Abstract Digest #4, 22.08.2014

Today's abstracts:

  • "NIR Spectroscopy of the HAeBe Star HD 100546. III. Further Evidence of an Orbiting Companion?" by S. Brittain et al.
  • "Nonlinear Dynamics of Accretion Disks with Stochastic Viscosity" by P.S. Cowperthwaite and C.S. Reynolds
  • "Photometric study of the pulsating, eclipsing binary OO Dra" by X.B. Zhang et al.
  • "Mass Loss: Its Effect on the Evolution and Fate of High-Mass Stars" by Nathan Smith
  • "Imaging the Inner and Outer Gaps of the Pre-transitional Disk of HD 169142 at 7 mm" by M. Osorio et al.
  • "Long-term Optical Observations of the Be/X-ray Binary X Per" by H. Li et al.
  • "Discovery of a Companion Candidate in the HD 169142 Transition Disk and the Possibility of Multiple Planet Formation" by M. Reggiani et al.
  • "An Enigmatic Point-like Feature within the HD 169142 Transitional Disk" by B. Biller et al.
  • "Angular momentum transport by stochastically excited oscillations in rapidly rotating massive stars" by U. Lee, C. Neiner, S. Mathis
  • IAUS 307: "Asteroseismology and spectropolarimetry: opening new windows on the internal dynamics of massive stars" by S. Mathis and C. Neiner
  • IAUS 307: "Impact of rotation on the geometrical configurations of fossil magnetic fields" by C. Emeriau and S. Mathis
  • IAUS 307: "Stability boundaries for massive stars in the sHR diagram" by H. Saio, C. Georgy, G. Meynet
  • IAUS 307: "Massive star archeology in globular clusters" by W. Chantereau, C. Charbonnel, G. Meynet
  • IAUS 307: "Stochastic excitation of gravity waves in rapidly rotating massive stars" by S. Mathis, C. Neiner
  • IAUS 307: "Physics of rotation: problems and challenges" by A. Maeder, G. Meynet
  • IAUS 307: "The B Fields in OB Stars (BOB) Survey" by T. Morel et al.

NIR Spectroscopy of the HAeBe Star HD 100546. III. Further Evidence of an Orbiting Companion?

S. Brittain et al.

We report high-resolution NIR spectroscopy of CO and OH emission from the Herbig Be star HD 100546. We discuss how our results bear striking resemblance to several theoretically predicted signposts of giant planet formation. The properties of the CO and OH emission lines are consistent with our earlier interpretation that these diagnostics provide indirect evidence for a companion that orbits the star close to the disk wall (at ~13 AU). The asymmetry of the OH spectral line profiles and their lack of time variability are consistent with emission from gas in an eccentric orbit at the disk wall that is approximately stationary in the inertial frame. The time variable spectroastrometric properties of the CO v = 1-0 emission line point to an orbiting source of CO emission with an emitting area similar to that expected for a circumplanetary disk (~0.1 AU^2) assuming the CO emission is optically thick. We also consider a counterhypothesis to this interpretation, namely that the variable CO emission arises from a bright spot on the disk wall. We conclude with a brief suggestion of further work that can distinguish between these scenarios.

Available at: ApJ 791, 136


Nonlinear Dynamics of Accretion Disks with Stochastic Viscosity

P.S. Cowperthwaite and C.S. Reynolds

We present a nonlinear numerical model for a geometrically thin accretion disk with the addition of stochastic nonlinear fluctuations in the viscous parameter. These numerical realizations attempt to study the stochastic effects on the disk angular momentum transport. We show that this simple model is capable of reproducing several observed phenomenologies of accretion-driven systems. The most notable of these is the observed linear rms-flux relationship in the disk luminosity. This feature is not formally captured by the linearized disk equations used in previous work. A Fourier analysis of the dissipation and mass accretion rates across disk radii show coherence for frequencies below the local viscous frequency. This is consistent with the coherence behavior observed in astrophysical sources such as Cygnus X-1.

Available at: ApJ 791 126


Photometric study of the pulsating, eclipsing binary OO Dra

X.B. Zhang et al.

