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These are the latest articles published in The Astrophysical Journal.
Takayuki Tanigawa et al. 2014 ApJ 784 109
We investigate the accretion of solid materials onto circumplanetary disks from heliocentric orbits rotating in protoplanetary disks, which is a key process for the formation of regular satellite systems. In the late stage of the gas-capturing phase of giant planet formation, the accreting gas from protoplanetary disks forms circumplanetary disks. Since the accretion flow toward the circumplanetary disks affects the particle motion through gas drag force, we use hydrodynamic simulation data for the gas drag term to calculate the motion of solid materials. We consider a wide range of size for the solid particles (10 –2-10 6 m), and find that the accretion efficiency of the solid particles peaks around 10 m sized particles because energy dissipation of drag with circum-planetary disk gas in this size regime is most effective. The efficiency for particles larger than 10 m becomes lower because gas drag becomes less effective. For particles smaller than 10 m, the efficiency is lower because the particles are strongly coupled with the background gas flow, which prevents particles from accretion. We also find that the distance from the planet where the particles are captured by the circumplanetary disks is in a narrow range and well described as a function of the particle size.
A. Mainzer et al. 2014 ApJ 784 110
Only a very small fraction of the asteroid population at size scales comparable to the object that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia has been discovered to date, and physical properties are poorly characterized. We present previously unreported detections of 105 close approaching near-Earth objects (NEOs) by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer ( WISE) mission's NEOWISE project. These infrared observations constrain physical properties such as diameter and albedo for these objects, many of which are found to be smaller than 100 m. Because these objects are intrinsically faint, they were detected by WISE during very close approaches to the Earth, often at large apparent on-sky velocities. We observe a trend of increasing albedo with decreasing size, but as this sample of NEOs was discovered by visible light surveys, it is likely that selection biases against finding small, dark NEOs influence this finding.
Michael J. Lundquist et al. 2014 ApJ 784 111
We present an all-sky sample of 984 candidate intermediate-mass Galactic star-forming regions that are color selected from the Infrared Astronomical Satellite ( IRAS) Point Source Catalog and morphologically classify each object using mid-infrared Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer ( WISE) images. Of the 984 candidates, 616 are probable star-forming regions (62.6%), 128 are filamentary structures (13.0%), 39 are point-like objects of unknown nature (4.0%), and 201 are galaxies (20.4%). We conduct a study of four of these regions, IRAS 00259+5625, IRAS 00420+5530, IRAS 01080+5717, and IRAS 05380+2020, at Galactic latitudes | b| > 5° using optical spectroscopy from the Wyoming Infrared Observatory, along with near-infrared photometry from the Two-Micron All Sky Survey, to investigate their stellar content. New optical spectra, color-magnitude diagrams, and color-color diagrams reveal their extinctions, spectrophotometric distances, and the presence of small stellar clusters containing 20-78 M ☉ of stars. These low-mass diffuse star clusters contain ~65-250 stars for a typical initial mass function, including one or more mid-B stars as their most massive constituents. Using infrared spectral energy distributions we identify young stellar objects near each region and assign probable masses and evolutionary stages to the protostars. The total infrared luminosity lies in the range 190-960 L ☉, consistent with the sum of the luminosities of the individually identified young stellar objects.
S. Satyapal et al. 2014 ApJ 784 113
In contrast to massive, bulge hosting galaxies, very few supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are known in either low-mass or bulgeless galaxies. Such a population could provide clues to the origins of SMBHs and to secular pathways for their growth. Using the all-sky Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer ( WISE ) survey, and bulge-to-disk decompositions from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7, we report the discovery of a population of local ( z < 0.3) bulgeless disk galaxies with extremely red mid-infrared colors which are highly suggestive of a dominant active galactic nucleus (AGN), despite having no optical AGN signatures in their SDSS spectra. Using various mid-infrared selection criteria from the literature, there are between 30 and over 300 bulgeless galaxies with possible AGNs. Other known scenarios that can heat the dust to high temperatures do not appear to explain the observed colors of this sample. If these galaxies are confirmed to host AGNs, this study will provide a breakthrough in characterizing the properties of SMBHs in the low bulge mass regime and in understanding their relation with their host galaxies. Mid-infrared selection identifies AGNs that dominate their host galaxy's emission and therefore reveal a different AGN population than that uncovered by optical studies. We find that the fraction of all galaxies identified as candidate AGNs by WISE is highest at lower stellar masses and drops dramatically in higher mass galaxies, in striking contrast to the findings from optical studies.
Katarina Kraljic et al. 2014 ApJ 784 112
The Schmidt-Kennicutt relation links the surface densities of gas to the star formation rate in galaxies. The physical origin of this relation, and in particular its break, i.e., the transition between an inefficient regime at low gas surface densities and a main regime at higher densities, remains debated. Here, we study the physical origin of the star formation relations and breaks in several low-redshift galaxies, from dwarf irregulars to massive spirals. We use numerical simulations representative of the Milky Way and the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds with parsec up to subparsec resolution, and which reproduce the observed star formation relations and the relative variations of the star formation thresholds. We analyze the role of interstellar turbulence, gas cooling, and geometry in drawing these relations at 100 pc scale. We suggest in particular that the existence of a break in the Schmidt-Kennicutt relation could be linked to the transition from subsonic to supersonic turbulence and is independent of self-shielding effects. With this transition being connected to the gas thermal properties and thus to the metallicity, the break is shifted toward high surface densities in metal-poor galaxies, as observed in dwarf galaxies. Our results suggest that together with the collapse of clouds under self-gravity, turbulence (injected at galactic scale) can induce the compression of gas and regulate star formation.