Asteroseismic inversions in the Kepler era: application to the Kepler Legacy sample [SSA]

In the past few years, the CoRoT and Kepler missions have carried out what is now called the space photometry revolution. This revolution is still ongoing thanks to K2 and will be continued by the Tess and Plato2.0 missions. However, the photometry revolution must also be followed by progress in stellar modelling, in order to lead to more precise and accurate determinations of fundamental stellar parameters such as masses, radii and ages. In this context, the long-lasting problems related to mixing processes in stellar interior is the main obstacle to further improvements of stellar modelling. In this contribution, we will apply structural asteroseismic inversion techniques to targets from the Kepler Legacy sample and analyse how these can help us constrain the fundamental parameters and mixing processes in these stars. Our approach is based on previous studies using the SOLA inversion technique to determine integrated quantities such as the mean density, the acoustic radius, and core conditions indicators, and has already been successfully applied to the 16Cyg binary system. We will show how this technique can be applied to the Kepler Legacy sample and how new indicators can help us to further constrain the chemical composition profiles of stars as well as provide stringent constraints on stellar ages.

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G. Buldgen, D. Reese and M. Dupret
Fri, 24 Feb 17

Comments: To appear in the proceedings of the Kasc 9 Tasc 2 workshop

A Hubble Space Telescope Survey for Novae in M87. III. Novae as Effective Standard Candles [SSA]

Ten weeks’ daily imaging of the giant elliptical galaxy M87 with the Hubble Space Telescope has yielded 41 nova light curves of unprecedented quality for extragalactic cataclysmic variables. We have recently used these light curves to demonstrate that the observational scatter in the so-called Maximum-Magnitude Rate of Decline (MMRD) relation for classical novae is so large as to render the nova-MMRD useless as a standard candle. Here we demonstrate that the Buscombe – de Vaucouleurs hypothesis, that all novae converge to nearly the same absolute magnitude about two weeks after maximum light, is strongly supported by our M87 nova data. For 24 novae in V-band (F606W filter) and I-band (F814W filter) light with daily-sampled light curves and well determined maxima, we find that the times of minimum scatter of nova absolute magnitude are, respectively, 17 and 20 days after maximum light. At those epochs novae display M_{V,17} = -6.06 +/- 0.23 and M_{I,20} = -6.11 +/- 0.34 . The distances of single novae in the Milky Way, sparse or elliptical galaxies, or free-floating in intergalactic space can be reasonably well-determined with the above calibrations.

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M. Shara, T. Doyle, A. Pagnotta, et. al.
Fri, 24 Feb 17

Comments: 11 pages, 4 figures, submitted to the Astrophysical Journal

A chemical signature from fast-rotating low-metallicity massive stars: ROA 276 in omega Centauri [SSA]

We present a chemical abundance analysis of a metal-poor star, ROA 276, in the stellar system omega Centauri. We confirm that this star has an unusually high [Sr/Ba] abundance ratio. Additionally, ROA 276 exhibits remarkably high abundance ratios, [X/Fe], for all elements from Cu to Mo along with normal abundance ratios for the elements from Ba to Pb. The chemical abundance pattern of ROA 276, relative to a primordial omega Cen star ROA 46, is best fit by a fast-rotating low-metallicity massive stellar model of 20 Msun, [Fe/H] = -1.8, and an initial rotation 0.4 times the critical value; no other nucleosynthetic source can match the neutron-capture element distribution. ROA 276 arguably offers the most definitive proof to date that fast-rotating massive stars contributed to the production of heavy elements in the early Universe.

