Posts Tagged pitch angle

Recent Postings from pitch angle

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

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

Constraining dark matter halo profiles and galaxy formation models using spiral arm morphology. II. Dark and stellar mass concentrations for 13 nearby face-on galaxies

We investigate the use of spiral arm pitch angles as a probe of disk galaxy mass profiles. We confirm our previous result that spiral arm pitch angles (P) are well correlated with the rate of shear (S) in disk galaxy rotation curves. We use this correlation to argue that imaging data alone can provide a powerful probe of galactic mass distributions out to large look-back times. We then use a sample of 13 galaxies, with Spitzer 3.6-$\mu$m imaging data and observed H$\alpha$ rotation curves, to demonstrate how an inferred shear rate coupled with a bulge-disk decomposition model and a Tully-Fisher-derived velocity normalization can be used to place constraints on a galaxy’s baryon fraction and dark matter halo profile. Finally we show that there appears to be a trend (albeit a weak correlation) between spiral arm pitch angle and halo concentration. We discuss implications for the suggested link between supermassive black hole (SMBH) mass and dark halo concentration, using pitch angle as a proxy for SMBH mass.

Pitch-angle scattering of energetic particles with adiabatic focusing

Understanding turbulent transport of charged particles in magnetized plasmas often requires a model for the description of random variations in the particle’s pitch angle. The Fokker-Planck coefficient of pitch-angle scattering, which is used to describe scattering parallel to the mean magnetic field, is therefore of central importance. Whereas quasi-linear theory assumes a homogeneous mean magnetic field, such a condition is often not fulfilled, especially for high-energy particles. Here, a new derivation of the quasi-linear approach is given that is based on the unperturbed orbit found for an adiabatically focused mean magnetic field. The results show that, depending on the ratio of the focusing length and the particle’s Larmor radius, the Fokker-Planck coefficient is significantly modified but agrees with the classical expression in the limit of a homogeneous mean magnetic field.

The behavior of the pitch angle of spiral arms depending on optical wavelength

Based on integral field spectroscopy data from the CALIFA survey, we investigate the possible dependence of spiral arm pitch angle with optical wavelength. For three of the five studied objects, the pitch angle gradually increases at longer wavelengths. This is not the case for two objects where the pitch angle remains constant. This result is confirmed by the analysis of SDSS data. We discuss the possible physical mechanisms to explain this phenomenon, as well as the implications of the results.

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.

A new method to estimate local pitch angles in spiral galaxies: Application to spiral arms and feathers in M81 and M51

We examine $8\mu$m IRAC images of the grand design two-arm spiral galaxies M81 and M51 using a new method whereby pitch angles are locally determined as a function of scale and position, in contrast to traditional Fourier transform spectral analyses which fit to average pitch angles for whole galaxies. The new analysis is based on a correlation between pieces of a galaxy in circular windows of $(\ln R, \theta)$ space and logarithmic spirals with various pitch angles. The diameter of the windows is varied to study different scales. The result is a best-fit pitch angle to the spiral structure as a function of position and scale, or a distribution function of pitch angles as a function of scale for a given galactic region or area. We apply the method to determine the distribution of pitch angles in the arm and interarm regions of these two galaxies. In the arms, the method reproduces the known pitch angles for the main spirals on a large scale, but also shows higher pitch angles on smaller scales resulting from dust feathers. For the interarms, there is a broad distribution of pitch angles representing the continuation and evolution of the spiral arm feathers as the flow moves into the interarm regions. Our method shows a multiplicity of spiral structures on different scales, as expected from gas flow processes in a gravitating, turbulent and shearing interstellar medium. We also present results for M81 using classical 1D and 2D Fourier transforms, together with a new correlation method, which shows good agreement with conventional 2D Fourier transforms.

Self-similar expansion of solar coronal mass ejections: implications for Lorentz self-force driving

We examine the propagation of several CMEs with well-observed flux rope signatures in the field of view of the SECCHI coronagraphs aboard the STEREO satellites using the GCS fitting method of Thernisien, Vourlidas \& Howard (2009). We find that the manner in which they propagate is approximately self-similar; i.e., the ratio ($\kappa$) of the flux rope minor radius to its major radius remains approximately constant with time. We use this observation of self-similarity to draw conclusions regarding the local pitch angle ($\gamma$) of the flux rope magnetic field and the misalignment angle ($\chi$) between the current density ${\mathbf J}$ and the magnetic field ${\mathbf B}$. Our results suggest that the magnetic field and current configurations inside flux ropes deviate substantially from a force-free state in typical coronagraph fields of view, validating the idea of CMEs being driven by Lorentz self-forces.

Pitch Angle of Galactic Spiral Arms

One of the key parameters that characterize spiral arms in disk galaxies is a pitch angle that measures the inclination of a spiral arm to the direction of galactic rotation. The pitch angle differs from galaxy to galaxy, which suggests that the rotation law of galactic disks determines it. In order to investigate the relation between the pitch angle of spiral arms and the shear rate of galactic differential rotation, we perform local $N$-body simulations of pure stellar disks. We find that the pitch angle increases with the epicycle frequency and decreases with the shear rate and obtain the fitting formula. This dependence is explained by the swing amplification mechanism.

Spatial Confinement of the IBEX Ribbon: A Dominant Turbulence Mechanism

The narrow ribbon of enhanced energetic neutral atom flux observed by the Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft has prompted numerous ideas to explain its structure and properties. One of these ideas is the "neutral solar wind" scenario, which identifies the source particles as pickup protons in the local interstellar medium originating in solar wind charge-exchange interactions. This scenario has been thought to require unrealistically weak pitch-angle scattering of the pickup protons to explain the narrow structure. Recently, Schwadron & McComas (2013) suggested that this structure could result from a spatial retention of the pickup protons, rather than from a restricted pitch-angle distribution. Here, we present a physically motivated, quantitative mechanism to produce such a spatial configuration. This mechanism is based on the "dominant turbulence" assumption, which can be applied where the production of new pickup protons is slow, and has been used to successfully explain the level of turbulent heating observed in the outer solar wind. This formalism predicts a pickup isotropization process which adds or subtracts energy from the ambient turbulent fluctuations, depending on the initial pitch angle of the pickup protons. We show that a simple model of this process can yield a ribbon structure in qualitative agreement with the observations. The results of this simple model are not yet quantitatively satisfactory, but we suggest several improvements which may reduce the quantitative discrepancy.

The Transport of Cosmic Rays Across Magnetic Fieldlines [Replacement]

The long residence times and small anisotropies of cosmic rays suggest that they are well confined and well scattered by the Galactic magnetic field. Due to the disklike shape of the confinement volume, transport in the vertical direction, perpendicular to the mean Galactic magnetic field, is key to cosmic ray escape. It has long been recognized that this vertical transport depends both on the vertical component of the fieldlines themselves and on the extent to which the cosmic rays are tied to the fieldlines. In this paper we use magnetic fields with very simple spatial and temporal structure to isolate some important features of cross fieldline transport. We show that even simple magnetic nonuniformities combined with pitch angle scattering can enhance cross fieldline transport by several orders of magnitude, while pitch angle scattering is unnecessary for enhanced transport if the field is chaotic. Nevertheless, perpendicular transport is much less than parallel transport in all the cases we study. We apply the results to confinement of cosmic rays in the Fermi Bubbles.

