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  1. Abstract

    More than 36 yr have passed since the discovery of the infrared excess from circumstellar dust orbiting the white dwarf G29-38, which at 17.5 pc it is the nearest and brightest of its class. The precise morphology of the orbiting dust remains only marginally constrained by existing data, subject to model-dependent inferences, and thus fundamental questions of its dynamical origin and evolution persist. This study presents a means to constrain the geometric distribution of the emitting dust using stellar pulsations measured at optical wavelengths as a variable illumination source of the dust, which reradiates primarily in the infrared. By combining optical photometry from the Whole Earth Telescope with 0.7–2.5μm spectroscopy obtained with SpeX at NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility, we detect luminosity variations at all observed wavelengths, with variations at most wavelengths corresponding to the behavior of the pulsating stellar photosphere, but toward the longest wavelengths the light curves probe the corresponding time variability of the circumstellar dust. In addition to developing methodology, we find the pulsation amplitudes decrease with increasing wavelength for principal pulsation modes, yet increase beyond ≈2μm for nonlinear combination frequencies. We interpret these results as combination modes derived from the principal modes of identicalvalues and discuss the implications for the morphology of the warm dust. We also draw attention to some discrepancies between our findings and theoretical expectations for the results of the nonlinearity imposed by the surface convection zone on mode–mode interactions and on the behavior of the first harmonic of the highest-amplitude pulsation mode.

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  2. Abstract We report on multiwavelength target-of-opportunity observations of the blazar PKS 0735+178, located 2.°2 away from the best-fit position of the IceCube neutrino event IceCube-211208A detected on 2021 December 8. The source was in a high-flux state in the optical, ultraviolet, X-ray, and GeV γ -ray bands around the time of the neutrino event, exhibiting daily variability in the soft X-ray flux. The X-ray data from Swift-XRT and NuSTAR characterize the transition between the low-energy and high-energy components of the broadband spectral energy distribution (SED), and the γ -ray data from Fermi-LAT, VERITAS, and H.E.S.S. require a spectral cutoff near 100 GeV. Both the X-ray and γ -ray measurements provide strong constraints on the leptonic and hadronic models. We analytically explore a synchrotron self-Compton model, an external Compton model, and a lepto-hadronic model. Models that are entirely based on internal photon fields face serious difficulties in matching the observed SED. The existence of an external photon field in the source would instead explain the observed γ -ray spectral cutoff in both the leptonic and lepto-hadronic models and allow a proton jet power that marginally agrees with the Eddington limit in the lepto-hadronic model. We show a numerical lepto-hadronic model with external target photons that reproduces the observed SED and is reasonably consistent with the neutrino event despite requiring a high jet power. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2024
  3. Context. The TESS satellite was launched in 2018 to perform high-precision photometry from space over almost the whole sky in a search for exoplanets orbiting bright stars. This instrument has opened new opportunities to study variable hot subdwarfs, white dwarfs, and related compact objects. Targets of interest include white dwarf and hot subdwarf pulsators, both carrying high potential for asteroseismology. Aims. We present the discovery and detailed asteroseismic analysis of a new g -mode hot B subdwarf (sdB) pulsator, EC 21494−7018 (TIC 278659026), monitored in TESS first sector using 120-s cadence. Methods. The TESS light curve was analyzed with standard prewhitening techniques, followed by forward modeling using our latest generation of sdB models developed for asteroseismic investigations. By simultaneously best-matching all the observed frequencies with those computed from models, we identified the pulsation modes detected and, more importantly, we determined the global parameters and structural configuration of the star. Results. The light curve analysis reveals that EC 21494−7018 is a sdB pulsator counting up to 20 frequencies associated with independent g -modes. The seismic analysis singles out an optimal model solution in full agreement with independent measurements provided by spectroscopy (atmospheric parameters derived from model atmospheres) and astrometry (distance evaluated from Gaia DR2 trigonometric parallax). Several key parameters of the star are derived. Its mass (0.391 ± 0.009  M ⊙ ) is significantly lower than the typical mass of sdB stars and suggests that its progenitor has not undergone the He-core flash; therefore this progenitor could originate from a massive (≳2  M ⊙ ) red giant, which is an alternative channel for the formation of sdBs. Other derived parameters include the H-rich envelope mass (0.0037 ± 0.0010  M ⊙ ), radius (0.1694 ± 0.0081  R ⊙ ), and luminosity (8.2 ± 1.1  L ⊙ ). The optimal model fit has a double-layered He+H composition profile, which we interpret as an incomplete but ongoing process of gravitational settling of helium at the bottom of a thick H-rich envelope. Moreover, the derived properties of the core indicate that EC 21494−7018 has burnt ∼43% (in mass) of its central helium and possesses a relatively large mixed core ( M core  = 0.198 ± 0.010  M ⊙ ), in line with trends already uncovered from other g-mode sdB pulsators analyzed with asteroseismology. Finally, we obtain for the first time an estimate of the amount of oxygen (in mass; X (O) core = 0.16 +0.13 −0.05 ) produced at this stage of evolution by an helium-burning core. This result, along with the core-size estimate, is an interesting constraint that may help to narrow down the still uncertain 12 C( α ,  γ ) 16 O nuclear reaction rate. 