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D. Yong, J. Norris, G. Costa, et. al.
Fri, 24 Feb 17

Comments: ApJ in press

Electron dynamics surrounding the X-line in asymmetric magnetic reconnection [CL]

Electron dynamics surrounding the X-line in magnetopause-type asymmetric reconnection is investigated using a two-dimensional particle-in-cell simulation. We study electron properties of three characteristic regions in the vicinity of the X-line. The fluid properties, velocity distribution functions (VDFs), and orbits are studied and cross-compared. In the low-$\beta$ side of the X-line, the normal electric field enhances the electron meandering motion from the high-$\beta$ side. The motion leads to a crescent-shaped component in the electron VDF, in agreement with recent studies. In the high-$\beta$ side of the X-line, the magnetic field line is so stretched in the third dimension that its curvature radius is comparable with typical electron Larmor radius. The electron motion becomes nonadiabatic, and therefore the electron idealness is no longer expected to hold. Around the middle of the outflow regions, the electron nonidealness is coincident with the region of the nonadiabatic motion. Finally, we introduce a finite-time mixing fraction (FTMF) to evaluate electron mixing. The FTMF marks the low-$\beta$ side of the X-line, where the nonideal energy dissipation occurs.

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S. Zenitani, H. Hasegawa and T. Nagai
Fri, 24 Feb 17

Comments: Comments are welcome

Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays from tidally-ignited stars [HEAP]

Ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) can be accelerated by tidal disruption events of stars by black holes. Encounters between white dwarfs with intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) provide a natural environment for acceleration, as tidal forces can ignite nuclear burn and lead to a supernova explosion. The numbers of IMBHs may be substantially augmented once account is taken of their likely presence in dwarf galaxies. In this Letter we show that this kind of tidal disruption event naturally provides an intermediate/heavy composition for the inferred UHECR composition. We further argue that this mechanism is virtually model-independent, as it does not rely on any specific acceleration model. Finally, we point out a possible link between ultra-luminous x-ray and UHECR sources.

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R. Batista and J. Silk
Fri, 24 Feb 17

Comments: 5 pages, 1 figure

What can distant galaxies teach us about massive stars? [GA]

Observations of star-forming galaxies in the distant Universe (z > 2) are starting to confirm the importance of massive stars in shaping galaxy emission and evolution. Inevitably, these distant stellar populations are unresolved, and the limited data available must be interpreted in the context of stellar population synthesis models. With the imminent launch of JWST and the prospect of spectral observations of galaxies within a gigayear of the Big Bang, the uncertainties in modelling of massive stars are becoming increasingly important to our interpretation of the high redshift Universe. In turn, these observations of distant stellar populations will provide ever stronger tests against which to gauge the success of, and flaws in, current massive star models.

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E. Stanway
Fri, 24 Feb 17

Comments: 8 pages. To appear in the Proceedings of IAU Symposium 329: “The Lives and Death Throws of Massive Stars”

The Ages of the Thin Disk, Thick Disk, and the Halo from Nearby White Dwarfs [SSA]

We present a detailed analysis of the white dwarf luminosity functions derived from the local 40 pc sample and the deep proper motion catalog of Munn et al (2014, 2017). Many of the previous studies ignored the contribution of thick disk white dwarfs to the Galactic disk luminosity function, which results in an erronous age measurement. We demonstrate that the ratio of thick/thin disk white dwarfs is roughly 20\% in the local sample. Simultaneously fitting for both disk components, we derive ages of 6.8-7.0 Gyr for the thin disk and 8.7 $\pm$ 0.1 Gyr for the thick disk from the local 40 pc sample. Similarly, we derive ages of 7.4-8.2 Gyr for the thin disk and 9.5-9.9 Gyr for the thick disk from the deep proper motion catalog, which shows no evidence of a deviation from a constant star formation rate in the past 2.5 Gyr. We constrain the time difference between the onset of star formation in the thin disk and the thick disk to be $1.6^{+0.3}_{-0.4}$ Gyr. The faint end of the luminosity function for the halo white dwarfs is less constrained, resulting in an age estimate of $12.5^{+1.4}_{-3.4}$ Gyr for the Galactic inner halo. This is the first time ages for all three major components of the Galaxy are obtained from a sample of field white dwarfs that is large enough to contain significant numbers of disk and halo objects. The resultant ages agree reasonably well with the age estimates for the oldest open and globular clusters.

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M. Kilic, J. Munn, H. Harris, et. al.
Fri, 24 Feb 17

Comments: ApJ, in press