4,350 research outputs found

    Infrared variability of Jupiter and Saturn

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    Infrared spectroscopy provides unique insights into the chemistry and dynamics of the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn, and of the enigmatic satellite of Saturn, Titan. The 5 micron spectral region of these objects is transparent to deep levels, and is therefore particularly useful for the identification of molecules that are present at very low (parts per billion) concentrations. In Titan, 5 micron observations probe atmospheric layers at or near the surface. Ground-based spectroscopy complements Voyager, Galileo, and Cassini measurements. The spectroscopy is sensitive to lower mixing ratios for selected molecules, while the on-board mass and infrared spectrometers probe molecules and levels that are inaccessible form the ground. The observations also provide time-based data for preparation of the upcoming missions

    Candidate Members and Age Estimate of the Family of Kuiper Belt Object 2003 EL61

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    The collisional family of Kuiper belt object (KBO) 2003 EL61 opens the possibility for many interesting new studies of processes important in the formation and evolution of the outer solar system. As the first family in the Kuiper belt, it can be studied using techniques developed for studying asteroid families, although some modifications are necessary. Applying these modified techniques allows for a dynamical study of the 2003 EL61 family. The velocity required to change orbits is used to quantitatively identify objects near the collision. A method for identifying family members that have potentially diffused in resonances (like 2003 EL61) is also developed. Known family members are among the very closest KBOs to the collision and two new likely family members are identified: 2003 UZ117 and 1999 OY3. We also give tables of candidate family members which require future observations to confirm membership. We estimate that a minimum of ~1 GYr is needed for resonance diffusion to produce the current position of 2003 EL61, implying that the family is likely primordial. Future refinement of the age estimate is possible once (many) more resonant objects are identified. The ancient nature of the collision contrasts with the seemingly fresh surfaces of known family members, suggesting that our understanding of outer solar system surfaces is incomplete.Comment: 22 pages, 5 figures, accepted to AJ, author's cv available at http://www.gps.caltech.edu/~dari

    Rotational properties of the binary and non-binary populations in the Trans-Neptunian belt

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    We present results for the short-term variability of Binary Trans-Neptunian Objects (BTNOs). We performed CCD photometric observations using the 3.58 m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, the 1.5 m Sierra Nevada Observatory telescope, and the 1.23 m Centro Astronomico Hispano Aleman telescope at Calar Alto Observatory. We present results based on five years of observations and report the short-term variability of six BTNOs. Our sample contains three classical objects: 2003MW12, or Varda, 2004SB60, or Salacia, and 2002 VT130; one detached disk object: 2007UK126; and two resonant objects: 2007TY430 and 2000EB173, or Huya. For each target, possible rotational periods and/or photometric amplitudes are reported. We also derived some physical properties from their lightcurves, such as density, primary and secondary sizes, and albedo. We compiled and analyzed a vast lightcurve database for Trans-Neptunian Objects (TNOs) including centaurs to determine the lightcurve amplitude and spin frequency distributions for the binary and non-binary populations. The mean rotational periods, from the Maxwellian fits to the frequency distributions, are 8.63+/-0.52 h for the entire sample, 8.37+/-0.58 h for the sample without the binary population, and 10.11+/-1.19 h for the binary population alone. Because the centaurs are collisionally more evolved, their rotational periods might not be so primordial. We computed a mean rotational period, from the Maxwellian fit, of 8.86+/-0.58 h for the sample without the centaur population, and of 8.64+/-0.67 h considering a sample without the binary and the centaur populations. According to this analysis, regular TNOs spin faster than binaries, which is compatible with the tidal interaction of the binaries. Finally, we examined possible formation models for several systems studied in this work and by our team in previous papers.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysics (June 26th, 2014); minor changes with published version; 21 pages, 17 figures, 7 table

    Discovery of a Binary Centaur

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    We have identified a binary companion to (42355) 2002 CR46 in our ongoing deep survey using the Hubble Space Telescope's High Resolution Camera. It is the first companion to be found around an object in a non-resonant orbit that crosses the orbits of giant planets. Objects in orbits of this kind, the Centaurs, have experienced repeated strong scattering with one or more giant planets and therefore the survival of binaries in this transient population has been in question. Monte Carlo simulations suggest, however, that binaries in (42355) 2002 CR46 -like heliocentric orbits have a high probability of survival for reasonable estimates of the binary's still-unknown system mass and separation. Because Centaurs are thought to be precursors to short period comets, the question of the existence of binary comets naturally arises; none has yet been definitively identified. The discovery of one binary in a sample of eight observed by HST suggests that binaries in this population may not be uncommon.Comment: 20 pages, 4 figures, 1 table accepted for publication in Icaru

