Astro Coffee

Suggested papers for
Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 11:00 AM and Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 11:00 AM

15 Aug 2016

Fireballs from Superconducting Cosmic Strings

Thermalized fireballs should be created by cusp events on superconducting cosmic strings. This simple notion allows to reliably estimate particle emission from the cusps in a given background magnetic field. With plausible assumptions about intergalactic magnetic fields, the cusp events can produce observable fluxes of high-energy photons and neutrinos with unique signatures.

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16 Aug 2016

Feedback-regulated escape of LyC photons from mini-haloes during reionisation

Reionisation in the early Universe is likely driven by dwarf galaxies. Using cosmological, zoom-in, radiation-hydrodynamic simulations, we study the escape of Lyman continuum (LyC) photons from mini-haloes with $M_{\rm halo} \le 10^8\,M_\odot$. Our simulations include a new thermo-turbulent star formation model, non-equilibrium chemistry, and relevant stellar feedback processes (photoionisation by young massive stars, radiation pressure, and mechanical supernova explosions). We find that the ph...

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18 Aug 2016

The interaction of relativistic spacecrafts with the interstellar medium

The Breakthrough Starshot initiative aims to launch a gram-scale spacecraft to a speed of $v\sim 0.2$c, capable of reaching the nearest star system, $\alpha$ Centauri, in about 20 years. However, a critical challenge for the initiative is the damage to the spacecraft by interstellar gas and dust during the journey. In this paper, we quantify the interaction of a relativistic spacecraft with gas and dust in the interstellar medium. For gas bombardment, we find that damage by track formation due ...

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18 Aug 2016

The interaction of relativistic spacecrafts with the interstellar medium

The Breakthrough Starshot initiative aims to launch a gram-scale spacecraft to a speed of $v\sim 0.2$c, capable of reaching the nearest star system, $\alpha$ Centauri, in about 20 years. However, a critical challenge for the initiative is the damage to the spacecraft by interstellar gas and dust during the journey. In this paper, we quantify the interaction of a relativistic spacecraft with gas and dust in the interstellar medium. For gas bombardment, we find that damage by track formation due ...

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17 Aug 2016

Kinematics of the jet in M87 on scales of 100 -- 1000 Schwarzschild radii

Very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) imaging of radio emission from extragalactic jets provides a unique probe of physical mechanisms governing the launching, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic outflows. The two-dimensional structure and kinematics of the jet in M\,87 (NGC\,4486) have been studied by applying the Wavelet-based Image Segmentation and Evaluation (WISE) method to 11 images obtained from multi-epoch Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) observations made in January-August ...

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16 Aug 2016

Laboratory measurements compellingly support charge-exchange mechanism for the 'dark matter' $\sim$3.5 keV X-ray line

The reported observations of an unidentified X-ray line feature at $\sim$3.5 keV have driven a lively discussion about its possible dark matter origin. Motivated by this, we have measured the \emph{K}-shell X-ray spectra of highly ionized bare sulfur ions following charge exchange with gaseous molecules in an electron beam ion trap, as a source of or a contributor to this X-ray line. We produce $\mathrm{S}^{16+}$ and $\mathrm{S}^{15+}$ ions and let them capture electrons in collision with those...

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14 Aug 2016

The Structure and Dynamical Evolution of the Stellar Disk of a Simulated Milky Way-Mass Galaxy

We study the structure, age and metallicity gradients, and dynamical evolution using a cosmological zoom-in simulation of a Milky Way-mass galaxy from the Feedback in Realistic Environments project. In the simulation, stars older than 6 Gyr were formed in a chaotic, bursty mode and have the largest vertical scale heights (1.5-2.5 kpc) by z=0, while stars younger than 6 Gyr were formed in a relatively calm, stable disk. The vertical scale height increases with stellar age at all radii, because (...

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13 Aug 2016

The Moon as a Recorder of Nearby Supernovae

The lunar geological record is expected to contain a rich record of the galactic environment of the Solar System, including records of nearby (i.e. less than a few tens of parsecs) supernova explosions. This record will be composed of two principal components: (i) cosmogenic nuclei produced within, as well as radiation damage to, surface materials caused by increases in the galactic cosmic ray flux resulting from nearby supernovae; and (ii) the direct collection of supernova ejecta, likely enri...

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13 Aug 2016

The Moon as a Recorder of Nearby Supernovae

The lunar geological record is expected to contain a rich record of the galactic environment of the Solar System, including records of nearby (i.e. less than a few tens of parsecs) supernova explosions. This record will be composed of two principal components: (i) cosmogenic nuclei produced within, as well as radiation damage to, surface materials caused by increases in the galactic cosmic ray flux resulting from nearby supernovae; and (ii) the direct collection of supernova ejecta, likely enri...

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13 Aug 2016

The Dark Energy Survey view of the Sagittarius stream: Discovery of two faint stellar system candidates

We report the discovery of two new candidate stellar systems in the constellation of Cetus using the data from the first two years of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). The objects, DES J0111-1341 and DES J0225+0304, are located at a heliocentric distance of ~ 24 kpc and appear to have old and metal-poor populations. Their distances to the Sagittarius orbital plane, ~ 1.47 kpc (DES J0111-1341) and ~ 0.51 kpc (DES J0225+0304), indicate that they are possibly associated with the Sagittarius dwarf stre...

