Publication archive

Publication archive

Reference: ESA/SRE(2011)18

The JUICE (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer) concept results from the reformulation of the EJSM-Laplace mission into a European-led mission.

This report, the so-called Yellow Book, contains the results of ESA's assessment study (Phase 0/A) of the candidate L-class Cosmic Vision mission JUICE.

Published: 13 January 2012

Reference: ESA/SRE(2011)17

The ATHENA (Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics) concept results from the reformulation of the IXO mission into a European-led mission.

This report, the so-called Yellow Book, contains the results of ESA's assessment study (Phase 0/A) of the candidate L-class Cosmic Vision mission ATHENA.

Published: 13 January 2012
A type Ia supernova is thought to begin with the explosion of a white dwarf star. The explosion could be triggered by the merger of two white dwarfs (a 'double-degenerate' origin), or by mass transfer from a companion star (the 'single-degenerate' path). The identity of the progenitor is still controversial; for example, a recent argument against the single-degenerate origin has been widely rejected. One way to distinguish between the double- and single-degenerate progenitors is to look at the centre of a known type Ia supernova remnant to see whether any former companion star is present. A likely ex-companion star for the progenitor of the supernova observed by Tycho Brahe has been identified, but that claim is still controversial. Here we report that the central region of the supernova remnant SNR 0509-67.5 (the site of a type Ia supernova 400 ± 50 years ago, based on its light echo) in the Large Magellanic Cloud contains no ex-companion star to a visual magnitude limit of 26.9 (an absolute magnitude of MV = +8.4) within a region of radius 1.43 arcseconds. (This corresponds to the 3Ã maximum distance to which a companion could have been 'kicked' by the explosion.) This lack of any ex-companion star to deep limits rules out all published single-degenerate models for this supernova. The only remaining possibility is that the progenitor of this particular type Ia supernova was a double-degenerate system.
Published: 12 January 2012
It has recently been proposed that ripples inherent to the bow shock during radial interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) may produce local high speed flows in the magnetosheath. These jets can have a dynamic pressure much larger than the dynamic pressure of the solar wind. On 17 March 2007, several jets of this type were observed by the Cluster spacecraft. We study in detail these jets and their effects on the magnetopause, the magnetosphere, and the ionospheric convection. We find that (1) the jets could have a scale size of up to a few RE but less than ~6 RE transverse to the XGSE axis; (2) the jets caused significant local magnetopause perturbations due to their high dynamic pressure; (3) during the period when the jets were observed, irregular pulsations at the geostationary orbit and localised flow enhancements in the ionosphere were detected. We suggest that these inner magnetospheric phenomena were caused by the magnetosheath jets.
Published: 05 January 2012
The first and preliminary results of the photometry of Large Yield Radiometer (LYRA) and Sun Watcher using Active Pixel system detector and Image Processing (SWAP) onboard PROBA2 are presented in this paper. To study the day-to-day variations of LYRA irradiance, we have compared the LYRA irradiance values (observed Sun as a star) measured in Aluminum filter channel (171 Å - 500 Å) with spatially resolved full-disk integrated intensity values measured with SWAP (174 Å) and Ca II K 1 Å index values (ground-based observations from NSO/Sac Peak) for the period from 01 April 2010 to 15 Mar 2011. We found that there is a good correlation between these parameters. This indicates that the spatial resolution of SWAP complements the high temporal resolution of LYRA. Hence SWAP can be considered as an additional radiometric channel. Also the K emission index is the integrated intensity (or flux) over a 1 Å band centered on the K line and is proportional to the total emission from the chromosphere; this comparison clearly explains that the LYRA irradiance variations are due to the various magnetic features, which are contributing significantly. In addition to this we have made an attempt to segregate coronal features from full-disk SWAP images. This will help to understand and determine the actual contribution of the individual coronal feature to LYRA irradiance variations.
Published: 01 January 2012
On 2009 September 21, a filament eruption and the associated coronal mass ejection (CME) were observed by the Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft. The CME originated from the southern hemisphere and showed a deflection of about 15° toward the heliospheric current sheet (HCS) during the propagation in the COR1 field of view. The CME source region was near the central meridian, but no on-disk CME signatures could be seen from the Earth. The aim of this paper is to provide a physical explanation for the strong deflection of the CME observed on 2009 September 21. The two-sided view of the STEREO spacecraft allows us to reconstruct the three-dimensional travel path of the CME and the evolution of the CME source region. The observations are combined with a magnetohydrodynamic simulation, starting from a magnetic field configuration closely resembling the extrapolated potential field for that date. By applying localized shearing motions, a CME is initiated in the simulation, showing a similar non-radial evolution, structure, and velocity as the observed event. The CME gets deflected toward the current sheet of the larger northern helmet streamer due to an imbalance in the magnetic pressure and tension forces and finally gets into the streamer. This study shows that during solar minima, even CMEs originating from high latitude can be easily deflected toward the HCS, eventually resulting in geoeffective events. How rapidly they undergo this latitudinal migration depends on the strength of both the large-scale coronal magnetic field and the magnetic flux of the erupting filament.
Published: 01 January 2012
We study three coronal mass ejection (CME)/interplanetary coronal mass ejection (ICME) events (2008 June 1-6, 2009 February 13-18, and 2010 April 3-5) tracked from Sun to 1 AU in remote-sensing observations of Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory Heliospheric Imagers and in situ plasma and magnetic field measurements. We focus on the ICME propagation in interplanetary (IP) space that is governed by two forces: the propelling Lorentz force and the drag force. We address the question: which heliospheric distance range does the drag become dominant and the CME adjust to the solar wind flow. To this end, we analyze speed differences between ICMEs and the ambient solar wind flow as a function of distance. The evolution of the ambient solar wind flow is derived from ENLIL three-dimensional MHD model runs using different solar wind models, namely, Wang-Sheeley-Arge and MHD-Around-A-Sphere. Comparing the measured CME kinematics with the solar wind models, we find that the CME speed becomes adjusted to the solar wind speed at very different heliospheric distances in the three events under study: from below 30 solar radii, to beyond 1 AU, depending on the CME and ambient solar wind characteristics. ENLIL can be used to derive important information about the overall structure of the background solar wind, providing more reliable results during times of low solar activity than during times of high solar activity. The results from this study enable us to obtain greater insight into the forces acting on CMEs over the IP space distance range, which is an important prerequisite for predicting their 1 AU transit times.
Published: 20 December 2011

