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  1. We present a theory for pitch, a matrix property that is linked to the coupling of rotational and translational motion of rigid bodies at low Reynolds numbers. The pitch matrix is a geometric property of objects in contact with a surrounding fluid, and it can be decomposed into three principal axes of pitch and their associated moments of pitch. The moments of pitch predict the translational motion in a direction parallel to each pitch axis when the object is rotated around that axis and can be used to explain translational drift, particularly for rotating helices. We also provide a symmetrized boundary element model for blocks of the resistance tensor, allowing calculation of the pitch matrix for arbitrary rigid bodies. We analyze a range of chiral objects, including chiral molecules and helices. Chiral objects with a Cn symmetry axis with n > 2 show additional symmetries in their pitch matrices. We also show that some achiral objects have non-vanishing pitch matrices, and we use this result to explain recent observations of achiral microswimmers. We also discuss the small but non-zero pitch of Lord Kelvin’s isotropic helicoid.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 7, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2024

    We report the discovery of two mini-Neptunes in near 2:1 resonance orbits (P = 7.610303 d for HIP 113103 b and P  = 14.245651 d for HIP 113103 c) around the adolescent K-star HIP 113103 (TIC 121490076). The planet system was first identified from the TESS mission, and was confirmed via additional photometric and spectroscopic observations, including a ∼17.5 h observation for the transits of both planets using ESA CHEOPS. We place ≤4.5 min and ≤2.5 min limits on the absence of transit timing variations over the 3 yr photometric baseline, allowing further constraints on the orbital eccentricities of the system beyond that available from the photometric transit duration alone. With a planetary radius of Rp  =  $1.829_{-0.067}^{+0.096}$ R⊕, HIP 113103 b resides within the radius gap, and this might provide invaluable information on the formation disparities between super-Earths and mini-Neptunes. Given the larger radius Rp  = $2.40_{-0.08}^{+0.10}$ R⊕ for HIP 113103 c, and close proximity of both planets to HIP 113103, it is likely that HIP 113103 b might have lost (or is still losing) its primordial atmosphere. We therefore present simulated atmospheric transmission spectra of both planets using JWST, HST, and Twinkle. It demonstrates a potential metallicity difference (due to differences in their evolution) would be a challenge to detect if the atmospheres are in chemical equilibrium. As one of the brightest multi sub-Neptune planet systems suitable for atmosphere follow up, HIP 113103 b and HIP 113103 c could provide insight on planetary evolution for the sub-Neptune K-star population.

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    In this paper, we present high-resolution spectroscopic transit observations from ESPRESSO of the super-Neptune WASP-166 b. In addition to spectroscopic ESPRESSO data, we analyse photometric data from TESS of six WASP-166 b transits along with simultaneous NGTS observations of the ESPRESSO runs. These observations were used to fit for the planetary parameters as well as assessing the level of stellar activity (e.g. spot crossings, flares) present during the ESPRESSO observations. We utilize the reloaded Rossiter McLaughlin (RRM) technique to spatially resolve the stellar surface, characterizing the centre-to-limb convection-induced variations, and to refine the star–planet obliquity. We find WASP-166 b has a projected obliquity of $\lambda = -15.52^{+2.85}_{-2.76}\, ^{\circ }$ and vsin (i) = 4.97 ± 0.09 km s−1 which is consistent with the literature. We were able to characterize centre-to-limb convective variations as a result of granulation on the surface of the star on the order of a few km s−1 for the first time. We modelled the centre-to-limb convective variations using a linear, quadratic, and cubic model with the cubic being preferred. In addition, by modelling the differential rotation and centre-to-limb convective variations simultaneously, we were able to retrieve a potential antisolar differential rotational shear (α ∼ −0.5) and stellar inclination (i* either 42.03$^{+9.13}_{-9.60}\, ^{\circ }$ or 133.64$^{+8.42}_{-7.98}\, ^{\circ }$ if the star is pointing towards or away from us). Finally, we investigate how the shape of the cross-correlation functions change as a function of limb angle and compare our results to magnetohydrodynamic simulations.

