712 research outputs found

    Carbon-Enhanced Hyper-metal-poor Stars and the Stellar IMF at Low Metallicity

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    The two known ``hyper-metal-poor'' (HMP) stars, HE0107-5240 and HE1327-2326, have extremely high enhancements of the light elements C, N, and O relative to Fe and appear to represent a statistically significant excess population relative to the halo metallicity distribution extrapolated from [Fe/H] > -3. This study weighs the available evidence for and against three hypothetical origins for these stars: (1) that they formed from gas enriched by a primordial ``faint supernova'', (2) that they formed from gas enriched by core-collapse supernovae and C-rich gas ejected in rotation-driven winds from massive stars, and (3) that they formed as the low-mass secondaries in binary systems at Z ~ 10^{-5.5} Zsun and acquired their light-element enhancements from an intermediate-mass companion as it passed through an AGB phase. The observations interpreted here, especially the depletion of lithium seen in HE1327-2326, favor the binary mass-transfer hypothesis. If HE0107-5240 and HE1327-2326 formed in binary systems, the statistically significant absence of isolated and/or C-normal stars at similar [Fe/H] implies that low-mass stars could form at that metallicity, but that masses M ~< 1.4 Msun were disfavored in the IMF. This result is also explained if the abundance-derived top-heavy IMF for primordial stars persists to [Fe/H] ~ -5.5. This finding indicates that low-mass star formation was possible at extremely low metallicity, and that the typical stellar mass may have had a complex dependence on metallicity rather than a sharp transition driven solely by gas cooling.Comment: 11 pages emulateapj text including three figures, accepted for publication in ApJ v666 (Sept 2007). A companion paper to 0706.290

    Carbon-Enhanced Metal-Poor Stars, the Cosmic Microwave Background, and the Stellar IMF in the Early Universe

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    The characteristic mass of stars at early times may have been higher than today owing to the cosmic microwave background (CMB). This study proposes that (1) the testable predictions of this "CMB-IMF" hypothesis are an increase in the fraction of carbon-enhanced metal-poor (CEMP) stars with declining metallicity and an increase from younger to older populations at a single metallicity (e.g. disk to halo), and (2) these signatures are already seen in recent samples of CEMP stars and can be better tested with anticipated data. The expected spatial variation may explain discrepancies of CEMP frequency among published surveys. The ubiquity and time dependence of the CMB will substantially alter the reconstruction of star formation histories in the Local Group and early Universe.Comment: 7 pages emulateapj format, three figures, accepted for ApJ Letter

    Beaming Binaries - a New Observational Category of Photometric Binary Stars

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    The new photometric space-borne survey missions CoRoT and Kepler will be able to detect minute flux variations in binary stars due to relativistic beaming caused by the line-of-sight motion of their components. In all but very short period binaries (P>10d), these variations will dominate over the ellipsoidal and reflection periodic variability. Thus, CoRoT and Kepler will discover a new observational class: photometric beaming binary stars. We examine this new category and the information that the photometric variations can provide. The variations that result from the observatory heliocentric velocity can be used to extract some spectral information even for single stars.Comment: 15 pages, 4 figures, accpeted for publication in The Astrophysical Journa

    Short Gamma-Ray Bursts and Binary Mergers in Spiral and Elliptical Galaxies: Redshift Distribution and Hosts

