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Galaxies, Volume 10, Issue 1 (February 2022) – 37 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Quasars are a class of AGN that produce immense energy via the fast accretion onto supermassive black holes in the centre of massive galaxies. Traditionally, quasars with high radio luminosities have been thought to present jets with edge-brightened morphology due to the limitations of previous radio surveys. The Low Frequency Array Two-Metre Sky Survey with its unprecedented sensitivity and resolution covering wide sky areas has enabled the first systematic selection and investigation of quasars with core-brightened morphology. We carried out a VERY LARGE ARRAY snapshot survey to reveal inner structures of jets in selected quasar candidates. Our results show that the occurrence of centre-brightened jets in powerful radiatively efficient systems is not common, probably mainly due to two factors: galaxy environment and jet power. View this paper
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12 pages, 15851 KiB  
Article
Ionization-Gasdynamic Simulations of Wind-Blown Nebulae around Massive Stars
by Vikram V. Dwarkadas
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010037 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2166
Abstract
Using a code that employs a self-consistent method for computing the effects of photo-ionization on circumstellar gas dynamics, we model the formation of wind-driven nebulae around massive stars. We take into account changes in stellar properties and mass-loss over the star’s evolution. Our [...] Read more.
Using a code that employs a self-consistent method for computing the effects of photo-ionization on circumstellar gas dynamics, we model the formation of wind-driven nebulae around massive stars. We take into account changes in stellar properties and mass-loss over the star’s evolution. Our simulations show how various properties, such as the density and ionization fraction, change throughout the evolution of the star. The multi-dimensional simulations reveal the presence of strong ionization front instabilities in the main-sequence phase, similar to those seen in galactic ionization fronts. Hydrodynamic instabilities at the interfaces lead to the formation of filaments and clumps that are continually being stripped off and mixed with the low density interior. Even though the winds start out as completely radial, the spherical symmetry is quickly destroyed, and the shocked wind region is manifestly asymmetrical. The simulations demonstrate that it is important to include the effects of the photoionizing photons from the star, and simulations that do not include this may fail to reproduce the observed density profile and ionization structure of wind-blown bubbles around massive stars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae 8e)
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30 pages, 4303 KiB  
Review
Review of the Advanced LIGO Gravitational Wave Observatories Leading to Observing Run Four
by Craig Cahillane and Georgia Mansell
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010036 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 5135
Abstract
Gravitational waves from binary black hole and neutron star mergers are being regularly detected. As of 2021, 90 confident gravitational wave detections have been made by the LIGO and Virgo detectors. Work is ongoing to further increase the sensitivity of the detectors for [...] Read more.
Gravitational waves from binary black hole and neutron star mergers are being regularly detected. As of 2021, 90 confident gravitational wave detections have been made by the LIGO and Virgo detectors. Work is ongoing to further increase the sensitivity of the detectors for the fourth observing run, including installing some of the A+ upgrades designed to lower the fundamental noise that limits the sensitivity to gravitational waves. In this review, we will provide an overview of the LIGO detectors optical configuration and lock acquisition procedure, discuss the detectors’ fundamental and technical noise limits, show the current measured sensitivity, and explore the A+ upgrades currently being installed in the detectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of Gravitational Wave Astronomy)
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18 pages, 3178 KiB  
Review
The Blazar Sequence and Its Physical Understanding
by Elisa Prandini and Gabriele Ghisellini
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010035 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 3321
Abstract
Introduced in 1998 to attempt a first unified view of the broad-band emission properties of blazars, the blazar sequence has been extensively used in the past 25 years to guide observations as well as the physical interpretation of the overall emission from these [...] Read more.
Introduced in 1998 to attempt a first unified view of the broad-band emission properties of blazars, the blazar sequence has been extensively used in the past 25 years to guide observations as well as the physical interpretation of the overall emission from these galaxies. In this review, we describe the evolution of the sequence along with the tremendous advances in the observational field, in particular in the gamma-ray band. A new version of the sequence built on TeV-detected objects is also presented. Two extreme classes of objects (MeV and hard-TeV blazars) are included in the discussion, given their relevance for future observatories. Finally, the current physical understanding at the base of the sequence is presented along with the major criticisms to the blazar sequence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extragalactic TeV Astronomy)
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64 pages, 3716 KiB  
Review
Stochastic Gravitational-Wave Backgrounds: Current Detection Efforts and Future Prospects
by Arianna I. Renzini, Boris Goncharov, Alexander C. Jenkins and Patrick M. Meyers
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010034 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 4810
Abstract
The collection of individually resolvable gravitational wave (GW) events makes up a tiny fraction of all GW signals that reach our detectors, while most lie below the confusion limit and are undetected. Similarly to voices in a crowded room, the collection of unresolved [...] Read more.
