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See detailMonte Carlo Simulation of Metastable Oxygen Photochemistry in Cometary Atmospheres
Bisikalo, D. V.; Shematovich, V. I.; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2015), 798

Cometary atmospheres are produced by the outgassing of material, mainly H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, CO, and CO[SUB]2[/SUB] from the nucleus of the comet under the energy input from the Sun. Subsequent photochemical ... [more ▼]

Cometary atmospheres are produced by the outgassing of material, mainly H[SUB]2[/SUB]O, CO, and CO[SUB]2[/SUB] from the nucleus of the comet under the energy input from the Sun. Subsequent photochemical processes lead to the production of other species generally absent from the nucleus, such as OH. Although all comets are different, they all have a highly rarefied atmosphere, which is an ideal environment for nonthermal photochemical processes to take place and influence the detailed state of the atmosphere. We develop a Monte Carlo model of the coma photochemistry. We compute the energy distribution functions (EDF) of the metastable O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) and O([SUP]1[/SUP]S) species and obtain the red (630 nm) and green (557.7 nm) spectral line shapes of the full coma, consistent with the computed EDFs and the expansion velocity. We show that both species have a severely non-Maxwellian EDF, that results in broad spectral lines and the suprathermal broadening dominates due to the expansion motion. We apply our model to the atmosphere of comet C/1996 B2 (Hyakutake) and 103P/Hartley 2. The computed width of the green line, expressed in terms of speed, is lower than that of the red line. This result is comparable to previous theoretical analyses, but in disagreement with observations. We explain that the spectral line shape does not only depend on the exothermicity of the photochemical production mechanisms, but also on thermalization, due to elastic collisions, reducing the width of the emission line coming from the O([SUP]1[/SUP]D) level, which has a longer lifetime. [less ▲]

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See detailTwo Accurate Time-delay Distances from Strong Lensing: Implications for Cosmology
Suyu, S. H.; Auger, M. W.; Hilbert, S. et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2013), 766

Strong gravitational lenses with measured time delays between the multiple images and models of the lens mass distribution allow a one-step determination of the time-delay distance, and thus a measure of ... [more ▼]

Strong gravitational lenses with measured time delays between the multiple images and models of the lens mass distribution allow a one-step determination of the time-delay distance, and thus a measure of cosmological parameters. We present a blind analysis of the gravitational lens RXJ1131-1231 incorporating (1) the newly measured time delays from COSMOGRAIL, the COSmological MOnitoring of GRAvItational Lenses, (2) archival Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the lens system, (3) a new velocity-dispersion measurement of the lens galaxy of 323 ± 20 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP] based on Keck spectroscopy, and (4) a characterization of the line-of-sight structures via observations of the lens' environment and ray tracing through the Millennium Simulation. Our blind analysis is designed to prevent experimenter bias. The joint analysis of the data sets allows a time-delay distance measurement to 6% precision that takes into account all known systematic uncertainties. In combination with the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe seven-year (WMAP7) data set in flat wCDM cosmology, our unblinded cosmological constraints for RXJ1131-1231 are H_0=80.0^{+5.8}_{-5.7} km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}, Ω[SUB]de[/SUB] = 0.79 ± 0.03, and w=-1.25^{+0.17}_{-0.21}. We find the results to be statistically consistent with those from the analysis of the gravitational lens B1608+656, permitting us to combine the inferences from these two lenses. The joint constraints from the two lenses and WMAP7 are H_0=75.2^{+4.4}_{-4.2} km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}, Ω _de=0.76^{+0.02}_{-0.03}, and w = -1.14^{+0.17}_{-0.20} in flat wCDM, and H_0=73.1^{+2.4}_{-3.6} km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}, Ω_{Λ}= 0.75^{+0.01}_{-0.02}, and Ω_k=0.003^{+0.005}_{-0.006} in open ΛCDM. Time-delay lenses constrain especially tightly the Hubble constant H [SUB]0[/SUB] (5.7% and 4.0% respectively in wCDM and open ΛCDM) and curvature of the universe. The overall information content is similar to that of Baryon Acoustic Oscillation experiments. Thus, they complement well other cosmological probes, and provide an independent check of unknown systematics. Our measurement of the Hubble constant is completely independent of those based on the local distance ladder method, providing an important consistency check of the standard cosmological model and of general relativity. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Quasar-galaxy Cross SDSS J1320+1644: A Probable Large-separation Lensed Quasar
Rusu, Cristian E.; Oguri, Masamune; Iye, Masanori et al

in The Astrophysical Journal (2013), 765

We report the discovery of a pair of quasars at z = 1.487, with a separation of 8.''585 ± 0.''002. Subaru Telescope infrared imaging reveals the presence of an elliptical and a disk-like galaxy located ... [more ▼]

We report the discovery of a pair of quasars at z = 1.487, with a separation of 8.''585 ± 0.''002. Subaru Telescope infrared imaging reveals the presence of an elliptical and a disk-like galaxy located almost symmetrically between the quasars, in a cross-like configuration. Based on absorption lines in the quasar spectra and the colors of the galaxies, we estimate that both galaxies are located at redshift z = 0.899. This, as well as the similarity of the quasar spectra, suggests that the system is a single quasar multiply imaged by a galaxy group or cluster acting as a gravitational lens, although the possibility of a binary quasar cannot be fully excluded. We show that the gravitational lensing hypothesis implies that these galaxies are not isolated, but must be embedded in a dark matter halo of virial mass ~4 × 10[SUP]14[/SUP] h [SUP]-1[/SUP] [SUB]70[/SUB] M [SUB]⊙[/SUB] assuming a Navarro-Frenk-White model with a concentration parameter of c [SUB]vir[/SUB] = 6, or a singular isothermal sphere profile with a velocity dispersion of ~670 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]. We place constraints on the location of the dark matter halo, as well as the velocity dispersions of the galaxies. In addition, we discuss the influence of differential reddening, microlensing, and intrinsic variability on the quasar spectra and broadband photometry. Based on data collected at Subaru Telescope, which is operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. Use of the UH2.2 m telescope for the observations is supported by NAOJ. [less ▲]

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