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  • Si, Ran, et al. (författare)
  • A First Spectroscopic Measurement of the Magnetic-field Strength for an Active Region of the Solar Corona
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : Institute of Physics (IOP). - 2041-8205 .- 2041-8213. ; 898:2
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • For all involved in astronomy, the importance of monitoring and determining astrophysical magnetic-field strengths is clear. It is also a well-known fact that the corona magnetic fields play an important part in the origin of solar flares and the variations of space weather. However, after many years of solar corona studies, there is still no direct and continuous way to measure and monitor the solar magnetic-field strength. We present here a scheme that allows such a measurement, based on a careful study of an exotic class of atomic transitions, known as magnetic induced transitions, in Fe9+. In this contribution we present a first application of this methodology and determine a value of the coronal field strength using the spectroscopic data from Hinode.
  • Church, Ross P., et al. (författare)
  • Formation Constraints Indicate a Black Hole Accretor in 47 Tuc X9
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : American Astronomical Society. - 2041-8205 .- 2041-8213. ; 851:1
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The luminous X-ray binary 47 Tuc X9 shows radio and X-ray emission consistent with a stellar-mass black hole (BH) accreting from a carbon-oxygen white dwarf. Its location, in the core of the massive globular cluster 47 Tuc, hints at a dynamical origin. We assess the stability of mass transfer from a carbon-oxygen white dwarf onto compact objects of various masses, and conclude that for mass transfer to proceed stably, the accretor must, in fact, be a BH. Such systems can form dynamically by the collision of a stellar-mass BH with a giant star. Tidal dissipation of energy in the giant's envelope leads to a bound binary with a pericenter separation less than the radius of the giant. An episode of common-envelope evolution follows, which ejects the giant's envelope. We find that the most likely target is a horizontal-branch star, and that a realistic quantity of subsequent dynamical hardening is required for the resulting binary to merge via gravitational wave emission. Observing one binary like 47 Tuc X9 in the Milky Way globular cluster system is consistent with the expected formation rate. The observed 6.8-day periodicity in the X-ray emission may be driven by eccentricity induced in the ultra-compact X-ray binary's orbit by a perturbing companion.
  • Hayakawa, Hisashi, et al. (författare)
  • The extreme space weather event in 1903 october/november : An outburst from the quiet sun
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : American Astronomical Society. - 2041-8205 .- 2041-8213. ; 897:1
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • While the Sun is generally more eruptive during its maximum and declining phases, observational evidence shows certain cases of powerful solar eruptions during the quiet phase of solar activity. Occurring in the weak Solar Cycle 14 just after its minimum, the extreme space weather event in 1903 October-November is one of these cases. Here, we reconstruct the time series of geomagnetic activity based on contemporary observational records. With the mid-latitude magnetograms, the 1903 magnetic storm is thought to be caused by a fast coronal mass ejection (≈1500 km s-1) and is regarded as a superstorm with an estimated minimum of the equivalent disturbance storm time index (Dst') of ≈-531 nT. The reconstructed time series has been compared with the equatorward extension of auroral oval (≈44. 1 in invariant latitude) and the time series of telegraphic disturbances. This case study shows that potential threats posed by extreme space weather events exist even during weak solar cycles or near their minima.
  • Abbasi, R., et al. (författare)
  • Search for High-energy Neutrino Emission from Galactic X-Ray Binaries with IceCube
  • 2022
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : IOP Publishing Ltd. - 2041-8205 .- 2041-8213. ; 930:2
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • We present the first comprehensive search for high-energy neutrino emission from high- and low-mass X-ray binaries conducted by IceCube. Galactic X-ray binaries are long-standing candidates for the source of Galactic hadronic cosmic rays and neutrinos. The compact object in these systems can be the site of cosmic-ray acceleration, and neutrinos can be produced by interactions of cosmic rays with radiation or gas, in the jet of a microquasar, in the stellar wind, or in the atmosphere of the companion star. We study X-ray binaries using 7.5 yr of IceCube data with three separate analyses. In the first, we search for periodic neutrino emission from 55 binaries in the Northern Sky with known orbital periods. In the second, the X-ray light curves of 102 binaries across the entire sky are used as templates to search for time-dependent neutrino emission. Finally, we search for time-integrated emission of neutrinos for a list of 4 notable binaries identified as microquasars. In the absence of a significant excess, we place upper limits on the neutrino flux for each hypothesis and compare our results with theoretical predictions for several binaries. In addition, we evaluate the sensitivity of the next generation neutrino telescope at the South Pole, IceCube-Gen2, and demonstrate its power to identify potential neutrino emission from these binary sources in the Galaxy.
