Ana I. Castro

Ana I. Castro
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Ana I. Castro

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (15)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (6)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (3)
Astrophysics (3)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (2)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (1)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (1)

Publications Authored By Ana I. Castro

Observations of the Earth's exosphere have unveiled an extended envelope of hydrogen reaching further than 10 Earth radii (R$_E$) composed of atoms orbiting around the Earth. This large envelope increases significantly the opacity of the Earth to Lyman-alpha (Lya) photons coming from the Sun, to the point of making feasible to detect the Earth's transit signature from 1.35 pc with an 8~meter primary mirror space telescope, as we show. Read More

There is growing observational evidence of dust coagulation in the dense filaments within molecular clouds. Infrared observations show that the dust grains size distribution gets shallower and the relative fraction of small to large dust grains decreases as the local density increases. Ultraviolet (UV) observations show that the strength of the 2175 {\AA} feature, the so-called UV bump, also decreases with cloud density. Read More

Affiliations: 1ASU, 2U. Mass, 3Planetary Resources, Inc., 4Aerospace Corp., 5SOFIA Science Center, 6CSIC, 7U. Leicester, 8JHU, 9U. Mass, 10NASA-GSFC, 11ROE, 12U. Colorado, 13IAC, 14Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 15LPL, 16Rice U., 17U. Notre Dame, 18NRC-CA, 19CSIC, 20Lillie Consulting LLC, 21Harris, 22JHU, 23Northrup Grumman, 24NASA HQ, 25STScI, 26U. Michigan, 27AIAP, 28NASA GSFC, 29Columbia U., 30NASA-GSFC, 31STScI, 32SSL, 33UNAM

We present the science cases and technological discussions that came from the workshop entitled "Finding the UV-Visible Path Forward" held at NASA GSFC June 25-26, 2015. The material presented outlines the compelling science that can be enabled by a next generation space-based observatory dedicated for UV-visible science, the technologies that are available to include in that observatory design, and the range of possible alternative launch approaches that could also enable some of the science. The recommendations to the Cosmic Origins Program Analysis Group from the workshop attendees on possible future development directions are outlined. Read More

The Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) has produced the largest photometric catalogue of ultraviolet (UV) sources. As such, it has defined the new standard bands for UV photometry: the near UV band (NUV) and the far UV band (FUV). However, due to brightness limits, the GALEX mission has avoided the Galactic plane which is crucial for astrophysical research and future space missions. Read More

Young solar-type stars grow through the accretion of material from the circumstellar disk during pre-main sequence (PMS) evolution. The ultraviolet radiation generated in this process plays a key role in the chemistry and evolution of young planetary disks. In particular, the hydrogen Lyman-alpha line (Lya) etches the disk surface by driving photoevaporative flows that control disk evolution. Read More

The atmospheric structure of T Tauri Stars (TTSs) and its connection with the large scale outflow is poorly known. Neither the effect of the magnetically mediated inter- action between the star and the disc in the stellar atmosphere is well understood. The Mg II multiplet is a fundamental tracer of TTSs atmospheres and outflows, and is the strongest feature in the near-ultraviolet spectrum of TTSs. Read More

We investigate the plausibility of detecting X-ray emission from a stellar jet that impacts against a dense molecular cloud. This scenario may be usual for classical T Tauri stars with jets in dense star-forming complexes. We first model the impact of a jet against a dense cloud by 2D axisymmetric hydrodynamic simulations, exploring different configurations of the ambient environment. Read More

The Taurus-Auriga molecular complex (TMC) is the main laboratory for the study of low mass star formation. The density and properties of interstellar dust are expected to vary across the TMC. These variations trace important processes such as dust nucleation or the magnetic field coupling with the cloud. Read More

In this work, we identify 63 bona fide new candidates to T Tauri stars (TTSs) in the Taurus-Auriga region using as baseline its ultraviolet excess. The initial data set has been defined from the GALEX all sky survey (AIS). The GALEX satellite obtained images in the near ultraviolet (NUV) and far ultraviolet (FUV) bands where the TTSs show a prominent excess, compared with main sequence or giants stars. Read More

We analyze 359 ultraviolet tiles from the All Sky Imaging Survey of the space mission GALEX covering roughly 400 square degrees toward the Orion star-forming region. There is a total of 1,555,174 ultraviolet sources that were cross-matched with others catalogs (2MASS, UCAC4, SDSS, DENIS, CMC15 and WISE) to produce a list of 290,717 reliable sources with a wide range of photometric information. Using different color selection criteria we identify 111 Young Stellar Object candidates showing both ultraviolet and infrared excesses, of which 81 are new identifications. Read More

