Recent Postings from Galactic

Detection of Extremely Broad Water Emission from the molecular cloud interacting Supernova Remnant G349.7+0.2

We performed Herschel HIFI, PACS and SPIRE observations towards the molecular cloud interacting supernova remnant G349.7+0.2. An extremely broad emission line was detected at 557 GHz from the ground state transition 1_{10}-1_{01} of ortho-water. This water line can be separated into three velocity components with widths of 144, 27 and 4 km/s. The 144 km/s component is the broadest water line detected to date in the literature. This extremely broad line width shows importance of probing shock dynamics. PACS observations revealed 3 additional ortho-water lines, as well as numerous high-J carbon monoxide (CO) lines. No para-water lines were detected. The extremely broad water line is indicative of a high velocity shock, which is supported by the observed CO rotational diagram that was reproduced with a J-shock model with a density of 10^4 cm^{-3} and a shock velocity of 80 km/s. Two far-infrared fine-structure lines, [O~I] at 145 micron and [C~II] line at 157 micron, are also consistent with the high velocity J-shock model. The extremely broad water line could be simply from short-lived molecules that have not been destroyed in high velocity J-shocks; however, it may be from more complicated geometry such as high-velocity water bullets or a shell expanding in high velocity. We estimate the CO and H2O densities, column densities, and temperatures by comparison with RADEX and detailed shock models. Detection of Extremely Broad Water Emission from the molecular cloud interacting Supernova Remnant G349.7+0.2

LOFAR discovery of a 700-kpc remnant radio galaxy at low redshift

Remnant radio galaxies represent the final "dying" phase of radio galaxy evolution, in which the jets are no longer active. Due to their rarity in flux limited samples and the difficulty of identification, this "dying" phase remains poorly understood and the luminosity evolution largely unconstrained. Here we present the discovery, and detailed analysis of a large (700 kpc), low surface brightness remnant radio galaxy that has been identified in LOFAR images at 150 MHz. Combining LOFAR data with new follow-up Westerbork observations and archival data at higher frequencies we investigate the source morphology and spectral properties from 116 to 4850 MHz. By modelling the radio spectrum we probe characteristic timescales of the radio activity. The source has a relatively smooth, diffuse, amorphous appearance together with a very weak central compact core which is associated with the host galaxy located at z=0.051. From our ageing and morphological analysis it is clear that the nuclear engine is currently switched off or, at most, active at a very low-power state. The host galaxy is currently interacting with another galaxy located at a projected separation of 15 kpc and radial velocity offset of 300 km/s. This interaction may have played a role in the triggering and/or shut down of the radio jets. The spectral shape of this remnant radio galaxy differs from the majority of the previously identified remnant sources which show steep or curved spectra at low to intermediate frequencies. In light of this finding and in preparation for new generation deep low-frequency surveys, we discuss the selection criteria to be used to select representative samples of these sources.

Angular momentum evolution for galaxies in a Lambda-CDM scenario

Galaxy formation in the current cosmological paradigm is a very complex process in which inflows, outflows, interactions and mergers are common events. These processes can redistribute the angular momentum content of baryons. Recent observational results suggest that disc formed conserving angular momentum while elliptical galaxies, albeit losing angular momentum, determine a correlation between the specific angular momentum of the galaxy and the stellar mass. These observations provide stringent constraints for galaxy formation models in a hierarchical clustering scenario. We aim to analyse the specific angular momentum content of the disc and bulge components as a function of virial mass, stellar mass and redshift. We also estimate the size of the simulated galaxies and confront them with observations. We use cosmological hydrodynamical simulations that include an effective, physically-motivated Supernova feedback which is able to regulate the star formation in haloes of different masses. We analyse the morphology and formation history of a sample of galaxies in a cosmological simulation by performing a bulge-disc decomposition of the analysed systems and their progenitors. We estimate the angular momentum content of the stellar and gaseous discs, stellar bulges and total baryons. In agreement with recent observational findings, our simulated galaxies have disc and spheroid components whose specific angular momentum contents determine correlations with the stellar and dark matter masses with the same slope, although the spheroidal components are off-set by a fixed fraction. Abridged.

The New Numerical Galaxy Catalog ($\nu^2$GC): An Updated Semi-analytic Model of Galaxy and AGN with Large Cosmological N-body Simulations

We present a new cosmological galaxy formation model, $\nu^2$GC, as the updated version of our previous model $\nu$GC. We adopt the so-called "semi-analytic" approach, in which the formation history of dark matter halos is computed by N-body simulations, while the baryon physics such as gas cooling, star formation and supernova feedback are simply modeled by phenomenological equations. Major updates of the model are as follows: (1) the merger trees of dark matter halos are constructed in state-of-the-art N-body simulations, (2) we introduce the formation and evolution process of supermassive black holes and the suppression of gas cooling due to active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity, (3) we include heating of the intergalactic gas by the cosmic UV background, and (4) we tune the parameters using a Markov chain Monte Carlo method. Our N-body simulations of dark matter halos have unprecedented box size and mass resolution (the largest simulation contains 550 billion particles in a 1.12 Gpc/h box), enabling the study of much smaller and rarer objects. The model was tuned to fit the luminosity functions of local galaxies and mass function of neutral hydrogen. Local observations, such as the Tully-Fisher relation, size-magnitude relation of spiral galaxies and scaling relation between the bulge mass and black hole mass were well reproduced by the model. Moreover, the model also well reproduced the cosmic star formation history and the redshift evolution of rest-frame K-band luminosity function. The numerical catalog of the simulated galaxies and AGNs is publicly available on the web.

Status of the ANAIS Dark Matter Project at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory [Cross-Listing]

The ANAIS experiment aims at the confirmation of the DAMA/LIBRA signal. A detailed analysis of two NaI(Tl) crystals of 12.5 kg each grown by Alpha Spectra will be shown: effective threshold at 1 keVee is at reach thanks to outstanding light collection and robust PMT noise filtering protocols and the measured background is well understood down to 3 keVee, having quantified K, U and Th content and cosmogenic activation in the crystals. A new detector was installed in Canfranc in March 2015 together with the two previous modules and preliminary characterization results will be presented. Finally, the status and expected sensitivity of the full experiment with 112 kg will be reviewed.

Status of the ANAIS Dark Matter Project at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory [Cross-Listing]

The ANAIS experiment aims at the confirmation of the DAMA/LIBRA signal. A detailed analysis of two NaI(Tl) crystals of 12.5 kg each grown by Alpha Spectra will be shown: effective threshold at 1 keVee is at reach thanks to outstanding light collection and robust PMT noise filtering protocols and the measured background is well understood down to 3 keVee, having quantified K, U and Th content and cosmogenic activation in the crystals. A new detector was installed in Canfranc in March 2015 together with the two previous modules and preliminary characterization results will be presented. Finally, the status and expected sensitivity of the full experiment with 112 kg will be reviewed.

The little-studied cluster Berkeley 90. II. The foreground ISM

Context: Nearly one century after their discovery, the carrier(s) of Diffuse Interstellar Bands is/are still unknown and there are few sightlines studied in detail for a large number of DIBs. Aims: We want to study the ISM sightlines towards LS III +46 11 and LS III +46 12, two early-O-type stellar systems, and LS III +46 11 B, a mid-B-type star. The three targets are located in the stellar cluster Berkeley 90 and have a high extinction. Methods: We use the multi-epoch high-S/N optical spectra presented in paper I (Ma\’iz Apell\’aniz et al. 2015), the extinction results derived there, and additional spectra. Results: We have measured equivalent widths, velocities, and FWHMs for a large number of absorption lines in the rich ISM spectrum in front of Berkeley 90. The absorbing ISM has at least two clouds at different velocities, one with a lower column density (thinner) in the K I lines located away from Berkeley 90 and another one with a higher column density (thicker) associated with the cluster. The first cloud has similar properties for both O-star sightlines but the second one is thicker for LS III +46 11. The comparison between species indicate that the cloud with a higher column density has a denser core, allowing us to classify the DIBs in a sigma-zeta scale, some of them for the first time. The LS III +46 12 sightline also has a high-velocity redshifted component.

