Observers in Kerr spacetimes: the ergoregion on the equatorial plane [CL]

We perform a detailed analysis of the properties of stationary observers located on the equatorial plane of the ergosphere in a Kerr spacetime, including light-surfaces. This study highlights crucial differences between black hole and the super-spinner sources. In the case of Kerr naked singularities, the results allow us to distinguish between “weak” and “strong” singularities, corresponding to spin values close to or distant from the limiting case of extreme black holes, respectively. We derive important limiting angular frequencies for naked singularities. We especially study very weak singularities as resulting from the spin variation of black holes. We also explore the main properties of zero angular momentum observers for different classes of black hole and naked singularity spacetimes.

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D. Pugliese and H. Quevedo
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: 20 pages, 13 multi-panels figures, 2 tables

Indication of anisotropy in arrival directions of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays through comparison to the flux pattern of extragalactic gamma-ray sources [HEAP]

A new analysis of the dataset from the Pierre Auger Observatory provides evidence for anisotropy in the arrival directions of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays on an intermediate angular scale, which is indicative of excess arrivals from strong, nearby sources. The data consist of 5514 events above 20 EeV with zenith angles up to 80 deg recorded before 2017 April 30. Sky models have been created for two distinct populations of extragalactic gamma-ray emitters: active galactic nuclei from the second catalog of hard Fermi-LAT sources (2FHL) and starburst galaxies from a sample that was examined with Fermi-LAT. Flux-limited samples, which include all types of galaxies from the Swift-BAT and 2MASS surveys, have been investigated for comparison. The sky model of cosmic-ray density constructed using each catalog has two free parameters, the fraction of events correlating with astrophysical objects and an angular scale characterizing the clustering of cosmic rays around extragalactic sources. A maximum-likelihood ratio test is used to evaluate the best values of these parameters and to quantify the strength of each model by contrast with isotropy. It is found that the starburst model fits the data better than the hypothesis of isotropy with a statistical significance of 4.0 sigma, the highest value of the test statistic being for energies above 39 EeV. The three alternative models are favored against isotropy with 2.7-3.2 sigma significance. The origin of the indicated deviation from isotropy is examined and prospects for more sensitive future studies are discussed.

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Pierre Auger Collaboration et. al.
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: Accepted for publication in ApJL

Resolving discrete pulsar spin-down states with current and future instrumentation [HEAP]

An understanding of pulsar timing noise offers the potential to improve the timing precision of a large number of pulsars as well as facilitating our understanding of pulsar magnetospheres. For some sources, timing noise is attributable to a pulsar switching between two different spin-down rates $(\dot{\nu})$. Such transitions may be common but difficult to resolve using current techniques. In this work, we use simulations of $\dot{\nu}$-variable pulsars to investigate the likelihood of resolving individual $\dot{\nu}$ transitions. We inject step-changes in the value of $\dot{\nu}$ with a wide range of amplitudes and switching timescales. We then attempt to redetect these transitions using standard pulsar timing techniques. The pulse arrival-time precision and the observing cadence are varied. Limits on $\dot{\nu}$ detectability based on the effects such transitions have on the timing residuals are derived. With the typical cadences and timing precision of current timing programs, we find we are insensitive to a large region of $\Delta \dot{\nu}$ parameter space which encompasses small, short timescale switches. We find, where the rotation and emission states are correlated, that using changes to the pulse shape to estimate $\dot{\nu}$ transition epochs, can improve detectability in certain scenarios. The effects of cadence on $\Delta \dot{\nu}$ detectability are discussed and we make comparisons with a known population of intermittent and mode-switching pulsars. We conclude that for short timescale, small switches, cadence should not be compromised when new generations of ultra-sensitive radio telescopes are online.

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B. Shaw, B. Stappers and P. Weltevrede
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: 19 pages, 11 figures

Understanding the spectral hardenings and radial distribution of Galactic cosmic rays and Fermi diffuse gamma-rays with spatially-dependent propagation [HEAP]

Recent direct measurements of Galactic cosmic ray spectra by balloon/space-borne detectors reveal spectral hardenings of all major nucleus species at rigidities of a few hundred GV. The all-sky diffuse gamma-ray emissions measured by the Fermi Large Area Telescope also show spatial variations of the intensities and spectral indices of cosmic rays. These new observations challenge the traditional simple acceleration and/or propagation scenario of Galactic cosmic rays. In this work we propose a spatially-dependent diffusion scenario to explain all these phenomena. The diffusion coefficient is assumed to be anti-correlated with the source distribution, which is a natural expectation from the charged particle transportation in turbulent magnetic field. The spatially-dependent diffusion model also gives a lower level of anisotropies of cosmic rays, which are consistent with observations by underground muons and air shower experiments. The spectral variations of cosmic rays across the Galaxy can be properly reproduced by this model.

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Y. Guo and Q. Yuan
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: N/A

Multi-TeV flares from the nearest Blazar Markarian 421 and their origin [HEAP]

Markarian 421 is a high-peaked BL Lac object and has undergone many major outbursts since its discovery in 1992. Through dedicated multiwavelength observations, Markarian 421 has been studied intensively and several major multi-TeV flares have been observed by Cherenkov telescope arrays. The major outbursts of April 2004 observed by Whipple telescopes and of February 2010 by HESS telescopes are explained well in this work by using the photohadronic model. To account for the attenuation of these high energy gamma-rays by the extragalactic background light, we use template EBL models. During different epochs of flaring the calculated intrinsic fluxes are not the same due to the change in the power-law dependence of the seed photon densities in the tail region of the SSC band. Our results show that the contemporaneous multiwavelength observations, particularly in the tail region of the SSC band of the source is important to explain the flaring phenomena.

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S. Sahu, A. Leon, S. Nagataki, et. al.
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: 15 pages, 6 figures

H.E.S.S. highlights [HEAP]

The H.E.S.S. collaboration continues to run an array of five Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes to observe the Southern sky in very high energy gamma-rays. In this presentation, recent highlight results obtained with H.E.S.S. are briefly reviewed, with references to the relevant publications.

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G. Puhlhofer and S%2E. collaboration-H%2E-E%2E-S%2E
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: Presented at the 7th International Fermi Symposium 2017, 15-20 October 2017, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Submitted to Proceedings of Science (PoS(IFS2017)108)

Collisionless Magnetic Reconnection in Curved Spacetime and the Effect of Black Hole Rotation [HEAP]

Magnetic reconnection in curved spacetime is studied by adopting a general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic model that retains collisionless effects for both electron-ion and pair plasmas. A simple generalization of the standard Sweet-Parker model allows us to obtain the first order effects of the gravitational field of a rotating black hole. It is shown that the black hole rotation acts as to increase the length of azimuthal reconnection layers, per se leading to a decrease of the reconnection rate. However, when coupled to collisionless thermal-inertial effects, the net reconnection rate is enhanced with respect to what would happen in a purely collisional plasma due to a broadening of the reconnection layer. These findings identify an underlying interaction between gravity and collisionless magnetic reconnection in the vicinity of compact objects.

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L. Comisso and F. Asenjo
Fri, 19 Jan 18

Comments: Accepted for publication in Physical Review D