Recent Postings from Galactic

Where do galaxies end? A study of hydrodynamic-simulation galaxies and their integrated properties

Many techniques have been used in the literature for determining which particles or cells in a hydrodynamic simulation are attached to a galaxy. Often these invoke a spherical aperture that defines the boundary between the galaxy and the rest of its parent (sub)halo, sometimes coupled with, or alternatively involving, the use of a subhalo finder and gas property restrictions. Using the suite of high-resolution zoom re-simulations of individual haloes by Martig et al., and the large-scale simulation MassiveBlack-II, we examine the differences in measured galaxy properties from techniques with various aperture definitions. We perform techniques popular in the literature and present a new technique of our own, based on the baryonic mass profiles of simulated (sub)haloes. For the average Milky-Way-mass system, we find the two most popular techniques in the literature return differences of order 30 per cent for stellar mass, a factor of 3 for gas mass, 40 per cent for star formation rate, and factors of several for gas accretion and ejection rates. Individual cases can show variations greater than this, with the severity dependent on the concentration of a given system. The average difference in integrated properties for a more general galaxy population are not as striking, but are still significant for stellar and gas mass. The large differences that can occur are problematic for comparing results from various publications. We stress the importance of both defining and justifying a technique choice and discourage using popular apertures that use an exact fraction of the virial radius, due to the unignorable variation in galaxy-to-(sub)halo size. Finally, we note that technique choice does not greatly affect simulated galaxies from lying within the scatter of observed scaling relations, but it can alter the derived best-fit slope for the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation.

A census of the expected properties of classical Milky Way dwarfs in Milgromian dynamics

Prompted by the recent successful predictions of the internal dynamics of Andromeda’s satellite galaxies (McGaugh & Milgrom 2013a,b), we revisit the classical Milky Way dwarf spheroidal satellites Draco, Sculptor, Sextans, Carina, and Fornax in the framework of Milgromian dynamics (MOND). We use for the first time a Poisson solver with adaptive mesh refinement in order to account simultaneously for the gravitational influence of the Milky Way and its satellites. This allows to rigorously model the important external field effect (EFE) of Milgromian dynamics, which can reduce the effective acceleration significantly. We make predictions on the dynamical mass-to-light ratio (Mdyn/L) expected to be measured by an observer who assumes Newtonian dynamics to be valid. We show that Milgromian dynamics predicts typical Mdyn/L ~ 10…50 Msun/Lsun. The results for the most luminous ones, Fornax and Sculptor, agree well with available velocity dispersion data. Moreover, the central power law slopes of the dynamical masses agrees exceedingly well with values inferred observationally from velocity dispersion measurements. The results for Sextans, Carina and Draco are low compared to usually quoted observational estimates, as already pointed out by Angus (2008). For Milgromian dynamics to survive further observational tests in these objects, one would thus need that either a) previous observational findings based on velocity dispersion measurements have overestimated the dynamical mass due to, e.g., binaries and contaminant outliers, b) the satellites are not in virial equilibrium due to the Milky Way tidal field, or c) the specific theory used here does not describe the EFE correctly (e.g., the EFE could be practically negligible in some other theories), or a combination of a-c.

Determining the nature of orbits in disk galaxies with non spherical nuclei

We investigate the regular or chaotic nature of orbits of stars moving in the meridional plane $(R,z)$ of an axially symmetric galactic model with a flat disk and a central, non spherical and massive nucleus. In particular, we study the influence of the flattening parameter of the central nucleus on the nature of orbits, by computing in each case the percentage of chaotic orbits, as well as the percentages of orbits of the main regular families. In an attempt to maximize the accuracy of our results upon distinguishing between regular and chaotic motion, we use both the Fast Lyapunov Indicator (FLI) and the Smaller ALingment Index (SALI) methods to extensive samples of orbits obtained by integrating numerically the equations of motion as well as the variational equations. Moreover, a technique which is based mainly on the field of spectral dynamics that utilizes the Fourier transform of the time series of each coordinate is used for identifying the various families of regular orbits and also to recognize the secondary resonances that bifurcate from them. Varying the value of the flattening parameter, we study three different cases: (i) the case where we have a prolate nucleus (ii) the case where the central nucleus is spherical and (iii) the case where an oblate massive nucleus is present. Furthermore, we present some additional findings regarding the reliability of short time (fast) chaos indicators, as well as a new method to define the threshold between chaos and regularity for both FLI and SALI, by using them simultaneously. Comparison with early related work is also made.

