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Unstable standard candles. Periodic light curve modulation in fundamental mode classical Cepheids [SSA]


We report the discovery of periodic modulation of pulsation in 51 fundamental mode classical Cepheids of the Magellanic Clouds observed by the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment. Although the overall incidence rate is very low, about 1 per cent in each of the Magellanic Clouds, in the case of the SMC and pulsation periods between 12 and 16d the incidence rate is nearly 40 per cent. On the other hand, in the LMC the highest incidence rate is 5 per cent for pulsation periods between 8 and 14d, and the overall amplitude of the effect is smaller. It indicates that the phenomenon is metallicity dependent. Typical modulation periods are between 70 and 300d. In nearly all stars the mean brightness is modulated, which, in principle, may influence the use of classical Cepheids for distance determination. Fortunately, the modulation of mean brightness does not exceed 0.01 mag in all but one star. Also, the effect averages out in typical observations spanning a long time base. Consequently, the effect of modulation on the determination of the distance moduli is negligible. The relative modulation amplitude of the fundamental mode is also low and, with one exception, it does not exceed 6 per cent. The origin of the modulation is unknown. We draw a hypothesis that the modulation is caused by the 2:1 resonance between the fundamental mode and the second overtone that shapes the famous Hertzsprung bump progression.

Read this paper on arXiv…

R. Smolec
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 13 pages, 14 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS

One-electron atoms in screened modified gravity [CEA]


In a large class of scalar-tensor theories that are potential candidates for dark energy, a non-minimal coupling between the scalar and the photon is possible. The presence of such an interaction grants us the exciting prospect of directly observing dark sector phenomenology in the electromagnetic spectrum. This paper investigates the behavior of one-electron atoms in this class of modified gravity models, exploring their viability as probes of deviations from general relativity in both laboratory and astrophysical settings. Building heavily on earlier studies, our main contribution is threefold: a thorough analysis finds additional fine structure corrections previously unaccounted for, which now predict a contribution to the Lamb shift larger by nearly four orders of magnitude. Secondly, we include the effects of the nuclear magnetic moment, allowing for the study of hyperfine structure and the 21 cm line, which hitherto have been unexplored in this context. Finally, we also examine how a background scalar leads to equivalence principle violations.

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L. Wong and A. Davis
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 2 figures. Submitted to PRD

Primordial anisotropies from cosmic strings during inflation [CEA]


In this work we study the imprints of a primordial cosmic string on inflationary power spectrum. Cosmic string induces two distinct contributions on curvature perturbations power spectrum. The first type of correction respects the translation invariance while violating isotropy. This generates quadrupolar statistical anisotropy in CMB maps which is constrained by the Planck data. The second contribution breaks both homogeneity and isotropy, generating a dipolar power asymmetry in variance of temperature fluctuations with its amplitude falling on small scales. We show that the strongest constraint on the tension of string is obtained from the quadrupolar anisotropy and argue that the mass scale of underlying theory responsible for the formation of string can not be much higher than the GUT scale. The predictions of string for the diagonal and off-diagonal components of CMB angular power spectrum are presented.

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S. Jazayeri, A. Sadr and H. Firouzjahi
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 25 pages, 6 figures

Exploring Halo Substructure with Giant Stars. XV. Discovery of a Connection between the Monoceros Ring and the Triangulum-Andromeda Overdensity? [GA]


Thanks to modern sky surveys, over twenty stellar streams and overdensity structures have been discovered in the halo of the Milky Way. In this paper, we present an analysis of spectroscopic observations of individual stars from one such structure, “A13”, first identified as an overdensity using the M giant catalog from the Two Micron All-Sky Survey. Our spectroscopic observations show that A13 has a velocity dispersion of $\lesssim$ 40 $\mathrm{km~s^{-1}}$, implying that it is a genuine coherent structure rather than a chance super-position of random halo stars. From its position on the sky, distance ($\sim$15 kpc heliocentric), and kinematic properties, A13 is likely to be an extension of another low Galactic latitude substructure — the Galactic Anticenter Stellar Structure (also known as the Monoceros Ring) — towards smaller Galactic longitude and farther distance. Furthermore, the kinematics of A13 also connect it with another structure in the southern Galactic hemisphere — the Triangulum-Andromeda overdensity. We discuss these three connected structures within a previously proposed scenario that one or all of these features originate from the disk of the Milky Way.

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T. Li, A. Sheffield, K. Johnston, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 8 figures. Submitted to AAS Journal

The pipeline for the ExoMars DREAMS scientific data archiving [IMA]


DREAMS (Dust Characterisation, Risk Assessment, and Environment Analyser on the Martian Surface) is a payload accommodated on the Schiaparelli Entry and Descent Module (EDM) of ExoMars 2016, the ESA and Roscosmos mission to Mars (Esposito (2015), Bettanini et al. (2014)). It is a meteorological station with the additional capability to perform measure- ments of the atmospheric electric fields close to the surface of Mars. The instrument package will make the first measurements of electric fields on Mars, providing data that will be of value in planning the second ExoMars mission in 2020, as well as possible future human missions to the red planet. This paper describes the pipeline to convert the raw telemetries to the final data products for the archive, with associated metadata.

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P. Schipani, L. Marty, M. Mannetta, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 4 pages, to appear in the Proceedings of ADASS 2016, Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP) Conference Series

SPHERE / ZIMPOL observations of the symbiotic system R Aqr. I. Imaging of the stellar binary and the innermost jet clouds [SSA]


R Aqr is a symbiotic binary system consisting of a mira variable, a hot companion with a spectacular jet outflow, and an extended emission line nebula. We have used R Aqr as test target for the visual camera subsystem ZIMPOL, which is part of the new extreme adaptive optics (AO) instrument SPHERE at the Very Large Telescope (VLT).
We compare our observations with data from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and illustrate the complementarity of the two instruments. We determine from the Halpha emission the position, size, geometric structure, and line fluxes of the jet source and the clouds in the innermost region (<2″) of R Aqr and determine Halpha emissivities mean density, mass, recombination time scale, and other cloud parameters.
Our data resolve for the first time the R Aqr binary and we measure for the jet source a relative position 46+/-1 mas West of the mira. The central jet source is the strongest Halpha component. North east and south west from the central source there are many clouds with very diverse structures. We see in the SW a string of bright clouds arranged in a zig-zag pattern and, further out, more extended bubbles. In the N and NE we see a bright, very elongated filamentary structure and faint perpendicular “wisps” further out. Some jet clouds are also detected in the ZIMPOL [OI] and He I filters, as well as in the HST line filters for Halpha, [OIII], [NII], and [OI]. We determine jet cloud parameters and find a very well defined anti-correlation between cloud density and distance to the central binary. Future Halpha observations will provide the orientation of the orbital plane of the binary and allow detailed hydrodynamical investigations of this jet outflow and its interaction with the wind of the red giant companion.