The collection of individually resolvable gravitational wave (GW) events makes up a tiny fraction of all GW signals that reach our detectors, while most lie below the confusion limit and are undetected. Similarly to voices in a crowded room, the collection of unresolved signals gives rise to a background that is well-described via stochastic variables and, hence, referred to as the stochastic GW background (SGWB). In this review, we provide an overview of stochastic GW signals and characterise them based on features of interest such as generation processes and observational properties. We then review the current detection strategies for stochastic backgrounds, offering a ready-to-use manual for stochastic GW searches in real data. In the process, we distinguish between interferometric measurements of GWs, either by ground-based or space-based laser interferometers, and timing-residuals analyses with pulsar timing arrays (PTAs). These detection methods have been applied to real data both by large GW collaborations and smaller research groups, and the most recent and instructive results are reported here. We close this review with an outlook on future observations with third generation detectors, space-based interferometers, and potential noninterferometric detection methods proposed in the literature. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of Gravitational Wave Astronomy)
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9 pages, 1405 KiB  
Article
DEATHSTAR—CO Envelope Size and Asymmetry of Nearby AGB Stars
by Miora Andriantsaralaza, Wouter Vlemmings, Sofia Ramstedt and Elvire De Beck
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010033 - 12 Feb 2022
Viewed by 2264
Abstract
Low- and intermediate-mass stars evolve into asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars near the end of their lives, losing mass through slow and massive winds. The ejected material creates a chemically-rich expanding envelope around the star, namely the circumstellar envelope (CSE). Investigating the anisotropy [...] Read more.
Low- and intermediate-mass stars evolve into asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars near the end of their lives, losing mass through slow and massive winds. The ejected material creates a chemically-rich expanding envelope around the star, namely the circumstellar envelope (CSE). Investigating the anisotropy of the mass-loss phenomenon on the AGB is crucial in gaining a better understanding of the shaping of the CSE during the transition from AGB star to planetary nebula (PN). We investigate possible signs of deviation from spherical symmetry in the CO-emitting CSEs of 70 AGB stars by analysing their emission maps in CO J=21 and 32 observed with the Atacama Compact Array, as part of the DEATHSTAR project. We find that about one third of the sources are likely aspherical, as they exhibit large-scale asymmetries that are unlikely to have been created by a smooth wind. Further high-resolution observations would be necessary to investigate the nature of, and the physical processes behind, these asymmetrical structures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae 8e)
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7 pages, 3285 KiB  
Article
A Preliminary Investigation of CSPN in the HASH Database
by Quentin A. Parker, Zou Xiang and Andreas Ritter
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010032 - 11 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2168
Abstract
We present some preliminary findings on the population of planetary nebula where central stars (CSPN) have been independently identified in the HASH catalogue. Many new discoveries and candidates have been found (416 at the time of this writing), adding significantly to the previously [...] Read more.
We present some preliminary findings on the population of planetary nebula where central stars (CSPN) have been independently identified in the HASH catalogue. Many new discoveries and candidates have been found (416 at the time of this writing), adding significantly to the previously known sample of about 600. We also present results from a comparison between our own HASH measurements of CSPN and those provided in existing CSPN catalogues and those from Gaia. We show the value of a federated, multi-wavelength database of Galactic PNe like HASH in terms of not only uncovering faint, new CSPN but of assisting in correct identifications, removing PN mimics with apparent CSPN, correcting incorrect assignments and providing improved positions. HASH provides the community with a comprehensive and reliable resource for any study of the CSPN population of Galactic PNe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae 8e)
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35 pages, 1046 KiB  
Article
Reheating in Runaway Inflation Models via the Evaporation of Mini Primordial Black Holes
by Ioannis Dalianis and George P. Kodaxis
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010031 - 10 Feb 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2392
Abstract
We investigate the cosmology of mini Primordial Black Holes (PBHs) produced by large density perturbations that collapse during a stiff fluid domination phase. Such a phase can be realized by a runaway-inflaton model that crosses an inflection point or a sharp feature at [...] Read more.
We investigate the cosmology of mini Primordial Black Holes (PBHs) produced by large density perturbations that collapse during a stiff fluid domination phase. Such a phase can be realized by a runaway-inflaton model that crosses an inflection point or a sharp feature at the last stage of inflation. Mini PBHs evaporate promptly and reheat the early universe. In addition, we examine two notable implications of this scenario: the possible presence of PBH evaporation remnants in galaxies and a non-zero residual potential energy density for the runaway inflaton that might play the role of the dark energy. We specify the parameter space that this scenario can be realized and we find that a transit PBH domination phase is necessary due to gravitational wave (GW) constraints. A distinct prediction of the scenario is a compound GW signal that might be probed by current and future experiments. We also demonstrate our results employing an explicit inflation model. Full article
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8 pages, 365 KiB  
Article
Plasma Diagnostics in the Era of Integral Field Spectroscopy
by Toshiya Ueta
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010030 - 08 Feb 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1626
Abstract
To understand the physical conditions of various gaseous systems, plasma diagnostics must be performed properly. To that end, it is equally important to have extinction correction performed properly, even before performing plasma diagnostics. This means that the physical conditions of the target sources—the [...] Read more.
