258 research outputs found

    A NICMOS Direct Imaging Search for Giant Planets around the Single White Dwarfs in the Hyades

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    We report preliminary results from our search for massive giant planets (6-12 Jupiter masses) around the known seven single white dwarfs in the Hyades cluster at sub-arcsec separations. At an age of 625 Myr, the white dwarfs had progenitor masses of about 3 solar masses, and massive gaseous giant planets should have formed in the massive circumstellar disks around these ex-Herbig A0 stars, probably at orbital separations similar or slightly larger than that of Jupiter. Such planets would have survived the post-Main-Sequence mass loss of the parent star and would have migrated outward adiabatically to a distance of about 25 AU. At the distance of the Hyades (45 pc) this corresponds to an angular separation of 0.5 arcsec. J and H magnitudes of these giants are in the range of 20.5-23.3 mag, which can be resolved with NICMOS. The achieved sensitivities and contrast ratios agree well with simulations. Preliminary evaluation of the NICMOS data set did not reveal any evidence for neither planetary mass companions with masses down to about 10 Jupiter masses nor brown dwarfs around any of the seven white dwarfs for separations larger than 0.5 arcsec.Comment: 14th European Workshop on White Dwarf

    The Eagle's EGGs: fertile or sterile?

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    We present a deep, high spatial resolution (0.35 arcsec FWHM), near-infrared (1-2.5 micron) imaging survey of the Eagle Nebula, M16, made with the VLT, centred on the famous elephant trunks. We compare these data with the existing HST optical images to search for evidence of ongoing or recent star formation in the trunks, and in particular in the 73 small evaporating gaseous globules (EGGs) on their surface. We find that two of the three HST trunks have relatively massive YSOs in their tips. Most of the EGGs appear to be empty, but some 15% of them do show evidence for associated young low-mass stars or brown dwarfs: in particular, there is a small cluster of such sources seen at the head of the largest trunk

    Cluster-assisted accretion for massive stars

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    Gravitational interactions in very young high-density stellar clusters can to some degree change the angular momentum in the circumstellar discs surrounding initially the majority of stars. However, for most stars the cluster environment alters the angular momentum only slightly. For example, in simulations of the Orion Nebula cluster (ONC) encounters reduce the angular momentum of the discs on average at most by 3-5% and in the higher density region of the Trapezium %where encounters are more likely, the disc angular momentum is on average lowered by 15-20% - still a minor loss process. However, in this paper it is demonstrated that the situation is very different if one considers high-mass stars (M* > 10 M(solar) only. Assuming an age of 2 Myr for the ONC, their discs have on average a 50-90% lower angular momentum than primordially. This enormous loss in angular momentum in the disc should result in an equivalent increase in accretion, implying that the cluster environment boosts accretion for high-mass stars, thus %in the cluster center, making them even more massive.Comment: 10 pages including 2 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ

    Spectroscopic classification of red high proper motion objects in the Southern Sky

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    We present the results of spectroscopic follow-up observations for a sample of 71 red objects with high proper motions in the range 0.08-1.14 arcsec/yr as detected using APM and SSS measurements of multi-epoch photographic Schmidt plates. Red objects were selected by combining the photographic BjRI magnitudes with 2MASS near-infrared JHKs magnitudes. Some 50 of the 71 spectroscopically classified objects turn out to be late-type (>M6) dwarfs and in more detail, the sample includes 35 ultracool dwarfs with spectral types between M8 and L2, some previously reported, as well as five M-type subdwarfs, including a cool esdM6 object, SSSPM J0500-5406. Distance estimates based on the spectral types and 2MASS J magnitudes place almost all of the late-type (>M6) dwarfs within 50 pc, with 25 objects located inside the 25 pc limit of the catalogue of nearby stars. Most of the early-type M dwarfs are located at larger distances of 100-200 pc, suggesting halo kinematics for some of them. All objects with Halpha equivalent widths larger than 10 Angstroms have relatively small tangential velocities (<50 km/s). Finally, some late-type but blue objects are candidate binaries.Comment: accepted on 06 June 2005 for publication in A&A, 22 pages, 14 figures, 7 table

    SSSPM J1444-2019: an extremely high proper motion, ultracool subdwarf

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    We present the discovery of a new extreme high proper motion object (3.5 arcsec/year) which we classify as an ultracool subdwarf with [M/H] = -0.5. It has a formal spectral type of sdM9 but also shows L-type features: while the VO bands are completely absent, it exhibits extremely strong TiO absorption in its optical spectrum. With a radial velocity of about -160 km/s and a rough distance estimate of 16--24 pc, it is likely one of the nearest halo members crossing the Solar neighbourhood with a heliocentric space velocity of (U,V,W)=(-244,-256,-100)+/-(32,77,6) km/s.Comment: 4 pages, 4 figures (Fig.1a-d available as jpg files), accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics Letter

    Are there brown dwarfs in globular clusters?

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    We present an analytical method for constraining the substellar initial mass function in globular clusters, based on the observed frequency of transit events. Globular clusters typically have very high stellar densities where close encounters are relatively common, and thus tidal capture can occur to form close binary systems. Encounters between main sequence stars and lower-mass objects can result in tidal capture if the mass ratio is > 0.01. If brown dwarfs exist in significant numbers, they too will be found in close binaries, and some fraction of their number should be revealed as they transit their stellar companions. We calculate the rate of tidal capture of brown dwarfs in both segregated and unsegregated clusters, and find that the tidal capture is more likely to occur over an initial relaxation time before equipartition occurs. The lack of any such transits in recent HST monitoring of 47 Tuc implies an upper limit on the frequency of brown dwarfs (< 15 % relative to stars) which is significantly below that measured in the galactic field and young clusters.Comment: MNRAS in pres

    A highly-collimated SiO jet in the HH212 protostellar outflow

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    We mapped the HH212 Class 0 outflow in SiO(2--1, 5--4) and continuum using the PdBI in its extended configurations. The unprecedented angular resolution (down to 0.34") allows accurate comparison with a new, deep H2 image obtained at the VLT. The SiO emission is confined to a highly-collimated bipolar jet (width 0.35") along the outflow axis. The jet can be traced down to within 500 AU of the protostar, in a region that is heavily obscured in H2 images. Where both species are detected, SiO shows the same overall kinematics and structure as H2, indicating that both molecules are tracing the same material. We find that the high-velocity SiO gas near the protostar is not tracing a wide-angle wind but is already confined to a flow inside a narrow cone of half-opening angle < 6 deg.Comment: Astronomy and Astrophysics Letter, in pres

    Deep ROSAT Surveys & the contribution of AGNs to the soft X-ray background

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    The ROSAT Deep Surveys in the Lockman Hole have revealed that AGNs are the main contributors (~75%) to the soft X-ray background in the 1–2 keV band. Using new optical/infrared and radio observations we have obtained a nearly complete identification (93%) of the 91 X-ray sources down to a limiting flux of 1.2·10^(–15) erg cm^(–2) s^(–1) in the 0.5–2.0 keV band. We present the optical colors and the emission line properties of our AGNs in comparison with other X-ray selected AGN samples. Furthermore we discuss the fraction of red AGNs found in the ROSAT Deep Surveys. From the ROSAT Deep Surveys we see no evidence for a new class of X-ray bright galaxies, which significantly contributes to the soft X-ray background
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