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H. Schmid, A. Bazzon, J. Milli, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 24 pages, 14 figures (accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics)

Chemical abundances of fast-rotating massive stars. I. Description of the methods and individual results [SSA]


Aims: Recent observations have challenged our understanding of rotational mixing in massive stars by revealing a population of fast-rotating objects with apparently normal surface nitrogen abundances. However, several questions have arisen because of a number of issues, which have rendered a reinvestigation necessary; these issues include the presence of numerous upper limits for the nitrogen abundance, unknown multiplicity status, and a mix of stars with different physical properties, such as their mass and evolutionary state, which are known to control the amount of rotational mixing. Methods: We have carefully selected a large sample of bright, fast-rotating early-type stars of our Galaxy (40 objects with spectral types between B0.5 and O4). Their high-quality, high-resolution optical spectra were then analysed with the stellar atmosphere modelling codes DETAIL/SURFACE or CMFGEN, depending on the temperature of the target. Several internal and external checks were performed to validate our methods; notably, we compared our results with literature data for some well-known objects, studied the effect of gravity darkening, or confronted the results provided by the two codes for stars amenable to both analyses. Furthermore, we studied the radial velocities of the stars to assess their binarity. Results: This first part of our study presents our methods and provides the derived stellar parameters, He, CNO abundances, and the multiplicity status of every star of the sample. It is the first time that He and CNO abundances of such a large number of Galactic massive fast rotators are determined in a homogeneous way.

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C. Cazorla, T. Morel, Y. Naze, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: accepted for publication by A&A

LAGO: the Latin American Giant Observatory [IMA]


The Latin American Giant Observatory (LAGO) is an extended cosmic ray observatory composed of a network of water-Cherenkov detectors (WCD) spanning over different sites located at significantly different altitudes (from sea level up to more than $5000$\,m a.s.l.) and latitudes across Latin America, covering a wide range of geomagnetic rigidity cut-offs and atmospheric absorption/reaction levels. The LAGO WCD is simple and robust, and incorporates several integrated devices to allow time synchronization, autonomous operation, on board data analysis, as well as remote control and automated data transfer.
This detection network is designed to make detailed measurements of the temporal evolution of the radiation flux coming from outer space at ground level. LAGO is mainly oriented to perform basic research in three areas: high energy phenomena, space weather and atmospheric radiation at ground level. It is an observatory designed, built and operated by the LAGO Collaboration, a non-centralized collaborative union of more than 30 institutions from ten countries.
In this paper we describe the scientific and academic goals of the LAGO project – illustrating its present status with some recent results – and outline its future perspectives.

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I. Sidelnik, H. Asorey and LAGO. Collaboration
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 4 pages, 2 figures, Proceedings of the 9th International Workshop on Ring Imaging Cherenkov Detectors (RICH 2016), Lake Bled, Slovenia

Constraining holographic cosmology using Planck data [CEA]


Holographic cosmology offers a novel framework for describing the very early Universe in which cosmological predictions are expressed in terms of the observables of a three dimensional quantum field theory (QFT). This framework includes conventional slow-roll inflation, which is described in terms of a strongly coupled QFT, but it also allows for qualitatively new models for the very early Universe, where the dual QFT may be weakly coupled. The new models describe a universe which is non-geometric at early times. While standard slow-roll inflation leads to a (near-)power-law primordial power spectrum, perturbative superrenormalizable QFT’s yield a new holographic spectral shape. Here, we compare the two predictions against cosmological observations. We use CosmoMC to determine the best fit parameters, and MultiNest for Bayesian Evidence, comparing the likelihoods. We find that the dual QFT should be non-perturbative at the very low multipoles ($l \lesssim 30$), while for higher multipoles ($l \gtrsim 30$) the new holographic model, based on perturbative QFT, fits the data just as well as the standard power-law spectrum assumed in $\Lambda$CDM cosmology. This finding opens the door to applications of non-perturbative QFT techniques, such as lattice simulations, to observational cosmology on gigaparsec scales and beyond.

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N. Afshordi, E. Gould and K. Skenderis
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 25 pages, 10 figures

Quasars as standard candles I: The physical relation between disc and coronal emission [HEAP]


A tight non-linear relation exists between the X-ray and UV emission in quasars (i.e. $L_{\rm X}\propto L_{\rm UV}^{\gamma}$), with a dispersion of $\sim$0.2~dex over \rev{$\sim$3~orders of magnitude in luminosity}. Such observational evidence has two relevant consequences: (1) an ubiquitous physical mechanism must regulate the energy transfer from the accretion disc to the X-ray emitting {\it corona}, and (2) the non-linearity of the relation provides a new, powerful way to estimate the absolute luminosity, turning quasars into a new class of {\it standard candles}.
Here we propose a modified version of this relation which involves the emission line full-width half maximum, $L_{\rm X}\propto L_{\rm UV}^{\hat\gamma}\upsilon_{\rm fwhm}^{\hat\beta}$. We interpret this new relation through a simple, {\it ad-hoc} model of accretion disc corona, derived from the works of Svensson \& Zdziarski (1994) and Merloni \& Fabian (2002), where it is assumed that reconnection and magnetic loops above the accretion disc can account for the production of the primary X-ray radiation.
We find that the monochromatic optical-UV (2500 \AA) and X–ray (2 keV) luminosities depend on the black hole mass and accretion rate as $L_{\rm UV}\propto M_{\rm BH}^{4/3} (\dot{M}/\dot{M}_{\rm Edd})^{2/3}$ and $L_{\rm X}\propto M_{\rm BH}^{19/21} (\dot{M}/\dot{M}_{\rm Edd})^{5/21}$, respectively. Assuming a broad line region size function of the disc luminosity $R_{\rm blr}\propto L_{\rm disc}^{0.5}$ we finally have that $L_{\rm X}\propto L_{\rm UV}^{4/7} \upsilon_{\rm fwhm}^{4/7}$. Such relation is remarkably consistent with the slopes and the normalization obtained from a fit of a sample of 545 optically selected quasars from SDSS DR7 cross matched with the latest XMM–{\it Newton} catalogue 3XMM-DR6.
The homogeneous sample used here has a dispersion of 0.21 dex, which is much lower than previous works in the literature and suggests a tight physical relation between the accretion disc and the X-ray emitting corona. We also obtained a possible physical interpretation of the $L_{\rm X}-L_{\rm UV}$ relation (considering also the effect of $\upsilon_{\rm fwhm}$), which puts the determination of distances based on this relation on a sounder physical grounds. The proposed new relation does not evolve with time, and thus it can be employed as a cosmological indicator to robustly estimate cosmological parameters.

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E. Lusso and G. Risaliti
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 15 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics

Charged massive scalar field configurations supported by a spherically symmetric charged reflecting shell [CL]


The physical properties of bound-state charged massive scalar field configurations linearly coupled to a spherically symmetric charged reflecting shell are studied {\it analytically}. To that end, we solve the Klein-Gordon wave equation for a static scalar field of proper mass $\mu$, charge coupling constant $q$, and spherical harmonic index $l$ in the background of a charged shell of radius $R$ and electric charge $Q$. It is proved that the dimensionless inequality $\mu R<\sqrt{(qQ)^2-(l+1/2)^2}$ provides an upper bound on the regime of existence of the composed charged-spherical-shell-charged-massive-scalar-field configurations. Interestingly, we explicitly show that the {\it discrete} spectrum of shell radii $\{R_n(\mu,qQ,l)\}_{n=0}^{n=\infty}$ which can support the static bound-state charged massive scalar field configurations can be determined analytically. We confirm our analytical results by numerical computations.

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S. Hod
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 8 pages

A cross-correlation-based estimate of the galaxy luminosity function [CEA]


We extend existing methods for using cross-correlations to derive redshift distributions for photometric galaxies, without using photometric redshifts. The model presented in this paper simultaneously yields highly accurate and unbiased redshift distributions and, for the first time, redshift-dependent luminosity functions, using only clustering information and the apparent magnitudes of the galaxies as input. In contrast to many existing techniques for recovering unbiased redshift distributions, the output of our method is not degenerate with the galaxy bias b(z), which is achieved by modelling the shape of the luminosity bias. We successfully apply our method to a mock galaxy survey and discuss the potential application of our model to real data.

