An adaptive feedback method for tracking and stabilizing unknown and/or slowly varying saddle-type steady states of conservative and weakly damped dissipative dynamical systems is proposed. We demonstrate that a conservative saddle point can be stabilized with neither unstable nor stable filter technique. The proposed controller involves both filters working in parallel. As a specific example, the Lagrange point L2 of the Sun-Earth system is discussed and the second-order saddle model is considered. Analog simulations have been performed using an inclusive nonlinear electrical circuit, imitating dynamics of a body along the Sun-Earth line. External chaotic perturbations have been used to check the robustness of the control technique.
It is necessary to consider the additional perturbation caused by the oscillation of Earth's equator when working on the low earth orbit (LEO). Since 1960s, an intermediate orbit coordinate system using true equator and mean equinox (TEME) is introduced. It effectively solves the problem and has been widely used in various applications till today. But this traditional frame is purely conceptual and has always been a trouble in converting between these systems especially for those who are unfamiliar with celestial frames. As proved in a previous paper, it is possible to avoid the intermediate TEME frame and conversions between osculating elements, and mean elements can be completed in a consistent geocentric celestial coordinate system where only short-period terms are required. Here with the improved secular and long-period terms, it is further available to predict the orbit analytically with quasi-mean-element-method all in the same celestial frame, reaching the accuracy of 10-6 in Earth's radius. The results show and suggest that celestial coordinate system (J2000.0 for the time being) can be used throughout any applications without having to introduce TEME system as intermediate frame any more.
A mixed quantum-classical method aimed at the study of nonadiabatic dynamics in the presence of external electromagnetic fields is developed within the framework of time-dependent density functional theory. To this end, we use a trajectory-based description of the quantum nature of the nuclear degrees of freedom according to Tully’s fewest switches trajectories surface hopping, where both the nonadiabatic coupling elements between the different potential energy surfaces, and the coupling with the external field are given as functionals of the ground-state electron density or, equivalently, of the corresponding Kohn-Sham orbitals. The method is applied to the study of the photodissociation dynamics of some simple molecules in gas phase.
In this paper, we show that the eccentricity of a planet on an inclined orbit with respect to a disc can be pumped up to high values by the gravitational potential of the disc, even when the orbit of the planet crosses the disc plane. This process is an extension of the Kozai effect. If the orbit of the planet is well inside the disc inner cavity, the process is formally identical to the classical Kozai effect. If the planet's orbit crosses the disc but most of the disc mass is beyond the orbit, the eccentricity of the planet grows when the initial angle between the orbit and the disc is larger than some critical value which may be significantly smaller than the classical value of 39°. Both the eccentricity and the inclination angle then vary periodically with time. When the period of the oscillations of the eccentricity is smaller than the disc lifetime, the planet may be left on an eccentric orbit as the disc dissipates.
We present H- and Ks-band imaging data resolving the gap in the transitional disk around LkCa 15, revealing the surrounding nebulosity. We detect sharp elliptical contours delimiting the nebulosity on the inside as well as the outside, consistent with the shape, size, ellipticity, and orientation of starlight reflected from the far-side disk wall, whereas the near-side wall is shielded from view by the disk's optically thick bulk. We note that forward scattering of starlight on the near-side disk surface could provide an alternate interpretation of the nebulosity. In either case, this discovery provides confirmation of the disk geometry that has been proposed to explain the spectral energy distributions of such systems, comprising an optically thick disk with an inner truncation radius of ~46 AU enclosing a largely evacuated gap. Our data show an offset of the nebulosity contours along the major axis, likely corresponding to a physical pericenter offset of the disk gap. This reinforces the leading theory that dynamical clearing by at least one orbiting body is the cause of the gap. Based on evolutionary models, our high-contrast imagery imposes an upper limit of 21 MJup on companions at separations outside of ofarcs1 and of 13 MJup outside of ofarcs2. Thus, we find that a planetary system around LkCa 15 is the most likely explanation for the disk architecture.
