15 research outputs found

    Non-local Thermodynamic Equilibrium Stellar Spectroscopy with 1D and „Äą3D„ÄČ Models. II. Chemical Properties of the Galactic Metal-poor Disk and the Halo

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    From exploratory studies and theoretical expectations it is known that simplifying approximations in spectroscopic analysis (local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE), 1D) lead to systematic biases of stellar parameters and abundances. These biases depend strongly on surface gravity, temperature and, in particular, for LTE versus non-LTE (NLTE), on metallicity of the stars. Here we analyze the [Mg/Fe] and [Fe/H] plane of a sample of 326 stars, comparing LTE and NLTE results obtained using 1D hydrostatic models and averaged ‚ü®3D‚ü©\langle 3{\rm{D}}\rangle models. We show that compared to the ‚ü®3D‚ü©\langle 3{\rm{D}}\rangle NLTE benchmark, the other three methods display increasing biases toward lower metallicities, resulting in false trends of [Mg/Fe] against [Fe/H], which have profound implications for interpretations by chemical evolution models. In our best ‚ü®3D‚ü©\langle 3{\rm{D}}\rangle NLTE model, the halo and disk stars show a clearer behavior in the [Mg/Fe]‚Äď[Fe/H] plane, from the knee in abundance space down to the lowest metallicities. Our sample has a large fraction of thick disk stars and this population extends down to at least [Fe/H] ~ ‚ąí1.6 dex, further than previously proven. The thick disk stars display a constant [Mg/Fe] ‚Čą 0.3 dex, with a small intrinsic dispersion in [Mg/Fe] that suggests that a fast SN Ia channel is not relevant for the disk formation. The halo stars reach higher [Mg/Fe] ratios and display a net trend of [Mg/Fe] at low metallicities, paired with a large dispersion in [Mg/Fe]. These indicate the diverse origin of halo stars from accreted low-mass systems to stochastic/inhomogeneous chemical evolution in the Galactic halo

    Measuring the vertical age structure of the Galactic disc using asteroseismology and SAGA

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    The existence of a vertical age gradient in the Milky Way disc has been indirectly known for long. Here, we measure it directly for the first time with seismic ages, using red giants observed by Kepler. We use Stroemgren photometry to gauge the selection function of asteroseismic targets, and derive colour and magnitude limits where giants with measured oscillations are representative of the underlying population in the field. Limits in the 2MASS system are also derived. We lay out a method to assess and correct for target selection effects independent of Galaxy models. We find that low mass, i.e. old red giants dominate at increasing Galactic heights, whereas closer to the Galactic plane they exhibit a wide range of ages and metallicities. Parametrizing this as a vertical gradient returns approximately 4 Gyr/kpc for the disc we probe, although with a large dispersion of ages at all heights. The ages of stars show a smooth distribution over the last 10 Gyr, consistent with a mostly quiescent evolution for the Milky Way disc since a redshift of about 2. We also find a flat age-metallicity relation for disc stars. Finally, we show how to use secondary clump stars to estimate the present-day intrinsic metallicity spread, and suggest using their number count as a new proxy for tracing the ageing of the disc. This work highlights the power of asteroseismology for Galactic studies; however, we also emphasize the need for better constraints on stellar mass-loss, which is a major source of systematic age uncertainties in red giant stars.Comment: MNRAS, accepted. SAGA website and data at http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/saga/data_access.htm

    Jeans modelling of the Milky Way's nuclear stellar disc

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    The nuclear stellar disc (NSD) is a flattened stellar structure that dominates the gravitational potential of the Milky Way at Galactocentric radii 30‚Č≤R‚Č≤300pc‚Ā†. In this paper, we construct axisymmetric Jeans dynamical models of the NSD based on previous photometric studies and we fit them to line-of-sight kinematic data of the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) and silicon monoxide (SiO) maser stars. We find that (i) the NSD mass is lower but consistent with the mass independently determined from photometry by Launhardt et al. Our fiducial model has a mass contained within spherical radius r=100pc of M(r 1. Observations and theoretical models of the star-forming molecular gas in the central molecular zone suggest that large vertical oscillations may be already imprinted at stellar birth. However, the finding ŌÉz/ŌÉR > 1 depends on a drop in the velocity dispersion in the innermost few tens of parsecs, on our assumption that the NSD is axisymmetric, and that the available (extinction corrected) stellar samples broadly trace the underlying light and mass distributions, all of which need to be established by future observations and/or modelling. (iii) We provide the most accurate rotation curve to date for the innermost 500pc of our Galaxy