A deep Herschel/PACS observation of CO(40-39) in NGC 1068: a search for the molecular torus

Emission from high-J CO lines in galaxies has long been proposed as a tracer of X-ray dominated regions (XDRs) produced by AGN. Of particular interest is the question of whether the obscuring torus, which is required by AGN unification models, can be observed via high-J CO cooling lines. Here we report on the analysis of a deep Herschel-PACS observation of an extremely high J CO transition (40-39) in the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1068. The line was not detected, with a derived 3$\sigma$ upper limit of $2 \times 10^{-17}\,\text{W}\,\text{m}^{-2}$. We apply an XDR model in order to investigate whether the upper limit constrains the properties of a molecular torus in NGC 1068. The XDR model predicts the CO Spectral Line Energy Distributions for various gas densities and illuminating X-ray fluxes. In our model, the CO(40-39) upper limit is matched by gas with densities $\sim 10^{6}-10^{7}\,\text{cm}^{-3}$, located at $1.6-5\,\text{pc}$ from the AGN, with column densities of at least $10^{25}\,\text{cm}^{-2}$. At such high column densities, however, dust absorbs most of the CO(40-39) line emission at $\lambda = 65.69\, \mu$m. Therefore, even if NGC 1068 has a molecular torus which radiates in the CO(40-39) line, the dust can attenuate the line emission to below the PACS detection limit. The upper limit is thus consistent with the existence of a molecular torus in NGC 1068. In general, we expect that the CO(40-39) is observable in only a few AGN nuclei (if at all), because of the required high gas column density, and absorption by dust.

An Updated Ultraviolet Catalog of GALEX Nearby Galaxies

The ultraviolet catalog of nearby galaxies made by \citet{Gil07} presents the integrated photometry and surface brightness profiles for 1034 nearby galaxies observed by \textit{Galaxy Evolution Explorer} (\textit{GALEX}). We provide an updated catalog of 4138 nearby galaxies based on the latest Genral Release (GR6/GR7) of \textit{GALEX}. These galaxies are selected from HyperLeda with apparent diameter larger than 1{\arcmin}. From the surface brightness profiles accurately measured with the deep NUV and FUV images, we have calculated asymptotic magnitudes, aperture (D25) magnitudes, colors, structural parameters (effective radii and concentration indices), luminosities, and effective surface brightness. Archival optical and infrared photometry from HyperLeda, 2MASS, and IRAS are also integrated into the catalog. Our parameter measurements and some analyses are consistent with those of \citet{Gil07}. The (FUV $- K$) color provides a good criterion to distinguish early and late-type galaxies, which can be improved further with the concentration indices. The IRX-$\beta$ relation is reformulated with our UV-selected nearby galaxies.

The Swift/UVOT Stars Survey. II. RR Lyrae Stars in M 3 and M 15

We present the first results of an near-ultraviolet (NUV) survey of RR Lyrae stars from the Ultraviolet Optical Telescope (UVOT) aboard the Swift Gamma-Ray Burst Mission. It is well-established that RR Lyrae have large amplitudes in the far- and near-ultraviolet. We have used UVOT’s unique wide-field NUV imaging capability to perform the first systematic NUV survey of variable stars in the Galactic globular clusters M 3 and M 15. We identify 280 variable stars, comprising 275 RR Lyrae, two anomalous Cepheids, one classical Cepheid, one SX Phoenicis star and one possible long-period or irregular variable. Only two of these are new discoveries. We compare our results to previous investigations and find excellent agreement in the periods with significantly larger amplitudes in the NUV. We map out, for the first time, an NUV Bailey diagram from globular clusters, showing the usual loci for fundamental mode RRab and first overtone RRc pulsators. We show the unique sensitivity of NUV photometry to both the temperatures and the surface gravities of RR Lyrae stars. Finally, we show evidence of an NUV period-metallicity-luminosity relationship. Future investigations will further examine the dependence of NUV pulsation parameters on metallicity and Oosterhoff classification.

3D adaptive mesh refinement simulations of the gas cloud G2 born within the disks of young stars in the Galactic Center

The dusty, ionized gas cloud G2 is currently passing the massive black hole in the Galactic Center at a distance of roughly 2400 Schwarzschild radii. We explore the possibility of a starting point of the cloud within the disks of young stars. We make use of the large amount of new observations in order to put constraints on G2′s origin. Interpreting the observations as a diffuse cloud of gas, we employ three-dimensional hydrodynamical adaptive mesh refinement (AMR) simulations with the PLUTO code and do a detailed comparison with observational data. The simulations presented in this work update our previously obtained results in multiple ways: (1) high resolution three-dimensional hydrodynamical AMR simulations are used, (2) the cloud follows the updated orbit based on the Brackett-$\gamma$ data, (3) a detailed comparison to the observed high-quality position-velocity diagrams and the evolution of the total Brackett-$\gamma$ luminosity is done. We concentrate on two unsolved problems of the diffuse cloud scenario: the unphysical formation epoch only shortly before the first detection and the too steep Brackett-$\gamma$ light curve obtained in simulations, whereas the observations indicate a constant Brackett-$\gamma$ luminosity between 2004 and 2013. For a given atmosphere and cloud mass, we find a consistent model that can explain both, the observed Brackett-$\gamma$ light curve and the position-velocity diagrams of all epochs. Assuming initial pressure equilibrium with the atmosphere, this can be reached for a starting date earlier than roughly 1900, which is close to apo-center and well within the disks of young stars.

Distribution of Faint Atomic Gas in Hickson Compact Groups

We present 21cm HI observations of four Hickson Compact Groups with evidence for a substantial intragroup medium using the Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope (GBT). By mapping H I emission in a region of 25$^{\prime}\times$25$^{\prime}$ (140-650 kpc) surrounding each HCG, these observations provide better estimates of HI masses. In particular, we detected 65% more \HI than that detected in the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) imaging of HCG92. We also identify if the diffuse gas has the same spatial distribution as the high-surface brightness (HSB) HI features detected in the VLA maps of these groups by comparing the HI strengths between the observed and modeled masses based on VLA maps. We found that the HI observed with the GBT to have a similar spatial distribution as the HSB structures in HCGs 31 and 68. Conversely, the observed HI distributions in HCGs44 and 92 were extended and showed significant offsets from the modeled masses. Most of the faint gas in HCG44 lies to the Northeast-Southwest region and in HCG 92 lies in the Northwest region of their respective groups. The spatial and dynamical similarities between the total (faint+HSB) and the HSB HI indicate that the faint gas is of tidal origin. We found that the gas will survive ionization by the cosmic UV background and the escaping ionizing photons from the star forming regions and stay primarily neutral for at least 500 Myrs.

On Disentangling IMF Degeneracies in Integrated Light

The study of extragalactic integrated light can yield partial information on stellar population ages, abundances, and the initial mass function (IMF). The power-law slope of the IMF has been studied in recent investigations with gravity-sensitive spectral indicators that hopefully measure the ratio between KM dwarfs and giants. We explore two additional effects that might mimic the effects of the IMF slope in integrated light, the low mass cutoff (LMCO) and a variable contribution of light from the asymptotic giant branch (AGB). We show that the spectral effects of these three (IMF slope, LMCO, AGB strength) are subtle compared to age-abundance effects. We illustrate parameter degeneracies and covariances and conclude that the three effects can be disentangled, but only in the regime of very accurate observations, with enhanced effectiveness if high-precision photometry is combined with spectroscopy.

