Recent Postings from Galactic

Photodesorption of H2O, HDO, and D2O ice and its impact on fractionation

The HDO/H2O ratio in interstellar gas is often used to draw conclusions on the origin of water in star-forming regions and on Earth. In cold cores and in the outer regions of protoplanetary disks, gas-phase water comes from photodesorption of water ice. We present fitting formulae for implementation in astrochemical models using photodesorption efficiencies for all water ice isotopologues obtained using classical molecular dynamics simulations. We investigate if the gas-phase HDO/H2O ratio reflects that present in the ice or whether fractionation can occur during photodesorption. Probabilities for the top four monolayers are presented for photodesorption of X (X=H,D) atoms, OX radicals, and X2O and HDO molecules following photodissociation of H2O, D2O, and HDO in H2O amorphous ice at temperatures from 10-100 K. Isotope effects are found for all products: (1) H atom photodesorption probabilities from H2O ice are larger than those for D atom photodesorption from D2O ice by a factor of 1.1; the ratio of H and D photodesorbed upon HDO photodissociation is a factor of 2. This process will enrich the ice in deuterium atoms over time; (2) the OD/OH photodesorption ratio upon D2O and H2O photodissociation is on average a factor of 2, but the ratio upon HDO photodissociation is almost constant at unity for all temperatures; (3) D atoms are more effective in kicking out neighbouring water molecules than H atoms. However, the ratio of the photodesorbed HDO and H2O molecules is equal to the HDO/H2O ratio in the ice, therefore, there is no isotope fractionation upon HDO and H2O photodesorption. Nevertheless, the enrichment of the ice in D atoms due to photodesorption can over time lead to an enhanced HDO/H2O ratio in the ice, and, when photodesorbed, also in the gas. The extent to which the ortho/para ratio of H2O can be modified by the photodesorption process is also discussed. (Abridged)

Evidence for an interstellar dust filament in the outer heliosheath

A recently discovered filament of polarized starlight that traces a coherent magnetic field is shown to have several properties that are consistent with an origin in the outer heliosheath of the heliosphere: (1) The magnetic field that provides the best fit to the polarization position angles is directed within 6.7+-11 degrees of the observed upwind direction of the flow of interstellar neutral helium gas through the heliosphere. (2) The magnetic field is ordered; the component of the variation of the polarization position angles that can be attributed to magnetic turbulence is small. (3) The axis of the elongated filament can be approximated by a line that defines an angle of 80+/-14 degrees with the plane that is formed by the interstellar magnetic field vector and the vector of the inflowing neutral gas (the "BV" plane). We propose that this polarization feature arises from aligned interstellar dust grains in the outer heliosheath where the interstellar plasma and magnetic field are deflected around the heliosphere. The proposed outer heliosheath location of the polarizing grains requires confirmation by modeling grain-propagation through three-dimensional MHD heliosphere models that simultaneously calculate torques on asymmetric dust grains interacting with the heliosphere.

On the detection of point sources in Planck LFI 70 GHz CMB maps based on cleaned K-map

We use the Planck LFI 70GHz data to further probe point source detection technique in the sky maps of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation. The method developed by Tegmark et al. for foreground reduced maps and the Kolmogorov parameter as the descriptor are adopted for the analysis of Planck satellite CMB temperature data. Most of the detected points coincide with point sources already revealed by other methods. However, we have also found 9 source candidates for which still no counterparts are known.

Correcting the record on the analysis of IBEX and STEREO data regarding variations in the neutral interstellar wind

The journey of the Sun through space carries the solar system through a dynamic interstellar environment that is presently characterized by Mach 1 motion between the heliosphere and the surrounding interstellar medium (ISM). The interaction between the heliosphere and ISM is an evolving process due to the variable solar wind and to interstellar turbulence. Frisch et al. presented a meta-analysis of the historical data on the interstellar wind flowing through the heliosphere and concluded that temporal changes in the ecliptic longitude of the wind were statistically indicated by the data available in the refereed literature at the time of that writing. Lallement and Bertaux disagree with this result, and suggested, for instance, that a key instrumental response function of IBEX-Lo was incorrect and that the STEREO pickup ion data are unsuitable for diagnosing the flow of interstellar neutrals through the heliosphere. Here we show that temporal variations in the interstellar wind through the heliosphere are consistent with our knowledge of local ISM. The statistical analysis of the historical helium wind data is revisited, and a recent correction of a typographical error in the literature is incorporated into the new fits. With this correction, and including no newer IBEX results, these combined data still indicate that a change in the longitude of the interstellar neutral wind over the past forty years is statistically likely, but that a constant flow longitude is now also statistically possible. It is shown that the IBEX instrumental response function is known, and that the STEREO pickup ion data have been correctly utilized in this analysis.

Excitation properties of galaxies with the highest [OIII]/[OII] ratios: No evidence for massive escape of ionizing photons

The possibility that star-forming galaxies may leak ionizing photons is at the heart of many present-day studies that investigate the reionization of the Universe. We test this hypothesis on local blue compact dwarf galaxies of very high excitation. We assembled a sample of such galaxies by examining the spectra from Data Releases 7 and 10 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We argue that reliable conclusions cannot be based on strong lines alone, and adopt a strategy that includes important weak lines such as [OI] and the high-excitation HeII and [ArIV] lines. Our analysis is based on purely observational diagrams and on a comparison of photoionization models with well-chosen emission-line ratio diagrams. We show that spectral energy distributions from current stellar population synthesis models cannot account for all the observational constraints, which led us to mimick several scenarios that could explain the data. These include the additional presence of hard X-rays or of shocks. We find that only ionization-bounded models (or models with an escape fraction of ionizing photons lower than 10%) are able to simultaneously explain all the observational constraints.

The resolved star-formation relation in nearby active galactic nuclei

We present an analysis of the relation between star formation rate (SFR) surface density (sigmasfr) and mass surface density of molecular gas (sigmahtwo), commonly referred to as the Kennicutt-Schmidt (K-S) relation, at its intrinsic spatial scale, i.e. the size of giant molecular clouds (10-150 pc), in the central, high-density regions of four nearby low-luminosity active galactic nuclei (AGN). We used interferometric IRAM CO(1-0) and CO(2-1), and SMA CO(3-2) emission line maps to derive sigmahtwo and HST-Halpha images to estimate sigmasfr. Each galaxy is characterized by a distinct molecular SF relation at spatial scales between 20 to 200 pc. The K-S relations can be sub-linear, but also super-linear, with slopes ranging from 0.5 to 1.3. Depletion times range from 1 and 2Gyr, compatible with results for nearby normal galaxies. These findings are valid independently of which transition, CO(1-0), CO(2-1), or CO(3-2), is used to derive sigmahtwo. Because of star-formation feedback, life-time of clouds, turbulent cascade, or magnetic fields, the K-S relation might be expected to degrade on small spatial scales (<100 pc). However, we find no clear evidence for this, even on scales as small as 20 pc, and this might be because of the higher density of GMCs in galaxy centers which have to resist higher shear forces. The proportionality between sigmahtwo and sigmasfr found between 10 and 100 Msun/pc2 is valid even at high densities, 10^3 Msun/pc2. However, by adopting a common CO-to-H2 conversion factor (alpha_CO), the central regions of the galaxies have higher sigmasfr for a given gas column than those expected from the models, with a behavior that lies between the mergers/high-redshift starburst systems and the more quiescent star-forming galaxies, assuming that the first ones require a lower value of alpha_CO.

