Measurement of Energy Spectrum of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays [HEAP]

Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) are charged particles of energies above $10^{18}$ eV that originate outside of the Galaxy. Because the flux of the UHECRs at Earth is very small, the only practical way of observing UHECRs is by measuring the extensive air showers (EAS) produced by UHECRs in the atmosphere. This is done by using air fluorescence detectors and giant arrays of particle detectors on the ground. The Pierre Auger Observatory (Auger) and Telescope Array (TA) are two large cosmic ray experiments which use such techniques and cover 3000 km$^2$ and 700 km$^2$ areas on the ground, respectively. In this paper, we present the UHECR spectrum reported by the TA, using an exposure of 6300 km$^2$ sr yr accumulated over 7 years of data taking, and the corresponding result of Auger, using 10 years of data with a total exposure exceeding 50000 km$^2$ sr yr. We review the astrophysical interpretation of the two measurements, and discuss their systematic uncertainties.

Read this paper on arXiv…

V. Verzi, D. Ivanov and Y. Tsunesada
Fri, 26 May 17

Comments: 31 pages, 19 figures, accepted for publication in Prog. Theor. Exp. Phys

The origin of radio pulsar polarisation [HEAP]

Polarisation of radio pulsar profiles involves a number of poorly understood, intriguing phenomena, such as the existence of comparable amounts of orthogonal polarisation modes (OPMs), strong distortions of polarisation angle (PA) curves into shapes inconsistent with the rotating vector model (RVM), and the strong circular polarisation V which can be maximum (instead of zero) at the OPM jumps. It is shown that the existence of comparable OPMs and of the large V results from a coherent addition of phase-delayed waves in natural propagation modes, which are produced by an incident linearly polarised signal. The coherent mode summation implies opposite polarisation properties to those known from the incoherent case, in particular, the OPM jumps occur at peaks of V , whereas V changes sign at a maximum of the linear polarisation fraction L/I. These features are indispensable to interpret various observed polarisation effects. It is shown that statistical properties of the emission mechanism and of propagation effects can be efficiently parametrised in a simple model of coherent mode addition, which is successfully applied to complex polarisation phenomena, such as the stepwise PA curve of PSR B1913+16 and the strong distortions of the PA curve within core components of pulsars B1933+16 and B1237+25. The inclusion of coherent mode addition opens the possibility for a number of new polarisation effects, such as inversion of relative modal strength, twin minima in L/I coincident with peaks in V , 45 deg PA jumps in weakly polarised emission, and loop-shaped core PA distortions. The empirical treatment of the coherency of mode addition makes it possible to advance the understanding of pulsar polarisation beyond the RVM model.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Dyks
Fri, 26 May 17

Comments: 21 pages, 20 figures, submitted to MNRAS

An XMM-Newton and NuSTAR study of IGR J18214-1318: a non-pulsating high-mass X-ray binary with a neutron star [HEAP]

IGR J18214-1318, a Galactic source discovered by the International Gamma-Ray Astrophysics Laboratory, is a high-mass X-ray binary (HMXB) with a supergiant O-type stellar donor. We report on the XMM-Newton and NuSTAR observations that were undertaken to determine the nature of the compact object in this system. This source exhibits high levels of aperiodic variability, but no periodic pulsations are detected with a 90% confidence upper limit of 2% fractional rms between 0.00003-88 Hz, a frequency range that includes the typical pulse periods of neutron stars (NSs) in HMXBs (0.1-10$^3$ s). Although the lack of pulsations prevents us from definitively identifying the compact object in IGR J18214-1318, the presence of an exponential cutoff with e-folding energy $\lesssim30$ keV in its 0.3-79 keV spectrum strongly suggests that the compact object is an NS. The X-ray spectrum also shows a Fe K$\alpha$ emission line and a soft excess, which can be accounted for by either a partial-covering absorber with $N_{\mathrm{H}}\approx10^{23}$ cm$^{-2}$ which could be due to the inhomogeneous supergiant wind, or a blackbody component with $kT=1.74^{+0.04}{-0.05}$ keV and $R{BB}\approx0.3$ km, which may originate from NS hot spots. Although neither explanation for the soft excess can be excluded, the former is more consistent with the properties observed in other supergiant HMXBs. We compare IGR J18214-1318 to other HMXBs that lack pulsations or have long pulsation periods beyond the range covered by our observations.

Read this paper on arXiv…

F. Fornasini, J. Tomsick, M. Bachetti, et. al.
Fri, 26 May 17

Comments: 15 pages, 12 figures, 4 tables

Extending the "Energetic Scaling of Relativistic Jets From Black Hole Systems" to Include X-ray Binaries [HEAP]

We show that the jet power $P_j$ and geometrically corrected $\gamma$-ray luminosity $L_\gamma$ for the X-ray binaries (XRBs) Cygnus X-1, Cygnus X-3, and V404 Cygni, and $\gamma$-ray upper limits for GRS 1915+105 and GX339-4, follow the universal scaling for the energetics of relativistic jets from black hole (BH) systems found by Nemmen et al. (2012) for blazars and GRBs. The observed peak $\gamma$-ray luminosity for XRBs is geometrically corrected; and the minimum jet power is estimated from the peak flux density of radio flares and the flare rise time. The $L_\gamma-P_j$ correlation holds across $\sim 17$ orders of magnitude. The correlation suggests a jet origin for the high energy emission from X-ray binaries, and indicates a common mechanism or efficiency for the high energy emission 0.1-100 GeV from all relativistic BH systems.

