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Sample records for active comet nuclei

  1. SEASONAL EFFECTS ON COMET NUCLEI EVOLUTION: ACTIVITY, INTERNAL STRUCTURE, AND DUST MANTLE FORMATION

    SciTech Connect

    De Sanctis, M. C.; Capria, M. T.; Lasue, J.

    2010-07-15

    Rotational properties can strongly influence a comet's evolution in terms of activity, dust mantling, and internal structure. In this paper, we investigate the effects of various rotation axis directions on the activity, internal structure, and dust mantling of cometary nuclei. The numerical code developed is able to reproduce different shapes and spin axis inclinations, taking into account both the latitudinal and the longitudinal variations of illumination, using a quasi-three-dimensional approach. The results obtained show that local variations in the dust and gas fluxes can be induced by the different spin axis directions and completely different behaviors of the comet evolution can result in the same cometary shape by using different obliquities of the models. The internal structures of cometary nuclei are also influenced by comet obliquity, as well as dust mantling. Gas and dust production rates show diversities related to the comet seasons.

  2. The nature of comet nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sykes, Mark V.; Walker, Russell G.

    1992-01-01

    The icy-conglomerate model of comet nuclei has dominated all others since its introduction. It provided a basis for understanding the non-gravitational motions of comets which had perplexed dynamicists up to that time, and provided a focus for understanding cometary composition and origin. The image of comets as dirty snowballs was quickly adopted. Comet nuclei including their trail mass loss rates and refractory to volatile mass ratios are described.

  3. Retrieving samples from comet nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stuhlinger, Ernst; Bassner, Helmut; Fechtig, Hugo; Igenbergs, Eduard; Kuczera, Heribert; Loeb, Horst; Schobert, Detlef

    1987-09-01

    A comet nucleus sampling scenario is proposed. Material samples for analysis in earth-based laboratories should be collected continuously to a depth of 3 m below the surface, and at a solar distance of at least 2.5 AU where the comet surface is inactive. The spacecraft is propelled by chemical and electric thrusters. While hovering above the comet nucleus at an altitude of 500 to 1000 m, the spacecraft will dispatch a rotating drill on a tether. The drill pipe will be driven into the nucleus by a rocket-powered reaction wheel. The inner pipe of the drill, when filled with cometary material, will be withdrawn by the tether, stored on the spacecraft, and transported back to Earth.

  4. Activity in distant comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luu, Jane X.

    1992-01-01

    Activity in distant comets remains a mystery in the sense that we still have no complete theory to explain the various types of activity exhibited by different comets at large distances. This paper explores the factors that should play a role in determining activity in a distant comet, especially in the cases of comet P/Tempel 2, comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, and 2060 Chiron.

  5. Optical Studies of Active Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1998-01-01

    This grant was to support optical studies of comets close enough to the sun to be outgassing. The main focus of the observations was drawn to the two extraordinarily bright comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp, but other active comets were also studied in detail during the period of funding. Major findings (all fully published) under this grant include: (1) Combined optical and submillimeter observations of the comet/Centaur P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 were used to study the nature of mass loss from this object. The submillimeter observations show directly that the optically prominent dust coma is ejected by the sublimation of carbon monoxide. Simultaneous optical-submillimeter observations allowed us to test earlier determinations of the dust mass loss rate. (2) We modelled the rotation of cometary nuclei using time-resolved images of dust jets as the primary constraint. (3) We obtained broad-band optical images of several comets for which we subsequently attempted submillimeter observations, in order to test and update the cometary ephemerides. (4) Broad-band continuum images of a set of weakly active comets and, apparently, inactive asteroids were obtained in BVRI using the University of Hawaii 2.2-m telescope. These images were taken in support of a program to test the paradigm that many near-Earth asteroids might be dead or dormant comets. We measured coma vs. nucleus colors in active comets (finding that coma particle scattering is different from, and cannot be simply related to, nucleus color). We obtained spectroscopic observations of weakly active comets and other small bodies using the HIRES spectrograph on the Keck 10-m telescope. These observation place sensitive limits to outgassing from these bodies, aided by the high (40,000) spectral resolution of HIRES.

  6. Comparative study of icy patches on comet nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oklay, Nilda; Pommerol, Antoine; Barucci, Maria Antonietta; Sunshine, Jessica; Sierks, Holger; Pajola, Maurizio

    2016-07-01

    Cometary missions Deep Impact, EPOXI and Rosetta investigated the nuclei of comets 9P/Tempel 1, 103P/Hartley 2 and 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko respectively. Bright patches were observed on the surfaces of each of these three comets [1-5]. Of these, the surface of 67P is mapped at the highest spatial resolution via narrow angle camera (NAC) of the Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS, [6]) on board the Rosetta spacecraft. OSIRIS NAC is equipped with twelve filters covering the wavelength range of 250 nm to 1000 nm. Various filters combinations are used during surface mapping. With high spatial resolution data of comet 67P, three types of bright features were detected on the comet surface: Clustered, isolated and bright boulders [2]. In the visible spectral range, clustered bright features on comet 67P display bluer spectral slopes than the average surface [2, 4] while isolated bright features on comet 67P have flat spectra [4]. Icy patches observed on the surface of comets 9P and 103P display bluer spectral slopes than the average surface [1, 5]. Clustered and isolated bright features are blue in the RGB composites generated by using the images taken in NIR, visible and NUV wavelengths [2, 4]. This is valid for the icy patches observed on comets 9P and 103P [1, 5]. Spectroscopic observations of bright patches on comets 9P and 103P confirmed the existence of water [1, 5]. There were more than a hundred of bright features detected on the northern hemisphere of comet 67P [2]. Analysis of those features from both multispectral data and spectroscopic data is an ongoing work. Water ice is detected in eight of the bright features so far [7]. Additionally, spectroscopic observations of two clustered bright features on the surface of comet 67P revealed the existence of water ice [3]. The spectral properties of one of the icy patches were studied by [4] using OSIRIS NAC images and compared with the spectral properties of the active regions observed

  7. The Rosetta mission: Clues on the origin of comet nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davidsson, Bjorn; Stern, S. Alan; Kofman, Wlodek; Hilchenbach, Martin; rotundi, alessandra; Bentley, Mark; Hofstadter, Mark; Sierks, Holger; Altwegg, Kathrin; Nilsson, Hans; Burch, James L.; Eriksson, Anders I.; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz; Henri, Pierre; Carr, Christopher M.; Pätzold, Martin; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Boehnhardt, Hermann; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Fulle, Marco; Fulchignoni, Marcello; Gruen, Eberhard; Weissman, Paul R.; Taylor, Matt; Buratti, Bonnie J.; Choukroun, Mathieu; Altobelli, Nicolas; Snodgrass, Colin; Rosetta Science Working Team

    2016-10-01

    The Rosetta mission has been taking measurements of its target Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko sinceearly 2014 and will complete operations at the end of September 2016. The mission Science Management Plan,in 1994, laid out the the prime goals and themes of the mission. These five themes were:1) To study the global characterization of the Nucleus, the determination of the dynamics properties ,surface morphology and composition of the comet.2) Examination of the Chemical, Mineralogical and isotopic compositions of volatiles and refractoriesin a cometary nucleus.3) Physical interrelation of volatile and refractories in a cometary nucleus4) Study the development of cometary activity and the process in the surface layer of thenucleus and in the inner coma5) The origins of comets, the relationship between cometary and interstellar material and theimplications for the origin of the solar system,To cover all aspects of the Rosetta mission in this special Show case session, this abstracts isone of 5, with this particular presentation focusing on theme 5.Several scenarios for comet nucleus formation have been proposed, such as hierarchical agglomeration,or gravitational collapse of pebble swarms created either by turbulent eddies or by streaming instabilities.In addition, the question of survival of such primordial nuclei versus severe collisional processinghas been debated. The pros and cons of these hypotheses are discussed in the light of Rosetta's discoveries.

  8. Comet Borelly and the Two Kinds of Cometary Sub-Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Illés-Almár, E.

    On the basis of four independent observational facts we have suggested earlier that the sub-nuclei - composing the nucleus of comets - belong to two different populations. One of them is much more fluffy and loose that the other. The active surface of a comet, shooting out the jets, represent those parts of a cometary nucleus, where the loose sub-nuclei are exposed to the surface. According to recent Deep Space 1 observations the sources of jets of Comet Borelly are located asymmetrically, which supports our hypothesis as well.

  9. Atmospheric Entry Heating: Evidence for Texturally Heterogeneous Comet Nuclei?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rietmeijer, F. J. M.

    1993-07-01

    Chondritic porous (CP) and chondritic smooth (CS) interplanetary dust particle (IDP) texture and petrology alone cannot distinguish asteroidal from cometary debris and give no evidence that the IDPs are debris of different protoplanets, e.g., active, dormant, and extinct comet nuclei and carbon-rich asteroids [1]. There is probably a gradual transition from active to extinct comet nuclei with asteroidlike behaviour, and cometary orbits might evolve into asteroidlike orbits [2], which will hamper efforts to match IDPs to a particular protoplanet type. Recently, chondritic IDP morphology, mineralogy, and He release temperatures are used to link individual IDPs to asteroids or comets. Yet the observation that CP IDPs occur with both cometary and asteroidal orbits [3] suggests we should explore the notion that chondritic IDP protoplanets are texturally heterogeneous bodies containing both CS IDP and CP IDP-like domains. Particle L2005B22, 7.5 mm x 5.1 mm in size, has a CI bulk composition in FeO- MgO-SiO2 space. Its highly vesicular texture indicates stage C of the type S sphere ablation sequence [4] and supports degassing of a volatile-rich precursor. A relic forsterite crystal, Mg/(Mg + Fe^2+) = 0.93-1.0 is the only large (1.8 mm x 0.8 mm) grain in a poorly crystalline matrix. The olivine interior contains a minor laihunite component. The grain has a ~45-nm-wide vesicular rim where it abuts the particle outer surface. The matrix contains densely packed round crystals up to 10 nm in size and larger, up to 12 nm x 37 nm, euhedral olivine, orthopyroxene, and iron oxide crystals. Vesicles in the frotty matrix increase in size toward the particle exterior and along vugs. The matrix shows local flow textures. Single maghemite nanocrystals and partial maghemite rims (<180 nm wide) occur along the exterior. Thin (~30 nm) crescents decorate the vugs. This maghemite is evidence that the IDP was heated during atmospheric entry. The vesicular rim on olivine suggests evaporation

  10. Vaporization of comet nuclei - Light curves and life times

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cowan, J. J.; Ahearn, M. F.

    1979-01-01

    The effects of vaporization from the nucleus of a comet are examined and it is shown that a latitude dependence of vaporization can explain the asymmetries in cometary light curves. An attempt is made to explain the observed variation in molecular production rates with heliocentric distance when employing CO2 and clathrate hydrate ice as cometary nuclei substances. The energy balance equation and the vapor pressure equations of water and CO2 are used in calculating the vaporization from a surface. Calculations were carried out from both dry-ice and water-ice nuclei, using a variety of different effective visual albedos, but primarily for a thermal infrared of 0 (emission). Attention is given to cometary lifetimes and light curves and it was determined that the asymmetry in light curves occurs (occasionally) as a 'seasonal' effect due to a variation in the angle between the comet's rotation axis and the sun-comet line.

  11. Gas, Dust, and Nuclei: Cometary Types in the Largest IR Survey of Comets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, James; Kramer, Emily; Mainzer, Amy; Grav, Tommy; Masiero, Joseph; Stevenson, Rachel; Nugent, Carrie; Sonnett, Sarah

    2015-08-01

    Space-based infrared (IR) surveys of objects have the potential to yield rich data sets for any particular class of small body. Thermal IR measurements often yield the most fundamental of astrophysical properties, the object’s size. When these data are synergistically combined with shorter-wavelength observations, the albedos of these bodies can be determined. The interpretation of IR observations of cometary bodies are more complicated, since their activity may obscure the bare surfaces of their nuclei. Yet space-based IR surveys provide the opportunity to observe this emitted dust and gas at wavelengths and sensitivities not possible from the ground.With the 163 comets detected during the WISE prime mission, and the more than 60 comets seen in the first year of data since the NEOWISE reactivated mission, the combined sample represents the largest survey of comets in the mid-IR. These data of over 200 comets provide dust particle size constraints and dust reflectance measurements, as well as nucleus size measurements. They are sensitive to the presence of the rarely observed gas species, CO2, directly detectable only from above the Earth’s atmosphere, and to the presence of CO emission, which is difficult to view from the ground. The data contain large samples of major cometary types (long-period and short-period comets), as well as smaller samples of Halley-type comets, Main Belt comets, and Near Earth comets, observed at multiple epochs, and so provide an unprecedentedly comprehensive view of the different comet populations.

  12. Active galactic nuclei

    PubMed Central

    Fabian, Andrew C.

    1999-01-01

    Active galactic nuclei are the most powerful, long-lived objects in the Universe. Recent data confirm the theoretical idea that the power source is accretion into a massive black hole. The common occurrence of obscuration and outflows probably means that the contribution of active galactic nuclei to the power density of the Universe has been generally underestimated. PMID:10220363

  13. Detecting active comets with SDSS

    SciTech Connect

    Solontoi, Michael; Ivezic, Zeljko; West, Andrew A.; Claire, Mark; Juric, Mario; Becker, Andrew; Jones, Lynne; Hall, Patrick B.; Kent, Steve; Lupton, Robert H.; Quinn, Tom; /Washington U., Seattle, Astron. Dept. /Princeton U. Observ.

    2010-12-01

    Using a sample of serendipitously discovered active comets in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), we develop well-controlled selection criteria for greatly increasing the efficiency of comet identification in the SDSS catalogs. After follow-up visual inspection of images to reject remaining false positives, the total sample of SDSS comets presented here contains 19 objects, roughly one comet per 10 million other SDSS objects. The good understanding of selection effects allows a study of the population statistics, and we estimate the apparent magnitude distribution to r {approx} 18, the ecliptic latitude distribution, and the comet distribution in SDSS color space. The most surprising results are the extremely narrow range of colors for comets in our sample (e.g. root-mean-square scatter of only {approx}0.06 mag for the g-r color), and the similarity of comet colors to those of jovian Trojans. We discuss the relevance of our results for upcoming deep multi-epoch optical surveys such as the Dark Energy Survey, Pan-STARRS, and the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), and estimate that LSST may produce a sample of about 10,000 comets over its 10-year lifetime.

  14. Comet Nuclei Primordial Aggregation Effects on their Internal Structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasue, Jeremie; Botet, R.; Levasseur-Regourd, A.; Hadamcik, E.; Kofman, W.

    2009-09-01

    Comet nuclei have a low density ( 500 kg.m-3, e.g. [1]) and are easily disrupted. In situ studies have unveiled surface features hinting at a pervasive internal layered structure on 9P/Tempel 1 [2]. This indicates that specific processes occurred during its formation and lifetime. Our simulations describe the internal structure of comet nuclei due to their formation as aggregates of cometesimals [3]. The simulations take into account the amount of kinetic energy dissipated by sintering processes, the ejection of material during the impact and the variation in density and sizes of the cometesimals. From 10000 to 100000 cometesimals are considered with sizes down to tens of meters. A cohesive strength and density layering of the material occurs, leading to a highly cohesive core with less cohesive outer layers. The thickness of such layers is comparable to the larger layers observed at 9P/Tempel 1 ( 200 m). The porosity also increases with the distance to the centre of the nucleus. The cohesive strength of the nuclei obtained (<104 N.m-2) compares well with values deduced from disruption events observations and laboratory impact experiments. When the ejected material is lost, the internal structure of the nucleus can be erased. This suggests that either the structures observed are not primordial (cryovolcanism [4]) or that secondary mechanisms, such as the re-accretion of fragments after destructive collision, have occurred during the accretion process [5]. The results are used to improve cometary nuclei models for the analysis of the CONSERT experiment onboard Rosetta, which will study the dielectric properties and internal heterogeneities of the nucleus. LPI fellowship is acknowledged. [1] Levasseur-Regourd et al., PSS (2009) [2] Belton et al., Icarus (2007) [3] Lasue et al., Icarus (2009) [4] Belton et al., Icarus (2008) [5] Blum and Wurm, Annu. Rev. Astro. Astrophys. (2008)

  15. The Complex Evolution of Comet Nuclei: Evidence from Deep Impact and Stardust-NExT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veverka, J.; Stardust-NExT Science Team

    2011-12-01

    Spacecraft exploration of comets is revealing that far from being dirty snowballs that have changed little since their formation 4.6 billion years ago, many comet nuclei have undergone complex evolution. Observations of 9P/Tempel 1 made by Deep Impact (DI) in 2005 and Stardust-NExT (SN) in 2011 provide evidence for diverse geologic processes including the formation of layered structures, the episodic eruption of materials from the interior onto the surface, the formation of pit-like depressions and scarps by sublimation of volatiles, etc. A significant fraction of Tempel 1's activity appears to be associated with the back-wasting of scarps. Scarps on the comet display a variety of morphologies. Comparisons of DI and SN images reveal that the rate of scarp retreat varies from place to place. These observations point to differences in composition and/or texture of surface materials.

  16. Gaseous activity of distant comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Womack, Maria; Sarid, Gal; Wierzchos, Kacper

    2016-10-01

    The activity of most comets within 3AU of the Sun is dominated by the sublimation of frozen water, the most abundant ice in comets. Some comets, however, are active well beyond the water-ice sublimation limit. Studying distantly active comets provides valuable opportunities to explore primitive bodies when water-ice sublimation is largely dormant, which is the case for most of a comet's lifetime. Beyond 4 AU, super-volatiles such as CO or CO2 are thought to play a major role in driving observed activity. Carbon monoxide is of special interest because it is a major contributor to comae and has a very low sublimation temperature. Three bodies dominate the observational record and modeling efforts for distantly active small bodies: the long-period comet C/1995 O1 Hale-Bopp and the short-period comets (with centaur orbits) 29P/Schwassmann Wachmann 1 and 2060 Chiron. Hale-Bopp's long-period orbit means it has experienced very little solar heating in its lifetime and is analogous to dynamically new comets making their first approach to the Sun. Because Chiron and 29P have much smaller orbits closer to the Sun, they have experienced much more thermal processing than Hale-Bopp and this is expected to have changed their chemical composition from their original state. We point out that the observed CO production rates and line-widths in these three distantly active objects are consistent with each other when adjusted for heliocentric distance. This is particularly interesting for Hale-Bopp and 29P, which have approximately the same radius. The consistent CO production rates may point to a similar CO release mechanism in these objects. We also discuss how observed radio line profiles support that the development and sublimation of icy grains in the coma at about 5-6 AU is probably a common feature in distantly active comets, and an important source of other volatiles within 6 AU, including H2O, HCN, CH3OH, and H2CO.

  17. A new activity index for comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whipple, Fred L.

    1992-12-01

    An activity index, AI, is derived from observational data to measure the increase of activity in magnitudes for comets when brightest near perihelion as compared to their inactive reflective brightness at great solar distances. Because the observational data are still instrumentally limited in the latter case and because many comets carry particulate clouds about them at great solar distances, the application of the activity index is still limited. A tentative application is made for the comets observed by Max Beyer over a period of nearly 40 years, providing a uniform magnitude system for the near-perihelion observations. In all, 32 determinations are made for long-period (L-P) comets and 15 for short-period (S-P). Although the correlations are scarcely definitive, the data suggest that the faintest comets are just as active as the brightest and that the S-P comets are almost as active as those with periods (P) exceeding 104 years or those with orbital inclinations of i less than 120 deg. Comets in the range 102 less than P less than 104 yr. or with i greater than 120 deg appear to be somewhat more active than the others. There is no evidence to suggest aging among the L-P comets or to suggest other than a common nature for comets generally.

  18. A new activity index for comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whipple, Fred L.

    1992-01-01

    An activity index, AI, is derived from observational data to measure the increase of activity in magnitudes for comets when brightest near perihelion as compared to their inactive reflective brightness at great solar distances. Because the observational data are still instrumentally limited in the latter case and because many comets carry particulate clouds about them at great solar distances, the application of the activity index is still limited. A tentative application is made for the comets observed by Max Beyer over a period of nearly 40 years, providing a uniform magnitude system for the near-perihelion observations. In all, 32 determinations are made for long-period (L-P) comets and 15 for short-period (S-P). Although the correlations are scarcely definitive, the data suggest that the faintest comets are just as active as the brightest and that the S-P comets are almost as active as those with periods (P) exceeding 10(exp 4) years or those with orbital inclinations of i less than 120 deg. Comets in the range 10(exp 2) less than P less than 10(exp 4) yr. or with i greater than 120 deg appear to be somewhat more active than the others. There is no evidence to suggest aging among the L-P comets or to suggest other than a common nature for comets generally.

  19. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9: An Active Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rettig, Terrence W.; Hahn, Joseph M.

    1997-01-01

    The important elements of the debate over the activity versus dormancy of comet Shoemaker Levy 9 (S-L 9) are reviewed. It is argued that the circularity of the isophotes in the inner comae of S-L 9 as well as the spatial dependencies of the comae brightness profiles are indicators of sustained dust production by S-L 9. It is also shown that the westward tail orientations, which were formerly interpreted as a sign of the comet's dormancy, are not a good indicator of either activity or dormancy. Rather, the tail orientations simply place constraints on the dust production rate for grains smaller than approx. equals 5(micron). All the available evidence points to S-L 9 as having been an active, dust-producing comet. Synthetic images of an active comet are fitted to Hubble Space Telescope images of the S-L 9 fragment K, and its grain size and outflow velocity distributions are extracted. These findings show that the appearance of the dust coma was dominated by large grains having radii between approx. equals 30 (micron) and approx. equals 3 mm, produced at a rate of M approx. equals 22 kg/ s, and ejected at outflow velocities of approx. equals 0.5 m/ s. Only upper limits on the production rates of smaller grains are obtained. The nucleus of fragment K was not observed directly but its size is restricted to lie within a rather narrow interval 0.4 less than or equal to Rf less than or equal to 1.2 km.

  20. THERMAL SHADOWS AND COMPOSITIONAL STRUCTURE IN COMET NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurelie; Jewitt, David E-mail: jewitt@ucla.edu

    2011-12-10

    We use a fully three-dimensional thermal evolution model to examine the effects of a non-uniform surface albedo on the subsurface thermal structure of comets. Surface albedo markings cast 'thermal shadows' with strong lateral thermal gradients. Corresponding compositional gradients can be strong, especially if the crystallization of amorphous water ice is triggered in the hottest regions. We show that the spatial extent of the structure depends mainly on the obliquity, thermal conductivity, and heliocentric distance. In some circumstances, subsurface structure caused by the thermal shadows of surface features can be maintained for more than 10 Myr, the median transport time from the Kuiper Belt to the inner solar system. Non-uniform compositional structure can be an evolutionary product and does not necessarily imply that comets consist of building blocks accumulated in different regions of the protoplanetary disk.

  1. Cartography of asteroids and comet nuclei from low resolution data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stooke, Philip J.

    1992-01-01

    High resolution images of non-spherical objects, such as Viking images of Phobos and the anticipated Galileo images of Gaspra, lend themselves to conventional planetary cartographic procedures: control network analysis, stereophotogrammetry, image mosaicking in 2D or 3D, and airbrush mapping. There remains the problem of a suitable map projection for bodies which are extremely elongated or irregular in shape. Many bodies will soon be seen at lower resolution (5-30 pixels across the disk) in images from speckle interferometry, the Hubble Space Telescope, ground-based radar, distinct spacecraft encounters, and closer images degraded by smear. Different data with similar effective resolutions are available from stellar occultations, radar or lightcurve convex hulls, lightcurve modeling of albedo variations, and cometary jet modeling. With such low resolution, conventional methods of shape determination will be less useful or will fail altogether, leaving limb and terminator topography as the principal sources of topographic information. A method for shape determination based on limb and terminator topography was developed. It has been applied to the nucleus of Comet Halley and the jovian satellite Amalthea. The Amalthea results are described to give an example of the cartographic possibilities and problems of anticipated data sets.

  2. Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brownlee, D. E.

    2003-12-01

    Comets are surviving members of a formerly vast distribution of solid bodies that formed in the cold regions of the solar nebula. Cometary bodies escaped incorporation into planets and ejection from the solar system and they have been stored in two distant reservoirs, the Oort cloud and the Kuiper Belt, for most of the age of the solar system. Observed comets appear to have formed between 5 AU and 55 AU. From a cosmochemical viewpoint, comets are particularly interesting bodies because they are preserved samples of the solar nebula's cold ice-bearing regions that occupied 99% of the areal extent of the solar nebula disk. All comets formed beyond the "snow line" of the nebula, where the conditions were cold enough for water ice to condense, but they formed from environments that significantly differed in temperature. Some formed in the comparatively "warm" regions near Jupiter where the nebular temperature may have been greater than 120 K and others clearly formed beyond Neptune where temperatures may have been less than 30 K (Bell et al., 1997). Although comets are the best-preserved materials from the early solar system, they should be a mix of nebular and presolar materials that accreted over a vast range of distances from the Sun in environments that differed in temperature, pressure, and accretional conditions such as impact speed.Comets, by conventional definition, are unstable near the Sun; they contain highly volatile ices that vigorously sublime within 2-3 AU of the Sun. When heated, they release gas and solids due to "cometary activity," a series of processes usually detected from afar by the presence of a coma of gas and dust surrounding the cometary nucleus and or elongated tails composed of dust and gas. Active comets clearly have not been severely modified by the moderate to extreme heating that has affected all other solar system materials, including planets, moons, and even the asteroids that produced the most primitive meteorites. Comets have been

  3. I. T. - R. O. C. K. S. Comet Nuclei Sample Return Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalcher, N.

    2009-04-01

    Ices, organics and minerals recording the chemical evolution of the outer regions of the early solar nebula are the main constituents of comets. Because comets maintain the nearly pristine nature of the cloud where they formed, the analyses of their composition, structure, thermodynamics and isotope ratios will increase our understanding of the processes that occurred in the early phases of the solar system as well as the Interstellar Medium (ISM) Cloud that predated the formation of the solar nebula [1]. While the deep impact mission aimed at determining the internal structure of comet Temple1's nuclei [e.g. 3], the stardust mission sample return has dramatically increased our understanding of comets. Its first implications indicated that some of the comet material originated in the inner solar system and was later transported outward beyond the freezing line [4]. A wide range of organic compounds identified within different grains of the aerogel collectors has demonstrated the heterogeneity in their assemblages [5]. This suggests either many histories associated with these material or possibly analytical constraints imposed by capture heating of Wild2 material in silica aerogel. The current mission ROSETTA, will further expand our knowledge about comets considerably through rigorous in situ analyses of a Jupiter Family Comet (JFC). As the next generation of comet research post ROSETTA, we present the comet nuclei sample return mission IT - ROCKS (International Team - Return Of Comet's Key Samples) to return several minimally altered samples from various locations of comet 88P/Howell, a typical JFC. The mission scenario includes remote sensing of the comet's nucleus with onboard instruments similar to the ROSETTA instruments [6, 7, 8] (VIS, IR, Thermal IR, X-Ray, Radar) and gas/dust composition measurements including a plasma science package. Additionally two microprobes [9] will further investigate the physical properties of the comet's surface. Retrieving of the

  4. Comets: mechanisms of x-ray activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibadov, Subhon

    2016-07-01

    Basic mechanisms of X-ray activity of comets are considered, including D-D mechanism corresponding to generation of X-rays due to production of hot short-living plasma clumps at high-velocity collisions between cometary and interplanetary dust particles as well as M-M one corresponding to production of X-rays due to recombination of multicharge ions of solar wind plasma via charge exchange process at their collisions with molecules/atoms of the cometary atmospheres. Peculiarities of the variation of the comet X-ray spectrum and X-ray luminosity with variation of its heliocentric distance are revealed.

  5. Triggering Comet-Like Activity of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, Nader; Maindl, Thomas I.; Schaefer, Christoph; Speith, Roland; Dvorak, Rudolf

    2016-10-01

    Main-belt comets (MBCs) have attracted a great deal of interest since their identification as activated asteroids by Hsieh and Jewitt in 2006. It has been suggested that the comet-like activity of these objects are due to the sublimation of sub-surface water-ice that has been exposed as a result of their surfaces being impacted by small (e.g, m-sized) bodies. We have examined the viability of this scenario by simulating impacts between m-sized impactors and km-sized targets using a smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) approach. We have carried out simulations for a range of impact velocities and angles, material type and strength, and water content of the target allowing m-sized impactors to erode enough of an MBC's surface to trigger its activation. Results indicate that for the range of impact velocities corresponding to those in the asteroid belt, the depth of an impact crater is slightly larger than 10 m suggesting that if the activation of MBCs is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water-ice, this ice has to exist no deeper than a few meters from the surface. Our simulations point to a clearly notable spread in the aggregated crater depths due to different impact energy, impact angles, and MBC's water contents showing deeper craters due to less overall material strength. Results also show that ice-exposure occurs in the bottom and on the interior surface of impact craters as well as the surface of the target where some of the ejected icy inclusions are re-accreted. Our results, in addition to demonstrating that the impact scenario is indeed a viable mechanism to expose ice and trigger the activity of MBCs, indicate that the activity of the current MBCs is likely due to ice sublimation from multiple impact sites and/or the water contents of these objects (and other asteroids in the outer asteroid belt) is larger than the 5% that is traditionally considered in models of terrestrial planet formation. We present details of our simulations and discuss their

  6. Triggering Comet-Like Activity of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.; Maindl, T. I.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.; Dvorak, R.

    2016-01-01

    Main Belt Comets (MBCs) have attracted a great deal of interest since their identification as a new class of bodies by Hsieh and Jewitt in 2006. Much of this interest is due to the implication that MBC activity is driven by the sublimation of volatile material (presumed to be water-ice) presenting these bodies as probable candidates for the delivery of a significant fraction of Earth's water. Results of the studies of the dynamics of MBCs suggest that these objects might have formed in-situ as the remnants of the break-up of large icy asteroids. Simulations also show that collisions among MBCs and small objects could have played an important role in triggering the cometary activity of these bodies. Such collisions might have exposed sub-surface water-ice which sublimated and created thin atmospheres and tails around MBCs. In order to drive the effort of understanding the nature of the activation of MBCs, we have investigated these collision processes by simulating the impacts in detail using a smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) approach that includes material strength and fracture models. We have carried out simulations for a range of impact velocities and angles, allowing m-sized impactors to erode enough of an MBC's surface to expose volatiles and trigger its activation. Impact velocities were varied between 0.5 km/s and 5.3 km/s, and the projectile radius was chosen to be 1 m. As expected, we observe significantly different crater depths depending on the impact energy, impact angle, and MBC's material strength. Results show that for all values of impact velocity and angle, crater depths are only a few meters, implying that if the activity of MBCs is due to the sublimation of water-ice, ice has to exist in no deeper than a few meters from the surface. We present details of our simulations and discuss the implications of their results.

  7. A Summary of Comet Nuclei Diameters and Dust Photometry from the WISE/NEOWISE Prime Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bauer, James M.; Grav, Tommy; Mainzer, Amy K.; Fernandez, Yanga R.; Kramer, Emily A.; Masiero, Joseph R.; Spahr, Timothy; Nugent, Carolyn; Sonnett, Sarah M.; Meech, Karen Jean; Lisse, Casey M.; Cutri, Roc M.; Walker, Russell G.; Rosser, Joshua; Krings, Phillip; Wright, Edward L.; NEOWISE Team

    2016-10-01

    While the ROSETTA mission has shown us for the first time up-close manifestations of cometary behavior over the course of a comet's complete orbit, and so given us new insight into how to interpret cometary phenomena seen from Earth, even the most basic of properties, the distribution of effective nuclear diameters, is not well understood. Milestone surveys in the infrared are significantly advancing the number of measured comet diameters (e.g. Fernandez et al. 2013). Now with the NEOWISE prime mission data, we have new diameter constraints for 155 cometary nuclei, 55 of which are of long-period. This makes the NEOWISE dataset the largest diameter sample size in a single survey. The dataset also provides information on large-grained dust production via measurements of ɛfρ. These data, in concert with parallel studies regarding the ejection times and size distributions of the dust (Kramer et al. 2016), and the gas production (Bauer et al. 2015), yield a remarkable amount of information regarding the correlations amongst these properties and as a function of comet orbital classification. We will summarize the final results of the NEOWISE prime mission (Mainzer et al. 2011) comet nuclei survey, and provide an overview of what the restarted mission (Mainzer et al. 2014) results are yielding in terms of constraints on dust and gas production at these crucial wavelengths.ReferencesBauer, J.M. et al. (2015), ApJ 814, 85.Kramer et al. (2016) 48th AAS Div. of Planetary Science /EPSC 11th Meeting, Pasadena, CAFernández, Y. R. et al. (2013), Icarus, 226, 1138.Mainzer, A.K., et al. (2011). ApJ 731, 53.Mainzer et al. (2014). ApJ, 792, 30.Acknowledgements: This work makes use of data products from the Wide- field Infrared Survey Explorer, a joint project of the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory/California Institute of Technology, funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and data products from NEOWISE, which is a

  8. Dust activity of Comet Halley's nucleus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keller, H. U.; Delamere, W. A.; Huebner, W. F.; Reitsema, H.; Schmidt, H. U.; Schmidt, W. K. H.; Whipple, Fred L.; Wilhelm, K.

    1986-01-01

    Images obtained by the Halley multicolor camera using the clear filter with a pass band from 300 to 1000 nm were used to study dust activity in the comet nucleus. Comparisons with ground based observations confirm that dust production towards the Sun increases in activity relative to the southern background source while the Giotto spacecraft was approaching. This is in agreement with the assumption that the sunward activity becomes stronger when the source rotates towards the Sun. Estimated dust column density is 90 billion/sqm, with optical thickness less than or = 0.3. Surface reflectivity is less than 1%, indicating a very rough surface with large fractions of shadowed areas.

  9. P/2006 HR30 (Siding Spring): A Low-activity Comet in Near-Earth Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hicks, Michael D.; Bauer, James M.

    2007-01-01

    The low cometary activity of P/2006 HR30 (Siding Spring) allowed a unique opportunity to study the nucleus of a periodic comet while near perihelion. P/2006 HR30 was originally targeted as a potential extinct comet, and we measured spectral reflectance and dust production using long-slit CCD spectroscopy and wide-field imaging obtained at the Palomar Mountain 200 inch telescope on 2006 August 3 and 4. The dust production Afp = 19.7 +/- 0.4 cm and mass-loss rate Q(dust) 4.1 +/- 0.1 kg/sec of the comet were approximately 2 orders of magnitude dust less than 1P/Halley at similar heliocentric distance. The VRI colors derived from the spectral reflectance were compared to Kuiper Belt objects, Centaurs, and other cometary nuclei. We found that the spectrum of P/2006 HR30 was consistent with other comets. However, the outer solar system bodies have a color distribution statistically distinct from cometary nuclei. It is our conjecture that cometary activity, most likely the reaccretion of ejected cometary dust, tends to moderate and mute the visible colors of the surface of cometary nuclei.

  10. Theory of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shields, G. A.

    1986-01-01

    The involvement of accretion disks around supermassive black holes in the theory of active galactic nuclei (AGN) is discussed. The physics of thin and thick accretion disks is discussed and the partition between thermal and nonthermal energy production in supermassive disks is seen as uncertain. The thermal limit cycle may operate in supermassive disks (Shields, 1985), with accumulation of gas in the disk for periods of 10 to the 4th to 10 to the 7th years, punctuated by briefer outbursts during which the mass is rapidly transferred to smaller radii. An extended X-ray source in AGN is consistent with observations (Tennant and Mushotsky, 1983), and a large wind mass loss rate exceeding the central accretion rate means that only a fraction of the mass entering the disk will reach the central object; the rest being lost to the wind. Controversy in the relationship between the broad lines and the disk is also discussed.

  11. Comparison of Mass-loading around Active Comets and Planetary Induced Magnetospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazelle, C. X.; Bertucci, C.; Romanelli, N. J.; Andres, N.; Meziane, K.; Delva, M.; Gomez, D. O.

    2015-12-01

    The phenomenon of massloading is ubiquitous in space plasmas. In situ observations in our solar system have shown that massloading is most conspicuous at active comets as their extended exospheres facilitate the implantation of cometary ions up to a few million km away from their nuclei. But massloading is also important in planetary induced magnetospheres as it contributes to the formation of the obstacle to the incoming plasma winds in addition to gravitationally bound ionosphere. In this work we revisit observations around planets, moons, and active comets with different degree of massloading and discuss the importance of planetary exospheres in the formation of induced magnetospheres. In particular, we focus on the formation of plasma boundaries (induced magnetospheric boundary, bow shock) and in particular the phenomena of accreted, 'fossil' magnetic flux tubes fields - first unveiled at comet P/Halley and more recently observed at Titan.

  12. Comets

    NASA Video Gallery

    Did you know that comets seen streaking across the night sky may have brought the building blocks of life to our planet billions of years ago? Join NASA in learning more about these fascinating obj...

  13. Rotation Rates and Spin Changes of Jupiter Family Comet Nuclei: New optical lightcurves and an update on the population properties.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kokotanekova, Rosita; Snodgrass, Colin; Lacerda, Pedro; Green, Simon F.

    2016-10-01

    In this work, we revise the physical characteristics of Jupiter family comets (JFCs) by expanding the sample of nuclei with known rotational and shape properties.The study provides a review of the properties of all JFCs with known rotation rates derived from optical, radar or spacecraft measurements. This sample is complemented by newly obtained lightcurves of eight comets which are used to improve the precision of some known spin rates as well as to add new objects to the sample. We derive the new lightcurves from archival data partially taken within the framework of the Survey of Ensemble Physical Properties of Cometary Nuclei (SEPPCoN) and from devoted phase function observing campaigns. The lightcurves are produced with a specially-developed pipeline which enables data from various instruments at different epochs and geometries to be analyzed together. All lightcurves are absolutely calibrated using PanSTARRs photometric standards. Combining photometric measurements from different epochs allows us to achieve high precision in the period determinations and to constrain the phase functions of the comets. For three of the comets - 8P/Tuttle, 110P/Hartley 3 and 162P/Siding Spring - we obtain well-sampled phase functions which we compare to these of other well-studied JFCs.The newly added data provide us with a better-constrained sample which we use to compare JFC characteristics with the rotation rates, shapes and surface properties of other small-body populations.A special focus is put on the handful of JFCs which are known to demonstrate spin changes on orbital timescales. We are expanding this sample by adding new lightcurves derived from archival data as well as from our targeted survey using 2-4m telescopes. The rotational changes are obtained by comparison of the comets' current spin rates to those from previous apparitions. Using the new extended sample, we study the relation between the measured period changes and the physical properties of the nuclei.

  14. A new derivation of the tensile strength of cometary nuclei: Application to comet Shoemaker-Levy 9

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Greenberg, J. M.; Mizutani, H.; Yamamoto, T.

    1995-03-01

    The splitting of comets as exemplified by comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, when it passed near Jupiter, is a common phenomenon. Multiple splitting is also not an uncommon occurrence. It is clear that the comet nucleus is fragile, i.e., its tensile strength is small compared with that of solid materials. We show that aggregates of sub-micron interstellar dust particles presumed to consist of a silicate core, an inner mantle of complex organic refractory molecules, and an outer mantle dominated by H2O ice (Greenberg, 1982) provide the basis for a quantitative derivation of the tensile strength of comet SL9 using molecular interactions at the contact interfaces. In fact, using a mean particle size representing interstellar dust as it would appear in its final presolar state one derives a tensile strength which describes remarkably well the multiple splitting phenomenon. This derivation of the tensile strength of a particle aggregate resulting from molecular interactions is quite general and can be applied to physical situations involving any sorts of aggregates as well as those representing comet nuclei.

  15. GIADA: preparatory activities before the comet encounter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Della Corte, Vincenzo; Rotundi, Alessandra; Accolla, Mario; Ferrari, Marco; Ivanovski, Stavro; Lucarelli, Francesca; Mazzotta Epifani, Elena; Rietmeijer, Franciscus J. M.; Sordini, Roberto

    2014-05-01

    The whole 2014 will be a pivotal year for the Rosetta mission. In fact, on the 20th January it will be switched on after more than 18 months of hibernation. Then, Rosetta will begin the rendezvous maneuvers to reach and follow the short period comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Among the payloads on-board Rosetta, GIADA (Grain Impact Analyzer and Dust Accumulator) is an in-situ instrument devoted to measure the dynamical properties of the dust grains emitted by the comet. In preparation of the actual scientific phase of the mission (i.e. the comet phase), the GIADA science team has carried out three major activities to prepare the science operations and the data interpretation: 1)Analysis of the Cruise Phase: a careful analysis of the data collected by GIADA during the seven-year cruise shows that all the GIADA functional and performance parameters maintained nominal behavior during the seven year trek across the Solar System [1]. 2)Extended Calibration using the GIADA Flight Spare Model: taking into account the knowledge gained through the analyses of Interplanetary Dust Particles and cometary samples returned from comet 81P/Wild 2 (Stardust mission), we selected some terrestrial materials as cometary dust analogues and we produced grains with sizes ranging from 20 - 500 μm in diameter. These grains were characterized by FE-SEM/EDS and micro-IR spectroscopy. Single grains are then manipulated and shot into the GIADA Flight Spare Model (housed in our laboratory) with velocities in the range of 1 - 100 m/s to obtain calibration curves as a function of chemical-physical grain properties. By means of the on ground calibration data collected during the instrument qualification campaign (performed on Flight and Spare Models), we can rescale the Extended Calibration data to GIADA mounted on board the Rosetta S/C. The calibration curves coupled with the GIADA telemetries collected during the Rosetta Cruise phase constitute a large database of sensors responses that will

  16. Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feldman, P. D.

    2006-01-01

    Spectroscopy of comets, in the X-ray and far-ultraviolet from space, and in the near infrared and millimeter from the ground, have revealed a wealth of new information, particularly about the molecular constituents that make up the volatile fraction of the comet s nucleus. Interpretation of these data requires not only proper wavelengths for identification but also information about the photolytic and excitation processes at temperatures typical of the inner coma (70-100 K) that lead to the observed spectral signatures. Several examples, mainly from Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer and Hubble Space Telescope spectra of comets observed during the last few years, will be given to illustrate some of the current issues.

  17. Star formation around active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Keel, William C.

    1987-01-01

    Active galactic nuclei (Seyfert nuclei and their relatives) and intense star formation can both deliver substantial amounts of energy to the vicinity of a galactic nucleus. Many luminous nuclei have energetics dominated by one of these mechanisms, but detailed observations show that some have a mixture. Seeing both phenomena at once raises several interesting questions: (1) Is this a general property of some kinds of nuclei? How many AGNs have surround starbursts, and vice versa? (2) As in 1, how many undiscovered AGNs or starbursts are hidden by a more luminous instance of the other? (3) Does one cause the other, and by what means, or do both reflect common influences such as potential well shape or level of gas flow? (4) Can surrounding star formation tell us anything about the central active nuclei, such as lifetimes, kinetic energy output, or mechanical disturbance of the ISM? These are important points in the understanding of activity and star formation in galactic nuclei. Unfortunately, the observational ways of addressing them are as yet not well formulated. Some preliminary studies are reported, aimed at clarifying the issues involved in study of the relationships between stellar and nonstellar excitement in galactic nuclei.

  18. What's Causing the Activity on Comet 67P?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-09-01

    Comet 67P/ChuryumovGerasimenko made famous by the explorations of the Rosetta mission has been displaying puzzling activity as it hurtles toward the Sun. However, recent modeling of the comet by a group of scientists from the Cte dAzur University may now explain whats causing 67Ps activity.Shadowed ActivityA model of comet 67P, with the colors indicating the rate of change of the temperature on the comets surface. The most rapid temperature changes are seen at the comets neck, in the same locations as the early activity seen in the Rosetta images. [Al-Lagoa et al. 2015] Between June and September of 2014, Rosetta observed comet 67P displaying early activity in the form of jets of dust emitted from near the neck of the comet (its narrowest point). Such activity is usually driven by the sublimation of volatiles from the comets surface as a result of sun exposure. But the neck of the comet is frequently shadowed as the comet rotates, and it receives significantly less sunlight than the rest of the comet. So why would the early activity originate from the comets neck?The authors of a recent study, led by Victor Al-Lagoa, hypothesize that its precisely because the neck is receiving alternating sunlight/shadows that its displaying activity. They suggest that thermal cracking of the surface of the comet is happening faster in this region, due to the rapid changes in temperature that result from the shadows cast by the surrounding terrain. The cracking exposes subsurface ices in the neck faster than in other regions, and the ensuing sublimation of that ice is what creates the activity were seeing.Temperature Models: To test their hypothesis, the authors study the surface temperatures on comet 67P by means of a thermophysical model a model used to calculate the temperatures on an airless body, both on and below the surface. The model takes into account factors like thermal inertia (how quickly the bodys temperature responds to changes in the incident energy), shadowing, and

  19. Activating main belt comets by collisions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maindl, T. I.; Haghighipour, N.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.

    2016-02-01

    Since their identification as a new class of bodies by Hsieh and Jewitt in 2006 active asteroids (or Main Belt Comets, MBCs) have attracted a great deal of interest. Given that sublimation of volatile material (presumably water-ice) drives MBC activity, these bodies are probable candidates for delivering a significant amount of Earth's water. Dynamical studies suggest in-situ formation of MBCs as the remnants of the break-up of large icy asteroids. Also, collisions between MBCs and small objects might have exposed sub-surface water-ice triggering the cometary activity of these bodies. In order to advance the effort of understanding the nature of MBC activation, we have investigated these collision processes by simulating the impacts in detail using a smooth particle hydrodynamics (SPH) approach that includes material strength and fracture models. Our simulations cover a range of impact velocities (between 0.5 km/s and 5.3 km/s) and angles, allowing m-sized impactors to erode enough of an MBC's surface to expose volatiles and trigger its activation. We also varied the material strength of the active asteroid's surface to study its influence on crater depths and shapes. As expected, depending on the impact energy, impact angle, and MBC's material strength we observe different crater depths. Across all scenarios however, our results show that the crater depths do not exceed a few meters. This implies that if the activity of MBCs is due to sublimating water-ice, ice has to exist in no deeper than a few meters from the surface.

  20. Properties of filamentary sublimation residues from dispersions of clay in ice. [on Martian poles, comet nuclei, and icy satellites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Saunders, R. S.; Parker, T. J.; Stephens, J. B.; Fanale, F. P.; Sutton, S.

    1986-01-01

    Results are reported from experimental studies of the formation of ice mixed with mineral particles in an effort to simulate similar processes on natural surfaces such as at the Martian poles, on comet nuclei and on icy satellites. The study consisted of low-pressure, low-temperature sublimations of water ice from dilutions of water-clay (montmorillonite and Cabosil) dispersions of various component ratios. Liquid dispersions were sprayed into liquid nitrogen to form droplets at about -50 C. Both clay-water dispersions left a filamentary residue on the bottom of the Dewar after the water ice had sublimated off. The residue was studied with optical and SEM microscopy, the latter method revealing a high electrical conductivity in the residue. The results suggest that the sublimation of the water ice can leave a surface crust, which may be analogous to processes at the Martian poles and on comet nuclei. The process could proceed by the attachment of water molecules to salt crystals during the hottest part of the Martian year. The residue remaining was found to remain stable up to 370 C, be porous, and remain resilient, which could allow it to insulate ice bodies such as comets in space.

  1. The interaction of active comets with the solar wind

    SciTech Connect

    Neugebauer, M. )

    1990-11-01

    The interaction of the solar wind with active comets is investigated based on observations of cometary plasma processes and studies of comets using telescopes and photographic plates. Data were also collected when a spacecraft flew through the tail of Comet Giacobini-Zinner in 1985 and five spacecraft encountered Comet Halley in 1986. The solar wind is considered to be supersonic (thermal Mach number 2-10) and to carry a magnetic field twisted into an Archimedean spiral by the rotation of the sun. Since the wind can change its properties during the time a spacecraft is inside the ionosphere or magnetosphere of the body being studied, it is difficult to separate spatial from temporal effects. Photoionization results in addition of plasma to the solar wind. Between the outer and inner edges of the cometosheath, the increasing rate of ion pickup causes the flow to slow down until it stagnates, while the plasma density and the magnetic field strength increase.

  2. Ambartsumyan's concept of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khachikian, E. Ye.

    2010-01-01

    As Victor Ambartsumyan, himself, noted, the concept of active galactic nuclei occupies a special place among his scientific ideas. It was proposed more than half a century ago and was recognized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as revolutionary, on a copernican scale. However, by no means all of its propositions were accepted at once by large parts of the astronomy community. Nevertheless, as the American astrophysicist A. R. Sandage has written, “today, not one astronomer would deny the mystery surrounding the nuclei of galaxies or that the first to recognize the rich reward held in this treasury was Viktor Ambartsumian.” The purpose of this article is to acquaint the reader with the major stages in the formation and development of the concept of active galactic nuclei and with some of the work on this topic done at the Byurakan and other astrophysical observatories throughout the world.

  3. Understanding active galactic nuclei: peeling the onion.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krolik, J. H.

    A brief review is presented of selected current problems in understanding active galactic nuclei, with special emphasis on the contributions that X-ray observations can make. Questions having to do with: how the character of the host galaxy influences nuclear activity; emission line regions; the border between the nucleus and the stellar portion of the active galaxy; radiation of the nonthermal continuum; and the possible existence of an accretion disk are touched upon.

  4. Sublimation rates of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide from comet nuclei at large distances from the Sun

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    1991-01-01

    One of the more attractive among the plausible scenarios for the major emission event recently observed on Comet Halley at a heliocentric distance of 14.3 AU is activation of a source of ejecta driven by an icy substance much more volatile than water. As prerequisite for the forthcoming detailed analysis of the imaging observations of this event, a simple model is proposed that yields the sublimation rate versus time at any location on the surface of a rotating cometary nucleus for two candidate ices: carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The model's variable parameters are the comet's heliocentric distance r and the Sun's instantaneous zenith angle z.

  5. On the Evolution of Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Besse, S.; Mousis, O.; Ali-Dib, M.; Höfner, S.; Koschny, D.; Hager, P.

    2015-12-01

    Studying comets is believed to bring invaluable clues on the formation and evolution of our planetary system. In comparison to planets, they have undergone much less alteration, and should have therefore retained a relatively pristine record of the conditions prevailing during the early phases of the solar system. However, comets might not be entirely pristine. As of today, we have not been able to determine which of the observed physical, chemical and orbital characteristics of comets, after they have evolved for more than 4 Gyr in a time-varying radiative and collisional environment, will provide the best clues to their origin. Comet physical characteristics as inherited from their formation stage may be very diverse, both in terms of composition and internal structure. The subsequent evolution of comet nuclei involves some possible processing from radiogenic heating, space weathering and large- and small-scale collisions, which might have modified their primordial structures and compositions with various degrees. When comets enter the inner solar system and become active, they start to lose mass at a very high rate. The effects of activity on comet nuclei involve a layering of the composition, a substantial non-even erosion and modification of their size and shape, and may eventually result in the death of comets. In this review, we present the dominating processes that might affect comet physical and chemical properties at different stages of their evolution. Although the evolutionary track may be specific to each comet, we can focus on long-lasting modifications which might be common to all nuclei after their formation stage, during their storage in reservoirs in the outer solar system, and once comets enter the inner solar system and become active objects.

  6. The composition and tail activity of Sun-grazing comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Ying-Dong; Russell, Cristopher; Liu, Wei

    2016-04-01

    Sun-grazing comets dive into the low corona to reveal the ambient plasma and field conditions with its very active EUV and X-ray radiation patterns. In this study we model the charging-balanced cometary plasma, and its transportation in the solar magnetic field. We study the comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy) event seen by SDO, Stereo and SOHO. Our model provides line-of-sight integrated emission intensity calculated via each emission lines of each charge state of O, and Fe ions. Such intensity is then compared with the observed EUV and X-ray images. Typical structures of the coronal magnetic field are studied to investigate their effects on the comet tail, and to model the observed tail activity.

  7. RELATING CHANGES IN COMETARY ROTATION TO ACTIVITY: CURRENT STATUS AND APPLICATIONS TO COMET C/2012 S1 (ISON)

    SciTech Connect

    Samarasinha, Nalin H.; Mueller, Béatrice E. A.

    2013-09-20

    We introduce a parameter, X, to predict the changes in the rotational period of a comet in terms of the rotational period itself, the nuclear radius, and the orbital characteristics. We show that X should be a constant if the bulk densities and shapes of nuclei are nearly identical and the activity patterns are similar for all comets. For four nuclei for which rotational changes are well documented, despite the nearly factor 30 variation observed among the effective active fractions of these comets, X is constant to within a factor two. We present an analysis for the sungrazing comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) to explore what rotational changes it could undergo during the upcoming perihelion passage where its perihelion distance will be ∼2.7 solar radii. When close to the Sun, barring a catastrophic disruption of the nucleus, the activity of ISON will be sufficiently strong to put the nucleus into a non-principal-axis rotational state and observable changes to the rotational period should also occur. Additional causes for rotational state changes near perihelion for ISON are tidal torques caused by the Sun and the significant mass loss due to a number of mechanisms resulting in alterations to the moments of inertia of the nucleus.

  8. Colors of active regions on comet 67P

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oklay, N.; Vincent, J.-B.; Sierks, H.; Besse, S.; Fornasier, S.; Barucci, M. A.; Lara, L.; Scholten, F.; Preusker, F.; Lazzarin, M.; Pajola, M.; La Forgia, F.

    2015-10-01

    The OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) scientific imager (Keller et al. 2007) is successfully delivering images of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from its both wide angle camera (WAC) and narrow angle camera (NAC) since ESA's spacecraft Rosetta's arrival to the comet. Both cameras are equipped with filters covering the wavelength range of about 200 nm to 1000 nm. The comet nucleus is mapped with different combination of the filters in resolutions up to 15 cm/px. Besides the determination of the surface morphology in great details (Thomas et al. 2015), such high resolution images provided us a mean to unambiguously link some activity in the coma to a series of pits on the nucleus surface (Vincent et al. 2015).

  9. Gamma rays from active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kazanas, Demosthenes

    1990-01-01

    The general properties of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) and quasars are reviewed with emphasis on their continuum spectral emission. Two general classes of models for the continuum are outlined and critically reviewed in view of the impending GRO (Gamma Ray Observatory) launch and observations. The importance of GRO in distinguishing between these models and in general in furthering the understanding of AGN is discussed. The very broad terms the status of the current understanding of AGN are discussed.

  10. Heat of solution: A new source of thermal energy in the subsurface of cometary nuclei and the gas-exsolution mechanism driving outbursts of Comet 29P/Schwassmann‒Wachmann and other comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miles, Richard

    2016-07-01

    This paper is a continuation of Miles et al. (2015) [Icarus] and Miles (2015b) [Icarus], which detail new observations of Comet 29P/Schwassmann‒Wachmann, characterise its rotational period (∼57 d), and identify the presence of discrete sources of outburst on its nucleus: the latter ruling out amorphous-to-crystalline H2O ice transitions as the cause of its outbursts. Summary data are presented for 29P and a further 16 non-fragmenting comets which exhibit outbursts of >2 magnitudes. A comprehensive physicochemical mechanism is postulated to account for major outbursts based on melting of cometary ices and the exothermic dissolution of gases, especially CO and CO2 at pressures of 10‒200 kPa. The thermodynamics of enthalpy heating are described and heats of solution are calculated from gas-liquid solubility data yielding -6 kJ mol-1 for CO in CH4, and -15 kJ mol-1 for CO2 in CH3OH close to their freezing point. Heats of solution are ∼6 times greater (per mole) than the enthalpy of fusion of the pure CH4 and CH3OH ices, enabling gas pressures of >∼80 kPa to continually melt these ices. Supervolatile O2 and N2 gases may also participate by dissolving exothermically in liquid CH4 and other hydrocarbons potentially reaching high mixing ratios. H2S and NH3 gases dissolve exothermically in CH3OH liberating up to 20 kJ mol-1 and 13 kJ mol-1, respectively, and all three hydrophilic species facilitate sintering of H2O ice in the near-surface of comets. Localised melting and consolidation is favoured in slowly-rotating cometary nuclei of intermediate dust/gas ratios, at pressures of ∼1 kPa, and temperatures as low as 50‒65 K where O2 and N2 are abundant. Nyctogenic processes on the night-time side of the nucleus restock desiccated surface layers, reseal the crust, enabling fractionation of solutes in sub-crustal liquid phases via fractional sublimation/distillation of non-polar, hydrophobic CH4 and other hydrocarbons; and by fractional crystallisation of polar

  11. Comet Bursting Through Relaxation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobson, Seth A.; Scheeres, D. J.

    2012-10-01

    Comets may be excited and occupy non-principal axis (complex) rotation states for a large fraction of their lifetimes. Many comet nuclei have been identified or are suspected to occupy non-principal axis (complex) rotation [Belton 2005, etc.] as well as have evolving rotation rates [Belton 2011, etc.]. Comet orbits drive these rotation states through cycles of excitation due to surface jets and relaxation due to time variable internal stresses that dissipate energy in the anelastic comet interior. Furthermore, relaxation from complex rotation can increase the loads along the symmetry axis of prolate comets. These loads stretch the body along the symmetry axis and may be the cause of the characteristic ``bowling pin’’ shape and eventually may lead to failure. This is an alternative model for comet bursting. Each cycle deposits only a small amount of energy and stress along the axis, but this process is repeated every orbit during which jets are activated. Our model for the evolution of comet nuclei includes torques due to a number of discrete jets located on the surface based on Neishtadt et al. [2002]. The model also includes internal dissipation using an approach developed by Sharma et al. [2005] and Vokrouhlicky et al. [2009]. These equations are averaged over the instantaneous spin state and the heliocentric orbit so the long-term evolution of the comet can be determined. We determine that even after the inclusion of internal dissipation there still exist non-principal axis equilibrium states for certain jet geometries. For ranges of dissipation factors and jet geometries, prolate comets are found to occupy states that have time variable internal loads over long time periods. These periodic loadings along the symmetry axis may lead to ``necking’’ as the body extends along the axis to release the stress and eventually disruption.

  12. Analysis and interpretation of CCD data on P/Halley and physical parameters and activity status of cometary nuclei at large heliocentric distance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Belton, Michael J. S.; Mueller, Beatrice

    1991-01-01

    The scientific objectives were as follows: (1) to construct a well sampled photometric time series of comet Halley extending to large heliocentric distances both post and pre-perihelion passage and derive a precise ephemeris for the nuclear spin so that the physical and chemical characteristics of individual regions of activity on the nucleus can be determined; and (2) to extend the techniques in the study of Comet Halley to the study of other cometary nuclei and to obtain new observational data.

  13. CO2 Orbital Trends in Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Michael; Feaga, Lori; Bodewits, Dennis; McKay, Adam; Snodgrass, Colin; Wooden, Diane

    2014-12-01

    Spacecraft missions to comets return a treasure trove of details of their targets, e.g., the Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Deep Impact experiment at comet 9P/Tempel 1, or even the flyby of C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) at Mars. Yet, missions are rare, the diversity of comets is large, few comets are easily accessible, and comet flybys essentially return snapshots of their target nuclei. Thus, telescopic observations are necessary to place the mission data within the context of each comet's long-term behavior, and to further connect mission results to the comet population as a whole. We propose a large Cycle 11 project to study the long-term activity of past and potential future mission targets, and select bright Oort cloud comets to infer comet nucleus properties, which would otherwise require flyby missions. In the classical comet model, cometary mass loss is driven by the sublimation of water ice. However, recent discoveries suggest that the more volatile CO and CO2 ices are the likely drivers of some comet active regions. Surprisingly, CO2 drove most of the activity of comet Hartley 2 at only 1 AU from the Sun where vigorous water ice sublimation would be expected to dominate. Currently, little is known about the role of CO2 in comet activity because telluric absorptions prohibit monitoring from the ground. In our Cycle 11 project, we will study the CO2 activity of our targets through IRAC photometry. In conjunction with prior observations of CO2 and CO, as well as future data sets (JWST) and ongoing Earth-based projects led by members of our team, we will investigate both long-term activity trends in our target comets, with a particular goal to ascertain the connections between each comet's coma and nucleus.

  14. First OSIRIS observations of active areas on comet 67P

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, J.-B.; Sierks, H.; Oklay, N.; Agarwal, J.; Güttler, C.; Bodewits, D.; Osiris Team

    2014-04-01

    After a successful exit from hibernation, Rosetta started observing its final target comet 67P in March 2014 with the two OSIRIS cameras WAC and NAC (Wide Angle and Narrow Angle Camera) [1]. By the time of this conference, the spacecraft will have flown from 5 million to 50 km from the nucleus surface, reaching a resolution of 1 meter/pixel in the NAC images. During that period, the comet heliocentric distance varies from 4.3 to 3.2 AU and we will observe how the early activity develops. We know that cometary surfaces are not fully active; only a small fraction of the surface emits gas and dust. However we do not yet understand why it happens in that way, and what to expect on 67P. Recent publications using data from ground-based telescopes have proposed different interpretations for the distribution of active sources, from one to three at various latitudes [2, 3]. There is some evidence for different levels of activity in the northern and southern hemispheres, but these variations can only be constrained with close range data. In August 2014, OSIRIS will map the surface of the comet at high resolution, and perform weekly monitoring of the activity, especially the faintest jets. With these images and the inversion code COSSIM [4], we will be able to link observed features in the coma or on the limb to physical spots on the surface. On other comets visited by spacecrafts the activity has sometimes been associated with smooth areas, rough terrains, or specific morphologic features (cliff, crater, rim, . . . ). We will present a first look at how activity and terrain are linked on 67P, and look at variations of composition, morphology, or both. We will compare this identification of active areas to previous publications.

  15. EPOXI at Comet Hartley 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Belton, Michael J. S.; Delamere, W. Alan; Feaga, Lori M.; Hampton, Donald; Kissel, Jochen; Klaasen, Kenneth P.; McFadden, Jessica M.; Meech, Karen J.; Melosh, H. Jay; Schultz, Peter H.; Sunshine, Jessica M.; Thomas, Peter C.; Veverka, Joseph; Wellnitz, Dennis D.; Yeomans, Donald K.; Besse, Sebastien; Bodewits, Dennis; Bowling, Timothy J.; Carcish, Brian T.; Collins, Steven M.; Farnham, Tony F.; Groussin, Oliver; Hermalyn, Brendan; Kelley, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding how comets work, i,e., what drives their activity, is crucial to using comets to study the early solar system. EPOXI flew past comet 103P/Hartley 2, one with an unusually small but very active nucleus. taking both images and spectra. Unlike large, relatively inactive nuclei, this nncleus is outgassing primarily due to CO2, which drags chnnks of ice out of the nnclens. It also shows significant differences in the relative abundance of volatiles from various parts of the nucleus.

  16. Comet Kohoutek, 1973-1974, A Teachers' Guide with Student Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Robert D.

    This teacher's guide provides background information, curriculum source materials, and suggested class activities for class discussion and study. Information related to the discovery of the comet is presented as well as photographic and schematic pictures showing the sky through which the comet travels. Historical data regarding comets of the past…

  17. Water outburst activity in Comet 17P/Holmes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Almeida, Amaury A.; Boice, Daniel C.; Picazzio, Enos; Huebner, Walter F.

    2016-08-01

    Cometary outbursts are sporadic events whose mechanisms are not well known where the activity and consequently the brightness can increase hundreds of thousands of times within a few hours to several days. This indicates a dramatic departure from thermal equilibrium between the comet and interplanetary space and is usually documented by "light curves". In a typical cometary outburst, the brightness can increase by 2-5 magnitudes (Whitney, 1955; Gronkowski and Wesolowski, 2015). In only 42 h, Comet 17P/Holmes was reported to brighten from a magnitude of about 17 to about 2.4 at the height of the burst, representing the largest known outburst by a comet. We present the H2O production rate of Holmes for the megaburst occurring between 23 and 24 October 2007. For this, we selected more than 1900 photometric observations from the International Comet Quarterly Archive of Photometric Data (Green, 2007) and use the Semi-Empirical Method of Visual Magnitudes (SEMVM; de Almeida et al., 2007). We clearly show that the comet achieved an average water production rate of 5 × 1029 molecules s-1, corresponding to a water gas loss rate of 14,960 kg s-1, in very good agreement with Schleicher (2009) who derived the water production rate using OH measurements on 1 Nov 2007 (about 8 days after the outburst). We discuss possible physical processes that might cause cometary outbursts and propose a new qualitative mechanism, the Pressurized Obstructed Pore (POP) model. The key feature of POP is the recrystallization of water in the surface regolith as it cools, plugging pores and blocking the release of subsurface gas flow. As the interior gas pressure increases, an outburst is eventually triggered. POP is consistent with current observations and can be tested in the future with observations (e.g., Rosetta in situ measurements) and detailed simulations.

  18. Gravitational lensing of active galactic nuclei.

    PubMed Central

    Hewitt, J N

    1995-01-01

    Most of the known cases of strong gravitational lensing involve multiple imaging of an active galactic nucleus. The properties of lensed active galactic nuclei make them promising systems for astrophysical applications of gravitational lensing; in particular, they show structure on scales of milliseconds of arc to tens of seconds of arc, they are variable, and they are polarized. More than 20 cases of strong gravitational lenses are now known, and about half of them are radio sources. High-resolution radio imaging is making possible the development of well-constrained lens models. Variability studies at radio and optical wavelengths are beginning to yield results of astrophysical interest, such as an independent measure of the distance scale and limits on source sizes. PMID:11607613

  19. STELLAR TRANSITS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Beky, Bence; Kocsis, Bence E-mail: bkocsis@cfa.harvard.edu

    2013-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are typically surrounded by a dense stellar population in galactic nuclei. Stars crossing the line of site in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) produce a characteristic transit light curve, just like extrasolar planets do when they transit their host star. We examine the possibility of finding such AGN transits in deep optical, UV, and X-ray surveys. We calculate transit light curves using the Novikov-Thorne thin accretion disk model, including general relativistic effects. Based on the expected properties of stellar cusps, we find that around 10{sup 6} solar mass SMBHs, transits of red giants are most common for stars on close orbits with transit durations of a few weeks and orbital periods of a few years. We find that detecting AGN transits requires repeated observations of thousands of low-mass AGNs to 1% photometric accuracy in optical, or {approx}10% in UV bands or soft X-ray. It may be possible to identify stellar transits in the Pan-STARRS and LSST optical and the eROSITA X-ray surveys. Such observations could be used to constrain black hole mass, spin, inclination, and accretion rate. Transit rates and durations could give valuable information on the circumnuclear stellar clusters as well. Transit light curves could be used to image accretion disks with unprecedented resolution, allowing us to resolve the SMBH silhouette in distant AGNs.

  20. Stellar Transits in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Béky, Bence; Kocsis, Bence

    2013-01-01

    Supermassive black holes (SMBHs) are typically surrounded by a dense stellar population in galactic nuclei. Stars crossing the line of site in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) produce a characteristic transit light curve, just like extrasolar planets do when they transit their host star. We examine the possibility of finding such AGN transits in deep optical, UV, and X-ray surveys. We calculate transit light curves using the Novikov-Thorne thin accretion disk model, including general relativistic effects. Based on the expected properties of stellar cusps, we find that around 106 solar mass SMBHs, transits of red giants are most common for stars on close orbits with transit durations of a few weeks and orbital periods of a few years. We find that detecting AGN transits requires repeated observations of thousands of low-mass AGNs to 1% photometric accuracy in optical, or ~10% in UV bands or soft X-ray. It may be possible to identify stellar transits in the Pan-STARRS and LSST optical and the eROSITA X-ray surveys. Such observations could be used to constrain black hole mass, spin, inclination, and accretion rate. Transit rates and durations could give valuable information on the circumnuclear stellar clusters as well. Transit light curves could be used to image accretion disks with unprecedented resolution, allowing us to resolve the SMBH silhouette in distant AGNs.

  1. Several twilight bolides over Kiev in 2013-2015 - fragments of comets nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Churyumov, K. I.; Steklov, A. F.; Vidmachenko, A. P.; Dashkiev, G. N.

    2016-06-01

    During the short period of our observations (from March 2013 to 2015), was fixed falling at least a dozen fragments of cometary nuclei, at least five of sufficiently large and dozens of smaller fragments of meteoroids. The results of our observations also showed that during the morning and evening twilight over Kiev clearly visible the plume of aerosols of technical nature from the plants, factories and other production facilities.

  2. Modeling the surface and interior structure of comet nuclei using a multidisciplinary approach

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Odell, C. R.; Dakoulas, Panos C.; Pharr, George M.

    1991-01-01

    The goal was to investigate the structural properties of the surface of comet nucleus and how the surface should change with time under effect of solar radiation. The basic model that was adopted was that the nucleus is an aggregate of frosty particles loosely bound together, so that it is essentially a soil. The nucleus must mostly be composed of dust particles. The observed mass ratios of dust to gas in the coma is never much greater than unity, but this ratio is probably a much lower limit than that of the nucleus because it is vastly easier to remove the gaseous component by sublimation than by carrying off the dust. Therefore the described models assumed that the particles in the soil were frost covered grains of submicron basic size, closely resembling the interstellar grains. The surface properties of such a nucleus under the effects of heating and cooling as the nucleus approaches and recedes from the Sun generally characterized.

  3. DUST EMISSION FROM UNOBSCURED ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, G. D.; Levenson, N. A.; Uddin, S. A.; Sirocky, M. M.

    2009-05-20

    We use mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy of unobscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to reveal their native dusty environments. We concentrate on Seyfert 1 galaxies, observing a sample of 31 with the Infrared Spectrograph aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope, and compare them with 21 higher luminosity quasar counterparts. Silicate dust reprocessing dominates the MIR spectra, and we generally measure the 10 and 18 {mu}m spectral features weakly in emission in these galaxies. The strengths of the two silicate features together are sensitive to the dust distribution. We present numerical radiative transfer calculations that distinguish between clumpy and smooth geometries, which are applicable to any central heating source, including stars as well as AGNs. In the observations, we detect the obscuring 'torus' of unified AGN schemes, modeling it as compact and clumpy. We also determine that star formation increases with AGN luminosity, although the proportion of the galaxies' bolometric luminosity attributable to stars decreases with AGN luminosity.

  4. Dust Emission from Unobscured Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, G. D.; Levenson, N. A.; Uddin, S. A.; Sirocky, M. M.

    2009-05-01

    We use mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy of unobscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to reveal their native dusty environments. We concentrate on Seyfert 1 galaxies, observing a sample of 31 with the Infrared Spectrograph aboard the Spitzer Space Telescope, and compare them with 21 higher luminosity quasar counterparts. Silicate dust reprocessing dominates the MIR spectra, and we generally measure the 10 and 18 μm spectral features weakly in emission in these galaxies. The strengths of the two silicate features together are sensitive to the dust distribution. We present numerical radiative transfer calculations that distinguish between clumpy and smooth geometries, which are applicable to any central heating source, including stars as well as AGNs. In the observations, we detect the obscuring "torus" of unified AGN schemes, modeling it as compact and clumpy. We also determine that star formation increases with AGN luminosity, although the proportion of the galaxies' bolometric luminosity attributable to stars decreases with AGN luminosity.

  5. Echo Mapping of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, B. M.; Horne, K.

    2004-01-01

    Echo mapping makes use of the intrinsic variability of the continuum source in active galactic nuclei to map out the distribution and kinematics of line-emitting gas from its light travel time-delayed response to continuum changes. Echo mapping experiments have yielded sizes for the broad line-emitting region in about three dozen AGNs. The dynamics of the line-emitting gas seem to be dominated by the gravity of the central black hole, enabling measurement of the black-hole masses in AGNs. We discuss requirements for future echo-mapping experiments that will yield the high quality velocity-delay maps of the broad-line region that are needed to determine its physical nature.

  6. Photometric reverberation mapping of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramolla, M.; Pozo, F.; Westhues, C.; Haas, M.; Chini, R.; Steenbrugge, K.; Lemke, R.; Murphy, M.

    2014-12-01

    Photometric reverberation mapping is a novel method used to determine the size and geometry of the broad line region (BLR) in active galactic nuclei (AGN) as well as their host galaxy free luminosities. Establishing a tight luminosity - BLR-size relation may allow type-1 AGN to be used as cosmological distance probes. However, the quality of the results is most sensible to dense time sampling and continuity of the photometric lightcurves. This demands an observatory, with optimal environmental conditions, like the "Universitätssternwarte Bochum", located in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The massive amount of observations are controlled robotically, adapting observational schedules of the telescopes to the weather conditions. Here we present one of the first promising results of our studies.

  7. Observation of the activity of selected Oort Cloud comets with perihelia at large distances from the Sun

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulyk, Iryna; Rousselot, Philippe; Korsun, Pavlo

    2016-10-01

    Many comets exhibit considerable level of activity at large distances from the Sun, where sublimation of crystalline water ice cannot account for observable comae. Different patterns of physical activity already observed at large heliocentric distances may be related to the primordial differences in the composition of comet nuclei. Therefore, monitoring of physical activity in the wide range of heliocentric distances can potentially contribute to understanding of internal structure of comet-like bodies. We have observed ten long periodic comets with orbital perihelia lying beyond the "water ice sublimation zone" to quantify the level of physical activity in the wide range of heliocentric distances. Pre-perihelion observations were made when targets moved between 16.7 and 6.5 au from the Sun; post perihelion activity was monitored between 5.2 and 10.6 au. The bulk of the data were gathered with the 2-m Robotic Liverpool Telescope (Observatorio del Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma, Spain). Some targets were observed with the 2-m RC Telescope located at Peak Terskol Observatory and the 6-m Telescope of the Special Astrophysical Observatory (Northern Caucasus, Russia). Since most of recently obtained spectra of distant active objects are continuum dominated, we use B, V, R images to estimate dust production rates, an upper limit on nucleus radii, and color indices of near nucleus region. The comets C/2005 L3 (McNaught) and C/2006 S3 (Boattini), which exhibit the considerable level of activity, have been repeatedly observed. This enables us to infer the heliocentric dependence of dust production rates, perihelion brightness asymmetries, and color variations over the comae caused possibly by small changes in dust particle properties.

  8. Unobscured Type 2 Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Yong; Rieke, George H.; Smith, Paul; Rigby, Jane; Hines, Dean; Donley, Jennifer; Schmidt, Gary; Diamond-Stanic, Aleksandar M.

    2010-05-01

    Type 2 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with intrinsically weak broad emission lines (BELs) would be exceptions to the unified model. After examining a number of proposed candidates critically, we find that the sample is contaminated significantly by objects with BELs of strengths indicating that they actually contain intermediate-type AGNs, plus a few Compton-thick sources as revealed by extremely low ratios of X-ray to nuclear IR luminosities. We develop quantitative metrics that show two (NGC 3147 and NGC 4594) of the remaining candidates to have BELs 2-3 orders of magnitude weaker than those of typical type 1 AGNs. Several more galaxies remain as candidates to have anomalously weak BELs, but this status cannot be confirmed with the existing information. Although the parent sample is poorly defined, the two confirmed objects are well under 1% of its total number of members, showing that the absence of a BEL is possible, but very uncommon in AGN. We evaluate these two objects in detail using multi-wavelength measurements including new IR data obtained with Spitzer and ground-based optical spectropolarimeteric observations. They have little X-ray extinction with N H < ~1021 cm-2. Their IR spectra show strong silicate emission (NGC 4594) or weak aromatic features on a generally power-law continuum with a suggestion of silicates in emission (NGC 3147). No polarized BEL is detected in NGC 3147. These results indicate that the two unobscured type 2 objects have circumnuclear tori that are approximately face-on. Combined with their X-ray and optical/UV properties, this behavior implies that we have an unobscured view of the nuclei and thus that they have intrinsically weak BELs. We compare their properties with those of the other less-extreme candidates. We then compare the distributions of bolometric luminosities and accretion rates of these objects with theoretical models that predict weak BELs.

