Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • VRI photometry of M67 for CCD standardization at 2.3m VBT

      P. N. Bhat K. P. Singh T. P. Prabhu A. K. Kembhavi

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      We present the results from CCD photometry in theV, R andI bands, of the ‘Dipper Asterism’ region of the open cluster M67 based on observations carried out at the prime focus of the 2.3 m Vainu Bappu Telescope of the Vainu Bappu Observatory, Kavalur. The CCD parameters like the system gain and the readout noise are measured using several flatfield frames taken through the standardI filter. The CCD chip is calibrated using the photometric standards in the field and linear colour transformation relations are derived. Also a few newVRI photometric measurements are reported for the members of the cluster.

    • The bolometric light curve of SN 1993J and the nature of its progenitor

      A. Ray K. P. Singh F. K. Sutaria

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      We have constructed the bolometric light curve of SN 1993J based on UBVRI(JHK) photometric data obtained from various sources and assumingAV = 0 and a distance modulus of 27.6. Effective temperatures and photosphere radius at various times have been obtained from detailed blackbody fits. The bolometric light curve shows two maxima. The short rise time to the second maximum, and the luminosities at the minimum and the second maximum are used to constrain the properties of the progenitor star. The total mass of the hydrogen envelope MH, in the star is found to be ≲ 0.2 M at the time of explosion, and the explosion ejected about 0.05 M of Ni56. Thin hydrogen envelope combined with a sufficient presupernova luminosity suggest that the exploding star was in a binary with a probable period range of 5yr ≤Porb 11yr.

    • Photometric variability of four coronally active stars

      J. C. Pandey K. P. Singh R. Sagar S. A. Drake

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      We present photometric observations of four stars that are optical counterparts of soft X-ray/EUV sources, namely 1ES 0829+15.9, 1ES0920-13.6, 2RE J1 10159+223509 and 1ES 1737+61.2. We have discovered periodic variability in two of the stars, viz., MCC 527 (1ES 0829+15.9; Period = 0d.828 ± 0.0047) and HD 81032 (1ES 0920-13.6; Period = ∼ 57.02 ± 0.560 days). HD 95559 (2RE J1 10159+223509) is found to show a period of 3d. HD 160934 (1ES1737+61.2) also shows photometric variability but needs to be monitored further for finding its period. These stars most likely belong to the class of chromospherically active stars.

    • Unravelling the nature of HD 81032 — A new RS CVn binary

      J. C. Pandey K. P. Singh S. A. Drake R. Sagar

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      BVR photometric and quasi-simultaneous optical spectroscopic observations of the star HD 81032 have been carried out during the years 2000-2004. A photometric period of 18.802 ± 0.07d has been detected for this star. A large group of spots with a migration period of 7.43 ± 0.07 years is inferred from the first three years of the data. Hα and CaII H and K emissions from the star indicate high chromospheric activity. The available photometry in the BVRIJHK bands is consistent with the spectral type of K0IV previously found for this star. We have also examined the spectral energy distribution of HD 81032 for the presence of an infrared colour excess using the 2MASS JHK and IRAS photometry, but found no significant excess in any band above the normal values expected for a star with this spectral type. We have also analyzed the X-ray emission properties of this star using data obtained by the ROSAT X-ray observatory during its All-Sky Survey phase. An X-ray flare of about 12 hours duration was detected during the two days of X-ray coverage obtained for this star. Its X-ray spectrum, while only containing 345 counts, is inconsistent with a single-temperature component solar-abundance coronal plasma model, but implies either the presence of two or more plasma components, nonsolar abundances, or a combination of both of these properties. All of the above properties of HD 81032 suggest that it is a newly identified, evolved RS CVn binary.

    • Interaction of the WAT Source in A3395 with the Intracluster Medium

      Kiran Lakhchaura K. P. Singh D. J. Saikia R. W. Hunstead

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      Using X-ray observations from Chandra and XMM-Newton and radio observations from the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA), we have examined the merging environment of the bimodal cluster Abell 3395. From X-ray data we have produced thermodynamic maps of the cluster. The Wide Angle Tail (WAT) galaxy seen in the radio is slightly offset from the X-ray emission peak of the southern part of the cluster. The unsharp masked Chandra image of the cluster does not show any deficit in the X-ray flux near the location of the source possibly because the thermal plasma has leaked into the cavities.

