Recent Postings from Galactic

The effects of metallicity, UV radiation and non-equilibrium chemistry in high-resolution simulations of galaxies

We present a series of hydrodynamic simulations of isolated galaxies with stellar mass of $10^{9} \, \rm{M}_{\odot}$. The models use a resolution of $750 \, \rm{M}_{\odot}$ per particle and include a treatment for the full non-equilibrium chemical evolution of ions and molecules (157 species in total), along with gas cooling rates computed self-consistently using the non-equilibrium abundances. We compare these to simulations evolved using cooling rates calculated assuming chemical (including ionisation) equilibrium, and we consider a wide range of metallicities and UV radiation fields, including a local prescription for self-shielding by gas and dust. We find higher star formation rates and stronger outflows at higher metallicity and for weaker radiation fields, as gas can more easily cool to a cold (few hundred Kelvin) star forming phase under such conditions. Contrary to variations in the metallicity and the radiation field, non-equilibrium chemistry generally has no strong effect on the total star formation rates or outflow properties. However, it is important for modelling molecular outflows. For example, the mass of H$_{2}$ outflowing with velocities $> 50 \, \rm{km} \, \rm{s}^{-1}$ is enhanced by a factor $\sim 20$ in non-equilibrium. We also compute the observable line emission from CII and CO. Both are stronger at higher metallicity, while CII and CO emission are higher for stronger and weaker radiation fields respectively. We find that CII is generally unaffected by non-equilibrium chemistry. However, emission from CO varies by a factor of $\sim 2 – 4$. This has implications for the mean $X_{\rm{CO}}$ conversion factor between CO emission and H$_{2}$ column density, which we find is lowered by up to a factor $\sim 2.3$ in non-equilibrium, and for the fraction of CO-dark molecular gas.

Hiding in plain sight: record-breaking compact stellar systems in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

Motivated by the recent, serendipitous discovery of the densest known galaxy, M60-UCD1, we present two initial findings from a follow-up search, using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, Subaru/Suprime-Cam and Hubble Space Telescope imaging, and SOAR/Goodman spectroscopy. The first object discovered, M59-UCD3, has a similar size to M60-UCD1 (half-light radius of r_h ~ 20 pc) but is 40% more luminous (M_V ~ -14.6), making it the new densest-known galaxy. The second, M85-HCC1, has a size like a typical globular cluster r_h ~ 1.8 pc) but is much more luminous (M_V ~ -12.5). This hypercompact cluster is by far the densest confirmed free-floating stellar system, and is equivalent to the densest known nuclear star clusters. From spectroscopy, we find that both objects are relatively young (~9 Gyr and ~3 Gyr, respectively), with metal-abundances that resemble those of galaxy centers. Their host galaxies show clear signs of large-scale disturbances, and we conclude that these dense objects are the remnant nuclei of recently accreted galaxies. M59-UCD3 is an ideal target for follow-up with high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy to search for an overweight central supermassive black hole as was discovered in M60-UCD1. These findings also emphasize the potential value of ultra-compact dwarfs and massive globular clusters as tracers of the assembly histories of galaxies.

Neutral hydrogen gas, past and future star-formation in galaxies in and around the 'Sausage' merging galaxy cluster

CIZA J2242.8+5301 ($z = 0.188$, nicknamed ‘Sausage’) is an extremely massive ($M_{200}\sim 2.0 \times 10^{15}M_\odot$ ), merging cluster with shock waves towards its outskirts, which was found to host numerous emission-line galaxies. We performed extremely deep Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope HI observations of the ‘Sausage’ cluster to investigate the effect of the merger and the shocks on the gas reservoirs fuelling present and future star formation (SF) in cluster members. By using spectral stacking, we find that the emission-line galaxies in the ‘Sausage’ cluster have, on average, as much HI gas as field galaxies (when accounting for the fact cluster galaxies are more massive than the field galaxies), contrary to previous studies. Since the cluster galaxies are more massive than the field spirals, they may have been able to retain their gas during the cluster merger. The large HI reservoirs are expected to be consumed within $\sim0.75-1.0$ Gyr by the vigorous SF and AGN activity and/or driven out by the out-flows we observe. We find that the star-formation rate in a large fraction of H$\alpha$ emission-line cluster galaxies correlates well with the radio broad band emission, tracing supernova remnant emission. This suggests that the cluster galaxies, all located in post-shock regions, may have been undergoing sustained SFR for at least 100 Myr. This fully supports the interpretation proposed by Stroe et al. (2015) and Sobral et al. (2015) that gas-rich cluster galaxies have been triggered to form stars by the passage of the shock.

Evolution of mid-infrared galaxy luminosity functions from the entire AKARI NEP-Deep field with new CFHT photometry

We present infrared galaxy luminosity functions (LFs) in the AKARI North Ecliptic Pole (NEP) deep field using recently-obtained, wider CFHT optical/near-IR images. AKARI has obtained deep images in the mid-infrared (IR), covering 0.6 deg$^2$ of the NEP deep field. However, our previous work was limited to the central area of 0.25 deg$^2$ due to the lack of optical coverage of the full AKARI NEP survey. To rectify the situation, we recently obtained CFHT optical and near-IR images over the entire AKARI NEP deep field. These new CFHT images are used to derive accurate photometric redshifts, allowing us to fully exploit the whole AKARI NEP deep field. AKARI’s deep, continuous filter coverage in the mid-IR wavelengths (2.4, 3.2, 4.1, 7, 9, 11, 15, 18, and 24$\mu$m) exists nowhere else, due to filter gaps of other space telescopes. It allows us to estimate restframe 8$\mu$m and 12$\mu$m luminosities without using a large extrapolation based on spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting, which was the largest uncertainty in previous studies. Total infrared luminosity (TIR) is also obtained more reliably due to the superior filter coverage. The resulting restframe 8$\mu$m, 12$\mu$m, and TIR LFs at $0.15<z<2.2$ are consistent with previous works, but with reduced uncertainties, especially at the high luminosity-end, thanks to the wide field coverage. In terms of cosmic infrared luminosity density ($\Omega_{\mathrm{IR}}$), we found that the $\Omega_{\mathrm{IR}}$ evolves as $\propto (1+z)^{4.2\pm 0.4}$.

Cosmic star formation history and AGN evolution near and far: from AKARI to SPICA

Infrared (IR) luminosity is fundamental to understanding the cosmic star formation history and AGN evolution, since their most intense stages are often obscured by dust. Japanese infrared satellite, AKARI, provided unique data sets to probe these both at low and high redshifts. The AKARI performed an all sky survey in 6 IR bands (9, 18, 65, 90, 140, and 160$\mu$m) with 3-10 times better sensitivity than IRAS, covering the crucial far-IR wavelengths across the peak of the dust emission. Combined with a better spatial resolution, AKARI can measure the total infrared luminosity ($L_{TIR}$) of individual galaxies much more precisely, and thus, the total infrared luminosity density of the local Universe. In the AKARI NEP deep field, we construct restframe 8$\mu$m, 12$\mu$m, and total infrared (TIR) luminosity functions (LFs) at 0.15$<z<$2.2 using 4128 infrared sources. A continuous filter coverage in the mid-IR wavelength (2.4, 3.2, 4.1, 7, 9, 11, 15, 18, and 24$\mu$m) by the AKARI satellite allows us to estimate restframe 8$\mu$m and 12$\mu$m luminosities without using a large extrapolation based on a SED fit, which was the largest uncertainty in previous work. By combining these two results, we reveal dust-hidden cosmic star formation history and AGN evolution from $z$=0 to $z$=2.2, all probed by the AKARI satellite. The next generation space infrared telescope, SPICA, will revolutionize our view of the infrared Universe with superb sensitivity of the cooled 3m space telescope. We conclude with our survey proposal and future prospects with SPICA.

