• Paul J. Wiita

      Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • Rotation and luminosity variations in post-main sequence stars

      Paul J. Wiita

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      Previous first-order analytic treatments of rotation acting upon stellar equilibria are extended to include later, post-Helium burning, stages of stellar evolution. Strong differential rotation is capable of substantially increasing the photon luminosities of post-main sequence stars, and thus accelerating their evolution. On the other hand, uniform rotation reduces the photon flux for a wide range of stellar interior types and conditions. Similar conclusions are drawn regarding the effects of rotation on the emission of neutrinos in pre-collapse phases of evolution. A brief discussion of the gravitational radiation emitted during these phases is also given.

    • Disk luminosity and angular momentum for accreting, weak field neutron stars in the ‘Slow’ rotation approximation

      Bhaskar Datta Arun V. Thampan Paul J. Wiita

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      For accretion on to neutron stars possessing weak surface magnetic fields and substantial rotation rates (corresponding to the secular instability limit), we calculate the disk and surface layer luminosities general relativistically using the Hartle & Thorne formalism, and illustrate these quantities for a set of representative neutron star equations of state. We also discuss the related problem of the angular momentum evolution of such neutron stars and give a quantitative estimate for this accretion driven change in angular momentum. Rotation always increases the disk luminosity and reduces the rate of angular momentum evolution. These effects have relevance for observations of low-mass X-ray binaries.

    • Optical variability properties of high luminosity AGN classes

      C. S. Stalin Gopal-Krishna Ram Sagar Paul J. Wiita

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      We present the results of a comparative study of the intranight optical variability (INOV) characteristics of radio-loud and radioquiet quasars, which involves a systematic intra-night optical monitoring of seven sets of high luminosity AGNs covering the redshift rangez ≃ 0.2 toz ≃ 2.2. The sample, matched in the optical luminosity—redshift(MB—z) plane, consists of seven radio-quiet quasars (RQQs), eight radio lobedominated quasars (LDQs), five radio core-dominated quasars (CDQs) and six BL Lac objects (BLs). Systematic CCD observations, aided by a careful data analysis procedure, have allowed us to detect INOV with amplitudes as low as about 1%. Present observations cover a total of 113 nights (720 hours) with only a single quasar monitored as continuously as possible on a given night. Considering the cases of only unambiguous detections of INOV we have estimated duty cycles (DCs) of 17%, 12%, 20% and 61% for RQQs, LDQs, CDQs, and BLs, respectively. The much lower amplitude and DC of ESfOV shown by RQQs compared to BLs may be understood in terms of their having optical synchrotron jets which are modestly misdirected from us. From our fairly extensive dataset, no general trend of a correlation between the INOV amplitude and the apparent optical brightness of the quasar is noticed. This suggests that the physical mechanisms of INOV and long term optical variability (LTOV) do not have a one-to-one relationship and different factors are involved. Also, the absence of a clear negative correlation between the INOV and LTOV characteristics of blazars of our sample points toward an inconspicuous contribution of accretion disk fluctuations to the observed INOV. The INOV duty cycle of the AGNs observed in this program suggests that INOV is associated predominantly with the highly polarized optical emission components. We also report new VLA imaging of two RQQs (1029 + 329 & 1252 + 020) in our sample which has yielded a 5 GHz detection in one of them (1252 + 020;S5GHZ ≃ 1 mJy).

    • Quasi-Periodic Oscillations in the X-ray Light Curves of Blazars

      Paul J. Wiita

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      Any quasi-periodic variations discovered in blazar light curves would contain important information on the location and nature of the processes within the emission regions. In non-blazar active galactic nuclei, particularly Seyfert galaxies, any such fluctuations are very likely to be associated with the accretion disks, but in blazars they would almost certainly have to emanate from jets. This brief review summarizes recent claims for the presence of quasi-periodic variability in the X-ray emission of several AGN, focusing on blazars. Although no individual claim of the presence of a QPO in AGN X-ray light curves is absolutely convincing, there are some good cases for the presence of QPOs, including the Narrow Line Seyfert 1 galaxy, RE J1034+396, the quasar, 3C 273 and the BL Lac, PKS 2155−304.

    • Variability of Spectral Energy Distribution of Blazar S5 0716+714

      B. Rani Alok C. Gupta Paul J. Wiita

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      The emission from blazars is known to be variable at all wavelengths. The flux variability is often accompanied by spectral changes. Spectral energy distribution (SED) changes must be associated with changes in the spectra of emitting electrons and/or the physical parameters of the jet. Meaningful modeling of blazar broadband spectra is required to understand the extreme conditions within the emission region. Not only is the broadband SED crucial, but also information about its variability is needed to understand how the highest states of emission occur and how they differ from the low states. This may help in discriminating between models. Here we present the results of our SED modeling of the blazar S5 0716+714 during various phases of its activity. The SEDs are classified into different bins depending on the optical brightness state of the source.

    • On the Photometric Error Calibration for the Differential Light Curves of Point-like Active Galactic Nuclei

      Arti Goyal Mukul Mhaskey Gopal-Krishna Paul J. Wiita C. S. Stalin Ram Sagar

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      It is important to quantify the underestimation of rms photometric errors returned by the commonly used APPHOT algorithm in the IRAF software, in the context of differential photometry of point-like AGN, because of the crucial role it plays in evaluating their variability properties. Published values of the underestimation factor, 𝜂, using several different telescopes, lie in the range 1.3–1.75. The present study aims to revisit this question by employing an exceptionally large data set of 262 differential light curves (DLCs) derived from 262 pairs of non-varying stars monitored under our ARIES AGN monitoring program for characterizing the intra-night optical variability (INOV) of prominent AGN classes. The bulk of these data were taken with the 1-m Sampurnanad Telescope (ST). We find 𝜂 = 1.54 ± 0.05 which is close to our recently reported value of 𝜂 = 1.5. Moreover, this consistency holds at least up to a brightness mismatch of 1.5 mag between the paired stars. From this we infer that a magnitude difference of at least up to 1.5 mag between a point-like AGN and comparison star(s) monitored simultaneously is within the same CCD chip acceptable, as it should not lead to spurious claims of INOV.

    • Modeling the Emission from Turbulent Relativistic Jets in Active Galactic Nuclei

      Victoria Calafut Paul J. Wiita

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      We present a numerical model developed to calculate observed fluxes of relativistic jets in active galactic nuclei. The observed flux of each turbulent eddy is dependent upon its variable Doppler boosting factor, computed as a function of the relativistic sum of the individual eddy and bulk jet velocities, and our viewing angle to the jet. The total observed flux is found by integrating the radiation from the eddies over the turbulent spectrum. We consider jets that contain turbulent eddies that have either standard Kolmogorov or recently derived relativistic turbulence spectra. We also account for the time delays in receiving the emission of the eddies due to their different simulated positions in the jet, as well as due to the varying beaming directions as they turn over. We examine these theoretical light curves and compute power spectral densities (PSDs) for a range of viewing angles, bulk velocities of the jet, and turbulent velocities. These PSD slopes depend significantly on the turbulent velocity, and are essentially independent of viewing angle and bulk velocity. The flux variations produced in the simulations for realistic values of the parameters tested are consistent with the types of variations observed in radio-loud AGN as, for example, recently measured with the Kepler satellite, as long as the turbulent velocities are not too high.

  • 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.

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