We present a comprehensive photometric study of the pulsating, eclipsing binary OO Dra. Simultaneous B- and V-band photometry of the star was carried out on 14 nights. Revised orbital period and a new ephemeris were derived from the data. The first photometric solution of the binary system and the physical parameters of the component stars are determined. It reveals that OO Dra could be a detached system with the less-massive secondary component nearly filling in its Roche lobe. By subtracting the eclipsing light changes from the data, we obtained the intrinsic pulsating light curves of the hotter and massive primary component. Frequency analysis of the residuals light yields two confident pulsation modes in both B- and V-band data with the dominant frequency detected at 41.865 c/d. A brief discussion concerning the evolutionary status and the pulsation nature of the binary system is finally given.

Available at: arXiv:1408.0851


Mass Loss: Its Effect on the Evolution and Fate of High-Mass Stars

Nathan Smith

Our understanding of massive star evolution is in flux due to recent upheavals in our view of mass loss and observations of a high binary fraction among O-type stars. Mass-loss rates for standard metallicity-dependent winds of hot stars are lower by a factor of 2–3 compared with rates adopted in modern stellar evolution codes, due to the influence of clumping on observed diagnostics. Weaker hot star winds shift the burden of H-envelope removal to the winds, pulsations, and eruptions of evolved supergiants, as well as binary mass transfer. Studies of stripped-envelope supernovae, in particular, require binary mass transfer. Dramatic examples of eruptive mass loss are seen in Type IIn supernovae, which have massive shells ejected just a few years earlier. These eruptions are a prelude to core collapse, and may signify severe instabilities in the latest nuclear burning phases. We encounter the predicament that the most important modes of mass loss are also the most uncertain, undermining the predictive power of single-star evolution models. Moreover, the influence of winds and rotation has been evaluated by testing single-star models against observed statistics that, it turns out, are heavily influenced by binary evolution. Altogether, this may alter our view about the most basic outcomes of massive-star mass loss—are Wolf-Rayet stars and Type Ibc supernovae the products of winds, or are they mostly the result of binary evolution and eruptive mass loss? This is not fully settled, but mounting evidence points toward the latter. This paradigm shift impacts other areas of astronomy, because it changes predictions for ionizing radiation and wind feedback from stellar populations, it may alter conclusions about star-formation rates and initial mass functions, it affects the origin of compact stellar remnants, and it influences how we use supernovae as probes of stellar evolution across cosmic time.

Available at: Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Vol. 52, 487


Imaging the Inner and Outer Gaps of the Pre-transitional Disk of HD 169142 at 7 mm

M. Osorio et al.

We present Very Large Array observations at 7 mm that trace the thermal emission of large dust grains in the HD 169142 protoplanetary disk. Our images show a ring of enhanced emission of radius ~25-30 AU, whose inner region is devoid of detectable 7 mm emission. We interpret this ring as tracing the rim of an inner cavity or gap, possibly created by a planet or a substellar companion. The ring appears asymmetric, with the western part significantly brighter than the eastern one. This azimuthal asymmetry is reminiscent of the lopsided structures that are expected to be produced as a consequence of trapping of large dust grains. Our observations also reveal an outer annular gap at radii from ~40 to ~70 AU. Unlike other sources, the radii of the inner cavity, the ring, and the outer gap observed in the 7 mm images, which trace preferentially the distribution of large (millimeter/centimeter sized) dust grains, coincide with those obtained from a previous near-infrared polarimetric image, which traces scattered light from small (micron-sized) dust grains. We model the broadband spectral energy distribution and the 7 mm images to constrain the disk physical structure. From this modeling we infer the presence of a small (radius ~0.6 AU) residual disk inside the central cavity, indicating that the HD 169142 disk is a pre-transitional disk. The distribution of dust in three annuli with gaps in between them suggests that the disk in HD 169142 is being disrupted by at least two planets or substellar objects.

