Recent Postings from Galactic

Deep X-ray spectroscopy and imaging of the Seyfert 2 galaxy, ESO 138-G001

We present a spectral and imaging analysis of the XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of the Seyfert 2 galaxy ESO138-G001, with the aim of characterizing the circumnuclear material responsible for the soft (0.3-2.0 keV) and hard (5-10 keV) X-ray emission. We confirm that the source is absorbed by Compton-thick gas. However, if a self-consistent model of reprocessing from cold toroidal material is used (MYTorus), a possible scenario requires the absorber to be inhomogenous, its column density along the line of sight being larger than the average column density integrated over all lines- of-sight through the torus. The iron emission line may be produced by moderately ionised iron (FeXII-FeXIII), as suggested by the shifted centroid energy and the low K{\beta}/K{\alpha} flux ratio. The soft X-ray emission is dominated by emission features, whose main excitation mechanism appears to be photoionisation, as confirmed by line diagnostics and the use of self-consistent models (CLOUDY).

Digital Sky Surveys from the ground: Status and Perspectives

I first review the status of Digital Sky Surveys. The focus will be on extragalactic surveys with an area of more than 100 sq.deg. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is the archetype of such imaging surveys and it is its great success that has prompted great activity in this field. The latest surveys explore wider, fainter and higher resolution and also a longer wavelength range than SDSS. Many of these surveys overlap particularly in the S Hemisphere where we now have Pan-STARRS, DES and the ESO VST surveys, and our aim here is to compare their properties. Since there is no dedicated article on the VST ATLAS in this symposium, we shall especially review the properties of this particular survey. This easily fits onto our other main focus which is to compare overlapping Southern Surveys and see how they best fit with the available NIR imaging data. We conclude that the Southern Hemisphere will soon overtake the North in terms of multiwavelength imaging. However we note that the South has more limited opportunities for spectroscopic follow-up and this weakness will persist during the LSST era. Some new perspectives are offered on this and other aspects of survey astronomy.

Cosmic Reionization after Planck: Could Quasars Do It All?

We assess a model of late cosmic reionization in which the ionizing background radiation arises entirely from high redshift quasars and other active galactic nuclei (AGNs). The low optical depth to Thomson scattering reported by the Planck Collaboration pushes the redshift of instantaneous reionization down to z=8.8^{+1.7}_{-1.4} and greatly reduces the need for significant Lyman-continuum emission at very early times. We show that, if recent claims of a numerous population of faint AGNs at z=4-6 are upheld, and the high inferred AGN comoving emissivity at these epochs persists to higher redshifts, then active galaxies may drive the reionization of hydrogen and helium with little contribution from normal star-forming galaxies. We discuss an AGN-dominated scenario that satisfies a number of observational constraints: the HI photoionization rate is relatively flat over the range 2<z<5, hydrogen gets fully reionized by z=5.7, and the integrated Thomson scattering optical depth is tau=0.056, in agreement with measurements based on the Lya opacity of the intergalactic medium (IGM) and Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) polarization. It is a prediction of the model that helium gets doubly reionized before redshift 4, the heat input from helium reionization dominates the thermal balance of the IGM after hydrogen reionization, and z>5 AGNs provide a significant fraction of the unresolved X-ray background at 2 keV. Singly- and doubly-ionized helium contribute about 13% to tau, and the HeIII volume fraction is already 50% when hydrogen becomes fully reionized.

What Powers Lyman alpha Blobs?

Lyman alpha blobs (LABs) are spatially extended lyman alpha nebulae seen at high redshift. The origin of Lyman alpha emission in the LABs is still unclear and under debate. To study their heating mechanism(s), we present Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) observations of the 20 cm radio emission and Herschel PACS and SPIRE measurements of the far-infrared (FIR) emission towards the four LABs in the protocluster J2143-4423 at z=2.38. Among the four LABs, B6 and B7 are detected in the radio with fluxes of 67+/-17 microJy and 77+/-16 microJy, respectively, and B5 is marginally detected at 3 sigma (51+/-16 microJy). For all detected sources, their radio positions are consistent with the central positions of the LABs. B6 and B7 are obviously also detected in the FIR. By fitting the data with different templates, we obtained redshifts of 2.20$^{+0.30}_{-0.35}$ for B6 and 2.20$^{+0.45}_{-0.30}$ for B7 which are consistent with the redshift of the lyman alpha emission within uncertainties, indicating that both FIR sources are likely associated with the LABs. The associated FIR emission in B6 and B7 and high star formation rates strongly favor star formation in galaxies as an important powering source for the lyman alpha emission in both LABs. However, the other two, B1 and B5, are predominantly driven by the active galactic nuclei or other sources of energy still to be specified, but not mainly by star formation. In general, the LABs are powered by quite diverse sources of energy.

Structural properties of non-spherical dark halos in Milky Way and Andromeda dwarf spheroidal galaxies

We investigate the non-spherical density structure of dark halos of the dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies in the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, based on revised axisymmetric mass models from our previous work. The models we adopt here fully take into account velocity anisotropy of tracer stars confined within a flattened dark halo. Applying our models to the available kinematic data of the twelve bright dSphs, we find that these galaxies associate, in general, elongated dark halos even considering the effect of this velocity anisotropy of stars. We also find that the best-fit parameters, especially for the shapes of dark halos and velocity anisotropy, are susceptible to both the availability of velocity data in the outer regions and the effect of the lack of sample stars in each spatial bin. Thus, to obtain more realistic limits on dark halo structures, we require photometric and kinematic data over much larger areas in the dSphs than previously explored. The results obtained from the currently available data suggest that the shapes of dark halos in the dSphs are more elongated than those of $\Lambda$CDM subhalos. This mismatch needs to be solved by theory including baryon components and the associated feedback to dark halos as well as by further observational limits in larger areas of dSphs. It is also found that more diffuse dark halos may have undergone consecutive star-formation history, thereby implying that dark-halo structure plays an important role in star-formation activity.

A Stacked Search for Intermediate-Mass Black Holes in 337 Extragalactic Star Clusters

Forbes et al. recently used the Hubble Space Telescope to localize hundreds of candidate star clusters in NGC 1023, an early-type galaxy at a distance of 11.1 Mpc. Old stars dominate the light of 92% of the clusters and intermediate-age stars dominate the light of the remaining 8%. Theory predicts that clusters with such ages can host intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs) with masses M_BH \lesssim 10^5 M_sun. To investigate this prediction, we used 264 s of 5.5 GHz data from the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to search for the radiative signatures of IMBH accretion from 337 candidate clusters in an image spanning 492 arcsec (26 kpc) with a resolution of 0.40 arcsec (22 pc). None of the individual clusters are detected, nor are weighted-mean image stacks of the 311 old clusters, the 26 intermediate-age clusters, and the 20 clusters with stellar masses M_star \gtrsim 7.5 x 10^5 M_sun. The clusters thus lack radio analogs of HLX-1, a strong IMBH candidate in a cluster in the early-type galaxy ESO 243-49. This suggests that HLX-1 is accreting gas related to its cluster’s light-dominating young stars. Alternatively, the HLX-1 phenomenon could be so rare that no radio analog is expected in NGC 1023. Also, using a formalism heretofore applied to star clusters in the Milky Way, the radio-luminosity upper limit for the massive-cluster stack corresponds to a mean 3$\sigma$ IMBH mass of M_BH(massive) < 2.3 x 10^5 M_sun, suggesting mean black-hole mass fractions of M_BH(massive)/M_star < 0.05-0.29.