Most stars are born in clusters and the resulting gravitational interactions between cluster members may significantly affect the evolution of circumstellar disks and therefore the formation of planets and brown dwarfs (BDs). Recent findings suggest that tidal perturbations of typical circumstellar disks due to close encounters may inhibit rather than trigger disk fragmentation and so would seem to rule out planet formation by external tidal stimuli. However, the disk models in these calculations were restricted to disk radii of 40 AU and disk masses below 0.1 MSun. Here, we show that even modest encounters can trigger fragmentation around 100 AU in the sorts of massive (~0.5 MSun), extended (>=100 AU) disks that are observed around young stars. Tidal perturbation alone can do this; no disk-disk collision is required. We also show that very low mass binary systems can form through the interaction of objects in the disk. In our computations, otherwise non-fragmenting massive disks, once perturbed, fragment into several objects between about 0.01 and 0.1 MSun, i.e., over the whole BD mass range. Typically, these orbit on highly eccentric orbits or are even ejected. While probably not suitable for the formation of Jupiter- or Neptune-type planets, our scenario provides a possible formation mechanism for BDs and very massive planets which, interestingly, leads to a mass distribution consistent with the canonical substellar initial mass function. As a minor outcome, a possible explanation for the origin of misaligned extrasolar planetary systems is discussed.
We carried out extensive numerical orbit integrations to probe the long-term chaotic dynamics of the two strongest mean-motion resonances of Neptune in the Kuiper Belt, the 3:2 (Plutinos) and 2:1 (Twotinos). Our primary results include a computation of the relative volumes of phase space characterized by large- and small-resonance libration amplitudes, and maps of resonance stability measured by mean chaotic diffusion rate. We find that Neptune's 2:1 resonance has weaker overall long-term stability than the 3:2—only ~15% of Twotinos are projected to survive for 4 Gyr, compared to ~27% of Plutinos, based on an extrapolation from our 1-Gyr integrations. We find that Pluto has only a modest effect, causing a ~4% decrease in the Plutino population that survives to 4 Gyr. Given current observational estimates, and assuming an initial distribution of particles proportional to the local phase-space volume in the resonance, we conclude that the primordial populations of Plutinos and Twotinos formerly made up more than half the population of the classical and resonant Kuiper Belt. We also conclude that Twotinos were originally nearly as numerous as Plutinos; this is consistent with predictions from early models of smooth giant planet migration and resonance sweeping of the Kuiper Belt and provides a useful constraint for more detailed models.
We have developed a semianalytic method of parameterizing N-body simulations of self-gravity wakes in Saturn's rings, describing their photometric properties by means of only six numbers: three optical depths and three weighting factors. These numbers are obtained by fitting a sum of three Gaussians to the results of a density-estimation procedure that finds the frequencies of various values of local density within a simulated ring patch. Application of our parameterization to a suite of N-body simulations implies that rings dominated by self-gravity wakes appear to be mostly empty space, with more than half of their surface area taken up by local optical depths around 0.01. Such regions will be photometrically inactive for all viewing geometries. While this result might be affected by our use of identically sized particles, we believe the general result that the distribution of local optical depths is trimodal, rather than bimodal as previous authors have assumed, is robust. The implications of this result for the analysis of occultation data are more conceptual than practical, as we find that occultations can only distinguish between bimodal and trimodal models at very low opening angles. Thus, the only adjustment needed in existing analyses of occultation data is that the model parameter τgap should be interpreted as representing the area-weighted average optical depth within the gaps (or inter-wake regions), keeping in mind the possibility that the optical depth within those inter-wake regions may vary significantly. The most significant consequence of our results applies to the question of why "propeller" structures observed in the mid-A ring are seen as relative-bright features, even though the most prominent features of simulated propellers are regions of relatively low density. Our parameterization of self-gravity wakes lends preliminary quantitative support to the hypothesis that propellers would be bright if they involve a local and temporary disruption of self-gravity wakes. Even though the overall local density is lower within the propeller-shaped structure surrounding an embedded central moonlet, disruption of the wakes would flood these same regions with more "photometrically active" material (i.e., material that can contribute to the rings' local optical depth), raising their apparent brightnesses in agreement with observations. We find for a wide range of input parameters that this mechanism indeed can plausibly make propellers brighter than the wake-dominated background, though it is also possible for propellers to blend in with the background or even to remain dark. We suggest that this mechanism be tested by future detailed numerical models.
