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  1. Abstract We report high-resolution ALMA observations toward a massive protostellar core C1-Sa (∼30 M ⊙ ) in the Dragon infrared dark cloud. At the resolution of 140 au, the core fragments into two kernels (C1-Sa1 and C1-Sa2) with a projected separation of ∼1400 au along the elongation of C1-Sa, consistent with a Jeans length scale of ∼1100 au. Radiative transfer modeling using RADEX indicates that the protostellar kernel C1-Sa1 has a temperature of ∼75 K and a mass of 0.55 M ⊙ . C1-Sa1 also likely drives two bipolar outflows, one being parallel to the plane of the sky. C1-Sa2 is not detected in line emission and does not show any outflow activity but exhibits ortho-H 2 D + and N 2 D + emission in its vicinity; thus it is likely still starless. Assuming a 20 K temperature, C1-Sa2 has a mass of 1.6 M ⊙ . At a higher resolution of 96 au, C1-Sa1 begins to show an irregular shape at the periphery, but no clear sign of multiple objects or disks. We suspect that C1-Sa1 hosts a tight binary with inclined disks and outflows. Currently, one member of the binary is actively accreting while the accretion in the other is significantly reduced. C1-Sa2 shows hints of fragmentation into two subkernels with similar masses, which requires further confirmation with higher sensitivity. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    The statistics of galactic-scale quasar pairs can elucidate our understanding of the dynamical evolution of supermassive black hole (SMBH) pairs, the duty cycles of quasar activity in mergers, or even the nature of dark matter, but they have been challenging to measure at cosmic noon, the prime epoch of massive galaxy and SMBH formation. Here we measure a double quasar fraction of ∼6.2 ± 0.5 × 10−4integrated over ∼0.″3–3″ separations (projected physical separations of ∼3–30 kpc atz∼ 2) in luminous (Lbol> 1045.8erg s−1) unobscured quasars at 1.5 <z< 3.5 using Gaia EDR3-resolved pairs around SDSS DR16 quasars. The measurement was based on a sample of 60 Gaia-resolved double quasars (out of 487 Gaia pairs dominated by quasar+star superpositions) at these separations, corrected for pair completeness in Gaia, which we quantify as functions of pair separation, magnitude of the primary, and magnitude contrast. The double quasar fraction increases toward smaller separations by a factor of ∼5 over these scales. The division between physical quasar pairs and lensed quasars in our sample is currently unknown, requiring dedicated follow-up observations (in particular, deep, subarcsecond-resolution IR imaging for the closest pairs). Intriguingly, at this point, the observed pair statistics are in rough agreement with theoretical predictions both for the lensed quasar population in mock catalogs and for dual quasars in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. Upcoming wide-field imaging/spectroscopic space missions such as Euclid, CSST, and Roman, combined with targeted follow-up observations, will conclusively measure the abundances and host galaxy properties of galactic-scale quasar pairs, offset AGNs, and subarcsecond lensed quasars across cosmic time.

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  3. Abstract

    We present the latest and most precise characterization of the architecture for the ancient (≈11 Gyr) Kepler-444 system, which is composed of a K0 primary star (Kepler-444 A) hosting five transiting planets and a tight M-type spectroscopic binary (Kepler-444 BC) with an A–BC projected separation of 66 au. We have measured the system’s relative astrometry using the adaptive optics imaging from Keck/NIRC2 and Kepler-444 A’s radial velocities from the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and reanalyzed relative radial velocities between BC and A from Keck/HIRES. We also include the Hipparcos-Gaia astrometric acceleration and all published astrometry and radial velocities in an updated orbit analysis of BC’s barycenter. These data greatly extend the time baseline of the monitoring and lead to significant updates to BC’s barycentric orbit compared to previous work, including a larger semimajor axis (a=52.22.7+3.3au), a smaller eccentricity (e= 0.55 ± 0.05), and a more precise inclination (i=85404+03). We have also derived the first dynamical masses of B and C components. Our results suggest that Kepler-444 A’s protoplanetary disk was likely truncated by BC to a radius of ≈8 au, which resolves the previously noticed tension between Kepler-444 A’s disk mass and planet masses. Kepler-444 BC’s barycentric orbit is likely aligned with those of A’s five planets, which might be primordial or a consequence of dynamical evolution. The Kepler-444 system demonstrates that compact multiplanet systems residing in hierarchical stellar triples can form at early epochs of the universe and survive their secular evolution throughout cosmic time.