    Prospects For Identifying Dark Matter With CoGeNT

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    It has previously been shown that the excess of events reported by the CoGeNT collaboration could be generated by elastically scattering dark matter particles with a mass of approximately 5-15 GeV. This mass range is very similar to that required to generate the annual modulation observed by DAMA/LIBRA and the gamma rays from the region surrounding the Galactic Center identified within the data of the Fermi Gamma Ray Space Telescope. To confidently conclude that CoGeNT's excess is the result of dark matter, however, further data will likely be needed. In this paper, we make projections for the first full year of CoGeNT data, and for its planned upgrade. Not only will this body of data more accurately constrain the spectrum of nuclear recoil events, and corresponding dark matter parameter space, but will also make it possible to identify seasonal variations in the rate. In particular, if the CoGeNT excess is the product of dark matter, then one year of CoGeNT data will likely reveal an annual modulation with a significance of 2-3ŌÉ\sigma. The planned CoGeNT upgrade will not only detect such an annual modulation with high significance, but will be capable of measuring the energy spectrum of the modulation amplitude. These measurements will be essential to irrefutably confirming a dark matter origin of these events.Comment: 6 pages, 6 figure

    Dependence of direct detection signals on the WIMP velocity distribution

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    The signals expected in WIMP direct detection experiments depend on the ultra-local dark matter distribution. Observations probe the local density, circular speed and escape speed, while simulations find velocity distributions that deviate significantly from the standard Maxwellian distribution. We calculate the energy, time and direction dependence of the event rate for a range of velocity distributions motivated by recent observations and simulations, and also investigate the uncertainty in the determination of WIMP parameters. The dominant uncertainties are the systematic error in the local circular speed and whether or not the MW has a high density dark disc. In both cases there are substantial changes in the mean differential event rate and the annual modulation signal, and hence exclusion limits and determinations of the WIMP mass. The uncertainty in the shape of the halo velocity distribution is less important, however it leads to a 5% systematic error in the WIMP mass. The detailed direction dependence of the event rate is sensitive to the velocity distribution. However the numbers of events required to detect anisotropy and confirm the median recoil direction do not change substantially.Comment: 21 pages, 7 figures, v2 version to appear in JCAP, minor change

    The Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment: First Detection of High Velocity Milky Way Bar Stars

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    Commissioning observations with the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), part of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III, have produced radial velocities (RVs) for ~4700 K/M-giant stars in the Milky Way bulge. These high-resolution (R \sim 22,500), high-S/N (>100 per resolution element), near-infrared (1.51-1.70 um; NIR) spectra provide accurate RVs (epsilon_v~0.2 km/s) for the sample of stars in 18 Galactic bulge fields spanning -1-32 deg. This represents the largest NIR high-resolution spectroscopic sample of giant stars ever assembled in this region of the Galaxy. A cold (sigma_v~30 km/s), high-velocity peak (V_GSR \sim +200 km/s) is found to comprise a significant fraction (~10%) of stars in many of these fields. These high RVs have not been detected in previous MW surveys and are not expected for a simple, circularly rotating disk. Preliminary distance estimates rule out an origin from the background Sagittarius tidal stream or a new stream in the MW disk. Comparison to various Galactic models suggests that these high RVs are best explained by stars in orbits of the Galactic bar potential, although some observational features remain unexplained.Comment: 7 pages, 4 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ Letter

    RNAi-based small molecule repositioning reveals clinically approved urea-based kinase inhibitors as broadly active antivirals

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    Influenza viruses (IVs) tend to rapidly develop resistance to virus-directed vaccines and common antivirals targeting pathogen determinants, but novel host-directed approaches might preclude resistance development. To identify the most promising cellular targets for a host-directed approach against influenza, we performed a comparative small interfering RNA (siRNA) loss-of-function screen of IV replication in A549 cells. Analysis of four different IV strains including a highly pathogenic avian H5N1 strain, an influenza B virus (IBV) and two human influenza A viruses (IAVs) revealed 133 genes required by all four IV strains. According to gene enrichment analyses, these strain-independent host genes were particularly enriched for nucleocytoplasmic trafficking. In addition, 360 strain-specific genes were identified with distinct patterns of usage for IAVs versus IBV and human versus avian IVs. The strain-independent host genes served to define 43 experimental and otherwise clinically approved drugs, targeting reportedly fourteen of the encoded host factors. Amongst the approved drugs, the urea-based kinase inhibitors (UBKIs) regorafenib and sorafenib exhibited a superior therapeutic window of high IV antiviral activity and low cytotoxicity. Both UBKIs appeared to block a cell signaling pathway involved in IV replication after internalization, yet prior to vRNP uncoating. Interestingly, both compounds were active also against unrelated viruses including cowpox virus (CPXV), hantavirus (HTV), herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) and vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and showed antiviral efficacy in human primary respiratory cells. An in vitro resistance development analysis for regorafenib failed to detect IV resistance development against this drug. Taken together, the otherwise clinically approved UBKIs regorafenib and sorafenib possess high and broad-spectrum antiviral activity along with substantial robustness against resistance development and thus constitute attractive host-directed drug candidates against a range of viral infections including influenza
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