Posts Tagged galactic disk

Recent Postings from galactic disk

Wiggle Instability of Galactic Spiral Shocks: Effects of Magnetic Fields

It has been suggested that the wiggle instability (WI) of spiral shocks in a galactic disk is responsible for the formation of gaseous feathers observed in grand-design spiral galaxies. We perform both a linear stability analysis and numerical simulations to investigate the effect of magnetic fields on the WI. The disk is assumed to be infinitesimally-thin, isothermal, and non-self-gravitating. We control the strengths of magnetic fields and spiral-arm forcing using the dimensionless parameters $\beta$ and $\mathcal{F}$, respectively. By solving the perturbation equations as a boundary-eigenvalue problem, we obtain dispersion relations of the WI for various values of $\beta=1-\infty$ and $\mathcal{F}=5\%$ and $10\%$. We find that the WI arising from the accumulation of potential vorticity at disturbed shocks is suppressed, albeit not completely, by magnetic fields. The stabilizing effect of magnetic fields is not from the perturbed fields but from the unperturbed fields that reduce the density compression factor in the background shocks. When $\mathcal{F}=5\%$ and $\beta\lesssim 10$ or $\mathcal{F}=10\%$ and $\beta\sim5-10$, the most unstable mode has a wavelength of $\sim0.1-0.2$ times the arm-to-arm separation, which appears consistent with a mean spacing of observed feathers.

The Odd Offset between the Galactic Disk and Its Bar in NGC 3906

We use mid-infrared 3.6 and 4.5microns imaging of NGC 3906 from the Spitzer Survey of Stellar Structure in Galaxies (S4G) to understand the nature of an unusual offset between its stellar bar and the photometric center of an otherwise regular, circular outer stellar disk. We measure an offset of ~720 pc between the center of the stellar bar and photometric center of the stellar disk; the bar center coincides with the kinematic center of the disk determined from previous HI observations. Although the undisturbed shape of the disk suggests that NGC 3906 has not undergone a significant merger event in its recent history, the most plausible explanation for the observed offset is an interaction. Given the relatively isolated nature of NGC 3906 this interaction could be with dark matter sub structure in the galaxy’s halo or from a recent interaction with a fast moving neighbor which remains to be identified. Simulations aimed at reproducing the observed offset between the stellar bar / kinematic center of the system and the photometric center of the disk are necessary to confirm this hypothesis and constrain the interaction history of the galaxy.

SUSY dark matter annihilation in the Galactic halo

Neutralino annihilation in the Galactic halo is the most definite observational signature proposed for indirect registration of the SUSY Dark Matter (DM) candidate particles. The corresponding annihilation signal (in the form of gamma-rays, positrons and antiprotons) may be boosted for one or three orders of magnitude due to the clustering of cold DM particles into the small-scale and very dense self-gravitating clumps. We discuss the formation of these clumps from the initial density perturbations and their successive fate in the Galactic halo. Only a small fraction of these clumps, $\sim0.1$%, in each logarithmic mass interval $\Delta\log M\sim1$ survives the stage of hierarchical clustering. We calculate the probability of surviving the remnants of dark matter clumps in the Galaxy by modelling the tidal destruction of the small-scale clumps by the Galactic disk and stars. It is demonstrated that a substantial fraction of clump remnants may survive through the tidal destruction during the lifetime of the Galaxy. The resulting mass spectrum of survived clumps is extended down to the mass of the core of the cosmologically produced clumps with a minimal mass. The survived dense remnants of tidally destructed clumps provide an amplification (boosting) of the annihilation signal with respect to the diffuse DM in the Galactic halo. We describe the anisotropy of clump distribution caused by the tidal destruction of clumps in the Galactic disk.

SUSY dark matter annihilation in the Galactic halo [Cross-Listing]

Neutralino annihilation in the Galactic halo is the most definite observational signature proposed for indirect registration of the SUSY Dark Matter (DM) candidate particles. The corresponding annihilation signal (in the form of gamma-rays, positrons and antiprotons) may be boosted for one or three orders of magnitude due to the clustering of cold DM particles into the small-scale and very dense self-gravitating clumps. We discuss the formation of these clumps from the initial density perturbations and their successive fate in the Galactic halo. Only a small fraction of these clumps, $\sim0.1$%, in each logarithmic mass interval $\Delta\log M\sim1$ survives the stage of hierarchical clustering. We calculate the probability of surviving the remnants of dark matter clumps in the Galaxy by modelling the tidal destruction of the small-scale clumps by the Galactic disk and stars. It is demonstrated that a substantial fraction of clump remnants may survive through the tidal destruction during the lifetime of the Galaxy. The resulting mass spectrum of survived clumps is extended down to the mass of the core of the cosmologically produced clumps with a minimal mass. The survived dense remnants of tidally destructed clumps provide an amplification (boosting) of the annihilation signal with respect to the diffuse DM in the Galactic halo. We describe the anisotropy of clump distribution caused by the tidal destruction of clumps in the Galactic disk.

On the metallicity gradients of the Galactic disk as revealed by LSS-GAC red clump stars

Using a sample of over 70, 000 red clump (RC) stars with $5$-$10$% distance accuracy selected from the LAMOST Spectroscopic Survey of the Galactic Anti-center (LSS-GAC), we study the radial and vertical gradients of the Galactic disk(s) mainly in the anti-center direction, covering a significant disk volume of projected Galactocentric radius $7 \leq R_{\rm GC} \leq 14$ kpc and height from the Galactic midplane $0 \leq |Z| \leq 3$ kpc. Our analysis shows that both the radial and vertical metallicity gradients are negative across much of the disk volume probed, and exhibit significant spatial variations. Near the solar circle ($7 \leq R_{\rm GC} \leq 11.5$ kpc), the radial gradient has a moderately steep, negative slope of $-0.08$ dex kpc$^{-1}$ near the midplane ($|Z| < 0.1$ kpc), and the slope flattens with increasing $|Z|$. In the outer disk ($11.5 < R_{\rm GC} \leq 14$ kpc), the radial gradients have an essentially constant, much less steep slope of $-0.01$ dex kpc $^{-1}$ at all heights above the plane, suggesting that the outer disk may have experienced an evolution path different from that of the inner disk. The vertical gradients are found to flatten largely with increasing $R_{\rm GC}$. However, the vertical gradient of the lower disk ($0 \leq |Z| \leq 1$ kpc) is found to flatten with $R_{\rm GC}$ quicker than that of the upper disk ($1 < |Z| \leq 3$ kpc). Our results should provide strong constraints on the theory of disk formation and evolution, as well as the underlying physical processes that shape the disk (e.g. gas flows, radial migration, internal and external perturbations).

The evolution of stellar metallicity gradients of the Milky Way disk from LSS-GAC main sequence turn-off stars: a two-phase disk formation history?

