10 km/s, and we also determine a full set of kinematical parameters, including the parameters of the four-armed spiral pattern with the pitch angle i ~ -10.45 +/- 0.30 deg. The galactocentric distance is found to be R0 = 8.40 +/- 0.12 kpc. We use two methods - global and local - to estimate the exponential disk scale and we find HD ~ 2.70 +/- 0.32 kpc. The excellent agreement between the two estimates confirms the idea that the Galactic disk is governed by a single equation of state. Assuming marginal stability of the disk, we found that its local surface density is greater then 24 +/- 3 solar masses at sq. pc.

Global Spiral Arms Formation by Non-linear Interaction of Wakelets

The formation and evolution of galactic spiral arms is not yet clearly understood despite many analytic and numerical work. Recently, a new idea has been proposed that local density enhancements (waklets) arising in the galactic disk connect with each other and make global spiral arms. However, the understanding of this mechanism is not yet sufficient. We analyze the interaction of wakelets by using N-body simulations including perturbing point masses, which are heavier than individual N-body particles and act as the seeds for wakelets. Our simulation facilitates more straightforward interpretation of numerical results than previous work by putting a certain number of perturbers in a well-motivated configuration. We detected a clear sign of non-linear interaction between wakelets, which make global spiral arms by connecting two adjacent wakelets. We found that the wave number of the strongest non-linear interaction depends on galactic disk mass and shear rate. This dependence is consistent with the prediction of swing amplification mechanism and other previous results. Our results provide unification of previous results which seemed not consistent with each other.

Cosmic variance in [O/Fe] in the Galactic disk

We examine the distribution of the [O/Fe] abundance ratio in stars across the Galactic disk using H-band spectra from the Apache Point Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE). We minimized systematic errors by considering groups of stars with similar atmospheric parameters. The APOGEE measurements in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 12 reveal that the square root of the star-to-star cosmic variance in oxygen at a given metallicity is about 0.03-0.04 dex in both the thin and thick disk. This is about twice as high as the spread found for solar twins in the immediate solar neighborhood and is probably caused by the wider range of galactocentric distances spanned by APOGEE stars. We quantified measurement uncertainties by examining the spread among stars with the same parameters in clusters; these errors are a function of effective temperature and metallicity, ranging between 0.005 dex at 4000 K and solar metallicity, to about 0.03 dex at 4500 K and [Fe/H]= -0.6. We argue that measuring the spread in [O/Fe] and other abundance ratios provides strong constraints for models of Galactic chemical evolution.

Cosmic variance in [O/Fe] in the Galactic disk [Replacement]

We examine the distribution of the [O/Fe] abundance ratio in stars across the Galactic disk using H-band spectra from the Apache Point Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE). We minimize systematic errors by considering groups of stars with similar atmospheric parameters. The APOGEE measurements in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 12 reveal that the square root of the star-to-star cosmic variance in the oxygen-to-iron ratio at a given metallicity is about 0.03-0.04 dex in both the thin and thick disk. This is about twice as high as the spread found for solar twins in the immediate solar neighborhood and the difference is probably associated to the wider range of galactocentric distances spanned by APOGEE stars. We quantify the uncertainties by examining the spread among stars with the same parameters in clusters; these errors are a function of effective temperature and metallicity, ranging between 0.005 dex at 4000 K and solar metallicity, to about 0.03 dex at 4500 K and [Fe/H]= -0.6. We argue that measuring the spread in [O/Fe] and other abundance ratios provides strong constraints for models of Galactic chemical evolution.

The Size and Shape of the Milky Way Disk and Halo from M-type Brown Dwarfs in the BoRG Survey

We have identified 274 M-type Brown Dwarfs in the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) pure parallel fields from the Brightest of Reionizing Galaxies (BoRG) survey for high redshift galaxies. These are near-infrared observations with multiple lines-of-sight out of our Milky Way. Using these observed M-type Brown Dwarfs we fitted a Galactic disk and halo model with a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) analysis. This model worked best with the scale length of the disk fixed at $h$ = 2.6 kpc. For the scale height of the disk, we found $z_0 = 0.29^{+0.02}_{-0.019}$ kpc and for the central number density $\rho_0 = 0.29^{+0.20}_{-0.13}$ \#/pc$^3$. For the halo we derived a flattening parameter $\kappa$ = 0.45$\pm{0.04}$ and a power-law index $p$ = 2.4$\pm{0.07}$. We found the fraction of M-type brown dwarfs in the local density that belong to the halo to be $f_{h}$ = 0.0075$^{+0.0025}_{-0.0019}$. We found no correlation between subtype of M-dwarf and any model parameters. The total number of M-type Brown Dwarfs in the disk and halo was determined to be $58.2^{+9.81}_{-6.70} \times10^{9}$. We found an upper limit for the fraction of M-type Brown Dwarfs in the halo of 7$^{+5}_{-4}$\%. The upper limit for the total Galactic Disk mass in M-dwarfs is $4.34^{+0.73}_{-0.5}\times10^{9}$ $M_{\odot}$, assuming all M-type Brown Dwarfs have a mass of $80 M_J$.