An Infrared Diffuse Circumstellar Band? The Unusual 1.5272 Micron DIB In the Red Square Nebula

The molecular carriers of the ubiquitous absorption features called the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) have eluded identification for many decades, in part because of the enormous parameter space spanned by the candidates and the limited set of empirical constraints afforded by observations in the diffuse interstellar medium. Detection of these features in circumstellar regions, where the environmental properties are more easily measured, is thus a promising approach to understanding the chemical nature of the carriers themselves. Here, using high resolution spectra from the APOGEE survey, we present an analysis of the unusually asymmetric 1.5272 micron DIB feature along the sightline to the Red Square Nebula and demonstrate the likely circumstellar origin of about half of the DIB absorption in this line of sight. This interpretation is supported both by the velocities of the feature components and by the ratio of foreground to total reddening along the line of sight. The Red Square Nebula sightline offers the unique opportunity to study the behavior of DIB carriers in a constrained environment and thus to shed new light on the carriers themselves.

Modelling Galaxy Clustering: Halo Occupation Distribution versus Subhalo Matching

We model the luminosity-dependent projected and redshift-space two-point correlation functions (2PCFs) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) DR7 Main galaxy sample, using the halo occupation distribution (HOD) model and the subhalo abundance matching (SHAM) model and its extension. All the models are built on the same high-resolution $N$-body simulations. We find that the HOD model generally provides the best performance in reproducing the clustering measurements in both projected and redshift spaces. The SHAM model with the same halo-galaxy relation for central and satellite galaxies (or distinct haloes and subhaloes), when including scatters, has a best-fitting $\chi^2/\rm{dof}$ around $2$–$3$. We therefore extend the SHAM model to the subhalo clustering and abundance matching (SCAM) by allowing the central and satellite galaxies to have different galaxy–halo relations. We infer the corresponding halo/subhalo parameters by jointly fitting the galaxy 2PCFs and abundances and consider subhaloes selected based on three properties, the mass $M_{\rm acc}$ at the time of accretion, the maximum circular velocity $V_{\rm acc}$ at the time of accretion, and the peak maximum circular velocity $V_{\rm peak}$ over the history of the subhaloes. The three subhalo models work well for luminous galaxy samples (with luminosity above $L_*$). For low-luminosity samples, the $V_{\rm acc}$ model stands out in reproducing the data, with the $V_{\rm peak}$ model slightly worse, while the $M_{\rm acc}$ model fails to fit the data. We discuss the implications of the modeling results.

Impact of Winds from Intermediate-Mass Stars on Molecular Cloud Structure and Turbulence

Observations of nearby molecular clouds detect "shells", which are likely caused by winds from young main sequence stars. However, the progenitors of these observed features are not well characterized and the mass-loss rates inferred from the gas kinematics are several orders of magnitude greater than those predicted by atomic line-driven stellar wind models. We use magnetohydrodynamic simulations to model winds launching within turbulent molecular clouds and explore the impact of wind properties on cloud morphology and turbulence. We find that winds do not produce clear features in turbulent statistics such as the Fourier spectra of density and momentum but do impact the Fourier velocity spectrum. The density and velocity distribution functions, especially as probed by CO spectral lines, strongly indicate the presence and influence of winds. We show that stellar mass-loss rates for individual stars must be $\dot m_w \gtrsim 10^{-7}$ Msun yr$^{-1}$, similar to those estimated from observations, to reproduce shell properties. Consequently, we conclude that B and A-type main sequence stars have mass-loss rates several orders of magnitude larger that those predicted by models or that young stars are more variable than expected due to magnetic activity or accretion.

Neutral hydrogen structures trace dust polarization angle: Implications for the interstellar medium and CMB foregrounds

Using high-resolution data from the Galactic Arecibo L-Band Feed Array HI (GALFA-HI) survey, we show that linear structure in Galactic neutral hydrogen (HI) correlates with the magnetic field orientation implied by Planck 353 GHz polarized dust emission. The structure of the neutral interstellar medium is more tightly coupled to the magnetic field than previously known. At high Galactic latitudes, where the Planck data are noise-dominated, the HI data provide an independent constraint on the Galactic magnetic field orientation, and hence the local dust polarization angle. We detect strong cross-correlations between template maps constructed from estimates of dust intensity combined with either HI-derived angles, starlight polarization angles, or Planck 353 GHz angles. The HI data thus provide a new tool in the search for inflationary gravitational wave B-mode polarization in the cosmic microwave background, which is currently limited by dust foreground contamination.

The Distribution and Chemistry of H$_2$CO in the DM Tau Protoplanetary Disk

H$_2$CO ice on dust grains is an important precursor of complex organic molecules (COMs). H$_2$CO gas can be readily observed in protoplanetary disks and may be used to trace COM chemistry. However, its utility as a COM probe is currently limited by a lack of constraints on the relative contributions of two different formation pathways: on icy grain-surfaces and in the gas-phase. We use archival ALMA observations of the resolved distribution of H$_2$CO emission in the disk around the young low-mass star DM Tau to assess the relative importance of these formation routes. The observed H$_2$CO emission has a centrally peaked and radially broad brightness profile (extending out to 500 AU). We compare these observations with disk chemistry models with and without grain-surface formation reactions, and find that both gas and grain-surface chemistry are necessary to explain the spatial distribution of the emission. Gas-phase H$_2$CO production is responsible for the observed central peak, while grain-surface chemistry is required to reproduce the emission exterior to the CO snowline (where H$_2$CO mainly forms through the hydrogenation of CO ice before being non-thermally desorbed). These observations demonstrate that both gas and grain-surface pathways contribute to the observed H$_2$CO in disks, and that their relative contributions depend strongly on distance from the host star.

Cold gas in hot star clusters: the wind from the red supergiant W26 in Westerlund 1

The massive red supergiant (RSG) W26 in Westerlund 1 is one of a growing number of RSGs shown to have winds that are ionized from the outside in. The fate of this dense wind material is important for models of second generation star formation in massive star clusters. Mackey et al. (2014) showed that external photoionization can stall the wind of RSGs and accumulate mass in a dense static shell. We use 1D R-HD simulations of an externally photoionized wind to predict the Halpha and [NII] emission arising from photoionized winds both with and without a dense shell. We analyse spectra of the Halpha and [NII] emission in the environment around W26 and compare them with predicted synthetic emission. Simulations of slow winds that are decelerated into a dense shell show strongly limb-brightened line emission, with line radial velocities that are independent of the wind speed. Faster winds (>22 km/s) do not form a dense shell, have less limb-brightening, and the line radial velocity is a good tracer of the wind speed. The brightness of the [NII] and Halpha lines as a function of distance from W26 agrees reasonably well with observations when only the line flux is considered. The radial velocity disagrees, however: the brightest observed emission is blueshifted by ~25 km/s relative to the radial velocity of the star, whereas a spherically symmetric wind has the brightest emission at zero radial velocity. Our results show that the bright nebula surrounding W26 must be asymmetric; we suggest it is confined by external ram pressure from the wind of the nearby supergiant W9. We obtain a lower limit on the nitrogen abundance within the nebula of 2.35 times solar. The line ratio strongly favours photoionization over shock ionization, and so even if the observed nebula is pressure confined there should still be an ionization front and a photoionization-confined shell closer to the star.

