Recent Postings from Galactic

Spitzer Imaging of Strongly-Lensed Herschel-Selected Dusty Star Forming Galaxies

We present the rest-frame optical spectral energy distribution and stellar masses of six Herschel- selected gravitationally lensed dusty, star-forming galaxies (DSFGs) at 1 < z < 3. These galaxies were first identified with Herschel/SPIRE imaging data from the Herschel Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) and the Herschel Multi-tiered Extragalactic Survey (HerMES). The targets were observed with Spitzer/IRAC at 3.6 and 4.5um. Due to the spatial resolution of the IRAC observations at the level of 2 arcseconds, the lensing features of a background DSFG in the near-infrared are blended with the flux from the foreground lensing galaxy in the IRAC imaging data. We make use of higher resolution Hubble/WFC3 or Keck/NIRC2 Adaptive Optics imaging data to fit light profiles of the foreground lensing galaxy (or galaxies) as a way to model the foreground components, in order to successfully disentangle the foreground lens and background source flux densities in the IRAC images. The flux density measurements at 3.6 and 4.5um, once combined with Hubble/WFC3 and Keck/NIRC2 data, provide important constraints on the rest-frame optical spectral energy distribution of the Herschel-selected lensed DSFGs. We model the combined UV- to millimeter-wavelength SEDs to establish the stellar mass, dust mass, star-formation rate, visual extinction, and other parameters for each of these Herschel-selected DSFGs. These systems have inferred stellar masses in the range 8 x 10^10 to 4 x 10^11 Msun and star-formation rates of around 100 Msun yr-1. This puts these lensed sub-millimeter systems well above the SFR-M* relation observed for normal star-forming galaxies at similar redshifts. The high values of SFR inferred for these systems are consistent with a major merger-driven scenario for star formation.

Bright [CII] 158$\mu$m emission in a quasar host galaxy at $z=6.54$

The [CII] 158$\mu$m fine-structure line is known to trace regions of active star formation and is the main coolant of the cold, neutral atomic medium. In this \textit{Letter}, we report a strong detection of the [CII] line in the host galaxy of the brightest quasar known at $z>6.5$, the Pan-STARRS1 selected quasar PSO J036.5078+03.0498 (hereafter P036+03), using the IRAM NOEMA millimeter interferometer. Its [CII] and total far-infrared luminosities are $(5.8 \pm 0.7) \times 10^9 \,L_\odot$ and $(7.6\pm1.5) \times 10^{12}\,L_\odot$, respectively. This results in a $L_{[CII]} /L_{TIR}$ ratio of $\sim 0.8\times 10^{-3}$, which is at the high end for those found for active galaxies, though it is lower than the average found in typical main sequence galaxies at $z\sim 0$. We also report a tentative additional line which we identify as a blended emission from the $3_{22} – 3_{13}$ and $5_{23} – 4_{32}$ H$_2$O transitions. If confirmed, this would be the most distant detection of water emission to date. P036+03 rivals the current prototypical luminous J1148+5251 quasar at $z=6.42$, in both rest-frame UV and [CII] luminosities. Given its brightness and because it is visible from both hemispheres (unlike J1148+5251), P036+03 has the potential of becoming an important laboratory for the study of star formation and of the interstellar medium only $\sim 800\,$Myr after the Big Bang.

Stellar and Quasar Feedback in Concert: Effects on AGN Accretion, Obscuration, and Outflows

We use hydrodynamic simulations to study the interaction of realistic active galactic nucleus (AGN) feedback mechanisms (accretion-disk winds & Compton heating) with a multi-phase interstellar medium (ISM). Our ISM model includes radiative cooling and explicit stellar feedback from multiple processes. We simulate radii ~0.1-100 pc around an isolated (non-merging) black hole. These are the scales where the accretion rate onto the black hole is determined and where AGN-powered winds and radiation couple to the ISM. Our primary results include: (1) The black hole accretion rate on these scales is determined by exchange of angular momentum between gas and stars in gravitational instabilities. This produces accretion rates of ~0.03-1 Msun/yr, sufficient to power a luminous AGN. (2) The gas disk in the galactic nucleus undergoes an initial burst of star formation followed by several Myrs where stellar feedback suppresses the star formation rate per dynamical time. (3) AGN winds injected at small radii with momentum fluxes ~L/c couple efficiently to the ISM and have a dramatic effect on the ISM properties in the central ~100 pc. AGN winds suppress the nuclear star formation rate by a factor of ~10-30 and the black hole accretion rate by a factor of ~3-30. They increase the total outflow rate from the galactic nucleus by a factor of ~10. The latter is broadly consistent with observational evidence for galaxy-scale atomic and molecular outflows driven by AGN rather than star formation. (4) In simulations that include AGN feedback, the predicted column density distribution towards the black hole is reasonably consistent with observations, whereas absent AGN feedback, the black hole is isotropically obscured and there are not enough optically-thin sight lines to explain observed Type I AGN. A ‘torus-like’ geometry arises self-consistently because AGN feedback evacuates the gas in the polar regions.

The Energetics and Lifetimes of Local Radio Active Galactic Nuclei

We present a model describing the evolution of Fanaroff-Riley type I and II radio AGN, and the transition between these classes. We quantify galaxy environments using a semi-analytic galaxy formation model, and apply our model to a volume-limited low redshift ($0.03 \leqslant z \leqslant 0.1$) sample of observed AGN to determine the distribution of jet powers and active lifetimes at the present epoch. Radio sources in massive galaxies are found to remain active for longer, spend less time in the quiescent phase, and inject more energy into their hosts than their less massive counterparts. The jet power is independent of the host stellar mass within uncertainties, consistent with maintenance-mode AGN feedback paradigm. The environments of these AGN are in or close to long-term heating-cooling balance. We also examine the properties of high- and low-excitation radio galaxy sub-populations. The HERGs are younger than LERGs by an order of magnitude, whilst their jet powers are greater by a factor of four. The Eddington-scaled accretion rates and jet production efficiencies of these populations are consistent with LERGs being powered by radiatively inefficient advection dominated accretion flows (ADAFs), while HERGs are fed by a radiatively efficient accretion mechanism.

Evidence for Early Filamentary Accretion from the Andromeda Galaxy's Thin Plane of Satellites

Recently it has been shown that a large fraction of the dwarf satellite galaxies orbiting the Andromeda galaxy are surprisingly aligned in a thin, extended and kinematically coherent planar structure. The presence of such a structure seems to challenge the current Cold Dark Matter paradigm of structure formation, which predicts a more uniform distribution of satellites around central objects. We show that it is possible to obtain a thin, extended, rotating plane of satellites resembling the one in Andromeda in cosmological collisionless simulations based on the Cold Dark Matter model. Our new high resolution simulations show a correlation between the formation time of the dark matter halo and the thickness of the plane of satellites. Our simulations have a high incidence of satellite planes as thin, extended, and as rich as the one in Andromeda and with a very coherent kinematic structure when we select high concentration/early forming halos. By tracking the formation of the satellites in the plane we show that they have been mainly accreted onto the main object along thin dark matter filaments at high redshift. Our results show that the presence of a thin, extended, rotating plane of satellites is not a challenge for the Cold Dark Matter paradigm, but actually supports one of the predictions of this paradigm related to the presence of filaments of dark matter around galaxies at high redshift.