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    To test whether the short GRB rates, redshift distribution and host galaxies are consistent with current theoretical predictions, we use avery large database of population synthesis calculations to examine BH-NS and NS-NS merger rates in the universe, factoring in (i) the star formation history of the universe, (ii) a heterogeneous population of star-forming galaxies, including spirals and ellipticals, and (iii) a simple flux-limited selection model for short GRB detection. When we require our models reproduce the known short GRB rates and redshift measurements (and, for NS-NS, the merger rates extrapolated from binary pulsars in the Galaxy), a small fraction of models reproduce all observations, both when we assume a NS-NS and a BH-NS origin for bursts. Most commonly models produce mergers preferentially in spiral galaxies if short GRBs arise from NS-NS mergers alone. Model universes where present-day binary mergers occur preferentially in elliptical galaxies necessarily include a significant fraction of binaries with long delay times between birth and merger (often O(10Gyr)O(10{\rm Gyr})). Though long delays occur, almost all of our models predict that a higher proportion of short GRBs should occur at moderate to high redshift (e.g., z>1z>1) than has presently been observed, in agreement with recent observations which suggest a selection bias towards successful follow-up of low-redshift short GRBs. Finally, if only a fraction of BH-NS mergers have the right combination of masses and spins to make GRBs, then at best only a small fraction of BH-NS models could be consistent with all {\em current} available data. (Abridged)Comment: 14 figures, using bitmapped fonts (via eps2eps) to fit in archive space restrictions; better resolution figures are available from the author. Accepted for publication in ApJ. v3 updates reference

    Gas Giant Protoplanets Formed by Disk Instability in Binary Star Systems

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    We present a suite of three dimensional radiative gravitational hydrodynamics models suggesting that binary stars may be quite capable of forming planetary systems similar to our own. The new models with binary companions do not employ any explicit artificial viscosity, and also include the third (vertical) dimension in the hydrodynamic calculations, allowing for transient phases of convective cooling. The calculations of the evolution of initially marginally gravitationally stable disks show that the presence of a binary star companion may actually help to trigger the formation of dense clumps that could become giant planets. We also show that in models without binary companions, which begin their evolution as gravitationally stable disks, the disks evolve to form dense rings, which then break-up into self-gravitating clumps. These latter models suggest that the evolution of any self-gravitating disk with sufficient mass to form gas giant planets is likely to lead to a period of disk instability, even in the absence of a trigger such as a binary star companion.Comment: 52 pages, 28 figure

    Investigating Binary Properties with Next-Generation Microlensing Surveys

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    We explore the usefulness of future gravitational microlensing surveys in the study of binary properties such as the binary fraction and the distributions of binary separation and mass ratio by using the binary sample detectable through a channel of repeating events. For this, we estimate the rate of repeating microlensing eventstoward the Galactic bulge field based on standard models of dynamical and physical distributions of Galactic matter combined with models of binary separation and mass function. From this, we find that the total number of repeating events expected to be detected from ‚ąľ4\sim 4-year space-based surveys will be ‚ąľ200\sim 200--400, that is ‚ąľ40\sim 40--50 times higher than the rate of current surveys. We find that the high detection rate is due to the greatly improved sensitivity to events associated with faint source stars and low-magnification events. We find that the separation range of the binaries to be covered by the repeating events will extend up to 100 AU. Therefore, the future lensing surveys will provide a homogeneous sample that will allow to investigate the statistical properties of Galactic binaries unbiased by brightness of the binary components.Comment: total 6 pages, including 4 figures, ApJ, in pres

    The GL 569 Multiple System

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    We report the results of high spectral and angular resolution infrared observations of the multiple system GL 569 A and B that were intended to measure the dynamical masses of the brown dwarf binary believed to comprise GL 569 B. Our analysis did not yield this result but, instead, revealed two surprises. First, at age ~100 Myr, the system is younger than had been reported earlier. Second, our spectroscopic and photometric results provide support for earlier indications that GL 569 B is actually a hierarchical brown dwarf triple rather than a binary. Our results suggest that the three components of GL 569 B have roughly equal mass, ~0.04 Msun.Comment: 29 pages, 10 figures, accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal; minor corrections to Section 5.1; changed typo in 6.