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M. Daalen and M. White
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 5 figures. Submitted to MNRAS

Narrow phase-dependent features in X-ray Dim Isolated Neutron Stars: a new detection and upper limits [HEAP]


We report on the results of a detailed phase-resolved spectroscopy of archival XMM–Newton observations of X-ray Dim Isolated Neutron Stars (XDINSs). Our analysis revealed a narrow and phase-variable absorption feature in the X-ray spectrum of RX J1308.6+2127. The feature has an energy of $\sim$740 eV and an equivalent width of $\sim$15 eV. It is detected only in $\sim$ 1/5 of the phase cycle, and appears to be present for the entire timespan covered by the observations (2001 December – 2007 June). The strong dependence on the pulsar rotation and the narrow width suggest that the feature is likely due to resonant cyclotron absorption/scattering in a confined high-B structure close to the stellar surface. Assuming a proton cyclotron line, the magnetic field strength in the loop is B$_{loop} \sim 1.7 \times 10^{14}$ G, about a factor of $\sim$5 higher than the surface dipolar magnetic field (B$_{surf} \sim 3.4 \times 10^{13}$ G). This feature is similar to that recently detected in another XDINS, RX J0720.4-3125, showing (as expected by theoretical simulations) that small scale magnetic loops close to the surface might be common to many highly magnetic neutron stars (although difficult to detect with current X-ray instruments). Furthermore, we investigated the available XMM–Newton, data of all XDINSs in search for similar narrow phase-dependent features, but could derive only upper limits for all the other sources.

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A. Borghese, N. Rea, F. Zelati, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 5 figures, 4 tables. Accepted for publication in MNRAS

New constraints on binary evolution enhance the supernova type Ia rate [HEAP]


Even though Type Ia supernovae (SNIa) play an important role in many fields in astronomy, the nature of the progenitors of SNIa remain a mystery. One of the classical evolutionary pathways towards a SNIa explosion is the single degenerate (SD) channel, in which a carbon-oxygen white dwarf accretes matter from its non-degenerate companion until it reaches the Chandrasekhar mass. Constraints on the contribution from the SD channel to the overall SNIa rate come from a variety of methods, e.g. from abundances, from signatures of the companion star in the light curve or near the SNIa remnant, and from synthetic SNIa rates. In this proceedings, I show that when incorporating our newest understandings of binary evolution, the SNIa rate from the single degenerate channel is enhanced. I also discuss the applicability of these constraints on the evolution of SNIa progenitors.

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S. Toonen
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 3 figures, 6 pages, Proceedings of the workshop: “The Golden Age of Cataclysmic Variables and Related Objects III”, Palermo, Italy, Sep 7-12, 2015

On the origin of the spiral morphology in the Elias 2-27 circumstellar disc [EPA]


The young star Elias 2-27 has recently been observed to posses a massive circumstellar disc with two prominent large-scale spiral arms. In this Letter we perform three-dimensional Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulations, radiative transfer modelling, synthetic ALMA imaging and an unsharped masking technique to explore three possibilities for the origin of the observed structures — an undetected companion either internal or external to the spirals, and a self-gravitating disc. We find that a gravitationally unstable disc and a disc with an external companion can produce morphology that is consistent with the observations. In addition, for the latter, we find that the companion could be a relatively massive planetary mass companion (less than approximately 10 – 13 MJup) and located at large radial distances (between approximately 300 – 700 au). We therefore suggest that Elias 2-27 may be one of the first detections of a disc undergoing gravitational instabilities, or a disc that has recently undergone fragmentation to produce a massive companion.

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F. Meru, A. Juhasz, J. Ilee, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 6 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ Letters

Recommendations of the LHC Dark Matter Working Group: Comparing LHC searches for heavy mediators of dark matter production in visible and invisible decay channels [CL]


Weakly-coupled TeV-scale particles may mediate the interactions between normal matter and dark matter. If so, the LHC would produce dark matter through these mediators, leading to the familiar ‘mono-X’ search signatures, but the mediators would also produce signals without missing momentum via the same vertices involved in their production. This document from the LHC Dark Matter Working Group suggests how to compare searches for these two types of signals in case of vector and axial-vector mediators, based on a workshop that took place on September 19/20, 2016 and subsequent discussions. These suggestions include how to extend the spin-1 mediated simplified models already in widespread use to include lepton couplings. This document also provides analytic calculations of the relic density in the simplified models and reports an issue that arose when ATLAS and CMS first began to use preliminary numerical calculations of the dark matter relic density in these models.

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A. Albert, M. Backovic, A. Boveia, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 19 pages, 4 figures

DGSAT: Dwarf Galaxy Survey with Amateur Telescopes II. A catalogue of isolated nearby edge-on disk galaxies and the discovery of new low surface brightness systems [GA]


The connection between the bulge mass or bulge luminosity in disk galaxies and the number, spatial and phase space distribution of associated dwarf galaxies is a discriminator between cosmological simulations related to galaxy formation in cold dark matter and generalized gravity models. Here, a nearby sample of isolated Milky Way class edge-on galaxies is introduced, to facilitate observational campaigns to detect the associated families of dwarf galaxies at low surface brightness. Three galaxy pairs with at least one of the targets being edge-on are also introduced. About 60% of the catalogued isolated galaxies contain bulges of different size, while the remaining objects appear to be bulge-less. Deep images of NGC 3669 (small bulge, with NGC 3625 at the edge of the image) and NGC 7814 (prominent bulge), obtained with a 0.4-m aperture, are also presented, resulting in the discovery of two new dwarf galaxy candidates, NGC3669-DGSAT-3 and NGC7814-DGSAT-7. Eleven additional low surface brightness galaxies are identified, previously notified with low quality measurement flags in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). Integrated magnitudes, surface brightnesses, effective radii, Sersic indices, axis ratios, and projected distances to their putative major hosts are displayed. At least one of the galaxies, NGC3625-DGSAT-4, belongs with a surface brightness of approximately 26 mag per arcsec^2 and effective radius >1.5 kpc to the class of ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs). NGC3669-DGSAT-3, the galaxy with lowest surface brightness in our sample, may also be an UDG.

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C. Henkel, B. Javanmardi, D. Martinez-Delgado, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 12 pages including 6 figures, 4 tables, a brief appendix, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics (A&A)

Lectures on the Infrared Structure of Gravity and Gauge Theory [CL]


This is a redacted transcript of a course given by the author at Harvard in spring semester 2016. It contains a pedagogical overview of recent developments connecting the subjects of soft theorems, the memory effect and asymptotic symmetries in four-dimensional QED, nonabelian gauge theory and gravity with applications to black holes. The lectures may be viewed online at https://goo.gl/3DJdOr. Please send typos or corrections to strominger@physics.harvard.edu.