Pitch angle variations in spiral galaxies

We present a detailed photometric study and measurements of spiral arm pitch angles for a sample of 50 non-barred or weakly barred grand-design spiral galaxies selected from Sloan Digital Sky Survey. In order to find pitch angles, we used a new method based on the window Fourier analysis of their images. This method allows us not only to infer the average pitch angle, but to obtain its value as a function of galactocentric radius as well. Our main results are as follows: (1) Spiral arms of most galaxies cannot be described by a single value of the pitch angle. About 2/3 of galaxies demonstrate pitch angle variations exceeding 20%. In most galaxies in the sample their pitch angle decreases by increasing the distance from the centre. (2) Pitch angle variations correlate with the properties of galaxies – with the shape of the surface brightness distribution (envelope-type or truncated disc), and with the sign of stellar disc colour gradient. (3) More luminous and bright bulges produce more tightly wound spiral arms, that is in agreement with current models for spiral arms formation.

EUV Non-thermal Line Broadening and High-energy particles during Solar Flares

We have studied the relationship between the location of EUV nonthermal broadening and high-energy particles during the large flares by using EUV imaging spectrometer onboard {\it Hinode}, Nobeyama Radio Polarimeter, Nobeyama Radioheliograph, and Atmospheric Imaging Assembly onboard {\it Solar Dynamic Observatory}. We have analyzed the five large flare events which contain thermal rich, intermediate, and thermal poor flares classified by the definition discussed in the paper. We found that, in the case of thermal rich flares, the nonthermal broadening of \ion{Fe}{24} occurred at the top of the flaring loop at the beginning of the flares. The source of the 17 GHz microwave is located at the footpoint of the flare loop. On the other hand, in the case of intermediate/thermal poor flares, the nonthermal broadening of \ion{Fe}{24} occurred at the footpoint of the flare loop at the beginning of the flares. The source of the 17 GHz microwave is located at the top of the flaring loop. We discussed the difference between thermal rich and intermediate/thermal poor flare based on the spatial information of nonthermal broadening, which may give a clue for the presence of turbulence playing an important role in the pitch angle scattering of the high-energy electron.

Energetic particle cross-field propagation early in a solar event

Solar energetic particles (SEPs) have been observed to easily spread across heliographic longitudes, and the mechanisms responsible for this behaviour remain unclear. We use full-orbit simulations of a 10 MeV proton beam in a turbulent magnetic field to study to what extent the spread across the mean field can be described as diffusion early in a particle event. We compare the full-orbit code results to solutions of a Fokker-Planck equation including spatial and pitch angle diffusion, and of one including also propagation of the particles along random-walking magnetic field lines. We find that propagation of the particles along meandering field lines is the key process determining their cross-field spread at 1 AU at the beginning of the simulated event. The mean square displacement of the particles an hour after injection is an order of magnitude larger than that given by the diffusion model, indicating that models employing spatial cross-field diffusion cannot be used to describe early evolution of an SEP event. On the other hand, the diffusion of the particles from their initial field lines is negligible during the first 5 hours, which is consistent with the observations of SEP intensity dropouts. We conclude that modelling SEP events must take into account the particle propagation along meandering field lines for the first 20 hours of the event.

Small-scale Gradients of Charged Particles in the Heliospheric Magnetic Field

Using numerical simulations of charged-particles propagating in the heliospheric magnetic field, we study small-scale gradients, or "dropouts", in the intensity of solar energetic particles seen at 1 AU. We use two turbulence models, the foot-point random motion model (Jokipii & Parker 1969; Giacalone et al. 2006) and two-component model (Matthaeus et al. 1990), to generate fluctuating magnetic fields similar to spacecraft observations at 1 AU. The turbulence models include a Kolmogorov-like magnetic field power spectrum containing a broad range of spatial scales from those that lead to large-scale field-line random walk to small scales leading to resonant pitch-angle scattering of energetic particles. We release energetic protons (20 keV – 10 MeV) from a spatially compact and instantaneous source. The trajectories of energetic charged particles in turbulent magnetic fields are numerically integrated. Spacecraft observations are mimicked by collecting particles in small windows when they pass the windows at a distance of 1 AU. We show that small-scale gradients in the intensity of energetic particles and velocity dispersions observed by spacecraft can be reproduced using the foot-point random motion model. However, no dropouts is seen in simulations using the two-component magnetic turbulence model. We also show that particle scattering in the solar wind magnetic field needs to be infrequent for intensity dropouts to form.

Determination of Stochastic Acceleration Model Characteristics in Solar Flares

Abridged. Following our recent paper, we have developed an inversion method to determine the basic characteristics for the model of stochastic acceleration (SA) by plasma wave turbulence directly and non-parametrically from observations in the framework of the leaky box version of the Fokker-Planck kinetic equation. In particular, we show that by inverting the Fokker-Planck equation to its integral form, one can derive the energy diffusion coefficient and direct acceleration rate by turbulence in terms of the accelerated and escaping particle spectra. We apply the analytic formulas to solar flare suprathermal electrons, which produce HXR emission at the coronal loop top (LT) and two thick target footpoints. Using the spatially resolved electron spectra from regularized electron flux images, we determine the electron escape time (related to pitch angle scattering rate), and the energy diffusion coefficient at the LT accelerator. Results obtained from two intense RHESSI events indicate that the escape time increases with energy and the energy diffusion (acceleration) time and scattering time have dramatically different energy dependences. Such behaviors may be difficult to explain by existing SA modeling, and may indicate that a different acceleration mechanism is at work or imply a breakdown of the interpretation of the electron escape being a random walk process. The discrepant energy dependences can be alleviated somewhat by a much steeper than the Kolmogorov-type turbulence spectrum. A more likely explanation could be that the escape of electrons out of the LT acceleration region is governed by converging fields in a magnetic mirror geometry. The results demonstrate the critical importance of combined modeling of electron acceleration by plasma wave turbulence and the large scale magnetic field variations in a reconnection environment.

Determination of Stochastic Acceleration Model Characteristics in Solar Flares [Replacement]

Following our recent paper (Petrosian & Chen 2010), we have developed an inversion method to determine the basic characteristics of the particle acceleration mechanism directly and non-parametrically from observations under the leaky box framework. In the above paper, we demonstrated this method for obtaining the energy dependence of the escape time. Here, by converting the Fokker-Planck equation to its integral form, we derive the energy dependences of the energy diffusion coefficient and direct acceleration rate for stochastic acceleration in terms of the accelerated and escaping particle spectra. Combining the regularized inversion method of Piana et al. 2007 and our procedure, we relate the acceleration characteristics in solar flares directly to the count visibility data from RHESSI. We determine the timescales for electron escape, pitch angle scattering, energy diffusion, and direct acceleration at the loop top acceleration region for two intense solar flares based on the regularized electron flux spectral images. The X3.9 class event shows dramatically different energy dependences for the acceleration and scattering timescales, while the M2.1 class event shows a milder difference. The M2.1 class event could be consistent with the stochastic acceleration model with a very steep turbulence spectrum. A likely explanation of the X3.9 class event could be that the escape of electrons from the acceleration region is not governed by a random walk process, but instead is affected by magnetic mirroring, in which the scattering time is proportional to the escape time and has an energy dependence similar to the energy diffusion time.