Available at: ApJ 791, L36


Long-term Optical Observations of the Be/X-ray Binary X Per

H. Li et al.

We present the optical spectroscopic observations of X Per from 1999 to 2013 with the 2.16m telescope at Xinglong Station and the 2.4m telescope at Lijiang station, National Astronomical Observatories of China. Combining with the public optical photometric data, we find certain epochs of anti-correlations between the optical brightness and the intensity of the H{\alpha} and HeI 6678 lines, which may be attributed to the mass ejections from the Be star. Alternative explanations are however also possible. The variability of FeII 6317 line in the spectra of X Per might be also caused by the shocked waves formed after the mass ejections from the Be star. The X-ray activities of the system might also be connected with the mass ejection events from the Be star. When the ejected materials were transported from the surface of the Be star to the orbit of neutron star, an X-ray flare could be observed in its X-ray light curves. We use the neutron star as a probe to constrain the motion of the ejected material in the circumstellar disk. With the diffusion time of the ejected material from the surface of Be star to the orbit of neutron star, the viscosity parameter {\alpha} of the circumstellar disk is estimated to be 0.39 and 0.28 for the different time, indicating that the disk around Be star may be truncated by the neutron star at the 2:1 resonance radius and Type I X-ray outburst is unlikely to be observed in X Per.

Available at: arXiv:1408.3542


Discovery of a Companion Candidate in the HD 169142 Transition Disk and the Possibility of Multiple Planet Formation

M. Reggiani et al.

We present L'- and J-band high-contrast observations of HD 169142, obtained with the Very Large Telescope/NACO AGPM vector vortex coronagraph and the Gemini Planet Imager, respectively. A source located at 0.''156 ± 0.''032 north of the host star (P.A. = 7fdg4 ± 11fdg3) appears in the final reduced L' image. At the distance of the star (~145 pc), this angular separation corresponds to a physical separation of 22.7 ± 4.7 AU, locating the source within the recently resolved inner cavity of the transition disk. The source has a brightness of L' = 12.2 ± 0.5 mag, whereas it is not detected in the J band (J >13.8 mag). If its L' brightness arose solely from the photosphere of a companion and given the J – L' color constraints, it would correspond to a 28-32 M Jupiter object at the age of the star, according to the COND models. Ongoing accretion activity of the star suggests, however, that gas is left in the inner disk cavity from which the companion could also be accreting. In this case, the object could be lower in mass and its luminosity enhanced by the accretion process and by a circumplanetary disk. A lower-mass object is more consistent with the observed cavity width. Finally, the observations enable us to place an upper limit on the L'-band flux of a second companion candidate orbiting in the disk annular gap at ~50 AU, as suggested by millimeter observations. If the second companion is also confirmed, HD 169142 might be forming a planetary system, with at least two companions opening gaps and possibly interacting with each other.

Available at: ApJ 792 L23


An Enigmatic Point-like Feature within the HD 169142 Transitional Disk

B. Biller et al.

We report the detection of a faint point-like feature possibly related to ongoing planet-formation in the disk of the transition disk star HD 169142. The point-like feature has a Delta mag(L) ~ 6.4, at a separation of ~0.''11 and position angle ~0°. Given its lack of an H or KS counterpart despite its relative brightness, this candidate cannot be explained by purely photospheric emission and must be a disk feature heated by an as yet unknown source. Its extremely red colors make it highly unlikely to be a background object, but future multi-wavelength follow up is necessary for confirmation and characterization of this feature.

Available at: ApJ 792 L22


Angular momentum transport by stochastically excited oscillations in rapidly rotating massive stars

U. Lee, C. Neiner, S. Mathis

We estimate the amount of angular momentum transferred by the low-frequency oscillations detected in the rapidly rotating hot Be star HD 51452. Here, we assume that the oscillations detected are stochastically excited by convective motions in the convective core of the star, that is, we treat the oscillations as forced oscillations excited by the periodic convective motions of the core fluids having the frequencies observationally determined. With the observational amplitudes of the photometric variations, we determine the oscillation amplitudes, which makes it possible to estimate the net amount of angular momentum transferred by the oscillations using the wave-meanflow interaction theory. Since we do not have any information concerning the azimuthal wavenumber m and spherical harmonic degree l for each of the oscillations, we assume that all the frequencies detected are prograde or retrograde in the observer's frame and they are all associated with a single value of m both for even modes (l = |m|) and for odd modes (l = |m| + 1). We estimate the amount of angular momentum transferred by the oscillations for |m| = 1 and 2, which are typical |m| values for Be stars, and find that the amount is large enough for a decretion disc to form around the star. Therefore, transport of angular momentum by waves stochastically excited in the core of Be stars might be responsible for the Be phenomenon.