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11 Aug 2016

Testing General Relativity with Accretion-Flow Imaging of Sgr A*

The Event Horizon Telescope is a global very-long baseline interferometer capable of probing potential deviations from the Kerr metric, which is believed to provide the unique description of astrophysical black holes. Here we report an updated constraint on the quadrupolar deviation of Sagittarius A* within the context of a radiatively inefficient accretion flow model in a quasi-Kerr background. We also simulate near-future constraints obtainable by the forthcoming eight-station array and show ...

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1 Aug 2016

The evolution of post-starburst galaxies from z=2 to z= 0.5

We present the evolution in the number density and stellar mass functions of photometrically selected post-starburst galaxies in the UKIDSS Deep Survey (UDS), with redshifts of 0.5<z<2 and stellar masses logM>10. We find that this transitionary species of galaxy is rare at all redshifts, contributing ~5% of the total population at z~2, to <1% by z~0.5. By comparing the mass functions of quiescent galaxies to post-starburst galaxies at three cosmic epochs, we show that rapid quenchin...

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4 Aug 2016

Detectability of GW150914-like events by gravitational microlensing

The recent discovery of gravitational waves from stellar-mass binary black holes (BBHs) provided direct evidence of the existence of these systems. These BBHs would have gravitational microlensing signatures that are, due to their large masses and small separations, distinct from single-lens signals. We apply Bayesian statistics to examine the distinguishability of BBH microlensing events from single-lens events under ideal observing conditions, using modern photometric and astrometric capabili...

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15 Aug 2016

A new gamma-ray loud, eclipsing low-mass X-ray binary

We report the discovery of an eclipsing low-mass X-ray binary at the center of the 3FGL error ellipse of the unassociated Fermi/Large Area Telescope gamma-ray source 3FGL J0427.9-6704. Photometry from OGLE and the SMARTS 1.3-m telescope and spectroscopy from the SOAR telescope have allowed us to classify the system as an eclipsing low-mass X-ray binary (P = 8.8 hr) with a main sequence donor and a neutron star accretor. Broad double-peaked H and He emission lines suggest the ongoing presence of...

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6 Aug 2016

Probing the environment of gravitational wave transient sources with TeV afterglow emission

Recently, Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (aLIGO) detected gravitational wave (GW) transients from mergers of binary black holes (BHs). The system may also produce a wide-angle, relativistic outflow if the claimed short GRB detected by GBM is in real association with GW 150914. It was suggested that mergers of double neutron stars (or neutron star-black hole binaries), another promising source of GW transients, also produce fast, wide-angle outflows. In this paper, ...

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3 Aug 2016

KIC 8462852 Faded Throughout the Kepler Mission

KIC 8462852 is a superficially ordinary main sequence F star for which Kepler detected an unusual series of brief dimming events. We obtain accurate relative photometry of KIC 8462852 from the Kepler full frame images, finding that the brightness of KIC 8462852 monotonically decreased over the four years it was observed by Kepler. Over the first ~1000 days, KIC 8462852 faded approximately linearly at a rate of 0.341 +/- 0.041 percent per year, for a total decline of 0.9%. KIC 8462852 then dimme...

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5 Aug 2016

Extremely Small Sizes for Faint z~2-8 Galaxies in the Hubble Frontier Fields: A Key Input For Establishing their Volume Density and UV Emissivity

We provide the first observational constraints on the sizes of the faintest galaxies lensed by the Hubble Frontier Fields (HFF) clusters. Ionizing radiation from faint galaxies likely drives cosmic reionization, and the HFF initiative provides a key opportunity to find such galaxies. Yet, we cannot really assess their ionizing emissivity without a robust measurement of their sizes, since this is key to quantifying both their prevalence and the faint-end slope to the UV luminosity function. Here...

12 Aug 2016

A Low-Mass Black Hole in the Nearby Seyfert Galaxy UGC 06728

We present the results of a recent reverberation mapping campaign for UGC 06728, a nearby low-luminosity Seyfert 1 in a late-type galaxy. Nightly monitoring in the spring of 2015 allowed us to determine an H$\beta$ time delay of $\tau = 1.4 \pm 0.8$ days. Combined with the width of the variable H$\beta$ line profile, we determine a black hole mass of $M_{\rm BH} = (7.1 \pm 4.0) \times 10^5$ M$_{\odot}$. We also constrain the bulge stellar velocity dispersion from higher-resolution long slit spe...

10 Aug 2016

The Venus Hypothesis

Current models indicate that Venus may have been habitable. Complex life may have evolved on the highly irradiated Venus, and transferred to Earth on asteroids. This model fits the pattern of pulses of highly developed life appearing, diversifying and going extinct with astonishing rapidity through the Cambrian and Ordovician periods, and also explains the extraordinary genetic variety which appeared over this period.

2 Aug 2016

Dark-ages reionization and galaxy formation simulation--VII. The sizes of high-redshift galaxies

We investigate high-redshift galaxy sizes using a semi-analytic model constructed for the Dark-ages Reionization And Galaxy-formation Observables from Numerical Simulation project. Our fiducial model, including strong feedback from supernovae and photoionization background, accurately reproduces the evolution of the stellar mass function and luminosity function. Using this model, we study the size--luminosity relation of galaxies and find that the effective radius scales with UV luminosity as $...


Updated 2016/08/19 11:36:41

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