The Skeleton of the Milky Way

Recently, Goodman et al. (2014) argued that the very long, very thin infrared dark cloud "Nessie" lies directly in the Galactic mid-plane and runs along the Scutum-Centaurus arm in position-position-velocity ($p-p-v$) space as traced by lower density $\rm {CO}$ and higher density ${\rm NH}_3$ gas. Nessie was presented as the first "bone" of the Milky Way, an extraordinarily long, thin, high-contrast filament that can be used to map our Galaxy’s "skeleton." Here, we present evidence for additional bones in the Milky Way Galaxy, arguing that Nessie is not a curiosity but one of several filaments that could potentially trace Galactic structure. Our ten bone candidates are all long, filamentary, mid-infrared extinction features which lie parallel to, and no more than 20 pc from, the physical Galactic mid-plane. We use $\rm {CO}$, ${\rm N}_2{\rm H}^+$, $\rm {HCO}^+$, and ${\rm NH}_3$ radial velocity data to establish the three-dimensional location of the candidates in ${\it p-p-v}$ space. Of the ten candidates, six also: have a projected aspect ratio of $\geqq$50:1; run along, or extremely close to, the Scutum-Centaurus arm in p-p-v space; and exhibit no abrupt shifts in velocity. Evidence suggests that these candidates are marking the locations of significant spiral features, with the bone called filament 5 ("BC_18.88-0.09") being a close analog to Nessie in the Northern Sky. As molecular spectral-line and extinction maps cover more of the sky at increasing resolution and sensitivity, it should be possible to find more bones in future studies, ultimately to create a global-fit to the Galaxy’s spiral arms by piecing together individual skeletal features.

NIHAO III: The constant disc gas mass conspiracy

We show that the cool gas masses of galactic discs reach a steady state that lasts many Gyr after their last major merger in cosmological hydrodynamic simulations. The mass of disc gas, M$_{\rm gas}$, depends upon a galaxy halo’s spin and virial mass, but not upon stellar feedback. Halos with low spin have high star formation efficiency and lower disc gas mass. Similarly, lower stellar feedback leads to more star formation so the gas mass ends up nearly the same irregardless of stellar feedback strength. Even considering spin, the M$_{\rm gas}$ relation with halo mass, M$_{200}$ only shows a factor of 3 scatter. The M$_{\rm gas}$–M$_{200}$ relation show a break at M$_{200}$=$2\times10^{11}$ M$_\odot$ that corresponds to an observed break in the M$_{\rm gas}$–M$_\star$ relation. The constant disc mass stems from a shared halo gas density profile in all the simulated galaxies. In their outer regions, the profiles are isothermal. Where the profile rises above $n=10^{-3}$ cm$^{-3}$, the gas readily cools and the profile steepens. Inside the disc, rotation supports gas with a flatter density profile except where supernova explosions disrupt the disc. Energy injection from stellar feedback also provides pressure support to the halo gas to prevent runaway cooling flows. The resulting constant gas mass makes simpler models for galaxy formation possible, either using a "bathtub" model for star formation rates or when modeling chemical evolution.

Electronic spectra of linear HC$_5$H and cumulene carbene H$_2$C$_5$ [Cross-Listing]

The $1 ^3\Sigma_u^- \leftarrow X^3\Sigma_g^-$ transition of linear HC$_5$H (A) has been observed in a neon matrix and gas phase. The assignment is based on mass-selective experiments, extrapolation of previous results of the longer HC$_{2n+1}$H homologues, and density functional and multi-state CASPT2 theoretical methods. Another band system starting at 303 nm in neon is assigned as the $1 ^1 A_1 \leftarrow X ^1 A_1$ transition of the cumulene carbene pentatetraenylidene H$_2$C$_5$ (B).

The early days of the Sculptor dwarf spheroidal galaxy

We present the high resolution spectroscopic study of five -3.9<=[Fe/H]<=-2.5 stars in the Local Group dwarf spheroidal, Sculptor, thereby doubling the number of stars with comparable observations in this metallicity range. We carry out a detailed analysis of the chemical abundances of alpha, iron peak, light and heavy elements, and draw comparisons with the Milky Way halo and the ultra faint dwarf stellar populations. We show that the bulk of the Sculptor metal-poor stars follows the same trends in abundance ratios versus metallicity as the Milky Way stars. This suggests similar early conditions of star formation and a high degree of homogeneity of the interstellar medium. We find an outlier to this main regime, which seems to miss the products of the most massive of the TypeII supernovae. In addition to its value to help refining galaxy formation models, this star provides clues to the production of cobalt and zinc. Two of our sample stars have low odd-to-even barium isotope abundance ratios, suggestive of a fair proportion of s-process; we discuss the implication for the nucleosynthetic origin of the neutron capture elements.

Massive envelopes and filaments in the NGC 3603 star forming region

The formation of massive stars and their arrival on the zero-age main-sequence occurs hidden behind dense clouds of gas and dust. In the giant Hii region NGC 3603, the radiation of a young cluster of OB stars has dispersed dust and gas in its vicinity. At a projected distance of 2:5 pc from the cluster, a bright mid-infrared (mid-IR) source (IRS 9A) had been identified as a massive young stellar object (MYSO), located on the side of a molecular clump (MM2) of gas facing the cluster. We investigated the physical conditions in MM2, based on APEX sub-mm observations using the SABOCA and SHFI instruments, and archival ATCA 3 mm continuum and CS spectral line data. We resolved MM2 into several compact cores, one of them closely associated with IRS 9A. These are likely infrared dark clouds as they do not show the typical hot-core emission lines and are mostly opaque against the mid-IR background. The compact cores have masses of up to several hundred times the solar mass and gas temperatures of about 50 K, without evidence of internal ionizing sources. We speculate that IRS 9A is younger than the cluster stars, but is in an evolutionary state after that of the compact cores.

Too big to be real? No depleted core in Holm 15A

Partially depleted cores, as measured by core-Sersic model "break radii", are typically tens to a few hundred parsecs in size. Here we investigate the unusually large (cusp radius of 4.57 kpc) depleted core recently reported for Holm 15A, the brightest cluster galaxy of Abell 85. We model the 1D light profile, and also the 2D image (using GALFIT-CORSAIR, a tool for fitting the core-Sersic model in 2D). We find good agreement between the 1D and 2D analyses, with minor discrepancies attributable to intrinsic ellipticity gradients. We show that a simple Sersic profile (with a low index n and no depleted core) plus the known outer exponential "halo" provide a good description of the stellar distribution. We caution that while almost every galaxy light profile will have a radius where the negative logarithmic slope of the intensity profile equals 0.5, this alone does not imply the presence of a partially depleted core within this radius.

A Systematic Search for Lensed High-Redshift Galaxies in HST Images of MACS Clusters

We present the results of a 135-arcmin$^2$ search for high-redshift galaxies lensed by clusters from the MAssive Cluster Survey. We use relatively shallow images obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope in four passbands, namely, F606W, F814W, F110W, and F140W. We identify 124 F814W dropouts as candidates for galaxies at $z \ge 6$. In order to fit the available broad-band photometry to galaxy spectral energy distribution templates, we develop a prior for the level of dust extinction at various redshifts. We also investigate the systematic biases incurred by the use of SED-fit software. The fits we obtain yield an estimate of 27 Lyman-break galaxies with photometric redshifts from $z \sim 7$ to 9. In addition, our survey has identified over 70 candidates with a significant probability of being lower-redshift ($z \sim 2$) interlopers. We conclude that even as few as four broad-band filters — when combined with fitting the SEDs — are capable of isolating promising objects. Such surveys are thus ideal both for investigating the bright end ($M_{1500} \le -19$) of the high-redshift UV luminosity function and for identifying candidate massive evolved galaxies at lower redshifts.