Context: Information on physical characteristics of astrometric radio sources, such as magnitude and redshift, is of great importance for many astronomical studies. However, data usually used in radio astrometry is often incomplete and outdated. Aims: Our purpose is to study the optical characteristics of more than 4000 radio sources observed by the astrometric VLBI technique since 1979. We also studied the effect of the asymmetry in the distribution of the reference radio sources on the correlation matrices between vector spherical harmonics of the first and second degrees. Methods: The radio source characteristics were mainly taken from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED). Characteristics of the gravitational lenses were checked with the CfA-Arizona Space Telescope LEns Survey. SIMBAD and HyperLeda databases were also used to clarify the characteristics of some objects. Also we simulated and investigated a list of 4000 radio sources evenly distributed around the celestial sphere. We estimated the correlation matrices between the vector spherical harmonics using the real as well as modelled distribution of the radio sources. Results: A new list OCARS (optical characteristics of astrometric radio sources) of 4261 sources has been compiled. Comparison of our data of optical characteristics with the official International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) list showed significant discrepancies for about half of the 667 common sources. Finally, we found that asymmetry in the radio source distribution between hemispheres could cause significant correlation between the vector spherical harmonics, especially in the case of sparse distribution of the sources with high redshift. We also identified radio sources having a many-year observation history and lack of redshift. These sources should be urgently observed with large optical telescopes. Conclusions: The list of optical characteristics created in this paper is recommended for use as a supplementary material for the next international celestial reference frame (ICRF) realization. It can be also effectively used for cosmological studies and planning of observing programs both in radio and optical wavelength. OCARS catalog is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/506/1477
The gravitational attraction of the Galactic Centre leads to the centrifugal acceleration of the Solar system barycentre. It results in secular aberration drift which displaces the position of the distant radio sources. The effect should be accounted for in high-precision astrometric reductions as well as by the corresponding update of the International Celestial Reference System definition.
The orientation of the atmospheric angular momentum vector of Titan and its temporal variation predicted by a general circulation model are analysed and interpreted. The atmospheric angular momentum vector is tilted by a few degrees from the polar axis and the vector rotates (precesses) westward with a constant period of 1 Titan day. The fast westward rotation is likely to be caused by migrating diurnal thermal tides. The tilt is almost cancelled out in the troposphere by the wavenumber 2 pattern of Saturn's gravitational tide, but is more pronounced in the stratosphere, where thermal tides are significant. The predicted tilt angle and the equatorial angular momentum vary with season and maximize when the hemispheric asymmetry of the axial angular momentum or superrotation attains its peak.
To assess climate sensitivity from Earth radiation observations of limited duration and observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs) requires a closed and therefore global domain, equilibrium between the fields, and robust methods of dealing with noise. Noise arises from natural variability in the atmosphere and observational noise in precessing satellite observations. This paper explores the meaning of results that use only the tropical region. We compute correlations and regressions between tropical SSTs and top-of-atmosphere (TOA) longwave, shortwave and net radiation using a variety of methods to test robustness of results. The main changes in SSTs throughout the tropics are associated with El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events in which the dominant changes in energy into an atmospheric column come from ocean heat exchange through evaporation, latent heat release in precipitation, and redistribution of that heat through atmospheric winds. These changes can be an order of magnitude larger than the net TOA radiation changes, and their effects are teleconnected globally, and especially into the subtropics. Atmospheric model results are explored and found to be consistent with observations. From 1985 to 1999 the largest perturbation in TOA radiative fluxes was from the eruption of Mount Pinatubo and clearly models which do not include that forcing will not simulate the effects. Consequently, regressions of radiation with SSTs in the tropics may have nothing to say about climate sensitivity.
The fall of the Berduc meteorite took place on April 7, 2008, at 01h 02min 28s+/-1s UTC. A daylight fireball was witnessed by hundreds of people from Argentina and Uruguay, and also recorded by an infrasound array in Paraguay. From the available data, the fireball trajectory and radiant have been reconstructed with moderate accuracy. The modeled trajectory was tested to fit the infrasound and strewn field data. From the computed apparent radiant α=87+/-2° and δ=-11+/-2° and taking into account a range of plausible initial velocities, we obtained a range of orbital solutions. All of them suggest that the progenitor meteoroid originated from the main asteroid belt and followed an orbit of low inclination. Based on petrography, mineral chemistry, magnetic susceptibility, and bulk chemistry, the Berduc meteorite is classified as an L6 ordinary chondrite.