Galactic Kinematics from a Sample of Young Massive Stars

Based on published sources, we have created a kinematic database on 220 massive (>10 solar masses) young Galactic star systems located within <3 kpc of the Sun. Out of them, approximately 100 objects are spectroscopic binary and multiple star systems whose components are massive OB stars; the remaining objects are massive Hipparcos B stars with parallax errors of no more than 10 percent. Based on the entire sample, we have constructed the Galactic rotation curve, determined the circular rotation velocity of the solar neighborhood around the Galactic center at Ro=8 kpc, Vo=259+-16 km/s, and obtained the following spiral density wave parameters: the amplitudes of the radial and azimuthal velocity perturbations f_R=-10.8+/-1.2 km/s, and f_\theta=7.9+/-1.3 km/s, respectively; the pitch angle for a two-armed spiral pattern i=-6.0+/-0.4 deg., with the wavelength of the spiral density wave near the Sun being 2.6+/-0.2 kpc; and the radial phase of the Sun in the spiral density wave -120+/-4 deg. We show that such peculiarities of the Gould Belt as the local expansion of the system, the velocity ellipsoid vertex deviation, and the significant additional rotation can be explained in terms of the density wave theory. All these effects decrease noticeably once the influence of the spiral density wave on the velocities of nearby stars has been taken into account. The influence of Gould Belt stars on the Galactic parameter estimates has also been revealed. Eliminating them from the kinematic equations has led to the following new values of the spiral density wave parameters: f_\theta=2.9+/-2.1 km/s and \chi_\odot=-104+/-6 deg.

Cosmic Ray Parallel and Perpendicular Transport in Turbulent Magnetic Fields

A correct description of cosmic ray (CR) diffusion in turbulent plasma is essential for many astrophysical and heliospheric problems. This paper aims at presenting physical diffusion behavior of CRs in actual turbulent magnetic fields, model of which has been numerically tested. We perform test particle simulations in compressible magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence. We obtain scattering and spatial diffusion coefficients by tracing particle trajectories. We find no resonance gap for pitch-angle scattering at 90$^\circ$. Our result confirms the dominance of mirror interaction with compressible modes for most pitch angles as revealed by the nonlinear theory. For cross field transport, our results are consistent with normal diffusion predicted earlier for large scales. The diffusion behavior strongly depends on the Alfvenic Mach number and particle’s parallel mean free path. We for the first time numerically derive the dependence of M_A^4 for perpendicular diffusion coefficient with respect to the mean magnetic field. We conclude that CR diffusion coefficients are anisotropic in sub-Alfvenic turbulence and spatially correlated to the local turbulence properties. On scales smaller than the injection scale, we find that CRs are superdiffusive. We emphasize the importance of our results in a wide range of astrophysical processes, including magnetic reconnection.

Cosmic Ray Parallel and Perpendicular Transport in Turbulent Magnetic Fields [Replacement]

A correct description of cosmic ray (CR) diffusion in turbulent plasma is essential for many astrophysical and heliospheric problems. This paper aims at presenting physical diffusion behavior of CRs in actual turbulent magnetic fields, model of which has been numerically tested. We perform test particle simulations in compressible magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) turbulence. We obtain scattering and spatial diffusion coefficients by tracing particle trajectories. We find no resonance gap for pitch-angle scattering at 90$^\circ$. Our result confirms the dominance of mirror interaction with compressible modes for most pitch angles as revealed by the nonlinear theory. For cross field transport, our results are consistent with normal diffusion predicted earlier for large scales. The diffusion behavior strongly depends on the Alfvenic Mach number and particle’s parallel mean free path. We for the first time numerically derive the dependence of M_A^4 for perpendicular diffusion coefficient with respect to the mean magnetic field. We conclude that CR diffusion coefficients are anisotropic in sub-Alfvenic turbulence and spatially correlated to the local turbulence properties. On scales smaller than the injection scale, we find that CRs are superdiffusive. We emphasize the importance of our results in a wide range of astrophysical processes, including magnetic reconnection.

The Efficiency of Second-Order Fermi Acceleration by Weakly Compressible MHD Turbulence [Replacement]

We investigate the effects of pitch-angle scattering on the efficiency of particle heating and acceleration by MHD turbulence using phenomenological estimates and simulations of non-relativistic test particles interacting with strong, subsonic MHD turbulence. We include an imposed pitch-angle scattering rate, which is meant to approximate the effects of high frequency plasma waves and/or velocity space instabilities. We focus on plasma parameters similar to those found in the near-Earth solar wind, though most of our results are more broadly applicable. An important control parameter is the size of the particle mean free path lambda_{mfp} relative to the scale of the turbulent fluctuations L. For small scattering rates, particles interact quasi-resonantly with turbulent fluctuations in magnetic field strength. Scattering increases the long-term efficiency of this resonant heating by factors of a few-10, but the distribution function does not develop a significant non-thermal power-law tail. For higher scattering rates, the interaction between particles and turbulent fluctuations becomes non-resonant, governed by particles heating and cooling adiabatically as they encounter turbulent density fluctuations. Rapid pitch-angle scattering can produce a power-law tail in the proton distribution function but this requires fine-tuning of parameters. Moreover, in the near-Earth solar wind, a significant power-law tail cannot develop by this mechanism because the particle acceleration timescales are longer than the adiabatic cooling timescale set by the expansion of the solar wind. Our results thus imply that MHD-scale turbulent fluctuations are unlikely to be the origin of the v^{-5} tail in the proton distribution function observed in the solar wind.

The Efficiency of Second-Order Fermi Acceleration by Weakly Compressible MHD Turbulence

We investigate the effects of pitch-angle scattering on the efficiency of particle heating and acceleration by MHD turbulence using phenomenological estimates and simulations of non-relativistic test particles interacting with strong, subsonic MHD turbulence. We include an imposed pitch-angle scattering rate, which is meant to approximate the effects of high frequency plasma waves and/or velocity space instabilities. We focus on plasma parameters similar to those found in the near-Earth solar wind, though most of our results are more broadly applicable. An important control parameter is the size of the particle mean free path lambda_{mfp} relative to the scale of the turbulent fluctuations L. For small scattering rates, particles interact quasi-resonantly with turbulent fluctuations in magnetic field strength. Scattering increases the long-term efficiency of this resonant heating by factors of a few-10, but the distribution function does not develop a significant non-thermal power-law tail. For higher scattering rates, the interaction between particles and turbulent fluctuations becomes non-resonant, governed by particles heating and cooling adiabatically as they encounter turbulent density fluctuations. Rapid pitch-angle scattering can produce a power-law tail in the proton distribution function but this requires fine-tuning of parameters. Moreover, in the near-Earth solar wind, a significant power-law tail cannot develop by this mechanism because the particle acceleration timescales are longer than the adiabatic cooling timescale set by the expansion of the solar wind. Our results thus imply that MHD-scale turbulent fluctuations are unlikely to be the origin of the v^{-5} tail in the proton distribution function observed in the solar wind.