To understand the physical conditions of various gaseous systems, plasma diagnostics must be performed properly. To that end, it is equally important to have extinction correction performed properly, even before performing plasma diagnostics. This means that the physical conditions of the target sources—the very quantities to be derived via plasma diagnostics—must be known even before performing extinction correction, because the degree of extinction is determined by comparing the observed spectra of the target sources with their theoretically predicted counterparts. One way to resolve this conundrum is to perform both extinction correction and plasma diagnostics together by iteratively seeking a converged solution. In fact, if these analyses are performed self-consistently, a converged solution can be found based solely on well-calibrated line intensities, given the adopted extinction law and the RV value. However, it is still rare to find these analyses performed numerically rigorously without unnecessary analytical approximations from start to finish. In this contribution for the APN 8e conference, we would like to review this convoluted problem and sort out critical issues based on the results of our recent experiments. It appears that the convoluted theoretical and observational progresses exacerbated by the highly numerical nature of these analyses necessitated a number of analytical simplifications to make the problem analytically tractable in the pre-computer era and that such analytical simplifications still remain rampant in the literature today, even after ample computational resources became readily available. Hence, the community is encouraged to do away with this old habit of sidestepping numerical calculations that was a necessary evil in the past. This is especially true in the context of spatially-resolved 2-D spectroscopy, which obviously conflicts with the uniformity assumption often blindly inherited from 1-D spectroscopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae 8e)
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7 pages, 207 KiB  
Editorial
New Window on the Radio Emission from Galaxies, Clusters and Cosmic Web—Conference Summary
by Francesca Loi and Tiziana Venturi
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010029 - 07 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1969
Abstract
This manuscript summarizes the contributions presented and discussed during the conference “A new window on radio galaxies, clusters and cosmic web: current status and new challenges”. The meeting was held online in March 2021. The works presented during the conference have been published [...] Read more.
This manuscript summarizes the contributions presented and discussed during the conference “A new window on radio galaxies, clusters and cosmic web: current status and new challenges”. The meeting was held online in March 2021. The works presented during the conference have been published in this associated Special Issue. Here, we outline the scientific context of the published results. Full article
28 pages, 2565 KiB  
Review
Detecting Gravitational Waves with Advanced Virgo
by Ilaria Nardecchia
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010028 - 02 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2986
Abstract
Advanced Virgo is the European gravitational-wave detector that, along with the American ones, is part of the global network of detectors that have been pinpointing gravitational waves since 2015. These kilometer-scale laser interferometers, measuring the distance between quasi-free-falling mirrors, represent the suitable detectors [...] Read more.
Advanced Virgo is the European gravitational-wave detector that, along with the American ones, is part of the global network of detectors that have been pinpointing gravitational waves since 2015. These kilometer-scale laser interferometers, measuring the distance between quasi-free-falling mirrors, represent the suitable detectors to explore the Universe through gravitational radiation. The initial Virgo experiment completed several runs of scientific data between 2007 and 2011, establishing the upper limits on the gravitational-wave rate expected for several astrophysical sources. The Advanced Virgo project led this instrument to unprecedented sensitivities making gravitational wave detections a routine occurrence. In this review, the basic techniques to build gravitational-waves interferometers and the upgrades needed to boost their sensitivities, even beyond the classical limit, are presented. The particular case of Advanced Virgo will be described hinting at its future developments, as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of Gravitational Wave Astronomy)
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9 pages, 3114 KiB  
Article
SATELLITE: Application to Planetary Nebulae IFU Data
by Stavros Akras, Hektor Monteiro, Jeremy R. Walsh, Isabel Aleman, Denise R. Gonçalves and Panayotis Boumis
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010027 - 01 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
The integral field unit (IFU) spectroscopic view of extended ionized nebulae, such as planetary nebulae (PNe), H II regions, and galaxies, has changed the approach of studying these objects, providing a simultaneous characterization in both spatial directions. However, the spatial spaxel-by-spaxel analysis of [...] Read more.
The integral field unit (IFU) spectroscopic view of extended ionized nebulae, such as planetary nebulae (PNe), H II regions, and galaxies, has changed the approach of studying these objects, providing a simultaneous characterization in both spatial directions. However, the spatial spaxel-by-spaxel analysis of such nebulae through IFUs is not directly comparable with the results obtained from the traditional slit-aperture spectroscopy or the predictions from 1D modelling. The new Python software called “satellite: Spectroscopic Analysis Tool for intEgraL fieLd unIt daTacubEs” is used in the analysis of the VIMOS and MUSE datacubes of four Galactic PNe. The 2D analysis of line ratio maps has shown important variations from one to another nebular component in NGC 7009 and NGC 6778. In particular, the knots in both PNe are characterized by strong emission from neutral gas that is weak or even absent from the main nebula, indicating significant variation in the ionization state and density structure among the nebular components. The far-UV radiation from the central star results in the photo-evaporation of the dense molecular knots resembling the spectrum of photodissociation regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae 8e)
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7 pages, 348 KiB  
Article
Lessons from the Ionised and Molecular Mass of Post-CE PNe
by Miguel Santander-García, David Jones, Javier Alcolea, Valentín Bujarrabal and Roger Wesson
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010026 - 01 Feb 2022
Viewed by 1812
Abstract
Close binary evolution is widely invoked to explain the formation of axisymmetric planetary nebulae after a brief common envelope phase. The evolution of the primary would be interrupted abruptly, its still quite massive envelope being fully ejected to form the PN, which should [...] Read more.