Magnetized Interstellar Molecular Clouds. I. Comparison Between Simulations and Zeeman Observations

The most accurate measurements of magnetic fields in star-forming gas are based on the Zeeman observations analyzed by Crutcher et al. (2010). We show that their finding that the 3D magnetic field scales approximately as density$^{0.65}$ can also be obtained from analysis of the observed line-of-sight fields. We present two large-scale AMR MHD simulations of several thousand $M_\odot$ of turbulent, isothermal, self-gravitating gas, one with a strong initial magnetic field (Alfven Mach number $M_{A,0}= 1$) and one with a weak initial field ($M_{A,0}=10$). We construct samples of the 100 most massive clumps in each simulation and show that they exhibit a power-law relation between field strength and density in excellent agreement with the observed one. Our results imply that the average field in molecular clumps in the interstellar medium is $<B_{tot}> \sim 42 n_{H,4}^{0.65} \mu$G. Furthermore, the median value of the ratio of the line-of-sight field to density$^{0.65}$ in the simulations is within a factor of about (1.3, 1.7) of the observed value for the strong and weak field cases, respectively. The median value of the mass-to-flux ratio, normalized to the critical value, is 70% of the line-of-sight value. This is larger than the 50% usually cited for spherical clouds because the actual mass-to-flux ratio depends on the volume-weighted field, whereas the observed one depends on the mass-weighted field. Our results indicate that the typical molecular clump in the ISM is significantly supercritical (~ factor of 3). The results of our strong-field model are in very good quantitative agreement with the observations of Li et al. (2009), which show a strong correlation in field orientation between small and large scales. Because there is a negligible correlation in the weak-field model, we conclude that molecular clouds form from strongly magnetized (although magnetically supercritical) gas.

Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): end of survey report and data release 2

The Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey is one of the largest contemporary spectroscopic surveys of low-redshift galaxies. Covering an area of ~286 deg^2 (split among five survey regions) down to a limiting magnitude of r < 19.8 mag, we have collected spectra and reliable redshifts for 238,000 objects using the AAOmega spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope. In addition, we have assembled imaging data from a number of independent surveys in order to generate photometry spanning the wavelength range 1 nm – 1 m. Here we report on the recently completed spectroscopic survey and present a series of diagnostics to assess its final state and the quality of the redshift data. We also describe a number of survey aspects and procedures, or updates thereof, including changes to the input catalogue, redshifting and re-redshifting, and the derivation of ultraviolet, optical and near-infrared photometry. Finally, we present the second public release of GAMA data. In this release we provide input catalogue and targeting information, spectra, redshifts, ultraviolet, optical and near-infrared photometry, single-component S\’ersic fits, stellar masses, H$\alpha$-derived star formation rates, environment information, and group properties for all galaxies with r < 19.0 mag in two of our survey regions, and for all galaxies with r < 19.4 mag in a third region (72,225 objects in total). The database serving these data is available at http://www.gama-survey.org/.

Sensitivity to interlopers in stellar-kinematic samples for ultrafaint dwarf galaxies: Uncertainty about the dark matter annihilation profile of Segue I

The expected gamma-ray flux coming from dark matter annihilation in dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies depends on the so-called ‘J-factor’, the integral of the squared dark matter density along the line-of-sight. We examine the degree to which estimates of J are sensitive to contamination (by foreground Milky Way stars and stellar streams) of the stellar-kinematic samples that are used to infer dark matter densities in ‘ultrafaint’ dSphs. Applying standard kinematic analyses to hundreds of mock data sets that include varying levels of contamination, we find that mis-classified contaminants can cause J-factors to be overestimated by orders of magnitude. Stellar-kinematic data sets for which we obtain such biased estimates tend 1) to include relatively large fractions of stars with ambiguous membership status, and 2) to give estimates for J that are sensitive to specific choices about how to weight and/or to exclude stars with ambiguous status. Comparing publicly-available stellar-kinematic samples for the nearby dSphs Reticulum II and Segue I, we find that only the latter displays both of these characteristics. Estimates of Segue I’s J-factor should therefore be regarded with a larger degree of caution when planning and interpreting gamma-ray observations.

The Spectroscopic Properties of Ly{\alpha}-Emitters at z $\approx$ 2.7: Escaping Gas and Photons from Faint Galaxies

We present a spectroscopic survey of 318 faint $(R\sim 27$, $L\sim0.1L_*)$, Ly{\alpha}-emission-selected galaxies (LAEs) at 2.5<z<3. A sample of 32 LAEs with rest-frame optical spectra from Keck/MOSFIRE are used to interpret the LAE spectra in the context of their systemic redshifts. We find that the Ly{\alpha} emission of LAEs is typically less spectrally extended than among samples of more luminous continuum-selected galaxies (LBGs) at similar redshifts. Using the MOSFIRE subsample, we find that the peak of the Ly{\alpha} line is shifted by +200 km/s with respect to systemic across a diverse set of galaxies including both LAEs and LBGs. We also find a small number of objects with significantly blueshifted Ly{\alpha} emission, a potential indicator of accreting gas. The Ly{\alpha}-to-H{\alpha} line ratios suggest that the LAEs have Ly{\alpha} escape fractions $f_{\rm esc,Ly{\alpha}} \approx 30$%, significantly higher than typical LBG samples. Using redshifts calibrated by our MOSFIRE sample, we construct composite LAE spectra, finding the first evidence for metal-enriched outflows in such intrinsically-faint high-redshift galaxies. These outflows have smaller continuum covering fractions $(f_c \approx 0.3)$ and velocities $(v_{\rm ave} \approx 100-200$ km/s, $v_{\rm max} \approx 500$ km/s$)$ than those associated with typical LBGs, suggesting that gas covering fraction is a likely driver of the high Ly{\alpha} and Ly-continuum escape fractions of LAEs. Our results suggest a similar scaling of outflow velocity with star formation rate as is observed at lower redshifts $(v_{\rm outflow} \sim {\rm SFR}^{0.25})$ and indicate that a substantial fraction of gas is ejected with $v > v_{esc}$.

A High-Resolution Hubble Space Telescope Study of Lyman Continuum Leakers at $z\sim3$

We present $U_{336}V_{606}J_{125}H_{160}$ follow-up $HST$ observations of 16 $z\sim3$ candidate LyC emitters in the HS1549+1933 field. With these data, we obtain high spatial-resolution photometric redshifts of all sub-arcsecond components of the LyC candidates in order to eliminate foreground contamination and identify robust candidates for leaking LyC emission. Of the 16 candidates, we find one object with a robust LyC detection that is not due to foreground contamination. This object (MD5) resolves into two components; we refer to the LyC-emitting component as MD5b. MD5b has an observed 1500\AA\ to 900\AA\ flux-density ratio of $(F_{UV}/F_{LyC})_{obs}=4.0\pm2.0$, compatible with predictions from stellar population synthesis models. Neglecting IGM absorption, this ratio corresponds to lower limits to the relative (absolute) escape fraction of $f_{esc,rel}^{MD5b}=75\%\pm38\%$ ($f_{esc,abs}^{MD5b}=14\%\pm7\%$). The stellar population fit to MD5b indicates an age of $\lesssim50$Myr, which is in the youngest 10% of the $HST$ sample and the youngest third of typical $z\sim3$ Lyman break galaxies, and may be a contributing factor to its LyC detection. We obtain a revised, contamination-free estimate for the comoving specific ionizing emissivity at $z=2.85$, indicating (with large uncertainties) that star-forming galaxies provide roughly the same contribution as QSOs to the ionizing background at this redshift. Our results show that foreground contamination prevents ground-based LyC studies from obtaining a full understanding of LyC emission from $z\sim3$ star-forming galaxies. Future progress in direct LyC searches is contingent upon the elimination of foreground contaminants through high spatial-resolution observations, and upon acquisition of sufficiently deep LyC imaging to probe ionizing radiation in high-redshift galaxies.