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A. Strominger
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 154 pages, 21 figures

An investigation of pulsar searching techniques with the Fast Folding Algorithm [IMA]


Here we present an in-depth study of the behaviour of the Fast Folding Algorithm, an alternative pulsar searching technique to the Fast Fourier Transform. Weaknesses in the Fast Fourier Transform, including a susceptibility to red noise, leave it insensitive to pulsars with long rotational periods (P > 1 s). This sensitivity gap has the potential to bias our understanding of the period distribution of the pulsar population. The Fast Folding Algorithm, a time-domain based pulsar searching technique, has the potential to overcome some of these biases. Modern distributed-computing frameworks now allow for the application of this algorithm to all-sky blind pulsar surveys for the first time. However, many aspects of the behaviour of this search technique remain poorly understood, including its responsiveness to variations in pulse shape and the presence of red noise. Using a custom CPU-based implementation of the Fast Folding Algorithm, ffancy, we have conducted an in-depth study into the behaviour of the Fast Folding Algorithm in both an ideal, white noise regime as well as a trial on observational data from the HTRU-S Low Latitude pulsar survey, including a comparison to the behaviour of the Fast Fourier Transform. We are able to both confirm and expand upon earlier studies that demonstrate the ability of the Fast Folding Algorithm to outperform the Fast Fourier Transform under ideal white noise conditions, and demonstrate a significant improvement in sensitivity to long-period pulsars in real observational data through the use of the Fast Folding Algorithm.

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A. Cameron, E. Barr, D. Champion, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 19 pages, 15 figures, 3 tables

Pulsar Timing Constraints on Physics Beyond the Standard Model [CL]


We argue that massive quantum fields source low-frequency long-wavelength metric fluctuations through the quantum fluctuations of their stress-energy, given reasonable assumptions about the analytic structure of its correlators. This can be traced back to the non-local nature of the gauge symmetry in General Relativity, which prevents an efficient screening of UV scales (what we call the cosmological non-constant problem). We define a covariant and gauge-invariant observable which probes line-of-sight spacetime curvature fluctuations on an observer’s past lightcone, and show that current pulsar timing data constrains any massive particle to $m\lesssim 600$ GeV. This astrophysical bound severely limits the possibilities for physics beyond the standard model below the scale of quantum gravity.

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N. Afshordi, H. Kim and E. Nelson
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures; comments welcome

The VLT/NaCo large program to probe the occurrence of exoplanets and brown dwarfs at wide orbits. IV. Gravitational instability rarely forms wide, giant planets [EPA]


Understanding the formation and evolution of giant planets ($\ge$1 $M_{Jup}$) at wide orbital separation ($\ge$5 AU) is one of the goals of direct imaging. Over the past 15 years, many surveys have placed strong constraints on the occurrence rate of wide-orbit giants, mostly based on non-detections, but very few have tried to make a direct link with planet formation theories. In the present work, we combine the results of our previously published VLT/NaCo large program with the results of 12 past imaging surveys to constitute a statistical sample of 199 FGK stars within 100 pc, including 3 stars with sub-stellar companions. Using Monte Carlo simulations and assuming linear flat distributions for the mass and semi-major axis of planets, we estimate the sub-stellar companion frequency to be within 0.75-5.7% at the 68% confidence level (CL) within 20-300 AU and 0.5-75 $M_{Jup}$, which is compatible with previously published results. We also compare our results with the predictions of state-of-the-art population synthesis models based on the gravitational instability (GI) formation scenario by Forgan & Rice (2013), with and without scattering. We estimate that in both the scattered and non-scattered populations, we would be able to detect more than 30% of companions in the 1-75 $M_{Jup}$ range (95% CL). With the 3 sub-stellar detections in our sample, we estimate the fraction of stars that host a planetary system formed by GI to be within 1.0-8.6% (95% CL). We also conclude that even though GI is not common, it predicts a mass distribution of wide-orbit massive companions that is much closer to what is observed than what the core accretion scenario predicts. Finally, we associate the present paper with the release of the Direct Imaging Virtual Archive (DIVA, this http URL), a public database that aims at gathering the results of past, present, and future direct imaging surveys.

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A. Vigan, M. Bonavita, B. Biller, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 20 pages, 11 figures. Accepted for publication in A&A

The reflection spectrum of the low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-53 [HEAP]


We present 3-79 keV NuSTAR observations of the neutron star low-mass X-ray binary 4U 1636-53 in the soft, transitional and hard state. The spectra display a broad emission line at 5-10 keV. We applied several models to fit this line: A GAUSSIAN line, a relativistically broadened emission line model, KYRLINE, and two models including relativistically smeared and ionized reflection off the accretion disc with different coronal heights, RELXILL and RELXILLLP. All models fit the spectra well, however, the KYRLINE and RELXILL models yield an inclination of the accretion disc of $\sim88\degree$ with respect to the line of sight, which is at odds with the fact that this source shows no dips or eclipses. The RELXILLLP model, on the other hand, gives a reasonable inclination of $\sim56\degree$. We discuss our results for these models in this source and the possible primary source of the hard X-rays.

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Y. Wang, M. Mendez, A. Sanna, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 9 pages, 8 figures

The HARPS search for southern extra-solar planets XLI. A dozen planets around the M dwarfs GJ 3138, GJ 3323, GJ 273, GJ 628, and GJ 3293 [EPA]


Context. Low mass stars are currently the best targets for searches for rocky planets in the habitable zone of their host star. Over the last 13 years, precise radial velocities measured with the HARPS spectrograph have identified over a dozen super-Earths and Earth-mass planets (msin i<10Mearth ) around M dwarfs, with a well understood selection function. This well defined sample informs on their frequency of occurrence and on the distribution of their orbital parameters, and therefore already constrains our understanding of planetary formation. The subset of these low-mass planets that were found within the habitable zone of their host star also provide prized targets for future atmospheric biomarkers searches. Aims. We are working to extend this planetary sample to lower masses and longer periods through dense and long-term monitoring of the radial velocity of a small M dwarf sample. Methods. We obtained large numbers of HARPS spectra for the M dwarfs GJ 3138, GJ 3323, GJ 273, GJ 628 and GJ 3293, from which we derived radial velocities (RVs) and spectroscopic activity indicators. We searched them for variabilities, periodicities, Keplerian modulations and correlations, and attribute the radial-velocity variations to combinations of planetary companions and stellar activity. Results. We detect 12 planets, of which 9 are new with masses ranging from 1.17 to 10.5 Mearth . Those planets have relatively short orbital periods (P<40 d), except two of them with periods of 217.6 and 257.8 days. Among these systems, GJ 273 harbor two planets with masses close to the one of the Earth. With a distance of 3.8 parsec only, GJ 273 is the second nearest known planetary system – after Proxima Centauri – with a planet orbiting the circumstellar habitable zone.

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N. Astudillo-Defru, T. Forveille, X. Bonfils, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 19 pages, 24 figures. Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Falling outer rotation curves of star-forming galaxies at 0.6 < z < 2.6 probed with KMOS^3D and SINS/ZC-SINF [GA]


We exploit the deep resolved Halpha kinematic data from the KMOS^3D and SINS/zC-SINF surveys to examine the largely unexplored outer disk kinematics of star-forming galaxies (SFGs) out to the peak of cosmic star formation. Our sample contains 101 SFGs representative of the more massive (9.3 < log(M*/Msun) < 11.5) main sequence population at 0.6<z<2.6. Through a novel stacking approach we are able to constrain a representative rotation curve extending out to ~4 effective radii. This average rotation curve exhibits a significant drop in rotation velocity beyond the turnover, with a slope of Delta(V)/Delta(R) = $-0.26^{+0.10}_{-0.09}$ in units of normalized coordinates V/V_max and R/R_turn. This result confirms that the fall-off seen previously in some individual galaxies is a common feature of our sample of high-z disks. We show that this outer fall-off strikingly deviates from the flat or mildly rising rotation curves of local spiral galaxies of similar masses. We furthermore compare our data with models including baryons and dark matter demonstrating that the falling stacked rotation curve can be explained by a high mass fraction of baryons relative to the total dark matter halo (m_d>~0.05) in combination with a sizeable level of pressure support in the outer disk. These findings are in agreement with recent studies demonstrating that star-forming disks at high redshift are strongly baryon dominated within the disk scale, and furthermore suggest that pressure gradients caused by large turbulent gas motions are present even in their outer disks. We demonstrate that these results are largely independent of our model assumptions such as the presence of a central stellar bulge, the effect of adiabatic contraction at fixed m_d, and variations in the concentration parameter.