We use 297 042 main sequence turn-off stars selected from the LSS-GAC to determine the radial and vertical gradients of stellar metallicity of the Galactic disk in the anti-center direction. We determine ages of those turn-off stars by isochrone fitting and measure the temporal variations of metallicity gradients. Our results show that the gradients, both in the radial and vertical directions, exhibit significant spatial and temporal variations. The radial gradients yielded by stars of oldest ages (>11 Gyr) are essentially zero at all heights from the disk midplane, while those given by younger stars are always negative. The vertical gradients deduced from stars of oldest ages (>11Gyr) are negative and show only very weak variations with the Galactocentric distance in the disk plane, $R$, while those yielded by younger stars show strong variations with $R$. After being essentially flat at the earliest epochs of disk formation, the radial gradients steepen as age decreases, reaching a maxima (steepest) at age 7-8 Gyr, and then they flatten again. Similar temporal trends are also found for the vertical gradients. We infer that the assemblage of the Milky Way disk may have experienced at least two distinct phases. The earlier phase is probably related to a slow, pressure-supported collapse of gas, when the gas settles down to the disk mainly in the vertical direction. In the later phase, there are significant radial flows of gas in the disk, and the rate of gas inflow near the solar neighborhood reaches a maximum around a lookback time of 7-8 Gyr. The transition of the two phases occurs around a lookback time between 8 and 11 Gyr. The two phases may be responsible for the formation of the Milky Way thick and thin disks, respectively. And, as a consequence, we recommend that stellar age is a natural, physical criterion to distinguish thin and thick disk stars. … (abridged)

Galactic Disk Bulk Motions as Revealed by the LSS-GAC DR2

We report a detailed investigation of the bulk motions of the nearby Galactic stellar disk, based on three samples selected from the LSS-GAC DR2: a global sample containing 0.57 million FGK dwarfs out to $\sim$ 2 kpc, a local subset of the global sample consisting $\sim$ 5,400 stars within 150 pc, and an anti-center sample containing $\sim$ 4,400 AFGK dwarfs and red clump stars within windows of a few degree wide centered on the Galactic anti-center. The global sample is used to construct a three-dimensional map of bulk motions of the Galactic disk from the solar vicinity out to $\sim$ 2 kpc with a spatial resolution of $\sim$ 250 pc. Typical values of the radial and vertical components of bulk motion range from $-$15 km s$^{-1}$ to 15 km s$^{-1}$, while the lag behind the circular speed dominates the azimuthal component by up to $\sim$ 15 km s$^{-1}$. The map reveals spatially coherent, kpc-scale stellar flows in the disk, with typical velocities of a few tens km s$^{-1}$. Bending- and breathing-mode perturbations are clearly visible, and vary smoothly across the disk plane. Our data also reveal higher-order perturbations, such as breaks and ripples, in the profiles of vertical motion versus height. From the local sample, we find that stars of different populations exhibit very different patterns of bulk motion. Finally, the anti-center sample reveals a number of peaks in stellar number density in the line-of-sight velocity versus distance distribution, with the nearer ones apparently related to the known moving groups. The "velocity bifurcation" reported by Liu et al. (2012) at Galactocentric radii 10–11 kpc is confirmed. However, just beyond this distance, our data also reveal a new triple-peaked structure.

A Herschel/HIFI Legacy Survey of HF and H2O in the Galaxy: Probing Diffuse Molecular Cloud Chemistry

We combine Herschel observations of a total of 12 sources to construct the most uniform survey of HF and H2O in our Galactic disk. Both molecules are detected in absorption along all sight lines. The high spectral resolution of the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared (HIFI) allows us to compare the HF and H2O distributions in 47 diffuse cloud components sampling the disk. We find that the HF and H2O velocity distributions follow each other almost perfectly and establish that HF and H2O probe the same gas-phase volume. Our observations corroborate theoretical predictions that HF is a sensitive tracer of H2 in diffuse clouds, down to molecular fractions of only a few percent. Using HF to trace H2 in our sample, we find that the N(H2O)-to-N(HF) ratio shows a narrow distribution with a median value of 1.51. Our results further suggest that H2O might be used as a tracer of H2 -within a factor 2.5- in the diffuse interstellar medium. We show that the measured factor of ~2.5 variation around the median is driven by true local variations in the H2O abundance relative to H2 throughout the disk. The latter variability allows us to test our theoretical understanding of the chemistry of oxygen-bearing molecules in the diffuse gas. We show that both gas-phase and grain-surface chemistry are required to reproduce our H2O observations. This survey thus confirms that grain surface reactions can play a significant role in the chemistry occurring in the diffuse interstellar medium n_H < 1000 cm^-3.

Constraining MOND Using the Vertical Motion of Stars in the Solar Neighborhood

Stars with a different vertical motion relative to the galactic disk have a different average acceleration. According to Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) theories they should therefore have a different average orbital velocity while revolving around the Milky Way. We show that this property can be used to constrain MOND theories by studying stars in the local neighborhood. With the Hipparcos dataset we can only place marginal constraints. However, the forthcoming GAIA catalogue with its significantly fainter cutoff should allow placing a stringent constraint. The method cannot be used to prove MOND, since halo stars can contribute a similar signal which would be hard to discern.

Azimuthal Metallicity Structure in the Milky Way Disk

Elemental abundance patterns in the Galactic disk constrain theories of the formation and evolution of the Milky Way. HII region abundances are the result of billions of years of chemical evolution. We made radio recombination line and continuum measurements of 21 HII regions located between Galactic azimuth Az = 90-130 degree, a previously unexplored region. We derive the plasma electron temperatures using the line-to-continuum ratios and use them as proxies for the nebular [O/H] abundances, because in thermal equilibrium the abundance of the coolants (O, N, and other heavy elements) in the ionized gas sets the electron temperature, with high abundances producing low temperatures. Combining these data with our previous work produces a sample of 90 HII regions with high quality electron temperature determinations. We derive kinematic distances in a self-consistent way for the entire sample. The radial gradient in [O/H] is -0.082 +/- 0.014 dex/kpc for Az = 90-130 degree, about a factor of two higher than the average value between Az = 0-60 degree. Monte Carlo simulations show that the azimuthal structure we reported for Az = 0-60 degree is not significant because kinematic distance uncertainties can be as high as 50% in this region. Nonetheless, the flatter radial gradients between Az = 0-60 degree compared with Az = 90-130 degree, are significant within the uncertainty. We suggest that this may be due to radial mixing from the Galactic Bar whose major axis is aligned toward Az ~30 degree.

Hundreds of new cluster candidates in the VISTA variables in the Via Lactea survey DR1

VISTA variables in the Via Lactea is an ESO Public survey dedicated to scan the bulge and an adjacent portion of the Galactic disk in the fourth quadrant using the VISTA telescope and the near-infrared camera VIRCAM. One of the leading goals of the VVV survey is to contribute to the knowledge of the star cluster population of the Milky Way. To improve the census of the Galactic star clusters, we performed a systematic scan of the JHKs images of the Galactic plane section of the VVV survey. Our detection procedure is based on a combination of superficial density maps and visual inspection of promising features in the NIR images. The material examined are color-composite images corresponding to the DR1 of VVV. We report the discovery of 493 new star cluster candidates. The analysis of the spatial distribution show that the clusters are very concentrated in he Galactic plane, presenting some local maxima around the position of large star-forming complexes, such as G305, RCW 95, and RCW 106. The vast majority of the cluster candidates are quite compact and generally surrounded by bright and/or dark nebulosities. IRAS point sources are associated with 59% of the sample, while 88% are associated with MSX point sources. GLIMPSE 8 mum images of the cluster candidates show a variety of morphologies, with 292 clusters dominated by knotty sources, while 361 clusters show some kind of nebulosity. Spatial cross-correlation with young stellar objects, masers, and extended green-object catalogs suggest that a large sample of the new cluster candidates are extremely young. In particular, 104 star clusters associated to methanol masers are excellent candidates for ongoing massive star formation. Also, there is a special set of sixteen cluster candidates that present clear signspot of star-forming activity having associated simultaneosly dark nebulae, young stellar objects, EGOs, and masers.