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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  5. ABSTRACT A deep survey of the Large Magellanic Cloud at ∼0.1–100 TeV photon energies with the Cherenkov Telescope Array is planned. We assess the detection prospects based on a model for the emission of the galaxy, comprising the four known TeV emitters, mock populations of sources, and interstellar emission on galactic scales. We also assess the detectability of 30 Doradus and SN 1987A, and the constraints that can be derived on the nature of dark matter. The survey will allow for fine spectral studies of N 157B, N 132D, LMC P3, and 30 Doradus C, and half a dozen other sources should be revealed, mainly pulsar-powered objects. The remnant from SN 1987A could be detected if it produces cosmic-ray nuclei with a flat power-law spectrum at high energies, or with a steeper index 2.3–2.4 pending a flux increase by a factor of >3–4 over ∼2015–2035. Large-scale interstellar emission remains mostly out of reach of the survey if its >10 GeV spectrum has a soft photon index ∼2.7, but degree-scale 0.1–10 TeV pion-decay emission could be detected if the cosmic-ray spectrum hardens above >100 GeV. The 30 Doradus star-forming region is detectable if acceleration efficiency is on the order of 1−10 per cent of the mechanical luminosity and diffusion is suppressed by two orders of magnitude within <100 pc. Finally, the survey could probe the canonical velocity-averaged cross-section for self-annihilation of weakly interacting massive particles for cuspy Navarro–Frenk–White profiles. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 22, 2024
  6. ABSTRACT MAXI J1820+070 is a low-mass X-ray binary with a black hole (BH) as a compact object. This binary underwent an exceptionally bright X-ray outburst from 2018 March to October, showing evidence of a non-thermal particle population through its radio emission during this whole period. The combined results of 59.5 h of observations of the MAXI J1820+070 outburst with the H.E.S.S., MAGIC and VERITAS experiments at energies above 200 GeV are presented, together with Fermi-LAT data between 0.1 and 500 GeV, and multiwavelength observations from radio to X-rays. Gamma-ray emission is not detected from MAXI J1820+070, but the obtained upper limits and the multiwavelength data allow us to put meaningful constraints on the source properties under reasonable assumptions regarding the non-thermal particle population and the jet synchrotron spectrum. In particular, it is possible to show that, if a high-energy (HE) gamma-ray emitting region is present during the hard state of the source, its predicted flux should be at most a factor of 20 below the obtained Fermi-LAT upper limits, and closer to them for magnetic fields significantly below equipartition. During the state transitions, under the plausible assumption that electrons are accelerated up to ∼500 GeV, the multiwavelength data and the gamma-ray upper limits lead consistently to the conclusion that a potential HE and very-HE gamma-ray emitting region should be located at a distance from the BH ranging between 1011 and 1013 cm. Similar outbursts from low-mass X-ray binaries might be detectable in the near future with upcoming instruments such as CTA. 
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  7. Abstract The results of gamma-ray observations of the binary system HESS J0632 + 057 collected during 450 hr over 15 yr, between 2004 and 2019, are presented. Data taken with the atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes H.E.S.S., MAGIC, and VERITAS at energies above 350 GeV were used together with observations at X-ray energies obtained with Swift-XRT, Chandra, XMM-Newton, NuSTAR, and Suzaku. Some of these observations were accompanied by measurements of the H α emission line. A significant detection of the modulation of the very high-energy gamma-ray fluxes with a period of 316.7 ± 4.4 days is reported, consistent with the period of 317.3 ± 0.7 days obtained with a refined analysis of X-ray data. The analysis of data from four orbital cycles with dense observational coverage reveals short-timescale variability, with flux-decay timescales of less than 20 days at very high energies. Flux variations observed over a timescale of several years indicate orbit-to-orbit variability. The analysis confirms the previously reported correlation of X-ray and gamma-ray emission from the system at very high significance, but cannot find any correlation of optical H α parameters with fluxes at X-ray or gamma-ray energies in simultaneous observations. The key finding is that the emission of HESS J0632 + 057 in the X-ray and gamma-ray energy bands is highly variable on different timescales. The ratio of gamma-ray to X-ray flux shows the equality or even dominance of the gamma-ray energy range. This wealth of new data is interpreted taking into account the insufficient knowledge of the ephemeris of the system, and discussed in the context of results reported on other gamma-ray binary systems. 
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