Star Formation and Relaxation in 379 Nearby Galaxy Clusters

We investigate the relationship between star formation (SF) and level of relaxation in a sample of 379 galaxy clusters at z < 0.2. We use data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to measure cluster membership and level of relaxation, and to select star-forming galaxies based on mid-infrared emission detected with the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer. For galaxies with absolute magnitudes M_r < -19.5, we find an inverse correlation between SF fraction and cluster relaxation: as a cluster becomes less relaxed, its SF fraction increases. Furthermore, in general, the subtracted SF fraction in all unrelaxed clusters (0.117 +/- 0.003) is higher than that in all relaxed clusters (0.097 +/- 0.005). We verify the validity of our SF calculation methods and membership criteria through analysis of previous work. Our results agree with previous findings that a weak correlation exists between cluster SF and dynamical state, possibly because unrelaxed clusters are less evolved relative to relaxed clusters.

Evolution of column density distributions within Orion~A

We compare the structure of star-forming molecular clouds in different regions of Orion A to determine how the column density probability distribution function (N-PDF) varies with environmental conditions such as the fraction of young protostars. A correlation between the N-PDF slope and Class 0 protostar fraction has been previously observed in a low-mass star-formation region (Perseus) by Sadavoy; here we test if a similar correlation is observed in a high-mass star-forming region. We use Herschel data to derive a column density map of Orion A. We use the Herschel Orion Protostar Survey catalog for accurate identification and classification of the Orion A young stellar object (YSO) content, including the short-lived Class 0 protostars (with a $\sim$ 0.14 Myr lifetime). We divide Orion A into eight independent 13.5 pc$^2$ regions; in each region we fit the N-PDF distribution with a power-law, and we measure the fraction of Class 0 protostars. We use a maximum likelihood method to measure the N-PDF power-law index without binning. We find that the Class 0 fraction is higher in regions with flatter column density distributions. We test the effects of incompleteness, YSO misclassification, resolution, and pixel-scale. We show that these effects cannot account for the observed trend. Our observations demonstrate an association between the slope of the power-law N-PDF and the Class 0 fractions within Orion A. Various interpretations are discussed including timescales based on the Class 0 protostar fraction assuming a constant star-formation rate. The observed relation suggests that the N-PDF can be related to an "evolutionary state" of the gas. If universal, such a relation permits an evaluation of the evolutionary state from the N-PDF power-law index at much greater distances than those accesible with protostar counts. (abridged)

Early structure formation from primordial density fluctuations with a blue-tilted power spectrum

While observations of large-scale structure and the cosmic microwave background (CMB) provide strong constraints on the amplitude of the primordial power spectrum (PPS) on scales larger than 10 Mpc, the amplitude of the power spectrum on sub-galactic length scales is much more poorly constrained. We study early structure formation in a cosmological model with a blue-tilted PPS. We assume that the standard scale-invariant PPS is modified at small length scales as $P(k) \sim k^{m_{\rm s}}$ with $m_{\rm s} > 1$. We run a series of cosmological hydrodynamic simulations to examine the dependence of the formation epoch and the characteristic mass of primordial stars on the tilt of the PPS. In models with $m_{\rm s} > 1$, star-forming gas clouds are formed at $z > 100$, when formation of hydrogen molecules is inefficient because the intense CMB radiation destroys chemical intermediates. Without efficient coolant, the gas clouds gravitationally contract while keeping a high temperature. The protostars formed in such "hot" clouds grow very rapidly by accretion to become extremely massive stars that may leave massive black holes with a few hundred solar-masses at $z > 100$. The shape of the PPS critically affects the properties and the formation epoch of the first generation of stars. Future experiments of the CMB polarization and the spectrum distortion may provide important information on the nature of the first stars and their formation epoch, and hence on the shape of the small-scale power spectrum.

Lindblad Zones: resonant eccentric orbits to aid bar and spiral formation in galaxy discs

The apsidal precession frequency in a fixed gravitational potential increases with the radial range of the orbit (eccentricity). Although the frequency increase is modest it can have important implications for wave dynamics in galaxy discs, which have not been previously explored in detail. One of the most interesting consequences is that for a given pattern frequency, each Lindblad resonance does not exist in isolation, but rather is the parent of a continuous sequence of resonant radii, a Lindblad Zone, with each radius in this zone characterized by a specific eccentricity. In the epicyclic approximation the precession or epicyclic frequency does not depend on epicycle size, and this phenomenon is not captured. A better approximation for eccentric orbits is provided by p-ellipse curves (Struck 2006), which do exhibit this effect. Here the p-ellipse approximation and precession-eccentricity relation are used as tools for finding the resonant radii generated from various Lindblad parent resonances. Simple, idealized examples, in flat rotation curve and near solid-body discs, are used to show that ensembles of eccentric resonant orbits excited in Lindblad Zones can provide a backbone for generating a variety of (kinematic) bars and spiral waves. In cases balancing radius-dependent circular frequencies and eccentricity-dependent precession, a range of resonant orbits can maintain their form in the pattern frame, and do not wind up. Eccentric resonance orbits require a strong perturbation to excite them, and may be produced mostly in galaxy interactions or by strong internal disturbances.

Theoretical Models of the Galactic Bulge

Near infrared images from the COBE satellite presented the first clear evidence that our Milky Way galaxy contains a boxy shaped bulge. Recent years have witnessed a gradual paradigm shift in the formation and evolution of the Galactic bulge. Bulges were commonly believed to form in the dynamical violence of galaxy mergers. However, it has become increasingly clear that the main body of the Milky Way bulge is not a classical bulge made by previous major mergers, instead it appears to be a bar seen somewhat end-on. The Milky Way bar can form naturally from a precursor disk and thicken vertically by the internal firehose/buckling instability, giving rise to the boxy appearance. This picture is supported by many lines of evidence, including the asymmetric parallelogram shape, the strong cylindrical rotation (i.e., nearly constant rotation regardless of the height above the disk plane), the existence of an intriguing X-shaped structure in the bulge, and perhaps the metallicity gradients. We review the major theoretical models and techniques to understand the Milky Way bulge. Despite the progresses in recent theoretical attempts, a complete bulge formation model that explains the full kinematics and metallicity distribution is still not fully understood. Upcoming large surveys are expected to shed new light on the formation history of the Galactic bulge.

The complex gas kinematics in the nucleus of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1386: rotation, outflows and inflows

We present optical integral field spectroscopy of the circum-nuclear gas of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC 1386. The data cover the central 7$^{\prime\prime} \times 9^{\prime\prime}$ (530 $\times$ 680 pc) at a spatial resolution of 0.9" (68 pc), and the spectral range 5700-7000 \AA\ at a resolution of 66 km s$^{-1}$. The line emission is dominated by a bright central component, with two lobes extending $\approx$ 3$^{\prime\prime}$ north and south of the nucleus. We identify three main kinematic components. The first has low velocity dispersion ($\bar \sigma \approx $ 90 km s$^{-1}$), extends over the whole field-of-view, and has a velocity field consistent with gas rotating in the galaxy disk. We interpret the lobes as resulting from photoionization of disk gas in regions where the AGN radiation cones intercept the disk. The second has higher velocity dispersion ($\bar \sigma \approx$ 200 km s$^{-1}$) and is observed in the inner 150 pc around the continuum peak. This component is double peaked, with redshifted and blueshifted components separated by $\approx$ 500 km s$^{-1}$. Together with previous HST imaging, these features suggest the presence of a bipolar outflow for which we estimate a mass outflow rate of $\mathrm{\dot M} \gtrsim $ 0.1 M$_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$. The third component is revealed by velocity residuals associated with enhanced velocity dispersion and suggests that outflow and/or rotation is occurring approximately in the equatorial plane of the torus. A second system of velocity residuals may indicate the presence of streaming motions along dusty spirals in the disk.