A systematic search for close supermassive black hole binaries in the Catalina Real-Time Transient Survey

Hierarchical assembly models predict a population of supermassive black hole (SMBH) binaries. These are not resolvable by direct imaging but may be detectable via periodic variability (or nanohertz frequency gravitational waves). Following our detection of a 5.2 year periodic signal in the quasar PG 1302-102 (Graham et al. 2015), we present a novel analysis of the optical variability of 243,500 known spectroscopically confirmed quasars using data from the Catalina Real-time Transient Survey (CRTS) to look for close (< 0.1 pc) SMBH systems. Looking for a strong Keplerian periodic signal with at least 1.5 cycles over a baseline of nine years, we find a sample of 111 candidate objects. This is in conservative agreement with theoretical predictions from models of binary SMBH populations. Simulated data sets, assuming stochastic variability, also produce no equivalent candidates implying a low likelihood of spurious detections. The periodicity seen is likely attributable to either jet precession, warped accretion disks or periodic accretion associated with a close SMBH binary system. We also consider how other SMBH binary candidates in the literature appear in CRTS data and show that none of these are equivalent to the identified objects. Finally, the distribution of objects found is consistent with that expected from a gravitational wave-driven population. This implies that circumbinary gas is present at small orbital radii and is being perturbed by the black holes. None of the sources is expected to merge within at least the next century. This study opens a new unique window to study a population of close SMBH binaries that must exist according to our current understanding of galaxy and SMBH evolution.

New HI 21-cm absorbers at low and intermediate redshifts

We present the results of a survey for intervening HI 21-cm absorbers at intermediate and low redshift (0<z<1.2). For our total sample of 24 systems, we obtained high quality data for 17 systems, the other seven being severely affected by radio frequency interference (RFI). Five of our targets are low redshift (z<0.17) optical galaxies with small impact parameters (<20 kpc) toward radio-bright background sources. Two of these were detected in 21-cm absorption, showing narrow, high optical depth absorption profiles, the narrowest having a velocity dispersion of only 1.5 km/s, which puts an upper limit on the kinetic temperature of T_k<270 K. Combining our observations with results from the literature, we measure a weak anti-correlation between impact parameter and integral optical depth in local (z<0.5) 21-cm absorbers. Of eleven CaII and MgII systems searched, two were detected in 21-cm absorption, and six were affected by RFI to a level that precludes a detection. For these two systems at z~0.6 we measure spin temperatures of T_s=(65+/-17) K and T_s>180 K. A subset of our systems were also searched for OH absorption, but no detections were made.

Modelling the Molecular Gas in NGC 6240

We present the first observations of H$^{13}$CN$(1-0)$, H$^{13}$CO$^+(1-0)$ and SiO$(2-1)$ in NGC 6240, obtained with the IRAM PdBI. Combining a Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) code with Large Velocity Gradient (LVG) modelling we derive posterior probability density functions (pdfs) for the dense gas parameters, including mass$-$luminosity conversion factors, finding a large amount of dense molecular gas $(\sim10^{10}M_\odot)$ in cold, dense clouds ($T_k\sim10$ K, $n_{{\rm H}_2}\sim10^6$ cm$^{-3}$) with a small volume filling factor $(<0.002)$. Including literature CO data we present simultaneously fitted multi-species, two phase models which spontaneously separate into a hot, diffuse phase ($\log_{10}\left(T_k / [{\rm K}]\right) = 3.2^{3.3}_{3.1}$, $\log_{10}\left(n_{{\rm H}_2} / [{\rm cm}^{-3}]\right)=3.6^{3.8}_{3.5}$) and a cold, dense phase ($\log_{10}\left(T_k / [{\rm K}]\right) = 0.9^{0.9}_{0.8}$, $\log_{10}\left(n_{{\rm H}_2} / [{\rm cm}^{-3}]\right)=6.6^{6.8}_{6.3}$). A restricted three phase model is used to include the ubiquitous diffuse, CO bearing gas phase and we derive a global $\alpha_{\rm CO}=1.5^{7.1}_{1.1}$ with gas masses $\log_{10}\left(M / [M_\odot]\right)=10.1_{10.0}^{10.8}$, dominated by the dense gas. We find that the [$^{12}$C]/[$^{13}$C] ratio is only slightly elevated ($98^{230}_{65}$), contrary to the very high [CO]/[$^{13}$CO] ratio (300-500) reported in the literature. The high [HCN]/[H$^{13}$CN] and [HCO$^+$]/[H$^{13}$CO$^+$] abundance ratios $(300^{500}_{200})$ we find are due to isotope fractionation in the cold, dense clouds.

Sagittarius II, Draco II and Laevens 3: three new Milky Way satellites discovered in the Pan-STARRS 1 3pi Survey

We present the discovery of three new Milky Way satellites from our search for compact stellar overdensities in the photometric catalog of the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System 1 (Pan-STARRS 1, or PS1) 3pi survey. The first satellite, Laevens 3, is located at a heliocentric distance of d=67+/-3 kpc. With a total magnitude of Mv=-4.4+/-0.3 and a half-light radius rh=7+/-2 pc, its properties resemble those of outer halo globular clusters. The second system, Draco II/Laevens 4 (Dra II), is a closer and fainter satellite (d~20 kpc, Mv =-2.9+/-0.8), whose uncertain size (rh = 19 +8/-6 pc) renders its classification difficult without kinematic information; it could either be a faint and extended globular cluster or a faint and compact dwarf galaxy. The third satellite, Sagittarius II/Laevens 5 (Sgr II), has an ambiguous nature as it is either the most compact dwarf galaxy or the most extended globular cluster in its luminosity range (rh = 37 +9/-8 pc and Mv=-5.2+/-0.4). At a heliocentric distance of 67+/-5 kpc, this satellite lies intriguingly close to the expected location of the trailing arm of the Sagittarius stellar stream behind the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxy (Sgr dSph). If confirmed through spectroscopic follow up, this connection would locate this part of the trailing arm of the Sagittarius stellar stream that has so far gone undetected. It would further suggest that Sgr II was brought into the Milky Way halo as a satellite of the Sgr dSph.

APOGEE chemical tagging constraint on the maximum star cluster mass in the $\alpha$-enhanced Galactic disk

Stars born from the same molecular cloud should be nearly homogeneous in their element abundances. The concept of chemical tagging is to identify members of disrupted clusters by their clustering in element abundance space. Chemical tagging requires large samples of stars with precise abundances for many individual elements. With uncertainties of $\sigma_{[X/{\rm Fe}]}$ and $\sigma_{\rm [Fe/H]} \simeq 0.05$ for 10 elements measured for $> 10^4$ stars, the APOGEE DR12 spectra may be the first well-suited data set to put this idea into practice. We find that even APOGEE data offer only $\sim 500$ independent volume elements in the 10-dimensional abundance space, when we focus on the $\alpha$-enhanced Galactic disk. We develop and apply a new algorithm to search for chemically homogeneous sets of stars against a dominant background. By injecting star clusters into the APOGEE data set we show that chemically homogeneous clusters with masses $\gtrsim 3 \times 10^7 \, {\rm M}_\odot$ would be easily detectable and yet no such signal is seen in the data. By generalizing this approach, we put a first abundance-based constraint on the cluster mass function for the old disk stars in the Milky Way.

NGC 6139: a normal massive globular cluster or a first-generation dominated cluster? Clues from the light elements

Information on globular clusters (GC) formation mechanisms can be gathered by studying the chemical signature of the multiple populations that compose these stellar systems. In particular, we are investigating the anticorrelations among O, Na, Al, and Mg to explore the influence of cluster mass and environment on GCs in the Milky Way and in extragalactic systems. We present here the results obtained on NGC 6139 which, on the basis of its horizontal branch morphology, had been proposed to be dominated by first-generation stars. In our extensive study based on high resolution spectroscopy, the first for this cluster, we found a metallicity of [Fe/H]= -1.579 +/- 0.015 +/- 0.058 (rms=0.040 dex, 45 bona fide member stars) on the UVES scale defined by our group. The stars in NGC 6139 show a chemical pattern normal for GCs, with a rather extended Na-O (and Mg-Al) anticorrelation. NGC 6139 behaves like expected from its mass and contains a large fraction (about two thirds) of second-generation stars.

