Young and Intermediate-age Distance Indicators [SSA]

Distance measurements beyond geometrical and semi-geometrical methods, rely mainly on standard candles. As the name suggests, these objects have known luminosities by virtue of their intrinsic proprieties and play a major role in our understanding of modern cosmology. The main caveats associated with standard candles are their absolute calibration, contamination of the sample from other sources and systematic uncertainties. The absolute calibration mainly depends on their chemical composition and age. To understand the impact of these effects on the distance scale, it is essential to develop methods based on different sample of standard candles. Here we review the fundamental properties of young and intermediate-age distance indicators such as Cepheids, Mira variables and Red Clump stars and the recent developments in their application as distance indicators.

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S. Subramanian, M. Marengo, A. Bhardwaj, et. al.
Fri, 22 Sep 17

Comments: Review article, 63 pages (28 figures), Accepted for publication in Space Science Reviews (Chapter 3 of a special collection resulting from the May 2016 ISSI-BJ workshop on Astronomical Distance Determination in the Space Age)

GALARIO: a GPU Accelerated Library for Analysing Radio Interferometer Observations [IMA]

We present GALARIO, a computational library that exploits the power of modern graphical processing units (GPUs) to accelerate the analysis of observations from radio interferometers like ALMA or Jansky VLA. GALARIO speeds up the computation of synthetic visibilities from a generic 2D model image or a radial brightness profile (for axisymmetric sources). On a GPU, GALARIO is 150 faster than standard Python and 10 times faster than serial C++ code on a CPU. Highly modular, easy to use and to adopt in existing code, GALARIO comes as two compiled libraries, one for Nvidia GPUs and one for multicore CPUs, where both have the same functions with identical interfaces. GALARIO comes with Python bindings but can also be directly used in C or C++. The versatility and the speed of GALARIO open new analysis pathways that otherwise would be prohibitively time consuming, e.g. fitting high resolution observations of large number of objects, or entire spectral cubes of molecular gas emission. It is a general tool that can be applied to any field that uses radio interferometer observations. The source code is available online at under the open source GNU Lesser General Public License v3.

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M. Tazzari, F. Beaujean and L. Testi
Fri, 22 Sep 17

Comments: 13 pages, 9 figures. Submitted to MNRAS. Code at this https URL and documentation at this https URL

Nanoflare Heating: Observations and Theory [SSA]

This is a review of the observational and theoretical evidence for nanoflare heating of the magnetically-closed corona.

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J. Klimchuk
Fri, 22 Sep 17

Comments: This is a section for a mega-paper entitled “Achievements of Hinode in the First Ten Years.” The invited speakers of the Hinode 10 Conference in Nagoya were asked to each write a section. The contribution should be cited as Klimchuk, J. A. and Hinode Review Team, “Achievements of Hinode in the First Ten Years,” 2017, PASJ, submitted

White Dwarf Rotation as a Function of Mass and a Dichotomy of Mode Linewidths: Kepler Observations of 27 Pulsating DA White Dwarfs Through K2 Campaign 8 [SSA]

We present photometry and spectroscopy for 27 pulsating hydrogen-atmosphere white dwarfs (DAVs, a.k.a. ZZ Ceti stars) observed by the Kepler space telescope up to K2 Campaign 8, an extensive compilation of observations with unprecedented duration (>75 days) and duty cycle (>90%). The space-based photometry reveals pulsation properties previously inaccessible to ground-based observations. We observe a sharp dichotomy in oscillation mode linewidths at roughly 800 s, such that white dwarf pulsations with periods exceeding 800 s have substantially broader mode linewidths, more reminiscent of a damped harmonic oscillator than a heat-driven pulsator. Extended Kepler coverage also permits extensive mode identification: We identify the spherical degree of 61 out of 154 unique radial orders, providing direct constraints of the rotation period for 20 of these 27 DAVs, more than doubling the number of white dwarfs with rotation periods determined via asteroseismology. We also obtain spectroscopy from 4m-class telescopes for all DAVs with Kepler photometry. Using these homogeneously analyzed spectra we estimate the overall mass of all 27 DAVs, which allows us to measure white dwarf rotation as a function of mass, constraining the endpoints of angular momentum in low- and intermediate-mass stars. We find that 0.51-to-0.73-solar-mass white dwarfs, which evolved from 1.7-to-3.0-solar-mass ZAMS progenitors, have a mean rotation period of 35 hr with a standard deviation of 28 hr, with notable exceptions for higher-mass white dwarfs. Finally, we announce an online repository for our Kepler data and follow-up spectroscopy, which we collect at this http URL

