The Memory Effect for Plane Gravitational Waves [CL]

We give an account of the “gravitational memory effect” in the presence of an exact plane wave solution of Einstein’s vacuum equations. This allows an elementary but exact description of the soft gravitons and how their presence may be detected by observing the motion of freely falling particles.

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P. Zhang, C. Duval, G. Gibbons, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 7 pages, 2 figures

Testing a one-dimensional prescription of dynamical shear mixing with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation [SSA]

The treatment of mixing processes is still one of the major uncertainties in 1D stellar evolution models. This is mostly due to the need to parametrize and approximate aspects of hydrodynamics in hydrostatic codes. In particular, the effect of hydrodynamic instabilities in rotating stars, for example, dynamical shear instability, evades consistent description. We intend to study the accuracy of the diffusion approximation to dynamical shear in hydrostatic stellar evolution models by comparing 1D models to a first-principle hydrodynamics simulation starting from the same initial conditions. We chose an initial model calculated with the stellar evolution code GENEC that is just at the onset of a dynamical shear instability but does not show any other instabilities (e.g., convection). This was mapped to the hydrodynamics code SLH to perform a 2D simulation in the equatorial plane. We compare the resulting profiles in the two codes and compute an effective diffusion coefficient for the hydro simulation. Shear instabilities develop in the 2D simulation in the regions predicted by linear theory to become unstable in the 1D model. Angular velocity and chemical composition is redistributed in the unstable region, thereby creating new unstable regions. Eventually the 2D simulation settles in a symmetric, steady state, which is Richardson stable everywhere, whereas the instability remains for longer in the 1D model due to current limitations in the 1D code. A spatially resolved diffusion coefficient is extracted by comparing the initial and final profiles of mean atomic mass. The presented simulation gives a first insight on hydrodynamics of shear instabilities in a real stellar environment and even allows us to directly extract an effective diffusion coefficient. We see evidence for a critical Richardson number of 0.25 as regions above this value remain stable for the course of the simulation.

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P. Edelmann, F. Roepke, R. Hirschi, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 15 pages, 14 figures, accepted for publication by A&A, movie available at this https URL

A Polarization Sequence for Type Ia Supernovae? [HEAP]

Early polarization observations on Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) may reveal the geometry of supernova ejecta, and then put constraints on their explosion mechanism and their progenitor model. We performed a literature search of SNe Ia with polarization measurements and determined the polarization and relative equivalent width (REW) of Si II 635.5-nm absorption feature at -5 days after the maximum light. We found that either the distribution of observed polarization degree is bimodal, i.e. the broad line SNe Ia have systematically higher polarization than all other SNe Ia, or all kind of SNe Ia share the same polarization sequence, i.e. the polarization of Si II 635.5-nm absorption feature increases with the REW. We also discussed the potential meaning of the discovery on the explosion mechanism and progenitor model of SNe Ia.

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X. Meng, J. Zhang and Z. Han
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 4 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ

Investigating the Unification of LOFAR-detected powerful AGN in the Boötes Field [GA]

Low radio frequency surveys are important for testing unified models of radio-loud quasars and radio galaxies. Intrinsically similar sources that are randomly oriented on the sky will have different projected linear sizes. Measuring the projected linear sizes of these sources provides an indication of their orientation. Steep-spectrum isotropic radio emission allows for orientation-free sample selection at low radio frequencies. We use a new radio survey of the Bo\”otes field at 150 MHz made with the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) to select a sample of radio sources. We identify 44 radio galaxies and 16 quasars with powers $P>10^{25.5}$ W Hz$^{-1}$ at 150 MHz using cross-matched multi-wavelength information from the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES), which provides spectroscopic redshifts. We find that LOFAR-detected radio sources with steep spectra have projected linear sizes that are on average 4.4$\pm$1.4 larger than those with flat spectra. The projected linear sizes of radio galaxies are on average 3.1$\pm$1.0 larger than those of quasars (2.0$\pm$0.3 after correcting for redshift evolution). Combining these results with three previous surveys, we find that the projected linear sizes of radio galaxies and quasars depend on redshift but not on power. The projected linear size ratio does not correlate with either parameter. The LOFAR data is consistent within the uncertainties with theoretical predictions of the correlation between the quasar fraction and linear size ratio, based on an orientation-based unification scheme.

