Astro Coffee

Suggested papers for
Tue, Apr 16, 2019, Thu, Apr 18, 2019, and Fri, Apr 19, 2019 at 11 am

16 Apr 2019

The Tail of PSR J0002+6216 and the Supernova Remnant CTB 1

We have carried out VLA imaging and a Fermi timing analysis of the 115 ms gamma-ray and radio pulsar PSR J0002+6216. We found that the pulsar lies at the apex of a narrowly collimated cometary-like 7 arcmin tail of non-thermal radio emission which we identify as a bow-shock pulsar wind nebula. The tail of the nebula points back toward the geometric center of the supernova remnant CTB 1 (G116.9+0.2) 28 arcmin away, at a position angle $\theta_\mu=113^\circ$. We measure a proper motion with 2.9$...

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17 Apr 2019

Astrophysical detection of the helium hydride ion HeH+

Rolf Güsten, Helmut Wiesemeyer, David Neufeld, Karl M. Menten, + 5 more

During the dawn of chemistry1,2, when the temperature of the young Universe had fallen below some 4,000 kelvin, the ions of the light elements produced in Big Bang nucleosynthesis recombined in reverse order of their ionization potential. With their higher ionization potentials, the helium ions He2+and He+were the first to combine with free electrons, forming the first neutral atoms; the recombination of hydrogen followed. In this metal-free and low-density environment, neutral helium atoms form...

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15 Apr 2019

Discovery of a Meteor of Interstellar Origin

The first interstellar object, `Oumuamua, was discovered in the Solar System by Pan-STARRS in 2017, allowing for a calibration of the abundance of interstellar objects of its size $\sim 100\;$ m. One would expect a much higher abundance of smaller interstellar objects, with some of them colliding with Earth frequently enough to be noticeable. Based on the CNEOS catalog of bolide events, we identify the $\sim 0.45$m meteor detected at 2014-01-08 17:05:34 UTC as originating from an unbound hyper...

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12 Apr 2019

Direct measurement of stellar angular diameters by the VERITAS Cherenkov Telescopes

The angular size of a star is a critical factor in determining its basic properties. Direct measurement of stellar angular diameters is difficult: at interstellar distances stars are generally too small to resolve by any individual imaging telescope. This fundamental limitation can be overcome by studying the diffraction pattern in the shadow cast when an asteroid occults a star, but only when the photometric uncertainty is smaller than the noise added by atmospheric scintillation. Atmospheric...

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11 Apr 2019

The Galactic Centre Chimney

Evidence has increasingly mounted in recent decades that outflows of matter and energy from the central parsecs of our Galaxy have shaped the observed structure of the Milky Way on a variety of larger scales. On scales of ~15 pc, the Galactic centre has bipolar lobes that can be seen in both X-rays and radio, indicating broadly collimated outflows from the centre, directed perpendicular to the Galactic plane. On far larger scales approaching the size of the Galaxy itself, gamma-ray observation...

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12 Apr 2019

Direct measurement of stellar angular diameters by the VERITAS Cherenkov Telescopes

The angular size of a star is a critical factor in determining its basic properties. Direct measurement of stellar angular diameters is difficult: at interstellar distances stars are generally too small to resolve by any individual imaging telescope. This fundamental limitation can be overcome by studying the diffraction pattern in the shadow cast when an asteroid occults a star, but only when the photometric uncertainty is smaller than the noise added by atmospheric scintillation. Atmospheric...

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9 Apr 2019

The Optical to Mid-Infrared Extinction Law Based on the APOGEE, Gaia DR2, Pan-STARRS1, SDSS, APASS, 2MASS and WISE Surveys

A precise interstellar dust extinction law is critically important to interpret observations. There are two indicators of extinction: the color excess ratio (CER) and the relative extinction. Compared to the CER, the wavelength-dependent relative extinction is more challenging to be determined. In this work, we combine spectroscopic, astrometric, and photometric data to derive high-precision CERs and relative extinction from optical to mid-infrared (IR) bands. A group of 61,111 red clump (RC) ...

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10 Apr 2019

A magnetar-powered X-ray transient as the aftermath of a binary neutron-star merger

Y. Q. Xue, X. C. Zheng, Y. Li, W. N. Brandt, + 12 more

Mergers of neutron stars are known to be associated with short γ-ray bursts1,2,3,4. If the neutron-star equation of state is sufficiently stiff (that is, the pressure increases sharply as the density increases), at least some such mergers will leave behind a supramassive or even a stable neutron star that spins rapidly with a strong magnetic field5,6,7,8(that is, a magnetar). Such a magnetar signature may have been observed in the form of the X-ray plateau that follows up to half of observed sh...

16 Apr 2019

Ionising the Intergalactic Medium by Star Clusters ? The first empirical evidence

We present a VLT/X-Shooter spectroscopy of the Lyman continuum (LyC) emitting galaxy Ion2 at z=3.2121 and compare it to that of the recently discovered strongly lensed LyC-emitter at z=2.37, known as the "Sunburst" arc. Three main results emerge from the X-Shooter spectrum: (a) the Lya has three distinct peaks with the central one at the systemic redshift, indicating a ionised tunnel through which both Lya and LyC radiation escape; (b) the large O32 oxygen index ([OIII]5007 / [OII]3727) of 9.1...

16 Apr 2019

The lowest detected stellar Fe abundance: The halo star SMSS J160540.18-144323.1

We report the discovery of SMSS J160540.18-144323.1, a new ultra-metal poor halo star discovered with the SkyMapper telescope. We measure [Fe/H] = -6.2 +- 0.2 (1D LTE), the lowest ever detected abundance of iron in a star. The star is strongly carbon-enhanced, [C/Fe] = 3.9 +- 0.2, while other abundances are compatible with an alpha-enhanced solar-like pattern with [Ca/Fe] = 0.4 +- 0.2, [Mg/Fe] = 0.6 +- 0.2, [Ti/Fe] = 0.8 +- 0.2, and no significant s- or r-process enrichment, [Sr/Fe] < 0.2 a...

11 Apr 2019

A geometric distance measurement to the Galactic Center black hole with 0.3% uncertainty

We present a 0.16% precise and 0.27% accurate determination of R0, the distance to the Galactic Center. Our measurement uses the star S2 on its 16-year orbit around the massive black hole Sgr A* that we followed astrometrically and spectroscopically for 27 years. Since 2017, we added near-infrared interferometry with the VLTI beam combiner GRAVITY, yielding a direct measurement of the separation vector between S2 and Sgr A* with an accuracy as good as 20 micro-arcsec in the best cases. S2 pass...


Updated 2019/04/19 11:21:35