A multiple system of high-mass YSOs surrounded by disks in NGC7538 IRS1

NGC7538 IRS1 is considered the best high-mass accretion disk candidate around an O-type young star in the northern hemisphere. We investigated the 3D kinematics and dynamics of circumstellar gas with very high linear resolution, from tens to 1500 AU, with the ultimate goal of building a comprehensive dynamical model for this YSO. We employed four different observing epochs of EVN data at 6.7 GHz, spanning almost eight years, which enabled us to measure, besides line-of-sight (l.o.s.) velocities and positions, also l.o.s. accelerations and proper motions of methanol masers. In addition, we imaged with the JVLA-B array highly-excited ammonia inversion lines, from (6,6) to (13,13), which enabled us to probe the hottest molecular gas very close to the exciting source(s). We found five 6.7 GHz maser clusters which are distributed over a region extended N-S across ~1500 AU and are associated with three peaks of the radio continuum. We proposed that these maser clusters identify three individual high-mass YSOs, named IRS1a, IRS1b, and IRS1c. We modeled the maser clusters in IRS1a and IRS1b in terms of edge-on disks in centrifugal equilibrium. In the first case, masers may trace a quasi-Keplerian thin disk, orbiting around a high-mass YSO, IRS1a, of up to 25 solar masses. This YSO dominates the bolometric luminosity of the region. The second disk is both massive (<16 Msun within ~500 AU) and thick, and the mass of the central YSO, IRS1b, is constrained to be at most a few solar masses. In summary, we present compelling evidence that NGC7538 IRS1 is not forming just one single high-mass YSO, but consists of a multiple system of high-mass YSOs, which are surrounded by accretion disks, and are probably driving individual outflows. This new model naturally explains all the different orientations and disk/outflow structures proposed for the region in previous models.

Optical supernova remnants in nearby galaxies and their influence on star formation rates derived from H$\alpha$ emission

In this paper we present the available sample of detected supernova remnants (SNRs) in optical range in nearby galaxies. We also discuss the contribution of the H$\alpha$ flux from the SNRs to the total H$\alpha$ flux and its influence to the derived star formation rate (SFR) for each galaxy. We obtain for the contribution of SNRs’ flux to the total H$\alpha$ flux up to 12% for analyzed galaxies. Due to the observational selection effects, the contamination of derived SFRs by SNRs obtained in this paper represents only a lower limit.

Deriving model-based T$_e$-consistent chemical abundances in ionised gaseous nebulae

The derivation of abundances in gaseous nebulae ionised by massive stars using optical collisionally excited emission lines is studied in this work comparing the direct or $T_e$ method with updated grids of photoionisation models covering a wide range of input conditions of O/H and N/O abundances and ionisation parameter. The abundances in a large sample of compiled objects with at least one auroral line are re-derived and later compared with the $\chi^2$ weighted-mean abundances from the models. The agreement between the abundances using the two methods both for O/H and N/O is excellent with no additional assumptions about the geometry or physics governing the HII regions. Although very inaccurate model-based O/H are obtained when no auroral lines are considered, this can be overcome assuming empirical laws between O/H, log $U$, and N/O to constrain the considered models. In this way, for 12+log(O/H) $>$ 8.0, a precision better than 0.1dex consistent with the direct method is attained. For very low-$Z$, models give higher O/H values and a high dispersion, possibly owing to the contamination of the low-excitation emission-lines. However, in this regime, the auroral lines are usually well-detected. The use of this procedure, in a publicly available script, HII-CHI-mistry}, leads to the derivation of abundances in faint/high redshift objects consistent with the direct method based on CELs.

A particle dark matter footprint on the first generation of stars

Dark matter particles with properties identical to dark matter candidates that are hinted at by several international collaborations dedicated to experimental detection of dark matter (DAMA, COGENT, CRESST and CDMS-II, although not, most notably, by LUX), and which also have a dark matter asymmetry identical to the observed baryon asymmetry (Planck and Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe), may produce a significant impact on the evolution of the first generation of low-metallicity stars. The lifetimes of these stars in different phases of stellar evolution are significantly extended, namely, in the pre-main sequence, main sequence, and red giant phases. In particular, intermediate-mass stars in the red giant phase experience significant changes in their luminosity and chemical composition. The annihilations of dark matter particles affect the interior of the star in such a way that the $3\alpha-$reaction becomes less efficient in the production of carbon and oxygen. This dark matter effect contradicts the excess of carbon and other metals observed today in stars of low mass and low metallicity. Hence, we can impose an upper limit on the dark matter halo density, and therefore on the redshift, at which the first generation of low-metallicity stars formed.

A particle dark matter footprint on the first generation of stars [Cross-Listing]

Dark matter particles with properties identical to dark matter candidates that are hinted at by several international collaborations dedicated to experimental detection of dark matter (DAMA, COGENT, CRESST and CDMS-II, although not, most notably, by LUX), and which also have a dark matter asymmetry identical to the observed baryon asymmetry (Planck and Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe), may produce a significant impact on the evolution of the first generation of low-metallicity stars. The lifetimes of these stars in different phases of stellar evolution are significantly extended, namely, in the pre-main sequence, main sequence, and red giant phases. In particular, intermediate-mass stars in the red giant phase experience significant changes in their luminosity and chemical composition. The annihilations of dark matter particles affect the interior of the star in such a way that the $3\alpha-$reaction becomes less efficient in the production of carbon and oxygen. This dark matter effect contradicts the excess of carbon and other metals observed today in stars of low mass and low metallicity. Hence, we can impose an upper limit on the dark matter halo density, and therefore on the redshift, at which the first generation of low-metallicity stars formed.