Apparent Age Spreads in Clusters and the Role of Stellar Rotation

We use the Geneva Syclist isochrone models that include the effects of stellar rotation to investigate the role that rotation has on the resulting colour-magnitude diagram (CMD) of young and intermediate age clusters. We find that if a distribution of rotation velocities exists within the clusters, rotating stars will remain on the main sequence (MS) for longer, appearing to be younger than non-rotating stars within the same cluster. This results in an extended main sequence turn-off (eMSTO) that appears at young ages ($\sim30$~Myr) and lasts beyond 1~Gyr. If this eMSTO is interpreted as an age spread, the resulting age spread is proportional to the age of the cluster, i.e. young clusters ($<100$~Myr) appear to have small age spreads (10s of Myr) whereas older clusters ($\sim1$~Gyr) appear to have much larger spreads, up to a few hundred Myr. We compare the predicted spreads for a sample of rotation rates to observations of young and intermediate age clusters, and find a strong correlation between the measured ‘age spread’ and the age of the cluster, in good agreement with models of stellar rotation. This suggests that the ‘age spreads’ reported in the literature may simply be the result of a distribution of stellar rotation velocities within clusters.

Deriving star formation histories from photometry using energy balance spectral energy distribution modelling

Panchromatic spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting is a critical tool for determining the physical properties of distant galaxies, such as their stellar mass and star formation rate. One widely used method is the publicly available MAGPHYS code. We build on our previous analysis (Hayward & Smith 2015) by presenting some modifications which enable MAGPHYS to automatically estimate galaxy star formation histories (SFHs), including uncertainties, based on ultra-violet to far-infrared photometry. We use state-of-the art synthetic photometry derived by performing three-dimensional dust radiative transfer on hydrodynamic simulations of isolated disc and merging galaxies to test how well the modified MAGPHYS is able to recover SFHs under idealised conditions, where the true SFH is known. We find that while the SFH of the model with the best fit to the synthetic photometry is a poor representation of the true SFH (showing large variations with the line-of-sight to the galaxy and spurious bursts of star formation), median-likelihood SFHs generated by marginalising over the default MAGPHYS libraries produce robust estimates of the smoothly-varying isolated disk simulation SFHs. This preference for the median-likelihood SFH is quantitatively underlined by our estimates of $\chi^2_{{\rm SFH}}$ (analogous to the $\chi^2$ goodness-of-fit estimator) and $\Delta M/M$ (the integrated absolute mass discrepancy between the model and true SFH) that strongly prefer the median-likelihood SFHs over those that best fit the UV-to-far-IR photometry. In contrast, we are unable to derive a good estimate of the SFH for the merger simulations (either best-fit or median-likelihood) despite being able to obtain a reasonable fit to the simulated photometry, likely because the analytic SFHs with bursts superposed in the standard MAGPHYS library are insufficiently general/realistic.

Five groups of red giants with distinct chemical composition in the globular cluster NGC 2808

The chemical composition of multiple populations in the massive globular cluster (GC) NGC~2808 is addressed with the homogeneous abundance re-analysis of 140 red giant branch (RGB) stars. UVES spectra for 31 stars and GIRAFFE spectra for the other giants were analysed with the same procedures used for about 2500 giants in 23 GCs in our FLAMES survey, deriving abundances of Fe, O, Na, Mg, Si, Ca, Ti, Sc, Cr, Mn, and Ni. Iron, elements from alpha-capture, and in the Fe-group do not show intrinsic scatter. On our UVES scale the metallicity of NGC~2808 is [Fe/H]=-1.129+/-0.005+/-0.034$ (+/-statistical +/-systematic error) with sigma=0.030 (31 stars). Main features related to proton-capture elements are retrieved, but the improved statistics and the smaller associated internal errors allow to uncover five distinct groups of stars along the Na-O anticorrelation. We observe large depletions in Mg, anticorrelated with enhancements of Na and also Si, suggestive of unusually high temperatures for proton-captures. About 14% of our sample is formed by giants with solar or subsolar [Mg/Fe] ratios. Using the [Na/Mg] ratios we confirm the presence of five populations with different chemical composition, that we called P1, P2, I1, I2, and E in order of decreasing Mg and increasing Na abundances. Statistical tests show that the mean ratios in any pair of groups cannot be extracted from the same parent distribution. The overlap with the five populations recently detected from UV photometry is good but not perfect, confirming that more distinct components probably exist in this complex GC.

"Observing and Analyzing" Images From a Simulated High Redshift Universe

We investigate the high-redshift evolution of the restframe UV-luminosity function (LF) of galaxies via hydrodynamical cosmological simulations, coupled with an emulated observational astronomy pipeline that provides a direct comparison with observations. We do this by creating mock images and synthetic galaxy catalogs of approximately 100 square arcminute fields from the numerical model at redshifts ~ 4.5 to 10.4. We include the effects of dust extinction and the point spread function (PSF) for the Hubble WFC3 camera for comparison with space observations. We also include the expected zodiacal background to predict its effect on space observations, including future missions such as the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). When our model catalogs are fitted to Schechter function parameters, we predict that the faint-end slope alpha of the LF evolves as alpha = -1.16 – 0.12 z over the redshift range z ~ 4.5 to 7.7, in excellent agreement with observations from e.g., Hathi et al. (2010). However, for redshifts z ~ 6 to 10.4, alpha(z) appears to display a shallower evolution, alpha = -1.79 – 0.03 z. Augmenting the simulations with more detailed physics – specifically stellar winds and supernovae (SN) – produces similar results. The model shows an overproduction of galaxies, especially at faint magnitudes, compared with the observations, although the discrepancy is reduced when dust extinction is taken into account.

The evolving relation between star-formation rate and stellar mass in the VIDEO Survey since $z=3$

We investigate the star-formation rate (SFR) and stellar mass ($M_*$) relation of a star-forming (SF) galaxy sample in the XMM-LSS field to $z\sim 3.0$ using the near-infrared data from the VISTA Deep Extragalactic Observations (VIDEO) survey. Combining VIDEO with broad-band photometry, we use the SED fitting algorithm CIGALE to derive SFRs and $M_*$ and have adapted it to account for the full photometric redshift PDF uncertainty. Applying a SF selection using the D4000 index, we find evidence for strong evolution in the normalisation of the SFR-$M_*$ relation out to $z\sim 3$ and a roughly constant slope of (SFR $\propto M_*^{\alpha}$) $\alpha=0.69\pm0.02$ to $z\sim 1.7$. We find this increases close to unity toward $z\sim2.65$. Alternatively, if we apply a colour selection, we find a distinct turnover in the SFR-$M_*$ relation between $0.7\lesssim z\lesssim2.0$ at the high mass end, and suggest that this is due to an increased contamination from passive galaxies. We find evolution of the specific SFR $\propto(1+z)^{2.60}$ at $\log(M_*)\sim$10.5, out to $z\lesssim2.4$ with an observed flattening beyond $z\sim$ 2 with increased stellar mass. Comparing to a range of simulations we find the analytical scaling relation approaches, that invoke an equilibrium model, a good fit to our data, suggesting that a continual smooth accretion regulated by continual outflows may be a key driver in the overall growth of SFGs.

Phase Wrapping of Epicyclic Perturbations in the Wobbly Galaxy

We use test-particle integrations to show that epicyclic motions excited by a pericentre passage of a dwarf galaxy could account for bulk vertical velocity streaming motions recently observed in the Galactic stellar disc near the Sun. We use fixed potential test-particle integrations to isolate the role of phase wrapping of epicyclic perturbations from bending and breathing waves or modes, which require self-gravity to oscillate. Perturbations from a fairly massive Sagittarius dwarf galaxy, $M_d \sim 2.5 \times 10^{10} M_\odot$, are required to account for the sizescale of the observed streaming motions from its orbital pericentre approximately a Gyr ago. A previous passage of the dwarf through the Galactic disc approximately 2.2 Gyr ago (with a then more massive dwarf galaxy) is less effective. If phase wrapping of epicyclic perturbations is responsible for stellar streaming motions in the Galactic disc, then there should be variations in velocity gradients on sizescales of a few kpc in the vicinity of the Sun.