  9. Results from the EPOXI and StardustNExT Missions - A Changing View of Comet Volatiles and Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meech, Karen; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Veverka, Joseph

    2015-03-01

    Within a period of ~3 months there were two extended mission flybys of comets. Both encounters have provided an exciting new view of comet activity and volatile composition that is changing our paradigm of these small early solar system remnants. The EPOXI mission flew past the nucleus of comet 103P/Hartley 2 on 4 Nov. 2010. This small nucleus was known to be exceptionally active prior to the encounter, by virtue of a very large water production rate relative to its surface area. Both the encounter and ground-based data showed that comet Hartley 2fs perihelion activity was dominated by sub-surface CO2 outgassing rather than by water, suggesting our classic comet formation picture is not correct. The gas flow carried large grains (up to >10 cm in diameter) from the nucleus, and the icy grains contributed to the large observed water production. The CO2 abundance relative to water varies with rotation between 10-20% between the two lobes of the nucleus. The bi-lobed nucleus is rotating in an excited state, with a period that varied rapidly from ~16.5 hrs to longer than 18.5 hrs over 3 months. The nucleus morphology was different from that of other nuclei visited by space craft, with some regions of rough topography in which surface ice was visible. On 2011 Feb. 14 the Stardust-NExT spacecraft flew past the nucleus of comet 9P/Tempel 1, the target of the Deep Impact (DI) experiment in July 2005. The mission goal was to look at the nucleus after and intervening perihelion passage, extending the surface area imaged during the DI encounter and also image the 2005 impact site. The layering seen during the DI flyby was exhibited over the areas newly imaged in the NExT flyby, and it was found that 30% of the nucleus was covered by smooth deposits that were likely caused by eruption of subsurface materials. Although it has long been known that comets lose on average ~ a meter of their surface per perihelion passage, it was surprising to see that in the regions imaged by both

  10. Properties of Cometary Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahe, J.; Vanysek, V.; Weissman, P. R.

    1994-01-01

    Active long- and short-period comets contribute about 20 to 30 % of the major impactors on the Earth. Cometary nuclei are irregular bodies, typically a few to ten kilometers in diameter, with masses in the range 10(sup 15) to 10(sup 18) g. The nuclei are composed of an intimate mixture of volatile ices, mostly water ice and hydrocarbon and silicate grains. The composition is the closest to solar composition of any known bodies in the solar system. The nuclei appear to be weakly bonded agglomerations of smaller icy planetesimals, and material strengths estimated from observed tidal disruption events are fairly low, typically 10(sup 2) to 10(sup 4) N m(sup -2). Density estimates range between 0.2 and 1.2 g cm(sup -3) but are very poorly determined, if at all. As comets age they develop nonvolitile crusts on their surfaces which eventually render them inactive, similar in appearance to carbonaceous asteroids. However, dormant comets may continue to show sporadic activity and outbursts for some time before they become truly extinct. The source of the long-period comets is the Oort cloud, a vast spherical cloud of perhaps 10(sup 12) to 10(sup 13) comets surrounding the solar system and extending to interstellar distances. The likely source for short-period comets is the Kuiper belt. a ring of perhaps 10(sup 8) to 10(sup 10) remnant icy planetesimals beyond the orbit of Neptune, though some short-period comets may also be long-period comets from the Oort cloud which have been perturbed into short-period orbits.

  11. Infrared Observations of Cometary Dust and Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lisse, Carey

    2004-01-01

    This bibliography lists citations for publications published under the grant. Subjects of the publications include cometary dust, instellar and interplanetary dust, comet nuclei and comae, Comet Hale-Bopp, infrared observations of comets, mass loss, and comet break-up.

  12. Physical Properties of Bright Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pittichová, J.; Meech, K. J.

    2002-09-01

    We will show preliminary results from a program of long-term observation of the dust coma activity of bright comets. One and half years of observation of 32 selected comets in B, V, R, I filters are used for the study of the physical properties and the dust activity of their comae at a range of heliocentric distances from 0.99 to 8.61 AU. This enables us to compare the activity of different cometary nuclei at similar solar radiation conditions. As shown in the Table, the selected comets belong to different cometary populations from the point of view of their active age (near parabolic orbits versus short-period orbits, outbursts of brightness, disruption of nuclei) and orbital parameters (the eccentricity from 0.04 to 1.01 AU, the perihelion distance from 0.34 to 8.24 AU). The knowledge of physical properties of cometary nuclei and coma are very important to our understanding of the environment in the outer solar system during the era of formation. The comet dataset of 1128 images will enable us to study thermal evolution of the small dust particles, their dynamical parameters and size distribution as a function of time and grain size at different heliocentric distances. Our future goal is to model the near-nucleus particle region using a Finston-Probstein dust model. Since our observations are still in progress at this time we will present only preliminary results of brightness and color changes for several selected bright comets.

  13. Particle Acceleration in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, James A.

    1997-01-01

    The high efficiency of energy generation inferred from radio observations of quasars and X-ray observations of Seyfert active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is apparently achieved only by the gravitational conversion of the rest mass energy of accreting matter onto supermassive black holes. Evidence for the acceleration of particles to high energies by a central engine is also inferred from observations of apparent superluminal motion in flat spectrum, core-dominated radio sources. This phenomenon is widely attributed to the ejection of relativistic bulk plasma from the nuclei of active galaxies, and accounts for the existence of large scale radio jets and lobes at large distances from the central regions of radio galaxies. Reports of radio jets and superluminal motion from galactic black hole candidate X-ray sources indicate that similar processes are operating in these sources. Observations of luminous, rapidly variable high-energy radiation from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory show directly that particles are accelerated to high energies in a compact environment. The mechanisms which transform the gravitational potential energy of the infalling matter into nonthermal particle energy in galactic black hole candidates and AGNs are not conclusively identified, although several have been proposed. These include direct acceleration by static electric fields (resulting from, for example, magnetic reconnection), shock acceleration, and energy extraction from the rotational energy of Kerr black holes. The dominant acceleration mechanism(s) operating in the black hole environment can only be determined, of course, by a comparison of model predictions with observations. The purpose of the work proposed for this grant was to investigate stochastic particle acceleration through resonant interactions with plasma waves that populate the magnetosphere surrounding an accreting black hole. Stochastic acceleration has been successfully applied to the

  14. Warped circumbinary disks in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Hayasaki, Kimitake; Sohn, Bong Won; Jung, Taehyun; Zhao, Guangyao; Okazaki, Atsuo T.; Naito, Tsuguya

    2014-07-20

    We study a warping instability of a geometrically thin, non-self-gravitating disk surrounding binary supermassive black holes on a circular orbit. Such a circumbinary disk is subject to not only tidal torques due to the binary gravitational potential but also radiative torques due to radiation emitted from an accretion disk around each black hole. We find that a circumbinary disk initially aligned with the binary orbital plane is unstable to radiation-driven warping beyond the marginally stable warping radius, which is sensitive to both the ratio of vertical to horizontal shear viscosities and the mass-to-energy conversion efficiency. As expected, the tidal torques give no contribution to the growth of warping modes but tend to align the circumbinary disk with the orbital plane. Since the tidal torques can suppress the warping modes in the inner part of circumbinary disk, the circumbinary disk starts to be warped at radii larger than the marginally stable warping radius. If the warping radius is of the order of 0.1 pc, a resultant semi-major axis is estimated to be of the order of 10{sup –2} pc to 10{sup –4} pc for 10{sup 7} M{sub ☉} black hole. We also discuss the possibility that the central objects of observed warped maser disks in active galactic nuclei are binary supermassive black holes with a triple disk: two accretion disks around the individual black holes and one circumbinary disk surrounding them.

  15. TESTING TESTS ON ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI MICROVARIABILITY

    SciTech Connect

    De Diego, Jose A.

    2010-03-15

    Literature on optical and infrared microvariability in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) reflects a diversity of statistical tests and strategies to detect tiny variations in the light curves of these sources. Comparison between the results obtained using different methodologies is difficult, and the pros and cons of each statistical method are often badly understood or even ignored. Even worse, improperly tested methodologies are becoming more and more common, and biased results may be misleading with regard to the origin of the AGN microvariability. This paper intends to point future research on AGN microvariability toward the use of powerful and well-tested statistical methodologies, providing a reference for choosing the best strategy to obtain unbiased results. Light curves monitoring has been simulated for quasars and for reference and comparison stars. Changes for the quasar light curves include both Gaussian fluctuations and linear variations. Simulated light curves have been analyzed using {chi}{sup 2} tests, F tests for variances, one-way analyses of variance and C-statistics. Statistical Type I and Type II errors, which indicate the robustness and the power of the tests, have been obtained in each case. One-way analyses of variance and {chi}{sup 2} prove to be powerful and robust estimators for microvariations, while the C-statistic is not a reliable methodology and its use should be avoided.

  16. Studies of active galactic nuclei with CTA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reimer, A.; Böttcher, M.

    2013-03-01

    In this paper, we review the prospects for studies of active galactic nuclei (AGN) using the envisioned future Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). This review focuses on jetted AGN, which constitute the vast majority of AGN detected at gamma-ray energies. Future progress will be driven by the planned lower energy threshold for very high energy (VHE) gamma-ray detections to ∼10 GeV and improved flux sensitivity compared to current-generation Cherenkov Telescope facilities. We argue that CTA will enable substantial progress on gamma-ray population studies by deepening existing surveys both through increased flux sensitivity and by improving the chances of detecting a larger number of low-frequency peaked blazars because of the lower energy threshold. More detailed studies of the VHE gamma-ray spectral shape and variability might furthermore yield insight into unsolved questions concerning jet formation and composition, the acceleration of particles within relativistic jets, and the microphysics of the radiation mechanisms leading to the observable high-energy emission. The broad energy range covered by CTA includes energies where gamma-rays are unaffected from absorption while propagating in the extragalactic background light (EBL), and extends to an energy regime where VHE spectra are strongly distorted. This will help to reduce systematic effects in the spectra from different instruments, leading to a more reliable EBL determination, and hence will make it possible to constrain blazar models up to the highest energies with less ambiguity.

  17. Quasi periodic oscillations in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alston, W.; Fabian, A.; Markevičiutė, J.; Parker, M.; Middleton, M.; Kara, E.

    2016-05-01

    Quasi-periodic oscillations (QPOs) are coherent peaks of variability power observed in the X-ray power spectra (PSDs) of stellar mass X-ray binaries (XRBs). A scale invariance of the accretion process implies they should be present in the active galactic nuclei. The first robust detection was a ∼ 1 h periodicity in the Seyfert galaxy RE J1034+396 from a ∼ 90 ks XMM-Newton observation; however, subsequent observations failed to detect the QPO in the 0.3-10.0 keV band. In this talk we present the recent detection of the ∼ 1 h periodicity in the 1.0-4.0 keV band of 4 further low-flux/spectrally-harder observations of RE J1034+396 (see Alston et al. 2014). We also present recent work on the discovery of a QPO in the Seyfert galaxy, MS 2254.9-3712, which again is only detected in energy bands associated with the primary power-law continuum emission (Alston et al. 2015). We conclude these features are most likely analogous to the high-frequency QPOs observed in XRBs. In both sources, we also see evidence for X-ray reverberation at the QPO frequency, where soft X-ray bands and Iron Kα emission lag the primary X-ray continuum. These time delays may provide another diagnostic for understanding the underlying QPO mechanism observed in accreting black holes.

  18. Probing the Physics of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, Bradley M.

    2004-01-01

    As a result of a number of large multiwavelength monitoring campaigns that have taken place since the late 1980s, there are now several very large data sets on bright variable active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that are well-sampled in time and can be used to probe the physics of the AGN continuum source and the broad-line emitting region. Most of these data sets have been underutilized, as the emphasis thus far has been primarily on reverberation-mapping issues alone. Broader attempts at analysis have been made on some of the earlier IUE data sets (e.g., data from the 1989 campaign on NGC5 548) , but much of this analysis needs to be revisited now that improved versions of the data are now available from final archive processing. We propose to use the multiwavelength monitoring data that have been accumulated to undertake more thorough investigations of the AGN continuum and broad emission lines, including a more detailed study of line-profile variability, making use of constraints imposed by the reverberation results.

  19. Dielectronic Recombination In Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lukic, D. V.; Schnell, M.; Savin, D. W.; Altun, Z.; Badnell, N.; Brandau, C.; Schmidt, E. W.; Mueller, A.; Schippers, S.; Sprenger, F.; Lestinsky, M.; Wolf, A.

    2006-01-01

    XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of active galactic nuclei (AGN) show rich spectra of X-ray absorption lines. These observations have detected a broad unresolved transition array (UTA) between approx. 15-17 A. This is attributed to inner-shell photoexcitation of M-shell iron ions. Modeling these UTA features is currently limited by uncertainties in the low-temperature dielectronic recombination (DR) data for M-shell iron. In order to resolve this issue, and to provide reliable iron M-shell DR data for plasma modeling, we are carrying out a series of laboratory measurements using the heavy-ion Test Storage Ring (TSR) at the Max-Plank-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, Germany. Currently, laboratory measurements of low temperature DR can only be performed at storage rings. We use the DR data obtained at TSR, to calculate rate coefficients for plasma modeling and to benchmark theoretical DR calculations. Here we report our recent experimental results for DR of Fe XIV forming Fe XIII.

  20. Rotationally induced surface slope-instabilities and the activation of CO2 activity on comet 103P/Hartley 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steckloff, Jordan K.; Graves, Kevin; Hirabayashi, Masatoshi; Melosh, H. Jay; Richardson, James E.

    2016-07-01

    Comet 103P/Hartley 2 has diurnally controlled, CO2-driven activity on the tip of the small lobe of its bilobate nucleus. Such activity is unique among the comet nuclei visited by spacecraft, and suggests that CO2 ice is very near the surface, which is inconsistent with our expectations of an object that thermophysically evolved for ∼45 million years prior to entering the Jupiter Family of comets. Here we explain this pattern of activity by showing that a very plausible recent episode of rapid rotation (rotation period of ∼11 [10-13] h) would have induced avalanches in Hartley 2's currently active regions that excavated down to CO2-rich ices and activated the small lobe of the nucleus. At Hartley 2's current rate of spindown about its principal axis, the nucleus would have been spinning fast enough to induce avalanches ∼3-4 orbits prior to the DIXI flyby (∼1984-1991). This coincides with Hartley 2's discovery in 1986, and implies that the initiation of CO2 activity facilitated the comet's discovery. During the avalanches, the sliding material would either be lofted off the surface by gas activity, or possibly gained enough momentum moving downhill (toward the tip of the small lobe) to slide off the tip of the small lobe. Much of this material would have failed to reach escape velocity, and would reimpact the nucleus, forming debris deposits. The similar size frequency distribution of the mounds observed on the surface of Hartley 2 and chunks of material in its inner coma suggest that the 20-40 m mounds observed by the DIXI mission on the surface of Hartley 2 are potentially these fallback debris deposits. As the nucleus spun down (rotation period increased) from a period of ∼11-18.34 h at the time of the DIXI flyby, the location of potential minima, where materials preferentially settle, migrated about the surface, allowing us to place relative ages on most of the terrains on the imaged portion of the nucleus.

  1. Current ideas on the nature of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rahe, J.

    1984-01-01

    The chemical composition, emission and line spectra, and structure of comet nuclei, cometary atmospheres, and comet tails are discussed. The role of ultraviolet and infrared astronomy in defining comets is examined.

  2. CO2 Orbital Trends in Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Michael; Bodewits, Dennis; Feaga, Lori; Knight, Matthew; McKay, Adam; Snodgrass, Colin; Wooden, Diane

    2016-08-01

    Carbon dioxide is a primary volatile in comet nuclei, and potentially a major contributor to comet activity (i.e., the process of mass loss). However, CO2 cannot be observed directly from the ground, and past surveys of this molecule in comets were limited to space-borne snapshot observations. This situation limits our understanding of the behavior of CO2 in comets, and its role in driving comet mass loss. To address this deficiency, we were awarded a Cy11 Spitzer program designed to quantify the production rate of CO2 on >month-long timescales for 21 comets. We request an additional 269~hr in Cy13 to complete the Spitzer portion of our survey, and to add three more comets (46P/Wirtanen and 2 Target of Opportunity Oort cloud comets). Our survey is designed to probe the orbital trends of CO2 production in the comet population. We aim to: 1) examine the role of CO2 in the persistent post-perihelion activity observed in Jupiter-family comets; 2) measure the seasonal variations of CO2/H2O as a proxy for nucleus heterogeneity, when possible; 3) search for orbital trends sensitive to cumulative insolation as a proxy for nucleus layering; and 4) examine how Oort cloud comets evolve by comparing dynamically new and old targets. The final data set will allow us to investigate the effects of heating on the evolution of comets, if nucleus structures can be inferred through activity, and set the stage for JWST investigations into comet activity and composition.

  3. Development of Activity in Comet C/2012 S1 ISON

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meech, K. J.; Yang, B.; Keane, J.; Ansdell, M.; Riesen, T.; Kleyna, J.; Hsieh, H.; Mottola, S.; Kuhrt, E.; Chiang, H.; Reipurth, B.; Michaud, P.; Rector, T.

    2013-12-01

    We report photometric observations for comet C/2012 S1 ISON obtained immediately after discovery (22 Sep. 2012; r = 6.28 AU) until moving into solar conjunction in mid-June 2013 using the UH2.2m, and Gemini North 8-m telescopes on Mauna Kea, the Lowell 1.8m in Flagstaff, the Calar Alto 1.2m telescope in Spain, and the VYSOS-5 and VYSOS-20 telescopes on Mauna Loa Hawai'i. An additional pre-discovery data point from the Pan STARRS1 survey extends the light curve back to 28 Jan. 2012 (r = 8.4 AU). The images showed similar tail morphology throughout this period, largely because of projection effects. Additional observations at sub-mm wavelengths using the JCMT on 15 nights between 9 March (r = 4.52 AU) and 16 June 2013 (r = 3.35 AU) were used to search for CO J(3-2), CO J(2-1), HCN J(4-3), and HCN J(3-2) rotation lines. No gas was detected, with preliminary upper limits for CO during 14-15 June (r = 3.3 AU) of Q < 6.4 x 10^27 molec/s based on the observations of the CO J(2-1) line. Using these production rates, the Q(H2O) published by Schleicher (2013; IAUC 9254), and the preliminary radius from the HST measurements (J.-Y. Li et al., 2013; STScI-2013-14) we have generated ice sublimation models consistent with the photometric light curve. The inbound light curve is likely controlled by sublimation of CO or CO2; at these distances water is not a strong contributor to the outgassing. Without more sensitive limits on CO, we cannot yet constrain which of these volatiles is controlling the activity. It is clear from the photometric light curve that the fractional active area of the nucleus increased linearly by about a factor of 2 from Jan. 2012 until mid Jan. 2013 (r ~ 5 AU) at which point the activity decreased by 30% by early May 2013. We will discuss these models and data obtained from Mauna Kea after the comet comes out of solar conjunction in late August 2013. Our team has a comprehensive plan of observation to look at the evolution of activity as the comet goes

  4. Quasars: Active nuclei of young galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Komberg, B. V.

    1980-01-01

    The hypothetical properties of 'young' galaxies and possible methods of observing them are discussed. It is proposed that star formation first takes place in the central regions of protogalaxies which may appear as quasar-like objects. An evolutionary scheme is outlined in which the radio quasars are transformed in time into the nuclei of radio galaxies.

  5. Optical observations of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with the Nordic Optical Telescope. Comet activity before the solar conjunction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaprudin, B.; Lehto, H. J.; Nilsson, K.; Pursimo, T.; Somero, A.; Snodgrass, C.; Schulz, R.

    2015-11-01

    Context. 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P) is a short-period Jupiter-family comet that was chosen as a target for the Rosetta mission by the European Space Agency (ESA). Monitoring of 67P with the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT; La Palma, Spain) intends to aid this mission by providing ground-based reference information about the overall activity of the target and its astrometric position before the rendezvous. One motivation for our observations was to monitor sudden major increases in activity because they might have affected the Rosetta mission planning. None were observed. Ground-based photometric observations register the global activity of the comet, while the Rosetta spacecraft mostly measures local events. These data combined can lead to new insights into the comet behavior. Aims: The aim of this work is to perform the photometric and the astrometric monitoring of comet 67P with the NOT and to compare the results with the latest predictions for its position and activity. A new method of fitting extended-source components to the target surface brightness distribution was developed and applied to the data to estimate the size and contribution of the coma to the total brightness of the target. Methods: Comet 67P was monitored by the NOT in service mode during the period between 12.5.2013 and 11.11.2014. The very first observations were performed in the V band alone, but in the latest observations, the R band was used as well to estimate the color and nature of activity of the target. We applied a new method for estimating the coma size by deconvolving the point spread function profile from the image, which used Markov chain Monte Carlo and Bayesian statistics. This method will also be used for coma size estimations in further observations after the solar conjunction of 67P. Results: Photometric magnitudes in two colors were monitored during the period of observations. At the end of April 2014, the beginning of activity was observed. In late September 2014, a

  6. Triggering Sublimation-driven Activity of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haghighipour, N.; Maindl, T. I.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.; Dvorak, R.

    2016-10-01

    It has been suggested that the comet-like activity of main belt comets (MBCs) is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water–ice that has been exposed as a result of their surfaces being impacted by meter-sized bodies. We have examined the viability of this scenario by simulating impacts between meter-sized and kilometer-sized objects using a smooth particle hydrodynamics approach. Simulations have been carried out for different values of the impact velocity and impact angle, as well as different target material and water-mass fractions. Results indicate that for the range of impact velocities corresponding to those in the asteroid belt, the depth of an impact crater is slightly larger than 10 m, suggesting that if the activation of MBCs is due to the sublimation of sub-surface water–ice, this ice has to exist no deeper than a few meters from the surface. Results also show that ice exposure occurs in the bottom and on the interior surface of impact craters, as well as on the surface of the target where some of the ejected icy inclusions are re-accreted. While our results demonstrate that the impact scenario is indeed a viable mechanism to expose ice and trigger the activity of MBCs, they also indicate that the activity of the current MBCs is likely due to ice sublimation from multiple impact sites and/or the water contents of these objects (and other asteroids in the outer asteroid belt) is larger than the 5% that is traditionally considered in models of terrestrial planet formation, providing more ice for sublimation. We present the details of our simulations and discuss their results and implications.

  7. The superthermal ion environment near comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at low activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Hans; Stenberg Wieser, Gabriella; Behar, Etienne; Yamauchi, Masatoshi; Wedlund, Cyril Simon; Kallio, Esa; Burch, Jim; Carr, Chris; Eriksson, Anders; Glassmeier, Karl-Heinz; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Henri, Pierre; Gunell, Herbert

    2015-04-01

    The Rosetta mission has been designed to rendezvous with and escort comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from a heliocentric distance of >3.6 AU, when the comet still has a low activity level, until perihelion passage at 1.25 AU where the comet reaches the maximum of its activity. Initially, the solar wind permeates the thin comet atmosphere that has just begun to form from sublimation. Eventually the size and plasma pressure of the ionized atmosphere leads to the formation of plasma boundaries: a magnetosphere is born. Using the Rosetta Plasma Consortium Ion Composition Analyzer, we study the gradual evolution from the first detectable traces of water ions to the stage where the comet atmosphere starts to repel the solar wind at a distance from the sun of about 3.3 AU. Gradually the mass loading caused by picked-up comet ions starts to deflect the solar wind. Charge exchange between the solar wind and comet atmosphere gradually increases with comet activity, leading to a situation where a significant fraction of the solar wind has charge-exchanged close to the comet nucleus. Pick up ions created upstream of the comet nucleus are accelerated by the solar wind electric field and are seen with energies up to about 1 keV as they move back towards the nucleus. Locally produced water ions are seen moving with velocities similar to the neutral outgassing velocity of the order of 1 km/s ( 10 eV), but with their direction and speed influenced by the solar wind electric field. High charge state solar wind ions (O6+, O5+) are also seen at times. We quantify the super thermal ion environment near a low activity comet and show how it depends on the solar wind intensity and the distance to the sun.

  8. The Structure of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kriss, Gerard A.

    1997-01-01

    We are continuing our systematic investigation of the nuclear structure of nearby active galactic nuclei (AGN). Upon completion, our study will characterize hypothetical constructs such as narrow-line clouds, obscuring tori, nuclear gas disks. and central black holes with physical measurements for a complete sample of nearby AGN. The major scientific goals of our program are: (1) the morphology of the NLR; (2) the physical conditions and dynamics of individual clouds in the NLR; (3) the structure and physical conditions of the warm reflecting gas; (4) the structure of the obscuring torus; (5) the population and morphology of nuclear disks/tori in AGN; (6) the physical conditions in nuclear disks; and (7) the masses of central black holes in AGN. We will use the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to obtain high-resolution images and spatially resolved spectra. Far-UV spectroscopy of emission and absorption in the nuclear regions using HST/FOS and the Hopkins Ultraviolet Telescope (HUT) will help establish physical conditions in the absorbing and emitting gas. By correlating the dynamics and physical conditions of the gas with the morphology revealed through our imaging program, we will be able to examine mechanisms for fueling the central engine and transporting angular momentum. The kinematics of the nuclear gas disks may enable us to measure the mass of the central black hole. Contemporaneous X-ray observations using ASCA will further constrain the ionization structure of any absorbing material. Monitoring of variability in the UV and X-ray absorption will be used to determine the location of the absorbing gas, possibly in the outflowing warm reflecting gas, or the broad-line region, or the atmosphere of the obscuring torus. Supporting ground-based observations in the optical, near-IR, imaging polarimetry, and the radio will complete our picture of the nuclear structures. With a comprehensive survey of these characteristics in a complete sample of nearby AGN, our

  9. GIADA: extended calibration activities before the comet encounter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accolla, Mario; Sordini, Roberto; Della Corte, Vincenzo; Ferrari, Marco; Rotundi, Alessandra

    2014-05-01

    The Grain Impact Analyzer and Dust Accumulator - GIADA - is one of the payloads on-board Rosetta Orbiter. Its three detection sub-systems are able to measure the speed, the momentum, the mass, the optical cross section of single cometary grains and the dust flux ejected by the periodic comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. During the Hibernation phase of the Rosetta mission, we have performed a dedicated extended calibration activity on the GIADA Proto Flight Model (accommodated in a clean room in our laboratory) involving two of three sub-systems constituting GIADA, i.e. the Grain Detection System (GDS) and the Impact Sensor (IS). Our aim is to carry out a new set of response curves for these two subsystems and to correlate them with the calibration curves obtained in 2002 for the GIADA payload onboard the Rosetta spacecraft, in order to improve the interpretation of the forthcoming scientific data. For the extended calibration we have dropped or shot into GIADA PFM a statistically relevant number of grains (i.e. about 1 hundred), acting as cometary dust analogues. We have studied the response of the GDS and IS as a function of grain composition, size and velocity. Different terrestrial materials were selected as cometary analogues according to the more recent knowledge gained through the analyses of Interplanetary Dust Particles and cometary samples returned from comet 81P/Wild 2 (Stardust mission). Therefore, for each material, we have produced grains with sizes ranging from 20-500 μm in diameter, that were characterized by FESEM and micro IR spectroscopy. Therefore, the grains were shot into GIADA PFM with speed ranging between 1 and 100 ms-1. Indeed, according to the estimation reported in Fink & Rubin (2012), this range is representative of the dust particle velocity expected at the comet scenario and lies within the GIADA velocity sensitivity (i.e. 1-100 ms-1 for GDSand 1-300 ms-1for GDS+IS 1-300 ms-1). The response curves obtained using the data collected

  10. Invited Review: Laboratory simulation of the physical processes occurring on and near the surfaces of comet nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sears, Derek W. G.; Kochan, Hermann W.; Huebner, Walter F.

    1999-07-01

    Laboratory comet simulation experiments are discussed in the context of theoretical models and recent ground-based and spacecraft observations, especially the Giotto observations of P/Halley. The set-up of various comet simulation experiments is reviewed. A number of small-scale experiments have been performed in many laboratories since the early nineteen-sixties. However, the largest and most ambitious series of experiments were the comet simulation experiments known as KOSI (German Kometen Simulation). These experiments were prompted by the appearance of Comet P/Halley in 1986 and in planning for the European Space Agency's Rossetta mission that was originally scheduled to return samples. They were performed between 1987 and 1993 using the German Space Agency's (DLR) space hardware testing facilities in Cologne. As with attempts to reproduce any natural phenomenon in the laboratory, there are deficiencies in such experiments while there are major new insights to be gained. Simulation experiments have enabled the development of methods for making comet analogues and for exploring the properties of such materials in detail. These experiments have provided new insights into the morphology and physical behavior of aggregates formed from silicate grains likely to exist in comets. Formation of a dust mantle on the surfaces, and a system of ice layers below the mantle caused by chemical differentiation have been identified after the insolation of the artificial comet. The mechanisms for heat transfer between the comet's surface and its interior, the associated gas diffusion from the interior of the surface, and compositional, structural, and isotopic changes that occur near the surface, have been described by modeling the experimental results. The mechanisms of the ejection of dust and ice grains from the surface, and the importance of gas-drag in propelling grains have also been explored.

  11. Dense Clouds near the Central Engine of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sivron, R.; Tsuruta, S

    1993-01-01

    A model is presented which assumes the existence of cold dense clouds near the central engine of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs). The effects of such clouds on the observed spectrum are explored. It is shown that this model is consistent with the complicated observed spectra and variability behavior of most extensively studied Seyfert nuclei. The results are compared with other proposed models. The existing observational evidence appears to support the "cloud-model."

  12. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; Da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; De Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P; Gutiérrez, Pedro J; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface.

  13. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F.; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M. Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; de Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P.; Gutiérrez, Pedro J.; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F.; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M.; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J.; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface.

  14. Large heterogeneities in comet 67P as revealed by active pits from sinkhole collapse.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Bodewits, Dennis; Besse, Sébastien; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Koschny, Detlef; Rickman, Hans; Keller, Horst Uwe; Agarwal, Jessica; A'Hearn, Michael F; Auger, Anne-Thérèse; Barucci, M Antonella; Bertaux, Jean-Loup; Bertini, Ivano; Capanna, Claire; Cremonese, Gabriele; Da Deppo, Vania; Davidsson, Björn; Debei, Stefano; De Cecco, Mariolino; El-Maarry, Mohamed Ramy; Ferri, Francesca; Fornasier, Sonia; Fulle, Marco; Gaskell, Robert; Giacomini, Lorenza; Groussin, Olivier; Guilbert-Lepoutre, Aurélie; Gutierrez-Marques, P; Gutiérrez, Pedro J; Güttler, Carsten; Hoekzema, Nick; Höfner, Sebastian; Hviid, Stubbe F; Ip, Wing-Huen; Jorda, Laurent; Knollenberg, Jörg; Kovacs, Gabor; Kramm, Rainer; Kührt, Ekkehard; Küppers, Michael; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lara, Luisa M; Lazzarin, Monica; Lee, Vicky; Leyrat, Cédric; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Lopez Moreno, Josè J; Lowry, Stephen; Magrin, Sara; Maquet, Lucie; Marchi, Simone; Marzari, Francesco; Massironi, Matteo; Michalik, Harald; Moissl, Richard; Mottola, Stefano; Naletto, Giampiero; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Preusker, Frank; Scholten, Frank; Thomas, Nicolas; Toth, Imre; Tubiana, Cecilia

    2015-07-01

    Pits have been observed on many cometary nuclei mapped by spacecraft. It has been argued that cometary pits are a signature of endogenic activity, rather than impact craters such as those on planetary and asteroid surfaces. Impact experiments and models cannot reproduce the shapes of most of the observed cometary pits, and the predicted collision rates imply that few of the pits are related to impacts. Alternative mechanisms like explosive activity have been suggested, but the driving process remains unknown. Here we report that pits on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are active, and probably created by a sinkhole process, possibly accompanied by outbursts. We argue that after formation, pits expand slowly in diameter, owing to sublimation-driven retreat of the walls. Therefore, pits characterize how eroded the surface is: a fresh cometary surface will have a ragged structure with many pits, while an evolved surface will look smoother. The size and spatial distribution of pits imply that large heterogeneities exist in the physical, structural or compositional properties of the first few hundred metres below the current nucleus surface. PMID:26135448

  15. THE NEOWISE-DISCOVERED COMET POPULATION AND THE CO + CO{sub 2} PRODUCTION RATES

    SciTech Connect

    Bauer, James M.; Stevenson, Rachel; Kramer, Emily; Mainzer, A. K.; Masiero, Joseph R.; Weissman, Paul R.; Nugent, Carrie R.; Sonnett, Sarah; Grav, Tommy; Fernández, Yan R.; Cutri, Roc M.; Dailey, John W.; Masci, Frank J.; Blair, Nathan; Lucas, Andrew; Meech, Karen J.; Walker, Russel; Lisse, C. M.; McMillan, Robert S.; Wright, Edward L.; Collaboration: WISE and NEOWISE Teams

    2015-12-01

    The 163 comets observed during the WISE/NEOWISE prime mission represent the largest infrared survey to date of comets, providing constraints on dust, nucleus size, and CO + CO{sub 2} production. We present detailed analyses of the WISE/NEOWISE comet discoveries, and discuss observations of the active comets showing 4.6 μm band excess. We find a possible relation between dust and CO + CO{sub 2} production, as well as possible differences in the sizes of long and short period comet nuclei.

  16. Meteoroid streams and comet disintegration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guliyev, A.

    2016-01-01

    The results of the statistical analysis of the dynamic parameters of 114 comets that have undergone nuclear splitting are presented in the article. The list of the objects contains: comets that have split in the period of the observation; data of twin-comets; lost comets with designation D; comets with large-scale structure in the coma. We will describe these comets as "splitted". Some aspects of the following hypothesis are studied: disintegration of comet nuclei happens as the result of their collision with meteoroid streams. For the verification of this hypothesis, the position of splitted comet orbits relatively to 125 meteor streams from Kronk's list is analyzed. It was found that the total number of comet orbit nodes located close to the meteor stream planes (for the distances up to 0.1 AU) is N = 1041. It is shown that if these comets are replaced by randomly selected different comets, N will be reduced by a factor of approximately three.

  17. Geomorphology of Active Regions on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Osiris Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Auger, A. T.; Groussin, O.; Jorda, L.; Bouley, S.; Lamy, P. L.; Cremonese, G.; Thomas, N.; Sierks, H.

    2014-12-01

    The geomorphological study of active regions on comets provides valuable insights to understand how comets work and to which extend they may still contain pristine materials on or close to their surface. The Rosetta spacecraft is orbiting comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since summer 2014 and offers a unique opportunity to address this science topic. The Narrow and Wide Angle Cameras of the OSIRIS imaging experiment have acquired numerous images of the nucleus surface, with a spatial resolution down to the meter scale. Here, we focus on the geomorphology of some specific, active, regions of the nucleus, releasing materials from their surface or from their upper layers. With the help of digital terrains models and GIS tools, we map these regions and report their size, area, shape, slopes and surface roughness. This detailed analysis give us a reference point to emphasize their evolution as the comet approaches perihelion, but also provide information on the possibly pristine nature of these morphologies.

  18. SEARCH FOR THE COMET ACTIVITY OF 107P/(4015) WILSON-HARRINGTON DURING THE 2009/2010 APPARITION

    SciTech Connect

    Ishiguro, Masateru; Ham, Ji-Beom; Tholen, David J.; Elliott, Garrett T.; Micheli, Marco; Niwa, Takahiro; Sakamoto, Makoto; Matsuda, Kentaro; Urakawa, Seitaro; Yoshimoto, Katsumi; Sarugaku, Yuki; Usui, Fumihiko; Hasegawa, Sunao; Iwata, Ikuru; Ozaki, Shinobu; Kuroda, Daisuke; Ootsubo, Takafumi

    2011-01-10

    We present the optical observations of the Near Earth Object 107P/(4015) Wilson-Harrington during the 2009/2010 apparition taken in search of low-level comet activity. Our photometric and spectroscopic data were collected 28-86 days after the perihelion passage on 2009 October 22 in a wide range of solar phase angles of 39 deg. - 68 deg. A disk-integrated phase function was constructed, giving a geometric albedo of 0.055 {+-} 0.012, phase integral of q = 0.34, and Bond albedo of A{sub B} = 0.019. The photometric property shows a profile similar to low albedo asteroids and comet nuclei. No emission lines were found in our spectrum, giving a flat reflectance similar to low albedo asteroids. Although we could not find any evidence for cometary activity in our photometric and spectroscopic data, we found an upper limit of 0.001% on the fractional active area. We derived the upper limit of the optical depth of the dust trail and tail, 7 x 10{sup -10}. We conclude that 107P/(4015) Wilson-Harrington was completely dormant or inactive in the 2009/2010 return.

  19. Comprehensive model for the nucleus of Periodic Comet Tempel 2 and its activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    1991-01-01

    A comprehensive synergistic physical model for the nucleus of Periodic Comet Tempel 2 was developed on the basis of observations carried out in 1988. The model includes the best possible estimates of the comet's bulk properties (including the dimensions and the approximate shape), information on its state of rotation, and the characterization of its activity. The model is shown to be consistent with all lines of evidence that are currently available, including relevant information from earlier apparitions.

  20. Activity of Comet Hale-Bopp (1995 01) Beyond 6 AU From the Sun

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Z.

    1996-01-01

    The physical evolution of comet Hale-Bopp is investigated along the preperihelic arc of its orbit at heliocentric distances larger than 6 AU. The comet's considerable intrinsic brightness and activity are explained by the existence of a relatively larg area on its nucleus surface that is a resevoir of both carbon monoxide and dust particulates. Three recuring dust emission events observed in August-October 1995 are studied in some detail.

  1. Environment and properties of obscured and unobscured active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taormina, M.; Bornancini, C.

    We analyze the properties of obscured and unobscured active galactic nuclei selected using mid-infrared colors in the redshift range 1 < z < 3. We find that obscured objects are located in a denser local galaxy environment compared to the unobscured sample.

  2. Episodic Aging and End States of Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sekanina, Zdenek

    2008-01-01

    It is known that comets are aging very rapidly on cosmic scales, because they rapidly shed mass. The processes involved are (i) normal activity - sublimation of ices and expulsion of dust from discrete emission sources on and/or below the surface of a comet's nucleus, and (ii) nuclear fragmentation. Both modes are episodic in nature, the latter includes major steps in the comet's life cycle. The role and history of dynamical techniques used are described and results on mass losses due to sublimation and dust expulsion are reviewed. Studies of split comets, Holmes-like exploding comets, and cataclysmically fragmenting comets show that masses of 10 to 100 million tons are involved in the fragmentation process. This and other information is used to investigate the nature of comets' episodic aging. Based on recent advances in understanding the surface morphology of cometary nuclei by close-up imaging, a possible mechanism for large-scale fragmentation events is proposed and shown to be consistent with evidence available from observations. Strongly flattened pancake-like shapes appear to be required for comet fragments by conceptual constraints. Possible end states are briefly examined.

  3. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 1991

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harris, Alan W. (Editor); Bowell, Edward (Editor)

    1992-01-01

    Papers from the conference are presented and cover the following topics with respect to asteroids, comets, and/or meteors: interplanetary dust, cometary atmospheres, atmospheric composition, comet tails, astronomical photometry, chemical composition, meteoroid showers, cometary nuclei, orbital resonance, orbital mechanics, emission spectra, radio astronomy, astronomical spectroscopy, photodissociation, micrometeoroids, cosmochemistry, and interstellar chemistry.

  4. P/2008 CL94 (Lemmon) and P/2011 S1 (Gibbs): comet-like activity at large heliocentric distances

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kulyk, I.; Korsun, P.; Rousselot, P.; Afanasiev, V.; Ivanova, O.

    2016-06-01

    Based on spectroscopic and photometric observations we analyzed the dust environment of two minor distant objects, P/2008 CL94 (Lemmon) and P/2011 S1 (Gibbs). Both targets demonstrated the comet-like activity beyond the "zone of water-ice sublimation". Meanwhile the spectrum of P/2008 CL94 (Lemmon) did not reveal molecular emission features above reflected continuum in a spectral region of 4100-6800Å. Reddening of the continuum is linear along the dispersion with the mean normalized reflectivity gradient equals to 2.0% ± 0.4%. The normalized reflectivity of P/2011 S1 (Gibbs) derived from the V-R and R-I color indices equals 11% ± 9% and 26% ± 6% respectively. Both objects have likely small nuclei (about 2 and 4 km in the radii for P/2008 CL94 and P/2011 S1 respectively), which are consistent with nucleus sizes of 'Jupiter-family' comets. The level of physical activity of P/2008 CL94 and S/2011 S1 is characterized by R-Afρ quantity of 106 ± 3 cm and 76 ± 8 cm respectively. The Afρ values are resulted in dust production rates of about 1-2 kg/s, assuming the average geometric albedo of grains of 0.1 and the dust outflow velocities between 1 and 10 m/s.

  5. The relation between star formation and active nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rieke, G. H.

    1987-01-01

    Three questions relevant to the relation between an active nucleus and surrounding star formation are discussed. The infrared stellar CO absorption bands can be used to identify galaxies with large populations of young, massive stars and thus can identify strong starburst unambiguously, such as in NGC 6240, and can help identify composite active/starburst systems such as Arp 220. An active nucleus is probably not required for LINER spectral characteristics; dusty starburst galaxies, particularly if they are nearly edge-on, can produce LINER spectra through the shock heating of their interstellar media by supernovae combined with the obscuration of their nuclei in the optical. The Galactic Center would be an ideal laboratory for studying the interaction of starbursts and active nuclei, if both could be demonstrated to occur there. Failure to detect a cusp in the stellar distribution raises questions about the presence of an active nucleus, which should be answered by additional observations in the near future.

  6. Development of Activity in Comet C/2012 S1 ISON

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meech, Karen J.; Yang, B.; Keane, J. V.; Ansdell, M.; Riesen, T. E.; Kleyna, J.; Hsieh, H.; Mottola, S.; Kuehrt, E.; Chiang, H.; Reipurth, B.; Milani, G.; Bryssinck, E.; Michaud, P.; Rector, T.

    2013-10-01

    We report photometric observations for comet C/2012 S1 ISON obtained immediately after discovery (22 Sep. 2012; r = 6.28 AU) until moving into solar conjunction in mid-June 2013 using the UH2.2m, and Gemini North 8-m telescopes on Mauna Kea, the Lowell 1.8m in Flagstaff, the Calar Alto 1.2m telescope in Spain, and the VYSOS-5 and VYSOS-20 telescopes on Mauna Loa Hawai’i. An additional pre-discovery data point from the Pan STARRS1 survey extends the light curve back to 28 Jan. 2012 (r = 8.4 AU). The images showed similar tail morphology throughout this period, largely because of projection effects. Additional observations at sub-mm wavelengths using the JCMT on 15 nights between 9 March (r = 4.52 AU) and 16 June 2013 (r = 3.35 AU) were used to search for CO J(3-2), CO J(2-1), HCN J(4-3), and HCN J(3-2) rotation lines. No gas was detected, with preliminary upper limits for CO during 14-15 June (r = 3.3 AU) of Q < 6.4 x 10^27 molec/s based on the observations of the CO J(2-1) line. Using these production rates, the Q(H2O) published by Schleicher (2013; IAUC 9254), and the preliminary radius from the HST measurements (J.-Y. Li et al., 2013; STScI-2013-14) we have generated ice sublimation models consistent with the photometric light curve. The inbound light curve is likely controlled by sublimation of CO or CO2; at these distances water is not a strong contributor to the outgassing. Without more sensitive limits on CO, we cannot yet constrain which of these volatiles is controlling the activity. It is clear from the photometric light curve that the fractional active area of the nucleus increased linearly by about a factor of 2 from Jan. 2012 until mid Jan. 2013 (r ~ 5 AU) at which point the activity decreased by 30% by early May 2013. This suggests that a limited supply of volatile material was driving the current activity.

  7. Active galactic nuclei and galaxy interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alonso, M. Sol; Lambas, Diego G.; Tissera, Patricia; Coldwell, Georgina

    2007-03-01

    We perform a statistical analysis of active galactic nucleus (AGN) host characteristics and nuclear activity for AGNs in pairs and without companions. Our study concerns a sample of AGNs derived from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 4 data by Kauffmann et al. and pair galaxies obtained from the same data set by Alonso et al. An eye-ball classification of images of 1607 close pairs (rp < 25 kpc h-1,ΔV < 350 km s-1) according to the evidence of interaction through distorted morphologies and tidal features provides us with a more confident assessment of galaxy interactions from this sample. We notice that, at a given luminosity or stellar mass content, the fraction of AGNs is larger for pair galaxies exhibiting evidence for strong interaction and tidal features which also show signs of strong star formation activity. Nevertheless, this process accounts only for a ~10per cent increase of the fraction of AGNs. As in previous works, we find AGN hosts to be redder and with a larger concentration morphological index than non-AGN galaxies. This effect does not depend on whether AGN hosts are in pairs or in isolation. The OIII luminosity of AGNs with strong interaction features is found to be significantly larger than that of other AGNs, either in pairs or in isolation. Estimations of the accretion rate, L[OIII]/MBH, show that AGNs in merging pairs are actively feeding their black holes, regardless of their stellar masses. We also find that the luminosity of the companion galaxy seems to be a key parameter in the determination of the black hole activity. At a given host luminosity, both the OIII luminosity and the L[ OIII]/MBH are significantly larger in AGNs with a bright companion (Mr < -20) than otherwise.

  8. Massive stars: flare activity due to infalls of comet-like bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibadov, Subhon; Ibodov, Firuz S.

    2015-01-01

    Passages of comet-like bodies through the atmosphere/chromosphere of massive stars at velocities more than 600 km/s will be accompanied, due to aerodynamic effects as crushing and flattening, by impulse generation of hot plasma within a relatively very thin layer near the stellar surface/photosphere as well as ``blast'' shock wave, i.e., impact-generated photospheric stellar/solar flares. Observational manifestations of such high-temperature phenomena will be eruption of the explosive layer's hot plasma, on materials of the star and ``exploding'' comet nuclei, into the circumstellar environment and variable anomalies in chemical abundances of metal atoms/ions like Fe, Si etc. Interferometric and spectroscopic observations/monitoring of young massive stars with dense protoplanetary discs are of interest for massive stars physics/evolution, including identification of mechanisms for massive stars variability.

  9. New southern galaxies with active nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Maia, M.A.G.; Da costa, L.N.; Willmer, C.; Pellegrini, P.S.; Rite, C.

    1987-03-01

    A list of AGN candidates, identified from optical spectra taken as part of an ongoing redshift survey of southern galaxies, is presented. The identification, coordinates, morphological type, measured heliocentric radial velocity, and proposed emission type are given for the galaxies showing evidence of nonstellar nuclear activity. Using standard diagnostics, several new Seyferts and low-ionization nuclear-emission regions (LINERs) are identified among the emission-line galaxies observed. 14 references.

  10. COLOR SYSTEMATICS OF COMETS AND RELATED BODIES

    SciTech Connect

    Jewitt, David

    2015-12-15

    Most comets are volatile-rich bodies that have recently entered the inner solar system following long-term storage in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud reservoirs. These reservoirs feed several distinct, short-lived “small body” populations. Here, we present new measurements of the optical colors of cometary and comet-related bodies including long-period (Oort cloud) comets, Damocloids (probable inactive nuclei of long-period comets) and Centaurs (recent escapees from the Kuiper belt and precursors to the Jupiter family comets). We combine the new measurements with published data on short-period comets, Jovian Trojans and Kuiper belt objects to examine the color systematics of the comet-related populations. We find that the mean optical colors of the dust in short-period and long-period comets are identical within the uncertainties of measurement, as are the colors of the dust and of the underlying nuclei. These populations show no evidence for scattering by optically small particles or for compositional gradients, even at the largest distances from the Sun, and no evidence for ultrared matter. Consistent with earlier work, ultrared surfaces are common in the Kuiper belt and on the Centaurs, but not in other small body populations, suggesting that this material is hidden or destroyed upon entry to the inner solar system. The onset of activity in the Centaurs and the disappearance of the ultrared matter in this population begin at about the same perihelion distance (∼10 AU), suggesting that the two are related. Blanketing of primordial surface materials by the fallback of sub-orbital ejecta, for which we calculate a very short timescale, is the likely mechanism. The same process should operate on any mass-losing body, explaining the absence of ultrared surface material in the entire comet population.

  11. Stellar populations in Active Galactic Nuclei III

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boisson, C.; Joly, M.; Pelat, D.; Ward, M. J.

    2004-12-01

    In this paper we apply the stellar population synthesis method previously described in Boisson et al. (\\cite{Boisson2000}) to five more AGN. The analysis of these new data strengthen our previous conclusions: i) homogeneity of the stellar population within a class of nuclear activity regardless of the morphological type of the host galaxy; ii) populations within the nuclear regions of LINERs and Seyfert 2s are different: LINERs have a very old metal-rich population while in the Seyfert 2s a contribution of a weak burst of star formation is observed together with the old high metallicity component; iii) in the circum-nuclar region (200 pc ≤D≤1 kpc) of all the active galaxies in our sample, except for NGC 2992, we detect an old burst of star formation (0.2-1 Gyr),which is contrary to what is observed in normal galaxies. We note that the broad OIλ8446 Å emission line detected in the spectrum of the nucleus of NGC 2992 confirms its classification as a Seyfert 1. Based on observations collected at the New Technology Telescope of the European Southern Observatory, La Silla, Chile.

  12. The study of the physics of cometary nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whipple, F. L.; Marsden, B. G.; Sekanina, Z.

    1976-01-01

    A semiannual progress report describing the work completed during the period 1 September 1975 to 29 February 1976 on the physics of cometary nuclei was given. The following items were discussed: (1) a paper entitled ""A speculation about comets and the earth'', (2) a chapter entitled"" The physics of comets'' for ""Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics'', (3) continuing work on split comets, and (4) results dealing with a new application of nongravitational solar-radial forces as a measure of comet nucleus dimensions and activity.

  13. The mass disruption of Jupiter Family comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belton, Michael J. S.

    2015-01-01

    I show that the size-distribution of small scattered-disk trans-neptunian objects when derived from the observed size-distribution of Jupiter Family comets (JFCs) and other observational constraints implies that a large percentage (94-97%) of newly arrived active comets within a range of 0.2-15.4 km effective radius must physically disrupt, i.e., macroscopically disintegrate, within their median dynamical lifetime. Additional observational constraints include the numbers of dormant and active nuclei in the near-Earth object (NEO) population and the slope of their size distributions. I show that the cumulative power-law slope (-2.86 to -3.15) of the scattered-disk TNO hot population between 0.2 and 15.4 km effective radius is only weakly dependent on the size-dependence of the otherwise unknown disruption mechanism. Evidently, as JFC nuclei from the scattered disk evolve into the inner Solar System only a fraction achieve dormancy while the vast majority of small nuclei (e.g., primarily those with effective radius <2 km) break-up. The percentage disruption rate appears to be comparable with that of the dynamically distinct Oort cloud and Halley type comets (Levison, H.F., Morbidelli, A., Dones, L., Jedicke, R., Wiegert, P.A., Bottke Jr., W.F. [2002]. Science 296, 2212-2215) suggesting that all types of comet nuclei may have similar structural characteristics even though they may have different source regions and thermal histories. The typical disruption rate for a 1 km radius active nucleus is ∼5 × 10-5 disruptions/year and the dormancy rate is typically 3 times less. We also estimate that average fragmentation rates range from 0.01 to 0.04 events/year/comet, somewhat above the lower limit of 0.01 events/year/comet observed by Chen and Jewitt (Chen, J., Jewitt, D.C. [1994]. Icarus 108, 265-271).

  14. Active galactic nuclei and their panchromatic beauty.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lusso, Elisabeta

    2016-08-01

    The rapid development of new observational capabilities provides the ability to detect both the obscured (Type 2) and the unobscured (Type 1) flavours of active galaxies. In particular, the combination of sensitive observations from mid-IR to X-rays allows us to pierce through large columns of gas and dust hiding the Type 2 obscured AGN nuclear region. The study of the relative AGN/host-galaxy contribution over different portions of the broad-band Spectral Energy Distribution (SED) is fundamental to constrain the physical evolution of AGN and how to place them into the context of galaxy evolution.I will discuss a study of the multi-wavelength properties of an X-ray selected sample of both obscured and unobscured AGN using the XMM-Newton wide field survey in the COSMOS field. I will focus on their SEDs, the morphology of the host-galaxies, the stellar masses, the bolometric luminosities and bolometric corrections. Finally, I will briefly discuss what are the perspectives of AGN in the context of observational cosmology.

  15. Space observations of comets during solar flares

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ibadov, Subhon; Ibodov, Firuz S.

    Problems connected with mechanisms for comet outbursts as well as for gamma-ray bursts remain open. Meantime, calculations show that an irradiation of a certain class of cometary nuclei, having high specific electric resistance, by intense fluxes of energetic protons and posi-tively charged ions with kinetic energies more than 1 MeV/nucleon, ejected from the Sun during strong solar flares, can produce a macroscopic high-voltage electric double layer with positive charge in the subsurface region of the nucleus, during irradiation time of the order of 10-100 hours at heliocentric distances around 1-10 AU. The maximum electric energy accumulated in such layer will be restricted by discharge potential of the layer material. For the comet nuclei with the typical radius of the order of 1-10 km the accumulated energy of such natural electric capacitor is comparable to the energy of large comet outbursts that are estimated on the basis of ground-based optical observations of comets. The impulse X-ray radiation anticipated from the high-voltage electric discharge of the capacitor may serve as an indicator of realization of the processes above considered. Therefore, space observations of comets and pseudo-asteroids of cometary origin, having brightness correlation with solar activity, using space X-ray obser-vatories during strong solar flares are very interesting for the physics of comets as well as for high energy astrophysics.

  16. The perihelion activity of comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as seen by robotic telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snodgrass, Colin; Opitom, Cyrielle; de Val-Borro, Miguel; Jehin, Emmanuel; Manfroid, Jean; Lister, Tim; Marchant, Jon; Jones, Geraint H.; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Steele, Iain A.; Smith, Robert J.; Jermak, Helen; Granzer, Thomas; Meech, Karen J.; Rousselot, Philippe; Levasseur-Regourd, Anny-Chantal

    2016-11-01

    Around the time of its perihelion passage the observability of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Earth was limited to very short windows each morning from any given site, due to the low solar elongation of the comet. The peak in the comet's activity was therefore difficult to observe with conventionally scheduled telescopes, but was possible where service/queue scheduled mode was possible, and with robotic telescopes. We describe the robotic observations that allowed us to measure the total activity of the comet around perihelion, via photometry (dust) and spectroscopy (gas), and compare these results with the measurements at this time by Rosetta's instruments. The peak of activity occurred approximately two weeks after perihelion. The total brightness (dust) largely followed the predictions from Snodgrass et al. 2013, with no significant change in total activity levels from previous apparitions. The CN gas production rate matched previous orbits near perihelion, but appeared to be relatively low later in the year.

  17. The perihelion activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as seen by robotic telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Snodgrass, Colin; Opitom, Cyrielle; de Val-Borro, Miguel; Jehin, Emmanuel; Manfroid, Jean; Lister, Tim; Marchant, Jon; Jones, Geraint H.; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Steele, Iain A.; Smith, Robert J.; Jermak, Helen; Granzer, Thomas; Meech, Karen J.; Rousselot, Philippe; Levasseur-Regourd, Anny-Chantal

    2016-09-01

    Around the time of its perihelion passage the observability of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko from Earth was limited to very short windows each morning from any given site, due to the low solar elongation of the comet. The peak in the comet's activity was therefore difficult to observe with conventionally scheduled telescopes, but was possible where service/queue scheduled mode was possible, and with robotic telescopes. We describe the robotic observations that allowed us to measure the total activity of the comet around perihelion, via photometry (dust) and spectroscopy (gas), and compare these results with the measurements at this time by Rosetta's instruments. The peak of activity occurred approximately two weeks after perihelion. The total brightness (dust) largely followed the predictions from Snodgrass et al. (2013), with no significant change in total activity levels from previous apparitions. The CN gas production rate matched previous orbits near perihelion, but appeared to be relatively low later in the year.

  18. Nuclear pore ion channel activity in live syncytial nuclei.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Jose Omar

    2002-05-01

    Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) are important nanochannels for the control of gene activity and expression. Most of our knowledge of NPC function has been derived from isolated nuclei and permeabilized cells in cell lysates/extracts. Since recent patch-clamp work has challenged the dogma that NPCs are freely permeable to small particles, a preparation of isolated living nuclei in their native liquid environment was sought and found: the syncytial nuclei in the water of the coconut Cocos nucifera. These nuclei have all properties of NPC-mediated macromolecular transport (MMT) and express foreign green fluorescent protein (GFP) plasmids. They display chromatin movement, are created by particle aggregation or by division, can grow by throwing filaments to catch material, etc. This study shows, for the first time, that living NPCs engaged in MMT do not transport physiological ions - a phenomenon that explains observations of nucleocytoplasmic ion gradients. Since coconuts are inexpensive (less than US$1/nut per litre), this robust preparation may contribute to our understanding of NPCs and cell nucleus and to the development of biotechnologies for the production of DNA, RNA and proteins.

  19. ON THE ANISOTROPY OF NUCLEI MID-INFRARED RADIATION IN NEARBY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Yang, Huan; Wang, JunXian; Liu, Teng E-mail: jxw@ustc.edu.cn

    2015-01-20

    In the center of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the dusty torus absorbs the radiation from the central engine and reemits in mid-infrared (MIR). Observations have detected moderate anisotropy in the dust MIR emission, in the way that type 1 AGNs (type1s) are mildly brighter in MIR comparing with type 2 sources (type2s). However, type1s and type2s were found to follow statistically the same tight MIR-hard X-ray correlation, suggesting that the MIR emission is highly isotropic assuming that the hard X-ray radiation is inclination independent. We argue that this discrepancy could be solved considering that the hard X-ray emission in AGNs is also mildly anisotropic, as we recently discovered. To verify this diagram, we compare the subarcsecond 12 μm flux densities of type1s and type2s using the [O IV] λ25.89 μm emission line as an isotropic luminosity indicator. We find that on average type1s are brighter in nuclei 12 μm radiation by a factor of 2.6 ± 0.6 than type2s at given [O IV] λ25.89 μm luminosities, confirming the mild anisotropy of the nuclei 12 μm emission. We show that the anisotropy of the 12 μm emission we detected is in good agreement with radiative transfer models of clumpy tori. The fact that type1s and type2s follow the same tight MIR-hard X-ray correlation instead supports that both the MIR emission and hard X-ray emission in AGNs are mildly anisotropic.

  20. Nucleus of Comet P/Arend-Rigaux

    SciTech Connect

    Brooke, T.Y.; Knacke, R.F.

    1986-07-01

    Photometry data at 1-20 microns taken of Comet P/Arend-Rigaux are reported. The observations were carried out to test the possibility of observing the nuclei of low activity, nearly extinct comets at visible and IR wavelengths. The data were collected in February 1985 using the NASA 3 m IR telescope on Mauna Kea. The comet was at 1.67 AU heliocentric distance at the time. Attempts were made to detect rotation of the core on the bases of variations in the J, H and K light curves. The images obtained were those of a rotating nucleus with a radius of 4.0-6.2 km surrounded by a faint coma. The comet had a geometric albedo of 0.01-0.03 and a near-IR red slope that exhibited no evidence of the presence of ice. 32 references.

  1. A Comparative Study of the Dust Environment near the Nuclei of Comets 1P/Halley, 19P/Borrelly, 81P/Wild 2 & 9P/Tempel1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ho, Tra-Mi; Knollenberg, Joerg; Hoekzema, N.; Boice, Daniel; Kuehrt, Ekkehard; Schulz, Rita; Stuewe, J.; Thomas, Nicolas

    There have been four comets imaged by spacecrafts: 19P/Halley (HMC on Giotto); 19P/Borrelly (MICAS on DS1); 81P/Wild 2 (NavCam on Stardust); and 9P/Tempel 1 (MIR & HIR on Deep Impact). This paper presents a comparative studies of the dust emission within the first 30 - 40 km of the nuclei of these four comets. On March 14, 1986, Giotto encountered comet 1P/Halley's nucleus at a distance of 596km carrying the Halley Multicolour Camera (HMC) [1]. Five years later, Deep Space 1 obtained images of the nucleus of comet 19P/Borrelly with the Miniature Integrated Camera and Spectrometer (MICAS) at a closest distance of 2174km [2]. The next cometary flyby occurred when Stardust approached comet 81P/Wild 2 at 236km on January 2, 2004, tracking its nucleus with its optical navigation camera (NavCam) [3]. The latest close encounter occurred in July 4, 2005, when Deep Impact flew by 9P/Tempel 1 at 500km [4] carrying the Medium Resolution Instrument (MIR). Since the nuclei of 1P/Halley, 19P/Borrelly, 81P/Wild 2 and 9P/Tempel 1 have been observed under similar phase angles (108° , 88° , 73° , and 63° , respectively), we can do a comparative analysis of the inner dust environment of these data sets. The inner dust coma morphology, particularly dust jets and broader fans, of these four comets has been investigated by several authors [5]-[8]. We concentrate on the comparative study of their dust emission. The outflow of dust particles is force-free at large radial distance from the comet nucleus. Thus, integrating the intensity Ids [9] around a comet results in constant Ids. However, the integrated intensities of comets 1P/Halley and 19P/Borrelly indicate deviation from the expected behavior within the first 50 km from their nuclei [10]. 1P/Halley's Ids decreases near the nucleus surface whereas comet 19P/Borrelly's Ids increases. But at large distances, they both converge to constant values. These opposite effects in the first 50km indicate that different mechanisms dominate

  2. Comets: Gases, ices, grains and plasma

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilkening, L. L.

    1981-01-01

    The program and abstracts of the 97 papers delivered at the colloquium are presented. Cometary nuclei, comet dust, the coma, ion tails, several comet missions, and cometary origin and evolution were discussed.

  3. The evolving activity of the dynamically young comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd)

    SciTech Connect

    Bodewits, D.; Farnham, T. L.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Feaga, L. M.; Sunshine, J. M.; McKay, A.; Schleicher, D. G.

    2014-05-01

    We used the Ultraviolet-Optical Telescope on board Swift to observe the dynamically young comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) from a heliocentric distance of 3.5 AU pre-perihelion until 4.0 AU outbound. At 3.5 AU pre-perihelion, comet Garradd had one of the highest dust-to-gas ratios ever observed, matched only by comet Hale-Bopp. The evolving morphology of the dust in its coma suggests an outburst that ended around 2.2 AU pre-perihelion. Comparing slit-based measurements and observations acquired with larger fields of view indicated that between 3 AU and 2 AU pre-perihelion a significant extended source started producing water in the coma. We demonstrate that this source, which could be due to icy grains, disappeared quickly around perihelion. Water production by the nucleus may be attributed to a constantly active source of at least 75 km{sup 2}, estimated to be >20% of the surface. Based on our measurements, the comet lost 4 × 10{sup 11} kg of ice and dust during this apparition, corresponding to at most a few meters of its surface. Even though this was likely not the comet's first passage through the inner solar system, the activity of Garradd was complex and changed significantly during the time it was observed.

  4. The Evolving Activity of the Dynamically Young Comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodewits, D.; Farnham, T. L.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Feaga, L. M.; McKay, A.; Schleicher, D. G.; Sunshine, J. M.

    2014-05-01

    We used the Ultraviolet-Optical Telescope on board Swift to observe the dynamically young comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) from a heliocentric distance of 3.5 AU pre-perihelion until 4.0 AU outbound. At 3.5 AU pre-perihelion, comet Garradd had one of the highest dust-to-gas ratios ever observed, matched only by comet Hale-Bopp. The evolving morphology of the dust in its coma suggests an outburst that ended around 2.2 AU pre-perihelion. Comparing slit-based measurements and observations acquired with larger fields of view indicated that between 3 AU and 2 AU pre-perihelion a significant extended source started producing water in the coma. We demonstrate that this source, which could be due to icy grains, disappeared quickly around perihelion. Water production by the nucleus may be attributed to a constantly active source of at least 75 km2, estimated to be >20% of the surface. Based on our measurements, the comet lost 4 × 1011 kg of ice and dust during this apparition, corresponding to at most a few meters of its surface. Even though this was likely not the comet's first passage through the inner solar system, the activity of Garradd was complex and changed significantly during the time it was observed.

  5. The Extremely Low Activity Comet 209P/LINEAR During Its Extraordinary Close Approach in 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schleicher, David G.; knight, Matthew m.

    2016-10-01

    We present results from our observing campaign of Comet 209P/LINEAR during its exceptionally close approach to Earth during 2014 May, the third smallest perigee of any comet in two centuries. These circumstances permitted us to pursue several studies of this intrinsically faint object, including measurements of gas and dust production rates, searching for coma morphology, and direct detection of the nucleus to measure its properties. Indeed, we successfully measured the lowest water production rates of an intact comet in over 35 years and a corresponding smallest active area, ∼0.007 km2. When combined with the nucleus size found from radar, this also yields the smallest active fraction for any comet, ∼0.024%. In all, this strongly suggests that 209P/LINEAR is on its way to becoming an inert object. The nucleus was detected but could not easily be disentangled from the inner coma due to seeing variations and changing spatial scales. Even so, we were able to measure a double-peaked lightcurve consistent with the shorter of two viable rotational periods found by Hergenrother. Radial profiles of the dust coma are quite steep, similar to that observed for some other very anemic comets, and suggest that vaporizing icy grains are present.

  6. The Effect of the Heat of Impact on the Activation of Main Belt Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, J.; Maindl, T. I.; Haghighipour, N.; Schäfer, C.; Speith, R.; Kley, W.

    2016-08-01

    Main Belt Comets' activity is assumed to be driven by the sublimation of volatiles, making them candidates for the delivery of a part of Earth's water. We simulate impacts of smaller objects that could have played a major role in activating them.

  7. Main-belt comets: sublimation-driven activity in the asteroid belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.

    2016-01-01

    Our knowledge of main-belt comets (MBCs), which exhibit comet-like activity likely due to the sublimation of volatile ices, yet orbit in the main asteroid belt, has increased greatly since the discovery of the first known MBC, 133P/Elst-Pizarro, in 1996, and their recognition as a new class of solar system objects after the discovery of two more MBCs in 2005. I review work that has been done over the last 10 years to improve our understanding of these enigmatic objects, including the development of systematic discovery methods and diagnostics for distinguishing MBCs from disrupted asteroids (which exhibit comet-like activity due to physical disruptions such as impacts or rotational destabilization). I also discuss efforts to understand the dynamical and thermal properties of these objects.

  8. NARROW DUST JETS IN A DIFFUSE GAS COMA: A NATURAL PRODUCT OF SMALL ACTIVE REGIONS ON COMETS

    SciTech Connect

    Combi, M. R.; Tenishev, V. M.; Rubin, M.; Fougere, N.; Gombosi, T. I.

    2012-04-10

    Comets often display narrow dust jets but more diffuse gas comae when their eccentric orbits bring them into the inner solar system and sunlight sublimates the ice on the nucleus. Comets are also understood to have one or more active areas covering only a fraction of the total surface active with sublimating volatile ices. Calculations of the gas and dust distribution from a small active area on a comet's nucleus show that as the gas moves out radially into the vacuum of space it expands tangentially, filling much of the hemisphere centered on the active region. The dust dragged by the gas remains more concentrated over the active area. This explains some puzzling appearances of comets having collimated dust jets but more diffuse gaseous atmospheres. Our test case is 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the Rosetta mission target comet, whose activity is dominated by a single area covering only 4% of its surface.

  9. Comet radar explorer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farnham, Tony; Asphaug, Erik; Barucci, Antonella; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Brownlee, Donald; Capria, Maria Teresa; Carter, Lynn; Chesley, Steve; Farnham, Tony; Gaskell, Robert; Gim, Young; Heggy, Essam; Herique, Alain; Klaasen, Ken; Kofman, Wlodek; Kreslavsky, Misha; Lisse, Casey; Orosei, Roberto; Plaut, Jeff; Scheeres, Dan

    The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) is designed to perform a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the interior, surface, and inner coma structures of a scientifically impor-tant Jupiter family comet. These structures will be used to investigate the origins of cometary nuclei, their physical and geological evolution, and the mechanisms driving their spectacular activity. CORE is a high heritage spacecraft, injected by solar electric propulsion into orbit around a comet. It is capable of coherent deep radar imaging at decameter wavelengths, high resolution stereo color imaging, and near-IR imaging spectroscopy. Its primary objective is to obtain a high-resolution map of the interior structure of a comet nucleus at a resolution of ¿100 elements across the diameter. This structure shall be related to the surface geology and morphology, and to the structural details of the coma proximal to the nucleus. This is an ideal complement to the science from recent comet missions, providing insight into how comets work. Knowing the structure of the interior of a comet-what's inside-and how cometary activity works, is required before we can understand the requirements for a cryogenic sample return mission. But more than that, CORE is fundamental to understanding the origin of comets and their evolution in time. The mission is made feasible at low cost by the use of now-standard MARSIS-SHARAD reflec-tion radar imaging hardware and data processing, together with proven flight heritage of solar electric propulsion. Radar flight heritage has been demonstrated by the MARSIS radar on Mars Express (Picardi et al., Science 2005; Plaut et al., Science 2007), the SHARAD radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Seu et al., JGR 2007), and the LRS radar onboard Kaguya (Ono et al, EPS 2007). These instruments have discovered detailed subsurface structure to depths of several kilometers in a variety of terrains on Mars and the Moon. A reflection radar deployed in orbit about a comet

  10. The COMET initiative database: progress and activities update (2014).

    PubMed

    Gargon, Elizabeth; Williamson, Paula R; Altman, Doug G; Blazeby, Jane M; Clarke, Mike

    2015-01-01

    The COMET Initiative database is a repository of studies relevant to the development of core outcome sets (COS). Use of the website continues to increase, with more than 16,500 visits in 2014 (36 % increase over 2013), 12,257 unique visitors (47 % increase), 9780 new visitors (43 % increase) and a rise in the proportion of visits from outside the UK (8565 visits; 51 % of all visits). By December 2014, a total of 6588 searches had been completed, with 2383 in 2014 alone (11 % increase). The growing awareness of the need for COS is reflected in the website and database usage figures. PMID:26558998

  11. Radio and mm-observations of active nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Biermann, P.

    Radio, mm-wave, and X ray observations of active galactic nuclei are reviewed, together with theoretical models for the phenomena. Formulas are defined for the power law energy distribution of relativistic electrons observed near the sources, the characteristic radio emission, the local emission coefficient, and electron energy loss. Consideration is also given to nonsynchrotron self-absorption and to international cooperation to coordinate radio telescopy on different continents to perform VLBI research. Most sources detected at low frequencies exhibit a steep spectrum halo, while flat spectrum sources at 5 GHz show little extended emission. The low frequency cut-offs encountered due to thermal absorption by H II regions are quantified. Injection and equilibrium spectra are examined, along with the synchrotron loss time scale, the inverse Compton limit, and evidence for repeated explosions in the nuclei. Finally, recent work at the Bonn radioastronomy facility is described.

  12. Physical aging in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meech, Karen J.

    1991-01-01

    The question of physical aging in cometary nuclei is addressed in order to elucidate the relationship between the past conditions in the protosolar nebula and the present state of the cometary nucleus, and to understand the processes that will physically and chemically alter the nucleus as a function of time. Attention is given to some of the processes that might be responsible for causing aging in comets, namely, radiation damage in the upper layers of the nucleus during the long residences in the Oort cloud, processing from heating and collisions within the Oort cloud, loss of highly volatile species from the nucleus on the first passage through the inner solar system, buildup of a dusty mantle, which can eventually prohibit further sublimation, and a change in the porosity, and hence the thermal properties, of the nucleus. Recent observations suggest that there are distinct differences between 'fresh' Oort cloud comets and thermally processed periodic comets with respect to intrinsic brightness and rate of change of activity as a function of distance.

  13. Periodicity Signatures of Lightcurves of Active Comets in Non-Principal-Axis Rotational States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samarasinha, Nalin H.; Mueller, Beatrice E. A.; Barrera, Jose G.

    2016-10-01

    There are two comets (1P/Halley, 103P/Hartley 2) that are unambiguously in non-principal-axis (NPA) rotational states in addition to a few more comets that are candidates for NPA rotation. Considering this fact, and the ambiguities associated with how to accurately interpret the periodicity signatures seen in lightcurves of active comets, we have started an investigation to identify and characterize the periodicity signatures present in simulated lightcurves of active comets. We carried out aperture photometry of simulated cometary comae to generate model lightcurves and analyzed them with Fourier techniques to identify their periodicity signatures. These signatures were then compared with the input component periods of the respective NPA rotational states facilitating the identification of how these periodicity signatures are related to different component periods of the NPA rotation. Ultimately, we also expect this study to shed light on why only a small fraction of periodic comets is in NPA rotational states, whereas theory indicates a large fraction of them should be in NPA states (e.g., Jewitt 1999, EMP, 79, 35). We explore the parameter space with respect to different rotational states, different orientations for the total rotational angular momentum vector, and different locations on the nucleus for the source region(s). As for special cases, we also investigate potential NPA rotational states representative of comet 103P/Hartley2, the cometary target of the EPOXI mission. The initial results from our investigation will be presented at the meeting. The NASA DDAP Program supports this work through grant NNX15AL66G.

  14. The morphology of cometary nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, H. U.; Jorda, L.

    comets display residual activity or clouds of dust grains around their nuclei. Taking the residual signal into account (mostly using simple models for the brightness distribution) the size estimates of the nuclei could be improved. The (nuclear) magnitude of a comet depends on the product of its albedo and cross-section. Only in a few cases could the albedo and size of a cometary nucleus be separated by additional observation of its thermal emission at infrared wavelengths. By comparison with outer Solar System asteroids Cruikshank et al. (1985) derived a surprisingly low albedo of about 0.04. A value in clear contradiction to the perception of an icy surface but fully confirmed by the first resolved images of a cometary nucleus during the flybys of the Vega and Giotto spacecraft of comet Halley (Sagdeev et al. 1986, Keller et al. 1986). The improvements of radar techniques led to the detection of reflected signals and finally to the derivation of nuclear dimensions and rotation rates. The observations, however, are also model dependent (rotation and size are similarly interwoven as are albedo and size) and sensitive to large dust grains in the vicinity of a nucleus. As an example, Kamoun et al. (1982) determined the radius of comet Encke to 1.5 (2.3, 1.0) km using the spin axis determination of Whipple and Sekanina (1979). The superb spatial resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) is not quite sufficient to resolve a cometary nucleus. The intensity distribution of the inner coma, however, can be observed and extrapolated toward the nucleus based on models of the dust distribution. If this contribution is subtracted from the central brightness the signal of the nucleus can be derived and hence its product of albedo times cross-section (Lamy and Toth 1995, Rembor 1998, Keller and Rembor 1998; Section 4.3). It has become clear that cometary nuclei are dark, small, often irregular bodies with dimensions ranging from about a kilometre (comet Wirtanen, the target of

  15. Characterizing water/rock interaction in simulated comet nuclei via calorimetry: Tool for in-situ science, laboratory analysis, and sample preservation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allton, Judith H.; Gooding, James L.