A particle dark matter footprint on the first generation of stars [Cross-Listing]

Dark matter particles with properties identical to dark matter candidates that are hinted at by several international collaborations dedicated to experimental detection of dark matter (DAMA, COGENT, CRESST and CDMS-II, although not, most notably, by LUX), and which also have a dark matter asymmetry identical to the observed baryon asymmetry (Planck and Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe), may produce a significant impact on the evolution of the first generation of low-metallicity stars. The lifetimes of these stars in different phases of stellar evolution are significantly extended, namely, in the pre-main sequence, main sequence, and red giant phases. In particular, intermediate-mass stars in the red giant phase experience significant changes in their luminosity and chemical composition. The annihilations of dark matter particles affect the interior of the star in such a way that the $3\alpha-$reaction becomes less efficient in the production of carbon and oxygen. This dark matter effect contradicts the excess of carbon and other metals observed today in stars of low mass and low metallicity. Hence, we can impose an upper limit on the dark matter halo density, and therefore on the redshift, at which the first generation of low-metallicity stars formed.

Multi-frequency observations of a superbubble in the LMC: The case of LHA 120-N 70

We present a detailed study of new Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) and XMM-Newton observations of LHA 120-N 70 (hereafter N 70), a spherically shaped object in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) classified as a superbubble (SB). Both archival and new observations were used to produce high quality radio-continuum, X-ray and optical images. The radio spectral index of N 70 is estimated to be $\alpha=-0.12\pm 0.06$ indicating that while a supernova or supernovae have occurred in the region at some time in the distant past, N70 is not the remnant of a single specific supernova. N70 exhibits limited polarisation with a maximum fractional polarisation of 9% in a small area of the north west limb. We estimate the size of N 70 to have a diameter of 104 pc ($\pm 1$ pc). The morphology of N 70 in X-rays closely follows that in radio and optical, with most X-ray emission confined within the bright shell seen at longer wavelengths. Purely thermal models adequately fit the soft X-ray spectrum which lacks harder emission (above 1 keV). We also examine the pressure output of N 70 where the values for the hot (PX) and warm (PHii) phase are consistent with other studied Hii regions. However, the dust-processed radiation pressure (PIR) is significantly smaller than in any other object studied in Lopez et al. (2013). N70 is a very complex region that is likely to have had multiple factors contributing to both the origin and evolution of the entire region.

Near Infrared Spectra and Intrinsic Luminosities of Candidate Type II Quasars at 2 < z < 3.4

We present JHK near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy of 25 candidate Type II quasars selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, using Triplespec on the Apache Point Observatory 3.5m telescope, FIRE at the Magellan/Baade 6.5m telescope, and GNIRS on Gemini. At redshifts of 2 < z < 3.4, our NIR spectra probe the rest-frame optical region of these targets, which were initially selected to have strong lines of CIV and Ly alpha, with FWHM<2000 km/s from the SDSS pipeline. We use the [OIII]5007 line shape as a model for the narrow line region emission, and find that \halpha\ consistently requires a broad component with FWHMs ranging from 1000 to 7500 km/s. Interestingly, the CIV lines also require broad bases, but with considerably narrower widths of 1000 to 4500 km/s. Estimating the extinction using the Balmer decrement and also the relationship in lower-z quasars between rest equivalent width and luminosity in the [OIII] line, we find typical A_V values of 0-2 mag, which naturally explain the attenuated CIV lines relative to Halpha. We propose that our targets are moderately obscured quasars. We also describe one unusual object with three distinct velocity peaks in its [OIII] spectrum.

Bounds on Dark Matter Interpretation of Fermi-LAT GeV Excess

Annihilation of light dark matter of $m_{\rm DM} \approx (10-40)$ GeV into the Standard Model fermions has been suggested as a possible origin of the gamma-ray excess at GeV energies in the Fermi-LAT data. In this paper, we examine possible model-independent signatures of such dark matter models in other experiments such as AMS-02, colliders, and cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurements. We point out that first generation of fermion final states is disfavored by the existing experimental data. Currently AMS-02 positron measurements provide stringent bounds on cross sections of dark matter annihilation into leptonic final states, and $e^+e^-$ final state is in severe tension with this constraint. The $e^+e^-$ channel will be complementarily proved in an early stage of ILC and future CMB measurements. Light quark final states ($q\bar q$) are relatively strongly constrained by the LHC and dark matter direct detection experiments even though these bounds are model-dependent. Dark matter signals from annihilations into $q\overline{q}$ channels would be constrained by AMS-02 antiproton data which will be released in very near future. In optimistic case, diffuse radio emission from nearby galaxy clusters might provide another hint or limit on dark matter annihilation.

Bounds on Dark Matter Interpretation of Fermi-LAT GeV Excess [Cross-Listing]

Annihilation of light dark matter of $m_{\rm DM} \approx (10-40)$ GeV into the Standard Model fermions has been suggested as a possible origin of the gamma-ray excess at GeV energies in the Fermi-LAT data. In this paper, we examine possible model-independent signatures of such dark matter models in other experiments such as AMS-02, colliders, and cosmic microwave background (CMB) measurements. We point out that first generation of fermion final states is disfavored by the existing experimental data. Currently AMS-02 positron measurements provide stringent bounds on cross sections of dark matter annihilation into leptonic final states, and $e^+e^-$ final state is in severe tension with this constraint. The $e^+e^-$ channel will be complementarily proved in an early stage of ILC and future CMB measurements. Light quark final states ($q\bar q$) are relatively strongly constrained by the LHC and dark matter direct detection experiments even though these bounds are model-dependent. Dark matter signals from annihilations into $q\overline{q}$ channels would be constrained by AMS-02 antiproton data which will be released in very near future. In optimistic case, diffuse radio emission from nearby galaxy clusters might provide another hint or limit on dark matter annihilation.

