New articles on Astrophysics


[1] 2205.06270

An Effective Bias Expansion for 21 cm Cosmology in Redshift Space

A near-future detection of the 21cm signal from the epoch of reionization will provide unique opportunities to probe the underlying cosmology, provided that such cosmological information can be extracted with precision. To this end, we further develop effective field theory (EFT) inspired techniques for the 21cm brightness temperature field during the epoch of reionization, incorporating renormalized bias and a treatment of redshift space distortions. Notably, we confirm that in redshift space, measures of the 21cm brightness, e.g the power spectrum, should have irreducible contributions that lack a bias coefficient and therefore contain direct, astrophysics-free information about the cosmological density field; in this work, we study this effect beyond linear order. To validate our theoretical treatment, we fit the predicted EFT Fourier-space shapes to the THESAN suite of hydrodynamical simulations of reionization at the field level, where the considerable number of modes prevents overfitting. We find agreement at the level of a few percent between the 21cm power spectrum from the EFT fits and simulations over the wavenumber range $k \lesssim 0.8$ h/Mpc and neutral fraction $x_\mathrm{HI} \gtrsim 0.4$, which is imminently measurable by the Hydrogen Epoch of Reionization Array (HERA) and future experiments. The ability of the EFT to describe the 21cm signal extends to simulations that have different astrophysical prescriptions for reionization as well as simulations with interacting dark matter.


[2] 2205.06271

The Close AGN Reference Survey (CARS): Tracing the circumnuclear star formation in the super-Eddington NLS1 Mrk 1044

The host galaxy conditions for rapid supermassive black hole growth are poorly understood. Narrow-line Seyfert 1 (NLS1) galaxies often exhibit high accretion rates and are hypothesized to be prototypes of active galactic nuclei (AGN) at an early stage of their evolution. We present VLT MUSE NFM-AO observations of Mrk 1044, the nearest super-Eddington accreting NLS1. Together with archival MUSE WFM data we aim to understand the host galaxy processes that drive Mrk 1044's black hole accretion. We extract the faint stellar continuum emission from the AGN-deblended host and perform spatially resolved emission line diagnostics with an unprecedented resolution. Combining both MUSE WFM and NFM-AO observations, we use a kinematic model of a thin rotating disk to trace the stellar and ionized gas motion from 10$\,$kpc down to 30$\,$pc around the nucleus. Mrk 1044's stellar kinematics follow circular rotation, whereas the ionized gas shows tenuous spiral features in the center. We resolve a compact star forming circumnuclear ellipse (CNE) that has a semi-minor axis of 306$\,$pc. Within this CNE, the gas is metal rich and its line ratios are entirely consistent with excitation by star formation. With an integrated SFR of $0.19 \pm 0.05 \,{\rm M}_\odot\,{\rm yr}^{-1}$ the CNE contributes 27% of the galaxy-wide star formation. We conclude that Mrk 1044's nuclear activity has not yet affected the circumnuclear star formation. Thus, Mrk 1044 is consistent with the idea that NLS1s are young AGN. A simple mass budget consideration suggests that the circumnuclear star formation and AGN phase are connected and the patterns in the ionized gas velocity field are a signature of the ongoing AGN feeding.


[3] 2205.06275

Optical follow-up of the tick-tock massive black hole binary candidate

The observation of a population of massive black hole binaries (MBHBs) is key for our complete understanding of galaxy mergers and for the characterization of the expected gravitational waves (GWs) signal. However, MBHBs still remain elusive with only a few candidates proposed to date. Among these, SDSSJ143016.05+230344.4 ('tick-tock' hereafter) is the only candidate with a remarkably well sampled light curve showing a clear reduction of the modulation period and amplitude over three years of observations. This particular feature has been claimed to be the signature of a MBHB that is about to merge (Jiang et al. 2022). In this paper, we provide an optical follow-up of the tick-tock source using the Rapid Eye Mount (REM) telescope. The decreasing luminosity observed in our follow up is hardly explained within the binary scenario. We speculate about an alternative scenario that might explain the observed light curve through relativistic Lense-Thirring precession of an accretion disc around a single massive black hole.


[4] 2205.06277

Extreme mass ratio inspirals and tidal disruption events in nuclear clusters. I. Time dependent rates

In this paper we develop a computationally efficient, two-population, time-dependent Fokker-Plank approach in the two dimensions of energy and angular momentum to study the rates of tidal disruption events (TDEs), extreme mass ratio inspirals (EMRIs) and direct plunges occurring around massive black holes (MBHs) in galactic nuclei. We test our code by exploring a wide range of the astrophysically relevant parameter space, including MBH masses, galaxy central densities and inner density slopes. We find that mass segregation and, more in general, the time dependency of the distribution function regulate the event rate: TDEs always decline with time, whereas EMRIs and plunges reach a maximum and undergo a subsequent nearly exponential decay. Once suitably normalized, the rates associated to different choices of MBH mass and galaxy density overlap nearly perfectly. Based on this, we provide a simple scaling that allows to reproduce the time-dependent event rates for any MBH mass and underlying galactic nucleus. Although our peak rates are in general agreement with the literature relying on the steady-state (non-time dependent) assumption, those can be sustained on a timescale that strongly depends on the properties of the system. In particular this can be much shorter than a Gyr for relatively light MBHs residing in dense systems. This warns against using steady state models to compute global TDE, EMRI and plunge rates and calls for a more sophisticated, time dependent treatment of the problem.


[5] 2205.06280

An Improved Calibration of the Wavelength Dependence of Metallicity on the Cepheid Leavitt law

The Cepheid period-luminosity (PL) relation (or Leavitt law) has served as the first rung of the most widely used extragalactic distance ladders and is central to the determination of the local value of the Hubble constant ($H_0$). We investigate the influence of metallicity on Cepheid brightness, a term that significantly improves the overall fit of the distance ladder, to better define its wavelength dependence. To this aim, we compare the PL relations obtained for three Cepheid samples having distinct chemical composition (in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds) and focusing on the use of improved and recent data while covering a metallicity range of about 1 dex. We estimate the metallicity effect (hereafter $\gamma$) in 15 filters from mid-infrared to optical wavelengths, including 5 Wesenheit indices, and we derive a significant metallicity term in all filters, in accord with recent empirical studies and models, in the sense of metal-rich Cepheids being brighter than metal-poor ones. We describe the contribution of various systematic effects in the determination of the $\gamma$ term. We find no evidence of $\gamma$ changing over the wavelength range 0.5 - 4.5 $\mu$m indicating the main influence of metallicity on Cepheids is in their luminosity rather than color. We identify factors which sharpen the empirical constraints on the metallicity term over past studies including corrections for the depth of the Magellanic Clouds, better calibrated Cepheid photometry, improved Milky Way extinction estimates and revised and expanded metallicity measurements in the LMC.