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P. Lang, N. Schreiber, R. Genzel, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: Submitted to the Astrophysical Journal

Magnetic Ribbons: A Minimum Hypothesis Model for Filaments [GA]


We develop a magnetic ribbon model for molecular cloud filaments. These result from turbulent compression in a molecular cloud in which the background magnetic field sets a preferred direction. We use our model to calculate a synthetic observed relation between apparent width in projection versus observed column density. The relationship is relatively flat, in rough agreement with the observations, and unlike the simple expectation based on a Jeans length argument.

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S. Auddy, S. Basu and T. Kudoh
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 2 pages, 1 figure, to appear in proceedings of SFDE conference, eds. D. Johnstone, T. Hoang, F. Nakamura, Q. Nguyen Luong, and J. Tran Tranh Van

NGC 3105: A Young Cluster in the Outer Galaxy [GA]


Images and spectra of the open cluster NGC 3105 have been obtained with GMOS on Gemini South. The (i’, g’-i’) color-magnitude diagram (CMD) constructed from these data extends from the brightest cluster members to g’~23. This is 4 – 5 mag fainter than previous CMDs at visible wavelengths and samples cluster members with sub-solar masses. Assuming a half-solar metallicity, comparisons with isochrones yield a distance of 6.6+/-0.3 kpc. An age of at least 32 Myr is found based on the photometric properties of the brightest stars, coupled with the apparent absence of pre-main sequence stars in the lower regions of the CMD. The luminosity function of stars between 50 and 70 arcsec from the cluster center is consistent with a Chabrier lognormal mass function. However, at radii smaller than 50 arcsec there is a higher specific frequency of the most massive main sequence stars than at larger radii. Photometry obtained from archival SPITZER images reveals that some of the brightest stars near NGC 3105 have excess infrared emission, presumably from warm dust envelopes. Halpha emission is detected in a few early-type stars in and around the cluster, building upon previous spectroscopic observations that found Be stars near NGC 3105. The equivalent width of the NaD lines in the spectra of early type stars is consistent with the reddening found from comparisons with isochrones. Stars with i’~18.5 that fall near the cluster main sequence have a spectral-type A5V, and a distance modulus that is consistent with that obtained by comparing isochrones with the CMD is found assuming solar neighborhood intrinsic brightnesses for these stars.

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T. Davidge
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: To appear in The Astrophysical Journal

The HI content of isolated ultra-diffuse galaxies: a sign of multiple formation mechanisms? [GA]


We report on the results of radio observations in the 21cm emission line of atomic hydrogen (HI) of four relatively isolated ultra-diffuse galaxies (UDGs): DGSAT I, R-127-1, M-161-1, and SECCO-dI-2. Our Effelsberg observations resulted in non-detections for the first three UDGS, and a clear detection for the last. DGSAT I, R-127-1, and M-161-1 are quiescent galaxies with gas fractions that are much lower than those of typical field galaxies of the same stellar mass. On the other hand, SECCO-dI-2 is a star forming gas-rich dwarf, similar to two other field UDGs that have literature HI data: SECCO-dI-1 and UGC 2162. This group of three gas-rich UDGs have stellar and gaseous properties that are compatible with a recently proposed theoretical mechanism for the formation of UDGs, based on feedback-driven outflows. In contrast, the physical characteristics of R-127-1 and M-161-1 are puzzling, given their isolated nature. We interpret this dichotomy in the gaseous properties of field UDGs as a sign of the existence of multiple mechanisms for their formation, with the formation of the quiescent gas-poor UDGs remaining a mystery.

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E. Papastergis, E. Adams and A. Romanowsky
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: Submitted to A&A letters. 4 pages, 2 figures, 1 table

A probabilistic approach to the N-body problem [GA]


This work introduces a new interpretation of the gravitational N-body problem, based on the one-point probability density {\Psi} of finding a particle at a given loca- tion of phase space (x, v) at time t and the associated expected phase-space $\bar{f}$(x, v, t) = M {\Psi}(x, v, t), where M is the total mass of the system. At variance with the traditional paradigm, we consider that the problem is inherently stochastic, and therefore $\bar{f}$ corresponds to a weighted average over all possible random realisations of the initial conditions. In practice, we run several numerical experiments in one dimension where $\bar{f}$(x, v, t), and thus {\Psi}(x, v, t), are estimated from the average of a finite number S of independent simulations with N particles each. The proposed approach is extremely efficient from a computational point of view, with modest CPU and memory requirements, and it provides a very competitive alternative to traditional N-body simulations when the goal is to study the average properties of N-body systems, at the cost of abandoning the notion of well-defined trajectories for each individual particle.

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M. Romero and Y. Ascasibar
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 12 pages, 5 figures

Early UV emission from disk-originated matter (DOM) in type Ia supernovae in the double degenerate scenario [HEAP]


We show that the blue and UV excess emission at the first few days of some type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) can be accounted for in the double degenerate (DD) scenario by the collision of the SN ejecta with circumstellar matter that was blown by the accretion disk formed during the merger process of the two white dwarfs (WDs). We assume that in cases of excess early light the disk blows the circumstellar matter, that we term disk-originated matter (DOM), hours to days before explosion. To perform our analysis we first provide a model-based definition for early excess light, replacing the definition of excess light relative to a power-law fit to the rising luminosity. We then examine the light curves of the SNe Ia iPTF14atg and SN 2012cg, and find that the collision of the ejecta with a DOM in the frame of the DD scenario can account for their early excess emission. Thus, early excess light does not necessarily imply the presence of a stellar companion in the frame of the single-degenerate scenario. Our findings further increase the variety of phenomena that the DD scenario can account for, and emphasize the need to consider all different SN Ia scenarios when interpreting observations.

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N. Levanon and N. Soker
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 7 pages, 5 figures. Will be submitted in two days to allow comments by readers

A search for Ly-alpha emitters around a concentrated-region of strong Ly-alpha absorbers at z=2.3 [GA]


In order to investigate the physical relationship between strong Ly-alpha absorbers (logN_HI>20.0 cm^-2) such as damped Ly-alpha absorption systems (DLAs) and young star-forming galaxies at high redshift, we have conducted narrow-band observations of Ly-alpha emitters (LAEs) in a concentrated region of strong Ly-alpha absorbers at z= 2.3, the J1230+34 field. Using a catalog of Ly-alpha absorbers with logN_HI>20.0 cm^-2 based on the baryon oscillation spectroscopic survey (BOSS), we found 6 fields where 3 or more absorbers are concentrated within a (50 Mpc)^3 cubic box in the comoving scale. Among them, we focus on the J1230+34 field, where 2 DLAs and 2 sub-DLAs present. Our narrow-band imaging observations with Subaru/Suprime-Cam using a custom-made filter, NB400 (lambda_c=4003 A and FWHM=92 A) yield a sample of 149 LAEs in this field. In the large scale (~50 Mpc), we have found no differences between the obtained Ly-alpha luminosity function and those in the blank fields at similar redshifts. We also compare the frequency distribution of the Ly-alpha rest-frame equivalent width (EW_0) in the target field and other fields including both overdensity region and blank field, but find no differences. On the other hand, in the small scale (~10 Mpc), we have found a possible overdensity of LAEs around a DLA with the highest HI column density (N_HI=21.08 cm^-2) in the target field while there are no density excess around the other absorbers with a lower N_HI.

