Tidal double detonation: a new mechanism for a thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf induced by a tidal disruption event [HEAP]


We suggest “tidal double detonation”: a new mechanism for a thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf (WD) induced by a tidal disruption event (TDE). Tidal detonation is also a WD explosion induced by a TDE. In this case, helium (He) and carbon-oxygen (CO) detonation waves incinerate He~WD and CO~WD, respectively. On the other hand, for tidal double detonation, He detonation is first excited in the He shell of a CO~WD, and drives CO detonation in the CO core. We name this mechanism after the double detonation scenario in the context of type Ia supernovae. In this paper, we show tidal double detonation occurs in shallower encounter of a CO~WD with an intermediate mass black hole (IMBH) than simple tidal detonation, performing numerical simulations for CO~WDs with $0.60M_\odot$ with and without a He shell. We expect tidal double detonation spreads opportunity to WD~TDEs illuminating IMBHs.

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A. Tanikawa
Tue, 21 Nov 17

Comments: 5 pages, 3 figures

Absence of reflection features in NuSTAR spectra of the luminous neutron star X-ray binary GX 5-1 [HEAP]


We present NuSTAR observations of the luminous neutron star low-mass X-ray binary (NS LMXB) and Z source GX 5-1. During our three observations, made with separations of roughly two days, the source traced out an almost complete Z track. We extract spectra from the various branches and fit them with a continuum model that has been successfully applied to other Z sources. Surprisingly, and unlike most of the (luminous) NS-LMXBs observed with NuSTAR, we do not find evidence for reflection features in any of the spectra of GX 5-1. We discuss several possible explanations for the absence of reflection features. Based on a comparison with other accreting neutron-star systems and given the high luminosity of GX 5-1 (~1.6-2.3 times the Eddington luminosity, for a distance of 9 kpc), we consider a highly ionized disk the most likely explanation for the absence of reflection features in GX 5-1.

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J. Homan, J. Steiner, D. Lin, et. al.
Tue, 21 Nov 17

Comments: Submitted to ApJ Letters

Host galaxy identification for binary black hole mergers with long baseline gravitational wave detectors [HEAP]


The detection of three black hole binary coalescence events by Advanced LIGO allows the science benefits of future detectors to be evaluated. In this paper we report the science benefits of one or two 8km arm length detectors based on the doubling of key parameters in an advanced LIGO type detector, combined with realisable enhancements. It is shown that the total detection rate for sources similar to those already detected, would increase to $\sim$ 10$^{3}$–10$^{5}$ per year. Within 0.4Gpc we find that around 10 of these events would be localizable to within $\sim 10^{-1}$ deg$^2$. This is sufficient to make unique associations or to rule out a direct association with the brightest galaxies in optical surveys (at r-band magnitudes of 17 or above) or for deeper limits (down to r-band magnitudes of 20) yield statistically significant associations. The combination of angular resolution and event rate would benefit precision testing of formation models, cosmic evolution and cosmological studies.

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E. Howell, M. Chan, Q. Chu, et. al.
Tue, 21 Nov 17

Comments: Accepted to MNRAS with minor revisions

All-flavor search for a diffuse flux of cosmic neutrinos with 9 years of ANTARES data [HEAP]


The ANTARES detector is at present the most sensitive neutrino telescope in the Northern Hemisphere. The highly significant cosmic neutrino excess observed by the Antarctic IceCube detector can be studied with ANTARES, exploiting its complementing field of view, exposure, and lower energy threshold. Searches for an all-flavor diffuse neutrino signal, covering 9 years of ANTARES data taking, are presented in this letter. Upward-going events are used to reduce the atmospheric muon background. This work includes for the first time in ANTARES both track-like (mainly $\nu_\mu)$ and shower-like (mainly $\nu_e$) events in this kind of analysis. Track-like events allow for an increase of the effective volume of the detector thanks to the long path traveled by muons in rock and/or sea water. Shower-like events are well reconstructed only when the neutrino interaction vertex is close to, or inside, the instrumented volume. A mild excess of high-energy events over the expected background is observed in 9 years of ANTARES data in both samples. The best fit for a single power-law cosmic neutrino spectrum, in terms of per-flavor flux at 100 TeV, is $\Phi_0^{1f}(100\ \textrm{TeV}) = \left(1.7\pm 1.0\right) \times$10$^{-18}$\,GeV$^{-1}$\,cm$^{-2}$\,s$^{-1}$\,sr$^{-1}$ with spectral index $\Gamma = 2.4^{+0.5}_{-0.4}$. The null cosmic flux assumption is rejected with a significance of 1.6$\sigma$.