[6] 2205.06281

Brought to Light III: Colors of Disk and Clump Substructures in Dwarf Early-Type Galaxies of the Fornax Cluster

It has been well established that dwarf early-type galaxies (ETGs) can often exhibit a complex morphology, whereby faint spiral arms, bars, edge-on disks or clumps are embedded in their main, brighter diffuse body. In our first paper (Brought to Light I: Michea et al. 2021), we developed a new method for robustly identifying and extracting substructures in deep imaging data of dwarf ETGs in the Virgo galaxy cluster. Here we apply our method to a sample of 23 dwarf ETGs in the Fornax galaxy cluster, out of which 9 have disk-like and 14 have clump-like substructures. According to Fornax Deep Survey (FDS) data, our sample constitutes $12\%$ of all dwarf ETGs in Fornax brighter than $\text{M}_{r}=-13$ mag, and contains all cases that unequivocally exhibit substructure features. We use $g$ and $r$-band FDS images to measure the relative contribution of the substructures to the total galaxy light and to estimate their $g-r$ colors. We find that substructures typically contribute $8.7\%$ and $5.3\%$ of the total galaxy light in the $g$ and $r$ bands, respectively, within two effective radii. Disk substructures are usually found in dwarf ETGs with redder global colors, and they can be either as red as or bluer than their galaxy's diffuse component. In contrast, clump substructures are found in comparatively bluer dwarf ETGs, and they are always bluer than their galaxy's diffuse component. These results provide further evidence that dwarf ETGs can hide diverse complex substructures, with stellar populations that can greatly differ from those of the dominant diffuse light in which they are embedded.


[7] 2205.06282

Code Comparison for Fast Flavor Instability Simulation

The fast flavor instability (FFI) is expected to be ubiquitous in core-collapse supernovae and neutron star mergers. It rapidly shuffles neutrino flavor in a way that could impact the explosion mechanism, neutrino signals, mass outflows, and nucleosynthesis. The variety of initial conditions and simulation methods employed in simulations of the FFI prevent an apples-to-apples comparison of the results. We simulate a standardized test problem using five independent codes and verify that they are all faithfully simulating the underlying quantum kinetic equations under the assumptions of axial symmetry and homogeneity in two directions. We quantify the amount of numerical error in each method and demonstrate that each method is superior in at least one metric of this error. We make the results publicly available to serve as a benchmark.


[8] 2205.06283

Binary Interaction Dominates Mass Ejection in Classical Novae

Recent observations suggest our understanding of mass loss in classical novae is incomplete, motivating a new theoretical examination of the physical processes responsible for nova mass ejection. In this paper, we perform hydrodynamical simulations of classical nova outflows using the stellar evolution code MESA. We find that, when the binary companion is neglected, white dwarfs with masses >= 0.8 Msol successfully launch radiation-pressure-driven optically thick winds that carry away most of the envelope. However, for most of the mass loss phase, these winds are accelerated at radii beyond the white dwarf's Roche radius assuming a typical cataclysmic variable donor. This means that, before an optically thick wind can be formed, mass loss must instead be driven by the binary system. An optically thick wind is only successfully launched when the acceleration region recedes within the white dwarf's Roche radius, which occurs after most of the envelope has already been ejected. The interaction between these two modes of outflow - a first phase of slow, binary-driven equatorial mass loss encompassing most of the mass ejection and a second phase consisting of a fast, isotropic, optically thick wind - is consistent with observations of aspherical ejecta and signatures of multiple outflow components. We also find that isolated lower-mass white dwarfs <= 0.8 Msol do not develop unbound optically thick winds at any stage, making it even more crucial to consider the effects of the binary companion on the resulting outburst.


[9] 2205.06284

Can Carbon Fractionation Provide Evidence for Aerial Biospheres in the Atmospheres of Temperate Sub-Neptunes?

The search for signs of life on other worlds has largely focused on terrestrial planets. Recent work, however, argues that life could exist in the atmospheres of temperate sub-Neptunes. Here, we evaluate the usefulness of carbon dioxide isotopologues as evidence of aerial life. Carbon isotopes are of particular interest as metabolic processes preferentially use the lighter $^{12}$C over $^{13}$C. In principle, the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to spectrally resolve the $^{12}$C and $^{13}$C isotopologues of CO$_{2}$, but not CO and CH$_{4}$. We simulated observations of CO$_{2}$ isotopologues in the H$_{2}$-dominated atmospheres of our nearest ($< 40$ pc), temperate (equilibrium temperature of 250-350 K) sub-Neptunes with M dwarf host stars. We find $^{13}$CO$_{2}$ and $^{12}$CO$_{2}$ distinguishable if the atmosphere is H$_{2}$-dominated with a few percentage points of CO$_{2}$ for the most idealized target with an Earth-like composition of the two most abundant isotopologues, $^{12}$CO$_{2}$ and $^{13}$CO$_{2}$. With a Neptune-like metallicity of 100$\times$ solar and a C/O of 0.55, we are unable to distinguish between $^{13}$CO$_{2}$ and $^{12}$CO$_{2}$ in the atmospheres of temperate sub-Neptunes. If atmospheric composition largely follows metallicity scaling, the concentration of CO$_{2}$ in a H$_{2}$-dominated atmosphere will be too low to distinguish CO$_{2}$ isotopologues with JWST. In contrast, at higher metallicities, there will be more CO$_{2}$, but the smaller atmospheric scale height makes the measurement impossible. Carbon dioxide isotopologues are unlikely to be useful biosignature gases for the JWST era. Instead, isotopologue measurements should be used to evaluate formation mechanisms of planets and exoplanetary systems.


