Catch me if you can -- the case for a 'runaway' black hole in the Orion Nebula Cluster

Ladislav Subr

Process of physical collisions of stars in star clusters is
considered as one of possible mechanisms of the formation of massive black
holes. I will present numerical simulations of this process and discuss a
possibility that the Orion Nebula Cluster has undergone a period of violent
relaxation which implies tight interactions of massive OB stars.

Integral-field spectroscopy of NLRs in Seyfert galaxies

Ivana Stoklasova

The Narrow-Line Regions (NLRs) represent emitting gas extended
approximately over the central kiloparsec of active galaxies,
ionized dominantly by non-thermal radiation from the active galactic
nuclei (AGN). The spatial extent of NLRs makes them convenient targets
for studying the interplay between the AGN and the host galaxy. The gas
acts as a tracer of the galactic potential, perturbed by energy injection
from the AGN in the inner parts. Fully two-dimensional mapping of the
kinematics is necessary for a correct interpretation, and has been made
possible in an efficient way only recently with the advent of the
integral-field spectroscopy.
I am going to present results of my PhD thesis, where NLRs of
16 nearby Seyfert galaxies have been studied with the use of the
integral-field spectrograph OASIS. Strong departures from
circular rotation have been found, in the form of outflows,
tilted rings or non-circular motions resulting from non-axisymmetric
galactic potential. Besides the kinematics, I will discuss the
ionization and density structure of NLRs, the distribution of dust
and the composition of stellar populations in the region.

Evidence for warped disks of young stars in the Galactic center

Hendrik Bartko

The central parsec around the super-massive black hole in the Galactic Center hosts more than 100 young and massive stars. Outside the central cusp (R~1'') the majority of these O and Wolf-Rayet (WR) stars reside in one or two disks. Here we present the results from new observations of the Galactic Center with the AO-assisted near-infrared imager NACO and the integral field spectrograph SINFONI on the ESO/VLT.

Stationary stagnation point flows in the vicinity of a 2D magnetic null point

Dieter Nickeler

The classical reconnection solutions propose an X-type inflow of the plasma into the X-point structure of the magnetic field. We analyse systematically the implications of the different magnetic field structures of a field which depends linearly on the spatial coordinates. The linear dependence is valid if the Jacobian matrix of the magnetic field does not vanish at the null point. We solve the complete set of the resistive MHD equations for the case that the Jacobian of the velocity field does not vanish. To get a resistive and reconnective flow, it seems, that it is necessary to have a spatially varying resistivity. This leads us to the question which topological and geometrical type of flow is required to guarantee a stationary reconnection solution.

Lecture Day: Annual reports from the Center for Theoretical Astrophysics 2008

M. Dovciak, J. Horak, G. Torok, M. Urbanec, A. Kawka, P. Bakala, J. Kovar, I. Stoklasova, P. Jachym, D. Kofron, P. Kolorenc

New dynamical model and black hole spin determination for LMC X-1

Aleksander Sadowski

Recently a new dynamical model of the high mass X-ray binary LMC X-1
has been developed. Detailed analysis of the light curves and spectra
made accurate determination of the system parameters possible. These
results were used to estimate the dimensionless spin parameter of the
central BH basing on X-ray spectra obtained by RXTE. (Talk based on arXiv:0810.3447 and arXiv:0901.0920.)

Entropy distribution in non-barytropic Polish Doughnuts

Marek Abramowicz

I review recent improvements in analytical models of perfect fluid tori rotating around black holes, called Polish Doughnuts. I concentrate on the problem of entropy distribution in non-barytropic Polish Doughnuts. I will derive step-by-step all relevant formulae on a blackboard (or whiteboard).
The classical Polish Doughnuts are assumed to be made of barytropic fluids, with a one-parameter equation of state, P = P(\rho). In this case the relativistic Euler equation has a trivial first integral, allowing the analytic solution, but this case also leads to a fundamental difficulty known (in the theory of rotating stars) as "the von Zeipel paradox". One possible way out is a strong meridional circulation, another one is a non-barytropic fluid. Both possibilities call for a more subtle mathematical treatment than that known for the classic Polish Doughnuts.