Reference: SRE-PA/2011.003/MNCE

L1 Mission Reformulation, JUICE

This report summarises the findings of the ESA review on the reformulation of EJSM/Laplace (L class mission candidate of the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 programme) into the new mission concept named JUICE (JUpiter ICy moon Explorer).

The review, completed at the end of the reformulation exercise, establishes the overall feasibility and credibility of the L1 mission candidate reformulated concept - for both platform and payload - for a launch in 2022, and an ESA cost at completion of 850 MEuro (e.c. 2010).

Published: 18 December 2011
Type Ia supernovae are thought to result from a thermonuclear explosion of an accreting white dwarf in a binary system, but little is known of the precise nature of the companion star and the physical properties of the progenitor system. There are two classes of models: double-degenerate (involving two white dwarfs in a close binary system) and single-degenerate models. In the latter, the primary white dwarf accretes material from a secondary companion until conditions are such that carbon ignites, at a mass of 1.38 times the mass of the Sun. The type Ia supernova SN 2011fe was recently detected in a nearby galaxy. Here we report an analysis of archival images of the location of SN 2011fe. The luminosity of the progenitor system (especially the companion star) is 10-100 times fainter than previous limits on other type Ia supernova progenitor systems, allowing us to rule out luminous red giants and almost all helium stars as the mass-donating companion to the exploding white dwarf.
Published: 15 December 2011
A pair of negative electric potential structures associated with inverted-V aurora is investigated using electric and magnetic field, ion and electron data from the Cluster spacecraft, crossing the auroral acceleration region (AAR) at different altitudes above the Northern hemisphere midnight auroral oval. The spatial and temporal development of the acceleration structures is studied, given the magnetic conjunction opportunity and the one minute difference between the Cluster spacecraft crossings. The configuration allowed for estimation of characteristic times of development for the two structures and of the parallel electric field and potential drop for the more stable one. The first potential structure had a width of <80 km (projected to the ionosphere) and was relatively short-lived, developing in less than 40 s and decaying in one minute. The parallel potential drop increased between altitudes of 1.13 RE and 1.3 RE, whereas the acceleration potential above 1.3 RE remained almost unchanged during that time. This intensification occurred mainly after the time when the associated upward current had reached its maximum value. The second structure had a width of <50 km and was subject to an increase by a factor of 3 of the parallel potential drop below 1.3 RE, during about 40 s, after which it remained rather stable for one minute or more. Similarly here, the acceleration potential above 1.3 RE remained roughly unchanged. For the more stable second structure, an average parallel electric field between 1.13 and 1.3 RE could be estimated (<0.56 mV/m). The conductance along the flux tube was also stable for one minute or more.
Published: 10 December 2011