[10] 2205.06312

Gamma-Ray Bursts at TeV Energies: Theoretical Considerations

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the most luminous explosions in the Universe and are powered by ultra-relativistic jets. Their prompt $\gamma$-ray emission briefly outshines the rest of the $\gamma$-ray sky making them detectable from cosmological distances. It is followed by, and sometimes partially overlaps with, a similarly energetic but very broadband and longer-lasting afterglow emission. While most GRBs are detected below a few MeV, over a hundred were detected at high ($\gtrsim0.1\;$GeV) energies and several have now been observed up to tens of GeV with the \textit{Fermi} Large Area Telescope (LAT). A new electromagnetic window in the very high energy (VHE) domain ($\gtrsim0.1\;$TeV) was recently opened with the detection of afterglow emission in the $(0.1$\textendash$1)\,$TeV energy band by ground-based imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes. The emission mechanism for the VHE spectral component is not fully understood, and its detection offers important constraints for GRB physics. This review provides a brief overview of the different leptonic and hadronic mechanisms capable of producing VHE emission in GRBs. The same mechanisms possibly give rise to the high-energy spectral component seen during the prompt emission of many \textit{Fermi}-LAT GRBs. Possible origins of its delayed onset and long duration, well into the afterglow phase, with implications for the emission region and relativistic collisionless shock physics are discussed. Key results for using GRBs as ideal probes for constraining models of extra-galactic background light and intergalactic magnetic fields, as well as for testing Lorentz invariance violation, are presented.


[11] 2205.06318

The Photometric Study of Six W UMa Systems and Investigation of the Mass-Radius Relations for Contact Binary Stars

We present the photometric analysis of six short-period systems (EI Oct, V336 TrA, NX Boo, V356 Boo, PS Boo, and V2282 Cyg). This is the first photometric analysis of these systems except for V336 TrA. Observations were conducted for 27 nights at three observatories in the northern and southern hemispheres. We calculated a new ephemeris for each of the systems using our minimum times and additional literature. The Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) approach was used to determine the eclipse timing variation trends of the systems. We found a likely orbital growth for V336 TrA and PS Boo; four other systems show a linear trend in orbital period changes, which is most likely due to the accumulation of measurement errors in their linear ephemeris parameters. The light curve analysis was performed using the Physics of Eclipsing Binaries (PHOEBE) 2.3.59 version code with the MCMC approach. The absolute parameters of the systems were calculated by using the Gaia Early Data Release 3 (EDR3) parallax. The positions of the systems were also depicted on the Hertzsprung-Russell (H-R) and $logJ_0-logM$ diagrams. According to a sample, we were able to present relations for the mass-radius (M-R) relationships of contact binary systems. There is also a strong relationship between the mass ratio and the radius ratio in the W UMa systems for which we also provided a new relation. We compared the M-R updated relationships in this study with seven systems in other studies obtained using the spectroscopic method. In addition, we estimated some of the absolute parameters for 1734 EW systems, based on the new relationships.


[12] 2205.06340

Asteroid Families: properties, recent advances and future opportunities

Collisions are one of the key processes shaping planetary systems. Asteroid families are outcomes of such collisions still identifiable across our solar system. The families provide a unique view of catastrophic disruption phenomena and have been in the focus of planetary scientists for more than a century. Most of them are located in the main belt, a ring of asteroids between Mars and Jupiter. Here we review the basic properties of the families, discuss some recent advances, and anticipate future challenges. This review pays more attention to dynamic aspects such as family identification, age determination, and long-term evolution. The text, however, goes beyond that. Especially, we cover the details of young families that see the major advances in the last years, and we anticipate it will develop even faster in the future. We also discuss the relevance of asteroid families for water-ice content in the asteroid belt and our current knowledge on links between families and main-belt comets.


[13] 2205.06347

SKYSURF: Constraints on Zodiacal Light and Extragalactic Background Light through Panchromatic HST All-Sky Surface-Brightness Measurements: II. First Limits on Diffuse Light at 1.25, 1.4, and 1.6 microns

We present the first results from the HST Archival Legacy project "SKYSURF." As described in Windhorst et al. 2022, SKYSURF utilizes the large HST archive to study the diffuse UV, optical, and near-IR backgrounds and foregrounds in detail. Here we utilize SKYSURF's first sky-surface brightness measurements to constrain the level of near-IR diffuse Extragalactic Background Light (EBL). Our sky-surface brightness measurements have been verified to an accuracy of better than 1%, which when combined with systematic errors associated with HST, results in sky brightness uncertainties of $\sim$2-4% $\simeq$ 0.005 MJy/sr in each image. We put limits on the amount of diffuse EBL in three near-IR filters (F125W, F140W, and F160W) by comparing our preliminary sky measurements of $> 30,000$ images to Zodiacal light models, carefully selecting the darkest images to avoid contamination from stray light. In addition, we investigate the impact that instrumental thermal emission has on our measurements, finding that it has a limited impact on F125W and F140W measurements, whereas uncertainties in the exact thermal state of HST results in significant uncertainties in the level of astrophysical diffuse light in F160W images. When compared to the Kelsall et al. (1998) Zodiacal model, an isotropic diffuse background of $30$ nW m$^{-2}$ sr$^{-1}$ remains, whereas using the Wright (1998) Zodiacal model results in no discernible diffuse background. Based primarily on uncertainties in the foreground model subtraction, we present limits on the amount of diffuse EBL of 29 nW m$^{-2}$ sr$^{-1}$, 40 nW m$^{-2}$ sr$^{-1}$, and 29 nW m$^{-2}$ sr$^{-1}$ for F125W, F140W, and F160W respectively. While this light is generally isotropic, our modeling at this point does not distinguish between a cosmological origin or a Solar System origin (such as a dim, diffuse, spherical cloud of cometary dust).


