New articles on Astrophysics

[1] 2303.12826

Searching for clues of past binary supermassive black hole mergers in nuclear star clusters

Galaxy mergers are common processes in the Universe. As a large fraction of galaxies hosts at their centres a central supermassive black hole (SMBH), mergers can lead to the formation of a supermassive black hole binary (SMBHB). The formation of such a binary is more efficient when the SMBHs are embedded in a nuclear star cluster (NSC). NSCs are dense and massive stellar clusters present in the majority of the observed galaxies. Their central densities can reach up to $10^7\,M_\odot/{\rm pc}^3$ and their masses can be as large as a few $10^7\,M_\odot$. The direct detection of an SMBHB is observationally challenging. In this work, we illustrate how the large scale structural and dynamical properties of an NSC can help to identify nucleated galaxies that recently went through a merger that possibly led to the formation of a central SMBHB. Our models show that the merger can imprint signatures on the shape, density profile, rotation and velocity structure of the NSC. The strength of the signatures depends on the mass ratio between the SMBHs and on the orbital initial conditions of the merger. In addition, the number of hypervelocity stars produced in the mergers is linked to the SMBHB properties. The merger can also contribute to the formation of the nuclear stellar disc of the galaxy.

[2] 2303.12827

Impact of symmetron screening on the Hubble tension: new constraints using cosmic distance ladder data

Fifth forces are ubiquitous in modified theories of gravity. To be compatible with observations, such a force must be screened on solar-system scales but may still give a significant contribution on galactic scales. If this is the case, the fifth force can influence the calibration of the cosmic distance ladder, hence changing the inferred value of the Hubble constant $H_0$. In this paper, we analyze symmetron screening and show that it generally increases the Hubble tension. On the other hand, by doing a full statistical analysis, we show that cosmic distance ladder data are able to constrain the theory to a level competitive with solar-system tests -- currently the most constraining tests of the theory. For the standard coupling case, the constraint on the symmetron Compton wavelength is $\lambda_{\rm C} \lesssim 2.5 \, \mathrm{Mpc}$. Thus, distance ladder data constitutes a novel and powerful way of testing this, and similar, types of theories.

[3] 2303.12828

Stellar cluster formation in a Milky Way-sized galaxy at z>4 -- II. A hybrid formation scenario for the nuclear star cluster and its connection to the nuclear stellar ring

Nuclear star clusters (NSCs) are massive star clusters found in the innermost region of the majority of galaxies. While recent studies suggest that low-mass NSCs in dwarf galaxies form largely out of the merger of globular clusters and NSCs in massive galaxies have assembled most of their mass through central star formation, the formation channel of the Milky Way's NSC is still uncertain. In this work, we use GigaEris, a very high resolution $N$-body hydrodynamical cosmological ``zoom-in'' simulation, to investigate NSC formation in the progenitor of a Milky Way-sized galaxy, as well as its relation to the assembly and evolution of the galactic nuclear region. We study the possibility that bound, young, gas-rich, stellar clusters within a radius of 1.5~kpc of the main galaxy's centre at $z>4$ are the NSC predecessors (NSCPs). We identify 53 systems which satisfy our criteria, with a total baryonic mass of $10^{7.7}$~M$_{\odot}$. They have a relatively low mean stellar metallicity ($-0.47 \lesssim {\rm [Fe/H]} \lesssim -0.11$) in comparison to the present-day stars in the Milky Way's NSC. The NSCPs with a `born thin-disc' star fraction, $F_{\rm thin}$, higher than 0.5 are older and display slightly different properties than the clusters with $F_{\rm thin} \leq 0.5$. We demonstrate that both stellar cluster accretion and in-situ star formation will contribute to the formation of the NSC, providing evidence for an hybrid formation scenario for the first time in an $N$-body, hydrodynamical, cosmological ``zoom-in'' simulation. Furthermore, we also identify a nuclear stellar ring in the simulation, with properties similar to those of the Milky Way's nuclear stellar disc.

[4] 2303.12830

A Quick Look at the 3GHz Radio Sky. II. Hunting for DRAGNs in the VLA Sky Survey

Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) can often be identified in radio images as two lobes, sometimes connected to a core by a radio jet. This multi-component morphology unfortunately creates difficulties for source-finders, leading to components that are a) separate parts of a wider whole, and b) offset from the multiwavelength cross identification of the host galaxy. In this work we define an algorithm, DRAGNhunter, for identifying Double Radio Sources associated with Active Galactic Nuclei (DRAGNs) from component catalog data in the first epoch images of the high resolution ($\approx 3''$ beam size) Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS). We use DRAGNhunter to construct a catalog of $>17,000$ DRAGNs in VLASS for which contamination from spurious sources estimated at $\approx 11\,\%$. A `high-fidelity' sample consisting of $90\,\%$ of our catalog is identified for which contamination is $<3\,\%$. Host galaxies are found for $\approx 13,000$ DRAGNs as well as for an additional $234,000$ single-component radio sources. Using these data we explore the properties of our DRAGNs, finding them to be typically consistent with Fanaroff-Riley class II sources and allowing us to report the discovery of $31$ new giant radio galaxies identified using VLASS.

[5] 2303.12832

Fast and accurate collapse-time predictions for collisionless matter

We consider the gravitational collapse of collisionless matter seeded by three crossed sine waves with various amplitudes, also in the presence of a linear external tidal field. We explore two theoretical methods that are more efficient than standard Lagrangian perturbation theory (LPT) for resolving shell-crossings, the crossing of particle trajectories. One of the methods completes the truncated LPT series for the displacement field far into the UV regime, thereby exponentially accelerating its convergence while at the same time removing pathological behavior of LPT observed in void regions. The other method exploits normal-form techniques known from catastrophe theory, which amounts here to replacing the sine-wave initial data by its second-order Taylor expansion in space at shell-crossing location. This replacement leads to a speed-up in determining the displacement field by several orders of magnitudes, while still achieving permille-level accuracy in the prediction of the shell-crossing time. The two methods can be used independently, but the overall best performance is achieved when combining them. Lastly, we find accurate formulas for the nonlinear density and for the triaxial evolution of the fluid in the fundamental coordinate system, as well as report a newly established exact correspondence between perfectly symmetric sine-wave collapse and spherical collapse.

[6] 2303.12835

Compact and Quiescent Circumgalactic Medium and Ly$α$ Halos around Extremely Red Quasars (ERQs)

Red quasars may represent a young stage of galaxy evolution that provide important feedback to their host galaxies. We are studying a population of extremely red quasars (ERQs) with exceptionally fast and powerful outflows, at median redshift $z$ = 2.6. We present Keck/KCWI integral field spectra of 11 ERQs, which have a median color $i-W3$ = 5.9~mag, median $\left\langle L_{\text{bol}} \right\rangle$ $\approx$ 5 $\times$ $10^{47}$ erg s$^{-1}$, Ly$\alpha$ halo luminosity $\left\langle L_{\text{halo}} \right\rangle$ $=$ 5 $\times$ $10^{43}$ erg s$^{-1}$, and maximum linear size $>128$ kpc. The ERQ halos are generally similar to those of blue quasars, following known trends with $L_{\text{bol}}$ in halo properties. ERQs have halo symmetries similar to Type-I blue quasars, suggesting Type-I spatial orientations. ERQ $\left\langle L_{\text{halo}} \right\rangle$ is $\sim$2 dex below blue quasars, which is marginal due to scatter, but consistent with obscuration lowering photon escape fractions. ERQ halos tend to have more compact and circularly symmetric inner regions than blue quasars, with median exponential scale lengths of $\sim$9 kpc, compared to $\sim$16 kpc for blue quasars. When we include the central regions not available in blue quasar studies (due to PSF problems), the true median ERQ halo scale length is just $\sim$6 kpc. ERQ halos are also kinematically quiet, with median velocity dispersion 293 km s$^{-1}$, consistent with expected virial speeds. Overall we find no evidence for feedback on circumgalactic scales, and the current episode of quasar activity, perhaps due to long outflow travel times, has not been around long enough to affect the circumgalactic medium. We confirm the narrow Ly$\alpha$ emission spikes found in ERQ aperture spectra are halo features, and are useful for systemic redshifts and measuring outflow speeds in other features.

