Evidence of chaotic modes in the analysis of four delta Scuti stars [SSA]


Since CoRoT observations unveiled the very low amplitude modes that form a flat plateau in the power spectrum structure of delta Scuti stars, the nature of this phenomenon, including the possibility of spurious signals due to the light curve analysis, has been a matter of long-standing scientific debate. We contribute to this debate by finding the structural parameters of a sample of four delta Scuti stars, CID 546, CID 3619, CID 8669, and KIC 5892969, and looking for a possible relation between these stars’ structural parameters and their power spectrum structure. For the purposes of characterization, we developed a method of studying and analysing the power spectrum with high precision and have applied it to both CoRoT and Kepler light curves. We obtain the best estimates to date of these stars’ structural parameters. Moreover, we observe that the power spectrum structure depends on the inclination, oblateness, and convective efficiency of each star. Our results suggest that the power spectrum structure is real and is possibly formed by 2-period island modes and chaotic modes.

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S. Forteza, T. Cortes, A. Hernandez, et. al.
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: N/A


The early B-type star Rho Oph A is an X-ray lighthouse [SSA]


We present the results of a 140 ks XMM-Newton observation of the B2 star $\rho$ Ophiuchi A. The star exhibited strong X-ray variability: a cusp-shaped increase of rate, similar to the one we partially observed in 2013, and a bright flare. These events are separated in time by about 104 ks, which likely correspond to the rotational period of the star (1.2 days). Time resolved spectroscopy of the X-ray spectra shows that the first event is almost only due to an increase of the plasma emission measure, while the second increase of rate is mainly due is a major flare, with temperatures in excess of 60 MK ($kT\sim5$ keV). From the analysis of its rise we infer a magnetic field of $\ge300$ G and a size of the flaring region of $\sim1.4-1.9\times10^{11}$ cm, which corresponds to $\sim25\%-30\%$ of the stellar radius. We speculate that either an intrinsic magnetism that produces a hot spot on its surface, or an unknown low mass companion are the source of such X-rays and variability. A hot spot of magnetic origin should be a stable structure over a time span of $\ge$2.5 years, and suggests an overall large scale dipolar magnetic field that produce an extended feature on the stellar surface. In the second scenario, a low mass unknown companion is the emitter of X-rays and it should orbit extremely close to the surface of the primary in a locked spin-orbit configuration, almost on the verge of collapsing onto the primary. As such, the X-ray activity of the secondary star would be enhanced by both its young age and the tight orbit like in RS Cvn systems and $\rho$ Ophiuchi would constitute an extreme system worth of further investigation.

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I. Pillitteri, S. Wolk, F. Reale, et. al.
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: 10 pages, 7 figures, 2 tables, A&A accepted

The long-period binary central stars of the planetary nebulae NGC 1514 and LoTr 5 [SSA]


The importance of long-period binaries on the formation and evolution of planetary is still rather poorly understood, in part due to the lack of central star systems known to comprise such long-period binaries.
Here, we report on the latest results from the on-going Mercator-HERMES survey for variability in the central stars of planetary nebulae.
We present a study of the central stars of NGC 1514, BD+30$^\circ$623, the spectrum of which shows features associated with a hot nebular progenitor as well as a possible A-type companion. Cross-correlation of high-resolution HERMES spectra against synthetic spectra shows the system to be a highly eccentric ($e\sim0.5$), double-lined binary with a period of $\sim$3300 days. Previous studies indicated that the cool component might be a Horizontal Branch star of mass $\sim$0.55 M$_\odot$ but the observed radial velocity amplitudes rule out such a low mass. Assuming the nebular symmetry axis and binary orbital plane are perpendicular, the data are more consistent with a post-main-sequence star ascending towards the Giant Branch.
We also present the continued monitoring of the central star of LoTr 5, HD 112313, which has now completed one full cycle, allowing the orbital period (P$\sim$2700 days) and eccentricity ($e\sim0.3$) to be derived.
To date, the orbital periods of BD+30$^\circ$623 and HD 112313 are the longest to have been measured spectroscopically in the central stars of planetary nebulae. Furthermore, these systems, along with BD+33$^\circ$2642, comprise the only spectroscopic wide-binary central stars currently known.

