skip to main content

Title: High tide: a systematic search for ellipsoidal variables in ASAS-SN
ABSTRACT The majority of non-merging stellar mass black holes are discovered by observing high energy emission from accretion processes. Here, we pursue the large, but still mostly unstudied population of non-interacting black holes and neutron stars by searching for the tidally induced ellipsoidal variability of their stellar companions. We start from a sample of about 200 000 rotational variables, semiregular variables, and eclipsing binary stars from the All-Sky Automated Survey for Supernovae. We use a χ2 ratio test followed by visual inspection to identify 369 candidates for ellipsoidal variability. We also discuss how to combine the amplitude of the variability with mass and radius estimates for observed stars to calculate a minimum companion mass, identifying the most promising candidates for high mass companions.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1814440 1908952
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10348511
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
507
Issue:
1
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
104 to 115
ISSN:
0035-8711
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) can funnel stars and stellar remnants from the vicinity of the galactic center into the inner plane of the AGN disk. Stars reaching this inner region can be tidally disrupted by the stellar-mass black holes in the disk. Such micro tidal disruption events (micro-TDEs) could be a useful probe of stellar interaction with the AGN disk. We find that micro-TDEs in AGNs occur at a rate of ∼170 Gpc −3 yr −1 . Their cleanest observational probe may be the electromagnetic detection of tidal disruption in AGNs by heavy supermassive black holes ( M • ≳ 10 8 M ⊙ ) that cannot tidally disrupt solar-type stars. The reconstructed rate of such events from observations, nonetheless, appears to be much lower than our estimated micro-TDE rate. We discuss two such micro-TDE candidates observed to date (ASASSN-15lh and ZTF19aailpwl).
  2. Abstract The globular cluster 47 Tucanae (47 Tuc) is one of the most massive star clusters in the Milky Way and is exceptionally rich in exotic stellar populations. For several decades it has been a favorite target of observers, and yet it is computationally very challenging to model because of its large number of stars ( N ≳ 10 6 ) and high density. Here we present detailed and self-consistent 47 Tuc models computed with the Cluster Monte Carlo code ( CMC ). The models include all relevant dynamical interactions coupled to stellar and binary evolution, and reproduce various observations, including the surface brightness and velocity dispersion profiles, pulsar accelerations, and numbers of compact objects. We show that the present properties of 47 Tuc are best reproduced by adopting an initial stellar mass function that is both bottom-heavy and top-light relative to standard assumptions (as in, e.g., Kroupa 2001), and an initial Elson profile (Elson et al. 1987) that is overfilling the cluster’s tidal radius. We include new prescriptions in CMC for the formation of binaries through giant star collisions and tidal captures, and we show that these mechanisms play a crucial role in the formation of neutron star binariesmore »and millisecond pulsars in 47 Tuc; our best-fit model contains ∼50 millisecond pulsars, 70% of which are formed through giant collisions and tidal captures. Our models also suggest that 47 Tuc presently contains up to ∼200 stellar-mass black holes, ∼5 binary black holes, ∼15 low-mass X-ray binaries, and ∼300 cataclysmic variables.« less
  3. ABSTRACT

    We present a high-contrast imaging survey of intermediate-mass (1.75–4.5 M⊙) stars to search the most extreme stellar binaries, i.e. for the lowest mass stellar companions. Using adaptive optics at the Lick and Gemini observatories, we observed 169 stars and detected 24 candidates companions, 16 of which are newly discovered, and all but three are likely or confirmed physical companions. Despite obtaining sensitivity down to the substellar limit for 75 per cent of our sample, we do not detect any companion below 0.3 M⊙, strongly suggesting that the distribution of stellar companions is truncated at a mass ratio of qmin ≳ 0.075. Combining our results with known brown dwarf companions, we identify a low-mass companion desert to intermediate-mass stars in the range 0.02 ≲ q ≲ 0.05, which quantitatively matches the known brown dwarf desert among solar-type stars. We conclude that the formation mechanism for multiple systems operates in a largely scale-invariant manner and precludes the formation of extremely uneven systems, likely because the components of a protobinary accrete most of their mass after the initial cloud fragmentation. Similarly, the mechanism to form ‘planetary’ (q ≲ 0.02) companions likely scales linearly with stellar mass, probably as a result of the correlation between the massesmore »of stars and their protoplanetary discs. Finally, we predict the existence of a sizable population of brown dwarf companions to low-mass stars and of a rising population of planetary-mass objects towards ${\approx}1\,M_\mathrm{Jup}$ around solar-type stars. Improvements on current instrumentation will test these predictions.

    « less
  4. ABSTRACT In dense star clusters, such as globular and open clusters, dynamical interactions between stars and black holes (BHs) can be extremely frequent, leading to various astrophysical transients. Close encounters between a star and a stellar mass BH make it possible for the star to be tidally disrupted by the BH. Due to the relative low mass of the BH and the small cross-section of the tidal disruption event (TDE) for cases with high penetration, disruptions caused by close encounters are usually partial disruptions. The existence of the remnant stellar core and its non-negligible mass compared to the stellar mass BH alters the accretion process significantly. We study this problem with SPH simulations using the code Phantom, with the inclusion of radiation pressure, which is important for small mass BHs. Additionally, we develop a new, more general method of computing the fallback rate which does not rely on any approximation. Our study shows that the powerlaw slope of the fallback rate has a strong dependence on the mass of the BH in the stellar mass BH regime. Furthermore, in this regime, self-gravity of the fallback stream and local instabilities become more significant, and cause the disrupted material to collapse intomore »small clumps before returning to the BH. This results in an abrupt increase of the fallback rate, which can significantly deviate from a powerlaw. Our results will help in the identification of TDEs by stellar mass BHs in dense clusters.« less
  5. ABSTRACT Evolved Wolf–Rayet stars form a key aspect of massive star evolution, and their strong outflows determine their final fates. In this study, we calculate grids of stellar models for a wide range of initial masses at five metallicities (ranging from solar down to just 2 per cent solar). We compare a recent hydrodynamically consistent wind prescription with two earlier frequently used wind recipes in stellar evolution and population synthesis modelling, and we present the ranges of maximum final masses at core He-exhaustion for each wind prescription and metallicity Z. Our model grids reveal qualitative differences in mass-loss behaviour of the wind prescriptions in terms of ‘convergence’. Using the prescription from Nugis & Lamers the maximum stellar black hole is found to converge to a value of 20–30 M⊙, independent of host metallicity; however, when utilizing the new physically motivated prescription from Sander & Vink there is no convergence to a maximum black hole mass value. The final mass is simply larger for larger initial He-star mass, which implies that the upper black hole limit for He-stars below the pair-instability gap is set by prior evolution with mass loss, or the pair instability itself. Quantitatively, we find the critical Z for pair-instability (ZPI) tomore »be as high as 50 per cent Z⊙, corresponding to the host metallicity of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Moreover, while the Nugis & Lamers prescription would not predict any black holes above the approx 130 M⊙ pair-instability limit, with Sander & Vink winds included, we demonstrate a potential channel for very massive helium stars to form such massive black holes at ∼2 per cent Z⊙ or below.« less