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Cebron D.,Aix - Marseille University | Le Bars M.,Aix - Marseille University | Moutou C.,Laboratoire Dastrophysique Of Marseille | Le Gal P.,Aix - Marseille University
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

Context. The presence of celestial companions means that any planet may be subject to three kinds of harmonic mechanical forcing: tides, precession/nutation, and libration. These forcings can generate flows in internal fluid layers, such as fluid cores and subsurface oceans, whose dynamics then significantly differ from solid body rotation. In particular, tides in non-synchronized bodies and libration in synchronized ones are known to be capable of exciting the so-called elliptical instability, i.e. a generic instability corresponding to the destabilization of two-dimensional flows with elliptical streamlines, leading to three-dimensional turbulence. Aims. We aim here at confirming the relevance of such an elliptical instability in terrestrial bodies by determining its growth rate, as well as its consequences on energy dissipation, on magnetic field induction, and on heat flux fluctuations on planetary scales. Methods. Previous studies and theoretical results for the elliptical instability are re-evaluated and extended to cope with an astrophysical context. In particular, generic analytical expressions of the elliptical instability growth rate are obtained using a local WKB approach, simultaneously considering for the first time (i) a local temperature gradient due to an imposed temperature contrast across the considered layer or to the presence of a volumic heat source and (ii) an imposed magnetic field along the rotation axis, coming from an external source. Results. The theoretical results are applied to the telluric planets and moons of the solar system as well as to three Super-Earths: 55 CnC e, CoRoT-7b, and GJ 1214b. For the tide-driven elliptical instability in non-synchronized bodies, only the early Earth core is shown to be clearly unstable. For the libration-driven elliptical instability in synchronized bodies, the core of Io is shown to be stable, contrary to previously thoughts, whereas Europa, 55 CnC e, CoRoT-7b, and GJ 1214b cores can be unstable. The subsurface ocean of Europa is slightly unstable. However, these present states do not preclude more unstable situations in the past. © ESO, 2012.

Giordano S.,National institute for astrophysics | Raymond J.C.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Lamy P.,Laboratoire Dastrophysique Of Marseille | Uzzo M.,Computer Sciences Corp. | Dobrzycka D.,European Southern Observatory
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

Comet C/2002 S2, amember of the Kreutz family of sungrazing comets,was discovered inwhite-light images of the Large Angle and Spectromeric Coronagraph Experiment coronagraph on the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) on 2002 September 18 and observed in H I Lyα emission by the SOHO Ultraviolet Coronagraph Spectrometer (UVCS) instrument at four different heights as it approached the Sun. The H I Lyα line profiles detected by UVCS are analyzed to determine the spectral parameters: line intensity, width, and Doppler shift with respect to the coronal background. Two-dimensional comet images of these parameters are reconstructed at the different heights. A novel aspect of the observations of this sungrazing comet data is that, whereas the emission from most of the tail is blueshifted, that along one edge of the tail is redshifted. We attribute these shifts to a combination of solar wind speed and interaction with the magnetic field. In order to use the comet to probe the density, temperature, and speed of the corona and solar wind through which it passes, as well as to determine the outgassing rate of the comet, we develop a Monte Carlo simulation of the H I Lyα emission of a comet moving through a coronal plasma. From the outgassing rate, we estimate a nucleus diameter of about 9m. This rate steadily increases as the comet approaches the Sun, while the optical brightness decreases by more than a factor of 10 and suddenly recovers. This indicates that the optical brightness is determined by the lifetimes of the grains, sodium atoms, and molecules produced by the comet. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Schenker M.A.,California Institute of Technology | Stark D.P.,University of Cambridge | Ellis R.S.,California Institute of Technology | Robertson B.E.,California Institute of Technology | And 4 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