[7] 2303.12838

The dark matter profile of the Milky Way inferred from its circular velocity curve

All galaxies are formed within dark matter halos, the nature of which is yet to be understood. The circular velocity curve, one of the first pieces of evidence for dark matter, is a direct probe of the Galaxy's potential, which allows studies of the nature of these dark matter halos. Recent large surveys have provided valuable information for determining the Milky Way circular velocity curve. In this study, we derive precise parallaxes for 120,309 stars with a data-driven model, using APOGEE DR17 spectra combined with photometry measurements from Gaia, 2MASS, and WISE. We measure the circular velocity curve of the Milky Way out to $\sim 30$ kpc, and use it to provide an updated model of the dark matter density profile. We find a significantly faster decline in the circular velocity curve at outer galactic radii. To address this decline, we find that a cored Einasto profile with slope parameter $1.13^{+0.06}_{-0.06}$ is a better fit to the data than a generalized or contracted Navarro-Frank-White (NFW), as was argued in previous studies. The virial mass of the best-fit dark matter halo is $1.50^{+0.04}_{-0.04}\times10^{11}$ $M_{\odot}$, significantly lower than that from a generalized NFW profile, but the corresponding local dark matter density at the solar position is $0.425^{+0.004}_{-0.004}$ GeV cm$^{-3}$, consistent with the literature. We additionally find the $J$-factor for annihilating dark matter at a 15$^{\circ}$ view angle towards the galactic centre is $9.96^{+0.64}_{-0.57}\times10^{22}$ GeV$^{2}$ cm$^{-5}$, $\sim 8\%$ of the value found from a standard NFW profile used in the literature. Our results further demonstrate the capability of the circular velocity curve, especially in light of the recent wave of data, in constraining the Milky Way's dark matter halo.

[8] 2303.12841

Evolution of binary stars in the early evolutionary phases of ultra-faint dwarf galaxies

The dynamics of binary stars provides a unique avenue to gather insight into the study of the structure and dynamics of star clusters and galaxies. In this paper, we present the results of a set of $N$-body simulations aimed at exploring the evolution of binary stars during the early evolutionary phases of ultra-faint dwarf galaxies (UFD). In our simulations, we assume that the stellar component of the UFD is initially dynamically cold and evolves towards its final equilibrium after undergoing the violent relaxation phase. We show that the early evolutionary phases of the UFD significantly enhance the disruption of wide binaries and leave their dynamical fingerprints on the semi-major axis distribution of the surviving binaries as compared to models initially in equilibrium. An initially thermal eccentricity distribution is preserved except for the widest binaries for which it evolves towards a superthermal distribution; for a binary population with an initially uniform eccentricity distribution, memory of this initial distribution is rapidly lost for most binaries as wider binaries evolve to approach a thermal/superthermal distribution. The evolution of binaries is driven both by tidal effects due to the potential of the UFD dark matter halo and collisional effects associated to binary-binary/single star encounters. Collisional effects are particularly important within the clumpy substructure characterizing the system during its early evolution; in addition to enhancing binary ionization and evolution of the binary orbital parameters, encounters may lead to exchanges of either of the primordial binary components with one of the interacting stars.

[9] 2303.12845

Bulgeless disks, dark galaxies, inverted color gradients, and other expected phenomena at higher z. The chromatic surface brightness modulation (CMOD) effect

Since the k correction depends on the spectral energy distribution (SED) of a galaxy, any high-z galaxy with a spatially non-homogeneous SED will experience a spatially varying relative dimming or brightening in addition to the pure distance effect. The morphology of galaxies will therefore change with z. For instance, an early spiral galaxy observed in the V band would show a prominent bulge at z=0, whereas, if at z=1, the V filter probes the rest-frame near-UV where the bulge is faint and the disk relatively brighter, thus the galaxy may appear as bulgeless. For galaxies with strong nebular emission, an additional effect is that the shifting of strong nebular features in or out of filters will result in a non-monotonous color evolution with z. Hence, unlike the effects of distance, cosmological surface brightness dimming, and gravitational lensing, which are all achromatic, the fact that most galaxies have a spatially varying SED leads to a chromatic surface brightness modulation (CMOD) with z. While the CMOD effects are in principle easy to grasp, they affect the characterization of galaxies in a complex fashion. Properties such as the bulge-to-disk ratio, Sersic exponent, effective radius, radial color gradients, and stellar mass determinations from SED fitting will depend on z, the filters employed, and the rest-frame 2D SED patterns in a galaxy, and will bias results inferred on galaxy evolution across cosmic time (e.g., the evolution of the mass-size, bulge-SMBH, and Tully-Fisher relation), if these effects are not properly taken into account. In this article we quantify the CMOD effects for idealized galaxies built from spectral synthesis models and from galaxies with observed integral field spectroscopy, and we show that they are significant and should be taken into account in studies of resolved galaxy properties and their evolution with z. (abridged)

[10] 2303.12846

Tidal Peeling Events: low-eccentricity tidal disruption of a star by a stellar-mass black hole

Close encounters between stellar-mass black holes (BHs) and stars occur frequently in dense star clusters and in the disks of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Recent studies have shown that in highly eccentric close encounters, the star can be tidally disrupted by the BH (micro-tidal disruption event, or micro-TDE), resulting in rapid mass accretion and possibly bright electromagnetic signatures. Here we consider a scenario in which the star might approach the stellar-mass BH in a gradual, nearly circular inspiral, under the influence of dynamical friction on a circum-binary gas disk or three-body interactions in a star cluster. We perform hydro-dynamical simulations of this scenario using the smoothed particle hydrodynamics code PHANTOM. We find that the mass of the star is slowly stripped away by the BH. We call this gradual tidal disruption a "tidal-peeling event", or a TPE. Depending on the initial distance and eccentricity of the encounter, TPEs might exhibit significant accretion rates and orbital evolution distinct from those of a typical (eccentric) micro-TDE.

[11] 2303.12849

A Sensitive Search for Supernova Emission Associated with the Extremely Energetic and Nearby GRB 221009A

We report observations of the optical counterpart of the long gamma-ray burst (LGRB) GRB 221009A. Due to the extreme rarity of being both nearby ($z = 0.151$) and highly energetic ($E_{\gamma,\mathrm{iso}} \geq 10^{54}$ erg), GRB 221009A offers a unique opportunity to probe the connection between massive star core collapse and relativistic jet formation. Adopting a phenomenological power-law model for the afterglow and host galaxy estimates from high-resolution Hubble Space Telescope imaging, we use Bayesian model comparison techniques to determine the likelihood of an associated SN contributing excess flux to the optical light curve. Though not conclusive, we find moderate evidence ($K_{\rm{Bayes}}=10^{1.2}$) for the presence of an additional component arising from an associated supernova, SN 2022xiw, and find that it must be substantially fainter than SN 1998bw. Given the large and uncertain line-of-sight extinction, we attempt to constrain the supernova parameters ($M_{\mathrm{Ni}}$, $M_{\mathrm{ej}}$, and $E_{\mathrm{KE}}$) under several different assumptions with respect to the host galaxy's extinction. We find properties that are broadly consistent with previous GRB-associated SNe: $M_{\rm{Ni}}=0.05$ - $0.25 \rm{M_\odot}$, $M_{\rm{ej}}=3.5$ - $11.1 \rm{M_\odot}$, and $E_{\rm{KE}} = (1.6$ - $5.2) \times 10^{52} \rm{erg}$. We note that these properties are weakly constrained due to the faintness of the supernova with respect to the afterglow and host emission, but we do find a robust upper limit on the Nickel mass of $M_{\rm{Ni}}<0.36$ $\rm{M_\odot}$. Given the tremendous range in isotropic gamma-ray energy release exhibited by GRBs (7 orders of magnitude), the SN emission appears to be decoupled from the central engine in these systems.

[12] 2303.12855

Search for the evaporation of primordial black holes with H.E.S.S

Primordial Black Holes (PBHs) are hypothetical black holes predicted to have been formed from density fluctuations in the early Universe. PBHs with an initial mass around $10^{14}-10^{15}$g are expected to end their evaporation at present times in a burst of particles and very-high-energy (VHE) gamma rays. Those gamma rays may be detectable by the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.), an array of imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. This paper reports on the search for evaporation bursts of VHE gamma rays with H.E.S.S., ranging from 10 to 120 seconds, as expected from the final stage of PBH evaporation and using a total of 4816 hours of observations. The most constraining upper limit on the burst rate of local PBHs is $2000$ pc$^{-3}$ yr$^{-1}$ for a burst interval of 120 seconds, at the 95\% confidence level. The implication of these measurements for PBH dark matter are also discussed.

[13] 2303.12858

The impact of AGN-driven winds on physical and observable galaxy sizes

Without AGN feedback, simulated massive, star-forming galaxies become too compact relative to observed galaxies at z<2. In this paper, we perform high-resolution re-simulations of a massive (M*~10^11M_sol) galaxy at z~2, drawn from the FIRE project. In the simulation without AGN feedback, the galaxy experiences a rapid starburst and shrinking of its half-mass radius at z~2.3. In this paper, we experiment with driving mechanical AGN winds using a state-of-the-art hyper-Lagrangian refinement technique to increase particle resolution. These winds reduce the gas surface density in the inner regions of the galaxy, suppressing the very compact starburst and maintaining an approximately constant half-mass radius. Using radiative transfer, we study the observable impact of AGN feedback on multi-wavelength continuum emission and find notable differences in both the magnitude and spatial extent of emission between the simulations with and without winds. When AGN winds are included, the suppression of the compact, dusty starburst results in lowered flux at FIR wavelengths (due to decreased star formation) but increased flux at optical-to-near-IR wavelengths (due to decreased dust attenuation, in spite of the lowered star formation rate), relative to the case without AGN winds. The FIR half-light radius decreases from ~1kpc to ~0.1kpc in <40Myr when AGN winds are not included, but increases to ~2kpc when they are. The impact of AGN-driven winds at shorter wavelengths is less intuitive, with half-light radii of optical-NIR emission remaining approximately constant over 35Myr, for simulations with and without AGN winds. In the case without winds, this occurs despite the rapid compaction, and is due to heavy dust obscuration in the inner regions of the galaxy. This work highlights the importance of forward-modelling when comparing simulated and observed galaxy populations.