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K. Ogura, T. Nagao, M. Imanishi, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 15 pages, 15 figures, Accepted for publication to PASJ

An extension of the Planck galaxy cluster catalogue [CEA]


We present a catalogue of galaxy clusters detected in the Planck all-sky Compton parameter maps and identified using data from the WISE and SDSS surveys. The catalogue comprises about 3000 clusters in the SDSS fields. We expect the completeness of this catalogue to be high for clusters with masses larger than M_500 =~ 3×10^14 Msun, located at redshifts z<0.7. At redshifts above z=~0.4, the catalogue contains approximately an order of magnitude more clusters than the 2nd Planck Catalogue of Sunyaev-Zeldovich sources in the same fields of the sky. This catalogue can be used for identification of massive galaxy clusters in future large cluster surveys, such as the SRG/eROSITA all-sky X-ray survey.

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R. Burenin
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in Astronomy Letters

Directional Sensitivity In Light-Mass Dark Matter Searches With Single-Electron Resolution Ionization Detectors [CL]


We present a method for using solid state detectors with directional sensitivity to dark matter interactions to detect low-mass Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs) originating from galactic sources. In spite of a large body of literature for high-mass WIMP detectors with directional sensitivity, there is no available technique to cover WIMPs in the mass range <1 GeV. We argue that single-electron resolution semiconductor detectors allow for directional sensitivity once properly calibrated. We examine commonly used semiconductor material response to these low-mass WIMP interactions.

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F. Kadribasic, N. Mirabolfathi, K. Nordlund, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: N/A

Effects of dust absorption on spectroscopic studies of turbulence [GA]


We study the effect of dust absorption on the recovery velocity and density spectra as well as on the anisotropies of magnetohydrodynamic turbulence using the Velocity Channel Analysis (VCA), Velocity Coordinate Spectrum (VCS) and Velocity Centroids. The dust limits volume up to an optical depth of unity. We show that in the case of the emissivity proportional to the density of emitters, the effects of random density get suppressed for strong dust absorption intensity variations arise from the velocity fluctuations only. However, for the emissivity proportional to squared density, both density and velocity fluctuations affect the observed intensities. We predict a new asymptotic regime for the spectrum of fluctuations for large scales exceeding the physical depths to unit optical depth. The spectrum gets shallower by unity in this regime. In addition, the dust absorption removes the degeneracy resulted in the universal $K^{-3}$ spectrum of intensity fluctuations of self-absorbing medium reported by Lazarian & Pogosyan. We show that the predicted result is consistent with the available HII region emission data. We find that for sub-Alfv\’enic and trans-Alfv\’enic turbulence one can get the information about both the magnetic field direction and the fundamental Alfv\’en, fast and slow modes that constitute MHD turbulence.

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D. Kandel, A. Lazarian and D. Pogosyan
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: N/A

Spin alignment of stars in old open clusters [SSA]


Stellar clusters form by gravitational collapse of turbulent molecular clouds, with up to several thousand stars per cluster. They are thought to be the birthplace of most stars and therefore play an important role in our understanding of star formation, a fundamental problem in astrophysics. The initial conditions of the molecular cloud establish its dynamical history until the stellar cluster is born. However, the evolution of the cloud’s angular momentum during cluster formation is not well understood. Current observations have suggested that turbulence scrambles the angular momentum of the cluster-forming cloud, preventing spin alignment amongst stars within a cluster. Here we use asteroseismology to measure the inclination angles of spin axes in 48 stars from the two old open clusters NGC~6791 and NGC~6819. The stars within each cluster show strong alignment. Three-dimensional hydrodynamical simulations of proto-cluster formation show that at least 50 % of the initial proto-cluster kinetic energy has to be rotational in order to obtain strong stellar-spin alignment within a cluster. Our result indicates that the global angular momentum of the cluster-forming clouds was efficiently transferred to each star and that its imprint has survived after several gigayears since the clusters formed.

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E. Corsaro, Y. Lee, R. Garcia, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 14 pages, 3 figures, 1 table. Published in Nature Astronomy

An X-ray/SDSS sample (I): multi-phase outflow incidence and dependence on AGN luminosity [GA]


Multi-phase fast, massive outflows have been postulated to play a crucial role in galaxy evolution. The aim of this work is to constrain the nature and the fraction of outflowing gas in AGNs, as well as the nuclear conditions possibly at the origin of such phenomena.
We present a large spectroscopic sample of X-ray detected SDSS AGNs at z <0.8. X-ray and optical flux ratio diagnostics are used to select the sample. Physical and kinematic characterisation are derived re-analysing optical (and X-ray) spectra.
We derive the incidence of ionised (~40%) and atomic (< 1%) outflows covering a wide range of AGN bolometric luminosity, from 10^42 to 10^46 erg/s. We also derive bolometric luminosities and X-ray bolometric corrections to test whether the presence of outflows is associated with an X-ray loudness, as suggested by our recent results obtained studying high-z QSOs.
We study the relations between the outflow velocity inferred from [O III] kinematic analysis and different AGN power tracers, such as black hole mass (M_BH), [O III] and X-ray luminosity. We show a well defined positive trend between outflow velocity and L_X, for the first time over a range of 5 order of magnitudes. Overall, we find that in the QSO-luminosity regime and at M_BH>10^8 Msun the fraction of AGNs with outflows becomes >50%. Finally, we discuss our results about X-ray bolometric corrections and outflow incidence in cold and ionised phases in the context of an evolutionary sequence allowing two distinct stages for the feedback phase: an initial stage characterized by X-ray/optical obscured AGNs in which the atomic gas is still present in the ISM and the outflow processes involve all the gas components, and a later stage associated with unobscured AGNs, which line of sight has been cleaned and the cold components have been heated or exhausted.

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M. Perna, G. Lanzuisi, M. Brusa, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 16 pages, 13 figures, Accepted for publication in A&A

Dark-ages reionization and galaxy formation simulation XI: Clustering and halo masses of high redshift galaxies [GA]


We investigate the clustering properties of Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at $z\sim6$ – $8$. Using the semi-analytical model {\scshape Meraxes} constructed as part of the Dark-ages Reionization And Galaxy-formation Observables from Numerical Simulation (DRAGONS) project, we predict the angular correlation function (ACF) of LBGs at $z\sim6$ – $8$. Overall, we find that the predicted ACFs are in good agreement with recent measurements at $z\sim 6$ and $z\sim 7.2$ from observations consisting of the Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF), the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF) and Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) field. We confirm the dependence of clustering on luminosity, with more massive dark matter haloes hosting brighter galaxies, remains valid at high redshift. The predicted galaxy bias at fixed luminosity is found to increase with redshift, in agreement with observations. We find that LBGs of magnitude $M_{{\rm AB(1600)}} < -19.4$ at $6\lesssim z \lesssim 8$ reside in dark matter haloes of mean mass $\sim 10^{11.0}$- $10^{11.5} M_{\rm \odot}$, and this dark matter halo mass does not evolve significantly during reionisation.