Rings and Radial Waves in the Disk of the Milky Way

We show that in the anticenter region, between Galactic longitudes of $110^\circ<l<229^\circ$, there is an oscillating asymmetry in the main sequence star counts on either side of the Galactic plane using data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. This asymmetry oscillates from more stars in the north at distances of about 2 kpc from the Sun to more stars in the south at 4-6 kpc from the Sun to more stars in the north at distances of 8-10 kpc from the Sun. We also see evidence that there are more stars in the south at distances of 12-16 kpc from the Sun. The three more distant asymmetries form roughly concentric rings around the Galactic center, opening in the direction of the Milky Way’s spiral arms. The northern ring, 9 kpc from the Sun, is easily identified with the previously discovered Monoceros Ring. Parts of the southern ring at 14 kpc from the Sun (which we call the TriAnd Ring) have previously been identified as related to the Monoceros Ring and others have been called the Triangulum Andromeda Overdensity. The two nearer oscillations are approximated by a toy model in which the disk plane is offset by of the order 100 pc up and then down at different radii. We also show that the disk is not azimuthally symmetric around the Galactic anticenter and that there could be a correspondence between our observed oscillations and the spiral structure of the Galaxy. Our observations suggest that the TriAnd and Monoceros Rings (which extend to at least 25 kpc from the Galactic center) are primarily the result of disk oscillations.

Residual HCRF Rotation relative to the Inertial Coordinate System

VLBI measurements of the absolute proper motions of 23 radio stars have been collected from published data. These are stars with maser emission, or very young stars, or asymptotic-giant-branch stars. By comparing these measurements with the stellar proper motions from the optical catalogs of the Hipparcos Celestial Reference Frame (HCRF), we have found the components of the residual rotation vector of this frame relative to the inertial coordinate system: (\omega_x,\omega_y,\omega_z) = (-0.39,-0.51,-1.25)+/-(0.58,0.57,0.56) mas/yr. Based on all the available data, we have determined new values of the components of the residual rotation vector for the optical realization of the HCRF relative to the inertial coordinate system: (\omega_x,\omega_y,\omega_z) = (-0.15,+0.24,-0.53)+/-(0.11,0.10,0.13) mas/yr.

Cloud-cloud collision as a trigger of the high-mass star formation; a molecular line study in RCW120

RCW120 is a Galactic HII region which has a beautiful infrared ring. Previous studies on RCW120 provided a wealth of information on the second generation star formation, but the origin of the exciting O star located inside the ring structure has not been focused so far. Our new CO observations performed with the NANTEN2, Mopra, and ASTE telescopes have revealed that two molecular clouds with a velocity separation 20km/s are both physically associated with RCW120. The cloud at -8km/s apparently traces the infrared ring, while the other cloud at -28km/s is mainly distributed just outside the opening of the infrared ring, interacting with the HII region as supported by high kinetic temperature of the molecular gas and by the complementary distribution with the ionized gas. A spherically expanding shell driven by the HII region is usually discussed as the origin of the observed ring structure in RCW120. In this model, the neutral material which surrounds the HII region is expected to have an expanding motion. Our observations, however, indicate no evidence of the expanding motion in the velocity space, being inconsistent with the expanding shell scenario. We here postulate an alternative that, by applying the model introduced by Habe & Ohta (1992), the exciting O star in RCW120 was formed by a collision between the present two clouds at a colliding velocity of ~30km/s. In the model, the observed infrared ring can be interpreted as the cavity created in the larger cloud by the collision, whose inner surface is illuminated by the strong UV radiation after the birth of the O star. We argue that the present cloud-cloud collision scenario explains the observed signatures of RCW120, i.e., its ring morphology, coexistence of the two clouds and their large velocity separation, and absence of the expanding motion.

Detailed Shape and Evolutionary Behavior of the X-ray Luminosity Function of Active Galactic Nuclei

We construct the rest-frame 2–10 keV intrinsic X-ray luminosity function of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGNs) from a combination of X-ray surveys from the all-sky Swift BAT survey to the Chandra Deep Field-South. We use ~3200 AGNs in our analysis, which covers six orders of magnitude in flux. The inclusion of the XMM and Chandra COSMOS data has allowed us to investigate the detailed behavior of the XLF and evolution. In deriving our XLF, we take into account realistic AGN spectrum templates, absorption corrections, and probability density distributions in photometric redshift. We present an analytical expression for the overall behavior of the XLF in terms of the luminosity-dependent density evolution, smoothed two power-law expressions in 11 redshift shells, three-segment power-law expression of the number density evolution in four luminosity classes, and binned XLF. We observe a sudden flattening of the low luminosity end slope of the XLF slope at z>~0.6. Detailed structures of the AGN downsizing have been also revealed, where the number density curves have two clear breaks at all luminosity classes above log LX>43. The two break structure is suggestive of two-phase AGN evolution, consisting of major merger triggering and secular processes.

ATLASGAL - Kinematic distances and the dense gas mass distribution of the inner Galaxy

The formation of high mass stars and clusters occurs in giant molecular clouds. Objects in evolved stages of massive star formation such as protostars, hot molecular cores, and ultracompact HII regions have been studied in more detail than earlier, colder objects. With this in mind, the APEX Telescope Large Area Survey of the whole inner Galactic plane at 870 micron (ATLASGAL) has been carried out to provide a global view of cold dust and star formation at submillimetre wavelengths. To derive kinematic distances to a large sample of ATLASGAL clumps we divided them into groups of sources, which are located close together, mostly within a radius of 2 pc, and have velocities in a similar range with a median velocity dispersion of ~ 1 km/s. Using NH3, N2H+ and CS velocities we calculate near and far kinematic distances to 296 groups of ATLASGAL sources in the first quadrant and 393 groups in the fourth quadrant. We analyse HI self-absorption and HI absorption to resolve the kinematic distance ambiguity. We obtain a scale height of ~ 28+/-2 pc and displacement below the Galactic midplane of ~ -7+/-1 pc. Within distances from 2 to 18 kpc ATLASGAL clumps have a broad range of gas masses with a median of 1050 solar masses and a wide distribution of radii with a median of 0.4 pc. Their distribution in galactocentric radii is correlated with spiral arms. Using a statistically significant ATLASGAL sample we derive a power-law exponent of -2.2+/-0.1 of the clump mass function. This is consistent with the slope derived for clusters and with that of the stellar initial mass function. Examining the power-law index for different galactocentric distances and various source samples shows that it is independent of environment and evolutionary phase. Fitting the mass-size relationship by a power law gives a slope of 1.76+/-0.01 for cold sources such as IRDCs and warm clumps associated with HII regions.

Evolution of the H$\beta$+[OIII] and [OII] luminosity functions and the [OII] star-formation history of the Universe up to $z$ ~ 5 from HiZELS

We investigate the evolution of the H$\beta$+[OIII] and [OII] luminosity functions from $z$ ~ 0.8 to ~ 5 in multiple redshift slices using data from the High-$z$ Emission Line Survey (HiZELS). This is the first time that the H$\beta$+[OIII] and [OII] luminosity functions have been studied at these redshifts in a self-consistent analysis. This is also the largest sample of [OII] and H$\beta$+[OIII] emitters (3484 and 3301 emitters, respectively) in this redshift range, with large co-moving volumes ~ $1 \times 10^6$ Mpc$^{3}$ in two independent volumes (COSMOS and UDS), greatly reducing the effects of cosmic variance. The emitters were selected by a combination of photometric redshift and color-color selections, as well as spectroscopic follow-up, including recent spectroscopic observations using DEIMOS and MOSFIRE on the Keck Telescopes and FMOS on Subaru. We find a strong increase in $L_\star$ and a decrease in $\phi_\star$ with increasing redshift up to $z \sim 2$ and $z \sim 5$ for H$\beta$+[OIII] and [OII] emitters, respectively. For H$\beta$+[OIII], this evolution then flattens by $z$ ~ 3. We derive the [OII] star-formation history of the Universe since $z$ ~ 5 and find that the cosmic SFRD rises from $z$ ~ 5 to ~ 3 and then drops towards $z$ ~ 0. We also find that our star-formation history is able to reproduce the evolution of the stellar mass density up to $z$ ~ 5. When comparing the H$\beta$+[OIII] SFRDs to the [OII] and H$\alpha$ SFRD measurements in the literature, we find that there is a remarkable agreement, suggesting that the H$\beta$+[OIII] sample is dominated by star-forming galaxies at high-$z$ rather than AGNs.

