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Scientific achievements in 2016

Here you would find a brief summary of the most important results of scientific research carried out by our researchers during the last year, presented by the observatory to the Department of Physical Sciences of the RAS. Access here the archives of our results from 1993.

Solar system

Estimation of efficiency of radio astronomical forecast on the flare activity
The authors estimated the efficiency of a prediction on flare activity in active regions based on spectropolarization observations at RATAN-600 in the wide radio-wave range. The method is aimed at a short-term flare forecast (1-3 days). Preparation of a reliable forecast is a complex process due to multi-parametric description of plasma and many nonlinear relationships between parameters. The authors used radio astronomical forecast method for an active event by analyzing the intensity spectrum and polarization of radiation in an active region. The calculated efficiency of the forecast of proton flares is 94% with a 13.2% error, the efficiency of the forecast of strong flares is 88% with a 12.8% error.
Authors: Bogod V.M., Kurochkin E.A., Peterova N.G., Shendrik A.V. (SAO RAS), Svidskii P.M. (IPG Goskomgidromet), Everstov N.P., (ITMO University)
Bogod V.M., Svidskii P.M., Kurochkin E.A., Peterova N.G., Shendrik A.V., Everstov N.P. On the method of solar activity forecasting based on radio observations. Abstracts of the XX "Solar and Solar-Terrestrial Physics-2016" conference, St. Petersburg, October 2016 (the paper is submitted to the "Geomagnetism and Aeronomy" journal).

Reconstruction of the atmosphere of the Solar corona over a spot using recent data
We obtained first results of measurements of temperature above active regions using the automatic iteration method of radio emission estimation applied to the observed results from RATAN-600 in the range of 2-18 GHz at several dozen wavelengths. The method was used for some active regions and, as a result, we experimentally and efficiently measured the increasing temperature in the Solar transition region and lower corona over single spots. We have detected the increase in temperature in the transition region and lower corona which generally conforms to the adopted Selhorst model taking into account individual features of active regions. The results are in good agreement with direct measurements of a magnetic field at the base of the corona from radio observations and allow one to refine a height estimate for these measurements.
Authors: Kaltman T.I., Bogod V.M., (SAO RAS), Stupishin A.G., Yasnov L.V. (Saint Petersburg State University)
Stupishin A., Bogod V., Kaltman T., Yasnov L., Modeling of solar atmosphere parameters above the active region using RATAN-600 radiotelescope observation, Programme and abstracts of CESRA 2016: Solar Radio Physics from the Chromosphere to Near Earth June 13-17 June 2016, Orleans (France), electronic issue, p. 100

Archive of achievements, Solar system sector


Termination of temperature increase in the supergiant V1302 Aql (IRC+10420) at the border of the Yellow void detected for the first time
In 1992-2014 at the 6-m SAO RAS telescope with the NES spectrograph, we conducted high-resolution spectroscopy of the yellow hypergiant V1302 Aql, the effective temperature of which was rapidly increasing during the 20th century with a rate of 120 K per year. Observations in 2001-2014 resulted in the conclusion that the hypergiant entered the phase of temperature rise termination and, in the Hertzsprung-Russel diagram, it resides near the Yellow void boundary.
Authors: Klochkova V.G., Chentsov E.L., Panchuk V.E., Yushkin M.V. (SAO RAS) in collaboration with Miroshnichenko A.S. (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, USA)
V.G.Klochkova, E.L.Chentsov, A.S.Miroshnichenko, V.E.Panchuk, M.V.Yushkin, High-resolution optical spectroscopy of the yellow hypergiant V1302 Aql (=IRC+10420) in 2001-2014, 2016, MNRAS, v.459, pp.4183-4190