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J. Park, H. Kim, C. Liu, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 14 pages, 10 figures, submitted to MNRAS

Secluded and Flipped Dark Matter and Stueckelberg Extensions of the Standard Model [CL]


We consider here three dark matter models with the gauge symmetry of the standard model plus an additional local $U(1)_D$ factor. One model is secluded and two models are flipped. All of these models include one dark fermion and one vector boson that attains mass through the Stueckelberg mechanism. We show that the flipped models provide examples dark matter composed of “least interacting particles” (LIPs). Such particles are therefore compatible with the constraints obtained from both laboratory measurements and astrophysical observations.

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E. Fortes, V. Pleitez and F. Stecker
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 6 pages, no figures

Accretion Flow Properties of Swift J1753.5-0127 during its 2005 outburst [HEAP]


Galactic X-ray binary black hole candidate Swift~J1753.5-0127 was discovered on June 30 2005 by Swift/BAT instrument. In this paper, we make detailed analysis of spectral and timing properties of its 2005 outburst using RXTE/PCA archival data. We study evolution of spectral properties of the source from spectral analysis with the additive table model {\it fits} file of the Chakrabarti-Titarchuk two-components advective flow (TCAF) solution. From spectral fit, we extract physical flow parameters, such as, Keplerian disk accretion rate, sub-Keplerian halo rate, shock location and shock compression ratio, etc. We also study the evolution of temporal properties, such as observation of low frequency quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs), variation of X-ray intensity throughout the outburst. From the nature of the variation of QPOs, and accretion rate ratios (ARRs=ratio of halo to disk rates), we classify entire 2005 outburst into two harder (hard-intermediate and hard) spectral states. No signature of softer (soft-intermediate and soft) spectral states are seen. This may be because of significant halo rate throughout the outburst. This behavior is similar to a class of other short orbital period sources, such as, MAXI~J1836-194, MAXI~J1659-152 and XTE~J1118+480. Here, we also estimate probable mass range of the source, to be in between $4.75 M_\odot$ to $5.90 M_\odot$ based on our spectral analysis.

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D. Debnath, A. Jana, S. Chakrabarti, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 14 pages, 5 Figures, ApJ (communicated)

Evolutionary sequences for hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs [SSA]


We present a set of full evolutionary sequences for white dwarfs with hydrogen-deficient atmospheres. We take into account the evolutionary history of the progenitor stars, all the relevant energy sources involved in the cooling, element diffusion in the very outer layers, and outer boundary conditions provided by new and detailed non-gray white dwarf model atmospheres for pure helium composition. These model atmospheres are based on the most up-to-date physical inputs. Our calculations extend down to very low effective temperatures, of $\sim 2\,500$~K, provide a homogeneous set of evolutionary cooling tracks that are appropriate for mass and age determinations of old hydrogen-deficient white dwarfs, and represent a clear improvement over previous efforts, which were computed using gray atmospheres.

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M. Camisassa, L. Althaus, R. Rohrmann, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 40 pages, 13 figures. To be published in ApJ

Velocity-Density Correlations from the cosmicflows-3 Distance Catalog and the 2MASS Redshift Survey [CEA]


The peculiar velocity of a mass tracer is on average aligned with the dipole modulation of the surrounding mass density field. We present a first measurement of the correlation between radial peculiar velocities of objects in the cosmicflows-3 catalog and the dipole moment of the 2MRS galaxy distribution in concentric spherical shells centered on these objects. Limiting the analysis to cosmicflows-3 objects with distances of $100 \rm Mpc h^{-1}$, the correlation function is detected at a confidence level $> 4\sigma$. The measurement is found consistent with the standard $\Lambda$CDM model at $< 1.7\sigma$ level. We formally derive the constraints $0.32<\Omega^{0.55}\sigma_8<0.48$ ($68\% $ confidence level) or equivalently $0.34<\Omega^{0.55}/b<0.52$, where $b$ is the galaxy bias factor. Deeper and improved peculiar velocity catalogs will substantially reduce the uncertainties, allowing tighter constraints from this type of correlations.

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A. Nusser
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 7 figures

Optical Thickness, Spin Temperature, and Correction Factor for Density of the Galactic HI Gas [GA]


A method to determine the spin temperature of the local (Vlsr=0 km/s) HI gas using saturated brightness temperature of the 21-cm line in the radial-velocity degenerate regions (VDR) is presented. The spin temperatures is determined to be Ts= 146.2 +/- 16.1 K by measuring saturated brightness in the VDR toward the Galactic Center, 146.8 +/- 10.7 K by chi^2 fitting of expected brightness distribution to observation around the VDR, and 144.4 +/- 6.8 K toward the local arm. Assuming Ts=146 K, a correction factor Gamma for the HI density, defined by the ratio of the true HI density for finite optical thickness to that calculated by assuming optically thin HI, was obtained to be Gamma~1.2 (optical depth tau~0.3) in the local HI gas, ~1.8 (~1.3) toward the arm and anti-center, and as high as ~3.6 (~2.7) in the Galactic Center direction. It is suggested that the HI density and mass in the local arm could be ~2 times, and that in the inner Galaxy ~3.6 times, greater than the currently estimated values.

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Y. Sofue
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 13 figures, accepted for MNRAS

Study of statistical properties of hybrid statistic in coherent multi-detector compact binary coalescences Search [CL]


In this article, we revisit the problem of coherent multi-detector search of gravitational wave from compact binary coalescence with Neutron stars and Black Holes using advanced interferometers like LIGO-Virgo. Based on the loss of optimal multi-detector signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), we construct a hybrid statistic as a best of maximum-likelihood-ratio(MLR) statistic tuned for face-on and face-off binaries. The statistical properties of the hybrid statistic is studied. The performance of this hybrid statistic is compared with that of the coherent MLR statistic for generic inclination angles. Owing to the single synthetic data stream, the hybrid statistic gives low false alarms compared to the multi-detector MLR statistic and small fractional loss in the optimum SNR for a large range of binary inclinations. We have demonstrated that for a LIGO-Virgo network and binary inclination, \epsilon < 70 deg. and \epsilon > 110 deg., the hybrid statistic captures more than 98% of network optimum matched filter SNR with low false alarm rate. The Monte-Carlo exercise with two distributions of incoming inclination angles namely, U[cos(\epsilon)] and more realistic distribution proposed by B. F. Schutz are performed with hybrid statistic and gave ~5% and ~7% higher detection probability respectively compared to the two stream multi-detector MLR statistic for a fixed false alarm probability of 10^-5.

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K. Haris and A. Pai
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: Published in Phys. Rev. D

Clustering of Gamma-Ray bursts through kernel principal component analysis [CL]


We consider the problem related to clustering of gamma-ray bursts (from “BATSE” catalogue) through kernel principal component analysis in which our proposed kernel outperforms results of other competent kernels in terms of clustering accuracy and we obtain three physically interpretable groups of gamma-ray bursts. The effectivity of the suggested kernel in combination with kernel principal component analysis in revealing natural clusters in noisy and nonlinear data while reducing the dimension of the data is also explored in two simulated data sets.

