The Southern HII Region Discovery Survey (SHRDS): Pilot Survey [GA]

The Southern HII Region Discovery Survey (SHRDS) is a survey of the third and fourth quadrants of the Galactic plane that will detect radio recombination line and continuum emission at cm-wavelengths from several hundred HII region candidates using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. The targets for this survey come from the WISE Catalog of Galactic HII Regions, and were identified based on mid-infrared and radio continuum emission. In this pilot project, two different configurations of the Compact Array Broad Band receiver and spectrometer system were used for short test observations. The pilot surveys detected radio recombination line emission from 36 of 53 HII region candidates, as well as seven known \hii regions that were included for calibration. These 36 recombination line detections confirm that the candidates are true HII regions, and allow us to estimate their distances.

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C. Brown, C. Jordan, J. Dickey, et. al.
Thu, 25 May 17

Comments: 19 pages, 5 figures, Astronomical Journal in press

Variable stars in the northern Galactic plane from KISOGP [SSA]

We have conducted a large-scale survey of the northern plane using Kiso Wide Field Camera attached to Schmidt telescope at Kiso observatory. The KISOGP (KWFC Intensive Survey of the Galactic Plane) project have made 40-70 epoch observations in I band of about 320 sq. degrees for 5 years starting in 2012. The limiting magnitude is around 16.5 in I. In the data analysis so far, we detected a couple of thousands of variable stars including approximately 100 Cepheids and more than 700 Miras. Roughly 90 percent of them were not previously reported as variable stars, indicating that there are still many relatively bright variables to be found in the Galactic plane.

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N. Matsunaga
Thu, 25 May 17

Comments: Conference on wide field variability surveys: a 21st-century perspective, 2 pages in press

Modelling polarized light from dust shells surrounding asymptotic giant branch stars [SSA]

Winds of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars are commonly assumed to be driven by radiative acceleration of dust grains. For M-type AGB stars, the nature of the wind-driving dust species has been a matter of intense debate. A proposed source of the radiation pressure triggering the outflows is photon scattering on Fe-free silicate grains. This wind-driving mechanism requires grain radii of about 0.1 – 1 micron in order to make the dust particles efficient at scattering radiation around the stellar flux maximum. Grain size is therefore an important parameter for understanding the physics behind the winds of M-type AGB stars. We seek to investigate the diagnostic potential of scattered polarized light for determining dust grain sizes. We have developed a new tool for computing synthetic images of scattered light in dust and gas shells around AGB stars, which can be applied to detailed models of dynamical atmospheres and dust-driven winds. We present maps of polarized light using dynamical models computed with the DARWIN code. The synthetic images clearly show that the intensity of the polarized light, the position of the inner edge of the dust shell, and the size of the dust grains near the inner edge are all changing with the luminosity phase. Non-spherical structures in the dust shells can also have an impact on the polarized light. We simulate this effect by combining different pulsation phases into a single 3D structure before computing synthetic images. An asymmetry of the circumstellar envelope can create a net polarization, which can be used as diagnostics for the grain size. The ratio between the size of the scattering particles and the observed wavelength determines at what wavelengths net polarization switches direction. If observed, this can be used to constrain average particle sizes.

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E. Aronson, S. Bladh and S. Hofner
Thu, 25 May 17

Comments: 9 pages

Discovery of a new branch of the Taurid meteoroid stream as a real source of potentially hazardous bodies [EPA]

Taurid meteor shower produces prolonged but usually low activity every October and November. In some years, however, the activity is significantly enhanced. Previous studies based on long-term activity statistics concluded that the enhancement is caused by a swarm of meteoroids locked in 7:2 resonance with Jupiter. Here we present precise data on 144 Taurid fireballs observed by new digital cameras of the European Fireball Network in the enhanced activity year 2015. Orbits of 113 fireballs show common characteristics and form together a well defined orbital structure, which we call new branch. We found that this branch is characterized by longitudes of perihelia lying between 155.9-160o and latitudes of perihelia between 4.2-5.7o. Semimajor axes are between 2.23-2.28 AU and indeed overlap with the 7:2 resonance. Eccentricities are in wide range 0.80-0.90. The orbits form a concentric ring in the inner solar system. The masses of the observed meteoroids were in a wide range from 0.1 g to more than 1000 kg. We found that all meteoroids larger than 300 g were very fragile, while those smaller than 30 g were much more compact. Based on orbital characteristics, we argue that asteroids 2015 TX24 and 2005 UR, both of diameters 200-300 meters, are direct members of the new branch. It is therefore very likely that the new branch contains also numerous still not discovered objects of decameter or even larger size. Since asteroids of sizes of tens to hundreds meters pose a treat to the ground even if they are intrinsically weak, impact hazard increases significantly when the Earth encounters the Taurid new branch every few years. Further studies leading to better description of this real source of potentially hazardous objects, which can be large enough to cause significant regional or even continental damage on the Earth, are therefore extremely important.