Second generation stellar disks in Globular Clusters and cluster ellipticities

Globular clusters (GCs) and Nuclear Stellar Clusters (NSCs) are typically composed by several stellar generations, characterized by different ages and chemical compositions. The youngest populations in NSCs appear to reside in disk-like structures, as observed in our Galaxy and in M31. Gas infall followed by formation of second generation (SG) stars in GCs may similarly form disk-like structures in the clusters nuclei. Here we explore this possibility and follow the long term evolution of stellar disks embedded in GCs, and study their affects on the evolution of the clusters. We study disks with different masses by means of detailed N-body simulations and explore their morphological and kinematic signatures on the GC structures. We find that as a second generation disk relaxes, the old, first generation, stellar population flattens and becomes more radially anisotropic, making the GC structure become more elliptical. The second generation stellar population is characterized by a lower velocity dispersion, and a higher rotational velocity, compared with the primordial older population. The strength of these kinematic signatures depends both on the relaxation time of the system and on the fractional mass of the second generation disk. We therefore conclude that SG populations formed in flattened configurations will give rise to two systematic trends: (1) Positive correlation between GC ellipticity and fraction of SG population (2) Positive correlation between GC relaxation time and ellipticity. Thereby GC ellipticities and rotation could be related to the formation of SG stars and their initial configuration.

Stability of Gas Clouds in Galactic Nuclei: An Extended Virial Theorem

Cold gas entering the central $1$ to $10^2$ pc of a galaxy fragments and condenses into clouds. The stability of the clouds determines whether they will be turned into stars or can be delivered to the central supermassive black hole (SMBH) to turn on an active galactic nucleus (AGN). The conventional criteria to assess the stability of these clouds, such as the Jeans criterion and Roche (or tidal) limit, are insufficient here, because they assume the dominance of self-gravity in binding a cloud, and neglect external agents, such as pressure and tidal forces, which are common in galactic nuclei. We formulate a new scheme for judging this stability. We first revisit the conventional Virial theorem, taking into account an external pressure, to identify the correct range of masses that lead to stable clouds. We then extend the theorem to include an external tidal field, crucial for the stability in the region of interest — in dense star clusters, around SMBHs. We apply our extended Virial theorem to find the correct solutions to practical problems that until now were controversial, namely, the stability of the gas clumps in AGN tori, the circum-nuclear disk in the Galactic Center, and the central molecular zone of the Milky Way. The masses we derive for these structures are orders of magnitude smaller than the commonly-used Virial masses (equivalent to the Jeans mass). Moreover, we prove that these clumps are stable, contrary to what one would naively deduce from the Roche (tidal) limit.

870 microns continuum observations of the bubble-shaped nebula Gum 31

We are presenting here a study of the cold dust in the ring nebula Gum 31. We aim at deriving the physical properties of the molecular gas and dust associated with the nebula, and investigating its correlation with the star formation in the region, that was probably triggered by the expansion of the ionization front. We use 870 microns data obtained with LABOCA to map the dust emission. The obtained LABOCA image was compared to archival IR,radio continuum, and optical images. The 870 microns emission follows the 8 microns (Spitzer), 250 microns, and 500 microns (Herschel) emission distributions showing the classical morphology of a spherical shell. We use the 870 microns and 250 microns images to identify 60 dust clumps in the collected layers of molecular gas using the Gaussclumps algorithm. The clumps have effective deconvolved radii between 0.16 pc and 1.35 pc, masses between 70 Mo and 2800 Mo, and volume densities between 1.1×10^3 cm^-3 and 2.04×10^5 cm^-3. The total mass of the clumps is 37600 Mo. The dust temperature of the clumps is in the range from 21 K to 32 K, while inside the HII region reaches ~ 40 K. The clump mass distribution is well-fitted by a power law dN/dlog(M/Mo) proportional to M^(-alpha), with alpha=0.93+/-0.28. The slope differs from those obtained for the stellar IMF in the solar neighborhood, suggesting that the clumps are not direct progenitors of single stars/protostars. The mass-radius relationship for the 41 clumps detected in the 870 microns emission shows that only 37% of them lie in or above the high-mass star formation threshold, most of them having candidate YSOs projected inside. A comparison of the dynamical age of the HII region with the fragmentation time, allowed us to conclude that the collect and collapse mechanism may be important for the star formation at the edge of Gum 31, although other processes may also be acting.

870 micron continuum observations of the bubble-shaped nebula Gum 31 [Replacement]

We are presenting here a study of the cold dust in the infrared ring nebula Gum 31. We aim at deriving the physical properties of the molecular gas and dust associated with the nebula, and investigating its correlation with the star formation in the region, that was probably triggered by the expansion of the ionization front. We use 870 micron data obtained with LABOCA to map the dust emission. The obtained LABOCA image was compared to archival IR,radio continuum, and optical images. The 870 micron emission follows the 8 micron (Spitzer), 250 micron, and 500 micron (Herschel) emission distributions showing the classical morphology of a spherical shell. We use the 870 micron and 250 micron images to identify 60 dust clumps in the collected layers of molecular gas using the Gaussclumps algorithm. The clumps have effective deconvolved radii between 0.16 pc and 1.35 pc, masses between 70 Mo and 2800 Mo, and volume densities between 1.1×10^3 cm^-3 and 2.04×10^5 cm^-3. The total mass of the clumps is 37600 Mo. The dust temperature of the clumps is in the range from 21 K to 32 K, while inside the HII region reaches ~ 40 K. The clump mass distribution is well-fitted by a power law dN/dlog(M/Mo) proportional to M^(-alpha), with alpha=0.93+/-0.28. The slope differs from those obtained for the stellar IMF in the solar neighborhood, suggesting that the clumps are not direct progenitors of single stars/protostars. The mass-radius relationship for the 41 clumps detected in the 870 microns emission shows that only 37% of them lie in or above the high-mass star formation threshold, most of them having candidate YSOs projected inside. A comparison of the dynamical age of the HII region with the fragmentation time, allowed us to conclude that the collect and collapse mechanism may be important for the star formation at the edge of Gum 31, although other processes may also be acting.

Looking for the least luminous BL Lac objects

Among active galactic nuclei, BL Lac objects show extreme properties that have been interpreted as the effect of relativistic beaming on the emission from a plasma jet oriented close to the line of sight. The Doppler amplification of the jet emission makes them ideal targets for studying jet physics. In particular, low-power BL Lacs (LPBL) are very interesting because they probe the jet formation and emission processes at the lowest levels of accretion. However, they are difficult to identify since their emission is swamped by the radiation from the host galaxy in most observing bands. In this paper we propose a new LPBL selection method based on the mid-infrared emission, in addition to the traditional optical indices. We considered the radio-selected sample of Best & Heckman (2012, MNRAS, 421, 1569) and cross-matched it with the WISE all-sky survey. In a new diagnostic plane including the W2-W3 color and the Dn(4000) index, LPBL are located in a region scarcely populated by other sources. By filtering objects with small emission line equivalent width, we isolated 36 LPBL candidates up to redshift 0.15. Their radio luminosity at 1.4 GHz spans the range log L_r = 39.2-41.5 [erg/s]. Considering the completeness of our sample, we analyzed the BL Lac luminosity function (RLF), finding a dramatic paucity of LPBL with respect to the extrapolation of the RLF toward low power. This requires a break in the RLF located at log L_r~40.6 [erg/s]. The consequent peak in the BL Lacs number density is possibly the manifestation of a minimum power required to launch a relativistic jet.

CO Core Candidates in the Gemini Molecular Cloud

We present observations of a 4 squared degree area toward the Gemini cloud obtained using J = 1-0 transitions of $^{12}$CO, $^{13}$CO and C$^{18}$O. No C$^{18}$O emission was detected. This region is composed of 36 core candidates of $^{13}$CO. These core candidates have a characteristic diameter of 0.25 pc, excitation temperatures of 7.9 K, line width of 0.54 km s$^{-1}$ and a mean mass of 1.4 M$_{\sun}$. They are likely to be starless core candidates, or transient structures, which probably disperse after $\sim$10$^6$ yr.