    Spectroscopic Detection of Carbon Monoxide in Two Late-type T Dwarfs

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    M band spectra of two late-type T dwarfs, 2MASS J09373487+2931409, and Gliese 570D, confirm evidence from photometry that photospheric CO is present at abundance levels far in excess of those predicted from chemical equilibrium. These new and unambiguous detections of CO, together with an earlier spectroscopic detection of CO in Gliese 229B and existing M band photometry of a large selection of T dwarfs, suggest that vertical mixing in the photosphere drives the CO abundance out of chemical equilibrium and is a common, and likely universal feature of mid-to-late type T dwarfs. The M band spectra allow determinations of the time scale of vertical mixing in the atmosphere of each object, the first such measurements of this important parameter in late T dwarfs. A detailed analysis of the spectral energy distribution of 2MASS J09373487+2931409 results in the following values for metallicity, temperature, surface gravity, and luminosity: [M/H]~-0.3, T_eff=925-975K, log g=5.20-5.47, log L/L_sun=-5.308 +/- 0.027. The age is 3-10 Gyr and the mass is in the range 45-69 M_Jup.Comment: 36 pages incl. 12 figures and 3 tables, accepted by Ap

    Geothermal probabilistic cost study

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    A tool is presented to quantify the risks of geothermal projects, the Geothermal Probabilistic Cost Model (GPCM). The GPCM model was used to evaluate a geothermal reservoir for a binary-cycle electric plant at Heber, California. Three institutional aspects of the geothermal risk which can shift the risk among different agents was analyzed. The leasing of geothermal land, contracting between the producer and the user of the geothermal heat, and insurance against faulty performance were examined

    The abundances of ethane to acetylene in the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn

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    The present determination of the stratospheric abundances of ethane and acetylene on Jupiter and Saturn on the basis of IR spectra near 780/cm uses atmospheric models whose thermal and density profiles have constant mixing ratios. The ratio of ethane to acetylene is noted to be insensitive to model atmosphere assumptions; it is 55 + or - 31 for Jupiter and 23 + or - 12 where model mixing ratios are uniform. Atmospheric model density profiles adapted from theoretical photochemical models are noted to also yield a higher ethane/acetylene ratios for Jupiter

    The Mutual Orbit, Mass, and Density of Transneptunian Binary Gknhmdm (229762 2007 UK126)

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    We present high spatial resolution images of the binary transneptunian object Gkn'hmdm (229762 2007 UK126) obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope and with the Keck observatory on Mauna Kea to determine the orbit of G' hG' h, the much smaller and redder satellite. G' h orbits in a prograde sense, on a circular or near-circular orbit with a period of 11.3 days and a semimajor axis of 6000 km. Tidal evolution is expected to be slow, so it is likely that the system formed already in a low-eccentricity configuration, and possibly also with the orbit plane of the satellite in or close to the plane of Gkn'hmdm's equator. From the orbital parameters we can compute the system mass to be 1.4 10(exp 20) kg. Combined with estimates of the size of Gkn'hmdm from thermal observations and stellar occultations, we can estimate the bulk density as about 1 g cm(exp 3). This low density is indicative of an ice-rich composition, unless there is substantial internal porosity. We consider the hypothesis that the composition is not unusually ice-rich compared with larger TNOs and comet nuclei, and instead the porosity is high, suggesting that mid-sized objects in the 400 to 1000 km diameter range mark the transition between small, porous objects and larger objects that have collapsed their internal void space as a result of their much higher internal pressures and temperatures

    Functional Relaxation and Guided Imagery as Complementary Therapy in Asthma: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

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    Background: Asthma is a frequently disabling and almost invariably distressing disease that has a high overall prevalence. Although relaxation techniques and hypnotherapeutic interventions have proven their effectiveness in numerous trials, relaxation therapies are still not recommended in treatment guidelines due to a lack of methodological quality in many of the trials. Therefore, this study aims to investigate the efficacy of the brief relaxation technique of functional relaxation (FR) and guided imagery (GI) in adult asthmatics in a randomized controlled trial. Methods: 64 patients with extrinsic bronchial asthma were treated over a 4-week period and assessed at baseline, after treatment and after 4 months, for follow-up. 16 patients completed FR, 14 GI, 15 both FR and GI (FR/GI) and 13 received a placebo relaxation technique as the control intervention (CI). The forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV 1) as well as the specific airway resistance (sR(aw)) were employed as primary outcome measures. Results: Participation in FR, GI and FR/GI led to increases in FEV 1 (% predicted) of 7.6 +/- 13.2, 3.3 +/- 9.8, and 8.3 +/- 21.0, respectively, as compared to -1.8 +/- 11.1 in the CI group at the end of the therapy. After follow-up, the increases in FEV 1 were 6.9 +/- 10.3 in the FR group, 4.4 +/- 7.3 in the GI and 4.5 +/- 8.1 in the FR/GI, compared to -2.8 +/- 9.2 in the CI. Improvements in sR(aw) (% predicted) were in keeping with the changes in FEV 1 in all groups. Conclusions: Our study confirms a positive effect of FR on respiratory parameters and suggests a clinically relevant long-term benefit from FR as a nonpharmacological and complementary therapy treatment option. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Base
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