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These are the latest articles published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
Yanxia Xie et al. 2014 ApJ 794 L19
On a galactic scale, the 9.7 μm silicate emission is usually only seen in type 1 active galactic nuclei (AGNs). They usually also display a flat emission continuum at ~5-8 μm and the absence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission bands. In contrast, starburst galaxies, luminous infrared (IR) galaxies, and ultraluminous IR galaxies exhibit a red 5-8 μm emission continuum, strong 9.7 μm and 18 μm silicate absorption features, and strong PAH emission bands. Here, we report the detection of anomalous dust properties by the Spitzer/Infrared Spectrograph in three galaxies (IRAS F10398+1455, IRAS F21013-0739, and SDSS J0808+3948) which are characterized by the simultaneous detection of a red 5-8 μm emission continuum, the 9.7 and 18 μm silicate emission features, as well as strong PAH emission bands. These apparently contradictory dust IR emission properties are discussed in terms of iron-poor silicate composition, carbon dust deficit, small grain size, and low dust temperature in the young AGN phase of these three galaxies.
Toru Misawa et al. 2014 ApJ 794 L20
We study the geometry and the internal structure of the outflowing wind from the accretion disk of a quasar by observing multiple sightlines with the aid of strong gravitational lensing. Using Subaru/High Dispersion Spectrograph, we performed high-resolution ( R ~ 36,000) spectroscopic observations of images A and B of the gravitationally lensed quasar SDSS J1029+2623 (at z em ~ 2.197) whose image separation angle, θ ~ 22.''5, is the largest among those discovered so far. We confirm that the difference in absorption profiles in images A and B discovered by Misawa et al. has remained unchanged since 2010, implying the difference is not due to time variability of the absorption profiles over the delay between the images, Δ t ~ 744 days, but rather due to differences along the sightlines. We also discovered a time variation of C IV absorption strength in both images A and B due to a change in the ionization condition. If a typical absorber's size is smaller than its distance from the flux source by more than five orders of magnitude, it should be possible to detect sightline variations among images of other smaller separation, galaxy-scale gravitationally lensed quasars.
Martin G. H. Krause and Roland Diehl 2014 ApJ 794 L21
Interstellar bubbles appear to be smaller in observations than expected from calculations. Instabilities at the shell boundaries create three-dimensional (3D) effects and are probably responsible for part of this discrepancy. We investigate instabilities and dynamics in superbubbles using 3D hydrodynamics simulations with time-resolved energy input from massive stars, including supernova explosions. We find that the superbubble shells are accelerated by supernova explosions, coincident with substantial brightening in soft X-ray emission. In between the explosions, the superbubbles lose energy efficiently, approaching the momentum-conserving snowplow limit. This and enhanced radiative losses due to instabilities reduce the expansion compared to the corresponding radiative bubbles in pressure-driven snowplow models with constant energy input. We note generally good agreement with observations of superbubbles and some open issues. In particular, there are hints that the shell velocities in the X-ray-bright phases are underpredicted.
Nikku Madhusudhan et al. 2014 ApJ 794 L12
The origin of hot Jupiters—gas giant exoplanets orbiting very close to their host stars—is a long-standing puzzle. Planet formation theories suggest that such planets are unlikely to have formed in situ but instead may have formed at large orbital separations beyond the snow line and migrated inward to their present orbits. Two competing hypotheses suggest that the planets migrated either through interaction with the protoplanetary disk during their formation, or by disk-free mechanisms such as gravitational interactions with a third body. Observations of eccentricities and spin-orbit misalignments of hot Jupiter systems have been unable to differentiate between the two hypotheses. In the present work, we suggest that chemical depletions in hot Jupiter atmospheres might be able to constrain their migration mechanisms. We find that sub-solar carbon and oxygen abundances in Jovian-mass hot Jupiters around Sun-like stars are hard to explain by disk migration. Instead, such abundances are more readily explained by giant planets forming at large orbital separations, either by core accretion or gravitational instability, and migrating to close-in orbits via disk-free mechanisms involving dynamical encounters. Such planets also contain solar or super-solar C/O ratios. On the contrary, hot Jupiters with super-solar O and C abundances can be explained by a variety of formation-migration pathways which, however, lead to solar or sub-solar C/O ratios. Current estimates of low oxygen abundances in hot Jupiter atmospheres may be indicative of disk-free migration mechanisms. We discuss open questions in this area which future studies will need to investigate.
Katherine Alatalo et al. 2014 ApJ 794 L13
We present the discovery of a prominent bifurcation between early-type galaxies and late-type galaxies, in [4.6]- μm colors from the Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). We then use an emission-line diagnostic comparison sample to explore the nature of objects found both within and near the edges of this WISE infrared transition zone (IRTZ). We hypothesize that this bifurcation might be due to the presence of hot dust and polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission features in late-type galaxies. Using a sample of galaxies selected through the Shocked Poststarburst Galaxy Survey (SPOGS), we are able to identify galaxies with strong Balmer absorption (EW(Hδ) > 5 Å) as well as emission lines inconsistent with star formation (deemed SPOG candidates, or SPOGs*) that lie within the optical green valley. Seyferts and low-ionization nuclear emission line regions, whose u – r colors tend to be red, are strongly represented within IRTZ, whereas SPOGs* tend to sit near the star-forming edge. Although active galactic nuclei are well represented in the IRTZ, we argue that the dominant IRTZ population is composed of galaxies that are in late stages of transitioning across the optical green valley, shedding the last of their remnant interstellar media.