Measurement of the diameter and detection of the component for the giant lambda Aquarii
In the course of observations with the lunar coverage method at the 6-m SAO RAS telescope, the authors measured the diameter of the nearby (plx = 8.47 mas) M giant lambda Aquarii in the pseudo-continuum region. The angular diameter is 7.11 ± 0.02 mas and the linear - 90 Solar radii. The authors for the first time detected a weak component of this star at a distance of 0.526 arcsec. The conducted speckle interferometric observations allowed the authors to classify the component as a F5 type of the Main Sequence and to obtain accurate positional parameters of this system. The work fulfilled shows the advantages of combining the methods of high spatial resolution astronomy in measuring fundamental parameters of stars.
Authors: Dyachenko V.V., Balega Yu.Yu., Beskakotov A.S., Maksimov A.F., Rastegaev D.A. (SAO RAS), Richichi A. (National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand)
Dyachenko V., Richichi A., Balega Y., Beskakotov A., Maksimov A., Rastegaev D., Lunar occultation and speckle interferomerty of lambda Aquarii with the SAO RAS 6-meter telescope, 2016, Stars: from collapse to collapse: Proc. Conf. held at Spec. Astrophys. Observatory, Nizhny Arkhyz, Russia, 3-7 Oct. 2016, ASP Conf. Ser.

Registration of a predicted giant radio flare of the microquasar Cygnus X-3
September 13, 2016 at the RATAN-600 radio telescope, a rare event was detected in the microquasar Cygnus X-3 - a strong synchrotron flare with the flow growth from 0.01 to 15 Jy at 4.6 GHz during four days. Two weeks prior to this, the authors predicted a flare based on the following criterion: a flare will surely take place after the system passes to an "ultrasoft" X-ray state, namely, after disappearing and then appearing of a hot corona around the disk which consists of matter falling from the second Wolf-Rayet star onto the black hole. Interaction of different kinds of radiation from the microquasar is not accidental but is subject to the laws found and, therefore, is predictable.
Authors: Trushkin S.A., Nizhelskij N.A., Tsybulev P.G., Zhekanis G.V. (SAO RAS)
1. Trushkin S.A., Nizhelskij N.A., Tsybulev P.G., Zhekanis G.V. 2016. The predicted giant flare of Cyg X-3 occurs. The Astronomer's Telegram 9501 .
2. Trushkin S.A., Nizhelskij N.A., Tsybulev P.G., Zhekanis G.V. 2016. The beginning of a giant radio flare from Cygnus X-3. The Astronomer's Telegram 9444 .
3. Trushkin S.A., Nizhelskij N.A., Tsybulev P.G., Zhekanis G.V. 2016. A new state of quenched radio emission from microquasar Cyg X-3. The Astronomer's Telegram 9416 .
4. Trushkin S.A., Nizhelskij N.A., Tsybulev P.G., Zhekanis G.V., The giant radio flare of Cyg X-3 in September 2016, 2016, Stars: from collapse to collapse: Proc. Conf. held at Spec. Astrophys. Observatory, Nizhny Arkhyz, Russia, 3-7 Oct. 2016, ASP Conf. Ser.

Archive of achievements, Galaxy sector


Confirmation of the supercritical nature of the object NGC4395 X-1
With the 6-m SAO RAS telescope, the authors obtained the spectra of the optical counterpart of the ultraluminous X-ray object NGC4395 ULX-1. It is one of the faintest ULX objects (23 magnitudes), its optical spectrum has a broad HeII emission. All other spectra of the ULX ever obtained in the world (8) also have this line. This confirms the presence of supercritical accretion disks in the ULX objects of the same type as SS433 and in the new object NGC4395 ULX-1. Using the data obtained at the Swift/XRT observatory (observations from December 2005 to April 2015), the authors detected periodicity with a period of 62.8 days for NGC4395 ULX-1 in the X-ray range. The phase curve corresponding to this period has the characteristic shape of the main and secondary maxima and is very similar to the precession phase curve of SS433 (with a period of 162.3 days).
Fabrika S.N., Vinokurov A.S., Atapin K.E.
Vinokurov A., Fabrika S., Atapin K., Optical counterparts of two ultraluminous X-ray sources NGC4559 X-10 and NGC4395 ULX-1, arXiv:1606.03024 (submitted to MNRAS)

