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

Rogier A. Windhorst, F. X. 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

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19 Scopus citations

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 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by NASA JWST Interdisciplinary Scientist grants NAG5-12460, NNX14AN10G, and 80NSSC18 K0200 to R.A.W. from GSFC. F.X.T. acknowledges support from NASA under the Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics Networks (TCAN) grant NNX14AB53G and by NSF under the Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) grant 1339600 and grant PHY-1430152 for the Physics Frontier Center “Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics—Center for the Evolution of the Elements” (JINA-CEE). J.S.B.W. acknowledges the support of the Australian Research Council. J.M.D. acknowledges the support of projects AYA2015-64508-P (MINECO/FEDER, UE), AYA2012-39475-C02-01, and Con-solider Project CSD2010-00064 funded by the Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad of Spain.

Funding Information:
This work was funded by NASA JWST Interdisciplinary Scientist grants NAG5-12460, NNX14AN10G, and 80NSSC18 K0200 to R.A.W. from GSFC. F.X.T. acknowledges support from NASA under the Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics Networks (TCAN) grant NNX14AB53G and by NSF under the Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) grant 1339600 and grant PHY-1430152 for the Physics Frontier Center Joint Institute for Nuclear AstrophysicsCenter for the Evolution of the Elements (JINA-CEE). J.S.B.W. acknowledges the support of the Australian Research Council. J.M.D. acknowledges the support of projects AYA2015-64508-P (MINECO/FEDER, UE), AYA2012-39475-C02-01, and Consolider Project CSD2010-00064 funded by the Ministerio de Economia y Competitividad of Spain.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Keywords

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

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