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Heidelberg, Germany

Pribulla T.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | Sebastian D.,Thuringer Landessternwarte | Eiff M.A.-V.,Thuringer Landessternwarte | Stahl O.,Landessternwarte Heidelberg | And 7 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

We present a spectroscopic survey of a sample of F stars that have not yet been searched for planets. The observations of 187 stars obtained with the Bochum Echelle Spectrographic Observer of the Cerro Armazones Observatory were aimed at nearby (closer than 70 pc) main-sequence stars without sufficient archive ([fiber-fed extended range optical spectrograph (FEROS)/high accuracy radial velocity planet search (HARPS)]) spectroscopy. The primary goal of the survey was to select the best candidates for radial-velocity searches of extrasolar planets. The spectra were analysed using the broadening-function technique, the method of choice for rapid rotators later than about A5. The analysis was focused not only at the determination of projected rotational velocity (defining precision of radial-velocity determination), but also at the detection of previously unknown spectroscopic binaries/multiples or stars showing strong line asymmetries. 12 previously unknown spectroscopic binaries/triples were detected. For all observed targets the spectral type was determined. About 140 stars are rotating faster than the resolution limit of 10 km s-1 sampling the onset of convection and slow rotation at mid-F spectral types in great detail. Radial-velocity precision of the data (about 100 m s-1) is insufficient to detect planets but could indicate most SB1 systems with stellar companions. As there are already 2-3 observations per object for these newly detected binary stars, only a few additional follow-up observations will be needed to obtain constraints on orbital parameters. We identified a sample of 68 bright F-type dwarf stars which are perfect targets for future planet searches. They rotate moderately or slowly and do not show any sign of binarity, pulsations, or surface activity. © 2014 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Bicknell G.V.,Australian National University | Wagner S.J.,Landessternwarte Heidelberg
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

Context. Recently observed rapid time variability in the gamma ray emission from the blazar PKS 2155-304 indicates that either the site of gamma ray emission is close to the black hole or the jet has a very high Lorentz factor. Consideration of the opacity of gamma rays close to the black hole provides additional information related to these two possibilities. Aims. We investigate the TeV gamma ray opacity resulting from pair production on soft photons radiated by the black hole accretion disk, considering situations where the radiation produced by the disk is close to that predicted by the Shakura-Sunyaev model and situations where the disk radiation is much less. Methods. We utilise expressions for the pair opacity of very high energy gamma rays developed by Gould and Schréder and Donea and Protheroe and use expressions for the disk radiation field produced by an accretion disk external to a Poynting flux dominated jet. A lower level of disk emission is modelled by using the spectrum corresponding to a lower accretion rate. We also consider changes in the shape of the gamma ray sepctrum as a flare emerges from the optically thick region. Results. If the gravitational power resulting from accretion is dissipated by radiation in the region of the disk external to the jet, then TeV gamma rays are opaque out to of order 40 gravitational radii â‰̂ 6 × 10 15 cm from the black hole. However, the opacity is considerably reduced if the disk radiates a negligible amount of gravitational power as would be the case if there is a significant disk wind external to the jet. In either case the absence of spectral changes during observed flares excludes scenarios in which the TeV gamma rays are emitted even in regions of modest pair opacity. © 2010 ESO.

Grellmann R.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Grellmann R.,European Southern Observatory | Ratzka T.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Ratzka T.,University of Graz | And 4 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2015

Context: Observations and simulations have clearly established that most stars form in multiple systems. Characterizing their properties is thus important for our understanding of the star formation process. Aims: To provide statistics about the number of companions per star over the full range of angular distances, infrared long-baseline interferometric studies can be employed to fill the gap between spectroscopic and adaptive optics searches. The Upper Scorpius OB association is a good target for such observations, because its stellar content is very well known from both spectroscopic and adaptive optics searches. Methods: We used the ESO Very Large Telescope Interferometer to perform long-baseline interferometric observations of a sample of seven B stars. Furthermore, we used ROSAT X-ray data to search for indications of low-mass companions. Results: With the interferometric observations, we find previously known companions around σ Sco and HR 6027. For the other targets we determine the parameter space in which the presence of companions can be excluded from our data. For two of the B stars in our sample, π Sco and HR 6026, the detection of X-ray emission provides indirect evidence of previously unknown low-mass companions. Conclusions: In total we find two previously unknown companions. We can exclude the presence of other unknown companions within the separation range of ∼2 to ∼100 mas and for a brightness ratio ≥0.1.

Buschkamp P.,Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics | Hofmann R.,Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics | Gemperlein H.,Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics | Polsterer K.,Ruhr University Bochum | And 8 more authors.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2010

The LUCIFER-MOS unit is the full cryogenic mask-exchange unit for the near-infrared multi-object spectrograph LUCIFER at the Large Binocular Telescope. We present the design and functionality of this unique device. In LUCIFER the masks are stored, handled, and placed in the focal plane under cryogenic conditions at all times, resulting in very low thermal background emission from the masks during observations. All mask manipulations are done by a novel cryogenic mask handling robot that can individually address up to 33 fixed and user-provided masks and place them in the focal plane with high accuracy. A complete mask exchange cycle is done in less than five minutes and can be run in every instrument position and state reducing instrument setup time during science observations to a minimum. Exchange of old and new MOS masks is likewise done under cryogenic conditions using a unique exchange drive mechanism and two auxiliary cryostats that attach to the main instrument cryostat. © 2010 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.

Reipurth B.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Bally J.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Aspin C.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Connelley M.S.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | And 4 more authors.
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2013

HH 222 is a giant shocked region in the L1641 cloud, and is popularly known as the Orion Streamers or "the waterfall" on account of its unusual structure. At the center of these streamers are two infrared sources coincident with a nonthermal radio jet aligned along the principal streamer. The unique morphology of HH 222 has long been associated with this radio jet. However, new infrared images show that the two sources are distant elliptical galaxies, indicating that the radio jet is merely an improbable line-of-sight coincidence. Accurate proper motion measurements of HH 222 reveal that the shock structure is a giant bow shock moving directly away from the well-known, very young, Herbig Be star V380 Ori. The already known Herbig-Haro object HH 35 forms part of this flow. A new Herbig-Haro object, HH 1041, is found precisely in the opposite direction of HH 222 and is likely to form part of a counterflow. The total projected extent of this HH complex is 5.3 pc, making it among the largest HH flows known. A second outflow episode from V380 Ori is identified as a pair of HH objects, HH 1031 to the northwest and the already known HH 130 to the southeast, along an axis that deviates from that of HH 222/HH 1041 by only 3.°7. V380 Ori is a hierarchical quadruple system, including a faint companion of spectral type M5 or M6, which at an age of ∼1 Myr corresponds to an object straddling the stellar-to-brown dwarf boundary. We suggest that the HH 222 giant bow shock is a direct result of the dynamical interactions that led to the conversion from an initial non-hierarchical multiple system into a hierarchical configuration. This event occurred no more than 28,000 yr ago, as derived from the proper motions of the HH 222 giant bow shock. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

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