We have begun the ExploreNEOs project in which we observe some 700 Near Earth Objects (NEOs) at 3.6 and 4.5 microns with the Spitzer Space Telescope in its Warm Spitzer mode. From these measurements and catalog optical photometry we derive albedos and diameters of the observed targets. The overall goal of our ExploreNEOs program is to study the history of near-Earth space by deriving the physical properties of a large number of NEOs. In this paper we describe both the scientific and technical construction of our ExploreNEOs program. We present our observational, photometric, and thermal modeling techniques. We present results from the first 101 targets observed in this program. We find that the distribution of albedos in this first sample is quite broad, probably indicating a wide range of compositions within the NEO population. Many objects smaller than one kilometer have high albedos (>0.35), but few objects larger than one kilometer have high albedos. This result is consistent with the idea that these larger objects are collisionally older, and therefore possess surfaces that are more space weathered and therefore darker, or are not subject to other surface rejuvenating events as frequently as smaller NEOs.
The radio-metric tracking data received from the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft from the distances between 20-70 astronomical units from the Sun has consistently indicated the presence of a small, anomalous, blue-shifted Doppler frequency drift that limited the accuracy of the orbit reconstruction for these vehicles. This drift was interpreted as a sunward acceleration of aP = 8.74±1.33 ×1010 m/s2 for each particular spacecraft. This signal has become known as the Pioneer anomaly; the nature of this anomaly is still being investigated. Recently new Pioneer 10 and 11 radio-metric Doppler and flight telemetry data became available. The newly available Doppler data set is much larger when compared to the data used in previous investigations and is the primary source for new investigation of the anomaly. In addition, the flight telemetry files, original project documentation, and newly developed software tools are now used to reconstruct the engineering history of spacecraft. With the help of this information, a thermal model of the Pioneers was developed to study possible contribution of thermal recoil force acting on the spacecraft. The goal of the ongoing efforts is to evaluate the effect of on-board systems on the spacecrafts' trajectories and possibly identify the nature of this anomaly. Techniques developed for the investigation of the Pioneer anomaly are applicable to the New Horizons mission. Analysis shows that anisotropic thermal radiation from on-board sources will accelerate this spacecraft by ˜41×1010m/s2. We discuss the lessons learned from the study of the Pioneer anomaly for the New Horizons spacecraft.
Numerical N-body studies of the dynamical evolution of a cluster of 1000 galaxies were carried out in order to investigate the role of dark matter in the formation of cD galaxies. Two models explicitly describing the darkmatter as a full-fledged component of the cluster having its own physical characteristics are constructed. These treat the dark matter as a continuous underlying substrate and as "grainy" matter. The ratio of the masses of the dark and luminous matter of the cluster is varied in the range 3-100. The observed logarithmic spectrum dN ˜ dM / M is used as an initial mass spectrum for the galaxies. A comparative numerical analysis of the evolution of the mass spectrum, the dynamics of mergers of the cluster galaxies, and the evolution of the growth of the central, supermassive cD galaxy suggests that dynamical friction associated with dark matter accelerates the formation of the cD galaxy via the absorption of galaxies colliding with it. Taking into account a dark-matter "substrate" removes the formation of multiple mass-accumulation centers, and makes it easier to form a cD galaxy that accumulates 1-2% of the cluster mass within the Hubble time scale (3-8 billion years), consistent with observations.
Errors in numerical simulations of gravitating systems can be magnified exponentially over short periods of time. Numerical shadowing provides a way of demonstrating that the dynamics represented by numerical simulations are representative of true dynamics. Using the Sitnikov problem as an example, it is demonstrated that unstable orbits of the three-body problem can be shadowed for long periods of time. In addition, it is shown that the stretching of phase space near escape and capture regions is a cause for the failure of the shadowing refinement procedure.
We model the binary black hole system OJ287 as a spinning primary and a non-spinning secondary. It is assumed that the primary has an accretion disk which is impacted by the secondary at specific times. These times are identified as major outbursts in the light curve of OJ287. This identification allows an exact solution of the orbit, with very tight error limits. Nine outbursts from both the historical photographic records as well as from recent photometric measurements have been used as fixed points of the solution: 1913, 1947, 1957, 1973, 1983, 1984, 1995, 2005 and 2007 outbursts. This allows the determination of eight parameters of the orbit. Most interesting of these are the primary mass of 1.84•1010MSun, the secondary mass1.40•108MSun, major axis precession rate 39°.1 per period, and the eccentricity of the orbit 0.70. The dimensionless spin parameter is 0.28 ± 0.01 (1 sigma). The last parameter will be more tightly constrained in 2015 when the next outburst is due. The outburst should begin on 15 December 2015 if the spin value is in the middle of this range, on 3 January 2016 if the spin is 0.25, and on 26 November 2015 if the spin is 0.31. We have also tested the possibility that the quadrupole term in the post-Newtonian equations of motion does not exactly follow Einstein’s theory: a parameter q is introduced as one of the 8 parameters. Its value is within 30% (1 sigma) of the Einstein’s value q = 1. This supports the no-hair theorem of black holes within the achievable precision. We have also measured the loss of orbital energy due to gravitational waves. The loss rate is found to agree with Einstein’s value with the accuracy of 2% (1 sigma). There is a possibility of improving the accuracy of both quantities using the exact timing of the outburst on 21 July 2019. Because of closeness of OJ287 to the Sun (8–12°), the observations would be best carried out by a telescope in space.