  • Bosman, Arthur D., et al. (författare)
  • A Potential Site for Wide-orbit Giant Planet Formation in the IM Lup Disk
  • 2023
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : American Astronomical Society. - 2041-8205 .- 2041-8213. ; 944:2
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The radial transport, or drift, of dust has taken a critical role in giant planet formation theory. However, it has been challenging to identify dust drift pileups in the hard-to-observe inner disk. We find that the IM Lup disk shows evidence that it has been shaped by an episode of dust drift. Using radiative transfer and dust dynamical modeling we study the radial and vertical dust distribution. We find that high dust drift rates exceeding 110 M ⊕ Myr−1 are necessary to explain both the dust and CO observations. Furthermore, the bulk of the large dust present in the inner 20 au needs to be vertically extended, implying high turbulence (α z ≳ 10−3) and small grains (0.2-1 mm). We suggest that this increased level of particle stirring is consistent with the inner dust-rich disk undergoing turbulence triggered by the vertical shear instability. The conditions in the IM Lup disk imply that giant planet formation through pebble accretion is only effective outside of 20 au. If such an early, high-turbulence inner region is a natural consequence of high dust drift rates, then this has major implications for understanding the formation regions of giant planets including Jupiter and Saturn.
  • Cliver, E. W., et al. (författare)
  • Solar Longitude Distribution of High-energy Proton Flares : Fluences and Spectra
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : American Astronomical Society. - 2041-8205 .- 2041-8213. ; 900:1
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The distribution of the longitudes of solar flares associated with the high-energy proton events called ground level events (GLEs) can be approximated by a Gaussian with a peak at ∼W60, with a full range from ∼E90 to ∼W150. The longitudes of flares associated with the top third (24 of 72) of GLEs in terms of their >430 MeV fluences (F 430) are primarily distributed over E20-W100 with a skew toward disk center. This 120 span in longitude is comparable to the latitudinal spans of powerful coronal mass ejections (CMEs) from limb flares. Only 5 of 24 strong GLEs are located within the W40-80 zone of good magnetic connection to Earth. GLEs with hard spectra, i.e., a spectral index SI30/200(= log(F 30/F 200)) < 1.5, also tend to avoid W40-80 source regions. Three-fourths of such events (16 of 21) arise in flares outside this range. The above tendencies favor a CME-driven shock source over a flare-resident acceleration process for high-energy solar protons. GLE spectra show a trend, with broad scatter, from hard spectra for events originating in eruptive flares beyond the west limb to soft spectra for GLEs with sources near central meridian. This behavior can be explained in terms of: (1) dominant near-Sun quasi-perpendicular shock acceleration of protons for far western (>W100) GLEs; (2) quasi-parallel shock acceleration for well-connected (W40-80) GLEs, and (3) proton acceleration/trapping at CME-driven bow shocks from central meridian (E20-W20) that strike the Earth.
  • Goffo, Elisa, et al. (författare)
  • Company for the Ultra-high Density, Ultra-short Period Sub-Earth GJ 367 b: Discovery of Two Additional Low-mass Planets at 11.5 and 34 Days
  • 2023
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : Institute of Physics (IOP). - 2041-8213 .- 2041-8205. ; 955:1
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • GJ 367 is a bright (V ≈ 10.2) M1 V star that has been recently found to host a transiting ultra-short period sub-Earth on a 7.7 hr orbit. With the aim of improving the planetary mass and radius and unveiling the inner architecture of the system, we performed an intensive radial velocity follow-up campaign with the HARPS spectrograph—collecting 371 high-precision measurements over a baseline of nearly 3 yr—and combined our Doppler measurements with new TESS observations from sectors 35 and 36. We found that GJ 367 b has a mass of M b = 0.633 ± 0.050 M ⊕ and a radius of R b = 0.699 ± 0.024 R ⊕, corresponding to precisions of 8% and 3.4%, respectively. This implies a planetary bulk density of ρ b = 10.2 ± 1.3 g cm−3, i.e., 85% higher than Earth’s density. We revealed the presence of two additional non-transiting low-mass companions with orbital periods of ∼11.5 and 34 days and minimum masses of M c sin i c = 4.13 ± 0.36 M ⊕ and M d sin i d = 6.03 ± 0.49 M ⊕, respectively, which lie close to the 3:1 mean motion commensurability. GJ 367 b joins the small class of high-density planets, namely the class of super-Mercuries, being the densest ultra-short period small planet known to date. Thanks to our precise mass and radius estimates, we explored the potential internal composition and structure of GJ 367 b, and found that it is expected to have an iron core with a mass fraction of 0.91 − 0.23 + 0.07 . How this iron core is formed and how such a high density is reached is still not clear, and we discuss the possible pathways of formation of such a small ultra-dense planet.