Large sky surveys are providing a huge amount of information for studies of the interstellar medium, the galactic structure or the cosmic web. Setting into a common frame information coming from different wavelengths, over large fields of view, is needed for this kind of research. GALEX is the only nearly all-sky survey at ultraviolet wavelengths and contains fundamental information for all types of studies. Read More

The C II] feature at ~2325 Angstrom is very prominent in the spectra of T Tauri stars (TTSs). This feature is a quintuplet of semiforbidden transitions excited at electron temperatures around 10,000 K that, together with the nearby Si II] and Fe II] features, provides a reliable optically thin tracer for accurate measurement of the plasma properties in the magnetospheres of TTSs. The spectra of 20 (out of 27) TTSs observed with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS) on board the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) have good enough signal to noise ratio (S/N) at the C II] wavelength. Read More

The HeII (1640 A) line and the resonance doublet of NV (UV1) provide a good diagnostic tool to constrain the excitation mechanism of hot (Te>40,000K) atmospheric/magnetospheric plasmas in T Tauri stars (TTSs). Making use of the data available in the Hubble Space Telescope Archive, this work shows that there are, at least, two distinct physical components contributing to the radiation in these tracers: the accretion flow sliding on the magnetosphere and the atmosphere. The NV profiles are symmetric and at rest with respect to the star in most sources. Read More

The Imaging and Slitless Spectroscopy Instrument (ISSIS) will be flown as part of the Science Instrumentation in the World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV). ISSIS will be the first UV imager to operate in a high Earth orbit from a 2-m class space telescope. In this contribution, the science driving to ISSIS design, as well as main characteristics of ISSIS are presented. Read More

AK~Sco stands out among pre-main sequence binaries because of its prominent ultraviolet excess, the high eccentricity of its orbit and the strong tides driven by it. AK Sco consists of two F5 type stars that get as close as 11R$_*$ at periastron passage. The presence of a dense ($n_e \sim 10^{11}$~cm$^{-3}$) extended envelope has been unveiled recently. Read More

Pre-main sequence (PMS) binaries are surrounded by circumbinary disks from which matter falls onto both components. The material dragged from the circumbinary disk flows onto each star through independent streams channelled by the variable gravitational field. The action of the bar-like potential is most prominent in high eccentricity systems made of two equal mass stars. Read More

The evolution of disks around Young Stellar Objects (YSOs) is deeply affected by the YSOs ultraviolet (UV) radiation field especially in the 500-1100 \AA\ spectral range. The two dominant processes are; the photo-dissociation of H_2 molecules in the Werner and Lyman bands, and the emission of photo-electrons from dust grains when high energy photons are absorbed. Photo-electrons are an important source of gas heating. Read More

Ultraviolet observations of classical T Tauri Stars (cTTSs) have shown that there is a hot (Te ~ 80,000 K) and dense (ne ~ 1e10 cm-3) component associated with the large scale jet. This hot component is formed very close to the base of the jet providing fundamental information on the jet formation mechanism. In this series, we have investigated whether this component can be formed in disc winds, either cool or warm. Read More

AK Sco is a unique source: a ~10 Myrs old pre-main sequence spectroscopic binary composed of two nearly equal F5 stars that at periastron are separated by barely eleven stellar radii so, the stellar magnetospheres fill the Roche lobe at periastron. The orbit is not yet circularized (e=0.47) and very strong tides are expected. Read More

The World Space Observatory-Ultraviolet (WSO-UV) will provide access to the UV range during the next decade. The instrumentation on board will allow to carry out high resolution imaging, high sensitivity imaging, high resolution (R~55000) spectroscopy and low resolution (R~2500) long slit spectroscopy. In this contribution, we briefly outline some of the key science issues that WSO-UV will address during its lifetime. Read More

Planetary systems are angular momentum reservoirs generated during star formation. This accretion process produces very powerful engines able to drive the optical jets and the molecular outflows. A fraction of the engine energy is released into heating thus the temperature of the engine ranges from the 3000K of the inner disk material to the 10MK in the areas where magnetic reconnection occurs. Read More

RY Tau is a rapidly rotating Classical T Tauri star observed close to edge-on. The combination of new HST/STIS observations obtained in 2001 with HST/GHRS Archive data from 1993 has allowed us to get, for the first time, information on the thermal structure and the velocity law of the wind. The repeated observations of the Si III] and C III] lines show a lack of changes with time in the blue side of the profile(dominated by the wind contribution). Read More