The all-sky coverage of the Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalogue (ERCSC) provides an unsurpassed survey of galaxies at submillimetre (submm) wavelengths, representing a major improvement in the numbers of galaxies detected, as well as the range of far-IR/submm wavelengths over which they have been observed. We here present the first results on the properties of nearby galaxies using these data. We match the ERCSC catalogue to IRAS-detected galaxies in the Imperial IRAS Faint Source Redshift Catalogue (IIFSCz), so that we can measure the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of these objects from 60 to 850 microns. This produces a list of 1717 galaxies with reliable associations between Planck and IRAS, from which we select a subset of 468 for SED studies, namely those with strong detections in the three highest frequency Planck bands and no evidence of cirrus contamination. The SEDs are fitted using parametric dust models to determine the range of dust temperatures and emissivities. We find evidence for colder dust than has previously been found in external galaxies, with T<20K. Such cold temperatures are found using both the standard single temperature dust model with variable emissivity beta, or a two dust temperature model with beta fixed at 2. We also compare our results to studies of distant submm galaxies (SMGs) which have been claimed to contain cooler dust than their local counterparts. We find that including our sample of 468 galaxies significantly reduces the distinction between the two populations. Fits to SEDs of selected objects using more sophisticated templates derived from radiative transfer models confirm the presence of the colder dust found through parameteric fitting. We thus conclude that cold (T<20K) dust is a significant and largely unexplored component of many nearby galaxies.