A dusty, normal galaxy in the epoch of reionization

Candidates for the modest galaxies that formed most of the stars in the early universe, at redshifts $z > 7$, have been found in large numbers with extremely deep restframe-UV imaging. But it has proved difficult for existing spectrographs to characterise them in the UV. The detailed properties of these galaxies could be measured from dust and cool gas emission at far-infrared wavelengths if the galaxies have become sufficiently enriched in dust and metals. So far, however, the most distant UV-selected galaxy detected in dust emission is only at $z = 3.25$, and recent results have cast doubt on whether dust and molecules can be found in typical galaxies at this early epoch. Here we report thermal dust emission from an archetypal early universe star-forming galaxy, A1689-zD1. We detect its stellar continuum in spectroscopy and determine its redshift to be $z = 7.5\pm0.2$ from a spectroscopic detection of the Ly{\alpha} break. A1689-zD1 is representative of the star-forming population during reionisation, with a total star-formation rate of about 12M$_\odot$ yr$^{-1}$. The galaxy is highly evolved: it has a large stellar mass, and is heavily enriched in dust, with a dust-to-gas ratio close to that of the Milky Way. Dusty, evolved galaxies are thus present among the fainter star-forming population at $z > 7$, in spite of the very short time since they first appeared.

Constraints on the temperature inhomogeneity in quasar accretion discs from the ultraviolet-optical spectral variability

The physical mechanisms of the quasar ultraviolet (UV)-optical variability are not well understood despite the long history of observations. Recently, Dexter & Agol presented a model of quasar UV-optical variability, which assumes large local temperature fluctuations in the quasar accretion discs. This inhomogeneous accretion disc model is claimed to describe not only the single-band variability amplitude, but also microlensing size constraints and the quasar composite spectral shape. In this work, we examine the validity of the inhomogeneous accretion disc model in the light of quasar UV-optical spectral variability by using five-band multi-epoch light curves for nearly 9 000 quasars in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Stripe 82 region. By comparing the values of the intrinsic scatter $\sigma_{\text{int}}$ of the two-band magnitude-magnitude plots for the SDSS quasar light curves and for the simulated light curves, we show that Dexter & Agol’s inhomogeneous accretion disc model cannot explain the tight inter-band correlation often observed in the SDSS quasar light curves. This result leads us to conclude that the local temperature fluctuations in the accretion discs are not the main driver of the several years’ UV-optical variability of quasars, and consequently, that the assumption that the quasar accretion discs have large localized temperature fluctuations is not preferred from the viewpoint of the UV-optical spectral variability.

The Global Star Formation Laws of Galaxies from a Radio Continuum Perspective

We study the global SF law – the relation between gas and SFRs in a sample of 181 local galaxies with L_IR spanning almost five orders of magnitude, which includes 115 normal galaxies and 66 (U)LIRGs. We derive their atomic, molecular gas and dense molecular gas masses using newly available HI, CO and HCN data from the literature, and SFRs are determined both from total IR and 1.4 GHz radio continuum (RC) luminosities. In order to derive the disk-averaged surface densities of gas and SFRs, we have used high-resolution RC observations to measure the radio sizes for all galaxies. We find that dense molecular gas (as traced by HCN) has the tightest correlation with that of SFRs, and is linear in (N=1.01 +/- 0.02) across the full galaxy sample. The correlation between densities of molecular gas (traced by CO) and SFRs is sensitive to the adopted value of the alpha_CO used to infer molecular gas masses from CO luminosities. For a fixed value of alpha_CO, a slope of 1.14+/-0.02 is found. If instead we adopt values of 4.6 and 0.8 for disk galaxies and (U)LIRGs, respectively, we find the two distinct relations. If applying a continuously varying alpha_CO to our sample, we recover a single relation with slope of 1.60+/-0.03. The SFRs is a steeper function of total gas than that of molecular gas, and is tighter among low-luminosity galaxies. We find no correlation between SFRs and atomic gas.

Star-formation histories of local luminous infrared galaxies

We present the analysis of the integrated spectral energy distribution (SED) from the ultraviolet (UV) to the far-infrared and H$\alpha$ of a sample of 29 local systems and individual galaxies with infrared (IR) luminosities between 10^11 Lsun and 10^11.8 Lsun. We have combined new narrow-band H$\alpha$+[NII] and broad-band g, r optical imaging taken with the Nordic Optical Telescope (NOT), with archival GALEX, 2MASS, Spitzer, and Herschel data. The SEDs (photometry and integrated H$\alpha$ flux) have been fitted with a modified version of the MAGPHYS code using stellar population synthesis models for the UV-near-IR range and thermal emission models for the IR emission taking into account the energy balance between the absorbed and re-emitted radiation. From the SED fits we derive the star-formation histories (SFH) of these galaxies. For nearly half of them the star-formation rate appears to be approximately constant during the last few Gyrs. In the other half, the current star-formation rate seems to be enhanced by a factor of 3-20 with respect to that occured ~1 Gyr ago. Objects with constant SFH tend to be more massive than starbursts and they are compatible with the expected properties of a main-sequence (M-S) galaxy. Likewise, the derived SFHs show that all our objects were M-S galaxies ~1 Gyr ago with stellar masses between 10^10.1 and 10^11.5 Msun. We also derived from our fits the average extinction (A_v=0.6-3 mag) and the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) luminosity to L(IR) ratio (0.03-0.16). We combined the A_v with the total IR and H$\alpha$ luminosities into a diagram which can be used to identify objects with rapidly changing (increasing or decreasing) SFR during the last 100 Myr.

The JCMT Gould Belt Survey: SCUBA-2 observations of circumstellar disks in L 1495

We present 850$\mu$m and 450$\mu$m data from the JCMT Gould Belt Survey obtained with SCUBA-2 and characterise the dust attributes of Class I, Class II and Class III disk sources in L1495. We detect 23% of the sample at both wavelengths, with the detection rate decreasing through the Classes from I–III. The median disk mask is 1.6$\times 10^{-3}$M$_{\odot}$, and only 7% of Class II sources have disk masses larger than 20 Jupiter masses. We detect a higher proportion of disks towards sources with stellar hosts of spectral type K than spectral type M. Class II disks with single stellar hosts of spectral type K have higher masses than those of spectral type M, supporting the hypothesis that higher mass stars have more massive disks. Variations in disk masses calculated at the two wavelengths suggests there may be differences in dust opacity and/or dust temperature between disks with hosts of spectral types K to those with spectral type M.

The Subaru FMOS Galaxy Redshift Survey (FastSound). I. Overview of the Survey Targeting on H$\alpha$ Emitters at $z \sim 1.4$

FastSound is a galaxy redshift survey using the near-infrared Fiber Multi-Object Spectrograph (FMOS) mounted on the Subaru Telescope, targeting H$\alpha$ emitters at $z \sim 1.18$–$1.54$ down to the sensitivity limit of H$\alpha$ flux $\sim 2 \times 10^{-16} \ \rm erg \ cm^{-2} s^{-1}$. The primary goal of the survey is to detect redshift space distortions (RSD), to test General Relativity by measuring the growth rate of large scale structure and to constrain modified gravity models for the origin of the accelerated expansion of the universe. The target galaxies were selected based on photometric redshifts and H$\alpha$ flux estimates calculated by fitting spectral energy distribution (SED) models to the five optical magnitudes of the Canada France Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS) Wide catalog. The survey started in March 2012, and all the observations were completed in July 2014. In total, we achieved $121$ pointings of FMOS (each pointing has a $30$ arcmin diameter circular footprint) covering $20.6$ deg$^2$ by tiling the four fields of the CFHTLS Wide in a hexagonal pattern. Emission lines were detected from $\sim 4,000$ star forming galaxies by an automatic line detection algorithm applied to 2D spectral images. This is the first in a series of papers based on FastSound data, and we describe the details of the survey design, target selection, observations, data reduction, and emission line detections.