The Herschel Exploitation of Local Galaxy Andromeda (HELGA). IV. The distribution and properties of molecular cloud associations in M31

In this paper we present a catalogue of Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) in the Andromeda (M31) galaxy extracted from the Hershel Exploitation of Local Galaxy Andromeda (HELGA) dataset. GMCs are identified from the Herschel maps using a hierarchical source extraction algorithm. We present the results of this new catalogue and characterise the spatial distribution and spectral energy properties of its clouds based on the radial dust/gas properties found by Smith et al (2012). 236 GMCs in the mass range 10^4-10^7 M_sol are identified, their cumulative mass distribution is found to be proportional to M^-1.45 in agreement with earlier studies. The GMCs appear to follow the same cloud mass to L_CO correlation observed in the Milky Way. However, comparison between this catalogue and interferometry studies also shows that the GMCs are substructured below the Herschel resolution limit suggesting that we are observing associations of GMCs. Following Gordon et al. (2006), we study the spatial structure of M31 by splitting the observed structure into a set of spiral arms and offset rings. We fit radii of 10.5 and 15.5 kpc to the two most prominent rings. We then fit a logarithmic spiral with a pitch angle of $8.9 deg to the GMCs not associated with either ring. Lastly, we comment upon the effects of deprojection on our results and investigate the effect different models for M31′s inclination will have upon the projection of an unperturbed spiral arm system.

The Herschel Exploitation of Local Galaxy Andromeda (HELGA). IV. The distribution and properties of molecular cloud associations in M31 [Replacement]

In this paper we present a catalogue of Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) in the Andromeda (M31) galaxy extracted from the Hershel Exploitation of Local Galaxy Andromeda (HELGA) dataset. GMCs are identified from the Herschel maps using a hierarchical source extraction algorithm. We present the results of this new catalogue and characterise the spatial distribution and spectral energy properties of its clouds based on the radial dust/gas properties found by Smith et al (2012). 236 GMCs in the mass range 10^4-10^7 M_sol are identified, their cumulative mass distribution is found to be proportional to M^-1.45 in agreement with earlier studies. The GMCs appear to follow the same cloud mass to L_CO correlation observed in the Milky Way. However, comparison between this catalogue and interferometry studies also shows that the GMCs are substructured below the Herschel resolution limit suggesting that we are observing associations of GMCs. Following Gordon et al. (2006), we study the spatial structure of M31 by splitting the observed structure into a set of spiral arms and offset rings. We fit radii of 10.5 and 15.5 kpc to the two most prominent rings. We then fit a logarithmic spiral with a pitch angle of $8.9 deg to the GMCs not associated with either ring. Lastly, we comment upon the effects of deprojection on our results and investigate the effect different models for M31′s inclination will have upon the projection of an unperturbed spiral arm system.

Stellar Orbital Studies in Normal Spiral Galaxies I: Restrictions to the Pitch Angle

We built a family of non-axisymmetric potential models for normal non-barred or weakly-barred spiral galaxies as defined in the simplest classification of galaxies: the Hubble sequence. For this purpose a three-dimensional self-gravitating model for spiral arms PERLAS is superimposed to the galactic axisymmetric potentials. We analyze the stellar dynamics varying only the pitch angle of the spiral arms, from 4$\deg$ to 40$\deg$, for an Sa galaxy, from 8$\deg$ to 45$\deg$, for an Sb galaxy, and from 10$\deg$ to 60$\deg$, for an Sc galaxy. Self-consistency is indirectly tested through periodic orbital analysis, and through density response studies for each morphological type. Based on ordered behavior, periodic orbits studies show that for pitch angles up to approximately $15\deg$, $18\deg$, and $20\deg$ for Sa, Sb and Sc galaxies, respectively, the density response supports the spiral arms potential, a requisite for the existence of a long-lasting large-scale spiral structure. Beyond those limits, the density response tends to "avoid" the potential imposed by mantaining lower pitch angles in the density response; in that case the spiral arms may be explained as transient features rather than long-lasting large-scale structures. In a second limit, from a phase space orbital study based on chaotic behavior, we found that for pitch angles larger than $\sim30\deg$, $\sim40\deg$ and $\sim50\deg$ for Sa, Sb, and Sc galaxies, respectively, chaotic orbits dominate all phase space prograde region that surrounds the periodic orbits sculpting the spiral arms and even destroying them. This result seems to be in good agreement with observations of pitch angles in typical isolated normal spiral galaxies.

Synchrotron-to-curvature transition regime of radiation of charged particles in a dipole magnetic field

The details of trajectories of charged particles become increasingly important for proper understanding of processes of formation of radiation in strong and curved magnetic fields. Because of damping of the perpendicular component of motion, the particle’s pitch angle could be decreased by many orders of magnitude leading to the change of the radiation regime — from synchrotron to the curvature mode. To explore the character of this transition, we solve numerically the equations of motion of a test particle in a dipole magnetic field, and calculate the energy spectrum of magnetic bremsstrahlung self-consistently, i.e. without a priori assumptions on the radiation regime. In this way we can trace the transitions between the synchrotron and curvature regimes, as well as study the third (intermediate or the so-called synchro-curvature) regime. We briefly discuss three interesting astrophysical scenarios, the radiation of electrons in the pulsar magnetosphere in the polar cap and outer gap models, as well as the radiation of ultrahigh energy protons in the magnetosphere of a massive black hole, and demonstrate that in these models the synchrotron, synchro-curvature and curvature regimes can be realized with quite different relative contributions to the total emission.

Re-determining the Galactic spiral density wave parameters from data on masers with trigonometric parallaxes

The parameters of the Galactic spiral wave are re-determined using a modified periodogram (spectral) analysis of the galactocentric radial velocities of 58 masers with known trigonometric parallaxes, proper motions, and line-of-site velocities. The masers span a wide range of galactocentric distances, $3<$R$<14$ kpc, which, combined with a large scatter of position angles $\theta$ of these objects in the Galactic plane XY, required an accurate account of logarithmic dependence of spiral-wave perturbations on both galactocentric distance and position angle. A periodic signal was detected corresponding to the spiral density wave with the wavelength $\lambda=2.4 \pm 0.4$ kpc, peak velocity of wave perturbations $f_R=7.5 \pm 1.5$ km s$^{-1}$, the phase of the Sun in the density wave $\chi_\odot=-160 \pm 15^\circ$, and the pitch angle of $-5.5 \pm 1^\circ$.

