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[en] NASA's latest MERRA-2 reanalysis of the modern satellite measurements has made atmospheric data easily accessible with unprecedented uniformity, fidelity, and completeness. In this paper, these data are used to evaluate five sites for millimeter-wave (mm-wave) observations. These include two established sites (South Pole and Chajnantor, Atacama), and three new sites (Ali in Tibet, Dome A in Antarctica, and Summit Camp in Greenland). Atmospheric properties including precipitable water vapor (PWV), sky brightness temperature fluctuations, and ice and liquid water paths are derived and compared. Dome A emerges to be the best among those evaluated, with PWV and fluctuations smaller than the second-best site, South Pole, by more than a factor of 2. It is found that the higher site in Ali (6100 m) is on par with Cerro Chajnantor (5612 m) in terms of transmission and stability. The lower site in Ali (5250 m) planned for the first stage of observations at 90/150 GHz provides conditions comparable to those on the Chajnantor Plateau. These analyses confirm Ali to be an excellent mm-wave site in the Northern Hemisphere that will complement well-established Southern sites. According to MERRA-2 data, the observing conditions at Summit Camp are also comparable to Cerro Chajnantor. Furthermore, it is more affected by the presence of liquid water clouds.
[en] We report the discovery by the intermediate Palomar Transient Factory (iPTF) of a candidate tidal disruption event (TDE) iPTF16axa at z = 0.108 and present its broadband photometric and spectroscopic evolution from three months of follow-up observations with ground-based telescopes and Swift. The light curve is well fitted with a t-5/3 decay, and we constrain the rise time to peak to be <49 rest-frame days after disruption, which is roughly consistent with the fallback timescale expected for the ~5 × 106 M ⊙ black hole inferred from the stellar velocity dispersion of the host galaxy. The UV and optical spectral energy distribution is well described by a constant blackbody temperature of T ~ 3 × 104 K over the monitoring period, with an observed peak luminosity of 1.1 × 1044 erg s-1. The optical spectra are characterized by a strong blue continuum and broad He ii and Hα lines, which are characteristic of TDEs. We compare the photometric and spectroscopic signatures of iPTF16axa with 11 TDE candidates in the literature with well-sampled optical light curves. Based on a single-temperature fit to the optical and near-UV photometry, most of these TDE candidates have peak luminosities confined between log(L [erg s-1]) = 43.4–44.4, with constant temperatures of a few ×104 K during their power-law declines, implying blackbody radii on the order of 10 times the tidal disruption radius, that decrease monotonically with time. For TDE candidates with hydrogen and helium emission, the high helium-to-hydrogen ratios suggest that the emission arises from high-density gas, where nebular arguments break down. In conclusion, we find no correlation between the peak luminosity and the black hole mass, contrary to the expectations for TDEs to have M-dot ∝MBH−1/2.
[en] We have measured the energies of the strongest 1s–2ℓ (ℓ=s,p) transitions in He- through Ne-like silicon and sulfur ions to an accuracy of <1 eV using the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's electron beam ion traps, EBIT-I and SuperEBIT, and the NASA/GSFC EBIT Calorimeter Spectrometer (ECS). We identify and measure the energies of 18 and 21 X-ray features from silicon and sulfur, respectively. The results are compared to new Flexible Atomic Code calculations and to semi-relativistic Hartree–Fock calculations by Palmeri et al. (2008). These results will be especially useful for wind diagnostics in high-mass X-ray binaries, such as Vela X-1 and Cygnus X-1, where high-resolution spectral measurements using Chandra's high-energy transmission grating has made it possible to measure Doppler shifts of 100 km s"−"1. The accuracy of our measurements is consistent with that needed to analyze Chandra observations, exceeding Chandra's 100 km s"−"1 limit. Hence, the results presented here not only provide benchmarks for theory, but also accurate rest energies that can be used to determine the bulk motion of material in astrophysical sources. Finally, we show the usefulness of our results by applying them to redetermine Doppler shifts from Chandra observations of Vela X-1.