The VLT SINFONI Mg ii Program for Line Emitters (SIMPLE) II: background quasars probing z $\sim$ 1 galactic winds

The physical properties of galactic winds are of paramount importance for our understanding of galaxy formation. Fortunately, they can be constrained using background quasars passing near star-forming galaxies (SFGs). From the 14 quasar$-$galaxy pairs in our VLT/SINFONI Mgii Program for Line Emitters (SIMPLE) sample, we reobserved the 10 brightest galaxies in H$_{\alpha}$ with the VLT/SINFONI with 0.7" seeing and the corresponding quasar with the VLT/UVES spectrograph. Applying geometrical arguments to these ten pairs, we find that four are likely probing galactic outflows, three are likely probing extended gaseous disks, and the remaining three are not classifiable because they are viewed face-on. In this paper we present a detailed comparison between the line-of-sight kinematics and the host galaxy emission kinematics for the pairs suitable for wind studies. We find that the kinematic profile shapes (asymmetries) can be well reproduced by a purely geometrical wind model with a constant wind speed, except for one pair (towards J2357$-$2736) that has the smallest impact parameter b = 6 kpc and requires an accelerated wind flow. Globally, the outflow speeds are $\sim$ 100 km/s and the mass ejection rates (or $\dot M _{\rm out}$) in the gas traced by the low-ionization species are similar to the star formation rate (SFR), meaning that the mass loading factor, $\eta$ = $\dot M _{\rm out}$/SFR, is $\sim$1.0. The outflow speeds are also smaller than the local escape velocity, which implies that the outflows do not escape the galaxy halo and are likely to fall back into the interstellar medium.

Dissipative dark matter explains rotation curves [Cross-Listing]

Dissipative dark matter, where dark matter particles interact with a massless (or very light) boson, is studied. Such dark matter can arise in simple hidden sector gauge models, including those featuring an unbroken $U(1)’$ gauge symmetry, leading to a dark photon. Previous work has shown that such models can not only explain the LSS and CMB, but potentially also dark matter phenomena on small scales, such as the inferred cored structure of dark matter halos. In this picture, dark matter halos of disk galaxies not only cool via dissipative interactions but are also heated via ordinary supernovae (facilitated by an assumed photon – dark photon kinetic mixing interaction). This interaction between the dark matter halo and ordinary baryons, a very special feature of these types of models, plays a critical role in governing the physical properties of the dark matter halo. Here, we further study the implications of this type of dissipative dark matter for disk galaxies. Building on earlier work, we develop a simple formalism which aims to describe the effects of dissipative dark matter in a fairly model independent way. This formalism is then applied to generic disk galaxies. We also consider specific examples, including NGC 1560 and a sample of dwarf galaxies from the LITTLE THINGS survey. We find that dissipative dark matter, as developed here, does a fairly good job accounting for the rotation curves of the galaxies considered. Not only does dissipative dark matter explain the linear rise of the rotational velocity of dwarf galaxies at small radii, but it can also explain the observed wiggles in rotation curves which are known to be correlated with corresponding features in the disk gas distribution.

Dissipative dark matter explains rotation curves

Dissipative dark matter, where dark matter particles interact with a massless (or very light) boson, is studied. Such dark matter can arise in simple hidden sector gauge models, including those featuring an unbroken $U(1)’$ gauge symmetry, leading to a dark photon. Previous work has shown that such models can not only explain the LSS and CMB, but potentially also dark matter phenomena on small scales, such as the inferred cored structure of dark matter halos. In this picture, dark matter halos of disk galaxies not only cool via dissipative interactions but are also heated via ordinary supernovae (facilitated by an assumed photon – dark photon kinetic mixing interaction). This interaction between the dark matter halo and ordinary baryons, a very special feature of these types of models, plays a critical role in governing the physical properties of the dark matter halo. Here, we further study the implications of this type of dissipative dark matter for disk galaxies. Building on earlier work, we develop a simple formalism which aims to describe the effects of dissipative dark matter in a fairly model independent way. This formalism is then applied to generic disk galaxies. We also consider specific examples, including NGC 1560 and a sample of dwarf galaxies from the LITTLE THINGS survey. We find that dissipative dark matter, as developed here, does a fairly good job accounting for the rotation curves of the galaxies considered. Not only does dissipative dark matter explain the linear rise of the rotational velocity of dwarf galaxies at small radii, but it can also explain the observed wiggles in rotation curves which are known to be correlated with corresponding features in the disk gas distribution.

Exploring the Dust Content of Galactic Winds with Herschel. I. NGC 4631

We present a detailed analysis of deep far-infrared observations of the nearby edge-on star-forming galaxy NGC 4631 obtained with the Herschel Space Observatory. Our PACS images at 70 and 160 um show a rich complex of filaments and chimney-like features that extends up to a projected distance of 6 kpc above the plane of the galaxy. The PACS features often match extraplanar Halpha, radio-continuum, and soft X-ray features observed in this galaxy, pointing to a tight disk-halo connection regulated by star formation. On the other hand, the morphology of the colder dust component detected on larger scale in the SPIRE 250, 350, and 500 um data matches the extraplanar H~I streams previously reported in NGC 4631 and suggests a tidal origin. The PACS 70/160 ratios are elevated in the central ~3.0 kpc region above the nucleus of this galaxy (the "superbubble"). A pixel-by-pixel analysis shows that dust in this region has a higher temperature and/or an emissivity with a steeper spectral index (beta > 2) than the dust in the disk, possibly the result of the harsher environment in the superbubble. Star formation in the disk seems energetically insufficient to lift the material out of the disk, unless it was more active in the past or the dust-to-gas ratio in the superbubble region is higher than the Galactic value. Some of the dust in the halo may also have been tidally stripped from nearby companions or lifted from the disk by galaxy interactions.

CO diffusion into amorphous H2O ices

The mobility of atoms, molecules and radicals in icy grain mantles regulate ice restructuring, desorption, and chemistry in astrophysical environments. Interstellar ices are dominated by H2O, and diffusion on external and internal (pore) surfaces of H2O-rich ices is therefore a key process to constrain. This study aims to quantify the diffusion kinetics and barrier of the abundant ice constituent CO into H2O dominated ices at low temperatures (15-23 K), by measuring the mixing rate of initially layered H2O(:CO2)/CO ices. The mixed fraction of CO as a function of time is determined by monitoring the shape of the infrared CO stretching band. Mixing is observed at all investigated temperatures on minute time scales, and can be ascribed to CO diffusion in H2O ice pores. The diffusion coefficient and final mixed fraction depend on ice temperature, porosity, thickness and composition. The experiments are analyzed by applying Fick’s diffusion equation under the assumption that mixing is due to CO diffusion into an immobile H2O ice. The extracted energy barrier for CO diffusion into amorphous H2O ice is ~160 K. This is effectively a surface diffusion barrier. The derived barrier is low compared to current surface diffusion barriers in use in astrochemical models. Its adoption may significantly change the expected timescales for different ice processes in interstellar environments.