Secular diffusion in discrete self-gravitating tepid discs I : analytic solution in the tightly wound limit

The secular evolution of an infinitely thin tepid isolated galactic disc made of a finite number of particles is described using the inhomogeneous Balescu-Lenard equation. Assuming that only tightly wound transient spirals are present in the disc, a WKB approximation provides a simple and tractable quadrature for the corresponding drift and diffusion coefficients. It provides insight into the physical processes at work during the secular diffusion of a self-gravitating discrete disc and makes quantitative predictions on the initial variations of the distribution function in action space. When applied to the secular evolution of an isolated stationary self-gravitating Mestel disc, this formalism predicts initially the importance of the corotation resonance in the inner regions of the disc leading to a regime involving radial migration and heating. It predicts in particular the formation of a "ridge like" feature in action space, in agreement with simulations, but over-estimates the timescale involved in its appearance. Swing amplification is likely to resolve this discrepancy. In astrophysics, the inhomogeneous Balescu-Lenard equation and its WKB limit may also 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 center.

Formation of elongated galaxies with low masses at high redshift

We report the identification of elongated (triaxial or prolate) galaxies in cosmological simulations at $z\simeq2$. These are preferentially low-mass galaxies ($M_s \le 10^{9.5} \ M_\odot$), residing in dark-matter (DM) haloes with strongly elongated inner parts, a common feature of high-redshift DM haloes in the $\Lambda$CDM cosmology. Feedback slows formation of stars at the centres of these halos, so that a dominant and prolate DM distribution gives rise to galaxies elongated along the DM major axis. As galaxies grow in stellar mass, stars dominate the total mass within the galaxy half-mass radius, making stars and DM rounder and more oblate. A large population of elongated galaxies produces a very asymmetric distribution of projected axis ratios, as observed in high-z galaxy surveys. This indicates that the majority of the galaxies at high redshifts are not discs or spheroids but rather galaxies with elongated morphologies.

Molecular and Ionized Hydrogen in 30 Doradus. I. Imaging Observations

We present the first fully calibrated H$_2$, 1-0 S(1) image of the entire 30 Doradus nebula. The observations were conducted using the NOAO Extremely Wide-Field Infrared Imager on the CTIO 4-meter Blanco Telescope. Together with a NEWFIRM Br$\gamma$ image of 30 Doradus, our data reveal the morphologies of the warm molecular gas and ionized gas in 30 Doradus. The brightest H$_2$-emitting area, which extends from the northeast to the southwest of R136, is a photodissociation region viewed face-on, while many clumps and pillar features located at the outer shells of 30 Doradus are photodissociation regions viewed edge-on. Based on the morphologies of H$_2$, Br$\gamma$, $^{12}$CO, and 8$\mu$m emission, the H$_2$ to Br$\gamma$ line ratio and Cloudy models, we find that the H$_2$ emission is formed inside the photodissociation regions of 30 Doradus, 2 – 3 pc to the ionization front of the HII region, in a relatively low-density environment $<$ 10$^4$ cm$^{-3}$. Comparisons with Br$\gamma$, 8$\mu$m, and CO emission indicate that H$_2$ emission is due to fluorescence, and provide no evidence for shock excited emission of this line.

Heating the intra-cluster medium by jet-inflated bubbles

We examine the heating of the intra-cluster medium (ICM) of cooling flow clusters of galaxies by jet-inflated bubbles and conclude that mixing of hot bubble gas with the ICM is the dominate heating process. We use the PLUTO hydrodynamical code in full 3D to properly account for the inflation of the bubbles and to the multiple vortices induced by the jets and bubbles. The vortices mix some hot shocked jet gas with the ICM. For the parameters used the mixing process accounts for approximately 80% of the energy transferred from the jets to the ICM. Only about 20% of the transferred energy is channelled to the kinetic energy of the ICM. Part of this develops as ICM turbulence. We conclude that turbulent heating plays a smaller role than mixing. Heating by shocks is less efficient even.

Self-gravity, resonances and orbital diffusion in stellar discs

Fluctuations in a stellar system’s gravitational field cause the orbits of stars to evolve. The resulting evolution of the system can be computed with the orbit-averaged Fokker-Planck equation once the diffusion tensor is known. We present the formalism that enables one to compute the diffusion tensor from a given source of noise in the gravitational field when the system’s dynamical response to that noise is included. In the case of a cool stellar disc we are able to reduce the computation of the diffusion tensor to a one-dimensional integral. We implement this formula for a tapered Mestel disc that is exposed to shot noise and find that we are able to explain analytically the principal features of a numerical simulation of such a disc. In particular the formation of narrow ridges of enhanced density in action space is recovered. As the disc’s value of Toomre’s $Q$ is reduced and the disc becomes more responsive, there is a transition from a regime of heating in the inner regions of the disc through the inner Lindblad resonance to one of radial migration of near-circular orbits via the corotation resonance in the intermediate regions of the disc. The formalism developed here provides the ideal framework in which to study the long-term evolution of all kinds of stellar discs.

Secular resonant dressed orbital diffusion II : application to an isolated self similar tepid galactic disc

The main orbital signatures of the secular evolution of an isolated self-gravitating stellar Mestel disc are recovered using a dressed Fokker-Planck formalism in angle-action variables. The shot-noise-driven formation of narrow ridges of resonant orbits is recovered in the WKB limit of tightly wound transient spirals, for a tepid Toomre-stable tapered disc. The relative effect of the bulge, the halo, the disc temperature and the spectral properties of the shot noise are investigated in turn. For such galactic discs all elements seem to impact the locus and direction of the ridge. For instance, when the halo mass is decreased, we observe a transition between a regime of heating in the inner regions of the disc through the inner Lindblad resonance to a regime of radial migration of quasi-circular orbits via the corotation resonance in the outer part of the disc. The dressed secular formalism captures both the nature of collisionless systems (via their natural frequencies and susceptibility), and their nurture via the structure of the external perturbing power spectrum. Hence it provides the ideal framework in which to study their long term evolution.

Secular resonant dressed orbital diffusion I : method and WKB limit for tepid discs

The equation describing the secular diffusion of a self-gravitating collisionless system induced by an exterior perturbation is derived while assuming that the timescale corresponding to secular evolution is much larger than that corresponding to the natural frequencies of the system. Its two dimensional formulation for a tepid galactic disc is also derived using the epicyclic approximation. Its WKB limit is found while assuming that only tightly wound transient spirals are sustained by the disc. It yields a simple quadrature for the diffusion coefficients which provides a straightforward understanding of the loci of maximal diffusion within the disc.

Millimeter-wave polarization of protoplanetary disks due to dust scattering

We present a new method to constrain the grain size in protoplanetary disks with polarization observations at millimeter wavelengths. If dust grains are grown to the size comparable to the wavelengths, the dust grains are expected to have a large scattering opacity and thus the continuum emission is expected to be polarized due to self-scattering. We perform 3D radiative transfer calculations to estimate the polarization degree for the protoplanetary disks having radial Gaussian-like dust surface density distributions, which have been recently discovered. The maximum grain size is set to be $100 {\rm~\mu m}$ and the observing wavelength to be 870 ${\rm \mu m}$. We find that the polarization degree is as high as 2.5% with a subarcsec spatial resolution, which is likely to be detected with near-future ALMA observations. The emission is polarized due to scattering of anisotropic continuum emission. The map of the polarization degree shows a double peaked distribution and the polarization vectors are in the radial direction in the inner ring and in the azimuthal direction in the outer ring. We also find the wavelength dependence of the polarization degree: the polarized emission is strongest if dust grains have a maximum size of $a_{\rm max}\sim\lambda/2\pi$, where $\lambda$ is the observing wavelength. Hence, multi-wave and spatially resolved polarization observations toward protoplanetary disks enable us to put a constraint on the grain size. The constraint on the grain size from polarization observations is independent of or may be even stronger than that from the opacity index.