OGLE-IV: Fourth Phase of the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment

We present both the technical overview and main science drivers of the fourth phase of the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (hereafter OGLE-IV). OGLE-IV is currently one of the largest sky variability surveys worldwide, targeting the densest stellar regions of the sky. The survey covers over 3000 square degrees in the sky and monitors regularly over a billion sources. The main targets include the inner Galactic Bulge and the Magellanic System. Their photometry spans the range of $12<I<21$ mag and $13<I<21.7$ mag, respectively. Supplementary shallower Galaxy Variability Survey covers the extended Galactic bulge and 2/3 of the whole Galactic disk within the magnitude range of $10<I<19$ mag. All OGLE-IV surveys provide photometry with milli-magnitude accuracy at the bright end. The cadence of observations varies from 19-60 minutes in the inner Galactic bulge to 1-3 days in the remaining Galactic bulge fields, Magellanic System and the Galactic disk. OGLE-IV provides the astronomical community with a number of real time services. The Early Warning System (EWS) contains information on two thousand gravitational microlensing events being discovered in real time annually, the OGLE Transient Detection System (OTDS) delivers over 200 supernovae a year. We also provide the real time photometry of unpredictable variables such as optical counterparts to the X-ray sources and R CrB stars. Hundreds of thousands new variable stars have already been discovered and classified by the OGLE survey. The number of new detections will be at least doubled during the current OGLE-IV phase. The survey was designed and optimized primarily to conduct the second generation microlensing survey for exoplanets. It has already contributed significantly to the increase of the discovery rate of microlensing exoplanets and free-floating planets.

On the formation and evolution of the first Be star in a black hole binary MWC 656 [Replacement]

We find that the formation of MWC 656 (the first Be binary containing a black hole) involves a common envelope phase and a supernova explosion. This result supports the idea that a rapidly rotating Be star can emerge out of a common envelope phase, which is very intriguing because this evolutionary stage is thought to be too fast to lead to significant accretion and spin up of the B star. We predict $\sim 10-100$ of B BH binaries to currently reside in the Galactic disk, among which around $1/3$ contain a Be star, but there is only a small chance to observe a system with parameters resembling MWC 656. If MWC 656 is representative of intrinsic Galactic Be BH binary population, it may indicate that standard evolutionary theory needs to be revised. This would pose another evolutionary problem in understanding BH binaries, with BH X-ray Novae formation issue being the prime example. The future evolution of MWC 656 with a $\sim 5$ M$_{\odot}$ black hole and with a $\sim 13$ M$_{\odot}$ main sequence companion on a $\sim 60$ day orbit may lead to the formation of a coalescing BH-NS system. The estimated Advanced LIGO/Virgo detection rate of such systems is up to $\sim 0.2$ yr$^{-1}$. This empirical estimate is a lower limit as it is obtained with only one particular evolutionary scenario, the MWC 656 binary. This is only a third such estimate available (after Cyg X-1 and Cyg X-3), and it lends additional support to the existence of so far undetected BH–NS binaries.

On the formation and evolution of the first Be star in a black hole binary MWC 656

We find that the formation of MWC 656 (the first Be binary containing a black hole) involves a common envelope phase and a supernova explosion. This result supports the idea that a rapidly rotating Be star can emerge out of a common envelope phase, which is very intriguing because this evolutionary stage is thought to be too fast to lead to significant accretion and spin up of the B star. We predict $\sim 10-100$ of Be BH binaries to currently reside in the Galactic disk, but there is only a small chance to observe a system with parameters resembling MWC 656. If MWC 656 is representative of intrinsic Galactic Be BH binary population, it may indicate that standard evolutionary theory needs to be revised. This would pose another evolutionary problem in understanding BH binaries, with BH X-ray Novae formation issue being the prime example. The future evolution of MWC 656 with a $\sim 5$ M$_{\odot}$ black hole and with a $\sim 13$ M$_{\odot}$ main sequence companion on a $\sim 60$ day orbit may lead to the formation of a coalescing BH-NS system. The estimated Advanced LIGO/Virgo detection rate of such systems is up to $\sim 0.2$ yr$^{-1}$. This empirical estimate is a lower limit as it is obtained with only one particular evolutionary scenario, the MWC 656 binary. This is only a third such estimate available (after Cyg X-1 and Cyg X-3), and it lends additional support to the existence of so far undetected BH–NS binaries.

Binary astrometric microlensing with Gaia

We investigate whether Gaia can specify the binary fractions of massive stellar populations in the Galactic disk through astrometric microlensing. Furthermore, we study if some information about their mass distributions can be inferred via this method. In this regard, we simulate the binary astrometric microlensing events due to massive stellar populations according to the Gaia observing strategy by considering (a) stellar-mass black holes, (b) neutron stars, (c) white dwarfs and (d) main-sequence stars as microlenses. The Gaia efficiency for detecting the binary signatures in binary astrometric microlensing events is $\sim 10-20$ per cent. By calculating the optical depth due to the mentioned stellar populations, the number of the binary astrometric microlensing events being observed with Gaia with detectable binary signatures, for the binary fraction about 0.1, is estimated as 6, 11, 77 and 1316 respectively. Consequently, Gaia can potentially specify the binary fractions of these massive stellar populations. However, the binary fraction of black holes measured with this method has the large uncertainty owing to a low number of the estimated events. Knowing the binary fractions in massive stellar populations helps for studying the gravitational waves. Moreover, we investigate the number of massive microlenses which Gaia specifies their masses through astrometric microlensing of single lenses toward the Galactic bulge. The resulted efficiencies of measuring the mass of mentioned populations are 9.8, 2.9, 1.2 and 0.8 per cent respectively. The number of their astrometric microlensing events being observed in the Gaia era in which the lens mass can be inferred with the relative error less than 0.5 toward the Galactic bulge is estimated as 45, 34, 76 and 786 respectively.

The wrong rotation curve of the Milky Way

In the fundamental quest of the rotation curve of the Milky Way, the tangent-point (TP) method has long been the simplest way to infer velocities for the inner, low latitude regions of the Galactic disk from observations of the gas component. We test the validity of the method on realistic gas distribution and kinematics of the Milky Way, using a numerical simulation of the Galaxy. We show that the resulting velocity profile strongly deviates from the true rotation curve of the simulation, as it overstimates it in the central regions, and underestimates it around the bar corotation. Also, its shape strongly depends on the orientation of the stellar bar. The discrepancies are caused by highly non-uniform azimuthal velocities, and the systematic selection by the TP method of high-velocity gas along the bar and spiral arms, or low-velocity gas in less dense regions. The velocity profile is in good agreement with the rotation curve only beyond corotation, far from massive asymmetric structures. Therefore the observed velocity profile of the Milky Way inferred by the TP method is expected to be very close to the true Galactic rotation curve for 4.5<R<8 kpc. Another consequence is that the Galactic velocity profile for R<4-4.5 kpc is very likely flawed by the non-uniform azimuthal velocities, and does not represent the true Galactic rotation curve, but instead local motions. The real shape of the innermost rotation curve is probably shallower than previously thought. Using a wrong rotation curve has a dramatic impact on the modelling of the mass distribution, in particular for the bulge component of which derived enclosed mass within the central kpc and scale radius are, respectively, twice and half of the actual values. We thus strongly argue against using terminal velocities or the velocity curve from the TP method for modelling the mass distribution of the Milky Way. (abridged)

The incorrect rotation curve of the Milky Way [Replacement]

In the fundamental quest of the rotation curve of the Milky Way, the tangent-point (TP) method has long been the simplest way to infer velocities for the inner, low latitude regions of the Galactic disk from observations of the gas component. We test the validity of the method on realistic gas distribution and kinematics of the Milky Way, using a numerical simulation of the Galaxy. We show that the resulting velocity profile strongly deviates from the true rotation curve of the simulation, as it overstimates it in the central regions, and underestimates it around the bar corotation. Also, its shape strongly depends on the orientation of the stellar bar. The discrepancies are caused by highly non-uniform azimuthal velocities, and the systematic selection by the TP method of high-velocity gas along the bar and spiral arms, or low-velocity gas in less dense regions. The velocity profile is in good agreement with the rotation curve only beyond corotation, far from massive asymmetric structures. Therefore the observed velocity profile of the Milky Way inferred by the TP method is expected to be very close to the true Galactic rotation curve for 4.5<R<8 kpc. Another consequence is that the Galactic velocity profile for R<4-4.5 kpc is very likely flawed by the non-uniform azimuthal velocities, and does not represent the true Galactic rotation curve, but instead local motions. The real shape of the innermost rotation curve is probably shallower than previously thought. Using a wrong rotation curve has a dramatic impact on the modelling of the mass distribution, in particular for the bulge component of which derived enclosed mass within the central kpc and scale radius are, respectively, twice and half of the actual values. We thus strongly argue against using terminal velocities or the velocity curve from the TP method for modelling the mass distribution of the Milky Way. (abridged)

