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Skinner S.L.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Zhekov S.A.,Institute of Space Technology | Gudel M.,University of Vienna | Schmutz W.,Physikalisch Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos and World Radiation Center
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

The short-period (1.64 d) near-contact eclipsing WN6 + O9 binary system CQ Cep provides an ideal laboratory for testing the predictions of X-ray colliding wind shock theory at close separation where the winds may not have reached terminal speeds before colliding. We present results of a Chandra X-ray observation of CQ Cep spanning ∼1 day during which a simultaneous Chandra optical light curve was acquired. Our primary objective was to compare the observed X-ray properties with colliding wind shock theory, which predicts that the hottest shock plasma (T ≳ 20 MK) will form on or near the line-of-centers between the stars. The X-ray spectrum is strikingly similar to apparently single WN6 stars such as WR 134 and spectral lines reveal plasma over a broad range of temperatures T∼4-40 MK. A deep optical eclipse was seen as the O star passed in front of the Wolf-Rayet star and we determine an orbital period Porb = 1.6412400 d. Somewhat surprisingly, no significant X-ray variability was detected. This implies that the hottest X-ray plasma is not confined to the region between the stars, at odds with the colliding wind picture and suggesting that other X-ray production mechanisms may be at work. Hydrodynamic simulations that account for such effects as radiative cooling and orbital motion will be needed to determine if the new Chandra results can be reconciled with the colliding wind picture. © 2015, Institute of Physics Publishing. All rights reserved. Source

Sokal K.R.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Skinner S.L.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Zhekov S.A.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Zhekov S.A.,Space Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2010

We present first results of a Chandra X-ray observation of the rare oxygen-type Wolf-Rayet (WR) star WR 142 (= Sand 5 = St 3) harbored in the young, heavily obscured cluster Berkeley 87. Oxygen-type WO stars are thought to be the most evolved of the WRs and progenitors of supernovae or gamma-ray bursts. As part of an X-ray survey of supposedly single WR stars, we observed WR 142 and the surrounding Berkeley 87 region with Chandra ACIS-I. We detect WR 142 as a faint yet extremely hard X-ray source. Due to weak emission, its nature as a thermal or non-thermal emitter is unclear and thus we discuss several emission mechanisms. Additionally, we report seven detections and eight non-detections by Chandra of massive OB stars in Berkeley 87, two of which are bright yet soft X-ray sources whose spectra provide a dramatic contrast to the hard emission from WR 142. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved. Source

Sheng J.-X.,ETH Zurich | Weisenstein D.K.,Harvard University | Luo B.-P.,ETH Zurich | Rozanov E.,ETH Zurich | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Geophysical Research Atmospheres | Year: 2015

The global atmospheric sulfur budget and its emission dependence have been investigated using the coupled aerosol-chemistry-climate model SOCOL-AER. The aerosol module comprises gaseous and aqueous sulfur chemistry and comprehensive microphysics. The particle distribution is resolved by 40 size bins spanning radii from 0.39 nm to 3.2 μm, including size-dependent particle composition. Aerosol radiative properties required by the climate model are calculated online from the aerosol module. The model successfully reproduces main features of stratospheric aerosols under nonvolcanic conditions, including aerosol extinctions compared to Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE II) and Halogen Occultation Experiment, and size distributions compared to in situ measurements. The calculated stratospheric aerosol burden is 109 Gg of sulfur, matching the SAGE II-based estimate (112 Gg). In terms of fluxes through the tropopause, the stratospheric aerosol layer is due to about 43% primary tropospheric aerosol, 28% SO2, 23% carbonyl sulfide (OCS), 4% H2S, and 2% dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Turning off emissions of the short-lived species SO2, H2S, and DMS shows that OCS alone still establishes about 56% of the original stratospheric aerosol burden. Further sensitivity simulations reveal that anticipated increases in anthropogenic SO2 emissions in China and India have a larger influence on stratospheric aerosols than the same increase in Western Europe or the U.S., due to deep convection in the western Pacific region. However, even a doubling of Chinese and Indian emissions is predicted to increase the stratospheric background aerosol burden only by 9%. In contrast, small to moderate volcanic eruptions, such as that of Nabro in 2011, may easily double the stratospheric aerosol loading. © 2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. Source

Kretzschmar M.,University of Orleans | Dammasch I.E.,Solar Influence Data Analysis Center | Dominique M.,Solar Influence Data Analysis Center | Zender J.,European Space Agency | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Space Weather and Space Climate | Year: 2012

The Large-Yield Radiometer (LYRA) is a radiometer that has monitored the solar irradiance at high cadence and in four pass bands since January 2010. Both the instrument and its spacecraft, PROBA2 (Project for OnBoard Autonomy), have several innovative features for space instrumentation, which makes the data reduction necessary to retrieve the long-term variations of solar irradiance more complex than for a fully optimized solar physics mission. In this paper, we describe how we compute the long-term time series of the two extreme ultraviolet irradiance channels of LYRA and compare the results with those of SDO/EVE. We find that the solar EUV irradiance has increased by a factor of 2 since the last solar minimum (between solar cycles 23 and 24), which agrees reasonably well with the EVE observations. © Owned by the authors, Published by EDP Sciences 2012. Source

Steimer S.S.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Steimer S.S.,ETH Zurich | Krieger U.K.,ETH Zurich | Te Y.-F.,ETH Zurich | And 8 more authors.
Atmospheric Measurement Techniques | Year: 2015

Measurements of a single, levitated particle in an electrodynamic balance are an established tool for deriving thermodynamic and material data such as density, refractive index and activities of components of an aqueous solution under supersaturated conditions, where bulk measurements are not possible. The retrieval relies on combining mass-to-charge data and size data from light scattering. Here, we use a combination of low- and high-resolution Mie resonance spectroscopy to obtain radius data, enabling an accurate size determination not only when the particle is in equilibrium, but also when it is out of equilibrium due to kinetic limitation of mass transport. With the data measured under non-equilibrium conditions, it is possible to retrieve the water diffusivity. A challenge is that the radius retrieval by comparing measured light scattering with Mie theory requires the knowledge of refractive index as a function of concentration. Here, we show an iterative retrieval of refractive index and size for compounds for which data cannot be obtained in the bulk either due to lack of sufficient amounts of sample or limited solubility. We demonstrate the measurement strategy and the retrieval of water activity, density, refractive index and water diffusivity for aqueous shikimic acid. Water diffusivity in concentrated shikimic acid decreases by 6 orders of magnitude at 250 K compared to that at room temperature. © Author(s) 2015. Source

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