Using deep Keck spectroscopy of Lyman break galaxies selected from infrared imaging data taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 on board the Hubble Space Telescope, we present new evidence for a reversal in the redshift-dependent fraction of star-forming galaxies with detectable Lyman alpha (Lyα) emission in the redshift range 6.3 < z < 8.8. Our earlier surveys with the DEIMOS spectrograph demonstrated a significant increase with redshift in the fraction of line emitting galaxies over the interval 4 < z < 6, particularly for intrinsically faint systems which dominate the luminosity density. Using the longer wavelength sensitivities of Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer and NIRSPEC, we have targeted 19 Lyman break galaxies selected using recent WFC3/IR data whose photometric redshifts are in the range 6.3 < z < 8.8 and which span a wide range of intrinsic luminosities. Our spectroscopic exposures typically reach a 5σ sensitivity of <50 Å for the rest-frame equivalent width (EW) of Lyα emission. Despite the high fraction of emitters seen only a few hundred million years later, we find only two convincing and one possible line emitter in our more distant sample. Combining with published data on a further seven sources obtained using FORS2 on the ESO Very Large Telescope, and assuming continuity in the trends found at lower redshift, we discuss the significance of this apparent reversal in the redshift-dependent Lyα fraction in the context of our range in continuum luminosity. Assuming all the targeted sources are at their photometric redshift and our assumptions about the Lyα EW distribution are correct, we would expect to find so few emitters in less than 1% of the realizations drawn from our lower redshift samples. Our new results provide further support for the suggestion that, at the redshifts now being probed spectroscopically, we are entering the era where the intergalactic medium is partially neutral. With the arrival of more sensitive multi-slit infrared spectrographs, the prospects for improving the statistical validity of this result are promising. © 2012 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Guo Y.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Giavalisco M.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Ferguson H.C.,US Space Telescope Science Institute | Cassata P.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

This paper studies the properties of kiloparsec-scale clumps in star-forming galaxies at z∼2 through multi-wavelength broadband photometry. A sample of 40 clumps is identified from Hubble Space Telescope (HST)/Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) z-band images through auto-detection and visual inspection from 10galaxies with 1.5 < z < 2.5 in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, where deep and high-resolution HST/WFC3 and ACS images enable us to resolve structures of z∼2 galaxies down to the kiloparsec scale in the rest-frame UV and optical bands and to detect clumps toward the faint end. The physical properties of clumps are measured through fitting spatially resolved seven-band (BVizYJH) spectral energy distribution to models. On average, the clumps are blue and have similar median rest-frame UV-optical color as the diffuse components of their host galaxies, but the clumps have large scatter in their colors. Although the star formation rate (SFR)-stellar mass relation of galaxies is dominated by the diffuse components, clumps emerge as regions with enhanced specific star formation rates, contributing individually ∼10% and together ∼50% of the SFR of the host galaxies. However, the contributions of clumps to the rest-frame UV/optical luminosity and stellar mass are smaller, typically a few percent individually and ∼20% together. On average, clumps are younger by 0.2dex and denser by a factor of eight than diffuse components. Clump properties have obvious radial variations in the sense that central clumps are redder, older, more extincted, denser, and less active on forming stars than outskirt clumps. Our results are broadly consistent with a widely held view that clumps are formed through gravitational instability in gas-rich turbulent disks and would eventually migrate toward galactic centers and coalesce into bulges. Roughly 40% of the galaxies in our sample contain a massive clump that could be identified as a proto-bulge, which seems qualitatively consistent with such a bulge-formation scenario. © © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Vasiliev E.,Rochester Institute of Technology | Vasiliev E.,Laboratoire Dastrophysique Of Marseille
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2013

We review the methods used to study the orbital structure and chaotic properties of various galactic models and to construct self-consistent equilibrium solutions by Schwarzschild's orbit superposition technique. These methods are implemented in a new publicly available software tool, SMILE, which is intended to be a convenient and interactive instrument for studying a variety of 2D and 3D models, including arbitrary potentials represented by a basis-set expansion, a spherical-harmonic expansion with coefficients being smooth functions of radius (splines) or a set of fixed point masses. We also propose two new variants of Schwarzschild modelling, in which the density of each orbit is represented by the coefficients of the basis-set or spline spherical-harmonic expansion, and the orbit weights are assigned in such a way as to reproduce the coefficients of the underlying density model. We explore the accuracy of these general-purpose potential expansions and show that they may be efficiently used to approximate a wide range of analytic density models and serve as smooth representations of discrete particle sets (e.g. snapshots from an N-body simulation), for instance, for the purpose of orbit analysis of the snapshot. For the variants of Schwarzschild modelling, we use two test cases - a triaxial Dehnen model containing a central black hole and a model re-created from an N-body snapshot obtained by a cold collapse. These tests demonstrate that all modelling approaches are capable of creating equilibrium models. © 2013 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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