The dispersed fixed-delay interferometer (DFDI) represents a new instrument concept for high-precision radial velocity (RV) surveys for extrasolar planets. A combination of a Michelson interferometer and a medium-resolution spectrograph, it has the potential for performing multi-object surveys, where most previous RV techniques have been limited to observing only one target at a time. Because of the large sample of extrasolar planets needed to better understand planetary formation, evolution, and prevalence, this new technique represents a logical next step in instrumentation for RV extrasolar planet searches, and has been proven with the single-object Exoplanet Tracker (ET) at Kitt Peak National Observatory, and the multi-object W. M. Keck/MARVELS exoplanet Tracker at Apache Point Observatory. The development of the ET instruments has necessitated fleshing out a detailed understanding of the physical principles of the DFDI technique. Here we summarize the fundamental theoretical material needed to understand the technique and provide an overview of the physics underlying the instrument's working. We also derive some useful analytical formulae that can be used to estimate the level of various sources of error generic to the technique, such as photon shot noise when using a fiducial reference spectrum, contamination by secondary spectra (e.g., crowded sources, spectroscopic binaries, or moonlight contamination), residual interferometer comb, and reference cross-talk error. Following this, we show that the use of a traditional gas absorption fiducial reference with a DFDI can incur significant systematic errors that must be taken into account at the precision levels required to detect extrasolar planets.
The dispersed fixed-delay interferometer (DFDI) represents a new instrument concept for high-precision radial velocity (RV) surveys for extrasolar planets. A combination of a Michelson interferometer and a medium-resolution spectrograph, it has the potential for performing multi-object surveys, where most previous RV techniques have been limited to observing only one target at a time. Because of the large sample of extrasolar planets needed to better understand planetary formation, evolution, and prevalence, this new technique represents a logical next step in instrumentation for RV extrasolar planet searches, and has been proven with the single-object Exoplanet Tracker (ET) at Kitt Peak National Observatory, and the multi-object W. M. Keck/MARVELS Exoplanet Tracker at Apache Point Observatory. The development of the ET instruments has necessitated fleshing out a detailed understanding of the physical principles of the DFDI technique. Here we summarize the fundamental theoretical material needed to understand the technique and provide an overview of the physics underlying the instrument's working. We also derive some useful analytical formulae that can be used to estimate the level of various sources of error generic to the technique, such as photon shot noise when using a fiducial reference spectrum, contamination by secondary spectra (e.g., crowded sources, spectroscopic binaries, or moonlight contamination), residual interferometer comb, and reference cross-talk error. Following this, we show that the use of a traditional gas absorption fiducial reference with a DFDI can incur significant systematic errors that must be taken into account at the precision levels required to detect extrasolar planets.
Pulsar timing arrays (PTAs) are designed to detect gravitational waves with periods from several months to several years, e.g. those produced by wide supermassive black hole binaries in the centres of distant galaxies. Here, we show that PTAs are also sensitive to mergers of supermassive black holes. While these mergers occur on a time-scale too short to be resolvable by a PTA, they generate a change of metric due to non-linear gravitational-wave memory which persists for the duration of the experiment and could be detected. We develop the theory of the single-source detection by PTAs, and derive the sensitivity of PTAs to the gravitational-wave memory jumps. We show that mergers of 108Msolar black holes are 2 - σ-detectable (in a direction-, polarization- and time-dependent way) out to comoving distances of ~1 billion light-years. Modern prediction for black hole merger rates imply marginal to modest chance of an individual jump detection by currently developed PTAs. The sensitivity is expected to be somewhat higher for futuristic PTA experiments with the Square Kilometre Array.