Spatially Resolving the Kinematics of the <100 {\mu}as Quasar Broad Line Region using Spectroastrometry

The broad line region (BLR) of luminous active galactic nuclei (AGN) is a prominent observational signature of the accretion flow around supermassive black holes, which can be used to measure their masses (M_BH) over cosmic history. Due to the <100 {\mu}as angular size of the BLR, current direct constraints on BLR kinematics are limited to those provided by reverberation mapping studies, which are most efficiently carried out on low-luminosity L and low-redshift z AGN. We analyze the possibility to measure the BLR size and study its kinematic structure using spectroastrometry, whereby one measures the spatial position centroid of emission line photons as a function of velocity. We calculate the expected spectroastrometric signal of a rotation-dominated BLR for various assumptions about the ratio of random to rotational motions, and the radial distribution of the BLR gas. We show that for hyper-luminous quasars at z < 2.5, the size of the low-ionization BLR can already be constrained with existing telescopes and adaptive optics systems, thus providing a novel method to spatially resolve the kinematics of the accretion flow at 10^3 — 10^4 gravitational radii, and measure M_BH at the high-L end of the AGN family. With a 30m-class telescope, BLR spectroastrometry should be routinely detectable for much fainter quasars out to z ~ 6, and for various emission lines. This will enable kinematic M_BH measurements as a function of luminosity and redshift, providing a compelling science case for next generation telescopes.

Simultaneous Estimation of Photometric Redshifts and SED Parameters: Improved Techniques and a Realistic Error Budget

We seek to improve the accuracy of joint galaxy photometric redshift estimation and spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting. By simulating different sources of uncorrected systematic errors, we demonstrate that if the uncertainties on the photometric redshifts are estimated correctly, so are those on the other SED fitting parameters, such as stellar mass, stellar age, and dust reddening. Furthermore, we find that if the redshift uncertainties are over(under)-estimated, the uncertainties in SED parameters tend to be over(under)-estimated by similar amounts. These results hold even in the presence of severe systematics and provide, for the first time, a mechanism to validate the uncertainties on these parameters via comparison with spectroscopic redshifts. We propose a new technique (annealing) to re-calibrate the joint uncertainties in the photo-z and SED fitting parameters without compromising the performance of the SED fitting + photo-z estimation. This procedure provides a consistent estimation of the multidimensional probability distribution function in SED fitting + z parameter space, including all correlations. While the performance of joint SED fitting and photo-z estimation might be hindered by template incompleteness, we demonstrate that the latter is "flagged" by a large fraction of outliers in redshift, and that significant improvements can be achieved by using flexible stellar populations synthesis models and more realistic star formation histories. In all cases, we find that the median stellar age is better recovered than the time elapsed from the onset of star formation [abridged].

A remarkably flat relationship between the average star formation rate and AGN luminosity for distant X-ray AGN

In this study we investigate the relationship between the star formation rate, SFR, and AGN luminosity, L(AGN), for ~2000 X-ray detected AGN. The AGN span over three orders of magnitude in X-ray luminosity (10^(42) < L(2-8keV) < 10^(45.5) erg/s) and are in the redshift range z = 0.2 – 2.5. Using infrared (IR) photometry (8 – 500um), including deblended Spitzer and Herschel images and taking into account photometric upper limits, we decompose the IR spectral energy distributions into AGN and star formation components. Using the IR luminosities due to star formation, we investigate the average SFRs as a function of redshift and AGN luminosity. In agreement with previous studies, we find a strong evolution of the average SFR with redshift, tracking the observed evolution of the overall star forming galaxy population. However, we find that the relationship between the average SFR and AGN luminosity is flat at all redshifts and across all the AGN luminosities investigated. By comparing to empirical models, we argue that the observed flat relationship is due to short timescale variations in AGN luminosity, driven by changes in the mass accretion rate, which wash out any underlying correlations between SFR and L(AGN). Furthermore, we show that the exact form of the predicted relationship between SFR and AGN luminosity (and it’s normalisation) is highly sensitive to the assumed intrinsic Eddington ratio distribution.

The "Green Bean" Galaxy SDSS J224024.1--092748: Unravelling the emission signature of a quasar ionization echo

"Green Bean" Galaxies (GBs) are the most [O III]-luminous type-2 active galactic nuclei (AGN) at z~0.3. However, their infrared luminosities reveal AGN in very low activity states, indicating that their gas reservoirs must be ionized by photons from a recent high activity episode – we are observing quasar ionization echoes. We use integral field spectroscopy from the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph to analyse the 3D kinematics, ionization state, temperature and density of ionized gas in the GB SDSS J224024.1-092748. We model the emission line spectrum of each spaxel as a superposition of up to three Gaussian components and analyse the physical properties of each component individually. Two narrow components, tracing the velocity fields of the disc and an ionized gas cloud, are superimposed over the majority of the galaxy. Fast shocks produce hot ($T_e$ $\geq$ 20,000 K), dense ($n_e$ $\geq$ 100 cm$^{-3}$), turbulent ($\sigma$ $\geq$ 600 km s$^{-1}$), [O III]-bright regions with enhanced [N II]/H$\alpha$ and [S II]/H$\alpha$ ratios. The most prominent such spot is consistent with a radio jet shock-heating the interstellar medium. However, the AGN is still responsible for $\geq$ 82 per cent of the galaxy’s total [O III] luminosity, strengthening the case for previous quasar activity. The ionized gas cloud has a strong kinematic link to the central AGN and is co-rotating with the main body of the galaxy, suggesting that it may be the remnant of a quasar-driven outflow. Our analysis of J224024.1-092748 indicates that GBs provide a unique fossil record of the transformation from the most luminous quasars to weak AGN.

The "Green Bean" Galaxy SDSS J224024.1--092748: Unravelling the emission signature of a quasar ionization echo [Replacement]

"Green Bean" Galaxies (GBs) are the most [O III]-luminous type-2 active galactic nuclei (AGN) at z~0.3. However, their infrared luminosities reveal AGN in very low activity states, indicating that their gas reservoirs must be ionized by photons from a recent high activity episode – we are observing quasar ionization echoes. We use integral field spectroscopy from the Gemini Multi-Object Spectrograph to analyse the 3D kinematics, ionization state, temperature and density of ionized gas in the GB SDSS J224024.1-092748. We model the emission line spectrum of each spaxel as a superposition of up to three Gaussian components and analyse the physical properties of each component individually. Two narrow components, tracing the velocity fields of the disc and an ionized gas cloud, are superimposed over the majority of the galaxy. Fast shocks produce hot ($T_e$ $\geq$ 20,000 K), dense ($n_e$ $\geq$ 100 cm$^{-3}$), turbulent ($\sigma$ $\geq$ 600 km s$^{-1}$), [O III]-bright regions with enhanced [N II]/H$\alpha$ and [S II]/H$\alpha$ ratios. The most prominent such spot is consistent with a radio jet shock-heating the interstellar medium. However, the AGN is still responsible for $\geq$ 82 per cent of the galaxy’s total [O III] luminosity, strengthening the case for previous quasar activity. The ionized gas cloud has a strong kinematic link to the central AGN and is co-rotating with the main body of the galaxy, suggesting that it may be the remnant of a quasar-driven outflow. Our analysis of J224024.1-092748 indicates that GBs provide a unique fossil record of the transformation from the most luminous quasars to weak AGN.

