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Flyaway

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General purpose astronomy thread.


The search for radio emission from the exoplanetary systems 55 Cancri, υ Andromedae, and τ Boötis using LOFAR beam-formed observations

Observing planetary auroral radio emission is the most promising method to detect exoplanetary magnetic fields, the knowledge of which will provide valuable insights into the planet's interior structure, atmospheric escape, and habitability. We present LOFAR-LBA circularly polarized beamformed observations of the exoplanetary systems 55 Cancri, υ Andromedae, and τ Boötis. We tentatively detect circularly polarized bursty emission from the τ Boötis system in the range 14-21 MHz with a flux density of ∼890 mJy and with a significance of ∼3σ. For this detection, no signal is seen in the OFF-beams, and we do not find any potential causes which might cause false positives. We also tentatively detect slowly variable circularly polarized emission from τ Boötis in the range 21-30 MHz with a flux density of ∼400 mJy and with a statistical significance of >8σ. The slow emission is structured in the time-frequency plane and shows an excess in the ON-beam with respect to the two simultaneous OFF-beams. Close examination casts some doubts on the reality of the slowly varying signal. We discuss in detail all the arguments for and against an actual detection. Furthermore, a ∼2σ marginal signal is found from the υ Andromedae system and no signal is detected from the 55 Cancri system. Assuming the detected signals are real, we discuss their potential origin. Their source probably is the τ Bootis planetary system, and a possible explanation is radio emission from the exoplanet τ Bootis b via the cyclotron maser mechanism. Assuming a planetary origin, we derived limits for the planetary polar surface magnetic field strength, finding values compatible with theoretical predictions. Further low-frequency observations are required to confirm this possible first detection of an exoplanetary radio signal. [Abridged]

 

Flyaway

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Exploring Primordial Black Holes from the Multiverse with Optical Telescopes

Primordial black holes (PBHs) are a viable candidate for dark matter if the PBH masses are in the currently unconstrained "sublunar" mass range. We revisit the possibility that PBHs were produced by nucleation of false vacuum bubbles during inflation. We show that this scenario can produce a population of PBHs that simultaneously accounts for all dark matter, explains the candidate event in Subaru Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) data, and contains both heavy black holes as observed by LIGO and very heavy seeds of supermassive black holes. We demonstrate with numerical studies that future observations of HSC, as well as other optical surveys, such as LSST, will be able to provide a definitive test for this generic PBH formation mechanism if it is the dominant source of dark matter.


Why was the HSC indispensable in this research? The HSC has a unique capability to image the entire Andromeda galaxy every few minutes. If a black hole passes through the line of sight to one of the stars, the black hole’s gravity bends the light rays and makes the star appear brighter than before for a short period of time. The duration of the star’s brightening tells the astronomers the mass of the black hole. With HSC observations, one can simultaneously observe one hundred million stars, casting a wide net for primordial black holes that may be crossing one of the lines of sight.

The first HSC observations have already reported a very intriguing candidate event consistent with a PBH from the “multiverse,” with a black hole mass comparable to the mass of the Moon. Encouraged by this first sign, and guided by the new theoretical understanding, the team is conducting a new round of observations to extend the search and to provide a definitive test of whether PBHs from the multiverse scenario can account for all dark matter.

 

Flyaway

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Looks like they accidentally proved one aspect of the MOND theory.

Testing the Strong Equivalence Principle: Detection of the External Field Effect in Rotationally Supported Galaxies

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The strong equivalence principle (SEP) distinguishes general relativity (GR) from other viable theories of gravity. The SEP demands that the internal dynamics of a self-gravitating system under freefall in an external gravitational field should not depend on the external field strength. We test the SEP by investigating the external field effect (EFE) in Milgromian dynamics (MOND), proposed as an alternative to dark matter in interpreting galactic kinematics. We report a detection of this EFE using galaxies from the Spitzer Photometry and Accurate Rotation Curves (SPARC) sample together with estimates of the large-scale external gravitational field from an all-sky galaxy catalog. Our detection is threefold: (1) the EFE is individually detected at 8σ to 11σ in "golden" galaxies subjected to exceptionally strong external fields, while it is not detected in exceptionally isolated galaxies, (2) the EFE is statistically detected at more than 4σ from a blind test of 153 SPARC rotating galaxies, giving a mean value of the external field consistent with an independent estimate from the galaxies' environments, and (3) we detect a systematic downward trend in the weak gravity part of the radial acceleration relation at the right acceleration predicted by the EFE of the MOND modified gravity. Tidal effects from neighboring galaxies in the Λ cold dark matter (CDM) context are not strong enough to explain these phenomena. They are not predicted by existing ΛCDM models of galaxy formation and evolution, adding a new small-scale challenge to the ΛCDM paradigm. Our results point to a breakdown of the SEP, supporting modified gravity theories beyond GR.