Magnetic fields of the W4 superbubble

Superbubbles and supershells are the channels for transferring mass and energy from the Galactic disk to the halo. Magnetic fields are believed to play a vital role in their evolution. We study the radio continuum and polarized emission properties of the W4 superbubble to determine its magnetic field strength. New sensitive radio continuum observations were made at 6 cm, 11 cm, and 21 cm. The total intensity measurements were used to derive the radio spectrum of the W4 superbubble. The linear polarization data were analysed to determine the magnetic field properties within the bubble shells. The observations show a multi-shell structure of the W4 superbubble. A flat radio continuum spectrum that stems from optically thin thermal emission is derived from 1.4 GHz to 4.8 GHz. By fitting a passive Faraday screen model and considering the filling factor fne , we obtain the thermal electron density ne = 1.0/\sqrt{fne} (\pm5%) cm^-3 and the strength of the line-of-sight component of the magnetic field B// = -5.0/\sqrt{fne} (\pm10%) {\mu}G (i.e. pointing away from us) within the western shell of the W4 superbubble. When the known tilted geometry of the W4 superbubble is considered, the total magnetic field Btot in its western shell is greater than 12 {\mu}G. The electron density and the magnetic field are lower and weaker in the high-latitude parts of the superbubble. The rotation measure is found to be positive in the eastern shell but negative in the western shell of the W4 superbubble, which is consistent with the case that the magnetic field in the Perseus arm is lifted up from the plane towards high latitudes. The magnetic field strength and the electron density we derived for the W4 superbubble are important parameters for evolution models of superbubbles breaking out of the Galactic plane.

A re-interpretation of the Triangulum-Andromeda stellar clouds: a population of halo stars kicked out of the Galactic disk

The Triangulum-Andromeda stellar clouds (TriAnd1 and TriAnd2) are a pair of concentric ring- or shell-like over-densities at large $R$ ($\approx$ 30 kpc) and $Z$ ($\approx$ -10 kpc) in the Galactic halo that are thought to have been formed from the accretion and disruption of a satellite galaxy. This paper critically re-examines this formation scenario by comparing the number ratio of RR Lyrae to M giant stars associated with the TriAnd clouds with other structures in the Galaxy. The current data suggest a stellar population for these over-densities ($f_{\rm RR:MG} < 0.38$ at 95% confidence) quite unlike any of the known satellites of the Milky Way ($f_{\rm RR:MG} \approx 0.5$ for the very largest and $f_{\rm RR:MG} >>1$ for the smaller satellites) and more like the population of stars born in the much deeper potential well inhabited by the Galactic disk ($f_{\rm RR:MG} < 0.01$). N-body simulations of a Milky-Way-like galaxy perturbed by the impact of a dwarf galaxy demonstrate that, in the right circumstances, concentric rings propagating outwards from that Galactic disk can plausibly produce similar over-densities. These results provide dramatic support for the recent proposal by Xu et al. (2015) that, rather than stars accreted from other galaxies, the TriAnd clouds could represent stars kicked-out from our own disk. If so, these would be the first populations of disk stars to be found in the Galactic halo and a clear signature of the importance of this second formation mechanism for stellar halos more generally. Moreover, their existence at the very extremities of the disk places strong constraints on the nature of the interaction that formed them.

Non-LTE analysis of neutral copper in the late-type metal-poor stars

We investigated the copper abundances for $64$ late-type stars in the Galactic disk and halo with effective temperatures from $5400$ K to $6700$ K and [Fe/H] from $-1.88$ to $-0.17$. For the first time, the copper abundances are derived using both local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) and non-local thermodynamic equilibrium (non-LTE) calculations. High resolution ($R > 40,000$), high signal-to-noise ratio ($S/N > 100$) spectra from the FOCES spectrograph are used. The atmospheric models are calculated based on the MAFAGS opacity sampling code. All the abundances are derived using the spectrum synthesis methods. Our results indicate that the non-LTE effects of copper are important for metal-poor stars, showing a departure of $\sim 0.17$ dex at the metallicity $\sim -1.5$. We also find that the copper abundances derived from non-LTE calculations are enhanced compared with those from LTE. The enhancements show clear dependence on the metallicity, which gradually increase with decreasing [Fe/H] for our program stars, leading to a flatter distribution of [Cu/Fe] with [Fe/H] than previous work. There is a hint that the thick- and thin-disk stars have different behaviors in [Cu/Fe], and a bending for disk stars may exist.

Multi-wavelength Emission from the Fermi Bubble III. Stochastic (Fermi) Re-Acceleration of Relativistic Electrons Emitted by SNRs

We analyse the model of stochastic re-acceleration of electrons, which are emitted by supernova remnants (SNRs) in the Galactic Disk and propagate then into the Galactic halo, in order to explain the origin on nonthermal (radio and gamma-ray) emission from the Fermi Bubbles (FB). We assume that the energy for re-acceleration in the halo is supplied by shocks generated by processes of star accretion onto the central black hole. Numerical simulations show that regions with strong turbulence (places for electron re-acceleration) are located high up in the Galactic Halo about several kpc above the disk. The energy of SNR electrons that reach these regions does not exceed several GeV because of synchrotron and inverse Compton energy losses. At appropriate parameters of re-acceleration these electrons can be re-accelerated up to the energy 10E12 eV which explains in this model the origin of the observed radio and gamma-ray emission from the FB. However although the model gamma-ray spectrum is consistent with the Fermi results, the model radio spectrum is steeper than the observed by WMAP and Planck. If adiabatic losses due to plasma outflow from the Galactic central regions are taken into account, then the re-acceleration model nicely reproduces the Planck datapoints.

Ultracool White Dwarfs and the Age of the Galactic Disk

We present parallax observations and a detailed model atmosphere analysis of 54 cool and ultracool ($T_{\rm eff}$ < 4000 K) white dwarfs (WDs) in the solar neighborhood. For the first time, a large number of cool and ultracool WDs have distance and tangential velocities measurements available. Our targets have distances ranging from 21 pc to >100 pc, and include five stars within 30 pc. Contrary to expectations, all but two of them have tangential velocities smaller than 150 km s$^{-1}$ thus suggesting Galactic disk membership. The oldest WDs in this sample have WD cooling ages of 10 Gyr, providing a firm lower limit to the age of the thick disk population. Many of our targets have uncharacteristically large radii, indicating that they are low mass WDs. It appears that we have detected the brighter population of cool and ultracool WDs near the Sun. The fainter population of ultracool CO-core WDs remain to be discovered in large numbers. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope should find these elusive, more massive ultracool WDs in the solar neighborhood.

The Milky Way disk

This review summarises the invited presentation I gave on the Milky Way disc. The idea underneath was to touch those topics that can be considered hot nowadays in the Galactic disk research: the reality of the thick disk, the spiral structure of the Milky Way, and the properties of the outer Galactic disk. A lot of work has been done in recent years on these topics, but a coherent and clear picture is still missing. Detailed studies with high quality spectroscopic data seem to support a dual Galactic disk, with a clear separation into a thin and a thick component. Much confusion and very discrepant ideas still exist concerning the spiral structure of the Milky Way. Our location in the disk makes it impossible to observe it, and we can only infer it. This process of inference is still far from being mature, and depends a lot on the selected tracers, the adopted models and their limitations, which in many cases are neither properly accounted for, nor pondered enough. Finally, there are very different opinions on the size (scale length, truncation radius) of the Galactic disk, and on the interpretation of the observed outer disk stellar populations in terms either of external entities (Monoceros, Triangulus-Andromeda, Canis Major), or as manifestations of genuine disk properties (e.g., warp and flare).