Seismology is related to many problems of geodesy. The energy production of our planet is rather close to energy consumption of the Earth so that the energy balance can be disturbed significantly by minor processes acting on global scale. From this point of view the effect of tidal triggering of earthquakes is discussed by the study of tidal stress tensor components expressed in spherical system of coordinates. Tidal friction influences through the despinning of the axial rotation the geometrical flattening. This flattening variation causes stresses along the longitude and this phenomenon is closely related to the seismic energy release. Until now there is no unambiguous success to relate changes of the Earth orientation parameters with seismicity. Present-day accuracy of the length of day variations is not sufficient yet to detect spin variation generated by the greatest earthquakes. The polar motion is probably more sensitive to earthquakes and then there is a chance to detect the polar displacements generated by seismic events. In the last section of the present contribution, the strain rates derived from the static seismic moments and from space geodetic observations are compared. Future geodetic strain rate data will be useful in earthquake prediction.
We consider a model that describes the evolution of distant satellite orbits and that refines the solution of the doubly averaged Hill problem. Generally speaking, such a refinement was performed previously by J. Kovalevsky and A.A. Orlov in terms of Zeipel’s method by constructing a solution of the third order with respect to the small parameter m, the ratio of the mean motions of the planet and the satellite. The analytical solution suggested here differs from the solutions obtained by these authors and is closest in form to the general solution of the doubly averaged problem (˜ m 2). We have performed a qualitative analysis of the evolutionary equations and conditions for the intersection of satellite orbits with the surface of a spherical planet with a finite radius. Using the suggested solution, we have obtained improved analytical time dependences of the elements of evolving orbits for a number of distant satellites of giant planets compared to the solution of the doubly averaged Hill problem and, thus, achieved their better agreement with the results of our numerical integration of the rigorous equations of perturbed motion for satellites.
Dynamical behaviour of a small binary with equal components, each of mass m, is considered under attraction of a heavy body of mass M. Differential equations of the general three-body problem are integrated numerically using the code by S. J. Aarseth (Aarseth, Zare 1974) for mass ratios m/M within 10 11-10 4 range. The direct and retrograde orbits of light bodies about each other are considered which lie either in the plane of moving their center of mass or in the plane perpendicular to it. It is shown numerically that the critical separation between the binary components which leads to disruption of binary is proportional to ( m/M)1/3. The criterion can be used for studying (in the first approximation) the motion of double stars and binary asteroids or computing the parameters of magnetic monopol and antimonopol pairs.
The discovery of multi-planet extrasolar systems has kindled interest in using their orbital evolution as a probe of planet formation. Accurate descriptions of planetary orbits identify systems that could hide additional planets or be in a special dynamical state, and inform targeted follow-up observations. We combine published radial velocity data with Markov Chain Monte Carlo analyses in order to obtain an ensemble of masses, semimajor axes, eccentricities, and orbital angles for each of the five dynamically active multi-planet systems: HD 11964, HD 38529, HD 108874, HD 168443, and HD 190360. We dynamically evolve these systems using 52,000 long-term N-body integrations that sample the full range of possible line-of-sight and relative inclinations, and we report on the system stability, secular evolution, and the extent of the resonant interactions. We find that planetary orbits in hierarchical systems exhibit complex dynamics and can become highly eccentric and maybe significantly inclined. Additionally, we incorporate the effects of general relativity in the long-term simulations and demonstrate that it can qualitatively affect the dynamics of some systems with high relative inclinations. The simulations quantify the likelihood of different dynamical regimes for each system and highlight the dangers of restricting simulation phase space to a single set of initial conditions or coplanar orbits.
The analysis of high-precision timing observations of an array of ~20 millisecond pulsars (a so-called `timing array') may ultimately result in the detection of a stochastic gravitational-wave background. The feasibility of such a detection and the required duration of this type of experiment are determined by the achievable rms of the timing residuals and the timing stability of the pulsars involved. We present results of the first long-term, high-precision timing campaign on a large sample of millisecond pulsars used in gravitational-wave detection projects. We show that the timing residuals of most pulsars in our sample do not contain significant low-frequency noise that could limit the use of these pulsars for decade-long gravitational-wave detection efforts. For our most precisely timed pulsars, intrinsic instabilities of the pulsars or the observing system are shown to contribute to timing irregularities on a 5-year time-scale below the 100ns level. Based on those results, realistic sensitivity curves for planned and ongoing timing array efforts are determined. We conclude that prospects for detection of a gravitational-wave background through pulsar timing array efforts within 5 years to a decade are good.
