Lithium abundance and 6Li/7Li ratio in the active giant HD123351 I. A comparative analysis of 3D and 1D NLTE line-profile fits [SSA]

Current three-dimensional (3D) hydrodynamical model atmospheres together with NLTE spectrum synthesis, permit to derive reliable atomic and isotopic chemical abundances from high-resolution stellar spectra. Not much is known about the presence of the fragile 6Li isotope in evolved solar-metallicity RGB stars, not to mention its production in magnetically active targets like HD123351. From fits of the observed CFHT spectrum with synthetic line profiles based on 1D and 3D model atmospheres, we seek to estimate the abundance of the 6Li isotope and to place constraints on its origin. We derive A(Li) and the 6Li/7Li isotopic ratio by fitting different synthetic spectra to the Li-line region of a high-resolution CFHT spectrum (R=120 000, S/R=400). The synthetic spectra are computed with four different line lists, using in parallel 3D hydrodynamical CO5BOLD and 1D LHD model atmospheres and treating the line formation of the lithium components in non-LTE (NLTE). We find A(Li)=1.69+/-0.11 dex and 6Li/7Li=8.0+/-4.4 % in 3D-NLTE, using the line list of Mel\’endez et al. (2012), updated with new atomic data for V I, which results in the best fit of the lithium line profile of HD123351. Two other line lists lead to similar results but with inferior fit qualities. Our 2-sigma detection of the 6Li isotope is the result of a careful statistical analysis and the visual inspection of each achieved fit. Since the presence of a significant amount of 6Li in the atmosphere of a cool evolved star is not expected in the framework of standard stellar evolution theory, non-standard, external lithium production mechanisms, possibly related to stellar activity or a recent accretion of rocky material, need to be invoked to explain the detection of 6Li in HD123351.

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A. Mott, M. Steffen, E. Caffau, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 16 pages, 11 figures. Accepted for publication in A&A

SILCC-Zoom: The dynamical and chemical evolution of molecular clouds [GA]

We present 3D simulations of the formation process of two molecular clouds (MCs) within their larger-scale galactic environment. Using adaptive mesh refinement, we model the two MCs within the SILCC project with an unprecedented resolution of 0.06 pc combined with a chemical network for the formation of H$2$ and CO including (self-) shielding and important thermal processes. The MCs form within a few Myr with mass growth rates of up to 10$^{-2}$ M$\rm{sun}$ yr$^{-1}$ and final masses of $\sim$ 50000 M$\rm{sun}$. We show that the usage of different definitions for MCs by thresholds in density, H$_2$ or CO mass fraction significantly change the inferred cloud properties. While CO traces well the evolution of dense gas with $n \geq$ 300 cm$^{-3}$, H$_2$ is also found in gas with lower number density ($n \lesssim$ 30 cm$^{-3}$) due to turbulent mixing. The CO-to-H$_2$ ratio increases within the first 2 Myr reaching a value of $\sim$ 1.8 $\times$ 10$^{-4}$ at later stages. The $X\rm{CO}$ factor, however, is rather time-independent with values of 1 – 4 $\times$ 10$^{20}$ cm$^{-2}$ (K km s$^{-1}$)$^{-1}$. We show that a spatial resolution of $\sim$ 0.1 pc is required to accurately model the chemical, dynamical, and structural evolution of MCs. At a coarser resolution the mass, velocity dispersion, and chemical abundances of the clouds are underestimated. Furthermore, we show that the progressive increase of resolution has to occur over a time of 1 – 1.5 Myr. This ensures that the maximum refinement level is reached within the free-fall time of the densest structures and avoids the spurious formation large-scale, rotating objects by unresolved turbulent flows. In addition, the accelerated formation of chemical species in dense, turbulent environments is captured properly. Finally, we demonstrate that $\gtrsim$ 200 time steps should be spent on each refinement level to avoid grid artefacts.

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D. Seifried, S. Walch, P. Girichidis, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 23 pages, 21 figures, submitted to MNRAS, comments are welcome

Refining mass formulas for astrophysical applications: a Bayesian neural network approach [CL]

Exotic nuclei, particularly those near the driplines, are at the core of one of the fundamental questions driving nuclear structure and astrophysics today: what are the limits of nuclear binding? Exotic nuclei play a critical role in both informing theoretical models as well as in our understanding of the origin of the heavy elements. Our purpose is to refine existing mass models through the training of an artificial neural network that will mitigate the large model discrepancies far away from stability. The basic paradigm of our two-pronged approach is an existing mass model that captures as much as possible of the underlying physics followed by the implementation of a Bayesian Neural Network (BNN) refinement to account for the missing physics. Bayesian inference is employed to determine the parameters of the neural network so that model predictions may be accompanied by theoretical uncertainties. Despite the undeniable quality of the mass models adopted in this work, we observe a significant improvement (of about 40%) after the BNN refinement is implemented. Indeed, in the specific case of the Duflo-Zuker mass formula, we find that the rms deviation relative to experiment is reduced from rms =0.503MeV to rms=0.286 MeV. These newly refined mass tables are used to map the neutron drip lines (or rather “drip bands”) and to study a few critical r-process nuclei. The BNN approach is highly successful in refining the predictions of existing mass models. In particular, the large discrepancy displayed by the original “bare” models in regions where experimental data is unavailable is considerably quenched after the BNN refinement. This lends credence to our approach and has motivated us to publish refined mass tables that we trust will be helpful for future astrophysical applications.