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L. Morabito, W. Williams, K. Duncan, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 14 pages, accepted for publication in MNRAS

Mirror Position Determination for the Alignment of Cherenkov Telescopes [IMA]

Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs) need imaging optics with large apertures to map the faint Cherenkov light emitted in extensive air showers onto their image sensors. Segmented reflectors fulfill these needs using mass produced and light weight mirror facets. However, as the overall image is the sum of the individual mirror facet images, alignment is important. Here we present a method to determine the mirror facet positions on a segmented reflector in a very direct way. Our method reconstructs the mirror facet positions from photographs and a laser distance meter measurement which goes from the center of the image sensor plane to the center of each mirror facet. We use our method to both align the mirror facet positions and to feed the measured positions into our IACT simulation. We demonstrate our implementation on the 4 m First Geiger-mode Avalanche Cherenkov Telescope (FACT).

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J. Adam, M. Ahnen, D. Baack, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 11 figures, small ray tracing performance simulation, and implementation demonstration

Beta Dips in the Gaia Era: Simulation Predictions of the Galactic Velocity Anisotropy Parameter for Stellar Halos [GA]

The velocity anisotropy parameter, beta, is a measure of the kinematic state of orbits in the stellar halo which holds promise for constraining the merger history of the Milky Way (MW). We determine global trends for beta as a function of radius from three suites of simulations, including accretion only and cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. We find that both types of simulations are consistent and predict strong radial anisotropy (<beta>~0.7) for Galactocentric radii greater than 10 kpc. Previous observations of beta for the MW’s stellar halo claim a detection of an isotropic or tangential “dip” at r~20 kpc. Using the N-body+SPH simulations, we investigate the temporal persistence, population origin, and severity of “dips” in beta. We find dips in the in situ stellar halo are long-lived, while dips in the accreted stellar halo are short-lived and tied to the recent accretion of satellite material. We also find that a major merger as early as z~1 can result in a present day low (isotropic to tangential) value of beta over a wide range of radii. While all of these mechanisms are plausible drivers for the beta dip observed in the MW, in the simulations, each mechanism has a unique metallicity signature associated with it, implying that future spectroscopic surveys could distinguish between them. Since an accurate knowledge of beta(r) is required for measuring the mass of the MW halo, we note significant transient dips in beta could cause an overestimate of the halo’s mass when using spherical Jeans equation modeling.

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S. Loebman, M. Valluri, K. Hattori, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 11 pages, 5 figures, submitted to ApJ, companion paper to Hattori et al. (2017)

Gas rotation, shocks and outflow within the inner 3 kpc of the radio galaxy 3C 33 [GA]

We present optical integral field spectroscopy $-$ obtained with the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph $-$ of the inner $4.0 \times 5.8$ kpc$^2$ of the narrow line radio galaxy 3C 33 at a spatial resolution of 0.58 kpc. The gas emission shows three brightest structures: a strong knot of nuclear emission and two other knots at $\approx 1.4$ kpc south-west and north-east of the nucleus along the ionization axis. We detect two kinematic components in the emission lines profiles, with a “broader component” (with velocity dispersion $\sigma > 150$ km s$^{-1}$) being dominant within a $\sim$ 1 kpc wide strip (“the nuclear strip”) running from the south-east to the north-west, perpendicular to the radio jet, and a narrower component ($\sigma < 100$ km s$^{-1}$) dominating elsewhere. Centroid velocity maps reveal a rotation pattern with velocity amplitudes reaching $\sim \pm 350$ km s$^{-1}$ in the region dominated by the narrow component, while residual blueshifts and redshifts relative to rotation are observed in the nuclear strip, where we also observe the highest values of the [N II]/H{\alpha}, [S II]/H{\alpha} and [O I]/H{\alpha} line ratios, and an increase of the gas temperature ($\sim 18000$ K), velocity dispersion and electron density ($\sim 500$ cm$^{-3}$). We interpret these residuals and increased line ratios as due to a lateral expansion of the ambient gas in the nuclear strip due to shocks produced by the passage of the radio jet. The effect of this expansion in the surrounding medium is very small, as its estimated kinetic power represents only $2.6 – 3.0 \times 10^{-5}$ of the AGN bolometric luminosity. A possible signature of inflow is revealed by an increase in the [O I]/H{\alpha} ratio values and velocity dispersions in the shape of two spiral arms extending to 2.3 kpc north-east and south-west from the nucleus.

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G. Couto, T. Storchi-Bergmann and A. Schnorr-Muller
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 16 pages, 14 figures, accepted by MNRAS