The Parkes Pulsar Timing Array project aims to make a direct detection of a gravitational wave background through the timing of millisecond pulsars. In this paper, the main requirements for that endeavour are described and recent and ongoing progress is outlined. We demonstrate that the timing properties of millisecond pulsars are adequate and that technological progress is timely to expect a successful detection of gravitational waves within a decade, or alternatively to rule out all current predictions for gravitational wave backgrounds formed by supermassive black-hole mergers.
Lutz and Kelker showed that parallax measurements are systematically overestimated because they do not properly account for the larger volume of space that is sampled at smaller parallax values. We apply their analysis to neutron stars, incorporating the bias introduced by the intrinsic radio luminosity function and a realistic Galactic population model for neutron stars. We estimate the bias for all published neutron star parallax measurements and find that measurements with less than ~95 per cent certainty are likely to be significantly biased. Through inspection of historic parallax measurements, we confirm the described effects in optical and radio measurements as well as in distance estimates based on interstellar dispersion measures. The potential impact on future tests of relativistic gravity through pulsar timing and on X-ray-based estimates of neutron star radii is briefly discussed.
We consider the unrestricted problem of two mutually attracting rigid bodies, a uniform sphere (or a point mass) and an axially symmetric body. We present a global, geometric approach for finding all relative equilibria (stationary solutions) in this model, which was already studied by Kinoshita. We extend and generalize his results, showing that the equilibria solutions may be found by solving at most two non-linear, algebraic equations, assuming that the potential function of the symmetric rigid body is known explicitly. We demonstrate that there are three classes of the relative equilibria, which we call cylindrical, inclined coplanar and conic precessions, respectively. Moreover, we also show that in the case of conic precession, although the relative orbit is circular, the point mass and the mass centre of the body move in different parallel planes. This solution has not been known yet in the literature.
In recent years, there has been intensive research into the direct detection of exoplanets. Data obtained in the future with high-contrast imaging instruments, optimized for the direct detection of giant planets, may be strongly limited by speckle noise. Specific observing strategies and data analysis methods, such as angular and spectral differential imaging, are required to attenuate the noise level and possibly to detect the flux of faint planets. Even though these methods are very efficient at suppressing the speckles, the photometry of faint planets is dominated by the speckle residuals. The determination of the effective temperature and surface gravity of the detected planets from photometric measurements in different bands is then limited by the photometric error on the planet flux. In this paper, we investigate this photometric error and the consequences on the determination of the physical parameters of the detected planets. We perform detailed end-to-end simulation with the CAOS-based software package for spectro-polarimetric high-contrast exoplanet research (SPHERE) to obtain realistic data representing typical observing sequences in the Y, J, H and Ks bands with a high-contrast imager. The simulated data are used to measure the photometric accuracy as a function of contrast for planets detected with angular and spectral+angular differential methods. We apply this empirical accuracy to study the characterization capabilities of a high-contrast differential imager. We show that the expected photometric performances will allow the detection and characterization of exoplanets down to a Jupiter mass at angular separations of 1.0 and 0.2arcsec, respectively, around high-mass and low-mass stars with two observations in different filter pairs. We also show that the determination of the physical parameters of the planets from photometric measurements in different filter pairs is essentially limited by the error on the determination of the surface gravity.
A mechanical system consisting from N deformable spheres interacting according to the law of gravity is considered as a model of planetary system. Deformations of the viscoelastic spheres are described according to the model of the theory of elasticity of small deformations, the Kelvin-Voigt model of viscous forces, and occur under the action of gravitational fields and fields of centrifugal forces. Approximate equations describing motions of the centers of mass of the spheres and their rotations relative to the centers of mass are constructed by the method of separation of motions on the basis of solving quasistatic problems of the theory of viscoelasticity with allowance made for smallness of sphere deformations. Using the first integral of conservation of the angular momentum of the system relative to its center of mass, the expression for the changed potential energy is obtained with the use of the Routh method. An investigation of stationary rotations is carried out, and it is shown that all of them are unstable, if the number of planets is more than two.