    • X-ray Observations of Eight Young Open Star Clusters: I. Membership and X-ray Luminosity

      Himali Bhatt J. C. Pandey K. P. Singh Ram Sagar Brijesh Kumar

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      We present a detailed investigation of X-ray source contents of eight young open clusters with ages between 4 to 46 Myr using archival X-ray data from XMM-NEWTON. The probable cluster memberships of the X-ray sources have been established on the basis of multi-wavelength archival data, and samples of 152 pre-main sequence (PMS) low mass (< 2𝑀), 36 intermediate mass (2-10𝑀) and 16 massive (> 10𝑀) stars have been generated. X-ray spectral analyses of high mass stars reveal the presence of high temperature plasma with temperature < 2 keV, and mean 𝐿𝑋/𝐿bol of 10-6.9. In the case of PMS low mass stars, the plasma temperatures have been found to be in the range of 0.2 keV to 3 keV with a median value of ∼ 1.3 keV, with no significant difference in plasma temperatures during their evolution from 4 to 46 Myr. The X-ray luminosity distributions of the PMS low mass stars have been found to be similar in the young star clusters under study. This may suggest a nearly uniform X-ray activity in the PMS low mass stars of ages ∼ 4–14 Myr. These observed values of 𝐿𝑋/𝐿bol are found to have a mean value of 10-3.6 ± 0.4, which is below the X-ray saturation level. The 𝐿𝑋/𝐿bol values for the PMS low mass stars are well correlated with their bolometric luminosities, that implies its dependence on the internal structure of the low mass stars. The difference between the X-ray luminosity distributions of the intermediate mass stars and the PMS low mass stars has not been found to be statistically significant. Their 𝐿𝑋/𝐿bol values, however have been found to be significantly different from each other with a confidence level greater than 99.999% and the strength of X-ray activity in the intermediate mass stars is found to be lower compared to the low mass stars. However, the possibility of X-ray emission from the intermediate mass stars due to a low mass star in close proximity of the intermediate mass star can not be ruled out.

    • X-ray Flares Observed from Six Young Stars Located in the Region of Star Clusters NGC 869 and IC 2602

      Himali Bhatt J. C. Pandey K. P. Singh Ram Sagar Brijesh Kumar

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      We present, for the first time, an analysis of seven intense X-ray flares observed from six stars (LAV 796, LAV 1174, SHM2002 3734, 2MASS 02191082+5707324, V553 Car, V557 Car). These stars are located in the region of young open star clusters NGC 869 and IC 2602. These flares detected in the XMM-Newton data show a rapid rise (10–40 min) and a slow decay (20–90 min). The X-ray luminosities during the flares in the energy band 0.3–7.5 keV are in the range of 1029.9 to 1031.7 erg s-1. The strongest flare was observed with the ratio ∼ 13 for count rates at peak of the flare to the quiescent intensity. The maximum temperature during the flares has been found to be ∼ 100 MK. The semi-loop lengths for the flaring loops are estimated to be of the order of 1010 cm. The physical parameters of the flaring structure, the peak density, pressure and minimum magnetic field required to confine the plasma have been derived and found to be consistent with flares from pre-main sequence stars in the Orion and the Taurus-Auriga-Perseus region.

    • Soft X-ray Focusing Telescope Aboard AstroSat: Design, Characteristics and Performance

      K. P. Singh G. C. Stewart N. J. Westergaard S. Bhattacharayya S. Chandra V. R. Chitnis G. C. Dewangan A. T. Kothare I. M. Mirza K. Mukerjee V. Navalkar H. Shah A. F. Abbey A. P. Beardmore S. Kotak N. Kamble S. Vishwakarama D. P. Pathare V. M. Risbud J. P. Koyande T. Stevenson C. Bicknell T. Crawford G. Hansford G. Peters J. Sykes P. Agarwal M. Sebastian A. Rajarajan G. Nagesh S. Narendra M. Ramesh R. Rai K. H. Navalgund K. S. Sarma R. Pandiyan K. Subbarao T. Gupta N. Thakkar A. K. Singh A. Bajpai

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      The Soft X-ray focusing Telescope (SXT), India’s first X-ray telescope based on the principle of grazing incidence, was launched aboard the AstroSat and made operational on October 26, 2015. X-rays in the energy band of 0.3–8.0 keV are focussed on to a cooled charge coupled device thus providing medium resolution X-ray spectroscopy of cosmic X-ray sources of various types. It is the most sensitive X-ray instrument aboard the AstroSat. In its first year of operation, SXT has been used to observe objects ranging from active stars, compact binaries, supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei and clusters of galaxies in order to study its performance and quantify its characteriztics. Here, we present an overview of its design, mechanical hardware, electronics, data modes, observational constraints, pipeline processing and its in-orbit performance based on preliminary results from its characterization during the performance verification phase.