Gas flow in barred potentials II. Bar Driven Spiral Arms

Spiral arms that emerge from the ends of a galactic bar are important in interpreting observations of our and external galaxies. It is therefore important to understand the physical mechanism that causes them. We find that these spiral arms can be understood as kinematic density waves generated by librations around underlying ballistic closed orbits. This is even true in the case of a strong bar, provided the librations are around the appropriate closed orbits and not around the circular orbits that form the basis of the epicycle approximation. An important consequence is that it is a potential’s orbital structure that determines whether a bar should be classified as weak or strong, and not crude estimates of the potential’s deviation from axisymmetry.

When Dark Matter interacts with Cosmic Rays or Interstellar Matter: A Morphological Study [Cross-Listing]

Excess emission over expected diffuse astrophysical backgrounds in the direction of the Galactic center region has been claimed at various wavelengths, from radio to gamma rays. Among particle models advocated to explain such observations, several invoke interactions between dark matter particles and ordinary matter, such as cosmic rays, interstellar gas or free electrons. Depending on the specific interstellar matter particles’ species and energy, such models predict distinct morphological features. In this study we make detailed predictions for the morphology of models where the relevant electromagnetic emission is proportional to the product of the dark matter density profile and the density of interstellar matter or cosmic rays. We compare the predicted latitudinal and longitudinal distributions with observations, and provide the associated set of relevant spatial templates.

When Dark Matter interacts with Cosmic Rays or Interstellar Matter: A Morphological Study

Excess emission over expected diffuse astrophysical backgrounds in the direction of the Galactic center region has been claimed at various wavelengths, from radio to gamma rays. Among particle models advocated to explain such observations, several invoke interactions between dark matter particles and ordinary matter, such as cosmic rays, interstellar gas or free electrons. Depending on the specific interstellar matter particles’ species and energy, such models predict distinct morphological features. In this study we make detailed predictions for the morphology of models where the relevant electromagnetic emission is proportional to the product of the dark matter density profile and the density of interstellar matter or cosmic rays. We compare the predicted latitudinal and longitudinal distributions with observations, and provide the associated set of relevant spatial templates.

Star formation rates and the kinematics of gas in the spiral arms of NGC 628

Relations between star formation rates along the spiral arms and the velocities of gas inflow into the arms in grand-design galaxy NGC 628 were studied. We found that the radial distribution of average star formation rate in individual star formation regions in regular spiral arms correlates with the velocity of gas inflow into the spiral arms. Both distributions have maxima at a galactocentric distance of 4.5-5 kpc. There are no correlations between the radial distributions of average star formation rate in star formation regions in spiral arms and outside spiral arms in the main disc. We also did not find a correlation between the radial distribution of average star formation rate in star formation regions in spiral arms and HI column density.

Radio Jets Clearing theWay Through a Galaxy: Watching Feedback in Action in the Seyfert galaxy IC 5063

High-resolution (0.5 arcsec) CO(2-1) observations performed with the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array have been used to trace the kinematics of the molecular gas in the Seyfert 2 galaxy{IC~5063}. Although one of the most radio-loud Seyfert galaxy, IC~5063 is a relatively weak radio source (P_1.4GHz = 3 x 10^23 W Hz^-1). The data reveal that the kinematics of the gas is very complex. A fast outflow of molecular gas extends along the entire radio jet (~ 1 kpc), with the highest outflow velocities about 0.5 kpc from the nucleus, at the location of the brighter hot-spot in the W lobe. All the observed characteristics can be described by a scenario of a radio plasma jet expanding into a clumpy medium, interacting directly with the clouds and inflating a cocoon that drives a lateral outflow into the interstellar medium. This suggests that most of the observed cold molecular outflow is due to fast cooling of the gas after the passage of a shock and that it is the end product of the cooling process.

A maximum volume density estimator generalised over a proper motion limited sample

The traditional Schmidt density estimator has been proven to be unbiased and effective in a magnitude limited sample. Previously, efforts have been made to generalise it for populations with non-uniform density and proper motion limited cases. This work shows that the then good assumptions for a proper motion limited sample are no longer sufficient to cope with modern data. Populations with larger differences in the kinematics as compared to the Local Standard of Rest are most severely affected. We show that this systematic bias can be removed by treating the discovery fraction inseparable from the generalised maximum volume integrand. The treatment can be applied to any proper motion limited sample with good knowledge of the kinematics. This work demonstrates the method through application to a mock catalogue of a white dwarf-only solar neighbourhood for various scenarios and compared against the traditional treatment using a survey with Pan-STARRS-like characteristics.

Cool White Dwarfs Selection with Pan-STARRS Proper Motions

The use of Reduced Proper Motion in identifying isolated white dwarfs has long been used as a proxy for the absolute magnitude in a population with known kinematics. This, however, introduces a proper motion detection limit on top of the existing photometric limit. How the survey volume is hampered by this extra parameter is discussed in Hambly et al. 2012. In this work, we discuss some robust outlier rejection methods in order to minimise the proper motion limit and hence maximise the survey volume. The generalised volume, corrected for the distance of the Sun from the Galactic Plane, is integrated explicitly.

Signatures of planets and protoplanets in the Galactic center: a clue to understand the G2 cloud?

Several hundred young stars lie in the innermost parsec of our Galaxy. The super-massive black hole (SMBH) might capture planets orbiting these stars, and bring them onto nearly radial orbits. The same fate might occur to planetary embryos (PEs), i.e. protoplanets born from gravitational instabilities in protoplanetary disks. In this paper, we investigate the emission properties of rogue planets and PEs in the Galactic center. In particular, we study the effects of photoevaporation, caused by the ultraviolet background. Rogue planets can hardly be detected by current or forthcoming facilities, unless they are tidally disrupted and accrete onto the SMBH. In contrast, photoevaporation of PEs (especially if the PE is being tidally stripped) might lead to a recombination rate as high as ~10^45 s^-1, corresponding to a Brackett-gamma luminosity ~10^31 erg s^-1, very similar to the observed luminosity of the dusty object G2. We critically discuss the possibility that G2 is a rogue PE, and the major uncertainties of this model.

Diffuse coronae in cosmological simulations of Milky Way-sized galaxies

We investigate the properties of halo gas using three cosmological `zoom-in’ simulations of realistic Milky Way-galaxy analogs with varying sub-grid physics. In all three cases, the mass of hot ($T > 10^6$ K) halo gas is $\sim 1\%$ of the host’s virial mass. Hot halos extend to 140 kpc from the galactic center and are surrounded by a bubble of warm-hot ($T = 10^5 – 10^6$K) gas that extends to the virial radius. Simulated halos agree well outside 20-30 kpc with the $\beta$-model of Miller $\&$ Bregman (2014) based on OVII absorption and OVIII emission measurements. Warm-hot and hot gas contribute up to $80\%$ of the total gas reservoir, and contain nearly the same amount of baryons as the stellar component. The mass of warm-hot and hot components falls into the range estimated for $L^*$ galaxies. With key observational constraints on the density of the Milky Way corona being satisfied, we show that concealing of the ubiquitous warm-hot baryons, along with the ejection of just $20-30 \%$ of the diffuse gas out of the potential wells by supernova-driven outflows, can solve the "missing baryon problem". The recovered baryon fraction within 3 virial radii is $90\%$ of the universal value. With a characteristic density of $\sim 10^{-4}$ cm$^{-3}$ at $50-80$ kpc, diffuse coronae meet the requirement for fast and complete ram-pressure stripping of the gas reservoirs in dwarf galaxy satellites, which signals the importance of satellite accretion in the assembly of halos and explains naturally how dSphs lost their gas soon after infall.