CO Core Candidates in the Gemini Molecular Cloud [Replacement]

We present observations of a 4 squared degree area toward the Gemini cloud obtained using J = 1-0 transitions of $^{12}$CO, $^{13}$CO and C$^{18}$O. No C$^{18}$O emission was detected. This region is composed of 36 core candidates of $^{13}$CO. These core candidates have a characteristic diameter of 0.25 pc, excitation temperatures of 7.9 K, line width of 0.54 km s$^{-1}$ and a mean mass of 1.4 M$_{\sun}$. They are likely to be starless core candidates, or transient structures, which probably disperse after $\sim$10$^6$ yr.

Dust Cooling in Supernova Remnants in the Large Magellanic Cloud

The infrared-to-X-ray (IRX) flux ratio traces the relative importance of dust cooling to gas cooling in astrophysical plasma such as supernova remnants (SNRs). We derive IRX ratios of SNRs in the LMC using Spitzer and Chandra SNR survey data and compare them with those of Galactic SNRs. IRX ratios of all the SNRs in the sample are found to be moderately greater than unity, indicating that dust grains are a more efficient coolant than gas although gas cooling may not be negligible. The IRX ratios of the LMC SNRs are systematically lower than those of the Galactic SNRs. As both dust cooling and gas cooling pertain to the properties of the interstellar medium, the lower IRX ratios of the LMC SNRs may reflect the characteristics of the LMC, and the lower dust-to- gas ratio (a quarter of the Galactic value) is likely to be the most significant factor. The observed IRX ratios are compared with theoretical predictions that yield IRX ratios an order of magnitude larger. This discrepancy may originate from the dearth of dust in the remnants due to either the local variation of the dust abundance in the preshock medium with respect to the canonical abundance or the dust destruction in the postshock medium. The non-equilibrium ionization cooling of hot gas, in particular for young SNRs, may also cause the discrepancy. Finally, we discuss implications for the dominant cooling mechanism of SNRs in low-metallicity galaxies.

Core-Collapse Supernova Rate Synthesis Within 11 Mpc

The 11 Mpc H-alpha and Ultraviolet Galaxy (11HUGS) Survey traces the star formation activity of nearby galaxies. In addition within this volume the detection completeness of core-collapse supernovae (CCSNe) is high therefore by comparing these observed stellar births and deaths we can make a sensitive test of our understanding of how stars live and die. In this paper, we use the results of the Binary Population and Spectral Synthesis (BPASS) code to simulate the 11HUGS galaxies H-alpha and far-ultraviolet (FUV) star formation rate indicators (SFRIs) and simultaneously match the core-collapse supernova (CCSN) rate. We find that stellar population including interacting binary stars makes little difference to the total CCSN rate but increases the H-alpha and FUV fluxes for a constant number of stars being formed. In addition they significantly increase the predicted rate of type Ibc supernovae (SNe) relative to type II SNe to the level observed in the 11HUGS galaxies. We also find that instead of assuming a constant star formation history (SFH) for the galaxies our best fitting models have a star formation rate (SFR) that peaked more than 3 Myrs ago.

Discovery of low-metallicity stars in the central parsec of the Milky Way

We present a metallicity analysis of 83 late-type giants within the central 1 pc of the Milky Way. K-band spectroscopy of these stars were obtained with the medium-spectral resolution integral-field spectrograph NIFS on Gemini North using laser-guide star adaptive optics. Using spectral template fitting with the MARCS synthetic spectral grid, we find that there is large variation in metallicity, with stars ranging from [M/H] $<$ -1.0 to above solar metallicity. About 6\% of the stars have [M/H] $<$ -0.5. This result is in contrast to previous observations, with smaller samples, that show stars at the Galactic center have approximately solar metallicity with only small variations. Our current measurement uncertainties are dominated by systematics in the model, especially at [M/H] $>$ 0, where there are stellar lines not represented in the model. However, the conclusion that there are low metallicity stars, as well as large variations in metallicity is robust. The metallicity may be an indicator of the origin of these stars. The low-metallicity population is consistent with that of globular clusters in the Milky Way, but their small fraction likely means that globular cluster infall is not the dominant mechanism for forming the Milky Way nuclear star cluster. The majority of stars are at or above solar metallicity, which suggests they were formed closer to the Galactic center or from the disk. In addition, our results indicate that it will be important for star formation history analyses using red giants at the Galactic center to consider the effect of varying metallicity.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping Project: Ensemble Spectroscopic Variability of Quasar Broad Emission Lines

We explore the variability of quasars in the MgII and Hbeta broad emission lines and UV/optical continuum emission using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping project (SDSS-RM). This is the largest spectroscopic study of quasar variability to date: our study includes 29 spectroscopic epochs from SDSS-RM over $6$ months, containing 357 quasars with MgII and 41 quasars with Hbeta . On longer timescales, the study is also supplemented with two-epoch data from SDSS-I/II. The SDSS-I/II data include an additional $2854$ quasars with MgII and 572 quasars with Hbeta. The MgII emission line is significantly variable ($\Delta f/f$ 10% on 100-day timescales), indicating that it is feasible to use the broad MgII line for reverberation mapping studies. The data also confirm that continuum variability increases with timescale and decreases with luminosity, and the continuum light curves are consistent with a damped random-walk model on rest-frame timescales of $\gtrsim 5$ days. We compare the emission-line and continuum variability to investigate the structure of the broad-line region. Broad-line variability shows a shallower increase with timescale compared to the continuum emission, demonstrating that the broad-line transfer function is not a $\delta$-function. Hbeta is more variable than MgII (roughly by a factor of $1.5$), suggesting different excitation mechanisms, optical depths and/or geometrical configuration for each emission line. The ensemble spectroscopic variability measurements enabled by the SDSS-RM project have important consequences for future studies of reverberation mapping and black hole mass estimation of $1<z<2$ quasars.

The SLUGGS Survey: Globular cluster kinematics in a "double sigma" galaxy - NGC 4473

NGC 4473 is a so–called double sigma (2$\sigma$) galaxy, i.e. a galaxy with rare, double peaks in its 2D stellar velocity dispersion. Here, we present the globular cluster (GC) kinematics in NGC 4473 out to $\sim10\,R_e$ (effective radii) using data from combined HST/ACS and Subaru/Suprime–Cam imaging and Keck/DEIMOS spectroscopy. We find that the 2$\sigma$ nature of NGC 4473 persists up to 3 $R_e$, though it becomes misaligned to the photometric major axis. We also observe a significant offset between the stellar and GC rotation amplitudes. This offset can be understood as a co–addition of counter–rotating stars producing little net stellar rotation. We identify a sharp radial transition in the GC kinematics at $\sim4\,R_e$ suggesting a well defined kinematically distinct halo. In the inner region ($<4\,R_e$), the blue GCs rotate along the photometric major axis, but in an opposite direction to the galaxy stars and red GCs. In the outer region ($>4\,R_e$), the red GCs rotate in an opposite direction compared to the inner region red GCs, along the photometric major axis, while the blue GCs rotate along an axis intermediate between the major and minor photometric axes. We also find a kinematically distinct population of very red GCs in the inner region with elevated rotation amplitude and velocity dispersion. The multiple kinematic components in NGC 4473 highlight the complex formation and evolutionary history of this 2$\sigma$ galaxy, as well as a distinct transition between the inner and outer components.