Further Evidence for a Supermassive Black Hole Mass - Pitch Angle Relation

We present new and stronger evidence for a previously reported relationship between galactic spiral arm pitch angle P (a measure of the tightness of spiral structure) and the mass M_BH of a disk galaxy’s nuclear supermassive black hole (SMBH). We use an improved method to accurately measure the spiral arm pitch angle in disk galaxies to generate quantitative data on this morphological feature for 34 galaxies with directly measured black hole masses. We find a relation of log(M/M_sun) = (8.21 +/- 0.16) – (0.062 +/- 0.009)P. This method is compared with other means of estimating black hole mass to determine its effectiveness and usefulness relative to other existing relations. We argue that such a relationship is predicted by leading theories of spiral structure in disk galaxies, including the density wave theory. We propose this relationship as a tool for estimating SMBH masses in disk galaxies. This tool is potentially superior when compared to other methods for this class of galaxy, and has the advantage of being unambiguously measurable from imaging data alone.

Further Evidence for a Supermassive Black Hole Mass - Pitch Angle Relation [Replacement]

We present new and stronger evidence for a previously reported relationship between galactic spiral arm pitch angle P (a measure of the tightness of spiral structure) and the mass M_BH of a disk galaxy’s nuclear supermassive black hole (SMBH). We use an improved method to accurately measure the spiral arm pitch angle in disk galaxies to generate quantitative data on this morphological feature for 34 galaxies with directly measured black hole masses. We find a relation of log(M/M_sun) = (8.21 +/- 0.16) – (0.062 +/- 0.009)P. This method is compared with other means of estimating black hole mass to determine its effectiveness and usefulness relative to other existing relations. We argue that such a relationship is predicted by leading theories of spiral structure in disk galaxies, including the density wave theory. We propose this relationship as a tool for estimating SMBH masses in disk galaxies. This tool is potentially superior when compared to other methods for this class of galaxy and has the advantage of being unambiguously measurable from imaging data alone.

On Particle Transport and Radiation Production in Sub-Larmor-Scale Electromagnetic Turbulence

The relation of particle transport of relativistic particles in plasmas with high-amplitude isotropic sub-Larmor-scale magnetic turbulence to the spectra of radiation simultaneously produced by these particles is investigated both analytically and numerically. We have found that in the asymptotic regime of very small particle deflections the pitch angle diffusion coefficient is directly related to the spectrum of the emitted radiation. Moreover, this spectrum provides much information about the statistical properties of the underlying magnetic turbulence. The transition from small- to large-scale jitter to synchrotron radiation regimes as a function of turbulence properties has also been explored. These results can readily be used to diagnose laboratory and astrophysical plasmas.

On Particle Transport and Radiation Production in Sub-Larmor-Scale Electromagnetic Turbulence [Replacement]

The relation of particle transport of relativistic particles in plasmas with high-amplitude isotropic sub-Larmor-scale magnetic turbulence to the spectra of radiation simultaneously produced by these particles is investigated both analytically and numerically. We have found that in the asymptotic regime of very small particle deflections the pitch angle diffusion coefficient is directly related to the spectrum of the emitted radiation. Moreover, this spectrum provides much information about the statistical properties of the underlying magnetic turbulence. The transition from small- to large-scale jitter to synchrotron radiation regimes as a function of turbulence properties has also been explored. These results can readily be used to diagnose laboratory and astrophysical plasmas.

ON the Nature of the Local Spiral Arm of the Milky Way

Trigonometric parallax measurements of nine water masers associated with the Local arm of the Milky Way were carried out as part of the BeSSeL Survey using the VLBA. When combined with 21 other parallax measurements from the literature, the data allow us to study the distribution and 3-dimensional motions of star forming regions in the spiral arm over the entire northern sky. Our results suggest that the Local arm does not have the large pitch angle characteristic of a short spur. Instead its active star formation, overall length (>5 kpc), and shallow pitch angle (~10 degrees) suggest that it is more like the adjacent Perseus and Sagittarius arms; perhaps it is a branch of one of these arms. Contrary to previous results, we find the Local arm to be closer to the Perseus than to the Sagittarius arm, suggesting that a branching from the former may be more likely. An average peculiar motion of near-zero toward both the Galactic center and north Galactic pole, and counter rotation of ~ 5 km/s were observed, indicating that the Local arm has similar kinematic properties as found for other major spiral arms.

Particle scattering in turbulent plasmas with amplified wave modes

High-energy particles stream during coronal mass ejections or flares through the plasma of the solar wind. This causes instabilities, which lead to wave growth at specific resonant wave numbers, especially within shock regions. These amplified wave modes influence the turbulent scattering process significantly. In this paper, results of particle transport and scattering in turbulent plasmas with excited wave modes are presented. The method used is a hybrid simulation code, which treats the heliospheric turbulence by an incompressible magnetohydrodynamic approach separately from a kinetic particle description. Furthermore, a semi-analytical model using quasilinear theory (QLT) is compared to the numerical results. This paper aims at a more fundamental understanding and interpretation of the pitch-angle scattering coefficients. Our calculations show a good agreement of particle simulations and the QLT for broad-band turbulent spectra; for higher turbulence levels and particle beam driven plasmas, the QLT approximation gets worse. Especially the resonance gap at $\mu=0$ poses a well-known problem for QLT for steep turbulence spectra, whereas test-particle computations show no problems for the particles to scatter across this region. The reason is that the sharp resonant wave–particle interactions in QLT are an oversimplification of the broader resonances in test-particle calculations, which result from nonlinear effects not included in the QLT. We emphasise the importance of these results for both numerical simulations and analytical particle transport approaches, especially the validity of the QLT.

Radiation Mechanism of the Soft Gamma-ray Pulsar PSR B1509-58

The outer gap model is used here to explain the spectrum and the energy dependent light curves of the X-ray and soft gamma-ray radiations of the spin-down powered pulsar PSR B1509-58.In the outer gap model, most pairs inside the gap are created around the null charge surface and the gap’s electric field separates the two charges to move in opposite directions. Consequently, the region from the null charge surface to the light cylinder is dominated by the outflow of particles and that from the null charge surface to the star is dominated by the inflow of particles. The inflow and outflow of particles move along the magnetic field lines and emit curvature photons, and the incoming curvature photons are converted to pairs by the strong magnetic field of the star. These pairs emit synchrotron photons. We suggest that the X-rays and soft gamma-rays of PSR B1509-58 result from the synchrotron radiation of these pairs, and the viewing angle of PSR B1509-58 only receives the inflow radiation. The magnetic pair creation requires a large pitch angle, which makes the pulse profile of the synchrotron radiation distinct from that of the curvature radiation. We carefully trace the pulse profiles of the synchrotron radiation with different pitch angles. We find that the differences between the light curves of different energy bands are due to the different pitch angles of the secondary pairs, and the second peak appearing at E>10MeV comes from the region near the star, where the stronger magnetic field allows the pair creation to happen with a smaller pitch angle.