On the stability of a galactic disk in modified gravity [Replacement]

We find the dispersion relation for tightly wound spiral density waves in the surface of rotating, self-gravitating disks in the framework of Modified Gravity (MOG). Also, the Toomre-like stability criterion for differentially rotating disks has been derived for both fluid and stellar disks. More specifically, the stability criterion can be expressed in terms of a matter density threshold over which the instability occurs. In other words the local stability criterion can be written as $\Sigma_0<\Sigma_{\text{crit}}(v_s,\kappa,\alpha,\mu_0)$, where $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ is a function of $v_s$ (sound speed), $\kappa$ (epicycle frequency) and $\alpha$ and $\mu_0$ are the free parameters of the theory. In the case of a stellar disk the radial velocity dispersion $\sigma_r$ appears in $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ instead of $v_s$. We find the exact form of the function $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ for both stellar and fluid self-gravitating disks. Also, we use a sub-sample of THINGS catalog of spiral galaxies in order to compare the local stability criteria. In this perspective, we have compared MOG with Newtonian gravity and investigated the possible and detectable differences between these theories.

On the stability of a galactic disk in modified gravity [Replacement]

We find the dispersion relation for tightly wound spiral density waves in the surface of rotating, self-gravitating disks in the framework of Modified Gravity (MOG). Also, the Toomre-like stability criterion for differentially rotating disks has been derived for both fluid and stellar disks. More specifically, the stability criterion can be expressed in terms of a matter density threshold over which the instability occurs. In other words the local stability criterion can be written as $\Sigma_0<\Sigma_{\text{crit}}(v_s,\kappa,\alpha,\mu_0)$, where $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ is a function of $v_s$ (sound speed), $\kappa$ (epicycle frequency) and $\alpha$ and $\mu_0$ are the free parameters of the theory. In the case of a stellar disk the radial velocity dispersion $\sigma_r$ appears in $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ instead of $v_s$. We find the exact form of the function $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ for both stellar and fluid self-gravitating disks. Also, we use a sub-sample of THINGS catalog of spiral galaxies in order to compare the local stability criteria. In this perspective, we have compared MOG with Newtonian gravity and investigated the possible and detectable differences between these theories.

On the stability of a galactic disk in modified gravity

We find the dispersion relation for tightly wound spiral density waves in the surface of rotating, self-gravitating disks in the framework of Modified Gravity (MOG). Also, the Toomre-like stability criterion for differentially rotating disks has been derived for both fluid and stellar disks. More specifically, the stability criterion can be expressed in terms of a matter density threshold over which the instability occurs. In other words the local stability criterion can be written as $\Sigma_0<\Sigma_{\text{crit}}(v_s,\kappa,\alpha,\mu_0)$, where $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ is a function of $v_s$ (sound speed), $\kappa$ (epicycle frequency) and $\alpha$ and $\mu_0$ are the free parameters of the theory. In the case of a stellar disk the radial velocity dispersion $\sigma_r$ appears in $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ instead of $v_s$. We find the exact form of the function $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ for both stellar and fluid self-gravitating disks. Also, we use a sub-sample of THINGS catalog of spiral galaxies in order to compare the local stability criteria. In this perspective, we have compared MOG with Newtonian gravity and investigated the possible and detectable differences between these theories.

On the stability of a galactic disk in modified gravity [Cross-Listing]

We find the dispersion relation for tightly wound spiral density waves in the surface of rotating, self-gravitating disks in the framework of Modified Gravity (MOG). Also, the Toomre-like stability criterion for differentially rotating disks has been derived for both fluid and stellar disks. More specifically, the stability criterion can be expressed in terms of a matter density threshold over which the instability occurs. In other words the local stability criterion can be written as $\Sigma_0<\Sigma_{\text{crit}}(v_s,\kappa,\alpha,\mu_0)$, where $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ is a function of $v_s$ (sound speed), $\kappa$ (epicycle frequency) and $\alpha$ and $\mu_0$ are the free parameters of the theory. In the case of a stellar disk the radial velocity dispersion $\sigma_r$ appears in $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ instead of $v_s$. We find the exact form of the function $\Sigma_{\text{crit}}$ for both stellar and fluid self-gravitating disks. Also, we use a sub-sample of THINGS catalog of spiral galaxies in order to compare the local stability criteria. In this perspective, we have compared MOG with Newtonian gravity and investigated the possible and detectable differences between these theories.

Characterizing the High-Velocity Stars of RAVE: The Discovery of a Metal-Rich Halo Star Born in the Galactic Disk

We aim to characterize high-velocity (HiVel) stars in the solar vicinity both chemically and kinematically using the fourth data release of the RAdial Velocity Experiment (RAVE). We used a sample of 57 HiVel stars with Galactic rest-frame velocities larger than 275 km s$^{-1}$. With 6D position and velocity information, we integrated the orbits of the HiVel stars and found that, on average, they reach out to 13 kpc from the Galactic plane and have relatively eccentric orbits consistent with the Galactic halo. Using the stellar parameters and [$\alpha$/Fe] estimates from RAVE, we found the metallicity distribution of the HiVel stars peak at [M/H] = -1.2 dex and is chemically consistent with the inner halo. There are a few notable exceptions that include a hypervelocity star (HVS) candidate, an extremely high-velocity bound halo star, and one star that is kinematically consistent with the halo but chemically consistent with the disk. High-resolution spectra were obtained for the metal-rich HiVel star candidate and the second highest velocity star in the sample. Using these high-resolution data, we report the discovery of a metal-rich halo star that has likely been dynamically ejected into the halo from the Galactic thick disk. This discovery could aid in explaining the assembly of the most metal-rich component of the Galactic halo.

Cosmic-ray driven winds

The theory of Galactic Winds, driven by the cosmic-ray pressure gradient, is reviewed both on the magnetohydrodynamic and on the kinetic level. In this picture the magnetic field of the Galaxy above the dense gas disk is assumed to have a flux tube geometry, the flux tubes rising locally perpendicular out of the disk to become radially directed at large distances, with the cosmic-ray sources located deep within the Galactic disk. At least above the gas disk, the magnetic fluctuations which resonantly scatter the cosmic rays are selfconsistently excited as Alf{`e}n waves by the escaping cosmic rays. The fluctuation amplitudes remain finite through nonlinear wave dissipation. The spatially increasing speed of the resulting outflow results in a diffusion-convection boundary whose position depends on particle momentum. It replaces the escape boundary of static diffusion models. New effects like overall Galactic mass and angular momentum loss as well as gas heating beyond the disk appear. Also particle re-acceleration in the distant wind halo suggests itself. The resulting magnetohydrodynamic flow properties and the cosmic-ray transport properties are compared with observations. On the whole they show remarkable agreement. General limitations and generalisations of the basic model arise due to the expected simultaneous infall of matter from the environment of the Galaxy. On an intergalactic scale the combined winds from the Local Group galaxies should form a “Local Group Bubble“. Its properties remain to be studied in detail.