Neutron Star Mergers as the Origin of r-Process Elements in the Galactic Halo Based on the Sub-halo Clustering Scenario

Binary mergers (NSMs) of double neutron star (and black hole-neutron star) systems are suggested to be major sites of r-process elements in the Galaxy by recent hydrodynamical and nucleosynthesis studies. It has been pointed out, however, that the estimated long lifetimes of neutron star binaries are in conflict with the presence of r-process-enhanced halo stars at metallicities as low as [Fe/H] ~ -3. To resolve this problem, we examine the role of NSMs in the early Galactic chemical evolution on the assumption that the Galactic halo was formed from merging sub-halos. We present simple models for the chemical evolution of sub-halos with total final stellar masses between 10^4 M_solar and 2 x 10^8 M_solar. Typical lifetimes of compact binaries are assumed to be 100 Myr (for 95% of their population) and 1 Myr (for 5%), according to recent binary population synthesis studies. The resulting metallcities of sub-halos and their ensemble are consistent with the observed mass-metallicity relation of dwarf galaxies in the Local Group, and the metallicity distribution of the Galactic halo, respectively. We find that the r-process abundance ratios [r/Fe] start increasing at [Fe/H] <= -3 if the star formation efficiencies are smaller for less massive sub-halos. In addition, the sub-solar [r/Fe] values (observed as [Ba/Fe] ~ -1.5 for [Fe/H] < -3) are explained by the contribution from the short-lived (~1 Myr) binaries. Our results indicate that NSMs may have a substantial contribution to the r-process element abundances throughout the Galactic history.

Environment of the submillimeter-bright massive starburst HFLS3 at $z$$\sim$6.34

We describe the search for Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) near the sub-millimeter bright starburst galaxy HFLS3 at $z$$=$6.34 and a study on the environment of this massive galaxy during the end of reionization. We performed two independent selections of LBGs on images obtained with the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) and the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) by combining non-detections in bands blueward of the Lyman-break and color selection. A total of 10 objects fulfilling the LBG selection criteria at $z$$>$5.5 were selected over the 4.54 and 55.5 arcmin$^2$ covered by our HST and GTC images, respectively. The photometric redshift, UV luminosity, and the star-formation rate of these sources were estimated with models of their spectral energy distribution. These $z$$\sim$6 candidates have physical properties and number densities in agreement with previous results. The UV luminosity function of this field at $z$$\sim$6 shows no strong evidence for an overdensity of relatively bright objects (m$_{F105W}$$<$25.9) associated with HFLS3. A Voronoi tessellation analysis also did not allow a detection of an overdensity around HFLS3. However we identified three faint objects at less than three arcseconds from HFLS3 with color consistent with those expected for $z$$\sim$6 galaxies. Deeper data are needed to confirm their redshifts and to study their association with HFLS3 and the galaxy merger that may be responsible for the massive starburst.

Short GMC lifetimes: an observational estimate with the PdBI Arcsecond Whirlpool Survey (PAWS)

We describe and execute a novel approach to observationally estimate the lifetimes of giant molecular clouds (GMCs). We focus on the cloud population between the two main spiral arms in M51 (the inter-arm region) where cloud destruction via shear and star formation feedback dominates over formation processes. By monitoring the change in GMC number densities and properties from one side of the inter-arm to the other, we estimate the lifetime as a fraction of the inter-arm travel time. We find that GMC lifetimes in M51′s inter-arm are finite and short, 20 to 30 Myr. Such short lifetimes suggest that cloud evolution is influenced by environment, in which processes can disrupt GMCs after a few free-fall times. Over most of the region under investigation shear appears to regulate the lifetime. As the shear timescale increases with galactocentric radius, we expect cloud destruction to switch primarily to star formation feedback at larger radii. We identify a transition from shear- to feedback-dominated disruption through a change in the behavior of the GMC number density. The signature suggests that shear is more efficient at completely dispersing clouds, whereas feedback transforms the population, e.g. by fragmenting high mass clouds into lower mass pieces. Compared to the characteristic timescale for molecular hydrogen in M51, our short lifetimes suggest that gas can remain molecular while clouds disperse and reassemble. We propose that galaxy dynamics regulates the cycling of molecular material from diffuse to bound (and ultimately star-forming) objects, contributing to long observed molecular depletion times in normal disk galaxies. We also speculate that, in more extreme environments such as elliptical galaxies and concentrated galaxy centers, star formation can be suppressed when the shear timescale becomes so short that some clouds can not survive to collapse and form stars.

Stellar hydrodynamical modeling of dwarf galaxies: simulation methodology, tests, and first results

Cosmological simulations still lack numerical resolution or physical processes to simulate dwarf galaxies in sufficient details. Accurate numerical simulations of individual dwarf galaxies are thus still in demand. We aim at (i) studying in detail the coupling between stars and gas in a galaxy, exploiting the so-called stellar hydrodynamical approach, and (ii) studying the chemo-dynamical evolution of individual galaxies starting from self-consistently calculated initial gas distributions. We present a novel chemo-dynamical code in which the dynamics of gas is computed using the usual hydrodynamics equations, while the dynamics of stars is described by the stellar hydrodynamics approach, which solves for the first three moments of the collisionless Boltzmann equation. The feedback from stellar winds and dying stars is followed in detail. In particular, a novel and detailed approach has been developed to trace the aging of various stellar populations, which enables an accurate calculation of the stellar feedback depending on the stellar age. We build initial equilibrium models of dwarf galaxies that take gas self-gravity into account and present different levels of rotational support. Models with high rotational support develop prominent bipolar outflows; a newly-born stellar population in these models is preferentially concentrated to the galactic midplane. Models with little rotational support blow away a large fraction of the gas and the resulting stellar distribution is extended and diffuse. The stellar dynamics turns out to be a crucial aspect of galaxy evolution. If we artificially suppress stellar dynamics, supernova explosions occur in a medium heated and diluted by the previous activity of stellar winds, thus artificially enhancing the stellar feedback (abridged).

Large-scale structure and the intrinsic alignment of galaxies

Coherent alignments of galaxy shapes, often called "intrinsic alignments" (IA), are the most significant source of astrophysical uncertainty in weak lensing measurements. We develop the tidal alignment model of IA and demonstrate its success in describing observational data. We also describe a technique to separate IA from galaxy-galaxy lensing measurements. Applying this technique to luminous red galaxy lenses in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we constrain potential IA contamination from associated sources to be below a few percent.