[14] 2303.12859

A test of invariance of dark matter halo surface density using multiwavelength mock galaxy catalogues

A large number of observations have shown that the dark matter halo surface density, given by the product of halo core radius and core density is nearly constant for a diverse suite of galaxies. Although this invariance of the halo surface density is violated at galaxy cluster and group scales, it is still an open question on whether the aforementioned constancy on galactic scales can be explained within $\Lambda$CDM. For this purpose, we probe the variation of halo surface density as a function of mass using multi-wavelength mock galaxy catalogs from $\Lambda$CDM simulations, where the adiabatic contraction of dark matter halos in the presence of baryons has been taken into account. We find that these baryonified $\Lambda$CDM halos were best fitted with a generalized-NFW profile, and the halo surface density from these halos has a degeneracy with respect to both the halo mass and the virial concentration. We find that the correlation with mass when averaged over concentration is consistent with a constant halo surface density. However, a power-law dependence as a function of halo mass also cannot be ruled out.

[15] 2303.12868

Gravitational waves from an eccentric population of primordial black holes orbiting Sgr A$^{\star}$

Primordial black holes (PBH), supposedly formed in the very early Universe, have been proposed as a possible viable dark matter candidate. In this work we characterize the expected gravitational wave (GW) losses from a population of PBHs orbiting Sgr A$^{\star}$, the super-massive black hole at the Galactic center, and assess the signal detectability by the planned space-borne interferometer LISA and by the proposed next generation space-borne interferometer $\mu$Ares. Assuming that PBHs indeed form the entire diffuse mass allowed to reside within the orbit of the S2 star, we compute an upper limit to the expected GW signal both from resolved and non-resolved sources, under the further assumptions of monochromatic mass function and thermally distributed eccentricities. By comparing with our previous work where PBHs on circular orbits were assumed, we show how the GW signal from high harmonics over a 10 year data stream increases by a factor of six the chances of LISA detectability, from the $\approx 10\%$ of the circular case, to $\approx 60\%$, whereas multiple sources can be identified in $20\%$ of our mock populations. The background signal, made by summing up all non resolved sources, should be detectable thanks to the PBHs with higher eccentricity evolving under two body relaxation. In the case of $\mu$Ares, because of its improved sensitivity in the $\mu$Hz band, one third of the entire population of PBHs orbiting Sgr A$^{\star}$ would be resolved. The background noise from the remaining non resolved sources should be detectable as well.

[16] 2303.12871

Redshift determination of blazars for the Cherenkov Telescope Array

Blazars are the most numerous type of observed high-energy gamma-ray emitters. However, their emission mechanisms and population properties are still not well-understood. Crucial to this understanding are their cosmological redshifts, which are often not easy to obtain. This presents a great challenge to the next-generation ground-based observatory for very-high-energy gamma rays, the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), which aims to detect a large number of distant blazars to study their intrinsic emission properties and to place tight constraints on the extragalactic background light density, amongst others. The successful investigation of these subjects needs a precise redshift determination. Motivated by these challenges, the CTA redshift task force initiated more than 3 years ago a spectroscopic observing program using some of the largest optical and infrared telescopes to measure the redshifts of a large fraction of blazars that are likely to be detected with CTA. In this proceedings, we give an overview of the CTA redshift task force, discuss some of the difficulties associated with measuring the redshifts of blazars and present our sample selection and observing strategies. We end the proceedings with reporting selected results from the program, the on-going collaborative efforts and our plans for the future.

[17] 2303.12884

Frequency analysis of the first-overtone RR Lyrae stars based on the Extended Aperture Photometry from the K2 data

Additional low-amplitude signals are observed in many RR Lyrae stars, beside the pulsations in radial modes. The most common ones are short-period signals forming a period ratio of around 0.60--0.65 with the first overtone, or long-period signals forming a period ratio of around 0.68. The RR Lyrae stars may also exhibit quasi-periodic modulation of the light curves, known as the Blazhko effect. We used the extensive sample of the first-overtone RR Lyrae stars observed by the Kepler telescope during the K2 mission to search for and characterize these low-amplitude additional signals. K2 data provides space-based photometry for a statistically significant sample. Hence this data is excellent to study in detail pulsation properties of RR Lyrae stars. We used K2 space-based photometry for RR Lyrae candidates from Campaigns 0-19. We selected RR Lyrae stars pulsating in the first overtone and performed a frequency analysis for each star to characterize their frequency contents. We classified 452 stars as first-overtone RR Lyrae. From that sample, we selected 281 RR$_{0.61}$ stars, 67 RR$_{0.68}$ stars, and 68 Blazhko stars. We found particularly interesting stars which show all of the above phenomena simultaneously. We detected signals in RR$_{0.61}$ stars that form period ratios lower than observed for the majority of stars. These signals likely form a new sequence in the Petersen diagram, around a period ratio of 0.60. In 32 stars we detected additional signals that form a period ratio close to that expected in RRd stars, but the classification of these stars as RRd is uncertain. We also report a discovery of additional signals in eight stars that form a new group in the Petersen diagram around the period ratio of 0.465-0.490. The nature of this periodicity remains unknown.

[18] 2303.12912

A long-duration gamma-ray burst of dynamical origin from the nucleus of an ancient galaxy

The majority of long duration ($>2$ s) gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are believed to arise from the collapse of massive stars \cite{Hjorth+03}, with a small proportion created from the merger of compact objects. Most of these systems are likely formed via standard stellar evolution pathways. However, it has long been thought that a fraction of GRBs may instead be an outcome of dynamical interactions in dense environments, channels which could also contribute significantly to the samples of compact object mergers detected as gravitational wave sources. Here we report the case of GRB 191019A, a long GRB (T_90 = 64.4 +/- 4.5 s) which we pinpoint close (<100 pc projected) to the nucleus of an ancient (>1~Gyr old) host galaxy at z=0.248. The lack of evidence for star formation and deep limits on any supernova emission make a massive star origin difficult to reconcile with observations, while the timescales of the emission rule out a direct interaction with the supermassive black hole in the nucleus of the galaxy, We suggest that the most likely route for progenitor formation is via dynamical interactions in the dense nucleus of the host, consistent with the centres of such galaxies exhibiting interaction rates up to two orders of magnitude larger than typical field galaxies. The burst properties could naturally be explained via compact object mergers involving white dwarfs (WD), neutron stars (NS) or black holes (BH). These may form dynamically in dense stellar clusters, or originate in a gaseous disc around the supermassive black hole. Future electromagnetic and gravitational-wave observations in tandem thus offer a route to probe the dynamical fraction and the details of dynamical interactions in galactic nuclei and other high density stellar systems.

[19] 2303.12925

A Catalogue of Exoplanet Atmospheric Retrieval Codes

Exoplanet atmospheric retrieval is a computational technique widely used to infer properties of planetary atmospheres from remote spectroscopic observations. Retrieval codes typically employ Bayesian sampling algorithms or machine learning approaches to explore the range of atmospheric properties (e.g., chemical composition, temperature structure, aerosols) compatible with an observed spectrum. However, despite the wide adoption of exoplanet retrieval techniques, there is currently no systematic summary of exoplanet retrieval codes in the literature. Here, we provide a catalogue of the atmospheric retrieval codes published to date, alongside links to their respective code repositories where available. Our catalogue will be continuously updated via a Zenodo archive.

[20] 2303.12929

Coronal X-Ray Emission from Nearby, Low-Mass, Exoplanet Host Stars Observed by the MUSCLES and Mega-MUSCLES HST Treasury Survey Projects

The high energy X-ray and ultraviolet (UV) radiation fields of exoplanet host stars play a crucial role in controlling the atmospheric conditions and the potential habitability of exoplanets. Major surveys of the X-ray/UV emissions from late-type (K and M spectral type) exoplanet hosts have been conducted by the MUSCLES and Mega-MUSCLES Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Treasury programs. These samples primarily consist of relatively old, ``inactive'', low mass stars. In this paper we present results from X-ray observations of the coronal emission from these stars obtained using the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the XMM-Newton Observatory, and the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory. The stars effectively sample the coronal activity of low-mass stars at a wide range of masses and ages. The vast majority (21 of 23) of the stars are detected and their X-ray luminosities measured. Short-term flaring variability is detected for most of the fully-convective (M $\leq$ 0.35 M$_{\odot}$) stars but not for the more massive M dwarfs during these observations. Despite this difference, the mean X-ray luminosities for these two sets of M dwarfs are similar with more massive (0.35 M$_{\odot}$ $\leq$ M $\leq$ 0.6 M$_{\odot}$) M dwarfs at $\sim$5 $\times$ 10$^{26}$ erg s$^{-1}$ compared to $\sim$2 $\times$ 10$^{26}$ erg s$^{-1}$ for fully-convective stars older than 1 Gyr. Younger, fully-convective M dwarfs have X-ray luminosities between 3 and 6 $\times$ 10$^{27}$ erg s$^{-1}$.The coronal X-ray spectra have been characterized and provide important information that is vital for the modeling of the stellar EUV spectra.