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ANTARES. Collaboration, A. Albert, M. Andre, et. al.
Tue, 21 Nov 17

Comments: N/A

Eccentric Black Hole Mergers Forming in Stellar Clusters [HEAP]


We derive the probability for a newly formed binary black hole (BBH) to undergo an eccentric gravitational wave (GW) merger during binary-single interactions inside a stellar cluster. By integrating over the hardening interactions such a BBH must undergo before ejection, we find that the observable rate of BBH mergers with eccentricity $>0.1$ at $10\ \rm{Hz}$ relative to the rate of circular mergers can be as high as $\sim 5\%$ for a typical globular cluster (GC). This further suggests that BBH mergers forming through GW captures in binary-single interactions, eccentric or not, are likely to constitute $\sim 10\%$ of the total BBH merger rate from GCs. Such GW capture mergers can only be probed with an $N$-body code that includes General Relativistic corrections, which explains why several recent cluster studies report an eccentric merger rate that is $\sim 100$ times too low. Finally, we show that the relative rate of eccentric BBH mergers depends on the compactness of their host cluster, suggesting that an observed eccentricity distribution can be used to probe the origin of BBH mergers.

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J. Samsing
Tue, 21 Nov 17

Comments: 8 pages, 3 figures. comments welcome

Chandra Imaging of the Outer Accretion Flow onto the Black Hole at the Center of the Perseus Cluster [HEAP]


Nowhere is black hole feedback seen in sharper relief than in the Perseus cluster of galaxies. Owing to a combination of astrophysical and instrumental challenges, however, it can be difficult to study the black hole accretion that powers feedback into clusters of galaxies. Recent observations with Hitomi have resolved the narrow Fe K-alpha line associated with accretion onto the black hole in NGC 1275 (3C 84), the active galaxy at the center of Perseus. The width of that line indicates the fluorescing material is located 6-45 pc from the black hole. Here, we report on a specialized Chandra imaging observation of NGC 1275 that offers a complementary angle. Using a sub-array, sub-pixel event repositioning, and an X-ray “lucky imaging” technique, Chandra imaging suggests an upper limit of about 0.3 arc seconds on the size of the Fe K-alpha emission region, corresponding to 98 pc. Both spectroscopy and direct imaging now point to an emission region consistent with an extended molecular torus or disk, potentially available to fuel the black hole. A low X-ray continuum flux was likely measured from NGC 1275; contemporaneously, radio flaring and record-high GeV fluxes were measured. This may be an example of the correlation between X-ray flux dips and jet activity that is observed in other classes of accreting black holes across the mass scale.

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J. Miller, M. Bautz and B. McNamara
Tue, 21 Nov 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJ

The clumpy absorber in the high-mass X-ray binary Vela X-1 [HEAP]


Bright and eclipsing, the high-mass X-ray binary Vela X-1 offers a unique opportunity to study accretion onto a neutron star from clumpy winds of O/B stars and to disentangle the complex accretion geometry of these systems. In Chandra-HETGS spectroscopy at orbital phase ~0.25, when our line of sight towards the source does not pass through the large-scale accretion structure such as the accretion wake, we observe changes in overall spectral shape on timescales of a few kiloseconds. This spectral variability is, at least in part, caused by changes in overall absorption and we show that such strongly variable absorption cannot be caused by unperturbed clumpy winds of O/B stars. We detect line features from high and low ionization species of silicon, magnesium and neon whose strengths and presence depend on the overall level of absorption. They imply a co-existence of cool and hot gas phases in the system that we interpret as a highly variable, structured accretion flow close to the compact object such as has been recently seen in simulations of wind accretion in high-mass X-ray binaries.

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V. Grinberg, N. Hell, I. Mellah, et. al.
Tue, 21 Nov 17

Comments: 17 pages, 14 figures; A&A accepted