Corrections for the Lutz-Kelker Bias for Galactic Masers

Based on published data, we have collected information about Galactic maser sources with measured distances. In particular, 44 Galactic maser sources located in star-forming regions have trigonometric parallaxes, proper motions, and radial velocities. In addition, ten more radio sources with incomplete information are known, but their parallaxes have been measured with a high accuracy. For all 54 sources, we have calculated the corrections for the well-known Lutz-Kelker bias. Based on a sample of 44 sources, we have refined the parameters of the Galactic rotation curve. Thus, at R_0=8 kpc, the peculiar velocity components for the Sun are (Uo,Vo,Wo)=(7.5,17.6,8.4)+\-(1.2,1.2,1.2) km s^-1 and the angular velocity components are \omega_0=-28.7+\-0.5 km s^-1 kpc^-1, \omega’_0=+4.17+\-0.10 km s^-1 kpc^-2, and \omega”_0=-0.87+\-0.06 km s^-1 kpc^-3. The corresponding Oort constants are A=16.7+\-0.6 km s^-1 kpc^-1 and B=-12.0+\-1.0 km s^-1 kpc^-1; the circular rotation velocity of the solar neighborhood around the Galactic center is V_0 = 230+\-16 km s^-1. We have found that the corrections for the Lutz-Kelker bias affect the determination of the angular velocity \omega_0 most strongly; their effect on the remaining parameters is statistically insignificant. Within the model of a two-armed spiral pattern, we have determined the pattern pitch angle i=-6.5^\circ and the phase of the Sun in the spiral wave \chi_0=150^\circ.

Implications for electron acceleration and transport from non-thermal electron rates at loop-top and foot-point sources in solar flares

The interrelation of hard X-ray (HXR) emitting sources and the underlying physics of electron acceleration and transport presents one of the major questions in the high energy solar flare physics. Spatially resolved observations of solar flares often demonstrate the presence of well separated sources of bremsstrahlung emission, so-called coronal and foot-point sources. Using spatially resolved X-ray observations by the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) and recently improved imaging techniques, we investigate in detail the spatially resolved electron distributions in a few well observed solar flares. The selected flares can be interpreted as having a standard geometry with chromospheric HXR foot-point sources related to thick-target X-ray emission and the coronal sources characterised by a combination of thermal and thin-target bremsstrahlung. Using imaging spectroscopy technique, we deduce the characteristic electron rates and spectral indices required to explain the coronal and foot-points X-ray sources. We found that, during the impulsive phase, the electron rate at the loop-top is several times (a factor of 1.7-8) higher than at the foot-points. The results suggest sufficient number of electrons accelerated in the loop-top to explain the precipitation into the foot-points and implies electrons accumulation in the loop-top. We discuss these results in terms of magnetic trapping, pitch-angle scattering and injection properties. Our conclusion is that the accelerated electrons must be subject to magnetic trapping and/or pitch-angle scattering, keeping a fraction of the population trapped inside the coronal loops. These findings put strong constraints on the particle transport in the coronal source, and provide a quantitative limits on deka-keV electron trapping/scattering in the coronal source.

Implications for electron acceleration and transport from non-thermal electron rates at looptop and footpoint sources in solar flares [Replacement]

The interrelation of hard X-ray (HXR) emitting sources and the underlying physics of electron acceleration and transport presents one of the major questions in high-energy solar flare physics. Spatially resolved observations of solar flares often demonstrate the presence of well-separated sources of bremsstrahlung emission, so-called coronal and footpoint sources. Using spatially resolved X-ray observations by the Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager (RHESSI) and recently improved imaging techniques, we investigate in detail the spatially resolved electron distributions in a few well-observed solar flares. The selected flares can be interpreted as having a standard geometry with chromospheric HXR footpoint sources related to thick-target X-ray emission and the coronal sources characterised by a combination of thermal and thin-target bremsstrahlung. Using imaging spectroscopy techniques, we deduce the characteristic electron rates and spectral indices required to explain the coronal and footpoint X-ray sources. We found that, during the impulsive phase, the electron rate at the looptop is several times (a factor of 1.7-8) higher than at the footpoints. The results suggest that a sufficient number of electrons accelerated in the looptop explain the precipitation into the footpoints and imply that electrons accumulate in the looptop. We discuss these results in terms of magnetic trapping, pitch-angle scattering, and injection properties. Our conclusion is that the accelerated electrons must be subject to magnetic trapping and/or pitch-angle scattering, keeping a fraction of the population trapped inside the coronal loops. These findings put strong constraints on the particle transport in the coronal source and provide quantitative limits on deka-keV electron trapping/scattering in the coronal source.

Estimation of the Galactic Spiral Pattern Speed from Cepheids

To study the peculiarities of the Galactic spiral density wave, we have analyzed the space velocities of Galactic Cepheids with proper motions from the Hipparcos catalog and line-of-sight velocities from various sources. First, based on the entire sample of 185 stars and taking $R_0 = 8$ kpc, we have found the components of the peculiar solar velocity $(u_\odot,v_\odot,w_\odot)=(7.6,11.6,6.1)\pm(0.8,1.1,0.6)$ km s$^{-1}$, the angular velocity of Galactic rotation $\Omega_0 = -27.4\pm0.6$ km s$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-1}$ and its derivatives $\Omega^{‘}_0 = +4.07\pm0.21,$ km s$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-2}$ and $\Omega^{"}_0 = -0.83\pm0.17,$ km s$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-3}$, the amplitudes of the velocity perturbations in the spiral density wave $f_R=-6.7\pm0.7$ and $f_\theta= 3.5\pm0.5$ km s$^{-1}$, the pitch angle of a two-armed spiral pattern (m = 2) $i=-4.5\pm0.1^\circ$ (which corresponds to a wavelength $\lambda=2.0\pm0.1$ kpc), and the phase of the Sun in the spiral density wave $\chi_\odot=-191\pm5^\circ$. The phase $\chi_\odot$ has been found to change noticeably with the mean age of the sample. Having analyzed these phase shifts, we have determined the mean value of the angular velocity difference $\Omega_p-\Omega$, which depends significantly on the calibrations used to estimate the individual ages of Cepheids. When estimating the ages of Cepheids based on Efremov’s calibration, we have found $|\Omega_p-\Omega_0|=9\pm2$ km s$^{-1}$ kpc$^{-1}$. The ratio of the radial component of the gravitational force produced by the spiral arms to the total gravitational force of the Galaxy has been estimated to be $f_{r0} = 0.04$.

Mechanism of the X-ray and Soft Gamma-ray Emissions from High Magnetic Field Pulsar: PSR B1509-58

We use the outer gap model to explain the spectrum and the energy dependent light curves of the X-ray and soft gamma-ray radiations of the spin-down powered pulsar PSR B1509-58. In the outer gap model, most pairs inside the gap are created around the null charge surface and the gap’s electric field separates the two charges to move in opposite directions. Consequently, the region from the null charge surface to the light cylinder is dominated by the outflow current while that from the null charge surface to the star is dominated by the inflow current. We suggest that the viewing angle of PSR B1509-58 only receives the inflow radiation. The incoming curvature photons are converted to pairs by the strong magnetic field of the star. The X-rays and soft gamma-rays of PSR B1509-58 result from the synchrotron radiation of these pairs. Magnetic pair creation requires a large pitch angle, which makes the pulse profile of the synchrotron radiation distinct from that of the curvature radiation. We carefully trace the pulse profiles of the synchrotron radiation with different pitch angles. We find that the differences between the light curves of different energy bands are due to the different pitch angles of the secondary pairs, and that the second peak appearing at E>10MeV comes from the region near the star, where the stronger magnetic field allows pair creation to happen with a smaller pitch angle.