Early Science with the Large Millimeter Telescope: Dust constraints in a z~9.6 galaxy

Recent observations with the GISMO 2 mm camera revealed a detection 8" away from the lensed galaxy MACS1149-JD1 at z=9.6. Within the 17.5" FWHM GISMO beam, this detection is consistent with the position of the high-redshift galaxy and therefore, if confirmed, this object could be claimed to be the youngest galaxy producing significant quantities of dust. We present higher resolution (8.5") observations of this system taken with the AzTEC 1.1 mm camera mounted on the Large Millimeter Telescope Alfonso Serrano. Dust continuum emission at the position of MACS1149-JD1 is not detected with an r.m.s. of 0.17 mJy/beam. However, we find a detection ~ 11" away from MACS1149-JD1, still within the GISMO beam which is consistent with an association to the GISMO source. Combining the AzTEC and GISMO photometry, together with Herschel ancillary data, we derive a z_phot= 0.7-1.6 for the dusty galaxy. We conclude therefore that the GISMO and AzTEC detections are not associated with MACS1149-JD1. From the non-detection of MACS1149-JD1 we derive the following (3 \sigma) upper limits corrected for gravitational lensing magnification and for CMB effects: dust mass < 1.6 x 10^7 M_sun, IR luminosity < 8 x 10^10 L_sun, star formation rate < 14 M_sun/yr, and UV attenuation < 2.7 mag. These limits are comparable to those derived for other high-redshift galaxies from deep ALMA observations.

Primordial alignment of elliptical galaxies in intermediate redshift clusters

We measure primordial alignments for the red galaxies in the sample of eight massive galaxy clusters in the southern sky from the CLASH-VLT Large Programme, at a median redshift of 0.375. We find primordial alignment with about $3\sigma$ significance in the four dynamically young clusters, but null detection of primordial alignment in the four highly relaxed clusters. The observed primordial alignment is not dominated by any single one of the four dynamically young clusters, and is primarily due to a population of bright galaxies ($M_r<-20.5\ \rm{m}$) residing in the region 300 to 810 kpc from the cluster centers. For the first time, we point out that the combination of radial alignment and halo alignment can cause fake primordial alignment. Finally, we find that the detected alignment for the dynamically young clusters is real rather than fake primordial alignment.

Seismology of solar spicules based on Hinode/SOT observations

We analyze the time series of Ca ii H-line obtained from Hinode/SOT on the solar limb. The time-distance analysis shows that the axis of spicule undergoes quasi-periodic transverse displacement. We determined the period of transverse displacement as ~40-150 s and the mean amplitude as ~ 0.1-0.5 arcsec. For the oscillation wavelength of $\lambda$ ~ 1/0.06 arcsec ~ 11500 km, the estimated kink speed is ~ 13-83 km/s. We obtained the magnetic field strength in spicules as B_0 = 2 – 12.5 G and the energy flux as 7 – 227 J/m^-2s.

Disk galaxy scaling relations at intermediate redshifts - I. The Tully-Fisher and velocity-size relations

Galaxy scaling relations such as the Tully-Fisher relation (between maximum rotation velocity Vmax and luminosity) and the velocity-size relation (between Vmax and disk scale length) are powerful tools to quantify the evolution of disk galaxies with cosmic time. We took spatially resolved slit spectra of 261 field disk galaxies at redshifts up to z~1 using the FORS instruments of the ESO Very Large Telescope. The targets were selected from the FORS Deep Field and William Herschel Deep Field. Our spectroscopy was complemented with HST/ACS imaging in the F814W filter. We analyzed the ionized gas kinematics by extracting rotation curves from the 2-D spectra. Taking into account all geometrical, observational and instrumental effects, these rotation curves were used to derive the intrinsic Vmax. Neglecting galaxies with disturbed kinematics or insufficient spatial rotation curve extent, Vmax could be determined for 137 galaxies covering redshifts 0.05<z<0.97. This is one of the largest kinematic samples of distant disk galaxies to date. We compared this data set to the local B-band Tully-Fisher relation and the local velocity-size relation. The scatter in both scaling relations is a factor of ~2 larger at z~0.5 than at z~0. The deviations of individual distant galaxies from the local Tully-Fisher relation are systematic in the sense that the galaxies are increasingly overluminous towards higher redshifts, corresponding to an over-luminosity Delta_MB=-(1.1+-0.5) mag at z=1. This luminosity evolution at given Vmax is probably driven by younger stellar populations of distant galaxies with respect to their local counterparts. The analysis of the velocity-size relation reveals that disk galaxies of a given Vmax have grown in size by a factor of ~1.5 over the past ~8 Gyr, likely via accretion of cold gas and/or small satellites.

The mass distribution in an assembling super galaxy group at $z=0.37$

We present a weak gravitational lensing analysis of supergroup SG1120$-$1202, consisting of four distinct X-ray-luminous groups, that will merge to form a cluster comparable in mass to Coma at $z=0$. These groups lie within a projected separation of 1 to 4 Mpc and within $\Delta v=550$ km s$^{-1}$ and form a unique protocluster to study the matter distribution in a coalescing system. Using high-resolution {\em HST}/ACS imaging, combined with an extensive spectroscopic and imaging data set, we study the weak gravitational distortion of background galaxy images by the matter distribution in the supergroup. We compare the reconstructed projected density field with the distribution of galaxies and hot X-ray emitting gas in the system and derive halo parameters for the individual density peaks. We show that the projected mass distribution closely follows the locations of the X-ray peaks and associated brightest group galaxies. One of the groups that lies at slightly lower redshift ($z\approx 0.35$) than the other three groups ($z\approx 0.37$) is X-ray luminous, but is barely detected in the gravitational lensing signal. The other three groups show a significant detection (up to $5 \sigma$ in mass), with velocity dispersions between $355^{+55}_{-70}$ and $530^{+45}_{-55}$ km s$^{-1}$ and masses between $0.8^{+0.4}_{-0.3} \times 10^{14}$ and $1.6^{+0.5}_{-0.4}\times 10^{14} h^{-1} M_{\odot}$, consistent with independent measurements. These groups are associated with peaks in the galaxy and gas density in a relatively straightforward manner. Since the groups show no visible signs of interaction, this supports the picture that we are catching the groups before they merge into a cluster.

Black Hole and Galaxy Coevolution from Continuity Equation and Abundance Matching

[abridged] We investigate the coevolution of galaxies and hosted supermassive black holes throughout the history of the Universe by a statistical approach based on the continuity equation and the abundance matching technique. Specifically, we present analytical solutions of the continuity equation without source term to reconstruct the supermassive black hole (BH) mass function from the AGN luminosity functions. Such an approach includes physically-motivated AGN lightcurves tested on independent datasets, which describe the evolution of the Eddington ratio and radiative efficiency from slim- to thin-disc conditions. We nicely reproduce the local estimates of the BH mass function, the AGN duty cycle as a function of mass and redshift, along with the Eddington ratio function and the fraction of galaxies with given stellar mass hosting an AGN with given Eddington ratio. We exploit the same approach to reconstruct the observed stellar mass function at different redshift from the UV and far-IR luminosity functions associated to star formation in galaxies. These results imply that the buildup of stars and BHs in galaxies occurs via in-situ processes, with dry mergers playing a marginal role at least for stellar masses < 3 10^11 M_sun and BH masses < 10^9 M_sun, where the statistical data are more secure and less biased by systematic errors. In addition, we develop an improved abundance matching technique to link the stellar and BH content of galaxies to the gravitationally dominant dark matter component. The resulting relationships constitute a testbed for galaxy evolution models, highlighting the complementary role of stellar and AGN feedback in the star formation process. Finally, the clustering properties of BHs and galaxies are found to be in full agreement with current observations, so further validating our results from the continuity equation.

Finding Wolf-Rayet Stars in the Local Group

We summarize past and current surveys for Wolf-Rayet stars among the Local Group galaxies, emphasizing both the how and the why. Such studies are invaluable for helping us learn about massive star evolution, and for providing sensitive tests of the stellar evolution models. But for such surveys to be useful, the completeness limits must be well understood. We illustrate that point in this review by following the "evolution" of the observed WC/WN ratio in nearby galaxies. We end by examining our new survey for WR stars in the Magellanic Clouds, which has revealed a new type of WN star, never before seen.