[14] 2205.06348

Deriving Thermonuclear Supernova Properties from Gamma-Ray Line Measurements

We illustrate methods for deriving properties of thermonuclear, or Type Ia, supernovae, including synthesized $^{56}$Ni mass, total ejecta mass, ejecta kinetic energy, and $^{56}$Ni distribution in velocity, from gamma-ray line observations. We simulate data from a small number of published SN Ia models for a simple gamma-ray instrument, and measure their underlying properties from straightforward analyses. Assuming spherical symmetry and homologous expansion, we calculate exact line profiles for all $^{56}$Co and $^{56}$Ni lines at all times, requiring only the variation of mass density and $^{56}$Ni mass fraction with expansion velocity as input. By parameterizing these quantities, we iterate the parameters to fit the simulated data. We fit the full profiles of multiple lines, or we integrate over the lines and fit line fluxes only versus time. Line profile fits are more robust, but in either case, we can recover accurately the values of the aforementioned properties of the models simulated, given sufficient signal-to-noise in the lines. A future gamma-ray mission with line sensitivity approaching 10$^{-6}$ photons cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ would measure these properties for many SN Ia, and with unprecedented precision and accuracy for a few per year. Our analyses applied to the reported $^{56}$Co lines from SN 2014J favor a low $^{56}$Ni mass and low ejecta mass, relative to other estimates.


[15] 2205.06354

Lithium depletion boundary, stellar associations, and Gaia

Stellar ages are key to improving our understanding of different astrophysical phenomena. However, many techniques to estimate stellar ages are highly model-dependent. The lithium depletion boundary (LDB), based on the presence or absence of lithium in low-mass stars, can be used to derive ages in stellar associations of between 20 and 500~Ma. The purpose of this work is to revise former LDB ages in stellar associations in a consistent way, taking advantage of the homogeneous \textit{Gaia} parallaxes as well as bolometric luminosity estimations that do not rely on monochromatic bolometric corrections. We studied nine open clusters and three moving groups characterised by a previous determination of the LDB age. We gathered all the available information from our data and the literature: membership, distances, photometric data, reddening, metallicity, and surface gravity. We re-assigned membership and calculated bolometric luminosities and effective temperatures using distances derived from Gaia DR2 and multi-wavelength photometry for individual objects around the former LDB. We located the LDB using a homogeneous method for all the stellar associations. Finally, we estimated the age by comparing it with different evolutionary models. We located the LDB for the twelve stellar associations and derived their ages using several theoretical evolutionary models. We compared the LDB ages among them, along with data obtained with other techniques, such as isochrone fitting, ultimately finding some discrepancies among the various approaches. Finally, we remark that the 32 Ori MG is likely to be composed of at least two populations of different ages.


[16] 2205.06386

SN 1961V: A Pulsational Pair-Instability Supernova

We explore a variety of models in which SN~1961V, one of the most enigmatic supernovae (SNe) ever observed, was a pulsational pair-instability supernova (PPISN). Successful models reproduce the bolometric light curve of the principal outburst and, in some cases, the emission one year before and several years afterward. All models have helium-rich ejecta, bulk hydrogenic velocities near 2000 km s$^{-1}$, and total kinetic energies from 4 to 8 $\times 10^{50}$ erg. Each eventually leaves behind a black hole remnant. Three subclasses of PPISN models are explored, each with two different choices of carbon abundance following helium burning. Carbon is an important parameter because shell carbon burning can weaken the explosion. The three subclasses correspond to situations where SN~1961V and its immediate afterglow were: a) a single event; b) the first of two or more pulsational events separated by decades or centuries; or c) the latter stages of a complex explosion that had already been going on for a year or more. For the low carbon case, the main sequence mass for SN~1961V's progenitor would have been 100 to 115 \Msun; its pre-SN helium core mass was 45 to 52 \Msun; and the final black hole mass, 40 to 45 \Msun. For the high-carbon case, these values are increased by roughly 20 to 25\%. In some PPISN models, a $\sim10^{40}$ erg s$^{-1}$ star-like object could still be shining at the site of SN~1961V, but it has more likely been replaced by a massive accreting black hole.


[17] 2205.06430

Gamma-ray observation towards the young massive star cluster NGC 6618 in the M17 region

Young massive clusters have been established as a new population of gamma-ray sources and potential cosmic ray (CR) accelerators. In this paper, we report the detection of gamma-ray emissions near the young star cluster NGC 6618, which is one of the youngest star clusters in our Galaxy. The detected gamma-ray emissions can be divided into two components. One component is point-like and reveals harder spectrum, while the other is extended and with softer spectrum. Such spectral features are significantly different from other young massive clusters and may be due to the propagation effects of CRs accelerated in NGC 6618.


[18] 2205.06461

The Factory and the Beehive. IV. A Comprehensive Study of the Rotation X-ray Activity Relation in Praesepe and the Hyades

X-ray observations of low-mass stars in open clusters are critical to understanding the dependence of magnetic activity on stellar properties and their evolution. Praesepe and the Hyades, two of the nearest, most-studied open clusters, are among the best available laboratories for examining the dependence of magnetic activity on rotation for stars with masses lower than $\approx 1\ M_{\odot}$. We present an updated study of the rotation X-ray activity relation in the two clusters. We updated membership catalogs that combine pre-Gaia catalogs with new catalogs based on Gaia Data Release 2. The resulting catalogs are the most inclusive ones for both clusters: 1739 Praesepe and 1315 Hyades stars. We collected X-ray detections for cluster members, for which we analyzed, re-analyzed, or collated data from ROSAT, the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory, and XMM-Newton. We have detections for 326 Praesepe and 462 Hyades members, of which 273 and 164, respectively, have rotation periods, an increase of 6$\times$ relative to what was previously available. We find that at $\approx$700 Myr, only M dwarfs remain saturated in X-rays, with only tentative evidence for supersaturation. We also find a tight relation between the Rossby number and fractional X-ray luminosity $L_\mathrm{X}/L_\mathrm{bol}$ in unsaturated single members, suggesting a power-law index between $-3.2$ and $-3.9$. Lastly, we find no difference in the coronal parameters between binary and single members. These results provide essential insight into the relative efficiency of magnetic heating of the stars' atmospheres, thereby informing the development of robust age-rotation-activity relations.