Bent by baryons: the low mass galaxy-halo relation

The relation between galaxies and dark matter halos is of vital importance for evaluating theoretical predictions of structure formation and galaxy formation physics. We show that the widely used method of abundance matching based on dark matter only simulations fails at the low mass end because two of its underlying assumptions are broken: only a small fraction of low mass (below 10^9.5 solar masses) halos host a visible galaxy, and halos grow at a lower rate due to the effect of baryons. In this regime, reliance on dark matter only simulations for abundance matching is neither accurate nor self-consistent. We find that the reported discrepancy between observational estimates of the halo masses of dwarf galaxies and the values predicted by abundance matching does not point to a failure of LCDM, but simply to a failure to account for baryonic effects. Our results also imply that the Local Group contains only a few hundred observable galaxies in contrast with the thousands of faint dwarfs that abundance matching would suggest. We show how relations derived from abundance matching can be corrected, so that they can be used self-consistently to calibrate models of galaxy formation.

A distant radio mini-halo in the Phoenix galaxy cluster

We report the discovery of extended radio emission in the Phoenix cluster (SPT-CL J2344-4243, z=0.596) with the GMRT at 610 MHz. The diffuse emission extends over a region of at least 400-500 kpc and surrounds the central radio source of the Brightest Cluster Galaxy, but does not appear to be directly associated with it. We classify the diffuse emission as a radio mini-halo, making it the currently most distant mini-halo known. Radio mini-halos have been explained by synchrotron emitting particles re-accelerated via turbulence, possibly induced by gas sloshing generated from a minor merger event. Chandra observations show a non-concentric X-ray surface brightness distribution, which is consistent with this sloshing interpretation. The mini-halo has a flux density of $17\pm5$ mJy, resulting in a 1.4 GHz radio power of ($10.4\pm3.5) \times 10^{24}$ W Hz$^{-1}$. The combined cluster emission, which includes the central compact radio source, is also detected in a shallow GMRT 156 MHz observation and together with the 610 MHz data we compute a spectral index of $-0.84\pm0.12$ for the overall cluster radio emission. Given that mini-halos typically have steeper radio spectra than cluster radio galaxies, this spectral index should be taken as an upper limit for the mini-halo.

Estimating extragalactic Faraday rotation

(abridged) Observations of Faraday rotation for extragalactic sources probe magnetic fields both inside and outside the Milky Way. Building on our earlier estimate of the Galactic foreground (Oppermann et al., 2012), we set out to estimate the extragalactic contributions. We discuss different strategies and the problems involved. In particular, we point out that taking the difference between the observed values and the Galactic foreground reconstruction is not a good estimate for the extragalactic contributions. We present a few possibilities for improved estimates using the existing foreground map, allowing for imperfectly described observational noise. In this context, we point out a degeneracy between the contributions to the observed values due to extragalactic magnetic fields and observational noise and comment on the dangers of over-interpreting an estimate without taking into account its uncertainty information. Finally, we develop a reconstruction algorithm based on the assumption that the observational uncertainties are accurately described for a subset of the data, which can overcome this degeneracy. We demonstrate its performance in a simulation, yielding a high quality reconstruction of the Galactic Faraday depth, a precise estimate of the typical extragalactic contribution, and a well-defined probabilistic description of the extragalactic contribution for each source. We apply this reconstruction technique to a catalog of Faraday rotation observations. We vary our assumptions about the data, showing that the dispersion of extragalactic contributions to observed Faraday depths is likely lower than 7 rad/m^2, in agreement with earlier results, and that the extragalactic contribution to an individual data point is poorly constrained by the data in most cases. Posterior samples for the extragalactic contributions and all results of our fiducial model are provided online.

Turbulence in the Interstellar Medium

Turbulence is ubiquitous in the insterstellar medium and plays a major role in several processes such as the formation of dense structures and stars, the stability of molecular clouds, the amplification of magnetic fields, and the re-acceleration and diffusion of cosmic rays. Despite its importance, interstellar turbulence, alike turbulence in general, is far from being fully understood. In this review we present the basics of turbulence physics, focusing on the statistics of its structure and energy cascade. We explore the physics of compressible and incompressible turbulent flows, as well as magnetized cases. The most relevant observational techniques that provide quantitative insights of interstellar turbulence are also presented. We also discuss the main difficulties in developing a three-dimensional view of interstellar turbulence from these observations. Finally, we briefly present what could be the the main sources of turbulence in the interstellar medium.