[21] 2303.12935

GRB 191019A: a short gamma-ray burst in disguise from the disk of an active galactic nucleus

Long and short gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), canonically separated at around 2 seconds duration, are associated with different progenitors: the collapse of a massive star and the merger of two compact objects, respectively. GRB 191019A was a long GRB ($T_{90}\sim64$ s). Despite the relatively small redshift z=0.248 and HST followup observations, an accompanying supernova was not detected. In addition, the host galaxy did not have significant star formation activity. Here we propose that GRB 191019A was produced by a binary compact merger, whose prompt emission was stretched in time by the interaction with a dense external medium. This would be expected if the burst progenitor was located in the disk of an active galactic nucleus, as supported by the burst localization close to the center of its host galaxy. We show that the light curve of GRB 191019A can be well modeled by a burst of intrinsic duration t=1.1 s and of energy $E_{\rm{iso}}=10^{51}$ erg seen moderately off-axis, exploding in a medium of density $10^7-10^8$ cm$^{-3}$. The double-peaked light curve carries the telltale features predicted for GRBs in high-density media, where the first peak is produced by the photosphere, and the second by the overlap of reverse shocks that take place before the internal shocks could happen. This would make GRB 191019A the first confirmed stellar explosion from within an accretion disk, with important implications for the formation and evolution of stars in accretion flows and for gravitational waves source populations.

[22] 2303.12972

Seeing-limited Coupling of Starlight into Single-mode Fiber with a Small Telescope

An optical fiber link to a telescope provides many advantages for spectrometers designed to detect and characterize extrasolar planets through precise radial velocity (PRV) measurements. In the seeing-limited regime, a multi-mode fiber is typically used so that a significant amount of starlight may be captured. In the near-diffraction-limited case, either with an adaptive optics system or with a small telescope at an excellent site, efficiently coupling starlight into a much smaller, single-mode fiber may be possible. In general, a spectrometer designed for single-mode fiber input will be substantially less costly than one designed for multi-mode fiber input. We describe the results of tests coupling starlight from a 70 cm telescope at Mt. Hopkins, Arizona into the single-mode fiber of the MINERVA-Red spectrometer at a wavelength of ~850 nm using a low-speed tip/tilt image stabilization system comprising all commercial, off-the-shelf components. We find that approximately 0.5% of the available starlight is coupled into the single-mode fiber under seeing conditions typical for observatories hosting small telescopes, which is close to the theoretical expectation. We discuss scientific opportunities for small telescopes paired with inexpensive, high-resolution spectrometers, as well as upgrade paths that should significantly increase the coupling efficiency for the MINERVA-Red system.

[23] 2303.12991

Implications for the Formation of 2005 UD from a New Convex Shape Model

(155140) 2005 UD has a similar orbit to (3200) Phaethon, an active asteroid in a highly eccentric orbit thought to be the source of the Geminid meteor shower. Evidence points to a genetic relationship between these two objects, but we have yet to fully understand how 2005 UD and Phaethon could have separated into this associated pair. Presented herein are new observations of 2005 UD from five observatories that were carried out during the 2018, 2019, and 2021 apparitions. We implemented light curve inversion using our new data, as well as dense and sparse archival data from epochs in 2005--2021 to better constrain the rotational period and derive a convex shape model of 2005 UD. We discuss two equally well-fitting pole solutions ($\lambda = 116.6^{\circ}$, $\beta = -53.6^{\circ}$) and ($\lambda = 300.3^{\circ}$, $\beta = -55.4^{\circ}$), the former largely in agreement with previous thermophysical analyses and the latter interesting due to its proximity to Phaethon's pole orientation. We also present a refined sidereal period of $P_{\text{sid}} = 5.234246 \pm 0.000097$ hr. A search for surface color heterogeneity showed no significant rotational variation. An activity search using the deepest stacked image available of 2005 UD near aphelion did not reveal a coma or tail but allowed modeling of an upper limit of 0.04 to 0.37~kg s$^{-1}$ for dust production. We then leveraged our spin solutions to help limit the range of formation scenarios and the link to Phaethon in the context of nongravitational forces and timescales associated with the physical evolution of the system.

[24] 2303.13025

High-Energy Neutrino Fluxes from Hard-TeV BL Lacs

Blazars have been pointed out as promising high-energy (HE) neutrinos sources, although the mechanism is still under debate. The blazars with a hard-TeV spectrum, which leptonic models can hardly explain, can be successfully interpreted in the hadronic scenarios. Recently, Aguilar et al. proposed a lepto-hadronic two-zone model to explain the multi-wavelength observations of the six best-known extreme BL Lacs and showed that the hadronic component could mainly interpret very-high-energy (VHE) emission. In this work, we apply this hadronic model to describe the VHE gamma-ray fluxes of 14 extreme BL Lacs and estimate the respective HE neutrino flux from charge-pion decay products. Finally, we compare our result with the diffuse flux observed by the IceCube telescope, showing that the neutrino fluxes from these objects are negligible.

[25] 2303.13042

Space Astronomy at TIFR: From Balloons to Satellites

Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) has a very long tradition of conducting space astronomy experiments. Within a few years of the discovery of the first non-solar X-ray source in 1962, TIFR leveraged its expertise in balloon technology to make significant contributions to balloon-borne hard X-ray astronomy. This initial enthusiasm led to extremely divergent all-round efforts in space astronomy: balloon-borne X-ray and infrared experiments, rocket and satellite-based X-ray experiments and a host of other new initiatives. In the early eighties, however, TIFR could not keep up with the torrent of results coming from the highly sophisticated satellite experiments from around the world but kept the flag flying by continuing research in a few low-key experiments. These efforts culminated in the landmark project, AstroSat, the first multi-wavelength observatory from India, with TIFR playing a pivotal role in it. In this article, I will present a highly personalised and anecdotal sketch of these exciting developments.

[26] 2303.13056

Predicting the Initial Conditions of the Universe using Deep Learning

Finding the initial conditions that led to the current state of the universe is challenging because it involves searching over a vast input space of initial conditions, along with modeling their evolution via tools such as N-body simulations which are computationally expensive. Deep learning has emerged as an alternate modeling tool that can learn the mapping between the linear input of an N-body simulation and the final nonlinear displacements at redshift zero, which can significantly accelerate the forward modeling. However, this does not help reduce the search space for initial conditions. In this paper, we demonstrate for the first time that a deep learning model can be trained for the reverse mapping. We train a V-Net based convolutional neural network, which outputs the linear displacement of an N-body system, given the current time nonlinear displacement and the cosmological parameters of the system. We demonstrate that this neural network accurately recovers the initial linear displacement field over a wide range of scales ($<1$-$2\%$ error up to nearly $k = 1\ \mathrm{Mpc}^{-1}\,h$), despite the ill-defined nature of the inverse problem at smaller scales. Specifically, smaller scales are dominated by nonlinear effects which makes the backward dynamics much more susceptible to numerical and computational errors leading to highly divergent backward trajectories and a one-to-many backward mapping. The results of our method motivate that neural network based models can act as good approximators of the initial linear states and their predictions can serve as good starting points for sampling-based methods to infer the initial states of the universe.

[27] 2303.13058

Evolution of rotating massive stars with new hydrodynamic wind models

Mass loss due to line-driven winds is central to our understanding of the evolution of massive stars. We extend the evolution models introduced in Paper I, where the mass loss recipe is based on the simultaneous calculation of the wind hydrodynamics and the line-acceleration, by incorporating the effects of stellar rotation. We introduce a grid of self-consistent line-force parameters for a set of standard evolutionary tracks. With that, we generate a new set of evolutionary tracks with rotation for $M_\text{ZAMS}=25,40,70,$ and $120\,M_\odot$, and metallicities $Z=0.014$ and $0.006$. The self-consistent approach gives lower mass loss rates than the standard values adopted in previous evolution models. This decrease impacts strongly on the tracks of the most massive models. Weaker winds allow the star to retain more mass, but also more angular momentum. As a consequence, weaker wind models rotate faster and show a less efficient mixing in their inner stellar structure. The new tracks predict an evolution of the rotational velocities through the MS in close agreement with the range of $\varv\sin i$ values found by recent surveys of Galactic O-type stars. As subsequent implications, the weaker winds from self-consistent models suggest a reduction of the contribution of the isotope $^{26}$Al to the ISM due to stellar winds of massive stars during the MS phase. Moreover, the higher luminosities found for the self-consistent evolutionary models suggest that some populations of massive stars might be less massive than previously thought, as in the case of Ofpe stars at the Galactic Centre. Therefore, this study opens a wide range of consequences for further research based on the evolution of massive stars.