[19] 2205.06462

The State of the White-Light Corona over the Minimum and Ascending Phases of Solar Cycle 25 -- Comparison with Past Cycles

We report on the state of the corona over the minimum and ascending phases of Solar Cycle (SC) 25 on the basis of the temporal evolutions of its radiance and of the properties of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) as determined from white-light observations performed by the SOHO/LASCO-C2 coronagraph. These evolutions are further compared with those determined during the past two SC. The integrated radiance of the K-corona and the occurrence rate of CMEs closely track the indices/proxies of solar activity, prominently the total magnetic field for the radiance and the radio flux for the CMEs, all undergoing a steep increase during the ascending phase of SC 25. This increase is much steeper than anticipated on the basis of the predicted quasi similarity between SC 25 and 24, and is confirmed by the recent evolution of the sunspot number. The radiance reached the same base level during the minima of SC 24 and 25, but the latitudinal extent of the streamer belt differed, being flatter during the latter minimum and in fact more similar to that of the minimum of SC 23. Phasing the descending branches of SC 23 and 24 led to a duration of SC 24 of 11.0 years, similar to that given by the sunspot number. In contrast, the base level of the occurrence rate of CMEs during the minimum of SC 25 was significantly larger than during the two previous minima. The southern hemisphere is conspicuously more active than the northern one in agreement with several predictions and the current evolution of the hemispheric sunspot numbers. The mean apparent width of CMEs and the number of halo CMEs remains at relatively large, constant levels throughout the early phase of SC 25 implying the persistence of weak total pressure in the heliosphere. These results and the perspective of a corona more active than anticipated are extremely promising for the forthcoming observations by Solar Orbiter and Parker Solar Probe.


[20] 2205.06474

Shocking interactions of supernova remnants with atomic and molecular clouds -- the interplay between shocks, thermal instability and gravity in the large cloud regime

Using the adaptive mesh refinement code MG, we perform 3D hydrodynamic simulations of a supernova-cloud interaction in the "large cloud regime". The cloud is initially atomic and evolving due to the thermal instability (TI) and gravity. We study interactions in a "pre-TI" and "post-TI" stage when cold and dense clumps are present, and compare these results to idealised shock-cloud scenarios in the "small cloud regime", and a scenario without shocks. On aggregate, the supernova disruption is significantly weaker than that from an idealised shock due to the supernova impact being instantaneous, and not continuous. In both supernova-cloud interactions, we observe two shocks impact the cloud, followed by the development of a weak 10 km s$^{-1}$ upstream flow on the cloud interface, and a global ambient pressure drop. When the cloud is still atomic, it expands due to this drop. Additionally, the TI is triggered at the front of the cloud, causing the formation of a cap-like structure with clumps embedded inside. The upstream flow converges in this region, resulting in a lobe-like cloud morphology. When the cloud is molecular, the transmitted shock disrupts the inter-clump material and causes the clumps' outer envelopes to expand slightly and form tail-like morphologies. These effects are less pronounced than those in our shock-cloud scenarios, and more pronounced that those in our un-shocked scenario. After 3.5 Myrs, the effects from the supernova decay and the cloud returns to an almost indistinguishable state from an un-shocked cloud, in spite of the global ambient pressure drop. In neither supernova-cloud scenario do we see any local gravitational collapse.


[21] 2205.06517

Simulations of astrometric planet detection in alpha Centauri by intensity interferometry

Recent dynamical studies indicate that the possibility of an Earth-like planet around $\alpha\;$Cen A or B should be taken seriously. Such a planet, if it exists, would perturb the orbital astrometry by $<10 \ {\mu}\rm as$, which is $10^{-6}$ of the separation between the two stars. We assess the feasibility of detecting such perturbations using ground-based intensity interferometry. We simulate a dedicated setup consisting of four 40-cm telescopes equipped with photon counters and correlators with time resolution $0.1\,\rm ns$, and a sort of matched filter implemented through an aperture mask. The astrometric error from one night of observing $\alpha\;$Cen AB is $\approx0.5\,\rm mas$. The error decreases if longer observing times and multiple spectral channels are used, as $(\hbox{channels}\times\hbox{nights})^{-1/2}$.


[22] 2205.06552

The cooling of the Central Compact Object in Cas A from 2006 to 2020

We report on the study of six Chandra observations (four epochs) of the Central Compact Object (CCO) in the Cassiopeia A supernova remnant with the ACIS instrument in the subarray mode. This mode minimizes spectrum-distorting instrumental effects such as pileup. The data were taken over a time span ~ 14 years. If a non-magnetic carbon atmosphere is assumed for this youngest known CCO, then the temperature change is constrained to be $\dot{T}=-2900\pm 600$ K yr$^{-1}$ or $\dot{T}=-4500\pm 800 $ K yr$^{-1}$ ($1\sigma$ uncertainties) for constant or varying absorbing hydrogen column density. These values correspond to cooling rates of $-1.5 \pm 0.3$% per 10yr and $-2.3 \pm 0.4$% per 10yr, respectively. We discuss an apparent increase in the cooling rate in the last five years and the variations of the inferred absorbing hydrogen column densities between epochs. Considered together, these changes could indicate systematic effects such as caused by, e.g., an imperfect calibration of the increasing contamination of the ACIS filter.


[23] 2205.06569

The Morphology of the HD 163296 jet as a window on its planetary system

HD163296 is a Herbig Ae star which drives a bipolar knotty jet with a total length of ~6000au. Strong evidence exists that the disk of HD163296 harbors planets. Studies have shown that the presence of companions around jet-driving stars could affect the morphology of the jets. This includes a `wiggling' of the jet axis and a periodicity in the positions of the jet knots. In this study we investigate the morphology (including the jet width and axis position) and proper motions of the HD163296 jets, and use our results to better understand the whole system.This study is based on optical integral-field spectroscopy observations obtained with VLT/MUSE in 2017. Using spectro-images and position velocity diagrams extracted from the MUSE data cube, we investigated the number and positions of the jet knots. A comparison was made to X-Shooter data collected in 2012 and the knot proper motions were estimated. The jet width and jet axis position with distance from the star were studied from the extracted spectro-images. We observe the merging of knots and identify two previously undetected knots. Measurements of the jet axis position reveal a similar pattern of deviation in all forbidden emission lines along the first 20 arc seconds of the jets. This result is interpreted as being due to asymmetric shocks and not due to a wiggling of the jet axis. The number of new knots detected and their positions challenge the 16-year knot ejection periodicity proposed in prior studies, arguing for a more complicated jet system than was previously assumed. We use the non-detection of a jet axis wiggling to rule out companions with a mass $>$0.1~\Msun\ and orbits between 1~au and 35~au. Any object inferred at these distances using other methods must be a brown dwarf or planet, otherwise it would have impacted the jet axis position. Both the precession and orbital motion scenarios are considered.