The dustiest Post-Main sequence stars in the Magellanic Clouds

Using observations from the {\em Herschel} Inventory of The Agents of Galaxy Evolution (HERITAGE) survey of the Magellanic Clouds, we have found thirty five evolved stars and stellar end products that are bright in the far-infrared. These twenty eight (LMC) and seven (SMC) sources were selected from the 529 evolved star candidates in the HERITAGE far-infrared point source catalogs. Our source identification method is based on spectral confirmation, spectral energy distribution characteristics, careful examination of the multiwavelength images and includes constraints on the luminosity, resulting in a thoroughly vetted list of evolved stars. These sources span a wide range in luminosity and hence initial mass. We found thirteen low- to intermediate mass evolved stars, including asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, post-AGB stars, planetary nebulae and a symbiotic star. We also identify ten high mass stars, including four of the fifteen known B[e] stars in the Magellanic Clouds, three extreme red supergiants which are highly enshrouded by dust, a Luminous Blue Variable, a Wolf-Rayet star and two supernova remnants. Further, we report the detection of nine probable evolved objects which were previously undescribed in the literature. These sources are likely to be among the dustiest evolved objects in the Magellanic Clouds. The {\em Herschel} emission may either be due to dust produced by the evolved star or it may arise from swept-up ISM material.

Interpreting the possible break in the Black Hole - Bulge mass relation

Recent inspections of local available data suggest that the almost linear relation between the stellar mass of spheroids ($M_{\rm sph}$) and the mass of the super massive Black Holes (BHs) residing at their centres, shows a break below $M_{\rm sph} \sim 10^{10}\ {\rm M}_\odot$, with a steeper, about quadratic relation at smaller masses. We investigate the physical mechanisms responsible for the change in slope of this relation, by comparing data with the results of the semi-analytic model of galaxy formation MORGANA, which already predicted such a break in its original formulation. We find that the change of slope is mostly induced by effective stellar feedback in star-forming bulges. The shape of the relation is instead quite insensitive to other physical mechanisms connected to BH accretion such as disc instabilities, galaxy mergers, Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) feedback, or even the exact modelling of accretion onto the BH, direct or through a reservoir of low angular momentum gas. Our results support a scenario where most stars form in the disc component of galaxies and are carried to bulges through mergers and disc instabilities, while accretion onto BHs is connected to star formation in the spheroidal component. Therefore, a model of stellar feedback that produces stronger outflows in star-forming bulges than in discs will naturally produce a break in the scaling relation. Our results point to a form of co-evolution especially at lower masses, below the putative break, mainly driven by stellar feedback rather than AGN feedback.

VVV Survey Observations of a Microlensing Stellar Mass Black Hole Candidate in the Field of the Globular Cluster NGC 6553

We report the discovery of a large timescale candidate microlensing event of a bulge stellar source based on near-infrared observations with the VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea Survey (VVV). The new microlensing event is projected only 3.5 arcmin away from the center of the globular cluster NGC 6553. The source appears to be a bulge giant star with magnitude Ks = 13.52, based on the position in the color-magnitude diagram. The foreground lens may be located in the globular cluster, which has well-known parameters such as distance and proper motions. If the lens is a cluster member, we can directly estimate its mass simply following Paczynski et al. (1996) which is a modified version of the more general case due to Refsdal. In that case, the lens would be a massive stellar remnant, with M = 1.5-3.5 Msun. If the blending fraction of the microlensing event appears to be small, and this lens would represent a good isolated black hole (BH) candidate, that would be the oldest BH known. Alternative explanations (with a larger blending fraction) also point to a massive stellar remnant if the lens is located in the Galactic disk and does not belong to the globular cluster.

Variable Stars in Local Group Galaxies. I: Tracing the Early Chemical Enrichment and Radial Gradients in the Sculptor dSph with RR Lyrae Stars

We identified and characterized the largest (536) RR Lyrae (RRL) sample in a Milky Way dSph satellite (Sculptor) based on optical photometry data collected over $\sim$24 years. The RRLs display a spread in V-magnitude ($\sim$0.35 mag) which appears larger than photometric errors and the horizontal branch (HB) luminosity evolution of a mono-metallic population. Using several calibrations of two different reddening free and metal independent Period-Wesenheit relations we provide a new distance estimate $\mu$=19.62 mag ($\sigma_{\mu}$=0.04 mag) that agrees well with literature estimates. We constrained the metallicity distribution of the old population, using the $M_I$ Period-Luminosity relation, and we found that it ranges from -2.3 to -1.5 dex. The current estimate is narrower than suggested by low and intermediate spectroscopy of RGBs ($\Delta$[Fe/H] $\le$ 1.5). We also investigated the HB morphology as a function of the galactocentric distance. The HB in the innermost regions is dominated by red HB stars and by RRLs, consistent with a more metal-rich population, while in the outermost regions it is dominated by blue HB stars and RRLs typical of a metal-poor population. Our results suggest that fast chemical evolution occurred in Sculptor, and that the radial gradients were in place at an early epoch.

Practical application of KAM theory to galactic dynamics: I. Motivation and methodology

Our understanding of the mechanisms governing the structure and secular evolution galaxies assume nearly integrable Hamiltonians with regular orbits; our perturbation theories are founded on the averaging theorem for isolated resonances. On the other hand, it is well-known that dynamical systems with many degrees of freedom are irregular in all but special cases. The best developed framework for studying the breakdown of regularity and the onset is the Kolmogorov-Arnold-Moser (KAM) theory. Here, we use a numerical version of the KAM procedure to construct regular orbits (tori) and locate irregular orbits (broken tori). Irregular orbits are most often classified in astronomical dynamics by their exponential divergence using Lyapunov exponents. Although their computation is numerically challenging, the procedure is straightforward and they are often used to estimate the measure of regularity. The numerical KAM approach has several advantages: 1) it provides the morphology of perturbed orbits; 2) its constructive nature allows the tori to be used as basis for studying secular evolution; 3) for broken tori, clues to the cause of the irregularity may be found by studying the largest, diverging Fourier terms; and 4) it is more likely to detect weak chaos and orbits close to bifurcation. Conversely, it is not a general technique and works most cleanly for small perturbations. We develop a perturbation theory that includes chaos by retaining an arbitrary number of interacting terms rather than eliminating all but one using the averaging theorem. The companion papers show that models with significant stochasticity seem to be the rule, not the exception.

Multivariate Approaches to Classification in Extragalactic Astronomy

Clustering objects into synthetic groups is a natural activity of any science. Astrophysics is not an exception and is now facing a deluge of data. For galaxies, the one-century old Hubble classification and the Hubble tuning fork are still largely in use, together with numerous mono-or bivariate classifications most often made by eye. However, a classification must be driven by the data, and sophisticated multivariate statistical tools are used more and more often. In this paper we review these different approaches in order to situate them in the general context of unsupervised and supervised learning. We insist on the astrophysical outcomes of these studies to show that multivariate analyses provide an obvious path toward a renewal of our classification of galaxies and are invaluable tools to investigate the physics and evolution of galaxies.

Disentangling the excitation conditions of the dense gas in M17 SW

We probe the chemical and energetic conditions in dense gas created by radiative feedback through observations of multiple CO, HCN and HCO$^+$ transitions toward the dense core of M17 SW. We used the dual band receiver GREAT on board the SOFIA airborne telescope to obtain maps of the $J=16-15$, $J=12-11$, and $J=11-10$ transitions of $^{12}$CO. We compare these maps with corresponding APEX and IRAM 30m telescope data for low- and mid-$J$ CO, HCN and HCO$^+$ emission lines, including maps of the HCN $J=8-7$ and HCO$^+$ $J=9-8$ transitions. The excitation conditions of $^{12}$CO, HCO$^+$ and HCN are estimated with a two-phase non-LTE radiative transfer model of the line spectral energy distributions (LSEDs) at four selected positions. The energy balance at these positions is also studied. We obtained extensive LSEDs for the CO, HCN and HCO$^+$ molecules toward M17 SW. The LSED shape, particularly the high-$J$ tail of the CO lines observed with SOFIA/GREAT, is distinctive for the underlying excitation conditions. The critical magnetic field criterion implies that the cold cloudlets at two positions are partially controlled by processes that create and dissipate internal motions. Supersonic but sub-Alfv\’enic velocities in the cold component at most selected positions indicates that internal motions are likely MHD waves. Magnetic pressure dominates thermal pressure in both gas components at all selected positions, assuming random orientation of the magnetic field. The magnetic pressure of a constant magnetic field throughout all the gas phases can support the total internal pressure of the cold components, but it cannot support the internal pressure of the warm components. If the magnetic field scales as $B \propto n^{2/3}$, then the evolution of the cold cloudlets at two selected positions, and the warm cloudlets at all selected positions, will be determined by ambipolar diffusion.

