The Magnetic Field in the central parsec of the Galaxy [GA]

We present a polarisation map of the warm dust emission from the minispiral in the central parsec of the Galactic centre. The observations were made at a wavelength of 12.5 microns with CanariCam mounted on the 10.4-m Gran Telescopio Canarias. The magnetic field traced by the polarised emission from aligned dust grains is consistent with previous observations, but the increased resolution of the present data reveals considerably more information on the detailed structure of the B field and its correspondence with the filamentary emission seen in both mid-infrared continuum emission and free-free emission at cm wavelengths. The magnetic field appears to be compressed and pushed by the outflows from luminous stars in the Northern Arm, but it is not disordered by them. We identify some magnetically coherent filaments that cross the Northern Arm at a Position Angle of ~45 degrees, and which may trace orbits inclined to the primary orientation of the Northern Arm and circumnuclear disk. In the East-West bar, the magnetic fields implied by the polarization in the lower intensity regions lie predominantly along the bar at a Position Angle of 130 – 140 degrees. In contrast to the Northern Arm, the brighter regions of the bar tend to have lower degrees of polarization with a greater divergence in position angle compared to the local diffuse emission. It appears that the diffuse emission in the East-West bar traces the underlying field and that the bright compact sources are unrelated objects presumably projected onto the bar and with different field orientations

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P. Roche, E. Lopez-Rodriguez, C. Telesco, et. al.
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: 12 Pages, 5 figures, 1 Table. To be published in MNRAS

Long-Term Oscillations of Sunspots and a Special Class of Artifacts in SOHO(MDI) and SDO(HMI) Data [SSA]

A specific type of artifacts, that originate due to displacement of the image of a moving object along the digital (pixel) matrix of receiver are analyzed in detail. The criteria of appearance and the influence of these artifacts on the study of long-term oscillations of sunspots are deduced. The obtained criteria suggest us methods for reduction or even elimination of these artifacts. It is shown that the use of integral parameters can be very effective against the artifact distortions. The simultaneous observations of sunspot magnetic field and ultraviolet intensity of the umbra have given the same periods for the long-term oscillations. In this way the real physical nature of the oscillatory process, which is independent of the artifacts have been confirmed again. A number of examples considered here confirm the dependence between the periods of main mode of the sunspot magnetic field long-term oscillations and its strength. The dependence was derived earlier from both the observations and the theoretical model of the shallow sunspot. The anti-phase behavior of time variations of sunspot umbra area and magnetic field of the sunspot demonstrates that the umbra of sunspot moves in long-term oscillations as a whole: all its points oscillate with the same phase.

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V. Efremov, A. Soloviev, L. Parfinenko, et. al.
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: 25 pages, 12 figures

The Cosmic-Ray Spectra: News on their Knees [CL]

In a comprehensive model of Cosmic Rays (CRs) proposed a decade ago, the energies of the spectral “knees” of the various CR species were predicted to be proportional to mass, rather than charge. The model also predicts the knees to occur at an energy of two to four million times the particle’s rest mass. Recent data allow one to verify this prediction, particularly for Fe and lighter-nuclei CRs. But the most stringent test involves the putative knee in the CR electron spectrum, since the mass ratio of electrons to protons (and nuclei) is so very different from their charge ratio(s). Very recent results on the spectra of positrons and electrons at the highest measured energies corroborate the existence of an electron knee, with the expected shape and at the predicted energy.

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A. Rujula
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: 10 pages, 7 figures

The coolest extremely low-mass white dwarfs [SSA]

Extremely low-mass white dwarf (ELM WD; $M_{\star}$ $\lesssim$ $0.18-0.20\ $ $M_{\odot}$) stars are thought to be formed in binary systems via stable or unstable mass transfer. Although stable mass transfer predicts the formation of ELM WDs with thick hydrogen (H) envelopes, and hence characterized by dominant residual nuclear burning along the cooling branch, the formation of ELM WDs with thinner H envelopes from unstable mass loss cannot be discarded. We compute new evolutionary sequences for helium (He) core WD stars with thin H envelope with the main aim of assessing the lowest $T_{\rm eff}$ that could be reached by this type of stars. We generate a new grid of evolutionary sequences of He core WD stars with thin H envelope in the mass range from $0.1554$ to $0.2025 M_{\odot}$, and assess the changes in both the cooling times and surface gravity induced by a reduction of the H envelope. We also determine, taking into account the predictions of progenitor evolution, the lowest $T_{\rm eff}$ reached by the resulting ELM WDs. We find that a slight reduction in the H envelope yields a significant increase in the cooling rate of ELM WDs. Because of this, ELM WDs with thin H envelope could cool down to $\sim 2500\ $K, in contrast with their canonical counterparts that cool down to $\sim 7000\ $K. In addition, we find that a reduction of the thickness of the H envelope increases markedly the surface gravity ($g$) of these stars. If ELM WDs are formed with thin H envelopes, they could be detected at very low $T_{\rm eff}$. The detection of such cool ELM WDs would be indicative that they were formed with thin H envelopes, thus opening the possibility of placing constraints to the possible mechanisms of formation of this type of stars. Last but not least, the increase in $g$ due to the reduction of the H envelope leads to consequences in the spectroscopic determinations of these stars.