[24] 2205.06577

Eigenmode analysis of perurbations in the primordial medium at and before recombination

Anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background are thought to be due to perturbations of the primordial medium, which, post recombination, lead to the formation of galaxy clusters and galaxies. Aims: We analyse the perturbation wave modes of the primordial medium at and before recombination, consisting of a fully ionized baryonic plasma, a strong black body radiation field, and cold dark matter. Methods: We use the linear perturbation theory of the relativistic equations of motion, utilising a strict thermodynamic equilibrium model that relates the radiation energy density to the plasma temperature. Results: It is shown that a wave mode corresponding to the postulated baryon acoustic waves exists with a phase velocity close to the speed of light, but the participation of the dark matter in this mode is very small. Instead, the dark matter has its own dominant mode in the form of gravitational collapse, with very little participation by the baryonic plasma. Conclusions: In view of this very weak coupling between baryons and dark matter, the initial conditions postulated for computer simulations of large-scale structure and galaxy formation, which assume that after recombination, when galaxy formation is getting underway, baryon and dark matter density perturbations are spatially coincident in terms of fractional amplitude, may be unjustified. In addition the possible non-coincidence of baryon and dark matter perturbations at the last scattering surface has implications for the analysis of cosmic microwave background anisotropies.


[25] 2205.06600

The Curious Case of the "Heartworm" Nebula

The curious Galactic features near G357.2$-$0.2 were observed with the MeerKAT radio interferometer array in the UHF and L bands (0.56--1.68 GHz). There are two possibly related features: a newly identified faint heart-shaped partial shell (the "Heart"), and a series of previously known but now much better imaged narrow, curved features (the "Worm") interior to the heart. Polarized emission suggests that much of the emission is nonthermal and is embedded in a dense plasma. The filaments of the worm appear to be magnetic structures powered by embedded knots that are sites of particle acceleration. The morphology of the worm broadly resembles some known pulsar wind nebulae (PWNe) but there is no known pulsar or PWN which could be powering this structure. We also present eROSITA observations of the field; no part of the nebula is detected in X-rays, but the current limits do not preclude the existence of a pulsar/PWN of intermediate spin-down luminosity.


[26] 2205.06607

Ejecta distribution from impact craters on Ryugu: possible origin of the bluer units

Asteroid (162173) Ryugu was the first spinning-top-shaped asteroid to be closely approached by a probe, the Hayabusa2 spacecraft, which sent numerous high-resolution images of Ryugu to the Earth and revealed the nature of this type of asteroid. One of the notable features of Ryugu is the equatorial ridge, which is considered the result of rapid spin in the past. Despite the advanced age of the ridge, indicated by the presence of numerous craters, the ridge exhibits a bluish color, indicating that it is covered with fresh material. In addition to Ryugu, many other asteroids have similar blue areas, which are considered the result of ejecta emplacement. We examined the distribution of ejecta blankets from actual craters on Ryugu to assess ejecta emplacement as a possible origin of Ryugu's bluer units. We determined that when Ryugu's rotation was fast, ejecta from craters formed at lower latitudes accumulated along the equator, which may explain the bluish color of the equatorial ridge. On the other hand, ejecta emplacement does not fully explain the bluish color of Tokoyo Fossa, although we attempted to find the corresponding ejecta blankets.


[27] 2205.06627

Modelling stellar activity with Gaussian process regression networks

Stellar photospheric activity is known to limit the detection and characterisation of extra-solar planets. In particular, the study of Earth-like planets around Sun-like stars requires data analysis methods that can accurately model the stellar activity phenomena affecting radial velocity (RV) measurements. Gaussian Process Regression Networks (GPRNs) offer a principled approach to the analysis of simultaneous time-series, combining the structural properties of Bayesian neural networks with the non-parametric flexibility of Gaussian Processes. Using HARPS-N solar spectroscopic observations encompassing three years, we demonstrate that this framework is capable of jointly modelling RV data and traditional stellar activity indicators. Although we consider only the simplest GPRN configuration, we are able to describe the behaviour of solar RV data at least as accurately as previously published methods. We confirm the correlation between the RV and stellar activity time series reaches a maximum at separations of a few days, and find evidence of non-stationary behaviour in the time series, associated with an approaching solar activity minimum.


[28] 2205.06645

Asteroseismology of the multiple stellar populations in the Globular Cluster M4

We present a new asteroseismic analysis of the stars in the Globular Cluster (GC) M4 based on the data collected by the K2 mission. We report the detection of solar-like oscillation in 37 stars, 32 red giant branch (RGB) and 6 red horizontal branch (rHB) stars, the largest sample for this kind of study in GC up to date. Combining information from asteroseismology and multi-band photometry we estimate both the masses and the radii of our targets. Our estimates are in agreement with independent sources, serving as a crucial verification of asteroseismology in the low metallicity regime. As M4 is an old GC, it hosts multiple stellar populations differing in light-element abundances and in helium mass fraction. This generates a mass difference between the populations along the RGB, which in the case of M4 is estimated to be $0.017 M_\odot$. With this wealth of information we can assign population membership and estimate the average mass of the stellar populations, but the current uncertainties do not allow us to resolve this mass difference. The population membership and the seismic data of RGB and HB stars, allow us, however, to assess the integrated mass loss along the RGB of the first generation stars in the cluster. We obtain $\rm \Delta M=0.227 \pm0.028 M_\odot$, in good agreement with independent estimates. Finally, we observe the presence of a statistically significant mass-temperature gradient in the rHB stars. This represents the first direct, model-independent observation of the colour-temperature-mass correlation predicted by the theory.