Galactic interstellar filaments as probed by LOFAR and Planck

Recent Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) observations at 115-175 MHz of a field at medium Galactic latitudes (centered at the bright quasar 3C196) have shown striking filamentary structures in polarization that extend over more than 4 degrees across the sky. In addition, the Planck satellite has released full sky maps of the dust emission in polarization at 353GHz. The LOFAR data resolve Faraday structures along the line of sight, whereas the Planck dust polarization maps probe the orientation of the sky projected magnetic field component. Hence, no apparent correlation between the two is expected. Here we report a surprising, yet clear, correlation between the filamentary structures, detected with LOFAR, and the magnetic field orientation, probed by the Planck satellite. This finding points to a common, yet unclear, physical origin of the two measurements in this specific area in the sky. A number of follow-up multi- frequency studies are proposed to shed light on this unexpected finding.

Linear polarization structures in LOFAR observations of the interstellar medium in the 3C196 field

This study aims to characterise linear polarization structures in LOFAR observations of the interstellar medium (ISM) in the 3C196 field, one of the primary fields of the LOFAR-Epoch of Reionization key science project. We have used the high band antennas (HBA) of LOFAR to image this region and RM-synthesis to unravel the distribution of polarized structures in Faraday depth. The brightness temperature of the detected Galactic emission is $5-15~{\rm K}$ in polarized intensity and covers the range from -3 to +8 ${\rm rad~m^{-2}}$ in Faraday depth. The most interesting morphological feature is a strikingly straight filament at a Faraday depth of $+0.5~{\rm rad~m^{-2}}$ running from north to south, right through the centre of the field and parallel to the Galactic plane. There is also an interesting system of linear depolarization canals conspicuous in an image showing the peaks of Faraday spectra. We have used the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) at 350 MHz to image the same region. For the first time we see some common morphology in the RM cubes made at 150 and 350 MHz. There is no indication of diffuse emission in total intensity in the interferometric data, in line with results at higher frequencies and previous LOFAR observations. Based on our results, we have determined physical parameters of the ISM and have proposed a simple model that may explain the observed distribution of the intervening magneto-ionic medium. The mean line-of-sight magnetic field component, $B_\parallel$, is determined to be $0.3\pm0.1~{\rm \mu G}$ and its spatial variation across the 3C196 field is $0.1~{\rm \mu G}$. The filamentary structure is probably an ionized filament in the ISM, located somewhere within the Local Bubble. It shows an excess in thermal electron density ($n_e B_\parallel>6.2~{\rm cm^{-3}\mu G}$) compared to its surroundings.

The proper motion of Palomar 5

Palomar 5 (Pal 5) is a faint halo globular cluster associated with narrow tidal tails. It is a useful system to understand the process of tidal dissolution, as well as to constrain the potential of the Milky Way. A well-determined orbit for Pal 5 would enable detailed study of these open questions. We present here the first CCD-based proper motion measurement of Pal 5 obtained using SDSS as a first epoch and new LBT/LBC images as a second, giving a baseline of 15 years. We perform relative astrometry, using SDSS as a distortion-free reference, and images of the cluster and also of the Pal 5 stream for the derivation of the distortion correction for LBC. The reference frame is made up of background galaxies. We correct for differential chromatic refraction using relations obtained from SDSS colors as well as from flux-calibrated spectra, finding that the correction relations for stars and for galaxies are different. We obtain mu_alpha=-2.296+/-0.186 mas/yr and mu_delta=-2.257+/-0.181 mas/yr for the proper motion of Pal 5. We use this motion, and the publicly available code galpy, to model the disruption of Pal 5 in different Milky Way models consisting of a bulge, a disk and a spherical dark matter halo. Our fits to the observed stream properties (streak and radial velocity gradient) result in a preference for a relatively large Pal 5 distance of around 24 kpc. A slightly larger absolute proper motion than what we measure also results in better matches but the best solutions need a change in distance. We find that a spherical Milky Way model, with V_0=220 km/s and V_(20 kpc), i.e., approximately at the apocenter of Pal 5, of 218 km/s, can match the data well, at least for our choice of disk and bulge parametrization.

SImulating the LifeCycle of molecular Clouds (SILCC): II. Dynamical evolution of the supernova-driven ISM and the launching of outflows

The SILCC project (SImulating the Life-Cycle of molecular Clouds) aims at a more self-consistent understanding of the interstellar medium (ISM) on small scales and its link to galaxy evolution. We present three-dimensional (magneto)hydrodynamic simulations of the ISM in a vertically stratified box including self-gravity, an external potential due to the stellar component of the galactic disc, and stellar feedback in the form of an interstellar radiation field and supernovae (SNe). The cooling of the gas is based on a chemical network that follows the abundances of H+, H, H2, C+, and CO and takes shielding into account consistently. We vary the SN feedback by comparing different SN rates, clustering and different positioning, in particular SNe in density peaks and at random positions, which has a major impact on the dynamics. Only for random SN positions the energy is injected in sufficiently low-density environments to reduce energy losses and enhance the effective kinetic coupling of the SNe with the gas. This leads to more realistic velocity dispersions (\sigma_HI ~ 0.8\sigma_(300-8000K) ~ 10-20km/s, \sigma_H\alpha ~ 0.6\sigma_(8000-3e5K) ~ 20-30km/s), and strong outflows with mass loading factors of up to 10 even for solar neighbourhood conditions. Clustered SNe abet the onset of outflows compared to individual SNe but do not influence the net outflow rate. The outflows do not contain any molecular gas and are mainly composed of atomic hydrogen. The bulk of the outflowing mass is dense (\rho ~ 1e-25-1e-24g/cc) and slow (v ~ 20-40km/s) but there is a high-velocity tail of up to v ~ 500km/s with \rho ~ 1e-28-1e-27g/cc.

A coronagraphic absorbing cloud reveals the narrow-line region and extended Lyman-$\alpha$ emission of QSO J0823+0529

We report long-slit spectroscopic observations of the quasar SDSS J082303.22+052907.6 ($z_{\rm CIV}$$\sim$3.1875), whose Broad Line Region (BLR) is partly eclipsed by a strong damped Lyman-$\alpha$ (DLA; log$N$(HI)=21.7) cloud. This allows us to study the Narrow Line Region (NLR) of the quasar and the Lyman-$\alpha$ emission from the host galaxy. Using CLOUDY models that explain the presence of strong NV and PV absorption together with the detection of SiII$^*$ and OI$^{**}$ absorption in the DLA, we show that the density and the distance of the cloud to the quasar are in the ranges 180 $<$ $n_{\rm H}$ $<$ 710 cm$^{-3}$ and 580 $>$ $r_0$ $>$230 pc, respectively. Sizes of the neutral($\sim$2-9pc) and highly ionized phases ($\sim$3-80pc) are consistent with the partial coverage of the CIV broad line region by the CIV absorption from the DLA (covering factor of $\sim$0.85). We show that the residuals are consistent with emission from the NLR with CIV/Lyman-$\alpha$ ratios varying from 0 to 0.29 through the profile. Remarkably, we detect extended Lyman-$\alpha$ emission up to 25kpc to the North and West directions and 15kpc to the South and East. We interpret the emission as the superposition of strong emission in the plane of the galaxy up to 10kpc with emission in a wind of projected velocity $\sim$500kms$^{-1}$ which is seen up to 25kpc. The low metallicity of the DLA (0.27 solar) argues for at least part of this gas being in-falling towards the AGN and possibly being located where accretion from cold streams ends up.