    1991-01-01

    Although results from the Giotto and Vega spacecraft flybys of comet P/Halley indicate a complex chemistry for both the ices and dust in the nucleus, carbonaceous chondrite meteorites are still regarded as useful analogs for the rocky components. Carbonaceous chondrites mixed with water enable simulation of water/rock interactions which may occur in cometary nuclei. Three general types of interactions can be expected between water and minerals at sub-freezing temperatures: heterogeneous nucleation of ice by insoluble minerals; adsorption of water vapor by hygroscopic phases; and freezing and melting point depression of liquid water sustained by soluble minerals. Two series of experiments were performed in a differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) with homogenized powders of the following whole-rock meteorites and comparison samples: Allende (CV3), Murchison (CM2), Orgueil (CI), Holbrook (L6), and Pasamonte (eucrite) meteorites as well as on peridotite (PCC-1, USGS), saponite (Sap-Ca-1, CMS), montmorillonite (STx-1, CMS), and serpentine (Franciscan Formation, California). Results are briefly discussed.

  16. Abdominal surgery activates nesfatin-1 immunoreactive brain nuclei in rats.

    PubMed

    Stengel, Andreas; Goebel, Miriam; Wang, Lixin; Taché, Yvette

    2010-02-01

    Abdominal surgery-induced postoperative gastric ileus is well established to induce Fos expression in specific brain nuclei in rats within 2-h after surgery. However, the phenotype of activated neurons has not been thoroughly characterized. Nesfatin-1 was recently discovered in the rat hypothalamus as a new anorexigenic peptide that also inhibits gastric emptying and is widely distributed in rat brain autonomic nuclei suggesting an involvement in stress responses. Therefore, we investigated whether abdominal surgery activates nesfatin-1-immunoreactive (ir) neurons in the rat brain. Two hours after abdominal surgery with cecal palpation under short isoflurane anesthesia or anesthesia alone, rats were transcardially perfused and brains processed for double immunohistochemical labeling of Fos and nesfatin-1. Abdominal surgery, compared to anesthesia alone, induced Fos expression in neurons of the supraoptic nucleus (SON), paraventricular nucleus (PVN), locus coeruleus (LC), Edinger-Westphal nucleus (EW), rostral raphe pallidus (rRPa), nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) and ventrolateral medulla (VLM). Double Fos/nesfatin-1 labeling showed that of the activated cells, 99% were nesfatin-1-immunoreactive in the SON, 91% in the LC, 82% in the rRPa, 74% in the EW and VLM, 71% in the anterior parvicellular PVN, 47% in the lateral magnocellular PVN, 41% in the medial magnocellular PVN, 14% in the NTS and 9% in the medial parvicellular PVN. These data established nesfatin-1 immunoreactive neurons in specific nuclei of the hypothalamus and brainstem as part of the neuronal response to abdominal surgery and suggest a possible implication of nesfatin-1 in the alterations of food intake and gastric transit associated with such a stressor. PMID:19944727

  17. Kepler Observations of Rapid Optical Variability in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mushotzky, R. F.; Edelson, R.; Baumgartner, W. H.; Gandhi, P.

    2012-01-01

    Over three quarters in 2010 - 2011, Kepler monitored optical emission from four active galactic nuclei (AGN) with approx 30 min sampling, > 90% duty cycle and approx < 0.1% repeatability. These data determined the AGN optical fluctuation power spectral density functions (PSDs) over a wide range in temporal frequency. Fits to these PSDs yielded power law slopes of -2.6 to -3.3, much steeper than typically seen in the X-rays. We find evidence that individual AGN exhibit intrinsically different PSD slopes. The steep PSD fits are a challenge to recent AGN variability models but seem consistent with first order MRI theoretical calculations of accretion disk fluctuations.

  18. High-energy neutrinos from active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stecker, F. W.; Done, C.; Salamon, M. H.; Sommers, P.

    1991-01-01

    The spectrum and high-energy neutrino background flux from photomeson production in active galactic nuclei (AGN) is calculated using the recent UV and X-ray observations to define the photon fields and an accretion-disk shock-acceleration model for producing high-energy particles. Collectively, AGN produce the dominant isotropic neutrino background between 10,000 and 10 to the 10th GeV, detectable with current instruments. AGN neutrinos should produce a sphere of stellar disruption which may explain the 'broad-line region' seen in AGN.

  19. Magnetic fields in the central engines of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begelman, Mitchell C.

    1989-01-01

    Important physical processes which may occur in the central engines of active galactic nuclei and which rely on the presence of a strong magnetic field are discussed. These processes include those involved in the plasma physics of hot tenuous accretion flows, the production of nonthermal continuum radiation, and the radiative manifestation of hydromagnetic jet production. The main arguments which support the hypothesis that supermassive black holes are the prime movers in the central engines are reviewed, and some major deduction regarding the physical state of the accreting gas are pointed out.

  20. The Activity of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as Seen by Rosetta/OSIRIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sierks, H.; Barbieri, C.; Lamy, P. L.; Rodrigo, R.; Rickman, H.; Koschny, D.

    2015-12-01

    The Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency arrived on August 6, 2014, at the target comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) is the scientific imaging system onboard Rosetta. OSIRIS consists of a Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) for the nucleus surface and dust studies and a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) for the wide field gas and dust coma investigations. OSIRIS observed the coma and the nucleus of comet 67P/C-G during approach, arrival, and landing of PHILAE. OSIRIS continued comet monitoring and mapping of surface and activity in 2015 with close fly-bys with high resolution and remote, wide angle observations. The scientific results reveal a nucleus with two lobes and varied morphology. Active regions are located at steep cliffs and collapsed pits which form collimated gas jets. Dust is accelerated by the gas, forming bright jet filaments and the large scale, diffuse coma of the comet. We will present activity and surface changes observed in the Northern and Southern hemisphere and around perihelion passage.

  1. Histidine kinase activity in nuclei of Physarum polycephalum

    SciTech Connect

    Matthews, H.R.; Pesis, K. Wei, Y.

    1987-05-01

    Nuclei of the true slime mold Physarum polycephalum, contain a kinase that specifically phosphorylates the 1-nitrogen of histidine-75 of histone H4, in vitro. Phosphohistidine is alkali stable and acid labile. Similar alkali stable phosphorylation has been observed with beef heart extracts and S-100 extracts from S. cerevisiae. The activity may be similar to that previously reported by R.A. Smith and his colleagues in several mammalian tissues. They have begun a search for nuclear proteins that contain phosphohistidine. Cultures of Physarum were grown in the presence of /sup 32/P-phosphate using several different labeling protocols. Labeled nuclear proteins were fractionated on a Superose-12 column. Alkali stable phosphate label eluted close to the position of histone H1, although it was not on H1 itself. No alkali stable phosphate eluted at the position of histone H4, which was obtained in high yield by this procedure. The absence of alkali-stable phosphorylation of histone H4 was confirmed by gel electrophoresis of the crude nuclear proteins. The fraction containing alkali-stable phosphate was shown to contain phosphohistidine by amino acid analysis of a total alkaline hydrolysate. They conclude that Physarum nuclei possess at least one protein that contains phosphohistidine in vivo and that histone H4 does not contain phosphohistidine in this system.

  2. The effects of the local environment on active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Manzer, L. H.; De Robertis, M. M. E-mail: mmdr@yorku.ca

    2014-06-20

    There continues to be significant controversy regarding the mechanism(s) responsible for the initiation and maintenance of activity in galactic nuclei. In this paper we will investigate possible environmental triggers of nuclear activity through a statistical analysis of a large sample of galaxy groups. The focus of this paper is to identify active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and other emission-line galaxies in these groups and to compare their frequency with a sample of over 260,000 isolated galaxies from the same catalog. The galaxy groups are taken from the catalog of Yang et al., in which over 20,000 virialized groups of galaxies (2 ≤ N ≤ 20) with redshifts between 0.01 and 0.20 are from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We first investigate the completeness of our data set and find, though biases are a concern particularly at higher redshift, that our data provide a fair representation of the local universe. After correcting emission-line equivalent widths for extinction and underlying Balmer stellar absorption, we classify galaxies in the sample using traditional emission-line ratios, while incorporating measurement uncertainties. We find a significantly higher fraction of AGNs in groups compared with the isolated sample. Likewise, a significantly higher fraction of absorption-line galaxies are found in groups, while a higher fraction of star-forming galaxies prefer isolated environments. Within grouped environments, AGNs and star-forming galaxies are found more frequently in small- to medium-richness groups, while absorption-line galaxies prefer groups with larger richnesses. Groups containing only emission-line galaxies have smaller virial radii, velocity dispersions, and masses compared with those containing only absorption-line galaxies. Furthermore, the AGN fraction increases with decreasing distance to the group centroid, independent of galaxy morphology. Using properties obtained from Galaxy Zoo, there is an increased fraction of AGNs within merging systems

  3. Spectroscopy of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, S.; Wehinger, P. A.

    1986-01-01

    Comets constitute the most accessible samples of the outer solar system in its most primitive state. The physical and chemical properties of comet nuclei were determined to infer the conditions and processes related to the origin and evolution of the outer solar system. The procedure is to acquire and analyze digital spectra of a sample of comets covering a large range in heliocentric distance. During 1984 to 1986 the emphasis has been on Comet P/Halley (1982i). Large ground-based telescopes and state-of-the-art detectors were used to observe Comet P/Halley pre- and post-perihelion, covering a heliocentric distance range, 0.9 to 6.1 AU.

  4. Spectroscopy of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, Susan

    1991-01-01

    Observations of NH2, OI, CH, CO(+), CO2(+), H2O(+), and N2(+) in optical spectra of comets represent ionization and dissociation product abundances of N2, NH3, H2O, CH4, CO2, and CO. The primary objectives are to determine: (1) accurate production rates for the observed species, and (2) accurate relative abundances of condensates in a sample of comet nuclei. The ultimate goal is to constrain models of comet formation and chemical processing in the outer primordial solar nebula.

  5. Cloud condensation nuclei activation of limited solubility organic aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huff Hartz, Kara E.; Tischuk, Joshua E.; Chan, Man Nin; Chan, Chak K.; Donahue, Neil M.; Pandis, Spyros N.

    The cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation of 19 organic species with water solubilities ( Csat) ranging from 10 -4 to 10 2 g solute 100 g -1 H 2O was measured. The organic particles were generated by nebulization of an aqueous or an alcohol solution. Use of alcohols as solvents enables the measurement of low solubility, non-volatile organic CCN activity and reduces the likelihood of residual water in the aerosol. The activation diameter of organic species with very low solubility in water ( Csat<0.3 g 100 g -1 H 2O) is in agreement with Köhler theory using the bulk solubility (limited solubility case) of the organic in water. Many species, including 2-acetylbenzoic acid, aspartic acid, azelaic acid, glutamic acid, homophthalic acid, phthalic acid, cis-pinonic acid, and salicylic acid are highly CCN active in spite of their low solubility (0.3 g 100 g -1 H 2O< Csat<1 g 100 g -1 H 2O), and activate almost as if completely water soluble. The CCN activity of most species is reduced, if the particles are produced using non-aqueous solvents. The existence of the particles in a metastable state at low RH can explain the observed enhancement in CCN activity beyond the levels suggested by their solubility.

  6. X-Ray Reprocessing in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Begelman, Mitchell C.

    2004-01-01

    This is the final report for research entitled "X-ray reprocessing in active galactic nuclei," into X-ray absorption and emission in various classes of active galaxy via X-ray spectral signatures. The fundamental goal of the research was to use these signatures as probes of the central engine structure and circumnuclear environment of active galactic nuclei. The most important accomplishment supported by this grant involved the detailed analysis and interpretation of the XMM data for the bright Seyfert 1 galaxy MCG-6-30-15. This work was performed by Drs. Christopher Reynolds and Mitchell Begelman in collaboration with Dr. Jorn Wilms (University of Tubingen, Germany; PI of the XMM observation) and other European scientists. With XMM we obtained medium resolution X-ray spectra of unprecedented quality for this Seyfert galaxy. Modeling the X-ray spectrum within the framework of accretion disk reflection models produced the first evidence for energy extraction from the spin of a black hole. Specifically, we found that the extreme gravitational redshifts required to explain the X-ray spectrum suggests that the bulk of the energy dissipation is concentrated very close to the black hole, in contrast with the expectations of any pure accretion disk model. In a second paper we addressed the low- energy spectral complexity and used RXTE specta to pin down the high-energy spectral index, thus firming up our initial interpretation. Additionally, we carried out detailed spectral and variability analyses of a number of Seyfert and radio galaxies (e.g., NGC 5548 and 3C 111) and developed general techniques that will be useful in performing X-ray reverberation mapping of accretion disks in AGN, once adequate data becomes available. A list of papers supported by this research is included.

  7. Suprachiasmatic nuclei and Circadian rhythms. The role of suprachiasmatic nuclei on rhythmic activity of neurons in the lateral hypothalamic area, ventromedian nuclei and pineal gland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nishino, H.

    1977-01-01

    Unit activity of lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) and Ventromedian nuclei (VMN) was recorded in urethane anesthetized male rats. A 5 to 10 sec. a 3-5 min and a circadian rhythmicity were observed. In about 15% of all neurons, spontaneous activity of LHA and VMN showed reciprocal relationships. Subthreshold stimuli applied at a slow rate in the septum and the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) suppressed the rhythms without changing firing rates. On the other hand, stimulation of the optic nerve at a rate of 5 to 10/sec increased firing rates in 1/3 of neurons of SCN. Iontophoretically applied acetylcholine increased 80% of tested neurons of SCN, whereas norepinephrine, dopamine and 5 HT inhibited 64, 60 and 75% of SCN neurons respectively. These inhibitions were much stronger in neurons, the activity of which was increased by optic nerve stimulation. Stimulation of the SCN inhibited the tonic activity in cervical sympathetic nerves.

  8. The volatile composition of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weaver, H. A.

    1988-01-01

    Comets may be our best probes of the physical and chemical conditions in the outer regions of the solar nebula during that crucial period when the planets formed. The volatile composition of cometary nuclei can be used to decide whether comets are the product of a condensation sequence similar to that invoked to explain the compositions of the planets and asteroids, or if comets are simply agglomerations of interstellar grains which have been insignificantly modified by the events that shaped the other bodies in the solar system. Although cometary nuclei are not generally accessible to observation, observations of cometary comae can illuminate at least some of the mysteries of the nuclei provided one has a detailed knowledge of the excitation conditions in the coma and also has access to basic atomic and molecular data on the many species present in comets. Examined here is the status of our knowledge of the volatile composition of cometary nuclei and how these data are obtained.

  9. DISCOVERY OF 5000 ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI BEHIND THE MAGELLANIC CLOUDS

    SciTech Connect

    Kozlowski, Szymon; Kochanek, Christopher S. E-mail: ckochanek@astronomy.ohio-state.edu

    2009-08-10

    We show that using mid-IR color selection to find active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is as effective in dense stellar fields such as the Magellanic Clouds as it is in extragalactic fields with low stellar densities using comparisons between the Spitzer Deep Wide Field Survey data for the NOAO Deep Wide Field Survey Boeotes region and the SAGE Survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud. We use this to build high-purity catalogs of {approx}5000 AGN candidates behind the Magellanic Clouds. Once confirmed, these quasars will expand the available astrometric reference sources for the Clouds and the numbers of quasars with densely sampled, long-term (>decade) monitoring light curves by well over an order of magnitude and potentially identify sufficiently bright quasars for absorption line studies of the interstellar medium of the Clouds.

  10. Neutrinos in IceCube from active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Kalashev, O.; Semikoz, D.; Tkachev, I.

    2015-03-15

    Recently, the IceCube collaboration reported first evidence for the astrophysical neutrinos. Observation corresponds to the total astrophysical neutrino flux of the order of 3 × 10{sup −8} GeV cm{sup −2} s{sup −1} sr{sup −1} in a PeV energy range [1]. Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are natural candidate sources for such neutrinos. To model the neutrino creation in AGNs, we study photopion production processes on the radiation field of the Shakura-Sunyaev accretion discs in the black hole vicinity. We show that this model can explain the detected neutrino flux and at the same time avoids the existing constraints from the gamma-ray and cosmic-ray observations.

  11. X-ray emission from active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mushotzky, R.

    1985-01-01

    It is often held that the X-ray emission from active galactic nuclei (AGN) arises from a region close to the central energy source. Thus X-ray observations may provide the best constraints on the central engine. In particular, the shape of the X-ray continuum gives information about the mechanism for photon generation, X-ray time variability data can constrain the size and mass of the continuum source, and X-ray occultation data give constraints on the relative sizes of the continuum source and the intervening absorbing material (often assumed to be the broad line clouds). In addition, since a fair fraction of the total energy of an AGN is emitted at X-ray wavelengths, direct measurement of the amount and spectral form of this radiation is important for modeling of the optically emitting clouds.

  12. Craters on comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Oklay, Nilda; Marchi, Simone; Höfner, Sebastian; Sierks, Holger

    2015-03-01

    This paper reviews the observations of crater-like features on cometary nuclei. We compare potential crater sizes and morphologies, and we discuss the probability of impacts between small asteroids in the Main Belt and a comet crossing this region of the Solar System. Finally, we investigate the fate of the impactor and its chances of survival on the nucleus. We find that comets do undergo impacts although the rapid evolution of the surface erases most of the features and make craters difficult to detect. In the case of a collision between a rocky body and a highly porous cometary nucleus, two specific crater morphologies can be formed: a central pit surrounded by a shallow depression, or a pit, deeper than typical craters observed on rocky surfaces. After the impact, it is likely that a significant fraction of the projectile will remain in the crater. During its two years long escort of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, ESA's mission Rosetta should be able to detect specific silicates signatures at the bottom of craters or crater-like features, as evidence of this contamination. For large craters, structural changes in the impacted region, in particular compaction of material, will affect the local activity. The increase of tensile strength can extinct the activity by preventing the gas from lifting up dust grains. On the other hand, material compaction can help the heat flux to travel deeper in the nucleus, potentially reaching unexposed pockets of volatiles, and therefore increasing the activity. Ground truth data from Rosetta will help us infer the relative importance of those two effects.

  13. Main-Belt Comets: Sublimation-Driven Activity in the Asteroid Belt

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry

    2015-08-01

    Our knowledge of main-belt comets (MBCs), which exhibit comet-like activity likely due to the sublimation of volatile ices, yet orbit in the main asteroid belt, has increased greatly since the discovery of the first known MBC, 133P/Elst-Pizarro, in 1996, and their recognition as a new class of solar system objects after the discovery of two more MBCs in 2005. I will review work that has been done over the last 10 years to improve our understanding of these enigmatic objects, including the development of systematic discovery methods and diagnostics for distinguishing MBCs from disrupted asteroids (which exhibit comet-like activity due to physical disruptions such as impacts or rotational destabilization), and observational characterization of both individual objects and the MBC population as a whole. I will also discuss efforts to understand the dynamical origins and present-day characteristics of these objects, as well as how objects in the asteroid belt might be able to preserve ice over the age of the solar system while still retaining sufficient near-surface volatility to drive observable present-day cometary activity.

  14. Rapid Temperature Changes and the Early Activity on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alí-Lagoa, V.; Delbo', M.; Libourel, G.

    2015-09-01

    The so-called “early activity” of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko has been observed to originate mostly in parts of the concave region or “neck” between its two lobes. Since activity is driven by the sublimation of volatiles, this is a puzzling result because this area is less exposed to the Sun and is therefore expected to be cooler on average. We used a thermophysical model that takes into account thermal inertia, global self-heating, and shadowing, to compute surface temperatures of the comet. We found that, for every rotation in the 2014 August-December period, some parts of the neck region undergo the fastest temperature variations of the comet’s surface precisely because they are shadowed by their surrounding terrains. Our work suggests that these fast temperature changes are correlated to the early activity of the comet, and we put forward the hypothesis that erosion related to thermal cracking is operating at a high rate on the neck region due to these rapid temperature variations. This may explain why the neck contains some ice—as opposed to most other parts of the surface—and why it is the main source of the comet’s early activity. In a broader context, these results indicate that thermal cracking can operate faster on atmosphereless bodies with significant concavities than implied by currently available estimates.

  15. The evolving activity of the Dynamically Young Comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodewits, Dennis; Farnham, T. L.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Feaga, L. M.; McKay, A.; Schleicher, D. G.; Sunshine, J.

    2013-10-01

    Comet C/2009 P1 (Garradd) was a dynamically young comet that was bright and well-observable from a heliocentric distance of 3.5 AU pre-perihelion until 4.5 AU outbound. The development of its activity was observed by many different observatories and instruments, both on the ground and in space (Deep Impact, Swift, SOHO-SWAN, VLT-UVES, IRTF, and many more). Because of this observing campaign, Garradd is the first comet for which production rates of all three main volatiles (H2O, CO, and CO2) were measured during a significant part of its passage through the inner solar system. These observations provide an invaluable key to how comets work. At -3.5 AU, Garradd had one of the highest dust-to-gas ratios ever observed, matched only by Hale-Bopp. Comparing slit-based measurements and observations acquired with larger fields of view indicated that between -3 AU and -2 AU a significant extended source started producing water in the coma (Combi et al. 2013, Paganini et al. 2012, Villanueva et al. 2012). This source, likely icy grains, disappeared quickly around perihelion (Bodewits et al. in prep.). The other volatiles observed in Garradd’s coma indicate an even more complex story. Relative abundances measured with large apertures were lowered significantly by the extended water source, indicating that these icy grains were depleted of ices more volatile than water. Differences in the volatility of cometary ices may further explain the observed trends in the abundances of CN and CO2 (mostly observed through [OI]; Decock et al. 2013). These effects do not explain the strange behavior of CO, whose production rate increased monotonically from -2 AU to +2AU (Feaga et al. submitted, and references therein). The activity of Garradd was complex and changed significantly during the time it was observed. We will discuss how these different sublimation processes fit into our understanding of cometary activity and evolution in general.

  16. UNUSUAL WATER PRODUCTION ACTIVITY OF COMET C/2012 S1 (ISON): OUTBURSTS AND CONTINUOUS FRAGMENTATION

    SciTech Connect

    Combi, M. R.; Fougere, N.; Mäkinen, J. T. T.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Quémerais, E.

    2014-06-10

    The Solar Wind ANisotropies (SWAN) all-sky hydrogen Lyα camera on the SOlar and Heliospheric Observer (SOHO) satellite observed the hydrogen coma of comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) for most of the last month of its activity from 2013 October 24 to November 24, ending just 4 days before perihelion and its final disruption. The water production rate of the comet was determined from these observations. SOHO has been operating in a halo orbit around the Earth-Sun L1 Lagrange point since its launch in late 1995. Most water vapor produced by comets is ultimately photodissociated into two H atoms and one O atom producing a huge hydrogen coma that is routinely observed in the daily SWAN images in comets of sufficient brightness. Water production rates were calculated from 22 images over most of the last month of the pre-perihelion apparition. The water production rate increased very slowly on average from October 24.9 until November 12.9, staying between 1.8 and 3.4 × 10{sup 28} s{sup –1}, after which it increased dramatically, reaching 1.6 to 2 × 10{sup 30} s{sup –1} from November 21.6 to 23.6. It was not detected after perihelion on December 3.7 when it should have been visible. We examine the active surface area necessary to explain the water production rate and its variation and are able to place constraints on the physical size of the original nucleus necessary to account for the large amount of activity from November 12.9 and until just before perihelion.

  17. Cloud condensation nuclei activity of isoprene secondary organic aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Engelhart, Gabriella J.; Moore, Richard H.; Nenes, Athanasios; Pandis, Spyros N.

    2011-01-01

    This work explores the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity of isoprene secondary organic aerosol (SOA), likely a significant source of global organic particulate matter and CCN, produced from the oxidation with OH from HONO/HOOH photolysis in a temperature-controlled SOA chamber. CCN concentrations, activation diameter, and droplet growth kinetic information were monitored as a function of supersaturation (from 0.3% to 1.5%) for several hours using a cylindrical continuous-flow streamwise thermal gradient CCN counter connected to a scanning mobility particle sizer. The initial SOA concentrations ranged from 2 to 30 μg m-3 and presented CCN activity similar to monoterpene SOA with an activation diameter of 35 nm for 1.5% supersaturation and 72 nm for 0.6% supersaturation. The CCN activity improved slightly in some experiments as the SOA aged chemically and did not depend significantly on the level of NOx during the SOA production. The measured activation diameters correspond to a hygroscopicity parameter κ value of 0.12, similar to κ values of 0.1 ± 0.04 reported for monoterpene SOA. Analysis of the water-soluble carbon extracted from filter samples of the SOA suggest that it has a κ of 0.2-0.3 implying an average molar mass between 90 and 150 g mol-1 (assuming a zero and 5% surface tension reduction with respect to water, respectively). These findings are consistent with known oxidation products of isoprene. Using threshold droplet growth analysis, the CCN activation kinetics of isoprene SOA was determined to be similar to pure ammonium sulfate aerosol.

  18. Pre-perihelion activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guilbert-Lepoutre, A.; Schulz, R.; Rożek, A.; Lowry, S. C.; Tozzi, G. P.; Stüwe, J. A.

    2014-07-01

    Context. Comets are believed to hold a relatively pristine record of the physical and chemical processes that occurred during the formation and evolution of the solar system. Thorough investigations of these small bodies, such as the one that will be performed by the ESA/Rosetta cornerstone mission, are thus supposed to bring strong and unique constraints on the origins of the solar system. Aims: Because comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was only recently selected as the target for the ESA/Rosetta mission, there has been little opportunity to study its pre-perihelion activity. This phase is, however, very important for the mission, since the global mapping of the nucleus and the choice of landing site for Philae will be performed during this pre-perihelion phase. Here, we report previously unpublished data of the last pre-perihelion passage of this comet, observed between May and September 2008. Methods: The gas and dust activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko are studied through visible spectroscopy and broadband imaging, respectively, covering a range of pre-perihelion heliocentric distances between 2.99 and 2.22 AU. Results: The data we have gathered on the dust activity are consistent with trends observed by other authors and show a strong asymmetry between the pre- and post-perihelion phases of the orbit. The spectra do not show any lines due to the emission of volatiles, and upper limits on their production rates are typically one order of magnitude lower than at the equivalent post-perihelion heliocentric distances. The asymmetry in the pre- and post-perihelion phases of the activity may be due to a dusty crust quenching the activity at the surface of 67P. We estimate that this crust could be about 12 cm thick, although not uniform across the surface. Even if no gas is individually detected, the coma surface brightness profiles might indicate a possible contamination from gaseous species emitted before the comet actually reaches perihelion. Based on

  19. MAGNETIC FLUX PARADIGM FOR RADIO LOUDNESS OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Sikora, Marek; Begelman, Mitchell C. E-mail: mitch@jila.colorado.edu

    2013-02-20

    We argue that the magnetic flux threading the black hole (BH), rather than BH spin or Eddington ratio, is the dominant factor in launching powerful jets and thus determining the radio loudness of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Most AGNs are radio quiet because the thin accretion disks that feed them are inefficient in depositing magnetic flux close to the BH. Flux accumulation is more likely to occur during a hot accretion (or thick disk) phase, and we argue that radio-loud quasars and strong emission-line radio galaxies occur only when a massive, cold accretion event follows an episode of hot accretion. Such an event might be triggered by the merger of a giant elliptical galaxy with a disk galaxy. This picture supports the idea that flux accumulation can lead to the formation of a so-called magnetically choked accretion flow. The large observed range in radio loudness reflects not only the magnitude of the flux pressed against the BH, but also the decrease in UV flux from the disk, due to its disruption by the ''magnetosphere'' associated with the accumulated flux. While the strongest jets result from the secular accumulation of flux, moderate jet activity can also be triggered by fluctuations in the magnetic flux deposited by turbulent, hot inner regions of otherwise thin accretion disks, or by the dissipation of turbulent fields in accretion disk coronae. These processes could be responsible for jet production in Seyferts and low-luminosity AGNs, as well as jets associated with X-ray binaries.

  20. Calcium infrared triplet emission in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Persson, S. E.

    1988-07-01

    Emission in the Ca II infrared triplet lines has been detected in at least nine, and probably 14, active galactic nuclei, out of a total of 40 surveyed. The Ca II line strengths are roughly correlated with the strength of optical Fe II emission and appear over a wide range of luminosity, BLR linewidth, and forbidden O III/H-beta ratio. Calcium emission is thus a general property of AGN that have extremely dense and neutral gas near the active nucleus. The Ca II linewidth is correlated with that of the 8446 A O I line, indicating that the Ca(+) zone is intimately associated with the broad-line region. An exception is Mrk 231, in which the Ca II linewidths are significantly narrower than that of the O I line; kinematically distinct region, perhaps in the form of a disk, is indicated. The level of ionization in the zone that gives rise to the optically thick calcium lines is very low, with neutral carbon providing the shielding for the Ca(+) ions from the incident ultraviolet continuum. If these ultradense zones are heated by a nonradiative mechanism, as advocated by Collin-Souffrin, Joly, and others, and if such heating occurs in the accretion disk, then the kinematical information conveyed by the Ca II lines indicates that in general the BLR lies close to the disk plane.

  1. Active galactic nuclei at gamma-ray energies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dermer, Charles Dennison; Giebels, Berrie

    2016-06-01

    Active Galactic Nuclei can be copious extragalactic emitters of MeV-GeV-TeV γ rays, a phenomenon linked to the presence of relativistic jets powered by a super-massive black hole in the center of the host galaxy. Most of γ-ray emitting active galactic nuclei, with more than 1500 known at GeV energies, and more than 60 at TeV energies, are called "blazars". The standard blazar paradigm features a jet of relativistic magnetized plasma ejected from the neighborhood of a spinning and accreting super-massive black hole, close to the observer direction. Two classes of blazars are distinguished from observations: the flat-spectrum radio-quasar class (FSRQ) is characterized by strong external radiation fields, emission of broad optical lines, and dust tori. The BL Lac class (from the name of one of its members, BL Lacertae) corresponds to weaker advection-dominated flows with γ-ray spectra dominated by the inverse Compton effect on synchrotron photons. This paradigm has been very successful for modeling the broadband spectral energy distributions of blazars. However, many fundamental issues remain, including the role of hadronic processes and the rapid variability of a few FSRQs and several BL Lac objects whose synchrotron spectrum peaks at UV or X-ray frequencies. A class of γ-ray-emitting radio galaxies, which are thought to be the misaligned counterparts of blazars, has emerged from the results of the Fermi-Large Area Telescope and of ground-based Cherenkov telescopes. Soft γ-ray emission has been detected from a few nearby Seyfert galaxies, though it is not clear whether those γ rays originate from the nucleus. Blazars and their misaligned counterparts make up most of the ≳100 MeV extragalactic γ-ray background (EGB), and are suspected of being the sources of ultra-high energy cosmic rays. The future "Cherenkov Telescope Array", in synergy with the Fermi-Large Area Telescope and a wide range of telescopes in space and on the ground, will write the next chapter

  2. STACEE Observations of Active Galactic Nuclei and Other Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ong, R. A.; Boone, L. M.; Bramel, D.; Chae, E.; Covault, C. E.; Fortin, P.; Gingrich, D.; Hanna, D. S.; Hinton, J. A.; Meuller, C.; Mukherjee, R.; Ragan, K.; Scalzo, R. A.; Schuette, D. R.; Theoret, C. G.; Williams, D. A.

    2001-08-01

    We describe recent observations and future plans for the Solar Tower Atmospheric Cherenkov Effect Experiment (STACEE) located at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. STACEE is a ground-based experiment for detecting atmospheric Cherenkov light from γrays in the energy range 50 to 500 GeV. We describe recent observations of active galactic nuclei such as Mrk 501, and also outline plans for the observations of other AGN, including Flat Spectrum Radio Quasars (FSRQs) detected by EGRET above 1 GeV and other BL-Lac objects. We summarize plans for observing other sources, including the Crab Nebula, other pulsars, supernova remnants, and unidentified EGRET objects. The up-to-date results from recent source observations by STACEE will be presented at the conference. 1 Intergalactic absorption and the γ-ray horizon The energy range from 50 to 250 GeV is important for understanding many high energy astrophysical objects, especially active galactic nuclei. Great progress has been made during the last decade, but many problems remain. For example, while dozens of AGN at a variety of redshifts were detected by EGRET, only a few of the closest AGN have been detected by ground-based experiments above 250 GeV. These results imply that the power-law spectra of many AGN cut off at energies between 20 and 250 GeV, and the fact that only nearby AGN are seen at very high energies argues that the γrays are attenuated on their long journey to Earth. High energy γ-rays interact with photons at infrared/optical/UV energies via the pair-production process (Stecker and de Jager, 1993; Biller, 1995). The level of such extragalactic background light (EBL) from galaxies is not well known, but measurements of absorption features of AGN should provide constraints on its flux and spectral shape. These constraints in turn could give us valuable information about the epoch of galaxy formation and the composition of dark mat-

  3. Cometary cores with multiple structure from the oort cloud and the general scheme of origin of unusually active comets

    SciTech Connect

    Davydov, V.D.

    1986-03-01

    A newly conceived scheme is constructed which synthesizes consistent solutions to several principal problems concerning multiple-core comets: a power mechanism, a place and epoch of formation of the multiple core structure, the qualitative differences between current structure and younger structure, the origin of two types of cometary orbits, and a trigger mechanism for recent ignition of cometary activity of a multiple core. This scheme uses a new explanation of the ejection of dust (including icy dust) from various cometary cores as evidence that the material of multiple-core comets may be collisionally ablated at the expense of the comet-centered orbital energy of a multitude of massive boulders (see Kosm. Issled., No. 6 (1984)). Natural mechanisms are shown which preserve this important feature of multiple cores. The concept consists of the following elements: evolution of a system of satellites of the core toward a colli sionless structure; preservation of internal kinetic energy in the collisionless system over astro nomically lengthy time scales; tidal initiation of a collisional mechanism with the first revolution of the ancient multiple core in the zone of visibility. It is possible that such revoltions correspond to the existence of especially active comets in nearly parabolic orbits. Multiple structure in the core of active short-period comets might be descended from a nearly parabolic comet (if the theory holds on perturbational multistage transformation of near-parabolic orbits into contemporary short-period orbits).

  4. The ICQ Guide to Observing Comets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, D. W. E.

    1997-01-01

    The following topics were dealt with: basic information (comet names and designation nomenclature, basic anatomy of a comet, composition of comets and techniques for deriving this information, orbital characteristics of comets, the stellar-magnitude scale and general remarks on comet magnitudes, typical comet behaviors, and the role of solar activity, time and its role in observing comets, locating and identifying known comets, what to do if you discover a comet); a historical overview of the observation of comets (perceptions of comets via naked-eye observations prior to Halley, issues regarding the reading and interpretation of historical observations); visual observing (the human eye as a light detector, observing conditions and observing-site selection, instrumentation and observing "assessories", comet hunting, discovery, and follow-up, estimating a comet's total magnitude, estimating the comet's other physical parameters, drawing comets, daytime observations of comets); non-visual optical observations (CCD observations, photography of comets, narrow-band photometry, spectroscopy and spectrophotometry, occultations); observations outside the visual region (ground-based observations at non-optical wavelengths, satellite-based observations of comets); astrometry of comets (astrometric measurement of photographs and CCD frames, general measurement procedures and astrometric reductions, reporting of comet astrometry, radar astrometry, dealing with older astrometry). Appendices (list of numbered periodic comets, star catalogues, atlases, and charts).

  5. Jets and sources of activity on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Sierks, Holger; Lara, Luisa; Gutierez, Pedro; Rodrigo, Rafael; Pajola, Maurizio; Oklay, Nilda; Knollenberg, Jörg; Bertini, Ivano; Lin, Zhong-Yi; Ip, Wing-Huen; Thomas, Nicolas; Davidsson, Björn; Mottola, Stefano; Lowry, Stephen; Fornasier, Sonia; Bodewits, Dennis; Massironi, Matteo; A'Hearn, Mike; Keller, Uwe

    2015-04-01

    A major goal of the Rosetta mission is to study the evolution of a comet through activity. Understanding the physical processes reshaping the nucleus will help us to look back in time and reconstruct what pristine comet surface looked like at the time of its formation. A key question is how and why cometary activity is spatially distributed over the nucleus. We trace the manifestation of this activity in the coma, in the form of narrow dust features, hereafter called "jets", expanding straight for at least some distance from the source on the nucleus. We follow these jets down to the surface to constrain the location of active areas and better understand the physical processes underlying activity. Jets are a type of highly localized activity. They appear as fuzzy streams of bright material arising from specific areas on the nucleus surface. They are typically detected against a dark background, which can be either empty space or casted shadows. Jets are seen at all scales, down to the resolution of the OSIRIS images. The smallest features detected so far are a few pixels across, which translates into a couple of meters at most. They have a typical column density a few percent higher than the ambient medium [1]. At the highest spatial resolution these jets appear as a combination of thinner features which can be traced directly to specific morphologic features on the surface. By monitoring the activity and observing these jets from different angles we can reconstruct their three-dimensional structure and identify their source regions. We present here the first results of this inversion, covering the epoch from August to December 2014. We show how the spatial distribution of jet sources expands with time. While active areas were found mainly in the transition region between the two lobes in August 2014 (3.6 AU), they could be observed all over the Northern hemisphere in December 2014 (2.8 AU). Jet sources are associated to different types of terrains: smooth areas

  6. Autonomous Onboard Science Data Analysis for Comet Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thompson, David R.; Tran, Daniel Q.; McLaren, David; Chien, Steve A.; Bergman, Larry; Castano, Rebecca; Doyle, Richard; Estlin, Tara; Lenda, Matthew

    2012-01-01

    Coming years will bring several comet rendezvous missions. The Rosetta spacecraft arrives at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014. Subsequent rendezvous might include a mission such as the proposed Comet Hopper with multiple surface landings, as well as Comet Nucleus Sample Return (CNSR) and Coma Rendezvous and Sample Return (CRSR). These encounters will begin to shed light on a population that, despite several previous flybys, remains mysterious and poorly understood. Scientists still have little direct knowledge of interactions between the nucleus and coma, their variation across different comets or their evolution over time. Activity may change on short timescales so it is challenging to characterize with scripted data acquisition. Here we investigate automatic onboard image analysis that could act faster than round-trip light time to capture unexpected outbursts and plume activity. We describe one edge-based method for detect comet nuclei and plumes, and test the approach on an existing catalog of comet images. Finally, we quantify benefits to specific measurement objectives by simulating a basic plume monitoring campaign.

  7. Variegation of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko in regions showing activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oklay, N.; Vincent, J.-B.; Fornasier, S.; Pajola, M.; Besse, S.; Davidsson, B. J. R.; Lara, L. M.; Mottola, S.; Naletto, G.; Sierks, H.; Barucci, A. M.; Scholten, F.; Preusker, F.; Pommerol, A.; Masoumzadeh, N.; Lazzarin, M.; Barbieri, C.; Lamy, P. L.; Rodrigo, R.; Koschny, D.; Rickman, H.; A'Hearn, M. F.; Bertaux, J.-L.; Bertini, I.; Bodewits, D.; Cremonese, G.; Da Deppo, V.; Debei, S.; De Cecco, M.; Fulle, M.; Groussin, O.; Gutiérrez, P. J.; Güttler, C.; Hall, I.; Hofmann, M.; Hviid, S. F.; Ip, W.-H.; Jorda, L.; Keller, H. U.; Knollenberg, J.; Kovacs, G.; Kramm, J.-R.; Kührt, E.; Küppers, M.; Lin, Z.-Y.; Lopez Moreno, J. J.; Marzari, F.; Moreno, F.; Shi, X.; Thomas, N.; Toth, I.; Tubiana, C.

    2016-02-01

    Aims.We carried out an investigation of the surface variegation of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the detection of regions showing activity, the determination of active and inactive surface regions of the comet with spectral methods, and the detection of fallback material. Methods: We analyzed multispectral data generated with Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System (OSIRIS) narrow angle camera (NAC) observations via spectral techniques, reflectance ratios, and spectral slopes in order to study active regions. We applied clustering analysis to the results of the reflectance ratios, and introduced the new technique of activity thresholds to detect areas potentially enriched in volatiles. Results: Local color inhomogeneities are detected over the investigated surface regions. Active regions, such as Hapi, the active pits of Seth and Ma'at, the clustered and isolated bright features in Imhotep, the alcoves in Seth and Ma'at, and the large alcove in Anuket, have bluer spectra than the overall surface. The spectra generated with OSIRIS NAC observations are dominated by cometary emissions of around 700 nm to 750 nm as a result of the coma between the comet's surface and the camera. One of the two isolated bright features in the Imhotep region displays an absorption band of around 700 nm, which probably indicates the existence of hydrated silicates. An absorption band with a center between 800-900 nm is tentatively observed in some regions of the nucleus surface. This absorption band can be explained by the crystal field absorption of Fe2+, which is a common spectral feature seen in silicates.

  8. SUBLIMATION-DRIVEN ACTIVITY IN MAIN-BELT COMET 313P/GIBBS

    SciTech Connect

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Hainaut, Olivier; Novaković, Bojan; Bolin, Bryce; Denneau, Larry; Haghighipour, Nader; Kleyna, Jan; Meech, Karen J.; Schunova, Eva; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Kokotanekova, Rosita; Snodgrass, Colin; Lacerda, Pedro; Micheli, Marco; Moskovitz, Nick; Wasserman, Lawrence; Waszczak, Adam

    2015-02-10

    We present an observational and dynamical study of newly discovered main-belt comet 313P/Gibbs. We find that the object is clearly active both in observations obtained in 2014 and in precovery observations obtained in 2003 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, strongly suggesting that its activity is sublimation-driven. This conclusion is supported by a photometric analysis showing an increase in the total brightness of the comet over the 2014 observing period, and dust modeling results showing that the dust emission persists over at least three months during both active periods, where we find start dates for emission no later than 2003 July 24 ± 10 for the 2003 active period and 2014 July 28 ± 10 for the 2014 active period. From serendipitous observations by the Subaru Telescope in 2004 when the object was apparently inactive, we estimate that the nucleus has an absolute R-band magnitude of H{sub R} = 17.1 ± 0.3, corresponding to an effective nucleus radius of r{sub e} ∼ 1.00 ± 0.15 km. The object’s faintness at that time means we cannot rule out the presence of activity, and so this computed radius should be considered an upper limit. We find that 313P’s orbit is intrinsically chaotic, having a Lyapunov time of T{sub l} = 12,000 yr and being located near two three-body mean-motion resonances with Jupiter and Saturn, 11J-1S-5A and 10J+12S-7A, yet appears stable over >50 Myr in an apparent example of stable chaos. We furthermore find that 313P is the second main-belt comet, after P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS), to belong to the ∼155 Myr old Lixiaohua asteroid family.

  9. Sublimation-Driven Activity in Main-Belt Comet 313p/Gibbs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Henry H.; Hainaut, Olivier; Novaković, Bojan; Bolin, Bryce; Denneau, Larry; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Haghighipour, Nader; Kleyna, Jan; Kokotanekova, Rosita; Lacerda, Pedro; Meech, Karen J.; Micheli, Marco; Moskovitz, Nick; Schunova, Eva; Snodgrass, Colin; Wainscoat, Richard J.; Wasserman, Lawrence; Waszczak, Adam

    2015-02-01

    We present an observational and dynamical study of newly discovered main-belt comet 313P/Gibbs. We find that the object is clearly active both in observations obtained in 2014 and in precovery observations obtained in 2003 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, strongly suggesting that its activity is sublimation-driven. This conclusion is supported by a photometric analysis showing an increase in the total brightness of the comet over the 2014 observing period, and dust modeling results showing that the dust emission persists over at least three months during both active periods, where we find start dates for emission no later than 2003 July 24 ± 10 for the 2003 active period and 2014 July 28 ± 10 for the 2014 active period. From serendipitous observations by the Subaru Telescope in 2004 when the object was apparently inactive, we estimate that the nucleus has an absolute R-band magnitude of HR = 17.1 ± 0.3, corresponding to an effective nucleus radius of re ∼ 1.00 ± 0.15 km. The object’s faintness at that time means we cannot rule out the presence of activity, and so this computed radius should be considered an upper limit. We find that 313P’s orbit is intrinsically chaotic, having a Lyapunov time of Tl = 12,000 yr and being located near two three-body mean-motion resonances with Jupiter and Saturn, 11J-1S-5A and 10J+12S-7A, yet appears stable over >50 Myr in an apparent example of stable chaos. We furthermore find that 313P is the second main-belt comet, after P/2012 T1 (PANSTARRS), to belong to the ∼155 Myr old Lixiaohua asteroid family.

  10. Active galactic nuclei as scaled-up Galactic black holes.

    PubMed

    McHardy, I M; Koerding, E; Knigge, C; Uttley, P; Fender, R P

    2006-12-01

    A long-standing question is whether active galactic nuclei (AGN) vary like Galactic black hole systems when appropriately scaled up by mass. If so, we can then determine how AGN should behave on cosmological timescales by studying the brighter and much faster varying Galactic systems. As X-ray emission is produced very close to the black holes, it provides one of the best diagnostics of their behaviour. A characteristic timescale--which potentially could tell us about the mass of the black hole--is found in the X-ray variations from both AGN and Galactic black holes, but whether it is physically meaningful to compare the two has been questioned. Here we report that, after correcting for variations in the accretion rate, the timescales can be physically linked, revealing that the accretion process is exactly the same for small and large black holes. Strong support for this linkage comes, perhaps surprisingly, from the permitted optical emission lines in AGN whose widths (in both broad-line AGN and narrow-emission-line Seyfert 1 galaxies) correlate strongly with the characteristic X-ray timescale, exactly as expected from the AGN black hole masses and accretion rates. So AGN really are just scaled-up Galactic black holes.

  11. Diffuse γ-ray emission from misaligned active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Di Mauro, M.; Donato, F.; Calore, F.; Ajello, M.; Latronico, L.

    2014-01-10

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with jets seen at small viewing angles are the most luminous and abundant objects in the γ-ray sky. AGNs with jets misaligned along the line of sight appear fainter in the sky but are more numerous than the brighter blazars. We calculate the diffuse γ-ray emission due to the population of misaligned AGNs (MAGNs) unresolved by the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi). A correlation between the γ-ray luminosity and the radio-core luminosity is established and demonstrated to be physical by statistical tests, as well as compatible with upper limits based on Fermi-LAT data for a large sample of radio-loud MAGNs. We constrain the derived γ-ray luminosity function by means of the source-count distribution of the radio galaxies detected by the Fermi-LAT. We finally calculate the diffuse γ-ray flux due to the whole MAGN population. Our results demonstrate that MAGNs can contribute from 10% up to nearly the entire measured isotropic gamma-ray background. We evaluate a theoretical uncertainty on the flux of almost an order of magnitude.

  12. The star formation rates of active galactic nuclei host galaxies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ellison, Sara L.; Teimoorinia, Hossen; Rosario, David J.; Mendel, J. Trevor

    2016-05-01

    Using artificial neural network predictions of total infrared luminosities (LIR), we compare the host galaxy star formation rates (SFRs) of ˜21 000 optically selected active galactic nuclei (AGN), 466 low-excitation radio galaxies (LERGs) and 721 mid-IR-selected AGN. SFR offsets (ΔSFR) relative to a sample of star-forming `main-sequence' galaxies (matched in M⋆, z and local environment) are computed for the AGN hosts. Optically selected AGN exhibit a wide range of ΔSFR, with a distribution skewed to low SFRs and a median ΔSFR = -0.06 dex. The LERGs have SFRs that are shifted to even lower values with a median ΔSFR = -0.5 dex. In contrast, mid-IR-selected AGN have, on average, SFRs enhanced by a factor of ˜1.5. We interpret the different distributions of ΔSFR amongst the different AGN classes in the context of the relative contribution of triggering by galaxy mergers. Whereas the LERGs are predominantly fuelled through low accretion rate secular processes which are not accompanied by enhancements in SFR, mergers, which can simultaneously boost SFRs, most frequently lead to powerful, obscured AGN.

  13. THE NATURE OF OPTICALLY DULL ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN COSMOS

    SciTech Connect

    Trump, Jonathan R.; Impey, Chris D.; Gabor, Jared M.; Taniguchi, Yoshi; Nagao, Tohru; Shioya, Yasuhiro; Brusa, Marcella; Civano, Francesca; Elvis, Martin; Kelly, Brandon C.; Huchra, John P.; Jahnke, Knud; Koekemoer, Anton M.; Salvato, Mara; Capak, Peter; Scoville, Nick Z.; Kartaltepe, Jeyhan S.; Lanzuisi, Giorgio; McCarthy, Patrick J.; Maineri, Vincenzo

    2009-11-20

    We present infrared, optical, and X-ray data of 48 X-ray bright, optically dull active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the COSMOS field. These objects exhibit the X-ray luminosity of an AGN but lack broad and narrow emission lines in their optical spectrum. We show that despite the lack of optical emission lines, most of these optically dull AGNs are not well described by a typical passive red galaxy spectrum: instead they exhibit weak but significant blue emission like an unobscured AGN. Photometric observations over several years additionally show significant variability in the blue emission of four optically dull AGNs. The nature of the blue and infrared emission suggest that the optically inactive appearance of these AGNs cannot be caused by obscuration intrinsic to the AGNs. Instead, up to approx70% of optically dull AGNs are diluted by their hosts, with bright or simply edge-on hosts lying preferentially within the spectroscopic aperture. The remaining approx30% of optically dull AGNs have anomalously high f{sub X} /f{sub O} ratios and are intrinsically weak, not obscured, in the optical. These optically dull AGNs are best described as a weakly accreting AGN with a truncated accretion disk from a radiatively inefficient accretion flow.

  14. The Intermediate-line Region in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, T. P.; Różańska, A.; Czerny, B.; Hryniewicz, K.; Ferland, G. J.

    2016-11-01

    We show that the recently observed suppression of the gap between the broad-line region (BLR) and the narrow-line region (NLR) in some active galactic nuclei (AGNs) can be fully explained by an increase of the gas density in the emitting region. Our model predicts the formation of the intermediate-line region (ILR) that is observed in some Seyfert galaxies by the detection of emission lines with intermediate-velocity FWHM ∼ 700–1200 km s‑1. These lines are believed to be originating from an ILR located somewhere between the BLR and NLR. As was previously proved, the apparent gap is assumed to be caused by the presence of dust beyond the sublimation radius. Our computations with the use of the cloudy photoionization code show that the differences in the shape of the spectral energy distribution from the central region of AGNs do not diminish the apparent gap in the line emission in those objects. A strong discontinuity in the line emission versus radius exists for all lines at the dust sublimation radius. However, increasing the gas density to ∼{10}11.5 cm‑3 at the sublimation radius provides the continuous line emission versus radius and fully explains the recently observed lack of apparent gap in some AGNs. We show that such a high density is consistent with the density of upper layers of an accretion disk atmosphere. Therefore, the upper layers of the disk atmosphere can give rise to the formation of observed emission-line clouds.

  15. Effects of Active galactic nuclei feedback in galaxy population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lagos, C.; Cora, S.; Padilla, N.

    We analyze the effects of feedback from Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) on the formation and evolution of galaxies, which is assumed to quench cooling flows in massive halos. With this aim we use an hybrid model that combines a cosmological Lambda CDM simulation with a semi-analytic model of galaxy formation. We consider the semi-analytic model described by Cora (2006) (SAMC06) which has been improved by including AGNs, which are associated with the presence of supermassive black holes (BHs). Modellization of BH includes gas accretion during merger-driven starbursts and black hole mergers (Malbon et al., 2006), accretion during starbursts triggered by disk instabilities (Bower et al. 2006), and accretion of cooling gas from quasi-hydrostatically cooling haloes (Croton et al. 2006); Eddington limit is applied in all accretion processes. It is assumed that feedback from AGNs operates in the later case. We show that this new model can simultaneously explain: (i) the bright-end of the galaxy luminosity function (LF); (ii) the observed older population of stars in massive galaxies, thus reproducing the stellar mass function (SMF); (iii) a star formation rate (SFR) seemingly showing an anti-hierarchical galaxy growth. The success of our model is mainly due to the ability of AGN feedback to suppress further cooling and SF in the most massive structures.

  16. Highlights from the VERITAS Active Galactic Nuclei Observing Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fortson, Lucy; VERITAS Collaboration

    2016-01-01

    The VERITAS Observatory, located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory near Tucson, Arizona is one of the world's most sensitive detectors of very-high-energy (VHE; E>100GeV) gamma rays. With an array of four 12-m telescopes, VERITAS detects the Cherenkov light emitted from air showers initiated by astrophysical gamma rays. A sequence of upgrades completed in 2012 aimed at lowering the energy threshold resulted in the instrument being sensitive to gamma rays between 85 GeV and 30 TeV. Fully operational since 2007, VERITAS has so far detected 54 VHE gamma-ray objects in eight different source classes. The active galactic nuclei (AGN) class comprises the majority of these detections, with 34 sources that include several radio galaxies but are predominantly blazars (AGN with relativistic jets pointing towards Earth). The scientific importance of VHE detections of AGN includes studying the details of emission mechanisms in blazars and elucidating whether they are sources of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and astrophysical neutrinos. Additionally VHE gamma-ray observations can be used to gain cosmological insights such as placing limits on the intergalactic magnetic field (IGMF) and the extragalactic background light (EBL), which comprises all the diffuse starlight in the universe. This presentation will summarize the VERITAS AGN observing program and highlight a few recent results.

  17. Fermi Observations of TeV-Selected Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdo, A. A.; Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.; Atwood, W. B.; Axelsson, M.; Baldini, L.; Ballet, J.; Barbiellini, G.; Baring, M. G.; Bastieri, D.; Bechtol, K.; Bellazzini, R.; Berenji, B.; Bloom, E. D.; Bonamente, E.; Borgland, A. W.; Bregeon, J.; Brez, A.; Brigida, M.; Bruel, P.; Burnett, T. H.; Caliandro, G. A.; Cameron, R. A.; Caraveo, P. A.; Casandjian, J. M.; Cavazzuti, E.; Cecchi, C.; Çelik, Ö.; Chekhtman, A.; Cheung, C. C.; Chiang, J.; Ciprini, S.; Claus, R.; Cohen-Tanugi, J.; Cominsky, L. R.; Conrad, J.; Cutini, S.; de Angelis, A.; de Palma, F.; Di Bernardo, G.; Silva, E. do Couto e.; Drell, P. S.; Drlica-Wagner, A.; Dubois, R.; Dumora, D.; Farnier, C.; Favuzzi, C.; Fegan, S. J.; Finke, J.; Focke, W. B.; Fortin, P.; Foschini, L.; Frailis, M.; Fukazawa, Y.; Funk, S.; Fusco, P.; Gargano, F.; Gasparrini, D.; Gehrels, N.; Germani, S.; Giavitto, G.; Giebels, B.; Giglietto, N.; Giommi, P.; Giordano, F.; Glanzman, T.; Godfrey, G.; Grenier, I. A.; Grondin, M.-H.; Grove, J. E.; Guillemot, L.; Guiriec, S.; Hanabata, Y.; Hayashida, M.; Hays, E.; Horan, D.; Hughes, R. E.; Jackson, M. S.; Jóhannesson, G.; Johnson, A. S.; Johnson, R. P.; Johnson, W. N.; Kamae, T.; Katagiri, H.; Kataoka, J.; Kawai, N.; Kerr, M.; Knödlseder, J.; Kocian, M. L.; Kuss, M.; Lande, J.; Latronico, L.; Lemoine-Goumard, M.; Longo, F.; Loparco, F.; Lott, B.; Lovellette, M. N.; Lubrano, P.; Madejski, G. M.; Makeev, A.; Mazziotta, M. N.; McConville, W.; McEnery, J. E.; Meurer, C.; Michelson, P. F.; Mitthumsiri, W.; Mizuno, T.; Moiseev, A. A.; Monte, C.; Monzani, M. E.; Morselli, A.; Moskalenko, I. V.; Murgia, S.; Nolan, P. L.; Norris, J. P.; Nuss, E.; Ohsugi, T.; Omodei, N.; Orlando, E.; Ormes, J. F.; Ozaki, M.; Paneque, D.; Panetta, J. H.; Parent, D.; Pelassa, V.; Pepe, M.; Pesce-Rollins, M.; Piron, F.; Porter, T. A.; Rainò, S.; Rando, R.; Razzano, M.; Reimer, A.; Reimer, O.; Reposeur, T.; Reyes, L. C.; Ritz, S.; Rochester, L. S.; Rodriguez, A. Y.; Roth, M.; Ryde, F.; Sadrozinski, H. F.-W.; Sanchez, D.; Sander, A.; Saz Parkinson, P. M.; Scargle, J. D.; Schalk, T. L.; Sellerholm, A.; Sgrò, C.; Shaw, M. S.; Siskind, E. J.; Smith, D. A.; Smith, P. D.; Spandre, G.; Spinelli, P.; Strickman, M. S.; Suson, D. J.; Tajima, H.; Takahashi, H.; Takahashi, T.; Tanaka, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Thayer, J. B.; Thayer, J. G.; Thompson, D. J.; Tibaldo, L.; Torres, D. F.; Tosti, G.; Tramacere, A.; Uchiyama, Y.; Usher, T. L.; Vasileiou, V.; Vilchez, N.; Vitale, V.; Waite, A. P.; Wang, P.; Winer, B. L.; Wood, K. S.; Ylinen, T.; Ziegler, M.

    2009-12-01

    We report on observations of TeV-selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) made during the first 5.5 months of observations with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on-board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi). In total, 96 AGNs were selected for study, each being either (1) a source detected at TeV energies (28 sources) or (2) an object that has been studied with TeV instruments and for which an upper limit has been reported (68 objects). The Fermi observations show clear detections of 38 of these TeV-selected objects, of which 21 are joint GeV-TeV sources, and 29 were not in the third EGRET catalog. For each of the 38 Fermi-detected sources, spectra and light curves are presented. Most can be described with a power law of spectral index harder than 2.0, with a spectral break generally required to accommodate the TeV measurements. Based on an extrapolation of the Fermi spectrum, we identify sources, not previously detected at TeV energies, which are promising targets for TeV instruments. Evidence for systematic evolution of the γ-ray spectrum with redshift is presented and discussed in the context of interaction with the extragalactic background light.

  18. The suppression of star formation by powerful active galactic nuclei.

    PubMed

    Page, M J; Symeonidis, M; Vieira, J D; Altieri, B; Amblard, A; Arumugam, V; Aussel, H; Babbedge, T; Blain, A; Bock, J; Boselli, A; Buat, V; Castro-Rodríguez, N; Cava, A; Chanial, P; Clements, D L; Conley, A; Conversi, L; Cooray, A; Dowell, C D; Dubois, E N; Dunlop, J S; Dwek, E; Dye, S; Eales, S; Elbaz, D; Farrah, D; Fox, M; Franceschini, A; Gear, W; Glenn, J; Griffin, M; Halpern, M; Hatziminaoglou, E; Ibar, E; Isaak, K; Ivison, R J; Lagache, G; Levenson, L; Lu, N; Madden, S; Maffei, B; Mainetti, G; Marchetti, L; Nguyen, H T; O'Halloran, B; Oliver, S J; Omont, A; Panuzzo, P; Papageorgiou, A; Pearson, C P; Pérez-Fournon, I; Pohlen, M; Rawlings, J I; Rigopoulou, D; Riguccini, L; Rizzo, D; Rodighiero, G; Roseboom, I G; Rowan-Robinson, M; Sánchez Portal, M; Schulz, B; Scott, D; Seymour, N; Shupe, D L; Smith, A J; Stevens, J A; Trichas, M; Tugwell, K E; Vaccari, M; Valtchanov, I; Viero, M; Vigroux, L; Wang, L; Ward, R; Wright, G; Xu, C K; Zemcov, M

    2012-05-09

    The old, red stars that constitute the bulges of galaxies, and the massive black holes at their centres, are the relics of a period in cosmic history when galaxies formed stars at remarkable rates and active galactic nuclei (AGN) shone brightly as a result of accretion onto black holes. It is widely suspected, but unproved, that the tight correlation between the mass of the black hole and the mass of the stellar bulge results from the AGN quenching the surrounding star formation as it approaches its peak luminosity. X-rays trace emission from AGN unambiguously, whereas powerful star-forming galaxies are usually dust-obscured and are brightest at infrared and submillimetre wavelengths. Here we report submillimetre and X-ray observations that show that rapid star formation was common in the host galaxies of AGN when the Universe was 2-6 billion years old, but that the most vigorous star formation is not observed around black holes above an X-ray luminosity of 10(44) ergs per second. This suppression of star formation in the host galaxy of a powerful AGN is a key prediction of models in which the AGN drives an outflow, expelling the interstellar medium of its host and transforming the galaxy's properties in a brief period of cosmic time.

  19. High energy neutrinos from radio-quiet active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alvarez-Muñiz, Jaime; Mészáros, Peter

    2004-12-01

    Most active galactic nuclei (AGN) lack prominent jets, and show modest radio emission and significant x-ray emission which arises mainly from the galactic core, very near the central black hole. We use a quantitative scenario of such core-dominated radio-quiet AGN, which attributes a substantial fraction of the x-ray emission to the presence of abortive jets involving the collision of gas blobs in the core. Here we investigate the consequences of the acceleration of protons in the shocks from such collisions. We find that protons will be accelerated up to energies above the pion photoproduction threshold on both the x rays and the UV photons from the accretion disk. The secondary charged pions decay, producing neutrinos. We predict significant fluxes of TeV-PeV neutrinos, and show that the AMANDA II detector is already constraining several important astrophysical parameters of these sources. Larger cubic kilometer detectors such as IceCube will be able to detect such neutrinos in less than one year of operation, or otherwise rule out this scenario.

  20. Accretion and Jets in Microquasars and Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markoff, S.

    2006-09-01

    Black holes from stellar to galactic scales are observed to accrete material from their environments and, via an as yet unknown mechanism, produce jets of outflowing plasma. In X-ray binaries (XRBs), the systems display radically different radiative properties depending on the amount of captured gas reaching the event horizon. These modes of behavior (one of which includes ``microquasars'') correspond to actual physical changes in the environment near the black hole and can occur on timescales of days to weeks. Some of this behavior should hold true for active galactic nuclei (AGN) if the underlying physics scales with central mass and accretion power, as would be expected if black holes can be characterized mainly by their mass and local environment. However, the timescales on which changes occur should be inversely proportional to the mass. Recent studies support that this scaling applies in some cases, opening the way for comparisons of different stages of time-dependent behavior in microquasars to different classes of AGN zoology. In this distinctly jet-biased review, I will summarize our current understanding of accretion and outflow in these systems and present some of the newest progress addressing unanswered questions about the nature of the accretion flows, jet formation, and jet composition.

  1. Mass Loss from the Nuclei of Active Galaxies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crenshaw, Michael; Kraemer, Steven B.; George, Ian M.

    2003-01-01

    Blueshifted absorption lines in the UV and X-ray spectra of active galaxies reveal the presence of massive outflows of ionized gas from their nuclei. The intrinsic UV and X-ray absorbers show large global covering factors of the central continuum source, and the inferred mass loss rates are comparable to the mass accretion rates. Many absorbers show variable ionic column densities which are attributed to a combination of variable ionizing flux and motion of gas into and out of the line of sight . Detailed studies of the intrinsic absorbers. with the assistance of monitoring observations and photoionization models. provide constraints on their kinematics] physical conditions. and locations relative to the central continuum source. which range from the inner nucleus (approx.0.01 pc) to the galactic disk or halo (approx.10 kpc) . Dynamical models that make use of thermal winds. radiation pressure. and/or hydromagnetic flows have reached a level of sophistication that permits comparisons with the observational constraints .

  2. Continuum radiation from active galactic nuclei: A statistical study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Isobe, T.; Feigelson, E. D.; Singh, K. P.; Kembhavi, A.

    1986-01-01

    The physics of the continuum spectrum of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) was examined using a large data set and rigorous statistical methods. A data base was constructed for 469 objects which include radio selected quasars, optically selected quasars, X-ray selected AGNs, BL Lac objects, and optically unidentified compact radio sources. Each object has measurements of its radio, optical, X-ray core continuum luminosity, though many of them are upper limits. Since many radio sources have extended components, the core component were carefully selected out from the total radio luminosity. With survival analysis statistical methods, which can treat upper limits correctly, these data can yield better statistical results than those previously obtained. A variety of statistical tests are performed, such as the comparison of the luminosity functions in different subsamples, and linear regressions of luminosities in different bands. Interpretation of the results leads to the following tentative conclusions: the main emission mechanism of optically selected quasars and X-ray selected AGNs is thermal, while that of BL Lac objects is synchrotron; radio selected quasars may have two different emission mechanisms in the X-ray band; BL Lac objects appear to be special cases of the radio selected quasars; some compact radio sources show the possibility of synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) in the optical band; and the spectral index between the optical and the X-ray bands depends on the optical luminosity.

  3. The Suppression of Star Formation by Powerful Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dwek, E.

    2012-01-01

    The old, red stars that constitute the bulges of galaxies, and the massive black holes at their centres, are the relics of a period in cosmic history when galaxies formed stars at remarkable rates and active galactic nuclei (AGN) shone brightly as a result of accretion onto black holes. It is widely suspected, but unproved, that the tight corre1ation between the mass of the black hole and the mas. of the stellar bulge results from the AGN quenching the surrounding star formation as it approaches its peak luminosity. X-rays trace emission from AGN unambiguously, whereas powerful star-forming ga1axies are usually dust-obscured and are brightest at infrared and submillimeter wavelengths. Here we report submillimetre and X-ray observations that show that rapid star formation was common in the host galaxies of AGN when the Universe was 2-6 billion years old, but that the most vigorous star formation is not observed around black holes above an X-ray luminosity of 10(exp 44) ergs per second. This suppression of star formation in the host galaxy of a powerful AGN is a key prediction of models in which the AGN drives an outflow, expe11ing the interstellar medium of its host and transforming the galaxy's properties in a brief period of cosmic time.

  4. Geometry of Broad Line Regions of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lü, Xiao-Rong

    2008-02-01

    It has long remained an open question as to the geometry of the broad line region (BLR) in active galactic nuclei (AGNs). The reverberation mapping technique which measures the response of the broad emission lines to the ionizing continuum, when combined with multiwavelength continuum fitted by sophisticated accretion disks, provides a way of probing the BLR geometry. We analyze a sample of 35 AGNs, which have been monitored by the reverberation mapping campaign. In view of energy budget, the reverberation-based BH masses are found to be in agreement with those obtained by accretion disk models in two thirds of the present sample while the reverberation mapping methods underestimate the BH masses in about one third of objects, as also suggested by Collin et al. in a recent work. We point out that there are obviously two kinds of BLR geometry, which are strongly dependent on the Eddington ratio, and separated by the value LBol/LEdd~0.1. These results prefer a scenario of the disk and wind configuration of the BLR and identify the Eddington ratio as the physical driver regulating the wind in the BLR.

  5. Modeling Host Disk Kinematics of Nearby Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Machuca, Camilo; Crenshaw, D. Michael; Fischer, Travis C.

    2016-01-01

    Previous work by our group has shown that, although the kinematics of many active galactic nuclei (AGN) can be modeled by biconal outflow, most AGN have kinematics that are too convolved with other forms of motion to be modeled so simply, such as the rotation of the host disk. To disentangle these rotational components from the outflowing ionized gas due to AGN "feedback" in the narrow-line region (NLR) and understand the AGN's relationship with the host galaxy at extended distances, we present this study on two Seyfert 2 galaxies, Markarian 3 and Markarian 573, based on two-dimensional long-slit spectra taken with the ARC 3.5m telescope at Apache-Point Observatory. The two targets were observed multiple times at varying position angles (in order to trace the kinematics of the host disk at multiple points) and their total kinematics were analyzed and modeled using DiskFit, a publicly available code that fits given velocity fields. We compare the results of DiskFit to observed velocities and consider the applications of this technique to the kinematic fitting of other nearby AGN with convolved motions.

  6. Active galactic nuclei as scaled-up Galactic black holes.

    PubMed

    McHardy, I M; Koerding, E; Knigge, C; Uttley, P; Fender, R P

    2006-12-01

    A long-standing question is whether active galactic nuclei (AGN) vary like Galactic black hole systems when appropriately scaled up by mass. If so, we can then determine how AGN should behave on cosmological timescales by studying the brighter and much faster varying Galactic systems. As X-ray emission is produced very close to the black holes, it provides one of the best diagnostics of their behaviour. A characteristic timescale--which potentially could tell us about the mass of the black hole--is found in the X-ray variations from both AGN and Galactic black holes, but whether it is physically meaningful to compare the two has been questioned. Here we report that, after correcting for variations in the accretion rate, the timescales can be physically linked, revealing that the accretion process is exactly the same for small and large black holes. Strong support for this linkage comes, perhaps surprisingly, from the permitted optical emission lines in AGN whose widths (in both broad-line AGN and narrow-emission-line Seyfert 1 galaxies) correlate strongly with the characteristic X-ray timescale, exactly as expected from the AGN black hole masses and accretion rates. So AGN really are just scaled-up Galactic black holes. PMID:17151661

  7. Revisiting the Unified Model of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Netzer, Hagai

    2015-08-01

    This review describes recent developments related to the unified model of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). It focuses on new ideas about the origin and properties of the central obscurer (torus) and the connection to its surroundings. The review does not address radio unification. AGN tori must be clumpy but uncertainties about their properties persist. Today's most promising models involve disk winds of various types and hydrodynamic simulations that link the large-scale galactic disk to the inner accretion flow. Infrared (IR) studies greatly improved our understanding of the spectral energy distribution of AGNs, but they are hindered by various selection effects. X-ray samples are more complete. The dependence of the covering factor of the torus on luminosity is a basic relationship that remains unexplained. There is also much confusion regarding real type-II AGNs, which do not fit into a simple unification scheme. The most impressive recent results are due to IR interferometry, which is not in accord with most torus models, and the accurate mapping of central ionization cones. AGN unification may not apply to merging systems and is possibly restricted to secularly evolving galaxies.

  8. On the efficient acceleration of clouds in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waters, Tim; Proga, Daniel

    2016-07-01

    In the broad line region of active galactic nuclei (AGN), acceleration occurs naturally when a cloud condenses out of the hot confining medium due to the increase in line opacity as the cloud cools. However, acceleration by radiation pressure is not very efficient when the flux is time-independent, unless the flow is 1D. Here, we explore how acceleration is affected by a time-varying flux, as AGN are known to be highly variable. If the period of flux oscillations is longer than the thermal time-scale, we expect the gas to cool during the low flux state, and therefore line opacity should quickly increase. The cloud will receive a small kick due to the increased radiation force. We perform hydrodynamical simulations using ATHENA to confirm this effect and quantify its importance. We find that despite the flow becoming turbulent in 2D due to hydrodynamic instabilities, a 20 per cent modulation of the flux leads to a net increase in acceleration - by more than a factor of 2 - in both 1D and 2D. We show that this acceleration is sufficient to produce the observed line widths, although we only consider optically thin clouds. We discuss the implications of our results for photoionization modelling and reverberation mapping.

  9. Color Systematics of Comets and Related Bodies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewitt, David

    2015-12-01

    Most comets are volatile-rich bodies that have recently entered the inner solar system following long-term storage in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud reservoirs. These reservoirs feed several distinct, short-lived "small body" populations. Here, we present new measurements of the optical colors of cometary and comet-related bodies including long-period (Oort cloud) comets, Damocloids (probable inactive nuclei of long-period comets) and Centaurs (recent escapees from the Kuiper belt and precursors to the Jupiter family comets). We combine the new measurements with published data on short-period comets, Jovian Trojans and Kuiper belt objects to examine the color systematics of the comet-related populations. We find that the mean optical colors of the dust in short-period and long-period comets are identical within the uncertainties of measurement, as are the colors of the dust and of the underlying nuclei. These populations show no evidence for scattering by optically small particles or for compositional gradients, even at the largest distances from the Sun, and no evidence for ultrared matter. Consistent with earlier work, ultrared surfaces are common in the Kuiper belt and on the Centaurs, but not in other small body populations, suggesting that this material is hidden or destroyed upon entry to the inner solar system. The onset of activity in the Centaurs and the disappearance of the ultrared matter in this population begin at about the same perihelion distance (˜10 AU), suggesting that the two are related. Blanketing of primordial surface materials by the fallback of sub-orbital ejecta, for which we calculate a very short timescale, is the likely mechanism. The same process should operate on any mass-losing body, explaining the absence of ultrared surface material in the entire comet population. The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the

  10. Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity of aliphatic amine secondary aerosol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tang, X.; Price, D.; Praske, E.; Vu, D. N.; Purvis-Roberts, K.; Silva, P. J.; Cocker, D. R., III; Asa-Awuku, A.

    2014-06-01

    Aliphatic amines can form secondary aerosol via oxidation with atmospheric radicals (e.g., hydroxyl radical and nitrate radical). The particle can contain both secondary organic aerosol (SOA) and inorganic salts. The ratio of organic to inorganic materials in the particulate phase influences aerosol hygroscopicity and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activity. SOA formed from trimethylamine (TMA) and butylamine (BA) reactions with hydroxyl radical (OH) is composed of organic material of low hygroscopicity (single hygroscopicity parameter, κ, ≤ 0.25). Secondary aerosol formed from the tertiary aliphatic amine (TMA) with N2O5 (source of nitrate radical, NO3) contains less volatile compounds than the primary aliphatic amine (BA) aerosol. As relative humidity (RH) increases, inorganic amine salts are formed as a result of acid-base reactions. The CCN activity of the humid TMA-N2O5 aerosol obeys Zdanovskii, Stokes, and Robinson (ZSR) ideal mixing rules. The humid BA + N2O5 aerosol products were found to be very sensitive to the temperature at which the measurements were made within the streamwise continuous-flow thermal gradient CCN counter; κ ranges from 0.4 to 0.7 dependent on the instrument supersaturation (ss) settings. The variance of the measured aerosol κ values indicates that simple ZSR rules cannot be applied to the CCN results from the primary aliphatic amine system. Overall, aliphatic amine aerosol systems' κ ranges within 0.2 < κ < 0.7. This work indicates that aerosols formed via nighttime reactions with amines are likely to produce hygroscopic and volatile aerosol, whereas photochemical reactions with OH produce secondary organic aerosol of lower CCN activity. The contributions of semivolatile secondary organic and inorganic material from aliphatic amines must be considered for accurate hygroscopicity and CCN predictions from aliphatic amine systems.

  11. Monitoring of the cometary activity of distant comet C/2006 S3 (LONEOS)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rousselot, P.; Korsun, P. P.; Kulyk, I. V.; Afanasiev, V. L.; Ivanova, O. V.; Sergeev, A. V.; Velichko, S. F.