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S. Modak, A. Chattopadhyay and T. Chattopadhyay
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 30 pages, 10 figures

Contribution of mode coupling and phase-mixing of Alfvén waves to coronal heating [SSA]


Phase-mixing of Alfv\’en waves in the solar corona has been identified as one possible candidate to explain coronal heating. While this scenario is supported by observations of ubiquitous oscillations in the corona carrying sufficient wave energy and by theoretical models that have described the concentration of energy in small scale structures, it is still unclear whether this wave energy can maintain the million degree solar corona. The aim of this work is to assess how much energy can be converted by a phase-mixing process triggered by the propagation of Alfv\’enic waves in a cylindric coronal structure, such as a coronal loop, and to estimate the impact on the coronal heating. To this end, we run 3D MHD simulations of a magnetised cylinder where the Alfv\’en speed varies through a boundary shell and a footpoint driver is set to trigger kink modes which mode couple to torsional Alfv\’en modes in the boundary shell. These Alfv\’en waves are expected to phase-mix and the system allows us to study the subsequent thermal energy deposition. We run a reference simulation to explain the main process and then we vary simulation parameters. When we take into consideration high values of magnetic resistivity and strong footpoint drivers, we find i) that phase-mixing leads to a temperature increase of the order of $10^5$ K or less, depending on the structure of the boundary shell, ii) that this energy is able to balance the radiative losses only in the localised region involved in the heating, iii) and how the boundary layer and the persistence of the driver influence the thermal structure of the system. Our conclusion is that due to the extreme physical parameters we adopted and the moderate impact on the heating of the system, it is unlikely that phase-mixing can contribute on a global scale to the heating of the solar corona.

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P. Pagano and I. Moortel
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: N/A

Accurate recovery of HI velocity dispersion from radio interferometers [GA]


Gas velocity dispersion measures the amount of disordered motions of a rotating disk. Accurate estimates of this parameter are of the utmost importance because it is directly linked to disk stability and star formation. A global measure of the gas velocity dispersion can be inferred from the width of the atomic hydrogen HI 21 cm line. We explore how several systematic effects involved in the production of HI cubes affect the estimate of HI velocity dispersion. We do so by comparing the HI velocity dispersion derived from different types of data cubes provided by The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS). We find that residual-scaled cubes best recover the HI velocity dispersion, independent of the weighting scheme used and for a large range of signal-to-noise ratio. For HI observations where the dirty beam is substantially different from a Gaussian, the velocity dispersion values are overestimated unless the cubes are cleaned close to (e.g., ~1.5 times) the noise level.

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R. Ianjamasimanana, W. Blok and G. Heald
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal, 14 pages, 12 Figures, 2 Tables

Yet another introduction to relativistic astrophysics [HEAP]


Late Winter Lecture Notes, Short Course (10 hours) of Relativistic Astrophysics held at the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Padova, March 13-17, 2017.

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L. Foschini
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 132 pages

The predicted luminous satellite populations around SMC and LMC-mass galaxies – A missing satellite problem around the LMC? [GA]


Recent discovery of many dwarf satellite galaxies in the direction of the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds (SMC and LMC) provokes questions of their origins, and what they can reveal about galaxy evolution theory. Here, we predict the satellite stellar mass function of Magellanic Cloud-mass host galaxies using abundance matching and reionization models applied to the Caterpillar simulations. Specifically focusing on the volume within 50 kpc of the LMC, we predict a mean of 4-8 satellites with stellar mass $M_* > 10^4 \, \mathrm{M_\odot}$, and 3-4 satellites with $80 < M_* \leq 3000 \, \mathrm{M_\odot}$. Surprisingly, all $12$ currently known satellite candidates have stellar masses of $80 < M_* \leq 3000 \, \mathrm{M_\odot}$. Reconciling the dearth of large satellites and profusion of small satellites is challenging and may require a combination of a major modification of the $M_* – M_{\rm{halo}}$ relationship (steep, but with an abrupt flattening at $10^3 \, \mathrm{M_\odot}$), late reionization for the Local Group ($z_{\rm{reion}} \lesssim 9$ preferred), and/or strong tidal stripping. We can more robustly predict that $\sim 53\%$ of satellites within this volume were accreted together with the LMC and SMC, and $\sim 47\%$ were only ever Milky Way satellites. Observing satellites of isolated LMC-sized field galaxies is essential to placing the LMC in context, and to better constrain the $M_* – M_{\rm{halo}}$ relationship. Modeling known LMC-sized galaxies within $8$ Mpc, we predict 1-6 (2-12) satellites with $M_* > 10^5 \, \mathrm{M_\odot}$ ($M_* > 10^4 \, \mathrm{M_\odot}$) within the virial volume of each, and 1-3 (1-7) within a single $1.5^{\circ}$ diameter field of view, making their discovery likely.

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G. Dooley, A. Peter, J. Carlin, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: Submitted to MNRAS, 15 pages, 7 figures

Simulations of the Galaxy Cluster CIZA J2242.8+5301 I: Thermal Model and Shock Properties [CEA]


The giant radio relic in CIZA J2242.8+5301 is likely evidence of a Mpc sized shock in a massive merging galaxy cluster. However, the exact shock properties are still not clearly determined. In particular, the Mach number derived from the integrated radio spectrum exceeds the Mach number derived from the X-ray temperature jump by a factor of two. We present here a numerical study, aiming for a model that is consistent with the majority of observations of this galaxy cluster. We first show that in the northern shock upstream X-ray temperature and radio data are consistent with each other. We then derive progenitor masses for the system using standard density profiles, X-ray properties and the assumption of hydrostatic equilibrium. We find a class of models that is roughly consistent with weak lensing data, radio data and some of the X-ray data. Assuming a cool-core versus non-cool-core merger, we find a fiducial model with a total mass of $1.6 \times 10^{15}\,M_\odot$, a mass ratio of 1.76 and a Mach number that is consistent with estimates from the radio spectrum. We are not able to match X-ray derived Mach numbers, because even low mass models over-predict the X-ray derived shock speeds. We argue that deep X-ray observations of CIZA J2242.8+5301 will be able to test our model and potentially reconcile X-ray and radio derived Mach numbers in relics.

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J. Donnert, A. Beck, K. Dolag, et. al.
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 19 pages, 19 figures

Hydrodynamical models of cometary HII regions [GA]


We have modelled the evolution of cometary HII regions produced by zero-age main-sequence stars of O and B spectral types, which are driving strong winds and are born off-centre from spherically symmetric cores with power-law ($\alpha = 2$) density slopes. A model parameter grid was produced that spans stellar mass, age and core density. Exploring this parameter space we investigated limb-brightening, a feature commonly seen in cometary HII regions. We found that stars with mass $M_\star \geq 12\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$ produce this feature. Our models have a cavity bounded by a contact discontinuity separating hot shocked wind and ionised ambient gas that is similar in size to the surrounding HII region. Due to early pressure confinement we did not see shocks outside of the contact discontinuity for stars with $M_\star \leq 40\, \mathrm{M}_\odot$, but the cavities were found to continue to grow. The cavity size in each model plateaus as the HII region stagnates. The spectral energy distributions of our models are similar to those from identical stars evolving in uniform density fields. The turn-over frequency is slightly lower in our power-law models due to a higher proportion of low density gas covered by the HII regions.

Read this paper on arXiv…

H. Steggles, M. Hoare and J. Pittard
Fri, 17 Mar 17

Comments: 20 pages, 15 figures