Radial Trends in IMF-Sensitive Absorption Features in Two Early-Type Galaxies: Evidence for Abundance-Driven Gradients

We have observed two massive early-type galaxies with Keck/LRIS and measured radial gradients in the strengths of stellar absorption features from 4000-5500 \AA$\,$ and 8000-10,000 \AA. We present spatially resolved measurements of the dwarf-sensitive spectral indices NaI (8190 \AA) and Wing-Ford FeH (9915 \AA), as well as indices for species of H, C$_2$, CN, Mg, Ca, TiO, and Fe. Our measurements show a metallicity gradient in both objects, and Mg/Fe consistent with uniform $\alpha$-enhancement, matching widely observed trends for massive early-type galaxies. The NaI index and the CN$_1$ index at 4160 \AA$\,$ exhibit significantly steeper gradients, with a break at $r \sim 0.1 r_{\rm eff}$ ($r \sim 300$ pc). Inside this radius NaI and CN$_1$ increase sharply toward the galaxy center, relative to other indices. We interpret this trend as a rapid central rise in [Na/Fe] and [N/Fe]. In contrast, the FeH index exhibits a marginal decrease toward the galaxy center, relative to Fe. Our investigation is among the first to track FeH as a function of radius, and to demonstrate discrepant behavior between NaI and FeH. We suggest that a shallow gradient in FeH and steep, broken NaI profile reflect unique abundance patterns rather than a gradient in the stellar initial mass function.

A comparative study of two 47 Tuc giant stars with different s-process enrichment

Here we aim to understand the origin of 47 Tuc’s La-rich star Lee 4710. We report abundances for O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Co, Ni, Zn, Y, Zr, Ba, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, and Eu, and present a detailed abundance analysis of two 47 Tuc stars with similar stellar parameters but different slow neutron-capture (s-)process enrichment. Star Lee 4710 has the highest known La abundance ratio in this cluster ([La/Fe] = 1.14), and star Lee 4626 is known to have normal s-process abundances (e.g., [Ba/Eu]$<0$). The nucleosynthetic pattern of elements with Z$\gtrsim$56 for star Lee 4710 agrees with the predicted yields of a $1.3M_{\odot}$ asymptotic giant branch (AGB) star. Therefore, Lee 4710 may have been enriched by mass transfer from a more massive AGB companion, which is compatible with its location far away from the center of this relatively metal-rich ([Fe/H]$\sim-0.7$) globular cluster. A further analysis comparing the abundance pattern of Lee 4710 with data available in the literature reveals that nine out of the $\sim200$ 47 Tuc stars previously studied show strong s-process enhancements that point towards later enrichment by more massive AGB stars.

GRB host galaxies with VLT/X-Shooter: properties at 0.8 < z < 1.3 [Replacement]

Long gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) are associated with the death of massive stars. Their host galaxies therefore represent a unique class of objects tracing star formation across the observable Universe. Indeed, recently accumulated evidence shows that GRB hosts do not differ substantially from general population of galaxies at high (z > 2) redshifts. However, it has been long recognised that the properties of z < 1.5 hosts, compared to general star-forming population, are unusual. To better understand the reasons for the supposed difference in LGRB hosts properties at z < 1.5, we obtained VLT/X- Shooter spectra of six hosts lying in the redshift range of 0.8 < z < 1.3. Some of these hosts have been observed before, yet we still lack well constrained information on their characteristics such as metallicity, dust extinction and star formation rate. We search for emission lines in the VLT/X-Shooter spectra of the hosts and measure their fluxes. We perform a detailed analysis, estimating host average extinction, star-formation rates, metallicities and electron densities where possible. Measured quantities of our hosts are compared to a larger sample of previously observed GRB hosts at z < 2. Star-formation rates and metallicities are measured for all the hosts analyzed in this paper and metallicities are well determined for 4 hosts. The mass-metallicity relation, the fundamental metallicity relation and SFRs derived from our hosts occupy similar parameter space as other host galaxies investigated so-far at the same redshift. We therefore conclude that GRB hosts in our sample support the found discrepancy between the properties of low-redshift GRB hosts and the general population of star- forming galaxies.

GRB host galaxies with VLT/X-Shooter: properties at 0.8 < z < 1.3

Long gamma-ray bursts (LGRBs) are associated with the death of massive stars. Their host galaxies therefore represent a unique class of objects tracing star formation across the observable Universe. Indeed, recently accumulated evidence shows that GRB hosts do not differ substantially from general population of galaxies at high (z > 2) redshifts. However, it has been long recognised that the properties of z < 1.5 hosts, compared to general star-forming population, are unusual. To better understand the reasons for the supposed difference in LGRB hosts properties at z < 1.5, we obtained VLT/X- Shooter spectra of six hosts lying in the redshift range of 0.8 < z < 1.3. Some of these hosts have been observed before, yet we still lack well constrained information on their characteristics such as metallicity, dust extinction and star formation rate. We search for emission lines in the VLT/X-Shooter spectra of the hosts and measure their fluxes. We perform a detailed analysis, estimating host average extinction, star-formation rates, metallicities and electron densities where possible. Measured quantities of our hosts are compared to a larger sample of previously observed GRB hosts at z < 2. Star-formation rates and metallicities are measured for all the hosts analyzed in this paper and metallicities are well determined for 4 hosts. The mass-metallicity relation, the fundamental metallicity relation and SFRs derived from our hosts occupy similar parameter space as other host galaxies investigated so-far at the same redshift. We therefore conclude that GRB hosts in our sample support the found discrepancy between the properties of low-redshift GRB hosts and the general population of star- forming galaxies.

The distribution of deuterated formaldehyde within Orion-KL

We report the first high angular resolution imaging (3.4\arcsec $\times$ 3.0\arcsec) of deuterated formaldehyde (HDCO) toward Orion–KL, carried out with the Submillimeter Array (SMA). We find that the spatial distribution of the formaldehyde emission systematically differs from that of methanol: while methanol is found towards the inner part of the region, HDCO is found in colder gas that wraps around the methanol emission on four sides. The HDCO/H$_2$CO ratios are determined to be 0.003–0.009 within the region, up to an order of magnitude higher than the D/H measured for methanol. These findings strengthen the previously suggested hypothesis that there are differences in the chemical pathways leading to HDCO (via deuterated gas phase chemistry) and deuterated methanol (through conversion of formaldehyde into methanol on the surface of icy grain mantles).

CASSIS: The Cornell Atlas of Spitzer/Infrared Spectrograph Sources. II. High-resolution observations

The Infrared Spectrograph (IRS) on board the Spitzer Space Telescope observed about 15,000 objects during the cryogenic mission lifetime. Observations provided low-resolution (R~60-127) spectra over ~5-38um and high-resolution (R~600) spectra over ~10-37um. The Cornell Atlas of Spitzer/IRS Sources (CASSIS) was created to provide publishable quality spectra to the community. Low-resolution spectra have been available in CASSIS since 2011, and we present here the addition of the high-resolution spectra. The high-resolution observations represent approximately one third of all staring observations performed with the IRS instrument. While low-resolution observations are adapted to faint objects and/or broad spectral features (e.g., dust continuum, molecular bands), high-resolution observations allow more accurate measurements of narrow features (e.g., ionic emission lines) as well as a better sampling of the spectral profile of various features. Given the narrow aperture of the two high-resolution modules, cosmic ray hits and spurious features usually plague the spectra. Our pipeline is designed to minimize these effects through various improvements. A super sampled point-spread function was created in order to enable the optimal extraction in addition to the full aperture extraction. The pipeline selects the best extraction method based on the spatial extent of the object. For unresolved sources, the optimal extraction provides a significant improvement in signal-to-noise ratio over a full aperture extraction. We have developed several techniques for optimal extraction, including a differential method that eliminates low-level rogue pixels (even when no dedicated background observation was performed). The updated CASSIS repository now includes all the spectra ever taken by the IRS, with the exception of mapping observations.

E\"otv\"os Experiments with Supermassive Black Holes [Cross-Listing]

By examining the locations of central black holes in two elliptical galaxies, M32 and M87, we derive constraints on the violation of the strong equivalence principle for purely gravitational objects, i.e. black holes, of less than eight percent, $|\eta_N|<0.08$ from M32. The constraints from M87 are substantially weaker but could improve dramatically with better astrometry.

