The VLA-COSMOS 3~GHz Large Project: Cosmic evolution of radio AGN and implications for radio-mode feedback since z~5 [GA]

Based on a sample of over 1,800 radio AGN at redshifts out to z~5, which have typical stellar masses within ~3x(10^{10}-10^{11}) Msol, and 3 GHz radio data in the COSMOS field, we derived the 1.4 GHz radio luminosity functions for radio AGN (L_1.4GHz ~ 10^{22}-10^{27} W/Hz) out to z~5. We constrained the evolution of this population via continuous models of pure density and pure luminosity evolutions, and we found best-fit parametrizations of Phi~(1+z)^{(2.00+/-0.18)-(0.60+/-0.14)z}, and L~(1+z)^{(2.88+/-0.82)-(0.84+/-0.34)z}, respectively, with a turnover in number and luminosity densities of the population at z~1.5. We converted 1.4 GHz luminosity to kinetic luminosity taking uncertainties of the scaling relation used into account. We thereby derived the cosmic evolution of the kinetic luminosity density provided by the AGN and compared this luminosity density to the radio-mode AGN feedback assumed in the Semi-Analytic Galaxy Evolution (SAGE) model, i.e., to the redshift evolution of the central supermassive black hole accretion luminosity taken in the model as the source of heating that offsets the energy losses of the cooling, hot halo gas, and thereby limits further stellar mass growth of massive galaxies. We find that the kinetic luminosity exerted by our radio AGN may be high enough to balance the radiative cooling of the hot gas at each cosmic epoch since z~5. However, although our findings support the idea of radio-mode AGN feedback as a cosmologically relevant process in massive galaxy formation, many simplifications in both the observational and semi-analytic approaches still remain and need to be resolved before robust conclusions can be reached.

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V. Smolcic, M. Novak, I. Delvecchio, et. al.
Mon, 22 May 17

Comments: 13 pages, 9 figures, 2 tables, to appear in A&A

Evaporation of planetary atmospheres due to XUV illumination by quasars [EPA]

Planetary atmospheres are subject to mass loss through a variety of mechanisms including irradiation by XUV photons from their host star. Here we explore the consequences of XUV irradiation by supermassive black holes as they grow by the accretion of gas in galactic nuclei. Based on the mass distribution of stars in galactic bulges and disks and the luminosity history of individual black holes, we estimate the probability distribution function of XUV fluences as a function of galaxy halo mass, redshift, and stellar component. We find that about 50% of all planets in the universe may lose the equivalent of a Martian atmosphere, 10% may lose an Earth’s atmosphere, and 0.2% may lose the mass of Earth’s oceans. The fractions are appreciably higher in the spheroidal components of galaxies, and depend strongly on galaxy mass, but only weakly on redshift.

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J. Forbes and A. Loeb
Mon, 22 May 17

Comments: Submitted to MNRAS

Gemini NIFS survey of feeding and feedback processes in nearby Active Galaxies: I – Stellar kinematics [GA]

We use the Gemini Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) to map the stellar kinematics of the inner few hundred parsecs of a sample of 16 nearby Seyfert galaxies, at a spatial resolution of tens of parsecs and spectral resolution of 40 km/s. We find that the line-of-sight (LOS) velocity fields for most galaxies are well reproduced by rotating disk models. The kinematic position angle (PA) derived for the LOS velocity field is consistent with the large scale photometric PA. The residual velocities are correlated with the hard X-ray luminosity, suggesting that more luminous AGN have a larger impact in the surrounding stellar dynamics. The central velocity dispersion values are usually higher than the rotation velocity amplitude, what we attribute to the strong contribution of bulge kinematics in these inner regions. For 50% of the galaxies, we find an inverse correlation between the velocities and the $h_3$ Gauss-Hermitte moment, implying red wings in the blueshifted side and blue wings in the redshifted side of the velocity field, attributed to the movement of the bulge stars lagging the rotation. Two of the 16 galaxies (NGC 5899 and Mrk 1066) show an S-shape zero velocity line, attributed to the gravitational potential of a nuclear bar. Velocity dispersion maps show rings of low-$\sigma$ values (50-80 km/s) for 4 objects and “patches” of low-sigma for 6 galaxies at 150-250 pc from the nucleus, attributed to young/ intermediate age stellar populations.

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R. Riffel, T. Storchi-Bergmann, R. Riffel, et. al.
Mon, 22 May 17

Comments: To be published in MNRAS

On the existence of young embedded clusters at high Galactic latitude [GA]

Careful analyses of photometric and star count data available for the nine putative young clusters identified by Camargo et al. (2015, 2016) at high Galactic latitudes reveal that none of the groups contain early-type stars, and most are not significant density enhancements above field level. 2MASS colours for stars in the groups match those of unreddened late-type dwarfs and giants, as expected for contamination by (mostly) thin disk objects. A simulation of one such field using only typical high latitude foreground stars yields a colour-magnitude diagram that is very similar to those constructed by Camargo et al. (2015, 2016) as evidence for their young groups as well as the means of deriving their reddenings and distances. Although some of the fields are coincident with clusters of galaxies, one must conclude that there is no evidence that the putative clusters are extremely young stellar groups.