Published: 01 December 2011
All-sky data from the Planck survey and the Meta-Catalogue of X-ray detected Clusters of galaxies (MCXC) are combined to investigate the relationship between the thermal Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) signal and X-ray luminosity. The sample comprises ~1600 X-ray clusters with redshifts up to ~1 and spans a wide range in X-ray luminosity. The SZ signal is extracted for each object individually, and the statistical significance of the measurement is maximised by averaging the SZ signal in bins of X-ray luminosity, total mass, or redshift. The SZ signal is detected at very high significance over more than two decades in X-ray luminosity (1043ergs-1 r L500E(z)7/3 r 2 × 1045ergs-1). The relation between intrinsic SZ signal and X-ray luminosity is investigated and the measured SZ signal is compared to values predicted from X-ray data. Planck measurements and X-ray based predictions are found to be in excellent agreement over the whole explored luminosity range. No significant deviation from standard evolution of the scaling relations is detected. For the first time the intrinsic scatter in the scaling relation between SZ signal and X-ray luminosity is measured and found to be consistent with the one in the luminosity mass relation from X-ray studies. There is no evidence of any deficit in SZ signal strength in Planck data relative to expectations from the X-ray properties of clusters, underlining the robustness and consistency of our overall view of intra-cluster medium properties.
Published: 01 December 2011
We present the XMM-Newton follow-up for confirmation of Planck cluster candidates. Twenty-five candidates have been observed to date using snapshot (~10ks) exposures, ten as part of a pilot programme to sample a low range of signal-to-noise ratios (4 < S/N < 6), and a further 15 in a programme to observe a sample of S/N > 5 candidates. The sensitivity and spatial resolution of XMM-Newton allows unambiguous discrimination between clusters and false candidates. The 4 false candidates have S/N < 4.1. A total of 21 candidates are confirmed as extended X-ray sources. Seventeen are single clusters, the majority of which are found to have highly irregular and disturbed morphologies (about ~70%). The remaining four sources are multiple systems, including the unexpected discovery of a supercluster at z = 0.45. For 20 sources we are able to derive a redshift estimate from the X-ray Fe K line (albeit of variable quality). The new clusters span the redshift range 0.09 < z < 0.54, with a median redshift of z ~ 0.37. A first determination is made of their X-ray properties including the characteristic size, which is used to improve the estimate of the SZ Compton parameter, Y500. The follow-up validation programme has helped to optimise the Planck candidate selection process. It has also provided a preview of the X-ray properties of these newly-discovered clusters, allowing comparison with their SZ properties, and to the X-ray and SZ properties of known clusters observed in the Planck survey. Our results suggest that Planck may have started to reveal a non-negligible population of massive dynamically perturbed objects that is under-represented in X-ray surveys. However, despite their particular properties, these new clusters appear to follow the Y500-YX relation established for X-ray selected objects, where YX is the product of the gas mass and temperature.
Published: 01 December 2011
We present first results on PLCKG266.6-27.3, a galaxy cluster candidate detected at a signal-to-noise ratio of 5 in the Planck All Sky survey. An XMM-Newton validation observation has allowed us to confirm that the candidate isa bona fide galaxy cluster. With these X-ray data we measure an accurate redshift, z = 0.94 ± 0.02, and estimate the cluster mass to be M500 = (7.8 ± 0.8) × 1014 Mo. PLCKG266.6-27.3 is an exceptional system: its luminosity of LX [0.5-2.0 keV] = (1.4 ± 0.05) × 1045 erg s-1 equals that of the two most luminous known clusters in the z > 0.5 universe, and it is one of the most massive clusters at z ~ 1. Moreover, unlike the majority of high-redshift clusters, PLCKG266.6-27.3 appears to be highly relaxed. This observation confirms Planck's capability of detecting high-redshift, high-mass clusters, and opens the way to the systematic study of population evolution in the exponential tail of the mass function.
Published: 01 December 2011
Planck allows unbiased mapping of Galactic sub-millimetre and millimetre emission from the most diffuse regions to the densest parts of molecular clouds. We present an early analysis of the Taurus molecular complex, on line-of-sight-averaged data and without component separation. The emission spectrum measured by Planck and IRAS can be fitted pixel by pixel using a single modified blackbody. Some systematic residuals are detected at 353 GHz and 143 GHz, with amplitudes around -7% and +13%, respectively, indicating that the measured spectra are likely more complex than a simple modified blackbody. Significant positive residuals are also detected in the molecular regions and in the 217 GHz and 100 GHz bands, mainly caused by the contribution of the J = 2 -> 1 and J = 1 -> 0 12CO and 13CO emission lines. We derive maps of the dust temperature T, the dust spectral emissivity index beta, and the dust optical depth at 250 micronm T250. The temperature map illustrates the cooling of the dust particles in thermal equilibrium with the incident radiation field, from 16 - 17 K in the diffuse regions to 13 - 14 K in the dense parts. The distribution of spectral indices is centred at 1.78, with a standard deviation of 0.08 and a systematic error of 0.07. We detect a significant T - beta anti-correlation. The dust optical depth map reveals the spatial distribution of the column density of the molecular complex from the densest molecular regions to the faint diffuse regions. We use near-infrared extinction and Hi data at 21-cm to perform a quantitative analysis of the spatial variations of the measured dust optical depth at 250 micronm per hydrogen atom T250/NH. We report an increase of T250/NH by a factor of about 2 between the atomic phase and the molecular phase, which has a strong impact on the equilibrium temperature of the dust particles.
Published: 01 December 2011
This paper presents the first results from a comparison of Planck dust maps at 353, 545 and 857GHz, along with IRAS data at 3000 (100 micronm) and 5000GHz (60 micronm), with Green Bank Telescope 21-cm observations of Hi in 14 fields covering more than 800deg2 at high Galactic latitude. The main goal of this study is to estimate the far-infrared to sub-millimeter (submm) emissivity of dust in the diffuse local interstellar medium (ISM) and in the intermediate-velocity (IVC) and high-velocity clouds (HVC) of the Galactic halo. Galactic dust emission for fields with average Hi column density lower than 2 × 1020 cm-2 is well correlated with 21-cm emission because in such diffuse areas the hydrogen is predominantly in the neutral atomic phase. The residual emission in these fields, once the Hi-correlated emission is removed, is consistent with the expected statistical properties of the cosmic infrared background fluctuations. The brighter fields in our sample, with an average Hi column density greater than 2 × 1020 cm-2, show significant excess dust emission compared to the Hi column density. Regions of excess lie in organized structures that suggest the presence of hydrogen in molecular form, though they are not always correlated with CO emission. In the higher Hi column density fields the excess emission at 857 GHz is about 40% of that coming from the Hi, but over all the high latitude fields surveyed the molecular mass faction is about 10%. Dust emission from IVCs is detected with high significance by this correlation analysis. Its spectral properties are consistent with, compared to the local ISM values, significantly hotter dust (T ~ 20 K), lower submm dust opacity normalized per H-atom, and a relative abundance of very small grains to large grains about four times higher.