Two bright z > 6 quasars from VST ATLAS and a new method of optical plus mid-infra-red colour selection

We present the discovery of two z > 6 quasars, selected as i band dropouts in the VST ATLAS survey. Our first quasar has redshift, z = 6.31 \pm 0.03, z band magnitude, zAB = 19.63 \pm 0.08 and rest frame 1450A absolute magnitude, M1450 = -27.8 \pm 0.2, making it one of the two most luminous quasars known at z > 6. The second quasar has z = 6.02 \pm 0.03, zAB = 19.54 \pm 0.08 and M1450 = -27.0 \pm 0.1. We also recover a z = 5.86 quasar discovered by Venemans et al. (2015, in prep.). To select our quasars we use a new 3D colour space, combining the ATLAS optical colours with mid-infra-red data from the WISE Space Telescope. We use iAB – zAB colour to exclude main sequence stars, galaxies and lower redshift quasars, W1 – W2 to exclude L dwarfs and zAB – W2 to exclude T dwarfs. A restrictive set of colour cuts returns only our three high redshift quasars and no contaminants, albeit with a sample completeness of \sim50%. We discuss how less restrictive cuts in our 3D colour space can be used to reject the majority of contaminants from samples of bright 5.7 < z < 6.4 quasars, replacing follow-up near-infra-red photometry, whilst retaining high completeness.

Galaxy Morphology and Star Formation in the Illustris Simulation at z=0

We study how optical galaxy morphology depends on mass and star formation rate (SFR) in the Illustris Simulation. To do so, we measure automated diagnostics of galaxy structure in 10808 simulated galaxies at z=0 with stellar masses 10^9.7 < M_*/M_sun < 10^12.3. We add observational realism to idealized synthetic images and measure non-parametric statistics in rest-frame u, g, i, and H band images from four directions. We find that the Illustris simulation creates a morphologically diverse population of galaxies, occupying roughly the observed bulge strength locus, and reproducing median morphology trends versus stellar mass, SFR, and compactness. Optical morphology correlates realistically with rotational structure, following qualitative classification schemes put forth by kinematic surveys. Relative type fractions as a function of environment agree roughly with data. These results imply that connections among mass, star formation, and galaxy structure arise naturally from models matching global star formation and halo occupation functions when simulated with accurate numerical methods. This raises a question of how to construct the best experiments on large galaxy surveys to better distinguish between models. We predict that at fixed halo mass near 10^12 M_sun, galaxies with relatively more disc-like morphologies have higher stellar mass than those with bulge-like morphologies, a possible consequence of the Illustris feedback model acting on massive galaxies. While Illustris galaxies at M_* ~ 10^11 M_sun have a reasonable size distribution, those at M_* ~ 10^10 M_sun have half-light radii larger than observed by roughly a factor of 2. Furthermore, at M_* ~ 10^10.5 through 10^11 M_sun, a relevant fraction of Illustris galaxies have distinct "ring-like" features, such that the bright pixels have an unusually wide spatial extent (M_20 > -1).

The Contribution of Faint Galaxy Wings to Source-subtracted Near-infrared Background Fluctuations

The source-subtracted, 1.1 and 1.6 {\mu}m NICMOS images used in earlier analyses of the near-infrared Hubble Ultra Deep Field contained residual flux in extended wings of identified sources that contributed an unknown amount to fluctuation power. When compared to the original results, a reanalysis after subtracting this residual flux shows that mean-square and rms fluctuations decrease a maximum of 52 and 31 per cent at 1.6 {\mu}m and 50 and 30 per cent at 1.1 {\mu}m. However, total mean-square fluctuations above 0.5 arcsec only decrease 6.5 and 1.4 per cent at 1.6 and 1.1 {\mu}m, respectively. These changes would not affect any published conclusions based on the prior analyses. These results exclude previous suggestions that extended wings of detected galaxies may be a major contributor to the source-subtracted near-infrared background and confirm that most fluctuation power in these images must be explained by other means.

Constraints on the dark matter sound speed from galactic scales: the cases of the Modified and Extended Chaplygin Gas [Cross-Listing]

We show that the observed rotation curves of spiral galaxies constrain the sound speed of the dark matter to be $c_s < 10^{-4} c$, where $c$ is the speed of light in vacuum. Using the Modified Chaplygin Gas as a representative example of a class of unified dark energy models incorporating an effective dark matter component with a non-zero sound speed, we determine the most stringent constraint to date on the value of the constant contribution to the equation of state parameter in this class of models. Finally, we explain the reason why previous constraints using the Cosmic Microwave Background and Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations were not as competitive as the one presented in this paper and discuss the limitations of the recently proposed Extended Chaplygin Gas.

Constraints on the dark matter sound speed from galactic scales: the cases of the Modified and Extended Chaplygin Gas [Cross-Listing]

We show that the observed rotation curves of spiral galaxies constrain the sound speed of the dark matter to be $c_s < 10^{-4} c$, where $c$ is the speed of light in vacuum. Using the Modified Chaplygin Gas as a representative example of a class of unified dark energy models incorporating an effective dark matter component with a non-zero sound speed, we determine the most stringent constraint to date on the value of the constant contribution to the equation of state parameter in this class of models. Finally, we explain the reason why previous constraints using the Cosmic Microwave Background and Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations were not as competitive as the one presented in this paper and discuss the limitations of the recently proposed Extended Chaplygin Gas.

Constraints on the dark matter sound speed from galactic scales: the cases of the Modified and Extended Chaplygin Gas

We show that the observed rotation curves of spiral galaxies constrain the sound speed of the dark matter to be $c_s < 10^{-4} c$, where $c$ is the speed of light in vacuum. Using the Modified Chaplygin Gas as a representative example of a class of unified dark energy models incorporating an effective dark matter component with a non-zero sound speed, we determine the most stringent constraint to date on the value of the constant contribution to the equation of state parameter in this class of models. Finally, we explain the reason why previous constraints using the Cosmic Microwave Background and Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations were not as competitive as the one presented in this paper and discuss the limitations of the recently proposed Extended Chaplygin Gas.

An ultra-luminous quasar with a twelve-billion-solar-mass black hole at redshift 6.30

So far, roughly 40 quasars with redshifts greater than z=6 have been discovered. Each quasar contains a black hole with a mass of one billion solar masses ( $10^9 M_\odot$). The existence of such black holes when the Universe was less than 1 billion years old presents substantial challenges to theories of the formation and growth of black holes and the coevolution of black holes and galaxies. Here we report the discovery of an ultra-luminous quasar, SDSS J010013.02+280225.8, at redshift z=6.30. It has an optical and near-infrared luminosity a few times greater than those of previously known z>6 quasars. On the basis of the deep absorption trough on the blue side of the Ly $\alpha$ emission line in the spectrum, we estimate the proper size of the ionized proximity zone associated with the quasar to be 26 million light years, larger than found with other z>6.1 quasars with lower luminosities. We estimate (on the basis of a near-infrared spectrum) that the black hole has a mass of $\sim 1.2 \times 10^{10} M_\odot$, which is consistent with the $1.3 \times 10^{10} M_\odot$ derived by assuming an Eddington-limited accretion rate.

An ultra-luminous quasar with a twelve-billion-solar-mass black hole at redshift 6.30 [Replacement]

So far, roughly 40 quasars with redshifts greater than z=6 have been discovered. Each quasar contains a black hole with a mass of about one billion solar masses ($10^9 M_\odot$). The existence of such black holes when the Universe was less than 1 billion years old presents substantial challenges to theories of the formation and growth of black holes and the coevolution of black holes and galaxies. Here we report the discovery of an ultra-luminous quasar, SDSS J010013.02+280225.8, at redshift z=6.30. It has an optical and near-infrared luminosity a few times greater than those of previously known z>6 quasars. On the basis of the deep absorption trough on the blue side of the Ly $\alpha$ emission line in the spectrum, we estimate the proper size of the ionized proximity zone associated with the quasar to be 26 million light years, larger than found with other z>6.1 quasars with lower luminosities. We estimate (on the basis of a near-infrared spectrum) that the black hole has a mass of $\sim 1.2 \times 10^{10} M_\odot$, which is consistent with the $1.3 \times 10^{10} M_\odot$ derived by assuming an Eddington-limited accretion rate.