  • Harper, Graham M., et al. (författare)
  • Sofia-exes observations of betelgeuse during the great dimming of 2019/2020
  • 2020
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : American Astronomical Society. - 2041-8205 .- 2041-8213. ; 893:1
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • In 2019 October Betelgeuse began a decline in V-band brightness that went beyond the minimum expected from its quasi-periodic ∼420 day cycle, becoming the faintest in recorded photometric history. Observations obtained in 2019 December with Very Large Telescope/SPHERE have shown that the southern half of the star has become markedly fainter than in 2019 January, indicating that a major change has occurred in, or near, the photosphere. We present Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) Echelon Cross Echelle Spectrograph (EXES) high spectral-resolution observations of [Fe II] 25.99 μm and [S I] 25.25 μm emission lines from Betelgeuse obtained during the unprecedented 2020 February V-band brightness minimum to investigate potential changes in the circumstellar flow. These spectra are compared to observations obtained in 2015 and 2017 when the V magnitude was typical of brighter phases. We find only very small changes in the gas velocities reflected by either of the line profiles, no significant changes in the flux to continuum ratios, and hence no significant changes in the [Fe ii]/[S i] flux ratios. There is evidence that absorption features have appeared in the 2020 continuum. The Alfvén wave-crossing time from the upper photosphere is sufficiently long that one would not expect a change in the large-scale magnetic field to reach the circumstellar [Fe ii] and [S i] line-forming regions, 3 < R (R ∗) < 20. However, the light-crossing time is of order a few hours and a reduction in luminosity may reduce the dust-gas heating rate and [O i] 63.19 μm emission, which has contributions from R > 20R ∗, where significant circumstellar oxygen-rich dust is observed.
  • Henkel, Kate, et al. (författare)
  • Thermohaline Mixing in Extremely Metal-poor Stars
  • 2018
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : American Astronomical Society. - 2041-8205 .- 2041-8213. ; 863:1
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Extremely metal-poor (EMP) stars are an integral piece in the puzzle that is the early universe, and although anomolous subclasses of EMP stars such as carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars are well studied, they make up less than half of all EMP stars with [Fe/H] ∼ -3.0. The amount of carbon depletion occurring on the red giant branch (carbon offset) is used to determine the evolutionary status of EMP stars, and this offset will differ between CEMP and normal EMP stars. The depletion mechanism employed in stellar models (from which carbon offsets are derived) is very important; however, the only widely available carbon offsets in the literature are derived from stellar models using a thermohaline mixing mechanism that cannot simultaneously match carbon and lithium abundances to observations for a single diffusion coefficient. Our stellar evolution models utilize a modified thermohaline mixing model that can match carbon and lithium in the metal-poor globular cluster NGC 6397. We compare our models to the bulk of the EMP star sample at [Fe/H] = -3 and show that our modified models follow the trend of the observations and deplete less carbon compared to the standard thermohaline mixing theory. We conclude that stellar models that employ the standard thermohaline mixing formalism overestimate carbon offsets and hence CEMP star frequencies, particularly at metallicities where carbon-normal stars dominate the EMP star population.
  • Izumi, T., et al. (författare)
  • On the Disappearance of a Cold Molecular Torus around the Low-luminosity Active Galactic Nucleus of NGC 1097
  • 2017
  • Ingår i: Astrophysical Journal Letters. - : American Astronomical Society. - 2041-8213 .- 2041-8205. ; 845:1, s. L5-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • We used the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array to map the CO(3-2) and the underlying continuum emissions around the type-1low-luminosity active galactic nucleus (LLAGN; bolometric luminosity less than or similar to 10(42) erg. s(-1)) of NGC 1097 at similar to 10 pc resolution. These observations revealed a detailed cold gas distribution within a similar to 100 pc of this LLAGN. In contrast to the luminous Seyfert galaxy NGC 1068, where a similar to 7 pc cold molecular torus was recently revealed, a distinctively dense and compact torus is missing in our CO(3-2) integrated intensity map of NGC 1097. Based on the CO(3-2) flux, the gas mass of the torus of NGC 1097 would be a factor of greater than or similar to 2-3 less than that found for NGC 1068 by using the same CO-to-H-2 conversion factor, which implies less active nuclear star formation and/or inflows in NGC 1097. Our dynamical modeling of the CO(3-2) velocity field implies that the cold molecular gas is concentrated in a thin layer as compared to the hot gas traced by the 2.12 mu m H-2 emission in and around the torus. Furthermore, we suggest that NGC 1097 hosts a geometrically thinner torus than NGC 1068. Although the physical origin of the torus thickness remains unclear, our observations support a theoretical prediction that geometrically thick tori with high opacity will become deficient as AGNs evolve from luminous Seyferts to LLAGNs.
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