[28] 2303.13085

AstroSat and NuSTAR observations of XTE J1739-285 during the 2019-2020 outburst

We report results from a study of XTE J1739-285, a transient neutron star low mass X-ray binary observed with AstroSat and NuSTAR during its 2019-2020 outburst. We detected accretion-powered X-ray pulsations at 386 Hz during very short intervals (0.5--1 s) of X-ray flares. These flares were observed during the 2019 observation of XTE J1739-285. During this observation, we also observed a correlation between intensity and hardness ratios, suggesting an increase in hardness with the increase in intensity. Moreover, a thermonuclear X-ray burst detected in our AstroSat observation during the 2020 outburst revealed the presence of coherent burst oscillations at 383 Hz during its decay phase. The frequency drift of 3 Hz during X-ray burst can be explained with r modes. Thus, making XTE J1739-285 belong to a subset of NS-LMXBs which exhibit both nuclear- and accretion-powered pulsations. The power density spectrum created using the AstroSat-LAXPC observations in 2020 showed the presence of a quasi-periodic oscillation at ~ 0.83 Hz. Our X-ray spectroscopy revealed significant changes in the spectra during the 2019 and 2020 outburst. We found a broad iron line emission feature in the X-ray spectrum during the 2020 observation, while this feature was relatively narrow and has a lower equivalent width in 2019,~when the source was accreting at higher rates than 2020.

[29] 2303.13150

Modeling of thermal and non-thermal radio emission from HH80-81 jet

Protostellar jets are one of the primary signposts of star formation. A handful of protostellar objects exhibit radio emission from ionized jets, of which a few display negative spectral indices, indicating the presence of synchrotron emission. In this study, we characterize the radio spectra of HH80-81 jet with the help of a numerical model that we have developed earlier, which takes into account both thermal free-free and non-thermal synchrotron emission mechanisms. For modeling the HH80-81 jet, we consider jet emission towards the central region close to the driving source along with two Herbig-Haro objects, HH80 and HH81. We have obtained the best-fit parameters for each of these sources by fitting the model to radio observational data corresponding to two frequency windows taken across two epochs. Considering an electron number density in the range $10^3 - 10^5$ cm$^{-3}$, we obtained the thickness of the jet edges and fraction of relativistic electrons that contribute to non-thermal emission in the range $0.01^{\circ} - 0.1^{\circ}$ and $10^{-7} - 10^{-4}$, respectively. For the best-fit parameter sets, the model spectral indices lie in the range of -0.15 to +0.11 within the observed frequency windows.

[30] 2303.13152

LOFAR Deep Fields: Probing faint Galactic polarised emission in ELAIS-N1

We present the first deep polarimetric study of Galactic synchrotron emission at low radio frequencies. Our study is based on 21 observations of the European Large Area Infrared Space Observatory Survey-North 1 (ELAIS-N1) field using the Low-Frequency Array (LOFAR) at frequencies from 114.9 to 177.4 MHz. These data are a part of the LOFAR Two-metre Sky Survey Deep Fields Data Release 1. We used very low-resolution ($4.3'$) Stokes QU data cubes of this release. We applied rotation measure (RM) synthesis to decompose the distribution of polarised structures in Faraday depth, and cross-correlation RM synthesis to align different observations in Faraday depth. We stacked images of about 150 hours of the ELAIS-N1 observations to produce the deepest Faraday cube at low radio frequencies to date, tailored to studies of Galactic synchrotron emission and the intervening magneto-ionic interstellar medium. This Faraday cube covers $\sim36~{\rm deg^{2}}$ of the sky and has a noise of $27~{\rm \mu Jy~PSF^{-1}~RMSF^{-1}}$ in polarised intensity. This is an improvement in noise by a factor of approximately the square root of the number of stacked data cubes ($\sim\sqrt{20}$), as expected, compared to the one in a single data cube based on five-to-eight-hour observations. We detect a faint component of diffuse polarised emission in the stacked cube, which was not detected previously. Additionally, we verify the reliability of the ionospheric Faraday rotation corrections estimated from the satellite-based total electron content measurements to be of $~\sim0.05~{\rm rad~m^{-2}}$. We also demonstrate that diffuse polarised emission itself can be used to account for the relative ionospheric Faraday rotation corrections with respect to a reference observation.

[31] 2303.13155

On orbit performance of the solar flare trigger for the Hinode EUV Imaging Spectrometer

We assess the on-orbit performance of the flare event trigger for the Hinode EUV Imaging Spectrometer. Our goal is to understand the time-delay between the occurrence of a flare, as defined by a prompt rise in soft X-ray emission, and the initiation of the response observing study. Wide (266$''$) slit patrol images in the He II 256.32A spectral line are used for flare hunting, and a reponse is triggered when a pre-defined intensity threshold is reached. We use a sample of 13 $>$ M-class flares that succesfully triggered a response, and compare the timings with soft X-ray data from GOES, and hard X-ray data from RHESSI and Fermi. Excluding complex events that are difficult to interpret, the mean on orbit response time for our sample is 2 min 10 s, with an uncertainty of 84 s. These results may be useful for planning autonomous operations for future missions, and give some guidance as to how improvements could be made to capture the important impulsive phase of flares.

[32] 2303.13161

Diffuse solar coronal features and their spicular footpoints

In addition to a component of the emission that originates from clearly distinguishable coronal loops, the solar corona also exhibits extreme-ultraviolet (EUV) and X-ray ambient emission that is rather diffuse and is often considered undesirable background. Importantly, unlike the generally more structured transition region and chromosphere, the diffuse corona appears to be rather featureless. The magnetic nature of the diffuse corona, and in particular, its footpoints in the lower atmosphere, are not well understood. We study the origin of the diffuse corona above the quiet-Sun network on supergranular scales. We identified regions of diffuse EUV emission in the coronal images from the SDO/AIA. To investigate their connection to the lower atmosphere, we combined these SDO/AIA data with the transition region spectroscopic data from the IRIS and with the underlying surface magnetic field information from the SDO/HMI. The region of the diffuse emission is of supergranular size and persists for more than five hours, during which it shows no obvious substructure. It is associated with plasma at about 1 MK that is located within and above a magnetic canopy. The canopy is formed by unipolar magnetic footpoints that show highly structured spicule-like emission in the overlying transition region. Our results suggest that the diffuse EUV emission patch forms at the base of long-ranging loops, and it overlies spicular structures in the transition region. Heated material might be supplied to it by means of spicular upflows, conduction-driven upflows from coronal heating events, or perhaps by flows originating from the farther footpoint. Therefore, the question remains open how the diffuse EUV patch might be sustained. Nevertheless, our study indicates that heated plasma trapped by long-ranging magnetic loops might substantially contribute to the featureless ambient coronal emission.

[33] 2303.13172

JOYS: JWST Observations of Young protoStars: Outflows and accretion in the high-mass star-forming region IRAS23385+605

Aims: The JWST program JOYS (JWST Observations of Young protoStars) aims at characterizing the physical and chemical properties of young high- and low-mass star-forming regions, in particular the unique mid-infrared diagnostics of the warmer gas and solid-state components. We present early results from the high-mass star formation region IRAS23385+6053. Methods: The JOYS program uses the MIRI MRS with its IFU to investigate a sample of high- and low-mass star-forming protostellar systems. Results: The 5 to 28mum MIRI spectrum of IRAS23385+6053 shows a plethora of features. While the general spectrum is typical for an embedded protostar, we see many atomic and molecular gas lines boosted by the higher spectral resolution and sensitivity compared to previous space missions. Furthermore, ice and dust absorption features are also present. Here, we focus on the continuum emission, outflow tracers like the H2, [FeII] and [NeII] lines as well as the potential accretion tracer Humphreys alpha HI(7--6). The short-wavelength MIRI data resolve two continuum sources A and B, where mid-infrared source A is associated with the main mm continuum peak. The combination of mid-infrared and mm data reveals a young cluster in its making. Combining the mid-infrared outflow tracer H2, [FeII] and [NeII] with mm SiO data shows a complex interplay of at least three molecular outflows driven by protostars in the forming cluster. Furthermore, the Humphreys alpha line is detected at a 3-4sigma level towards the mid-infrared sources A and B. Following Rigliaco et al. (2015), one can roughly estimate accretion luminosities and corresponding accretion rates between ~2.6x10^-6 and ~0.9x10^-4 M_sun/yr. This is discussed in the context of the observed outflow rates. Conclusions: The analysis of the MIRI MRS observations for this young high-mass star-forming region reveals connected outflow and accretion signatures.