Close binary evolution is widely invoked to explain the formation of axisymmetric planetary nebulae after a brief common envelope phase. The evolution of the primary would be interrupted abruptly, its still quite massive envelope being fully ejected to form the PN, which should be more massive than a planetary nebula coming from the same star, were it single. We test this hypothesis by investigating the ionised and molecular masses of a sample consisting of 21 post-common-envelope planetary nebulae, roughly one-fifth of their known total population, and comparing them to a large sample of regular planetary nebulae (not known to host close-binaries). We find that post-common-envelope planetary nebulae arising from single-degenerate systems are, on average, neither more nor less massive than regular planetary nebulae, whereas post-common-envelope planetary nebulae arising from double-degenerate systems are considerably more massive and show substantially larger linear momenta and kinetic energy than the rest. The reconstruction of the common envelope of four objects further suggests that the mass of single-degenerate nebulae actually amounts to a very small fraction of the envelope of their progenitor stars. This leads to the uncomfortable question of where the rest of the envelope is, raising serious doubts on our understanding of these intriguing objects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae 8e)
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15 pages, 706 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Design Parameters for Gravitational Wave Detector DECIGO Including Fundamental Noises
by Yuki Kawasaki, Ryuma Shimizu, Tomohiro Ishikawa, Koji Nagano, Shoki Iwaguchi, Izumi Watanabe, Bin Wu, Shuichiro Yokoyama and Seiji Kawamura
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010025 - 01 Feb 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1871
Abstract
The DECi-hertz Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (DECIGO) is a space gravitational wave (GW) detector. DECIGO was originally designed to be sensitive enough to observe primordial GW background (PGW). However, due to the lowered upper limit of the PGW by the Planck observation, further improvement [...] Read more.
The DECi-hertz Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (DECIGO) is a space gravitational wave (GW) detector. DECIGO was originally designed to be sensitive enough to observe primordial GW background (PGW). However, due to the lowered upper limit of the PGW by the Planck observation, further improvement of the target sensitivity of DECIGO is required. In the previous studies, DECIGO’s parameters were optimized to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of the PGW to quantum noise including the effect of diffraction loss. To simulate the SNR more realistically, we optimize DECIGO’s parameters considering the GWs from double white dwarfs (DWDs) and the thermal noise of test masses. We consider two cases of the cutoff frequency of GWs from DWDs. In addition, we consider two kinds of thermal noise: thermal noise in a residual gas and internal thermal noise. To investigate how the mirror geometry affects the sensitivity, we calculate it by changing the mirror mass, keeping the mirror thickness, and vice versa. As a result, we obtained the optimums for the parameters that maximize the SNR that depends on the mirror radius. This result shows that a thick mirror with a large radius gives a good SNR and enables us to optimize the design of DECIGO based on the feasibility study of the mirror size in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of Gravitational Wave Astronomy)
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41 pages, 1971 KiB  
Article
On the Evolution of the Hubble Constant with the SNe Ia Pantheon Sample and Baryon Acoustic Oscillations: A Feasibility Study for GRB-Cosmology in 2030
by Maria Giovanna Dainotti, Biagio De Simone, Tiziano Schiavone, Giovanni Montani, Enrico Rinaldi, Gaetano Lambiase, Malgorzata Bogdan and Sahil Ugale
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010024 - 29 Jan 2022
Cited by 135 | Viewed by 4245
Abstract
The difference from 4 to 6 σ in the Hubble constant (H0) between the values observed with the local (Cepheids and Supernovae Ia, SNe Ia) and the high-z probes (Cosmic Microwave Background obtained by the Planck data) still challenges the [...] Read more.