O, Na, Ba and Eu abundance patterns in open clusters

Open clusters are historically regarded as single-aged stellar populations representative of star formation within the Galactic disk. Recent literature has questioned this view, based on discrepant Na abundances relative to the field, and concerns about the longevity of bound clusters contributing to a selection bias: perhaps long-lived open clusters are chemically different to the star formation events that contributed to the Galactic disk. We explore a large sample of high resolution Na, O, Ba & Eu abundances from the literature, homogenized as much as reasonable including accounting for NLTE effects, variations in analysis and choice of spectral lines. Compared to a template globular cluster and representative field stars, we find no significant abundance trends, confirming that the process producing the Na-O anti-correlation in globular clusters is not present in open clusters. Furthermore, previously reported Na-enhancement of open clusters is found to be an artefact of NLTE effects, with the open clusters matching a subset of chemically tagged field stars.

The power spectrum of the Milky Way: Velocity fluctuations in the Galactic disk

We investigate the kinematics of stars in the mid-plane of the Milky Way on scales between 25 pc and 10 kpc with data from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE), and the Geneva-Copenhagen Survey (GCS). Using red-clump stars in APOGEE, we determine the large-scale line-of-sight velocity field out to 5 kpc from the Sun in (0.75 kpc)^2 bins. The solar motion is the largest contribution to the power on large scales after subtracting an axisymmetric rotation field; we determine the solar motion by minimizing the large-scale power to be V_sun = 24+/-1 (ran.)+/-2 (syst [V_c])+/-5 (syst. [large-scale]) km/s, where the systematic uncertainty is due to (a) a conservative 20 km/s uncertainty in V_c and (b) the estimated power on unobserved larger scales. Combining the APOGEE peculiar-velocity field with red-clump stars in RAVE out to 2 kpc from the Sun and with local GCS stars, we determine the power spectrum of residual velocity fluctuations in the Milky Way’s disk on scales between 0.2/kpc < k < 40/kpc. Most of the power is contained in a broad peak between 0.2/kpc < k < 0.9/kpc. We investigate the expected power spectrum for various non-axisymmetric perturbations and demonstrate that the central bar with commonly used parameters but of relatively high mass can explain the bulk of velocity fluctuations in the plane of the Galactic disk near the Sun. Streaming motions ~10 km/s on >~3 kpc scales in the Milky Way are in good agreement with observations of external galaxies and directly explain why local determinations of the solar motion are inconsistent with global measurements.

The power spectrum of the Milky Way: Velocity fluctuations in the Galactic disk [Replacement]

We investigate the kinematics of stars in the mid-plane of the Milky Way on scales between 25 pc and 10 kpc with data from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), the Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE), and the Geneva-Copenhagen Survey (GCS). Using red-clump stars in APOGEE, we determine the large-scale line-of-sight velocity field out to 5 kpc from the Sun in (0.75 kpc)^2 bins. The solar motion V_{sun-c} with respect to the circular velocity V_c is the largest contribution to the power on large scales after subtracting an axisymmetric rotation field; we determine the solar motion by minimizing the large-scale power to be V_{sun-c} = 24+/-1 (ran.)+/-2 (syst [V_c])+/-5 (syst. [large-scale]) km/s, where the systematic uncertainty is due to (a) a conservative 20 km/s uncertainty in V_c and (b) the estimated power on unobserved larger scales. Combining the APOGEE peculiar-velocity field with red-clump stars in RAVE out to 2 kpc from the Sun and with local GCS stars, we determine the power spectrum of residual velocity fluctuations in the Milky Way’s disk on scales between 0.2/kpc < k < 40/kpc. Most of the power is contained in a broad peak between 0.2/kpc < k < 0.9/kpc. We investigate the expected power spectrum for various non-axisymmetric perturbations and demonstrate that the central bar with commonly used parameters but of relatively high mass can explain the bulk of velocity fluctuations in the plane of the Galactic disk near the Sun. Streaming motions ~10 km/s on >~3 kpc scales in the Milky Way are in good agreement with observations of external galaxies and directly explain why local determinations of the solar motion are inconsistent with global measurements.

The metallicity of galactic winds

The abundance evolution of galaxies depends critically on the balance between the mixing of metals in their interstellar medium, the inflow of new gas and the outflow of enriched gas. We study these processes in gas columns perpendicular to a galactic disk using sub-parsec resolution simulations that track stellar ejecta with the Flash code. We model a simplified interstellar medium stirred and enriched by supernovae and their progenitors. We vary the density distribution of the gas column and integrate our results over an exponential disk to predict wind and ISM enrichment properties for disk galaxies. We find that winds from more massive galaxies are hotter and more highly enriched, in stark contrast to that which is often assumed in galaxy formation models. We use these findings in a simple model of galactic enrichment evolution, in which the metallicity of forming galaxies is the result of accretion of nearly pristine gas and outflow of enriched gas along an equilibrium sequence. We compare these predictions to the observed mass-metallicity relation, and demonstrate how the galaxy’s gas fraction is a key controlling parameter. This explains the observed flattening of the mass-metallicity relation at higher stellar masses.

Thickness of Stellar Disks in Early-type Galaxies

We suggest and verify a new photometric method enabling derivation of relative thickness of a galactic disk from two-dimensional surface-brightness distribution of the galaxy in the plane of the sky. The method is applied to images of 45 early-type (S0-Sb) galaxies with known radial exponential or double-exponential (with a flatter outer profile) surface-brightness distributions. The data in the r-band have been retrieved from the SDSS archive. Statistics of the estimated relative thicknesses of the stellar disks of early-type disk galaxies shows the following features. The disks of lenticular and early-type spiral galaxies have similar thicknesses. The presence of a bar results in only a slight marginal increase of the thickness. However, we have found a substantial difference between the thicknesses of the disks with a single-scaled exponential brightness profile and the disks that represent the inner segments of the Type III (antitruncated) profiles. The disks are significantly thicker in the former subsample than in the latter one. This may provide evidence for a surface-brightness distribution of a single-scaled exponential disk to be formed due to viscosity effects acting over the entire period of star formation in the disk.

Exposing Sgr tidal debris behind the Galactic disk with M giants selected in WISE$\cap$2MASS

We show that a combination of infrared photometry from WISE and 2MASS surveys can yield highly pure samples of M giant stars. We take advantage of the new WISE$\cap$2MASS M giant selection to trace the Sagittarius trailing tail behind the Galactic disk in the direction of the anti-centre. The M giant candidates selected via broad-band photometry are confirmed spectroscopically using AAOmega on the AAT in 3 fields around the extremity of the Sgr trailing tail in the Southern Galactic hemisphere. We demonstrate that at the Sgr longitude $\tilde \Lambda_{\odot} = 204^{\circ}$, the line-of-sight velocity of the trailing tail starts to deviate from the track of the Law & Majewski (2010) model, confirming the prediction of Belokurov et al. (2014). This discovery serves to substantiate the measurement of low differential orbital precession of the Sgr stream which in turn may imply diminished dark matter content within 100 kpc.

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

We present the first space-based microlens parallax measurement of an isolated star. From the striking differences in the lightcurve as seen from Earth and from Spitzer (~1 AU to the West), we infer a projected velocity v_helio,projected ~ 250 km/s, which strongly favors a lens in the Galactic Disk with mass M=0.23 +- 0.07 M_sun and distance D_L=3.1 +- 0.4 kpc. An ensemble of such measurements drawn from our ongoing program could be used to measure the single-lens mass function including dark objects, and also is necessary for measuring the Galactic distribution of planets since the ensemble reflects the underlying Galactic distribution of microlenses. We study the application of the many ideas to break the four-fold degeneracy first predicted by Refsdal 50 years ago. We find that this degeneracy is clearly broken, but by two unanticipated mechanisms.