    2014-11-01

    Context. The study of small bodies that have a cometary activity at a large heliocentric distance (larger than 5 au) is important for a better understanding of the physical properties of comets and their origin. Such studies require long-term monitoring and a significant observational effort. Aims: Our goal is to monitor the cometary activity and search for possible emission lines of C/2006 S3 (LONEOS), which is a distant comet that was discovered in 2006 and passed perihelion at 5.13 au in April 2012. Methods: We performed different observing runs with telescopes, ranging from 2 m to 6 m both in imaging and spectroscopic modes in the optical range, between 2006 and 2014. Results: The comet C/2006 S3 (LONEOS) was a very active object with Afρ ~ 4000 cm at its maximum of activity, corresponding to a dust production rate of 82 kg s-1, considering a mean geometric albedo of 0.1 and grain outflow velocities in the range 2-22 m s-1. It appeared to be more active after its perihelion than before and we did not manage to detect any emission lines. Upper limits for the main cometary species that have emission bands in the optical range are provided. Our dust environment modeling is in agreement with a collimated source of dust that appeared in 2013. Full Table 2 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (ftp://130.79.128.5) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/571/A73

  12. Infrared imaging of comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Telesco, Charles M.

    1988-01-01

    Thermal infrared imaging of comets provides fundamental information about the distribution of dust in their comae and tails. The imaging program at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) uses a unique 20-pixel bolometer array that was developed to image comets at 8 to 30 micrometer. These images provide the basis for: (1) characterizing the composition and size distribution of particles, (2) determining the mass-loss rates from cometary nuclei, and (3) describing the dynamics of the interaction between the dust and the solar radiation. Since the array became operational in 1985, researchers have produced a unique series of IR images of comets Giacobini-Zinner (GZ), Halley, and Wilson. That of GZ was the first groundbased thermal image ever made of a comet and was used to construct, with visible observations, an albedo map. Those data and dynamical analyses showed that GZ contained a population of large (approximately 300 micrometer), fluffy dust grains that formed a distinict inner tail. The accumulating body of images of various comets has also provided a basis for fruitfully intercomparing comet properties. Researchers also took advantage of the unique capabilities of the camera to resolve the inner, possible protoplanetary, disk of the star Beta Pictoris, while not a comet research program, that study is a fruitful additional application of the array to solar system astronomy.

  13. Unwrapping the X-ray spectra of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reynolds, C. S.

    2016-05-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are complex phenomena. At the heart of an AGN is a relativistic accretion disk around a spinning supermassive black hole (SMBH) with an X-ray emitting corona and, sometimes, a relativistic jet. On larger scales, the outer accretion disk and molecular torus act as the reservoirs of gas for the continuing AGN activity. And on all scales from the black hole outwards, powerful winds are seen that probably affect the evolution of the host galaxy as well as regulate the feeding of the AGN itself. In this review article, we discuss how X-ray spectroscopy can be used to study each of these components. We highlight how recent measurements of the high-energy cutoff in the X-ray continuum by NuSTAR are pushing us to conclude that X-ray coronae are radiatively-compact and have electron temperatures regulated by electron-positron pair production. We show that the predominance of rapidly-rotating objects in current surveys of SMBH spin is entirely unsurprising once one accounts for the observational selection bias resulting from the spin-dependence of the radiative efficiency. We review recent progress in our understanding of fast (v˜ (0.1-0.3)c, highly-ionized (mainly visible in Fe XXV and Fe XXVI lines), high-column density winds that may dominate quasar-mode galactic feedback. Finally, we end with a brief look forward to the promise of Astro-H and future X-ray spectropolarimeters.

  14. Spatially Offset Active Galactic Nuclei. I. Selection and Spectroscopic Properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barrows, R. Scott; Comerford, Julia M.; Greene, Jenny E.; Pooley, David

    2016-09-01

    We present a sample of 18 optically selected and X-ray-detected spatially offset active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). In nine systems, the X-ray active galactic nucleus (AGN) is spatially offset from the galactic stellar core that is located within the 3″ diameter SDSS spectroscopic fiber. In 11 systems, the X-ray AGN is spatially offset from a stellar core that is located outside the fiber, with an overlap of two. To build the sample, we cross-matched Type II AGNs selected from the SDSS galaxy catalog with archival Chandra imaging and employed our custom astrometric and registration procedure. The projected angular (physical) offsets span a range of 0.″6 (0.8 kpc) to 17.″4 (19.4 kpc), with a median value of 2.″7 (4.6 kpc). The offset nature of an AGN is an unambiguous signature of a galaxy merger, and these systems can be used to study the properties of AGNs in galaxy mergers without the biases introduced by morphological merger selection techniques. In this paper (Paper I), we use our sample to assess the kinematics of AGN photoionized gas in galaxy mergers. We find that spectroscopic offset AGN selection may be up to {89}-16+7% incomplete due to small projected velocity offsets. We also find that the magnitude of the velocity offsets are generally larger than expected if our spatial selection introduces a bias toward face-on orbits, suggesting the presence of complex kinematics in the emission line gas of AGNs in galaxy mergers.

  15. The Early Inbound Activity of Comet ISON (C/2012 S1)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    A'Hearn, Michael F.; Biver, N.; Bodewits, D.; Farnham, T. L.; Feaga, L. M.; Feldman, P. D.; Knight, M. M.; O'Rourke, L.; Schleicher, D. G.; Weaver, H. A.

    2013-10-01

    We have assembled a variety of data on the early behavior of comet ISON through early June 2013, including V magnitudes from the ground and from spacecraft (SWIFT, DIFlyby), upper limits on gas from the DIFlyby, Herschel, and Hubble, and ground-based detections of CO and CN. We argue that the comet’s activity was steadily increasing from the pre-discovery observations in 2011 through late 2012. The activity then flattened and remained constant until January 2013, at which point it started to decrease and continued decreasing until earliest June. We interpret this in the classical picture (e.g., Whipple 1978 Moon and Planets 18, 343) of a dynamically new comet from the Oort cloud having a totally irradiated crust of order 3-10 meters thick from 4.5 billion years of galactic cosmic rays outside the heliosphere. The irradiated layer is released at very large distances due to the presence of free radicals and other chemically active species. As this crust is depleted the activity decreases and in early June we are awaiting the onset of “normal” cometary activity, which should be detected by fall at the latest.

  16. Ultrafast outflows in radio-loud active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tombesi, F.; Tazaki, F.; Mushotzky, R. F.; Ueda, Y.; Cappi, M.; Gofford, J.; Reeves, J. N.; Guainazzi, M.

    2014-09-01

    Recent X-ray observations show absorbing winds with velocities up to mildly relativistic values of the order of ˜0.1c in a limited sample of six broad-line radio galaxies. They are observed as blueshifted Fe XXV-XXVI K-shell absorption lines, similarly to the ultrafast outflows (UFOs) reported in Seyferts and quasars. In this work we extend the search for such Fe K absorption lines to a larger sample of 26 radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN) observed with XMM-Newton and Suzaku. The sample is drawn from the Swift Burst Alert Telescope 58-month catalogue and blazars are excluded. X-ray bright Fanaroff-Riley Class II radio galaxies constitute the majority of the sources. Combining the results of this analysis with those in the literature we find that UFOs are detected in >27 per cent of the sources. However, correcting for the number of spectra with insufficient signal-to-noise ratio, we can estimate that the incidence of UFOs is this sample of radio-loud AGN is likely in the range f ≃ (50 ± 20) per cent. A photoionization modelling of the absorption lines with XSTAR allows us to estimate the distribution of their main parameters. The observed outflow velocities are broadly distributed between vout ≲ 1000 km s-1 and vout ≃ 0.4c, with mean and median values of vout ≃ 0.133c and vout ≃ 0.117c, respectively. The material is highly ionized, with an average ionization parameter of logξ ≃ 4.5 erg s-1 cm, and the column densities are larger than NH > 1022 cm-2. Overall, these characteristics are consistent with the presence of complex accretion disc winds in a significant fraction of radio-loud AGN and demonstrate that the presence of relativistic jets does not preclude the existence of winds, in accordance with several theoretical models.

  17. The dust covering factor in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stalevski, Marko; Ricci, Claudio; Ueda, Yoshihiro; Lira, Paulina; Fritz, Jacopo; Baes, Maarten

    2016-05-01

    The primary source of emission of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the accretion disc, is surrounded by an optically and geometrically thick dusty structure (`the so-called dusty torus'). The infrared radiation emitted by the dust is nothing but a reprocessed fraction of the accretion disc emission, so the ratio of the torus to the AGN luminosity (Ltorus/LAGN) should corresponds to the fraction of the sky obscured by dust, i.e. the covering factor. We undertook a critical investigation of the Ltorus/LAGN as the dust covering factor proxy. Using state-of-the-art 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer code, we calculated a grid of spectral energy distributions (SEDs) emitted by the clumpy two-phase dusty structure. With this grid of SEDs, we studied the relation between Ltorus/LAGN and the dust covering factor for different parameters of the torus. We found that in the case of type 1 AGNs the torus anisotropy makes Ltorus/LAGN underestimate low covering factors and overestimate high covering factors. In type 2 AGNs Ltorus/LAGN always underestimates covering factors. Our results provide a novel easy-to-use method to account for anisotropy and obtain correct covering factors. Using two samples from the literature, we demonstrated the importance of our result for inferring the obscured AGN fraction. We found that after the anisotropy is properly accounted for, the dust covering factors show very weak dependence on LAGN, with values in the range of ≈0.6-0.7. Our results also suggest a higher fraction of obscured AGNs at high luminosities than those found by X-ray surveys, in part owing to the presence of a Compton-thick AGN population predicted by population synthesis models.

  18. THE EVOLUTION OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI AND THEIR SPINS

    SciTech Connect

    Volonteri, M.; Lasota, J.-P.; Sikora, M.; Merloni, A.

    2013-10-01

    Massive black holes (MBHs), in contrast to stellar mass black holes, are expected to substantially change their properties over their lifetime. MBH masses increase by several orders of magnitude over a Hubble time, as illustrated by Sołtan's argument. MBH spins also must evolve through the series of accretion and mergers events that increase the masses of MBHs. We present a simple model that traces the joint evolution of MBH masses and spins across cosmic time. Our model includes MBH-MBH mergers, merger-driven gas accretion, stochastic fueling of MBHs through molecular cloud capture, and a basic implementation of accretion of recycled gas. This approach aims at improving the modeling of low-redshift MBHs and active galactic nuclei (AGNs), whose properties can be more easily estimated observationally. Despite the simplicity of the model, it does a good job capturing the global evolution of the MBH population from z ∼ 6 to today. Under our assumptions, we find that the typical spin and radiative efficiency of MBHs decrease with cosmic time because of the increased incidence of stochastic processes in gas-rich galaxies and MBH-MBH mergers in gas-poor galaxies. At z = 0, the spin distribution in gas-poor galaxies peaks at spins 0.4-0.8 and is not strongly mass dependent. MBHs in gas-rich galaxies have a more complex evolution, with low-mass MBHs at low redshift having low spins and spins increasing at larger masses and redshifts. We also find that at z > 1 MBH spins are on average the highest in high luminosity AGNs, while at lower redshifts these differences disappear.

  19. Quantifying radio-mode feedback from Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shabala, Stanislav

    2015-08-01

    Galaxy formation models routinely invoke feedback from radio-loud Active Galactic Nuclei to explain the observed masses and red colours of the most massive galaxies since z~1. Whether or not the observed AGN population can provide the required feedback, however, is an open question.We present a new dynamical model that relates AGN physical parameters to the observed properties of radio AGN. This model combines a traditional approach to modeling radio AGN with a semi-analytic description of AGN environments. The model reproduces a number of key features of the observed radio AGN populations, and we determine the energetics (specifically, jet kinetic powers and AGN lifetimes) of the observed local (z<0.1) radio AGN population, as a function of host galaxy properties.We find a broad distribution of jet powers that is largely independent of host galaxy mass, consistent with the idea that these radio AGN are fed by gas cooling from hot haloes in near heating-cooling equilibrium. On the other hand, the duration of the AGN phase appears strongly mass-dependent: massive galaxies host AGN that are longer-lived, and can therefore impart feedback for longer and on larger spatial scales. Finally, we compare the cumulative AGN energy output from ubiquitous weak AGN with their rare powerful counterparts, and find that radio AGN of all luminosities deliver a comparable amount of energy to their surroundings.I will outline how this approach can provide useful insights into AGN triggering and feedback mechanisms, as well as be used to correct for selection effects in large radio surveys. I will also outline the challenges (and solutions) to performing an AGN energetics analysis at high redshift.

  20. Chemistry in the Molecular Disks of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harada, Nanase; Herbst, Eric

    2010-06-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are the centers of galaxies with supermassive blackholes whose accretion of mass causes very high luminosities of L˜1044-46erg s-1. An accretion disk has a molecular component that extends to hundreds of pc from the central AGN core. The question of how much central illumination affects the disk and how much star formation is present near the core have been astrophysical interests. Rotational lines from these disks at a sub-kpc scale have been observed for molecules such as CO, HCO+, HCN, and HNC. When ALMA becomes fully operational, it will be able to resolve these disks at much higher resolution than currently. Molecular observations at higher resolution may give some hints on the physics in the molecular disk. We modeled the chemical composition of a molecular disk in an AGN on a scale of tens of pc. To do this, we extended our standard gas-phase OSU network to include important processes at much higher temperatures, approaching 1000 K. We used the density model of Thompson et al., and determined the temperature by the blackbody approximation from the luminosity of the AGN core. The ionization by X-rays from the AGN core, by cosmic-rays from the AGN core, supernovae and stellar winds, and by UV-photons from OB stars are considered. We will briefly mention the effects from other factors that may change the molecular abundances such as shock waves and inhomogeneity of the density of the disk. T. Thompson, E. Quataert, and N. Murray, Astrophysical J. 630, 167 (2005)

  1. Fractionation of nuclei from brain by zonal centrifugation and a study of the ribonucleic acid polymerase activity in the various classes of nuclei

    PubMed Central

    Austoker, J.; Cox, D.; Mathias, A. P.

    1972-01-01

    1. The nuclei of the cells of the whole rat brain have been fractionated in a B-XIV zonal rotor with a discontinuous gradient of sucrose. Five fractions were obtained. Zone (I) contained neuronal nuclei (70%) and astrocytic nuclei (23%). Zone (II) contained astrocytic nuclei (81%) and neuronal nuclei (15%). Zone (III) contained astrocytic nuclei (84%) and oligodendrocytic nuclei (15%). Zone (IV) contained oligodendrocytic nuclei (92%) and zone (V) contained only oligodendrocytic nuclei. 2. The content of DNA, RNA and protein per nucleus was determined for each zone. Although the amount of DNA per nucleus is constant (7pg) the RNA varies from 4.5 to 2.5pg/nucleus and the protein from 38 to 17.6pg/nucleus. The neuronal nuclei have the greatest amounts of protein. The oligodendrocytic nuclei have the least content of RNA and protein. 3. The effects of pH, ionic strength, and Mg2+ and Mn2+ concentration on the activity of the nuclear system for synthesis in vitro of RNA have been investigated for unfractionated nuclei. From these studies a standard set of conditions for the assay of nuclear RNA polymerase has been established. 4. The activity of the RNA polymerase in each of the zonal fractions has been determined in the presence and in the absence of α-amanitin. Zone (II) is the most active, followed by zone (I). The nuclei of zones (IV) and (V) have comparable activity, which is 40% of that of zone (II). 5. The extent of incorporation of each of the four labelled nucleoside triphosphates by the nuclei from each zone has been measured. These values have been used to calculate the base composition of the RNA synthesized in vitro in each class of nucleus. 6. The effect of changes in the condition of assay of RNA polymerase in the different classes of nuclei has been investigated. Significant differences in the response to concentrations of metal ions and ammonium sulphate have been observed. 7. Homopolymer formation in each zone of brain nuclei has been determined. The

  2. Comet Dust: The Story of Planet Formation as Told by the Tiniest of Particles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wooden, D. H.

    2005-01-01

    Our planetary system formed out of a gas-rich disk-shaped nebula with the early Sun at its center. Many small icy bodies were consumed by the formation of the giant planets. However, many km-size icy bodies were tossed out of the giant-planet region to the cold, distant reaches of our solar system. Comets remained in their places of cold storage until perturbed into orbits that carry them into the inner solar system where they pass relatively close to the Sun. Comets are warmed by the Sun and shed material from their outer layers. The ices and gases shed by comets reveal simple and complex organic molecules were present at the time and in the region of the formation of the giant planets. Where the Earth was forming was too hot and had too intense sunlight for many of these ices and molecules to survive. The dust shed by comets tells us that some stardust survived unaltered but much of the dust was heated and crystallized before becoming part of the comet. Therefore, comet dust grains tell of large radial migrations from the cold outer reaches near Neptune into the hot regions near the forming Sun, and then back out to the cold regions where icy comets were accreting and forming. On 2005 July 4, the NASA Deep Impact Mission hit a comet and ejected primitive materials fiom its interior. These materials were not released into the comet s coma during normal activity. Despite the many passages of this comet close to the Sun, these primitive volatile gases and dust grains survived in its interior. Comet dust grains show that cold and hot materials were mixed into the same tiny particle very early in the formation of the solar system, and these aggregate dust grains never saw high temperatures again. The survival of primitive materials in comet nuclei suggests comets could have delivered organic molecules and primitive dust grains to early Earth.

  3. Thermal evolution of cometary nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prialnik, D.

    2014-07-01

    Thermal modeling of comet nuclei and similar objects involves the solution of conservation equations for energy and masses of the various components over time. For simplicity, the body is generally, but not necessarily, assumed to be of spherical shape. The processes included in such calculations are heat transfer, gas flow, dust drag, phase transitions, internal heating by various sources, internal structure alterations, surface sublimation. Physical properties --- such as the thermal conductivity, permeability, material strength, and porous structure --- are assumed, based on the best available estimates from laboratory experiments and space-mission results. Calculations employ various numerical procedures and require significant computational power, data analysis, and often sophisticated methods of graphical presentation. They start with a body of given size, mass, and composition, as well as a given orbit. The results yield properties and activity patterns that can be confronted with observations. Initial parameters may be adjusted until agreement is achieved. A glimpse into the internal structure of the object, which is inaccessible to direct observation, is thus obtained. The last decade, since the extensive overview of the subject was published (Modeling the structure and activity of comet nuclei, Prialnik, D.; Benkhoff, J.; Podolak, M., in Comets II, M. C. Festou, H. U. Keller, and H. A. Weaver, eds., University of Arizona Press, Tucson, p.359-387), thermal modeling has significantly advanced. This was prompted both by new properties and phenomena gleaned from observations, one example being main-belt comets, and the continual increase in computational power and performance. Progress was made on two fronts. On the computational side, multi-dimensional models have been developed, adaptive-grid and moving-boundaries techniques have been adopted, and long-term evolutionary calculations have become possible, even spanning the lifetime of the Solar System. On

  4. Rosetta/VIRTIS investigation of the chemistry and activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Drossart, Pierre; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Migliorini, Alessandra; Erard, Stéphane; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Filacchione, Gianrico; Fougere, Nicolas; Leyrat, Cedric; Crovisier, Jacques; Capaccioni, Fabrizio

    2016-07-01

    The composition of cometary ices inside cometary nuclei provides clues to the chemistry of the protoplanetary disk where they formed, 4.6 Gyr ago. These ices sublimate when the body approches the Sun, so that the coma molecular species give insights on the nucleus surface and sub-surface composition. So far, most investigations of the coma chemical composition were performed from telescopic observations from the ground or space plateforms. Since August 2014, the ESA/Rosetta spacecraft has been investigating the nucleus and inner coma of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. This talk will present an overview of the results obtained by the Visual and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) instrument onboard Rosetta, focussing on observations of molecular species. VIRTIS is composed of two channels. The VIRTIS-M channel is a spectro-imager covering the 0.27-5.1 microns range, which allowed us to map the spatial distribution of H2O and CO2 (Migliorini et al. 2016, A&A in press). VIRTIS-H is a high-spectral resolution spectrometer covering the 2-5 microns range. Spectra obtained with VIRTIS-H show signatures of H2O, CO2 (both fundamental and hot bands), 13CO2, CH4 and other C-H bearing species (Bockelee-Morvan et al. A&A, 583, A6,2015). VIRTIS is a key instrument to investigate regional, diurnal and seasonal variations of the comet outgassing.

  5. The Phenomenology of Outflows from Radio Loud Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerra, Erick Jimenez

    This thesis presents the results of two studies involving collimated outflows in radio loud active galactic nuclei (AGN). The first study examines relativistic outflows from the cores of different classes of AGN, and estimates of bulk Lorentz factors and viewing angles. The second study deals with powerful extended radio galaxies, the relation between their lifetime and their luminosity in directed kinetic energy, or beam power, and the use of these sources for cosmology. Compact radio sources are examined, and the kinematics of their outflows are determined. Two updated sets of Doppler factor estimates, one using the equipartition method and the other using the inverse Compton method, for 100 radio cores are discussed. Intrinsic brightness temperatures based on these Doppler factors are examined along with their relevance to the 'inverse Compton catastrophe'. Intrinsic luminosity densities and luminosities are presented, and the role of systematic errors is discussed. Outflow angles and bulk Lorentz factors are computed for 43 out of the 100 sources on the basis of proper motions compiled by Vermeulen & Cohen (1994). These estimates of outflow angles and bulk Lorentz factors are discussed along with their agreement with orientation unified models of AGN. Powerful extended radio galaxies are examined, and the relation between the active lifetime and the beam power in these sources is investigated by comparing the redshift evolution of characteristic source size to the redshift evolution of the average lobe-lobe size. It is found that the data are described by a model in which the active lifetime of the source, t/*, is written as a power-law in the beam power, Lj. The exponent of the power law is estimated to be βsimeq2.1±0.6, where t/*∝ Lj-β/3, which excludes β=0, an Eddington-limited system. The same comparison of characteristic source sizes to the average lobe-lobe size can be used to constrain cosmological parameters. The data indicate a low value of

  6. Comet Observations with SIRTF

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cruikshank, Dale P.

    2003-01-01

    Comet observations are included in the programs of the Guaranteed Time Observers (GTO) on the Space Infrared Telescope Facility (SIRTF), scheduled to be in space and operational for five years beginning in late 2003. SIRTF is a cryogenic telescope with three basic instruments for imaging, photometry and spectroscopy from 3.6 m to 160 m. All of these capabilities will be used in studies of comets. The intent is to study the infrared radiation (emission) from comets (and dust tails, where relevant) in all stages of evolution, starting with Kuiper Belt objects and Centaurs (thermal emission at 24,70, and 160 m to derive dimensions and albedos). Active comets will be observed spectroscopically and in deep thermal images. Several known or suspected extinct comets will be observed spectroscopically (5-37 m) for information on their surface compositions. There are opportunities for Guest Observers (GO) to propose additional comet work. .

  7. Comet formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blum, J.

    2014-07-01

    There has been vast progress in our understanding of planetesimal formation over the past decades, owing to a number of laboratory experiments as well as to refined models of dust and ice agglomeration in protoplanetary disks. Coagulation rapidly forms cm-sized ''pebbles'' by direct sticking in collisions at low velocities (Güttler et al. 2010; Zsom et al. 2010). For the further growth, two model approaches are currently being discussed: (1) Local concentration of pebbles in nebular instabilities until gravitational instability occurs (Johansen et al. 2007). (2) A competition between fragmentation and mass transfer in collisions among the dusty bodies, in which a few ''lucky winners'' make it to planetesimal sizes (Windmark et al. 2012a,b; Garaud et al. 2013). Predictions of the physical properties of the resulting bodies in both models allow a distinction of the two formation scenarios of planetesimals. In particular, the tensile strength (i.e, the inner cohesion) of the planetesimals differ widely between the two models (Skorov & Blum 2012; Blum et al. 2014). While model (1) predicts tensile strengths on the order of ˜ 1 Pa, model (2) results in rather compactified dusty bodies with tensile strengths in the kPa regime. If comets are km-sized survivors of the planetesimal-formation era, they should in principle hold the secret of their formation process. Water ice is the prime volatile responsible for the activity of comets. Thermophysical models of the heat and mass transport close to the comet-nucleus surface predict water-ice sublimation temperatures that relate to maximum sublimation pressures well below the kPa regime predicted for formation scenario (2). Model (1), however, is in agreement with the observed dust and gas activity of comets. Thus, a formation scenario for cometesimals involving gravitational instability is favored (Blum et al. 2014).

  8. Making an Impact with Public Outreach Activities on Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    White, V.; Gurton, S.; Berendsen, M.; Dusenbery, P.

    2010-12-01

    The Night Sky Network is a collaboration of close to 350 astronomy clubs across the US that actively engage in public outreach within their communities. Since 2004, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific has been creating outreach ToolKits filled with carefully crafted sets of physical materials designed to help these volunteer clubs explain the wonders of the night sky to the public. The effectiveness of the ToolKit activities and demonstrations is the direct result of a thorough testing and vetting process. Find out how this iterative assessment process can help other programs create useful tools for both formal and informal educators. The current Space Rocks Outreach ToolKit focuses on explaining asteroids, comets, and meteorites to the general public using quick, big-picture activities that get audiences involved. Eight previous ToolKits cover a wide range of topics from the Moon to black holes. In each case, amateur astronomers and the public helped direct the development the activities along the way through surveys, focus groups, and active field-testing. The resulting activities have been embraced by the larger informal learning community and are enthusiastically being delivered to millions of people across the US and around the world. Each ToolKit is delivered free of charge to active Night Sky Network astronomy clubs. All activity write-ups are available free to download at the website listed here. Amateur astronomers receive frequent questions from the public about Earth impacts, meteors, and comets so this set of activities will help them explain the dynamics of these phenomena to the public. The Space Rocks ToolKit resources complement the Great Balls of Fire museum exhibit produced by Space Science Institute’s National Center for Interactive Learning and scheduled for release in 2011. NSF has funded this national traveling exhibition and outreach ToolKit under Grant DRL-0813528.

  9. Sulfur activation at the Little Boy-Comet Critical Assembly: a replica of the Hiroshima bomb

    SciTech Connect

    Kerr, G.D.; Emery, J.F.; Pace, J.V. III

    1985-04-01

    Studies have been completed on the activation of sulfur by fast neutrons from the Little Boy-Comet Critical Assembly which replicates the general features of the Hiroshima bomb. The complex effects of the bomb's design and construction on leakage of sulfur-activation neutrons were investigated both experimentally and theoretically. Our sulfur activation studies were performed as part of a larger program to provide benchmark data for testing of methods used in recent source-term calculations for the Hiroshima bomb. Source neutrons capable of activating sulfur play an important role in determining neutron doses in Hiroshima at a kilometer or more from the point of explosion. 37 refs., 5 figs., 6 tabs.

  10. The angular clustering of WISE-selected active galactic nuclei: Different halos for obscured and unobscured active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Donoso, E.; Yan, Lin; Stern, D.; Assef, R. J.

    2014-07-01

    We calculate the angular correlation function for a sample of ∼170,000 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) extracted from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) catalog, selected to have red mid-IR colors (W1 – W2 > 0.8) and 4.6 μm flux densities brighter than 0.14 mJy). The sample is expected to be >90% reliable at identifying AGNs and to have a mean redshift of (z) = 1.1. In total, the angular clustering of WISE AGNs is roughly similar to that of optical AGNs. We cross-match these objects with the photometric Sloan Digital Sky Survey catalog and distinguish obscured sources with r – W2 > 6 from bluer, unobscured AGNs. Obscured sources present a higher clustering signal than unobscured sources. Since the host galaxy morphologies of obscured AGNs are not typical red sequence elliptical galaxies and show disks in many cases, it is unlikely that the increased clustering strength of the obscured population is driven by a host galaxy segregation bias. By using relatively complete redshift distributions from the COSMOS survey, we find that obscured sources at (z) ∼ 0.9 have a bias of b = 2.9 ± 0.6 and are hosted in dark matter halos with a typical mass of log (M/M {sub ☉} h {sup –1}) ∼ 13.5. In contrast, unobscured AGNs at (z) ∼ 1.1 have a bias of b = 1.6 ± 0.6 and inhabit halos of log (M/M {sub ☉} h {sup –1}) ∼ 12.4. These findings suggest that obscured AGNs inhabit denser environments than unobscured AGNs, and they are difficult to reconcile with the simplest AGN unification models, where obscuration is driven solely by orientation.

  11. Workshop on Analysis of Returned Comet Nucleus Samples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    This volume contains abstracts that were accepted by the Program Committee for presentation at the workshop on the analysis of returned comet nucleus samples held in Milpitas, California, January 16 to 18, 1989. The abstracts deal with the nature of cometary ices, cryogenic handling and sampling equipment, origin and composition of samples, and spectroscopic, thermal and chemical processing methods of cometary nuclei. Laboratory simulation experimental results on dust samples are reported. Some results obtained from Halley's comet are also included. Microanalytic techniques for examining trace elements of cometary particles, synchrotron x ray fluorescence and instrument neutron activation analysis (INAA), are presented.

  12. Comets: Scientific data and missions; Proceedings of the Tucson Comet Conference, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz., April 8, 9, 1970.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kuiper, G. P. (Editor); Roemer, E.

    1972-01-01

    Current knowledge of comets is surveyed, and comet-rendezvous mission constraints, opportunities, modes, and spacecraft capabilities are discussed. Attention is given to cometary nuclei, infrared measurements of comets, the nature and origin of the cometary head, L-alpha photometry of Comet Bennett, Types I and II tails, comet spectra and orbits, and evidence from stream meteoroids. Some scientific criteria for a cometary mission are considered. Individual items are announced in this issue.

  13. Compton thick active galactic nuclei in Chandra surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brightman, Murray; Nandra, Kirpal; Salvato, Mara; Hsu, Li-Ting; Aird, James; Rangel, Cyprian

    2014-09-01

    We present the results from an X-ray spectral analysis of active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the Chandra Deep Field-South, All-wavelength Extended Groth-strip International Survey (AEGIS)-Deep X-ray survey (XD) and Chandra-Cosmic Evolution Surveys (COSMOS), focusing on the identification and characterization of the most heavily obscured, Compton thick (CT, NH > 1024 cm-2) sources. Our sample is comprised of 3184 X-ray selected extragalactic sources, which has a high rate of redshift completeness (96.6 per cent), and includes additional spectroscopic redshifts and improved photometric redshifts over previous studies. We use spectral models designed for heavily obscured AGN which self-consistently include all major spectral signatures of heavy absorption. We validate our spectral fitting method through simulations, identify CT sources not selected through this method using X-ray colours and take considerations for the constraints on NH given the low count nature of many of our sources. After these considerations, we identify a total of 100 CT AGN with best-fitting NH > 1024 cm-2 and NH constrained to be above 1023.5 cm-2 at 90 per cent confidence. These sources cover an intrinsic 2-10 keV X-ray luminosity range of 1042-3 × 1045 erg s-1 and a redshift range of z = 0.1-4. This sample will enable characterization of these heavily obscured AGN across cosmic time and to ascertain their cosmological significance. These survey fields are sites of extensive multiwavelength coverage, including near-infrared Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) data and far-infrared Herschel data, enabling forthcoming investigations into the host properties of CT AGN. Furthermore, by using the torus models to test different covering factor scenarios, and by investigating the inclusion of the soft scattered emission, we find evidence that the covering factor of the obscuring material decreases with LX for all redshifts, consistent with the receding torus model

  14. ON THE 10 mum SILICATE FEATURE IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Nikutta, Robert; Elitzur, Moshe; Lacy, Mark E-mail: moshe@pa.uky.ed

    2009-12-20

    The 10 mum silicate feature observed with Spitzer in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) reveals some puzzling behavior. It (1) has been detected in emission in type 2 sources, (2) shows broad, flat-topped emission peaks shifted toward long wavelengths in several type 1 sources, and (3) is not seen in deep absorption in any source observed so far. We solve all three puzzles with our clumpy dust radiative transfer formalism. Addressing (1), we present the spectral energy distribution (SED) of SST1721+6012, the first type 2 quasar observed to show a clear 10 mum silicate feature in emission. Such emission arises in models of the AGN torus easily when its clumpy nature is taken into account. We constructed a large database of clumpy torus models and performed extensive fitting of the observed SED. We find that the cloud radial distribution varies as r {sup -1.5} and the torus contains 2-4 clouds along radial equatorial rays, each with optical depth at visual approx60-80. The source bolometric luminosity is approx3 x 10{sup 12} L{sub sun}. Our modeling suggests that approx<35% of objects with tori sharing these characteristics and geometry would have their central engines obscured. This relatively low obscuration probability can explain the clear appearance of the 10 mum emission feature in SST1721+6012 together with its rarity among other QSO2. Investigating (2), we also fitted the SED of PG1211+143, one of the first type 1 QSOs with a 10 mum silicate feature detected in emission. Together with other similar sources, this QSO appears to display an unusually broadened feature whose peak is shifted toward longer wavelengths. Although this led to suggestions of non-standard dust chemistry in these sources, our analysis fits such SEDs with standard galactic dust; the apparent peak shifts arise from simple radiative transfer effects. Regarding (3), we find additionally that the distribution of silicate feature strengths among clumpy torus models closely resembles the observed

  15. APPLICATION OF THE DISK EVAPORATION MODEL TO ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, B. F.

    2009-12-10

    The disk corona evaporation model extensively developed for the interpretation of observational features of black hole X-ray binaries (BHXRBs) is applied to active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Since the evaporation of gas in the disk can lead to its truncation for accretion rates less than a maximal evaporation rate, the model can naturally account for the soft spectrum in high-luminosity AGNs and the hard spectrum in low-luminosity AGNs. The existence of two different luminosity levels describing transitions from the soft to hard state and from the hard to soft state in BHXRBs, when applied to AGNs, suggests that AGNs can be in either spectral state within a range of luminosities. For example, at a viscosity parameter, alpha, equal to 0.3, the Eddington ratio from the hard-to-soft transition and from the soft-to-hard transition occurs at 0.027 and 0.005, respectively. The differing Eddington ratios result from the importance of Compton cooling in the latter transition, in which the cooling associated with soft photons emitted by the optically thick inner disk in the soft spectral state inhibits evaporation. When the Eddington ratio of the AGN lies below the critical value corresponding to its evolutionary state, the disk is truncated. With decreasing Eddington ratios, the inner edge of the disk increases to greater distances from the black hole with a concomitant increase in the inner radius of the broad-line region, R {sub BLR}. The absence of an optically thick inner disk at low luminosities (L) gives rise to region in the R {sub BLR}-L plane for which the relation R {sub BLR} propor to L {sup 1/2} inferred at high luminosities is excluded. As a result, a lower limit to the accretion rate is predicted for the observability of broad emission lines, if the broad-line region is associated with an optically thick accretion disk. Thus, true Seyfert 2 galaxies may exist at very low accretion rates/luminosities. The differences between BHXRBs and AGNs in the framework of

  16. Report on the ESO Workshop ''Active Galactic Nuclei: what's in a name?''

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Padovani, P.

    2016-09-01

    The workshop was aimed at presenting a multi-wavelength picture of active galactic nuclei. The contents of the workshop are here briefly summarised; a review article synthesising the invited reviews, presentations and discussions is in preparation.

  17. Influence of solar activity upon light curves of comets P/Halley (1986 3) and P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (1982 8)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Churyumov, Klim I.; Filonenko, V. S.

    1992-01-01

    It is shown that the comet P/Halley's (1986 3) total magnitudes correlate with changes in the solar activity indices and the solar wind velocity. A statistically reliable correlation between the outbursts of brightness and magnitude variations of the short-period comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko (1982 8) and the level of the solar activity has been discovered.

  18. Substantial outgassing of CO from comet Hale-Bopp at large heliocentric distance.

    PubMed

    Biver, N; Rauer, H; Despois, D; Moreno, R; Paubert, G; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Colom, P; Crovisier, J; Gérard, E; Jorda, L

    1996-03-14

    When comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Boop) was discovered, at a distance of seven astronomical units from the sun, it was more than one hundred times brighter than comet Halley at the same distance. A comet's brightness is derived from the reflection of sunlight from dust grains driven away from the nucleus by the sublimation of volatile ices. Near the sun, sublimation of water ice (a main constituent of comet nuclei) is the source of cometary activity; but at its current heliocentric distance, Hale-Boop is too cold for this process to operate. Other comets have shown activity at large distances, and in the case of comet Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, carbon monoxide has been detected in quantities sufficient to generate its observed coma. Here we report the detection of CO emission from Hale-Boop, at levels indicating a very large rate of outgassing. Several other volatile species were searched for, but not detected. Sublimation of CO therefore appears to be responsible for the present activity of this comet, and we anticipate that future observations will reveal the onset of sublimation of other volatile species as the comet continues its present journey towards the sun.

  19. Report of the Comet Science Working Group

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    General scientific questions and measurement objectives that can be addressed on a first comet mission relate to: (1) the chemical nature and the physical structure of comet nuclei as well as the changes that occur as functions of time and orbital position; (2) the chemical and physical nature of the atmospheres and ionospheres of comets, the processes which occur in them, and the development of these atmospheres and ionospheres as functions of time and orbital position; and (3) the nature of comet tails, the processes by which they are formed, and the interaction of comets with the solar wind. Capabilities of the various instruments required are discussed.

  20. Comet 17P/Holmes: contrast in activity between before and after the 2007 outburst

    SciTech Connect

    Ishiguro, Masateru; Kim, Yoonyoung; Warjurkar, Dhanraj S.; Ham, Ji-Beom; Kim, Junhan; Usui, Fumihiko; Vaubaillon, Jeremie J.; Ishihara, Daisuke; Hanayama, Hidekazu; Sarugaku, Yuki; Hasegawa, Sunao; Kasuga, Toshihiro; Watanabe, Jun-ichi; Pyo, Jeonghyun; Kuroda, Daisuke; Ootsubo, Takafumi; Sakamoto, Makoto; Narusawa, Shin-ya; Takahashi, Jun; Akisawa, Hiroki

    2013-11-20

    A Jupiter-family comet, 17P/Holmes, underwent outbursts in 1892 and 2007. In particular, the 2007 outburst is known as the greatest outburst over the past century. However, little is known about the activity before the outburst because it was unpredicted. In addition, the time evolution of the nuclear physical status has not been systematically studied. Here, we study the activity of 17P/Holmes before and after the 2007 outburst through optical and mid-infrared observations. We found that the nucleus was highly depleted in its near-surface icy component before the outburst but that it became activated after the 2007 outburst. Assuming a conventional 1 μm sized grain model, we derived a surface fractional active area of 0.58% ± 0.14% before the outburst whereas the area was enlarged by a factor of ∼50 after the 2007 outburst. We also found that large (≥1 mm) particles could be dominant in the dust tail observed around aphelion. Based on the size of the particles, the dust production rate was ≳170 kg s{sup –1} at a heliocentric distance of r{sub h} = 4.1 AU, suggesting that the nucleus was still active around the aphelion passage. The nucleus color was similar to that of the dust particles and average for a Jupiter-family comet but different from that of most Kuiper Belt objects, implying that color may be inherent to icy bodies in the solar system. On the basis of these results, we concluded that more than 76 m of surface material was blown off by the 2007 outburst.

  1. A continuous follow-up of Centaurs, and dormant comets: looking for cometary activity.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trigo-Rodríguez, J. M.; García Melendo, E.; García-Hernández, D. A.; Davidsson, B.; Sánchez, A.; Rodríguez, D.

    2008-09-01

    MOTIVATION FOR THIS MONITORING To better understand the origin, nature and evolution of the Kuiper Belt Objects (hereafter KBOs) it is needed a characterization of the physical properties of these primitive bodies. We expect that these remote and pristine bodies are rich in ice and other volatiles. They also probably played an important role in the enrichment in volatiles of the solar system inner planets. In fact, the dynamic patterns and the structure of the KB, populated by large ice-rich bodies probably subjected to complex collisional histories are opening new questions. They are for example suspicious of being the source of Centaurs, and Jupiter Family Comets (JFCs) [1]. In fact, the present day known Centaurs are ice-rich bodies that follow unstable orbits crossing those of Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. On the other hand, modelling of JFCs evolution suggests that some are able to get incorporated into the NEO population via a close encounter with Jupiter. These presumably weak bodies are subjected during their inner solar system stays to solar irradiation, collisions, and close approaches that are probably disrupting them in short timescales [2, 3]. To perform a continuous monitoring of Centaurs, and other unusual bodies is interesting because they are little-studied bodies that are probably representing a transition among the different populations [4, 5]. The recent discovery of the activity of some Centaurs (like e.g. C/NEAT 2001T4, 174P/2000 EC98, P/2004 A1 (LONEOS), and 2004 PY42) suggests that many of these bodies exhibit cometary activity [6, 7, 8]. As they are located to moderately large heliocentric distances, the detection of activity can provide interesting constrains on the sublimation mechanisms that originated such activity. During the last 6 years we have been monitoring one of the most famous Centaurs, comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1, that exhibits unusual changes in their coma appearance and brightness [9]. Encouraged by our previous results

  2. A Post-Stardust Mission View of Jupiter Family Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zolensky, M.

    2011-01-01

    Before the Stardust Mission, many persons (including the mission team) believed that comet nuclei would be geologically boring objects. Most believed that comet nucleus mineralogy would be close or identical to the chondritic interplanetary dust particles (IDPs), or perhaps contain mainly amorphous nebular condensates or that comets might even be composed mainly of preserved presolar material [1]. Amazingly, the results for Comet Wild 2 (a Jupiter class comet) were entirely different. Whether this particular comet will ultimately be shown to be typical or atypical will not be known for a rather long time, so we describe our new view of comets from the rather limited perspective of this single mission.

  3. ON THE FEEDBACK EFFICIENCY OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Kurosawa, Ryuichi; Proga, Daniel; Nagamine, Kentaro E-mail: dproga@physics.unlv.ed

    2009-12-10

    We measure and analyze the energy, momentum, and mass feedback efficiencies due to radiation from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in relatively large-scale outflows (from approx0.01 to approx10 pc). Our measurements are based on the two-dimensional (axisymmetric) and time-dependent radiation-hydrodynamical simulations recently presented in Kurosawa and Proga. In that paper, we studied outflows from a slowly rotating (sub-Keplerian) infalling gas driven by the energy and pressure of the radiation emitted by the AGNs. These simulations follow the dynamics of gas under the influence of the gravity of the central 10{sup 8} M {sub sun} black hole (BH) on scales from approx0.01 to approx10 pc. They self-consistently couple the accretion luminosity with the mass inflow rate at the smallest radius (our proxy for the mass-accretion rate, M-dot{sub a}). Over 30 simulations have been performed to investigate how the results depend on the gas density at the outer radius, rho{sub o}. A key feature of these simulations is that the radiation field and consequently the gas dynamics are axisymmetric, but not spherically symmetric. Therefore, the gas inflow and outflow can occur at the same time. We compare our M-dot{sub a}-rho{sub o} relation with that predicted by the Bondi accretion model. For high luminosities comparable to the Eddington limit, the power-law fit M-dot{sub a}propor torho{sub o}{sup q} to our models yields q approx 0.5 instead of q = 1.0, which is predicted by the Bondi model. This difference is caused by the outflows which are important for the overall mass budget at high luminosities. The maximum momentum and mass feedback efficiencies found in our models are approx10{sup -2} and approx10{sup -1}, respectively. However, the outflows are much less important energetically: the thermal and kinetic powers in units of the radiative luminosity are approx10{sup -5} and approx10{sup -4}, respectively. In addition, the efficiencies do not increase monotonically with the

  4. The activity of deoxyribonucleic acid polymerase and deoxyribonucleic acid synthesis in nuclei from brain fractionated by zonal centrifugation

    PubMed Central

    Stambolova, M. A.; Cox, D.; Mathias, A. P.

    1973-01-01

    1. The DNA polymerase (EC 2.7.7.7) activity in purified intact brain nuclei from infant rats was investigated. The effects of pH, Mg2+, glycerol, sonication and storage of the nuclei under different conditions were examined and a suitable assay system was established. 2. The nuclei from infant brain cells were fractionated by zonal centrifugation in a discontinuous sucrose gradient into five zones: zone (I) contained neuronal nuclei (59%) and astrocytic nuclei (41%); zone (II) contained astrocytic nuclei (81%) and neuronal nuclei (19%); zone (III) contained astrocytic nuclei (82%) and oligodendrocytic nuclei (18%); zone (IV) contained oligodendrocytic nuclei (92%) and zone (V) contained oligodendrocytic nuclei (100%). 3. The content of DNA, RNA and protein for each fraction was measured. 4. The distribution of DNA polymerase activity in the fractionated infant and adult rat brain nuclei was determined. The highest activity was found in the neuronal nuclei from zone (I) and the following zones exhibited a progressive decline. In contrast with the nuclei from infant rats those from adults had a much higher activity and expressed a preference for native DNA as template. 5. The deoxyribonuclease activity in all classes of nuclei was measured with [3H]DNA as substrate. A general correspondence in the pattern of the relative activities in the nuclear fractions with the distribution of DNA polymerase was found. 6. The incorporation of [3H]thymidine into nuclear DNA in infant and adult rat brain was investigated. The specific radioactivity of the DNA in the 10-day-old rats was highest in zone (V) whereas in the nuclei of adult rats, which exhibited a comparatively low incorporation, the highest specific radioactivity was associated with zones (I) and (V). PMID:4780694

  5. Investigating the Structure of Active Galactic Nuclei: The Dusty Torus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stalevski, Marko

    2012-11-01

    Active galactic nuclei Nowadays it is widely accepted that every massive galaxy harbors a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at its center. A number of apparent correlations between SMBH mass and host galaxy structural and dynamical properties have been observed. The correlation between the masses of SMBHs and their host galactic bulges suggest a link between their growth (Kormendy & Richstone, 1995; Kormendy & Gebhardt, 2001). Active galactic nucleus (AGN) represents a phase in the life of a galaxy, during which the SMBH growth is directly observable. The term AGN encompasses a variety of energetic phenomena in galactic centers triggered by the matter spiralling into a SMBH at a relatively high rate. The radiation coming from AGNs originates in the conversion of gravitational potential energy into thermal energy as matter spirals towards the SMBH through an accretion disk (Lynden- Bell, 1969). Their luminosity can be up to 10000 greater then the total luminosity of a normal galaxy. The radiated AGN continuum covers a broad range of spectrum, from the X to radio domain, it is partially polarized and variable in time. Radiation from the central engine is ionizing the surrounding medium, creating conditions for the strong emission line spectrum, superimposed on the continuum. Sometimes, highly collimated and fast outflows (“jets”) emerge perpendicular to the accretion disk. Since the discovery of Keel (1980) that the orientation of Seyfert 1 galaxies is not random, it xxx has been recognized that the appearance of an AGN varies with the viewing angle. This has led to the picture of “orientation unification” (see Antonucci, 1993; Urry & Padovani, 1995) where the structure of AGNs is believed to be basically similar but what we see is a strong function of orientation (see Fig. 9). In this unified model, the central black hole is surrounded by a geometrically-thin accretion disk which is the source of the strong X-ray emission and UV/optical continuum (see Jovanovic

  6. The antioxidant activity of sulphurous thermal water protects against oxidative DNA damage: a comet assay investigation.

    PubMed

    Braga, P C; Ceci, C; Marabini, L; Nappi, G

    2013-04-01

    Various studies have recently shown that sulphurous waters acts against the oxidants released during respiratory bursts of human neutrophils, and free radicals such as HO•, O2¯•, Tempol and Fremy's salt. However, there is still a lack of data concerning their direct protection of DNA. The aim of this study was to investigate the antigenotoxicity effects of sulphurous water, which has never been previously investigated for this purpose, using the alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) approach (comet assay). The comet assay is a sensitive method for assessing DNA fragmentation in individual cells in genotoxicity studies but can also be used to investigate the activity of agents that protect against DNA damage. The extent of migration was measured by means of SCGE, and DNA damage was expressed as tail moment. All of these assays were made using natural sulphurous water, degassed sulphurous water (no detectable HS), and reconstituted sulphurous water (degassed plus NaHS). DNA damages was significantly inhibited by natural water with HS concentrations of 5.0 and 2.5 μg/mL. The use of degassed water did not lead to any significant differences from baseline values, whereas the reconstituted water led to significant results overlapping those obtained using natural water. These findings confirm the importance of the presence of an HS group (reductive activity) and indicate that, in addition to their known mucolytic activity and trophic effects on respiratory mucosa, HS groups in sulphurous water also protect against oxidative DNA damage and contribute to the water's therapeutic effects on upper and lower airway inflammatory diseases.

  7. Atlas of Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoyan, Ronald; Dunlop, Storm

    2015-01-01

    Foreword; Using this book; Part I. Introduction: Cometary beliefs and fears; Comets in art; Comets in literature and poetry; Comets in science; Cometary science today; Great comets in antiquity; Great comets of the Middle Ages; Part II. The 30 Greatest Comets of Modern Times: The Great Comet of 1471; Comet Halley 1531; The Great Comet of 1556; The Great Comet of 1577; Comet Halley, 1607; The Great Comet of 1618; The Great Comet of 1664; Comet Kirch, 1680; Comet Halley, 1682; The Great Comet of 1744; Comet Halley, 1759; Comet Messier, 1769; Comet Flaugergues, 1811; Comet Halley, 1835; The Great March Comet of 1843; Comet Donati, 1858; Comet Tebbutt, 1861; The Great September Comet of 1882; The Great January Comet of 1910; Comet Halley, 1910; Comet Arend-Roland, 1956; Comet Ikeya-Seki, 1965; Comet Bennett, 1970; Comet Kohoutek, 1973-4; Comet West, 1976; Comet Halley, 1986; Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, 1994; Comet Hyakutake, 1996; Comet Hale-Bopp, 1997; Comet McNaught, 2007; Part III. Appendices; Table of comet data; Glossary; References; Photo credits; Index.

  8. Activity and jets of comet 67P, as observed by OSIRIS since August 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Oklay, Nilda; Pajola, Maurizio; Höfner, Sebastian; Sierks, Holger; Barbieri, Cesare; Lamy, Philippe; Rodrigo, Rafael; Rickman, Hans; Koschny, Detlef

    2015-11-01

    Dust jets, i.e. fuzzy collimated streams of cometary material arising from the nucleus, have been observed in-situ on all comets since the Giotto mission flew by comet 1P/Halley in 1986. Yet their formation mechanism remains unknown. Several solutions have been proposed, from localized physical mechanisms on the surface/sub-surface to purely dynamical processes involving the focusing of gas flows by the local topography. While the latter seems to be responsible forthe larger features, high resolution imagery has shown that broad streams are composed of many smaller features (a few meters wide) that connect directly to the nucleus surface.The OSIRIS cameras on board Rosetta are monitoring these jets in high resolution images since August 2014. We followed this type of activity from 3.6 AU to perihelion (1.23 AU). We have traced the jets back to their sources on the surface and noticed a good correlation with sub-solar latitude, surface morphologies, and color variations. As the comet receives more insolation, we observed different type of jets, some of them sustained beyond the local sunset, and an increasing number of transient events with sudden release of gas and dust.We will present here how activity changes with local seasons and how it contributes to the erosion of the surface.Acknowledgements: OSIRIS was built by a consortium led by the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Göttingen, Germany, in collaboration with CISAS, University of Padova, Italy, the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, France, the Instituto de Astrofi­sica de Andalucia, CSIC, Granada, Spain, the Scientific Support Office of the European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial, Madrid, Spain, the Universidad Politechnica de Madrid, Spain, the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Institut für Datentechnik und Kommunikationsnetze der Technischen Universität Braunschweig, Germany. We

  9. Periodic variations in the activity of Comet P/Halley during the 1985/1986 apparition

    SciTech Connect

    Schleicher, D.G.; Millis, R.L.; Thompson, D.T.; Birch, P.V.; Martin, R.; Tholen, D.J.; Piscitelli, J.R.; Lark, N.L.; Hammel, H.B. Perth Observatory, Bickley Hawaii Univ., Honolulu Univ. of the Pacific, Stockton, CA JPL, Pasadena, CA )

    1990-09-01

    A search for periodic variation in the production of gas and dust by Comet Halley has been performed using narrowband photometric measurements from four sites - Lowell Observatory, Mauna Kea Observatory, Perth Observatory, and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. The method of phase dispersion minimization was applied to observations made during 164 observing nights between September 1985 and June 1986. A clear-cut variation, with a period near 7.4 days, was present throughout the postperihelion window. Less conclusive evidence of a similar period has been found in the pre-perihelion data. No indication of a shorter period or of strong sporadic activity exists in the data. The observations require that Halley's nucleus returns to essentially the same orientation with respect to the sun approximately every 7.4 days except for longer-timescale seasonal evolution. This fact precludes certain proposed models of nuclear motion. 53 refs.

  10. Periodic variations in the activity of Comet P/Halley during the 1985/1986 apparition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schleicher, David G.; Millis, Robert L.; Thompson, Don T.; Birch, Peter V.; Martin, Ralph; Tholen, David J.; Piscitelli, Joseph R.; Lark, Neil L.; Hammel, Heidi B.

    1990-01-01

    A search for periodic variation in the production of gas and dust by Comet Halley has been performed using narrowband photometric measurements from four sites - Lowell Observatory, Mauna Kea Observatory, Perth Observatory, and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. The method of phase dispersion minimization was applied to observations made during 164 observing nights between September 1985 and June 1986. A clear-cut variation, with a period near 7.4 days, was present throughout the postperihelion window. Less conclusive evidence of a similar period has been found in the pre-perihelion data. No indication of a shorter period or of strong sporadic activity exists in the data. The observations require that Halley's nucleus returns to essentially the same orientation with respect to the sun approximately every 7.4 days except for longer-timescale seasonal evolution. This fact precludes certain proposed models of nuclear motion.

  11. WATER-ICE-DRIVEN ACTIVITY ON MAIN-BELT COMET P/2010 A2 (LINEAR)?

    SciTech Connect

    Moreno, F.; Ortiz, J. L.; Cabrera-Lavers, A.; Augusteijn, T.; Liimets, T.; Lindberg, J. E.; Pursimo, T.; RodrIguez-Gil, P.; Vaduvescu, O.

    2010-08-01

    The dust ejecta of Main-Belt Comet P/2010 A2 (LINEAR) have been observed with several telescopes at the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos on La Palma, Spain. Application of an inverse dust tail Monte Carlo method to the images of the dust ejecta from the object indicates that a sustained, likely water-ice-driven, activity over some eight months is the mechanism responsible for the formation of the observed tail. The total amount of the dust released is estimated to be 5 x 10{sup 7} kg, which represents about 0.3% of the nucleus mass. While the event could have been triggered by a collision, this cannot be determined from the currently available data.

  12. Comets, Asteroids, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the role of comets in the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment has become more widely accepted. However comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are entirely devoid of liquid water and consequently unsuitable for life in any form. Complex organic compounds have been observed comets and on the water rich asteroid 1998 KY26, which has color and radar reflectivity similar to the carbonaceous meteorites. Near infrared observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar with resurfacing that may indicate cryovolcanic outgassing and the Cassini spacecraft has detected water-ice geysers on Saturn s moon Enceladus. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have now firmly established that comets contain a suite of complex organic chemicals; water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx.350-400 K) can be reached on the surface of the very black (albedo-0.03) nuclei when the comets are with 1.5 AU from the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust and episodic outbursts and jets observed on the nuclei of several comets are interpreted as indications that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the crust of some comets. The Deep Impact observations indicate that the temperature on the nucleus of of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from 330K on the sunlit side to a minimum of 280+/-8 K. It is interesting that even the coldest region of the comet surface was slightly above the ice/liquid water phase transition temperature. These results suggest that pools and films of liquid water can exist in a wide

  13. The changing rotation period of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko controlled by its activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, H. U.; Mottola, S.; Skorov, Y.; Jorda, L.

    2015-07-01

    Context. The ESA Rosetta spacecraft has been orbiting the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko since August 2014. The rotation axis of the irregularly shaped nucleus has a large obliquity (52°) and is oriented such that the southern hemisphere is insolated during perihelion. Aims: We calculate the change in the rotation period as a function of the cometary orbital position due to forces exerted by cometary activity. Methods: We used a detailed shape model of 67P with >105 facets. We calculated the efficiency of the facets to exert a torque based on their radial distance from the center of mass and their orientation. We applied our thermal model to calculate the diurnal water-ice sublimation rate from each facet. The reaction force per facet combined with its torque efficiency creates a torque and changes the angular momentum. The component of the torque parallel to the spin axis changes the rotation period. Results: Our model shows that the rotation period increases slightly during the approach of the comet to the Sun. It reaches a maximum shortly before equinox and drops rapidly during perihelion passage. The magnitude of the change depends on the actual sublimation rates. The change in sign mainly depends on the shape of the nucleus and not much on the sublimation variation. The roughness of the nucleus has little influence. Conclusions: For the given geometry of the rotation axis, the change in the rotation period is mainly influenced by the sublimation activity of the irregular shape of the nucleus. The rotation period increases until shortly before equinox in early May 2015, in good agreement with observations, and will then become shorter rapidly.

  14. Hunting Halley's comet.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Celnik, W. E.

    1986-09-01

    Observers of bright comets have always been fascinated by the sight of these rare phenomena. However, it was as late as the 19th century that scientists started to make systematic observations of the appearance of comets and recorded them in the form of drawings and descriptions of comas and tails. Halley's comet in particular was observed intensively because the time of its return was weil known. The first photographic observations of the comet were made during its 1910 perihelion. A large number of photographs were taken using astronomical instruments of all dimensions showing structures within the extended ion tail and the bright coma. Pictures from that time are weil suited to be compared with recently obtained images of the 1986 appearance, although observing conditions were then much less favourable. Just when PI Halley was most active, at its brightest, and thus most interesting, namely during its perihelion passage, it was behind the Sun and unobservable. During the 2,000 years that observations of this comet have been recorded, there was only one appearance where the positions of Sun, Earth and comet were even worse for observations. In addition, the observing conditions in the northern hemisphere were extremely bad because at its best time the comet followed its path through the southern skies. Thus the only way to observe P/ Halley successfully after its perihelion passage was to got to the southern hemisphere. At a latitude of 30 degrees south the comet culminated near the zenith.

  15. Simulation of comet particulates from organic compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kajmakov, E. A.; Lizunkova, I. S.; Dranerich, V. A.

    1981-02-01

    A laboratory study of the sublimation of aqueous solutions of several organic compounds (urea, glycine, and phenylalanine) that might occur in comet nuclei is described. The molecules of the organic materials are found to form acicular crystals. If the concentration of the initial solution is reduced the acicular crystals will grow longer. The presence of elongated grains in comet atmospheres could explain certain polarization characteristics of comet radiation.

  16. SYBR Green-activated sorting of Arabidopsis pollen nuclei based on different DNA/RNA content.

    PubMed

    Schoft, Vera K; Chumak, Nina; Bindics, János; Slusarz, Lucyna; Twell, David; Köhler, Claudia; Tamaru, Hisashi

    2015-03-01

    Key message: Purification of pollen nuclei. Germ cell epigenetics is a critical topic in plants and animals. The male gametophyte (pollen) of flowering plants is an attractive model to study genetic and epigenetic reprogramming during sexual reproduction, being composed of only two sperm cells contained within, its companion, vegetative cell. Here, we describe a simple and efficient method to purify SYBR Green-stained sperm and vegetative cell nuclei of Arabidopsis thaliana pollen using fluorescence-activated cell sorting to analyze chromatin and RNA profiles. The method obviates generating transgenic lines expressing cell-type-specific fluorescence reporters and facilitates functional genomic analysis of various mutant lines and accessions. We evaluate the purity and quality of the sorted pollen nuclei and analyze the technique's molecular basis. Our results show that both DNA and RNA contents contribute to SYBR Green-activated nucleus sorting and RNA content differences impact on the separation of sperm and vegetative cell nuclei. We demonstrate the power of the approach by sorting wild-type and polyploid mutant sperm and vegetative cell nuclei from mitotic and meiotic mutants, which is not feasible using cell-type-specific transgenic reporters. Our approach should be applicable to pollen nuclei of crop plants and possibly to cell/nucleus types and cell cycle phases of different species containing substantially different amounts of DNA and/or RNA.

  17. Optical spectrophotometry of comet Tempel 2 far from the sun

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spinrad, H.; Stauffer, J.; Newburn, R. L., Jr.

    1979-01-01

    With the advent of mission planning for spacecraft encounters with comets in the 1980s, the lack of basic data on cometary nuclei has become quite apparent and a real problem. More effort is needed on all comets, with special attention given to probable space flight targets such as Tempel 2. The paper presents medium-spectral-resolution spectrophotometry of P/Tempel 2, made at heliocentric distances of 2.66 and 3.02 AU on two dates in 1978. It is shown that optical spectrophotometry of comet Tempel 2 near 3 AU heliocentric distance places strict limits on its activity, the modeled CN production rate having an upper limit of 6 times 10 to the 21st molecules per sec. The observations of P/Tempel 2 are compatible with a bare nucleus of 1.6 km radius (geometric albedo = 0.15) and somewhat redder than the sun.

  18. Great Comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnham, Robert

    2000-05-01

    Spectacular and mysterious objects that come and go in the night sky, comets have dwelt in our popular culture for untold ages. As remnants from the formation of the Solar system, they are objects of key scientific research and space missions. As one of nature's most potent and dramatic dangers, they pose a threat to our safety--and yet they were the origin of our oceans and perhaps even life itself. This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of the biggest and most awe-inspiring of all comets: those that have earned the title "Great." Robert Burnham focuses on the Great comets Hyakutake in 1996 and Hale-Bopp in 1997, which gripped attention worldwide because, for many, they were the first comets ever seen. He places these two recent comets in the context of their predecessors from past ages, among them the famous Comet Halley. Great Comets explains the exciting new discoveries that have come from these magnificent objects and profiles the spaceprobes to comets due for launch in the next few years. The book even takes a peek behind Hollywood's science-fiction fantasies to assess the real risks humanity faces from potential impacts of both comets and asteroids. For everyone interested in astronomy, this exciting book reveals the secrets of the Great Comets and provides essential tools for keeping up to date with comet discoveries in the future. Robert Burnham has been an amateur astronomer since the mid-1950s. He has been a senior editor of Astronomy magazine (1986-88) and is the author of many books and CD-ROMS, including Comet Hale-Bopp: Find and Enjoy the Great Comet and Comet Explorer.

  19. [Typical Patterns of Neuronal Activity in Relay and Nonspecific Thalamic Nuclei in Patients with Spasmodic Torticollis].

    PubMed

    Devetiarov, D A; Semenova, U N; Butiaeva, L I; Sedov, A S

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal activity of 50 neurons in nonspecific (Rt, MD) and relay (Voi, Voa) thalamic nuclei was analyzed. Data were obtained by microelectrode technique during 14 stereotactic operations in patients with spasmodic torticollis. Application of Poincare maps and Gap-statistics allowed to reveal 3 main patterns of neuronal activity: irregular single spikes, low-threshold Ca(2+)-dependent rhythmic (3-5 Hz) bursts and combination of bursts and single spikes. In some cases, grouping (in Voi and Rt nuclei) and long burst (in Voa nucleus) patterns were observed. Grouping pattern consist of low-density groups of spikes with tendency to periodicity in range 1-1.5 Hz. Long burst pattern consist of long dense groups of spikes with random length and invariant interburst intervals. Main numerical estimations of 3 most spread patterns of neuronal activity were obtained by parametric analysis. In results, investigated thalamic nuclei significantly distinguished from each other by characteristics of burst activity but average firing rate of these nuclei hadn't significant differences. These data may be useful for functional identification of thalamic nuclei during stereotactic neurosurgery operation in patients with movement disorders.

  20. Comet 103P/Hartley 2 at perihelion: gas and dust activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lara, L. M.; Lin, Z.-Y.; Meech, K.

    2011-08-01

    Context. The comet 103P/Hartley 2, target of the EPOXI mission (NASA), was supposed to be observed for 3 days around its perihelion, from October 27 to 29, 2010, but photometric data were obtained only on October 27 and 29, 2010. On both dates, the comet visibility was not optimal due to its proximity to the Moon, as projected on the plane of the sky, whereas on October 28, the comet could not be observed at all. Aims: The goal of the campaign was to give ground support to the EPOXI mission by establishing a baseline of activity at perihelion to be compared with in situ activity observed by the space mission about 7 days later on Nov. 4, 2010. We aimed to assess gas and dust production rates, to study the gas and dust coma morphology, to investigate the behaviour of the refractory component by analysing the dust colour variations with date and with projected cometocentric distance, ρ, and to determine the slope of the surface brightness profiles, B, as a function of ρ. Methods: Long-slit spectra and optical broad- and narrowband images were acquired with the instrument ACAM mounted on the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) at La Palma Observatory. We investigated the evolution of the dust coma morphology from the images acquired with specific continuum cometary filters (in the blue and red wavelength region) with image-enhancing techniques. We studied (1) the gas and dust production rates; (2) the dust radial brightness profiles; (3) the profiles of the CN, C2, C3 and NH2 column densities, and (4) the CN and C3 coma morphologies. The dust and gas profiles were azimuthally averaged, as well as measured in both the E-W direction (~Sun-antisolar direction) and in a direction defined by the slit orientation at PA 70 to 250 degrees. Results: The morphological analysis of the dust coma reveals only one structure. Aside from the dust tail in the west direction, a bright jet is detected in images acquired on October 27 at 03:00-04:00 UT. This jet turns on and off and it is

  1. Colors of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko's active pits and their surroundings as seen by OSIRIS on board Rosetta

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oklay, Nilda; Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Besse, Sebastien; Fornasier, Sonia; Barucci, Maria Antonietta; Lara, Luisa; Scholten, Frank; Preusker, Frank; La Forgia, Fiorangela; Lazzarin, Monica; Sierks, Holger; Hall, Ian

    2015-04-01

    The OSIRIS scientific imager (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System, Keller et al. 2007) on board ESA's spacecraft Rosetta is an instrument designed to observe the comet nucleus with high spatial resolution, down to a few centimeters per pixel, to provide color information of the surface using its narrow angle camera (NAC) thanks to set of dedicated filters. OSIRIS is successfully observing comet 67P in the spectral range of about 250-1000 nm since Rosetta's arrival to the comet in the summer 2014. The illuminated northern hemisphere of the comet nucleus was mapped with various spatial resolutions (down to 15 cm/px in some regions). Besides the determination of the surface morphology in great details, such high resolution images provided us a mean to unambiguously link some activity in the coma to a series of pits on the nucleus surface (Vincent et al. 2014). This work focuses on color variations inside and in the vicinity of these active pits. Using filter ratios to limit the effect of topography and illumination conditions, we found that the floor and walls of the pits exhibit the same less red slope of the active Hapi region. We measured a ratio of reflectance (IR)/reflectance (Blue) = 1.8 in the active area and pits while it is 2.1 elsewhere on the nucleus. A full understanding of the compositional implications will require a dedicated investigation, but our preliminary results indicate already that this spectral variation is characteristic of currently active regions on 67P. Indeed, on a large scale, comet 67P's global spectrum shows a red slope also known from the ground based observations, slightly less red in the most active area (Hapi region) when compared to the average comet surface. Variegation is also found in other places showing activity such as the active pits mentioned above. The analysis is now extended to the photometrically corrected data set in order to be able to compare observations taken under different illumination

  2. Unveiling the formation and evolution of comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasue, J.; Levasseur-Regourd, A. C.; Botet, R.; Coradini, A.; Desanctis, M. C.; Kofman, W.

    2007-08-01

    energy of the cometesimals and their probable re-accretion after collision events in the Kuiper Belt can be used to interpret the typical layered structure observed for comet 9P/Tempel 1 [10] and evaluate the tensile strengths inside the nucleus. Thermal evolution models of comet nuclei explain the current comet observations with the presence of primordial volatiles [11]. A quasi-3D approach (for non-spherically shaped comet nuclei) is used to interpret the current activity of comets in terms of initial characteristics, and to predict shape and internal stratification evolution of the nucleus. Tensile strength indications and activity predictions from such simulations will provide vital clues for the international Rosetta mission landing on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. During the Rosetta rendezvous, the CONSERT experiment will investigate the deep interior of the nucleus from measurements of the propagation delay of long wavelength radio waves [12]. The analysis and 3D reconstruction of the waves passing through the nucleus will put constraints on the materials constituting the comet and the inhomogeneities within the nucleus. While it is now established that nuclei have low densities and are significantly fragile, it will then be possible to better constrain their formation process and their evolution. [1] A'Hearn et al., Science 310, 258 (2005) [2] Samarasinha, Icarus 154, 540 (2001) [3] Trigo-Rodriguez and Llorca, Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc. 372, 655 (2006) [4] A'Hearn and Combi, Icarus 187, 1 (2007) [5] Hanner and Bradley, In: Comets II, Festou, Keller, Weaver (eds), pp 555 (2004) [6] Brownlee et al., Science 314, 1711 (2006) [7] Lasue and Levasseur-Regourd, J. Quant. Spectros. Radiat. Transfer 100, 220-236 (2006) [8]Levasseur-Regourd et al., (2007), Planet Space Sci., doi:10.1016/j.pss.2006.11.014 in press. [9] Hörz et al., Science 314, 1716 (2006) [10] Belton et al., Icarus 187, 332 (2007) [11] DeSanctis et al., Astron. Astrophys. 444, 605 (2005

  3. Active Galactic Nuclei Probed by QSO Absorption Lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Misawa, Toru

    2007-07-01

    Quasars are the extremely bright nuclei found in about 10% of galaxies. A variety of absorption features (known collectively as quasar absorption lines) are detected in the rest-frame UV spectra of these objects. While absorption lines that have very broad widths originate in gas that is probably physocally related to the quasars, narrow absorption lines (NALs) were thought to arise in galaxies and/or in the intter-alacttic medium between the quasars and us. Using high-resolution spectra of quasars, it is found that a substantial fraction of NALs arise in gas in the immediate vicinity of the quasars. A dramatically variable, moderately-broad absorption line in the spectrum of the quasar HS 1603+3820l is also found. The variability of this line is monitored in a campaign with Subaru telescope. These observational results are compared to models for outflows from the quasars, specifically, models for accretion disk winds and evaporating obscuring tori. It is quite important to determine the mechanism of outflow because of its cosmological implications. The outflow could expel angular momentum from the accretion disk and enable quasars to accrete and shine. In addition, the outflow may also regulate star formation in the early stages of the assembly of the host galaxy and enrich the interstellar and intergalactic medium with metals.

  4. Spectral components at visual and infrared wavelengths in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stein, W. A.; Tokunaga, A. T.; Rudy, R. J.

    1984-01-01

    Aperture-dependent infrared photometry of active galactic nuclei are presented which illustrate the importance of eliminating starlight of the galaxy in order to obtain the intrinsic spectral distribution of the active nuclei. Separate components of emission are required to explain the infrared emission with a spectral index of alpha approx = 2 and the typical visual-ultraviolet continuum with alpha approx = 0.3 (where F(nu) varies as nu(sup-alpha). Present evidence does not allow unique determination of the appropriate mechanisms, but the characteristics of each are discussed.

  5. Physical properties of asteroids in comet-like orbits in infrared asteroid survey catalogs

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Yoonyoung; Ishiguro, Masateru; Usui, Fumihiko

    2014-07-10

    We investigated the population of asteroids in comet-like orbits using available asteroid size and albedo catalogs of data taken with the Infrared Astronomical Satellite, AKARI, and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer on the basis of their orbital properties (i.e., the Tisserand parameter with respect to Jupiter, T{sub J}, and the aphelion distance, Q). We found that (1) there are 123 asteroids in comet-like orbits by our criteria (i.e., Q > 4.5 AU and T{sub J} < 3), (2) 80% of them have low albedo, p{sub v} < 0.1, consistent with comet nuclei, (3) the low-albedo objects among them have a size distribution shallower than that of active comet nuclei, that is, the power index of the cumulative size distribution is around 1.1, and (4) unexpectedly, a considerable number (i.e., 25 by our criteria) of asteroids in comet-like orbits have high albedo, p{sub v} > 0.1. We noticed that such high-albedo objects mostly consist of small (D < 3 km) bodies distributed in near-Earth space (with perihelion distance of q < 1.3 AU). We suggest that such high-albedo, small objects were susceptible to the Yarkovsky effect and drifted into comet-like orbits via chaotic resonances with planets.

  6. The Physics of Cometary Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whipple, Fred L.

    1997-01-01

    The recent developments in cometary studies suggest rather low mean densities and weak structures for the nuclei. They appear to be accumulations of fairly discrete units loosely bound together, as deduced from the observations of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 during its encounter with Jupiter. The compressive strengths deduced from comet splitting by Opik and Sekanina are extremely low. These values are confirmed by theory developed here. assuming that Comet P/Holmes had a companion that collided with it in 1892. There follows a short discussion that suggests that the mean densities of comets should increase with comet dimensions. The place of origin of short-period comets may relate to these properties.

  7. Ammonia and nitrogen abundances in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wyckoff, Susan

    1990-01-01

    Comets consist of pristine material preserved from an earlier galactic epoch. Determination of the molecular, elemental, and isotopic abundances in the dust and volatile components of comet nuclei produce vital clues to the chemical evolution of both interstellar and solar nebula matter. Here the abundances of nitrogen-containing molecules in comets are considered. The molecular abundances of NH3 in four comets are summarized (Tegler 1990, Wyckoff, Tegler, and Engel, 1990). From an inventory of nitrogen-containing compounds (Wyckoff, Engel, and Tegler 1990, Wyckoff, Engel, Womack, Ferro, Tegler and Peterson, 1990), an estimate of the elemental N abundance is also presented.

  8. Comets in the near-Earth object population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeMeo, Francesca; Binzel, Richard P.