Long term optical variability of bright X-ray point sources in elliptical galaxies

We present long term optical variability studies of bright X-ray sources in four nearby elliptical galaxies with {\it Chandra} Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer array (ACIS-S) and {\it Hubble Space Telescope (HST)} Advanced Camera for Surveys observations. Out of the 46 bright (X-ray counts $> 60$) sources that are in the common field of view of the {\it Chandra} and {\it HST} observations, 34 of them have potential optical counterparts, while the rest of them are optically dark. After taking into account of systematic errors, estimated using the field optical sources as reference, we find that four of the X-ray sources (three in NGC1399 and one in NGC1427) have variable optical counterparts at a high significance level. The X-ray luminosities of these source are $\sim 10^{38}$ $\rm ergs~s^{-1}$ and are also variable on similar time-scales. The optical variability implies that the optical emission is associated with the X-ray source itself rather than being the integrated light from a host globular cluster. For one source the change in optical magnitude is $> 0.3$, which is one of the highest reported for this class of X-ray sources and this suggests that the optical variability is induced by the X-ray activity. However, the optically variable sources in NGC1399 have been reported to have blue colours ($g – z > 1$). All four sources have been detected in the infra-red (IR) by {\it Spitzer} as point sources, and their ratio of $5.8$ to $3.6 \mu m$ flux are $> 0.63$ indicating that their IR spectra are like those of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN). While spectroscopic confirmation is required, it is likely that all four sources are background AGNs. We find none of the X-ray sources having optical/IR colours different from AGNs, to be optically variable.

Star Formation Rate and Extinction in Faint z~4 Lyman-Break Galaxies

We present a statistical detection of 1.5 GHz radio continuum emission from a sample of faint z~4 Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs). LBGs are key tracers of the high-redshift star formation history and important sources of UV photons that ionized the intergalactic medium in the early universe. In order to better constrain the extinction and intrinsic star formation rate (SFR) of high-redshift LBGs, we combine the latest ultradeep Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array 1.5 GHz radio image and the Hubble Space Telescope Advance Camera for Surveys (ACS) optical images in the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey-North. We select a large sample of 1771 z~4 LBGs from the ACS catalogue using $\bband$-dropout color criteria. Our LBG samples have $\iband$~25-28 (AB), ~0-3 magnitudes fainter than M*_UV at z~4. In our stacked radio images, we find the LBGs to be point-like under our 2" angular resolution. We measure their mean 1.5 GHz flux by stacking the measurements on the individual objects. We achieve a statistical detection of $S_{1.5GHz}$=0.210+-0.075 uJy at ~3 sigma, first time on such a faint LBG population at z~4. The measurement takes into account the effects of source size and blending of multiple objects. The detection is visually confirmed by stacking the radio images of the LBGs, and the uncertainty is quantified with Monte Carlo simulations on the radio image. The stacked radio flux corresponds to an intrinsic SFR of 16.0+-5.7 M/yr, which is 2.8X the SFR derived from the rest-frame UV continuum luminosity. This factor of 2.8 is in excellent agreement with the extinction correction derived from the observed UV continuum spectral slope, using the local calibration of meurer99. This result supports the use of the local calibration on high-redshift LBGs for deriving the extinction correction and SFR, and also disfavors a steep reddening curve such as that of the Small Magellanic Cloud.

Discovery of a Gas-Rich Companion to the Extremely Metal-Poor Galaxy DDO 68

We present HI spectral-line imaging of the extremely metal-poor galaxy DDO 68. This system has a nebular oxygen abundance of only 3% Z$_{\odot}$, making it one of the most metal-deficient galaxies known in the local volume. Surprisingly, DDO 68 is a relatively massive and luminous galaxy for its metal content, making it a significant outlier in the mass-metallicity and luminosity-metallicity relationships. The origin of such a low oxygen abundance in DDO 68 presents a challenge for models of the chemical evolution of galaxies. One possible solution to this problem is the infall of pristine neutral gas, potentially initiated during a gravitational interaction. Using archival HI spectral-line imaging obtained with the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array, we have discovered a previously unknown companion of DDO 68. This low-mass (M$_{\rm HI}$ $=$ 2.8$\times$10$^{7}$ M$_{\odot}$), recently star-forming (SFR$_{\rm FUV}$ $=$ 1.4$\times$10$^{-3}$ M$_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$, SFR$_{\rm H\alpha}$ $<$ 7$\times$10$^{-5}$ M$_{\odot}$ yr$^{-1}$) companion has the same systemic velocity as DDO 68 (V$_{\rm sys}$ $=$ 506 km s$^{-1}$; D $=$ 12.74$\pm$0.27 Mpc) and is located at a projected distance of 42 kpc. New HI maps obtained with the 100m Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope provide evidence that DDO 68 and this companion are gravitationally interacting at the present time. Low surface brightness HI gas forms a bridge between these objects.

Investigation of Dense Gas Towards Relativistic Outflow Sources

We probe the interstellar medium towards the objects Circinus X-1, a low-mass X-ray binary with relativistic jets; and the highly energetic Westerlund 2 stellar cluster, which is located towards TeV gamma-ray emission and interesting arc- and jet-like features seen in Nanten 12CO data. We have mapped both regions with the Mopra radio telescope, in 7 mm and 12 mm wavebands, looking for evidence of disrupted/dense gas caused by the interaction between high energy outflows and the ISM. Towards Westerlund 2, peaks in CS(J=1-0) emission indicate high density gas towards the middle of the arc and the endpoint of the jet; and radio recombination line emission is seen overlapping the coincident HII region RCW49. Towards Circinus X-1, 12CO(J=1-0) Nanten data reveals three molecular clouds that lie in the region of Cir X-1. Gas parameters for each cloud are presented here.