[34] 2303.13180

Prospective Dark Matter Annihilation Signals From the Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal

The Sagittarius Dwarf Spheroidal galaxy (Sgr) is investigated as a target for DM annihilation searches utilizing J-factor distributions calculated directly from a high-resolution hydrodynamic simulation of the infall and tidal disruption of Sgr around the Milky Way. In contrast to past studies, the simulation incorporates DM, stellar and gaseous components for both the Milky Way and the Sgr progenitor galaxy. The simulated distributions account for significant tidal disruption affecting the DM density profile. Our estimate of the J-factor value for Sgr, $J_{\text{Sgr}}=1.48\times 10^{10}\ \text{M}^2_\odot\ \text{kpc}^{-5}$ ($6.46\times10^{16}\ \text{GeV}\ \text{cm}^{-5}$), is significantly lower than found in prior studies. This value, while formally a lower limit, is likely close to the true J-factor value for Sgr. It implies a DM cross-section incompatibly large in comparison with existing constraints would be required to attribute recently observed $\gamma$-ray emission from Sgr (Crocker, Macias et al. 2022; arXiv:2204.12054) to DM annihilation. We also calculate a J-factor value using an NFW profile fitted to the simulated DM density distribution to facilitate comparison with past studies. This NFW J-factor value supports the conclusion that most past studies have overestimated the dark matter density of Sgr on small scales. This, together with the fact that the Sgr has recently been shown to emit $\gamma$-rays of astrophysical origin, complicate the use of Sgr in indirect DM detection searches.

[35] 2303.13184

Effects of accretion on the Structure and Rotation of Forming Stars

Rotation period measurements of low-mass stars show that the spin distributions in young clusters do not exhibit the spin-up expected due to contraction, during the phase when a large fraction of stars are still surrounded by accretion discs. During this stage, the stars accrete mass and angular momentum and may experience accretion enhanced-magnetised winds. At the same time, the accretion of mass and energy has a significant impact on the evolution of stellar structure and moment of inertia. We compute evolution models of accreting very young stars and determine, in a self-consistent way, the effect of accretion on stellar structure and the angular momentum exchanges between the stars and their disc. We then vary the deuterium content, the accretion history, the entropy content of the accreted material, and the magnetic field as well as the efficiency of the accretion-enhanced winds. It comes that the models are driven alternatively both by the evolution of the momentum of inertia, and by the star-disc interaction torques. Of all the parameters we tested, the magnetic field strength, the accretion history and the Deuterium content have the largest impact. The injection of heat only plays a major role early in the evolution. This work demonstrates the importance of the moment of inertia's evolution under the influence of accretion to explain the constant rotation rates distributions that are observed over the star-disc interactions. When accounting for rotation, the models computed with an up-to-date torque along with a consistent structural evolution of the accreting star are able to explain the almost constant spin evolution for the whole range of parameter we investigated, albeit only reproducing a narrow range around the median of the observed spin rate distributions.

[36] 2303.13197

Stochastic Recurrent Neural Networks for Modelling Astronomical Time Series: Advantages and Limitations

This paper reviews the Stochastic Recurrent Neural Network (SRNN) as applied to the light curves of Active Galactic Nuclei by Sheng et al. (2022). Astronomical data have inherent limitations arising from telescope capabilities, cadence strategies, inevitable observing weather conditions, and current understanding of celestial objects. When applying machine learning methods, it is vital to understand the effects of data limitations on our analysis and ability to make inferences. We take Sheng et al. (2022) as a case study, and illustrate the problems and limitations encountered in implementing the SRNN for simulating AGN variability as seen by the Rubin Observatory.

[37] 2303.13202

Tentative detection of titanium oxide in the atmosphere of WASP-69 b with a 4m ground-based telescope

Transiting planets provide unique opportunities for the atmospheric characterization of exoplanets as they can reveal composition and the temperature structures at the day-night terminator regions in planetary atmospheres, and help understand the atmospheric process and formation environments of exoplanets. Here, we present the optical transmission spectroscopic study of an inflated Saturn-mass planet WASP-69 b, obtained by the 4-meter ground-based telescope Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope (SOAR). We obtain spectroscopic transit light curves in 20 passbands from 502 to 890 nm, and fit them using Gaussian Processes and an analytical transit model to obtain independent transit depths for each. The derived transmission spectrum of WASP-69 b shows a slope with absorption depth increasing towards blue wavelengths, indicating a Rayleigh scattering in the atmosphere consistent with previous works. The retrieval analysis yields a tentative detection of TiO absorption feature in the transmission spectrum. We present the first results from the SOAR telescope to characterize exoplanetary atmospheres proving its capability and precision for hot Jupiters around bright stars in an area dominated by results from large ground-based telescopes or space telescopes.

[38] 2303.13205

A spectacular jet from the bright 244-440 Orion proplyd: the MUSE NFM view

In this work we present the highest spatial and spectral resolution integral field observations to date of the bipolar jet from the Orion proplyd 244-440 using MUSE NFM) observations on the VLT. We observed a previously unreported chain of six distinct knots in a roughly S-shaped pattern, and by comparing them with HST images we estimated proper motions in the redshifted knots of 9.5 mas yr$^{-1}$ with an inclination angle of $73^{\circ}$, though these quantities could not be measured for the blueshifted lobe. Analysis of the [FeII] and [NiII] lines suggests jet densities on the order of $\sim 10^5$ cm$^{-3}$. We propose that the observed S-shaped morphology originates from a jet launched by a smaller source with $M_\star < 0.2$ M$_{\odot}$ in orbital motion around a larger companion of $M_\star \simeq 0.5$ M$_{\odot}$ at a separation of 30-40 au. The measured luminosities of the knots using the [OI]$\lambda6300$ and [SII]$\lambda6731$ lines were used to estimate a lower limit to the mass-loss rate in the jet of $1.3 \times 10^{-11}$ M$_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$ and an upper limit of $10^{-9}$ M$_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$, which is typical for low-mass driving sources. While the brightness asymmetry between the redshifted and blueshifted lobes is consistent with external irradiation, further analysis of the [NiII] and [FeII] lines suggests that photoionization of the jet is not likely to be a dominant factor, and that the emission is dominated by collisional excitation. The dynamical age of the jet compared to the anticipated survival time of the proplyd demonstrates that photoevaporation of the proplyd occurred prior to jet launching, and that this is still an active source. These two points suggest that the envelope of the proplyd may shield the jet from the majority of external radiation, and that photoionization of the proplyd does not appear to impact the ability of a star to launch a jet.

[39] 2303.13229

Black Holes Up Close

Recent developments have ushered in a new era in the field of black hole astrophysics, providing our first direct view of the remarkable environment near black hole event horizons. These observations have enabled astronomers to confirm long-standing ideas on the physics of gas flowing into black holes with temperatures that are hundreds of times greater than at the center of the Sun. At the same time, the observations have conclusively shown that light rays near a black hole experience large deflections which cause a dark shadow in the center of the image, an effect predicted by Einstein's theory of General Relativity. With further investment, this field is poised to deliver decades of advances in our understanding of gravity and black holes through new and stringent tests of General Relativity, as well as new insights into the role of black holes as the central engines powering a wide range of astronomical phenomena.

[40] 2303.13238

Three-dimensional, Time-dependent MHD Simulation of Disk-Magnetosphere-Stellar Wind Interaction in a T Tauri, Protoplanetary System

We present a three-dimensional, time-dependent, MHD simulation of the short-term interaction between a protoplanetary disk and the stellar corona in a T Tauri system. The simulation includes the stellar magnetic field, self-consistent coronal heating and stellar wind acceleration, and a disk rotating at sub-Keplerian velocity to induce accretion. We find that initially, as the system relaxes from the assumed initial conditions, the inner part of the disk winds around and moves inward and close to the star as expected. However, the self-consistent coronal heating and stellar wind acceleration build up the original state after some time, significantly pushing the disk out beyond $10R_\star$. After this initial relaxation period, we do not find clear evidence of a strong, steady accretion flow funneled along coronal field lines, but only weak, sporadic accretion. We produce synthetic coronal X-ray line emission light curves which show flare-like increases that are not correlated with accretion events nor with heating events. These variations in the line emission flux are the result of compression and expansion due to disk-corona pressure variations. Vertical disk evaporation evolves above and below the disk. However, the disk - stellar wind boundary stays quite stable, and any disk material that reaches the stellar wind region is advected out by the stellar wind.

[41] 2303.13250

Metal content of relativistically jetted and radio-quiet quasars in the main sequence context

Optical and UV properties of radio-quiet (RQ) and radio-loud (RL, relativistically "jetted") active galactic nuclei (AGN) are known to differ markedly; however, it is still unclear what is due to a sample selection and what is associated with intrinsic differences in the inner workings of their emitting regions. Chemical composition is an important parameter related to the trends of the quasar main sequence. Recent works suggest that in addition to physical properties such as density, column density, and ionization level, strong FeII emitters require very high metal content. Little is known, however, about the chemical composition of jetted radio-loud sources. In this short note, we present a pilot analysis of the chemical composition of low-z radio-loud and radio-quiet quasars. Optical and UV spectra from ground and space were combined to allow for precise measurements of metallicity-sensitive diagnostic ratios. The comparison between radio-quiet and radio-loud was carried out for sources in the same domain of the Eigenvector 1 / main sequence parameter space. Arrays of dedicated photoionization simulations with the input of appropriate spectral energy distributions indicate that metallicity is sub-solar for RL AGN, and slightly sub-solar or around solar for RQ AGN. The metal content of the broad line emitting region likely reflects a similar enrichment story for both classes of AGN not involving recent circum-nuclear or nuclear starbursts.

