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  1. ABSTRACT We report the discovery of the closest known black hole candidate as a binary companion to V723 Mon. V723 Mon is a nearby ($d\sim 460\, \rm pc$), bright (V ≃ 8.3 mag), evolved (Teff, giant ≃ 4440 K, and Lgiant ≃ 173 L⊙) red giant in a high mass function, f(M) = 1.72 ± 0.01 M⊙, nearly circular binary (P = 59.9 d, e ≃ 0). V723 Mon is a known variable star, previously classified as an eclipsing binary, but its All-Sky Automated Survey, Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope, and Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite light curves are those of a nearly edge-on ellipsoidal variable. Detailed models of the light curves constrained by the period, radial velocities, and stellar temperature give an inclination of $87.0^{\circ ^{+1.7^\circ }}_{-1.4^\circ }$, a mass ratio of q ≃ 0.33 ± 0.02, a companion mass of Mcomp = 3.04 ± 0.06 M⊙, a stellar radius of Rgiant = 24.9 ± 0.7 R⊙, and a giant mass of Mgiant = 1.00 ± 0.07 M⊙. We identify a likely non-stellar, diffuse veiling component with contributions in the B and V band of ${\sim }63{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ and ${\sim }24{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$, respectively. The SED and the absence of continuum eclipses imply that the companion mass must be dominated by a compact object. We do observe eclipses of the Balmermore »lines when the dark companion passes behind the giant, but their velocity spreads are low compared to observed accretion discs. The X-ray luminosity of the system is $L_{\rm X}\simeq 7.6\times 10^{29}~\rm ergs~s^{-1}$, corresponding to L/Ledd ∼ 10−9. The simplest explanation for the massive companion is a single compact object, most likely a black hole in the ‘mass gap’.« less
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  5. Abstract The MicroBooNE liquid argon time projection chamber (LArTPC) maintains a high level of liquid argon purity through the use of a filtration system that removes electronegative contaminants in continuously-circulated liquid, recondensed boil off, and externally supplied argon gas. We use the MicroBooNE LArTPC to reconstruct MeV-scale radiological decays. Using this technique we measure the liquid argon filtration system's efficacy at removing radon. This is studied by placing a 500 kBq 222 Rn source upstream of the filters and searching for a time-dependent increase in the number of radiological decays in the LArTPC. In the context of two models for radon mitigation via a liquid argon filtration system, a slowing mechanism and a trapping mechanism, MicroBooNE data supports a radon reduction factor of greater than 97% or 99.999%, respectively. Furthermore, a radiological survey of the filters found that the copper-based filter material was the primary medium that removed the 222 Rn. This is the first observation of radon mitigation in liquid argon with a large-scale copper-based filter and could offer a radon mitigation solution for future large LArTPCs.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2023
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