Evolution of a dwarf satellite galaxy embedded in a scalar field dark matter halo

In the standard cold dark matter (CDM) model there are still two major unsolved issues, simulations predict that the number of satellites around the Milky Way is higher than the current observed population, additionally high resolution observations in dwarf galaxies show that central densities are more consistent with constant density profiles (core profiles) in disagreement with CDM simulations. An alternative explanation that has been widely discussed is that the dark matter is a scalar field of a small mass, this is known as the scalar field dark matter (SFDM) model. The model can potentially solve the overabundance issue and successfully fit the density distribution found in dwarf galaxies. In fact, one of the attractive features of the model is the prediction of core profiles for the dark halos. Thus, in this paper we conduct N-Body simulations to explore the influence of tidal forces over a stellar distribution embedded in a SFDM halo orbiting a SFDM host halo that has a baryonic disk possessing parameters similar to the Milky Way. We found that galaxies in halos with core profiles and high central densities can survive for 10 Gyrs similar to the CDM subhalos, the same happens for galaxies in low density halos that are far from the host disk interaction, whereas satellites in low density dark matter halos and with tight orbits can be fully stripped of stars and eventually be dissolved. Therefore, we conclude that core profiles and small initial masses could be an alternative solution to the missing satellite problem present in CDM simulations.

Evolution of a dwarf satellite galaxy embedded in a scalar field dark matter halo [Cross-Listing]

In the standard cold dark matter (CDM) model there are still two major unsolved issues, simulations predict that the number of satellites around the Milky Way is higher than the current observed population, additionally high resolution observations in dwarf galaxies show that central densities are more consistent with constant density profiles (core profiles) in disagreement with CDM simulations. An alternative explanation that has been widely discussed is that the dark matter is a scalar field of a small mass, this is known as the scalar field dark matter (SFDM) model. The model can potentially solve the overabundance issue and successfully fit the density distribution found in dwarf galaxies. In fact, one of the attractive features of the model is the prediction of core profiles for the dark halos. Thus, in this paper we conduct N-Body simulations to explore the influence of tidal forces over a stellar distribution embedded in a SFDM halo orbiting a SFDM host halo that has a baryonic disk possessing parameters similar to the Milky Way. We found that galaxies in halos with core profiles and high central densities can survive for 10 Gyrs similar to the CDM subhalos, the same happens for galaxies in low density halos that are far from the host disk interaction, whereas satellites in low density dark matter halos and with tight orbits can be fully stripped of stars and eventually be dissolved. Therefore, we conclude that core profiles and small initial masses could be an alternative solution to the missing satellite problem present in CDM simulations.

Probing the physics of narrow-line regions of Seyfert galaxies I: The case of NGC 5427

We have used the Wide Field Spectrograph (WiFeS) on the ANU 2.3m telescope at Siding Spring to observe the nearby, nearly face-on, Seyfert 2 galaxy, NGC 5427. We have obtained integral field spectroscopy of both the nuclear regions and the HII regions in the spiral arms. We have constrained the chemical abundance in the interstellar medium of the extended narrow line region (ENLR) by measuring the abundance gradient in the circum-nuclear \ion{H}{ii} regions to determine the nuclear chemical abundances, and to use these to in turn determine the EUV spectral energy distribution for comparison with theoretical models. We find a very high nuclear abundance, $\sim 3.0$ times solar, with clear evidence of a nuclear enhancement of N and He, possibly caused by massive star formation in the extended ($\sim 100$pc) central disk structure. The circum-nuclear narrow-line region spectrum is fit by a radiation pressure dominated photoionisation model model with an input EUV spectrum from a Black Hole with mass $5\times10^7 M_{\odot}$ radiating at $\sim 0.1$ of its Eddington luminosity. The bolometric luminosity is closely constrained to be $\log L_{\mathrm bol.} = 44.3\pm 0.1$ erg s$^{-1}$. The EUV spectrum characterised by a soft accretion disk and a harder component extending to above 15keV. The ENLR region is extended in the NW-SE direction. The line ratio variation in circum-nuclear spaxels can be understood as the result of mixing \ion{H}{ii} regions with an ENLR having a radius-invariant spectrum.

A Deep Chandra ACIS Survey of M83

We have obtained a series of deep X-ray images of the nearby galaxy M83 using Chandra, with a total exposure of 729 ks. Combining the new data with earlier archival observations totaling 61 ks, we find 378 point sources within the D25 contour of the galaxy. We find 80 more sources, mostly background AGN, outside of the D25 contour. Of the X-ray sources, 47 have been detected in a new radio survey of M83 obtained using the Australia Telescope Compact Array. Of the X-ray sources, at least 87 seem likely to be supernova remnants (SNRs), based on a combination of their properties in X-rays and at other wavelengths. We attempt to classify the point source population of M83 through a combination of spectral and temporal analysis. As part of this effort, we carry out an initial spectral analysis of the 29 brightest X-ray sources. The soft X-ray sources in the disk, many of which are SNRs, are associated with the spiral arms, while the harder X-ray sources, mostly X-ray binaries (XRBs), do not appear to be. After eliminating AGN, foreground stars and identified SNRs from the sample, we construct the cumulative luminosity function (CLF) of XRBs brighter than 8 10$^{35}$ ergs/s. Despite M83′s relatively high star formation rate, the CLF indicates that most of the XRBs in the disk are low mass XRBs.