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D. Turner, G. Carraro and E. Panko
Mon, 22 May 17

Comments: Accepted for publication (MNRAS)

VLA Survey of Dense Gas in Extended Green Objects: Prevalence of 25 GHz Methanol Masers [GA]

We present $\sim1-4″$ resolution Very Large Array (VLA) observations of four CH$_3$OH $J_2-J_1$-$E$ 25~GHz transitions ($J$=3, 5, 8, 10) along with 1.3~cm continuum toward 20 regions of active massive star formation containing Extended Green Objects (EGOs), 14 of which we have previously studied with the VLA in the Class~I 44~GHz and Class~II 6.7~GHz maser lines (Cyganowski et al. 2009). Sixteen regions are detected in at least one 25~GHz line ($J$=5), with 13 of 16 exhibiting maser emission. In total, we report 34 new sites of CH$_3$OH maser emission and ten new sites of thermal CH$_3$OH emission, significantly increasing the number of 25~GHz Class I CH$_3$OH masers observed at high angular resolution. We identify probable or likely maser counterparts at 44~GHz for all 15 of the 25~GHz masers for which we have complementary data, providing further evidence that these masers trace similar physical conditions despite uncorrelated flux densities. The sites of thermal and maser emission of CH$_3$OH are both predominantly associated with the 4.5 $\mu$m emission from the EGO, and the presence of thermal CH$_3$OH emission is accompanied by 1.3~cm continuum emission in 9 out of 10 cases. Of the 19 regions that exhibit 1.3~cm continuum emission, it is associated with the EGO in 16 cases (out of a total of 20 sites), 13 of which are new detections at 1.3~cm. Twelve of the 1.3~cm continuum sources are associated with 6.7~GHz maser emission and likely trace deeply-embedded massive protostars.

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A. Towner, C. Brogan, T. Hunter, et. al.
Mon, 22 May 17

Comments: N/A

New Cataclysmic Variables and other Exotic Binaries in the Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae [SSA]

We present 22 new (+3 confirmed) cataclysmic variables (CVs) in the non core-collapsed globular cluster 47 Tucanae (47 Tuc). The total number of CVs in the cluster is now 43, the largest sample in any globular cluster so far. For the identifications we used near-ultraviolet (NUV) and optical images from the Hubble Space Telescope, in combination with X-ray results from the Chandra X-ray Observatory. This allowed us to build the deepest NUV CV luminosity function of the cluster. We found that the CVs in 47 Tuc are more concentrated towards the cluster center than the main sequence turnoff stars. We compared our results to the CV populations of the core-collapsed globular clusters NGC 6397 and NGC 6752. We found that 47 Tuc has fewer bright CVs per unit mass than those two other clusters. That suggests that dynamical interactions in core-collapsed clusters play a major role creating new CVs. In 47 Tuc, the CV population is probably dominated by primordial and old dynamically formed systems. We estimated that the CVs in 47 Tuc have total masses of approx. 1.4 M_sun. We also found that the X-ray luminosity function of the CVs in the three clusters is bimodal. Additionally, we discuss a possible double degenerate system and an intriguing/unclassified object. Finally, we present four systems that could be millisecond pulsar companions given their X-ray and NUV/optical colors. For one of them we present very strong evidence for being an ablated companion. The other three could be CO- or He-WDs.

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L. Sandoval, M. Berg, C. Heinke, et. al.
Mon, 22 May 17

Comments: Submitted to MNRAS. 29 Pages, 20 Figures, 5 Tables

The nonspinning binary black hole merger scenario revisited [CL]

We present the results of 14 simulations of nonspinning black hole binaries with mass ratios $q=m_1/m_2$ in the range $1/100\leq q\leq1$. For each of these simulations we perform three runs at increasing resolution to assess the finite difference errors and to extrapolate the results to infinite resolution. For $q\geq 1/6$, we follow the evolution of the binary typically for the last ten orbits prior to merger. By fitting the results of these simulations, we accurately model the peak luminosity, peak waveform frequency and amplitude, and the recoil of the remnant hole for unequal mass nonspinning binaries. We verify the accuracy of these new models and compare them to previously existing empirical formulas. These new fits provide a basis for a hierarchical approach to produce more accurate remnant formulas in the generic precessing case. They also provide input to gravitational waveform modeling.

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J. Healy, C. Lousto and Y. Zlochower
Mon, 22 May 17

Comments: 8 pages, 4 figures