HELP : The Herschel Extragalactic Legacy Project & The Coming of Age of Multi-Wavelength Astrophysics

How did galaxies form and evolve? This is one of the most challenging questions in astronomy today. Answering it requires a careful combination of observational and theoretical work to reliably determine the observed properties of cosmic bodies over large portions of the distant Universe on the one hand, and accurately model the physical processes driving their evolution on the other. Most importantly, it requires bringing together disparate multi-wavelength and multi-resolution spectro-photometric datasets in an homogeneous and well-characterized manner so that they are suitable for a rigorous statistical analysis. The Herschel Extragalactic Legacy Project (HELP) funded by the EC FP7 SPACE program aims to achieve this goal by combining the expertise of optical, infrared and radio astronomers to provide a multi-wavelength database for the distant Universe as an accessible value-added resource for the astronomical community. It will do so by bringing together multi-wavelength datasets covering the 1000 deg$^2$ mapped by Herschel extragalactic surveys in an homogeneous and well-characterized manner, creating a joint lasting legacy from several ambitious sky surveys.

Herschel-HIFI observations of H2O, NH3 and N2H+ toward high-mass starless and proto-stellar clumps identified by the Hi-GAL survey

Our present understanding of high-mass star formation still remains very schematic. In particular, it is not yet clear how much of the difference between low-mass and high-mass star formation occurs during the earliest star formation phases. The chemical characteristics of massive cold clumps, and the comparison with those of their low-mass counterparts, could provide crucial clues about the exact role that chemistry plays in differentiating the early phases of low-mass and high-mass star formation. Water, in particular, is a unique probe of physical and chemical conditions in star-forming regions. Using the HIFI instrument of Herschel we have observed the ortho-NH3 (1_0-0_0) (572GHz), ortho-H2O (1_10-1_01) (557GHz) and N2H+ (6-5) (559GHz) lines toward a sample of high-mass starless and proto-stellar clumps selected from the "Herschel} Infrared Galactic Plane Survey" (Hi-GAL). We compare our results to previous studies of low-mass and high-mass proto-stellar objects. At least one of the three molecular lines was detected in 4 (out of 35) and 7 (out of 17) objects in the l=59deg and l=30deg galactic regions, respectively. All detected sources are proto-stellar. The water spectra are complex and consist of several kinematic components, identified through a Gaussian decomposition, and in a few sources inverse and regular P-Cygni profiles have been detected. All water line profiles of the l=59deg region are dominated by a broad Gaussian emission feature, indicating that the bulk of the water emission arises in outflows. No such broad emission is detected toward the l=30deg objects. The ammonia line in some cases also shows line wings and an inverse P-Cygni profile, thus confirming that NH3 rotational transitions can be used to probe the dynamics of high-mass star forming regions. Both bolometric and water line luminosity increase with the continuum temperature.

Adiabatic black hole growth in S\'ersic models of elliptical galaxies

We have examined the effect of slow growth of a central black hole on spherical galaxies that obey S\’ersic or $R^{1/m}$ surface-brightness profiles. During such growth the actions of each stellar orbit are conserved, which allows us to compute the final distribution function if we assume that the initial distribution function is isotropic. We find that black-hole growth leads to a central cusp or “excess light’, in which the surface brightness varies with radius as $R^{-1.3}$ (with a weak dependence on S\’ersic index $m$), the line-of-sight velocity dispersion varies as $R^{-1/2}$, and the velocity anisotropy is $\beta\simeq -0.24$ to $-0.28$ depending on $m$. The excess stellar mass in the cusp scales approximately linearly with the black-hole mass, and is typically 0.5–0.85 times the black-hole mass. This process may strongly influence the structure of nuclear star clusters if they contain black holes.

Optical discovery and multiwavelength investigation of supernova remnant MCSNR J0512-6707 in the Large Magellanic Cloud

We present optical, radio and X-ray data that confirm a new supernova remnant (SNR) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) discovered using our deep H-alpha imagery. Optically, the new SNR has a somewhat filamentary morphology and a diameter of 56 x 64 arcsec (13.5 x 15.5 pc at the 49.9 kpc distance of the LMC). Spectroscopic follow-up of multiple regions show high [SII]/H-alpha emission-line ratios ranging from 0.66+/-0.02 to 0.93+/-0.01, all of which are typical of an SNR. We found radio counterparts for this object using our new Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) 6cm pointed observations as well as a number of available radio surveys at 8 640 MHz, 4 850 MHz, 1 377 MHz and 843 MHz. With these combined data we provide a spectral index (alpha) = -0.5 between 843 and 8640 MHz. Both spectral line analysis and the magnetic field strength, ranging from 124 – 184 mG, suggest a dynamical age between 2,200 and 4,700 yrs. The SNR has a previously catalogued X-ray counterpart listed as HP 483 in the ROSAT Position Sensitive Proportional Counter (PSPC) catalogue.

A probable Milli-Parsec Supermassive Binary Black Hole in the Nearest Quasar Mrk 231

Supermassive binary black holes (BBHs) are unavoidable products of galaxy mergers and are expected to exist in the cores of many quasars. Great effort has been made during the past several decades to search for BBHs among quasars; however, observational evidence for BBHs remains elusive and ambiguous, which is difficult to reconcile with theoretical expectations. In this paper, we show that the distinct optical-to-UV spectrum of Mrk 231 can be well interpreted as emission from accretion flows onto a BBH, with a semimajor axis of ~590AU and an orbital period of ~1.2 year. The flat optical and UV continua are mainly emitted from a circumbinary disk and a mini-disk around the secondary black hole (BH), respectively; and the observed sharp drop off and flux deficit at wavelength lambda ~ 4000-2500 Angstrom is due to a gap (or hole) opened by the secondary BH migrating within the circumbinary disk. If confirmed by future observations, this BBH will provide a unique laboratory to study the interplay between BBHs and accretion flows onto them. Our result also demonstrates a new method to find sub-parsec scale BBHs by searching for deficits in the optical-to-UV continuum among the spectra of quasars.

Microwave Continuum Emission and Dense Gas Tracers in NGC 3627: Combining Jansky VLA and ALMA Observations

We present Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) Ka band (33 GHz) and Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) Band 3 (94.5 GHz) continuum images covering the nucleus and two extranuclear star-forming regions within the nearby galaxy NGC 3627 (M 66), observed as part of the Star Formation in Radio Survey (SFRS). Both images achieve an angular resolution of $\lesssim$2\arcsec, allowing us to map the radio spectral indices and estimate thermal radio fractions at a linear resolution of $\lesssim$90 pc at the distance of NGC 3627. The thermal fraction at 33 GHz reaches unity at and around the peaks of each HII region; we additionally observed the spectral index between 33 and 94.5 GHz to become both increasingly negative and positive away from the peaks of the HII regions, indicating an increase of non-thermal extended emission from diffusing cosmic-ray electrons and the possible presence of cold dust, respectively. While the ALMA observations were optimized for collecting continuum data, they also detected line emission from the $J=1\rightarrow0$ transitions of HCN and HCO$^{+}$. The peaks of dense molecular gas traced by these two spectral lines are spatially offset from the peaks of the 33 and 94.5 GHz continuum emission for the case of the extranuclear star-forming regions, indicating that our data reach an angular resolution at which one can spatially distinguish sites of recent star formation from the sites of future star formation. Finally, we find trends of decreasing dense gas fraction and velocity dispersion with increasing star formation efficiency among the three regions observed, indicating that the dynamical state of the dense gas, rather than its abundance, plays a more significant role in the star formation process.

