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

The M33 Synoptic Stellar Survey. II. Mira Variables [SSA]

We present the discovery of 1847 Mira candidates in the Local Group galaxy M33 using a novel semi-parametric periodogram technique coupled with a Random Forest classifier. The algorithms were applied to ~2.4×10^5 I-band light curves previously obtained by the M33 Synoptic Stellar Survey. We derive preliminary Period-Luminosity relations at optical, near- & mid-infrared wavelengths and compare them to the corresponding relations in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

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W. Yuan, S. He, L. Macri, et. al.
Mon, 6 Mar 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in the Astronomical Journal

An intermediate-mass black hole in the centre of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae [GA]

Intermediate mass black holes play a critical role in understanding the evolutionary connection between stellar mass and super-massive black holes. However, to date the existence of these species of black holes remains ambiguous and their formation process is therefore unknown. It has been long suspected that black holes with masses $10^{2}-10^{4}M_{\odot}$ should form and reside in dense stellar systems. Therefore, dedicated observational campaigns have targeted globular cluster for many decades searching for signatures of these elusive objects. All candidates found in these targeted searches appear radio dim and do not have the X-ray to radio flux ratio predicted by the fundamental plane for accreting black holes. Based on the lack of an electromagnetic counterpart upper limits of $2060 M_{\odot}$ and $470 M_{\odot}$ have been placed on the mass of a putative black hole in 47 Tucanae (NGC 104) from radio and X-ray observations respectively. Here we show there is evidence for a central black hole in 47 Tuc with a mass of M$_{\bullet}\sim2200 M_{\odot}$$_{-800}^{+1500}$ when the dynamical state of the globular cluster is probed with pulsars. The existence of an intermediate mass black hole in the centre of one of the densest clusters with no detectable electromagnetic counterpart suggests that the black hole is not accreting at a sufficient rate and therefore contrary to expectations is gas starved. This intermediate mass black hole might be a member of electromagnetically invisible population of black holes that are the elusive seeds leading to the formation of supermassive black holes in galaxies.

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B. Kiziltan, H. Baumgardt and A. Loeb
Thu, 9 Feb 17

Comments: Published in Nature

Method for estimating cycle lengths from multidimensional time series: Test cases and application to a massive "in silico" dataset [SSA]

Many real world systems exhibit cyclic behavior that is, for example, due to the nearly harmonic oscillations being perturbed by the strong fluctuations present in the regime of significant non-linearities. For the investigation of such sys- tems special techniques relaxing the assumption to periodicity are required. In this paper, we present the generalization of one of such techniques, namely the D2 phase dispersion statistic, to multidimensional datasets, especially suited for the analysis of the outputs from three-dimensional numerical simulations of the full magnetohydrodynamic equations. We present the motivation and need for the usage of such a method with simple test cases, and present an application to a solar-like semi-global numerical dynamo simulation covering nearly 150 magnetic cycles.

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N. Olspert, M. Kapyla and J. Pelt
Wed, 7 Dec 16

Comments: N/A

Learning an Astronomical Catalog of the Visible Universe through Scalable Bayesian Inference [CL]

Celeste is a procedure for inferring astronomical catalogs that attains state-of-the-art scientific results. To date, Celeste has been scaled to at most hundreds of megabytes of astronomical images: Bayesian posterior inference is notoriously demanding computationally. In this paper, we report on a scalable, parallel version of Celeste, suitable for learning catalogs from modern large-scale astronomical datasets. Our algorithmic innovations include a fast numerical optimization routine for Bayesian posterior inference and a statistically efficient scheme for decomposing astronomical optimization problems into subproblems.
Our scalable implementation is written entirely in Julia, a new high-level dynamic programming language designed for scientific and numerical computing. We use Julia’s high-level constructs for shared and distributed memory parallelism, and demonstrate effective load balancing and efficient scaling on up to 8192 Xeon cores on the NERSC Cori supercomputer.

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J. Regier, K. Pamnany, R. Giordano, et. al.
Fri, 11 Nov 16

Comments: submitting to IPDPS’17

The Non-homogeneous Poisson Process for Fast Radio Burst Rates [HEAP]

This paper presents the non-homogeneous Poisson process (NHPP) for modeling the rate of fast radio bursts (FRBs) and other infrequently observed astronomical events. The NHPP, well-known in statistics, can model changes in the rate as a function of both astronomical features and the details of an observing campaign. This is particularly helpful for rare events like FRBs because the NHPP can combine information across surveys, making the most of all available information. The goal of the paper is two-fold. First, it is intended to be a tutorial on the use of the NHPP. Second, we build an NHPP model that incorporates beam patterns and a power law flux distribution for the rate of FRBs. Using information from 12 surveys including 15 detections, we find an all-sky FRB rate of 586.88 events per sky per day above a flux of 1 Jy (95\% CI: 271.86, 923.72) and a flux power-law index of 0.91 (95\% CI: 0.57, 1.25). Our rate is lower than other published rates, but consistent with the rate given in Champion et al. 2016.

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E. Lawrence, S. Wiel, C. Law, et. al.
Thu, 3 Nov 16

Comments: 19 pages, 2 figures

Neutron stars in the light of SKA: Data, statistics, and science [IMA]

The Square Kilometre Array (SKA), when it becomes functional, is expected to enrich neutron star (NS) catalogues by at least an order of magnitude over their current state. This includes the discovery of new NS objects leading to better sampling of under-represented NS categories, precision measurements of intrinsic properties such as spin period and magnetic field, as also data on related phenomena such as microstructure, nulling, glitching, etc. This will present a unique opportunity to seek answers to interesting and fundamental questions about the extreme physics underlying these exotic objects in the universe. In this paper, we first present a meta-analysis (from a methodological viewpoint) of statistical analyses performed using existing NS data, with a two-fold goal: First, this should bring out how statistical models and methods are shaped and dictated by the science problem being addressed. Second, it is hoped that these analyses will provide useful starting points for deeper analyses involving richer data from SKA whenever it becomes available. We also describe a few other areas of NS science which we believe will benefit from SKA which are of interest to the Indian NS community.

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M. Arjunwadkar, A. Kashikar and M. Bagchi
Thu, 27 Oct 16

Comments: To appear in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy (JOAA) special issue on “Science with the SKA: an Indian perspective”