Radio Galaxy Zoo: host galaxies and radio morphologies derived from visual inspection

We present results from the first twelve months of operation of Radio Galaxy Zoo, which upon completion will enable visual inspection of over 170,000 radio sources to determine the host galaxy of the radio emission and the radio morphology. Radio Galaxy Zoo uses $1.4\,$GHz radio images from both the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty Centimeters (FIRST) and the Australia Telescope Large Area Survey (ATLAS) in combination with mid-infrared images at $3.4\,\mu$m from the {\it Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer} (WISE) and at $3.6\,\mu$m from the {\it Spitzer Space Telescope}. We present the early analysis of the WISE mid-infrared colours of the host galaxies. For images in which there is $>\,75\%$ consensus among the Radio Galaxy Zoo cross-identifications, the project participants are as effective as the science experts at identifying the host galaxies. The majority of the identified host galaxies reside in the mid-infrared colour space dominated by elliptical galaxies, quasi-stellar objects (QSOs), and luminous infrared radio galaxies (LIRGs). We also find a distinct population of Radio Galaxy Zoo host galaxies residing in a redder mid-infrared colour space consisting of star-forming galaxies and/or dust-enhanced non star-forming galaxies consistent with a scenario of merger-driven active galactic nuclei (AGN) formation. The completion of the full Radio Galaxy Zoo project will measure the relative populations of these hosts as a function of radio morphology and power while providing an avenue for the identification of rare and extreme radio structures. Currently, we are investigating candidates for radio galaxies with extreme morphologies, such as giant radio galaxies, late-type host galaxies with extended radio emission, and hybrid morphology radio sources.

Constraining FeLoBAL outflows from absorption line variability

FeLoBALs are a rare class of quasar outflows with low-ionization broad absorption lines (BALs), large column densities, and potentially large kinetic energies that might be important for `feedback’ to galaxy evolution. In order to probe the physical properties of these outflows, we conducted a multiple-epoch, absorption line variability study of 12 FeLoBAL quasars spanning a redshift range between 0.7 and 1.9 over rest frame time-scales of approximately 10 d to 7.6 yr. We detect absorption line variability with greater than 8 sigma confidence in 3 out of the 12 sources in our sample over time-scales of 0.6 to 7.6 yr. Variable wavelength intervals are associated with ground and excited state Fe II multiplets, the Mg II 2796, 2803 doublet, Mg I 2852, and excited state Ni II multiplets. The observed variability along with evidence of saturation in the absorption lines favors transverse motions of gas across the line of sight (LOS) as the preferred scenario, and allows us to constrain the outflow distance from the supermassive black hole (SMBH) to be less than 69, 7, and 60 pc for our three variable sources. In combination with other studies, these results suggest that the outflowing gas in FeLoBAL quasars resides on a range of scales and includes matter within tens of parsecs of the central source.

Dark and visible matter distribution in Coma cluster: theory vs observations [Cross-Listing]

We investigate dark and visible matter distribution in the Coma cluster in the case of the Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) profile. A toy model where all galaxies in the cluster are concentrated inside a sphere of an effective radius $R_{eff}$ is considered. It enables to obtain the mean velocity dispersion as a function of $R_{eff}$. We show that, within the observation accuracy of the NFW parameters, the calculated value of $R_{eff}$ can be rather close to the observable cutoff of the galaxy distribution . Moreover, the comparison of our toy model with the observable data and simulations leads to the following preferable NFW parameters for the Coma cluster: $R_{200} \approx 1.77\,h^{-1} \, \mathrm{Mpc} = 2.61\, \mathrm{Mpc}$, $c=3\div 4$ and $M_{200}= 1.29 h^{-1}\times10^{15}M_{\odot}$. In the Coma cluster the most of galaxies are concentrated inside a sphere of the effective radius $R_{eff}\sim 3.7$ Mpc and the line-of-sight velocity dispersion is $1004\, \mathrm{km}\, \mathrm{s}^{-1}$.

Dark and visible matter distribution in Coma cluster: theory vs observations

We investigate dark and visible matter distribution in the Coma cluster in the case of the Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) profile. A toy model where all galaxies in the cluster are concentrated inside a sphere of an effective radius $R_{eff}$ is considered. It enables to obtain the mean velocity dispersion as a function of $R_{eff}$. We show that, within the observation accuracy of the NFW parameters, the calculated value of $R_{eff}$ can be rather close to the observable cutoff of the galaxy distribution . Moreover, the comparison of our toy model with the observable data and simulations leads to the following preferable NFW parameters for the Coma cluster: $R_{200} \approx 1.77\,h^{-1} \, \mathrm{Mpc} = 2.61\, \mathrm{Mpc}$, $c=3\div 4$ and $M_{200}= 1.29 h^{-1}\times10^{15}M_{\odot}$. In the Coma cluster the most of galaxies are concentrated inside a sphere of the effective radius $R_{eff}\sim 3.7$ Mpc and the line-of-sight velocity dispersion is $1004\, \mathrm{km}\, \mathrm{s}^{-1}$.

Dark and visible matter distribution in Coma cluster: theory vs observations [Cross-Listing]

We investigate dark and visible matter distribution in the Coma cluster in the case of the Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) profile. A toy model where all galaxies in the cluster are concentrated inside a sphere of an effective radius $R_{eff}$ is considered. It enables to obtain the mean velocity dispersion as a function of $R_{eff}$. We show that, within the observation accuracy of the NFW parameters, the calculated value of $R_{eff}$ can be rather close to the observable cutoff of the galaxy distribution . Moreover, the comparison of our toy model with the observable data and simulations leads to the following preferable NFW parameters for the Coma cluster: $R_{200} \approx 1.77\,h^{-1} \, \mathrm{Mpc} = 2.61\, \mathrm{Mpc}$, $c=3\div 4$ and $M_{200}= 1.29 h^{-1}\times10^{15}M_{\odot}$. In the Coma cluster the most of galaxies are concentrated inside a sphere of the effective radius $R_{eff}\sim 3.7$ Mpc and the line-of-sight velocity dispersion is $1004\, \mathrm{km}\, \mathrm{s}^{-1}$.

Dark and visible matter distribution in Coma cluster: theory vs observations [Cross-Listing]

We investigate dark and visible matter distribution in the Coma cluster in the case of the Navarro-Frenk-White (NFW) profile. A toy model where all galaxies in the cluster are concentrated inside a sphere of an effective radius $R_{eff}$ is considered. It enables to obtain the mean velocity dispersion as a function of $R_{eff}$. We show that, within the observation accuracy of the NFW parameters, the calculated value of $R_{eff}$ can be rather close to the observable cutoff of the galaxy distribution . Moreover, the comparison of our toy model with the observable data and simulations leads to the following preferable NFW parameters for the Coma cluster: $R_{200} \approx 1.77\,h^{-1} \, \mathrm{Mpc} = 2.61\, \mathrm{Mpc}$, $c=3\div 4$ and $M_{200}= 1.29 h^{-1}\times10^{15}M_{\odot}$. In the Coma cluster the most of galaxies are concentrated inside a sphere of the effective radius $R_{eff}\sim 3.7$ Mpc and the line-of-sight velocity dispersion is $1004\, \mathrm{km}\, \mathrm{s}^{-1}$.

CALIFA Spectroscopy of the Interacting Galaxy NGC 5394 (Arp 84): Starbursts, Enhanced [NII]6584 and Signs of Outflows and Shocks

We investigate the spiral galaxy NGC 5394, which is strongly interacting with the larger spiral NGC 5395 (the pair is Arp 84), using optical integral-field spectroscopy from the CALIFA survey. Spatially-resolved equivalent-widths, emission-line ratios and kinematics reveal many features related to the interaction, which has reshaped the galaxy. $\rm H\alpha$ maps (with other diagnostic emission lines) show a concentrated central ($r<1$ kpc) starburst and three less luminous star-forming regions (one knot far out in the northern arm), and we estimate the dust-corrected total star-formation rate as 3.39 $\rm M_{\odot}yr^{-1}$. However, much of the galaxy, especially the outer tidal arms, has a post-starburst spectrum, evidence of a more extensive episode of star-formation a few $\times 10^8$ yr ago, triggered by the previous perigalacticon. The $\rm [NII]6584/H\alpha$ ratio is high in the nucleus, reaching 0.63 at the centre, which we interpret as related to high electron density ($n_e\simeq 750$ $\rm cm^{-3}$ from the $\rm [SII]{6717\over 6731}$ ratio). We find a central region of strong and blueshifted NaI(5890,5896) absorption, indicative of a starburst-driven outflow from the nucleus at an estimated velocity $\sim 223$ km $\rm s^{-1}$. The CALIFA data also show an annular region at radii 2.25–4 kpc from the nucleus, with elevated ratios of [NII], [OI]6300 etc. to the Balmer lines — this is evidence of shock excitation, which might be the result of interaction-triggered gas inflow.