Herschel Hi-GAL imaging of massive young stellar objects

We used Herschel Hi-GAL survey data to determine whether massive young stellar objects (MYSOs) are resolved at 70$\mu$m and to study their envelope density distribution. Our analysis of three relatively isolated sources in the l=30{\deg} and l=59{\deg} Galactic fields show that the objects are partially resolved at 70$\mu$m. The Herschel Hi-GAL survey data have a high scan velocity which makes unresolved and partially resolved sources appear elongated in the 70$\mu$m images. We analysed the two scan directions separately and examine the intensity profile perpendicular to the scan direction. Spherically symmetric radiative transfer models with a power law density distribution were used to study the circumstellar matter distribution. Single dish sub-mm data were also included to study how different spatial information affects the fitted density distribution. The density distribution which best fits both the 70$\mu$m intensity profile and SED has an average index of ~0.5. This index is shallower than expected and is probably due to the dust emission from bipolar outflow cavity walls not accounted for in the spherical models. We conclude that 2D axisymmetric models and Herschel images at low scan speeds are needed to better constrain the matter distribution around MYSOs.

Spectroscopic Confusion: Its Impact on Current and Future Extragalactic HI Surveys

We present a comprehensive model to predict the rate of spectroscopic confusion in HI surveys, and demonstrate good agreement with the observable confusion in existing surveys. Generically the action of confusion on the HI mass function was found to be a suppression of the number count of sources below the `knee’, and an enhancement above it. This results in a bias, whereby the `knee’ mass is increased and the faint end slope is steepened. For ALFALFA and HIPASS we find that the maximum impact this bias can have on the Schechter fit parameters is similar in magnitude to the published random errors. On the other hand, the impact of confusion on the HI mass functions of upcoming medium depth interferometric surveys, will be below the level of the random errors. In addition, we find that previous estimates of the number of detections for upcoming surveys with SKA-precursor telescopes may have been too optimistic, as the framework implemented here results in number counts between 60% and 75% of those previously predicted, while accurately reproducing the counts of existing surveys. Finally, we argue that any future single dish, wide area surveys of HI galaxies would be best suited to focus on deep observations of the local Universe (z < 0.05), as confusion may prevent them from being competitive with interferometric surveys at higher redshift, while their lower angular resolution allows their completeness to be more easily calibrated for nearby extended sources.

An improved SPH scheme for cosmological simulations

We present an implementation of smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH) with improved accuracy for simulations of galaxies and the large-scale structure. In particular, we combine, implement, modify and test a vast majority of SPH improvement techniques in the latest instalment of the GADGET code. We use the Wendland kernel functions, a particle wake-up time-step limiting mechanism and a time-dependent scheme for artificial viscosity, which includes a high-order gradient computation and shear flow limiter. Additionally, we include a novel prescription for time-dependent artificial conduction, which corrects for gravitationally induced pressure gradients and largely improves the SPH performance in capturing the development of gas-dynamical instabilities. We extensively test our new implementation in a wide range of hydrodynamical standard tests including weak and strong shocks as well as shear flows, turbulent spectra, gas mixing, hydrostatic equilibria and self-gravitating gas clouds. We jointly employ all modifications; however, when necessary we study the performance of individual code modules. We approximate hydrodynamical states more accurately and with significantly less noise than standard SPH. Furthermore, the new implementation promotes the mixing of entropy between different fluid phases, also within cosmological simulations. Finally, we study the performance of the hydrodynamical solver in the context of radiative galaxy formation and non-radiative galaxy cluster formation. We find galactic disks to be colder, thinner and more extended and our results on galaxy clusters show entropy cores instead of steadily declining entropy profiles. In summary, we demonstrate that our improved SPH implementation overcomes most of the undesirable limitations of standard SPH, thus becoming the core of an efficient code for large cosmological simulations.

Milking the spherical cow: on aspherical dynamics in spherical coordinates

Galaxies and the dark matter halos that host them are not spherically symmetric, yet spherical symmetry is a helpful simplifying approximation for idealised calculations and analysis of observational data. The assumption leads to an exact conservation of angular momentum for every particle, making the dynamics unrealistic. But how much does that inaccuracy matter in practice for analyses of stellar distribution functions, collisionless relaxation, or dark matter core-creation? We provide a general answer to this question for a wide class of aspherical systems; specifically, we consider distribution functions that are "maximally stable", i.e. that do not evolve at first order when external potentials (which arise from baryons, large scale tidal fields or infalling substructure) are applied. We show that a spherically-symmetric analysis of such systems gives rise to the false conclusion that the density of particles in phase space is ergodic (a function of energy alone). Using this idea we are able to demonstrate that: (a) observational analyses that falsely assume spherical symmetry are made more accurate by imposing a strong prior preference for near-isotropic velocity dispersions in the centre of spheroids; (b) numerical simulations that use an idealised spherically-symmetric setup can yield misleading results and should be avoided where possible; and (c) triaxial dark matter halos (formed in collisionless cosmological simulations) nearly attain our maximally-stable limit, but their evolution freezes out before reaching it.

Identification of the brightest Ly\alpha\ emitters at z=6.6: implications for the evolution of the luminosity function in the re-ionisation era

Using wide field narrow-band surveys, we provide a new measurement of the $z=6.6$ Lyman-$\alpha$ Emitter (LAE) luminosity function (LF), which constraints the bright end for the first time. We use a combination of archival narrow-band NB921 data in UDS and new NB921 measurements in SA22 and COSMOS/UltraVISTA, all observed with the Subaru telescope, with a total area of $\sim 5$ deg$^2$. We exclude lower redshift interlopers by using broad-band optical and near-infrared photometry and also exclude three supernovae with data split over multiple epochs. We spectroscopically confirm the two most luminous Ly$\alpha$ emitters ever found at $z=6.604$ and $6.541$ in the COSMOS field using Keck/DEIMOS and VLT/FORS2. Combining the UDS and COSMOS samples we find no evolution of the bright end of the Ly$\alpha$ LF between $z=5.7$ and $6.6$, which is supported by spectroscopic follow-up, and conclude that \emph{Himiko}-like sources are not as rare as previously thought, with number densities of $\sim 1.5\times10^{-5}$ Mpc$^{-3}$. Combined with our wide-field SA22 measurements, our results indicate a non-Schechter-like bright end of the LF at $z=6.6$ and a different evolution of \emph{observed} faint and bright LAEs. This differential evolution was not addressed in previous studies, or discarded as cosmic variance, but we argue instead that it may be an effect of re-ionisation. Using a toy-model, we show that such differential evolution of the LF is expected, since brighter sources are able to ionise their surroundings earlier, such that Ly$\alpha$ photons are able to escape. Our targets are excellent candidates for detailed follow-up studies and provide the possibility to give a unique view on the earliest stages in the formation of galaxies and re-ionisation process.

Galaxy Cluster Mass Reconstruction Project: II. Quantifying scatter and bias using contrasting mock catalogues

This article is the second in a series in which we perform an extensive comparison of various galaxy-based cluster mass estimation techniques that utilise the positions, velocities and colours of galaxies. Our aim is to quantify the scatter, systematic bias and completeness of cluster masses derived from a diverse set of 25 galaxy-based methods using two contrasting mock galaxy catalogues based on a sophisticated halo occupation model and a semi-analytic model. Analysing 968 clusters, we find a wide range in the RMS errors in log M200c delivered by the different methods (0.18 to 1.08 dex, i.e., a factor of ~1.5 to 12), with abundance matching and richness methods providing the best results, irrespective of the input model assumptions. In addition, certain methods produce a significant number of catastrophic cases where the mass is under- or over-estimated by a factor greater than 10. Given the steeply falling high-mass end of the cluster mass function, we recommend that richness or abundance matching-based methods are used in conjunction with these methods as a sanity check for studies selecting high mass clusters. We see a stronger correlation of the recovered to input number of galaxies for both catalogues in comparison with the group/cluster mass, however, this does not guarantee that the correct member galaxies are being selected. We do not observe significantly higher scatter for either mock galaxy catalogues. Our results have implications for cosmological analyses that utilise the masses, richnesses, or abundances of clusters, which have different uncertainties when different methods are used.