    2008-04-01

    Because the lifespan of near-Earth objects (NEOs) is shorter than the age of the Solar System, these objects originate elsewhere. Their most likely sources are the main asteroid belt and comets. Through physical observations we seek to identify potential dormant or extinct comets among "asteroids" catalogued as NEOs and thereby determine the fraction of "comet candidates" within the total NEO population. Both discovery statistics and dynamical models indicate that candidate cometary objects in near-Earth space are predominantly found among those having a jovian Tisserand parameter T<3. Therefore, we seek to identify comet candidates among asteroid-like NEOs using three criteria: T<3, spectral parameters (C, D, T, or P taxonomic types), and/or low (<0.075) albedos. We present new observations for 20 NEOs having T<3, consisting of visible spectra, near-infrared spectra, and/or albedo measurements obtained using the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility, the Kitt Peak National Observatory 4 m, and the Magellan Observatory 6.5-m. Four of our "asteroid" targets have been subsequently confirmed as low activity comets. Thus our sample includes spectra of the nuclei of Comets 2002 EX12 = 169P (NEAT), 2001 WF2 = 182P (LONEOS), 2003 WY25 = D/1891 W1 (Blanplain), and Halley Family Comet 2006 HR30 = P/2006 HR30 (Siding Spring). From the available literature, we tabulate physical properties for 55 NEOs having T<3, and after accounting for possible bias effects, we estimate that 54±10% of NEOs in T<3 orbits have "comet-like" spectra or albedos. Bias corrected discovery statistics [Stuart, J.S., Binzel, R.P., 2004. Icarus 170, 295-311] estimate 30±5% of the entire NEO population resides in orbits having T<3. Combining these two factors suggests that 16±5% of the total discovered "asteroid-like" NEO population has "comet-like" dynamical and physical properties. Outer main-belt asteroids typically have similar taxonomic and albedo properties as our "comet candidates." Using the model

  9. HUBBLE SEES MINI-COMET FRAGMENTS FROM COMET LINEAR

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    [lower right] In one stunning Hubble picture the fate of the mysteriously vanished solid nucleus of Comet LINEAR has been settled. The Hubble picture shows that the comet nucleus has been reduced to a shower of glowing 'mini-comets' resembling the fiery fragments from an exploding aerial firework. This is the first time astronomers have ever gotten a close-up look at what may be the smallest building blocks of cometary nuclei, the icy solid pieces called 'cometesimals', which are thought to be less than 100 feet across. The farthest fragment to the left, which is now very faint, may be the remains of the parent nucleus that fragmented into the cluster of smaller pieces to the right. The comet broke apart around July 26, when it made its closest approach to the Sun. The picture was taken with Hubble's Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 on August 5, 2000, when the comet was at a distance of 64 million miles (102 million kilometers) from Earth. Credit: NASA, Harold Weaver (the Johns Hopkins University), and the HST Comet LINEAR Investigation Team [upper left] A ground-based telescopic view (2.2-meter telescope) of Comet LINEAR taken on August 5, at nearly the same time as the Hubble observations. The comet appears as a diffuse elongated cloud of debris without any visible nucleus. Based on these images, some astronomers had concluded that the ices in the nucleus had completely vaporized, leaving behind a loose swarm of dust. Hubble's resolution was needed to pinpoint the remaining nuclei (inset box shows HST field of view as shown in lower right). Credit: University of Hawaii

  10. On the pre-perihelion temporal activity of comet 9P/Tempel 1 during the favorable apparition of 2005

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Almeida, A.; Serrano, G.; Sanzovo, G.; Trevisan Sanzovo, D.

    2014-07-01

    The short-period (5.5 years) comet 9P/Tempel 1 was revisited by NASA's Stardust-NExT probe in 2011 February 15, in a flyby at a distance of only about 181 km. This is the first time a comet is visited twice by two different probes (the first visit in 2005 July 4, by NASA's Deep Impact probe). Tempel 1 is not a bright or very active comet. The brightest apparent magnitude in 25 appearances, since the discovery (1867), has been m=9.5, well below the limit of visibility to the naked eye. Here, we study the temporal activity, based on 495 apparent visual magnitude estimates (ICQ), obtained during the very favorable apparition of 2005 (the comet passed at 0.71 au from the Earth in 2005 May 3) by the Semi-Empirical Method of Visual Magnitudes (SEMVM, de Almeida, Singh&Huebner, 1997). We determine a model dependent activity at the time immediately before the Deep Impact (4 July 2005 at 5:52 UTC) in fairly good agreement with Schleicher et al. (2006), Feaga et al. (2007) and Gicquel et al. (2012) from the Spitzer spacecraft observations, and a day later, at the time of the perihelion passage (5 July 2005 at 5:31 UTC), also in good agreement with Biver et al. (2007) and Farnham et al. (2010), most likely powered by water-ice sublimation. Our results are consistent, for an active area of 10% and a minimum nuclear radius of 2.5 km , with the radio OH observations in 18-cm (Howell et al., 2007; Biver et al., 2007), and the H_2O observations by satellites SWAN (Mäkinen et al., 2007; Bensch et al., 2007) and Odin (Biver et al., 2007), in the pre-perihelion phase.

  11. Comets, Asteroids, Meteorites, and the Origin of the Biosphere

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, Richard B.

    2006-01-01

    During the past few decades, the delivery of water, organics, and prebiotic chemicals to the Biosphere of Earth during the Hadean (4.5-3.8 Ga) period of heavy bombardment by comets and asteroids has become more widely accepted. Comets are still largely regarded as frigid, pristine bodies of protosolar nebula material that are devoid of liquid water and therefore unsuitable for life. Complex organic compounds have been observed in comets and on the water-rich asteroid 1998 KY26 and near IR observations have indicated the presence of crystalline water ice and ammonia hydrate on the large Kuiper Belt object (50000) Quaoar that has resurfacing suggesting cryovolcanic outgassing. Spacecraft observations of the chemical compositions and characteristics of the nuclei of several comets (Halley, Borrelly, Wild 2, and Tempel 1) have shown that comets contain complex organic chemicals; that water is the predominant volatile; and that extremely high temperatures (approx. 350-400 K) can be reached on the surfae of the very black (albedo approx. 0.03) nuclei of comets when they approach the Sun. Impact craters and pinnacles observed on comet Wild 2 suggest a thick crust. Episodic outbursts and jets from the nuclei of several comets indicate that localized regimes of liquid water and water vapor can periodically exist beneath the comet crust. The Deep Impact mission found the temperature of the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 at 1.5 AU varied from a minimum of 280 plus or minus 8 K the 330K (57 C) on the sunlit side. In this paper it is argued that that pools and films of liquid water exist (within a wide range of temperatures) in cavities and voids just beneath the hot, black crust. The possibility of liquid water existing over a wide range of temperatures significantly enhances the possibility that comets might contain niches suitable for the growth of microbial communities and ecosystems. These regimes would be ideal for the growth of psychrophilic, mesophilic, and thermophilic

  12. Spatial Correlation Function of the Chandra Selected Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yang, Y.; Mushotzky, R. F.; Barger, A. J.; Cowie, L. L.

    2006-01-01

    two groups. We have also found that the correlation between X-ray luminosity and clustering amplitude is weak, which, however, is fully consistent with the expectation using the simplest relations between X-ray luminosity, black hole mass, and dark halo mass. We study the evolution of the AGN clustering by dividing the samples into 4 redshift bins over 0.1 Mpc< z <3.0 Mpc. We find a very mild evolution in the clustering amplitude, which show the same evolution trend found in optically selected quasars in the 2dF survey. We estimate the evolution of the bias, and find that the bias increases rapidly with redshift (b(z = 0.45) = 0.95 +/- 0.15 and b(z = 2.07) = 3.03 +/- 0.83): The typical mass of the dark matter halo derived from the bias estimates show little change with redshift. The average halo mass is found to be log (M(sub halo)/M(sun))approximates 12.1. Subject headings: cosmology: observations - large-scale structure of the universe - x-rays: diffuse background - galaxies: nuclei

  13. Deficits in the Activation of Human Oculomotor Nuclei in Chronic Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Tyler, Christopher W.; Likova, Lora T.; Mineff, Kristyo N.; Nicholas, Spero C.

    2015-01-01

    Binocular eye movements form a finely tuned system that requires accurate coordination of the oculomotor dynamics of the brainstem control nuclei when tracking the fine binocular disparities required for 3D vision. They are particularly susceptible to disruption by brain injury and other neural dysfunctions. Here, we report functional magnetic resonance imaging activation of the brainstem oculomotor control nuclei by binocular saccadic and vergence eye movements, and significant reductions in their response amplitudes in mild or diffuse traumatic brain injury (dTBI). Bilateral signals were recorded from a non-TBI control group (n = 11) in the oculomotor control system of the superior colliculi, the oculomotor nuclei, the abducens nuclei, and in the supra-oculomotor area (SOA), which mediate vergence eye movements. Signals from these nuclei were significantly reduced overall in a dTBI group (n = 12) and in particular for the SOA for vergence movements, which also showed significant decreases in velocity for both the convergence and divergence directions. PMID:26379615

  14. Rosetta/OSIRIS: Nucleus morphology and activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sierks, Holger

    2015-08-01

    Introduction: The Rosetta mission of the European Space Agency arrived on August 6, 2014, at the target comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko after 10 years of cruise. OSIRIS (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System) is the scientific imaging system onboard Rosetta. It comprises a Narrow Angle Camera (NAC) for broad-band nucleus surface and dust studies and a Wide Angle Camera (WAC) for the wide field coma investigations.OSIRIS images the nucleus and the coma of comet 67P/C-G from the arrival throughout early mapping phase, PHILAE landing, and escort phase with close fly-by beginning of the year 2015.The team paper presents the surface morphology and activity of the nucleus as seen in gas, dust, and local jets and the larger scale coma studied by OSIRIS.Acknowledgements: OSIRIS was built by a consortium led by the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Göttingen, Germany, in collaboration with CISAS, University of Padova, Italy, the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, France, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucia, CSIC, Granada, Spain, the Scientific Support Office of the European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, the Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial, Madrid, Spain, the Universidad Politéchnica de Madrid, Spain, the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Institut für Datentechnik und Kommunikationsnetze der Technischen Universität Braunschweig, Germany.Additional Information: The OSIRIS team is H. Sierks, C. Barbieri, P. Lamy, R. Rodrigo, D. Koschny, H. Rickman, J. Agarwal, M. A'Hearn, I. Bertini, F. Angrilli, M. A. Barucci, J. L. Bertaux, G. Cremonese, V. Da Deppo, B. Davidsson, S. Debei, M. De Cecco, S. Fornasier, M. Fulle, O. Groussin, C. Güttler, P. Gutierrez, S. Hviid, W. Ip, L. Jorda, H. U. Keller, J. Knollenberg, R. Kramm, E. Kührt, M. Küppers, L. Lara, M. Lazzarin, J. J. Lopez, S. Lowry, S. Marchi, F. Marzari, H. Michalik, S. Mottola, G. Naletto, N. Oklay, L

  15. PeV Neutrinos Observed by IceCube from Cores of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stecker, Floyd W.

    2013-01-01

    I show that the high energy neutrino flux predicted to arise from active galactic nuclei cores can explain the PeV neutrinos detected by IceCube without conflicting with the constraints from the observed extragalactic cosmic-ray and gamma-ray backgrounds.

  16. CHANDRA OBSERVATIONS OF GALAXY ZOO MERGERS: FREQUENCY OF BINARY ACTIVE NUCLEI IN MASSIVE MERGERS

    SciTech Connect

    Teng, Stacy H.; Darg, Dan W.; Kaviraj, Sugata; Lintott, Chris J.; Oh, Kyuseok; Cardamone, Carolin N.; Keel, William C.; Simmons, Brooke D.; Treister, Ezequiel

    2012-07-10

    We present the results from a Chandra pilot study of 12 massive galaxy mergers selected from Galaxy Zoo. The sample includes major mergers down to a host galaxy mass of 10{sup 11} M{sub Sun} that already have optical active galactic nucleus (AGN) signatures in at least one of the progenitors. We find that the coincidences of optically selected active nuclei with mildly obscured (N{sub H} {approx}< 1.1 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 22} cm{sup -2}) X-ray nuclei are relatively common (8/12), but the detections are too faint (<40 counts per nucleus; f{sub 2-10keV} {approx}< 1.2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -13} erg s{sup -1} cm{sup -2}) to reliably separate starburst and nuclear activity as the origin of the X-ray emission. Only one merger is found to have confirmed binary X-ray nuclei, though the X-ray emission from its southern nucleus could be due solely to star formation. Thus, the occurrences of binary AGNs in these mergers are rare (0%-8%), unless most merger-induced active nuclei are very heavily obscured or Compton thick.

  17. Magnetic Field Pile-Up and Draping at Intermediately Active Comets: Results from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 2.0 AU

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koenders, C.; Goetz, C.; Richter, I.; Motschmann, U.; Glassmeier, K.-H.

    2016-10-01

    The interaction between a comet and the impinging solar wind leads to modifications of the magnetic field in the environment of a comet. Among those one finds magnetic field pile-up and draping, which reveal properties of the interaction and are known from previous cometary spacecraft missions. This work studies the magnetic field configuration at comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko at 2.0 AU. The data reveal a pile-up of the magnetic field and a draping signature nearly perpendicular to the original solar wind flow and the plane containing the solar wind flow and the interplanetary magnetic field. A comparison of the magnetic field data with a hybrid plasma simulation supports this idea of a plasma flow which is strongly deflected from the Sun-comet direction and which is in line with other plasma observations by the Rosetta Plasma Consortium.

  18. Toxicity of 8-Hydroxyquinoline in Cryprinus carpio Using the Acute Toxicity Test, Hepatase Activity Analysis and the Comet Assay.

    PubMed

    Yan, Shuaiguo; Chen, Lili; Dou, Xiaofei; Qi, Meng; Du, Qiyan; He, Qiaoqiao; Nan, Mingge; Chang, Zhongjie; Nan, Ping

    2015-08-01

    To evaluate the environmental toxicity of 8-hydroxyquinoline (8-HOQ), an important industrial raw material found in China's major ornamental fish, Cryprinus carpio, using the acute toxicity test, hepatase activity analysis and the comet assay. The results indicated that 8-HOQ had significant acute toxicity in adult C. carpio with a 96 h-LC50 of 1.15 and 0.22 mg L(-1) hepatic quinoline residues as assessed by HPLC. 8-HOQ also induced genotoxicity in the form of strand breaks in the DNA of hepatic cells as shown by the comet assay. With regard to physiological toxicity, 8-HOQ induced a decrease in the activities of hepatic GOT and GPT with increased exposure concentration and time. These data suggest that 8-HOQ may be toxic to the health of aquatic organisms when accidentally released into aquatic ecosystems. The data also suggest that the comet assay may be used in biomonitoring to determine 8-HOQ genotoxicity and hepatic GPT and GOT activities may be potential biomarkers of physiological toxicity.

  19. Toxicity of 8-Hydroxyquinoline in Cryprinus carpio Using the Acute Toxicity Test, Hepatase Activity Analysis and the Comet Assay.

    PubMed

    Yan, Shuaiguo; Chen, Lili; Dou, Xiaofei; Qi, Meng; Du, Qiyan; He, Qiaoqiao; Nan, Mingge; Chang, Zhongjie; Nan, Ping

    2015-08-01

    To evaluate the environmental toxicity of 8-hydroxyquinoline (8-HOQ), an important industrial raw material found in China's major ornamental fish, Cryprinus carpio, using the acute toxicity test, hepatase activity analysis and the comet assay. The results indicated that 8-HOQ had significant acute toxicity in adult C. carpio with a 96 h-LC50 of 1.15 and 0.22 mg L(-1) hepatic quinoline residues as assessed by HPLC. 8-HOQ also induced genotoxicity in the form of strand breaks in the DNA of hepatic cells as shown by the comet assay. With regard to physiological toxicity, 8-HOQ induced a decrease in the activities of hepatic GOT and GPT with increased exposure concentration and time. These data suggest that 8-HOQ may be toxic to the health of aquatic organisms when accidentally released into aquatic ecosystems. The data also suggest that the comet assay may be used in biomonitoring to determine 8-HOQ genotoxicity and hepatic GPT and GOT activities may be potential biomarkers of physiological toxicity. PMID:26067700

  20. Secular variation of activity in comets 2P/Encke and 9P/Tempel 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Haken, Michael; AHearn, Michael F.; Feldman, Paul D.; Budzien, Scott A.

    1995-01-01

    We compare production rates of H20 derived from International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) spectra from multiple apparitions of 2 comets, 2P/Encke and 9P/Tempel 1, whose orbits are in near-resonance with that of the Earth. Since model-induced errors are primarily a function of observing geometry, the close geometrical matches afforded by the resonance condition results in the cancellation of such errors when taking ratios of production rates. Giving careful attention to the variation of model parameters with solar activity, we find marginal evidence of change in 2P/Encke: a 1-sigma pre-perihelion decrease averaging 4%/revolution over 4 apparitions from 1980-1994, and a 1-sigma post-perihelion increase of 16%/revolution for 2 successive apparitions in 1984 and 1987. We find for 9P/Tempel 1, however, a 7-sigma decrease of 29%/revolution over 3 apparitions from 1983-1994, even after correcting for a tracking problem which made the fluxes systematically low. We speculate on a possible association of the character of long-term brightness variations with physical properties of the nucleus, and discuss implications for future research.

  1. Recent Cryovolcanic Activity of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miles, Richard; Soulier, Jean-François; Camilleri, Paul; Drummond, John; Dymock, Roger; Hills, Kevin; Mattiazzo, Michael; Maury, Alain; Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope team

    2016-10-01

    The centaur Comet 29P/SW1 is a large 60-km object which appears to be uniquely active, almost certainly as a consequence of an extremely slow (57-d) rotation rate of its nucleus. It exhibits outbursts, which are explosive by nature and some of which appear to be associated with enduring cryovolcanoes. High-cadence precision photometry during 2014-2016 has quantified its recent behaviour in unprecedented detail. Photometry of the inner coma showing more than 20 discrete outbursts will be presented and discussed in relation to a gas-exsolution mechanism involving sub-crustal liquid phases. The results to be shown confirm earlier findings that a single outburst can trigger one or more follow-up outbursts from other sources within a few days of the initial event. Given that this object is most probably a recent interloper into the inner solar system, having originated from the trans-Neptunian region, it is a worthy target for further investigation. Its large nucleus and Hill sphere radius of ~30000 km would facilitate an orbiting probe, and with an escape velocity of ~20 m/s, its inner coma would be expected to clear relatively rapidly during quiescent intervals that can last for several months. Given its likely provenance as a TNO, prompt ground-based spectroscopic observation of its expanding coma following bright outbursts, which appear to arise from various locations on its nucleus, is to be encouraged.

  2. Halley's Comet.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, Tom

    1985-01-01

    Provides tips for viewing Comet Halley in the Northeast including best viewing dates from November 1985-January 1986. Discusses going south to view the comet in March-April 1986 and gives specific information about accommodations for the Halley Rally in Everglades National Park, southernmost site in the contiguous 48 states. (JHZ)

  3. Transcriptional activities of the chloroplast-nuclei and proplastid-nuclei isolated from tobacco exhibit different sensitivities to tagetitoxin: implication of the presence of distinct RNA polymerases.

    PubMed

    Sakai, A; Saito, C; Inada, N; Kuroiwa, T

    1998-09-01

    We examined the effects of tagetitoxin, a potent inhibitor of RNA polymerases from chloroplasts and Escherichia coli, on the transcriptional activities of chloroplast- and proplastid-nuclei (nucleoids) isolated from mature tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) leaves and cultured tobacco cells (line BY-2), respectively. Transcription by the isolated chloroplast-nuclei was effectively inhibited by tagetitoxin (95-99% reduction at 10 microM tagetitoxin), but transcription by the isolated proplastid-nuclei was only partially inhibited (40-50% reduction) by this compound. Southern hybridization experiments revealed that the transcription of various plastid genes (psbA, atpA, rpoB, psaA/B, atpB, rbcL, petB, rpl16, and rrn23) was sensitive to tagetitoxin in the isolated chloroplast-nuclei, whereas the transcription of the same genes was relatively resistant to this compound in the isolated proplastid-nuclei. These results suggest that; (i) distinct RNA polymerase activities with different sensitivities to tagetitoxin are present in plastids, (ii) a tagetitoxin-sensitive RNA polymerase is the major RNA polymerase in chloroplasts whereas a tagetitoxin-insensitive enzyme is major in proplastids, and (iii) both RNA polymerases can transcribe various plastid genes.

  4. Chandra Observations of Galaxy Zoo Mergers: Frequency of Binary Active Nuclei in Massive Mergers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, Stacy H.; Schwainski, Kevin; Urry, C. Megan; Darg, Dan W.; Kaviraj, Sugata; Oh, Kyuseok; Bonning, Erin W.; Cardamone, Carolin N.; Keel, William C.; Lintott, Chris J.; Simmons, Brooke D.; Treister, Ezequiel

    2012-01-01

    We present the results from a Chandra pilot study of 12 massive mergers selected from Galaxy Zoo. The sample includes major mergers down to a host galaxy mass of 10(sup 11) solar mass that already have optical AGN signatures in at least one of the progenitors. We find that the coincidences of optically selected active nuclei with mildly obscured (N(sub H) less than or approximately 1.1 x 10(exp 22) per square centimeter) X-ray nuclei are relatively common (8/12), but the detections are too faint (less than 40 counts per nucleus; f(sub 2-10 keV) less than or approximately 1.2 x 10(exp -13) ergs per second per square centimeter) to separate starburst and nuclear activity as the origin of the X-ray emission. Only one merger is found to have confirmed binary X-ray nuclei, though the X-ray emission from its southern nucleus could be due solely to star formation. Thus, the occurrences of binary AGN in these mergers are rare (0-8%), unless most merger-induced active nuclei are very heavily obscured or Compton thick.

  5. Chandra Observations of Galaxy Zoo Mergers: Frequency of Binary Active Nuclei in Massive Mergers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Teng, Stacy H.; Schawinski, Kevin; Urry, C. Megan; Darg, Dan W.; Kaviraj, Sugata; Oh, Kyuseok; Bonning, Erin W.; Cardamone, Carolin N.; Keel, William C.; Lintott, Chris J.; Simmons, Brooke D.; Treister, Ezequiel

    2012-01-01

    We present the results from a Chandra pilot study of 12 massive galaxy mergers selected from Galaxy Zoo. The sample includes major mergers down to a host galaxy mass of 1011 M that already have optical AGN signatures in at least one of the progenitors. We find that the coincidences of optically selected active nuclei with mildly obscured (N(sub H) approx < 1.1 10(exp 22)/sq cm) X-ray nuclei are relatively common (8/12), but the detections are too faint (< 40 counts per nucleus; (sub -10) keV approx < 1.2 10(exp -13) erg/s/sq cm) to reliably separate starburst and nuclear activity as the origin of the X-ray emission. Only one merger is found to have confirmed binary X-ray nuclei, though the X-ray emission from its southern nucleus could be due solely to star formation. Thus, the occurrences of binary AGN in these mergers are rare (0-8%), unless most merger-induced active nuclei are very heavily obscured or Compton thick.

  6. Physical Characteristics of Asteroid-like Comet Nucleus C/2001 OG108 (LONEOS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abell, P. A.; Fernandez, Y. R.; Pravec, P.; French, L. M.; Farnham, T. L.; Gaffey, M. J.; Hardersen, P. S.; Kusnirak, P.; Sarounova, L.; Sheppard, S. S.

    2003-01-01

    For many years several investigators have suggested that some portion of the near-Earth asteroid population may actually be extinct cometary nuclei. Evidence used to support these hypotheses was based on: observations of asteroid orbits and associated meteor showers (e.g. 3200 Phaethon and the Geminid meteor shower); low activity of short period comet nuclei, which implied nonvolatile surface crusts (e.g. Neujmin 1, Arend-Rigaux); and detections of transient cometary activity in some near-Earth asteroids (e.g. 4015 Wilson-Harrington). Recent investigations have suggested that approximately 5-10% of the near- Earth asteroid population may be extinct comets. However if members of the near-Earth asteroid population are extinct cometary nuclei, then there should be some objects within this population that are near their final stages of evolution and so should demonstrate only low levels of activity. The recent detections of coma from near-Earth object 2001 OG108 have renewed interest in this possible comet-asteroid connection. This paper presents the first high quality ground-based near-infrared reflectance spectrum of a comet nucleus combined with detailed lightcurve and albedo measurements.

  7. Masses of Black Holes in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterson, Bradley M.

    2003-01-01

    We present a progress report on a project whose goal is to improve both the precision and accuracy of reverberation-based black-hole masses. Reverberation masses appear to be accurate to a factor of about three, and the black-hole mass/bulge velocity dispersion (M-sigma) relationship appears to be the same in active and quiescent galaxies.

  8. Diatoms in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoover, R.; Hoyle, F.; Wallis, M. K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    1986-01-01

    The fossil record of the microscopic algae classified as diatoms suggests they were injected to earth at the Cretaceous boundary. Not only could diatoms remain viable in the cometary environment, but also many species might replicate in illuminated surface layers or early interior layers of cometary ice. Presumably they reached the solar system on an interstellar comet as an already-evolved assemblage of organisms. Diatoms might cause color changes to comet nuclei while their outgassing decays and revives around highly elliptical orbits. Just as for interstellar absorption, high-resolution IR observations are capable of distinguishing whether the 10-micron feature arises from siliceous diatom material or mineral silicates. The 10-30-micron band and the UV 220-nm region can also provide evidence of biological material.

  9. Radiation-induced DNA double-strand breaks produced in histone-depleted tumor cell nuclei measured using the neutral comet assay

    SciTech Connect

    Olive, P.L.; Banath, J.P.

    1995-05-01

    Removal of histones and other nuclear proteins greatly enhances the sensitivity of mammalian cells to DNA damage by ionizing radiation. We examined the possibility that the ease of dissociation of histones, or the association of other nuclear proteins with DNA, may differ between radioresistant and sensitive human tumor cells. Cells embedded in agarose were exposed to increasing salt concentrations prior to irradiation and examination using a microscopic gel electrophoresis method, the neutral comet assay. Induction of double-strand breaks increased by a factor of about 20 when cells of four human tumor cell line HT144 melanoma, HT29 adenocarcinoma, DU145 prostate carcinoma and U87 glioma, were exposed to 2 M NaCl; however, no correlation with radiosensitivity was apparent. While a significant number of histone and non-histone proteins are present after extraction with 1.2 M NaCL, these proteins apparently have only a minor influence on radiosensitivity. However, if they are allowed to remain with DNA during electrophoresis, about 15 times more strand breaks are required to produce a similar amount of DNA migration in both DU145 and HT144 cells. These results suggest that the association between proteins and DNA within the nucleus, as probed by extraction with sodium chloride, does not help to explain differences in intrinsic radiosensitivity among cells of these diverse tumor cell lines. 33 refs., 11 figs.

  10. Optical evidence for the unification of active galactic nuclei and quasi-stellar objects.

    PubMed Central

    Miller, J S

    1995-01-01

    There is a variety of optical evidence for some unification of different types of active galactic nuclei and quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). The case is very strong for the unification of at least some Seyfert galaxies, where polarization data show that the type assigned to the Seyfert galaxy must depend on viewing direction. It has been proposed that Fanaroff-Riley type 2 (FR2) radio galaxies are quasars seen in a direction from which the quasar is obscured, and there is some limited direct evidence for this picture. The broad absorption line QSOs may be normal QSOs seen from a special direction. Some of the sources observed to have high luminosities in the far infrared could be obscured QSOs and active nuclei. Mergers and interactions are likely to play an important role in nuclear activity, and active galaxies and QSOs could change their apparent types through these encounters followed by subsequent evolution. PMID:11607611

  11. Optical evidence for the unification of active galactic nuclei and quasi-stellar objects.

    PubMed

    Miller, J S

    1995-12-01

    There is a variety of optical evidence for some unification of different types of active galactic nuclei and quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). The case is very strong for the unification of at least some Seyfert galaxies, where polarization data show that the type assigned to the Seyfert galaxy must depend on viewing direction. It has been proposed that Fanaroff-Riley type 2 (FR2) radio galaxies are quasars seen in a direction from which the quasar is obscured, and there is some limited direct evidence for this picture. The broad absorption line QSOs may be normal QSOs seen from a special direction. Some of the sources observed to have high luminosities in the far infrared could be obscured QSOs and active nuclei. Mergers and interactions are likely to play an important role in nuclear activity, and active galaxies and QSOs could change their apparent types through these encounters followed by subsequent evolution.

  12. Searching for evidence for different activity drivers in long- and short-period comets from the WISE/NEOWISE data set

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kramer, E.; Fernandez, Y.; Bauer, J.; Stevenson, R.; Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Walker, R.; Lisse, C.; WISE Team

    2014-07-01

    Introduction: The Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission surveyed the sky in four infrared wavelength bands (3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 μ m) between January 2010 and February 2011 [1,2]. During the mission, WISE serendipitously observed over 150 comets, including 21 newly discovered objects. About half of the comets observed by WISE displayed a significant dust tail in the 12 and 22 μ m (thermal emission) bands. The Figure below shows a sampling of six comets in the 22 μ m band, showing the range of activity levels and dust morphology present in the data. Since the observed objects are a mix of both long-period (LP) and short-period (SP) comets, differences in activity can be used to better understand the thermal processing that each of these populations has undergone. Approach: For the comets that displayed a significant dust tail, we have estimated the sizes and ages of the particles using dynamical models based on the Finson-Probstein method [3,4]. The main parameter in these models is the ratio of solar radiation pressure to solar gravity, called β. We have then compared these models to the data using a novel tail-fitting method that allows the best-fit model to be chosen analytically rather than subjectively. For comets that were observed multiple times by WISE, the particle properties were estimated separately, and then compared. Results: The ages of the dust tails seen vary in age from a few months to several years, with the average for both SP and LP comets being between 1--2 years. While many of the dust tails are comprised of grains emitted near perihelion, several comets exhibit tails that depart from this trend significantly. For both the SP and LP comets, the median β value was about 0.01, suggesting that the tail particles are on the order of tens of microns in size. Our preliminary analysis suggests that while the sizes and ages of the particles that comprise the dust tails of LP and SP comets are similar, the heliocentric distance at which

  13. Fluorescence-activated sorting of fixed nuclei: a general method for studying nuclei from specific cell populations that preserves post-translational modifications.

    PubMed

    Marion-Poll, Lucile; Montalban, Enrica; Munier, Annie; Hervé, Denis; Girault, Jean-Antoine

    2014-04-01

    Long-lasting brain alterations that underlie learning and memory are triggered by synaptic activity. How activity can exert long-lasting effects on neurons is a major question in neuroscience. Signalling pathways from cytoplasm to nucleus and the resulting changes in transcription and epigenetic modifications are particularly relevant in this context. However, a major difficulty in their study comes from the cellular heterogeneity of brain tissue. A promising approach is to directly purify identified nuclei. Using mouse striatum we have developed a rapid and efficient method for isolating cell type-specific nuclei from fixed adult brain (fluorescence-activated sorting of fixed nuclei; FAST-FIN). Animals are quickly perfused with a formaldehyde fixative that stops enzymatic reactions and maintains the tissue in the state it was at the time of death, including nuclear localisation of soluble proteins such as GFP and differences in nuclear size between cell types. Tissue is subsequently dissociated with a Dounce homogeniser and nuclei prepared by centrifugation in an iodixanol density gradient. The purified fixed nuclei can then be immunostained with specific antibodies and analysed or sorted by flow cytometry. Simple criteria allow distinction of neurons and non-neuronal cells. Immunolabelling and transgenic mice that express fluorescent proteins can be used to identify specific cell populations, and the nuclei from these populations can be efficiently isolated, even rare cell types such as parvalbumin-expressing interneurons. FAST-FIN allows the preservation and study of dynamic and labile post-translational protein modifications. It should be applicable to other tissues and species, and allow study of DNA and its modifications.

  14. Cometary science. Subsurface properties and early activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

    PubMed

    Gulkis, Samuel; Allen, Mark; von Allmen, Paul; Beaudin, Gerard; Biver, Nicolas; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Choukroun, Mathieu; Crovisier, Jacques; Davidsson, Björn J R; Encrenaz, Pierre; Encrenaz, Therese; Frerking, Margaret; Hartogh, Paul; Hofstadter, Mark; Ip, Wing-Huen; Janssen, Michael; Jarchow, Christopher; Keihm, Stephen; Lee, Seungwon; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Leyrat, Cedric; Rezac, Ladislav; Schloerb, F Peter; Spilker, Thomas

    2015-01-23

    Heat transport and ice sublimation in comets are interrelated processes reflecting properties acquired at the time of formation and during subsequent evolution. The Microwave Instrument on the Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO) acquired maps of the subsurface temperature of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, at 1.6 mm and 0.5 mm wavelengths, and spectra of water vapor. The total H2O production rate varied from 0.3 kg s(-1) in early June 2014 to 1.2 kg s(-1) in late August and showed periodic variations related to nucleus rotation and shape. Water outgassing was localized to the "neck" region of the comet. Subsurface temperatures showed seasonal and diurnal variations, which indicated that the submillimeter radiation originated at depths comparable to the diurnal thermal skin depth. A low thermal inertia (~10 to 50 J K(-1) m(-2) s(-0.5)), consistent with a thermally insulating powdered surface, is inferred. PMID:25613896

  15. Subsurface properties and early activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gulkis, Samuel; Allen, Mark; von Allmen, Paul; Beaudin, Gerard; Biver, Nicolas; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Choukroun, Mathieu; Crovisier, Jacques; Davidsson, Björn J. R.; Encrenaz, Pierre; Encrenaz, Therese; Frerking, Margaret; Hartogh, Paul; Hofstadter, Mark; Ip, Wing-Huen; Janssen, Michael; Jarchow, Christopher; Keihm, Stephen; Lee, Seungwon; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Leyrat, Cedric; Rezac, Ladislav; Schloerb, F. Peter; Spilker, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Heat transport and ice sublimation in comets are interrelated processes reflecting properties acquired at the time of formation and during subsequent evolution. The Microwave Instrument on the Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO) acquired maps of the subsurface temperature of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, at 1.6 mm and 0.5 mm wavelengths, and spectra of water vapor. The total H2O production rate varied from 0.3 kg s-1 in early June 2014 to 1.2 kg s-1 in late August and showed periodic variations related to nucleus rotation and shape. Water outgassing was localized to the “neck” region of the comet. Subsurface temperatures showed seasonal and diurnal variations, which indicated that the submillimeter radiation originated at depths comparable to the diurnal thermal skin depth. A low thermal inertia (~10 to 50 J K-1 m-2 s-0.5), consistent with a thermally insulating powdered surface, is inferred.

  16. Cometary science. Subsurface properties and early activity of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

    PubMed

    Gulkis, Samuel; Allen, Mark; von Allmen, Paul; Beaudin, Gerard; Biver, Nicolas; Bockelée-Morvan, Dominique; Choukroun, Mathieu; Crovisier, Jacques; Davidsson, Björn J R; Encrenaz, Pierre; Encrenaz, Therese; Frerking, Margaret; Hartogh, Paul; Hofstadter, Mark; Ip, Wing-Huen; Janssen, Michael; Jarchow, Christopher; Keihm, Stephen; Lee, Seungwon; Lellouch, Emmanuel; Leyrat, Cedric; Rezac, Ladislav; Schloerb, F Peter; Spilker, Thomas

    2015-01-23

    Heat transport and ice sublimation in comets are interrelated processes reflecting properties acquired at the time of formation and during subsequent evolution. The Microwave Instrument on the Rosetta Orbiter (MIRO) acquired maps of the subsurface temperature of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, at 1.6 mm and 0.5 mm wavelengths, and spectra of water vapor. The total H2O production rate varied from 0.3 kg s(-1) in early June 2014 to 1.2 kg s(-1) in late August and showed periodic variations related to nucleus rotation and shape. Water outgassing was localized to the "neck" region of the comet. Subsurface temperatures showed seasonal and diurnal variations, which indicated that the submillimeter radiation originated at depths comparable to the diurnal thermal skin depth. A low thermal inertia (~10 to 50 J K(-1) m(-2) s(-0.5)), consistent with a thermally insulating powdered surface, is inferred.

  17. Comet LINEAR Splits Further

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2001-05-01

    Third Nucleus Observed with the VLT Summary New images from the VLT show that one of the two nuclei of Comet LINEAR (C/2001 A2), now about 100 million km from the Earth, has just split into at least two pieces . The three fragments are now moving through space in nearly parallel orbits while they slowly drift apart. This comet will pass through its perihelion (nearest point to the Sun) on May 25, 2001, at a distance of about 116 million kilometres. It has brightened considerably due to the splitting of its "dirty snowball" nucleus and can now be seen with the unaided eye by observers in the southern hemisphere as a faint object in the southern constellation of Lepus (The Hare). PR Photo 18a/01 : Three nuclei of Comet LINEAR . PR Photo 18b/01 : The break-up of Comet LINEAR (false-colour). Comet LINEAR splits and brightens ESO PR Photo 18a/01 ESO PR Photo 18a/01 [Preview - JPEG: 400 x 438 pix - 55k] [Normal - JPEG: 800 x 875 pix - 136k] ESO PR Photo 18b/01 ESO PR Photo 18b/01 [Preview - JPEG: 367 x 400 pix - 112k] [Normal - JPEG: 734 x 800 pix - 272k] Caption : ESO PR Photo 18a/01 shows the three nuclei of Comet LINEAR (C/2001 A2). It is a reproduction of a 1-min exposure in red light, obtained in the early evening of May 16, 2001, with the 8.2-m VLT YEPUN (UT4) telescope at Paranal. ESO PR Photo 18b/01 shows the same image, but in a false-colour rendering for more clarity. The cometary fragment "B" (right) has split into "B1" and "B2" (separation about 1 arcsec, or 500 km) while fragment "A" (upper left) is considerably fainter. Technical information about these photos is available below. Comet LINEAR was discovered on January 3, 2001, and designated by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as C/2001 A2 (see IAU Circular 7564 [1]). Six weeks ago, it was suddenly observed to brighten (IAUC 7605 [1]). Amateurs all over the world saw the comparatively faint comet reaching naked-eye magnitude and soon thereafter, observations with professional telescopes indicated

  18. In vivo metabolic activity of hamster suprachiasmatic nuclei: use of anesthesia

    SciTech Connect

    Schwartz, W.J.

    1987-02-01

    In vivo glucose utilization was measured in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of Golden hamsters using the /sup 14/C-labeled deoxyglucose technique. A circadian rhythm of SCN metabolic activity could be measured in this species, but only during pentobarbital sodium anesthesia when the surrounding background activity of adjacent hypothalamus was suppressed. Both the SCN's metabolic oscillation and its time-keeping ability are resistant to general anesthesia.

  19. Variegation of active regions on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oklay, Nilda; Vincent, Jean-Baptiste; Fornasier, Sonia; Pajola, Maurizio; Besse, Sebastien; Lara, Luisa M.; Barucci, Maria Antonietta; Mottola, Stefano; Sierks, Holger; Pommerol, Antoine; Masoumzadeh, Nafiseh; Lazzarin, Monica; Scholten, Frank; Preusker, Frank; Hall, Ian

    2015-11-01

    Since Rosetta spacecraft’s arrival to the comet 67P, the OSIRIS scientific imager (Optical, Spectroscopic, and Infrared Remote Imaging System, Keller et al. 2007) is successfully observing the nucleus with high spatial resolution in the 250-1000 nm range thanks to set of 26 dedicated filters.While 67P has a typical red spectral slope, the active areas tend to display bluer spectra (Sierks et al. 2015, Fornasier et al. 2015). We performed a spectral analysis of the active areas and derived spectral characteristics of them, possibly indicating the presence of material enriched in volatiles.The ‘activity thresholds’ spectral method (Oklay et al, 2015) is used for the identification of the active areas. In most cases, areas detected with this technique have been later on confirmed as active sources (Lara et al. 2015, Lin et al. 2015, Vincent et al. 2015) by direct detection of dust jets. This technique is therefore able to identify currently active areas, but also predicts which regions of the surface are likely to become activated once they receive enough insolation.Acknowledgements: OSIRIS was built by a consortium led by the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Göttingen, Germany, in collaboration with CISAS, University of Padova, Italy, the Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille, France, the Instituto de Astrofi­sica de Andalucia, CSIC, Granada, Spain, the Scientific Support Office of the European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands, the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacial, Madrid, Spain, the Universidad Politechnica de Madrid, Spain, the Department of Physics and Astronomy of Uppsala University, Sweden, and the Institut für Datentechnik und Kommunikationsnetze der Technischen Universität Braunschweig, Germany. We thank the Rosetta Science Ground Segment at ESAC, the Rosetta Mission Operations Centre at ESOC and the Rosetta Project at ESTEC for their outstanding work enabling the science return of the Rosetta Mission.Keller, et al

  20. Astrophysical bags - A new paradigm for active galactic nuclei?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilson, Thomas L.

    1992-01-01

    Active galaxies are believed to consist of a compact nucleus, the standard model for which is a massive black hole or a cluster of black holes. A different paradigm is considered here, deriving from quark confinement theory in QCD. It is an 'astrophysical bag', modelled after the 'hadron bags' of particle physics which have already been studied in astrophysics as quark stars. Another interpretation of the cosmological constant in general relativity, and possibly a new quasar redshift formula, are introduced. As a highly-energetic object, this model may resolve the baryonic matter problem for fuelling AGN accretion processes which black hole paradigms cannot account for. Here, baryons, cosmic rays, and neutrinos are free.

  1. On the Evolution of High-redshift Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Jirong; Kim, Minsun

    2016-09-01

    We build a simple physical model to study the high-redshift active galactic nucleus (AGN) evolution within the co-evolution framework of central black holes (BHs) and their host galaxies. The correlation between the circular velocity of a dark halo V c and the velocity dispersion of a galaxy σ is used to link the dark matter halo mass and BH mass. The dark matter halo mass function is converted to the BH mass function for any given redshift. The high-redshift optical AGN luminosity functions (LFs) are constructed. At z∼ 4, the flattening feature is not shown at the faint end of the optical AGN LF. This is consistent with observational results. If the optical AGN LF at z∼ 6 can be reproduced in the case in which central BHs have the Eddington-limited accretion, it is possible for the AGN lifetime to have a small value of 2× {10}5 {{years}}. The X-ray AGN LFs and X-ray AGN number counts are also calculated at 2.0\\lt z\\lt 5.0 and z\\gt 3, respectively, using the same parameters adopted in the calculation for the optical AGN LF at z∼ 4. It is estimated that about 30 AGNs per {{{\\deg }}}2 at z\\gt 6 can be detected with a flux limit of 3× {10}-17 {erg} {{cm}}-2 {{{s}}}-1 in the 0.5–2 keV band. Additionally, the cosmic reionization is also investigated. The ultraviolet photons emitted from the high-redshift AGNs mainly contribute to the cosmic reionization, and the central BHs of the high-redshift AGNs have a mass range of {10}6{--}{10}8{M}ȯ . We also discuss some uncertainties in both the AGN LFs and AGN number counts originating from the {M}{{BH}}{--}σ relation, Eddington ratio, AGN lifetime, and X-ray attenuation in our model.

  2. Gamma-Ray Observations of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Madejski, Grzegorz (Greg); Sikora, Marek

    2016-09-01

    This article reviews the recent observational results regarding γ-ray emission from active galaxies. The most numerous discrete extragalactic γ-ray sources are AGNs dominated by relativistic jets pointing in our direction (commonly known as blazars), and they are the main subject of the review. They are detected in all observable energy bands and are highly variable. The advent of the sensitive γ-ray observations, afforded by the launch and continuing operation of the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the AGILE Gamma-ray Imaging Detector, as well as by the deployment of current-generation Air Cerenkov Telescope arrays such as VERITAS, MAGIC, and HESS-II, continually provides sensitive γ-ray data over the energy range of ˜100 MeV to multi-TeV. Importantly, it has motivated simultaneous, monitoring observations in other bands, resulting in unprecedented time-resolved broadband spectral coverage. After an introduction, in Sections 3, 4, and 5, we cover the current status and highlights of γ-ray observations with (mainly) Fermi but also AGILE and put those in the context of broadband spectra in Section 6. We discuss the radiation processes operating in blazars in Section 7, and we discuss the content of their jets and the constraints on the location of the energy dissipation regions in, respectively, Sections 8 and 9. Section 10 covers the current ideas for particle acceleration processes in jets, and Section 11 discusses the coupling of the jet to the accretion disk in the host galaxy. Finally, Sections 12, 13, and 14 cover, respectively, the contribution of blazars to the diffuse γ-ray background, the utility of blazars to study the extragalactic background light, and the insight they provide for study of populations of supermassive black holes early in the history of the Universe.

  3. Highly Active Ice Nuclei from Tree Leaf Litters Retain Activity for Decades

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnell, R. C.; Hill, T. C. J.

    2015-12-01

    Biogenic ice nuclei (IN) studied since the 1960s were first observed in tree leaf litters, in a few bacteria species and later in fungi and lichens. Recently, viable IN bacteria in precipitation have been used as a metric of their possible role in precipitation formation. Although bacterial IN activity is deactivated by a variety of common environmental stresses, we present data showing that IN found in a potpourri of decayed plant leaves, bacteria, molds and fungi etc. in plant litters are exceptionally stable and active over decades while in storage. As such, their atmospheric IN potential is worthy of further study due to their environmental persistence. In August 1970 litter collected in a grove of deciduous trees near Red Deer, AB, Canada was tested for IN (drop freezing technique). The sample initiated ice at -4C with 109 IN per gram of litter active at -10C. A few kilograms were stored in a plastic bag and tested every few years for IN content; the IN activity remained essentially unchanged over 40 years. In 2011, litter collected in the same grove had the same IN activity as the sample tested over the intervening 40 years. Boiling a gram sample of this litter in 100 grams of water deactivated 99 % of the IN activity down to -13C. None of 88 different bacteria cultures several of which appeared to Pseudomonads (common IN producing bacteria) from the fresh litter produced any active IN. A sample of the litter was placed on the top of a 15 cm column of laboratory grade kaolin and water dripped onto the litter. Ten days later the water reached the bottom of the column. The kaolin was dried and tested for IN. The prior essentially IN free kaolin now exhibited IN activity at -4C with 105 IN active at -10C. The litter exposed kaolin retained the IN activity for 25 years. Baking the kaolin removed the active IN. This suggests that IN activity attributed to kaolin particles sometimes seen at the nucleus of snow crystals could be of biological origin.

  4. On the Evolution of High-redshift Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Jirong; Kim, Minsun

    2016-09-01

    We build a simple physical model to study the high-redshift active galactic nucleus (AGN) evolution within the co-evolution framework of central black holes (BHs) and their host galaxies. The correlation between the circular velocity of a dark halo V c and the velocity dispersion of a galaxy σ is used to link the dark matter halo mass and BH mass. The dark matter halo mass function is converted to the BH mass function for any given redshift. The high-redshift optical AGN luminosity functions (LFs) are constructed. At z˜ 4, the flattening feature is not shown at the faint end of the optical AGN LF. This is consistent with observational results. If the optical AGN LF at z˜ 6 can be reproduced in the case in which central BHs have the Eddington-limited accretion, it is possible for the AGN lifetime to have a small value of 2× {10}5 {{years}}. The X-ray AGN LFs and X-ray AGN number counts are also calculated at 2.0\\lt z\\lt 5.0 and z\\gt 3, respectively, using the same parameters adopted in the calculation for the optical AGN LF at z˜ 4. It is estimated that about 30 AGNs per {{{\\deg }}}2 at z\\gt 6 can be detected with a flux limit of 3× {10}-17 {erg} {{cm}}-2 {{{s}}}-1 in the 0.5-2 keV band. Additionally, the cosmic reionization is also investigated. The ultraviolet photons emitted from the high-redshift AGNs mainly contribute to the cosmic reionization, and the central BHs of the high-redshift AGNs have a mass range of {10}6{--}{10}8{M}⊙ . We also discuss some uncertainties in both the AGN LFs and AGN number counts originating from the {M}{{BH}}{--}σ relation, Eddington ratio, AGN lifetime, and X-ray attenuation in our model.

  5. In vitro secondary activation (memory effect) of avian vitellogenin II gene in isolated liver nuclei.

    PubMed Central

    Jost, J P; Moncharmont, B; Jiricny, J; Saluz, H; Hertner, T

    1986-01-01

    The vitellogenin II gene is specifically reactivated in vitro (secondary stimulation, memory effect) in purified liver nuclei that had ceased to express the gene in vivo a month after the roosters had received a single injection of estradiol (primary stimulation). The in vitro reactivation depends on the addition to the nuclei of nuclear and cytoplasmic extracts from estradiol-stimulated livers, polyamines (0.1-1.0 mM), and calmodulin (0.1 mM). Under identical incubation conditions the vitellogenin gene could not be reactivated in oviduct, embryonic, and immature chicken liver nuclei. Two other genes, those for ovalbumin and lysozyme, which are regulated by estradiol in the oviduct, could not be activated in the liver nuclei. The correct initiation of vitellogenin gene transcription in the liver nuclei was tested by primer extension studies. Addition of the antiestrogen tamoxifen (0.1 microM) to the system decreased vitellogenin mRNA synthesis by about 45% without affecting total RNA synthesis. Addition of quercetin (0.1 mM) and trans-flupenthixol (0.2 mM), inhibitors of nuclear protein kinase II and calmodulin-dependent kinase, respectively, inhibited the synthesis of vitellogenin mRNA by about 55% without affecting total RNA synthesis. The inhibitory effects of the antiestrogen and the kinase inhibitors were not additive, suggesting that both classes of inhibitor act on the same target or related targets. Depleting the estradiol receptors from the cell and nuclear extracts by means of estradiol-receptor antibodies covalently bound to Matrex beads reduced the stimulation of the vitellogenin gene by 40%. We conclude that in addition to the estradiol receptor and phosphorylation of nuclear protein(s) there are additional factors responsible for the in vitro secondary activation of the avian vitellogenin II gene. Images PMID:3455757

  6. Probing active galactic nuclei with H2O megamasers.

    PubMed Central

    Moran, J; Greenhill, L; Herrnstein, J; Diamond, P; Miyoshi, M; Nakai, N; Inque, M

    1995-01-01

    We describe the characteristics of the rapidly rotating molecular disk in the nucleus of the mildly active galaxy NGC4258. The morphology and kinematics of the disk are delineated by the point-like watervapor emission sources at 1.35-cm wavelength. High angular resolution [200 microas where as is arcsec, corresponding to 0.006 parsec (pc) at 6.4 million pc] and high spectral resolution (0.2 km.s-1 or nu/Deltanu = 1.4 x 10(6)) with the Very-Long-Baseline Array allow precise definition of the disk. The disk is very thin, but slightly warped, and is viewed nearly edge-on. The masers show that the disk is in nearly perfect Keplerian rotation within the observable range of radii of 0.13-0.26 pc. The approximately random deviations from the Keplerian rotation curve among the high-velocity masers are approximately 3.5 km.s-1 (rms). These deviations may be due to the masers lying off the midline by about +/-4 degrees or variations in the inclination of the disk by +/-4 degrees. Lack of systematic deviations indicates that the disk has a mass of <4 x 10(6) solar mass (M[symbol: see text]). The gravitational binding mass is 3.5 x 10(7) M[symbol: see text], which must lie within the inner radius of the disk and requires that the mass density be >4 x 10(9) M[symbol: see text].pc-3. If the central mass were in the form of a star cluster with a density distribution such as a Plummer model, then the central mass density would be 4 x 10(12) M[symbol: see text].pc-3. The lifetime of such a cluster would be short with respect to the age of the galaxy [Maoz, E. (1995) Astrophys. J. Lett. 447, L91-L94]. Therefore, the central mass may be a black hole. The disk as traced by the systemic velocity features is unresolved in the vertical direction, indicating that its scale height is <0.0003 pc (hence the ratio of thickness to radius, H/R, is <0.0025). For a disk in hydrostatic equilibrium the quadrature sum of the sound speed and Alfven velocity is <2.5 km.s-1, so that the temperature of

  7. Halley's Comet

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newburn, R. L., Jr.; Yeomans, D. K.

    1982-01-01

    Since 240 B.C., Chinese observers have documented a nearly unbroken record of scientifically useful observations of Periodic Comet Halley (P/Halley). Investigations of the comet's motion by Western astronomers are discussed, taking into account the first successful prediction of a cometary return by Halley (1705), computations conducted by Rosenberger (1830), and studies performed by Cowell and Crommelin (1910). Comet Halley's motion and nongravitational forces are considered along with meteor showers associated with P/Halley. The physical properties of P/Halley are examined, giving attention to the visual observations, the light curve of P/Halley, the coma, the tails, direct photographs, spectrograms, and the emission spectrum of P/Halley. Other subjects explored are related to the cometary nucleus, the mass of P/Halley, the rotation period and axial inclination, the composition, a nominal model of P/Halley's coma, and plans for investigations in connection with the coming apparition of Comet Halley.

  8. Comet culture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lusher, Rebekah

    2011-10-01

    Rebekah Lusher describes an exhibition in the new Caroline Lucretia Gallery at the Herschel Museum of Astronomy in Bath: Omens and Inspirations: Ice, Dust and Fire - the Story of the Great Comet of 1811.

  9. Anatomy of outbursts and quiescent activity of Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miles, Richard; Faillace, George A.; Mottola, Stefano; Raab, Herbert; Roche, Paul; Soulier, Jean-François; Watkins, Americo

    2016-07-01

    'plate' when dislodged by pressure build-up in the subsurface. Pairs of outbursts separated in time by 52-65 d took place in 2010, 2011, and 2012 exhibiting similar coma outflow patterns indicative of outbursts repeating a second time from the same source, and suggesting a nuclear rotation period of 59 ± 4 (s.e.) d. The escape velocity of the nucleus is sufficiently high (0.013-0.023 km s-1) that a significant fraction of ejecta falls back onto its surface, the action of which, we suggest, re-forms the crust and may trigger outbursts from nearby sites (e.g. triple events of February 2010, and May 2014). A short-lived (<1 d) anomalous brightening of 0.36 ± 0.12 mag observed on 2014 July 21 during quiescence may have arisen from an especially weak mini-outburst in which most of the ejected material failed to reach escape velocity. During quiescence in 2014, Comet 29P fluctuated in brightness over time-scales of 2-10 d by up to ±0.25 mag, probably via local jet activity continuing to feed the faint persistent inner coma. 29P also exhibited weak outbursts of <1 mag amplitude during quiescence and these will generally be missed by observers. Image analysis methodology tracking the locus of the coma photocentre with increasing photometric aperture size is used to quantify the directional motion of cometary haloes within 1-2 d of an outburst.

  10. Studies of Low Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei with Monte Carlo and Magnetohydrodynamic Simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilburn, Guy Louis

    Results from several studies are presented which detail explorations of the physical and spectral properties of low luminosity active galactic nuclei. An initial Sagittarius A* general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic simulation and Monte Carlo radiation transport model suggests accretion rate changes as the dominant flaring method. A similar study on M87 introduces new methods to the Monte Carlo model for increased consistency in highly energetic sources. Again, accretion rate variation seems most appropriate to explain spectral transients. To more closely resolve the methods of particle energization in active galactic nuclei accretion disks, a series of localized shearing box simulations explores the effect of numerical resolution on the development of current sheets. A particular focus on numerically describing converged current sheet formation will provide new methods for consideration of turbulence in accretion disks.

  11. The Covering Factor of Warm Dust in Weak Emission-line Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xudong; Liu, Yuan

    2016-10-01

    Weak emission-line active galactic nuclei (WLAGNs) are radio-quiet active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that have nearly featureless optical spectra. We investigate the ultraviolet to mid-infrared spectral energy distributions of 73 WLAGNs (0.4 < z < 3) and find that most of them are similar to normal AGNs. We also calculate the covering factor of warm dust of these 73 WLAGNs. No significant difference is indicated by a KS test between the covering factor of WLAGNs and normal AGNs in the common range of bolometric luminosity. The implication for several models of WLAGNs is discussed. The super-Eddington accretion is unlikely to be the dominant reason for the featureless spectrum of a WLAGN. The present results are still consistent with the evolution scenario, i.e., WLAGNs are in a special stage of AGNs.

  12. Consequences of hot gas in the broad line region of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kallman, T.; Mushotzky, R.

    1985-01-01

    Models for hot gas in the broad line region of active galactic nuclei are discussed. The results of the two phase equilibrium models for confinement of broad line clouds by Compton heated gas are used to show that high luminosity quasars are expected to show Fe XXVI L alpha line absorption which will be observed with spectrometers such as those planned for the future X-ray spectroscopy experiments. Two phase equilibrium models also predict that the gas in the broad line clouds and the confining medium may be Compton thick. It is shown that the combined effects of Comptonization and photoabsorption can suppress both the broad emission lines and X-rays in the Einstein and HEAO-1 energy bands. The observed properties of such Compton thick active galaxies are expected to be similar to those of Seyfert 2 nuclei. The implications for polarization and variability are also discussed.

  13. STEPS TOWARD UNVEILING THE TRUE POPULATION OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI: PHOTOMETRIC CHARACTERIZATION OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN COSMOS

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, Evan E.; Impey, Christopher D.; Trump, Jonathan R.

    2013-04-01

    Using a physically motivated, model-based active galactic nucleus (AGN) characterization technique, we fit a large sample of X-ray-selected AGNs with known spectroscopic redshifts from the Cosmic Evolution Survey field. We identify accretion disks in the spectral energy distributions of broad- and narrow-line AGNs, and infer the presence or absence of host galaxy light in the SEDs. Based on infrared and UV excess AGN selection techniques, our method involves fitting a given SED with a model consisting of three components: infrared power-law emission, optical-UV accretion disk emission, and host galaxy emission. Each component can be varied in relative contribution, and a reduced chi-square minimization routine is used to determine the optimum parameters for each object. Using this technique, both broad- and narrow-line AGNs fall within well-defined and plausible bounds on the physical parameters of the model, allowing trends with luminosity and redshift to be determined. In particular, based on our sample of spectroscopically confirmed AGNs, we find that approximately 95% of the broad-line AGNs and 50% of the narrow-line AGNs in our sample show evidence of an accretion disk, with maximum disk temperatures ranging from 1 to 10 eV. Because this fitting technique relies only on photometry, we hope to apply it in future work to the characterization and eventually the selection of fainter AGNs than are accessible in wide-field spectroscopic surveys, and thus probe a population of less luminous and/or higher redshift objects without prior redshift or X-ray data. With the abundant availability of photometric data from large surveys, the ultimate goal is to use this technique to create large samples that will complement and complete AGN catalogs selected by X-ray emission alone.

  14. Long-term study of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation of the atmospheric aerosol in Vienna

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burkart, J.; Steiner, G.; Reischl, G.; Hitzenberger, R.

    2011-10-01

    During a total of 11 months, cloud condensation nuclei (CCN at super-saturation S 0.5%) and condensation nuclei (CN) concentrations were measured in the urban background aerosol of Vienna, Austria. For several months, number size distributions between 13.22 nm and 929 nm were also measured with a scanning mobility particle spectrometer (SMPS). Activation ratios (i.e. CCN/CN ratios) were calculated and apparent activation diameters obtained by integrating the SMPS size distributions. Variations in all CCN parameters (concentration, activation ratio, apparent activation diameter) are quite large on timescales of days to weeks. Passages of fronts influenced CCN parameters. Concentrations decreased with the passage of a front. No significant differences were found for fronts from different sectors (for Vienna mainly north to west and south to east). CCN concentrations at 0.5% S ranged from 160 cm-3 to 3600 cm-3 with a campaign average of 820 cm-3. Activation ratios were quite low (0.02-0.47, average: 0.13) and comparable to activation ratios found in other polluted regions (e.g. Cubison et al., 2008). Apparent activation diameters were found to be much larger (campaign average: 169 nm, range: (69-370) nm) than activation diameters for single-salt particles (around 50 nm depending on the salt). Contrary to CN concentrations, which are influenced by source patterns, CCN concentrations did not exhibit distinct diurnal patterns. Activation ratios showed diurnal variations counter-current to the variations of CN concentrations.

  15. Phytochrome regulates GTP-binding protein activity in the envelope of pea nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, G. B.; Memon, A. R.; Thompson, G. A. Jr; Roux, S. J.

    1993-01-01

    Three GTP-binding proteins with apparent molecular masses of 27, 28 and 30 kDa have been detected in isolated nuclei of etiolated pea plumules. After LDS-PAGE and transfer to nitrocellulose these proteins bind [32P]GTP in the presence of excess ATP, suggesting that they are monomeric G proteins. When nuclei are disrupted, three proteins co-purify with the nuclear envelope fraction and are highly enriched in this fraction. The level of [32P]GTP-binding for all three protein bands is significantly increased when harvested pea plumules are irradiated by red light, and this effect is reversed by far-red light. The results indicate that GTP-binding activity associated with the nuclear envelope of plant cells is photoreversibly regulated by the pigment phytochrome.

  16. The constitution of cometary nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Whipple, F. L.

    1977-01-01

    The nongravitational term in the expression for the total force acting on a comet is calculated, and an upper limit is obtained for the product of the radial nongravitational term times the radius times the square root of the albedo. This condition is satisfied for ten periodic comets with q no greater than 1.5 AU, and the activity of these comets is consistent with control by H2O ice. Some of the comets must be spotty to account for their low albedo values. The effect of cosmic rays on comets, leading to frosting of their surface, is discussed.

  17. CCD-photometry of comets at large heliocentric distances

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mueller, Beatrice E. A.

    1992-01-01

    CCD imaging and time series photometry are used to determine the state of activity, nuclear properties and eventually the rotational motion of cometary nuclei. Cometary activity at large heliocentric distances and mantle evolution are not yet fully understood. Results of observations carried out at the 2.1 telescope on Kitt Peak April 10-12 and May 15-16, 1991 are discussed. Color values and color-color diagrams are presented for several comets and asteroids. Estimations of nuclear radii and shapes are given.

  18. Toxicity effect of dichlorvos on loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) assessed by micronucleus test, hepatase activity analysis and comet assay.

    PubMed

    Nan, Ping; Yan, Shuaiguo; Li, Li; Chen, Jianjun; Du, Qiyan; Chang, Zhongjie

    2015-06-01

    Pesticides and other chemicals at environmental concentrations often have detrimental effects. Many aquatic species are particularly threatened because of their susceptibility and also because water environment are often polluted. This study preliminarily evaluated the toxicity effect of dichlorvos (DDVP) on loach (Misgurnus anguillicaudatus) using the methods of micronucleus (MN) test, hepatase activity and comet assay. The tested results showed that indeed very little DDVP had strong toxicity effect on loach and its 50% lethal concentration (LC50) at 24 h, 48 h and 96 h was 8.38 μg l(-1), 7.168 μg l(-1) and 6.411 μg l(-1), respectively; The glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT) and glutamic-oxalacetic transaminase (GOT) activity of loach liver decreased; meanwhile, the GPT and GOT activity of loach serum, the MN rate (‰) and three comet parameters of tested fish increased with the increase in the treatment concentration and treatment time of DDVP, and there was significant difference between control group and each treatment group (p < 0.05). These results suggested that DDVP residues might become toxic chemical contaminant in environment and would threaten aquatic and other organisms.

  19. The gas production rate of periodic comet d'Arrest

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Festou, Michel C.; Feldman, Paul D.; Ahearn, Michael F.

    1992-01-01

    Comet P/d'Arrest is a potential target for a rendezvous mission to a short period comet. Its light curve is rather peculiar, the comet being active only after perihelion passage. One apparition out of two is easy to observe from the ground. The 1995 apparition of the comet will offer a unique opportunity to characterize the outgassing properties of its nucleus.

  20. Membrane fluidity as a factor in production and stability of bacterial ice nuclei active at high subfreezing temperatures.

    PubMed

    Lindow, S E

    1995-06-01

    Detailed measurements were made of the rate of appearance of bacterial ice nuclei upon cooling of suspensions of Pseudomonas syringae cells and the disappearance of ice nuclei upon warming of the cells before assay for ice nucleation activity. While no substantial change in numbers of ice nuclei active at either -5 or at -9 degrees C was observed in cells that were grown at temperatures lower than 24 degrees C and cooled to 21 degrees C before assay, large increases in -5 but not -9 degrees C ice nuclei were observed in cells grown at temperatures greater than 24 degrees C. Ice nucleation activity of cells subjected to a decrease in temperature before assay increased immediately upon temperature shift, but 8 to 12 min was required before maximum rates of increase in numbers of ice nuclei were observed. The rate of appearance of ice nuclei in cell suspensions incubated at relatively cold temperatures prior to assay was substantially less than those incubated at temperatures approaching 24 degrees C. Cells rapidly lost ice nucleation activity when warmed to above 27 degrees C before assay; the rate of loss of ice nuclei in cells grown at a given temperature increased rapidly as the temperature to which they were warmed before assay increased. Ice nuclei disappeared most rapidly when cells grown at low temperatures were warmed before assay, suggesting that ice nucleus stability was lower in highly fluid membranes. The logarithm of the half-life of ice nuclei in cells was directly related to the concentration of the membrane fluidizing agent, 2-phenethyl alcohol, in which they were suspended. PMID:7781327

  1. Thermal model of water and CO activity of Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gortsas, N.; Kührt, E.; Motschmann, U.; Keller, H. U.

    2011-04-01

    An investigation of the activity of Comet C/1995 O1 (Hale-Bopp) with a thermophysical nucleus model that does not rely on the existence of amorphous ice is presented. Our approach incorporates recent observations allowing to constrain important parameters that control cometary activity. The model accounts for heat conduction, heat advection, gas diffusion, sublimation, and condensation in a porous ice-dust matrix with moving boundaries. Erosion due to surface sublimation of water ice leads to a moving boundary. The movement of the boundary is modeled by applying a temperature remapping technique which allows us to account for the loss in the internal energy of the eroded surface material. These kind of problems are commonly referred to as Stefan problems. The model takes into account the diurnal rotation of the nucleus and seasonal effects due to the strong obliquity of Hale-Bopp as reported by Jorda et al. (Jorda, L., Rembor, K., Lecacheux, J., Colom, P., Colas, F., Frappa, E., Lara, L.M. [1997]. Earth Moon Planets 77, 167-180). Only bulk sublimation of water and CO ice are considered without further assumptions such as amorphous ices with certain amount of occluded CO gas. Confined and localized activity patterns are investigated following the reports of Lederer and Campins (Lederer, S.M., Campins, H. [2002]. Earth Moon Planets 90, 381-389) about the chemical heterogeneity of Hale-Bopp and of Bockelée-Morvan et al. (Bockelée-Morvan, D., Henry, F., Biver, N., Boissier, J., Colom, P., Crovisier, J., Despois, D., Moreno, R., Wink, J. [2009]. Astron. Astrophys. 505, 825-843) about a strong CO source at a latitude of 20°. The best fit to the observations of Biver et al. (Biver, N. et al. [2002]. Earth Moon Planets 90, 5-14) is obtained with a low thermal conductivity of 0.01 W m -1 K -1. This is in agreement with recent results of the Deep Impact mission to 9P/Tempel 1 (Groussin, O., A'Hearn, M.F., Li, J.-Y., Thomas, P.C., Sunshine, J.M., Lisse, C.M., Meech, K

  2. A Creaking and Cracking Comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Faurschou Hviid, Stubbe; Hüttig, Christian; Groussin, Olivier; Mottola, Stefano; Keller, Horst Uwe; OSIRIS Team

    2016-10-01

    Since the middle of 2014 the OSIRIS cameras on the ESA Rosetta mission have been monitoring the evolution of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as it passed through perihelion. During the perihelion passage several change events have been observed on the nucleus surface. For example existing large scale cracks have expanded and new large scale cracks have been created. Also several large scale "wave pattern" like change events have been observed in the Imhotep and Hapi regions. These are events not directly correlated with any normal visible cometary activity. One interpretation is that these are events likely caused by "seismic" activity. The seismic activity is created by the self-gravity stress of the non-spherical comet nucleus and stress created by the non-gravitational forces acting on the comet. The non-gravitational forces are changing the rotation period of the comet (~20min/perihelion passage) which induces a changing mechanical stress pattern through the perihelion passage. Also the diurnal cycle with its changing activity pattern is causing a periodic wobble in the stress pattern that can act as a trigger for a comet quake. The stress pattern has been modeled using a finite element model that includes self-gravity, the comet spin and the non-gravitational forces based on a cometary activity model. This paper will discuss what can be learned about the comet nucleus structure and about the cometary material properties from these events and from the FEM model.

  3. Comet nucleus sample return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    A comet nucleus sample return mission in terms of its relevant science objectives, candidate mission concepts, key design/technology requirements, and programmatic issues is discussed. The primary objective was to collect a sample of undisturbed comet material from beneath the surface of an active comet and to preserve its chemical and, if possible, its physical integrity and return it to Earth in a minimally altered state. The secondary objectives are to: (1) characterize the comet to a level consistent with a rendezvous mission; (2) monitor the comet dynamics through perihelion and aphelion with a long lived lander; and (3) determine the subsurface properties of the nucleus in an area local to the sampled core. A set of candidate comets is discussed. The hazards which the spacecraft would encounter in the vicinity of the comet are also discussed. The encounter strategy, the sampling hardware, the thermal control of the pristine comet material during the return to Earth, and the flight performance of various spacecraft systems and the cost estimates of such a mission are presented.

  4. The Comet Radar Explorer Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asphaug, Erik; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Chesley, Steve; Delbo, Marco; Farnham, Tony; Gim, Yonggyu; Grimm, Robert; Herique, Alain; Kofman, Wlodek; Oberst, Juergen; Orosei, Roberto; Piqueux, Sylvain; Plaut, Jeff; Robinson, Mark; Sava, Paul; Heggy, Essam; Kurth, William; Scheeres, Dan; Denevi, Brett; Turtle, Elizabeth; Weissman, Paul

    2014-11-01

    Missions to cometary nuclei have revealed major geological surprises: (1) Global scale layers - do these persist through to the interior? Are they a record of primary accretion? (2) Smooth regions - are they landslides originating on the surface? Are they cryovolcanic? (3) Pits - are they impact craters or sublimation pits, or rooted in the interior? Unambiguous answers to these and other questions can be obtained by high definition 3D radar reflection imaging (RRI) of internal structure. RRI can answer many of the great unknowns in planetary science: How do primitive bodies accrete? Are cometary nuclei mostly ice? What drives their spectacular activity and evolution? The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) mission will image the detailed internal structure of the nucleus of 10P/Tempel 2. This ~16 x 8 x 7 km Jupiter Family Comet (JFC), or its parent body, originated in the outer planets region possibly millions of years before planet formation. CORE arrives post-perihelion and observes the comet’s waning activity from safe distance. Once the nucleus is largely dormant, the spacecraft enters a ~20-km dedicated Radar Mapping Orbit (RMO). The exacting design of the RRI experiment and the precise navigation of RMO will achieve a highly focused 3D radar reflection image of internal structure, to tens of meters resolution, and tomographic images of velocity and attenuation to hundreds of meters resolution, tied to the gravity model and shape. Visible imagers will produce maps of the surface morphology, albedo, color, texture, and photometric response, and images for navigation and shape determination. The cameras will also monitor the structure and dynamics of the coma, and its dusty jets, allowing their correlation in 3D with deep interior structures and surface features. Repeated global high-resolution thermal images will probe the near-surface layers heated by the Sun. Derived maps of thermal inertia will be correlated with the radar boundary response, and photometry and

  5. Comets: chemistry and chemical evolution.

    PubMed

    Donn, B

    1982-01-01

    Lasting commitment to cosmic chemistry and an awareness of the fascinating role of comets in that study was a consequence of an association with Harold Urey early in my astronomical career. Urey's influence on cometary research spread as colleagues with whom I was associated, in turn, developed their own programs in cometary chemistry. One phase of the Chicago research shows that Whipple's icy nucleus would be below about 250 K. This property, combined with their small internal pressure, means cometary interiors remain essentially unchanged during their lifetime. Observations of cometary spectra indicate that they are rich in simple organic species. Experiments on comet-like ice mixture suggests that the extensive array of interstellar molecules also may be found in comets. The capture of cometary debris by the earth or the impact of comets would have been an early source of biochemically significant molecules. Recent hypotheses on radiogenic heating and melting of water ice in the central zone of nuclei do not seem consistent with recent observations or ideas of structure. Thus comets are not a likely place for life to develop. PMID:7097774

  6. Comets: chemistry and chemical evolution.

    PubMed

    Donn, B

    1982-01-01

    Lasting commitment to cosmic chemistry and an awareness of the fascinating role of comets in that study was a consequence of an association with Harold Urey early in my astronomical career. Urey's influence on cometary research spread as colleagues with whom I was associated, in turn, developed their own programs in cometary chemistry. One phase of the Chicago research shows that Whipple's icy nucleus would be below about 250 K. This property, combined with their small internal pressure, means cometary interiors remain essentially unchanged during their lifetime. Observations of cometary spectra indicate that they are rich in simple organic species. Experiments on comet-like ice mixture suggests that the extensive array of interstellar molecules also may be found in comets. The capture of cometary debris by the earth or the impact of comets would have been an early source of biochemically significant molecules. Recent hypotheses on radiogenic heating and melting of water ice in the central zone of nuclei do not seem consistent with recent observations or ideas of structure. Thus comets are not a likely place for life to develop.

  7. Search for emission of ultra high energy radiation from active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-01-01

    A search for emission of ultra-high energy gamma radiation from 13 active galactic nuclei that were detected by EGRET, using the CYGNUS extensive air-shower array, is described. The data set has been searched for continuous emission, emission on the time scale of one week, and for on the time scale of out day. No evidence for emission from any of the AGN on any of the time scales examined was found. The 90% C.L. upper limit to the continuous flux from Mrk 421 above 50 TeV is 7.5 [times] 10[sup [minus]14] cm[sup [minus]2]s[sup [minus]1].

  8. Search for emission of ultra high energy radiation from active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    The CYGNUS Collaboration

    1993-05-01

    A search for emission of ultra-high energy gamma radiation from 13 active galactic nuclei that were detected by EGRET, using the CYGNUS extensive air-shower array, is described. The data set has been searched for continuous emission, emission on the time scale of one week, and for on the time scale of out day. No evidence for emission from any of the AGN on any of the time scales examined was found. The 90% C.L. upper limit to the continuous flux from Mrk 421 above 50 TeV is 7.5 {times} 10{sup {minus}14} cm{sup {minus}2}s{sup {minus}1}.

  9. CCD Observing and Dynamical Time Series Analysis of Active Galactic Nuclei.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nair, Achotham Damodaran

    1995-01-01

    The properties, working and operations procedure of the Charge Coupled Device (CCD) at the 30" telescope at Rosemary Hill Observatory (RHO) are discussed together with the details of data reduction. Several nonlinear techniques of time series analysis, based on the behavior of the nearest neighbors, have been used to analyze the time series of the quasar 3C 345. A technique using Artificial Neural Networks based on prediction of the time series is used to study the dynamical properties of 3C 345. Finally, a heuristic model for variability of Active Galactic Nuclei is discussed.

  10. On the origin of power-law X-ray spectra of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schlosman, I.; Shaham, J.; Shaviv, G.

    1984-01-01

    In the present analytical model for a power law X-ray continuum production in active galactic nuclei, the dissipation of turbulent energy flux above the accretion disk forms an optically thin transition layer with an inverted temperature gradient. The emitted thermal radiation has a power law spectrum in the 0.1-100 keV range, with a photon energy spectral index gamma of about 0.4-1.0. Thermal X-ray contribution from the layer is 5-10 percent of the total disk luminosity. The gamma value of 0.75 is suggested as a 'natural' power law index for Seyfert galaxies and QSOs.

  11. Ensemble X-ray variability of active galactic nuclei at intermediate and long time lags

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vagnetti, Fausto; Middei, Riccardo

    2016-08-01

    We present a variability analysis for a sample of 2700 active galactic nuclei extracted from the latest release of the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue. The structure function of this sample increases up to rest-frame time lags of about 5 years. Moreover, comparing observations performed by the XMM-Newton and ROSAT satellites, we are able to extend the X-ray structure function to 20 years rest-frame, showing a further increase of variability without any evidence of a plateau. Our results are compared with similar analyses in the optical band, and discussed in relation to the physical sizes of the emitting regions.