HerMES: Disentangling active galactic nuclei and star formation in the radio source population

We separate the extragalactic radio source population above ~50 uJy into active galactic nuclei (AGN) and star-forming sources. The primary method of our approach is to fit the infrared spectral energy distributions (SEDs), constructed using Spitzer/IRAC and MIPS and Herschel/SPIRE photometry, of 380 radio sources in the Extended Chandra Deep Field-South. From the fitted SEDs, we determine the relative AGN and star-forming contributions to their infrared emission. With the inclusion of other AGN diagnostics such as X-ray luminosity, Spitzer/IRAC colours, radio spectral index and the ratio of star-forming total infrared flux to k-corrected 1.4 GHz flux density, qIR, we determine whether the radio emission in these sources is powered by star formation or by an AGN. The majority of these radio sources (60 per cent) show the signature of an AGN at some wavelength. Of the sources with AGN signatures, 58 per cent are hybrid systems for which the radio emission is being powered by star formation. This implies that radio sources which have likely been selected on their star formation have a high AGN fraction. Below a 1.4 GHz flux density of 1 mJy, along with finding a strong contribution to the source counts from pure star-forming sources, we find that hybrid sources constitute 20-65 per cent of the sources. This result suggests that hybrid sources have a significant contribution, along with sources that do not host a detectable AGN, to the observed flattening of the source counts at ~1mJy for the extragalactic radio source population.

Do We Detect the Galactic Feedback Material in X-ray Observations of Nearby Galaxies? - A Case Study of NGC 5866

One of the major sources of X-ray emitting hot gas around galaxies is the feedback from supernovae (SNe), but most of this metal-enriched feedback material is often not directly detected in X-ray observations. This missing galactic feedback problem is extremely prominent in early-type galaxy bulges where there is little cool gas to make the SNe ejecta radiate at lower temperature beyond the X-ray domain. We herein present a deep Suzaku observation of an S0 galaxy NGC5866, which is relatively rich in molecular gas as an S0 galaxy and shows significant evidence of cool-hot gas interaction. By jointly analyzing the Suzaku and an archival Chandra data, we measure the Fe/O abundance ratio to be $7.63_{-5.52}^{+7.28}$ relative to solar values. This abundance ratio is much higher than those of spiral galaxies, and even among the highest ones of S0 and elliptical galaxies. NGC5866 also simultaneously has the highest Fe/O abundance ratio and molecular gas mass among a small sample of gas-poor early-type galaxies. An estimation of the Fe budget indicates that NGC5866 could preserve a larger than usual fraction, but far from the total amount of Fe injected by Type Ia SNe. We also find that the hot gas temperature increases from inner to outer halos, with the inner halo has a temperature of ~0.25keV, clearly lower than that expected from Type Ia SNe heating. This low temperature could be most naturally explained by additional cooling processes related to the cool-hot gas interaction as being indicated by the existence of many extraplanar dusty filaments. Our results indicate that the large cool gas content and the presence of cool-hot gas interaction in the inner region of NGC5866 have significantly reduced the specific energy of the SN ejecta and so the velocity of galactic outflow. The galaxy could thus preserve a considerable fraction of metal-enriched feedback material from being blown out.

The Evolution of Dust Mass in the Ejecta of SN1987A

We present a new analysis of the infrared (IR) emission from the ejecta of SN1987A covering days 615, 775, 1144, 8515, and 9090 after the explosion. We show that the observations are consistent with the rapid formation of about 0.4 Msun of dust, consisting of mostly silicates, near day 615, and evolving to about 0.45 Msun of composite dust grains consisting of ~0.4 Msun of silicates and ~ 0.05 Msun of amorphous carbon after day ~8500. The proposed scenario challenges previous claims that dust in SN ejecta is predominantly carbon, and that it grew from an initial mass of ~1e-3 Msun, to over 0.5 Msun by cold accretion. It alleviates several problems with previous interpretations of the data: (1) it reconciles the abundances of silicon, magnesium, and carbon with the upper limits imposed by nucleosynthesis calculations; (2) it eliminates the requirement that most of the dust observed around day 9000 grew by cold accretion onto the1e-3 Msun of dust previously inferred for days 615 and 775 after the explosion; and (3) establishes the dominance of silicate over carbon dust in the SN ejecta. At early epochs, the IR luminosity of the dust is powered by the radioactive decay of 56Co, and at late times by at least (1.3-1.6)e-4 Msun 44Ti. Even if only a fraction greater than ~10% of the silicate dust survives the injection into the ISM, the observations firmly establish the role of core collapse SNe as the major source of thermally condensed silicate dust in the universe.

Clump formation through colliding stellar winds in the Galactic Centre

The gas cloud G2 is currently being tidally disrupted by the Galactic Centre super-massive black hole, Sgr A*. The region around the black hole is populated by $\sim 30$ Wolf-Rayet stars, which produce strong outflows. We explore the possibility that gas clumps originate from the collision of stellar winds via the non-linear thin shell instability. We follow the thermal evolution of slabs formed at colliding symmetric winds, evaluate whether instabilities occur, and estimate the resulting clump masses. We find that the collision of relatively slow ($< 750$ km s$^{-1}$) and strong ($\sim 10^{-5}$ Msun yr$^{-1}$) stellar winds from stars at short separations ($< 1$ mpc) is a process that indeed could produce clumps of G2′s mass and above. Encounters of single stars at such short separations are not common in the Galactic Centre, making this process a possible but unlikely origin for G2. We also discuss clump formation in close binaries such as IRS 16SW and in asymmetric encounters as promising alternatives that deserve further numerical study.

Column Density Profiles of Multi-Phase Gaseous Halos

We present a suite of high-resolution cosmological galaxy re-simulations of a Milky-Way size halo with variety of star-formation and feedback models to investigate the effects of the specific details of the star formation-feedback loop modeling on the observable properties of the circumgalactic medium (CGM). We show that properties of the CGM are quite sensitive to the details of star formation-feedback loop. The simulation which produces a very realistic late-type central galaxy fails to reproduce existing observations of CGM. At the same time, variations of parameters of star formation recipe or feedback modeling, such as cosmic rays feedback, brings predicted CGM in better agreement with observations. The simulations show that the column density profiles of ions arising in such gas are well described by an exponential function of the impact parameter. Ions with higher ionization energy have more extended profiles with the scale height of the exponential distribution scaling as a power law of the ionization energy: hs~Eion^0.72. At z~0, the scale height of warm gas traced by low-ionization species, such as MgII and CIV, have scale heights of 0.2-0.4Rvir, while higher ionization species, such as OVI and NeVIII, have scale heights of 1.6-2.4Rvir. The predicted trend is in good qualitative and reasonable quantitative agreement with observations for ions, such as CIV and OVI. Simulations do produce a sharp turnover in the column density profiles and covering fraction distribution for different ions seen in observations. This turnover however does not correspond to a "boundary" of an ion, but reflects the underlying steep exponential column density profile. We also find that the scale height evolves slower than the virial radius at z<2, but similarly to the halo scale radius, rs. Thus, column density profiles of galaxies at different redshifts can be rescaled using rs of their halos.

Testing Density Wave Theory with Resolved Stellar Populations around Spiral Arms in M81

Stationary density waves rotating at a constant pattern speed $\Omega_{\rm P}$ would produce age gradients across spiral arms. We test whether such age gradients are present in M81 by deriving the recent star formation histories (SFHs) of 20 regions around one of M81′s grand-design spiral arms. For each region, we use resolved stellar populations to determine the SFH by modeling the observed color-magnitude diagram (CMD) constructed from archival Hubble Space Telescope (HST) F435W and F606W imaging. Although we should be able to detect systematic time delays in our spatially-resolved SFHs, we find no evidence of star formation propagation across the spiral arm. Our data therefore provide no convincing evidence for a stationary density wave with a single pattern speed in M81, and instead favor the scenario of kinematic spiral patterns that are likely driven by tidal interactions with the companion galaxies M82 and NGC 3077.