An ALMA survey of Sub-millimeter Galaxies in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South: Physical properties derived from ultraviolet-to-radio modelling

[abridged] The ALESS survey has followed-up a sample of 122 sub-millimeter sources in the Extended Chandra Deep Field South at 870um with ALMA, allowing to pinpoint the positions of sub-millimeter galaxies (SMGs) to 0.3” and to find their precise counterparts at different wavelengths. This enabled the first compilation of the multi-wavelength spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of a statistically reliable survey of SMGs. In this paper, we present a new calibration of the MAGPHYS modelling code that is optimized to fit these UV-to-radio SEDs of z>1 star-forming galaxies using an energy balance technique to connect the emission from stellar populations, dust attenuation and dust emission in a physically consistent way. We derive statistically and physically robust estimates of the photometric redshifts and physical parameters for the ALESS SMGs. We find that they have a median stellar mass $M_\ast=(8.9\pm0.1)\times10^{10} M_\odot$, SFR$=280\pm70 M_\odot$/yr, overall V-band dust attenuation $A_V=1.9\pm0.2$ mag, dust mass $M_\rm{dust}=(5.6\pm1.0)\times10^8 M_\odot$, and average dust temperature Tdust~40 K. The average intrinsic SED of the ALESS SMGs resembles that of local ULIRGs in the IR range, but the stellar emission of our average SMG is brighter and bluer, indicating lower dust attenuation, possibly because they are more extended. We explore how the average SEDs vary with different parameters, and we provide a new set of SMG templates. To put the ALESS SMGs into context, we compare their stellar masses and SFRs with those of less actively star-forming galaxies at the same redshifts. At z~2, about half of the SMGs lie above the star-forming main sequence, while half are at the high-mass end of the sequence. At higher redshifts (z~3.5), the SMGs tend to have higher SFR and Mstar, but the fraction of SMGs that lie significantly above the main sequence decreases to less than a third.

Rotating Stellar Models Can Account for the Extended Main Sequence Turnoffs in Intermediate Age Clusters

We show that the extended main sequence turnoffs seen in intermediate age Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) clusters, often attributed to age spreads of several hundred Myr, may be easily accounted for by variable stellar rotation in a coeval population. We compute synthetic photometry for grids of rotating stellar evolution models and interpolate them to produce isochrones at a variety of rotation rates and orientations. An extended main sequence turnoff naturally appears in color-magnitude diagrams at ages just under 1 Gyr, peaks in extent between ~1 and 1.5 Gyr, and gradually disappears at around 2 Gyr in age. We then fit our interpolated isochrones by eye to four LMC clusters with very extended main sequence turnoffs: NGC 1783, 1806, 1846, and 1987. In each case, stellar populations with a single age and metallicity can comfortably account for the observed extent of the turnoff region.

Colours and luminosities of z=0.1 simulated galaxies in the EAGLE simulations

We calculate the colours and luminosities of redshift z = 0.1 galaxies from the EAGLE simulation suite using the GALAXEV population synthesis models. We take into account obscuration by dust in birth clouds and diffuse ISM using a two-component screen model, following the prescription of Charlot and Fall. We compare models in which the dust optical depth is constant to models where it depends on gas metallicity, gas fraction and orientation. The colours of EAGLE galaxies for the more sophisticated models are in broad agreement with those of observed galaxies. In particular, EAGLE produces a red sequence of passive galaxies and a blue cloud of star forming galaxies, with approximately the correct fraction of galaxies in each population and with g-r colours within 0.1 magnitudes of those observed. Luminosity functions from UV to NIR wavelengths differ from observations at a level comparable to systematic shifts resulting from a choice between Petrosian and Kron photometric apertures. Despite the generally good agreement there are clear discrepancies with observations. The blue cloud of EAGLE galaxies extends to somewhat higher luminosities than in the data, consistent with the modest underestimate of the passive fraction in massive EAGLE galaxies. There is also a moderate excess of bright blue galaxies compared to observations. The overall level of agreement with the observed colour distribution suggests that EAGLE galaxies at z = 0.1 have ages, metallicities and levels of obscuration that are comparable to those of observed galaxies.

Satellites of LMCs: Close Friendships Ruined by Milky Way Mass Halos

Motivated by the recent discovery of several dwarf galaxies near the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), we study the accretion of massive satellites onto Milky Way (MW)/M31-like halos using the ELVIS suite of N-body simulations. We identify 25 surviving subhalos near the expected mass of the LMC, and investigate the lower-mass satellites that were associated with these subhalos before they fell into the MW/M31 halos. Typically, 7% of the overall z=0 satellite population of MW/M31 halos were in a surviving LMC-group prior to falling into the MW/M31 halo. This fraction, however, can vary between 1% and 25%, being higher for groups with higher-mass and/or more recent infall times. Groups of satellites disperse rapidly in phase space after infall, and their distances and velocities relative to the group center become statistically similar to the overall satellite population after 4-8 Gyr. We quantify the likelihood that satellites were associated with an LMC-mass group as a function of both distance and velocity relative to the LMC at z=0. The close proximity in distance of the nine Dark Energy Survey candidate dwarf galaxies to the LMC suggest that ~2-4 are likely associated with the LMC. Furthermore, if several of these dwarfs nearby to the LMC are genuine members, then the LMC-group probably fell into the MW very recently, <2 Gyr ago. If the connection with the LMC is established with the help of the follow-up velocity measurements, these "satellites of satellites" represent prime candidates to study the affects of group pre-processing on lower mass dwarfs.

The density variance - Mach number relation in isothermal and non-isothermal adiabatic turbulence

The density variance – Mach number relation of the turbulent interstellar medium is relevant for theoretical models of the star formation rate, efficiency, and the initial mass function of stars. Here we use high-resolution hydrodynamical simulations with grid resolutions of up to 1024^3 cells to model compressible turbulence in a regime similar to the observed interstellar medium. We use Fyris Alpha, a shock-capturing code employing a high-order Godunov scheme to track large density variations induced by shocks. We investigate the robustness of the standard relation between the logarithmic density variance (sigma_s^2) and the sonic Mach number (M) of isothermal interstellar turbulence, in the non-isothermal regime. Specifically, we test ideal gases with diatomic molecular (gamma = 7/5) and monatomic (gamma = 5/3) adiabatic indices. A periodic cube of gas is stirred with purely solenoidal forcing at low wavenumbers, leading to a fully-developed turbulent medium. We find that as the gas heats in adiabatic compressions, it evolves along the relationship in the density variance – Mach number plane, but deviates significantly from the standard expression for isothermal gases. Our main result is a new density variance – Mach number relation that takes the adiabatic index into account: sigma_s^2 = ln {1+b^2*M^[(5*gamma+1)/3]} and provides good fits for b*M <= 1. A theoretical model based on the Rankine-Hugoniot shock jump conditions is derived, sigma_s^2 = ln {1+(gamma+1)*b^2*M^2/[(gamma-1)*b^2*M^2+2]}, and provides good fits also for b*M > 1. We conclude that this new relation for adiabatic turbulence may introduce important corrections to the standard relation, if the gas is not isothermal.

The build-up of the cD halo of M87 - evidence for accretion in the last Gyr

We present kinematic and photometric evidence for an accretion event in the halo of the cD galaxy M87 in the last Gyr. Using velocities for ~300 planetary nebulas (PNs) in the M87 halo, we identify a chevron-like substructure in the PN phase-space. We implement a probabilistic Gaussian mixture model to identify the PNs that belong to the chevron. From analysis of deep V-band images of M87, we find that the region with the highest density of PNs associated to the chevron, is a crown-shaped substructure in the optical light. We assign a total of N_(PN,sub)=54 to the substructure, which extends over ~50 kpc along the major axis where we also observe radial variations of the ellipticity profile and a colour gradient. The substructure has highest surface brightness in a 20kpc x 60kpc region around 70 kpc in radius. In this region, it causes an increase in surface brightness by >60%. The accretion event is consistent with a progenitor galaxy with a V-band luminosity of L=2.8\pm1.0 x 10^9 L_(sun,V), a colour of (B-V)=0.76\pm0.05, and a stellar mass of M=6.4\pm2.3 x 10^9 M_sun. The accretion of this progenitor galaxy has caused an important modification of the outer halo of M87 in the last Gyr. By itself it is strong evidence that the galaxy’s cD halo is growing through the accretion of smaller galaxies as predicted by hierarchical galaxy evolution models.

