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China sometimes plays a leadership role in addressing global challenges, but at other times it free rides or even spoils efforts at cooperation. When will rising powers like China help to build and maintain international regimes that sustain cooperation on important issues, and when will they play less constructive roles? This study argues that the strategic setting of a particular issue area has a strong influence on whether and how a rising power will contribute to global governance. Two strategic variables are especially important: the balance of outside options the rising power and established powers face, and whether contributions by the rising power are viewed as indispensable to regime success. Case studies of China's approach to security in Central Asia, nuclear proliferation, global financial governance, and climate change illustrate the logic of the theory, which has implications for contemporary issues such as China's growing role in development finance.
Young stars are surrounded by copious amounts of circumstellar material. Its composition, in particular its gas-to-dust ratio, is an important parameter. However, measuring this ratio is challenging, because gas mass estimates are often model dependent. X-ray absorption is sensitive to the gas along the line-of-sight while optical/near-IR extinction depends on the dust. Therefore, the absorber's gas-to-dust ratio is directly given by the ratio between X-ray and optical/near-IR extinction. We present three systems where we used X-ray and optical/near-IR data to constrain the gas-to-dust ratio of circumstellar material; from a dust rich debris disk to gaseous protoplanetary disks.
In preparation for observations with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), we have identified new members of the nearby, young M dwarf sample and compiled an up to date list of these stars. Here we summarize our efforts to identify young M dwarfs, describe the current sample, and detail its demographics in the context of direct planet imaging. We also describe our investigations of the unprecedented sensitivity of the JWST when imaging nearby, young M dwarfs. The JWST is the only near term facility capable of routinely pushing direct imaging capabilities around M dwarfs to sub-Jovian masses and will provide key insight into questions regarding low-mass gas-giant properties, frequency, formation, and architectures.
The power of micro-arcsecond (μas) astrometry is about to be unleashed. ESA's Gaia mission, now headed towards the end of the first year of routine science operations, will soon fulfil its promise for revolutionary science in countless aspects of Galactic astronomy and astrophysics. The potential of Gaia position measurements for important contributions to the astrophysics of planetary systems is huge. We focus here on the expectations for detection and improved characterization of ‘young’ planetary systems in the neighborhood of the Sun using a combination of Gaia μas astrometry and direct imaging techniques.
We determine the age of 7 stars in the Ursa Major moving group using a novel method that models the fundamental parameters of rapidly rotating A-stars based on interferometric observations and literature photometry and compares these parameters (namely, radius, luminosity, and rotation velocity) with evolution models that account for rotation. We find these stars to be coeval, thus providing an age estimate for the moving group and validating this technique. With this technique validated, we determine the age of the rapidly rotating, directly imaged planet host star, κ Andromedae.
Low-mass, pre-main sequence stars possess intense high-energy radiation fields as a result of their strong stellar magnetic activity. This stellar UV and X-ray radiation may have a profound impact on the lifetimes of protoplanetary disks. We aim to constrain the X-ray-induced photoevaporation rates of protoplanetary disks orbiting low-mass stars by analyzing serendipitous XMM-Newton and Chandra X-ray observations of candidate nearby (D < 100 pc), young (age < 100 Myr) M stars identified in the GALEX Nearby Young-Star Survey (GALNYSS).