[42] 2303.13265

Temporal Intensity Interferometry at a 0.5 m Telescope

Intensity interferometry correlates light intensities rather than amplitudes of individual telescopes to recover the source geometry. While intensity correlations can alleviate the technical challenges of amplitude interferometry, and thus enable the realization of larger baselines and therefore higher resolution in astronomical imaging, this comes at the cost of greatly reduced sensitivity. We report the observation of photon bunching in the light of $\alpha$ Lyrae (Vega), measured with a telescope of merely 0.5m in diameter (Planewave CDK 20). The entire measurement setup, including collimation, optical filtering, and detection, was attached directly to the telescope without the use of optical fibers, facilitated by the large area of our single photon detectors. After a total exposure time of 32.4h over the course of six nights, a correlation signal with a contrast of $(9.5 \pm 2.7) \cdot 10^{-3}$ and a coherence time $0.34 \pm 0.12$ps was recovered, fitting well to preceding laboratory tests as well as expectations calculated from the optical and electronic characteristics of our measurement setup.

[43] 2303.13268

Modulation of cosmic ray anti-protons in the heliosphere: simulations for a solar cycle

The precision measurements of galactic cosmic ray protons from PAMELA and AMS are reproduced using a well-established 3D numerical model for the period July 2006 - November 2019. The resulting modulation parameters are applied to simulate the modulation for cosmic antiprotons over the same period, which includes times of minimum modulation before and after 2009, maximum modulation from 2012 to 2015 including the reversal of the Sun's magnetic field polarity, and the approach to new minimum modulation in 2020. Apart from their local interstellar spectra, the modulation of protons and antiprotons differ only in their charge-sign and consequent drift pattern. The lowest proton flux was in February-March 2014, but the lowest simulated antiproton flux is found to be in March-April 2015. These simulated fluxes are used to predict the proton to anti-proton ratios as a function of rigidity. The trends in these ratios contribute to clarify to a large extent the phenomenon of charge-sign dependence of heliospheric modulation during vastly different phases of the solar activity cycle. This is reiterated and emphasized by displaying so-called hysteresis loops. It is also illustrated how the values of the parallel and perpendicular mean free paths, as well as the drift scale, vary with rigidity over this extensive period. The drift scale is found to be at its lowest level during the polarity reversal period, while the lowest level of the mean free paths are found to be in March-April 2015.

[44] 2303.13313

How to detect lensing rotation

Gravitational lensing rotation of images is predicted to be negligible at linear order in density perturbations, but can be produced by the post-Born lens-lens coupling at second order. This rotation is somewhat enhanced for Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) lensing due to the large source path length, but remains small and very challenging to detect directly by CMB lensing reconstruction alone. We show the rotation may be detectable at high significance as a cross-correlation signal between the curl reconstructed with Simons Observatory (SO) or CMB-S4 data, and a template constructed from quadratic combinations of large-scale structure (LSS) tracers. Equivalently, the lensing rotation-tracer-tracer bispectrum can also be detected, where LSS tracers considered include the CMB lensing convergence, galaxy density, and the Cosmic Infrared Background (CIB), or optimal combinations thereof. We forecast that an optimal combination of these tracers can probe post-Born rotation at the level of $5.7\sigma$-$6.1\sigma$ with SO and $13.6\sigma$-$14.7\sigma$ for CMB-S4, depending on whether standard quadratic estimators or maximum a posteriori iterative methods are deployed. We also show possible improvement up to $21.3\sigma$ using a CMB-S4 deep patch observation with polarization-only iterative lensing reconstruction. However, these cross-correlation signals have non-zero bias because the rotation template is quadratic in the tracers, and exists even if the lensing is rotation free. We estimate this bias analytically, and test it using simple null-hypothesis simulations to confirm that the bias remains subdominant to the rotation signal of interest. Detection and then measurement of the lensing rotation cross-spectrum is therefore a realistic target for future observations.

[45] 2303.13321

An extreme test case for planet formation: a close-in Neptune orbiting an ultracool star

In current theories of planet formation, close-orbiting planets as massive as Neptune are expected to be very rare around low-mass stars. We report the discovery of a Neptune-mass planet orbiting the `ultracool' star LHS 3154, which is nine times less massive than the Sun. The planet's orbital period is 3.7 days and its minimum mass is 13.2 Earth masses, giving it the largest known planet-to-star mass ratio among short-period planets ($<$\,100 days) orbiting ultracool stars. Both the core accretion and gravitational instability theories for planet formation struggle to account for this system. In the core-accretion scenario, in particular, the dust mass of the protoplanetary disk would need to be an order of magnitude higher than typically seen in protoplanetary disk observations of ultracool stars.

[46] 2303.13338

A helium-burning white dwarf binary as a supersoft X-ray source

Type Ia supernovae are cosmic distance indicators, and the main source of iron in the Universe, but their formation paths are still debated. Several dozen supersoft X-ray sources, in which a white dwarf accretes hydrogen-rich matter from a non-degenerate donor star, have been observed and suggested as Type Ia supernovae progenitors. However, observational evidence for hydrogen, which is expected to be stripped off the donor star during the supernova explosion, is lacking. Helium-accreting white dwarfs, which would circumvent this problem, have been predicted for more than 30 years, also including their appearance as supersoft X-ray sources, but have so far escaped detection. Here we report a supersoft X-ray source with an accretion disk whose optical spectrum is completely dominated by helium, suggesting that the donor star is hydrogen-free. We interpret the luminous and supersoft X-rays as due to helium burning near the surface of the accreting white dwarf. The properties of our system provides evidence for extended pathways towards Chandrasekhar mass explosions based on helium accretion, in particular for stable burning in white dwarfs at lower accretion rates than expected so far. This may allow to recover the population of the sub-energetic so-called Type Iax supernovae, up to 30% of all Type Ia supernovae, within this scenario.

[47] 2303.13339

On the origin of extreme trans-Neptunian objects within Modified Newtonian Dynamics

In this work, we investigate the dynamical origin of extreme trans-Neptunian objects (ETNOs) under the action of the External Field Effect (EFE), which is a consequence of Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) applied to gravity around the Sun embedded in the gravitational field of the Galaxy. We perform N-body integrations of known ETNOs treated as massless particles and perturbed by four giant planets and EFE. Backward integrations show that these objects originated in the giant planet region, from where they were scattered and then evolved to their current orbits. A striking example of such evolution is Sedna, which may have been temporarily in a horseshoe orbit with Jupiter and Saturn only $30$~Myr ago. Another interesting example is the newly discovered retrograde ETNOs, whose dynamical connection with prograde ETNOs and Centaurs is shown. The EFE is considered as an alternative to Planet Nine in explaining the anomalous distribution of ETNO orbits, namely the orbital plane clustering and apsidal confinement. We also analyse the effect of MOND on the obliquity of the solar spin with respect to the invariant plane of the solar system. Finally, we discuss the significance of trans-Neptunian solar system in the context of the dark matter hypothesis.

[48] 2303.13424

Improving the open cluster census. II. An all-sky cluster catalogue with Gaia DR3

Data from the Gaia satellite are revolutionising our understanding of the Milky Way. With every new data release, there is a need to update the census of open clusters. We aim to conduct a blind, all-sky search for open clusters using 729 million sources from Gaia DR3 down to magnitude $G\sim20$, creating a homogeneous catalogue of clusters including many new objects. We used the Hierarchical Density-Based Spatial Clustering of Applications with Noise (HDBSCAN) algorithm to recover clusters. We validated our clusters using a statistical density test and a Bayesian convolutional neural network for colour-magnitude diagram classification. We inferred basic astrometric parameters, ages, extinctions, and distances for the clusters in the catalogue. We recovered 7200 clusters, 2420 of which are candidate new objects and 4780 of which crossmatch to objects in the literature, including 134 globular clusters. A more stringent cut of our catalogue contains 4114 highly reliable clusters, 749 of which are new. Owing to the scope of our methodology, we are able to tentatively suggest that many of the clusters we are unable to detect may not be real, including 1152 clusters from the Milky Way Star Cluster (MWSC) catalogue that should have been detectable in Gaia data. Our cluster membership lists include many new members and often include tidal tails. Our catalogue's distribution traces the galactic warp, the spiral arm structure, and the dust distribution of the Milky Way. While much of the content of our catalogue contains bound open and globular clusters, as many as a few thousand of our clusters are more compatible with unbound moving groups, which we will classify in an upcoming work. We have conducted the largest search for open clusters to date, producing a single homogeneous star cluster catalogue which we make available with this paper.

[49] 2303.13425

A flashing beacon in axion inflation: recurring bursts of gravitational waves in the strong backreaction regime

The coupling between a pseudo-scalar inflaton and a gauge field leads to an amount of additional density perturbations and gravitational waves (GWs) that is strongly sensitive to the inflaton speed. This naturally results in enhanced GWs at (relatively) small scales that exited the horizon well after the CMB ones, and that can be probed by a variety of GW observatories (from pulsar timing arrays, to astrometry, to space-borne and ground-based interferometers). This production occurs in a regime in which the gauge field significantly backreacts on the inflaton motion. Contrary to earlier assumptions, it has been recently shown that this regime is characterized by an oscillatory behavior of the inflaton speed, with a period of~${\rm O } \left( 5 \right)$ e-folds. Bursts of GWs are produced at the maxima of the speed, imprinting nearly periodic bumps in the frequency-dependent spectrum of GWs produced during inflation. This can potentially generate correlated peaks appearing in the same or in different GWs experiments.