The effect of electron beam pitch angle and density gradient on solar type III radio bursts

1.5D Particle-In-Cell simulations of a hot, low density electron beam injected into magnetized, maxwellian plasma were used to further explore the alternative non-gyrotropic beam driven electromagnetic emission mechanism, first studied in Tsiklauri (2011). Variation of beam injection angle and background density gradient showed that the emission process is caused by the perpendicular component of the beam injection current, whereas the parallel component only produces Langmuir waves, which play no role in the generation of EM waves in our mechanism. Particular emphasis was put on the case, where the beam is injected perpendicularly to the background magnetic field, as this turned off any electrostatic wave generation along the field and left a purely electromagnetic signal in the perpendicular components. The simulations establish the following key findings: i) Initially waves at a few w_ce/gamma are excited, mode converted and emitted at w_pe ii) The emission intensity along the beam axis is proportional to the respective component of the kinetic energy of the beam; iii) The frequency of the escaping EM emission is independent of the injection angle; iv) A stronger background density gradient causes earlier emission; v) The beam electron distribution function in phase space shows harmonic oscillation in the perpendicular components at the relativistic gyrofrequency; vi) The requirement for cyclotron maser emission, df/dv_perp > 0, is fulfilled; vii) The degree of linear polarization of the emission is strongly dependent on the beam injection angle; viii) The generated electromagnetic emission is left-hand elliptically polarized as the pitch angle tends to 90 deg; ix) The generated electromagnetic energy is of the order of 0.1% of the initial beam kinetic energy.

The effect of electron beam pitch angle and density gradient on solar type III radio bursts [Replacement]

1.5D Particle-In-Cell simulations of a hot, low density electron beam injected into magnetized, maxwellian plasma were used to further explore the alternative non-gyrotropic beam driven electromagnetic emission mechanism, first studied in Tsiklauri (2011). Variation of beam injection angle and background density gradient showed that the emission process is caused by the perpendicular component of the beam injection current, whereas the parallel component only produces Langmuir waves, which play no role in the generation of EM waves in our mechanism. Particular emphasis was put on the case, where the beam is injected perpendicularly to the background magnetic field, as this turned off any electrostatic wave generation along the field and left a purely electromagnetic signal in the perpendicular components. The simulations establish the following key findings: i) Initially waves at a few w_ce/gamma are excited, mode converted and emitted at w_pe ii) The emission intensity along the beam axis is proportional to the respective component of the kinetic energy of the beam; iii) The frequency of the escaping EM emission is independent of the injection angle; iv) A stronger background density gradient causes earlier emission; v) The beam electron distribution function in phase space shows harmonic oscillation in the perpendicular components at the relativistic gyrofrequency; vi) The requirement for cyclotron maser emission, df/dv_perp > 0, is fulfilled; vii) The degree of linear polarization of the emission is strongly dependent on the beam injection angle; viii) The generated electromagnetic emission is left-hand elliptically polarized as the pitch angle tends to 90 deg; ix) The generated electromagnetic energy is of the order of 0.1% of the initial beam kinetic energy.

The Anisotropic Transport Effects On The Dilute Plasmas

We examine the linear stability analysis of a hot, dilute and differentially rotating plasma by considering anisotropic transport effects. In the dilute plasmas, the ion Larmor radius is small compared with its collisional mean free path. In this case, the transport of heat and momentum along the magnetic field lines become important. This paper presents a novel linear instability that may more powerful and greater than ideal magnetothermal instability (MTI) and ideal magnetorotational instability (MRI) in the dilute astrophysical plasmas. This type of plasma is believed to be found in the intracluster medium of galaxy clusters and radiatively ineffective accretion flows around black holes. We derive the dispersion relation of this instability and obtain the instability condition. There is at least one unstable mode that is independent of the temperature gradient direction for a helical magnetic field geometry. This novel instability is driven by the gyroviscosity coupled with differential rotation. Therefore we call it as gyroviscous modified magnetorotational instability (GvMRI). We examine how the instability depends on signs of the temperature gradient and the gyroviscosity, and also on the magnitude of the thermal frequency and on the values of the pitch angle. We provide a detailed physical interpretation of obtained results. The GvMRI is applicable not only to the accretion flows and intracluster medium but also to the transition region between cool dense gas and the hot low-density plasma in stellar coronae, accretion disks, and the multiphase interstellar medium because of being independent of the temperature gradient direction.

The power-law spectra of energetic particles during multi-island magnetic reconnection

Power-law distributions are a near universal feature of energetic particle spectra in the heliosphere. Anomalous Cosmic Rays (ACRs), super-Alfv\’enic ions in the solar wind and the hardest energetic electron spectra in flares all have energy fluxes with power-laws that depend on energy $E$ approximately as $E^{-1.5}$. We present a new model of particle acceleration in systems with a bath of merging magnetic islands that self-consistently describes the development of velocity-space anisotropy parallel and perpendicular to the local magnetic field and includes the self-consistent feedback of pressure anisotropy on the merging dynamics. By including pitch-angle scattering we obtain an equation for the omni-directional particle distribution $f(v,t)$ that is solved in closed form to reveal $v^{-5}$ (corresponding to an energy flux varying as $E^{-1.5}$) as a near-universal solution as long as the characteristic acceleration time is short compared with the characteristic loss time. In such a state the total energy in the energetic particles reaches parity with the remaining magnetic free energy. More generally, the resulting transport equation can serve as the basis for calculating the distribution of energetic particles resulting from reconnection in large-scale inhomogeneous systems.

Spiral arm pitch angle and galactic shear rate in N-body simulations of disc galaxies [Replacement]

Spiral galaxies are observed to exhibit a range of morphologies, in particular in the shape of spiral arms. A key diagnostic parameter is the pitch angle, which describes how tightly wound the spiral arms are. Observationally and analytically, a correlation between pitch angle and galactic shear rate has been detected. For the first time, we examine whether this effect is detected in N-body simulations by calculating and comparing pitch angles of both individual density waves and overall spiral structure in a suite of N-body simulations. We find that higher galactic shear rates produce more tightly wound spiral arms, both in individual mode patterns (density waves) and in the overall density enhancement. Although the mode pattern pitch angles by construction remain constant with time, the overall logarithmic spiral arm winds over time, which could help to explain the scatter in the relation between pitch angle versus shear seen from observations. The correlation between spiral arm pitch angle and galactic shear rate that we find in N-body simulations may also explain why late Hubble type of spiral galaxies tend to have more open arms.

Spiral arm pitch angle and galactic shear rate in N-body simulations of disc galaxies [Replacement]

Spiral galaxies are observed to exhibit a range of morphologies, in particular in the shape of spiral arms. A key diagnostic parameter is the pitch angle, which describes how tightly wound the spiral arms are. Observationally and analytically, a correlation between pitch angle and galactic shear rate has been detected. For the first time, we examine whether this effect is detected in N-body simulations by calculating and comparing pitch angles of both individual density waves and overall spiral structure in a suite of N-body simulations. We find that higher galactic shear rates produce more tightly wound spiral arms, both in individual mode patterns (density waves) and in the overall density enhancement. Although the mode pattern pitch angles by construction remain constant with time, the overall logarithmic spiral arm winds over time, which could help to explain the scatter in the relation between pitch angle versus shear seen from observations. The correlation between spiral arm pitch angle and galactic shear rate that we find in N-body simulations may also explain why late Hubble type of spiral galaxies tend to have more open arms.

