• Ram Sagar

      Articles written in Journal of Astrophysics and Astronomy

    • Kinematical distances to open star clusters

      Ram Sagar Harish C. Bhatt

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      Kinematical distances are estimated for six open star clusters. They agree fairly well with the photometric distances. The kinematical distances cannot, at present, be estimated better than the photometric distances. When more accurate proper motion measurements become available the kinematical distances will improve considerably and may then be used to calibrate the cosmic distance scale.

    • Radial distribution of the integrated light and photometric colours in open star clusters

      Ram Sagar Harish C. Bhatt

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      Mass segregation in the form of preferential concentration of more massive stars in the central regions of a number of open star clusters has been known for some time. In this paper, integratedUBV colours in concentric zones have been estimated for 12 nearby open clusters using the observations of individual cluster members. It is found that the clusters showing pronounced mass segregation also show significant radial variations in the integrated colours. However, the effects of stochastic fluctuations around the massive portion of the mass distribution function on the integrated colours should be taken into consideration, if they are present.

    • CCD photometry inVRI bands of the galactic cluster NGC 2818

      R. Surendiranath N. Kameswara Rao Ram Sagar J. S. Nathan K. K. Ghosh

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      The open cluster NGC 2818 containing a planetary nebula has been observed inVRI bands using the CCD system at prime focus of the 2.3-metre Vainu Bappu Telescope. The study extending to starsV ∼ 21 magnitude establishes the distance modulus as(m-M)0 = 12.9 ±0.1 for the cluster. Based on the fitting of theoretical isochrones computed for solar metallicity, an age of 5(±1) × 108 years has been assigned to the cluster. Association of the planetary nebula with the cluster indicates that the progenitor mass of the planetary nebula on the main sequence is ≥2.5M

    • Emission-line CCD imaging of three southern symbiotic stars

      Harish C. Bhatt Ram Sagar

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      Symbiotic stars that are strong radio sources and have cool dust emitting in the infrared are expected to have extended emission nebulae around them. In order to search for such emission nebulae, we have carried out CCD imaging of three symbiotic stars (R Aqr, RR Tel and H1-36) with narrow-band filters centred at the emission lines of [O III] λ5007, Hα λ6563, [N II] λ6584, [S II] λ6717 + 6731. RR Tel and H1-36 images do not show any extended nebulosities around them. The CCD image of the R Aqr nebulosity in the high excitation [O m] line is different from its image in Hα and the low excitation lines of [N II] and [S II] indicating ionization-stratification in the nebula. In H1-36 the optical nebulosity (if it exists) is smaller than ∽2 arcsec while the radio image size is known to be large (∽5 arcsec). This behaviour is opposite to that seen in R Aqr in which the radio emission comes from the core region of a much larger optical nebulosity. Interstellar and/or circumstellar extinctions are suggested to be responsible for this difference

    • The ages of the galactic globular clusters

      Ram Sagar

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      The Galactic globular clusters are believed to be among the most ancient objects for which reliable ages can be determined. As the Universe can not be younger than the oldest object it contains, the oldest Galactic globular clusters provide one of the few most important constraints that one can have on cosmological models. Latest estimates indicate that the absolute age of the oldest globular clusters is 14 ± 3 Gyr. The calibration of absolute ages is still subject to observational and theoretical uncertainties at the ≈ 20% level, and represents a major limitation on our ability to test cosmological models. However, relative ages are starting to be much better known due to the super colour-magnitude diagrams that have been obtained through the use of CCD detectors on large telescopes and the Hubble Space Telescope. The available data are consistent with the majority of Galactic globular clusters being virtually coeval but with a minority having significantly lower ages. The existence of “prehistoric” clusters with ages of around 50 Gyr, as hypothesised in the quasi-steady state cosmology, should be readily recognised.

    • Development of a three channel photometer for UPSO, Naini Tal

      B. N. Ashoka Kumar V. C. Babu S. Seetha V. Girish S. K. Gupta Ram Sagar S. Joshi P. Narang

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      The design and performance of a portable three channel photometer installed at the Uttar Pradesh State Observatory (UPSO), Naini Tal is described. The photometer is modular and the whole unit can be disassembled as individual channels such that the system can also be used as a single channel or two channel photometer. The system also has provision to monitor a guide star. The instrument was put into operation since November 1999 on the 1m Sampurnanand telescope at UPSO, Naini Tal. Since then, it is used extensively for the ‘Survey of rapidly oscillating Ap (roAp) stars in the northern sky’ from UPSO. Observational results using this new photometer in its initial phase of operation are discussed. The advantage of having continuous sky measurement is demonstrated.

    • 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).

    • Editorial

      Ram Sagar S. Seetha

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    • Facilities at ARIES for the Nainital-Cape Survey

      Ram Sagar David L. Mary

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      A collaborative programme searching for mmag pulsations in chemically peculiar stars in the northern hemisphere was initiated in 1997 between Nainital, India, and Cape Town, South Africa. It was therefore named as theNainital-Cape Survey programme. The detection limits imposed by the observing conditions (including atmospheric noise and telescope size) at both Manora Peak and Devasthal sites are described. The scintillation noise on the best photometric nights is 0.1 to 0.2 mmag for these sites. Both places allow one to detect few mmag variation in bright stars(B ≤ 12 mag), and are therefore particularly well-suited for carrying out the proposed survey work. The main characteristics of the three-channel photometer developed at ARIES for carrying out the observations are also presented. This excellent instrument has been used extensively since 1999 at the f/13 Cassegrain focus of ARIES’ 104 cm telescope. In particular, it allowed the survey to result in the discovery of δ Scuti like pulsations in four Am stars, in one rapidly oscillating Ap star, and in a number of probable variables so far. The future prospects are then presented, which regard the acquisition of a high speed time series CCD photometer, a project to build a 3-metre class telescope at Devasthal, and collaborative observations with Indian and foreign astronomical sites.

    • General Editorial on Publication Ethics

      Ram Sagar R. Ramaswamy N. Mukunda

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    • Editorial

      Ram Sagar

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    • Editorial

      Ram Sagar

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    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Editorial

      Ram Sagar

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    • Editorial

      Ram Sagar

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    • Editorial

      Ram Sagar

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  • 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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