Voronoi Tessellation and Non-parametric Halo Concentration

We present and test TesseRACt, a non-parametric technique for recovering the concentration of simulated dark matter halos using Voronoi tessellation. TesseRACt is tested on idealized N-body halos that are axisymmetric, triaxial, and contain substructure and compared to traditional least-squares fitting as well as two non-parametric techniques that assume spherical symmetry. TesseRACt recovers halo concentrations within 0.3% of the true value regardless of whether the halo is spherical, axisymmetric, or triaxial. Traditional fitting and non-parametric techniques that assume spherical symmetry can return concentrations that are systematically off by as much as 10% from the true value for non-spherical halos. TesseRACt also performs significantly better when there is substructure present outside $0.5R_{200}$. Given that cosmological halos are rarely spherical and often contain substructure, we discuss implications for studies of halo concentration in cosmological N-body simulations including how choice of technique for measuring concentration might bias scaling relations.

RadioAstron space VLBI imaging of polarized radio emission in the high-redshift quasar 0642+449 at 1.6 GHz

Polarization of radio emission in extragalactic jets at a sub-milliarcsecond angular resolution holds important clues for understanding the structure of the magnetic field in the inner regions of the jets and in close vicinity of the supermassive black holes in the centers of active galaxies. Space VLBI observations provide a unique tool for polarimetric imaging at a sub-milliarcsecond angular resolution and studying the properties of magnetic field in active galactic nuclei on scales of less than 10^4 gravitational radii. A space VLBI observation of high-redshift quasar TXS 0642+449 (OH 471), made at a wavelength of 18 cm (frequency of 1.6 GHz) as part of the Early Science Programme (ESP) of the RadioAstron} mission, is used here to test the polarimetric performance of the orbiting Space Radio Telescope (SRT) employed by the mission, to establish a methodology for making full Stokes polarimetry with space VLBI at 1.6 GHz, and to study the polarized emission in the target object on sub-milliarcsecond scales. Polarization leakage of the SRT at 18 cm is found to be within 9 percents in amplitude, demonstrating the feasibility of high fidelity polarization imaging with RadioAstron at this wavelength. A polarimetric image of 0642+449 with a resolution of 0.8 mas (signifying an ~4 times improvement over ground VLBI observations at the same wavelength) is obtained. The image shows a compact core-jet structure with low (~2%) polarization and predominantly transverse magnetic field in the nuclear region. The VLBI data also uncover a complex structure of the nuclear region, with two prominent features possibly corresponding to the jet base and a strong recollimation shock. The maximum brightness temperature at the jet base can be as high as 4*10^13 K.

Proving strong magnetic fields near to the central black hole in the quasar PG0043+039 via cyclotron lines

The optical luminous quasar PG0043+039 has not been detected before in deep X-ray observations indicating the most extreme optical-to-X-ray slope index ${\alpha}_{ox}$ of all quasars. This study aims to detect PG0043+039 in a deep X-ray exposure. Furthermore, we wanted to check out whether this object shows specific spectral properties in other frequency bands. We took deep X-ray (XMM-Newton), far-ultraviolet (HST), and optical (HET, SALT telescopes) spectra of PG0043+039 simultaneously in July 2013. We just detected PG0043+039 in our deep X-ray exposure. The steep ${\alpha}_{ox} = -2.37 {\pm} 0.05$ gradient is consistent with an unusual steep gradient $F_{\nu} {\sim} {\nu}^{\alpha}$ with ${\alpha} = -2.67 {\pm} 0.02$ seen in the UV/far-UV continuum. The optical/UV continuum flux has a clear maximum near 2500 {\AA}. The UV spectrum is very peculiar because it shows broad humps in addition to known emission lines. A modeling of these observed humps with cyclotron lines can explain their wavelength positions, their relative distances, and their relative intensities. We derive plasma temperatures of T ${\sim}$ 3keV and magnetic field strengths of B ${\sim}$ 2 ${\times} 10^8$ G for the line-emitting regions close to the black hole.

The Stellar Spectral Features of Nearby Galaxies in the Near-Infrared: Tracers of Thermally-Pulsing Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars?

We analyze the stellar absorption features in high signal-to-noise ratio near-infrared (NIR) spectra of the nuclear region of 12 nearby galaxies, mostly spirals. The features detected in some or all of the galaxies in this sample are the TiO (0.843 $\mu$m\ and 0.886 $\mu$m), VO (1.048 $\mu$m), CN (1.1 $\mu$m\ and 1.4 $\mu$m), H$\rm _2$O (1.4 $\mu$m\ and 1.9 $\mu$m) and CO (1.6 $\mu$m\ and 2.3 $\mu$m) bands. The C$\rm _2$ (1.17 $\mu$m\ and 1.76 $\mu$m) bands are generally weak or absent, although C$\rm _2$ (1.76 $\mu$m) may be weakly present in the mean galaxy spectrum. A deep feature near 0.93 $\mu$m, likely caused by CN, TiO and/or ZrO, is also detected in all objects. Fitting a combination of stellar spectra to the mean spectrum shows that the absorption features are produced by evolved stars: cool giants and supergiant stars in the early- or thermally-pulsing asymptotic giant branch (E-AGB or TP-AGB) phases. The high luminosity of TP-AGB stars, and the appearance of VO and ZrO features in the data, suggest that TP-AGB stars dominate these spectral features. However, a contribution from other evolved stars is also likely. Comparison with evolutionary population synthesis models shows that models based on empirical libraries that predict relatively strong NIR features provide a more accurate description of the data. However, none of the models tested accurately reproduces all of the features observed in the spectra. To do so, the models will need to not only improve the treatment of TP-AGB stars, but also include good quality spectra of red giant and E-AGB stars. The uninterrupted wavelength coverage, high S/N, and quantity of features we present here will provide a benchmark for the next generation of models aiming to explain and predict the NIR properties of galaxies.

Intra-day variability observations and the VLBI structure analysis of quasar S4 0917+624

The IDV observations of S4 0917+624 were carried out monthly from August 2005 to January 2010, with the Urumqi 25m radio telescope at 4.8 GHz. The quasar S4 0917+624 exhibits either no or only very weak IDV during our 4.5 year observing interval. Prior to year 2000, the source S4 0917+624 was one of the most prominent IDV sources. Our new data indicate that the previous strong IDV has ceased and is not recovered. We analysed the long term VLBI structural variability using Gaussian model-fitting. From this we obtained the flux densities and the deconvolved sizes of core and inner jet components of the source. We studied the properties such as core fraction, angular size, spectral index, and brightness temperature of VLBI core for S4 0917+624, as well as the time delay between 5 and 15 GHz variations, and compared with the IDV properties of S4 0917+624. The source shows ejection of several jet components that are suspected to have partially reduced the IDV amplitude of S4 0917+624. However, during 2005-2006, the VLBI core size was comparable to the size before year 2000, but no strong IDV was detected in the period, suggesting that the quenching effect due to source size changes may not be responsible for the lack of strong IDV after year 2000. The refractive scattering properties for the strong IDV phase of S4 0917+624 before the year 2000 are discussed. The vanishing of strong IDV in S4 0917+624 after year 2000 is a mystery and cannot be explained via the quenching effect by changes in the observable VLBI structure. It however may be caused by changes in the interstellar medium, i.e. by interstellar weather, which induces changes in the scintillation pattern on timescales of several years. Further coordinated multi-frequency observations will be required to distinguish between the effect of source intrinsic variability and changing properties of the interstellar medium.

