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These are the latest articles published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters.
O. López-Cruz et al. 2014 ApJ 795 L31
We have found that the brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) in A85, Holm 15A, displays the largest core known so far. Its cusp radius, r γ = 4.57 ± 0.06 kpc (4.''26 ± 0.''06), is more than 18 times larger than the mean for BCGs and 1 kpc larger than A2261-BCG, hitherto the largest-cored BCG. Holm 15A hosts the luminous amorphous radio source 0039-095B and has the optical signature of a LINER. Scaling laws indicate that this core could host a supermassive black hole (SMBH) of mass M • ~ (10 9-10 11) M ☉. We suggest that cores this large represent a relatively short phase in the evolution of BCGs, whereas the masses of their associated SBMH might be set by initial conditions.
M. A. Cordiner et al. 2014 ApJ 795 L30
We present spectrally and spatially resolved maps of HNC and HC 3N emission from Titan's atmosphere, obtained using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array on 2013 November 17. These maps show anisotropic spatial distributions for both molecules, with resolved emission peaks in Titan's northern and southern hemispheres. The HC 3N maps indicate enhanced concentrations of this molecule over the poles, consistent with previous studies of Titan's photochemistry and atmospheric circulation. Differences between the spectrally integrated flux distributions of HNC and HC 3N show that these species are not co-spatial. The observed spectral line shapes are consistent with HNC being concentrated predominantly in the mesosphere and above (at altitudes z 400 km), whereas HC 3N is abundant at a broader range of altitudes ( z 70-600 km). From spatial variations in the HC 3N line profile, the locations of the HC 3N emission peaks are shown to be variable as a function of altitude. The peaks in the integrated emission from HNC and the line core (upper atmosphere) component of HC 3N (at z 300 km) are found to be asymmetric with respect to Titan's polar axis, indicating that the mesosphere may be more longitudinally variable than previously thought. The spatially integrated HNC and HC 3N spectra are modeled using the NEMESIS planetary atmosphere code and the resulting best-fitting disk-averaged vertical mixing ratio profiles are found to be in reasonable agreement with previous measurements for these species. Vertical column densities of the best-fitting gradient models for HNC and HC 3N are 1.9 × 10 13 cm –2 and 2.3 × 10 14 cm –2, respectively.
M. Kun et al. 2014 ApJ 795 L26
We report on the discovery of three candidate eruptive young stars, found during our comprehensive multi-wavelength study of the young stellar population of the dark cloud L1340. These stars are as follows. (1) IRAS 02224+7227 (2MASS 02270555+7241167, HH 487S) exhibited FUor-like spectrum in our low-resolution optical spectra. The available photometric data restrict its luminosity to 23 L ☉ < L bol < 59 L ☉. (2) 2MASS 02263797+7304575, identified as a classical T Tauri star during our Hα survey, exhibited an EXor-type brightening in 2005 November at the time of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey observations of the region. (3) 2MASS 02325605+7246055, a low-mass embedded young star, associated with a fan-shaped infrared nebula, underwent an outburst between the DSS 1 and DSS 2 surveys, leading to the appearance of a faint optical nebula. Our [S II] and Hα images, as well as the Spitzer Infrared Array Camera 4.5 μm images, revealed Herbig-Haro objects associated with this star. Our results suggest that amplitudes and timescales of outbursts do not necessarily correlate with the evolutionary stage of the stars.
J. P. Halpern et al. 2014 ApJ 795 L27
We report the discovery of PSR J1101–6101, a 62.8 ms pulsar in IGR J11014–6103, a hard X-ray source with a jet and a cometary tail that strongly suggests it is moving away from the center of the supernova remnant (SNR) MSH 11–6 1A at v > 1000 km s –1. Two XMM-Newton observations were obtained with the EPIC pn in small window mode, resulting in the measurement of its spin-down luminosity erg s –1, characteristic age τ c = 116 kyr, and surface magnetic field strength B s = 7.4 × 10 11 G. In comparison to τ c , the 10-30 kyr age estimated for MSH 11–6 1A suggests that the pulsar was born in the SNR with initial period in the range 54 ≤ P 0 ≤ 60 ms. PSR J1101–6101 is the least energetic of the 15 rotation-powered pulsars detected by INTEGRAL, and has a high efficiency of hard X-ray radiation and jet power. We examine the shape of the cometary nebula in a Chandra image, which is roughly consistent with a bow shock at the velocity inferred from the SNR age and the pulsar's . However, its structure differs in detail from the classic bow shock, and we explore possible reasons for this.
Wei-Min Yi et al. 2014 ApJ 795 L29
Very few of the z > 5 quasars discovered to date have been radio-loud, with radio-to-optical flux ratios (radio-loudness parameters) higher than 10. Here we report the discovery of an optically luminous radio-loud quasar, SDSS J013127.34–032100.1 (J0131–0321 in short), at z = 5.18 ± 0.01 using the Lijiang 2.4 m and Magellan telescopes. J0131–0321 has a spectral energy distribution consistent with that of radio-loud quasars. With an i-band magnitude of 18.47 and a radio flux density of 33 mJy, its radio-loudness parameter is ~100. The optical and near-infrared spectra taken by Magellan enable us to estimate its bolometric luminosity to be L bol ~ 1.1 × 10 48 erg s –1, approximately 4.5 times greater than that of the most distant quasar known to date. The black hole mass of J0131–0321 is estimated to be 2.7 × 10 9 M ☉, with an uncertainty up to 0.4 dex. Detailed physical properties of this high-redshift, radio-loud, potentially super-Eddington quasar can be probed in the future with more dedicated and intensive follow-up observations using multi-wavelength facilities.