  12. Long-term study of cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation of the atmospheric aerosol in Vienna.

    PubMed

    Burkart, J; Steiner, G; Reischl, G; Hitzenberger, R

    2011-10-01

    During a total of 11 months, cloud condensation nuclei (CCN at super-saturation S 0.5%) and condensation nuclei (CN) concentrations were measured in the urban background aerosol of Vienna, Austria. For several months, number size distributions between 13.22 nm and 929 nm were also measured with a scanning mobility particle spectrometer (SMPS). Activation ratios (i.e. CCN/CN ratios) were calculated and apparent activation diameters obtained by integrating the SMPS size distributions. Variations in all CCN parameters (concentration, activation ratio, apparent activation diameter) are quite large on timescales of days to weeks. Passages of fronts influenced CCN parameters. Concentrations decreased with the passage of a front. No significant differences were found for fronts from different sectors (for Vienna mainly north to west and south to east). CCN concentrations at 0.5% S ranged from 160 cm(-3) to 3600 cm(-3) with a campaign average of 820 cm(-3). Activation ratios were quite low (0.02-0.47, average: 0.13) and comparable to activation ratios found in other polluted regions (e.g. Cubison et al., 2008). Apparent activation diameters were found to be much larger (campaign average: 169 nm, range: (69-370) nm) than activation diameters for single-salt particles (around 50 nm depending on the salt). Contrary to CN concentrations, which are influenced by source patterns, CCN concentrations did not exhibit distinct diurnal patterns. Activation ratios showed diurnal variations counter-current to the variations of CN concentrations.

  13. Acute stress differentially affects aromatase activity in specific brain nuclei of adult male and female quail.

    PubMed

    Dickens, Molly J; Cornil, Charlotte A; Balthazart, Jacques

    2011-11-01

    The rapid and temporary suppression of reproductive behavior is often assumed to be an important feature of the adaptive acute stress response. However, how this suppression operates at the mechanistic level is poorly understood. The enzyme aromatase converts testosterone to estradiol in the brain to activate reproductive behavior in male Japanese quail (Coturnix japonica). The discovery of rapid and reversible modification of aromatase activity (AA) provides a potential mechanism for fast, stress-induced changes in behavior. We investigated the effects of acute stress on AA in both sexes by measuring enzyme activity in all aromatase-expressing brain nuclei before, during, and after 30 min of acute restraint stress. We show here that acute stress rapidly alters AA in the male and female brain and that these changes are specific to the brain nuclei and sex of the individual. Specifically, acute stress rapidly (5 min) increased AA in the male medial preoptic nucleus, a region controlling male reproductive behavior; in females, a similar increase was also observed, but it appeared delayed (15 min) and had smaller amplitude. In the ventromedial and tuberal hypothalamus, regions associated with female reproductive behavior, stress induced a quick and sustained decrease in AA in females, but in males, only a slight increase (ventromedial) or no change (tuberal) in AA was observed. Effects of acute stress on brain estrogen production, therefore, represent one potential way through which stress affects reproduction.

  14. A Continuing Analysis of Possible Activity Drivers for the Enigmatic Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schambeau, Charles Alfred; Fernandez, Yanga; Samarasinha, Nalin; Sarid, Gal; Mueller, Beatrice; Meech, Karen; Woodney, Laura

    2015-11-01

    We present results from our continuing effort to understand activity drivers in Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (SW1). While being in a nearly circular orbit around 6 AU, SW1 is continuously active and experiences frequent outbursts. Our group’s effort is focusing on finding constraints on physical and dynamical properties of SW1’s nucleus and their incorporation into a thermophysical model [1,2] to explain this behavior. Now we are analyzing coma morphology of SW1 before, during, and after outburst to place constraints on the spin-pole direction, spin period, and surface areas of activity (a spin period lower limit has been measured). Also, we are using the thermal model to investigate if the continuous activity comes from one or multiple processes, such as the release of trapped supervolatiles during the amorphous to crystalline (A-C) water ice phase transition and/or the direct sublimation of pockets of supervolatile ices, which may be primordial or from the condensation of gases released during the A-C phase transition. To explain the possibly quasi-periodic but frequent outbursts, we are looking into subsurface cavities where internal pressures can build, reaching and exceeding surrounding material strengths [3,4] and/or thermal waves reaching a pocket of supervolatile ices, causing a rapid increase in the sublimation rate. For all these phenomena, the model is constrained by comparing the output dust mass loss rate and its variability with what has been observed through optical imaging of the comet at various points in its orbit. We will present preliminary thermal modeling of a homogeneous progenitor nucleus that evolves into a body showing internal material layering, the generation of CO and CO2 ice pockets, and the production of outbursts, thus bringing us closer to explaining the behavior of this intriguing comet.[1] Sarid, G., et al.: 2005, PASP, 117, 843. [2] Sarid, G.: 2009, PhD Thesis, Tel Aviv Univ. [3] Gronkowski, P., 2014, Astron. Nachr./AN 2

  15. A Continuing Analysis of Possible Activity Drivers for the Enigmatic Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schambeau, Charles; Fernández, Yanga; Samarasinha, Nalin H.; Mueller, Beatrice E. A.; Sarid, Gal; Meech, Karen Jean; Woodney, Laura

    2016-01-01

    We present results from our effort to understand activity drivers in Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann 1 (SW1). In a nearly circular orbit around 6 AU, outside of the water-sublimation zone, SW1 is continuously active and experiences frequent outbursts. Our group's effort is focusing on finding constraints on physical and dynamical properties of SW1's nucleus and their incorporation into a thermophysical model [1,2] to explain this behavior. We are currently analyzing coma morphology of SW1 before, during, and after outburst placing constraints on the spin-pole direction, spin period, and surface areas of activity. In addition, we are using the thermal model to investigate if the continuous activity comes from one or multiple processes, such as the release of trapped supervolatiles during the amorphous to crystalline (A-C) water ice phase transition and/or the direct sublimation of pockets of supervolatile ices. The supervolatile ices may be primordial or from the condensation of gases released during the A-C phase transition. To explain the possibly quasi-periodic but frequent outbursts, we are looking into subsurface cavities where internal pressures can build, reaching and exceeding surrounding material strengths [3,4] and/or thermal waves reaching a pocket of supervolatile ices, causing a rapid increase in the sublimation rate. For all these phenomena, the model is constrained by comparing the output dust mass loss rate and its variability with what has been observed through optical imaging of the comet at various points in its orbit. We will present preliminary thermal modeling of a homogeneous progenitor nucleus that evolves into a body showing internal material layering, the generation of CO and CO2 ice pockets, and the production of outbursts, thus bringing us closer to explaining the behavior of this intriguing comet. [1] Sarid, G., et al.: 2005, PASP, 117, 843. [2] Sarid, G.: 2009, PhD Thesis, Tel Aviv Univ. [3] Gronkowski, P., 2014, Astron. Nachr./AN 2, No

  16. Multi-band Emission of Active Galactic Nuclei: the Relationship of Stellar and Gravitational-Accretion Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Feltre, Anna

    2013-07-01

    One of the remaining open issues in the context of the analysis of active galactic nuclei is the evidence that nuclear gravitational accretion is often accompanied by a concurrent starburst activity. What is, in this picture, the role played by the obscuring dust around the nucleus and what does the state of the art models have to say? Can the infrared data provided by Spitzer and Herschel help us in extensively investigate both phenomena and, if so, how and with what limitations? Does the presence of an active nucleus have an impact in the mid- and far-infrared properties of galaxies? Which are the effects of simultaneous nuclear gravitational accretion and starburst activities in these same galaxies? This Thesis presents our contribution to the efforts of answering these questions. I report on results coming from a comparative study of various approaches adopted while modelling active galactic nuclei, focusing mostly on the much-debated issue about the morphology of the dust distribution in the toroidal structure surrounding their nuclear centre. We largely illustrate that properties of dust in active galactic nuclei as measured by matching observations (be it broad band infrared photometry or infrared spectra) with models strongly depend on the choice of the dust distribution. Further, I describe a spectral energy distribution fitting tool appositely developed to derive simultaneously the physical properties of active nuclei and coexisting starbursts. The procedure was developed to make the best use of Spitzer and Herschel mid- and far-infrared observations. Such data play a crucial role in this context, providing much stronger constraints on the models with respect to the previous observing facilities. The tool has been applied to a large sample of extragalactic sources representing the Herschel/Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey population with mid-infrared spectra from Spitzer and with a plethora of multi-wavelength data (SDSS, Spitzer and Herschel/SPIRE). The

  17. Maverick Comet Splits during Dramatic Outburst

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1996-01-01

    this process is almost always accompanied by a significant brightening. For instance, the nucleus of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 broke up into at least 21 individual pieces when it passed very close to Jupiter on July 8, 1992; this was the reason that it became bright enough to be detected some eight months later. In the case of SW-3, the opening of rifts and the subsequent splitting took place far from any planet and must in some way have been caused by increased solar heating. Nevertheless, it is not yet known exactly which physical and chemical processes are involved. It will now be interesting to continue the observations of the individual nuclei as long as possible. From accurate positional measurements, it may later become possible to perform a backwards extrapolation and determine the exact conditions of the splitting process (time, involved forces) and thereby cast more light on the physical aspects of this event. SW-3: Still a Possible Rosetta Target? The break-up of a solar system object is a dramatic and relatively rare event. We are here directly witnessing the ageing of a comet, perhaps even the prelude to its death. Earlier measurements indicate that the diameter of SW-3's nucleus is smaller than about 3 kilometres, but since we do not know the size of the pieces that broke off (this may be indicated by how long they will remain active), nor their number (we may only see the largest), we cannot yet determine with any certainty the remaining lifetime of the main nucleus. At the first glance, this seems to indicate that SW-3 must be removed from the list of potential targets for the Rosetta mission - we cannot risk that it no longer exists when the space probe arrives ! On the other hand, due to the break-up there is now a lot of ``fresh'' cometary material on the surface of the nucleus and around it, i.e. matter that has remained unchanged since the beginning of the solar system, some 4,500 million years ago. The possibility to gain direct access to a sample of

  18. Caroline Lucretia Herschel -- Comet Huntress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hughes, D. W.

    1999-04-01

    Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) was an active astronomer at a time when discovering comets, and calculating their orbits, was one of the main astronomical activities. She discovered eight comets and held the ladies' world record in this field until April 1987 when she was toppled from the podium by Carolyn S. Shoemaker. This paper places the Herschel cometary discoveries into the context of the contemporary cometary astronomy.

  19. Characterization of nucleoside triphosphatase activity in isolated pea nuclei and its photoreversible regulation by light

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Y. R.; Roux, S. J.

    1986-01-01

    A nucleoside triphosphatase (NTPase) present in highly purified preparations of pea nuclei was partially characterized. The activity of this enzyme was stimulated by divalent cations (Mg2+ = Mn2+ > Ca2+), but was not affected by the monovalent cations, Na+ and K+. The Mg(2+)-dependent activity was further stimulated by concentrations of Ca2+ in the low micromolar range. It could catalyze the hydrolysis of ATP, GTP, UTP, and CTP, all with a pH optimum of 7.5. The nuclear NTPase activity was not inhibited by vanadate, oligomycin, or nitrate, but was inhibited by relatively low concentrations of quercetin and the calmodulin inhibitor, compound 48/80. The NTPase was stimulated more than 50% by red light, and this effect was reversed by subsequent irradiation with far-red light. The photoreversibility of the stimulation indicated that the photoreceptor for this response was phytochrome, an important regulator of photomorphogenesis and gene expression in plants.

  20. Ensemble spectral variability study of Active Galactic Nuclei from the XMM-Newton serendipitous source catalogue

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serafinelli, R.; Vagnetti, F.; Middei, R.

    2016-02-01

    The variability of the X-Ray spectra of active galactic nuclei (AGN) usually includes a change of the spectral slope. This has been investigated for a small sample of local AGNs by Sobolewska and Papadakis [1], who found that slope variations are well correlated with flux variations, and that the spectra are typically steeper in the bright phase (softer when brighter behaviour). Not much information is available for the spectral variability of high-luminosity AGNs and quasars. In order to investigate this phenomenon, we use data from the XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue, Data Release 5, which contains X- Ray observations for a large number of active galactic nuclei in a wide luminosity and redshift range, for several different epochs. This allows to perform an ensemble analysis of the spectral variability for a large sample of quasars. We quantify the spectral variability through the spectral variability parameter β, defined by Trevese and Vagnetti [2] as the ratio between the change in spectral slope and the corresponding logarithmic flux variation. We find that the spectral variability of quasars has a softer when brighter behaviour, similarly to local AGNs.

  1. WIDESPREAD AND HIDDEN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN STAR-FORMING GALAXIES AT REDSHIFT >0.3

    SciTech Connect

    Juneau, Stephanie; Bournaud, Frederic; Daddi, Emanuele; Elbaz, David; Alexander, David M.; Mullaney, James R.; Magnelli, Benjamin; Hwang, Ho Seong; Willner, S. P.; Coil, Alison L.; Rosario, David J.; Trump, Jonathan R.; Faber, S. M.; Kocevski, Dale D.; Cooper, Michael C.; Frayer, David T.; and others

    2013-02-20

    We characterize the incidence of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in 0.3 < z < 1 star-forming galaxies by applying multi-wavelength AGN diagnostics (X-ray, optical, mid-infrared, radio) to a sample of galaxies selected at 70 {mu}m from the Far-Infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy survey (FIDEL). Given the depth of FIDEL, we detect 'normal' galaxies on the specific star formation rate (sSFR) sequence as well as starbursting systems with elevated sSFR. We find an overall high occurrence of AGN of 37% {+-} 3%, more than twice as high as in previous studies of galaxies with comparable infrared luminosities and redshifts but in good agreement with the AGN fraction of nearby (0.05 < z < 0.1) galaxies of similar infrared luminosities. The more complete census of AGNs comes from using the recently developed Mass-Excitation (MEx) diagnostic diagram. This optical diagnostic is also sensitive to X-ray weak AGNs and X-ray absorbed AGNs, and reveals that absorbed active nuclei reside almost exclusively in infrared-luminous hosts. The fraction of galaxies hosting an AGN appears to be independent of sSFR and remains elevated both on the sSFR sequence and above. In contrast, the fraction of AGNs that are X-ray absorbed increases substantially with increasing sSFR, possibly due to an increased gas fraction and/or gas density in the host galaxies.

  2. Periodic Comet Machholz and its idiosyncrasies

    SciTech Connect

    Sekanina, Z. )

    1990-04-01

    The dynamics and physical characteristics of Comet P/Machholz are analyzed. The discovery of the comet (Machholz, 1986) is discussed, including the observational conditions and the theory that the comet is inactive over extensive periods of time. Consideration is given to observations of the two tails of Comet P/Machholz (Emerson, 1986), the brightness variations and light curve of the comet, and nuclear photometry of the comet (Green, 1987). It is suggested that the increase in activity beginning one day after perihelion was triggered by a discrete source within 15 deg of the rotation pole that became sunlit after perihelion. Also, the possibility that Comet P/Machholz is associated with a meteor stream is examined. 45 refs.

  3. Comments on comet shapes and aggregation processes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hartmann, William K.

    1989-01-01

    An important question for a comet mission is whether comet nuclei preserve information clarifying aggregation processes of planetary matter. New observational evidence shows that Trojan asteroids, as a group, display a higher fraction of highly-elongated objects than the belt. More recently evidence has accumulated that comet nuclei, as a group, also display highly-elongated shapes at macro-scale. This evidence comes from the several comets whose nuclear lightcurves or shapes have been well studied. Trojans and comet nuclei share other properties. Both groups have extremely low albedos and reddish-to neutral-black colors typical of asteroids of spectral class D, P, and C. Both groups may have had relatively low collision frequencies. An important problem to resolve with spacecraft imaging is whether these elongated shapes are primordial, or due to evolution of the objects. Two hypotheses that might be tested by a combination of global-scale and close-up imaging from various directions are: (1) The irregular shapes are primordial and related to the fact that these bodies have had lower collision frequencies than belt asteroids; or (2) The irregular shapes may be due to volatile loss.

  4. Comet encounters

    SciTech Connect

    Birmingham, T. J.; Dessler, A. J.

    1988-01-01

    Data from spacecraft encounters with comets and the implications of these data for theoretical models are discussed in a collection of reviews and reports (all published after 1985). Topics addressed include mass loading effects in the unshocked solar wind (particles, waves, and fluctuations), boundaries, the shocked solar wind and the ionosphere, tail phenomena, remote observations at encounter, and dust. Extensive diagrams, graphs, and sample images are provided.

  5. Coma Morphology Due to an Extended Active Region and Implications for the Spin State of Comet Hale-Bopp

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Samarasinha, Nalin H.

    2000-01-01

    We show that the circular character of continuum structures observed in the coma of comet Hale-Bopp around the perihelion passage is most likely due to a dust jet from a large extended active region on the surface. Coma morphology due to a wide jet is different from that due to a narrow jet. The latter shows foreshortening effects due to observing geometry, wider jet produces more circular features. This circularization effect provides a self-consistent explanation for the evolution of near-perihelion coma morphology. No changes in the direction of the rotational angular momentum vector are required during this period in contrast to the models of Schleicher et al. This circularization effect also enables us to produce near-circular coma features in the S-E quadrant during 1997 late February and therefore questions the basic premise on which Sekanina bases his morphological arguments for a gravitationally bound satellite nucleus.

  6. Penrose photoproduction processes - A high efficiency energy mechanism for active galactic nuclei and quasars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leiter, D.; Kafatos, M.

    1979-01-01

    Recent observations of NGC 4151 and 3C273 suggest that the nuclei of active galaxies have very high gamma ray efficiencies. In addition, optical studies of M87 have indicated the possibility of a massive black hole in its central region. The above facts have led to study of a new physical mechanism, Penrose Photoproduction Processes, in the ergospheres of massive Kerr black holes, as a way to account for the fluctuating, high efficiency, energy production associated with active galaxies and quasars. Observational signatures, associated with this mechanism, occur in the form of approximately 2 MeV and approximately 2 GeV gamma ray cutoffs which might be corroborated by the observed spectra of NGC 4151 and 3C273, respectively.

  7. Reduced cytochrome oxidase activity in the retrosplenial cortex after lesions to the anterior thalamic nuclei.

    PubMed

    Mendez-Lopez, Magdalena; Arias, Jorge L; Bontempi, Bruno; Wolff, Mathieu

    2013-08-01

    The anterior thalamic nuclei (ATN) make a critical contribution to hippocampal system functions. Growing experimental work shows that the effects of ATN lesions often resemble those of hippocampal lesions and both markedly reduce the expression of immediate-early gene markers in the retrosplenial cortex, which still appears normal by standard histological means. This study shows that moderate ATN damage was sufficient to produce severe spatial memory impairment as measured in a radial-arm maze. Furthermore, ATN rats exhibited reduced cytochrome oxidase activity in the most superficial cortical layers of the granular retrosplenial cortex, and, to a lesser extent, in the anterior cingulate cortex. By contrast, no change in cytochrome oxidase activity was observed in other limbic cortical regions or in the hippocampal formation. Altogether our results indicate that endogenous long-term brain metabolic capacity within the granular retrosplenial cortex is compromised by even limited ATN damage.

  8. Striatum and globus pallidus control the electrical activity of reticular thalamic nuclei.

    PubMed

    Villalobos, Nelson; Oviedo-Chávez, Aldo; Alatorre, Alberto; Ríos, Alain; Barrientos, Rafael; Delgado, Alfonso; Querejeta, Enrique

    2016-08-01

    Through GABAergic fibers, globus pallidus (GP) coordinates basal ganglia global function. Electrical activity of GP neurons depends on their membrane properties and afferent fibers, including GABAergic fibers from striatum. In pathological conditions, abnormal electrical activity of GP neurons is associated with motor deficits. There is a GABAergic pathway from the GP to the reticular thalamic nucleus (RTn) whose contribution to RTn neurons electrical activity has received little attention. This fact called our attention because the RTn controls the overall information flow of thalamic nuclei to cerebral cortex. Here, we study the spontaneous electrical activity of RTn neurons recorded in vivo in anesthetized rats and under pharmacological activation or inhibition of the GP. We found that activation of GP predominantly diminishes the spontaneous RTn neurons firing rate and its inhibition increases their firing rate; however, both activation and inhibition of GP did not modified the burst index (BI) or the coefficient of variation (CV) of RTn neurons. Moreover, stimulation of striatum predominantly diminishes the spiking rate of GP cells and increases the spiking rate in RTn neurons without modifying the BI or CV in reticular neurons. Our data suggest a GP tight control over RTn spiking activity.

  9. H2O(+) ions in comets: Comet Kohoutek (1973f) and comet Bradfield (1974b)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wehinger, P.; Wyckoff, S.

    1976-01-01

    The image tube Cassegrain slit spectra of comet Kohoutek and Bradfield calibrated and reduced to relative intensities are discussed. Monochromatic changes in the surface brightness for various neutral and ionized molecules are determined. The intensities of C2 and CN decreased approximately four times faster than the intensity change for the H2O(+) features. It is shown that the excitation mechanism for the observed H2O(+) bands is by fluorescent scattering of the incident solar radiation. The effects of solar activity on the photoionization rate of H2O in a comet are discussed. Observations of another bright comet at the time of maximum solar activity are needed to determine changes in band intensities of comet tail ions due to solar activity.

  10. Transcription is Associated with Z-DNA Formation in Metabolically Active Permeabilized Mammalian Cell Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittig, Burghardt; Dorbic, Tomislav; Rich, Alexander

    1991-03-01

    Mammalian cells have been encapsulated in agarose microbeads, and from these cells metabolically active permeabilized nuclei were prepared. Previously, we showed that biotin-labeled monoclonal antibodies against Z-DNA can be diffused into the nuclei and, over a specific concentration range, they will bind to Z-DNA within the nucleus in a concentration-independent manner. By using radiolabeled streptavidin, we showed that the amount of Z-DNA antibody bound is related to the torsional strain of the DNA in the nucleus. Relaxation of the DNA results in a decrease of Z-DNA formation, whereas increasing torsional strain through inhibiting topoisomerase I results in increased Z-DNA formation. Here we measure the influence of RNA transcription and DNA replication. Transcription is associated with a substantial increase in the binding of anti-Z-DNA antibodies, paralleling the increased level of RNA synthesized as the level of ribonucleoside triphosphate in the medium is increased. DNA replication yields smaller increases in the binding of Z-DNA antibodies. Stopping RNA transcription with inhibitors results in a large loss of Z-DNA antibody binding, whereas only a small decrease is associated with inhibition of DNA replication.

  11. Evolution of the Activity of Comet Hale-Bopp (1995 O1) from August 1996 to April 1997

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rousselot, P.; Laffont, C.; Clairemidi, J.; Moreels, G.; Boice, D. C.

    1997-07-01

    A program for measuring the activity of comet Hale-Bopp was conducted at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence from August 1996 to April 1997. The program consisted of spectroscopic observations in the long-slit mode by the 193 cm telescope and of observations by the 120 cm f/6 Newton telescope equipped with a 1024 x 1024 thinned CCD. A set of four narrow-band filters and a BK7 glass plate were used. Two filters at 527 and 682 nm, Delta lambda = 2 nm were centered on the C_2(1,1) and (0,0) Swan bands. The other two filters at 527 and 682 nm, Delta lambda = 5 nm were employed to obtain the spatial distributions of the intensity and color of dust. Comet Hale-Bopp was active very early. In August 1996, at a heliocentric distance r ~ 3 AU, it already showed four jets. In September, the number of jets had increased to six. An important evolution of the coma processes occured in January 1997. A series of regularly spaced arcs are clearly distinguished in the sunward hemisphere of the coma. A detailed study of the shape of the arcs during the night of April 7-8 is presented. The ratio of the images in the 682 and 527 nm filters provides a measure of the color of the coma compared to the color of the Sun. The images depicting the ratio, i-e the color of dust, show that the arcs have a spiral shape. They are compared with images of the C_2 (1,1)/(0,0) band ratio which provide the spatial distribution of the excitation temperature of C_2. The new type of cometary processes revealed by the presence of spiral arcs produces C_2 with a high degree of excitation and are probably a result of the fragmentation of a fra! ction of the dust grains.

  12. Differential effects of growth temperature on ice nuclei active at different temperatures that are produced by cells of Pseudomonas syringae.

    PubMed

    Gurian-Sherman, D; Lindow, S E

    1995-04-01

    The temperature at which ice-nucleating bacteria are grown causes differences of 100- to 10,000-fold in the fraction of cells that nucleate ice at a given temperature (ice nucleation frequency). Ice nucleation frequencies of cells of Pseudomonas syringae grown at temperatures that ranged from 9 to 33 degrees C were examined in order to more accurately characterize physiological effects on ice nuclei active at temperatures of from about -2 to -10 degrees C, the temperature range for this phenotype. Large differences in ice nucleation frequency occurred at all but the lowest assay temperatures in cells of P. syringae grown in the temperature range of 15 to 33 degrees C. These differences in ice nucleation frequency may be attributed, at least in part, to post-translational factors. Because other studies have indicated that ice nuclei active at the lowest assay temperatures may reflect the amount of ice nucleation protein produced, while higher nucleation temperatures reflect aggregates of this ice nucleation protein, data was normalized to the frequency of ice nuclei active at the lowest ice nucleation temperatures (which also correspond to the most abundant nuclei). This was done in order to develop a baseline of comparison for cells grown at different temperatures that more clearly shows possible post-translational effects such as aggregation of the nucleation protein. After this normalization was performed, and in contrast to the results noted above, the number of ice nuclei in cells grown at 9, 15, and 20 degrees C that were active at different assay temperatures was very similar. Differences in ice nucleation frequency that occurred over all assay temperatures in cells grown between 9 and 20 degrees C may be attributed to differences in the total number of nuclei present in the population of cells. The large effects of growth temperature on nucleation frequency have important implications for estimating numbers of ice nucleating bacteria in environmental samples

  13. Fueling active galactic nuclei. II. Spatially resolved molecular inflows and outflows

    SciTech Connect

    Davies, R. I.; Erwin, P.; Burtscher, L.; Lin, M.; Orban de Xivry, G.; Rosario, D. J.; Schnorr-Müller, A.; Maciejewski, W.; Hicks, E. K. S.; Emsellem, E.; Dumas, G.; Malkan, M. A.; Müller-Sánchez, F.; Tran, A.

    2014-09-10

    We analyze the two-dimensional distribution and kinematics of the stars as well as molecular and ionized gas in the central few hundred parsecs of five active and five matched inactive galaxies. The equivalent widths of the Brγ line indicate that there is no ongoing star formation in their nuclei, although recent (terminated) starbursts are possible in the active galaxies. The stellar velocity fields show no signs of non-circular motions, while the 1-0 S(1) H{sub 2} kinematics exhibit significant deviations from simple circular rotation. In the active galaxies the H{sub 2} kinematics reveal inflow and outflow superimposed on disk rotation. Steady-state circumnuclear inflow is seen in three active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and hydrodynamical models indicate it can be driven by a large-scale bar. In three of the five AGNs, molecular outflows are spatially resolved. The outflows are oriented such that they intersect, or have an edge close to, the disk, which may be the source of molecular gas in the outflow. The relatively low speeds imply the gas will fall back onto the disk, and with moderate outflow rates, they will have only a local impact on the host galaxy. H{sub 2} was detected in two inactive galaxies. These exhibit chaotic circumnuclear dust morphologies and have molecular structures that are counter-rotating with respect to the main gas component, which could lead to gas inflow in the near future. In our sample, all four galaxies with chaotic dust morphology in the circumnuclear region exist in moderately dense groups with 10-15 members where accretion of stripped gas can easily occur.

  14. Fueling Active Galactic Nuclei. II. Spatially Resolved Molecular Inflows and Outflows

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Davies, R. I.; Maciejewski, W.; Hicks, E. K. S.; Emsellem, E.; Erwin, P.; Burtscher, L.; Dumas, G.; Lin, M.; Malkan, M. A.; Müller-Sánchez, F.; Orban de Xivry, G.; Rosario, D. J.; Schnorr-Müller, A.; Tran, A.

    2014-09-01

    We analyze the two-dimensional distribution and kinematics of the stars as well as molecular and ionized gas in the central few hundred parsecs of five active and five matched inactive galaxies. The equivalent widths of the Brγ line indicate that there is no ongoing star formation in their nuclei, although recent (terminated) starbursts are possible in the active galaxies. The stellar velocity fields show no signs of non-circular motions, while the 1-0 S(1) H2 kinematics exhibit significant deviations from simple circular rotation. In the active galaxies the H2 kinematics reveal inflow and outflow superimposed on disk rotation. Steady-state circumnuclear inflow is seen in three active galactic nuclei (AGNs), and hydrodynamical models indicate it can be driven by a large-scale bar. In three of the five AGNs, molecular outflows are spatially resolved. The outflows are oriented such that they intersect, or have an edge close to, the disk, which may be the source of molecular gas in the outflow. The relatively low speeds imply the gas will fall back onto the disk, and with moderate outflow rates, they will have only a local impact on the host galaxy. H2 was detected in two inactive galaxies. These exhibit chaotic circumnuclear dust morphologies and have molecular structures that are counter-rotating with respect to the main gas component, which could lead to gas inflow in the near future. In our sample, all four galaxies with chaotic dust morphology in the circumnuclear region exist in moderately dense groups with 10-15 members where accretion of stripped gas can easily occur.

  15. Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muinonen, K.; Penttilä, A.; Granvik, M.; Virkki, A.; Fedorets, G.; Wilkman, O.; Kohout, T.

    2014-08-01

    Asteroids, Comets, Meteors focuses on the research of small Solar System bodies. Small bodies are the key to understanding the formation and evolution of the Solar System, carrying signals from pre-solar times. Understanding the evolution of the Solar System helps unveil the evolution of extrasolar planetary systems. Societally, small bodies will be important future resources of minerals. The near-Earth population of small bodies continues to pose an impact hazard, whether it be small pieces of falling meteorites or larger asteroids or cometary nuclei capable of causing global environmental effects. The conference series entitled ''Asteroids, Comets, Meteors'' constitutes the leading international series in the field of small Solar System bodies. The first three conferences took place in Uppsala, Sweden in 1983, 1985, and 1989. The conference is now returning to Nordic countries after a quarter of a century. After the Uppsala conferences, the conference has taken place in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A. in 1991, Belgirate, Italy in 1993, Paris, France in 1996, Ithaca, New York, U.S.A. in 1999, in Berlin, Germany in 2002, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2005, in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. in 2008, and in Niigata, Japan in 2012. ACM in Helsinki, Finland in 2014 will be the 12th conference in the series.

  16. SUZAKU VIEW OF THE SWIFT/BAT ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI. I. SPECTRAL ANALYSIS OF SIX ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI AND EVIDENCE FOR TWO TYPES OF OBSCURED POPULATION

    SciTech Connect

    Eguchi, Satoshi; Ueda, Yoshihiro; Terashima, Yuichi; Mushotzky, Richard; Tueller, Jack

    2009-05-10

    We present a systematic spectral analysis with Suzaku of six active galactic nuclei (AGNs) detected in the Swift/BAT hard X-ray (15-200 keV) survey: Swift J0138.6-4001, J0255.2-0011, J0350.1-5019, J0505.7-2348, J0601.9-8636, and J1628.1-5145. This is considered to be a representative sample of new AGNs without X-ray spectral information before the BAT survey. We find that the 0.5-200 keV spectra of these sources can be uniformly fitted with a base model consisting of heavily absorbed (log N {sub H} > 23.5 cm{sup -2}) transmitted components, scattered lights, a reflection component, and an iron-K emission line. There are two distinct groups: three 'new-type' AGNs (including the two sources reported by Ueda et al.) with an extremely small scattered fraction (f {sub scat} < 0.5%) and strong reflection component (R = {omega}/2{pi} {approx}> 0.8, where {omega} is the solid angle of the reflector), and three 'classical-type' ones with f {sub scat} > 0.5% and R {approx}< 0.8. The spectral parameters suggest that the new type has an optically thick torus for Thomson scattering (N {sub H} {approx} 10{sup 25} cm{sup -2}) with a small opening angle {theta} {approx} 20 deg. viewed in a rather face-on geometry, while the classical type has a thin torus (N {sub H} {approx} 10{sup 23-24} cm{sup -2}) with {theta} {approx}> 30 deg. We infer that a significant number of new-type AGNs with an edge-on view are missing in the current all-sky hard X-ray surveys.

  17. X-ray and infrared diagnostics of nearby active galactic nuclei with MAXI and AKARI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Isobe, Naoki; Kawamuro, Taiki; Oyabu, Shinki; Nakagawa, Takao; Baba, Shunsuke; Yano, Kenichi; Ueda, Yoshihiro; Toba, Yoshiki

    2016-10-01

    Nearby active galactic nuclei were diagnosed in the X-ray and mid-to-far infrared wavelengths with Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image (MAXI) and the Japanese infrared observatory AKARI, respectively. One hundred of the X-ray sources listed in the second release of the MAXI all-sky X-ray source catalog are currently identified as non-blazar-type active galactic nuclei. These include 95 Seyfert galaxies and 5 quasars, and they are composed of 73 type-1 and 27 type-2 objects. The AKARI all-sky survey point source catalog was searched for their mid- and far-infrared counterparts at 9, 18, and 90 μm. As a result, 69 Seyfert galaxies in the MAXI catalog (48 type-1 and 21 type-2) were found to be detected with AKARI. The X-ray (3-4 keV and 4-10 keV) and infrared luminosities of these objects were investigated, together with their color information. Adopting the canonical photon index, Γ = 1.9, of the intrinsic X-ray spectrum of the Seyfert galaxies, the X-ray hardness ratio between the 3-4 and 4-10 keV ranges derived with MAXI was roughly converted into the absorption column density. After the X-ray luminosity was corrected for absorption from the estimated column density, the well-known X-ray-to-infrared luminosity correlation was confirmed, at least in the Compton-thin regime. In contrast, NGC 1365, the only Compton-thick object in the MAXI catalog, was found to deviate from the correlation toward a significantly lower X-ray luminosity by nearly an order of magnitude. It was verified that the relation between the X-ray hardness below 10 keV and X-ray-to-infrared color acts as an effective tool to pick up Compton-thick objects. The difference in the infrared colors between the type-1 and type-2 Seyfert galaxies and its physical implication on the classification and unification of active galactic nuclei are briefly discussed.

  18. Rosetta following a living comet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Accomazzo, Andrea; Ferri, Paolo; Lodiot, Sylvain; Pellon-Bailon, Jose-Luis; Hubault, Armelle; Porta, Roberto; Urbanek, Jakub; Kay, Ritchie; Eiblmaier, Matthias; Francisco, Tiago

    2016-09-01

    The International Rosetta Mission was launched on 2nd March 2004 on its 10 year journey to rendezvous with comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Rosetta performed comet orbit insertion on the 6th of August 2014, after which it characterised the nucleus and orbited it at altitudes as low as a few kilometres. In November 2014 Rosetta delivered the lander Philae to perform the first soft landing ever on the surface of a comet. The critical landing operations have been conducted with remarkable accuracy and will constitute one of the most important achievements in the history of spaceflight. After this critical operation, Rosetta began the escort phase of the comet in its journey in the Solar System heading to the perihelion, reached in August 2015. Throughout this period, the comet environment kept changing with increasing gas and dust emissions. A first phase of bound orbits was followed by a sequence of complex flyby segments which allowed the scientific instruments to perform in depth investigation of the comet environment and nucleus. The unpredictable nature of the comet activity forced the mission control team to implement unplanned changes to the flight plan prepared for this mission phase and to plan the whole mission in a more dynamic way than originally conceived. This paper describes the details of the landing operations and of the main comet escort phase. It also includes the mission status as achieved after perihelion and the findings about the evolution of the comet and its environment from a mission operations point of view. The lessons learned from this unique and complex operations phase and the plans for the next mission phases, which include a mission extension into 2016, are also described.

  19. Deep Chandra observations of HCG 16. I. Active nuclei, star formation, and galactic winds

    SciTech Connect

    O'Sullivan, E.; Zezas, A.; Vrtilek, J. M.; David, L. P.; Giacintucci, S.; Trevisan, M.; Ponman, T. J.; Raychaudhury, S.; Mamon, G. A.

    2014-10-01

    We present new, deep Chandra X-ray and Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope 610 MHz observations of the spiral-galaxy-rich compact group HCG 16, which we use to examine nuclear activity, star formation, and high-luminosity X-ray binary populations in the major galaxies. We confirm the presence of obscured active nuclei in NGC 833 and NGC 835, and identify a previously unrecognized nuclear source in NGC 838. All three nuclei are variable on timescales of months to years, and for NGC 833 and NGC 835 this is most likely caused by changes in accretion rate. The deep Chandra observations allow us to detect for the first time an Fe Kα emission line in the spectrum of the Seyfert 2 nucleus of NGC 835. We find that NGC 838 and NGC 839 are both starburst-dominated systems, with only weak nuclear activity, in agreement with previous optical studies. We estimate the star formation rates in the two galaxies from their X-ray and radio emission, and compare these results with estimates from the infrared and ultraviolet bands to confirm that star formation in both galaxies is probably declining after galaxy-wide starbursts were triggered ∼400-500 Myr ago. We examine the physical properties of their galactic superwinds, and find that both have temperatures of ∼0.8 keV. We also examine the X-ray and radio properties of NGC 848, the fifth largest galaxy in the group, and show that it is dominated by emission from its starburst.

  20. Life cycle of a comet magnetosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Hans; Stenberg Wieser, Gabriella; Behar, Etienne

    2016-04-01

    Rosetta has followed comet 67P from low activity at more than 3 AU heliocentric distance to high activity at perihelion and then out again. We study the evolution of the dynamic ion environment using the RPC-ICA ion spectrometer. Initially the solar wind permeated the near comet environment. The solar wind was deflected due to mass loading, but not much slowed down. In mid to late April 2015 the solar wind started to disappear from the observation region. This was associated with the solar wind deflection reaching 90°, indicating that the solar wind free region formed due to severe mass loading and associated solar wind deflection. A comet magnetosphere had formed. Accelerated water ions, moving mainly in the anti-sunward direction kept being observed also after the solar wind disappeared from the location of Rosetta. We report how the accelerated water ion environment changed as Rosetta was located relatively deeper in the comet magnetosphere as comet activity increased. Shortly after perihelion, Rosetta made an excursion to 1500 km cometocentric distance, the only data providing a spatial context to the observations made inside the comet magnetosphere once it formed.. We discuss the data from the excursion and what we learn about the scale size of the comet magnetosphere as well as the energy transfer from the solar wind to the comet environment inside the comet magnetosphere. As comet 67P is now moving away from the sun, beginning in late December 2015 the solar wind has started to permeate the comet environment again. We compare this with the early data when comet 67P was approaching the sun, and discuss whether we see any asymmetries between a growing and waning comet magnetosphere.

  1. The Role of Amygdala Nuclei in the Expression of Auditory Signaled Two-Way Active Avoidance in Rats

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choi, June-Seek; Cain, Christopher K.; LeDoux, Joseph E.

    2010-01-01

    Using a two-way signaled active avoidance (2-AA) learning procedure, where rats were trained in a shuttle box to avoid a footshock signaled by an auditory stimulus, we tested the contributions of the lateral (LA), basal (B), and central (CE) nuclei of the amygdala to the expression of instrumental active avoidance conditioned responses (CRs).…

  2. THE PRE-PERIHELION ACTIVITY OF DYNAMICALLY NEW COMET C/2013 A1 (SIDING SPRING) AND ITS CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH MARS

    SciTech Connect

    Bodewits, Dennis; Kelley, Michael S. P.; Farnham, Tony L.; A’Hearn, Michael F.; Li, Jian-Yang E-mail: msk@astro.umd.edu E-mail: ma@astro.umd.edu

    2015-03-20

    We used the UltraViolet-Optical Telescope on board Swift to systematically follow the dynamically new comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) on its approach to the Sun. The comet was observed from a heliocentric distance of 4.5 AU pre-perihelion to its perihelion at 1.4 AU. From our observations, we estimate that the water production rate during closest approach to Mars was 1.5 ± 0.3 × 10{sup 28} molecules s{sup −1}, that peak gas delivery rates where between 4.5 and 8.8 kg s{sup −1}, and that in total between 3.1 and 5.4 × 10{sup 4} kg cometary gas was delivered to the planet. Seasonal and evolutionary effects on the nucleus govern the pre-perihelion activity of comet Siding Spring. The sudden increase of its water production between 2.46 and 2.06 AU suggests the onset of the sublimation of icy grains in the coma, likely driven by CO{sub 2}. As the comet got closer to the Sun, the relative contribution of the nucleus’ water production increased, while CO{sub 2} production rates decreased. The changes in the comet’s activity can be explained by a depletion of CO{sub 2}, but the comet’s high mass loss rate suggests they may reflect primordial heterogeneities in the nucleus.

  3. The Pre-perihelion Activity of Dynamically New Comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) and Its Close Encounter with Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bodewits, Dennis; Kelley, Michael S. P.; Li, Jian-Yang; Farnham, Tony L.; A'Hearn, Michael F.

    2015-03-01

    We used the UltraViolet-Optical Telescope on board Swift to systematically follow the dynamically new comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) on its approach to the Sun. The comet was observed from a heliocentric distance of 4.5 AU pre-perihelion to its perihelion at 1.4 AU. From our observations, we estimate that the water production rate during closest approach to Mars was 1.5 ± 0.3 × 1028 molecules s-1, that peak gas delivery rates where between 4.5 and 8.8 kg s-1, and that in total between 3.1 and 5.4 × 104 kg cometary gas was delivered to the planet. Seasonal and evolutionary effects on the nucleus govern the pre-perihelion activity of comet Siding Spring. The sudden increase of its water production between 2.46 and 2.06 AU suggests the onset of the sublimation of icy grains in the coma, likely driven by CO2. As the comet got closer to the Sun, the relative contribution of the nucleus’ water production increased, while CO2 production rates decreased. The changes in the comet’s activity can be explained by a depletion of CO2, but the comet’s high mass loss rate suggests they may reflect primordial heterogeneities in the nucleus.

  4. Prediction of cloud condensation nuclei activity for organic compounds using functional group contribution methods

    DOE PAGES

    Petters, M. D.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Ziemann, P. J.

    2016-01-19

    A wealth of recent laboratory and field experiments demonstrate that organic aerosol composition evolves with time in the atmosphere, leading to changes in the influence of the organic fraction to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) spectra. There is a need for tools that can realistically represent the evolution of CCN activity to better predict indirect effects of organic aerosol on clouds and climate. This work describes a model to predict the CCN activity of organic compounds from functional group composition. Following previous methods in the literature, we test the ability of semi-empirical group contribution methods in Köhler theory to predict themore » effective hygroscopicity parameter, kappa. However, in our approach we also account for liquid–liquid phase boundaries to simulate phase-limited activation behavior. Model evaluation against a selected database of published laboratory measurements demonstrates that kappa can be predicted within a factor of 2. Simulation of homologous series is used to identify the relative effectiveness of different functional groups in increasing the CCN activity of weakly functionalized organic compounds. Hydroxyl, carboxyl, aldehyde, hydroperoxide, carbonyl, and ether moieties promote CCN activity while methylene and nitrate moieties inhibit CCN activity. The model can be incorporated into scale-bridging test beds such as the Generator of Explicit Chemistry and Kinetics of Organics in the Atmosphere (GECKO-A) to evaluate the evolution of kappa for a complex mix of organic compounds and to develop suitable parameterizations of CCN evolution for larger-scale models.« less

  5. Prediction of cloud condensation nuclei activity for organic compounds using functional group contribution methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petters, M. D.; Kreidenweis, S. M.; Ziemann, P. J.

    2016-01-01

    A wealth of recent laboratory and field experiments demonstrate that organic aerosol composition evolves with time in the atmosphere, leading to changes in the influence of the organic fraction to cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) spectra. There is a need for tools that can realistically represent the evolution of CCN activity to better predict indirect effects of organic aerosol on clouds and climate. This work describes a model to predict the CCN activity of organic compounds from functional group composition. Following previous methods in the literature, we test the ability of semi-empirical group contribution methods in Köhler theory to predict the effective hygroscopicity parameter, kappa. However, in our approach we also account for liquid-liquid phase boundaries to simulate phase-limited activation behavior. Model evaluation against a selected database of published laboratory measurements demonstrates that kappa can be predicted within a factor of 2. Simulation of homologous series is used to identify the relative effectiveness of different functional groups in increasing the CCN activity of weakly functionalized organic compounds. Hydroxyl, carboxyl, aldehyde, hydroperoxide, carbonyl, and ether moieties promote CCN activity while methylene and nitrate moieties inhibit CCN activity. The model can be incorporated into scale-bridging test beds such as the Generator of Explicit Chemistry and Kinetics of Organics in the Atmosphere (GECKO-A) to evaluate the evolution of kappa for a complex mix of organic compounds and to develop suitable parameterizations of CCN evolution for larger-scale models.

  6. THE NUCLEAR INFRARED EMISSION OF LOW-LUMINOSITY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Mason, R. E.; Lopez-Rodriguez, E.; Packham, C.; Alonso-Herrero, A.; Elitzur, M.; Aretxaga, I.; Roche, P. F.; Oi, N.

    2012-07-15

    We present high-resolution mid-infrared (MIR) imaging, nuclear spectral energy distributions (SEDs), and archival Spitzer spectra for 22 low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs; L{sub bol} {approx}< 10{sup 42} erg s{sup -1}). Infrared (IR) observations may advance our understanding of the accretion flows in LLAGNs, the fate of the obscuring torus at low accretion rates, and, perhaps, the star formation histories of these objects. However, while comprehensively studied in higher-luminosity Seyferts and quasars, the nuclear IR properties of LLAGNs have not yet been well determined. We separate the present LLAGN sample into three categories depending on their Eddington ratio and radio emission, finding different IR characteristics for each class. (1) At the low-luminosity, low-Eddington-ratio (log L{sub bol}/L{sub Edd} < -4.6) end of the sample, we identify 'host-dominated' galaxies with strong polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon bands that may indicate active (circum-)nuclear star formation. (2) Some very radio-loud objects are also present at these low Eddington ratios. The IR emission in these nuclei is dominated by synchrotron radiation, and some are likely to be unobscured type 2 AGNs that genuinely lack a broad-line region. (3) At higher Eddington ratios, strong, compact nuclear sources are visible in the MIR images. The nuclear SEDs of these galaxies are diverse; some resemble typical Seyfert nuclei, while others lack a well-defined MIR 'dust bump'. Strong silicate emission is present in many of these objects. We speculate that this, together with high ratios of silicate strength to hydrogen column density, could suggest optically thin dust and low dust-to-gas ratios, in accordance with model predictions that LLAGNs do not host a Seyfert-like obscuring torus. We anticipate that detailed modeling of the new data and SEDs in terms of accretion disk, jet, radiatively inefficient accretion flow, and torus components will provide further insights into the nuclear

  7. Scientific Highlights from Observations of Active Galactic Nuclei with the MAGIC Telescope

    SciTech Connect

    Wagner, Robert

    2008-12-24

    Since 2004, the MAGIC {gamma}-ray telescope has newly discovered 6 TeV blazars. The total set of 13 MAGIC-detected active galactic nuclei includes well-studied objects at other wavelengths like Markarian 501 and the giant radio galaxy M 87, but also the distant the flat-spectrum radio quasar 3C 279, and the newly discovered TeV {gamma}-ray emitter S5 0716+71. In addition, also long-term and multi-wavelength studies on well-known TeV blazars and systematic searches for new TeV blazars have been carried out. Here we report selected highlights from recent MAGIC observations of extragalactic TeV {gamma}-ray sources, emphasizing the new physics insights MAGIC was able to contribute.

  8. Innermost structure and near-infrared radiation of dusty clumpy tori in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawaguchi, Toshihiro

    2012-12-01

    The dusty clumpy torus surrounds the central black hole (BH) and the accretion disk in active galactic nuclei, and governs the growth of super-massive BHs via gas fueling towards the central engine. Near-infrared (NIR) monitoring observations have revealed that the torus inner radius is determined by the dust sublimation process. However, the observed radii are systematically smaller than the theoretical predictions by a factor of three. We take into account the anisotropic illumination by the central accretion disk to the torus, and calculate the innermost structure of the torus and the NIR time variability. We then show that the anisotropy naturally solves the systematic discrepancy and that the viewing angle is the primary source to produce an object-to-object scatter of the NIR time delay. Dynamics of clumps at the innermost region of the torus will be unveiled via future high- resolution X-ray spectroscopy (e.g., Astro-H)

  9. Photon damping in cosmic-ray acceleration in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Colgate, S.A.

    1983-04-07

    The usual assumption of the acceleration of ultra high energy cosmic rays, greater than or equal to 10/sup 18/ eV in quasars, Seyfert galaxies and other active galactic nuclei is challenged on the basis of the photon interactions with the accelerated nucleons. This is similar to the effect of the black body radiation on particles > 10/sup 20/ eV for times of the age of the universe except that the photon spectrum is harder and the energy density greater by approx. = 10/sup 15/. Hence, a single traversal, radial or circumferential, of radiation whose energy density is no greater than the emitted flux will damp an ultra high energy. Hence, it is unlikely that any reasonable configuration of acceleration can void disastrous photon energy loss. A different site for ultra high energy cosmic ray acceleration must be found.

  10. A new approach to the variability characterization of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Middei, R.; Vagnetti, F.; Antonucci, M.; Serafinelli, R.

    2016-02-01

    The normalized excess variance is a popular method used by many authors to estimate the variability of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), especially in the X-ray band. We show that this estimator is affected by the cosmological time dilation, so that it should be appropriately corrected when applied to AGN samples distributed in wide redshift intervals. We propose a formula to modify this estimator, based on the use of the structure function. To verify the presence of the cosmological effect and the reliability of the proposed correction, we use data extracted from the XMM-Newton Serendipitous Source Catalogue, data release 5 (XMMSSC-DR5), and cross-matched with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey quasar catalogue, of data release 7 and 12.

  11. DOUBLE-PEAKED NARROW-LINE ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI. II. THE CASE OF EQUAL PEAKS

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, K. L.; Shields, G. A.; Salviander, S.; Stevens, A. C.; Rosario, D. J. E-mail: shields@astro.as.utexas.edu E-mail: acs0196@mail.utexas.edu

    2012-06-10

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with double-peaked narrow lines (DPAGNs) may be caused by kiloparsec-scale binary AGNs, bipolar outflows, or rotating gaseous disks. We examine the class of DPAGNs in which the two narrow-line components have closely similar intensity as being especially likely to involve disks or jets. Two spectroscopic indicators support this likelihood. For DPAGNs from Smith et al., the 'equal-peaked' objects (EPAGNs) have [Ne V]/[O III]ratios lower than for a control sample of non-double-peaked AGNs. This is unexpected for a pair of normal AGNs in a galactic merger, but may be consistent with [O III] emission from a rotating ring with relatively little gas at small radii. Also, [O III]/H{beta} ratios of the redshifted and blueshifted systems in the EPAGN are more similar to each other than in a control sample, suggestive of a single ionizing source and inconsistent with the binary interpretation.

  12. Photon-photon absorption and the uniqueness of the spectra of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kazanas, D.

    1984-01-01

    The effects of the feedback of e(+)-e(-) pair reinjection in a plasma due to photon-photon absorption of its own radiation was examined. Under the assumption of continuous electron injection with a power law spectrum E to the minus gamma power and Compton losses only, it is shown that for gamma 2 the steady state electron distribution function has a unique form independent of the primary injection spectrum. This electron distribution function can, by synchrotron emission, reproduce the general characteristics of the observed radio to optical active galactic nuclei spectra. Inverse Compton scattering of the synchrotron photons by the same electron distribution can account for their X-ray spectra, and also implies gamma ray emission from these objects. This result is invoked to account for the similarity of these spectra, and it is consistent with observations of the diffuse gamma ray background.

  13. A polarimetric method for measuring black hole masses in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piotrovich, M. Yu.; Gnedin, Yu. N.; Silant'ev, N. A.; Natsvlishvili, T. M.; Buliga, S. D.

    2015-11-01

    The structure of the broad emission line region (BLR) in active galactic nuclei (AGN) remains unclear. We test in this paper a flattened configuration model for BLR. The virial theorem, by taking into account the disc shape of BLR, allows us to get a direct connection between the mass of a supermassive black hole (SMBH) and the inclination angle of the accretion flow. The inclination angle itself is derived from the spectropolarimetric data on broad emission lines using the theory for the generation of polarized radiation developed by Sobolev and Chandrasekhar. As the result, the new estimates of SMBH masses in AGN with measured polarization of BLR are presented. It is crucial that the polarimetric data allow also to determine the value of the virial coefficient that is essential for determining SMBH masses.

  14. Electron-positron pairs, Compton reflection, and the X-ray spectra of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zdziarski, Andrzej A.; Ghisellini, Gabriele; George, Ian M.; Fabian, A. C.; Svensson, Roland; Done, Chris

    1990-01-01

    It is shown here that reprocessing of radiation fron nonthermal pair cascades by cold material in the central parts of active galactic nuclei (AGN) gives rise to X-ray and gamma-ray spectra that satisfy current observational constraints. An average 1-30 keV X-ray spectral index alpha(x) of about 0.7 in the compact range 30-300 is obtained for a wide range of Lorentz factors of the injected electrons. The gamma-ray spectra are steep, with alpha(gamma) about two, and satisfy the observational constraints. Radiation from pair cascades exhibits steep power law decreases in soft X-rays similar to those observed in AGN. The overall picture is consistent with AGN having an accretion disk which intercepts and reprocesses a substantial fraction of the nonthermal continuum incident upon it from above and below.

  15. Correlation Analysis of Optical and Radio Light Curves for a Large Sample of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clements, S. D.; Smith, A. G.; Aller, H. D.; Aller, M. F.

    1995-08-01

    The Rosemary Hill Observatory has accumulated internally consistent light curves extending over as much as 26 years for a large sample of active galactic nuclei. Forty-six of these optical records have been compared with similar radio records from the University of Michigan Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Algonquin Radio Observatory. For 18 objects, pairs of records were sufficiently long and unconfused to allow reliable application of the Discrete Correlation Function analysis; this group included 8 BL Lacertids, 8 quasars, and 2 Seyfert galaxies. Nine of the 18 sources showed positive radio-optical correlations, with the radio events lagging the optical by intervals ranging from 0 to 14 months. Consistent with the relativistic beaming model of the BL Lacertids, the group displaying correlations was dominated by this type of object.

  16. PeV neutrinos from intergalactic interactions of cosmic rays emitted by active galactic nuclei.

    PubMed

    Kalashev, Oleg E; Kusenko, Alexander; Essey, Warren

    2013-07-26

    The observed very high energy spectra of distant blazars are well described by secondary gamma rays produced in line-of-sight interactions of cosmic rays with background photons. In the absence of the cosmic-ray contribution, one would not expect to observe very hard spectra from distant sources, but the cosmic ray interactions generate very high energy gamma rays relatively close to the observer, and they are not attenuated significantly. The same interactions of cosmic rays are expected to produce a flux of neutrinos with energies peaked around 1 PeV. We show that the diffuse isotropic neutrino background from many distant sources can be consistent with the neutrino events recently detected by the IceCube experiment. We also find that the flux from any individual nearby source is insufficient to account for these events. The narrow spectrum around 1 PeV implies that some active galactic nuclei can accelerate protons to EeV energies.

  17. Relativistic particles and gamma-ray in quasars and active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Protheroe, R. J.; Kazanas, D.

    1982-01-01

    A model for a class of quasars and active galactic nuclei is described in which a shock around a massive black hole randomizes the infall kinetic energy of spherically accreting matter producing a nonthermal spectrum of high energy protons. These protons may be responsible for the secondary production (via tau + or - decay) of the radio emitting high energy electrons and also of high energy gamma rays (via pi decay and inverse Compton interactions of the electrons). The correlation between radio and gamma ray emission implied by the model is in good agreement with observations of 3C273. Observation of the flux of high energy neutrinos from quasars may provide a test for the model.

  18. THE EFFECTS OF X-RAY FEEDBACK FROM ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI ON HOST GALAXY EVOLUTION

    SciTech Connect

    Hambrick, D. Clay; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.; Naab, Thorsten; Johansson, Peter H.

    2011-09-01

    Hydrodynamic simulations of galaxies with active galactic nuclei (AGNs) have typically employed feedback that is purely local, i.e., an injection of energy to the immediate neighborhood of the black hole (BH). We perform GADGET-2 simulations of massive elliptical galaxies with an additional feedback component: an observationally calibrated X-ray radiation field which emanates from the BH and heats gas out to large radii from the galaxy center. We find that including the heating and radiation pressure associated with this X-ray flux in our simulations enhances the effects which are commonly reported from AGN feedback. This new feedback model is twice as effective as traditional feedback at suppressing star formation, produces three times less star formation in the last 6 Gyr, and modestly lowers the final BH mass (30%). It is also significantly more effective than an X-ray background in reducing the number of satellite galaxies.

  19. On the X-Ray Low- and High-Velocity Outflows in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramirez, J. M.; Tombesi, F.

    2012-01-01

    An exploration of the relationship between bolometric luminosity and outflow velocity for two classes of X-ray outflows in a large sample of active galactic nuclei has been performed. We find that line radiation pressure could be one physical mechanism that might accelerate the gas we observe in warm absorber, v approx. 100-1000 km/s, and on comparable but less stringent grounds the ultrafast outflows, v approx. 0.03-0.3c. If comparable with the escape velocity of the system, the first is naturally located at distances of the dusty torus, '" I pc, and the second at subparsec scales, approx.0.01 pc, in accordance with large set of observational evidence existing in the literature. The presentation of this relationship might give us key clues for our understanding of the different physical mechanisms acting in the centre of galaxies, the feedback process and its impact on the evolution of the host galaxy.

  20. Very-High-Energy Gamma-Ray Observations of Active Galactic Nuclei with VERITAS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quinn, John

    2016-08-01

    VERITAS is an array of four imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes for very-high-energy (VHE, E>100 GeV) gamma-ray astronomy that has been in full scientific operation since 2007. The VERITAS collaboration is conducting several key science projects, one of which is the study of active galactic nuclei (AGN). So far, VERITAS has invested more than 3000 hours in observations of AGN, with approximately 150 objects observed. The program has resulted in the successful detection of 34 AGN as VHE gamma-ray sources, with the majority belonging to the blazar AGN subclass. Significant effort is made to acquire multiwavelength data coincident with the VERITAS observations. An overview of the VERITAS AGN program and its key results will be presented.

  1. The prospects of X-ray polarimetry for Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goosmann, René W.

    2016-08-01

    Polarimetry at optical and other wavelength continues to play an important role in our struggle to develop (super-)unification schemes for active galactic nuclei (AGN). Therefore, radio-loud and radio-quiet AGN are important targets for the future small and medium-size X-ray polarimetry missions that are currently under phase A study at NASA and ESA. After briefly pointing out the detection principle of polarization imaging in the soft X-ray band, I am going to review the prospects of X-ray polarimetry for our understanding of AGN ejection (winds and blazar jets) and accretion flows (accretion disk and corona). The X-ray polarimetry signal between 2 and 8 keV is going to give us important new constraints on the geometry of the central engine as well as on the acceleration effects in AGN jets, in particular when combined with spectral and/or polarization information at other wavelengths.

  2. Spectropolarimetric test of the relativistic disk model for the broad emission lines of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, Kaiyou; Halpern, Jules P.

    1990-01-01

    Previously, it was claimed that the broad emission lines of the radio galaxy Arp 102B can be fitted by the line profile from a simple relativistic Keplerian thin disk. It was argued that the lines originating from the relativistic accretion disk could be polarized due to electron scattering, which is likely to be the dominant opacity in the line-emitting region of Arp 102B. In the present work, the expected polarization properties of these broad emission lines are calculated. The percentage of polarization depends strongly on the inclination angle. For some angles, the red peak of the polarized, double-peaked line profile can be higher than the blue peak. This is in contrast to the total line profile, in which the blue peak is always higher than the red one. Spectropolarimetric observations could, therefore, provide an independent test of the relativistic disk model for the broad emission lines of Arp 102B and other active galactic nuclei.

  3. Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem (ADCS) Preparations for the EPOXI Flyby of Comet Hartley 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Luna, Michael E.; Collins, Steven M.

    2011-01-01

    On November 4, 2010 the former "Deep Impact" spacecraft, renamed "EPOXI" for its extended mission, flew within 700km of comet 103P/Hartley 2. In July 2005, the spacecraft had previously imaged a probe impact of comet Tempel 1. The EPOXI flyby was the fifth close encounter of a spacecraft with a comet nucleus and marked the first time in history that two comet nuclei were imaged at close range with the same suite of onboard science instruments. This challenging objective made the function of the attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS) critical to the successful execution of the EPOXI flyby.As part of the spacecraft flyby preparations, the ADCS operations team had to perform meticulous sequence reviews, implement complex spacecraft engineering and science activities and perform numerous onboard calibrations. ADCS contributions included design and execution of 10 trajectory correction maneuvers, the science calibration of the two telescopic instruments, an in-flight demonstration of high-rate turns between Earth and comet point, and an ongoing assessment of reaction wheel health. The ADCS team was also responsible for command sequences that included updates to the onboard ephemeris and sun sensor coefficients and implementation of reaction wheel assembly (RWA) de-saturations.

  4. GABA neurotransmission in the cerebellar interposed nuclei: involvement in classically conditioned eyeblinks and neuronal activity.

    PubMed

    Aksenov, D; Serdyukova, N; Irwin, K; Bracha, V

    2004-02-01

    The cerebellar interposed nuclei (IN) are an essential part of circuits that control classically conditioned eyeblinks in the rabbit. The function of the IN is under the control of GABAergic projections from Purkinje cells of the cerebellar cortex. The exact involvement of cerebellar cortical input into the IN during eyeblink expression is not clear. While it is known that the application of gamma-aminobutyric acid-A (GABA(A)) agonists and antagonists affects the performance of classically conditioned eyeblinks, the effects of these drugs on IN neurons in vivo are not known. The purpose of the present study was to measure the effects of muscimol and picrotoxin on the expression of conditioned eyeblinks and the activity of IN cells simultaneously. Injections of muscimol abolished conditioned responses and either silenced or diminished the activity of IN cells. Two injections were administered in each picrotoxin experiment. The first injection of picrotoxin slightly modified the timing and amplitude of the eyeblink, produced mild tonic eyelid closure, increased tonic activity of IN cells, and reduced the amplitude of the neural responses. The second injection of picrotoxin abolished conditioned responses, further increased tonic eyelid closure, dramatically elevated the tonic activity of IN cells, and in most cases, abolished neuronal responses. These results demonstrate that both GABA(A)-mediated inactivation and tonic up-regulation of IN cells can interrupt the expression of conditioned eyeblinks and that this behavioral effect is accompanied by the suppression of the neuronal activity correlates of the conditioned stimulus and response.

  5. An Investigation into Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) Activation in the Southwestern United States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crosbie, E. C.; Youn, J.; Wonaschuetz, A.; Sorooshian, A.

    2013-12-01

    Cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) comprise a key component of the total aerosol with critical influences on weather and climate. The importance of CCN concentration is often linked to radiative feedbacks associated with cloud albedo, which has important consequences for climate sensitivity, however the importance of CCN may also extend to cloud dynamics in convective environments and atmospheric electricity. We present data from fifteen months of field measurements taken in an urban environment on a rooftop of a building at the University of Arizona campus in Tucson, Arizona. CCN were measured at high temporal resolution concurrently with measurements of particle size distributions, meteorological parameters, and the composition of the organic fraction of the aerosol. We investigate monthly, weekly, and diurnal patterns in the data along with activation ratio and apparent activation diameter, which provide important insight into the micro-scale dependencies of cloud activation. Furthermore, we examine the relationship between CCN and local and regional meteorology, with particular focus on the North American Monsoon season, to investigate feedback and response mechanisms relating to dynamics, microphysics, and chemistry. Monsoon aerosol are shown to have favorable composition to allow for higher CCN activity and thus lower apparent activation diameters. This finding coincides with enhanced aqueous-phase chemistry to produce more hygroscopic aerosol constituents such as sulfate and water-soluble organic compounds.

  6. Antigenotoxic activity of watercress extract in an in vitro mammalian system using comet assay.

    PubMed

    Casanova, Natalia A; Carballo, Marta A

    2011-12-01

    Watercress (Cruciferae), an integral part of Mediterranean diets, is a nutritive food which is used in the treatment of several diseases. Oxidative DNA damage seems to play a crucial role in chronic, aging-related diseases and it is considered an important and probably carcinogenic factor. The aim of this work was to determine the impact of watercress extract on cell viability and its potential antigenotoxic properties against induced oxidative damage, using a comet assay and peripheral blood cells as an in vitro model. An aqueous extract of the leaves was prepared using a juice processor, centrifuged, filtered and preserved at -20 °C. Two concentrations of the aqueous extract (13.2 and 26.4 mg/mL) were assayed. No differences were found in cell viability between the control and treated groups at any time. Significant antigenotoxic effects were observed for both concentrations, expressed as the damage index (p = 0.005 at 30 min; p < 0.001 at 60 and 90 min), the percentage reductions in damage being similar between them (67.1-75.2% respectively). These results suggest that the consumption watercress in the diet is a powerful tool for improving health and the quality of life.

  7. Overlapping cell nuclei segmentation using a spatially adaptive active physical model.

    PubMed

    Plissiti, Marina E; Nikou, Christophoros

    2012-11-01

    A method for the segmentation of overlapping nuclei is presented, which combines local characteristics of the nuclei boundary and a priori knowledge about the expected shape of the nuclei. A deformable model whose behavior is driven by physical principles is trained on images containing a single nuclei, and attributes of the shapes of the nuclei are expressed in terms of modal analysis. Based on the estimated modal distribution and driven by the image characteristics, we develop a framework to detect and describe the unknown nuclei boundaries in images containing two overlapping nuclei. The problem of the estimation of an accurate nucleus boundary in the overlapping areas is successfully addressed with the use of appropriate weight parameters that control the contribution of the image force in the total energy of the deformable model. The proposed method was evaluated using 152 images of conventional Pap smears, each containing two overlapping nuclei. Comparisons with other segmentation methods indicate that our method produces more accurate nuclei boundaries which are closer to the ground truth.

  8. The central parsecs of active galactic nuclei: challenges to the torus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prieto, M. A.; Mezcua, M.; Fernández-Ontiveros, J. A.; Schartmann, M.

    2014-08-01

    Type 2 active galactic nuclei (AGN) are by definition nuclei in which the broad-line region and continuum light are hidden at optical/UV wavelengths by dust. Via accurate registration of infrared (IR) Very Large Telescope adaptive optics images with optical Hubble Space Telescope images we unambiguously identify the precise location of the nucleus of a sample of nearby, type 2 AGN. Dust extinction maps of the central few kpc of these galaxies are constructed from optical-IR colour images, which allow tracing the dust morphology at scales of few pc. In almost all cases, the IR nucleus is shifted by several tens of pc from the optical peak and its location is behind a dust filament, prompting to this being a major, if not the only, cause of the nucleus obscuration. These nuclear dust lanes have extinctions AV ≥ 3 - 6 mag, sufficient to at least hide the low-luminosity AGN class, and in some cases are observed to connect with kpc-scale dust structures, suggesting that these are the nuclear fueling channels. A precise location of the ionized gas Hα and [Si VII] 2.48 μ coronal emission lines relative to those of the IR nucleus and dust is determined. The Hα peak emission is often shifted from the nucleus location and its sometimes conical morphology appears not to be caused by a nuclear - torus - collimation but to be strictly defined by the morphology of the nuclear dust lanes. Conversely, [Si VII] 2.48 μ emission, less subjected to dust extinction, reflects the truly, rather isotropic, distribution of the ionized gas. All together, the precise location of the dust, ionized gas and nucleus is found compelling enough to cast doubts on the universality of the pc-scale torus and supports its vanishing in low-luminosity AGN. Finally, we provide the most accurate position of the NGC 1068 nucleus, located at the south vertex of cloud B.

  9. Analysis of nearly simultaneous x-ray and optical observations of active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Webb, J.R.

    1988-01-01

    Rosemary Hill optical and EINSTEIN X-ray observations of a sample of 36 galactic nuclei (AGN) were reduced and analyzed. Seventy-two x-ray observations of these sources were reduced, nineteen of which yielded spectral information. Of these spectra observations, significant hydrogen column densities above the galactic value were required for nine of the active galactic nuclei. X-ray variability was detected in eight of the eleven sources which were observed more than once by EINSTEIN. Correlations between the x-ray and optical luminosities were investigated using the Jefferys method of least squares. This method allows for errors in both variables. The results indicate a strong correlation between the x-ray and optical luminosities for the entire sample. Division of the sample into groups with similar optical variability characteristics show that the less violently violent variable AGN are more highly correlated than the violently variable blazars. Infrared and radio observations were combined with the x-ray and optical observations of six AGN. These sources were modelled in terms of the synchrotron-self-Compton model. The turnover frequency falls between the infrared and radio data and reliable estimates of this parameter are difficult to estimate. Therefore the results were found as a function of the turnover frequency. Four sources required relativistic bulk motion or beaming. Multifrequency spectra made at different times for one individual source, 0235+164, required different amounts of beaming to satisfy the x-ray observations. Sizes of the emitting regions for the sources modelled ranged from 0.5 parsec to 1.0 parsec.

  10. OBSCURING FRACTION OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI: IMPLICATIONS FROM RADIATION-DRIVEN FOUNTAIN MODELS

    SciTech Connect

    Wada, Keiichi

    2015-10-10

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are believed to be obscured by an optical thick “torus” that covers a large fraction of solid angles for the nuclei. However, the physical origin of the tori and the differences in the tori among AGNs are not clear. In a previous paper based on three-dimensional radiation-hydorodynamic calculations, we proposed a physics-based mechanism for the obscuration, called “radiation-driven fountains,” in which the circulation of the gas driven by central radiation naturally forms a thick disk that partially obscures the nuclear emission. Here, we expand this mechanism and conduct a series of simulations to explore how obscuration depends on the properties of AGNs. We found that the obscuring fraction f{sub obs} for a given column density toward the AGNs changes depending on both the AGN luminosity and the black hole mass. In particular, f{sub obs} for N{sub H} ≥ 10{sup 22} cm{sup −2} increases from ∼0.2 to ∼0.6 as a function of the X-ray luminosity L{sub X} in the L{sub X} = 10{sup 42–44} erg s{sup −1} range, but f{sub obs} becomes small (∼0.4) above a luminosity (∼10{sup 45} erg s{sup −1}). The behaviors of f{sub obs} can be understood by a simple analytic model and provide insight into the redshift evolution of the obscuration. The simulations also show that for a given L{sub AGN}, f{sub obs} is always smaller (∼0.2–0.3) for a larger column density (N{sub H} ≥ 10{sup 23} cm{sup −2}). We also found cases that more than 70% of the solid angles can be covered by the fountain flows.

  11. Obscuring Fraction of Active Galactic Nuclei: Implications from Radiation-driven Fountain Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wada, Keiichi

    2015-10-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) are believed to be obscured by an optical thick “torus” that covers a large fraction of solid angles for the nuclei. However, the physical origin of the tori and the differences in the tori among AGNs are not clear. In a previous paper based on three-dimensional radiation-hydorodynamic calculations, we proposed a physics-based mechanism for the obscuration, called “radiation-driven fountains,” in which the circulation of the gas driven by central radiation naturally forms a thick disk that partially obscures the nuclear emission. Here, we expand this mechanism and conduct a series of simulations to explore how obscuration depends on the properties of AGNs. We found that the obscuring fraction fobs for a given column density toward the AGNs changes depending on both the AGN luminosity and the black hole mass. In particular, fobs for NH ≥ 1022 cm‑2 increases from ∼0.2 to ∼0.6 as a function of the X-ray luminosity LX in the LX = 1042–44 erg s‑1 range, but fobs becomes small (∼0.4) above a luminosity (∼1045 erg s‑1). The behaviors of fobs can be understood by a simple analytic model and provide insight into the redshift evolution of the obscuration. The simulations also show that for a given LAGN, fobs is always smaller (∼0.2–0.3) for a larger column density (NH ≥ 1023 cm‑2). We also found cases that more than 70% of the solid angles can be covered by the fountain flows.

  12. Hubble Witnesses Comet Crash

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Quick Time Movie for PIA02122 Hubble Witnesses Comet Crash

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Hubble Witnesses Comet Crash

    These pictures of comet Tempel 1 were taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. They show the comet before and after it ran over NASA's Deep Impact probe.

  13. Application of activity pencil beam algorithm using measured distribution data of positron emitter nuclei for therapeutic SOBP proton beam

    SciTech Connect

    Miyatake, Aya; Nishio, Teiji

    2013-09-15

    Purpose: Recently, much research on imaging the clinical proton-irradiated volume using positron emitter nuclei based on target nuclear fragment reaction has been carried out. The purpose of this study is to develop an activity pencil beam (APB) algorithm for a simulation system for proton-activated positron-emitting imaging in clinical proton therapy using spread-out Bragg peak (SOBP) beams.Methods: The target nuclei of activity distribution calculations are {sup 12}C nuclei, {sup 16}O nuclei, and {sup 40}Ca nuclei, which are the main elements in a human body. Depth activity distributions with SOBP beam irradiations were obtained from the material information of ridge filter (RF) and depth activity distributions of compounds of the three target nuclei measured by BOLPs-RGp (beam ON-LINE PET system mounted on a rotating gantry port) with mono-energetic Bragg peak (MONO) beam irradiations. The calculated data of depth activity distributions with SOBP beam irradiations were sorted in terms of kind of nucleus, energy of proton beam, SOBP width, and thickness of fine degrader (FD), which were verified. The calculated depth activity distributions with SOBP beam irradiations were compared with the measured ones. APB kernels were made from the calculated depth activity distributions with SOBP beam irradiations to construct a simulation system using the APB algorithm for SOBP beams.Results: The depth activity distributions were prepared using the material information of RF and the measured depth activity distributions with MONO beam irradiations for clinical therapy using SOBP beams. With the SOBP width widening, the distal fall-offs of depth activity distributions and the difference from the depth dose distributions were large. The shapes of the calculated depth activity distributions nearly agreed with those of the measured ones upon comparison between the two. The APB kernels of SOBP beams were prepared by making use of the data on depth activity distributions with SOBP

  14. Curved Radio Jet in Center of Nearby Galaxy Complicates Picture of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    New observations with the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) indicate that the inner workings of active galaxies may be considerably more complex than astronomers have previously thought. Drs. Alan Roy and James Ulvestad of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, together with Drs. Edward Colbert and Andrew Wilson of the Space Telescope Science Institute and the University of Maryland, used the VLBA to image a light-year-sized radio jet in NGC 4151, a relatively nearby spiral galaxy. The jet seen by the radio telescopes is not aligned as the scientists expected, and this misalignment may require changes to theoretical models of active galactic nuclei. The astronomers presented their findings today to the American Astronomical Society meeting in Winston- Salem, North Carolina. The radio structure at the center of the Seyfert galaxy NGC 4151, located approximately 43 million light-years from Earth, was imaged with a resolution of better than 1 light-year. The radio images were made using the 25-meter (82-foot) telescopes of the VLBA, an array of 10 telescopes spread out over the full length and width of the United States, from the Virgin Islands to Hawaii. Seyfert galaxies are spiral galaxies that are nearby examples of galaxies containing active galactic nuclei (AGN), which are thought to be powered by black holes having masses millions of times greater than the Sun. They represent nearby cousins of the more distant and energetic quasars; their relative proximity to Earth permits images to be made with much finer spatial resolution than is possible for quasars. The radio images of NGC 4151 reveal a chain of knots several light years in length, separated by a few light months, which then appear to make a fairly sharp turn -- about 55 degrees -- to merge with a previously known straight radio jet about 800 light-years in length. This large-scale radio jet is nearly coincident with a complex of gas clouds imaged at optical wavelengths with

  15. Characterization and parameterization of aerosol cloud condensation nuclei activation under different pollution conditions.