Intrinsic alignments of galaxies in the EAGLE and cosmo-OWLS simulations

We report results for the alignments of galaxies in the EAGLE and cosmo-OWLS simulations as a function of galaxy separation and halo mass. The combination of these hydro-cosmological simulations enables us to span four orders of magnitude in halo mass ($10.7<log_{10}(M_{200}/[h^{-1}M_\odot])<15$) and a large range of separations ($-1<log_{10}(r/[h^{-1}Mpc])< 2$). We focus on two classes of alignments: the orientations of galaxies with respect to either the directions to, or the orientations of, surrounding galaxies. We find that the strength of the alignment is a strongly decreasing function of the distance between galaxies. The orientation-direction alignment can remain significant up to ~100 Mpc, for galaxies hosted by the most massive haloes in our simulations. Galaxies hosted by more massive subhaloes show stronger alignment. At a fixed halo mass, more aspherical or prolate galaxies exhibit stronger alignments. The spatial distribution of satellites is anisotropic and significantly aligned with the major axis of the main host halo. The major axis of satellite galaxies, when all stars are considered, are preferentially aligned towards the centre of the main host halo. The predicted projected direction-orientation alignment, $\epsilon_{g+}(r_{p})$, is in broad agreement with recent observations when only stars within the typical observable extent of a galaxy are used to define galaxy orientations. We find that the orientation-orientation alignment is weaker than the orientation-direction alignment on all scales. Overall, the strength of galaxy alignments depends strongly on the subset of stars that are used to measure the orientations of galaxies and it is always weaker than the alignment of the dark matter haloes. Thus, alignment models that use halo orientation as a direct proxy for galaxy orientation will overestimate the impact of intrinsic alignments on weak lensing analyses.

Star-Forming Compact Groups (SFCGs): An ultraviolet search for a local sample

We present a local sample (z<0.15) of 280 Star-Forming Compact Groups (SFCGs) of galaxies identified in the ultraviolet Galaxy Evolution EXplorer (GALEX) All-sky Imaging Survey (AIS). So far, just one prototypical example of SFCG, the Blue Infalling Group, has been studied in detail in the Local Universe. The sample of SFCGs is mainly the result of applying a Friends-of-Friends group finder in the space of celestial coordinates with a maximum linking-length of 1.5 arcmin and choosing groups with a minimum number of four members of bright UV-emitting 17<FUV<20.5 sources (mostly galaxies) from the GALEX/AIS catalogue. The result from the search are 280 galaxy groups composed by 226, 39, 11 and 4 groups of four, five, six and seven bright ultraviolet (UV) members, respectively. Only 59 of these 280 newly identified SFCGs have a previous catalogued group counterpart. Group redshifts are available for at least one member in 75% of the SFCGs, and over 40% of the SFCGs have redshifts measured for two or more galaxies. Twenty-six of the SFCGs appear to be located in the infalling regions of clusters with known redshift. The SFCG sample presents a combination of properties different from the group samples studied up to now, such as low velocity dispersions of $\sigma_{\rm{}l-o-s}$$\sim$120 km/s, small crossing-times ($H_{0}$$t_{c}$$\sim$0.05) and high star-formation content (95% of star-forming galaxies). This points to the SFCGs being in an evolutionary stage distinct from those groups selected in the optical and near-infrared ranges (see Fig. 6).

Radio Crickets: Chirping Jets from Black Hole Binaries Entering their Gravitational Wave Inspiral

We study a novel electromagnetic signature of supermassive black hole binaries whose inspiral starts being dominated by gravitational wave (GW) emission. Recent simulations suggest that the binary’s member BHs can continue to accrete gas from the circumbinary accretion disk in this phase of the binary’s evolution, all the way until coalescence. If one of the binary members produces a radio jet as a result of accretion, the jet precesses along a biconical surface due to the binary’s orbital motion. When the binary enters the GW phase of its evolution, the opening angle widens, the jet exhibits milliarcsecond scale wiggles, and the conical surface of jet precession is twisted due to apparant superluminal motion. The rapidly increasing orbital velocity of the binary gives the jet an appearance of a "chirp." This helical chirping morphology of the jet can be used to infer the binary parameters. For binaries with mass 10^7–10^10 Msun at redshifts z<0.5, monitoring these features in current and archival data will place a lower limit on sources that could be detected by eLISA and Pulsar Timing Arrays. In the future, microarcsecond interferometry with the Square Kilometer Array will increase the potential usefulness of this technique.

Secular diffusion in discrete self-gravitating tepid discs II: accounting for swing amplification via the matrix method

The secular evolution of an infinitely thin tepid isolated galactic disc made of a finite number of particles is investigated using the inhomogeneous Balescu-Lenard equation expressed in terms of angle-action variables. The matrix method is implemented numerically in order to model the induced gravitational polarization. Special care is taken to account for the amplification of potential fluctuations of mutually resonant orbits and the unwinding of the induced swing amplified transients. Quantitative comparisons with ${N-}$body simulations yield consistent scalings with the number of particles and with the self-gravity of the disc: the fewer particles and the colder the disc, the faster the secular evolution. Secular evolution is driven by resonances, but does not depend on the initial phases of the disc. For a Mestel disc with ${Q \sim 1.5}$, the polarization cloud around each star boosts up its secular effect by a factor of the order of a thousand or more, promoting accordingly the dynamical relevance of self-induced collisional secular evolution. The position and shape of the induced resonant ridge are found to be in very good agreement with the prediction of the Balescu-Lenard equation, which scales with the square of the susceptibility of the disc. In astrophysics, the inhomogeneous Balescu-Lenard equation may describe the secular diffusion of giant molecular clouds in galactic discs, the secular migration and segregation of planetesimals in proto-planetary discs, or even the long-term evolution of population of stars within the Galactic centre. It could be used as a valuable check of the accuracy of ${N-}$body integrators over secular timescales.

Tracing the tidal streams of the Sagittarius dSph, and halo Milky Way features, with carbon-rich long-period variables

We assemble 121 spectroscopically-confirmed halo carbon stars, drawn from the literature, exhibiting measurable variability in the Catalina Surveys. We present their periods and amplitudes, which are used to estimate distances from period-luminosity relationships. The location of the carbon stars – and their velocities when available – allow us to trace the streams of the Sagittarius (Sgr) dwarf spheroidal galaxy. These are compared to a canonical numerical simulation of the accretion of Sgr. We find that the data match this model well for heliocentric distances of 15-50 kpc, except for a virtual lack of carbon stars in the trailing arm just north of the Galactic Plane, and there is only tentative evidence of the leading arm south of the Plane. The majority of the sample can be attributed to the Sgr accretion. We also find groups of carbon stars which are not part of Sgr; most of which are associated with known halo substructures. A few have no obvious attribution and may indicate new substructure. We find evidence that there may be a structure behind the Sgr leading stream apocentre, at ~100 kpc, and a more distant extension to the Pisces Overdensity also at ~100 kpc. We study a further 75 carbon stars for which no good period data could be obtained, and for which NIR magnitudes and colours are used to estimate distances. These data add support for the features found at distances beyond 100 kpc.

The role of stellar relaxation in the formation and evolution of the first massive black holes

We present calculations on the formation of massive black holes with 10^5 Msun at z > 6 that can be the seeds of supermassive black holes at z > 6. Under the assumption of compact star cluster formation in merging galaxies, star clusters in haloes of 10^8 ~ 10^9 Msun undergo rapid core-collapse leading to the formation of very massive stars (VMSs) with ~1000 Msun which directly collapse into black holes with similar masses. Star clusters in halos of > 10^9 Msun experience type-II supernovae before the formation of VMSs due to long core-collapse time scales. We also model the subsequent growth of black holes via accretion of residual stars in clusters. 2-body relaxation efficiently re-fills the loss cones of stellar orbits at larger radii and resonant relaxation at small radii is the main driver for accretion of stars onto black holes. As a result, more than ninety percent of stars in the initial cluster are swallowed by the central black holes before z=6. Using dark matter merger trees we derive black hole mass functions at z=6-20. The mass function ranges from 10^3 to 10^5 Msun at z <~ 15. Major merging of galaxies of >~ 4*10^8 Msun at z ~ 20 successfully leads to the formation of >~ 10^5 Msun BHs by z >~ 10 which can be the potential seeds of supermassive black holes seen today.