    • A pair of UV nuclei or a compact star-forming region near the active nucleus in Mrk 766?


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      We report the discovery of a bright, compact ultraviolet source at a projected separation of 1.1 kpc from the known active galactic nucleus (AGN) in Mrk 766 based on AstroSat/UVIT observations. We perform radial profile analysis and derive the UV flux almost free from the nearby contaminating sources. The new source is about 2.5 and 5.6 times fainter than the AGN in the far and near UV bands. The two sources appear as a pair of nuclei in Mrk 766. We investigate the nature of the new source based on the UV flux ratio, X-ray and optical emission. The new source is highly unlikely to be another accreting supermassive black hole in Mrk 766 as it lacks X-ray emission. We find that the UV/optical flux of the new source measured at four different bands closely follow the shape of the template spectrum of starburst galaxies. This strongly suggests that the new source is a compact star-forming region.

    • Observations of bright stars with AstroSat soft X-ray telescope


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      We present observations of four bright stars observed with the AstroSat Soft X-ray Telescope (SXT). Visible light from bright stars like these can leak through the very thin filter in front of the CCD in the focal plane CCD camera of the SXT and thus making the extraction of X-ray events difficult. Here, we showhow to extract the X-ray events without contamination by the visible light. The procedure applied to four bright stars here demonstrates how reliable X-ray information can be derived in such cases. The sample of bright stars studied here consists of two A spectral types (HIP 19265, HIP 88580), one G/K giant (Capella), and a nearby M-type dwarf (HIP 23309). No X-ray emission is observed from the A-type stars, as expected. X-ray spectra of Capella and HIP 23309 are derived and modeled here, and compared with the previous X-ray observations of these stars to show the reliability of the method used. We find that optical light can start to leak in the very soft energy bands below 0.5 keV for stars with $V= 8$ mag. In the process, we present the first X-ray spectrum of HIP 23309.

    • Spectro-timing analysis of a highly variable narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4748 with AstroSat and XMM-Newton


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      We present a detailed timing and spectral study of an extremely variable narrow-line Seyfert 1 galaxy NGC 4748 using observations in the year 2017 and 2014 performed with AstroSat and XMM-Newton, respectively. Both observations show extremely variable soft and hard X-ray emission that are correlated with each other. In the 2014 data set, the source retains its general behaviour of ‘‘softer when brighter’’ while the 2017 observation exhibits a ‘‘harder when brighter’’ nature. Such changing behaviour is rare in AGNs and is usually observed in the black hole binary systems. The ‘‘harder when brighter’’ is confirmed with the anticorrelation between the photon index and the 0.3–10 keV power-law flux. This suggests a possible change in the accretion mode from standard to the advection-dominated flow. Additionally, both the observations show soft X-ray excess below 2 keV over the power-law continuum. This excess was fitted with a single or multiple blackbody component(s). The origin of soft excess during the 2017 observation is likely due to the cool Comptonization as the photon index changes with time. On the other hand, the broad iron line anddelayed UV emission during the 2014 observation strongly suggest that X-ray illumination onto the accretion disk and reflection and reprocessing play a significant role in this AGN.

    • Observations of AR Sco with Chandra and AstroSat soft X-ray telescope


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      We present our AstroSat soft X-ray observations of a compact binary system, AR Sco, and analysis of its X-ray observations with Chandra that were taken only about a week before the AstroSat observations. An analysis of the soft X-ray (0.3–2.0 keV) data limits the modulation of the spin, orbital, or beat periods to less than 0.03 counts s$^{-1}$ or <10% of the average count rate. The X-ray flux obtainedfrom both observatories is found to be almost identical (within a few percent) in flux, and about 30% lower than reported from the nine months older observations with XMM-Newton. A two-temperature thermal plasma model with the same spectral parameters fit Chandra and AstroSat data very well, and requires very little absorption in the line of sight to the source. The low-temperature component has thesame temperature ($\sim$1 keV) as reported earlier, but the high-temperature component has a lower temperature of $5.0^{+0.8}_{-0.7}$ keV as compared to 8.0 keV measured earlier, however, the difference is not statistically significant.

  • Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy | News

    • Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on January 27, 2016

      Since January 2016, the Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy has moved to Continuous Article Publishing (CAP) mode. This means that each accepted article is being published immediately online with DOI and article citation ID with starting page number 1. Articles are also visible in Web of Science immediately. All these have helped shorten the publication time and have improved the visibility of the articles.

    • Editorial Note on Continuous Article Publication

      Posted on July 25, 2019

      Click here for Editorial Note on CAP Mode

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