[29] 2205.06648

The effect of quasar redshift errors on Lyman-$α$ forest correlation functions

Using synthetic Lyman-$\alpha$ forests from the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) survey, we present a study of the impact of errors in the estimation of quasar redshift on the Lyman-$\alpha$ correlation functions. Estimates of quasar redshift have large uncertainties of a few hundred $\text{km s}^{-1}\,$ due to the broadness of the emission lines and the intrinsic shifts from other emission lines. We inject Gaussian random redshift errors into the mock quasar catalogues, and measure the auto-correlation and the Lyman-$\alpha$-quasar cross-correlation functions. We find a smearing of the BAO feature in the radial direction, but changes in the peak position are negligible. However, we see a significant unphysical correlation for small separations transverse to the line of sight which increases with the amplitude of the redshift errors. We interpret this contamination as a result of the broadening of emission lines in the measured mean continuum, caused by quasar redshift errors, combined with the unrealistically strong clustering of the simulated quasars on small scales.


[30] 2205.06681

Influence of magnetic cycles on stellar prominences and their mass loss rates

Observations of rapidly-rotating cool stars often show coronal slingshot prominences that remove mass and angular momentum when they are ejected. The derived masses of these prominences show a scatter of some two orders of magnitude. In order to investigate if this scatter could be intrinsic, we use a full magnetic cycle of solar magnetograms to model the coronal structure and prominence distribution in a young Sun, where we scale the field strength in the magnetograms with angular velocity according to $ B \propto \Omega^{-1.32} $. We reproduce both the observed prominence masses and their scatter. We show that both the field strength and the field geometry contribute to the prominence masses that can be supported and to the rate at which they are ejected. Predicted prominence masses follow the magnetic cycle, but with half the period, peaking both at cycle maximum and at cycle minimum. We show that mass loss rates in prominences are less than those predicted for the stellar wind. We also investigate the role of small-scale field that may be unresolved in typical stellar magnetograms. This provides only a small reduction in the predicted total prominence mass, principally by reducing the number of large magnetic loops that can support slingshot prominences. We conclude that the observed scatter in prominence masses can be explained by underlying magnetic cycles.


[31] 2205.06696

Black Hole Spin Measurements Based on a Thin Disc Model with Finite Thickness I. An example study of MCG-06-30-15

We present a re-analysis of the XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observing campaign for the well-studied, X-ray-bright AGN MCG-06-30-15. In particular, we consider a disc model with finite thickness. By fitting the disc reflection spectra in the data, we obtain a black hole spin of 0.87--0.99 (90\% confidence range) after taking the thickness of the disc into consideration. Spectral models with a grid of mass accretion rate from 0 to $30\%\dot{M}_{\rm Edd}$ are calculated for MCG-06-30-15. This result is obtained by considering a free disc reflection fraction parameter $f_{\rm refl}$ and is consistent with previous measurements based on razor-thin disc models. Besides, an isotropic, point-like geometry, i.e. the `lamppost' geometry, is assumed for the corona in our model. We find that such a geometry overestimates $f_{\rm refl}$ in the data. Therefore, thin disc models with consistent `lamppost' values of $f_{\rm refl}$ provide a worse fit than ones with a free $f_{\rm refl}$ parameter. We discuss possible reasons for the discrepancy between the observed and theoretical values of $f_{\rm refl}$ at the end of the paper. Modifications for the over-simplified lamppost model might be needed when the thickness of the thin disc is considered in future work.


[32] 2205.06729

XMM-Newton study of six massive, X-ray luminous galaxy clusters systems in the redshift range z = 0.25 to 0.5

Massive galaxy clusters are interesting astrophysical and cosmological study objects, but are relatively rare. In the redshift range z = 0.25 to 0.5 which is, for example, a favourable region for gravitational lensing studies, about 100 such systems are known. Most of them have been studied in X-rays. In this paper we study the six remaining massive clusters in this redshift interval in the highly complete CLASSIX survey which have so far not been observed with sufficiently deep exposures in X-rays. With data from our new XMM-Newton observations we characterise their structures, derive X-ray properties such as the X-ray luminosity and intra-cluster medium temperature and estimate their gas and total masses. We find that one cluster, RXCJ1230.7+3439, is dynamically young with three distinct substructures in the cluster outskirts and RXCJ1310.9+2157/RXCJ1310.4+2151 is a double cluster system. Mass determination is difficult in the systems with substructure. We therefore discuss several methods of mass estimation including scaling relations. In summary we find that five of the six study targets are indeed massive clusters as expected, while the last cluster RXCJ2116.2-0309 is a close projection of a distant and a nearby cluster which has led to a previous overestimation of its mass. In the XMM-Newton observation fields we also find three low redshift clusters close to the targets which are also analysed and described here. In the field of RXCJ2116.2-0309 we discover serendipitously a highly variable X-ray source which has decreased its flux within a year by more than a factor of eight. This source is most probably an AGN.


[33] 2205.06735

Reconstructing homospectral inflationary potentials

Purely geometrical arguments show that there exist classes of homospectral inflationary cosmologies, i.e. different expansion histories producing the same spectrum of comoving curvature perturbations. We develop a general algorithm to reconstruct the potential of minimally-coupled single scalar fields from an arbitrary expansion history. We apply it to homospectral expansion histories to obtain the corresponding potentials, providing numerical and analytical examples. The infinite class of homospectral potentials depends on two free parameters, the initial energy scale and the initial value of the field, showing that in general it is impossible to reconstruct a unique potential from the curvature spectrum unless the initial energy scale and the field value are fixed, for instance through observation of primordial gravitational waves.


[34] 2205.06757

An Implementation of Stochastic Forces for the N-body code REBOUND

We describe the implementation of a new module which can be used to simulate physical systems in which the motion of particles is affected by stochastic forces. Such forces are expected to be present in turbulent circumstellar disks or remnant planetesimal disks. Our implementation offers a convenient way to generate correlated noise with a user-specified amplitude and auto-correlation time for each particle. The module has minimal memory requirements and is freely available within the REBOUNDx additional effects library.


