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  1. ABSTRACT

    Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) play a crucial role as standardizable candles in measurements of the Hubble constant and dark energy. Increasing evidence points towards multiple possible explosion channels as the origin of normal SNe Ia, with possible systematic effects on the determination of cosmological parameters. We present, for the first time, a comprehensive comparison of publicly available SN Ia model nucleosynthetic data with observations of late-time light curve observations of SN Ia events. These models span a wide range of white dwarf (WD) progenitor masses, metallicities, explosion channels, and numerical methodologies. We focus on the influence of 57Ni and its isobaric decay product 57Co in powering the late-time (t > 1000 d) light curves of SNe Ia. 57Ni and 57Co are neutron-rich relative to the more abundant radioisotope 56Ni, and are consequently a sensitive probe of neutronization at the higher densities of near-Chandrashekhar (near-MCh) progenitor WDs. We demonstrate that observations of one SN Ia event, SN 2015F is only consistent with a sub-Chandrasekhar (sub-MCh) WD progenitor. Observations of four other events (SN 2011fe, SN 2012cg, SN 2014J, and SN2013aa) are consistent with both near-MCh and sub-MCh progenitors. Continued observations of late-time light curves of nearby SNe Ia willmore »provide crucial information on the nature of the SN Ia progenitors.

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  2. ABSTRACT The hyper-velocity star S5-HVS1, ejected 5 Myr ago from the Galactic Centre at 1800 km s−1, was most likely produced by tidal break-up of a tight binary by the supermassive black hole SgrA*. Taking a Monte Carlo approach, we show that the former companion of S5-HVS1 was likely a main-sequence star between 1.2 and 6 M⊙ and was captured into a highly eccentric orbit with pericentre distance in the range of 1–10 au and semimajor axis about 103 au. We then explore the fate of the captured star. We find that the heat deposited by tidally excited stellar oscillation modes leads to runaway disruption if the pericentre distance is smaller than about $3\rm \, au$. Over the past 5 Myr, its angular momentum has been significantly modified by orbital relaxation, which may stochastically drive the pericentre inwards below $3\rm \, au$ and cause tidal disruption. We find an overall survival probability in the range 5 per cent to 50 per cent, depending on the local relaxation time in the close environment of the captured star, and the initial pericentre at capture. The pericentre distance of the surviving star has migrated to 10–100 au, making it potentially the most extreme member of the S-star cluster. From the ejection rate ofmore »S5-HVS1-like stars, we estimate that there may currently be a few stars in such highly eccentric orbits. They should be detectable (typically $K_{\rm s}\lesssim 18.5\,$ mag) by the GRAVITY instrument and by future Extremely Large Telescopes and hence provide an extraordinary probe of the spin of SgrA*.« less
  3. ABSTRACT The core collapse of massive, rapidly-rotating stars are thought to be the progenitors of long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRB) and their associated hyperenergetic supernovae (SNe). At early times after the collapse, relatively low angular momentum material from the infalling stellar envelope will circularize into an accretion disc located just outside the black hole horizon, resulting in high accretion rates necessary to power a GRB jet. Temperatures in the disc mid-plane at these small radii are sufficiently high to dissociate nuclei, while outflows from the disc can be neutron-rich and may synthesize r-process nuclei. However, at later times, and for high progenitor angular momentum, the outer layers of the stellar envelope can circularize at larger radii ≳ 107 cm, where nuclear reactions can take place in the disc mid-plane (e.g. 4He + 16O → 20Ne + γ). Here we explore the effects of nuclear burning on collapsar accretion discs and their outflows by means of hydrodynamical α-viscosity torus simulations coupled to a 19-isotope nuclear reaction network, which are designed to mimic the late infall epochs in collapsar evolution when the viscous time of the torus has become comparable to the envelope fall-back time. Our results address several key questions, such as the conditions for quiescent burningmore »and accretion versus detonation and the generation of 56Ni in disc outflows, which we show could contribute significantly to powering GRB SNe. Being located in the slowest, innermost layers of the ejecta, the latter could provide the radioactive heating source necessary to make the spectral signatures of r-process elements visible in late-time GRB-SNe spectra.« less
  4. As the closest example of a galactic nucleus, the Galactic center (GC) presents an exquisite laboratory for learning about supermassive black holes (SMBH) and their environment. We describe several exciting new research directions that, over the next 10 years, 1 arXiv:1903.05293v1 [astro-ph.GA] 13 Mar 2019 hold the potential to answer some of the biggest scientific questions raised in recent decades: Is General Relativity (GR) the correct description for supermassive black holes? What is the nature of star formation in extreme environments? How do stars and compact objects dynamically interact with the supermassive black hole? What physical processes drive gas accretion in low-luminosity black holes? We describe how the high sensitivity, angular resolution, and astrometric precision offered by the next generation of large ground-based telescopes with adaptive optics will help us answer these questions. First, it will be possible to obtain precision measurements of stellar orbits in the Galaxy’s central potential, providing both tests of GR in the unexplored regime near a SMBH and measurements of the extended dark matter distribution that is predicted to exist at the GC. The orbits of these stars will also allow us to measure the spin of the SMBH. Second, we will probe stellar populationsmore »at the GC to significantly lower masses than are possible today, down to the brown dwarf limit. Their structure and dynamics will provide an unprecedented view of the stellar cusp around the SMBH and will distinguish between models of star formation in the extreme environment of galactic nuclei. This increase in depth will also allow us to measure the currently unknown population of compact remnants at the GC by observing their effects on luminous sources. Third, uncertainties on the mass of and distance to the SMBH can be improved by a factor of ∼10. Finally, we can also study the near-infrared accretion onto the black hole at unprecedented sensitivity and time resolution, which can reveal the underlying physics of black hole accretion.« less