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  1. We present high-resolution millimeter continuum ALMA observations of the disks around the T Tauri stars LkCa 15 and 2MASS J16100501-2132318 (hereafter, J1610). These transition disks host dust-depleted inner regions, which have possibly been carved by massive planets, and they are of prime interest to the study of the imprints of planet-disk interactions. While at moderate angular resolution, they appear as a broad ring surrounding a cavity, the continuum emission resolves into multiple rings at a resolution of ~60 × 40 mas (~7.5 au for LkCa 15, ~6 au for J1610) and ~7 μ Jy beam −1 rms at 1.3 mm.more »In addition to a broad extended component, LkCa 15 and J1610 host three and two narrow rings, respectively, with two bright rings in LkCa 15 being radially resolved. LkCa 15 possibly hosts another faint ring close to the outer edge of the mm emission. The rings look marginally optically thick, with peak optical depths of ~0.5 (neglecting scattering), in agreement with high angular resolution observations of full disks. We performed hydrodynamical simulations with an embedded, sub-Jovian-mass planet and show that the observed multi-ringed substructure can be qualitatively explained as the outcome of the planet-disk interaction. We note, however, that the choice of the disk cooling timescale alone can significantly impact the resulting gas and dust distributions around the planet, leading to different numbers of rings and gaps and different spacings between them. We propose that the massive outer disk regions of transition disks are favorable places for planetesimals, and possibly second-generation planet formation of objects with a lower mass than the planets carving the inner cavity (typically few M Jup ), and that the annular substructures observed in LkCa 15 and J1610 may be indicative of planetary core formation within dust-rich pressure traps. Current observations are compatible with other mechanisms contributing to the origin of the observed substructures, in particular with regard to narrow rings generated (or facilitated) at the edge of the CO and N 2 snowlines.« less
  2. ABSTRACT Dippers are a common class of young variable star exhibiting day-long dimmings with depths of up to several tens of per cent. A standard explanation is that dippers host nearly edge-on (id ≈ 70°) protoplanetary discs that allow close-in (<1 au) dust lifted slightly out of the mid-plane to partially occult the star. The identification of a face-on dipper disc and growing evidence of inner disc misalignments brings this scenario into question. Thus, we uniformly (re)derive the inclinations of 24 dipper discs resolved with (sub-)mm interferometry from ALMA. We find that dipper disc inclinations are consistent with an isotropic distribution over idmore »≈ 0−75°, above which the occurrence rate declines (likely an observational selection effect due to optically thick disc mid-planes blocking their host stars). These findings indicate that the dipper phenomenon is unrelated to the outer (>10 au) disc resolved by ALMA and that inner disc misalignments may be common during the protoplanetary phase. More than one mechanism may contribute to the dipper phenomenon, including accretion-driven warps and ‘broken’ discs caused by inclined (sub-)stellar or planetary companions.« less
  3. Abstract On 2019 August 14 at 21:10:39 UTC, the LIGO/Virgo Collaboration (LVC) detected a possible neutron star–black hole merger (NSBH), the first ever identified. An extensive search for an optical counterpart of this event, designated GW190814, was undertaken using the Dark Energy Camera on the 4 m Victor M. Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. Target of Opportunity interrupts were issued on eight separate nights to observe 11 candidates using the 4.1 m Southern Astrophysical Research (SOAR) telescope’s Goodman High Throughput Spectrograph in order to assess whether any of these transients was likely to be an optical counterpartmore »of the possible NSBH merger. Here, we describe the process of observing with SOAR, the analysis of our spectra, our spectroscopic typing methodology, and our resultant conclusion that none of the candidates corresponded to the gravitational wave merger event but were all instead other transients. Finally, we describe the lessons learned from this effort. Application of these lessons will be critical for a successful community spectroscopic follow-up program for LVC observing run 4 (O4) and beyond.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  4. Abstract The accurate simulation of additional interactions at the ATLAS experiment for the analysis of proton–proton collisions delivered by the Large Hadron Collider presents a significant challenge to the computing resources. During the LHC Run 2 (2015–2018), there were up to 70 inelastic interactions per bunch crossing, which need to be accounted for in Monte Carlo (MC) production. In this document, a new method to account for these additional interactions in the simulation chain is described. Instead of sampling the inelastic interactions and adding their energy deposits to a hard-scatter interaction one-by-one, the inelastic interactions are presampled, independent of the hardmore »scatter, and stored as combined events. Consequently, for each hard-scatter interaction, only one such presampled event needs to be added as part of the simulation chain. For the Run 2 simulation chain, with an average of 35 interactions per bunch crossing, this new method provides a substantial reduction in MC production CPU needs of around 20%, while reproducing the properties of the reconstructed quantities relevant for physics analyses with good accuracy.