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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 12, 2024

    The evolution of accreting X-ray binary systems is closely coupled to the properties of their donor stars. Consequently, we can constrain the evolutionary track a system is by establishing the nature of its donor. Here, we present far-ultraviolet (far-UV) spectroscopy of the transient neutron-star low-mass X-ray binary J1858 in different accretion states (low-hard, high-hard, and soft). All of these spectra exhibit anomalous N v, C iv, Si iv, and He ii lines, suggesting that its donor star has undergone CNO processing. We also determine the donor’s effective temperature, Td ≃ 5700 K, and radius, Rd ≃ 1.7 R⊙, based on photometric observations obtained during quiescence. Lastly, we leverage the transient nature of the system to set an upper limit of $\dot{M}_{\rm acc} \lesssim 10^{-8.5}~{\rm M}_{\odot }~\mathrm{ yr}^{-1}$ on the present-day mass-transfer rate. Combining these with the orbital period of the system, Porb = 21.3 h, we search for viable evolution paths. The initial donor masses in the allowed solutions span the range 1 M⊙ ≲ Md,i ≲ 3.5 M⊙. All but the lowest masses in this range are consistent with the strong CNO-processing signature in the UV line ratios. The present-day donor mass in the permitted tracks are 0.5 M⊙ ≲ Md,obs ≲ 1.3 M⊙, higher than suggested by eclipse modelling. Since Porb is close to the so-called bifurcation period, both converging and diverging binary tracks are permitted. If the former is confirmed, J1858 will end its life as an ultracompact system with a substellar donor.

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  3. This paper is motivated by a practical problem: many U.S. states have public hearings on "communities of interest" as part of their redistricting process, but no state has as yet adopted a concrete method of spatializing and aggregating community maps in order to take them into account in the drawing of new boundaries for electoral districts. Below, we describe a year-long project that collected and synthesized thousands of community maps through partnerships with grassroots organizations and/or government offices. The submissions were then aggregated by geographical clustering with a modified Hausdorff distance; then, the text from the narrative submissions was classified with semantic labels so that short runs of a Markov chain could be used to form semantic sub-clusters. The resulting dataset is publicly available, including the raw data of submitted community maps as well as post-processed community clusters and a scoring system for measuring how well districting plans respect the clusters. We provide a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of this methodology and conclude with proposed directions for future work. 
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  4. Ligett, Katrina ; Gupta, Swati (Ed.)
    The 2020 Decennial Census will be released with a new disclosure avoidance system in place, putting differential privacy in the spotlight for a wide range of data users. We consider several key applications of Census data in redistricting, developing tools and demonstrations for practitioners who are concerned about the impacts of this new noising algorithm called TopDown. Based on a close look at reconstructed Texas data, we find reassuring evidence that TopDown will not threaten the ability to produce districts with tolerable population balance or to detect signals of racial polarization for Voting Rights Act enforcement. 
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  5. Abstract

    Recently, the region surrounding eHWC J1842−035 has been studied extensively by γ-ray observatories due to its extended emission reaching up to a few hundred TeV and potential as a hadronic accelerator. In this work, we use 1910 days of cumulative data from the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory to carry out a dedicated systematic source search of the eHWC J1842−035 region. During the search, we found three sources in the region, namely, HAWC J1844−034, HAWC J1843−032, and HAWC J1846−025. We have identified HAWC J1844−034 as the extended source that emits photons with energies up to 175 TeV. We compute the spectrum for HAWC J1844−034, and by comparing with the observational results from other experiments, we have identified HESS J1843−033, LHAASO J1843−0338, and TASG J1844−038 as very-high-energy γ-ray sources with a matching origin. Also, we present and use the multiwavelength data to fit the hadronic and leptonic particle spectra. We have identified four pulsar candidates in the nearby region in which PSR J1844−0346 is found to be the most likely candidate due to its proximity to HAWC J1844−034 and the computed energy budget. We have also found SNR G28.6−0.1 as a potential counterpart source of HAWC J1844−034 for which both leptonic and hadronic scenarios are feasible.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  6. Abstract We present the results of dark matter (DM) searches in a sample of 31 dwarf irregular (dIrr) galaxies within the field of view of the HAWC Observatory. dIrr galaxies are DM-dominated objects in which astrophysical gamma-ray emission is estimated to be negligible with respect to the secondary gamma-ray flux expected by annihilation or decay of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs). While we do not see any statistically significant DM signal in dIrr galaxies, we present the exclusion limits (95% C.L.) for annihilation cross section and decay lifetime for WIMP candidates with masses between 1 and 100 TeV. Exclusion limits from dIrr galaxies are relevant and complementary to benchmark dwarf Spheroidal (dSph) galaxies. In fact, dIrr galaxies are targets kinematically different from benchmark dSph, preserving the footprints of different evolution histories. We compare the limits from dIrr galaxies to those from ultrafaint and classical dSph galaxies previously observed with HAWC. We find that the constraints are comparable to the limits from classical dSph galaxies and ∼2 orders of magnitude weaker than the ultrafaint dSph limits. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  7. Abstract Extended very-high-energy (VHE; 0.1–100 TeV) γ -ray emission has been observed around several middle-aged pulsars and referred to as “TeV halos.” Their formation mechanism remains under debate. It is also unknown whether they are ubiquitous or related to a certain subgroup of pulsars. With 2321 days of observation, the High Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) Gamma-Ray Observatory detected VHE γ -ray emission at the location of the radio-quiet pulsar PSR J0359+5414 with >6 σ significance. By performing likelihood tests with different spectral and spatial models and comparing the TeV spectrum with multiwavelength observations of nearby sources, we show that this excess is consistent with a TeV halo associated with PSR J0359+5414, though future observation of HAWC and multiwavelength follow-ups are needed to confirm this nature. This new halo candidate is located in a noncrowded region in the outer galaxy. It shares similar properties to the other halos but its pulsar is younger and radio-quiet. Our observation implies that TeV halos could commonly exist around pulsars and their formation does not depend on the configuration of the pulsar magnetosphere. 
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  8. Context. Ground-based γ-ray astronomy is still a rather young field of research, with strong historical connections to particle physics. This is why most observations are conducted by experiments with proprietary data and analysis software, as is usual in the particle physics field. However, in recent years, this paradigm has been slowly shifting toward the development and use of open-source data formats and tools, driven by upcoming observatories such as the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). In this context, a community-driven, shared data format (the gamma-astro-data-format , or GADF) and analysis tools such as Gammapy and ctools have been developed. So far, these efforts have been led by the Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Telescope community, leaving out other types of ground-based γ -ray instruments. Aims. We aim to show that the data from ground particle arrays, such as the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov (HAWC) observatory, are also compatible with the GADF and can thus be fully analyzed using the related tools, in this case, Gammapy. Methods. We reproduced several published HAWC results using Gammapy and data products compliant with GADF standard. We also illustrate the capabilities of the shared format and tools by producing a joint fit of the Crab spectrum including data from six different γ -ray experiments. Results. We find excellent agreement with the reference results, a powerful confirmation of both the published results and the tools involved. Conclusions. The data from particle detector arrays such as the HAWC observatory can be adapted to the GADF and thus analyzed with Gammapy. A common data format and shared analysis tools allow multi-instrument joint analysis and effective data sharing. To emphasize this, a sample of Crab nebula event lists is made public with this paper. Because of the complementary nature of pointing and wide-field instruments, this synergy will be distinctly beneficial for the joint scientific exploitation of future observatories such as the Southern Wide-field Gamma-ray Observatory and CTA. 
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