[en] The role of compact binary mergers as the main production site of r-process elements is investigated by combining stellar abundances of Eu observed in the Milky Way, galactic chemical evolution (GCE) simulations, and binary population synthesis models, and gravitational wave measurements from Advanced LIGO. We compiled and reviewed seven recent GCE studies to extract the frequency of neutron star–neutron star (NS–NS) mergers that is needed in order to reproduce the observed [Eu/Fe] versus [Fe/H] relationship. We used our simple chemical evolution code to explore the impact of different analytical delay-time distribution functions for NS–NS mergers. We then combined our metallicity-dependent population synthesis models with our chemical evolution code to bring their predictions, for both NS–NS mergers and black hole–neutron star mergers, into a GCE context. Finally, we convolved our results with the cosmic star formation history to provide a direct comparison with current and upcoming Advanced LIGO measurements. When assuming that NS–NS mergers are the exclusive r-process sites, and that the ejected r-process mass per merger event is 0.01 M_⊙, the number of NS–NS mergers needed in GCE studies is about 10 times larger than what is predicted by standard population synthesis models. Here, these two distinct fields can only be consistent with each other when assuming optimistic rates, massive NS–NS merger ejecta, and low Fe yields for massive stars. For now, population synthesis models and GCE simulations are in agreement with the current upper limit (O1) established by Advanced LIGO during their first run of observations. Upcoming measurements will provide an important constraint on the actual local NS–NS merger rate, will provide valuable insights on the plausibility of the GCE requirement, and will help to define whether or not compact binary mergers can be the dominant source of r-process elements in the universe.
[en] In this study, using four different suites of cosmological simulations, we generate synthetic spectra for galaxies with different Lyman-continuum escape fractions (f (esc)) at redshifts z≈7–9, in the rest-frame wavelength range relevant for the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) NIRSpec instrument. By investigating the effects of realistic star formation histories and metallicity distributions on the EW(Hβ)–β diagram (previously proposed as a tool for identifying galaxies with very high f (esc)), we find that neither of these effects are likely to jeopardize the identification of galaxies with extreme Lyman-continuum leakage. Based on our models, we expect that essentially all z≈7–9 galaxies that exhibit rest-frame EW(Hβ)≲30 Å to have f_e_s_c>0.5. Incorrect assumptions concerning the ionizing fluxes of stellar populations or the dust properties of z>6 galaxies can in principle bias the selection, but substantial model deficiencies of this type should at the same time be evident from offsets in the observed distribution of z>6 galaxies in the EW(Hβ)–β diagram compared to the simulated distribution. Such offsets would thereby allow JWST/NIRSpec measurements of these observables to serve as input for further model refinement.
[en] Here, we present observations of DES16C2nm, the first spectroscopically confirmed hydrogen-free superluminous supernova (SLSN-I) at redshift z~2. DES16C2nm was discovered by the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Supernova Program, with follow-up photometric data from the Hubble Space Telescope, Gemini, and the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope supplementing the DES data. Spectroscopic observations confirm DES16C2nm to be at z=1.998, and spectroscopically similar to Gaia16apd (a SLSN-I at z=0.102), with a peak absolute magnitude of U=-22.26±0.06. The high redshift of DES16C2nm provides a unique opportunity to study the ultraviolet (UV) properties of SLSNe-I. Combining DES16C2nm with ten similar events from the literature, we show that there exists a homogeneous class of SLSNe-I in the UV (~2500A), with peak luminosities in the (rest-frame) U band, and increasing absorption to shorter wavelengths. There is no evidence that the mean photometric and spectroscopic properties of SLSNe-I differ between low (z<1) and high redshift (z>1), but there is clear evidence of diversity in the spectrum at <2000A, possibly caused by the variations in temperature between events. No significant correlations are observed between spectral line velocities and photometric luminosity. Using these data, we estimate that SLSNe-I can be discovered to z=3.8 by DES. While SLSNe-I are typically identified from their blue observed colors at low redshift (z<1), we highlight that at z>2 these events appear optically red, peaking in the observer-frame z-band. Such characteristics are critical to identify these objects with future facilities such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, Euclid, and the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope, which should detect such SLSNe-I to z=3.5, 3.7, and 6.6, respectively.
[en] Black holes with masses below approximately 1015 g are expected to emit gamma-rays with energies above a few tens of MeV, which can be detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope (LAT). Although black holes with these masses cannot be formed as a result of stellar evolution, they may have formed in the early universe and are therefore called primordial black holes (PBHs). Previous searches for PBHs have focused on either short-timescale bursts or the contribution of PBHs to the isotropic gamma-ray emission. We show that, in cases of individual PBHs, the Fermi-LAT is most sensitive to PBHs with temperatures above approximately 16 GeV and masses 6 × 1011 g, which it can detect out to a distance of about 0.03 pc. These PBHs have a remaining lifetime of months to years at the start of the Fermi mission. They would appear as potentially moving point sources with gamma-ray emission that become spectrally harder and brighter with time until the PBH completely evaporates. In this paper, we develop a new algorithm to detect the proper motion of gamma-ray point sources, and apply it to 318 unassociated point sources at a high galactic latitude in the third Fermi-LAT source catalog. None of the unassociated point sources with spectra consistent with PBH evaporation show significant proper motion. Finally, using the nondetection of PBH candidates, we derive a 99% confidence limit on the PBH evaporation rate in the vicinity of Earth, . This limit is similar to the limits obtained with ground-based gamma-ray observatories.