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J. Hermes, B. Gaensicke, S. Kawaler, et. al.
Fri, 22 Sep 17

Comments: 33 pages, 31 figures, 5 tables; accepted for publication in ApJS. All raw and reduced data are collected at this http URL

Rayleigh scattering in dense fluid helium [SSA]

Iglesias et al. (2002) showed that the Rayleigh scattering from helium atoms decreases by collective effects in the atmospheres of cool white dwarf stars. Their study is here extended to consider an accurate evaluation of the atomic polarizability and the density effects involved in the Rayleigh cross section over a wide density-temperature region. The dynamic dipole polarizability of helium atoms in the ground state is determinated with the oscillator-strength distribution approach. The spectral density of oscillator strength considered includes most significant single and doubly excited transitions to discrete and continuum energies. Static and dynamic polarizability results are confronted with experiments and other theoretical evaluations shown a very good agreement. In addition, the refractive index of helium is evaluated with the Lorentz-Lorenz equation and shows a satisfactory agreement with the most recent experiments. The effect of spatial correlation of atoms on the Rayleigh scattering is calculated with Monte Carlo simulations and effective energy potentials that represent the particle interactions, covering fluid densities between 0.005 and a few g/cm$^3$ and temperatures between $1000$ K and $15000$ K. We provide analytical fits from which the Rayleigh cross section of fluid helium can be easily calculated at wavelength $\lambda>505.35$ \AA. Collision-induced light scattering was estimated to be the dominant scattering process at densities greater than 1-2 g/cm$^3$ depending on the temperature.

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R. Rohrmann
Fri, 22 Sep 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in MNRAS; 14 pages, 14 figures

Non-standard neutrino self-interactions in a supernova and fast flavor conversions [CL]

We study the effects of non-standard self-interactions (NSSI) of neutrinos streaming out of a core-collapse supernova. We show that with NSSI, the standard linear stability analysis gives rise to linearly as well as exponentially growing solutions. We demonstrate analytically that flavor-preserving NSSI lead to suppression of collective oscillations, while flavor-violating NSSI allow an earlier onset with enhanced growth rate of oscillations. In the intersecting four-beam model, we show that flavor-violating NSSI can lead to fast oscillations even when the angle between the neutrino and antineutrino beams is obtuse, which is forbidden in the standard model. This leads to the new possibility of fast oscillations in a two-beam system with opposing neutrino-antineutrino fluxes, even in the absence of any spatial inhomogeneities. Finally, we solve the full non-linear equations of motion in the four-beam model numerically, and explore the interplay of fast and slow flavor conversions in the long-time behavior, in the presence of NSSI.

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A. Dighe and M. Sen
Fri, 22 Sep 17

Comments: 12 pages, Revtex style, 15 figures

The PICARD Payload Data Centre [IMA]

PICARD is a scientific space mission dedicated to the study of the solar variability origin. A French micro-satellite will carry an imaging telescope for measuring the solar diameter, limb shape and solar oscillations, and two radiometers for measuring the total solar irradiance and the irradiance in five spectral domains, from ultraviolet to infrared. The mission is planed to be launched in 2009 for a 3-year duration. This article presents the PICARD Payload Data Centre, which role is to collect, process and distribute the PICARD data. The Payload Data Centre is a joint project between laboratories, space agency and industries. The Belgian scientific policy office funds the industrial development and future operations under the European Space Agency program. The development is achieved by the SPACEBEL Company. The Belgian operation centre is in charge of operating the PICARD Payload Data Centre. The French space agency leads the development in partnership with the French scientific research centre, which is responsible for providing all the scientific algorithms. The architecture of the PICARD Payload Data Centre (software and hardware) is presented. The software system is based on a Service Oriented Architecture. The host structure is made up of the basic functions such as data management, task scheduling and system supervision including a graphical interface used by the operator to interact with the system. The other functions are mission-specific: data exchange (acquisition, distribution), data processing (scientific and non-scientific processing) and managing the payload (programming, monitoring). The PICARD Payload Data Centre is planned to be operated for 5 years. All the data will be stored into a specific data centre after this period.

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G. Pradels, T. Guinle, G. Thuillier, et. al.
Fri, 22 Sep 17

Comments: N/A