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These are the latest articles published in The Astrophysical Journal.
Z. Cano 2014 ApJ 794 121
A long-duration gamma-ray burst (GRB) marks the violent end of a massive star. GRBs are rare in the universe, and their progenitor stars are thought to possess unique physical properties such as low metal content and rapid rotation, while the supernovae (SNe) that are associated with GRBs are expected to be highly aspherical. To date, it has been unclear whether GRB-SNe could be used as standardizable candles, with contrasting conclusions found by different teams. In this paper, I present evidence that GRB-SNe have the potential to be used as standardizable candles and show that a statistically significant relation exists between the brightness and width of their decomposed light curves relative to a template SN. Every single nearby spectroscopically identified GRB-SN for which the rest frame and host contributions have been accurately determined follows this relation. Additionally, it is shown that not only GRB-SNe, but perhaps all SNe whose explosions are powered by a central engine may eventually be used as a standardizable candle. Finally, I suggest that the use of GRB-SNe as standardizable candles likely arises from a combination of the viewing angle and similar explosion geometry in each event, the latter of which is influenced by the explosion mechanism of GRB-SNe.
Erez Michaely and Hagai B. Perets 2014 ApJ 794 122
Recent studies have shown that secular evolution of triple systems can play a major role in the evolution and interaction of their inner binaries. Very few studies explored the stellar evolution of triple systems, and in particular the mass-loss phase of the evolving stellar components. Here we study the dynamical secular evolution of hierarchical triple systems undergoing mass loss. We use the secular evolution equations and include the effects of mass loss and mass transfer, as well as general relativistic effects. We present various evolutionary channels taking place in such evolving triples, and discuss both the effects of mass loss and mass transfer in the inner binary system, as well as the effects of mass loss/transfer from an outer third companion. We discuss several distinct types/regimes of triple secular evolution, where the specific behavior of a triple system can sensitively depend on its hierarchy and the relative importance of classical and general relativistic effects. We show that the orbital changes due to mass-loss and/or mass-transfer processes can effectively transfer a triple system from one dynamical regime to another. In particular, mass loss/transfer can both induce and quench high-amplitude (Lidov-Kozai) variations in the eccentricity and inclination of the inner binaries of evolving triples. They can also change the system dynamics from an orderly periodic behavior to a chaotic one, and vice versa.
L. Ilsedore Cleeves et al. 2014 ApJ 794 123
The chemical properties of protoplanetary disks are especially sensitive to their ionization environment. Sources of molecular gas ionization include cosmic rays (CRs), stellar X-rays, and short-lived radionuclides, each of which varies with location in the disk. This behavior leads to a significant amount of chemical structure, especially in molecular ion abundances, which is imprinted in their submillimeter rotational line emission. Using an observationally motivated disk model, we make predictions for the dependence of chemical abundances on the assumed properties of the ionizing field. We calculate the emergent line intensity for abundant molecular ions and simulate sensitive observations with the Atacama Large Millimeter/Sub-millimeter Array (ALMA) for a disk at D = 100 pc. The models readily distinguish between high ionization rates (ζ 10 –17 s –1 per H 2) and below, but it becomes difficult to distinguish between low ionization models when ζ 10 –19 s –1. We find that H 2D + emission is not detectable for sub-interstellar CR rates with ALMA (6 h integration), and that N 2D + emission may be a more sensitive tracer of midplane ionization. HCO + traces X-rays and high CR rates (ζ CR 10 –17 s –1), and provides a handle on the warm molecular ionization properties where CO is present in the gas. Furthermore, species like HCO +, which emits from a wide radial region and samples a large gradient in temperature, can exhibit ring-like emission as a consequence of low-lying rotational level de-excitation near the star. This finding highlights a scenario where rings are not necessarily structural or chemical in nature, but simply a result of the underlying line excitation properties.
Michiel Cottaar et al. 2014 ApJ 794 125
Over two years, 8859 high-resolution H-band spectra of 3493 young (1-10 Myr) stars were gathered by the multi-object spectrograph of the APOGEE project as part of the IN-SYNC ancillary program of the SDSS-III survey. Here we present the forward modeling approach used to derive effective temperatures, surface gravities, radial velocities, rotational velocities, and H-band veiling from these near-infrared spectra. We discuss in detail the statistical and systematic uncertainties in these stellar parameters. In addition, we present accurate extinctions by measuring the E( J – H) of these young stars with respect to the single-star photometric locus in the Pleiades. Finally, we identify an intrinsic stellar radius spread of about 25% for late-type stars in IC 348 using three (nearly) independent measures of stellar radius, namely, the extinction-corrected J-band magnitude, the surface gravity, and the Rsin i from the rotational velocities and literature rotation periods. We exclude that this spread is caused by uncertainties in the stellar parameters by showing that the three estimators of stellar radius are correlated, so that brighter stars tend to have lower surface gravities and larger Rsin i than fainter stars at the same effective temperature. Tables providing the spectral and photometric parameters for the Pleiades and IC 348 have been provided online.
V. A. Rapson et al. 2014 ApJ 794 124
We present Spitzer 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, 8.0, and 24 μm images of the Mon OB1 East giant molecular cloud, which contains the young star forming region NGC 2264, as well as more extended star formation. With Spitzer data and Two Micron All Sky Survey photometry, we identify and classify young stellar objects (YSOs) with dusty circumstellar disks and/or envelopes in Mon OB1 East by their infrared-excess emission and study their distribution with respect to cloud material. We find a correlation between the local surface density of YSOs and column density of molecular gas as traced by dust extinction that is roughly described as a power law in these quantities. NGC 2264 follows a power-law index of ~2.7, exhibiting a large YSO surface density for a given gas column density. Outside of NGC 2264 where the surface density of YSOs is lower, the power law is shallower and the region exhibits a larger gas column density for a YSO surface density, suggesting the star formation is more recent. In order to measure the fraction of cloud members with circumstellar disks/envelopes, we estimate the number of diskless pre-main-sequence stars by statistical removal of background star detections. We find that the disk fraction of the NGC 2264 region is 45%, while the surrounding, more distributed regions show a disk fraction of 19%. This may be explained by the presence of an older, more dispersed population of stars. In total, the Spitzer observations provide evidence for heterogenous, non-coeval star formation throughout the Mon OB1 cloud.