 

Nik

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FWIW, I vaguely remember a suggestion on PhysOrg that, given Jupiter is a powerful source of auroral etc RF, hypothetical planets X, XI , even XII might be sought thus ...

Notion derided. But, clearly, a seed was planted. 'Nearby' exoplanets were duly scanned for RF...
 

Flyaway

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591 High-velocity Stars in the Galactic Halo Selected from LAMOST DR7 and Gaia DR2

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In this paper, we report 591 high-velocity star candidates (HiVelSCs) selected from over 10 million spectra of Data Release 7 (DR7) of the Large Sky Area Multi-object Fiber Spectroscopic Telescope and the second Gaia data release, with three-dimensional velocities in the Galactic rest frame larger than 445 km s−1. We show that at least 43 HiVelSCs are unbound to the Galaxy with escape probabilities larger than 50%, and this number decreases to eight if the possible parallax zero-point error is corrected. Most of these HiVelSCs are metal-poor and slightly α-enhanced inner halo stars. Only 14% of them have [Fe/H] > −1, which may be the metal-rich "in situ" stars in the halo formed in the initial collapse of the Milky Way or metal-rich stars formed in the disk or bulge but kinematically heated. The low ratio of 14% implies that the bulk of the stellar halo was formed from the accretion and tidal disruption of satellite galaxies. In addition, HiVelSCs on retrograde orbits have slightly lower metallicities on average compared with those on prograde orbits; meanwhile, metal-poor HiVelSCs with [Fe/H] < −1 have an even faster mean retrograde velocity compared with metal-rich HiVelSCs. To investigate the origins of HiVelSCs, we perform orbit integrations and divide them into four types, i.e., hypervelocity stars, hyper-runaway stars, runaway stars and fast halo stars. A catalog for these 591 HiVelSCs, including radial velocities, atmospheric parameters, Gaia astrometric parameters, spatial positions, and velocities, etc., is available in the China-VO PaperData Repository at doi:10.12149/101038.


Source: https://www.universetoday.com/14946...s-many-on-their-way-out-of-the-milky-way/amp/
 

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Cosmic Distances Calibrated to 1% Precision with Gaia EDR3 Parallaxes and Hubble Space Telescope Photometry of 75 Milky Way Cepheids Confirm Tension with LambdaCDM

We present an expanded sample of 75 Milky Way Cepheids with Hubble Space Telescope (HST) photometry and Gaia EDR3 parallaxes which we use to recalibrate the extragalactic distance ladder and refine the determination of the Hubble constant. All HST observations were obtained with the same instrument (WFC3) and filters (F555W, F814W, F160W) used for imaging of extragalactic Cepheids in Type Ia supernova (SN Ia) hosts. The HST observations used the WFC3 spatial scanning mode to mitigate saturation and reduce pixel-to-pixel calibration errors, reaching a mean photometric error of 5 millimags per observation. We use new Gaia EDR3 parallaxes, vastly improved since DR2, and the Period-Luminosity (PL) relation of these Cepheids to simultaneously calibrate the extragalactic distance ladder and to refine the determination of the Gaia EDR3 parallax offset. The resulting geometric calibration of Cepheid luminosities has 1.0% precision, better than any alternative geometric anchor. Applied to the calibration of SNe~Ia, it results in a measurement of the Hubble constant of 73.0 +/- 1.4 km/sec/Mpc, in good agreement with conclusions based on earlier Gaia data releases. We also find the slope of the Cepheid PL relation in the Milky Way, and the metallicity dependence of its zeropoint, to be in good agreement with the mean values derived from other galaxies. In combination with the best complementary sources of Cepheid calibration, we reach 1.8% precision and find H_0=73.2 +/- 1.3 km/sec/Mpc, a 4.2 sigma difference with the prediction from Planck CMB observations under LambdaCDM. We expect to reach ~1.3% precision in the near term from an expanded sample of ~40 SNe Ia in Cepheid hosts.


Source: https://www.universetoday.com/14948...t-doesnt-resolve-the-crisis-in-cosmology/amp/[/B]
 

Raberto

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I see Harvard professor Avi Loeb has been out and about promoting his book about Oumuamua. He appears to be convinced it was ‘alien’ junk.

New Scientist 'Big Thinkers' online lecture by Professor Loeb on Feb 11th if anyone else is interested? I'm attending =)

 

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