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D. Jones, H. Winckel, A. Aller, et. al.
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: 4 pages, 4 figures, 2 tables. Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters

The quest for blue supergiants: binary merger models for the evolution of the progenitor of SN 1987A [SSA]


We present the results of a detailed, systematic stellar evolution study of binary mergers for blue supergiant (BSG) progenitors of Type II supernovae. In particular, these are the first evolutionary models that can simultaneously reproduce nearly all observational aspects of the progenitor of SN 1987A, $\text{Sk}-69\,^{\circ}202$, such as its position in the HR diagram, the enrichment of helium and nitrogen in the triple-ring nebula, and its lifetime before its explosion. The merger model, based on the one proposed by Podsiadlowski 1992 et al. and Podsiadlowski 2007 et al., consists of a main sequence secondary star that dissolves completely in the common envelope of the primary red supergiant at the end of their merger. We empirically explore a large initial parameter space, such as primary masses ($15\,\text{M}_{\odot}$, $16\,\text{M}_{\odot}$, and $17\,\text{M}_{\odot}$), secondary masses ($2\,\text{M}_{\odot}$, $3\,\text{M}_{\odot}$, …, $8\,\text{M}_{\odot}$) and different depths up to which the secondary penetrates the He core of the primary during the merger. The evolution of the merged star is continued until just before iron-core collapse and the surface properties of the 84 pre-supernova models ($16\,\text{M}_{\odot}-23\,\mathrm{M}_{\odot}$) computed have been made available in this work. Within the parameter space studied, the majority of the pre-supernova models are compact, hot BSGs with effective temperature $>12\,\text{kK}$ and radii of $30\,\text{R}_{\odot}-70\,\mathrm{R}_{\odot}$ of which six match nearly all the observational properties of $\text{Sk}-69\,^{\circ}202$.

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A. Menon and A. Heger
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: Submitted to MNRAS. 21 pages, 11 figures, 7 tables

Multi-fluid Approach to High-frequency Waves in Plasmas. II. Small-amplitude Regime in Partially Ionized Media [SSA]


The presence of neutral species in a plasma has been shown to greatly affect the properties of magnetohydrodynamic waves. For instance, the interaction between ions and neutrals through momentum transfer collisions causes the damping of Alfv\’en waves and alters their oscillation frequency and phase speed. When the collision frequencies are larger than the frequency of the waves, single-fluid magnetohydrodynamic approximations can accurately describe the effects of partial ionization, since there is a strong coupling between the various species. However, at higher frequencies, the single-fluid models are not applicable and more complex approaches are required. Here, we use a five-fluid model with three ionized and two neutral components, which takes into consideration Hall’s current and Ohm’s diffusion in addition to the friction due to collisions between different species. We apply our model to plasmas composed of hydrogen and helium, and allow the ionization degree to be arbitrary. By means of the analysis of the corresponding dispersion relation and numerical simulations, we study the properties of small-amplitude perturbations. We discuss the effect of momentum transfer collisions on the ion-cyclotron resonances and compare the importance of magnetic resistivity, ion-neutral and ion-ion collisions on the wave damping at various frequency ranges. Application to partially ionized plasmas of the solar atmosphere are performed.

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D. Martinez-Gomez, R. Soler and J. Terradas
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: 24 pages, 15 figures. Revised version published in The Astrophysical Journal

Interferometric confirmation of "water fountain" candidates [SSA]


Water fountain stars (WFs) are evolved objects with water masers tracing high-velocity jets (up to several hundreds of km s$^{-1}$). They could represent one of the first manifestations of collimated mass-loss in evolved objects and thus, be a key to understanding the shaping mechanisms of planetary nebulae. Only 13 objects had been confirmed so far as WFs with interferometer observations. We present new observations with the Australia Telescope Compact Array and archival observations with the Very Large Array of four objects that are considered to be WF candidates, mainly based on single-dish observations. We confirm IRAS 17291-2147 and IRAS 18596+0315 (OH 37.1-0.8) as bona fide members of the WF class, with high-velocity water maser emission consistent with tracing bipolar jets. We argue that IRAS 15544-5332 has been wrongly considered as a WF in previous works, since we see no evidence in our data nor in the literature that this object harbours high-velocity water maser emission. In the case of IRAS 19067+0811, we did not detect any water maser emission, so its confirmation as a WF is still pending. With the result of this work, there are 15 objects that can be considered confirmed WFs. We speculate that there is no significant physical difference between WFs and obscured post-AGB stars in general. The absence of high-velocity water maser emission in some obscured post-AGB stars could be attributed to a variability or orientation effect.

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J. Gomez, O. Suarez, J. Rizzo, et. al.
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: To be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 13 pages, 10 figures, 7 tables

SIGS – Seismic Inferences for Glitches in Stars [SSA]


The increased amount of high precision seismic data for solar-like stars calls for the existence of tools that can extract information from such data. In the case of the study of acoustic glitches there are no publicly available tools and most existing ones require a deep knowledge of their implementation. In this work a tool is presented that aims to both simplify the interaction with the user and also be capable of working automatically to determine properties of acoustic glitches from seismic data of solar-like stars. This tool is shown to work with both the Sun and other solar analogs but also shows that are still severe limitations to the methods used, when considering smaller datasets.

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L. Pereira, J. Faria and M. Monteiro
Thu, 16 Mar 17

Comments: 4 pages; 5 figures; Submitted to the Proceedings of the joint TASC2/KASC9 workshop – SPACEINN & HELAS8 conference 2016