The difference from 4 to 6 σ in the Hubble constant (H0) between the values observed with the local (Cepheids and Supernovae Ia, SNe Ia) and the high-z probes (Cosmic Microwave Background obtained by the Planck data) still challenges the astrophysics and cosmology community. Previous analysis has shown that there is an evolution in the Hubble constant that scales as f(z)=H0/(1+z)η, where H0 is H0(z=0) and η is the evolutionary parameter. Here, we investigate if this evolution still holds by using the SNe Ia gathered in the Pantheon sample and the Baryon Acoustic Oscillations. We assume H0=70kms1Mpc1 as the local value and divide the Pantheon into three bins ordered in increasing values of redshift. Similar to our previous analysis but varying two cosmological parameters contemporaneously (H0, Ω0m in the ΛCDM model and H0, wa in the w0waCDM model), for each bin we implement a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo analysis (MCMC) obtaining the value of H0 assuming Gaussian priors to restrict the parameters spaces to values we expect from our prior knowledge of the current cosmological models and to avoid phantom Dark Energy models with w<1. Subsequently, the values of H0 are fitted with the model f(z). Our results show that a decreasing trend with η102 is still visible in this sample. The η coefficient reaches zero in 2.0 σ for the ΛCDM model up to 5.8 σ for w0waCDM model. This trend, if not due to statistical fluctuations, could be explained through a hidden astrophysical bias, such as the effect of stretch evolution, or it requires new theoretical models, a possible proposition is the modified gravity theories, f(R). This analysis is meant to further cast light on the evolution of H0 and it does not specifically focus on constraining the other parameters. This work is also a preparatory to understand how the combined probes still show an evolution of the H0 by redshift and what is the current status of simulations on GRB cosmology to obtain the uncertainties on the Ω0m comparable with the ones achieved through SNe Ia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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4 pages, 179 KiB  
Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Galaxies in 2021
by Galaxies Editorial Office
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010023 - 29 Jan 2022
Viewed by 1397
Abstract
Rigorous peer-reviews are the basis of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
43 pages, 4748 KiB  
Review
Quintessential Inflation: A Tale of Emergent and Broken Symmetries
by Dario Bettoni and Javier Rubio
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010022 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 24 | Viewed by 2942
Abstract
Quintessential inflation provides a unified description of inflation and dark energy in terms of a single scalar degree of freedom, the cosmon. We present here a comprehensive overview of this appealing paradigm, highlighting its key ingredients and keeping a reasonable and homogeneous level [...] Read more.
Quintessential inflation provides a unified description of inflation and dark energy in terms of a single scalar degree of freedom, the cosmon. We present here a comprehensive overview of this appealing paradigm, highlighting its key ingredients and keeping a reasonable and homogeneous level of details. After summarizing the cosmological evolution in a simple canonical case, we discuss how quintessential inflation can be embedded in a more general scalar-tensor formulation and its relation to variable gravity scenarios. Particular emphasis is placed on the role played by symmetries. In particular, we discuss the evolution of the cosmon field in terms of ultraviolet and infrared fixed points potentially appearing in quantum gravity formulations and leading to the emergence of scale invariance in the early and late Universe. The second part of the review is devoted to the exploration of the phenomenological consequences of the paradigm. First, we discuss how direct couplings of the cosmon field to matter may affect neutrinos masses and primordial structure formation. Second, we describe how Ricci-mediated couplings to spectator fields can trigger the spontaneous symmetry breaking of internal symmetries such as, but not limited to, global U(1) or Z2 symmetries, and affect a large variety of physical processes in the early Universe. Full article
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21 pages, 536 KiB  
Review
TeV Instrumentation: Current and Future
by Julian Sitarek
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010021 - 27 Jan 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2608
Abstract
During the last 20 years, TeV astronomy has turned from a fledgling field, with only a handful of sources, into a fully-developed astronomy discipline, broadening our knowledge on a variety of types of TeV gamma-ray sources. This progress has been mainly achieved due [...] Read more.
During the last 20 years, TeV astronomy has turned from a fledgling field, with only a handful of sources, into a fully-developed astronomy discipline, broadening our knowledge on a variety of types of TeV gamma-ray sources. This progress has been mainly achieved due to the currently operating instruments: imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes, surface arrays and water Cherenkov detectors. Moreover, we are at the brink of a next generation of instruments, with a considerable leap in performance parameters. This review summarizes the current status of the TeV astronomy instrumentation, mainly focusing on the comparison of the different types of instruments and analysis challenges, as well as providing an outlook into the future installations. The capabilities and limitations of different techniques of observations of TeV gamma rays are discussed, as well as synergies to other bands and messengers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extragalactic TeV Astronomy)
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19 pages, 2168 KiB  
Article
Seismic and Newtonian Noise in the GW Detectors
by Lucia Trozzo and Francesca Badaracco
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010020 - 22 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3743
Abstract
Gravitational wave detectors aim to measure relative length variations of the order of ΔL/L1021, or less. Thus, any mechanism that is able to reproduce such a tiny variation can, in principle, threaten the sensitivity of [...] Read more.