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  4. Abstract We started a survey with CHARA/MIRC-X and VLTI/GRAVITY to search for low-mass companions orbiting individual components of intermediate-mass binary systems. With the incredible precision of these instruments, we can detect astrometric “wobbles” from companions down to a few tens of microarcseconds. This allows us to detect any previously unseen triple systems in our list of binaries. We present the orbits of 12 companions around early F- to B-type binaries, 9 of which are new detections and 3 of which are first astrometric detections of known radial velocity (RV) companions. The masses of these newly detected components range from 0.45 to 1.3 M ⊙ . Our orbits constrain these systems to a high astrometric precision, with median residuals to the orbital fit of 20–50 μ as in most cases. For seven of these systems we include newly obtained RV data, which help us to identify the system configuration and to solve for masses of individual components in some cases. Although additional RV measurements are needed to break degeneracy in the mutual inclination, we find that the majority of these inner triples are not well aligned with the wide binary orbit. This hints that higher-mass triples are more misaligned compared to solar and lower-mass triples, though a thorough study of survey biases is needed. We show that the ARMADA survey is extremely successful at uncovering previously unseen companions in binaries. This method will be used in upcoming papers to constrain companion demographics in intermediate-mass binary systems down to the planetary-mass regime. 
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  5. Mérand, Antoine ; Sallum, Stephanie ; Sanchez-Bermudez, Joel (Ed.)
  6. null (Ed.)
  7. null (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT We investigate the time evolution of dense cores identified in molecular cloud simulations using dendrograms, which are a common tool to identify hierarchical structure in simulations and observations of star formation. We develop an algorithm to link dendrogram structures through time using the three-dimensional density field from magnetohydrodynamical simulations, thus creating histories for all dense cores in the domain. We find that the population-wide distributions of core properties are relatively invariant in time, and quantities like the core mass function match with observations. Despite this consistency, an individual core may undergo large (>40 per cent), stochastic variations due to the redefinition of the dendrogram structure between time-steps. This variation occurs independent of environment and stellar content. We identify a population of short-lived (<200 kyr) overdensities masquerading as dense cores that may comprise $\sim\!20$ per cent of any time snapshot. Finally, we note the importance of considering the full history of cores when interpreting the origin of the initial mass function; we find that, especially for systems containing multiple stars, the core mass defined by a dendrogram leaf in a snapshot is typically less than the final system stellar mass. This work reinforces that there is no time-stable density contour that defines a star-forming core. The dendrogram itself can induce significant structure variation between time-steps due to small changes in the density field. Thus, one must use caution when comparing dendrograms of regions with different ages or environment properties because differences in dendrogram structure may not come solely from the physical evolution of dense cores. 
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  8. Abstract

    We use time-resolved spectra from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) to examine the distribution of radial velocity (RV) variations in 249 stars identified as members of the Sagittarius (Sgr) dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy by Hayes et al. We select Milky Way (MW) stars that have stellar parameters (log(g),Teff, and [Fe/H] ) similar to those of the Sagittarius members by means of a k-d tree of dimension 3. We find that the shape of the distribution of RV shifts in Sgr dSph stars is similar to that measured in their MW analogs, but the total fraction of RV variable stars in the Sgr dSph is larger by a factor of ∼2. After ruling out other explanations for this difference, we conclude that the fraction of close binaries in the Sgr dSph is intrinsically higher than in the MW. We discuss the implications of this result for the physical processes leading to the formation of close binaries in dwarf spheroidal and spiral galaxies.

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  9. null (Ed.)
  10. Abstract

    We characterize protostellar multiplicity in

    Current address: Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 5–7, DK-1350, Copenhagen K, Denmark.

    the Orion molecular clouds using Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array 0.87 mm and Very Large Array 9 mm continuum surveys toward 328 protostars. These observations are sensitive to projected spatial separations as small as ∼20 au, and we consider source separations up to 104au as potential companions. The overall multiplicity fraction (MF) and companion fraction (CF) for the Orion protostars are 0.30 ± 0.03 and 0.44 ± 0.03, respectively, considering separations from 20 to 104au. The MFs and CFs are corrected for potential contamination by unassociated young stars using a probabilistic scheme based on the surface density of young stars around each protostar. The companion separation distribution as a whole is double peaked and inconsistent with the separation distribution of solar-type field stars, while the separation distribution of Flat Spectrum protostars is consistent solar-type field stars. The multiplicity statistics and companion separation distributions of the Perseus star-forming region are consistent with those of Orion. Based on the observed peaks in the Class 0 separations at ∼100 au and ∼103au, we argue that multiples with separations <500 au are likely produced by both disk fragmentation and turbulent fragmentation with migration, and those at ≳103au result primarily from turbulent fragmentation. We also find that MFs/CFs may rise from Class 0 to Flat Spectrum protostars between 100 and 103au in regions of high young stellar object density. This finding may be evidence for the migration of companions from >103au to <103au, and that some companions between 103and 104au must be (or become) unbound.

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