Disc truncation in embedded star clusters: Dynamical encounters versus face-on accretion [GA]


Observations indicate that the dispersal of protoplanetary discs in star clusters occurs on time scales of about 5 Myr. Several processes are thought to be responsible for this disc dispersal. Here we compare two of these processes: dynamical encounters and interaction with the interstellar medium, which includes face-on accretion and ram pressure stripping. We perform simulations of embedded star clusters with parameterisations for both processes to determine the environment in which either of these processes is dominant. We find that face-on accretion, including ram pressure stripping, is the dominant disc truncation process if the fraction of the total cluster mass in stars is $\lesssim 30\,\%$ regardless of the cluster mass and radius. Dynamical encounters require stellar densities $\gtrsim 10^4$ pc$^{-3}$ combined with a mass fraction in stars of $\approx 90\,\%$ to become the dominant process. Our results show that during the embedded phase of the cluster, the truncation of the discs is dominated by face-on accretion and dynamical encounters become dominant when the intra-cluster gas has been expelled. As a result of face-on accretion the protoplanetary discs become compact and their surface density increases. In contrast, dynamical encounters lead to discs that are less massive and remain larger.

Read this paper on arXiv…

T. Wijnen, O. Pols, F. Pelupessy, et. al.
Fri, 23 Jun 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in A&A, 14 pages, 8 figures, 1 table

Predicting the locations of possible long-lived low-mass first stars: Importance of satellite dwarf galaxies [GA]


The search for metal-free stars has so far been unsuccessful, proving that if there are surviving stars from the first generation, they are rare, they have been polluted, or we have been looking in the wrong place. To predict the likely location of Population~III (Pop~III) survivors, we semi-analytically model early star formation in progenitors of Milky Way-like galaxies and their environments. We base our model on merger trees from the high-resolution dark matter only simulation suite \textit{Caterpillar}. Radiative and chemical feedback are taken into account self-consistently, based on the spatial distribution of the haloes. Our results are consistent with the non-detection of Pop III survivors in the Milky Way today. We find that possible surviving Population III stars are more common in Milky Way satellites than in the main Galaxy. In particular, low mass Milky Way satellites contain a much larger fraction of Pop~III stars than the Milky Way. Such nearby, low mass Milky Way satellites are promising targets for future attempts to find Pop~III survivors, especially for high-resolution, high signal-to-noise spectroscopic observations. We provide the probabilities to find a Pop~III survivor in the red giant branch phase for all known Milky Way satellites to guide future observations.

Read this paper on arXiv…

M. Magg, T. Hartwig, B. Agarwal, et. al.
Fri, 23 Jun 17

Comments: 16 pages, 11 figures, 1 table, submitted to MNRAS

Nuclei of dwarf spheroidal galaxies KKs3 and ESO269-66 and their counterparts in our Galaxy [GA]


We present the analysis of medium-resolution spectra obtained at the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) for nuclear globular clusters (GCs) in two dwarf spheroidal galaxies (dSphs). The galaxies have similar star formation histories, but they are situated in completely different environments. ESO269-66 is a close neighbour of the giant S0 NGC5128. KKs3 is one of the few truly isolated dSphs within 10 Mpc. We estimate the helium abundance $Y=0.3$, $\rm age=12.6\pm1$ Gyr, $[Fe/H]=-1.5,-1.55\pm0.2$ dex, and abundances of C, N, Mg, Ca, Ti, and Cr for the nuclei of ESO269-66 and KKs3. Our surface photometry results using HST images yield the half-light radius of the cluster in KKs3, $\rm r_h=4.8\pm0.2$ pc. We demonstrate the similarities of medium-resolution spectra, ages, chemical compositions, and structure for GCs in ESO269-66 and KKs3 and for several massive Galactic GCs with $[Fe/H]\sim-1.6$ dex. All Galactic GCs posses Extended Blue Horizontal Branches and multiple stellar populations. Five of the selected Galactic objects are iron-complex GCs. Our results indicate that the sample GCs observed now in different environments had similar conditions of their formation $\sim$1 Gyr after the Big Bang.

Read this paper on arXiv…

M. Sharina, V. Shimansky and A. Kniazev
Fri, 23 Jun 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS, 14 pages, 8 figures, 10 tables

CO observations of the molecular gas in the galactic HII region Sh2-48; Evidence for cloud-cloud collision as a trigger of high-mass star formation [GA]


Understanding the mechanism of high-mass star formation is one of the top-priority issues in contemporary astrophysics. Sh2-48 is a galactic HII region located at 3.8kpc from the Sun. It harbors an O9.5-type star at the center of the HII region which is extended for ~10 arcsin. As a part of the FOREST Unbiased Galactic plane Imaging survey with the Nobeyama 45-m telescope (FUGIN) project, we obtained the CO J=1-0 dataset for a large area of Sh2-48 at a spatial resolution of 21 arcsec, which corresponds to ~0.4pc at 3.8kpc. The CO data revealed that the molecular gas having a total molecular mass of 8.5×10^4 M_sun is associated with Sh2-48, which shows a characteristic line-symmetric velocity gradient over ~4km/s. Such a velocity gradient cannot be formed by a spherical expansion the HII region. In this paper, we discuss a cloud-cloud collision scenario to interpret the observed signatures including the velocity gradient. By comparing between the observations and simulations, we found that this line-symmetric velocity gradient is an expected outcome of a collision between a cylindrical cloud and a large spherical cloud, and we concluded that the high-mass star formation in Sh2-48 was triggered by the collision. Our results reinforce the importance of cloud-cloud collision for high-mass star formation in the Milky Way.