[35] 2205.06758

Improving Astronomical Time-series Classification via Data Augmentation with Generative Adversarial Networks

Due to the latest advances in technology, telescopes with significant sky coverage will produce millions of astronomical alerts per night that must be classified both rapidly and automatically. Currently, classification consists of supervised machine learning algorithms whose performance is limited by the number of existing annotations of astronomical objects and their highly imbalanced class distributions. In this work, we propose a data augmentation methodology based on Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to generate a variety of synthetic light curves from variable stars. Our novel contributions, consisting of a resampling technique and an evaluation metric, can assess the quality of generative models in unbalanced datasets and identify GAN-overfitting cases that the Fr\'echet Inception Distance does not reveal. We applied our proposed model to two datasets taken from the Catalina and Zwicky Transient Facility surveys. The classification accuracy of variable stars is improved significantly when training with synthetic data and testing with real data with respect to the case of using only real data.


[36] 2205.06763

Clumpy accretion in pre-main-sequence stars as a source of perturbations in circumstellar disks

The development of perturbations in the circumstellar disks of pre-main-sequence stars caused by clumpy accretion was investigated. Here we perform 3D hydrodynamical smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations of disks perturbed by a recent clump accretion event. These simulations are further explored by radiative transfer calculations to quantify the observational appearance of such disks. It was shown that the density waves in the disks were formed at the fall of the clump. After several revolutions they can transform into spirals and ring structures. Their images in millimeter wavelengths are very similar to those observed with Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array in some protoplanetary disks. We assume that clumpy accretion may be the source of such structures.


[37] 2205.06767

The spatial distribution of satellites in galaxy clusters

The planar distributions of satellite galaxies around the Milky Way and Andromeda have been extensively studied as potential challenges to the standard cosmological model. Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and the Millennium simulation we extend such studies to the satellite galaxies of massive galaxy clusters. We find that both observations and simulations of galaxy clusters show an excess of anisotropic satellite distributions. On average, satellites in clusters have a higher degree of anisotropy than their counterparts in Milky-Way-mass hosts once we account for the difference in their radial distributions. The normal vector of the plane of satellites is strongly aligned with the host halo's minor axis, while the alignment with the large-scale structure is weak. At fixed cluster mass, the degree of anisotropy is higher at higher redshift. This reflects the highly anisotropic nature of satellites accretion points, a feature that is partly erased by the subsequent orbital evolution of the satellites. We also find that satellite galaxies are mostly accreted singly so group accretion is not the explanation for the high flattening of the planes of satellites.


[38] 2205.06785

The Effect of Ocean Salinity on Climate and Its Implications for Earth's Habitability

The influence of atmospheric composition on the climates of present-day and early Earth has been studied extensively, but the role of ocean composition has received less attention. We use the ROCKE-3D ocean-atmosphere general circulation model to investigate the response of Earth's present-day and Archean climate system to low vs. high ocean salinity. We find that saltier oceans yield warmer climates in large part due to changes in ocean dynamics. Increasing ocean salinity from 20 g/kg to 50 g/kg results in a 71% reduction in sea ice cover in our present-day Earth scenario. This same salinity change also halves the pCO$_2$ threshold at which Snowball glaciation occurs in our Archean scenarios. In combination with higher levels of greenhouse gases such as CO$_2$ and CH$_4$, a saltier ocean may allow for a warm Archean Earth with only seasonal ice at the poles despite receiving 20% less energy from the Sun.


[39] 2205.06789

A simple linear model to aid in analyses of the Beta Pictoris moving group

We consider the Beta Pictoris moving group (BPMG) as compiled by Shkolnik et al. [2017, Astron. J., 154, 69] and build a four-dimensional linear model of its membership based on two nested applications of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to high-quality data on about 1.5 million objects. These data contain the objects' galactic space velocities and also the Gaia $G$ magnitude. Through PCA, they ultimately result in a four-dimensional straight line, referred to as PC $1'$, about which members of the BPMG congregate at generally small distances. Using a standard procedure to flag groups of outliers in data sets, we show that the objects flagged based on such distances are consistent with the BPMG compilation in use. We propose that PC $1'$ be added to the tool set for BPMG analyses and potentially extended to other young stellar moving groups.


[40] 2205.06269

The Quadruple Image Configurations of Asymptotically Circular Gravitational Lenses

The quadruple image configurations of gravitational lenses with vanishing ellipticity are examined. Even though such lenses asymptotically approach circularity, the configurations are stable if the position of the source relative to the vanishing diamond caustic is held constant. The configurations are the solutions of a quartic equation, an "Asymptotically Circular Lens Equation" (ACLE), parameterized by a single complex quantity. Several alternative parameterizations are examined. Relative magnifications of the images are derived. When a non-vanishing quadrupole, in the form of an external shear (XS), is added to the singular isothermal sphere (SIS), its configurations emerge naturally as stretched and squeezed versions of the circular configurations. And as the SIS+XS model is a good first approximation for most quadruply lensed quasars, their configurations likewise have only 2+1 salient dimensions. The asymptotically circular configurations can easily be adapted to the problem of Solar System "occultation flashes."


[41] 2205.06411

In-medium polarization tensor in strong magnetic fields (II): Axial Ward identity at finite temperature and density

We investigate the axial Ward identity (AWI) for massive fermions in strong magnetic fields. The divergence of the axial-vector current is computed at finite temperature and/or density with the help of a relation between the polarization and anomaly diagrams in the effective (1+1) dimensions realized in the lowest Landau level (LLL). We discuss delicate interplay between the vacuum and medium contributions that determines patterns of the spectral flow in the adiabatic limit and, more generally, the diabatic chirality production rate. We also establish an explicit relation between the AWIs from the LLL approximation and from the familiar triangle diagrams in the naive perturbative series with respect to the coupling constant.


[42] 2205.06624

The more things change the more they stay the same: Minimum lengths with unmodified uncertainty principle and dispersion relation

Broad arguments indicate that quantum gravity should have a minimal length scale. In this essay we construct a minimum length model by generalizing the time-position and energy-momentum operators while keeping much of the structure of quantum mechanics and relativity intact: the standard position-momentum commutator, the special relativistic time-position, and energy-momentum relationships all remain the same. Since the time-position and energy-momentum relationships for the modified operators remains the same, we retain a form of Lorentz symmetry. This avoids the constraints on these theories coming from lack of photon dispersion while holding the potential to address the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin (GZK) puzzle of ultra high energy cosmic rays.