The Argo Simulation: I. Quenching of Massive Galaxies at High Redshift as a Result of Cosmological Starvation

Observations show a prevalence of high redshift galaxies with large stellar masses and predominantly passive stellar populations. A variety of processes have been suggested that could reduce the star formation in such galaxies to observed levels, including quasar mode feedback, virial shock heating, or galactic winds driven by stellar feedback. However, the main quenching mechanisms have yet to be identified. Here we study the origin of star formation quenching using Argo, a cosmological zoom-in simulation that follows the evolution of a massive galaxy at $z\geq{}2$. This simulation adopts the same sub-grid recipes of the Eris simulations, which have been shown to form realistic disk galaxies, and, in one version, adopts also a mass and spatial resolution identical to Eris. The resulting galaxy has properties consistent with those of observed, massive (M_* ~ 1e11 M_sun) galaxies at z~2 and with abundance matching predictions. Our models do not include AGN feedback indicating that supermassive black holes likely play a subordinate role in determining masses and sizes of massive galaxies at high z. The specific star formation rate (sSFR) of the simulated galaxy matches the observed M_* – sSFR relation at early times. This period of smooth stellar mass growth comes to a sudden halt at z=3.5 when the sSFR drops by almost an order of magnitude within a few hundred Myr. The suppression is initiated by a leveling off and a subsequent reduction of the cool gas accretion rate onto the galaxy, and not by feedback processes. This "cosmological starvation" occurs as the parent dark matter halo switches from a fast collapsing mode to a slow accretion mode. Additional mechanisms, such as perhaps radio mode feedback from an AGN, are needed to quench any residual star formation of the galaxy and to maintain a low sSFR until the present time.

The Smith Cloud and its dark matter halo: Survival of a Galactic disc passage

The current velocity of the Smith Cloud indicates that it has undergone at least one passage of the Galactic disc. Using hydrodynamic simulations we examine the present day structure of the Smith Cloud. We find that a dark matter supported cloud is able to reproduce the observed present day neutral hydrogen mass, column density distribution and morphology. In this case the dark matter halo becomes elongated, owing to the tidal interaction with the Galactic disc. Clouds in models neglecting dark matter confinement are destroyed upon disc passage, unless the initial cloud mass is well in excess of what is observed today. We then determine integrated flux upper limits to the gamma-ray emission around such a hypothesised dark matter core in the Smith Cloud. No statistically significant core or extended gamma-ray emission are detected down to a 95% confidence level upper limit of $1.4\times10^{-10}$ ph cm$^{-2}$ s$^{-1}$ in the 1-300 GeV energy range. For the derived distance of 12.4 kpc, the Fermi upper limits set the first tentative constraints on the dark matter cross sections annihilating into $\tau^{+}{\tau}^{-}$ and $b\bar{b}$ for a high-velocity cloud.

The Intrinsic Quasar Luminosity Function: Accounting for Accretion Disk Anisotropy

Quasar luminosity functions are a fundamental probe of the growth and evolution of supermassive black holes. Measuring the intrinsic luminosity function is difficult in practice, due to a multitude of observational and systematic effects. As sample sizes increase and measurement errors drop, characterizing the systematic effects is becoming more important. It is well known that the continuum emission from the accretion disk of quasars is anisotropic — in part due to its disk-like structure — but current luminosity function calculations effectively assume isotropy over the range of unobscured lines of sight. Here, we provide the first steps in characterizing the effect of random quasar orientations and simple models of anisotropy on observed luminosity functions. We find that the effect of orientation is not insignificant and exceeds other potential corrections such as those from gravitational lensing of foreground structures. We argue that current observational constraints may overestimate the intrinsic luminosity function by as much as a factor of ~2 on the bright end. This has implications for models of quasars and their role in the Universe, such as quasars’ contribution to cosmological backgrounds.

X-ray binary formation in low-metallicity blue compact dwarf galaxies

X-rays from binaries in small, metal-deficient galaxies may have contributed significantly to the heating and reionization of the early universe. We investigate this claim by studying blue compact dwarfs (BCDs) as local analogues to these early galaxies. We constrain the relation of the X-ray luminosity function (XLF) to the star-formation rate (SFR) using a Bayesian approach applied to a sample of 25 BCDs. The functional form of the XLF is fixed to that found for near-solar metallicity galaxies and is used to find the probability distribution of the normalisation that relates X-ray luminosity to SFR. Our results suggest that the XLF normalisation for low metallicity BCDs (12+log(O/H) < 7.7) is not consistent with the XLF normalisation for galaxies with near solar metallicities, at a confidence level of 1-5E-6. The XLF normalisation for the BCDs is found to be 14.5 +/- 4.8 (M_solar^-1 yr), a factor of 9.7 +/- 3.2 higher than for near solar metallicity galaxies. Simultaneous determination of the XLF normalisation and power law index result in estimates of q = 21.2^+12.2_-8.8) (M_solar^-1 yr) and alpha = 1.89^{+0.41}_{-0.30}, respectively. Our results suggest a significant enhancement in the population of high-mass X-ray binaries in BCDs compared to the near-solar metallicity galaxies. This suggests that X-ray binaries could have been a significant source of heating in the early universe.