First results at the 1-m Schmidt telescope: complete sample of quasars up to RAB=23m with 0.5 < Z < 2.2 in the field of SA68
Observations during a year of test operation of the 1-m Schmidt telescope of BAO confirmed the possibility of efficient selection of young stellar objects observed in the Hα and [SII] narrow-band filters and in the medium-band filter 7500Å. Using the observations in 5 broad-band filters (SDSS u, g, r, I, and z) and in 5 the medium-band filters (4000Å - 5000Å), the authors composed a complete (up to RAB=23m) quasar sample with 0.5 < Z < 2.2 (123 objects) in the field of SA68 of a size of about 1 square degree. Spectroscopy of 29 objects (19.5m < R < 22m) at the BTA has proved that 28 objects refer to quasars.
Dodonov S.N., Kotov S.S.

Detection and study of an optical flare associated with the gamma-ray burst GRB160625B
In the night from 25 to 26 of June, 2016, the multi-channel system of wide-angle optical monitoring of the subsecond-time-resolution Mini-MegaTORTORA (MMT) detected bright optical flare of 8.8 magnitude which accompanied one of the brightest gamma-ray bursts - GRB160625B. This event was detected by the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope as a weak impulse (precursor), at the coordinates of which the MMT automatically pointed. Actually, the gamma-ray burst took place in two minutes, and then the optical flare began, the light curve of which was registered by the Mini-MegaTORTORA system during 10 minutes.
Beskin G.M., Karpov S.V., Biryukov A.V., Bondar S.F., Ivanov E.A., Katkova E.V., Orekhova N.V., Perkov A.V., Sasyuk V.V. (SAO RAS, Precision Systems & Instruments Corp., "Arkhyz" optical observation station, "Parallax", LLC, Kazan Federal University)

Archive of achievements, Metagalaxy sector

Hardware and methodological developments

Development and introduction into regular operation of the system for estimating the parameters of radio sources and monitoring of the parameters of antenna and receiving systems at the RATAN-600 radio telescope
The authors developed and put into operation the automated system of estimation the parameters of radio sources observed in the continuum radiometers of RATAN-600 (the total number of radiometers is 30). At the same time, the system is used for monitoring changes of the effective area of the antenna and the main lobe width of the beam pattern, as well as for monitoring the quality of receiving system operation. Development of this automated system was caused by the necessity to process a large volume of observed data - of the order of 40 thousand files in 30 days in the regular mode of radio telescope operation. The main advantage of the system is its speed and the possibility to control the performance at any stage.
Authors: Udovitskij R.Y., Sotnikova Yu.V., Mingaliev M.G., Tsybulev P.G., Zhekanis G.V., Nizhelskij N.A. (SAO RAS)
1. Udovitskij R.Y., Sotnikova Yu.V., Mingaliev M.G., Tsybulev P.G., et al. Automated System for Reduction of Observational Data on RATAN-600 Radio Telescope, 2016, Astrophysical Bulletin, 71, 4, 532
2. Udovitskij R.Y., Tsybulev P.G., Mingaliev M.G., Sotnikova Yu.V. The Research and Information System of Estimation of Parameters of Radio Sources in the Continuum with RATAN-600, Publications of the Institute of Applied Astronomy, issue 24, 277 (2012).

Archive of achievements, Instrumental and Methodological Development sector

Astronomical education

First Astrophysical School "Trajectory" for senior pupils
The Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences together with the "Trajectory" foundation for supporting scientific, educational, and cultural initiativesheld the First Astrophysical School "Trajectory" in August 2016. The project is aimed to help senior school students develop and maintain their interest in science, as well as to expand their knowledge in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. The astrophysical school "Trajectory" is a three-year course of internal and correspondence studies on a specially developed program. 42 final participants, 8th-grade students, were selected from the results of tests in mathematics, physics, and astronomy. The extended school "Trajectory" is the first long-term project in the history of astronomical schools aimed at the advanced study of astrophysics beyond the school curriculum.
The SAO RAS staff together with the "Trajectory" foundation.
Video lectures from the school on the "Trajectory" foundation channel:
Report on the school

Archive of achievements, Astronomical education sector

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Last update: 11/01/2017