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  5. Abstract The ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider has a broad physics programme ranging from precision measurements to direct searches for new particles and new interactions, requiring ever larger and ever more accurate datasets of simulated Monte Carlo events. Detector simulation with Geant4 is accurate but requires significant CPU resources. Over the past decade, ATLAS has developed and utilized tools that replace the most CPU-intensive component of the simulation—the calorimeter shower simulation—with faster simulation methods. Here, AtlFast3, the next generation of high-accuracy fast simulation in ATLAS, is introduced. AtlFast3 combines parameterized approaches with machine-learning techniques and is deployed tomore »meet current and future computing challenges, and simulation needs of the ATLAS experiment. With highly accurate performance and significantly improved modelling of substructure within jets, AtlFast3 can simulate large numbers of events for a wide range of physics processes.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2023
  6. ABSTRACT We report on the discovery and validation of TOI 813 b (TIC 55525572 b), a transiting exoplanet identified by citizen scientists in data from NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the first planet discovered by the Planet Hunters TESS project. The host star is a bright (V = 10.3 mag) subgiant ($R_\star =1.94\, R_\odot$, $M_\star =1.32\, M_\odot$). It was observed almost continuously by TESS during its first year of operations, during which time four individual transit events were detected. The candidate passed all the standard light curve-based vetting checks, and ground-based follow-up spectroscopy and speckle imaging enabled us to place an uppermore »limit of $2\, M_{\rm Jup}$ (99 per cent confidence) on the mass of the companion, and to statistically validate its planetary nature. Detailed modelling of the transits yields a period of $83.8911 _{ - 0.0031 } ^ { + 0.0027 }$ d, a planet radius of 6.71 ± 0.38 R⊕ and a semimajor axis of $0.423 _{ - 0.037 } ^ { + 0.031 }$ AU. The planet’s orbital period combined with the evolved nature of the host star places this object in a relatively underexplored region of parameter space. We estimate that TOI 813 b induces a reflex motion in its host star with a semi-amplitude of ∼6 m s−1, making this a promising system to measure the mass of a relatively long-period transiting planet.« less
  7. We report the confirmation and mass determination of three hot Jupiters discovered by the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission: HIP 65Ab (TOI-129, TIC-201248411) is an ultra-short-period Jupiter orbiting a bright ( V = 11.1 mag) K4-dwarf every 0.98 days. It is a massive 3.213 ± 0.078  M J planet in a grazing transit configuration with an impact parameter of b = 1.17 −0.08 +0.10 . As a result the radius is poorly constrained, 2.03 −0.49 +0.61 R J . The planet’s distance to its host star is less than twice the separation at which it would be destroyed bymore »Roche lobe overflow. It is expected to spiral into HIP 65A on a timescale ranging from 80 Myr to a few gigayears, assuming a reduced tidal dissipation quality factor of Q s ′ = 10 7 − 10 9 . We performed a full phase-curve analysis of the TESS data and detected both illumination- and ellipsoidal variations as well as Doppler boosting. HIP 65A is part of a binary stellar system, with HIP 65B separated by 269 AU (3.95 arcsec on sky). TOI-157b (TIC 140691463) is a typical hot Jupiter with a mass of 1.18 ± 0.13  M J and a radius of 1.29 ± 0.02  R J . It has a period of 2.08 days, which corresponds to a separation of just 0.03 AU. This makes TOI-157 an interesting system, as the host star is an evolved G9 sub-giant star ( V = 12.7). TOI-169b (TIC 183120439) is a bloated Jupiter orbiting a V = 12.4 G-type star. It has a mass of 0.79 ±0.06  M J and a radius of 1.09 −0.05 +0.08 R J . Despite having the longest orbital period ( P = 2.26 days) of the three planets, TOI-169b receives the most irradiation and is situated on the edge of the Neptune desert. All three host stars are metal rich with [Fe / H] ranging from 0.18 to0.24.« less
  8. We report the detection of a transiting super-Earth-sized planet ( R = 1.39 ± 0.09 R ⊕ ) in a 1.4-day orbit around L 168-9 (TOI-134), a bright M1V dwarf ( V = 11, K = 7.1) located at 25.15 ± 0.02 pc. The host star was observed in the first sector of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) mission. For confirmation and planet mass measurement purposes, this was followed up with ground-based photometry, seeing-limited and high-resolution imaging, and precise radial velocity (PRV) observations using the HARPS and Magellan /PFS spectrographs. By combining the TESS data and PRV observations, wemore »find the mass of L 168-9 b to be 4.60 ± 0.56 M ⊕ and thus the bulk density to be 1.74 −0.33 +0.44 times higher than that of the Earth. The orbital eccentricity is smaller than 0.21 (95% confidence). This planet is a level one candidate for the TESS mission’s scientific objective of measuring the masses of 50 small planets, and it is one of the most observationally accessible terrestrial planets for future atmospheric characterization.« less