A Spectroscopic and Photometric Exploration of the C/M Ratio in the Disk of M31

We explore the ratio (C/M) of carbon-rich to oxygen-rich thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch(TP-AGB) stars in the disk of M31 using a combination of moderate-resolution optical spectroscopy from the Spectroscopic Landscape of Andromeda’s Stellar Halo (SPLASH) survey and six-filter Hubble Space Telescope photometry from the Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) survey.Carbon stars were identified spectroscopically. Oxygen-rich M-stars were identifed using three different photometric definitions designed to mimic, and thus evaluate, selection techniques common in the literature. We calculate the C/M ratio as a function of galactocentric radius, present-day gas-phase oxygen abundance, stellar metallicity, age (via proxy defined as the ratio of TP-AGB stars to red giant branch, RGB, stars), and mean star formation rate over the last 400 Myr. We find statistically significant correlations between log(C/M) and all parameters. These trends are consistent across different M-star selection methods, though the fiducial values change. Of particular note is our observed relationship between log(C/M) and stellar metallicity, which is fully consistent with the trend seen across Local Group satellite galaxies. The fact that this trend persists in stellar populations with very different star formation histories indicates that the C/M ratio is governed by stellar properties alone.

Star Formation in a Turbulent Framework: From Giant Molecular Clouds to Protostars

Turbulence is thought to be a primary driving force behind the early stages of star formation. In this framework large, self gravitating, turbulent clouds fragment into smaller clouds which in turn fragment into even smaller ones. At the end of this cascade we find the clouds which collapse into protostars. Following this process is extremely challenging numerically due to the large dynamical range so in this paper we propose a semi analytic framework which is able to follow this process from the largest, giant molecular cloud (GMC) scale, to the final protostellar size scale. Due to the simplicity of the framework it is ideal for theoretical experimentation to find the principal processes behind different aspects of the star formation process. The basic version of the model discussed in this paper only contains turbulence, gravity and very crude assumptions about feedback, nevertheless it can reproduce the observed core mass function (CMF) and provide the protostellar system mass function (PSMF), which shows a striking resemblance to the observed IMF which implies that other physics do not change the IMF qualitatively. Furthermore we find that to produce a universal IMF protostellar feedback must be taken into account otherwise the PSMF peak shows a strong dependence on the background temperature.

The GHOSTS survey. II. The diversity of Halo Color and Metallicity Profiles of Massive Disk Galaxies

We study the stellar halo color properties of six nearby massive highly inclined disk galaxies using Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3 observations in both F606W and F814W filters from the GHOSTS survey. The observed fields, placed both along the minor and major axis of each galaxy, probe the stellar outskirts out to projected distances of ~ 70 kpc from their galactic centre along the minor axis. The 50% completeness levels of the color magnitude diagrams are typically at two mag below the tip of the red giant branch. We find that all galaxies have extended stellar halos out to ~ 70 kpc. We determined the halo color distribution and color profile for each galaxy using the median colors of stars in the top ~ 0.7 mag of the RGB phase, where the data are at least 70% complete. Within each galaxy we find variations in the median colors as a function of radius which likely indicates population variations, reflecting that their outskirts were built from several small accreted objects. We find that half of the galaxies (NGC 0891, NGC 4565, and NGC 7814) present a clear negative color gradient, reflecting a declining metallicity in their halos; the other have no significant color or population gradient. In addition, notwithstanding the modest sample size of galaxies, there is no strong correlation between their halo color/metallicity or gradient with galaxy’s properties such as rotational velocity or stellar mass. The diversity in halo color profiles observed in the GHOSTS Milky Way-mass galaxies qualitatively supports the predicted galaxy-to-galaxy scatter in halo stellar properties; a consequence of the stochasticity inherent in the merger and accretion history of galaxies.

The shell game: a panoramic view of Fornax

We present a panoramic study of the Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy, using data obtained as part of the VLT Survey Telescope (VST) ATLAS Survey. The data presented here — a subset of the full survey — uniformly cover a region of 25 square degrees centred on the galaxy, in $g$, $r$ and $i$-bands. This large area coverage reveals two key differences to previous studies of Fornax. First, data extending beyond the nominal tidal radius of the dwarf highlight the presence of a second distinct red giant branch population. This bluer red giant branch appears to be coeval with the horizontal branch population. Second, a shell structure located approximately 1.4 degrees from the centre of Fornax is shown to be a mis-identified background overdensity of galaxies. This last result casts further doubt on the hypothesis that Fornax underwent a gas-rich merger in its relatively recent past.

HST astrometry in the 30 Doradus region: measuring proper motions of individual stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud

We present measurements of positions and relative proper motions in the 30 Doradus region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We detail the construction of a single-epoch astrometric reference frame, based on specially-designed observations obtained with the two main imaging instruments ACS/WFC and WFC3/UVIS onboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Internal comparisons indicate a sub milli-arc-second (mas) precision in the positions and the presence of semi-periodic systematics with a mean amplitude of ~0.8 mas. We combined these observations with numerous archival images taken with WFPC2 and spanning 17 years. The precision of the resulting proper motions for well-measured stars around the massive cluster R 136 can be as good as ~20 microarcsec/yr, although the true accuracy of proper motions is generally lower due to the residual systematic errors. The observed proper-motion dispersion for our highest-quality measurements is ~0.1 mas/yr. Our catalog of positions and proper motions contains 86,590 stars down to V~25 and over a total area of ~70 square arcmin. We examined the proper motions of 105 relatively bright stars and identified a total of 6 candidate runaway stars. We are able to tentatively confirm the runaway status of star VFTS 285, consistent with the findings from line-of-sight velocities, and to show that this star has likely been ejected from R 136. This study demonstrates that with HST it is now possible to reliably measure proper motions of individual stars in the nearest dwarf galaxies such as the LMC.

An extreme [OIII] emitter at $z=3.2$: a low metallicity Lyman continuum source

[Abridged] We investigate the physical properties of a Lyman continuum emitter candidate at $z=3.212$ with photometric coverage from $U$ to MIPS 24$\mu$m band and VIMOS/VLT and MOSFIRE/Keck spectroscopy. Investigation of the UV spectrum confirms a direct spectroscopic detection of the Lyman continuum emission with $S/N>5$. Non-zero Ly$\alpha$ flux at the systemic redshift and high Lyman-$\alpha$ escape fraction suggest a low HI column density. The weak C and Si low-ionization absorption lines are also consistent with a low covering fraction along the line of sight. The [OIII]$\lambda\lambda4959,5007+\mathrm{H}\beta$ equivalent width is one of the largest reported for a galaxy at $z>3$ ($\mathrm{EW}([\mathrm{OIII}]\lambda\lambda4959,5007+\mathrm{H}\beta) \simeq 1600\AA$, rest-frame) and the NIR spectrum shows that this is mainly due to an extremely strong [OIII] emission. The large observed [OIII]/[OII] ratio ($>10$) and high ionization parameter are consistent with prediction from photoionization models in case of a density-bounded nebula scenario. Furthermore, the $\mathrm{EW}([\mathrm{OIII}]\lambda\lambda4959,5007+\mathrm{H}\beta)$ is comparable to recent measurements reported at $z\sim7-9$, in the reionization epoch. We also investigate the possibility of an AGN contribution to explain the ionizing emission but most of the AGN identification diagnostics suggest that stellar emission dominates instead. This source is currently the first high-$z$ example of a Lyman continuum emitter exhibiting indirect and direct evidences of a Lyman continuum leakage and having physical properties consistent with theoretical expectation from Lyman continuum emission from a density-bounded nebula.


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