Galaxy formation with radiative and chemical feedback

Here we introduce GAMESH, a novel pipeline which implements self-consistent radiative and chemical feedback in a computational model of galaxy formation. By combining the cosmological chemical-evolution model GAMETE with the radiative transfer code CRASH, GAMESH can post process realistic outputs of a N-body simulation describing the redshift evolution of the forming galaxy. After introducing the GAMESH implementation and its features, we apply the code to a low-resolution N-body simulation of the Milky Way formation and we investigate the combined effects of self-consistent radiative and chemical feedback. Many physical properties, which can be directly compared with observations in the Galaxy and its surrounding satellites, are predicted by the code along the merger-tree assembly. The resulting redshift evolution of the Local Group star formation rates, reionisation and metal enrichment along with the predicted Metallicity Distribution Function of halo stars are critically compared with observations. We discuss the merits and limitations of the first release of GAMESH, also opening new directions to a full implementation of feedback processes in galaxy formation models by combining semi-analytic and numerical methods.

Cosmic Strings and the Origin of Globular Clusters [Cross-Listing]

We hypothesize that cosmic string loops are the seeds about which globular clusters accrete. Fixing the cosmic string tension by demanding that the peak in the distribution of masses of objects accreting onto string loops agrees with the peak in the observed mass distribution of globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy, we then compute the expected number density and mass function of globular clusters, and compare with observations. Our hypothesis naturally explains why globular clusters are the oldest and most dense objects in a galaxy, and why they are found in the halo of the galaxy.

Cosmic Strings and the Origin of Globular Clusters [Cross-Listing]

We hypothesize that cosmic string loops are the seeds about which globular clusters accrete. Fixing the cosmic string tension by demanding that the peak in the distribution of masses of objects accreting onto string loops agrees with the peak in the observed mass distribution of globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy, we then compute the expected number density and mass function of globular clusters, and compare with observations. Our hypothesis naturally explains why globular clusters are the oldest and most dense objects in a galaxy, and why they are found in the halo of the galaxy.

Cosmic Strings and the Origin of Globular Clusters [Cross-Listing]

We hypothesize that cosmic string loops are the seeds about which globular clusters accrete. Fixing the cosmic string tension by demanding that the peak in the distribution of masses of objects accreting onto string loops agrees with the peak in the observed mass distribution of globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy, we then compute the expected number density and mass function of globular clusters, and compare with observations. Our hypothesis naturally explains why globular clusters are the oldest and most dense objects in a galaxy, and why they are found in the halo of the galaxy.

Cosmic Strings and the Origin of Globular Clusters

We hypothesize that cosmic string loops are the seeds about which globular clusters accrete. Fixing the cosmic string tension by demanding that the peak in the distribution of masses of objects accreting onto string loops agrees with the peak in the observed mass distribution of globular clusters in our Milky Way galaxy, we then compute the expected number density and mass function of globular clusters, and compare with observations. Our hypothesis naturally explains why globular clusters are the oldest and most dense objects in a galaxy, and why they are found in the halo of the galaxy.

The influence of diffuse scattered light II. Observations of galaxy haloes and thick discs and hosts of BCGs

Studies of deep photometry of galaxies have presented discoveries of excess light in surface-brightness and colour profiles at large radii in the form of diffuse faint haloes and thick discs. In a majority of the cases, it has seemed necessary to use exotic stellar populations or alternative physical solutions to explain the excess. Few studies have carefully scrutinized the role of scattered light in this context. I explore the influence of scattered light on ground-based observations of haloes and thick discs around edge-on galaxies, haloes around face-on disc galaxies, host galaxies around blue compact galaxies (BCGs), and haloes around elliptical galaxies. Surface-brightness structures of all considered types of galaxies are modelled and analysed to compare scattered-light haloes and thick discs with measurements. I simulate the influence of scattered light and accurate sky subtraction on simplified S\’ersic-type and face-on disc galaxy models. All galaxy models are convolved with both lower-limit and brighter point spread functions (PSFs); for a few galaxies it was possible to use dedicated PSFs. The results show bright scattered-light haloes and high amounts of red excess at large radii and faint surface brightnesses for nearly all types of galaxies; exceptions are the largest elliptical-type galaxies where the influence of scattered light is smaller. Studies have underestimated the role of scattered light to explain their surface-brightness profiles. My analysis shows surface-brightness profiles that include scattered light that are very similar to and overlap measurements at all radii. The derivation of physical properties of haloes, thick discs, and BCG hosts from diffuse data is misleading since accurate and radially extended PSFs are non-existent. Significantly improved analyses that include new measurements of PSFs are required to study diffuse haloes further.

Extending Virial Black Hole Mass Estimates to Low-Luminosity or Obscured AGN: the cases of NGC 4395 and MCG -01-24-012

In the last decade, using single epoch (SE) virial based spectroscopic optical observations, it has been possible to measure the black hole (BH) mass on large type 1 Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) samples. However this kind of measurements can not be applied on those obscured type 2 and/or low luminosity AGN where the nuclear component does not dominate in the optical. We have derived new SE relationships, based on the FWHM and luminosity of the broad line region component of the Pabeta emission line and/or the hard X-ray luminosity in the 14-195 keV band, which have the prospect of better working with low luminosity or obscured AGN. The SE relationships have been calibrated in the 10^5-10^9 M_sol mass range, using a sample of AGN whose BH masses have been previously measured using reverberation mapping techniques. Our tightest relationship between the reverberation-based BH mass and the SE virial product has an intrinsic spread of 0.20 dex. Thanks to these SE relations, in agreement with previous estimates, we have measured a BH mass of M_BH =1.7^+1.3_-0.7 X 10^5 M_sol for the low luminosity, type 1, AGN NGC 4395 (one of the smallest active galactic BH known). We also measured, for the first time, a BH mass of M_BH = 1.5^+1.1_-0.6 X 10^7 M_sol for the Seyfert 2 galaxy MCG -01-24-012.

Extending Virial Black Hole Mass Estimates to Low-Luminosity or Obscured AGN: the cases of NGC 4395 and MCG -01-24-012 [Replacement]

In the last decade, using single epoch (SE) virial based spectroscopic optical observations, it has been possible to measure the black hole (BH) mass on large type 1 Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) samples. However this kind of measurements can not be applied on those obscured type 2 and/or low luminosity AGN where the nuclear component does not dominate in the optical. We have derived new SE relationships, based on the FWHM and luminosity of the broad line region component of the Pabeta emission line and/or the hard X-ray luminosity in the 14-195 keV band, which have the prospect of better working with low luminosity or obscured AGN. The SE relationships have been calibrated in the 10^5-10^9 M_sol mass range, using a sample of AGN whose BH masses have been previously measured using reverberation mapping techniques. Our tightest relationship between the reverberation-based BH mass and the SE virial product has an intrinsic spread of 0.20 dex. Thanks to these SE relations, in agreement with previous estimates, we have measured a BH mass of M_BH =1.7^+1.3_-0.7 X 10^5 M_sol for the low luminosity, type 1, AGN NGC 4395 (one of the smallest active galactic BH known). We also measured, for the first time, a BH mass of M_BH = 1.5^+1.1_-0.6 X 10^7 M_sol for the Seyfert 2 galaxy MCG -01-24-012.

 

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