Gravitational wave detectors aim to measure relative length variations of the order of ΔL/L1021, or less. Thus, any mechanism that is able to reproduce such a tiny variation can, in principle, threaten the sensitivity of these instruments, representing a source of noise. There are many examples of such noise, and seismic and Newtonian noise are among these and will be the subject of this review. Seismic noise is generated by the incessant ground vibration that characterizes Earth. Newtonian noise is instead produced by the tiny fluctuations of the Earth’s gravitational field. These fluctuations are generated by variations of air and soil density near the detector test masses. Soil density variations are produced by the same seismic waves comprising seismic noise. Thus, it makes sense to address these two sources of noise in the same review. An overview of seismic and Newtonian noise is presented, together with a review of the strategies adopted to mitigate them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of Gravitational Wave Astronomy)
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8 pages, 469 KiB  
Article
A Tail of Two Clumps
by Alejandro Cristian Raga, Jorge Cantó, Antonio Castellanos-Ramírez, Jorge Ivan Castorena, Liliana Hernández-Martínez, Ary Rodríguez-González and Pedro Rivera-Ortíz
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010019 - 21 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1722
Abstract
We present two axisymmetric simulations of a high velocity clump in a photoionized region: one for the case of a uniform, low density environment and a second one for the case of a clump first traveling within a high density medium and then [...] Read more.
We present two axisymmetric simulations of a high velocity clump in a photoionized region: one for the case of a uniform, low density environment and a second one for the case of a clump first traveling within a high density medium and then emerging into a low density environment. We show that the second scenario results in the production of an axial tail of dense material with a linear velocity vs. position ramp (with zero velocity at the high/low density environment transition). This material comes from a confined bow shock (produced by the clump when it was within the dense cloud) that emerges into the low environmental density region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae 8e)
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10 pages, 3090 KiB  
Article
Studying Nearby Galactic Planetary Nebulae with MUSE: On the Physical Properties of IC 418
by Ana Monreal-Ibero  and Jeremy R. Walsh
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010018 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2084
Abstract
Spectroscopic mapping of planetary nebulae (PNe) is particularly useful to capture the richness in terms of physical and chemical properties that exist in these objects. The advent of the multi-unit spectroscopic explorer (MUSE), a large integral field unit mounted on the ESO Very [...] Read more.
Spectroscopic mapping of planetary nebulae (PNe) is particularly useful to capture the richness in terms of physical and chemical properties that exist in these objects. The advent of the multi-unit spectroscopic explorer (MUSE), a large integral field unit mounted on the ESO Very Large Telescope, allow us to obtain this information over the whole face of galactic PNe in a reasonable amount of time. This in turn reveals a wealth of information that can bring insight into this structural complexity. Here we discuss new results from commissioning data for the physical properties of IC 418 and succinctly review recently published results on two additional targets (NGC 3132 and NGC 7009). For the newly-analysed PN, electron densities are high with ne([S ii]) displaying a completely different structure than ne([Cl iii]). The electron temperature was relatively uniform, but somewhat higher at the rim as measured by two of the three used diagnostics ([S iii] 6312/9069, and [Ar iii] 5192/7136). The joint results for the three PNe amply illustrate the potential of MUSE for the study of galactic PNe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Asymmetric Planetary Nebulae 8e)
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13 pages, 274 KiB  
Review
Fifty Years of Eclipsing Binary Analysis with the Wilson–Devinney Model
by Josef Kallrath
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010017 - 19 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2557
Abstract
The Wilson–Devinney model has—over the last 50 years—become the standard in analyzing eclipsing binary observations. To provide orientation for both active binary and non-binary researchers, it is presented here in historical and on-going as well as astrophysical perspectives. Among the important advances that [...] Read more.
The Wilson–Devinney model has—over the last 50 years—become the standard in analyzing eclipsing binary observations. To provide orientation for both active binary and non-binary researchers, it is presented here in historical and on-going as well as astrophysical perspectives. Among the important advances that originated with the model are: the representation of star surfaces as equipotentials for circular and eccentric orbits, leading to four morphological types; simultaneous least-squares light and velocity curve analyses; efficient reflection computation, including multiple reflection; disk theory and disk modeling. Solutions in physical units allowed for the accurate estimation of parameters such as stellar masses and photometric distances; inclusion of types of observables, properly weighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What’s New under the Binary Suns)
19 pages, 4605 KiB  
Article
Translating Neutron Star Observations to Nuclear Symmetry Energy via Deep Neural Networks
by Plamen G. Krastev
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010016 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 22 | Viewed by 3082
Abstract
One of the most significant challenges involved in efforts to understand the equation of state of dense neutron-rich matter is the uncertain density dependence of the nuclear symmetry energy. In particular, the nuclear symmetry energy is still rather poorly constrained, especially at high [...] Read more.