    PubMed

    Che, H C; Zhang, X Y; Wang, Y Q; Zhang, L; Shen, X J; Zhang, Y M; Ma, Q L; Sun, J Y; Zhang, Y W; Wang, T T

    2016-01-01

    To better understand the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation capacity of aerosol particles in different pollution conditions, a long-term field experiment was carried out at a regional GAW (Global Atmosphere Watch) station in the Yangtze River Delta area of China. The homogeneity of aerosol particles was the highest in clean weather, with the highest active fraction of all the weather types. For pollution with the same visibility, the residual aerosol particles in higher relative humidity weather conditions were more externally mixed and heterogeneous, with a lower hygroscopic capacity. The hygroscopic capacity (κ) of organic aerosols can be classified into 0.1 and 0.2 in different weather types. The particles at ~150 nm were easily activated in haze weather conditions. For CCN predictions, the bulk chemical composition method was closer to observations at low supersaturations (≤0.1%), whereas when the supersaturation was ≥0.2%, the size-resolved chemical composition method was more accurate. As for the mixing state of the aerosol particles, in haze, heavy haze, and severe haze weather conditions CCN predictions based on the internal mixing assumption were robust, whereas for other weather conditions, predictions based on the external mixing assumption were more accurate. PMID:27075947

  16. Characterization and parameterization of aerosol cloud condensation nuclei activation under different pollution conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Che, H. C.; Zhang, X. Y.; Wang, Y. Q.; Zhang, L.; Shen, X. J.; Zhang, Y. M.; Ma, Q. L.; Sun, J. Y.; Zhang, Y. W.; Wang, T. T.

    2016-04-01

    To better understand the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation capacity of aerosol particles in different pollution conditions, a long-term field experiment was carried out at a regional GAW (Global Atmosphere Watch) station in the Yangtze River Delta area of China. The homogeneity of aerosol particles was the highest in clean weather, with the highest active fraction of all the weather types. For pollution with the same visibility, the residual aerosol particles in higher relative humidity weather conditions were more externally mixed and heterogeneous, with a lower hygroscopic capacity. The hygroscopic capacity (κ) of organic aerosols can be classified into 0.1 and 0.2 in different weather types. The particles at ~150 nm were easily activated in haze weather conditions. For CCN predictions, the bulk chemical composition method was closer to observations at low supersaturations (≤0.1%), whereas when the supersaturation was ≥0.2%, the size-resolved chemical composition method was more accurate. As for the mixing state of the aerosol particles, in haze, heavy haze, and severe haze weather conditions CCN predictions based on the internal mixing assumption were robust, whereas for other weather conditions, predictions based on the external mixing assumption were more accurate.

  17. Penrose pair production as a power source of quasars and active galactic nuclei. [black hole mechanisms

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kafatos, M.; Leiter, D.

    1979-01-01

    Penrose pair production in massive canonical Kerr black holes (those with a/M equal to 0.998) is proposed as a way to explain the nature of the vast fluctuating energy production associated with active galactic nuclei and quasars. It is assumed that a Kerr black hole with a mass of the order of 100 million solar masses lies at the center of an active nucleus and that an accretion disk is formed. Penrose pair production in the inner ergosphere of such a massive canonical Kerr black hole is analyzed. The results indicate that: (1) particle pairs are ejected within a 40 deg angle relative to the equator; (2) the particle energy is of the order of 1 GeV per pair; (3) the pressure of the electron-positron relativistic gas is proportional to the electron-positron number density; (4) pair production may occur in bursts; and (5) the overall lifetime of an active nucleus would depend on the time required to exhaust the disk of its matter content. A test of the theory is suggested which involves observation of the 0.5-MeV pair-annihilation gamma rays that would be generated by annihilating particle pairs.

  18. Characterization and parameterization of aerosol cloud condensation nuclei activation under different pollution conditions

    PubMed Central

    Che, H. C.; Zhang, X. Y.; Wang, Y. Q.; Zhang, L.; Shen, X. J.; Zhang, Y. M.; Ma, Q. L.; Sun, J. Y.; Zhang, Y. W.; Wang, T. T.

    2016-01-01

    To better understand the cloud condensation nuclei (CCN) activation capacity of aerosol particles in different pollution conditions, a long-term field experiment was carried out at a regional GAW (Global Atmosphere Watch) station in the Yangtze River Delta area of China. The homogeneity of aerosol particles was the highest in clean weather, with the highest active fraction of all the weather types. For pollution with the same visibility, the residual aerosol particles in higher relative humidity weather conditions were more externally mixed and heterogeneous, with a lower hygroscopic capacity. The hygroscopic capacity (κ) of organic aerosols can be classified into 0.1 and 0.2 in different weather types. The particles at ~150 nm were easily activated in haze weather conditions. For CCN predictions, the bulk chemical composition method was closer to observations at low supersaturations (≤0.1%), whereas when the supersaturation was ≥0.2%, the size-resolved chemical composition method was more accurate. As for the mixing state of the aerosol particles, in haze, heavy haze, and severe haze weather conditions CCN predictions based on the internal mixing assumption were robust, whereas for other weather conditions, predictions based on the external mixing assumption were more accurate. PMID:27075947

  19. Plasma-tail activity and the interplanetary medium at Halley's Comet during Armada Week: 6-14 March 1986

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Niedner, Malcolm B., Jr.; Schwingenschuh, Konrad; Hoeksema, J. Todd; Dryer, Murray; Mcintosh, Patrick S.

    1987-01-01

    The encounters of five spacecraft with Halley's Comet during 6-14 March 1986 offered a unique opportunity to calibrate the solar-wind interaction with cometary plasmas as recorded by remote wide-field and narrow-field/narrowband imaging. Perhaps not generally recognized in the comet community is the additional opportunity offered by the Halley Armada to study the structure of the solar-wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) in three dimensions using five sets of data obtained over similar time intervals and heliocentric distances, but at somewhat different heliolatitudes. In fact, the two problems, i.e., comet physics and the structure of the interplanetary medium, are coupled if one wants to understand what conditions pertained at the comet between the encounters. This relationship is discussed.

  20. Helium and Neon in Comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jewitt, David

    1996-01-01

    Two comets were observed with EUVE in late 1994. Both comet Mueller and comet Borrelly are short-period comets having well established orbital elements and accurate ephemerides. Spectra of 40 ksec were taken of each. No evidence for emission lines from either Helium or Neon was detected. We calculated limits on the production rates of these atoms (relative to solar) assuming a standard isotropic outflow model, with a gas streaming speed of 1 km/s. The 3-sigma (99.7% confidence) limits (1/100,000 for He, 0.8 for Ne) are based on a conservative estimate of the noise in the EUVE spectra. They are also weakly dependent on the precise pointing and tracking of the EUVE field of view relative to the comet during the integrations. These limits are consistent with ice formation temperatures T greater than or equal to 30 K, as judged from the gas trapping experiments of Bar-Nun. For comparison, the solar abundances of these elements are He/O = 110, Ne/O = 1/16. Neither limit was as constraining as we had initially hoped, mainly because comets Mueller and Borrelly were intrinsically less active than anticipated.

  1. Investigating the correlations between water coma emissions and active regions in comet 67P/ Churyumov-Gerasimenko

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliorini, Alessandra; Filacchione, Gianrico; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Piccioni, Giuseppe; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Érard, Stéphane; Leyrat, Cedric; Combi, Michael R.; Fougere, Nicolas; Rinaldi, Giovanna; VIRTIS Team

    2016-10-01

    Vibrational emission lines of H2O and CO2 at 2.67 and 4.27 μm, respectively, were identified by the VIRTIS spectrometer (Bockelée-Morvan et al., 2015; Migliorini et al., 2016; Fink et al., 2016) and mapped from the surface up to about 10 km altitude with a spatial resolution on the order of tens of meters per pixel (Migliorini et al., 2016).Data acquired in April 2015 with the VIRTIS spectrometer on board the Rosetta mission, provided information on the possible correlation between the H2O emission in the inner coma and the exposed water deposits detected in the Hapi region on the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko surface (Migliorini et al., 2106; De Sanctis et al., 2015). Further bright spots attributed to exposed water ice have been identified in other regions by OSIRIS at visible wavelengths (Pommerol, et al., 2015) and confirmed in the infrared by VIRTIS-M in the Imothep region (Filacchione et al., 2016). The small dimensions of these icy spots - approximately 100x100 m (Filacchione et al., 2016) – and the relatively small amount of water ice (about 5%) make uncertain the correlation with the strong emissions in the coma.However, VIRTIS data show that the distribution of jet-like emissions seems to follow the distribution of cliffs and exposed areas identified in the North hemisphere with OSIRIS camera (Vincent et al., 2015). These areas are mainly concentrated in correspondence of comet's rough terrains, while a lack of active regions is observed in the comet's neck. Nevertheless, strong H2O emission is observed above the neck with VIRTIS. This might be a consequence of gas jets that are originated in the surrounding of the neck but converging towards the neck itself. This gaseous activity is the main driver of the dust upwelling (Migliorini et al, 2016; Rinaldi et al., in preparation)In this paper, we investigate the relationship between H2O vapour observed with VIRTIS within 5 km from the 67P/C-G nucleus and the exposed regions identified by OSIRIS on the

  2. Determination of genotoxic effects of Imazethapyr herbicide in Allium cepa root cells by mitotic activity, chromosome aberration, and comet assay.

    PubMed

    Liman, Recep; Ciğerci, İbrahim Hakkı; Öztürk, Nur Serap

    2015-02-01

    Imazethapyr (IM) is an imidazolinone herbicide that is currently used for broad-spectrum weed control in soybean and other legume crops. In this study, cytotoxic and genotoxic effects of IM were investigated by using mitotic index (MI), mitotic phases, chromosomal abnormalities (CAs) and DNA damage on the root meristem cells of Allium cepa. In Allium root growth inhibition test, EC50 value was determined as 20 ppm, and 0.5xEC50, EC50 and 2xEC50 concentrations of IM herbicide were introduced to onion tuber roots. Distilled water and methyl methane sulfonate (MMS, 10 mg/L) were used as a negative and positive control, respectively. As A. cepa cell cycle is 24 hours, so, application process was carried out for 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours. All the applied doses decreased MIs compared to control group and these declines were found to be statistically meaningful. Analysis of the chromosomes showed that 10 ppm IM except for 48 h induced CAs but 40 ppm IM except for 72 h decreased CAs. DNA damage was found significantly higher in 20 and 40 ppm of IM compared to the control in comet assay. These results indicated that IM herbicide exhibits cytotoxic activity but not genotoxic activity (except 10 ppm) and induced DNA damage in a dose dependent manner in A. cepa root meristematic cells. PMID:25752428

  3. Comets as Messengers from the Early Solar System - Emerging Insights on Delivery of Water, Nitriles, and Organics to Earth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mumma, Michael J.; Charnley, Steven B.

    2012-01-01

    The question of exogenous delivery of water and organics to Earth and other young planets is of critical importance for understanding the origin of Earth's volatiles, and for assessing the possible existence of exo-planets similar to Earth. Viewed from a cosmic perspective, Earth is a dry planet, yet its oceans are enriched in deuterium by a large factor relative to nebular hydrogen and analogous isotopic enrichments in atmospheric nitrogen and noble gases are also seen. Why is this so? What are the implications for Mars? For icy Worlds in our Planetary System? For the existence of Earth-like exoplanets? An exogenous (vs. outgassed) origin for Earth's atmosphere is implied, and intense debate on the relative contributions of comets and asteroids continues - renewed by fresh models for dynamical transport in the protoplanetary disk, by revelations on the nature and diversity of volatile and rocky material within comets, and by the discovery of ocean-like water in a comet from the Kuiper Belt (cf., Mumma & Charnley 2011). Assessing the creation of conditions favorable to the emergence and sustenance of life depends critically on knowledge of the nature of the impacting bodies. Active comets have long been grouped according to their orbital properties, and this has proven useful for identifying the reservoir from which a given comet emerged (OC, KB) (Levison 1996). However, it is now clear that icy bodies were scattered into each reservoir from a range of nebular distances, and the comet populations in today's reservoirs thus share origins that are (in part) common. Comets from the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Disk reservoirs should have diverse composition, resulting from strong gradients in temperature and chemistry in the proto-planetary disk, coupled with dynamical models of early radial transport and mixing with later dispersion of the final cometary nuclei into the long-term storage reservoirs. The inclusion of material from the natal interstellar cloud is probable

  4. Thermophysical simulations of comet Hale-Bopp

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González, M.; Gutiérrez, P. J.; Lara, L. M.

    2014-03-01

    Aims: In this work, we simulate the global behavior of comet Hale-Bopp with our thermophysical model starting with simple, homogeneous conditions, so that dust mantling and the active area develop consistently depending on the properties of the simulated nucleus. We aim to obtain a range of compatibility between our model and the observations, that can be used as constraints on some of the characteristics of cometary nuclei. Methods: Our thermophysical model includes crystallization (and release of trapped CO), sublimation/recondensation, heat and gas transport through the nucleus, and dragged dust release. We run a battery of simulations with different parameter sets selected according to our current knowledge of comets and compare our results with observational data. Initial calculations are performed for a comet radius R0 = 30 km. To match the calculated integrated H2O production to the observed rate, we renormalize to a new R, which must be within 20 and 40 km, that is a range compatible with several estimates. Further selection is performed comparing the simulated water and carbon monoxide production rate profiles with the observational profiles and checking that the observational upper/lower limits of the H2O production are fulfilled. Results: We have found a reasonable agreement between our model and the data for H2O and CO production rates, without the need of distributed sources, for the following initial conditions: the nucleus is composed of water, carbon monoxide, and dust with a moderate dust proportion, tending to be icy, with a dust-to-ice ratio of between 0.5 and 1. The water ice must be initially amorphous with 15 to 20% of trapped carbon monoxide. The icy matrix has a thermal inertia between 100 and 200 J m-2 K s-1/2, considering the initial composition with crystalline ice at 140 K. The dust follows an exponential size distribution with particles from 0.1 μm to 1 mm and leaves the comet dragged by the expelled vapor with a dragging efficiency

  5. ALIGNMENTS OF BLACK HOLES WITH THEIR WARPED ACCRETION DISKS AND EPISODIC LIFETIMES OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yan-Rong; Wang, Jian-Min; Qiu, Jie; Cheng, Cheng

    2015-05-01

    Warped accretion disks have attracted intense attention because of their critical role in shaping the spin of supermassive massive black holes (SMBHs) through the Bardeen–Petterson effect, a general relativistic effect that leads to final alignments or anti-alignments between black holes and warped accretion disks. We study such alignment processes by explicitly taking into account the finite sizes of accretion disks and the episodic lifetimes of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) that delineate the duration of gas fueling onto accretion disks. We employ an approximate global model to simulate the evolution of accretion disks, allowing us to determine the gravitomagnetic torque that drives the alignments in a simple way. We then track down the evolutionary paths for mass and spin of black holes both in a single activity episode and over a series of episodes. Given with randomly and isotropically oriented gas fueling over episodes, we calculate the spin evolution with different episodic lifetimes and find that it is quite sensitive to the lifetimes. We therefore propose that the spin distribution of SMBHs can place constraints on the episodic lifetimes of AGNs and vice versa. The applications of our results on the observed spin distributions of SMBHs and the observed episodic lifetimes of AGNs are discussed, although both measurements at present are too ambiguous for us to draw a firm conclusion. Our prescription can be easily incorporated into semi-analytic models for black hole growth and spin evolution.

  6. RADIATION-DRIVEN FOUNTAIN AND ORIGIN OF TORUS AROUND ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Wada, Keiichi

    2012-10-10

    We propose a plausible mechanism to explain the formation of the so-called obscuring tori around active galactic nuclei (AGNs) based on three-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations including radiative feedback from the central source. The X-ray heating and radiation pressure on the gas are explicitly calculated using a ray-tracing method. This radiation feedback drives a 'fountain', that is, a vertical circulation of gas in the central few to tens parsecs. Interaction between the non-steady outflows and inflows causes the formation of a geometrically thick torus with internal turbulent motion. As a result, the AGN is obscured for a wide range of solid angles. In a quasi-steady state, the opening angles for the column density toward a black hole <10{sup 23} cm{sup -2} are approximately {+-}30 Degree-Sign and {+-}50 Degree-Sign for AGNs with 10% and 1% Eddington luminosity, respectively. Mass inflows through the torus coexist with the outflow and internal turbulent motion, and the average mass accretion rate to the central parsec region is 2 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -4} {approx} 10{sup -3} M{sub Sun} yr{sup -1}; this is about 10 times smaller than accretion rate required to maintain the AGN luminosity. This implies that relatively luminous AGN activity is intrinsically intermittent or that there are other mechanisms, such as stellar energy feedback, that enhance the mass accretion to the center.

  7. A census of gas outflows in type 2 active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Bae, Hyun-Jin; Woo, Jong-Hak E-mail: woo@astro.snu.ac.kr

    2014-11-01

    We perform a census of ionized gas outflows using a sample of ∼23,000 type 2 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) out to z ∼ 0.1. By measuring the velocity offset of narrow emission lines, i.e., [O III] λ5007 and Hα, with respect to the systemic velocity measured from the stellar absorption lines, we find that 47% of AGNs display an [O III] line-of-sight velocity offset ≥ 20 km s{sup –1}. The fraction of the [O III] velocity offset in type 2 AGNs is comparable to that in type 1 AGNs after considering the projection effect. AGNs with a large [O III] velocity offset preferentially have a high Eddington ratio, implying that the detected velocity offsets are related to black hole activity. The distribution of the host galaxy inclination is clearly different between the AGNs with blueshifted [O III] and the AGNs with redshifted [O III], supporting the combined model of the biconical outflow and dust obscuration. In addition, for ∼3% of AGNs, [O III] and Hα show comparable large velocity offsets, indicating a more complex gas kinematics than decelerating outflows in a stratified narrow-line region.

  8. Interpreting Broad Double-Peaked Emission Lines in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Halpern, Jules; Chen, Kaiyou

    1999-01-01

    The principal objectives of this project were to probe the inner regions of active galactic nuclei and to test general relativity in the strong-field limit. The approach takes advantage of broad atomic line emission observed from material deep in the potential well of an active galactic nucleus which contains key information as to the physics of the system. Line profiles in a wide range of wavebands from optical to X-ray have provided compelling evidence of the existence of a relativistic accretion disk around a supermassive black hole in a number of galaxies. The simplest model posits a geometrically thin disk in Keplerian orbit, with general relativistic effects in evidence. This model is the point of departure for the proposed work. We developed a high-performance numerical code to calculate photon trajectories in a Schwarzschild or Kerr metric and implemented it on parallel supercomputers. This code includes a general purpose ray tracer that calculates line profiles, light curves, and other observable quantities for a wide variety of emitter configurations. The versatility comes from the fact that the ray tracing algorithm does not depend on any symmetries regarding emitter locations. The speed comes from parallel implementation which enables us to sample hitherto unattainable volumes of disk model parameter space. During the period 1 March 1997 through 28 February 1998, two papers, supported in whole or in part by this grant, were published in refereed journals. They are reproduced in their entirety in the next two sections of this report.

  9. The different neighbours around Type-1 and Type-2 active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villarroel, Beatriz; Korn, Andreas J.

    2014-06-01

    One of the most intriguing open issues in galaxy evolution is the structure and evolution of active galactic nuclei (AGN) that emit intense light believed to come from an accretion disk near a super massive black hole. To understand the zoo of different AGN classes, it has been suggested that all AGN are the same type of object viewed from different angles. This model--called AGN unification--has been successful in predicting, for example, the existence of hidden broad optical lines in the spectrum of many narrow-line AGN. But this model is not unchallenged and it is debatable whether more than viewing angle separates the so-called Type-1 and Type-2 AGN. Here we report the first large-scale study that finds strong differences in the galaxy neighbours to Type-1 and Type-2 AGN with data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS; ref. ) Data Release 7 (DR7; ref. ) and Galaxy Zoo. We find strong differences in the colour and AGN activity of the neighbours to Type-1 and Type-2 AGN and in how the fraction of AGN residing in spiral hosts changes depending on the presence or not of a neighbour. These findings suggest that an evolutionary link between the two major AGN types might exist.

  10. The MORGANA model for the rise of galaxies and active nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monaco, Pierluigi; Fontanot, Fabio; Taffoni, Giuliano

    2007-03-01

    We present the Model for the Rise of Galaxies and Active Nuclei (MORGANA), a new code for the formation and evolution of galaxies and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Starting from the merger trees of dark matter (DM) haloes and a model for the evolution of substructure within the haloes, the complex physics of baryons is modelled with a set of state-of-the-art models that describe the mass, metal and energy flows between the various components (baryonic halo, bulge, disc) and phases (cold and hot gas, stars) of a galaxy. These flows are then numerically integrated to produce predictions for the evolution of galaxies. The processes of shock-heating and cooling, star formation, feedback, galactic winds and superwinds, accretion on to black holes and AGN feedback are described by new models. In particular, the evolution of the halo gas explicitly follows the thermal and kinetic energies of the hot and cold phases, while star formation and feedback follow the results of the multiphase model recently proposed by Monaco. The increased level of sophistication of these models allows to move from a phenomenological description of gas physics, based on simple scalings with the depth of the DM halo potential, towards a fully physically motivated one. We deem that this is fully justified by the level of maturity and rough convergence reached by the latest versions of numerical and semi-analytic models of galaxy formation. The comparison of the predictions of MORGANA with a basic set of galactic data reveals from the one hand an overall rough agreement, and from the other hand highlights a number of well- or less-known problems: (i) producing the cut-off of the luminosity function requires to force the quenching of the late cooling flows by AGN feedback, (ii) the normalization of the Tully-Fisher relation of local spirals cannot be recovered unless the DM haloes are assumed to have a very low concentration, (iii) the mass function of HI gas is not easily fitted at small masses

  11. Comets as porous aggregates of interstellar dust.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, J M; Remo, J L

    1997-05-30

    A comet model is derived based on the interstellar dust chemical composition in dense molecular and diffuse clouds resulting from their subsequent chemical interactions and UV photoprocessing. The collapsing presolar nebula leads to a porous aggregate model for comet nuclei, from which is derived certain physical properties that include thermal conductivity and tensile strength. The porous morphological structure is also shown to imply anomalous (expansion rather than contraction) behavior when subjected to strong shock waves, which is supported by recent shock experiments on (porous) carbonaceous chondrite material.

  12. Physical processes in comets

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newburn, Ray L., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    Post-Halley comets are known to be irregular objects with most nucleus activity very localized and with the dust coma capable of fragmentation and apparently being a source of gas. Older, 1-D strategies which assume steady isotropic outflow of material can give poor time-and-space averaged results, at best. With 2-D data, images through interference filters, it is hoped that: dust structures can be seen that give evidence of the proper geometry for data reduction; gradients along the axes of symmetry and evidence of fragmentation can be studied; and that evidence for gas abundance gradients associated with the dust can be found. High quality data from brighter comets can then be used to suggest improved data reduction procedures for fainter ones. To obtain such data, large image-quality interference filters were procured for use with a charge coupled device (CCD) camera at Lick Observatory, where the scale of the 1 m Nickel reflector is ideal for brighter comets. Whenever possible, data is taken simultaneously with other telescopes and equipment, especially spectroscopy at the Lick 3 m or infrared photometry at the Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea.

  13. Physical processing of cometary nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weissman, Paul R.; Stern, S. Alan

    1989-01-01

    Cometary nuclei were formed far from the Sun in the colder regions of the solar nebula, and have been stored in distant orbits in the Oort cloud over most of the history of the solar system. It had been thought that this benign environment would preserve comets in close to their original pristine state. However, recent studies have identified a number of physical processes that have likely acted to modify cometary nuclei in a variety of significant ways. It is important to consider all of these possible processes, both in deciding on a site on the nucleus for collection of cometary samples, and in interpreting the results of analyses of returned cometary samples. Although it can no longer be said that comets are pristine samples of original solar nebula material, they are still the best obtainable samples of that unique period in the formation of the planetary system.

  14. The C shell, an active detector of UH nuclei. [in cosmic radiation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waddington, C. J.; Clinton, Robert R.

    1990-01-01

    This paper gives a brief description of the current status of the present program to develop a modular array of large electronic particle detectors. These modules were designed to study the UH nuclei in the cosmic radiation with eventual deployment on the Space Station or at a lunar base. This array would determine the abundances of elements from iron to the actinides and directly measure the energies of the lower energy nuclei. If the array was deployed on the Space Station, it would use the geomagnetic threshold to place limits on the higher energy nuclei, thus studying the energy spectrum up to about 10 GeV/n. Deployed at a lunar base, it would detect nuclei with energies down to the instrumental limit. Smaller versions could be flown on balloons to test and refine the modules.

  15. Landslides and impacts on comets.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czechowski, Leszek

    2016-07-01

    The recent landing of Philae on the comet 67P/Czuriumow-Gierasimienko indicates that elastic properties of comet's nuclei could be similar to elastic properties of dry snow, namely Young modulus is assumed to be 106 - 108 Pa. We considered a simple model of two spheres (with radius 1400 m each) connected by cylinder (with radius of 200 m and length of 200 m). Density is 470 kg m-3. This shape corresponds approximately to shape of some comets. A few vibration modes are possible. In present research we consider 3 modes: bending, lengthening-shortening along axis of symmetry, and torsion. Let assume that comets are hit by small meteoroid of the mass of 1 kg and velocity 20 km s-1. The maximum values of acceleration of the surface resulting from this impact are given in Table 1. Note that these values are higher than acceleration of the gravity of the comet. Consequently, these vibrations could be an important factor of surface evolution, e.g. they could trigger landslides. It could be alternative mechanism to that presented in [4] (i.e. fluidization). Acknowledgement: The research is partly supported by Polish National Science Centre (decision 2014/15/B/ST 10/02117) References [1] T. Spohn, J. Knollenberg, A. J. Ball, M. Ba-naszkiewicz, J. Benkhoff, M. Grott, J. Gry-gorczuk, C. Hüttig, A. Hagermann, G. Kargl, E. Kaufmann, N. Kömle, E. Kührt, K. J. Kossacki, W. Marczewski, I. Pelivan, R. Schrödter, K. Seiferlin. (2015) Thermal and mechanical properties of the near-surface layers of comet 67P/Churyumov- Gera-simenko Science 31 July 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6247 DOI: 10.1126/science.aab0464 [2] Reuter B. (2013) On how to measure snow mechanical properties relevant to slab avalanche release. International Snow Science Workshop Grenoble - Chamonix Mont-Blanc - 2013 007 [3] Ball A.J. (1997) Ph. D. Thesis: Measuring Physical Properties at the Surface of a Comet Nu-cleus, Univ.of Kent U.K. [4] Belton M. J.S., Melosh J. (2009). Fluidization and multiphase transport of

  16. 3200 Phaethon, Asteroid or Comet Nucleus?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boice, Daniel C.; Benkhoff, Johannes

    2015-08-01

    Physico-chemical modeling is central to understand the important physical processes in small solar system bodies. We have developed a computer simulation, SUISEI, that includes the physico-chemical processes relevant to comets within a global modeling framework. Our goals are to gain valuable insights into the intrinsic properties of cometary nuclei so we can better understand observations and in situ measurements. SUISEI includes a 3-D model of gas and heat transport in porous sub-surface layers in the interior of the nucleus.We present results on the application of SUISEI to the near-Sun object, Phaethon. Discovered in 1983 and classified as an asteroid, it has recently exhibited an active dust coma. Phaethon has long been associated as the source of the Geminids meteor shower so the dust activity provides a clear link to the meteor shower. The observed dust activity would traditionally lead to Phaethon being also classified as a comet (e.g., 2060-95P/Chiron, 133P/Elst-Pizarro). This is unusual since the orbit of Phaethon has a perihelion of 0.14 AU, resulting in surface temperatures of more than 1025K, much too hot for water ice or other volatiles to exist near the surface and drive the activity. This situation and others such as the “Active Asteroids” necessitates a revision of how we understand and classify these small asteroid-comet transition objects.We conclude the following for Phaethon:1. It is likely to contain relatively pristine volatiles in its interior despite repeated near perihelion passages of 0.14 AU during its history in its present orbit,2. Steady water gas fluxes at perihelion and throughout its orbit are insufficient to entrain the currently observed dust production,3. Thermal gradients into the surface as well as those caused by diurnal rotation are consistent with the mechanism of dust release due to thermal fracture,4. The initial large gas release during the first perihelion passage may be sufficient to produce enough dust to explain

  17. MHD models for Sun-grazing comets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Ying-Dong; Shou, Yin-Si; Russell, Christopher T.; Combi, Michael R.; Hansen, Kenneth C.

    2014-05-01

    Sun-grazing comets have high orbital eccentricities and low perihelia. They travel between the outer solar system and the lower corona. Recent advances in spacecraft imaging capabilities have enabled us to observe these comets with high resolution both in time and space. These comets exhibit rich tail activity in the lower corona, even multiple tails. Sun-grazing comets interact with the coronal plasma in a very different way, than in the conventional models of comet-solar wind interactions. The parameters, scales, and chemistry are very different. In this study, we have simplified the interaction into two different baseline models. In the first model we show the comet appearance in sub-Alfvenic solar wind. A single-fluid MHD model is applied to comet C2012 S1 (ISON) conditions. In the second model we adopt the chemical reactions with extreme ionization rates around the perihelion of comet C/2011 W3 (Lovejoy). We use our multi-fluid model to track all charge states of oxygen, from O+ to O6+. These steady-state models can be used to explain the chronicle of comet tail appearance as it approaches perihelion.

  18. Piecing together the X-ray background: bolometric corrections for active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vasudevan, R. V.; Fabian, A. C.

    2007-11-01

    The X-ray background can be used to constrain the accretion history of supermassive black holes (SMBHs) in active galactic nuclei (AGN), with the SMBH mass density related to the energy density due to accretion. A knowledge of the hard X-ray bolometric correction, κ2-10keV, is a vital input into these studies, as it allows us to constrain the parameters of the accretion responsible for SMBH growth. Earlier studies assumed a constant bolometric correction for all AGN, and more recent work has suggested accounting for a dependence on AGN luminosity. Until recently, the variations in the disc emission in the ultraviolet (UV) have not been taken into account in this calculation; we show that such variations are important by construction of optical-to-X-ray spectral energy distributions for 54 AGN. In particular, we use Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE) UV and X-ray data from the literature to constrain the disc emission as well as possible. We find evidence for very significant spread in the bolometric corrections, with no simple dependence on luminosity being evident. Populations of AGN such as narrow-line Seyfert 1 nuclei, radio-loud and X-ray-weak AGN may have bolometric corrections which differ systematically from the rest of the AGN population. We identify other sources of uncertainty including intrinsic extinction in the optical-UV, X-ray and UV variability and uncertainties in SMBH mass estimates. Our results suggest a more well-defined relationship between the bolometric correction and Eddington ratio in AGN, with a transitional region at an Eddington ratio of ~0.1, below which the bolometric correction is typically 15-25, and above which it is typically 40-70. We consider the potential-implied parallels with the low/hard and high/soft states in Galactic black hole (GBH) accretion, and present bolometric corrections for the GBH binary GX 339-4 for comparison. Our findings reinforce previous studies proposing a multistate description of AGN

  19. First direct comparison of high and low ionization line kinematics in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sulentic, J. W.; Marziani, P.; Dultzin-Hacyan, D.; Calvani, M.; Moles, M.

    1995-01-01

    We present first results of a comparison of emission line shift properties for the high (HILs) and low (LILs) ionization lines in 43 low-reshift quasars. We identify a core sample of C IV lambda 1549 and hydrogen beta profiles with a wide distribution of red- and blueshifts (less than or equal to +/- 1000 km/sec). We also identify two tails in this distribution: one with large hydrogen beta redshifts (greater than or equal to 2000 km/sec) and another with large C IV blueshifts (greater than or equal to 1500 km/sec). The tails are mutually exclusive. All objects with extreme hydrogen beta redshift are radio loud, and all objects with extreme C IV blueshift are radio quiet. The core samples of smaller shifts can be most simply divided into: (1) hydrogen beta - a redshifted radio-loud population (related to the tail) and a radio-quiet population with mean shift near zero, and (2) C IV - a blueshifted radio-quiet population (related to the tail) and a radio-loud population with mean shift near zero. The results suggest fundamentally different kinematics for the HILs and LILs. They also suggest very different kinematics for radio-loud and radio-quiet active galactic nuclei. They also favor a predominance of radial motion in a large fraction of the sample.

  20. THE GLOBAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE HARD X-RAY EXCESS IN TYPE 1 ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Tatum, M. M.; Turner, T. J.; Reeves, J. N.; Miller, L.

    2013-01-10

    Recent evidence for a strong 'hard excess' of flux at energies {approx}> 20 keV in some Suzaku observations of type 1 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) has motivated an exploratory study of the phenomenon in the local type 1 AGN population. We have selected all type 1 AGNs in the Swift Burst Alert Telescope 58 month catalog and cross-correlated them with the holdings of the Suzaku public archive. We find the hard excess phenomenon to be a ubiquitous property of type 1 AGNs. Taken together, the spectral hardness and equivalent width of Fe K{alpha} emission are consistent with reprocessing by an ensemble of Compton-thick clouds that partially cover the continuum source. In the context of such a model, {approx}80% of the sample has a hardness ratio consistent with >50% covering of the continuum by low-ionization, Compton-thick gas. A more detailed study of the three hardest X-ray spectra in our sample reveal a sharp Fe K absorption edge at {approx}7 keV in each of them, indicating that blurred reflection is not responsible for the very hard spectral forms. Simple considerations place the distribution of Compton-thick clouds at or within the optical broad-line region.

  1. The Relationship between Luminosity and Broad-Line Region Size in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaspi, Shai; Maoz, Dan; Netzer, Hagai; Peterson, Bradley M.; Vestergaard, Marianne; Jannuzi, Buell T.

    2005-08-01

    We reinvestigate the relationship between the characteristic broad-line region size (RBLR) and the Balmer emission-line, X-ray, UV, and optical continuum luminosities. Our study makes use of the best available determinations of RBLR for a large number of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from Peterson et al. Using their determinations of RBLR for a large sample of AGNs and two different regression methods, we investigate the robustness of our correlation results as a function of data subsample and regression technique. Although small systematic differences were found depending on the method of analysis, our results are generally consistent. Assuming a power-law relation RBLR~Lα, we find that the mean best-fitting α is about 0.67+/-0.05 for the optical continuum and the broad Hβ luminosity, about 0.56+/-0.05 for the UV continuum luminosity, and about 0.70+/-0.14 for the X-ray luminosity. We also find an intrinsic scatter of ~40% in these relations. The disagreement of our results with the theoretical expected slope of 0.5 indicates that the simple assumption of all AGNs having on average the same ionization parameter, BLR density, column density, and ionizing spectral energy distribution is not valid and there is likely some evolution of a few of these characteristics along the luminosity scale.

  2. FINE STRUCTURAL ALTERATIONS OF INTERPHASE NUCLEI OF LYMPHOCYTES STIMULATED TO GROWTH ACTIVITY IN VITRO

    PubMed Central

    Tokuyasu, K.; Madden, S. C.; Zeldis, L. J.

    1968-01-01

    This report describes fine structural changes of interphase nuclei of human peripheral blood lymphocytes stimulated to growth by short-term culture with phytohemagglutinin. Chromatin is found highly labile, its changes accompanying the sequential increases of RNA and DNA synthesis which are known to occur in lymphocyte cultures. In "resting" lymphocytes, abundant condensed chromatin appears as a network of large and small aggregates. Early in the response to phytohemagglutinin, small aggregates disappear during increase of diffuse chromatin regions. Small aggregates soon reappear, probably resulting from disaggregation of large masses of condensed chromatin. Loosened and highly dispersed forms then appear prior to the formation of prophase chromosomes. The loosened state is found by radioautography to be most active in DNA synthesis. Small nucleoli of resting lymphocytes have concentric agranular, fibrillar, and granular zones with small amounts of intranucleolar chromatin. Enlarging interphase nucleoli change chiefly (1) by increase in amount of intranucleolar chromatin and alteration of its state of aggregation and (2) by increase in granular components in close association with fibrillar components. PMID:5699935

  3. Detailed Shape and Evolutionary Behavior of the X-Ray Luminosity Function of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyaji, T.; Hasinger, G.; Salvato, M.; Brusa, M.; Cappelluti, N.; Civano, F.; Puccetti, S.; Elvis, M.; Brunner, H.; Fotopoulou, S.; Ueda, Y.; Griffiths, R. E.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Akiyama, M.; Comastri, A.; Gilli, R.; Lanzuisi, G.; Merloni, A.; Vignali, C.

    2015-05-01

    We construct the rest-frame 2-10 keV intrinsic X-ray luminosity function (XLF) of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from a combination of X-ray surveys from the all-sky Swift BAT survey to the Chandra Deep Field South. We use ˜3200 AGNs in our analysis, which covers six orders of magnitude in flux. The inclusion of XMM and Chandra COSMOS data has allowed us to investigate the detailed behavior of the XLF and evolution. In deriving our XLF, we take into account realistic AGN spectrum templates, absorption corrections, and probability density distributions in photometric redshift. We present an analytical expression for the overall behavior of the XLF in terms of the luminosity-dependent density evolution, smoothed two-power-law expressions in 11 redshift shells, three-segment power-law expression of the number density evolution in four luminosity classes, and binned XLF. We observe a sudden flattening of the low luminosity end slope of the XLF slope at z ≳0.6. Detailed structures of the AGN downsizing have also been revealed, where the number density curves have two clear breaks at all luminosity classes above log {{L}X}\\gt 43. The two-break structure is suggestive of two-phase AGN evolution, consisting of major merger triggering and secular processes.

  4. Broad-line active galactic nuclei rotate faster than narrow-line ones.

    PubMed

    Kollatschny, Wolfram; Zetzl, Matthias

    2011-02-17

    The super-massive black holes of 10(6)M(⊙) to 10(9)M(⊙) that reside in the nuclei of active galaxies (AGN) are surrounded by a region emitting broad lines, probably associated with an accretion disk. The diameters of the broad-line regions range from a few light-days to more than a hundred light-days, and cannot be resolved spatially. The relative significance of inflow, outflow, rotational or turbulent motions in the broad-line regions as well as their structure (spherical, thin or thick accretion disk) are unknown despite intensive studies over more than thirty years. Here we report a fundamental relation between the observed emission linewidth full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) and the emission line shape FWHM/σ(line) in AGN spectra. From this relation we infer that the predominant motion in the broad-line regions is Keplerian rotation in combination with turbulence. The geometry of the inner region varies systematically with the rotation velocity: it is flattest for the fast-rotating broad-line objects, whereas slow-rotating narrow-line AGN have a more spherical structure. Superimposed is the trend that the line-emitting region becomes geometrically thicker towards the centre within individual galaxies. Knowing the rotational velocities, we can derive the central black-hole masses more accurately; they are two to ten times smaller than has been estimated previously.

  5. PeV neutrinos from intergalactic interactions of cosmic rays emitted by active galactic nuclei.

    PubMed

    Kalashev, Oleg E; Kusenko, Alexander; Essey, Warren

    2013-07-26

    The observed very high energy spectra of distant blazars are well described by secondary gamma rays produced in line-of-sight interactions of cosmic rays with background photons. In the absence of the cosmic-ray contribution, one would not expect to observe very hard spectra from distant sources, but the cosmic ray interactions generate very high energy gamma rays relatively close to the observer, and they are not attenuated significantly. The same interactions of cosmic rays are expected to produce a flux of neutrinos with energies peaked around 1 PeV. We show that the diffuse isotropic neutrino background from many distant sources can be consistent with the neutrino events recently detected by the IceCube experiment. We also find that the flux from any individual nearby source is insufficient to account for these events. The narrow spectrum around 1 PeV implies that some active galactic nuclei can accelerate protons to EeV energies. PMID:23931348

  6. Correlation of the highest-energy cosmic rays with the positions of nearby active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Collaboration, The Pierre auger

    2007-12-01

    Data collected by the Pierre Auger Observatory provide evidence for anisotropy in the arrival directions of the cosmic rays with the highest energies, which are correlated with the positions of relatively nearby active galactic nuclei (AGN) [1]. The correlation has maximum significance for cosmic rays with energy greater than {approx} 6 x 10{sup 19} eV and AGN at a distance less than {approx} 75 Mpc. We have confirmed the anisotropy at a confidence level of more than 99% through a test with parameters specified a priori, using an independent data set. The observed correlation is compatible with the hypothesis that cosmic rays with the highest energies originate from extra-galactic sources close enough so that their flux is not significantly attenuated by interaction with the cosmic background radiation (the Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin effect). The angular scale of the correlation observed is a few degrees, which suggests a predominantly light composition unless the magnetic fields are very weak outside the thin disk of our galaxy. Our present data do not identify AGN as the sources of cosmic rays unambiguously, and other candidate sources which are distributed as nearby AGN are not ruled out. We discuss the prospect of unequivocal identification of individual sources of the highest-energy cosmic rays within a few years of continued operation of the Pierre Auger Observatory.

  7. Accretion disk winds in active galactic nuclei: X-ray observations, models, and feedback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tombesi, F.

    2016-05-01

    Powerful winds driven by active galactic nuclei (AGN) are often invoked to play a fundamental role in the evolution of both supermassive black holes (SMBHs) and their host galaxies, quenching star formation and explaining the tight SMBH-galaxy relations. A strong support of this ``quasar mode'' feedback came from the recent X-ray observation of a mildly relativistic accretion disk wind in a ultraluminous infrared galaxy (ULIRG) and its connection with a large-scale molecular outflow, providing a direct link between the SMBH and the gas out of which stars form. Spectroscopic observations, especially in the X-ray band, show that such accretion disk winds may be common in local AGN and quasars. However, their origin and characteristics are still not fully understood. Detailed theoretical models and simulations focused on radiation, magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) or a combination of these two processes to investigate the possible acceleration mechanisms and the dynamics of these winds. Some of these models have been directly compared to X-ray spectra, providing important insights into the wind physics. However, fundamental improvements on these studies will come only from the unprecedented energy resolution and sensitivity of the upcoming X-ray observatories, namely ASTRO-H (launch date early 2016) and Athena (2028).

  8. [Postsynaptic reactions of cerebral cortex neurons, activated by nociceptive afferents during stimulation of the Raphe nuclei].

    PubMed

    Labakhua, T Sh; Dzhanashiia, T K; Gedevanishvili, G I; Dzhokhadze, L D; Tkemaladze, T T; Abzianidze, I V

    2012-01-01

    On cats, we studied the influence of stimulation of the Raphe nuclei (RN) on postsynaptic processes evoked in neurons of the somatosensory cortex by stimulation of nociceptive (intensive stimulation of the tooth pulp) and non-nociceptive (moderate stimulation of the ventroposteromedial--VPN--nucleus of the thalamus) afferent inputs. 6 cells, selectively excited by stimulation of nocciceptors and 9 cells, activated by both the above nociceptive and non-nociceptive influences (nociceptive and convergent neurons, respectively) were recorded intracellular. In neurons of both groups, responses to nociceptive stimulation (of sufficient intensity) looked like an EPSP-spike-IPSP (the letter of significant duration, up to 200-300 ms) compleх. Conditioning stimulation of the RN which preceded test stimulus applied to the tooth pulp or VPM nucleus by 100 to 800 ms, induced 40-60 % decrease of the IPSP amplitude only, while maхimal effect of influence, in both cases, was noted within intervals of 300-800 ms between conditioning and test stimulus. During stimulation of the RN, serotonin released via receptor and second messengers, provides postsynaptic modulation of GABAergic system, decreasing the IPSP amplitude which occurs after stimulation of both the tooth pulp and VPM thalamic nucleus. This process may be realized trough either pre- or postsynaptic mechanisms.

  9. NO EVIDENCE FOR A SYSTEMATIC Fe II EMISSION LINE REDSHIFT IN TYPE 1 ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Sulentic, Jack W.; Marziani, Paola; Zamfir, Sebastian; Meadows, Zachary A. E-mail: paola.marziani@oapd.inaf.it E-mail: Zachary.A.Meadows@uwsp.edu

    2012-06-10

    We test the recent claim by Hu et al. that Fe II emission in type 1 active galactic nuclei shows a systematic redshift relative to the local source rest frame and broad-line H{beta}. We compile high signal-to-noise median composites using Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectra from both the Hu et al. sample and our own sample of the 469 brightest DR5 spectra. Our composites are generated in bins of FWHM H{beta} and Fe II strength as defined in our 4D Eigenvector 1 formalism. We find no evidence for a systematic Fe II redshift and consistency with previous assumptions that Fe II shift and width (FWHM) follow H{beta} shift and FWHM in virtually all sources. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that Fe II emission (quasi-ubiquitous in type 1 sources) arises from a broad-line region with geometry and kinematics the same as that producing the Balmer lines.

  10. RADIAL VELOCITY OFFSETS DUE TO MASS OUTFLOWS AND EXTINCTION IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Crenshaw, D. M.; Schmitt, H. R.; Kraemer, S. B.; Mushotzky, R. F.

    2010-01-01

    We present a study of the radial velocity offsets between narrow emission lines and host galaxy lines (stellar absorption and H I 21 cm emission) in Seyfert galaxies with observed redshifts less than 0.043. We find that 35% of the Seyferts in the sample show [O III] emission lines with blueshifts with respect to their host galaxies exceeding 50 km s{sup -1}, whereas only 6% show redshifts this large, in qualitative agreement with most previous studies. We also find that a greater percentage of Seyfert 1 galaxies show blueshifts than Seyfert 2 galaxies. Using Hubble Spce Talescope/Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph spatially resolved spectra of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068 and the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4151, we generate geometric models of their narrow-line regions (NLRs) and inner galactic disks, and show how these models can explain the blueshifted [O III] emission lines in collapsed STIS spectra of these two Seyferts. We conclude that the combination of mass outflow of ionized gas in the NLR and extinction by dust in the inner disk (primarily in the form of dust spirals) is primarily responsible for the velocity offsets in Seyfert galaxies. More exotic explanations are not needed. We discuss the implications of this result for the velocity offsets found in higher redshift active galactic nuclei.

  11. Investigating the variability of active galactic nuclei using combined multi-quarter Kepler data

    SciTech Connect

    Revalski, Mitchell; Nowak, Dawid; Wiita, Paul J.; Wehrle, Ann E.; Unwin, Stephen C.

    2014-04-10

    We used photometry from the Kepler satellite to characterize the variability of four radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGNs) on timescales from years to minutes. The Kepler satellite produced nearly continuous high precision data sets which provided better temporal coverage than possible with ground based observations. We have now accumulated 11 quarters of data, eight of which were reported in our previous paper. In addition to constructing power spectral densities (PSDs) and characterizing the variability of the last three quarters, we have linked together the individual quarters using a multiplicative scaling process, providing data sets spanning ∼2.8 yr with >98% coverage at a 30 minute sampling rate. We compute PSDs on these connected data sets that yield power law slopes at low frequencies in the approximate range of –1.5 to –2.0, with white noise seen at higher frequencies. These PSDs are similar to those of both the individual quarters and to those of ground-based optical observations of other AGNs. We also have explored a PSD binning method intended to reduce a bias toward shallow slope fits by evenly distributing the points within the PSDs. This tends to steepen the computed PSD slopes, especially when the low frequencies are relatively poorly fit. We detected flares lasting several days in which the brightness increased by ∼15%-20% in one object, as well a smaller flare in another. Two AGNs showed only small, ∼1%-2%, fluctuations in brightness.

  12. Optimal strategies for observation of active galactic nuclei variability with Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giomi, Matteo; Gerard, Lucie; Maier, Gernot

    2016-07-01

    Variable emission is one of the defining characteristic of active galactic nuclei (AGN). While providing precious information on the nature and physics of the sources, variability is often challenging to observe with time- and field-of-view-limited astronomical observatories such as Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescopes (IACTs). In this work, we address two questions relevant for the observation of sources characterized by AGN-like variability: what is the most time-efficient way to detect such sources, and what is the observational bias that can be introduced by the choice of the observing strategy when conducting blind surveys of the sky. Different observing strategies are evaluated using simulated light curves and realistic instrument response functions of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), a future gamma-ray observatory. We show that strategies that makes use of very small observing windows, spread over large periods of time, allows for a faster detection of the source, and are less influenced by the variability properties of the sources, as compared to strategies that concentrate the observing time in a small number of large observing windows. Although derived using CTA as an example, our conclusions are conceptually valid for any IACTs facility, and in general, to all observatories with small field of view and limited duty cycle.

  13. Probing general relativistic effects during active galactic nuclei X-ray eclipses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Risaliti, G.; Nardini, E.; Elvis, M.; Brenneman, L.; Salvati, M.

    2011-10-01

    Long X-ray observations of bright active galactic nuclei (AGN) show that X-ray eclipses, with durations from a few hours to a few days, are rather common. This opens up a new window of opportunity in the search for signatures of relativistic effects in AGN: an obscuring cloud covers/uncovers different parts of the accretion disc at different times, allowing a direct check of the expected pattern of disc emission. In particular, the combination of gravitational redshift and relativistic Doppler boosting should imply strong differences between the receding and approaching parts of an inclined thin disc. At present, these effects may be already detectable with a 'lucky'XMM-Newton or Suzaku observation of a complete eclipse by a Compton-thick cloud (a rare, but not impossible-to-see event). In the future, higher sensitivity observatories will be able to perform these tests easily on tens of AGN. This will provide a powerful and direct way to test extreme gravity, and to probe the structure of AGN in the close vicinity of the central black holes.

  14. Tomography of Accretion Flows in Binary Stars and Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Livio, Mario

    2001-01-01

    Under this project, a variety of accretion problems have been studied, with two in particular. In the first, astrophysical jets are observed in many objects ranging from young stars to Active Galactic Nuclei. A major unsolved problem is how do these jets originate from accretion disks. In a series of works, I have examined the launching of outflows from magnetized disks, the extraction of energy from black holes, and the formation of jets in systems like Cataclysmic Variables and supermassive accreting black holes. The results of these works were published in a number of papers. In the second, I examined the potential role of vortices in accretion disks around Young Stellar Objects, for the formation of planets and for angular momentum transport. I showed that vortices are surprisingly stable, and that they are able to concentrate dust in their cores. I also examined the development of spiral shocks in disks. Finally, I studied the evolution of magnetically layered protoplanetary disks, and showed that they exhibit outbursts which could 'pump' the jets that are observed in Herbig-Haro objects. The results of these works were published in a number of papers as well. Additional information on the published papers is contained in the original abstract.

  15. DETECTING ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI USING MULTI-FILTER IMAGING DATA. II. INCORPORATING ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS

    SciTech Connect

    Dong, X. Y.; De Robertis, M. M.

    2013-10-01

    This is the second paper of the series Detecting Active Galactic Nuclei Using Multi-filter Imaging Data. In this paper we review shapelets, an image manipulation algorithm, which we employ to adjust the point-spread function (PSF) of galaxy images. This technique is used to ensure the image in each filter has the same and sharpest PSF, which is the preferred condition for detecting AGNs using multi-filter imaging data as we demonstrated in Paper I of this series. We apply shapelets on Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey Wide Survey ugriz images. Photometric parameters such as effective radii, integrated fluxes within certain radii, and color gradients are measured on the shapelets-reconstructed images. These parameters are used by artificial neural networks (ANNs) which yield: photometric redshift with an rms of 0.026 and a regression R-value of 0.92; galaxy morphological types with an uncertainty less than 2 T types for z ≤ 0.1; and identification of galaxies as AGNs with 70% confidence, star-forming/starburst (SF/SB) galaxies with 90% confidence, and passive galaxies with 70% confidence for z ≤ 0.1. The incorporation of ANNs provides a more reliable technique for identifying AGN or SF/SB candidates, which could be very useful for large-scale multi-filter optical surveys that also include a modest set of spectroscopic data sufficient to train neural networks.

  16. Magnetically elevated accretion disks in active galactic nuclei: broad emission line regions and associated star formation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Begelman, Mitchell C.; Silk, Joseph

    2016-10-01

    We propose that the accretion disks fueling active galactic nuclei are supported vertically against gravity by a strong toroidal (φ -direction) magnetic field that develops naturally as the result of an accretion disk dynamo. The magnetic pressure elevates most of the gas carrying the accretion flow at R to large heights z ˜ 0.1 R and low densities, while leaving a thin dense layer containing most of the mass - but contributing very little accretion - around the equator. We show that such a disk model leads naturally to the formation of a broad emission line region through thermal instability. Extrapolating to larger radii, we demonstrate that local gravitational instability and associated star formation are strongly suppressed compared to standard disk models for AGN, although star formation in the equatorial zone is predicted for sufficiently high mass supply rates. This new class of accretion disk models thus appears capable of resolving two longstanding puzzles in the theory of AGN fueling: the formation of broad emission line regions and the suppression of fragmentation thought to inhibit accretion at the required rates. We show that the disk of stars that formed in the Galactic Center a few million years ago could have resulted from an episode of magnetically elevated accretion at ˜0.1 of the Eddington limit.

  17. Analysis of nearly simultaneous X-ray and optical observations of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Webb, James Raymond

    Rosemary Hill optical and EINSTEIN X-ray observations of a sample of 36 active galactic nuclei (AGN) were reduced and analyzed. Seventy-two X-ray observations of these sources were reduced, nineteen of which yielded spectral information. Of these spectral observations, significant hydrogen column densities above the galactic value were required for nine of the eleven sources which were observed more than once by EINSTEIN. Correlations between the X-ray and optical luminosities were investigated using the Jefferys method of least squares. This method allows for errors in both variables. The results indicate a strong correlation between the X-ray and optical luminosities for the entire sample. Division of the sample into groups with similar optical variability characteristics show that the less violently violent variable AGN are more highly correlated than the violently variable blazars. Infrared and radio observations were combined with the X-ray and optical observations of six AGN. These sources were modelled in terms of the synchrotron-self-Compton model. The turnover frequency falls between the infrared and radio data and reliable estimates of this parameter are difficult to estimate. Therefore the results were found as a function of the turnover frequency. Four sources required relativistic bulk motion or beaming. Multifrequency spectra made at different times for one individual source, 0235+164, required different amounts of beaming to satisfy the X-ray observations. Sizes of the emitting regions for the sources modelled ranged from 0.5 parsec to 1.0 parsec.

  18. Long Term Optical and Infrared Reverberation Mapping of High and Low Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorjian, Varoujan; Barth, Aaron; Brandt, Niel; Dawson, Kyle; Green, Paul; Ho, Luis; Horne, Keith; Jiang, Linhua; Joner, Mike; Kenney, John; McGreer, Ian; Nordgren, Tyler; Schneider, Donald; Shen, Yue; Tao, Charling

    2016-08-01

    Previous Spitzer reverberation monitoring projects looking for UV/optical light absorbed and re-emitted in the IR by dust have been limited to very low luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGN) that could potentially show reverberation within a single cycle (~1 year). Cycle 11-12's two year baseline allowed for the reverberation mapping of 17 high luminosity quasars from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping project. By combining ground based monitoring from Pan-STARRS, CFHT, and Steward Observatory telescopes with Spitzer data we have for the first time detected dust reverberation in quasars. We propose to continue this project to capitalize on the continuing optical motnoring from the ground and to increase the confidence in the detected lags. Additionally, the Call for Proposals asks for up to 1000 hours of observations in the Spitzer CVZ to accommodate battery charging needs. We propose to add to our quasar sample five lower luminosity Seyfert galaxies from the Pan-STARRS ground based optical survey that are in the Spitzer CVZ, which will increase the luminosity range of AGN we are studying and, combined with additional ground based observatories, provide for a continuous monitoring campaign lasting 2 years and thus provide the most detailed study of dust around AGN to date.

  19. THE CLUSTERING OF GALAXIES AROUND RADIO-LOUD ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Worpel, Hauke; Brown, Michael J. I.; Jones, D. Heath; Floyd, David J. E.; Beutler, Florian

    2013-07-20

    We examine the hypothesis that mergers and close encounters between galaxies can fuel active galactic nuclei (AGNs) by increasing the rate at which gas accretes toward the central black hole. We compare the clustering of galaxies around radio-loud AGNs with the clustering around a population of radio-quiet galaxies with similar masses, colors, and luminosities. Our catalog contains 2178 elliptical radio galaxies with flux densities greater than 2.8 mJy at 1.4 GHz from the Six Degree Field Galaxy Survey. We find tentative evidence that radio AGNs with more than 200 times the median radio power have, on average, more close (r < 160 kpc) companions than their radio-quiet counterparts, suggesting that mergers play a role in forming the most powerful radio galaxies. For ellipticals of fixed stellar mass, the radio power is neither a function of large-scale environment nor halo mass, consistent with the radio powers of ellipticals varying by orders of magnitude over billions of years.

  20. X-ray spectra and time variability of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mushotzky, R. F.

    1984-01-01

    The X-ray spectra of broad line active galactic nuclei (AGN) of all types (Seyfert I's, NELG's, broadline radio galaxies) are well fit by a power law in the .5 to 100 keV band of man energy slope alpha = .68 + or - .15. There is, as yet, no strong evidence for time variability of this slope in a given object. The constraints that this places on simple models of the central energy source are discussed. BL Lac objects have quite different X-ray spectral properties and show pronounced X-ray spectral variability. On time scales longer than 12 hours most radio quiet AGN do not show strong, delta I/I .5, variability. The probability of variability of these AGN seems to be inversely related to their luminosity. However characteristics timescales for variability have not been measured for many objects. This general lack of variability may imply that most AGN are well below the Eddington limit. Radio bright AGN tend to be more variable than radio quiet AGN on long, tau approx 6 month, timescales.

  1. Radiation pressure confinement - II. Application to the broad-line region in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baskin, Alexei; Laor, Ari; Stern, Jonathan

    2014-02-01

    Active galactic nuclei (AGN) are characterized by similar broad emission lines properties at all luminosities (1039 - 1047 erg s-1). What produces this similarity over a vast range of 108 in luminosity? Photoionization is inevitably associated with momentum transfer to the photoionized gas. Yet, most of the photoionized gas in the broad-line region (BLR) follows Keplerian orbits, which suggests that the BLR originates from gas with a large enough column for gravity to dominate. The photoionized surface layer of the gas must develop a pressure gradient due to the incident radiation force. We present solutions for the structure of such a hydrostatic photoionized gas layer in the BLR. The gas is stratified, with a low-density highly ionized surface layer, a density rise inwards and a uniform-density cooler inner region, where the gas pressure reaches the incident radiation pressure. This radiation pressure confinement (RPC) of the photoionized layer leads to a universal ionization parameter U ˜ 0.1 in the inner photoionized layer, independent of luminosity and distance. Thus, RPC appears to explain the universality of the BLR properties in AGN. We present predictions for the BLR emission per unit covering factor, as a function of distance from the ionizing source, for a range of ionizing continuum slopes and gas metallicity. The predicted mean strength of most lines (excluding H β), and their different average-emission radii, are consistent with available observations.

  2. Highlights of recent results from the VERITAS Active Galactic Nuclei Observing Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abeysekara, Udara; VERITAS Collaboration

    2016-03-01

    Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are the dominant class of the Very High Energy (VHE) gamma-ray sources. The VERITAS Observatory dedicates about 430 hr/year of dark time and 200 hr/year of observations under moonlight, on the AGN observing program. VERITAS is located at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, and is sensitive to gamma rays with energies between of 85 GeV and 30 TeV. VERITAS became fully operational in 2007, and has since then detected 34 very high energy (VHE) AGN. The majority of the detected galaxies are blazars, in addition to a few radio galaxies. The VHE emission mechanism, and the location of the VHE emission zone of AGN are still poorly understood. Detailed observations of VHE AGN are necessary for understanding these uncertainties. AGN are plausible source candidates for ultra-high-energy cosmic rays and astrophysical neutrinos. VHE gamma-rays from AGN can also be used as probes to place limits on extragalactic background light density. This presentation will report the most recent results from the VERITAS AGN program including newly discovered AGN, and VHE flares of known TeV AGN. Udara Abeysekara for the VERITAS Collaboration.

  3. New mechanism of radiation polarization in type 1 Seyfert active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silant'ev, N. A.; Gnedin, Yu. N.; Piotrovich, M. Yu.; Natsvlishvili, T. M.; Buliga, S. D.

    2016-10-01

    In most type 1 Seyfert active galactic nuclei (AGNs), the optical linear continuum polarization degree is usually small (less than 1 per cent) and the polarization position angle is nearly parallel to the AGN radio axis. However, there are many type 1 AGNs with unexplained intermediate values for both positional angles and polarization degrees. Our explanation of polarization degree and positional angle of type 1 Seyfert AGNs focuses on the reflection of non-polarized radiation from sub-parsec jets in optically thick accretion discs. The presence of a magnetic field surrounding the scattering media will induce Faraday rotation of the polarization plane, which may explain the intermediate values of positional angles if there is a magnetic field component normal to the accretion disc. The Faraday rotation depolarization effect in the disc diminishes the competition between polarization of the reflected radiation with the parallel component of polarization and the perpendicular polarization from internal radiation of the disc (the Milne problem) in favour of polarization of the reflected radiation. This effect allows us to explain the observed polarization of type 1 Seyfert AGN radiation even though the jet optical luminosity is much lower than the luminosity of the disc. We present the calculation of polarization degrees for a number of type 1 Seyfert AGNs.

  4. A note on periodicity of long-term variations of optical continuum in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Kai-Xing; Li, Yan-Rong; Bi, Shao-Lan; Wang, Jian-Min

    2016-06-01

    Graham et al. found a sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) and quasars from the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS) that have long-term periodic variations in optical continuum. The nature of the periodicity remains uncertain. We investigate the periodic variability characteristics of the sample by testing the relations of the observed variability periods with AGN optical luminosity, black hole mass and accretion rates, and find no significant correlations. We also test the observed periods in several different aspects related to accretion discs surrounding single black holes, such as the Keplerian rotational periods of 5100 Å photon-emission regions and self-gravity dominated regions and the precessing period of warped discs. These tests shed new lights on understanding AGN variability in general. Under the assumption that the periodic behaviour is associated with supermassive black hole binary systems in particular, we compare the separations (r {D}_{bullet }) against characteristic radii of broad-line regions (R_riptscriptstyle BLR) of the binaries and find r {D}_{bullet }≈ 0.05R_riptscriptstyle BLR. This interestingly implies that these binaries have only circumbinary BLRs.

  5. A SCALING RELATION BETWEEN MEGAMASER DISK RADIUS AND BLACK HOLE MASS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Wardle, Mark; Yusef-Zadeh, Farhad E-mail: zadeh@northwestern.edu

    2012-05-10

    Several thin, Keplerian, sub-parsec megamaser disks have been discovered in the nuclei of active galaxies and used to precisely determine the mass of their host black holes. We show that there is an empirical linear correlation between the disk radius and the black hole mass. We demonstrate that such disks are naturally formed by the partial capture of molecular clouds passing through the galactic nucleus and temporarily engulfing the central supermassive black hole. Imperfect cancellation of the angular momenta of the cloud material colliding after passing on opposite sides of the hole leads to the formation of a compact disk. The radial extent of the disk is determined by the efficiency of this process and the Bondi-Hoyle capture radius of the black hole, and naturally produces the empirical linear correlation of the radial extent of the maser distribution with black hole mass. The disk has sufficient column density to allow X-ray irradiation from the central source to generate physical and chemical conditions conducive to the formation of 22 GHz H{sub 2}O masers. For initial cloud column densities {approx}< 10{sup 23.5} cm{sup -2} the disk is non-self-gravitating, consistent with the ordered kinematics of the edge-on megamaser disks; for higher cloud columns the disk would fragment and produce a compact stellar disk similar to that observed around Sgr A* at the galactic center.

  6. ORIENTATION EFFECTS ON THE INNER REGION OF DUSTY TORUS OF ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Kawaguchi, Toshihiro; Mori, Masao

    2010-12-01

    A sublimation process governs the innermost region of the dusty torus of active galactic nuclei. However, the observed inner radius of the torus is systematically smaller than the expected radius by a factor of {approx}1/3. We show that the anisotropy of the emission from accretion disks resolves this conflict naturally and quantitatively. An accretion disk emits lesser radiation in the direction closer to its equatorial plane (i.e., to the torus). We find that the anisotropy makes the torus inner region closer to the central black hole and concave. Moreover, the innermost edge of the torus may connect with the outermost edge of the disk continuously. Considering the anisotropic emission of each clump in the torus, we calculate the near-infrared flux variation in response to a UV flash. For an observer at the polar angle {theta}{sub obs} = 25{sup 0}, the centroid of the time delay is found to be 37% of the delay expected in the case of isotropic illumination, which explains the observed systematic deviation.

  7. A SEARCH FOR FAST X-RAY VARIABILITY FROM ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI USING SWIFT

    SciTech Connect

    Pryal, Matthew; Falcone, Abe; Stroh, Michael

    2015-03-20

    Blazars are a class of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) known for their very rapid variabilty in the high energy regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Despite this known fast variability, X-ray observations have generally not revealed variability in blazars with rate doubling or halving timescales less than approximately 15 minutes. Since its launch, the Swift X-ray Telescope has obtained 0.2–10 keV X-ray data on 143 AGNs, including blazars, through intense target of opportunity observations that can be analyzed in a multiwavelength context and used to model jet parameters, particularly during flare states. We have analyzed this broad Swift data set in a search for short timescale variability in blazars that could limit the size of the emission region in the blazar jet. While we do find several low-significance possible flares with potential indications of rapid variability, we find no strong evidence for rapid (<15 minutes) doubling or halving times in flares in the soft X-ray energy band for the AGNs analyzed.

  8. Radiation-driven Outflows from and Radiative Support in Dusty Tori of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, Chi-Ho; Krolik, Julian H.

    2016-07-01

    Substantial evidence points to dusty, geometrically thick tori obscuring the central engines of active galactic nuclei (AGNs), but so far no mechanism satisfactorily explains why cool dust in the torus remains in a puffy geometry. Near-Eddington infrared (IR) and ultraviolet (UV) luminosities coupled with high dust opacities at these frequencies suggest that radiation pressure on dust can play a significant role in shaping the torus. To explore the possible effects of radiation pressure, we perform three-dimensional radiative hydrodynamics simulations of an initially smooth torus. Our code solves the hydrodynamics equations, the time-dependent multi–angle group IR radiative transfer (RT) equation, and the time-independent UV RT equation. We find a highly dynamic situation. IR radiation is anisotropic, leaving primarily through the central hole. The torus inner surface exhibits a break in axisymmetry under the influence of radiation and differential rotation; clumping follows. In addition, UV radiation pressure on dust launches a strong wind along the inner surface; when scaled to realistic AGN parameters, this outflow travels at ˜ 5000 {(M/{10}7{M}ȯ )}1/4 {[{L}{UV}/(0.1{L}{{E}})]}1/4 {km} {{{s}}}-1 and carries ˜ 0.1 {(M/{10}7{M}ȯ )}3/4 {[{L}{UV}/(0.1{L}{{E}})]}3/4 M ⊙ yr‑1, where M, {L}{UV}, and {L}{{E}} are the mass, UV luminosity, and Eddington luminosity of the central object respectively.

  9. The effect of active galactic nuclei feedback on the halo mass function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cui, Weiguang; Borgani, Stefano; Murante, Giuseppe

    2014-06-01

    We investigate baryon effects on the halo mass function (HMF), with emphasis on the role played by active galactic nuclei (AGN) feedback. Haloes are identified with both friends-of-friends (FoF) and spherical overdensity (SO) algorithms. We embed the standard SO algorithm into a memory-controlled frame program and present the Python spherIcAl Overdensity code - PIAO (Chinese character: ). For both FoF and SO haloes, the effect of AGN feedback is that of suppressing the HMFs to a level even below that of dark matter (DM) simulations. The ratio between the HMFs in the AGN and in the DM simulations is ˜0.8 at overdensity Δc = 500, a difference that increases at higher overdensity Δc = 2500, with no significant redshift and mass dependence. A decrease of the halo masses ratio with respect to the DM case induces the decrease of the HMF in the AGN simulation. The shallower inner density profiles of haloes in the AGN simulation witnesses that mass reduction is induced by the sudden displacement of gas induced by thermal AGN feedback. We provide fitting functions to describe halo mass variations at different overdensities, which can recover the HMFs with a residual random scatter ≲5 per cent for halo masses larger than 1013 h-1 M⊙.

  10. The Invariant Twist of Magnetic Fields in the Relativistic Jets of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Contopoulos, Ioannis; Christodoulou, Dimitris M.; Kazanas, Demosthenes; Gabuzda, Denise C.

    2009-01-01

    The origin of cosmic magnetic (B) fields remains an open question. It is generally believed that very weak primordial B fields are amplified by dynamo processes, but it appears unlikely that the amplification proceeds fast enough to account for the fields presently observed in galaxies and galaxy clusters. In an alternative scenario, cosmic B fields are generated near the inner edges of accretion disks in Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) by azimuthal electric currents due to the difference between the plasma electron and ion velocities that arises when the electrons are retarded by interactions with photons. While dynamo processes show no preference for the polarity of the (presumably random) seed field that they amplify, this alternative mechanism uniquely relates the polarity of the poloidal B field to the angular velocity of the accretion disk, resulting in a unique direction for the toroidal B field induced by disk rotation. Observations of the toroidal fields of 29 AGN jets revealed by parsec-scale Faraday rotation measurements show a clear asymmetry that is consistent with this model, with the probability that this asymmetry came about by chance being less than 1 %. This lends support to the hypothesis that the Universe is seeded by B fields that are generated in AGN via this mechanism

  11. RESOLVING DOPPLER-FACTOR CRISIS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI: NON-STEADY MAGNETIZED OUTFLOWS

    SciTech Connect

    Lyutikov, Maxim; Lister, Matthew

    2010-10-10

    Magnetically driven non-stationary acceleration of jets in active galactic nuclei results in the leading parts of the flow being accelerated to much higher Lorentz factors than in the case of steady-state acceleration with the same parameters. The higher Doppler-boosted parts of the flow may dominate the high-energy emission of blazar jets. We suggest that highly variable GeV and TeV emission in blazars is produced by the faster moving leading edges of highly magnetized non-stationary ejection blobs, while the radio data trace the slower-moving bulk flow. Thus, the radio and gamma-ray emission regions have different, but correlated, Doppler factors. High-energy emission is generated, typically within the optically thick core, in the outer parts of the broad-line emission region, avoiding the radiative drag on the faster parts of the flow. The radio emission should correlate with the gamma-ray emission, delayed with frequency-dependent time lag of the order of weeks to months. Model predictions compare favorably with the latest Fermi {gamma}-ray and MOJAVE radio very long baseline interferometry results.

  12. Submillimeter recombination lines in dust-obscured starbursts and active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Scoville, N.; Murchikova, L.

    2013-12-10

    We examine the use of submillimeter (submm) recombination lines of H, He, and He{sup +} to probe the extreme ultraviolet (EUV) luminosity of starbursts (SBs) and active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We find that the submm recombination lines of H, He, and He{sup +} are in fact extremely reliable and quantitative probes of the EUV continuum at 13.6 eV to above 54.6 eV. At submm wavelengths, the recombination lines originate from low energy levels (n = 20-50). The maser amplification, which poses significant problems for quantitative interpretation of the higher n, radio frequency recombination lines, is insignificant. Lastly, at submm wavelengths, the dust extinction is minimal. The submm line luminosities are therefore directly proportional to the emission measures (EM{sub ION} = n{sub e} × n {sub ion} × volume) of their ionized regions. We also find that the expected line fluxes are detectable with ALMA and can be imaged at ∼0.''1 resolution in low redshift ultraluminous infrared galaxies. Imaging of the H I lines will provide accurate spatial and kinematic mapping of the star formation distribution in low-z IR-luminous galaxies, and the relative fluxes of the H I and He II recombination lines will strongly constrain the relative contributions of SBs and AGNs to the luminosity. The H I lines should also provide an avenue to constraining the submm dust extinction curve.

  13. DUST IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI: ANOMALOUS SILICATE TO OPTICAL EXTINCTION RATIOS?

    SciTech Connect

    Lyu, Jianwei; Hao, Lei; Li, Aigen

    2014-09-01

    Dust plays a central role in the unification theory of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). However, little is known about the nature (e.g., size, composition) of the dust that forms a torus around the AGN. In this Letter, we report a systematic exploration of the optical extinction (A{sub V} ) and the silicate absorption optical depth (Δτ{sub 9.7}) of 110 type 2 AGNs. We derive A{sub V} from the Balmer decrement based on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data, and Δτ{sub 9.7} from the Spitzer/InfraRed Spectrograph data. We find that with a mean ratio of (A{sub V} /Δτ{sub 9.7}) ≲ 5.5, the optical-to-silicate extinction ratios of these AGNs are substantially lower than that of the Galactic diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) for which A{sub V} /Δτ{sub 9.7} ≈ 18.5. We argue that the anomalously low A{sub V} /Δτ{sub 9.7} ratio could be due to the predominance of larger grains in the AGN torus compared to that in the Galactic diffuse ISM.

  14. The location of the dust causing internal reddening of active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heard, Clio Z. P.; Gaskell, C. Martin

    2016-10-01

    We use the Balmer decrements of the broad-line regions (BLRs) and narrow-line regions (NLRs) of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) as reddening indicators to investigate the location of the dust for four samples of AGNs with reliable estimates of the NLR contribution to the Balmer lines. Intercomparison of the NLR and BLR Balmer decrements indicates that the reddening of the NLR sets a lower limit to the reddening of the BLR. Almost no objects have high NLR reddening but low BLR reddening. The reddening of the BLR is often substantially greater than the reddening of the NLR. The BLR reddening is correlated with the equivalent widths of [O III] lines and the intensity of the [O III] lines relative to broad Hβ. We find these relationships to be consistent with the predictions of a simple model where the additional dust reddening the BLR is interior to the NLR. We thus conclude that the dust causing the additional reddening of the accretion disc and BLR is mostly located at a smaller radius than the NLR.

  15. Study of torus structure of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei with Suzaku

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawamuro, T.

    2015-09-01

    We investigate the nature of the torus structure of eight low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs; NGC 1566, NGC 2655, NGC 3718, NGC 3998, NGC 4138, NGC 4941, NGC 5273 and NGC 5643) based on the broad band X-ray spectra (0.5-200 keV) obtained with Suzaku and Swift/BAT. Their X-ray luminosities are smaller than 1e 42 erg/s, while the Eddington ratios span a range from 1e-4 to 1e-2. No significant iron- Kalpha line is detected in the spectra of two LLAGNs with the lowest Eddington ratios (<3e-4) in our sample (NGC 3718 and NGC 3998), suggesting that their tori are little developed. The others show the iron-Kalpha equivalent widths larger than 100 eV. For these six LLAGNs, we utilize the Monte-Carlo based simulation code by Ikeda 09 to constrain the torus parameters by assuming a nearly spherical geometry. The torus solid- angles in three sources (NGC 2655, NGC 4138, and NGC 4941) are constrained to be Omega/2pi > 0.34, and the rest are found to have torus column-densities of logNrmH > 22.7. These results suggest that there are two types of LLAGNs, (1) those where the torus is very small and little mass accretion takes place, and (2) those where the torus is moderately developed and a sufficient amount of gas is supplied to the black hole.