Microphysics of accretion discs

Odele Straub

Accretion discs are made of rotating gas and are present in various astrophysical objects, such as young stellar systems, black hole or neutron star binaries, active galactic nuclei and gamma ray bursts. The main difficulty is to properly understand the nature of viscosity, i.e., the very process by which the gas looses angular momentum to accrete onto the central object. Recent studies of the microscopic viscosity and resistivity of plasma give information about the role of magneto-hydrodynamical turbulence. (This talk based on a few recent articles, e.g., Rossi et al. 2008.)

Molecular gas in the Magellanic Clouds; Physical conditions of star forming clouds probed by sub-mm spectra

Yasuo Fukui

The Magellanic Clouds are an ideal laboratory to study star formation in molecular clouds. We have been doing a systematic study of molecular clouds by suing mm- and sub-mm molecular spectra. The NANTEN2 telescope in Chile offers a powerful tool to probe density and temperature of the molecular gas and to relate the physical properties with star formation. I present the most recent progress obtained by the study and discuss how molecular gas is formed from HI gas and cause the active star formation.

Lecture Day: Discussion with students from the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS), Heidelberg

J. Merten, J. Palous, V. Karas, J. Dale, P. Jachym et al.

An informal discussion about research topics in astronomy and astrophysics carried out in Prague and Heidelberg. All students and researchers are welcome to participate.

Approaching the dawn of gravitational wave astronomy: new inputs from magnetars and short gamma ray bursts

Luigi Stella

The first generation of gravitational wave interferometers has now reached design sensitivity and extensive coordinated scientific runs are about to start. Second generation interferometers, such as Advanced LIGO/Virgo will follow in 4-5 years, are effectively opening the new field of gravitational wave astronomy. Much is still to be learned about the gravitational wave sources from current astrophysical observations
and theory.
I will survey the recent progress achieved in this field through the study of magnetars, neutron stars whose electromagnetic emission is powered by the decay of their extremely high magnetic field, and short gamma ray bursts, which are believed to originate from coalescing neutron star/neutron star of neutron star/black hole binaries.

Newman-Penrose formalism and Walker-Penrose theorem

Michal Dovciak

In general relativity in the limit of geometrical optics the
polarization vector is parallelly transported along the light ray.
Therefore in general relativistic polarization calculations the parallel
transfer of vectors along the null geodesic is important. According to
the Walker-Penrose theorem there exists a complex constant that fully
describes this transfer in the black hole solutions of Einstein's
equations. In this talk a proof of the theorem will be given (or rather
sketched). To this purpose firstly the basic concept of Newman-Penrose
formalism will be shown.

Our Galactic neighbourhood - a melting pot of migration

Birgitta Nordstrom

Spiral galaxies are an important part of the visible Universe. In the prototype, our own Milky Way, we can observe the most important component of a spiral galaxy - the disk - in unprecedented detail. In the Solar neighbourhood we can determine the numbers, ages, detailed chemical compositions, and galactic orbits of stars from the entire history of the disk with a completeness and accuracy not available anywhere else in the Universe. Therefore, the solar neighbourhood is a fundamental benchmark for all models of the evolution of galaxy disks.
The Geneva-Copenhagen Survey (NordstrÃ¶m et al. 2004 and Holmberg et al. 2007, 2008) has full spatial, kinematic, metallicity and age information for 14,000 long-lived stars and provides a rich source of data for tests of models of evolution and formation of the Galaxy.
We find that classical evolution paradigm of gradual enrichment and dynamical heating of the Galactic disk seem to fail several of the standard tests related to the stellar metallicity distribution, age-metallicity relation, and age-velocity relation. Both dynamical and kinematic evolution need to be taken into account in sufficient detail by the models to match the best data. A search for signatures of past accretion events in the Milky Way (Helmi et al. 2006) has yielded evidence of ancient substructure in the Galactic Disk and a project to study possible chemical signatures is ongoing.