One of the most significant challenges involved in efforts to understand the equation of state of dense neutron-rich matter is the uncertain density dependence of the nuclear symmetry energy. In particular, the nuclear symmetry energy is still rather poorly constrained, especially at high densities. On the other hand, detailed knowledge of the equation of state is critical for our understanding of many important phenomena in the nuclear terrestrial laboratories and the cosmos. Because of its broad impact, pinning down the density dependence of the nuclear symmetry energy has been a long-standing goal of both nuclear physics and astrophysics. Recent observations of neutron stars, in both electromagnetic and gravitational-wave spectra, have already constrained significantly the nuclear symmetry energy at high densities. The next generation of telescopes and gravitational-wave observatories will provide an unprecedented wealth of detailed observations of neutron stars, which will improve further our knowledge of the density dependence of nuclear symmetry energy, and the underlying equation of state of dense neutron-rich matter. Training deep neural networks to learn a computationally efficient representation of the mapping between astrophysical observables of neutron stars, such as masses, radii, and tidal deformabilities, and the nuclear symmetry energy allows its density dependence to be determined reliably and accurately. In this work, we use a deep learning approach to determine the nuclear symmetry energy as a function of density directly from observational neutron star data. We show, for the first time, that artificial neural networks can precisely reconstruct the nuclear symmetry energy from a set of available neutron star observables, such as masses and radii as measured by, e.g., the NICER mission, or masses and tidal deformabilities as measured by the LIGO/VIRGO/KAGRA gravitational-wave detectors. These results demonstrate the potential of artificial neural networks to reconstruct the symmetry energy and the equation of state directly from neutron star observational data, and emphasize the importance of the deep learning approach in the era of multi-messenger astrophysics. Full article
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11 pages, 1652 KiB  
Review
Accretion Disks and Long Cycles in β Lyrae-Type Binaries
by R. E. Mennickent
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010015 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1981
Abstract
In order to inquire about the nature of the accretion disks formed around the more massive companion in binaries with β Lyrae-type light curves, we review literature presenting some physical and observational properties of these systems. In addition, we inspect the photometric time [...] Read more.
In order to inquire about the nature of the accretion disks formed around the more massive companion in binaries with β Lyrae-type light curves, we review literature presenting some physical and observational properties of these systems. In addition, we inspect the photometric time series of three representative eclipsing systems obtained by the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE) project during the last decades and compare them with β Lyrae. All these three systems show indications of being semidetached with a more massive B-type component and in a mass transfer stage. They also show long photometric cycles, and two of them show changes in the orbital light curve that can be interpreted in terms of structural changes of the accretion disks, eventually driven by variations in the mass transfer rate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What’s New under the Binary Suns)
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17 pages, 1596 KiB  
Review
Dark Matter Effects on the Compact Star Properties
by H. C. Das, Ankit Kumar, Bharat Kumar and Suresh Kumar Patra
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010014 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2640
Abstract
The neutron star properties are generally determined by the equation of state of β-equilibrated dense matter. In this work, we consider the interaction of fermionic dark matter (DM) particles with nucleons via Higgs exchange and investigate the effect on the neutron star [...] Read more.
The neutron star properties are generally determined by the equation of state of β-equilibrated dense matter. In this work, we consider the interaction of fermionic dark matter (DM) particles with nucleons via Higgs exchange and investigate the effect on the neutron star properties with the relativistic mean-field model equation of state coupled with DM. We deduce that DM significantly affects the neutron star properties, such as considerably reducing the maximum mass of the star, which depends on the percentage of the DM considered inside the neutron star. The tidal Love numbers both for electric and magnetic cases and surficial Love numbers are also studied for DM admixed NS. We observed that the magnitude of tidal and surficial Love numbers increases with a greater DM percentage. Further, we present post-Newtonian tidal corrections to gravitational waves decreased by increasing the DM percentage. The DM effect on the GW signal is significant during the late inspiral and merger stages of binary evolution for GW frequencies >500 Hz. Full article
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3 pages, 190 KiB  
Editorial
Lorentz Violation in Astroparticles and Gravitational Waves
by Marco Schreck
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010013 - 17 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1920
Abstract
Lorentz invariance is one of the fundamental continuous symmetries of the laws of nature [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lorentz Violation in Astroparticles and Gravitational Waves)
31 pages, 4019 KiB  
Review
Detector Characterization and Mitigation of Noise in Ground-Based Gravitational-Wave Interferometers
by Derek Davis and Marissa Walker
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010012 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 3210
Abstract
Since the early stages of operation of ground-based gravitational-wave interferometers, careful monitoring of these detectors has been an important component of their successful operation and observations. Characterization of gravitational-wave detectors blends computational and instrumental methods of investigating the detector performance. These efforts focus [...] Read more.
Since the early stages of operation of ground-based gravitational-wave interferometers, careful monitoring of these detectors has been an important component of their successful operation and observations. Characterization of gravitational-wave detectors blends computational and instrumental methods of investigating the detector performance. These efforts focus both on identifying ways to improve detector sensitivity for future observations and understand the non-idealized features in data that has already been recorded. Alongside a focus on the detectors themselves, detector characterization includes careful studies of how astrophysical analyses are affected by different data quality issues. This article presents an overview of the multifaceted aspects of the characterization of interferometric gravitational-wave detectors, including investigations of instrumental performance, characterization of interferometer data quality, and the identification and mitigation of data quality issues that impact analysis of gravitational-wave events. Looking forward, we discuss efforts to adapt current detector characterization methods to meet the changing needs of gravitational-wave astronomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Present and Future of Gravitational Wave Astronomy)
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31 pages, 2533 KiB  
Article
The Interstellar Medium of Dwarf Galaxies
by Christian Henkel, Leslie K. Hunt and Yuri I. Izotov
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010011 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3267
Abstract
Dwarf galaxies are by far the most numerous galaxies in the Universe, showing properties that are quite different from those of their larger and more luminous cousins. This review focuses on the physical and chemical properties of the interstellar medium of those dwarfs [...] Read more.
