Astro Coffee

Suggested papers for
Tue, Feb 07, 2017, Thu, Feb 09, 2017, and Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 11:00 AM

9 Feb 2017

The Chemical Composition of an Extrasolar Kuiper-Belt-Object

The Kuiper Belt of our solar system is a source of short-period comets that may have delivered water and other volatiles to Earth and the other terrestrial planets. However, the distribution of water and other volatiles in extrasolar planetary systems is largely unknown. We report the discovery of an accretion of a Kuiper-Belt-Object analog onto the atmosphere of the white dwarf WD 1425+540. The heavy elements C, N, O, Mg, Si, S, Ca, Fe, and Ni are detected, with nitrogen observed for the first...

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7 Feb 2017

The effect of X-ray dust-scattering on a bright burst from the magnetar 1E 1547.0-5408

A bright burst, followed by an X-ray tail lasting ~10 ks, was detected during an XMM-Newton observation of the magnetar 1E 1547.0-5408 carried out on 2009 February 3. The burst, also observed by SWIFT/BAT, had a spectrum well fit by the sum of two blackbodies with temperatures of ~4 keV and 10 keV and a fluence in the 0.3-150 keV energy range of ~1e-5 erg/cm2. The X-ray tail had a fluence of ~4e-8 erg/cm2. Thanks to the knowledge of the distances and relative optical depths of three dust clouds...

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3 Feb 2017

Gaia 1 and 2. A pair of new satellites of the Galaxy

We present the results of the very first search for faint Milky Way satellites in the Gaia data. Using stellar positions only, we are able to re-discover objects detected in much deeper data as recently as the last couple of years. While we do not identify new prominent ultra-faint dwarf galaxies, we report the discovery of two new star clusters, Gaia 1 and Gaia 2. Gaia 1 is particularly curious, as it is a massive (1.4$\times$10$^4$ M$_\odot$), large (~ 9 pc) and nearby (4.6 kpc) cluster, situ...

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3 Feb 2017

Research Note: The Expected Spins of Gravitational Wave Sources With Isolated Field Binary Progenitors

We explore the consequences of dynamical evolution of field binaries composed of a primary black hole (BH) and a Wolf-Rayet (WR) star in the context of gravitational wave (GW) source progenitors. We argue, from general considerations, that the spin of the WR-descendent BH will be maximal in a significant number of cases due to dynamical effects. In other cases, the spin should reflect the natal spin of the primary BH which are currently theoretically unconstrained. We argue that the three curre...

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2 Feb 2017

A likely decade-long sustained tidal disruption event

Multiwavelength flares from tidal disruption and accretion of stars can be used to find and study otherwise dormant massive black holes in galactic nuclei. Previous well-monitored candidate flares are short-lived, with most emission confined to within ~1 year. Here we report the discovery of a well observed super-long (>11 years) luminous soft X-ray flare from the nuclear region of a dwarf starburst galaxy. After an apparently fast rise within ~4 months a decade ago, the X-ray luminosity, th...

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1 Feb 2017

Models of the strongly lensed quasar DES J0408-5354

We present gravitational lens models of the multiply imaged quasar DES J0408-5354, recently discovered in the Dark Energy Survey (DES) footprint, with the aim of interpreting its remarkable quad-like configuration. We first model the DES single-epoch $grizY$ images as a superposition of a lens galaxy and four point-like objects, obtaining spectral energy distributions (SEDs) and relative positions for the objects. Three of the point sources (A,B,D) have SEDs compatible with the discovery quasar...

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2 Feb 2017

Discovery and Physical Characterization of a Large Scattered Disk Object at 92 AU

We report the observation and physical characterization of the possible dwarf planet 2014 UZ$_{224}$ ("DeeDee"), a dynamically detached trans-Neptunian object discovered at 92 AU. This object is currently the second-most distant known trans-Neptunian object with reported orbital elements, surpassed in distance only by the dwarf planet Eris. The object was discovered with an $r$-band magnitude of 23.0 in data collected by the Dark Energy Survey between 2014 and 2016. Its 1140-year orbit has $(a,...

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2 Dec 2016

A Poynting-Robertson-like drag at the Sun's surface

The Sun's internal rotation {\Omega}(r,{\Theta}) has previously been measured using helioseismology techniques and found to be a complex function of co-latitude, {\theta}, and radius, r. From helioseismology and observations of apparently "rooted" solar magnetic tracers we know that the surface rotates more slowly than much of the interior. The cause of this slow-down is not understood but it is important for understanding stellar rotation generally and any plausible theory of the solar interio...

