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  1. Abstract Most binaries are undetected. Astrometric reductions of a system using the assumption that the object moves like a single point mass can be biased by unresolved binary stars. The discrepancy between the centre of mass of the system (which moves like a point mass) and the centre of light (which is what we observe) introduces additional motion. We explore the extent to which binary systems affect single object models fit to astrometric data. This tells us how observations are diluted by binaries and which systems cause the largest discrepancies - but also allows us to make inferences about the binarity of populations based on observed astrometric error. By examining a sample of mock observations, we show that binaries with periods close to one year can mimic parallax and thus bias distance measurements, whilst long period binaries can introduce significant apparent proper motion. Whilst these changes can soak up some of the error introduced by the binary, the total deviation from the best fitting model can be translated into a lower limit on the on-sky separation of the pair. Throughout we link these predictions to data from the Gaia satellite, whilst leaving the conclusions generalizable to other surveys.
  2. Abstract The S2 stream is a kinematically cold stream that is plunging downwards through the Galactic disc. It may be part of a hotter and more diffuse structure called the Helmi stream. We present a multi-instrument chemical analysis of the stars in the metal-poor S2 stream using both high- and low-resolution spectroscopy, complemented with a re-analysis of the archival data to give a total sample of 62 S2 members. Our high-resolution program provides α-elements (C, Mg, Si, Ca and Ti), iron-peak elements (V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni), n-capture process elements (Sr, Ba) and other elements such as Li, Na, Al, and Sc for a subsample of S2 objects. We report coherent abundance patterns over a large metallicity spread (∼1 dex) confirming that the S2 stream was produced by a disrupted dwarf galaxy. The combination of S2’s α-elements displays a mildly decreasing trend with increasing metallicity which can be tentatively interpreted as a “knee” at [Fe/H]<−2. At the low metallicity end, the n-capture elements in S2 may be dominated by r-process production however several stars are Ba-enhanced, but unusually poor in Sr. Moreover, some of the low-[Fe/H] stars appear to be carbon-enhanced. We interpret the observed abundance patterns with the help ofmore »chemical evolution models that demonstrate the need for modest star-formation efficiency and low wind efficiency confirming that the progenitor of S2 was a primitive dwarf galaxy.« less
  3. ABSTRACT For stars with unresolved companions, motions of the centre of light and that of mass decouple, causing a single-source astrometric model to perform poorly. We show that such stars can be easily detected with the reduced χ2 statistic, or renormalized unit weight error (RUWE), provided as part of Gaia DR2. We convert RUWE into the amplitude of the image centroid wobble, which, if scaled by the source distance, is proportional to the physical separation between companions (for periods up to several years). We test this idea on a sample of known spectroscopic binaries and demonstrate that the amplitude of the centroid perturbation scales with the binary period and the mass ratio as expected. We apply this technique to the Gaia DR2 data and show how the binary fraction evolves across the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram. The observed incidence of unresolved companions is high for massive young stars and drops steadily with stellar mass, reaching its lowest levels for white dwarfs. We highlight the elevated binary fraction for the nearby blue stragglers and blue horizontal branch stars. We also illustrate how unresolved hierarchical triples inflate the relative velocity signal in wide binaries. Finally, we point out a hint of evidence for themore »existence of additional companions to the hosts of extrasolar hot Jupiters.« less
  4. ABSTRACT We present two catalogues of active galactic nucleus (AGN) candidates selected from the latest data of two all-sky surveys – Data Release 2 of the Gaia mission and the unWISE catalogue of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). We train a random forest classifier to predict the probability of each source in the Gaia–unWISE joint sample being an AGN, PRF, based on Gaia astrometric and photometric measurements and unWISE photometry. The two catalogues, which we designate C75 and R85, are constructed by applying different PRF threshold cuts to achieve an overall completeness of 75 per cent (≈90 per cent at GaiaG ≤ 20 mag) and reliability of 85 per cent, respectively. The C75 (R85) catalogue contains 2734 464 (2182 193) AGN candidates across the effective 36 000 deg2 sky, of which ≈0.91 (0.52) million are new discoveries. Photometric redshifts of the AGN candidates are derived by a random forest regressor using Gaia and WISE magnitudes and colours. The estimated overall photometric redshift accuracy is 0.11. Cross-matching the AGN candidates with a sample of known bright cluster galaxies, we identify a high-probability strongly lensed AGN candidate system, SDSS J1326+4806, with a large image separation of 21${^{\prime\prime}_{.}}$06. All the AGN candidates in our catalogues will have ∼5-yr long light curves from Gaiamore »by the end of the mission, and thus will be a great resource for AGN variability studies. Our AGN catalogues will also be helpful in AGN target selections for future spectroscopic surveys, especially those in the Southern hemisphere. The C75 catalogue can be downloaded at https://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~ypshu/AGN_Catalogues.html.« less