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    DW Cnc is an intermediate polar which has previously been observed in both high and low states. Observations of the high state of DW Cnc have previously revealed a spin period at ∼38.6 min, however, observations from the 2018 to 2019 low state showed no evidence of the spin period. We present results from our analysis of 12 s cadence photometric data collected by Next Generation Transit Survey of DW Cnc during the high state which began in 2019. Following the previously reported suppression of the spin period signal, we identify the return of this signal during the high state, consistent with previous observations of it. We identify this as the restarting of accretion during the high state. We further identified three short outbursts lasting ∼1 d in DW Cnc with a mean recurrence time of ∼60 d and an amplitude of ∼1 mag. These are the first outbursts identified in DW Cnc since 2008. Due to the short nature of these events, we identify them not as a result of accretion instabilities but instead either from instabilities originating from the interaction of the magnetorotational instability in the accretion disc and the magnetic field generated by the white dwarf or the result of magnetic gating.

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  6. ABSTRACT We present the discovery and characterization of six short-period, transiting giant planets from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) -- TOI-1811 (TIC 376524552), TOI-2025 (TIC 394050135), TOI-2145 (TIC 88992642), TOI-2152 (TIC 395393265), TOI-2154 (TIC 428787891), and TOI-2497 (TIC 97568467). All six planets orbit bright host stars (8.9 <G < 11.8, 7.7 <K < 10.1). Using a combination of time-series photometric and spectroscopic follow-up observations from the TESS Follow-up Observing Program Working Group, we have determined that the planets are Jovian-sized (RP  = 0.99--1.45 RJ), have masses ranging from 0.92 to 5.26 MJ, and orbit F, G, and K stars (4766 ≤ Teff ≤ 7360 K). We detect a significant orbital eccentricity for the three longest-period systems in our sample: TOI-2025 b (P  = 8.872 d, 0.394$^{+0.035}_{-0.038}$), TOI-2145 b (P  = 10.261 d, e  = $0.208^{+0.034}_{-0.047}$), and TOI-2497 b (P  = 10.656 d, e  = $0.195^{+0.043}_{-0.040}$). TOI-2145 b and TOI-2497 b both orbit subgiant host stars (3.8 < log  g <4.0), but these planets show no sign of inflation despite very high levels of irradiation. The lack of inflation may be explained by the high mass of the planets; $5.26^{+0.38}_{-0.37}$ MJ (TOI-2145 b) and 4.82 ± 0.41 MJ (TOI-2497 b). These six new discoveries contribute to the larger community effort to use TESS to create a magnitude-complete, self-consistent sample of giant planets with well-determined parameters for future detailed studies. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 14, 2024
  7. Twenty-five United Nations member states in the wider Caribbean region ratified the Cartagena Convention, which covers the marine environment of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and some parts of the Atlantic Ocean. The Land-Based Sources and Activities protocol (LBS Protocol) of that convention addresses nutrient pollution from sewage discharges, agricultural runoff and other sources. Unfortunately, most Caribbean people use conventional onsite wastewater treatment systems (OWTs), especially septic systems. These systems fail to remove nitrogen effectively, posing a challenge for near shore environments. Passive biological nitrogen removal (BNR) processes have been developed for OWTs that rely on simple packed bed bioreactors, with little energy or chemical inputs and low operations and maintenance (O&M) requirements. This paper provides a case study from Florida on the partnerships and pathways for research to develop an innovative technology, Hybrid Adsorption and Biological Treatment System (HABiTS), for nitrogen reduction in OWTs. HABiTS combine ion exchange materials and BNR to remove nitrogen from septic tank effluent and buffer transient loadings. HABiTS, employs natural zeolite material (e.g. clinoptilolite) and expanded clay in the first stage to achieve both ammonium ion exchange and nitrification. The second stage of HABiTS utilizes tire chips, elemental sulphur pellets and oyster shells for adsorption of nitrate as well as sulphur oxidizing denitrification. Under transient load applications, the nitrogen in excess of the biodegradation capacity during high loading events was partially retained within the ion exchange and adsorption materials and readily available later for the microorganisms during lower loading events. Results from a bench scale bioreactor study with marine wastewater, which is relevant to where seawater is used for toilet flushing, are also presented. Pilot scale tests on the OWT of an engaged stakeholder dependent on the marine environment, would contribute to broader discussions for paradigm shifts for nutrient removal from wastewater. 
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