E\"otv\"os Experiments with Supermassive Black Holes

By examining the locations of central black holes in two elliptical galaxies, M32 and M87, we derive constraints on the violation of the strong equivalence principle for purely gravitational objects, i.e. black holes, of less than eight percent, $|\eta_N|<0.08$ from M32. The constraints from M87 are substantially weaker but could improve dramatically with better astrometry.

E\"otv\"os Experiments with Supermassive Black Holes [Cross-Listing]

By examining the locations of central black holes in two elliptical galaxies, M32 and M87, we derive constraints on the violation of the strong equivalence principle for purely gravitational objects, i.e. black holes, of less than eight percent, $|\eta_N|<0.08$ from M32. The constraints from M87 are substantially weaker but could improve dramatically with better astrometry.

Dynamical History of the Local Group in LCDM

The positions and velocities of galaxies in the Local Group (LG) measure the gravitational field within it. This is mostly due to the Milky Way (MW) and Andromeda (M31). We constrain their masses using a sample of 32 galaxies with measured distances and radial velocities (RVs). To do this, we follow the trajectories of several thousand simulated particles on a pure Hubble flow from redshift 9. For each observed galaxy, we obtain a trajectory which today is at the same position. Its final velocity is the model prediction for the velocity of that galaxy. We carefully consider the impact of tides raised by objects outside the LG. We directly include Centaurus A and try to account for IC 342 and M81. With our analysis, the total LG mass is $4.33^{+0.37}_{-0.32} \times {10}^{12} M_\odot$, with $0.20^{+0.05}_{-0}$ of this being in the MW. However, no plausible set of initial conditions yields a good match to the RVs of our sample of LG galaxies. We introduce a parameter $\sigma_{extra}$ to quantify the typical disagreement between observed RVs and those predicted by the best-fitting model. We find that $\sigma_{extra} \approx 45^{+7}_{-5}$ km/s. This seems too high to explain as a result of interactions between LG dwarf galaxies. We suggest that the observations may be explained by a past close flyby of the MW and M31, which arises in some modified gravity theories due to a shorter orbital period. Gravitational slingshot encounters of material in the LG with either of these massive fast-moving galaxies could plausibly explain why some non-satellite LG galaxies are racing away from the LG even faster than a pure Hubble flow (e.g. DDO 99, 125 and 190). A modification to gravity might also explain why some galaxies have RVs substantially below our model predictions.

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping Project: Post-Starburst Signatures in Quasar Host Galaxies at z < 1

Quasar host galaxies are key for understanding the relation between galaxies and the supermassive black holes (SMBHs) at their cores. We present a study of 191 unobscured quasars and their host galaxies at z < 1, using high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) spectra produced by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Reverberation Mapping project. Clear detection of stellar absorption lines allows a reliable decomposition of the observed spectra into nuclear and host components, using spectral models of quasar and stellar radiations as well as emission lines from the interstellar medium. We estimate age, mass (M*), and velocity dispersion (sigma*) of the host stars, the star formation rate (SFR), quasar luminosity, and SMBH mass (Mbh), for each object. The quasars are preferentially hosted by massive galaxies with M* ~ 10^{11} Msun characterized by stellar ages around a billion years, which coincides with the transition phase of normal galaxies from the blue cloud to the red sequence. The host galaxies have relatively low SFRs and fall below the main sequence of star-forming galaxies at similar redshifts. These facts suggest that the hosts have experienced an episode of major star formation sometime in the past billion years which was subsequently quenched. The derived Mbh – sigma* and Mbh – M* relations agree with our past measurements and are consistent with no evolution from the local Universe. The present analysis demonstrates that reliable measurements of stellar properties of quasar host galaxies are possible with high-SNR fiber spectra, which will be acquired in large numbers with future powerful instruments such as the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph.

Tides or dark matter sub-halos: Which ones are more attractive?

Young tidal dwarf galaxies (TDGs) are observed in the tidal debris of gas-rich interacting galaxies. In contrast to what is generally assumed to be the case for isolated dwarf galaxies, TDGs are not embedded in their own dark matter (DM) sub-halo. Hence, they are more sensitive to stellar feedback and could be disrupted on a short time-scale. Detailed numerical and observational studies demonstrate that isolated DM-dominated dwarf galaxies can have lifetimes of more than 10 Gyr. For TDGs that evolve in a tidal field with compressing accelerations equal to the gravitational acceleration within a DM sub-halo typical of an isolated dwarf galaxy, a similar survival time is expected. The tidal acceleration profile depends on the virial mass of the host galaxy and the distance between the TDG and its host. We analytically compare the tidal compression to the gravitational acceleration due to either cuspy or cored DM sub-halos of various virial masses. For example, the tidal field at a distance of 100 kpc to a host halo of 10^13 Msol can be as stabilizing as a 10^9 Msol DM sub-halo. By linking the tidal field to the equivalent gravitational field of a DM sub-halo, we can use existing models of isolated dwarfs to estimate the survivability of TDGs. We show that part of the unexpectedly high dynamical masses inferred from observations of some TDGs can be explained by tidal compression and hence TDGs require to contain less unobservable matter to understand their rotation curves.

A ~50,000 solar mass black hole in the nucleus of RGG 118

Scaling relations between black hole (BH) masses and their host galaxy properties have been studied extensively over the last two decades, and point towards co-evolution of central massive BHs and their hosts. However, these relations remain poorly constrained for BH masses below $\sim10^{6}$ M_sun. Here we present optical and X-ray observations of the dwarf galaxy RGG 118 taken with the Magellan Echellette Spectrograph on the 6.5m Clay Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory. Based on Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopy, RGG 118 was identified as possessing narrow emission line ratios indicative of photoionization partly due to an active galactic nucleus. Our higher resolution spectroscopy clearly reveals broad H$\alpha$ emission in the spectrum of RGG 118. Using virial BH mass estimate techniques, we calculate a BH mass of $\sim50,000$ \msun. We detect a nuclear X-ray point source in RGG 118, suggesting a total accretion powered luminosity of $L=4\times10^{40}~{\rm erg~s^{-1}}$, and an Eddington fraction of $\sim1$ per cent. The BH in RGG 118 is the smallest ever reported in a galaxy nucleus and we find that it lies on the extrapolation of the $M_{\rm BH}-\sigma_{\ast}$ relation to the lowest masses yet.

Strongly lensed neutral hydrogen emission: detection predictions with current and future radio interferometers

Strong gravitational lensing provides some of the deepest views of the Universe, enabling studies of high-redshift galaxies only possible with next-generation facilities without the lensing phenomenon. To date, 21 cm radio emission from neutral hydrogen has only been detected directly out to z~0.2, limited by the sensitivity and instantaneous bandwidth of current radio telescopes. We discuss how current and future radio interferometers such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) will detect lensed HI emission in individual galaxies at high redshift. Our calculations rely on a semi-analytic galaxy simulation with realistic HI disks (by size, density profile and rotation), in a cosmological context, combined with general relativistic ray tracing. Wide-field, blind HI surveys with the SKA are predicted to be efficient at discovering lensed HI systems, increasingly so at z > 2. This will be enabled by the combination of the magnification boosts, the steepness of the HI luminosity function at the high-mass end, and the fact that the HI spectral line is relatively isolated in frequency. These surveys will simultaneously provide a new technique for foreground lens selection and yield the highest redshift HI emission detections. More near term (and existing) cm-wave facilities will push the high redshift HI envelope through targeted surveys of known lenses.

Z-FIRE: ISM properties of the z = 2.095 COSMOS Cluster

We investigate the ISM properties of 13 star-forming galaxies within the z~2 COSMOS cluster. We show that the cluster members have [NII]/Ha and [OIII]/Hb emission-line ratios similar to z~2 field galaxies, yet systematically different emission-line ratios (by ~0.17 dex) from the majority of local star-forming galaxies. We find no statistically significant difference in the [NII]/Ha and [OIII]/Hb line ratios or ISM pressures among the z~2 cluster galaxies and field galaxies at the same redshift. We show that our cluster galaxies have significantly larger ionization parameters (by up to an order of magnitude) than local star-forming galaxies. We hypothesize that these high ionization parameters may be associated with large specific star formation rates (i.e. a large star formation rate per unit stellar mass). If this hypothesis is correct, then this relationship would have important implications for the geometry and/or the mass of stars contained within individual star clusters as a function of redshift.