[en] Here, we identify subhalos in dark matter–only (DMO) zoom-in simulations that are likely to be disrupted due to baryonic effects by using a random forest classifier trained on two hydrodynamic simulations of Milky Way (MW)–mass host halos from the Latte suite of the Feedback in Realistic Environments (FIRE) project. We train our classifier using five properties of each disrupted and surviving subhalo: pericentric distance and scale factor at first pericentric passage after accretion and scale factor, virial mass, and maximum circular velocity at accretion. Our five-property classifier identifies disrupted subhalos in the FIRE simulations with an 85% out-of-bag classification score. We predict surviving subhalo populations in DMO simulations of the FIRE host halos, finding excellent agreement with the hydrodynamic results; in particular, our classifier outperforms DMO zoom-in simulations that include the gravitational potential of the central galactic disk in each hydrodynamic simulation, indicating that it captures both the dynamical effects of a central disk and additional baryonic physics. We also predict surviving subhalo populations for a suite of DMO zoom-in simulations of MW-mass host halos, finding that baryons impact each system consistently and that the predicted amount of subhalo disruption is larger than the host-to-host scatter among the subhalo populations. Although the small size and specific baryonic physics prescription of our training set limits the generality of our results, our work suggests that machine-learning classification algorithms trained on hydrodynamic zoom-in simulations can efficiently predict realistic subhalo populations.
[en] In this work, we present a combined strong and weak lensing analysis of the J085007.6+360428 (J0850) field, which contains the massive cluster Zwicky 1953. This field was selected for its high projected concentration of luminous red galaxies. Using Subaru/Suprime-Cam imaging and MMT/Hectospec spectroscopy, we first perform a weak lensing shear analysis to constrain the mass distribution in this field, including the cluster at z = 0.3774 and a smaller foreground halo at z = 0.2713. We then add a strong lensing constraint from a multiply imaged galaxy in the imaging data with a photometric redshift of z ≈ 5.03. Unlike previous cluster-scale lens analyses, our technique accounts for the full three-dimensional mass structure in the beam, including galaxies along the line of sight. In contrast with past cluster analyses that used only lensed image positions as constraints, we use the full surface brightness distribution of the images. This method predicts that the source galaxy crosses a lensing caustic, such that one image is a highly magnified "fold arc" that could be used to probe the source galaxy's structure at ultra-high spatial resolution (<30 pc). We calculate the mass of the primary cluster to be with a concentration of , consistent with the mass–concentration relation of massive clusters at a similar redshift. Finally, the large mass of this cluster makes J0850 an excellent field for leveraging lensing magnification to search for high-redshift galaxies, competitive with and complementary to that of well-studied clusters such as the HST Frontier Fields.
[en] We present observations of two new hydrogen-poor superluminous supernovae (SLSN-I), iPTF15esb and iPTF16bad, showing late-time Hα emission with line luminosities of (1-3)×1041 erg s-1 and velocity widths of (4000-6000) km s-. Including the previously published iPTF13ehe, this makes up a total of three such events to date. iPTF13ehe is one of the most luminous and the slowest evolving SLSNe-I, whereas the other two are less luminous and fast decliners. We interpret this as a result of the ejecta running into a neutral H-shell located at a radius of ~1016 cm. This implies that violent mass loss must have occurred several decades before the supernova explosion. Such a short time interval suggests that eruptive mass loss could be common shortly before core collapse, and more importantly helium is unlikely to be completely stripped off the progenitor and could be present in the ejecta. It is a mystery why helium features are not detected, even though nonthermal energy sources, capable of ionizing He, may exist as suggested by the O ii absorption series in the early-time spectra. Our late-time spectra (+240 days) appear to have intrinsically lower [O i] 6300 Å luminosities than that of SN2015bn and SN2007bi, which is possibly an indication of less oxygen (<10 M⊙). The blueshifted Hα emission relative to the hosts for all three events may be in tension with the binary model proposed for iPTF13ehe. Lastly, iPTF15esb has a peculiar light curve (LC) with three peaks separated from one another by ~22 days. The LC undulation is stronger in bluer bands. One possible explanation is ejecta-circumstellar medium interaction.