G2C2-III: Structural parameters for Galactic globular clusters in SDSS passbands

We use our Galactic Globular Cluster Catalog (G2C2) photometry for 111 Galactic globular clusters (GC) in g and z, as well as r and i photometry for a subset of 60 GCs and u photometry for 22 GCs, to determine the structural parameters assuming King (1962) models. In general, the resulting core radii are in good comparison with the current literature values. However, our half-light radii are slightly lower than the literature. The concentrations (and therefore also the tidal radii) are poorly constrained mostly because of the limited radial extent of our imaging. Therefore, we extensively discuss the effects of a limited field-of-view on the derived parameters using mosaicked SDSS data, which do not suffer from this restriction. We also illustrate how red giant branch (RGB) stars in cluster cores can stochastically induce artificial peaks in the surface brightness profiles. The issues related to these bright stars are scrutinised based on both our photometry and simulated clusters. We also examine colour gradients and find that the strongest central colour gradients are caused by central RGB stars and thus not representative for the cluster light or colour distribution. We recover the known relation between the half-light radius and the Galactocentric distance in the g-band, but find a lower slope for redder filters. We did not find a correlation between the scatter on this relation and other cluster properties. We find tentative evidence for a correlation between the half-light radii and the [Fe/H], with metal-poor GCs being larger than metal-rich GCs. However, we conclude that this trend is caused by the position of the clusters in the Galaxy, with metal-rich clusters being more centrally located.

Large-scale clustering of Lyman-alpha emission intensity from SDSS/BOSS

(Abridged) We detect the large-scale structure of Lya emission in the Universe at redshifts z=2-3.5 by measuring the cross-correlation of Lya surface brightness with quasars in SDSS/BOSS. We use a million spectra targeting Luminous Red Galaxies at z<0.8, after subtracting a best fit model galaxy spectrum from each one, as an estimate of the high-redshift Lya surface brightness. The quasar-Lya emission cross-correlation we detect has a shape consistent with a LambdaCDM model with Omega_M =0.30^+0.10-0.07. The predicted amplitude of this cross-correlation is proportional to the product of the mean Lya surface brightness, <mu_alpha>, the amplitude of mass fluctuations, and the quasar and Lya emission bias factors. Using known values, we infer <mu_alpha>(b_alpha/3) = (3.9 +/- 0.9) x 10^-21 erg/s cm^-2 A^-1 arcsec^-2, where b_alpha is the Lya emission bias factor. If the dominant sources of Lya emission are star forming galaxies, we infer rho_SFR = (0.28 +/- 0.07) (3/b_alpha) /yr/Mpc^3 at z=2-3.5. For b_alpha=3, this value is a factor of 21-35 above previous estimates from individually detected Lya emitters, although consistent with the total rho_SFR derived from dust-corrected, continuum UV surveys. 97% of the Lya emission in the Universe at these redshifts is therefore undetected in previous surveys of Lya emitters. Our measurement is much greater than seen from stacking analyses of faint halos surrounding previously detected Lya emitters, but we speculate that it arises from similar Lya halos surrounding all luminous star-forming galaxies. We also detect redshift space anisotropy of the quasar-Lya emission cross-correlation, finding evidence at the 3.0 sigma level that it is radially elongated, consistent with distortions caused by radiative-transfer effects (Zheng et al. (2011)). Our measurements represent the first application of the intensity mapping technique to optical observations.

HI observations of the nearest starburst galaxy NGC 253 with the SKA precursor KAT-7

We present HI observations of the Sculptor Group starburst spiral galaxy NGC 253, obtained with the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7). KAT-7 is a pathfinder for the SKA precursor MeerKAT, under construction. The short baselines and low system temperature of the telescope make it very sensitive to large scale, low surface brightness emission. The KAT-7 observations detected 33% more flux than previous VLA observations, mainly in the outer parts and in the halo for a total HI mass of $2.1 \pm 0.1$ $\times 10^{9}$ M$_{\odot}$. HI can be found at large distances perpendicular to the plane out to projected distances of ~9-10 kpc away from the nucleus and ~13-14 kpc at the edge of the disk. A novel technique, based on interactive profile fitting, was used to separate the main disk gas from the anomalous (halo) gas. The rotation curve (RC) derived for the HI disk confirms that it is declining in the outer parts, as seen in previous optical Fabry-Perot measurements. As for the anomalous component, its RC has a very shallow gradient in the inner parts and turns over at the same radius as the disk, kinematically lagging by ~100 km/sec. The kinematics of the observed extra planar gas is compatible with an outflow due to the central starburst and galactic fountains in the outer parts. However, the gas kinematics shows no evidence for inflow. Analysis of the near-IR WISE data, shows clearly that the star formation rate (SFR) is compatible with the starburst nature of NGC 253.

The Mopra Southern Galactic Plane CO Survey - Data Release 1

We present observations of the first ten degrees of longitude in the Mopra carbon monoxide (CO) survey of the southern Galactic plane (Burton et al. 2013), covering Galactic longitude l = 320-330{\deg} and latitude b = $\pm$0.5{\deg}, and l = 327-330{\deg}, b = +0.5-1.0{\deg}. These data have been taken at 35 arc sec spatial resolution and 0.1 km/s spectral resolution, providing an unprecedented view of the molecular clouds and gas of the southern Galactic plane in the 109-115 GHz J = 1-0 transitions of 12CO, 13CO, C18O and C17O. Together with information about the noise statistics from the Mopra telescope, these data can be retrieved from the Mopra CO website and the CSIRO-ATNF data archive.

The calculated rovibronic spectrum of scandium hydride, ScH

The electronic structure of six low-lying electronic states of scandium hydride, $X\,{}^{1}\Sigma^+$, $a\,{}^{3}\Delta$, $b\,{}^{3}\Pi$, $A\,{}^{1}\Delta$ $c\,{}^{3}\Sigma^+$, and $B\,{}^{1}\Pi$, is studied using multi-reference configuration interaction as a function of bond length. Diagonal and off-diagonal dipole moment, spin-orbit coupling and electronic angular momentum curves are also computed. The results are benchmarked against experimental measurements and calculations on atomic scandium. The resulting curves are used to compute a line list of molecular ro-vibronic transitions for $^{45}$ScH.

New constraints on direct collapse black hole formation in the early Universe

Direct collapse black holes (DCBH) have been proposed as a solution to the challenge of assembling supermassive black holes by $z>6$ to explain the bright quasars observed at this epoch. The formation of a DCBH seed with $\rm M_{BH}\sim10^{4-5}\rm M_{\odot}$, requires a pristine atomic-cooling halo to be illuminated by an external radiation field that is sufficiently strong to entirely suppress H$_{2}$ cooling in the halo. Many previous studies have attempted to constrain the critical specific intensity that is likely required to suppress H$_{2}$ cooling, denoted as $J_{\rm crit}$. However, these studies have typically assumed that the incident external radiation field can be modeled with a black-body spectrum. Under this assumption, it is possible to derive a {unique} value for $J_{\rm crit}$ that depends only on the temperature of the black-body. In this study we consider a more realistic spectral energy distribution (SED) for the external source of radiation that depends entirely on its star formation history and age. The rate of destruction of the species responsible for suppressing molecular hydrogen cooling depends on the detailed shape of the SED. Therefore the value of $J_{\rm crit}$ is tied to the shape of the incident SED of the nearest star-forming protogalaxy. We fit a parametric form to the rates of destruction of H$_2$ and H$^-$ that permit direct collapse. Owing to this, we find that $J_{\rm crit}$ is not a fixed threshold but can lie anywhere in the range $J_{\rm crit} \sim 0.5$–$10^{3}$, depending on the details of the source stellar population, and its distance from the atomic cooling halo.


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