On the Observability of Individual Population III Stars and Their Stellar-mass Black Hole Accretion Disks through Cluster Caustic Transits

Rogier Windhorst, Francis Timmes, J. Stuart B. Wyithe, Mehmet Alpaslan, Stephen K. Andrews, Daniel Coe, Jose M. Diego, Mark Dijkstra, Simon P. Driver, Patrick L. Kelly, Duho Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We summarize panchromatic Extragalactic Background Light data to place upper limits on the integrated near-infrared surface brightness (SB) that may come from Population III stars and possible accretion disks around their stellar-mass black holes (BHs) in the epoch of First Light, broadly taken from z ≃ 7-17. Theoretical predictions and recent near-infrared power spectra provide tighter constraints on their sky signal. We outline the physical properties of zero-metallicity Population III stars from MESA stellar evolution models through helium depletion and of BH accretion disks at z ≳ 7. We assume that second-generation non-zero-metallicity stars can form at higher multiplicity, so that BH accretion disks may be fed by Roche-lobe overflow from lower-mass companions. We use these near-infrared SB constraints to calculate the number of caustic transits behind lensing clusters that the James Webb Space Telescope and the next-generation ground-based telescopes may observe for both Population III stars and their BH accretion disks. Typical caustic magnifications can be μ ≃ 104-105, with rise times of hours and decline times of ≲1 year for cluster transverse velocities of vT ≲ 1000 km s-1. Microlensing by intracluster-medium objects can modify transit magnifications but lengthen visibility times. Depending on BH masses, accretion-disk radii, and feeding efficiencies, stellar-mass BH accretion-disk caustic transits could outnumber those from Population III stars. To observe Population III caustic transits directly may require monitoring 3-30 lensing clusters to AB ≲ 29 mag over a decade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number41
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Volume234
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

Fingerprint

Population III stars
transit
stellar mass
accretion disks
alkalies
accretion
near infrared
magnification
metallicity
brightness
James Webb Space Telescope
stellar evolution
visibility
lobes
helium
sky
power spectra
depletion
infrared spectra
physical property

Keywords

  • accretion, accretion disks
  • galaxies: clusters: general
  • gravitational lensing: strong
  • infrared: diffuse background
  • stars: black holes
  • stars: Population III

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

On the Observability of Individual Population III Stars and Their Stellar-mass Black Hole Accretion Disks through Cluster Caustic Transits. / Windhorst, Rogier; Timmes, Francis; Wyithe, J. Stuart B.; Alpaslan, Mehmet; Andrews, Stephen K.; Coe, Daniel; Diego, Jose M.; Dijkstra, Mark; Driver, Simon P.; Kelly, Patrick L.; Kim, Duho.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series, Vol. 234, No. 2, 41, 01.02.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Windhorst, Rogier ; Timmes, Francis ; Wyithe, J. Stuart B. ; Alpaslan, Mehmet ; Andrews, Stephen K. ; Coe, Daniel ; Diego, Jose M. ; Dijkstra, Mark ; Driver, Simon P. ; Kelly, Patrick L. ; Kim, Duho. / On the Observability of Individual Population III Stars and Their Stellar-mass Black Hole Accretion Disks through Cluster Caustic Transits. In: Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series. 2018 ; Vol. 234, No. 2.
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AU - Andrews, Stephen K.

AU - Coe, Daniel

AU - Diego, Jose M.

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AU - Kim, Duho

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AB - We summarize panchromatic Extragalactic Background Light data to place upper limits on the integrated near-infrared surface brightness (SB) that may come from Population III stars and possible accretion disks around their stellar-mass black holes (BHs) in the epoch of First Light, broadly taken from z ≃ 7-17. Theoretical predictions and recent near-infrared power spectra provide tighter constraints on their sky signal. We outline the physical properties of zero-metallicity Population III stars from MESA stellar evolution models through helium depletion and of BH accretion disks at z ≳ 7. We assume that second-generation non-zero-metallicity stars can form at higher multiplicity, so that BH accretion disks may be fed by Roche-lobe overflow from lower-mass companions. We use these near-infrared SB constraints to calculate the number of caustic transits behind lensing clusters that the James Webb Space Telescope and the next-generation ground-based telescopes may observe for both Population III stars and their BH accretion disks. Typical caustic magnifications can be μ ≃ 104-105, with rise times of hours and decline times of ≲1 year for cluster transverse velocities of vT ≲ 1000 km s-1. Microlensing by intracluster-medium objects can modify transit magnifications but lengthen visibility times. Depending on BH masses, accretion-disk radii, and feeding efficiencies, stellar-mass BH accretion-disk caustic transits could outnumber those from Population III stars. To observe Population III caustic transits directly may require monitoring 3-30 lensing clusters to AB ≲ 29 mag over a decade.

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KW - infrared: diffuse background

KW - stars: black holes

KW - stars: Population III

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