[50] 2303.13445

Synchronous rotation in the (136199) Eris-Dysnomia system

We combine photometry of Eris from a 6-month campaign on the Palomar 60-inch telescope in 2015, a 1-month Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 campaign in 2018, and Dark Energy Survey data spanning 2013--2018 to determine a light curve of definitive period $15.771\pm 0.008$~days (1-$\sigma$ formal uncertainties), with nearly sinusoidal shape and peak-to-peak flux variation of 3\%. This is consistent at part-per-thousand precision with the $P=15.78590\pm0.00005$~day period of Dysnomia's orbit around Eris, strengthening the recent detection of synchronous rotation of Eris by Szakats et al (2022) with independent data. Photometry from Gaia is consistent with the same light curve. We detect a slope of $0.05\pm0.01$~mag per degree of Eris' brightness with respect to illumination phase, intermediate between Pluto's and Charon's values. Variations of $0.3$~mag are detected in Dysnomia's brightness, plausibly consistent with a double-peaked light curve at the synchronous period. The synchronous rotation of Eris is consistent with simple tidal models initiated with a giant-impact origin of the binary, but is difficult to reconcile with gravitational capture of Dysnomia by Eris.

[51] 2303.13469

JWST MIRI flight performance: The Medium-Resolution Spectrometer

The Medium-Resolution Spectrometer (MRS) provides one of the four operating modes of the Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on board the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The MRS is an integral field spectrometer, measuring the spatial and spectral distributions of light across the 5-28 $\mu m$ wavelength range with a spectral resolving power between 3700-1300. We present the MRS' optical, spectral, and spectro-photometric performance, as achieved in flight, and report on the effects that limit the instrument's ultimate sensitivity. The MRS flight performance has been quantified using observations of stars, planetary nebulae, and planets in our Solar System. The precision and accuracy of this calibration is checked against celestial calibrators with well known flux levels and spectral features. We find that the MRS geometric calibration has a distortion solution accuracy relative to the commanded position of 8 mas at 5 $\mu m$ and 23 mas at 28 $\mu m$. The wavelength calibration is accurate to within 9 km/sec at 5 $\mu m$ and 27 km/sec at 28 $\mu m$. The uncertainty in the absolute spectro-photometric calibration accuracy is estimated at 5.6 +- 0.7 %. The MIRI calibration pipeline is able to suppress the amplitude of spectral fringes to below 1.5 % for both extended and point sources across the entire wavelength range. The MRS PSF is 60 % broader than the diffraction limit along its long axis at 5 $\mu m$ and is 15 % broader at 28 $\mu m$. The MRS flight performance is found to be better than pre-launch expectations. The MRS is one of the most subscribed observing modes of JWST and is yielding many high-profile publications. It is currently humanity's most powerful instrument for measuring the mid-infrared spectra of celestial sources and is expected to continue as such for many years to come.

[52] 2303.13517

The Brighter-Fatter Effect in the JWST MIRI Si:As IBC detectors I. Observations, impact on science, and modelling

The Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI) on board the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) uses three Si:As impurity band conduction (IBC) detector arrays. The output voltage level of each MIRI detector pixel is digitally recorded by sampling-up-the-ramp. For uniform or low-contrast illumination, the pixel ramps become non-linear in a predictable way, but in areas of high contrast, the non-linearity curve becomes much more complex. We provide observational evidence of the Brighter-Fatter Effect (BFE) in MIRI conventional and high-contrast coronographic imaging, low-resolution spectroscopy, and medium-resolution spectroscopy data and investigate the physical mechanism that gives rise to the effect on the detector pixel raw voltage integration ramps. We use public data from the JWST/MIRI commissioning and Cycle 1 phase. We also develop a numerical electrostatic model of the MIRI detectors using a modified version of the public Poisson_CCD code. The physical mechanism behind the MIRI BFE is fundamentally different to that of CCDs and Hawaii-2RG (H2RG) detectors. This is due to the largest majority of the MIRI photo-excited electric charges not being stored at the pixels but at the input to the MIRI detector unit cell buffer amplifier capacitance. The resulting detector voltage debiasing alters the electrostatic potential inside the infrared-active layer and causes new photo-excited electrons, generated at a bright pixel, to be guided to the neighboring fainter pixels. Observationally, the debiasing-induced BFE makes the JWST MIRI data yield 10-25 % larger and 0.5-8 % brighter point sources and spectral line profiles as a function of the output level covered by the detector pixels. We find that the profile of the shrinking detector depletion region has implications for developing a pixel ramp non-linearity model for point sources observed with MIRI.

[53] 2303.13008

On the oscillations of the inflaton field of the simplest $α$-attractor T-model

In this work, we consider homogeneous oscillations of the inflaton field after inflation. In particular, we obtain an analytical result for the (average) equation of state for the oscillating inflaton field for the simplest $\alpha$-attractor T-model. The result is useful for the study of its post-inflationary evolution. The most dramatic possibility is that during inflaton field oscillation, the (average) equation of state is that of a cosmological constant. This implies the end of slow-roll inflation in this model could be the beginning of oscillating inflation.

[54] 2303.13088

Upper limit on scalar field dark matter from LIGO-Virgo third observation run

If dark matter is a light scalar field weakly interacting with elementary particles, such a field induces oscillations of the physical constants, which results in time-varying force acting on macroscopic objects. In this paper, we report on a search for such a signal in the data of the two LIGO detectors during their third observing run (O3). We focus on the mass of the scalar field in the range of $10^{-13}-10^{-11}~{\rm eV}$ for which the signal falls within the detectors' sensitivity band. We first formulate the cross-correlation statistics that can be readily compared with publically available data. It is found that inclusion of the anisotropies of the velocity distribution of dark matter caused by the motion of the solar system in the Milky Way Galaxy enhances the signal by a factor of $\sim 2$ except for the narrow mass range around $\simeq 3\times 10^{-13}~{\rm eV}$ for which the correlation between the interferometer at Livingston and the one at Hanford is suppressed. From the non-detection of the signal, we derive the upper limits on the coupling constants between the elementary particles and the scalar field for five representative cases. For all the cases where the weak equivalence principle is not satisfied, tests of the violation of the weak equivalence principle provide the tightest upper limit on the coupling constants. Upper limits from the fifth-force experiment are always stronger than the ones from LIGO, but the difference is less than a factor of $\sim 5$ at large-mass range. Our study demonstrates that gravitational-wave experiments are starting to bring us meaningful information about the nature of dark matter. The formulation provided in this paper may be applied to the data of upcoming experiments as well and is expected to probe much wider parameter range of the model.

[55] 2303.13271

A test of Einstein's equivalence principle in ngEHT observations

We show that Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) observations allow us to test the fundamental principles of General Relativity (GR). GR is based on the universality of gravity and Einstein's equivalence principle (EEP). However, EEP is not a basic principle of physics but an empirical fact. Non-Minimal Coupling (NMC) of electromagnetic fields violates EEP, and their effects manifest in the strong-gravity regime. Hence, EHT provides an opportunity to test NMC in the strong-gravity regime. We show that, to the leading order in the spin parameter, NMC of the electromagnetic field modifies the black hole image in two ways: First, for one polarization mode, the horizon casts a shadow of radius \emph{greater than} $\sqrt{27} GM/c^2$ on the image of the source. For the other polarization mode, it is \emph{smaller than} $\sqrt{27} GM/c^2$. Second, the brightness and the position of the lensing ring are affected by the non-minimal coupling. The lensing ring is more prominent for one polarization mode than the other. Finally, we discuss the constraints on the NMC constant from future ngEHT observations.

[56] 2303.13503

LiteBIRD and CMB-S4 Sensitivities to Reheating in Plateau Models of Inflation

We study the sensitivity of LiteBIRD and CMB-S4 to the reheating temperature and the inflaton coupling in three types of plateau-potential models of inflation, namely mutated hilltop inflation, radion gauge inflation, and $\alpha$-attractor T models. We first study the relations between model parameters and CMB observables in all models analytically. We then perform Monte Carlo Markov Chain based forecasts to quantify the information gain on the reheating temperature, the inflaton coupling, and the scale of inflation that can be achieved with LiteBIRD and CMB-S4. We compare the results of the forecasts to those obtained from a recently proposed simple analytic method. We find that both LiteBIRD and CMB-S4 can simultaneously constrain the scale of inflation and the reheating temperature in all three types of models. They can for the first time obtain both an upper and lower bound on the latter, comprising the first ever measurement. In the mutated hilltop inflation and radion gauge inflation models this can be translated into a measurement of the inflaton coupling in parts of the parameter space. Constraining this microphysical parameter will help to understand how these models of inflation may be embedded into a more fundamental theory of particle physics.