Available at: MNRAS 443, 1515


Asteroseismology and spectropolarimetry: opening new windows on the internal dynamics of massive stars

S. Mathis and C. Neiner

In this article, we show how asteroseismology and spectropolarimetry allow to probe dynamical processes in massive star interiors. First, we give a summary of the state-of-the-art. Second, we recall the MHD mechanisms that take place in massive stars. Next, we show how asteroseimology gives strong constraints on the internal mixing and transport of angular momentum while spectropolarimetry allows to unravel the role played by magnetic fields.

Available at: arXiv:1408.4287


Impact of rotation on the geometrical configurations of fossil magnetic fields

C. Emeriau and S. Mathis

The MiMeS project demonstrated that a small fraction of massive stars (around 7%) presents large-scale, stable, generally dipolar magnetic fields at their surface. They are supposed to be fossil remnants of initial phases of stellar evolution. In fact, they result from the relaxation to MHD equilibrium states during the formation of stable radiation zones of initial fields generated by a previous convective phase. In contrast with the case of magnetic fields built by dynamo mechanisms, the geometry of fossil fields at the surface of early-type stars seems to be independent of rotation: dipolar fields are observed both in slowly- and rapidly-rotating stars. In this work, we present new theoretical results, where we generalized previous studies by taking rotation into account. The properties of relaxed fossil fields are compared to those obtained when rotation is ignored. Consequences for magnetic fields in the radiative envelope of rotating early-type stars are discussed.

Available at: arXiv:1408.4279


Stability boundaries for massive stars in the sHR diagram

H. Saio, C. Georgy, G. Meynet

Stability boundaries of radial pulsations in massive stars are compared with positions of variable and non-variable blue-supergiants in the spectroscopic HR (sHR) diagram (Langer & Kudritzki 2014), whose vertical axis is 4logTeff-logg(=logL/M). Observational data indicate that variables tend to have higher L/M than non-variables in agreement with the theoretical prediction. However, many variable blue-supergiants are found to have values of L/M below the theoretical stability boundary; i.e., surface gravities seem to be too high by around 0.2-0.3 dex.

Available at: arXiv:1408.3485


Massive star archeology in globular clusters

W. Chantereau, C. Charbonnel, G. Meynet

Globular clusters are among the oldest structures in the Universe and they host today low-mass stars and no gas. However, there has been a time when they formed as gaseous objects hosting a large number of short-lived, massive stars. Many details on this early epoch have been depicted recently through unprecedented dissection of low-mass globular cluster stars via spectroscopy and photometry. In particular, multiple populations have been identified, which bear the nucleosynthetic fingerprints of the massive hot stars long disappeared. Here we discuss how massive star archeology can been done through the lens of these multiple populations.

Available at: arXiv:1408.3407


Stochastic excitation of gravity waves in rapidly rotating massive stars

S. Mathis, C. Neiner

Stochastic gravity waves have been recently detected and characterised in stars thanks to space asteroseismology and they may play an important role in the evolution of stellar angular momentum. In this context, the observational study of the CoRoT hot Be star HD 51452 suggests a potentially strong impact of rotation on stochastic excitation of gravito-inertial waves in rapidly rotating stars. In this work, we present our results on the action of the Coriolis acceleration on stochastic wave excitation by turbulent convection. We study the change of efficiency of this mechanism as a function of the waves' Rossby number and we demonstrate that the excitation presents two different regimes for super-inertial and sub-inertial frequencies. Consequences for rapidly rotating early-type stars and the transport of angular momentum in their interiors are discussed.

Available at: arXiv:1408.4008


Physics of rotation: problems and challenges

A. Maeder, G. Meynet

We examine some debated points in current discussions about rotating stars: the shape, the gravity darkening, the critical velocities, the mass loss rates, the hydrodynamical instabilities, the internal mixing and N--enrichments. The study of rotational mixing requires high quality data and careful analysis. From recent studies where such conditions are fulfilled, rotational mixing is well confirmed. Magnetic coupling with stellar winds may produce an apparent contradiction, i.e. stars with a low rotation and a high N--enrichment. We point out that it rather confirms the large role of shears in differentially rotating stars for the transport processes. New models of interacting binaries also show how shears and mixing may be enhanced in close binaries which are either spun up or down by tidal interactions.

Available at: arXiv:1408.1768


The B Fields in OB Stars (BOB) Survey

T. Morel et al.

The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.

Available at: arXiv:1408.2100


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