Dwarf galaxies are by far the most numerous galaxies in the Universe, showing properties that are quite different from those of their larger and more luminous cousins. This review focuses on the physical and chemical properties of the interstellar medium of those dwarfs that are known to host significant amounts of gas and dust. The neutral and ionized gas components and the impact of the dust will be discussed, as well as first indications for the existence of active nuclei in these sources. Cosmological implications are also addressed, considering the primordial helium abundance and the similarity of local Green Pea galaxies with young, sometimes protogalactic sources in the early Universe. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Our Understanding of Dwarf Galaxies)
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8 pages, 274 KiB  
Article
On the Polarisation of Radio Relics
by Matthias Hoeft, Kamlesh Rajpurohit, Denis Wittor, Gabriella di Gennaro and Paola Domínguez-Fernández
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010010 - 10 Jan 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1844
Abstract
Radio relics are extended radio emission features which trace shock waves in the periphery of galaxy clusters originating from cluster mergers. Some radio relics show a highly polarised emission, which make relics an excellent probe for the magnetisation of the intra-cluster medium. The [...] Read more.
Radio relics are extended radio emission features which trace shock waves in the periphery of galaxy clusters originating from cluster mergers. Some radio relics show a highly polarised emission, which make relics an excellent probe for the magnetisation of the intra-cluster medium. The origin of the relic polarisation is still debated. It could be a result of tangentially stretching the magnetic field at the shock surface. This scenario would naturally explain the alignment of the polarisation (E-vectors) with the shock normal. We have implemented a toy model for the relic polarisation according to this scenario. We find that the magnetic field strength itself crucially affects the fractional polarisation. Moreover, we find that the shock strength has surprisingly little effect on the overall polarisation fraction. Finally, we find that the fractional polarisation may decrease downstream depending on the magnetic field strength. Our results demonstrates that the shock compression scenario provides a very plausible explanation for the radio relic polarisation which specific features permitting to test the origin of radio relic polarisation. Full article
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38 pages, 1961 KiB  
Review
Eclipsing Binaries in Dynamically Interacting Close, Multiple Systems
by Tamás Borkovits
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010009 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 2814
Abstract
Close, compact, hierarchical, and multiple stellar systems, i.e., multiples having an outer orbital period from months to a few years, comprise a small but continuously growing group of the triple and multiple star zoo. Many of them consist of at least one eclipsing [...] Read more.
Close, compact, hierarchical, and multiple stellar systems, i.e., multiples having an outer orbital period from months to a few years, comprise a small but continuously growing group of the triple and multiple star zoo. Many of them consist of at least one eclipsing pair of stars and, therefore, exhibit readily observable short-term dynamical interactions among the components. Thus, their dynamical and astrophysical properties can be explored with high precision. In this paper we present an overview of the history of the search for additional components around eclipsing binaries from the first serendipitous discoveries to more systematic recent studies. We describe the different observational detection methods and discuss their connections to the different kinds of astrophysical and dynamical information that can be mined from different datasets. Moreover, the connection amongst the observable phenomena and the long-term dynamics of such systems is also discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What’s New under the Binary Suns)
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9 pages, 380 KiB  
Article
Mass Ratio and Spot Parameter Estimation from Eclipsing Binary Star Light Curves
by Dirk Terrell
Galaxies 2022, 10(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies10010008 - 05 Jan 2022
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2297
Abstract
Eclipsing binary stars have a rich history of contributing to the field of stellar astrophysics. Most of the available information on the fundamental properties of stars has come from the analysis of observations of binaries. The availability of powerful computers and sophisticated codes [...] Read more.
Eclipsing binary stars have a rich history of contributing to the field of stellar astrophysics. Most of the available information on the fundamental properties of stars has come from the analysis of observations of binaries. The availability of powerful computers and sophisticated codes that apply physical models has resulted in determinations of masses and radii of sufficient accuracy to provide critical tests of theories of stellar structure and evolution. Despite their sophistication, these codes still require the guiding hand of trained scientists to extract reliable information. The computer code will produce results, but it is still imperative for the analyst to ensure that those results make astrophysical sense, and to ascertain their reliability. Care must be taken to ensure that we are asking the codes for parameters for which there is information in the data. The analysis of synthetic observations with simulated observational errors of typical size can provide valuable insight to the analysis process because the parameters used to generate the observations are known. Such observations are herein analyzed to guide the process of determining mass ratios and spot parameters from eclipsing binary light curves. The goal of this paper is to illustrate some of the subtleties that need to be recognized and treated properly when analyzing binary star data. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What’s New under the Binary Suns)
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