Star-Forming Brightest Cluster Galaxies at 0.25 < z < 1.25: A Transitioning Fuel Supply

We present a multi-wavelength study of 90 brightest cluster galaxies (BCGs) in a sample of galaxy clusters selected via the Sunyaev Zel’dovich effect by the South Pole Telescope, utilizing data from various ground- and space-based facilities. We infer the star formation rate (SFR) for the BCG in each cluster, based on the UV and IR continuum luminosity, as well as the [O II] emission line luminosity in cases where spectroscopy is available, finding 7 systems with SFR > 100 Msun/yr. We find that the BCG SFR exceeds 10 Msun/yr in 31 of 90 (34%) cases at 0.25 < z < 1.25, compared to ~1-5% at z ~ 0 from the literature. At z > 1, this fraction increases to 92(+6)(-31)%, implying a steady decrease in the BCG SFR over the past ~9 Gyr. At low-z, we find that the specific star formation rate in BCGs is declining more slowly with time than for field or cluster galaxies, most likely due to the replenishing fuel from the cooling ICM in relaxed, cool core clusters. At z > 0.6, the correlation between cluster central entropy and BCG star formation – which is well established at z ~ 0 – is not present. Instead, we find that the most star-forming BCGs at high-z are found in the cores of dynamically unrelaxed clusters. We investigate the rest-frame near-UV morphology of a subsample of the most star-forming BCGs using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, finding complex, highly asymmetric UV morphologies on scales as large as ~50-60 kpc. The high fraction of star-forming BCGs hosted in unrelaxed, non-cool core clusters at early times suggests that the dominant mode of fueling star formation in BCGs may have recently transitioned from galaxy-galaxy interactions to ICM cooling.

Dark influences II: gas and star formation in minor mergers of dwarf galaxies with dark satellites

Mergers have been proposed to induce starbursts and to lead to important morphological changes in galaxies. Most studies so far have focused on large galaxies, but dwarfs might also experience such events, since the halo mass function is scale-free in the concordance cosmological model. Notably, because of their low mass, most of their interactions will be with dark satellites. In this paper we follow the evolution of gas-rich disky dwarf galaxies as they experience a minor merger with a dark satellite. We aim to characterize the effects of such an interaction on the dwarf’s star formation, morphology and kinematical properties. We perform a suite of carefully set-up hydrodynamical simulations of dwarf galaxies that include dark matter, gas, and stars, merging with a satellite consisting solely of dark matter. For the host system we vary the gas fraction, disk size and thickness, halo mass and concentration, while for the satellite we explore different masses, concentrations and orbits. We find that the interactions cause strong starbursts, both of short and long duration in the dwarfs. Their star formation rates increase by factors of a few to 10 or more. They are strongest for systems with extended gas disks and high gas fractions merging with a high-concentration satellite on a planar, radial orbit. In contrast to analogous simulations of Milky Way-mass galaxies, many of the systems experience strong morphological changes and become spheroidal even in the presence of significant amounts of gas. The simulated systems compare remarkably well with the observational properties of a large selection of irregular dwarf galaxies and blue compact dwarfs. This implies that mergers with dark satellites might well be happening but not be fully evident, and may thus play a role in the diversity of the dwarf galaxy population.

Tuning target selection algorithms to improve galaxy redshift estimates

We showcase machine learning (ML) inspired target selection algorithms to determine which of all potential targets should be selected first for spectroscopic follow up. Efficient target selection can improve the ML redshift uncertainties as calculated on an independent sample, while requiring less targets to be observed. We compare the ML targeting algorithms with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) target order, and with a random targeting algorithm. The ML inspired algorithms are constructed iteratively by estimating which of the remaining target galaxies will be most difficult for the machine learning methods to accurately estimate redshifts using the previously observed data. This is performed by predicting the expected redshift error and redshift offset (or bias) of all of the remaining target galaxies. We find that the predicted values of bias and error are accurate to better than 10-30% of the true values, even with only limited training sample sizes. We construct a hypothetical follow-up survey and find that some of the ML targeting algorithms are able to obtain the same redshift predictive power with 2-3 times less observing time, as compared to that of the SDSS, or random, target selection algorithms. The reduction in the required follow up resources could allow for a change to the follow-up strategy, for example by obtaining deeper spectroscopy, which could improve ML redshift estimates for deeper test data.

Relations Between Central Black Hole Mass and Total Galaxy Stellar Mass in the Local Universe

Scaling relations between central black hole (BH) mass and host galaxy properties are of fundamental importance to studies of BH and galaxy evolution throughout cosmic time. Here we investigate the relationship between BH mass and host galaxy total stellar mass using a sample of 262 broad-line active galactic nuclei (AGN) in the nearby Universe (z < 0.055), as well as 81 galaxies with dynamical BH masses. The vast majority of our AGN sample is constructed using Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopy and searching for Seyfert-like narrow-line ratios and broad H-alpha emission. BH masses are estimated using standard virial techniques. We also include a small number of dwarf galaxies with total stellar masses M_stellar < 10^9.5 Msun and a sub-sample of the reverberation-mapped AGNs. Total stellar masses of all 343 galaxies are calculated in the most consistent manner feasible using color-dependent mass-to-light ratios. We find a clear correlation between BH mass and total stellar mass for the AGN host galaxies, with M_BH proportional to M_stellar, similar to that of the early-type galaxies with dynamically-detected BHs. However, the relation defined by the AGNs has a normalization that is lower by more than an order of magnitude, with a BH-to-total stellar mass fraction of M_BH/M_stellar ~ 0.025% across the stellar mass range 10^8 < M_stellar/Msun < 10^12. This result has significant implications for studies at high redshift and cosmological simulations in which stellar bulges cannot be resolved.

A database of circumstellar OH masers

We present a new database of circumstellar OH masers at 1612, 1665, and 1667 MHz in the Milky Way galaxy. The database (version 2.4) contains 13655 observations and 2341 different stars detected in at least one transition. Detections at 1612\,MHz are considered to be complete until the end of 2014 as long as they were published in refereed papers. Detections of the main lines (1665 and 1667 MHz) and non-detections in all transitions are included only if published after 1983. The database contains flux densities and velocities of the two strongest maser peaks, the expansion velocity of the shell, and the radial velocity of the star. Links are provided for about 100 stars ($<$5\% of all stars with OH masers) to interferometric observations and monitoring programs of the maser emission published since their beginnings in the 1970s. Access to the database is possible over the Web (, allowing cone searches for individual sources and lists of sources. A general search is possible in selected regions of the sky and by defining ranges of flux densities and/or velocities. Alternative ways to access the data are via the German Virtual Observatory and the VizieR library of astronomical catalogs.

A database of circumstellar OH masers [Replacement]

We present a new database of circumstellar OH masers at 1612, 1665, and 1667 MHz in the Milky Way galaxy. The database (version 2.4) contains 13655 observations and 2341 different stars detected in at least one transition. Detections at 1612\,MHz are considered to be complete until the end of 2014 as long as they were published in refereed papers. Detections of the main lines (1665 and 1667 MHz) and non-detections in all transitions are included only if published after 1983. The database contains flux densities and velocities of the two strongest maser peaks, the expansion velocity of the shell, and the radial velocity of the star. Links are provided for about 100 stars ($<$5\% of all stars with OH masers) to interferometric observations and monitoring programs of the maser emission published since their beginnings in the 1970s. Access to the database is possible over the Web (, allowing cone searches for individual sources and lists of sources. A general search is possible in selected regions of the sky and by defining ranges of flux densities and/or velocities. Alternative ways to access the data are via the German Virtual Observatory and the VizieR library of astronomical catalogs.

Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): The Bright Void Galaxy Population in the Optical and Mid-IR

We examine the properties of galaxies in the Galaxies and Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey located in voids with radii $>10~h^{-1}$ Mpc. Utilising the GAMA equatorial survey, 592 void galaxies are identified out to z~0.1 brighter than $M_{r} = -18.4$, our magnitude completeness limit. Using the $W_{\rm{H\alpha}}$ vs. [NII]/H$\alpha$ (WHAN) line strength diagnostic diagram, we classify their spectra as star forming, AGN, or dominated by old stellar populations. For objects more massive than $5\times10^{9}$ M$_{\odot}$, we identify a sample of 26 void galaxies with old stellar populations classed as passive and retired galaxies in the WHAN diagnostic diagram, else they lack any emission lines in their spectra. When matched to WISE mid-IR photometry, these passive and retired galaxies exhibit a range of mid-IR colour, with a number of void galaxies exhibiting [4.6]-[12] colours inconsistent with completely quenched stellar populations, with a similar spread in colour seen for a randomly drawn non-void comparison sample. We hypothesise that a number of these galaxies host obscured star formation, else they are star forming outside of their central regions targeted for single fibre spectroscopy. When matched to a randomly drawn sample of non-void galaxies, the void and non-void galaxies exhibit similar properties in terms of optical and mid-IR colour, morphology, and star formation activity, suggesting comparable mass assembly and quenching histories. A trend in mid-IR [4.6]-[12] colour is seen, such that both void and non-void galaxies with quenched/passive colours <1.5 typically have masses higher than $10^{10}$ M$_{\odot}$, where internally driven processes play an increasingly important role in galaxy evolution.

Light Collection in the Prototypes of the ANAIS Dark Matter Project [Cross-Listing]

The ANAIS experiment aims at the confirmation of the DAMA/LIBRA signal using the same target and technique at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory (LSC) in Spain. ANAIS detectors consist of large NaI crystals coupled to two photomultipliers (PMTs). In this work we present Single Electron Response (SER) data for several units of the Hamamatsu R12669SEL2 PMT model extracted from normal operation data of ANAIS underground prototypes and we compare them with PMT SER characterization previously done at surface lab before coupling them to NaI crystal. Moreover, total light collection for different ANAIS prototypes has been calculated, producing an excellent average result of 15 phe/keV, which has a good impact in both energy resolution and threshold.

Light Collection in the Prototypes of the ANAIS Dark Matter Project [Cross-Listing]

The ANAIS experiment aims at the confirmation of the DAMA/LIBRA signal using the same target and technique at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory (LSC) in Spain. ANAIS detectors consist of large NaI crystals coupled to two photomultipliers (PMTs). In this work we present Single Electron Response (SER) data for several units of the Hamamatsu R12669SEL2 PMT model extracted from normal operation data of ANAIS underground prototypes and we compare them with PMT SER characterization previously done at surface lab before coupling them to NaI crystal. Moreover, total light collection for different ANAIS prototypes has been calculated, producing an excellent average result of 15 phe/keV, which has a good impact in both energy resolution and threshold.

On the stability of non-isothermal Bonnor-Ebert spheres. II. The effect of gas temperature on the stability

Aims. We investigate the stability of non-isothermal Bonnor-Ebert spheres with a model that includes a self-consistent calculation of the gas temperature. This way we can discard the assumption of equality between the dust and gas temperatures, and study the stability as the gas temperature changes with chemical evolution of the gas. Methods. We use a gas-grain chemical model including a time-dependent treatment of depletion onto grain surfaces, which strongly influences the gas temperature as the main coolant, CO, depletes from the gas. Dust and gas temperatures are solved with radiative transfer. For comparison with previous work, we assume that the cores are deeply embedded in a larger external structure, corresponding to visual extinction $A_{\rm V}^{\rm ext}=10$ mag. Results. We find that the critical non-dimensional radius $\xi_1$ derived here is similar to our previous work where we assumed $T_{\rm dust}=T_{\rm gas}$; the $\xi_1$ values lie below the isothermal critical value $\xi_0\sim6.45$, but the difference is less than 10%. Chemical evolution does not affect notably the stability condition of low-mass cores (<0.75 $M_\odot$). For higher masses the decrease of cooling owing to CO depletion causes substantial temporal changes in the temperature and density profiles of the cores. In the mass range 1-2 $M_\odot$ , $\xi_1$ decreases with chemical evolution, whereas above 3 $M_\odot$ , $\xi_1$ instead increases. We also find that decreasing $A_{\rm V}^{\rm ext}$ increases the gas temperature especially when the gas is chemically old, causing $\xi_1$ to increase with respect to models with higher $A_{\rm V}^{\rm ext}$. The derived $\xi_1$ values are close to $\xi_0$. The density contrast between the core center and edge varies between 8 to 16 depending on core mass and the chemical age of the gas, compared to the constant value $\sim$ 14.1 for the isothermal BES.

Preserving chemical signatures of primordial star formation in the first low-mass stars

We model early star forming regions and their chemical enrichment by Population III (Pop III) supernovae with nucleosynthetic yields featuring high [C/Fe] ratios and pair-instability supernova (PISN) signatures. We aim to test how well these chemical abundance signatures are preserved in the gas prior to forming the first long-lived low-mass stars (or second-generation stars). Our results show that second-generation stars can retain the nucleosynthetic signature of their Pop III progenitors, even in the presence of nucleosynthetically normal Pop III core-collapse supernovae. We find that carbon-enhanced metal-poor stars are likely second-generation stars that form in minihaloes. Furthermore, it is likely that the majority of Pop III supernovae produce high [C/Fe] yields. In contrast, metals ejected by a PISN are not concentrated in the first star forming haloes, which may explain the absence of observed PISN signatures in metal-poor stars. We also find that unique Pop III abundance signatures in the gas are quickly wiped out by the emergence of Pop II supernovae. We caution that the observed fractions of stars with Pop III signatures cannot be directly interpreted as the fraction of Pop III stars producing that signature. Such interpretations require modelling the metal enrichment process prior to the second-generation stars’ formation, including results from simulations of metal mixing. The full potential of stellar archaeology can likely be reached in ultra-faint dwarf galaxies, where the simple formation history may allow for straightforward identification of second-generation stars.

The modelling of feedback in star formation simulations

I review the current state of numerical simulations of stellar feedback in the context of star formation at scales ranging from the formation of individual stars to models of galaxy formation including cosmic reionisation. I survey the wealth of algorithms developed recently to solve the radiative transfer problem and to simulate stellar winds, supernovae and protostellar jets. I discuss the results of these simulations with regard to star formation in molecular clouds, the interaction of different feedback mechanisms with each other and with magnetic fields, and in the wider context of galactic– and cosmological–scale simulations.

Globular cluster formation efficiencies from black-hole X-ray binary feedback

We investigate a scenario in which feedback from black-hole X-ray binaries (BHXBs) sometimes begins inside young star clusters before strong supernova feedback. Those BHXBs could reduce the gas fraction inside embedded young clusters whilst maintaining virial equilibrium, which may help globular clusters (GCs) to stay bound when supernova-driven gas ejection subsequently occurs. Adopting a simple toy model with parameters guided by BHXB population models, we produce GC formation efficiencies consistent with empirically-inferred values. The metallicity dependence of BHXB formation could naturally explain why GC formation efficiency is higher at lower metallicity. For reasonable assumptions about that metallicity dependence, our toy model can produce a GC metallicity bimodality in some galaxies without a bimodality in the field-star metallicity distribution.


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