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  1. ABSTRACT G0.253+0.016, commonly referred to as ‘the Brick’ and located within the Central Molecular Zone, is one of the densest (≈103–4 cm−3) molecular clouds in the Galaxy to lack signatures of widespread star formation. We set out to constrain the origins of an arc-shaped molecular line emission feature located within the cloud. We determine that the arc, centred on $\lbrace l_{0},b_{0}\rbrace =\lbrace 0{_{.}^{\circ}} 248,\, 0{_{.}^{\circ}} 018\rbrace$, has a radius of 1.3 pc and kinematics indicative of the presence of a shell expanding at $5.2^{+2.7}_{-1.9}$ $\mathrm{\, km\, s}^{-1}$. Extended radio continuum emission fills the arc cavity and recombination line emission peaks at a similarmore »velocity to the arc, implying that the molecular gas and ionized gas are physically related. The inferred Lyman continuum photon rate is NLyC = 1046.0–1047.9 photons s−1, consistent with a star of spectral type B1-O8.5, corresponding to a mass of ≈12–20 M⊙. We explore two scenarios for the origin of the arc: (i) a partial shell swept up by the wind of an interloper high-mass star and (ii) a partial shell swept up by stellar feedback resulting from in situ star formation. We favour the latter scenario, finding reasonable (factor of a few) agreement between its morphology, dynamics, and energetics and those predicted for an expanding bubble driven by the wind from a high-mass star. The immediate implication is that G0.253+0.016 may not be as quiescent as is commonly accepted. We speculate that the cloud may have produced a ≲103 M⊙ star cluster ≳0.4 Myr ago, and demonstrate that the high-extinction and stellar crowding observed towards G0.253+0.016 may help to obscure such a star cluster from detection.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 17, 2022
  2. The density structure of the interstellar medium determines where stars form and release energy, momentum and heavy elements, driving galaxy evolution1-4. Density variations are seeded and amplified by gas motion, but the exact nature of this motion is unknown across spatial scales and galactic environments5. Although dense star-forming gas probably emerges from a combination of instabilities6,7, convergent flows8 and turbulence9, establishing the precise origin is challenging because it requires gas motion to be quantified over many orders of magnitude in spatial scale. Here we measure10-12 the motion of molecular gas in the Milky Way and in nearby galaxy NGC 4321,more »assembling observations that span a spatial dynamic range 10-1-103 pc. We detect ubiquitous velocity fluctuations across all spatial scales and galactic environments. Statistical analysis of these fluctuations indicates how star-forming gas is assembled. We discover oscillatory gas flows with wavelengths ranging from 0.3-400 pc. These flows are coupled to regularly spaced density enhancements that probably form via gravitational instabilities13,14. We also identify stochastic and scale-free velocity and density fluctuations, consistent with the structure generated in turbulent flows9. Our results demonstrate that the structure of the interstellar medium cannot be considered in isolation. Instead, its formation and evolution are controlled by nested, interdependent flows of matter covering many orders of magnitude in spatial scale.« less
  3. ABSTRACT We report the discovery of a warm sub-Saturn, TOI-257b (HD 19916b), based on data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS). The transit signal was detected by TESS and confirmed to be of planetary origin based on radial velocity observations. An analysis of the TESS photometry, the Minerva-Australis, FEROS, and HARPS radial velocities, and the asteroseismic data of the stellar oscillations reveals that TOI-257b has a mass of MP = 0.138 ± 0.023 $\rm {M_J}$ (43.9 ± 7.3 $\, M_{\rm \oplus}$), a radius of RP = 0.639 ± 0.013 $\rm {R_J}$ (7.16 ± 0.15 $\, \mathrm{ R}_{\rm \oplus}$), bulk density of $0.65^{+0.12}_{-0.11}$ (cgs), and period $18.38818^{+0.00085}_{-0.00084}$ $\rm {days}$. TOI-257b orbits a bright (V = 7.612 mag)more »somewhat evolved late F-type star with M* = 1.390 ± 0.046 $\rm {M_{sun}}$, R* = 1.888 ± 0.033 $\rm {R_{sun}}$, Teff = 6075 ± 90 $\rm {K}$, and vsin i = 11.3 ± 0.5 km s−1. Additionally, we find hints for a second non-transiting sub-Saturn mass planet on a ∼71 day orbit using the radial velocity data. This system joins the ranks of a small number of exoplanet host stars (∼100) that have been characterized with asteroseismology. Warm sub-Saturns are rare in the known sample of exoplanets, and thus the discovery of TOI-257b is important in the context of future work studying the formation and migration history of similar planetary systems.« less