Read this paper on arXiv…

G. Lamb, S. Kobayashi and E. Pian
Fri, 26 May 17

Comments: 9 pages, 2 figures. Submitted 21 Apr 2017 to MNRAS

Cosmic-Ray and Neutrino Emission from Gamma-Ray Bursts with a Nuclear Cascade [HEAP]

We discuss neutrino and cosmic-ray emission from Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs) with the injection of nuclei, where we take into account that a nuclear cascade from photo-disintegration can fully develop in the source. One of our main objectives is to test if recent results from the IceCube and the Pierre Auger Observatory can be accommodated with the paradigm that GRBs are the sources of Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs). While our key results are obtained using an internal shock model, we discuss how the secondary emission from a GRB shell can be interpreted in terms of other astrophysical models. It is demonstrated that the expected neutrino flux from GRBs weakly depends on the injection composition, which implies that prompt neutrinos from GRBs can efficiently test the GRB-UHECR paradigm even if the UHECRs are nuclei. We show that the UHECR spectrum and composition, as measured by the Pierre Auger Observatory, can be self-consistently reproduced in a combined source-propagation model. In an attempt to describe the energy range including the ankle, we find tension with the IceCube bounds from the GRB stacking analyses. In an alternative scenario, where only the UHECRs beyond the ankle originate from GRBs, the requirement for a joint description of cosmic-ray and neutrino observations favors lower luminosities, which does not correspond to the typical expectation from {\gamma}-ray observations.

Read this paper on arXiv…

D. Biehl, D. Boncioli, A. Fedynitch, et. al.
Fri, 26 May 17

Comments: 36 pages, 25 figures

Thermal-Diffusional Instability in White Dwarf Flames: Regimes of Flame Pulsation [HEAP]

Thermal-diffusional pulsation behaviors in planar as well as outwardly and inwardly propagating white dwarf carbon flames are systematically studied. In the 1D numerical simulation, the asymptotic degenerate equation of state and simplified one-step reaction rates for nuclear reactions are used to study the flame propagation and pulsation in white dwarfs. The numerical critical Zel’dovich numbers of planar flames at different densities ($\rho=2$, 3 and 4$\times 10^7$~g/cm$^3$) and of spherical flames (with curvature $c=$-0.01, 0, 0.01 and 0.05) at a particular density ($\rho=2\times 10^7$~g/cm$^3$) are presented. Flame front pulsation in different environmental densities and temperatures are obtained to form the regime diagram of pulsation, showing that carbon flames pulsate in the typical density of $2\times10^7~{\rm g/cm^3}$ and temperature of $0.6\times 10^9~{\rm K}$. While being stable at higher temperatures, at relatively lower temperatures the amplitude of the flame pulsation becomes larger. In outwardly propagating spherical flames the pulsation instability is enhanced and flames are also easier to quench due to pulsation at small radius, while the inwardly propagating flames are more stable.

Read this paper on arXiv…

G. Xing, Y. Zhao, M. Modestov, et. al.
Fri, 26 May 17

Comments: ApJ, 841, 21 (2017), 25 pages in arxiv version

The NuSTAR View of the Seyfert 2 Galaxy NGC 4388 [HEAP]

We present analysis of NuSTAR X-ray observations in the 3-79 keV energy band of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 4388, taken in 2013. The broadband sensitivity of NuSTAR, covering the Fe K$\alpha$ line and Compton reflection hump, enables tight constraints to be placed on reflection features in AGN X-ray spectra, thereby providing insight into the geometry of the circumnuclear material. In this observation, we found the X-ray spectrum of NGC 4388 to be well described by a moderately absorbed power law with non-relativistic reflection. We fit the spectrum with phenomenological reflection models and a physical torus model, and find the source to be absorbed by Compton-thin material (N${H} = (6.5\pm0.8)\times10^{23}$ cm$^{-2}$) with a very weak Compton reflection hump (R $<$ 0.09) and an exceptionally large Fe K$\alpha$ line (EW $= 368^{+56}{-53}$ eV) for a source with weak or no reflection. Calculations using a thin-shell approximation for the expected Fe K$\alpha$ EW indicate that an Fe K$\alpha$ line originating from Compton-thin material presents a possible explanation.

Read this paper on arXiv…

N. Kamraj, E. Rivers, F. Harrison, et. al.
Fri, 26 May 17

Comments: 5 pages, 2 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