Read this paper on arXiv…

K. Torii, Y. Hattori, M. Matsuo, et. al.
Fri, 23 Jun 17

Comments: 15 pages, 13 figures

A mid-infrared statistical investigation of clumpy torus model predictions [GA]


We present new calculations of the CAT3D clumpy torus models, which now include a more physical dust sublimation model as well as AGN anisotropic emission. These new models allow graphite grains to persist at temperatures higher than the silicate dust sublimation temperature. This produces stronger near-infrared emission and bluer mid-infrared (MIR) spectral slopes. We make a statistical comparison of the CAT3D model MIR predictions with a compilation of sub-arcsecond resolution ground-based MIR spectroscopy of 52 nearby Seyfert galaxies (median distance of 36 Mpc) and 10 quasars. We focus on the AGN MIR spectral index $\alpha_{MIR}$ and the strength of the 9.7 $\mu$m silicate feature $S_{Sil}$. As with other clumpy torus models, the new CAT3D models do not reproduce the Seyfert galaxies with deep silicate absorption ($S_{Sil}<-1$). Excluding those, we conclude that the new CAT3D models are in better agreement with the observed $\alpha_{MIR}$ and $S_{Sil}$ of Seyfert galaxies and quasars. We find that Seyfert 2 are reproduced with models with low photon escape probabilities, while the quasars and the Seyfert 1-1.5 require generally models with higher photon escape probabilities. Quasars and Seyfert 1-1.5 tend to show steeper radial cloud distributions and fewer clouds along an equatorial line-of-sight than Seyfert 2. Introducing AGN anisotropic emission besides the more physical dust sublimation models alleviates the problem of requiring inverted radial cloud distributions (i.e., more clouds towards the outer parts of the torus) to explain the MIR spectral indices of type 2 Seyferts.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Garcia-Gonzalez, A. Alonso-Herrero, S. Honig, et. al.
Fri, 23 Jun 17

Comments: 23 pages, 17 figures, 5 tables, Accepted for publication in MNRAS

The Main Sequence relation in the HST Frontier Fields [GA]


We investigate the relation between the star formation rate (SFR) and the stellar mass, i.e. the Main Sequence (MS) relation of star-forming galaxies, at 1.3 <= z < 6 in the first four HST Frontier Fields, based on rest-frame UV observations. Gravitational lensing combined with deep HST observations allows us to extend the analysis of the MS down to stellar masses as low as logM/Msun~7.5 at z<~4 and logM/Msun~8 at higher redshifts, a factor of ~10 below most previous results. We perform an accurate simulation to take into account the effect of observational uncertainties on the MS and correct for the Eddington bias. This step allows us to reliably measure the MS and in particular its slope. While the normalization increases with redshift, we fit an unevolving and approximately linear slope. We nicely extend to lower masses the results of brighter surveys. Thanks to the large dynamic range in mass for this galaxy sample and by making use of the simulation, we analyzed any possible dependence of the dispersion around the MS on the stellar mass. We find tentative evidence that the scatter decreases with increasing stellar masses, suggesting a larger variety of star formation histories in low mass galaxies. This trend agrees with the predictions of theoretical models of galaxy evolution, and is explained as either a consequence of the smaller number of progenitors of low mass galaxies in a hierarchical scenario and/or of the efficient but intermittent stellar feedback processes in low mass halos. Finally, we observe an increase in the sSFR with redshift milder than predicted by theoretical models, implying a still incomplete theoretical understanding of the processes responsible for galaxy growth.

Read this paper on arXiv…

P. Santini, A. Fontana, M. Castellano, et. al.
Fri, 23 Jun 17

Comments: Submitted to ApJ

Stellar dynamics in the strong-lensing central galaxy of Abell 1201: A low stellar mass-to-light ratio, a large central compact mass, and a standard dark matter halo [GA]


We analyse the stellar kinematics of the z=0.169 brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in Abell 1201, using integral field observations with VLT/MUSE. This galaxy has a gravitationally-lensed arc located at unusually small radius ($\sim$5 kpc), allowing us to constrain the mass distribution using lensing and stellar dynamical information over the same radial range. We measure a velocity dispersion profile which is nearly flat at $\sigma$ $\approx$ 285 km/s in the inner $\sim$5 kpc, and then rises steadily to $\sigma$ $\approx$ 360 km/s at $\sim$30 kpc. We analyse the kinematics using axisymmetric Jeans models, finding that the data require both a significant dark matter halo (to fit the rising outer profile) and a compact central component, with mass $M_{\rm cen}$ $\approx$ 2.5$\times$10$^{10}$ $M_\odot$ (to fit the flat {\sigma} in the inner regions). The latter component could represent a super-massive black hole, in which case it would be among the largest known to date. Alternatively $M_{\rm cen}$ could describe excess mass associated with a gradient in the stellar mass-to-light ratio. Imposing a standard NFW dark matter density profile, we recover a stellar mass-to-light ratio $\Upsilon$ which is consistent with a Milky-Way-like initial mass function (IMF). By anchoring the models using the lensing mass constraint, we break the degeneracy between $\Upsilon$ and the inner slope $\gamma$ of the dark matter profile, finding $\gamma$=1.0$\pm$0.1, consistent with the NFW form. We show that our results are quite sensitive to the treatment of the central mass in the models. Neglecting $M_{\rm cen}$ biases the results towards both a heavier-than-Salpeter IMF and a shallower-than-NFW dark matter slope ($\gamma$ $\approx$ 0.5).

Read this paper on arXiv…

R. Smith, J. Lucey and A. Edge
Fri, 23 Jun 17

Comments: MNRAS accepted