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26 Jan 2017

A Comparison of Two Methods for Estimating Black Hole Spin in Active Galactic Nuclei

Angular momentum, or spin, is a fundamental property of black holes (BHs), yet it is much more difficult to estimate than mass or accretion rate (for actively accreting systems). In recent years, high-quality X-ray observations have allowed for detailed measurements of the Fe K$\alpha$ emission line, where relativistic line broadening allows constraints on the spin parameter (the X-ray reflection method). Another technique uses accretion disk models to fit the AGN continuum emission (the contin...

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Papers already discussed

26 Jan 2017

How to Reconcile the Observed Velocity Function of Galaxies with Theory

Within a Lambda Cold Dark Matter (LCDM) scenario, we use high resolution cosmological simulations spanning over four orders of magnitude in galaxy mass to understand the deficit of dwarf galaxies in observed velocity functions. We measure velocities in as similar a way as possible to observations, including generating mock HI data cubes for our simulated galaxies. We demonstrate that this apples-to-apples comparison yields an "observed" velocity function in agreement with observations, reconcil...

9 Feb 2017

The Chemical Composition of an Extrasolar Kuiper-Belt-Object

The Kuiper Belt of our solar system is a source of short-period comets that may have delivered water and other volatiles to Earth and the other terrestrial planets. However, the distribution of water and other volatiles in extrasolar planetary systems is largely unknown. We report the discovery of an accretion of a Kuiper-Belt-Object analog onto the atmosphere of the white dwarf WD 1425+540. The heavy elements C, N, O, Mg, Si, S, Ca, Fe, and Ni are detected, with nitrogen observed for the first...

4 Feb 2017

Lighthouse in the Dust: Infrared Echoes of Periodic Emission from Massive Black Hole Binaries

The optical and UV emission from compact, sub-parsec massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) in active galactic nuclei (AGN) is believed to vary periodically, on timescales comparable to the binary's orbital time. If driven by fluctuations in the accretion rate, the variability could be isotropic. If relativistic Doppler modulation dominates the periodicity, then the variability should instead be anisotropic, resembling a rotating forward-beamed lighthouse. We consider the infrared (IR) reverberati...

9 Feb 2017

The Chemical Composition of an Extrasolar Kuiper-Belt-Object

The Kuiper Belt of our solar system is a source of short-period comets that may have delivered water and other volatiles to Earth and the other terrestrial planets. However, the distribution of water and other volatiles in extrasolar planetary systems is largely unknown. We report the discovery of an accretion of a Kuiper-Belt-Object analog onto the atmosphere of the white dwarf WD 1425+540. The heavy elements C, N, O, Mg, Si, S, Ca, Fe, and Ni are detected, with nitrogen observed for the first...

30 Jan 2017

A new generation of PARSEC-COLIBRI stellar isochrones including the TP-AGB phase

We introduce a new generation of PARSEC-COLIBRI stellar isochrones that include a detailed treatment of the thermally-pulsing asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB) phase, and covering a wide range of initial metallicities (0.0001<Zi<0.06). Compared to previous releases, the main novelties and improvements are: use of new TP-AGB tracks and related atmosphere models and spectra for M and C-type stars; inclusion of the surface H+He+CNO abundances in the isochrone tables, accounting for the effect...

1 Feb 2017

Metallicity evolution of direct collapse black hole hosts: CR7 as a case study

In this study we focus on the $z\sim6.6$ Lyman-$\alpha$ emitter CR7 consisting of clump A that is host to a potential direct collapse black hole (DCBH), and two metal enriched star forming clumps B and . In contrast to claims that signatures of metals rule out the existence of DCBHs, we show that metal pollution of A from star forming clumps clumps B and C is inevitable, and that A can form a DCBH well before its metallicity exceeds the critical threshold of $10^{-5}\ \rm Z_{\odot}$. Assuming m...

7 Feb 2017

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

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 decad...

1 Feb 2017

Generative Adversarial Networks recover features in astrophysical images of galaxies beyond the deconvolution limit

Observations of astrophysical objects such as galaxies are limited by various sources of random and systematic noise from the sky background, the optical system of the telescope and the detector used to record the data. Conventional deconvolution techniques are limited in their ability to recover features in imaging data by the Shannon-Nyquist sampling theorem. Here we train a generative adversarial network (GAN) on a sample of $4,550$ images of nearby galaxies at $0.01<z<0.02$ from the S...


Updated 2017/02/10 11:37:44

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