The Edgeworth-Kuiper belt (EKB) and its presumed dusty debris is a natural reference for extrsolar debris disks. We re-analyze the current database of known transneptunian objects (TNOs) and employ a new algorithm to eliminate the inclination and the distance selection effects in the known TNO populations to derive expected parameters of the “true” EKB. Its estimated mass is MEKB = 0.12 M_⊕, which is by a factor of 15 larger than the mass of the EKB objects detected so far. About a half of the total EKB mass is in classical and resonant objects and another half is in scattered ones. Treating the debiased populations of EKB objects as dust parent bodies, we then “generate” their dust disk with our collisional code. Apart from accurate handling of destructive and cratering collisions and direct radiation pressure, we include the Poynting-Robertson (P-R) drag. The latter is known to be unimportant for debris disks around other stars detected so far, but cannot be ignored for the EKB dust disk because of its much lower optical depth. We find the radial profile of the normal optical depth to peak at the inner edge of the classical belt, ≈40 AU. Outside the classical EKB, it approximately follows τ ∝ r-2 which is roughly intermediate between the slope predicted analytically for collision-dominated (r-1.5) and transport-dominated (r-2.5) disks. The size distribution of dust is less affected by the P-R effect. The cross section-dominating grain size still lies just above the blowout size ( 1 dots 2 μm), as it would if the P-R effect was ignored. However, if the EKB were by one order of magnitude less massive, its dust disk would have distinctly different properties. The optical depth profile would fall off as τ ∝ r-3, and the cross section-dominating grain size would shift from 1 dots 2 μm to 100 μm. These properties are seen if dust is assumed to be generated only by known TNOs without applying the debiasing algorithm. An upper limit of the in-plane optical depth of the EKB dust set by our model is τ = 2 × 10-5 outside 30 AU. If the solar system were observed from outside, the thermal emission flux from the EKB dust would be about two orders of magnitude lower than for solar-type stars with the brightest known infrared excesses observed from the same distance. Herschel and other new-generation facilities should reveal extrasolar debris disks nearly as tenuous as the EKB disk. We estimate that the Herschel/PACS instrument should be able to detect disks at a 1 dots 2MEKB level.
The astrometric ground-based observations of latitude / universal time variations, covering the interval 1899.7-2003.0, were used in combination with Hipparcos / Tycho positions and some older ground-based catalogs to construct a family of catalogs, tailored for long-term Earth rotation studies. These catalogs, called Earth Orientation Catalogs (EOC-1 through EOC-3) yielded more accurate proper motions than the original Hipparcos Catalogue, and its latest version, EOC-3, even periodic motions for a large portion of the stars. About 4.5 million observations made at 33 observatories are combined with the catalogs ARIHIP, TYCHO-2 etc... in order to obtain EOC-4. Spectral analysis of ground-based data and comparison with the USNO Sixth Catalog of Orbits of Visual Binary Stars are used to discover which of the observed objects display periodic motions, and improved combination procedures are used. The catalog contains 4418 different objects (i.e., stars, components of double stars, photocenters), out of which 599 have significant orbital motions. (1 data file).
There were four 1.5-hour sessions of Division I business meetings during the XXVIIth IAU General Assembly. The first three were devoted to the reports of Commissions, Working Groups and services associated with the Division, discussion about plans for the next triennium and future structure of the Division. Scientific presentations on the future space astrometric mission Gaia were made at the fourth session.
Context. The astrometric ground-based observations of latitude/universal time variations, covering the interval 1899.7-2003.0, were used in combination with Hipparcos/Tycho positions and some older ground-based catalogs to construct a family of catalogs, tailored to long-term Earth-rotation studies. These catalogs, called Earth Orientation Catalogs (EOC-1 through EOC-3) yielded more accurate proper motions than the original Hipparcos Catalogue, and its latest version, EOC-3, even periodic motions for a large portion of the stars.
Aims: It appeared that more stars than are contained in EOC-3 are double or multiple and that a better procedure can be used to improve the periodic terms, reflecting the orbital motions of the stars observed in the programs of monitoring Earth orientation.
Methods: We used about 4.5 million observations of latitude/universal time variations at 33 observatories all over the world, and combined them with the catalogs ARIHIP, TYCHO-2, etc. to obtain the Earth Orientation Catalog (EOC-4). These observations are identical to those used to construct the previous version, EOC-3. Spectral analysis of ground-based data and comparison with the USNO Sixth Catalog of Orbits of Visual Binary Stars was used to discover which of the observed objects display periodic motions. The corresponding amplitudes and phases were then estimated in one-step least-squares solution, together with positions and proper motions. Unlike in EOC-3, where annual averages were used, we use here the individual nightly observations.
Results: The fourth version of the catalog, EOC-4, contains 4418 different objects (i.e., stars, components of double stars, photocenters), out of which 599 have significant orbital motions. The catalog will eventually be used for new determination of the Earth orientation parameters during the twentieth century. Table 1 (EOC4 catalog) is only available in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (220.127.116.11) or via http://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/509/A3