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R. Utama and J. Piekarewicz
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: N/A

Testing a one-dimensional prescription of dynamical shear mixing with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation [SSA]

The treatment of mixing processes is still one of the major uncertainties in 1D stellar evolution models. This is mostly due to the need to parametrize and approximate aspects of hydrodynamics in hydrostatic codes. In particular, the effect of hydrodynamic instabilities in rotating stars, for example, dynamical shear instability, evades consistent description. We intend to study the accuracy of the diffusion approximation to dynamical shear in hydrostatic stellar evolution models by comparing 1D models to a first-principle hydrodynamics simulation starting from the same initial conditions. We chose an initial model calculated with the stellar evolution code GENEC that is just at the onset of a dynamical shear instability but does not show any other instabilities (e.g., convection). This was mapped to the hydrodynamics code SLH to perform a 2D simulation in the equatorial plane. We compare the resulting profiles in the two codes and compute an effective diffusion coefficient for the hydro simulation. Shear instabilities develop in the 2D simulation in the regions predicted by linear theory to become unstable in the 1D model. Angular velocity and chemical composition is redistributed in the unstable region, thereby creating new unstable regions. Eventually the 2D simulation settles in a symmetric, steady state, which is Richardson stable everywhere, whereas the instability remains for longer in the 1D model due to current limitations in the 1D code. A spatially resolved diffusion coefficient is extracted by comparing the initial and final profiles of mean atomic mass. The presented simulation gives a first insight on hydrodynamics of shear instabilities in a real stellar environment and even allows us to directly extract an effective diffusion coefficient. We see evidence for a critical Richardson number of 0.25 as regions above this value remain stable for the course of the simulation.

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P. Edelmann, F. Roepke, R. Hirschi, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 15 pages, 14 figures, accepted for publication by A&A, movie available at this https URL

Beta Dips in the Gaia Era: Simulation Predictions of the Galactic Velocity Anisotropy Parameter for Stellar Halos [GA]

The velocity anisotropy parameter, beta, is a measure of the kinematic state of orbits in the stellar halo which holds promise for constraining the merger history of the Milky Way (MW). We determine global trends for beta as a function of radius from three suites of simulations, including accretion only and cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. We find that both types of simulations are consistent and predict strong radial anisotropy (<beta>~0.7) for Galactocentric radii greater than 10 kpc. Previous observations of beta for the MW’s stellar halo claim a detection of an isotropic or tangential “dip” at r~20 kpc. Using the N-body+SPH simulations, we investigate the temporal persistence, population origin, and severity of “dips” in beta. We find dips in the in situ stellar halo are long-lived, while dips in the accreted stellar halo are short-lived and tied to the recent accretion of satellite material. We also find that a major merger as early as z~1 can result in a present day low (isotropic to tangential) value of beta over a wide range of radii. While all of these mechanisms are plausible drivers for the beta dip observed in the MW, in the simulations, each mechanism has a unique metallicity signature associated with it, implying that future spectroscopic surveys could distinguish between them. Since an accurate knowledge of beta(r) is required for measuring the mass of the MW halo, we note significant transient dips in beta could cause an overestimate of the halo’s mass when using spherical Jeans equation modeling.

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S. Loebman, M. Valluri, K. Hattori, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 11 pages, 5 figures, submitted to ApJ, companion paper to Hattori et al. (2017)

Hydrodynamic ablation of protoplanetary disks via supernovae [SSA]

We present three-dimensional simulations of a protoplanetary disk subject to the effect of a nearby (0.3pc distant) supernova, using a time-dependent flow from a one dimensional numerical model of the supernova remnant (SNR), in addition to constant peak ram pressure simulations. Simulations are performed for a variety of disk masses and inclination angles. We find disk mass-loss rates that are typically 1e-7 to 1e-6 Msol/yr (but peak near 1e-5 Msol/yr during the “instantaneous” stripping phase) and are sustained for around 200 yr. Inclination angle has little effect on the mass loss unless the disk is close to edge-on. Inclined disks also strip asymmetrically with the trailing edge ablating more easily. Since the interaction lasts less than one outer rotation period, there is not enough time for the disk to restore its symmetry, leaving the disk asymmetrical after the flow has passed. Of the low-mass disks considered, only the edge-on disk is able to survive interaction with the SNR (with 50% of its initial mass remaining). At the end of the simulations, disks that survive contain fractional masses of SN material up to 5e-6. This is too low to explain the abundance of short-lived radionuclides in the early solar system, but a larger disk and the inclusion of radiative cooling might allow the disk to capture a higher fraction of SN material.

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J. Close and J. Pittard
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: 16 pages, 16 figures, 2 tables, accepted by MNRAS

Seven Years of Imaging the Global Heliosphere with IBEX [CL]

The Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) has now operated in space for 7 years and returned nearly continuous observations that have led to scientific discoveries and reshaped our entire understanding of the outer heliosphere and its interaction with the local interstellar medium. Here we extend prior work, adding the 2014-2015 data for the first time, and examine, validate, initially analyze, and provide a complete 7-year set of Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) observations from ~0.1 to 6 keV. The data, maps, and documentation provided here represent the 10th major release of IBEX data and include improvements to various prior corrections to provide the citable reference for the current version of IBEX data. We are now able to study time variations in the outer heliosphere and interstellar interaction over more than half a solar cycle. We find that the Ribbon has evolved differently than the globally distributed flux (GDF), with a leveling off and partial recovery of ENAs from the GDF, owing to solar wind output flattening and recovery. The Ribbon has now also lost its latitudinal ordering, which reflects the breakdown of solar minimum solar wind conditions and exhibits a greater time delay than for the surrounding GDF. Together, the IBEX observations strongly support a secondary ENA source for the Ribbon, and we suggest that this be adopted as the nominal explanation of the Ribbon going forward.

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D. McComas, E. Zirnstein, M. Bzowski, et. al.
Mon, 24 Apr 17

Comments: Pre-print, 59 pages, 33 figures, published in ApJS