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Published: 01 December 2011
We present the statistical properties of the Cold Clump Catalogue of Planck Objects (C3PO), the first all-sky catalogue of cold objects, in terms of their spatial distribution, dust temperature, distance, mass, and morphology. We have combined Planck and IRAS data to extract 10342 cold sources that stand out against a warmer environment. The sources are distributed over the whole sky, including in the Galactic plane, despite the confusion, and up to high latitudes (>30°). We find a strong spatial correlation of these sources with ancillary data tracing Galactic molecular structures and infrared dark clouds where the latter have been catalogued. These cold clumps are not isolated but clustered in groups. Dust temperature and emissivity spectral index values are derived from their spectral energy distributions using both Planck and IRAS data. The temperatures range from 7K to 19K, with a distribution peaking around 13K. The data are inconsistent with a constant value of the associated spectral index beta over the whole temperature range: beta varies from 1.4 to 2.8, with a mean value around 2.1. Distances are obtained for approximately one third of the objects. Most of the detections lie within 2kpc of the Sun, but more distant sources are also detected, out to 7kpc. The mass estimates inferred from dust emission range from 0.4 Mo to 2.4 × 105 Mo.
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Published: 01 December 2011
We perform a detailed investigation of sources from the Cold Cores Catalogue of Planck Objects (C3PO). Our goal is to probe the reliability of the detections, validate the separation between warm and cold dust emission components, provide the first glimpse at the nature, internal morphology and physical characterictics of the Planck-detected sources. We focus on a sub-sample of ten sources from the C3PO list, selected to sample different environments, from high latitude cirrus to nearby (150pc) and remote (2kpc) molecular complexes. We present Planck surface brightness maps and derive the dust temperature, emissivity spectral index, and column densities of the fields. With the help of higher resolution Herschel and AKARI continuum observations and molecular line data, we investigate the morphology of the sources and the properties of the substructures at scales below the Planck beam size. The cold clumps detected by Planck are found to be located on large-scale filamentary (or cometary) structures that extend up to 20pc in the remote sources. The thickness of these filaments ranges between 0.3 and 3pc, for column densities NH2 ~ 0.1 to 1.6 × 1022 cm-2, and with linear mass density covering a broad range, between 15 and 400 Mo pc-1. The dust temperatures are low (between 10 and 15K) and the Planck cold clumps correspond to local minima of the line-of-sight averaged dust temperature in these fields. These low temperatures are confirmed when AKARI and Herschel data are added to the spectral energy distributions. Herschel data reveal a wealth of substructure within the Planck cold clumps. In all cases (except two sources harbouring young stellar objects), the substructures are found to be colder, with temperatures as low as 7K. Molecular line observations provide gas column densities which are consistent with those inferred from the dust.
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Published: 01 December 2011
Planck has observed the entire sky from 30 GHz to 857GHz. The observed foreground emission contains contributions from different phases of the interstellar medium (ISM). We have separated the observed Galactic emission into the different gaseous components (atomic, molecular and ionised) in each of a number of Galactocentric rings. This technique provides the necessary information to study dust properties (emissivity, temperature, etc.), as well as other emission mechanisms as a function of Galactic radius. Templates are created for various Galactocentric radii using velocity information from atomic (neutral hydrogen) and molecular (12CO) observations. The ionised template is assumed to be traced by free-free emission as observed by WMAP, while 408 MHz emission is used to trace the synchrotron component. Gas emission not traced by the above templates, namely "dark gas", as evidenced using Planck data, is included as an additional template, the first time such a component has been used in this way. These templates are then correlated with each of the Planck frequency bands, as well as with higher frequency data from IRAS and DIRBE along with radio data at 1.4 GHz. The emission per column density of the gas templates allows us to create distinct spectral energy distributions (SEDs) per Galactocentric ring and in each of the gaseous tracers from 1.4 GHz to 25 THz (12micronm). The resulting SEDs allow us to explore the contribution of various emission mechanisms to the Planck signal.
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Published: 01 December 2011
Anomalous microwave emission (AME) has been observed by numerous experiments in the frequency range ~1060 GHz. Using Planck maps and multi-frequency ancillary data, we have constructed spectra for two known AME regions: the Perseus and ? Ophiuchi molecular clouds. The spectra are well fitted by a combination of free-free radiation, cosmic microwave background, thermal dust, and electric dipole radiation from small spinning dust grains. The spinning dust spectra are the most precisely measured to date, and show the high frequency side clearly for the first time. The spectra have a peak in the range 2040 GHz and are detected at high significances of 17.1sigma for Perseus and 8.4sigma for rho Ophiuchi. In Perseus, spinning dust in the dense molecular gas can account for most of the AME; the low density atomic gas appears to play a minor role. In rho Ophiuchi, the ~30 GHz peak is dominated by dense molecular gas, but there is an indication of an extended tail at frequencies 50100 GHz, which can be accounted for by irradiated low density atomic gas. The dust parameters are consistent with those derived from other measurements. We have also searched the Planck map at 28.5 GHz for candidate AME regions, by subtracting a simple model of the synchrotron, free-free, and thermal dust. We present spectra for two of the candidates; S140 and S235 are bright Hii regions that show evidence for AME, and are well fitted by spinning dust models.
Published: 01 December 2011
14-Apr-2021 04:17 UT

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