  16. Hard-X-ray spectra of active galactic nuclei in the INTEGRAL complete sample

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molina, M.; Bassani, L.; Malizia, A.; Stephen, J. B.; Bird, A. J.; Bazzano, A.; Ubertini, P.

    2013-08-01

    In this paper, we present the hard-X-ray spectral analysis of a complete sample of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) detected by INTEGRAL/IBIS. In conjunction with IBIS spectra, we make use of Swift/BAT data, with the aim of cross-calibrating the two instruments, studying source variability and constraining some important spectral parameters. We find that flux variability is present in at least 14 per cent of the sample, while spectral variability is found only in one object. There is general good agreement between BAT and IBIS spectra, despite a systematic mismatch of about 22 per cent in normalization. When fitted with a simple power-law model, type 1 and type 2 sources appear to have very similar average photon indices, suggesting that they are powered by the same mechanism. As expected, we also find that a simple power law does not always describe the data sufficiently well, thus indicating a certain degree of spectral complexity, which can be ascribed to features like a high energy cut-off and/or a reflection component. Fixing the reflection to be 0, 1 or 2, we find that our sample covers quite a large range in photon indices as well as cut-off energies; however, the spread is due only to a small number of objects, while the majority of the AGNs lie within well-defined boundaries of photon index (1 ≤ Γ ≤ 2) and cut-off energy (30 ≤ Ecut ≤ 300 keV).

  17. Photon-axion mixing within the jets of active galactic nuclei and prospects for detection

    SciTech Connect

    Harris, J.; Chadwick, P.M. E-mail: p.m.chadwick@durham.ac.uk

    2014-10-01

    Very high energy γ-ray observations of distant active galactic nuclei (AGN) generally result in higher fluxes and harder spectra than expected, resulting in some tension with the level of the extragalactic background light (EBL). If hypothetical axions or axion-like particles (ALPs) were to exist, this tension could be relieved since the oscillation of photons to ALPs would mitigate the effects of EBL absorption and lead to softer inferred intrinsic AGN spectra. In this paper we consider the effect of photon-ALP mixing on observed spectra, including the photon-ALP mixing that would occur within AGN jets. We then simulate observations of three AGN with the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), a next generation γ-ray telescope, to determine its prospects for detecting the signatures of photon-ALP mixing on the spectra. We conclude that prospects for CTA detecting these signatures or else setting limits on the ALP parameter space are quite promising. We find that prospects are improved if photon-ALP mixing within the jet is properly considered and that the best target for observations is PKS 2155-304.

  18. RMS Spectral Modelling - a powerful tool to probe the origin of variability in Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallick, Labani; Dewangan, Gulab chand; Misra, Ranjeev

    2016-07-01

    The broadband energy spectra of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are very complex in nature with the contribution from many ingredients: accretion disk, corona, jets, broad-line region (BLR), narrow-line region (NLR) and Compton-thick absorbing cloud or TORUS. The complexity of the broadband AGN spectra gives rise to mean spectral model degeneracy, e.g, there are competing models for the broad feature near 5-7 keV in terms of blurred reflection and complex absorption. In order to overcome the energy spectral model degeneracy, the most reliable approach is to study the RMS variability spectrum which connects the energy spectrum with temporal variability. The origin of variability could be pivoting of the primary continuum, reflection and/or absorption. The study of RMS (Root Mean Square) spectra would help us to connect the energy spectra with the variability. In this work, we study the energy dependent variability of AGN by developing theoretical RMS spectral model in ISIS (Interactive Spectral Interpretation System) for different input energy spectra. In this talk, I would like to present results of RMS spectral modelling for few radio-loud and radio-quiet AGN observed by XMM-Newton, Suzaku, NuSTAR and ASTROSAT and will probe the dichotomy between these two classes of AGN.

  19. Gamma-ray blazars and active galactic nuclei seen by the Fermi-LAT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lott, B.; Cavazzuti, E.; Ciprini, S.; Cutini, S.; Gasparrini, D.

    2015-03-01

    The third catalog of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) detected by the Fermi-LAT (3LAC) is presented. It is based on the third Fermi-LAT catalog (3FGL) of sources detected with a test statistic (TS) greater than 25 using the first 4 years of data. The 3LAC includes 1591 AGNs located at high Galactic latitudes, |b| > 10 (with 28 duplicate associations, thus corresponding to 1563 gamma-ray sources among 2192 sources in the 3FGL catalog), a 71% increase over the second catalog based on 2 years of data. A very large majority of these AGNs (98%) are blazars. About half of the newly detected blazars are of unknown type, i.e., they lack spectroscopic information of sufficient quality to determine the strength of their emission lines. The general properties of the 3LAC sample confirm previous findings from earlier catalogs, but some new subclasses (e.g., intermediate- and high-synchrotron-peaked FSRQs) have now been significantly detected.

  20. HOT-DUST-POOR TYPE 1 ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN THE COSMOS SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Hao Heng; Elvis, Martin; Civano, Francesca; Lanzuisi, Giorgio; Brusa, Marcella; Bongiorno, Angela; Lusso, Elisabeta; Zamorani, Gianni; Comastri, Andrea; Impey, Chris D.; Trump, Jonathan R.; Koekemoer, Anton M.; Le Floc'h, Emeric; Sanders, David; Salvato, Mara; Vignali, Cristian E-mail: elvis@cfa.harvard.ed

    2010-11-20

    We report a sizable class of type 1 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with unusually weak near-infrared (1-3 {mu}m) emission in the XMM-COSMOS type 1 AGN sample. The fraction of these 'hot-dust-poor' AGNs increases with redshift from 6% at low redshift (z < 2) to 20% at moderate high redshift (2 < z < 3.5). There is no clear trend of the fraction with other parameters: bolometric luminosity, Eddington ratio, black hole mass, and X-ray luminosity. The 3 {mu}m emission relative to the 1 {mu}m emission is a factor of 2-4 smaller than the typical Elvis et al. AGN spectral energy distribution (SED), which indicates a 'torus' covering factor of 2%-29%, a factor of 3-40 smaller than required by unified models. The weak hot dust emission seems to expose an extension of the accretion disk continuum in some of the source SEDs. We estimate the outer edge of their accretion disks to lie at (0.3-2.0) x 10{sup 4} Schwarzschild radii, {approx}10-23 times the gravitational stability radii. Formation scenarios for these sources are discussed.

  1. Long-term variability of active galactic nuclei from the "Planck" catalog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Volvach, A. E.; Kardashev, N. S.; Larionov, M. G.; Volvach, L. N.

    2016-07-01

    A complete sample of 104 bright active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from the "Planck" catalog (early results) were observed at 36.8 GHz with the 22-m radio telescope of the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory (CrAO).Variability indices of the sources at this frequency were determined based on data from theWMAP space observatory, theMetsa¨ hovi RadioObservatory (Finland), and the CrimeanAstrophysical Observatory. New observational results confirm that the variability of these AGNs is stronger in the millimeter than at other radio wavelengths. The variability indices probably change as a result of the systematic decrease in the AGN flux densities in the transition to the infrared. Some radio sources demonstrate significant flux-density variations, including decreases, which sometimes cause them to fall out of the analysed sample. The change of the variability index in the millimeter is consistent with the suggestion that this variability is due to intrinsic processes in binary supermassive black holes at an evolutionary stage close to coalescence. All 104 of the sources studied are well known objects that are included in various radio catalogs and have flux densities exceeding 1 Jy at 36.8 GHz.

  2. Relativistic hadrons and the origin of relativistic outflows in active galactic nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Contopoulos, John; Kazanas, D.

    1995-01-01

    We examine the hydrodynamic origin of relativistic outflows in active galactic nuclei (AGN). Specifically, we propose that the presence of a population of relativistic hadrons in the AGN 'central engine' and the associated neutron production suffices to produce outflows which under rather general conditions could be relativistic. The main such condition is that the size of the neutron production region be larger than the neutron flight path tau(sub n) approximately 3 x 10(exp 13) cm. This condition guarantees that the mean energy per particle in the proton fluid, resulting from the decay of the neutrons outside their production region, be greater than the proton rest mass. The expansion of this fluid can then lead naturally to a relativistic outflow by conversion of its internal energy to directed motion. We follow the development of such flows by solving the mass, energy as well as the kinetic equation for the proton gas in steady state, taking into account the source terms due to compute accurately the adiabatic index of the expanding gas, and in conjunction with Bernoulli's equation the detailed evolution of the bulk Lorentz factor. We further examine the role of large-scale magnetic fields in confining these outflows to produce the jets observed at larger scales.

  3. AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO MEASURING REVERBERATION LAGS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Zu Ying; Kochanek, C. S.; Peterson, Bradley M.

    2011-07-10

    Motivated by recent progress in the statistical modeling of quasar variability, we develop a new approach to measuring emission-line reverberation lags to estimate the size of broad-line regions (BLRs) in active galactic nuclei. Assuming that all emission-line light curves are scaled, smoothed, and displaced versions of the continuum, this alternative approach fits the light curves directly using a damped random walk model and aligns them to recover the time lag and its statistical confidence limits. We introduce the mathematical formalism of this approach and demonstrate its ability to cope with some of the problems for traditional methods, such as irregular sampling, correlated errors, and seasonal gaps. We redetermine the lags for 87 emission lines in 31 quasars and reassess the BLR size-luminosity relationship using 60 H{beta} lags. We confirm the general results from the traditional cross-correlation methods, with a few exceptions. Our method, however, also supports a broad range of extensions. In particular, it can simultaneously fit multiple lines and continuum light curves which improves the lag estimate for the lines and provides estimates of the error correlations between them. Determining these correlations is of particular importance for interpreting emission-line velocity-delay maps. We can also include parameters for luminosity-dependent lags or line responses. We use this to detect the scaling of the BLR size with continuum luminosity in NGC 5548.

  4. The Intrinsic Eddington Ratio Distribution of Active Galactic Nuclei in Young Galaxies from SDSS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Mackenzie L.; Hickox, Ryan C.; Black, Christine; Hainline, Kevin Nicholas; DiPompeo, Michael A.

    2016-04-01

    An important question in extragalactic astronomy concerns the distribution of black hole accretion rates, i.e. the Eddington ratio distribution, of active galactic nuclei (AGN). Specifically, it is matter of debate whether AGN follow a broad distribution in accretion rates, or if the distribution is more strongly peaked at characteristic Eddington ratios. Using a sample of galaxies from SDSS DR7, we test whether an intrinsic Eddington ratio distribution that takes the form of a broad Schechter function is in fact consistent with previous work that suggests instead that young galaxies in optical surveys have a more strongly peaked lognormal Eddington ratio distribution. Furthermore, we present an improved method for extracting the AGN distribution using BPT diagnostics that allows us to probe over one order of magnitude lower in Eddington ratio, counteracting the effects of dilution by star formation. We conclude that the intrinsic Eddington ratio distribution of optically selected AGN is consistent with a power law with an exponential cutoff, as is observed in the X-rays. This work was supported in part by a NASA Jenkins Fellowship.

  5. The effects of irradiation on cloud evolution in active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Proga, Daniel; Smith, Daniel; Jiang, Yan-Fei; Stone, James M.; Davis, Shane W.

    2014-01-01

    We report on the first phase of a study of cloud irradiation. We study irradiation by means of numerical, two-dimensional, time-dependent radiation hydrodynamic simulations of a strongly irradiated cloud. We adopt a very simple treatment of the opacity, neglect photoionization and gravity, and focus instead on assessing the role of the type and magnitude of the opacity on the cloud evolution. Our main result is that even relatively dense clouds that are radiatively heated (i.e., with significant absorption opacity) do not move as a whole; instead, they undergo very rapid and major evolution in shape, size, and physical properties. In particular, the cloud and its remnants become optically thin in less than 1 sound-crossing time and before they can travel a significant distance (a few initial-cloud radii). We also find that a cloud can be accelerated as a whole under quite extreme conditions, i.e., the opacity must be dominated by scattering. However, the acceleration due to the radiation force is relatively small, and unless the cloud is optically thin, it quickly undergoes changes in size and shape. We discuss implications for the modeling and interpretation of the broad-line regions of active galactic nuclei.

  6. The standard model and some new directions. [for scientific theory of Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Blandford, R. D.; Rees, M. J.

    1992-01-01

    A 'standard' model of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN), based upon a massive black hole surrounded by a thin accretion disk, is defined. It is argued that, although there is good evidence for the presence of black holes and orbiting gas, most of the details of this model are either inadequate or controversial. Magnetic field may be responsible for the confinement of continuum and line-emitting gas, for the dynamical evolution of accretion disks and for the formation of jets. It is further argued that gaseous fuel is supplied in molecular form and that this is responsible for thermal re-radiation, equatorial obscuration and, perhaps, the broad line gas clouds. Stars may also supply gas close to the black hole, especially in low power AGN and they may be observable in discrete orbits as probes of the gravitational field. Recent observations suggest that magnetic field, stars, dusty molecular gas and orientation effects must be essential components of a complete description of AGN. The discovery of quasars with redshifts approaching 5 is an important clue to the mechanism of galaxy formation.

  7. Linking the fate of massive black hole binaries to the active galactic nuclei luminosity function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dotti, M.; Merloni, A.; Montuori, C.

    2015-04-01

    Massive black hole binaries are naturally predicted in the context of the hierarchical model of structure formation. The binaries that manage to lose most of their angular momentum can coalesce to form a single remnant. In the last stages of this process, the holes undergo an extremely loud phase of gravitational wave emission, possibly detectable by current and future probes. The theoretical effort towards obtaining a coherent physical picture of the binary path down to coalescence is still underway. In this paper, for the first time, we take advantage of observational studies of active galactic nuclei evolution to constrain the efficiency of gas-driven binary decay. Under conservative assumptions we find that gas accretion towards the nuclear black holes can efficiently lead binaries of any mass forming at high redshift (≳2) to coalescence within the current time. The observed `downsizing' trend of the accreting black hole luminosity function further implies that the gas inflow is sufficient to drive light black holes down to coalescence, even if they bind in binaries at lower redshifts, down to z ≈ 0.5 for binaries of ˜107 M⊙, and z ≈ 0.2 for binaries of ˜106 M⊙. This has strong implications for the detection rates of coalescing black hole binaries of future space-based gravitational wave experiments.

  8. Comet of the Century

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaaf, Fred; Ottewell, G.

    The present century has been a disappointing one for comets, but past centuries often featured spectacular, unforgettable comet shows that dominated the night (and even daytime) sky for months: comets that outshone Venus or even the Moon, whose spectacular tails stretched more than halfway across the sky or were weirdly split, and whose apparition was held responsible for everything from wars to unusually good wine vintages. Published to coincide with the first naked-eye appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp, perhaps our own comet of the century, this book is an irresistible guide to comet facts and lore throughout history.

  9. Comet 67P's Pitted Surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2015-11-01

    High-resolution imagery of comet 67P ChuryumovGerasimenko has revealed that its surface is covered in active pits some measuring hundreds of meters both wide and deep! But what processes caused these pits to form?Pitted LandscapeESAs Rosetta mission arrived at comet 67P in August 2014. As the comet continued its journey around the Sun, Rosetta extensively documented 67Ps surface through high-resolution images taken with the on-board instrument NavCam. These images have revealed that active, circular depressions are a common feature on the comets surface.In an attempt to determine how these pits formed, an international team of scientists led by Olivier Mousis (Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille) has run a series of simulations of a region of the comet the Seth region that contains a 200-meter-deep pit. These simulations include the effects of various phase transitions, heat transfer through the matrix of ices and dust, and gas diffusion throughout the porous material.Escaping VolatilesAdditional examples of pitted areas on 67Ps northern-hemisphere surface include the Ash region and the Maat region (both imaged September 2014 by NavCam) [Mousis et al. 2015]Previous studies have already eliminated two potential formation mechanisms for the pits: impacts (the sizes of the pits werent right) and erosion due to sunlight (the pits dont have the right shape). Mousis and collaborators assume that the pits are instead caused by the depletion of volatile materials chemical compounds with low boiling points either via explosive outbursts at the comets surface, or via sinkholes opening from below the surface. But what process causes the volatiles to deplete when the comet heats?The authors simulations demonstrate that volatiles trapped beneath the comets surface either in icy structures called clathrates or within amorphous ice can be suddenly released as the comet warms up. The team shows that the release of volatiles from these two structures can create 200-meter

  10. The diurnal cycle of water ice on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

    PubMed

    De Sanctis, M C; Capaccioni, F; Ciarniello, M; Filacchione, G; Formisano, M; Mottola, S; Raponi, A; Tosi, F; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Erard, S; Leyrat, C; Schmitt, B; Ammannito, E; Arnold, G; Barucci, M A; Combi, M; Capria, M T; Cerroni, P; Ip, W-H; Kuehrt, E; McCord, T B; Palomba, E; Beck, P; Quirico, E

    2015-09-24

    Observations of cometary nuclei have revealed a very limited amount of surface water ice, which is insufficient to explain the observed water outgassing. This was clearly demonstrated on comet 9P/Tempel 1, where the dust jets (driven by volatiles) were only partially correlated with the exposed ice regions. The observations of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko have revealed that activity has a diurnal variation in intensity arising from changing insolation conditions. It was previously concluded that water vapour was generated in ice-rich subsurface layers with a transport mechanism linked to solar illumination, but that has not hitherto been observed. Periodic condensations of water vapour very close to, or on, the surface were suggested to explain short-lived outbursts seen near sunrise on comet 9P/Tempel 1. Here we report observations of water ice on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, appearing and disappearing in a cyclic pattern that follows local illumination conditions, providing a source of localized activity. This water cycle appears to be an important process in the evolution of the comet, leading to cyclical modification of the relative abundance of water ice on its surface. PMID:26399830

  11. The diurnal cycle of water ice on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

    PubMed

    De Sanctis, M C; Capaccioni, F; Ciarniello, M; Filacchione, G; Formisano, M; Mottola, S; Raponi, A; Tosi, F; Bockelée-Morvan, D; Erard, S; Leyrat, C; Schmitt, B; Ammannito, E; Arnold, G; Barucci, M A; Combi, M; Capria, M T; Cerroni, P; Ip, W-H; Kuehrt, E; McCord, T B; Palomba, E; Beck, P; Quirico, E

    2015-09-24

    Observations of cometary nuclei have revealed a very limited amount of surface water ice, which is insufficient to explain the observed water outgassing. This was clearly demonstrated on comet 9P/Tempel 1, where the dust jets (driven by volatiles) were only partially correlated with the exposed ice regions. The observations of 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko have revealed that activity has a diurnal variation in intensity arising from changing insolation conditions. It was previously concluded that water vapour was generated in ice-rich subsurface layers with a transport mechanism linked to solar illumination, but that has not hitherto been observed. Periodic condensations of water vapour very close to, or on, the surface were suggested to explain short-lived outbursts seen near sunrise on comet 9P/Tempel 1. Here we report observations of water ice on the surface of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, appearing and disappearing in a cyclic pattern that follows local illumination conditions, providing a source of localized activity. This water cycle appears to be an important process in the evolution of the comet, leading to cyclical modification of the relative abundance of water ice on its surface.

  12. Soot Aerosol Particles as Cloud Condensation Nuclei: from Ice Nucleation Activity to Ice Crystal Morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pirim, Claire; Ikhenazene, Raouf; Ortega, Isamel Kenneth; Carpentier, Yvain; Focsa, Cristian; Chazallon, Bertrand; Ouf, François-Xavier

    2016-04-01

    Emissions of solid-state particles (soot) from engine exhausts due to incomplete fuel combustion is considered to influence ice and liquid water cloud droplet activation [1]. The activity of these aerosols would originate from their ability to be important centers of ice-particle nucleation, as they would promote ice formation above water homogeneous freezing point. Soot particles are reported to be generally worse ice nuclei than mineral dust because they activate nucleation at higher ice-supersaturations for deposition nucleation and at lower temperatures for immersion freezing than ratios usually expected for homogeneous nucleation [2]. In fact, there are still numerous opened questions as to whether and how soot's physico-chemical properties (structure, morphology and chemical composition) can influence their nucleation ability. Therefore, systematic investigations of soot aerosol nucleation activity via one specific nucleation mode, here deposition nucleation, combined with thorough structural and compositional analyzes are needed in order to establish any association between the particles' activity and their physico-chemical properties. In addition, since the morphology of the ice crystals can influence their radiative properties [3], we investigated their morphology as they grow over both soot and pristine substrates at different temperatures and humidity ratios. In the present work, Combustion Aerosol STandart soot samples were produced from propane using various experimental conditions. Their nucleation activity was studied in deposition mode (from water vapor), and monitored using a temperature-controlled reactor in which the sample's relative humidity is precisely measured with a cryo-hygrometer. Formation of water/ice onto the particles is followed both optically and spectroscopically, using a microscope coupled to a Raman spectrometer. Vibrational signatures of hydroxyls (O-H) emerge when the particle becomes hydrated and are used to characterize ice

  13. Cytoarchitectonic mapping of the human brain cerebellar nuclei in stereotaxic space and delineation of their co-activation patterns.

    PubMed

    Tellmann, Stefanie; Bludau, Sebastian; Eickhoff, Simon; Mohlberg, Hartmut; Minnerop, Martina; Amunts, Katrin

    2015-01-01

    The cerebellar nuclei are involved in several brain functions, including the modulation of motor and cognitive performance. To differentiate their participation in these functions, and to analyze their changes in neurodegenerative and other diseases as revealed by neuroimaging, stereotaxic maps are necessary. These maps reflect the complex spatial structure of cerebellar nuclei with adequate spatial resolution and detail. Here we report on the cytoarchitecture of the dentate, interposed (emboliform and globose) and fastigial nuclei, and introduce 3D probability maps in stereotaxic MNI-Colin27 space as a prerequisite for subsequent meta-analysis of their functional involvement. Histological sections of 10 human post mortem brains were therefore examined. Differences in cell density were measured and used to distinguish a dorsal from a ventral part of the dentate nucleus. Probabilistic maps were calculated, which indicate the position and extent of the nuclei in 3D-space, while considering their intersubject variability. The maps of the interposed and the dentate nuclei differed with respect to their interaction patterns and functions based on meta-analytic connectivity modeling and quantitative functional decoding, respectively. For the dentate nucleus, significant (p < 0.05) co-activations were observed with thalamus, supplementary motor area (SMA), putamen, BA 44 of Broca's region, areas of superior and inferior parietal cortex, and the superior frontal gyrus (SFG). In contrast, the interposed nucleus showed more limited co-activations with SMA, area 44, putamen, and SFG. Thus, the new stereotaxic maps contribute to analyze structure and function of the cerebellum. These maps can be used for anatomically reliable and precise identification of degenerative alteration in MRI-data of patients who suffer from various cerebellar diseases. PMID:26029057

  14. Binary Active Galactic Nuclei in Stripe 82: Constraints on Synchronized Black Hole Accretion in Major Mergers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Hai; Wrobel, J. M.; Myers, A. D.; Djorgovski, S. G.; Yan, Lin

    2015-12-01

    Representing simultaneous black hole accretion during a merger, binary active galactic nuclei (AGNs) could provide valuable observational constraints to models of galaxy mergers and AGN triggering. High-resolution radio interferometer imaging offers a promising method for identifying a large and uniform sample of binary AGNs because it probes a generic feature of nuclear activity and is free from dust obscuration. Our previous search yielded 52 strong candidates of kiloparsec-scale binaries over the 92 deg2 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Stripe 82 area with 2″-resolution Very Large Array (VLA) images. Here we present 0.″3-resolution VLA 6 GHz observations for six candidates that have complete optical spectroscopy. The new data confirm the binary nature of four candidates and identify the other two as line of sight projections of radio structures from single AGNs. The four binary AGNs at z ˜ 0.1 reside in major mergers with projected separations of 4.2-12 kpc. Optical spectral modeling shows that their hosts have stellar masses between 10.3\\lt {{log}}({M}\\star /{M}⊙ )\\lt 11.5 and velocity dispersions between 120\\lt {σ }\\star \\lt 320 km s-1. The radio emission is compact (≲0.″4) and shows a steep spectrum (-1.8\\lt α \\lt -0.5) at 6 GHz. The host galaxy properties and the Eddington-scaled accretion rates broadly correlate with the excitation state, similar to the general radio-AGN population at low redshifts. Our estimated binary AGN fraction indicates that simultaneous accretion occurs ≥slant {23}-8+15% of the time when a kiloparsec-scale galaxy pair is detectable as a radio-AGN. The high duty cycle of the binary phase strongly suggests that major mergers can trigger and synchronize black hole accretion.

  15. DO MOST ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI LIVE IN HIGH STAR FORMATION NUCLEAR CUSPS?

    SciTech Connect

    Mushotzky, Richard F.; Shimizu, T. Taro; Meléndez, Marcio; Koss, Michael

    2014-02-01

    We present early results of the Herschel PACS (70 and 160 μm) and SPIRE (250, 350, and 500 μm) survey of 313 low redshift (z < 0.05), ultra-hard X-ray (14-195 keV) selected active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from the 58 month Swift/Burst Alert Telescope catalog. Selection of AGNs from ultra-hard X-rays avoids bias from obscuration, providing a complete sample of AGNs to study the connection between nuclear activity and star formation in host galaxies. With the high angular resolution of PACS, we find that >35% and >20% of the sources are ''point-like'' at 70 and 160 μm respectively and many more have their flux dominated by a point source located at the nucleus. The inferred star formation rates (SFRs) of 0.1-100 M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1} using the 70 and 160 μm flux densities as SFR indicators are consistent with those inferred from Spitzer Ne II fluxes, but we find that 11.25 μm polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon data give ∼3× lower SFR. Using GALFIT to measure the size of the far-infrared emitting regions, we determined the SFR surface density (M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1} kpc{sup –2}) for our sample, finding that a significant fraction of these sources exceed the threshold for star formation driven winds (0.1 M {sub ☉} yr{sup –1} kpc{sup –2})

  16. Testing black hole jet scaling relations in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Gasperin, F.; Merloni, A.; Sell, P.; Best, P.; Heinz, S.; Kauffmann, G.

    2011-08-01

    We present the results of the analysis of a sample of 17 low-luminosity (LX≲ 1042 erg s-1), radio-loud active galactic nuclei in massive galaxies. The sample is extracted from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey data base and it spans uniformly a wide range in optical [O III] emission line and radio luminosity, but within a narrow redshift range (0.05 < z < 0.11) and a narrow supermassive black hole mass range (˜108 M⊙). For these sources we measured core X-ray emission with the Chandra X-ray Telescope and radio emission with the Very Large Array. Our main goal is to establish which emission component, if any, can be regarded as the most reliable accretion/jet-power estimator at these regimes. In order to do so, we studied the correlation between emission-line properties, radio luminosity, radio spectral slopes and X-ray luminosity, as well as more complex multivariate relations involving black hole mass, such as the Fundamental Plane of black hole activity. We find that 15 out of 17 sources of our sample can be classified as low-excitation galaxies (LEGs), and their observed properties suggest X-ray and radio emission to originate from the jet basis. We also find that X-ray emission does not appear to be affected by nuclear obscuration and can be used as a reliable jet-power estimator. More generally, X-ray, radio and optical emission appear to be related, although no tight correlation is found. In accordance with a number of recent studies of this class of objects, these findings may be explained by a lack of cold (molecular) gaseous structures in the innermost region of these massive galaxies.

  17. KEPLER PHOTOMETRY OF FOUR RADIO-LOUD ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN 2010-2012

    SciTech Connect

    Wehrle, Ann E.; Wiita, Paul J.; Di Lorenzo, Paolo; Revalski, Mitchell; Silano, Daniel; Sprague, Dan; Unwin, Stephen C.

    2013-08-20

    We have used Kepler photometry to characterize variability in four radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN; three quasars and one object tentatively identified as a Seyfert 1.5 galaxy) on timescales from minutes to months, comparable to the light crossing time of the accretion disk around the central supermassive black hole or the base of the relativistic jet. Kepler's almost continuous observations provide much better temporal coverage than is possible from ground-based observations. We report the first such data analyzed for quasars. We have constructed power spectral densities using eight Kepler quarters of long-cadence (30-minute) data for three AGN, six quarters for one AGN and two quarters of short-cadence (1-minute) data for all four AGN. On timescales longer than about 0.2-0.6 days, we find red noise with mean power-law slopes ranging from -1.8 to -1.2, consistent with the variability originating in turbulence either behind a shock or within an accretion disk. Each AGN has a range of red noise slopes which vary slightly by month and quarter of observation. No quasi-periodic oscillations of astrophysical origin were detected. We detected flares of several days long when brightness increased by 3%-7% in two objects. No flares on timescales of minutes to hours were detected. Our observations imply that the duty cycle for enhanced activity in these radio-loud AGN is small. These well-sampled AGN light curves provide an impetus to develop more detailed models of turbulence in jets and instabilities in accretion disks.

  18. ON THE SCATTER IN THE RADIUS-LUMINOSITY RELATIONSHIP FOR ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Kilerci Eser, E.; Vestergaard, M.; Peterson, B. M.; Denney, K. D.; Bentz, M. C. E-mail: vester@dark-cosmology.dk E-mail: peterson@astronomy.ohio-state.edu

    2015-03-01

    We investigate and quantify the observed scatter in the empirical relationship between the broad line region size R and the luminosity of the active galactic nucleus, in order to better understand its origin. This study is motivated by the indispensable role of this relationship in the mass estimation of cosmologically distant black holes, but may also be relevant to the recently proposed application of this relationship for measuring cosmic distances. We study six nearby reverberation-mapped active galactic nuclei (AGNs) for which simultaneous UV and optical monitoring data exist. We also examine the long-term optical luminosity variations of the Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 5548 and employ Monte Carlo simulations to study the effects of the intrinsic variability of individual objects on the scatter in the global relationship for a sample of ∼40 AGNs. We find the scatter in this relationship has a correctable dependence on color. For individual AGNs, the size of the Hβ emitting region has a steeper dependence on the nuclear optical luminosity than on the UV luminosity, which can introduce a scatter of ∼0.08 dex into the global relationship, due the nonlinear relationship between the variations in the ionizing continuum and those in the optical continuum. Also, our analysis highlights the importance of understanding and minimizing the scatter in the relationship traced by the intrinsic variability of individual AGNs since it propagates directly into the global relationship. We find that using the UV luminosity as a substitute for the ionizing luminosity can reduce a sizable fraction of the current observed scatter of ∼0.13 dex.

  19. A PHYSICAL LINK BETWEEN JET FORMATION AND HOT PLASMA IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Wu Qingwen; Wang Dingxiong; Cao Xinwu; Ho, Luis C. E-mail: dxwang@hust.edu.cn E-mail: lho@obs.carnegiescience.edu

    2013-06-10

    Recent observations suggest that in black hole X-ray binaries jet/outflow formation is related to the hot plasma in the vicinity of the black hole, either in the form of an advection-dominated accretion flow at low accretion rates or in a disk corona at high accretion rates. We test the viability of this scenario for supermassive black holes using two samples of active galactic nuclei distinguished by the presence (radio-strong) and absence (radio-weak) of well-collimated, relativistic jets. Each is centered on a narrow range of black hole mass but spans a very broad range of Eddington ratios, effectively simulating in a statistical manner the behavior of a single black hole evolving across a wide spread in accretion states. Unlike the relationship between the radio and optical luminosity, which shows an abrupt break between high- and low-luminosity sources at an Eddington ratio of {approx}1%, the radio emission-a measure of the jet power-varies continuously with the hard X-ray (2-10 keV) luminosity, roughly as L{sub R} {proportional_to} L{sub X}{sup 0.6-0.75}. This relation, which holds for both radio-weak and radio-strong active galaxies, is similar to the one seen in X-ray binaries. Jet/outflow formation appears to be closely linked to the conditions that give rise to the hot, optically thin coronal emission associated with accretion flows, both in the regime of low and high accretion rates.

  20. The host galaxies of active galactic nuclei with powerful relativistic jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olguín-Iglesias, A.; León-Tavares, J.; Kotilainen, J. K.; Chavushyan, V.; Tornikoski, M.; Valtaoja, E.; Añorve, C.; Valdés, J.; Carrasco, L.

    2016-08-01

    We present deep near-infrared (NIR) images of a sample of 19 intermediate-redshift (0.3 < z < 1.0) radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN) with powerful relativistic jets (L1.4 GHz > 1027 W Hz-1), previously classified as flat-spectrum radio quasars. We also compile host galaxy and nuclear magnitudes for blazars from literature. The combined sample (this work and compilation) contains 100 radio-loud AGN with host galaxy detections and a broad range of radio luminosities L1.4 GHz ˜ 1023.7-1028.3 W Hz-1, allowing us to divide our sample into high-luminosity blazars (HLBs) and low-luminosity blazars (LLBs). The host galaxies of our sample are bright and seem to follow the μe-Reff relation for ellipticals and bulges. The two populations of blazars show different behaviours in the MK,nuclear -MK,bulge plane, where a statistically significant correlation is observed for HLBs. Although it may be affected by selection effects, this correlation suggests a close coupling between the accretion mode of the central supermassive black hole and its host galaxy, which could be interpreted in terms of AGN feedback. Our findings are consistent with semi-analytical models where low-luminosity AGN emit the bulk of their energy in the form of radio jets, producing a strong feedback mechanism, and high-luminosity AGN are affected by galaxy mergers and interactions, which provide a common supply of cold gas to feed both nuclear activity and star formation episodes.

  1. COSMIC EVOLUTION OF RADIO SELECTED ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN THE COSMOS FIELD

    SciTech Connect

    Smolcic, V.; Salvato, M.; Scoville, N.; Zamorani, G.; Bardelli, S.; Ciliegi, P.; Schinnerer, E.; Bondi, M.; BIrzan, L.; Carilli, C. L.; Elvis, M.; Impey, C. D.; Trump, J. R.; Koekemoer, A. M.; Merloni, A.; Scodeggio, M.; Paglione, T

    2009-05-01

    We explore the cosmic evolution of radio luminous active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with low radio powers (L {sub 1.4GHz} {approx}< 5 x 10{sup 25} W Hz{sup -1}) out to z = 1.3 using to date the largest sample of {approx}600 low-luminosity radio AGN at intermediate redshift drawn from the VLA-COSMOS survey. We derive the radio-luminosity function for these AGNs, and its evolution with cosmic time assuming two extreme cases: (1) pure luminosity and (2) pure density evolution. The former and latter yield L {sub *} {proportional_to} (1 + z){sup 0.8} {sup {+-}} {sup 0.1}, and {phi}{sub *} {proportional_to} (1 + z){sup 1.1} {sup {+-}} {sup 0.1}, respectively, both implying a fairly modest change in properties of low-radio-power AGNs since z = 1.3. We show that this is in stark contrast with the evolution of powerful (L {sub 1.4GHz} > 5 x 10{sup 25} W Hz{sup -1}) radio AGN over the same cosmic time interval, constrained using the 3CRR, 6CE, and 7CRS radio surveys by Willot et al. We demonstrate that this can be explained through differences in black hole fueling and triggering mechanisms, and a dichotomy in host galaxy properties of weak and powerful AGNs. Our findings suggest that high- and low-radio-power AGN activities are triggered in different stages during the formation of massive red galaxies. We show that weak radio AGN occur in the most massive galaxies already at z {approx} 1, and they may significantly contribute to the heating of their surrounding medium and thus inhibit gas accretion onto their host galaxies, as recently suggested for the 'radio mode' in cosmological models.

  2. How Complete is Mid-Infrared Selection of Active Galactic Nuclei?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grae Short, Miona; Diamond-Stanic, Aleks

    2015-01-01

    Essentially every galaxy hosts a supermassive black hole, and roughly 10% of those black holes are currently growing as active galactic nuclei (AGNs). Given the compelling evidence that galaxies and black holes co-evolve, there is strong motivation to study how black holes assemble their mass through cosmic time. However, this is challenging because a large fraction of black hole growth is enshrouded by gas and dust. Deep and wide surveys at X-ray and infrared wavelengths offer a powerful way to study the obscured AGN population, but an important caveat is that X-ray surveys are not complete for the most highly absorbed sources and infrared surveys are not able to distinguish low-luminosity AGNs from normal galaxies. To help address these outstanding issues and to analyze the completeness of mid-infrared AGN selection, we use Spitzer and WISE photometry to study the mid-infrared colors of a complete sample of local AGNs. The sample is drawn from the revised Shapley-Ames galaxy catalog and includes every galaxy in the sky brighter than B=13 that is known to host Seyfert activity. This sample is unique in its sensitivity to low-luminosity and highly obscured sources. Our main result is that most of these known AGNs would be classified as normal galaxies on the basis of their mid-infrared colors, implying that analogs to local Seyfert galaxies would not be identified as AGNs in existing surveys. We find that this a strong function of AGN luminosity, and we also present trends as a function of AGN obscuration, galaxy luminosity, and stellar mass. These results provide important insights into the AGN population that is missing from our census of black hole growth in the distant universe. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation's REU program through NSF Award AST-1004881. We also acknowledge support from The Grainger Foundation and from gifts made to the Department of Astronomy at UW-Madison.

  3. Flight of the Comet

    NASA Video Gallery

    This video clip was compiled from images taken by NASA's EPOXI mission spacecraft during its flyby of comet Hartley 2 on Nov. 4, 2010. During the encounter, the spacecraft and comet whisked past ea...

  4. Bye, Bye Comet

    NASA Video Gallery

    SOHO watched as a fairly bright comet dove towards the Sun in a white streak and was not seen again after its close encounter (May 10-11, 2011). The comet, probably part of the Kreutz family of com...

  5. The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observing campaign on comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.

    PubMed

    Weaver, H A; A'Hearn, M F; Arpigny, C; Boice, D C; Feldman, P D; Larson, S M; Lamy, P; Levy, D H; Marsden, B G; Meech, K J

    1995-03-01

    The Hubble Space Telescope made systematic observations of the split comet P/Shoemaker-Levy 9 (SL9) (P designates a periodic comet) starting in July 1993 and continuing through mid-July 1994 when the fragments plunged into Jupiter's atmosphere. Deconvolutions of Wide Field Planetary Camera images indicate that the diameters of some fragments may have been as large as approximately 2 to 4 kilometers, assuming a geometric albedo of 4 percent, but significantly smaller values (that is, < 1 kilometer) cannot be ruled out. Most of the fragments (or nuclei) were embedded in circularly symmetric inner comae from July 1993 until late June 1994, implying that there was continuous, but weak, cometary activity. At least a few nuclei fragmented into separate, condensed objects well after the breakup of the SL9 parent body, which argues against the hypothesis that the SL9 fragments were swarms of debris with no dominant, central bodies. Spectroscopic observations taken on 14 July 1994 showed an outburst in magnesium ion emission that was followed closely by a threefold increase in continuum emission, which may have been caused by the electrostatic charging and subsequent explosion of dust as the comet passed from interplanetary space into the jovian magnetosphere. No OH emission was detected, but the derived upper limit on the H2O production rate of approximately 10(27) molecules per second does not necessarily imply that the object was water-poor.

  6. Search for α-Cluster Structure in Exotic Nuclei with the Prototype Active-Target Time-Projection Chamber

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fritsch, A.; Ayyad, Y.; Bazin, D.; Beceiro-Novo, S.; Bradt, J.; Carpenter, L.; Cortesi, M.; Mittig, W.; Suzuki, D.; Ahn, T.; Kolata, J. J.; Becchetti, F. D.; Howard, A. M.

    2016-03-01

    Some exotic nuclei appear to exhibit α-cluster structure. While various theoretical models currently describe such clustering, more experimental data are needed to constrain model predictions. The Prototype Active-Target Time-Projection Chamber (PAT-TPC) has low-energy thresholds for charged-particle decay and a high luminosity due to its thick gaseous active target volume, making it well-suited to search for low-energy α-cluster reactions. Radioactive-ion beams produced by the TwinSol facility at the University of Notre Dame were delivered to the PAT-TPC to study nuclei including 14C and 14O via α-resonant scattering. Differential cross sections and excitation functions were measured. Preliminary results from our recent experiments will be presented. This work is supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

  7. Lightcurves and revised masses of the large particles at comet 103P/Hartley 2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelley, Michael S.; Farnham, Tony L.; Hermalyn, Brendan; Bodewits, Dennis; A'Hearn, Michael F.

    2015-11-01

    Comet 103P/Hartley 2 is a hyperactive comet. Such comets have nuclei with surface areas comparable to the surface area required to sustain their water production rates, implying the surface is near 100% active. However, images of the nucleus and inner coma by the Deep Impact Flyby spacecraft show signficant localized activity, dominated by a single strong active area (A'Hearn et al. 2011, Science 332, 1396). This active area seems to be driven by carbon dioxide ice sublimation, which releases water ice into the coma (Protopapa et al. 2014, Icarus 238, 191). It has been hypothesized that this water-ice-rich material is the origin of the comet's hyperactivity, but this has not yet been definitively demonstrated.The Deep Imact spacecraft also imaged thousands of point sources surrounding the nucleus of the comet (A'Hearn et al. 2011). These sources are particles ejected by the comet, the largest of which is estimated to have a radius between 30 and 400 cm. The wide range in the radius estimate is due to the unknown photometric properties of the particles. If the particles are icy, they may contribute a significant fraction of the comet's water production rate (Kelley et al. 2013, Icarus 222, 634).To better elucidate the physical properties of the particles, we generated particle lightcurves, based on the identifications of Hermalyn et al. (2013, Icarus 222, 625) and a an independent (manual) particle search. We find no clear correlation with time or phase angle, suggesting the lightcurves are primarily driven by particle shape rather than sublimation, fragmentation, or phase effects. Three lightcurves are double-peaked, indicating rotation periods near 75 to 300 s. At least one other lightcurve suggests a rotation period of order 20 s.We also present corrections to the analysis of Kelley et al. (2013) that decrease the total large particle population mass estimates by two orders of magnitude. Despite the revision, the large particles may still account for the comet

  8. ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI AND THE TRUNCATION OF STAR FORMATION IN K+A GALAXIES

    SciTech Connect

    Brown, Michael J. I.; Palamara, David; Moustakas, John; Caldwell, Nelson; Cool, Richard J.; Zaritsky, Dennis; Dey, Arjun; Jannuzi, Buell T.; Hickox, Ryan C.; Murray, Stephen S.

    2009-09-20

    We have searched for active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in K+A galaxies, using multiwavelength imaging and spectroscopy in the Booetes field of the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey. The K+A galaxies, which have had their star formation rapidly truncated, are selected via their strong Balmer absorption lines and weak Halpha emission. Our sample consists of 24 K+A galaxies selected from 6594 0.10 < z < 0.35 galaxies brighter than I = 20 with optical spectroscopy from the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey. Two thirds of the K+A galaxies are likely ongoing galaxy mergers, with nearby companion galaxies or tidal tails. Galaxy mergers may be responsible for the truncation of star formation, or we are observing the aftermath of merger triggered starbursts. As expected, the optical colors of K+A galaxies largely fall between blue galaxies with ongoing star formation and red passive galaxies. However, only 1% of the galaxies with colors between the red and blue populations are K+A galaxies, and we conclude that the truncation of star formation in K+A galaxies must have been unusually abrupt ({approx}<100 Myr). We examined the AGN content of K+A galaxies with both optical emission-line ratios (BPT diagrams) and Chandra X-ray imaging. At least half of all K+A galaxies display the optical emission-line ratios of AGNs, and a third of M{sub R} < -22 K+A galaxies host AGNs with X-ray luminosities of {approx}10{sup 42} erg s{sup -1}. The faintest K+A galaxies do not show clear evidence for hosting AGNs, having emission-line ratios consistent with photoionization by massive stars and few X-ray detections. We speculate that two mechanisms may be responsible for the truncation of star formation in K+A galaxies, with AGN feedback only playing a role in M{sub R} {approx}< -20.5 galaxies.

  9. Evidence of parsec-scale jets in low-luminosity active galactic nuclei

    SciTech Connect

    Mezcua, M.; Prieto, M. A.

    2014-05-20

    The nuclear radio emission of low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) is often associated with unresolved cores. In this paper we show that most LLAGNs present extended jet radio emission when observed with sufficient angular resolution and sensitivity. They are thus able to power, at least, parsec-scale radio jets. To increase the detection rate of jets in LLAGNs, we analyze subarcsecond resolution data of three low-ionization nuclear emission regions. This yields the detection of extended jet-like radio structures in NGC 1097 and NGC 2911 and the first resolved parsec-scale jet of NGC 4594 (Sombrero). The three sources belong to a sample of nearby LLAGNs for which high-spatial-resolution spectral energy distribution of their core emission is available. This allows us to study their accretion rate and jet power (Q {sub jet}) without drawing on (most) of the ad hoc assumptions usually considered in large statistical surveys. We find that those LLAGNs with large-scale radio jets (>100 pc) have Q {sub jet} > 10{sup 42} erg s{sup –1}, while the lowest Q {sub jet} correspond to those LLAGNs with parsec-scale (≤100 pc) jets. The Q {sub jet} is at least as large as the radiated bolometric luminosity for all LLAGN, in agreement with previous statistical studies. Our detection of parsec-scale jets in individual objects further shows that the kinematic jet contribution is equally important in large- or parsec-scale objects. We also find that the Eddington-scaled accretion rate is still highly sub-Eddingtonian (<10{sup –4}) when adding the Q {sub jet} to the total emitted luminosity (radiated plus kinetic). This indicates that LLAGNs are not only inefficient radiators but that they also accrete inefficiently or are very efficient advectors.

  10. The Fe II Emission in Active Galactic Nuclei: Excitation Mechanisms and Location of the Emitting Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marinello, M.; Rodríguez-Ardila, A.; Garcia-Rissmann, A.; Sigut, T. A. A.; Pradhan, A. K.

    2016-04-01

    We present a study of Fe ii emission in the near-infrared region (NIR) for 25 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) to obtain information about the excitation mechanisms that power it and the location where it is formed. We employ an NIR Fe ii template derived in the literature and find that it successfully reproduces the observed Fe ii spectrum. The Fe ii bump at 9200 Å detected in all objects studied confirms that Lyα fluorescence is always present in AGNs. The correlation found between the flux of the 9200 Å bump, the 1 μm lines, and the optical Fe ii implies that Lyα fluorescence plays an important role in Fe ii production. We determined that at least 18% of the optical Fe ii is due to this process, while collisional excitation dominates the production of the observed Fe ii. The line profiles of Fe ii λ10502, O i λ11287, Ca ii λ8664, and Paβ were compared to gather information about the most likely location where they are emitted. We found that Fe ii, O i and Ca ii have similar widths and are, on average, 30% narrower than Paβ. Assuming that the clouds emitting the lines are virialized, we show that the Fe ii is emitted in a region twice as far from the central source than Paβ. The distance, though, strongly varies: from 8.5 light-days for NGC 4051 to 198.2 light-days for Mrk 509. Our results reinforce the importance of the Fe ii in the NIR to constrain critical parameters that drive its physics and the underlying AGN kinematics, as well as more accurate models aimed at reproducing this complex emission.

  11. Spectral Energy Distribution Models for Low-Luminosity Active Galactic Nuclei in LINERs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nemmen, Rodrigo S.; Storchi-Bergmann, Thaisa; Eracleous, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (LLAGNs) represent the bulk of the AGN population in the present-day universe and they trace the low-level accreting supermassive black holes. In order to probe the accretion and jet physical properties in LLAGNs as a class, we model the broadband radio to X-rays spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of 21 LLAGNs in low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs) with a coupled accretion-jet model. The accretion flow is modeled as an inner ADAF outside of which there is a truncated standard thin disk. We find that the radio emission is severely underpredicted by ADAF models and is explained by the relativistic jet. The origin of the X-ray radiation in most sources can be explained by three distinct scenarios: the X-rays can be dominated by emission from the ADAF, or the jet, or the X-rays can arise from a jet-ADAF combination in which both components contribute to the emission with similar importance. For 3 objects both the jet and ADAF fit equally well the X-ray spectrum and can be the dominant source of X-rays whereas for 11 LLAGNs a jet-dominated model accounts better than the ADAF-dominated model for the data. The individual and average SED models that we computed can be useful for different studies of the nuclear emission of LLAGNs. From the model fits, we estimate important parameters of the central engine powering LLAGNs in LINERs, such as the mass accretion rate and the mass-loss rate in the jet and the jet power - relevant for studies of the kinetic feedback from jets.

  12. WHAT GOVERNS THE BULK VELOCITY OF THE JET COMPONENTS IN ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI?

    SciTech Connect

    Chai Bo; Cao Xinwu; Gu Minfeng E-mail: cxw@shao.ac.cn

    2012-11-10

    We use a sample of radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGNs) with measured black hole masses to explore the jet formation mechanisms in these sources. Based on Koenigl's inhomogeneous jet model, the jet parameters, such as the bulk motion Lorentz factor, magnetic field strength, and electron density in the jet, can be estimated with the very long baseline interferometry and X-ray data.. We find a significant correlation between black hole mass and the bulk Lorentz factor of the jet components for this sample, while no significant correlation is present between the bulk Lorentz factor and the Eddington ratio. The massive black holes will be spun up through accretion, as the black holes acquire mass and angular momentum simultaneously through accretion. Recent investigation indeed suggested that most supermassive black holes in elliptical galaxies have on average higher spins than the black holes in spiral galaxies, where random, small accretion episodes (e.g., tidally disrupted stars, accretion of molecular clouds) might have played a more important role. If this is true, then the correlation between black hole mass and the bulk Lorentz factor of the jet components found in this work implies that the motion velocity of the jet components is probably governed by the black hole spin. No correlation is found between the magnetic field strength at 10R {sub S} (R {sub S} = 2GM/c {sup 2} is the Schwarzschild radius) in the jets and the bulk Lorentz factor of the jet components for this sample. This is consistent with the black hole spin scenario, i.e., the faster moving jets are magnetically accelerated by the magnetic fields threading the horizon of more rapidly rotating black holes. The results imply that the Blandford-Znajek mechanism may dominate over the Blandford-Payne mechanism for the jet acceleration, at least in these radio-loud AGNs.

  13. Determining the Covering Factor of Compton-thick Active Galactic Nuclei with NuSTAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brightman, M.; Baloković, M.; Stern, D.; Arévalo, P.; Ballantyne, D. R.; Bauer, F. E.; Boggs, S. E.; Craig, W. W.; Christensen, F. E.; Comastri, A.; Fuerst, F.; Gandhi, P.; Hailey, C. J.; Harrison, F. A.; Hickox, R. C.; Koss, M.; LaMassa, S.; Puccetti, S.; Rivers, E.; Vasudevan, R.; Walton, D. J.; Zhang, W. W.

    2015-05-01

    The covering factor of Compton-thick (CT) obscuring material associated with the torus in active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is at present best understood through the fraction of sources exhibiting CT absorption along the line of sight (NH > 1.5 × 1024 cm-2) in the X-ray band, which reveals the average covering factor. Determining this CT fraction is difficult, however, due to the extreme obscuration. With its spectral coverage at hard X-rays (>10 keV), Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) is sensitive to the AGNs covering factor since Compton scattering of X-rays off optically thick material dominates at these energies. We present a spectral analysis of 10 AGNs observed with NuSTAR where the obscuring medium is optically thick to Compton scattering, so-called CT AGNs. We use the torus models of Brightman & Nandra that predict the X-ray spectrum from reprocessing in a torus and include the torus opening angle as a free parameter and aim to determine the covering factor of the CT gas in these sources individually. Across the sample we find mild to heavy CT columns, with NH measured from 1024 to 1026 cm-2, and a wide range of covering factors, where individual measurements range from 0.2 to 0.9. We find that the covering factor, fc, is a strongly decreasing function of the intrinsic 2-10 keV luminosity, LX, where fc = (-0.41 ± 0.13)log10(LX/erg s-1)+18.31 ± 5.33, across more than two orders of magnitude in LX (1041.5-1044 erg s-1). The covering factors measured here agree well with the obscured fraction as a function of LX as determined by studies of local AGNs with LX > 1042.5 erg s-1.

  14. A high fraction of double-peaked narrow emission lines in powerful active galactic nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lyu, Yang; Liu, Xin

    2016-11-01

    1 per cent of redshift z ˜ 0.1 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) show velocity splitting of a few hundred km s-1 in the narrow emission lines in spatially integrated spectra. Such line profiles have been found to arise from the bulk motion of ionized gas clouds associated with galactic-scale outflows, merging pairs of galaxies each harbouring a supermassive black hole (SMBH), and/or galactic-scale disc rotation. It remains unclear, however, how the frequency of narrow-line velocity splitting may depend on AGN luminosity. Here we study the correlation between the fraction of Type 2 AGNs with double-peaked narrow emission lines and AGN luminosity as indicated by [O III] λ5007 emission-line luminosity L_[O III]. We combine the sample of Liu et al. at z ˜ 0.1 with a new sample of 178 Type 2 AGNs with double-peaked [O III] emission lines at z ˜ 0.5. We select the new sample from a parent sample of 2089 Type 2 AGNs from the SDSS-III/Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey. We find a statistically significant (˜4.2σ) correlation between L_[O III] and the fraction of objects that exhibit double-peaked narrow emission lines among all Type 2 AGNs, corrected for selection bias and incompleteness due to [O III] line width, equivalent width, splitting velocity, and/or equivalent width ratio between the two velocity components. Our result suggests that galactic-scale outflows and/or merging pairs of SMBHs are more prevalent in more powerful AGNs, although spatially resolved follow-up observations are needed to resolve the origin(s) for the narrow-line velocity splitting for individual AGNs.

  15. Radio Properties of Low Redshift Broad Line Active Galactic Nuclei Including Multiple Component Radio Sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafter, Stephen E.

    2010-01-01

    We present results on the radio properties of a low redshift (z < 0.35) sample of 8434 broad line active galactic nuclei (AGNs) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey after correlating the optical sources with radio sources in the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-Centimeters survey. We find that 10% of our sample has radio emission < 4" away from the optical counterpart (core-only sources), and 1% has significant extended emission that must be taken into account when calculating the total radio luminosity (multi-component sources). Association of the extended radio emission is established by the proximity to the optical source, physical connection of jets and lobes, or large scale symmetry like in classic FRIIs. From these data we find an FRI/FRII luminosity dividing line like that found by Fanaroff & Riley (1974), where we use our core-only sources as proxies for FRIs, and our multi-component sources for the FRIIs. We find a bimodal distribution for the radio loudness (R = L(radio)/L(opt)) where the lower radio luminosity core-only sources appear as a population separate from the multi-component extended sources, compared with no evidence for bimodality when just the core-only sources are used. We also find that a log(R) value of 1.75 is well suited to separate the FRIs from the FRIIs, and that the R bimodality seen here is really a manifestation of the FRI/FRII break originally found by Fanaroff & Riley (1974). We find modest trends in the radio loud fraction as a function of Eddington ratio and black hole mass, where the fraction of RL AGNs decreases with increasing Eddington ratio, and increases when the black hole mass is above 2 x 108 solar masses.

  16. MEASURING X-RAY VARIABILITY IN FAINT/SPARSELY SAMPLED ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Allevato, V.; Paolillo, M.; Papadakis, I.; Pinto, C.

    2013-07-01

    We study the statistical properties of the normalized excess variance of variability process characterized by a ''red-noise'' power spectral density (PSD), as in the case of active galactic nuclei (AGNs). We perform Monte Carlo simulations of light curves, assuming both a continuous and a sparse sampling pattern and various signal-to-noise ratios (S/Ns). We show that the normalized excess variance is a biased estimate of the variance even in the case of continuously sampled light curves. The bias depends on the PSD slope and on the sampling pattern, but not on the S/N. We provide a simple formula to account for the bias, which yields unbiased estimates with an accuracy better than 15%. We show that the normalized excess variance estimates based on single light curves (especially for sparse sampling and S/N < 3) are highly uncertain (even if corrected for bias) and we propose instead the use of an ''ensemble estimate'', based on multiple light curves of the same object, or on the use of light curves of many objects. These estimates have symmetric distributions, known errors, and can also be corrected for biases. We use our results to estimate the ability to measure the intrinsic source variability in current data, and show that they could also be useful in the planning of the observing strategy of future surveys such as those provided by X-ray missions studying distant and/or faint AGN populations and, more in general, in the estimation of the variability amplitude of sources that will result from future surveys such as Pan-STARRS and LSST.

  17. A New Black Hole Mass Estimate for Obscured Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Minezaki, Takeo; Matsushita, Kyoko

    2015-04-01

    We propose a new method for estimating the mass of a supermassive black hole, applicable to obscured active galactic nuclei (AGNs). This method estimates the black hole mass using the width of the narrow core of the neutral FeKα emission line in X-rays and the distance of its emitting region from the black hole based on the isotropic luminosity indicator via the luminosity scaling relation. Assuming the virial relation between the locations and the velocity widths of the neutral FeKα line core and the broad Hβ emission line, the luminosity scaling relation of the neutral FeKα line core emitting region is estimated. We find that the velocity width of the neutral FeKα line core falls between that of the broad Balmer emission lines and the corresponding value at the dust reverberation radius for most of the target AGNs. The black hole mass {{M}BH,FeKα } estimated with this method is then compared with other black hole mass estimates, such as the broad emission-line reverberation mass {{M}BH,rev} for type 1 AGNs, the mass {{M}BH,{{H2}O}} based on the H2O maser, and the single-epoch mass estimate {{M}BH,pol} based on the polarized broad Balmer lines for type 2 AGNs. We find that {{M}BH,FeKα } is consistent with {{M}BH,rev} and {{M}BH,pol}, and find that {{M}BH,FeKα } correlates well with {{M}BH,{{H2}O}}. These results suggest that {{M}BH,FeKα } is a potential indicator of the black hole mass for obscured AGNs. In contrast, {{M}BH,FeKα } is systematically larger than {{M}BH,{{H2}O}} by about a factor of 5, and the possible origins are discussed.

  18. GPU-BASED MONTE CARLO DUST RADIATIVE TRANSFER SCHEME APPLIED TO ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Heymann, Frank; Siebenmorgen, Ralf

    2012-05-20

    A three-dimensional parallel Monte Carlo (MC) dust radiative transfer code is presented. To overcome the huge computing-time requirements of MC treatments, the computational power of vectorized hardware is used, utilizing either multi-core computer power or graphics processing units. The approach is a self-consistent way to solve the radiative transfer equation in arbitrary dust configurations. The code calculates the equilibrium temperatures of two populations of large grains and stochastic heated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Anisotropic scattering is treated applying the Heney-Greenstein phase function. The spectral energy distribution (SED) of the object is derived at low spatial resolution by a photon counting procedure and at high spatial resolution by a vectorized ray tracer. The latter allows computation of high signal-to-noise images of the objects at any frequencies and arbitrary viewing angles. We test the robustness of our approach against other radiative transfer codes. The SED and dust temperatures of one- and two-dimensional benchmarks are reproduced at high precision. The parallelization capability of various MC algorithms is analyzed and included in our treatment. We utilize the Lucy algorithm for the optical thin case where the Poisson noise is high, the iteration-free Bjorkman and Wood method to reduce the calculation time, and the Fleck and Canfield diffusion approximation for extreme optical thick cells. The code is applied to model the appearance of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at optical and infrared wavelengths. The AGN torus is clumpy and includes fluffy composite grains of various sizes made up of silicates and carbon. The dependence of the SED on the number of clumps in the torus and the viewing angle is studied. The appearance of the 10 {mu}m silicate features in absorption or emission is discussed. The SED of the radio-loud quasar 3C 249.1 is fit by the AGN model and a cirrus component to account for the far-infrared emission.

  19. ARE RADIO ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI POWERED BY ACCRETION OR BLACK HOLE SPIN?

    SciTech Connect

    McNamara, B. R.; Rohanizadegan, Mina; Nulsen, P. E. J.

    2011-01-20

    We compare accretion and black hole spin as potential energy sources for outbursts from active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs). Based on our adopted spin model, we find that the distribution of AGN power estimated from X-ray cavities is consistent with a broad range of both spin parameters and accretion rates. Sufficient quantities of molecular gas are available in most BCGs to power their AGNs by accretion alone. However, we find no correlation between AGN power and molecular gas mass over the range of jet power considered here. For a given AGN power, the BCG's gas mass and accretion efficiency, defined as the fraction of the available cold molecular gas that is required to power the AGN, both vary by more than two orders of magnitude. Most of the molecular gas in BCGs is apparently consumed by star formation or is driven out of the nucleus by the AGN before it reaches the nuclear black hole. Bondi accretion from hot atmospheres is generally unable to fuel powerful AGNs, unless their black holes are more massive than their bulge luminosities imply. We identify several powerful AGNs that reside in relatively gas-poor galaxies, indicating an unusually efficient mode of accretion, or that their AGNs are powered by another mechanism. If these systems are powered primarily by black hole spin rather than by accretion, spin must also be tapped efficiently in some systems, i.e., P{sub jet}> M-dot c{sup 2}, or their black hole masses must be substantially larger than the values implied by their bulge luminosities. We constrain the (model-dependent) accretion rate at the transition from radiatively inefficient to radiatively efficient accretion flows to be a few percent of the Eddington rate, a value that is consistent with other estimates.

  20. GPU-based Monte Carlo Dust Radiative Transfer Scheme Applied to Active Galactic Nuclei

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heymann, Frank; Siebenmorgen, Ralf

    2012-05-01

    A three-dimensional parallel Monte Carlo (MC) dust radiative transfer code is presented. To overcome the huge computing-time requirements of MC treatments, the computational power of vectorized hardware is used, utilizing either multi-core computer power or graphics processing units. The approach is a self-consistent way to solve the radiative transfer equation in arbitrary dust configurations. The code calculates the equilibrium temperatures of two populations of large grains and stochastic heated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Anisotropic scattering is treated applying the Heney-Greenstein phase function. The spectral energy distribution (SED) of the object is derived at low spatial resolution by a photon counting procedure and at high spatial resolution by a vectorized ray tracer. The latter allows computation of high signal-to-noise images of the objects at any frequencies and arbitrary viewing angles. We test the robustness of our approach against other radiative transfer codes. The SED and dust temperatures of one- and two-dimensional benchmarks are reproduced at high precision. The parallelization capability of various MC algorithms is analyzed and included in our treatment. We utilize the Lucy algorithm for the optical thin case where the Poisson noise is high, the iteration-free Bjorkman & Wood method to reduce the calculation time, and the Fleck & Canfield diffusion approximation for extreme optical thick cells. The code is applied to model the appearance of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) at optical and infrared wavelengths. The AGN torus is clumpy and includes fluffy composite grains of various sizes made up of silicates and carbon. The dependence of the SED on the number of clumps in the torus and the viewing angle is studied. The appearance of the 10 μm silicate features in absorption or emission is discussed. The SED of the radio-loud quasar 3C 249.1 is fit by the AGN model and a cirrus component to account for the far-infrared emission.

  1. Long-term X-Ray Variability of Typical Active Galactic Nuclei in the Distant Universe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, G.; Brandt, W. N.; Luo, B.; Xue, Y. Q.; Bauer, F. E.; Sun, M. Y.; Kim, S.; Schulze, S.; Zheng, X. C.; Paolillo, M.; Shemmer, O.; Liu, T.; Schneider, D. P.; Vignali, C.; Vito, F.; Wang, J.-X.

    2016-11-01

    We perform long-term (≈15 years, observed-frame) X-ray variability analyses of the 68 brightest radio-quiet active galactic nuclei (AGNs) in the 6 Ms Chandra Deep Field-South survey; the majority are in the redshift range of 0.6–3.1, providing access to penetrating rest-frame X-rays up to ≈10–30 keV. Of the 68 sources, 24 are optical spectral type I AGNs, and the rest (44) are type II AGNs. The timescales probed in this work are among the longest for X-ray variability studies of distant AGNs. Photometric analyses reveal widespread photon flux variability: 90% of AGNs are variable above a 95% confidence level, including many X-ray obscured AGNs and several optically classified type II quasars. We characterize the intrinsic X-ray luminosity ({L}{{X}}) and absorption ({N}{{H}}) variability via spectral fitting. Most (74%) sources show {L}{{X}} variability; the variability amplitudes are generally smaller for quasars. A Compton-thick candidate AGN shows variability of its high-energy X-ray flux, indicating the size of reflecting material to be ≲0.3 pc. {L}{{X}} variability is also detected in a broad absorption line quasar. The {N}{{H}} variability amplitude for our sample appears to rise as time separation increases. About 16% of sources show {N}{{H}} variability. One source transitions from an X-ray unobscured to obscured state, while its optical classification remains type I; this behavior indicates the X-ray eclipsing material is not large enough to obscure the whole broad-line region.

  2. The Third Catalog of Active Galactic Nuclei Detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ackermann, M.; Ajello, M.; Atwood, W. B.; Baldini, L.; Ballet, J.; Barbiellini, G.; Bastieri, D.; Becerra Gonzalez, J.; Bellazzini, R.; Bissaldi, E.; Blandford, R. D.; Bloom, E. D.; Bonino, R.; Bottacini, E.; Brandt, T. J.; Bregeon, J.; Britto, R. J.; Bruel, P.; Buehler, R.; Buson, S.; Caliandro, G. A.; Cameron, R. A.; Caragiulo, M.; Caraveo, P. A.; Carpenter, B.; Casandjian, J. M.; Cavazzuti, E.; Cecchi, C.; Charles, E.; Chekhtman, A.; Cheung, C. C.; Chiang, J.; Chiaro, G.; Ciprini, S.; Claus, R.; Cohen-Tanugi, J.; Cominsky, L. R.; Conrad, J.; Cutini, S.; D'Abrusco, R.; D'Ammando, F.; de Angelis, A.; Desiante, R.; Digel, S. W.; Di Venere, L.; Drell, P. S.; Favuzzi, C.; Fegan, S. J.; Ferrara, E. C.; Finke, J.; Focke, W. B.; Franckowiak, A.; Fuhrmann, L.; Fukazawa, Y.; Furniss, A. K.; Fusco, P.; Gargano, F.; Gasparrini, D.; Giglietto, N.; Giommi, P.; Giordano, F.; Giroletti, M.; Glanzman, T.; Godfrey, G.; Grenier, I. A.; Grove, J. E.; Guiriec, S.; Hewitt, J. W.; Hill, A. B.; Horan, D.; Itoh, R.; Jóhannesson, G.; Johnson, A. S.; Johnson, W. N.; Kataoka, J.; Kawano, T.; Krauss, F.; Kuss, M.; La Mura, G.; Larsson, S.; Latronico, L.; Leto, C.; Li, J.; Li, L.; Longo, F.; Loparco, F.; Lott, B.; Lovellette, M. N.; Lubrano, P.; Madejski, G. M.; Mayer, M.; Mazziotta, M. N.; McEnery, J. E.; Michelson, P. F.; Mizuno, T.; Moiseev, A. A.; Monzani, M. E.; Morselli, A.; Moskalenko, I. V.; Murgia, S.; Nuss, E.; Ohno, M.; Ohsugi, T.; Ojha, R.; Omodei, N.; Orienti, M.; Orlando, E.; Paggi, A.; Paneque, D.; Perkins, J. S.; Pesce-Rollins, M.; Piron, F.; Pivato, G.; Porter, T. A.; Rainò, S.; Rando, R.; Razzano, M.; Razzaque, S.; Reimer, A.; Reimer, O.; Romani, R. W.; Salvetti, D.; Schaal, M.; Schinzel, F. K.; Schulz, A.; Sgrò, C.; Siskind, E. J.; Sokolovsky, K. V.; Spada, F.; Spandre, G.; Spinelli, P.; Stawarz, L.; Suson, D. J.; Takahashi, H.; Takahashi, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Thayer, J. G.; Thayer, J. B.; Tibaldo, L.; Torres, D. F.; Torresi, E.; Tosti, G.; Troja, E.; Uchiyama, Y.; Vianello, G.; Winer, B. L.; Wood, K. S.; Zimmer, S.

    2015-09-01

    The third catalog of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) detected by the Fermi-LAT (3LAC) is presented. It is based on the third Fermi-LAT catalog (3FGL) of sources detected between 100 MeV and 300 GeV with a Test Statistic greater than 25, between 2008 August 4 and 2012 July 31. The 3LAC includes 1591 AGNs located at high Galactic latitudes (| b| \\gt 10^\\circ ), a 71% increase over the second catalog based on 2 years of data. There are 28 duplicate associations, thus 1563 of the 2192 high-latitude gamma-ray sources of the 3FGL catalog are AGNs. Most of them (98%) are blazars. About half of the newly detected blazars are of unknown type, i.e., they lack spectroscopic information of sufficient quality to determine the strength of their emission lines. Based on their gamma-ray spectral properties, these sources are evenly split between flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) and BL Lacs. The most abundant detected BL Lacs are of the high-synchrotron-peaked (HSP) type. About 50% of the BL Lacs have no measured redshifts. A few new rare outliers (HSP-FSRQs and high-luminosity HSP BL Lacs) are reported. The general properties of the 3LAC sample confirm previous findings from earlier catalogs. The fraction of 3LAC blazars in the total population of blazars listed in BZCAT remains non-negligible even at the faint ends of the BZCAT-blazar radio, optical, and X-ray flux distributions, which hints that even the faintest known blazars could eventually shine in gamma-rays at LAT-detection levels. The energy-flux distributions of the different blazar populations are in good agreement with extrapolation from earlier catalogs.

  3. CHARACTERIZING THE OPTICAL VARIABILITY OF BRIGHT BLAZARS: VARIABILITY-BASED SELECTION OF FERMI ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Connect

    Ruan, John J.; Anderson, Scott F.; MacLeod, Chelsea L.; Becker, Andrew C.; Davenport, James R. A.; Ivezic, Zeljko; Burnett, T. H.; Kochanek, Christopher S.; Plotkin, Richard M.; Sesar, Branimir; Stuart, J. Scott

    2012-11-20

    We investigate the use of optical photometric variability to select and identify blazars in large-scale time-domain surveys, in part to aid in the identification of blazar counterparts to the {approx}30% of {gamma}-ray sources in the Fermi 2FGL catalog still lacking reliable associations. Using data from the optical LINEAR asteroid survey, we characterize the optical variability of blazars by fitting a damped random walk model to individual light curves with two main model parameters, the characteristic timescales of variability {tau}, and driving amplitudes on short timescales {sigma}-circumflex. Imposing cuts on minimum {tau} and {sigma}-circumflex allows for blazar selection with high efficiency E and completeness C. To test the efficacy of this approach, we apply this method to optically variable LINEAR objects that fall within the several-arcminute error ellipses of {gamma}-ray sources in the Fermi 2FGL catalog. Despite the extreme stellar contamination at the shallow depth of the LINEAR survey, we are able to recover previously associated optical counterparts to Fermi active galactic nuclei with E {>=} 88% and C = 88% in Fermi 95% confidence error ellipses having semimajor axis r < 8'. We find that the suggested radio counterpart to Fermi source 2FGL J1649.6+5238 has optical variability consistent with other {gamma}-ray blazars and is likely to be the {gamma}-ray source. Our results suggest that the variability of the non-thermal jet emission in blazars is stochastic in nature, with unique variability properties due to the effects of relativistic beaming. After correcting for beaming, we estimate that the characteristic timescale of blazar variability is {approx}3 years in the rest frame of the jet, in contrast with the {approx}320 day disk flux timescale observed in quasars. The variability-based selection method presented will be useful for blazar identification in time-domain optical surveys and is also a probe of jet physics.

  4. THE POPULATION OF HIGH-REDSHIFT ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI IN THE CHANDRA-COSMOS SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Civano, F.; Elvis, M.; Hao, H.; Brusa, M.; Comastri, A.; Zamorani, G.; Gilli, R.; Mignoli, M.; Salvato, M.; Capak, P.; Kakazu, Y.; Masters, D.; Fiore, F.; Ikeda, H.; Kartaltepe, J. S.; Miyaji, T.; Puccetti, S.; Shankar, F.; Silverman, J.; Vignali, C.

    2011-11-10

    We present the high-redshift (3 active galactic nuclei (AGNs) detected in the Chandra Cosmic Evolution Survey. The sample comprises 81 X-ray-detected sources with available spectroscopic (31) and photometric (50) redshifts plus 20 sources with a formal z{sub phot} < 3 but with a broad photometric redshift probability distribution, such that z{sub phot} + 1{sigma} > 3. Eighty-one sources are selected in the 0.5-2 keV band, fourteen are selected in the 2-10 keV and six in the 0.5-10 keV bands. We sample the high-luminosity (log L{sub (2-10keV)} > 44.15 erg s{sup -1}) space density up to z {approx} 5 and a fainter luminosity range (43.5 erg s{sup -1} < log L{sub (2-10keV)} < 44.15 erg s{sup -1}) than previous studies, up to z = 3.5. We weighted the contribution to the number counts and the space density of the sources with photometric redshift by using their probability of being at z > 3. We find that the space density of high-luminosity AGNs declines exponentially at all the redshifts, confirming the trend observed for optically selected quasars. At lower luminosity, the measured space density is not conclusive, and a larger sample of faint sources is needed. Comparisons with optical luminosity functions and black hole formation models are presented together with prospects for future surveys.

  5. RADIO-SELECTED BINARY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI FROM THE VERY LARGE ARRAY STRIPE 82 SURVEY

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, Hai; Myers, A. D.; Djorgovski, S. G.; Yan, Lin; Wrobel, J. M.; Stockton, A.

    2015-01-20

    Galaxy mergers play an important role in the growth of galaxies and their supermassive black holes. Simulations suggest that tidal interactions could enhance black hole accretion, which can be tested by the fraction of binary active galactic nuclei (AGNs) among galaxy mergers. However, determining the fraction requires a statistical sample of binaries. We have identified kiloparsec-scale binary AGNs directly from high-resolution radio imaging. Inside the 92 deg{sup 2} covered by the high-resolution Very Large Array survey of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82 field, we identified 22 grade A and 30 grade B candidates of binary radio AGNs with angular separations less than 5'' (10 kpc at z = 0.1). Eight of the candidates have optical spectra for both components from the SDSS spectroscopic surveys and our Keck program. Two grade B candidates are projected pairs, but the remaining six candidates are all compelling cases of binary AGNs based on either emission line ratios or the excess in radio power compared to the Hα-traced star formation rate. Only two of the six binaries were previously discovered by an optical spectroscopic search. Based on these results, we estimate that ∼60% of our binary candidates would be confirmed once we obtain complete spectroscopic information. We conclude that wide-area high-resolution radio surveys offer an efficient method to identify large samples of binary AGNs. These radio-selected binary AGNs complement binaries identified at other wavelengths and are useful for understanding the triggering mechanisms of black hole accretion.

  6. LONG-TERM OPTICAL CONTINUUM COLOR VARIABILITY OF NEARBY ACTIVE GALACTIC NUCLEI

    SciTech Conn