Spiral morphology and galactic shear rate

Spiral galaxies are observed to exhibit a range of morphologies, in particular in the shape of spiral arms. A key diagnostic parameter is the pitch angle, which describes how tightly wound the spiral arms are. Observationally and analytically, a correlation between pitch angle and galactic shear rate has been detected. For the first time, we perform a suite of N-body simulations to calculate and compare the pitch angles of both individual density waves and overall spiral structure by use of two independent techniques. We find that higher galactic shear rates produce more tightly wound spiral arms, both in individual mode patterns (density waves) and in the overall density enhancement. Although the mode pattern pitch angles by construction remain constant with time, the overall logarithmic spiral arm winds over time, which is consistent with both the observational scatter in pitch angle versus shear seen from observations, and the recent idea that multiple mode patterns may interfere with each other to create apparently winding spiral arm structures.

A Systematic Examination of Particle Motion in a Collapsing Magnetic Trap Model for Solar Flares

Context. It has been suggested that collapsing magnetic traps may contribute to accelerating particles to high energies during solar flares. Aims. We present a detailed investigation of the energization processes of particles in collapsing magnetic traps, using a specific model. We also compare for the first time the energization processes in a symmetric and an asymmetric trap model. Methods. Particle orbits are calculated using guiding centre theory. We systematically investigate the dependence of the energization process on initial position, initial energy and initial pitch angle. Results. We find that in our symmetric trap model particles can gain up to about 50 times their initial energy, but that for most initial conditions the energy gain is more moderate. Particles with an initial position in the weak field region of the collapsing trap and with pitch angles around 90 degrees achieve the highest energy gain, with betatron acceleration of the perpendicular energy the dominant energization mechanism. For particles with smaller initial pitch angle, but still outside the loss cone, we find the possibility of a significant increase in parallel energy. This increase in parallel energy can be attributed to the curvature term in the parallel equation of motion and the associated energy gain happens in the center of the trap where the field line curvature has its maximum. We find qualitatively similar results for the asymmetric trap model, but with smaller energy gains and a larger number of particles escaping from the trap.

Redetermination of Galactic Spiral Density Wave Parameters Based on Spectral Analysis of Maser Radial Velocities

To redetermine the Galactic spiral density wave parameters, we have performed a spectral (Fourier) analysis of the radial velocities for 44 masers with known trigonometric parallaxes, proper motions, and line-of-sight velocities. The masers are distributed in a wide range of Galactocentric distances $(3.5<R<13.2$ kpc) and are characterized by a wide scatter of position angles $\theta$ in the Galactic XY plane. This has required an accurate allowance for the dependence of the perturbation phase both on the logarithm of the Galactocentric distances and on the position angles of the objects. To increase the significance of the extraction of periodicities from data series with large gaps, we have proposed and implemented a spectrum reconstruction method based on a generalized maximum entropy method. As a result, we have extracted a periodicity describing a spiral density wave with the following parameters from the maser radial velocities: the perturbation amplitude $f_R = 7.7^{+1.7}_{-1.5}$ km s$^{-1}$, the perturbation wavelength $\lambda=2.2^{+0.4}_{-0.1}$ kpc, the pitch angle of the spiral density wave $i=-5^{+0.2^\circ}_{-0.9^\circ}$, and the phase of the Sun in the spiral density wave $\chi_\odot= -147^{+3^\circ}_{-17^\circ}$.

Disentangling the circumnuclear environs of Centaurus A: Gaseous Spiral Arms in a Giant Elliptical Galaxy

We report the existence of spiral arms in the recently formed gaseous and dusty disk of the closest giant elliptical, NGC 5128 (Centaurus A), using high resolution 12CO(2-1) observations of the central 3 arcmin (3 kpc) obtained with the Submillimeter Array (SMA). This provides evidence that spiral-like features can develop within ellipticals if enough cold gas exists. We elucidate the distribution and kinematics of the molecular gas in this region with a resolution of 4.4 x 1.9 (80 pc x 40 pc). The spiral arms extend from the circumnuclear gas at a radius of 200 pc to at least 1 kiloparsec. The general properties of the arms are similar to those in spiral galaxies: they are trailing, the width is \sim 500 \pm 200 pc, and the pitch angle is 20 degrees. From independent estimates of the time when the HI-rich galaxy merger occurred, we infer that the formation of spiral arms happened on a time scale of less than \sim10^8 yr. The formation of spiral arms increases the gas density and thus the star formation efficiency in the early stages of the formation of a disk.

Small pitch-angle magnetobremsstrahlung in inhomogeneous curved magnetic fields

The character of radiation of relativistic charged particles in strong magnetic fields largely depends on the disposition of particle trajectories relative to the field lines. The motion of particles with trajectories close to the curved magnetic lines is usually referred to the so-called curvature radiation. The latter is treated within the formalism of synchrotron radiation by replacing the particle Larmor radius with the curvature radius of the field lines. However, even at small pitch angles, the curvatures of the particle trajectory and the field line may differ significantly. Moreover, as we show in this paper the trajectory curvature varies with time, i.e. the process has a stochastic character. Therefore for calculations of observable characteristics of radiation by an ensemble of particles, the radiation intensities should be averaged over time. In this paper, for determination of particle trajectories we use the Hamiltonian formalism, and show that that close to curved magnetic lines, for the given configuration of the magnetic field, the initial point and particle energy, always exist a smooth trajectory without fast oscillations of the curvature radius. This is the trajectory which is responsible for the curvature radiation. The realization of this regime requires the initial particle velocity to be directed strictly along the smooth trajectory. This result might have direct relation to the recent spectral measurements of gamma-radiation of pulsars by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Small pitch-angle magnetobremsstrahlung in inhomogeneous curved magnetic fields [Replacement]

The character of radiation of relativistic charged particles in strong magnetic fields largely depends on the disposition of particle trajectories relative to the field lines. The motion of particles with trajectories close to the curved magnetic lines is usually referred to the so-called curvature radiation. The latter is treated within the formalism of synchrotron radiation by replacing the particle Larmor radius with the curvature radius of the field lines. However, even at small pitch angles, the curvatures of the particle trajectory and the field line may differ significantly. Moreover, as we show in this paper the trajectory curvature varies with time, i.e. the process has a stochastic character. Therefore for calculations of observable characteristics of radiation by an ensemble of particles, the radiation intensities should be averaged over time. In this paper, for determination of particle trajectories we use the Hamiltonian formalism, and show that that close to curved magnetic lines, for the given configuration of the magnetic field, the initial point and particle energy, always exist a smooth trajectory without fast oscillations of the curvature radius. This is the trajectory which is responsible for the curvature radiation. The realization of this regime requires the initial particle velocity to be directed strictly along the smooth trajectory. This result might have direct relation to the recent spectral measurements of gamma-radiation of pulsars by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

 

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