Between us and particle astrophysics: high-energy hadronic interactions

Jan Ebr

With the advent of large ground-based cosmic-ray observatories, from which the Pierre Auger Observatory is currently the largest, a new window into the universe has opened. Particles with laboratory energies as large as 10<sup>20</sup> eV are observed and the statistic of the data in the 10<sup>19</sup> eV range increases rapidly. Nevertheless, the interpretation of the data is not easy: not only do we observe only the extensive air showers of secondary particles in the atmosphere instead of "seeing" the incoming particle directly - the crucial difficulty lies in the fact that the sensitivty range of ground-based detectors does not overlap with the energies currently accessible in accelerator experiments. Thus some way of extrapolation is necessary - a genuinely tricky task considering the lack of fundamental understading even for the existing data in the accelerator energy range.
This talk aims to clarify these difficulties to a non-particle physicist. A brief introduction to strong interaction phenomenology is given. The Quantum Chromodynamics (QCD) is introduced, showing its strengths and weaknesses alike. A small digression into the field-theoretical aspects is made, explaining the important differences between different coupling regimes of QCD, gently touching the crucial idea of a running coupling constant. Then the somehwat mystical pomeron is introduced and the general ideas of current highest-energy hadronic Monte Carlo event generators are presented. At the end, the listener shall understand why, even with the amazing amount of data and theories at hand, the utility of ground-based cosmic ray observatories as "particle telescopes" for astrophysics is still sohewhat limited.

On the multi-critical properties of axisymmetric matter flow in the Kerr metric

Tapas K. Das

I will demonstrate that the accretion of non self-gravitating classical fluid onto astrophysical black holes may have multiple critical points by identifying the equations describing the space gradient of the dynamical flow velocity of the accreting matter to be equivalent to first order autonomous dynamical systems. Fixed point analysis ensures that such a flow must be multi-transonic for certain astrophysically relevant initial boundary conditions, and such multi-transonic flow allows the formation of Rankine-Hugoniot shock in the accretion disc. I also plan to demonstrate how such multi-transonic shocked flow model can be applied to explain various astrophysical phenomena, like generation of the AGN outflow and the X-ray flares from our Galactic centre, or the origin of the quasi periodic oscillations of black hole candidates.

The black hole accretion

Marek Abramowicz

I will describe the main results of the theory of black hole accretion. A fairly complete description includes all classical results. Namely: the Balbus-Hawley theory of turbulent stresses; the Shakura-Sunyaev accretion disc; Polish doughnuts, ion tori, slim discs, and the `adafs'; disco-seismology and the Papaloizou-Pringle instability — as well as recent developments in calculating spectra by advanced ray-tracing. I do not assume any detailed knowledge of general relativity or radiative processes. I will introduce all the necessary physics step by step, in a way that (I hope) will be helpful for beginners and not boring for experts.
This is the first lecture in the series of six, scheduled to be presented during autumn 2009.

Accretion discs around magnetized neutron stars

Ulf Torkelsson

Ghosh & Lamb constructed the standard model for an accretion disc around a magnetic star in 1979. The dipole field of the star produces a toroidal magnetic field in the disc because of the mismatch between the rotation of the star and the Keplerian rotation in the disc. The resulting magnetic tension is then responsible for an exchange of angular momentum between the star and the disc. Since then, through the work by Balbus & Hawley, we have become aware of that the accretion disc can produce a magnetic field on its own. This magnetic field can significantly enhance the torque between accretion disc and the neutron star. Furthermore the torque reversals that have been observed in disc-accreting X-ray pulsars by Bildsten and co-workers can then be interpreted as reversals of the magnetic field in the accretion disc. Belay Tessema and Torkelsson have recently produced self-consistent models of such accretion discs.

A few unsolved problems in accretion theory: stability, oscillations, limit cycles

Marek Abramowicz

I will review the present state of understanding of time behavior of black hole accretion disks, stressing the issues of: Papaloizou-Pringle instability, Balbus-Hawley instability, diskoseismology, and thermal limit cycles.