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

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

Catalog of observed tangents to the spiral arms in the Milky Way galaxy

From the sun’s location in the Galactic disk, one can use different arm tracers (CO, HII, thermal or ionized or relativistic electrons, masers, cold or hot dust, etc) to locate a tangent to each spiral arm in the disk of the Milky Way galaxy. We present a Master catalog of the astronomically observed tangents to the Galaxy’s spiral arms, using different arm tracers from the literature. Some arm tracers can have slightly divergent results from several papers, so a mean is taken – see Appendix for CO, HII, and masers. The Master catalog of means currently consists of 63 mean tracer entries, spread over many arms (Carina, Crux-Centaurus, Norma, Perseus origin, near 3-kpc, Scutum, Sagittarius), stemming from 107 original arm tracer entries. Additionally, we updated and revised a previous a previous statistical analysis of the angular offset and linear separation from the mid-arm, for each different mean arm tracer. Given enough arm tracers, and summing and averaging over all spiral arms, one could determine if arm tracers have separate and parallel lanes in the Milky Way. This statistical analysis allows a cross-cut of a galactic spiral arm to be made, confirming a recent discovery of a linear separation between arm tracers. Here, from the mid-arm’s CO to the inner edge’s hot dust, the arm half-width is about 340 parsecs; doubling would yield a full arm width of 680 parsecs. We briefly compare these observations with the predictions of many spiral arm theories, notably the density wave theory.

Open clusters: probes of galaxy evolution and bench tests of stellar models

Open clusters are the only example of single-age, single initial chemical composition populations in the Galaxy, and they play an important role in the study of the formation and evolution of the Galactic disk. In addition, they have been traditionally employed to test theoretical stellar evolution models. A brief review of constraints/tests of white dwarf models/progenitors, and rotating star models based on Galactic open clusters’ observations is presented, introducing also recent contributions of asteroseismic analyses.

Non-LTE Abundances in OB stars: Preliminary Results for 5 Stars in the Outer Galactic Disk

The aim of this study is to analyse and determine elemental abundances for a large sample of distant B stars in the outer Galactic disk in order to constrain the chemical distribution of the Galactic disk and models of chemical evolution of the Galaxy. Here, we present preliminary results on a few stars along with the adopted methodology based on securing simultaneous O and Si ionization equilibria with consistent NLTE model atmospheres.

Chemical probes of turbulence in the diffuse medium: the TDR model

Context. Tens of light hydrides and small molecules have now been detected over several hundreds sight lines sampling the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) in both the Solar neighbourhood and the inner Galactic disk. They provide unprecedented statistics on the first steps of chemistry in the diffuse gas. Aims. These new data confirm the limitations of the traditional chemical pathways driven by the UV photons and the cosmic rays (CR) and the need for additional energy sources, such as turbulent dissipation, to open highly endoenergetic formation routes. The goal of the present paper is to further investigate the link between specific species and the properties of the turbulent cascade in particular its space-time intermittency. Methods. We have analysed ten different atomic and molecular species in the framework of the updated model of turbulent dissipation regions (TDR). We study the influence on the abundances of these species of parameters specific to chemistry (density, UV field, and CR ionisation rate) and those linked to turbulence (the average turbulent dissipation rate, the dissipation timescale, and the ion neutral velocity drift in the regions of dissipation). Results. The most sensitive tracers of turbulent dissipation are the abundances of CH+ and SH+, and the column densities of the J = 3, 4, 5 rotational levels of H2 . The abundances of CO, HCO+, and the intensity of the 158 $\mu$m [CII] emission line are significantly enhanced by turbulent dissipation. The vast diversity of chemical pathways allows the independent determinations of free parameters never estimated before: an upper limit to the average turbulent dissipation rate, $\overline{\varepsilon}$ < 10$^{-23}$ erg cm$^{-3}$ s$^{-1}$ for $n_H$=20 cm$^{-3}$, from the CH+ abundance; an upper limit to the ion-neutral velocity drift, $u_{in}$ < 3.5 km s$^{-1}$, from the SH+ to CH+ abundance ratio; and a range of dissipation timescales, 100 < $\tau_V$ < 1000 yr, from the CO to HCO+ abundance ratio. For the first time, we reproduce the large abundances of CO observed on diffuse lines of sight, and we show that CO may be abundant even in regions with UV-shieldings as low as $5 \times 10^{-3}$ mag. The best range of parameters also reproduces the abundance ratios of OH, C2H, and H2O to HCO+ and are consistent with the known properties of the turbulent cascade in the Galactic diffuse ISM. Conclusions. Our results disclose an unexpected link between the dissipation of turbulence and the emergence of molecular richness in the diffuse ISM. Some species, such as CH+ or SH+, turn out to be unique tracers of the energy trail in the ISM. In spite of some degeneracy, the properties of the turbulent cascade, down to dissipation, can be captured through specific molecular abundances.

Analysis of the spiral structure in a simulated galaxy

We analyze the spiral structure that results in a numerical simulation of a galactic disk with stellar and gaseous components evolving in a potential that includes an axisymmetric halo and bulge. We perform a second simulation without the gas component to observe how it affects the spiral structure in the disk. To quantify this, we use a Fourier analysis and obtain values for the pitch angle and the velocity of the self-excited spiral pattern of the disk. The results show a tighter spiral in the simulation with gaseous component. The spiral structure is consistent with a superposition of waves, each with a constant pattern velocity in given radial ranges.

Massive stars in the giant molecular cloud G23.3-0.3 and W41

Young massive stars and stellar clusters continuously form in the Galactic disk, generating new HII regions within their natal giant molecular clouds and subsequently enriching the interstellar medium via their winds and supernovae. Massive stars are among the brightest infrared stars in such regions; their identification permits the characterization of the star formation history of the associated cloud as well as constraining the location of stellar aggregates and hence their occurrence as a function of global environment. We present a stellar spectroscopic survey in the direction of the giant molecular cloud G23.3-0.3. This complex is located at a distance of ~ 4-5 kpc, and consists of several HII regions and supernova remnants. We discovered 11 OfK+ stars, one candidate Luminous Blue Variable, several OB stars, and candidate red supergiants. Stars with K-band extinction from ~1.3 – 1.9 mag appear to be associated with the GMC G23.3-0.3; O and B-types satisfying this criterion have spectro-photometric distances consistent with that of the giant molecular cloud. Combining near-IR spectroscopic and photometric data allowed us to characterize the multiple sites of star formation within it. The O-type stars have masses from 25 – 45 Msun, and ages of 5-8 Myr. Two new red supergiants were detected with interstellar extinction typical of the cloud; along with the two RSGs within the cluster GLIMPSE9, they trace an older burst with an age of 20–30 Myr. Massive stars were also detected in the core of three supernova remnants – W41, G22.7-0.2, and G22.7583-0.4917. A large population of massive stars appears associated with the GMC G23.3-0.3, with the properties inferred for them indicative of an extended history of stars formation.

Using Red Clump Stars to Decompose the Galactic Magnetic Field with Distance

A new method for measuring the large-scale structure of the Galactic magnetic field is presented. The Galactic magnetic field has been probed through the Galactic disk with near-infrared starlight polarimetry, however the distance to each background star is unknown. Using red clump stars as near-infrared standard candles, this work presents the first attempt to decompose the line of sight structure of the sky-projected Galactic magnetic field. Two example lines-of-sight are decomposed: toward a field with many red clump stars and toward a field with few red clump stars. A continuous estimate of magnetic field orientation over several kiloparsecs of distance is possible in the field with many red clump stars, while only discrete estimates are possible in the sparse example. toward the Outer Galaxy, there is a continuous field orientation with distance that shows evidence of perturbation by the Galactic warp. toward the Inner Galaxy, evidence for a large-scale change in the magnetic field geometry is consistent with models of magnetic field reversals, independently derived from Faraday rotation studies. A photo-polarimetric method for identifying candidate intrinsically polarized stars is also presented. The future application of this method to large regions of the sky will begin the process of mapping the Galactic magnetic field in a way never before possible.