Rapidly rotating second-generation progenitors for the blue hook stars of {\omega} Cen

Horizontal Branch stars belong to an advanced stage in the evolution of the oldest stellar galactic population, occurring either as field halo stars or grouped in globular clusters. The discovery of multiple populations in these clusters, that were previously believed to have single populations gave rise to the currently accepted theory that the hottest horizontal branch members (the blue hook stars, which had late helium-core flash ignition, followed by deep mixing) are the progeny of a helium-rich "second generation" of stars. It is not known why such a supposedly rare event (a late flash followed by mixing) is so common that the blue hook of {\omega} Cen contains \sim 30% of horizontal branch stars 10 , or why the blue hook luminosity range in this massive cluster cannot be reproduced by models. Here we report that the presence of helium core masses up to \sim 0.04 solar masses larger than the core mass resulting from evolution is required to solve the luminosity range problem. We model this by taking into account the dispersion in rotation rates achieved by the progenitors, whose premain sequence accretion disc suffered an early disruption in the dense environment of the cluster’s central regions where second-generation stars form. Rotation may also account for frequent late-flash-mixing events in massive globular clusters.

BATC 15 Band Photometry of the Open Cluster NGC 188

This paper presents CCD multicolour photometry for the old open cluster NGC 188. The observations were carried out as a part of the Beijing–Arizona–Taiwan–Connecticut Multicolour Sky Survey from 1995 February to 2008 March, using 15 intermediate-band filters covering 3000–10000 \AA. By fitting the Padova theoretical isochrones to our data, the fundamental parameters of this cluster are derived: an age of $t=7.5\pm 0.5$ Gyr, a distant modulus of $(m-M)_0=11.17\pm0.08$, and a reddening of $E(B-V)=0.036\pm0.010$. The radial surface density profile of NGC 188 is obtained by star count. By fitting the King model, the structural parameters of NGC 188 are derived: a core radius of $R_{c}=3.80′$, a tidal radius of $R_{t}=44.78′$, and a concentration parameter of $C_{0}=\log(R_{t}/R_{c})=1.07$. Fitting the mass function to a power-law function $\phi(m) \propto m^{\alpha}$, the slopes of mass functions for different spatial regions are derived. We find that NGC 188 presents a slope break in the mass function. The break mass is $m_{\rm break}=0.885~M_{\odot}$. In the mass range above $m_{\rm break}$, the slope of the overall region is $\alpha=-0.76$. The slope of the core region is $\alpha=1.09$, and the slopes of the external regions are $\alpha=-0.86$ and $\alpha=-2.15$, respectively. In the mass range below $m_{\rm break}$, these slopes are $\alpha=0.12$, $\alpha=4.91$, $\alpha=1.33$, and $\alpha=-1.09$, respectively. The mass segregation in NGC 188 is reflected in the obvious variation of the slopes in different spatial regions of this cluster.

The spectral energy distribution of galaxies at z > 2.5: Implications from the Herschel/SPIRE color-color diagram

We use the Herschel SPIRE color-color diagram to study the spectral energy distribution (SED) and the redshift estimation of high-z galaxies. We compiled a sample of 57 galaxies with spectroscopically confirmed redshifts and SPIRE detections in all three bands at $z=2.5-6.4$, and compared their average SPIRE colors with SED templates from local and high-z libraries. We find that local SEDs are inconsistent with high-z observations. The local calibrations of the parameters need to be adjusted to describe the average colors of high-z galaxies. For high-z libraries, the templates with an evolution from z=0 to 3 can well describe the average colors of the observations at high redshift. Using these templates, we defined color cuts to divide the SPIRE color-color diagram into different regions with different mean redshifts. We tested this method and two other color cut methods using a large sample of 783 Herschel-selected galaxies, and find that although these methods can separate the sample into populations with different mean redshifts, the dispersion of redshifts in each population is considerably large. Additional information is needed for better sampling.

The warm molecular gas and dust of Seyfert galaxies: two different phases of accretion?

The distribution of warm molecular gas (1000–3000 K), traced by the near-IR H$_2$ 2.12 $\mu$m line, has been imaged with a resolution $<0.5$ arcsec in the central 1 kpc of seven nearby Seyfert galaxies. We find that this gas is highly concentrated towards the central 100 pc and that its morphology is often symmetrical. Lanes of warm H$_2$ gas are observed only in three cases (NGC\,1068, NGC\,1386 and Circinus) for which the morphology is much wider and extended than the dust filaments. We conclude that there is no one-to-one correlation between dust and warm gas. This indicates that, if the dust filaments and lanes of warm gas are radial streaming motions of fueling material, they must represent \textit{two different phases of accretion}: the dust filaments represent a colder phase than the gas close to the nucleus (within $\sim$100 pc). We predict that the morphology of the nuclear dust at these scales should resemble that of the cold molecular gas (e.g. CO at 10-40 K), as we show for CenA and NGC\,1566 by ALMA observations, whereas the inner H$_2$ gas traces a much warmer phase of material identified with warmer (40-500 K) molecular gas such as CO(6-5) or HCN (as shown by ALMA for NGC\,1068 and NGC\,1097). We also find that X-ray heating is the most likely dominant excitation mechanism of the H$_{2}$ gas for most sources.

Single Stellar Populations in the Near-Infrared - I. Preparation of the IRTF spectral stellar library

We present a detailed study of the stars of the IRTF spectral library to understand its full extent and reliability for use with Stellar Population (SP) modeling. The library consist of 210 stars, with a total of 292 spectra, covering the wavelength range of 0.94 to 2.41 micron at a resolution R = 2000. For every star we infer the effective temperature (Teff), gravity (logg) and metallicity ([Z/Zsun]) using a full-spectrum fitting approach in a section of the K band (2.19 to 2.34 micron) and temperature-NIR colour relations. We test the flux calibration of these stars by calculating their integrated colours and comparing them with the Pickles library colour-temperature relations. We also investigate the NIR colours as a function of the calculated effective temperature and compared them in colour-colour diagrams with the Pickles library. This latter test shows a good broad-band flux calibration, important for the SP models. Finally, we measure the resolution R as a function of wavelength. We find that the resolution increases as a function of lambda from about 6 angstrom in J to 10 angstrom in the red part of the K-band. With these tests we establish that the IRTF library, the largest currently available general library of stars at intermediate resolution in the NIR, is an excellent candidate to be used in stellar population models. We present these models in the next paper of this series.

Single stellar populations in the near-infrared II. Synthesis models

We present unresolved single stellar population synthesis models in the near-infrared (NIR) range. The extension to the NIR is important for the study of early-type galaxies, since these galaxies are predominantly old and therefore emit most of their light in this wavelength range. The models are based on a library of empirical stellar spectra, the NASA infrared telescope facility (IRTF) spectral library. Integrating these spectra along theoretical isochrones, while assuming an initial mass function (IMF), we have produced model spectra of single age-metallicity stellar populations at a resolution R~2000. These models can be used to fit observed spectral of globular clusters and galaxies, to derive their age distribution, chemical abundances and IMF. The models have been tested by comparing them to observed colours of elliptical galaxies and clusters in the Magellanic Clouds. Predicted absorption line indices have been compared to published indices of other elliptical galaxies. The comparisons show that our models are well suited for studying stellar populations in unresolved galaxies. They are particularly useful for studying the old and intermediate-age stellar populations in galaxies, relatively free from contamination of young stars and extinction by dust. These models will be indispensable for the study of the upcoming data from JWST and extremely large telescopes, such as the E-ELT.

 

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