    Cosmology with the lights off: Standard sirens in the Einstein Telescope era

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    We explore the prospects for constraining cosmology using gravitational-wave (GW) observations of neutron-star binaries by the proposed Einstein Telescope (ET), exploiting the narrowness of the neutron-star mass function. Double neutron-star (DNS) binaries are expected to be one of the first sources detected after "first-light" of Advanced LIGO and are expected to be detected at a rate of a few tens per year in the advanced era. However the proposed ET could catalog tens of thousands per year. Combining the measured source redshift distributions with GW-network distance determinations will permit not only the precision measurement of background cosmological parameters, but will provide an insight into the astrophysical properties of these DNS systems. Of particular interest will be to probe the distribution of delay times between DNS-binary creation and subsequent merger, as well as the evolution of the star-formation rate density within ET's detection horizon. Keeping H_0, \Omega_{m,0} and \Omega_{\Lambda,0} fixed and investigating the precision with which the dark-energy equation-of-state parameters could be recovered, we found that with 10^5 detected DNS binaries we could constrain these parameters to an accuracy similar to forecasted constraints from future CMB+BAO+SNIa measurements. Furthermore, modeling the merger delay-time distribution as a power-law, and the star-formation rate (SFR) density as a parametrized version of the Porciani and Madau SF2 model, we find that the associated astrophysical parameters are constrained to within ~ 10%. All parameter precisions scaled as 1/sqrt(N), where N is the number of cataloged detections. We also investigated how precisions varied with the intrinsic underlying properties of the Universe and with the distance reach of the network (which may be affected by the low-frequency cutoff of the detector).Comment: 24 pages, 11 figures, 6 tables. Minor changes to reflect published version. References updated and correcte

    Optical SETI: A Spectroscopic Search for Laser Emission from Nearby Stars

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    We have searched for nonastrophysical emission lines in the optical spectra of 577 nearby F, G, K, and M main-sequence stars. Emission lines of astrophysical origin would also have been detected, such as from a time--variable chromosphere or infalling comets. We examined ~20 spectra per star obtained during four years with the Keck/HIRES spectrometer at a resolution of 5 km/s, with a detection threshold 3% of the continuum flux level. We searched each spectrum from 4000-5000 angstroms for emission lines having widths too narrow to be natural from the host star, as well as for lines broadened by astrophysical mechanisms. We would have detected lasers that emit a power, P>60 kW, for a typical beam width of ~0.01 arcsec (diffraction-limit from a 10-m aperture) if directed toward Earth from the star. No lines consisstent with laser emission were found.Comment: 27 pages, 11 figures, uses aastex.st

    Multiplicity at the Stellar/Substellar Boundary in Upper Scorpius

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    We present the results of a high-resolution imaging survey of 12 brown dwarfs and very low mass stars in the closest (~145 pc) young (~5 Myr) OB association, Upper Scorpius. We obtained images with the Advanced Camera for Surveys/High Resolution Camera on HST through the F555W (V), F775W (i'), and F850LP (z') filters. This survey discovered three new binary systems, including one marginally resolved pair with a projected separation of only 4.9 AU, resulting in an observed binary fraction of 25+/-14% at separations >4 AU. After correcting for detection biases assuming a uniform distribution of mass ratios for q>0.6, the estimated binary fraction is 33+/-17%. The binary fraction is consistent with that inferred for higher-mass stars in Upper Sco, but the separation and mass ratio distributions appear to be different. All three low-mass binary systems in Upper Sco are tight (<18 AU) and of similar mass (q>0.6), consistent with expectations based on previous multiplicity studies of brown dwarfs and very low mass stars in the field and in open clusters. The implication is that the distinct separation and mass ratio distributions of low-mass systems are set in the formation process or at very young ages, rather than by dynamical disruption of wide systems at ages >5 Myr. Finally, we combine the survey detection limits with the models of Burrows et al. (1997) to show that there are no planets or very low-mass brown dwarfs with masses >10 M_J at projected separations >20 AU, or masses >5 M_J at projected separations >40 AU orbiting any of the low-mass (0.04-0.10 M_sun) objects in our sample.Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ; 10 pages, 4 figures in emulateapj forma
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