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L. Calcaferro, L. Althaus and A. Corsico
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: 7 pages, 4 figures, 1 table. Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics

Evolution of H$_2$O Production in Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) as Inferred from Forbidden Oxygen and OH Emission [EPA]

We present H$_2$O production rates for comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) derived from observations of [OI] and OH emission during its inbound leg, covering a heliocentric distance range of 1.8-0.44 AU. Our production rates are in agreement with previous measurements using a variety of instruments and techniques and with data from the various observatories greatly differing in their projected fields of view. The consistent results across all data suggest the absence of an extended source of H$_2$O production, for example sublimation of icy grains in the coma, or a source with spatial extent confined to the dimensions of the smallest projected field of view (in this case $<$ 1,000 km). We find that ISON had an active area of around 10 km$^2$ for heliocentric distances R$_h$ > 1.2 AU, which then decreased to about half this value from R$_h$=1.2-0.9 AU. This was followed by a rapid increase in active area at about R$_h$=0.6 AU, corresponding to the first of three major outbursts ISON experienced inside of 1 AU. The combination of a detected outburst in the light curve and rapid increase in active area likely indicates a major nucleus fragmentation event. The 5-10 km$^2$ active area observed outside of R$_h$=0.6 AU is consistent with a 50-100% active fraction for the nucleus, larger than typically observed for cometary nuclei. Although the absolute value of the active area is somewhat dependent on the thermal model employed, the changes in active area observed are consistent among models. The conclusion of a 50-100+% active fraction is robust for realistic thermal models of the nucleus. However the possibility of a contribution of a spatially unresolved distribution of icy grains cannot be discounted.

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A. McKay, A. Cochran, M. DiSanti, et. al.
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: 26 pages, 5 figures, 5 tables, accepted for publication in Icarus

Primordial black holes and uncertainties on choice of window function [CEA]

Primordial black holes (PBHs) can be produced by the perturbations which exit the horizon during inflationary phase. While inflation models predict the power spectrum of the perturbations in Fourier space, the PBH abundance depends on the probability distribution function (PDF) of density perturbations in real space. In order to estimate the PBH abundance in a given inflation model, we must relate the power spectrum in Fourier space to the PDF in real space by coarse-graining the perturbations with a window function. However, there are uncertainties on what window function should be used, which could change the relation between the PBH abundance and the power spectrum. This is particularly important in considering PBHs with mass $30 M_\odot$ which account for the LIGO events because the required power spectrum is severely constrained by the observations. In this paper, we investigate how large influence the uncertainties on the choice of a window function have over the power spectrum required for LIGO PBHs. As a result, it is found that the uncertainties most significantly affect the prediction for the stochastic gravitational waves (GWs) induced by the second order effect of the perturbations. In particular, the pulsar timing array constraints on the produced GWs could disappear for the real-space top-hat window function.

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K. Ando, K. Inomata and M. Kawasaki
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: 10 pages, 8 figures

Reducing and Analyzing the PHAT Survey with the Cloud [IMA]

We discuss the technical challenges we faced and the techniques we used to overcome them when reducing the PHAT photometric data set on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). We first describe the architecture of our photometry pipeline, which we found particularly efficient for reducing the data in multiple ways for different purposes. We then describe the features of EC2 that make this architecture both efficient to use and challenging to implement. We describe the techniques we adopted to process our data, and suggest ways these techniques may be improved for those interested in trying such reductions in the future. Finally, we summarize the output photometry data products, which are now hosted publicly in two places in two formats. They are in simple fits tables in the high-level science products on MAST, and on a queryable database available through the NOAO Data Lab.

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B. Williams, K. Olsen, R. Khan, et. al.
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: 12 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in ApJS