Suzaku Observation of HESS J1507-622

HESS J1507-622 is one of the bright unidentified TeV objects. HESS J1507-622 is unique, since the location of the object is off the Galactic disk. We observed the HESS J1507-622 region with the Suzaku XIS, and found no obvious counterpart although there is no severe interstellar extinction. However, there are two interesting X-ray objects; SRC1 is a bright extended source, and SRC2 is a faint diffuse object. If either of them is a counterpart, the flux ratio between TeV and X-ray is large, and HESS J1507-622 is a real dark particle accelerator.

Revisiting the axion bounds from the Galactic white dwarf luminosity function [Cross-Listing]

It has been shown that the shape of the luminosity function of white dwarfs (WDLF) is a powerful tool to check for the possible existence of DFSZ-axions, a proposed but not yet detected type of weakly interacting particles. With the aim of deriving new constraints on the axion mass, we compute in this paper new theoretical WDLFs on the basis of WD evolving models that incorporate for the feedback of axions on the thermal structure of the white dwarf. We find that the impact of the axion emission into the neutrino emission can not be neglected at high luminosities ($M_{\rm Bol}\lesssim 8$) and that the axion emission needs to be incorporated self-consistently into the evolution of the white dwarfs when dealing with axion masses larger than $m_a\cos^2\beta\gtrsim 5$ meV (i.e. axion-electron coupling constant $g_{ae}\gtrsim 1.4\times 10^{-13}$). We went beyond previous works by including 5 different derivations of the WDLF in our analysis. Then we have performed $\chi^2$-tests to have a quantitative measure of the assessment between the theoretical WDLFs —computed under the assumptions of different axion masses and normalization methods— and the observed WDLFs of the Galactic disk. While all the WDLF studied in this work disfavour axion masses in the range suggested by asteroseismology ($m_a\cos^2\beta\gtrsim 10$ meV; $g_{ae}\gtrsim 2.8\times 10^{-13}$) lower axion masses can not be discarded from our current knowledge of the WDLF of the Galactic Disk. A larger set of completely independent derivations of the WDLF of the galactic disk as well as a detailed study of the uncertainties of the theoretical WDLFs is needed before quantitative constraints on the axion-electron coupling constant can be made.

Revisiting the axion bounds from the Galactic white dwarf luminosity function

It has been shown that the shape of the luminosity function of white dwarfs (WDLF) is a powerful tool to check for the possible existence of DFSZ-axions, a proposed but not yet detected type of weakly interacting particles. With the aim of deriving new constraints on the axion mass, we compute in this paper new theoretical WDLFs on the basis of WD evolving models that incorporate for the feedback of axions on the thermal structure of the white dwarf. We find that the impact of the axion emission into the neutrino emission can not be neglected at high luminosities ($M_{\rm Bol}\lesssim 8$) and that the axion emission needs to be incorporated self-consistently into the evolution of the white dwarfs when dealing with axion masses larger than $m_a\cos^2\beta\gtrsim 5$ meV (i.e. axion-electron coupling constant $g_{ae}\gtrsim 1.4\times 10^{-13}$). We went beyond previous works by including 5 different derivations of the WDLF in our analysis. Then we have performed $\chi^2$-tests to have a quantitative measure of the assessment between the theoretical WDLFs —computed under the assumptions of different axion masses and normalization methods— and the observed WDLFs of the Galactic disk. While all the WDLF studied in this work disfavour axion masses in the range suggested by asteroseismology ($m_a\cos^2\beta\gtrsim 10$ meV; $g_{ae}\gtrsim 2.8\times 10^{-13}$) lower axion masses can not be discarded from our current knowledge of the WDLF of the Galactic Disk. A larger set of completely independent derivations of the WDLF of the galactic disk as well as a detailed study of the uncertainties of the theoretical WDLFs is needed before quantitative constraints on the axion-electron coupling constant can be made.

Revisiting the axion bounds from the Galactic white dwarf luminosity function [Replacement]

It has been shown that the shape of the luminosity function of white dwarfs (WDLF) is a powerful tool to check for the possible existence of DFSZ-axions, a proposed but not yet detected type of weakly interacting particles. With the aim of deriving new constraints on the axion mass, we compute in this paper new theoretical WDLFs on the basis of WD evolving models that incorporate for the feedback of axions on the thermal structure of the white dwarf. We find that the impact of the axion emission into the neutrino emission can not be neglected at high luminosities ($M_{\rm Bol}\lesssim 8$) and that the axion emission needs to be incorporated self-consistently into the evolution of the white dwarfs when dealing with axion masses larger than $m_a\cos^2\beta\gtrsim 5$ meV (i.e. axion-electron coupling constant $g_{ae}\gtrsim 1.4\times 10^{-13}$). We went beyond previous works by including 5 different derivations of the WDLF in our analysis. Then we have performed $\chi^2$-tests to have a quantitative measure of the assessment between the theoretical WDLFs —computed under the assumptions of different axion masses and normalization methods— and the observed WDLFs of the Galactic disk. While all the WDLF studied in this work disfavour axion masses in the range suggested by asteroseismology ($m_a\cos^2\beta\gtrsim 10$ meV; $g_{ae}\gtrsim 2.8\times 10^{-13}$) lower axion masses can not be discarded from our current knowledge of the WDLF of the Galactic Disk. A larger set of completely independent derivations of the WDLF of the galactic disk as well as a detailed study of the uncertainties of the theoretical WDLFs is needed before quantitative constraints on the axion-electron coupling constant can be made.

Revisiting the axion bounds from the Galactic white dwarf luminosity function [Replacement]

It has been shown that the shape of the luminosity function of white dwarfs (WDLF) is a powerful tool to check for the possible existence of DFSZ-axions, a proposed but not yet detected type of weakly interacting particles. With the aim of deriving new constraints on the axion mass, we compute in this paper new theoretical WDLFs on the basis of WD evolving models that incorporate for the feedback of axions on the thermal structure of the white dwarf. We find that the impact of the axion emission into the neutrino emission can not be neglected at high luminosities ($M_{\rm Bol}\lesssim 8$) and that the axion emission needs to be incorporated self-consistently into the evolution of the white dwarfs when dealing with axion masses larger than $m_a\cos^2\beta\gtrsim 5$ meV (i.e. axion-electron coupling constant $g_{ae}\gtrsim 1.4\times 10^{-13}$). We went beyond previous works by including 5 different derivations of the WDLF in our analysis. Then we have performed $\chi^2$-tests to have a quantitative measure of the assessment between the theoretical WDLFs —computed under the assumptions of different axion masses and normalization methods— and the observed WDLFs of the Galactic disk. While all the WDLF studied in this work disfavour axion masses in the range suggested by asteroseismology ($m_a\cos^2\beta\gtrsim 10$ meV; $g_{ae}\gtrsim 2.8\times 10^{-13}$) lower axion masses can not be discarded from our current knowledge of the WDLF of the Galactic Disk. A larger set of completely independent derivations of the WDLF of the galactic disk as well as a detailed study of the uncertainties of the theoretical WDLFs is needed before quantitative constraints on the axion-electron coupling constant can be made.

Rotation Curve Anomaly and Galactic Warp in M51

We revisit the anomaly of rotation curve in the nearly face-on galaxy M51 that shows an apparently faster decrease of rotation velocity than the Keplerian law in the outer disk, further showing apparent counter rotation in the outermost HI disk. We interpret this anomaly as due to warping of the galactic disk, and determined the warping structure of M51′s disk using the tilted-ring method, assuming that the intrinsic rotation curve is normal. It is shown that the disk is nearly flat in the inner disk at a constant inclination angle, but the disk suddenly bends at radius 7.5 kpc by about 27$\deg$. The inclination angle, then, decreases monotonically outward reaching a perfect face-on ring at 18 kpc, beyond which the disk is warped in the opposite sense to the inner disk, resulting in apparent counter rotation.

 

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