Abundances and kinematics for ten anticentre open clusters

Open clusters are distributed all across the disk and are convenient tracers of its properties. In particular, outer disk clusters bear a key role for the investigation of the chemical evolution of the Galactic disk. The goal of this study is to derive homogeneous elemental abundances for a sample of ten outer disk OCs, and investigate possible links with disk structures such as the Galactic Anticenter Stellar Structure. We analyse high-resolution spectra of red giants, obtained from the HIRES@Keck and UVES@VLT archives. We derive elemental abundances and stellar atmosphere parameters by means of the classical equivalent width method. We also performed orbit integrations using proper motions. The Fe abundances we derive trace a shallow negative radial metallicity gradient of slope -0.027+/-0.007 dex.kpc-1 in the outer 12 kpc of the disk. The [alpha/Fe] gradient appears flat, with a slope of 0.006+/-0.007 dex.kpc-1 . The two outermost clusters (Be 29 and Sau 1) appear to follow elliptical orbits. Be 20 also exhibits a peculiar orbit with a large excursion above the plane. The irregular orbits of the three most metal-poor clusters (of which two are located at the edge of the Galactic disk), if confirmed by more robust astrometric measurements such as those of the Gaia mission, are compatible with an inside-out formation scenario for the Milky Way, in which extragalactic material is accreted onto the outer disk. We cannot determine if Be 20, Be 29,and Sau 1 are of extragalactic origin, as they may be old genuine Galactic clusters whose orbits were perturbed by accretion events or minor mergers in the past 5 Gyr, or they may be representants of the thick disk population. The nature of these objects is intriguing and deserves further investigations in the near future.

Abundances and kinematics for ten anticentre open clusters [Replacement]

Open clusters are distributed all across the disk and are convenient tracers of its properties. In particular, outer disk clusters bear a key role for the investigation of the chemical evolution of the Galactic disk. The goal of this study is to derive homogeneous elemental abundances for a sample of ten outer disk OCs, and investigate possible links with disk structures such as the Galactic Anticenter Stellar Structure. We analyse high-resolution spectra of red giants, obtained from the HIRES@Keck and UVES@VLT archives. We derive elemental abundances and stellar atmosphere parameters by means of the classical equivalent width method. We also performed orbit integrations using proper motions. The Fe abundances we derive trace a shallow negative radial metallicity gradient of slope -0.027+/-0.007 dex.kpc-1 in the outer 12 kpc of the disk. The [alpha/Fe] gradient appears flat, with a slope of 0.006+/-0.007 dex.kpc-1 . The two outermost clusters (Be 29 and Sau 1) appear to follow elliptical orbits. Be 20 also exhibits a peculiar orbit with a large excursion above the plane. The irregular orbits of the three most metal-poor clusters (of which two are located at the edge of the Galactic disk), if confirmed by more robust astrometric measurements such as those of the Gaia mission, are compatible with an inside-out formation scenario for the Milky Way, in which extragalactic material is accreted onto the outer disk. We cannot determine if Be 20, Be 29,and Sau 1 are of extragalactic origin, as they may be old genuine Galactic clusters whose orbits were perturbed by accretion events or minor mergers in the past 5 Gyr, or they may be representants of the thick disk population. The nature of these objects is intriguing and deserves further investigations in the near future.

Globular Clusters as Cradles of Life and Advanced Civilizations

Globular clusters are ancient stellar populations with no star formation or core-collapse supernovae. Several lines of evidence suggest that globular clusters are rich in planets. If so, and if advanced civilizations can develop there, then the distances between these civilizations and other stars would be far smaller than typical distances between stars in the Galactic disk. The relative proximity would facilitate interstellar communication and travel. However, the very proximity that promotes interstellar travel also brings danger, since stellar interactions can destroy planetary systems. However, by modeling globular clusters and their stellar populations, we find that large regions of many globular clusters can be thought of as "sweet spots" where habitable-zone planetary orbits can be stable for long times. We also compute the ambient densities and fluxes in the regions within which habitable-zone planets can survive. Globular clusters are among the best targets for searches for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). We use the Drake equation to compare globular clusters to the Galactic disk, in terms of the likelihood of housing advanced communicating civilizations. We also consider free-floating planets, since wide-orbit planets can be ejected and travel freely through the cluster. A civilization spawned in a globular cluster may have opportunities to establish self-sustaining outposts, thereby reducing the probability that a single catastrophic event will destroy the civilization or its descendants. Although individual civilizations within a cluster may follow different evolutionary paths, or even be destroyed, the cluster may always host some advanced civilization, once a small number of them have managed to jump across interstellar space.

 

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