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P. Spurny, J. Borovicka, H. Mucke, et. al.
Thu, 25 May 17

Comments: 24 pages, 22 figures, 5 tables. Accepted in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Far-Ultraviolet Observation of the Globular Cluster NGC 6397 [SSA]

We present an observational far-UV (FUV) and near-UV (NUV) study of the core region of the globular cluster NGC 6397. The observations were obtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS, FUV), and the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3, NUV) on board the Hubble Space Telescope. Here, we focus on the UV bright stellar populations such as blue stragglers (BSs), white dwarfs (WDs) and cataclysmic variables (CVs). We present the first FUV-NUV color-magnitude diagram (CMD) for this cluster. To support our classification of the stellar populations, we compare our FUV-NUV CMD with optical data from the ACS Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters. The FUV-NUV CMD indicates 16 sources located in the WD area, and ten BSs within the 25″x 25″ of the STIS FUV data. Eighteen Chandra X-ray sources are located within the FUV field of view. Thirteen of those have a NUV counterpart, of which nine sources also have a FUV counterpart. Out of those, five sources are previously suggested CVs, and indeed all five are located in the WD/CV region in our FUV-NUV CMD. Another CV only has a FUV but no NUV counterpart. We also detect a NUV (but no FUV) counterpart to the MSP located in the core of this cluster. The NUV lightcurves of the CVs and MSP show flickering behaviour typical of CVs. We found that the BSs and CVs are the most centrally concentrated population. This might be an effect of mass segregation or indicate the preferred birth place of BSs and CVs via dynamical interactions in the dense core region of GCs. HB stars are the least centrally concentrated population and absent in the innermost area of the core.

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A. Dieball, A. Rasekh, C. Knigge, et. al.
Thu, 25 May 17

Comments: 13 pages, MNRAS accepted

Rapidly star-forming galaxies adjacent to quasars at redshifts exceeding 6 [GA]

The existence of massive ($10^{11}$ solar masses) elliptical galaxies by redshift z~4 (when the Universe was 1.5 billion years old) necessitates the presence of galaxies with star-formation rates exceeding 100 solar masses per year at z>6 (corresponding to an age of the Universe of less than 1 billion years). Surveys have discovered hundreds of galaxies at these early cosmic epochs, but their star-formation rates are more than an order of magnitude lower. The only known galaxies with very high star-formation rates at z>6 are, with only one exception, the host galaxies of quasars, but these galaxies also host accreting supermassive (more than $10^9$ solar masses) black holes, which probably affect the properties of the galaxies. Here we report observations of an emission line of singly ionized carbon ([CII] at a wavelength of 158 micrometres) in four galaxies at z>6 that are companions of quasars, with velocity offsets of less than 600 kilometers per second and linear offsets of less than 600 kiloparsecs. The discovery of these four galaxies was serendipitous; they are close to their companion quasars and appear bright in the far-infrared. On the basis of the [CII] measurements, we estimate star-formation rates in the companions of more than 100 solar masses per year. These sources are similar to the host galaxies of the quasars in [CII] brightness, linewidth and implied dynamical masses, but do not show evidence for accreting supermassive black holes. Similar systems have previously been found at lower redshift. We find such close companions in four out of twenty-five z>6 quasars surveyed, a fraction that needs to be accounted for in simulations. If they are representative of the bright end of the [CII] luminosity function, then they can account for the population of massive elliptical galaxies at z~4 in terms of cosmic space density.

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R. Decarli, F. Walter, B. Venemans, et. al.
Thu, 25 May 17

Comments: Nature, in press

Parity fluctuations in stellar dynamos [SSA]

Observations of the solar butterfly diagram from sunspot records suggest persistent fluctuation in parity, away from the overall, approximately dipolar structure. We use a simple mean-field dynamo model with a solar-like rotation law, and perturb the $\alpha$-effect. We find that the parity of the magnetic field with respect to the rotational equator can demonstrate what we describe as resonant behaviour, while the magnetic energy behaves in a more or less expected way. We discuss possible applications of the phenomena in the context of various deviations of the solar magnetic field from dipolar symmetry, as reported from analysis of archival sunspot data. We deduce that our model produces fluctuations in field parity, and hence in the butterfly diagram, that are consistent with observed fluctaions in solar behaviour.

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D. Moss and D. Sokoloff
Thu, 25 May 17

Comments: N/A