The Catalog of Edge-on Disk Galaxies from SDSS. Part I: the catalog and the Structural Parameters of Stellar Disks

We present a catalog of true edge-on disk galaxies automatically selected from the Seventh Data Release (DR7) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. A visual inspection of the $g$, $r$ and $i$ images of about 15000 galaxies allowed us to split the initial sample of edge-on galaxy candidates into 4768 (31.8% of the initial sample) genuine edge-on galaxies, 8350 (55.7%) non-edge-ons, and 1865 (12.5%) edge-on galaxies not suitable for simple automatic analysis because these objects show signs of interaction, warps, or nearby bright stars project on it. We added more candidate galaxies from RFGC, EFIGI, RC3, and Galaxy Zoo catalogs found in the SDSS footprints. Our final sample consists of 5747 genuine edge-on galaxies. We estimate the structural parameters of the stellar disks (the stellar disk thickness, radial scale length, and central surface brightness) in the galaxies by analyzing photometric profiles in each of the g, r, and i images. We also perform simplified 3-D modeling of the light distribution in the stellar disks of edge-on galaxies from our sample. Our large sample is intended to be used for studying scaling relations in the stellar disks and bulges and for estimating parameters of the thick disks in different types of galaxies via the image stacking. In this paper we present the sample selection procedure and general description of the sample.

Investigation of Star Formation toward the Sharpless 155 H II region

We present a comprehensive study of star formation toward the H II region S155. Star-formation activities therein were investigated based on multi-wavelength data from optical to the far-infrared. The surface density distribution of selected 2MASS sources toward S155 indicates the existence of a compact cluster, which is spatially consistent with the position of the exciting source of the H II region, HD 217086. A sample of more than 200 excessive emission sources in the infrared were selected based on their 2MASS color indices. The spatial distribution of the sample sources reveals the existence of three young sub-clusters in this region, among which, sub-cluster A is spatially coincident with the bright rim of the H II region. In addition, photometric data from the WISE survey were used to identify and classify young stellar objects (YSOs). To further explore the evolutionary stages of the candidate YSOs, we fit the spectral energy distribution (SEDs) of 44 sources, which led to the identification of 14 Class I, 27 Class II, and 3 Class III YSOs. The spatial distribution of the classified YSOs at different evolutionary stages presents a spatio-temporal gradient, which is consistent with a scenario of sequential star formation. On the other hand, Herschel PACS observations toward the interface between S155 and the ambient molecular cloud disclose an arc-shaped dust layer, the origin of which could be attributed to the UV dissipation from the early type stars e.g. HD 217061 in S155. Four dusty cores were revealed by the Herschel data, which hints for new generations of star formation.

Infrared Tip of the Red Giant Branch and Distances to the Maffei/IC 342 Group

In this paper, we extend the use of the tip of the red giant branch (TRGB) method to near-infrared wavelengths from previously-used $I$-band, using the \textit{Hubble Space Telescope (HST)} Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Upon calibration of a color dependency of the TRGB magnitude, the IR TRGB yields a random uncertainty of $\sim 5%$ in relative distance. The IR TRGB methodology has an advantage over the previously-used ACS $F606W$ and $F814W$ filter set for galaxies that suffer from severe extinction. Using the IR TRGB methodology, we obtain distances toward three principal galaxies in the Maffei/IC 342 complex, which are located at low Galactic latitudes. New distance estimates using the TRGB method are 3.45$^{+0.13}_{-0.13}$ Mpc for IC 342, 3.37$^{+0.32}_{-0.23}$ Mpc for Maffei 1 and 3.52$^{+0.32}_{-0.30}$ Mpc for Maffei 2. The uncertainties are dominated by uncertain extinction, especially for Maffei 1 and Maffei 2. Our IR calibration demonstrates the viability of the TRGB methodology for observations with the \textit{James Webb Space Telescope (JWST)}.

On the use of Lyman-alpha to detect Lyman continuum leaking galaxies

We propose to infer ionising continuum leaking properties of galaxies by looking at their Lyman-alpha line profiles. We carry out Lyman-alpha radiation transfer calculations in two models of HII regions which are porous to ionising continuum escape: 1) the so-called "density bounded" media, in which massive stars produce enough ionising photons to keep the surrounding interstellar medium transparent to the ionising continuum, i.e almost totally ionised, and 2) "riddled ionisation-bounded" media, surrounded by neutral interstellar medium, but with holes, i.e. with a covering factor lower than unity. The Lyman-alpha spectra emergent from these configurations have distinctive features: 1) a "classical" asymmetric redshifted profile in the first case, but with a small shift of the maximum of the profile compare to the systemic redshift (Vpeak < 150 km/s); 2) a main peak at the systemic redshift in the second case (Vpeak = 0 km/s), with, as a consequence, a non-zero Lyman-alpha flux bluewards the systemic redshift. Assuming that in a galaxy leaking ionising photons, the Lyman-alpha component emerging from the leaking star cluster(s) dominates the total Lyman-alpha spectrum, the Lyman-alpha shape may be used as a pre-selection tool to detect Lyman continuum (LyC) leaking galaxies, in objects with well determined systemic redshift, and high spectral resolution Lyman-alpha spectra (R >= 4000). The examination of a sample of 10 local starbursts with high resolution HST-COS Lyman-alpha spectra and known in the literature as LyC leakers or leaking candidates, corroborates our predictions. Observations of Lyman-alpha profiles at high resolution should show definite signatures betraying the escape of Lyman continuum photons from star-forming galaxies.

Simulating the evolution of disc galaxies in a group environment. II. The influence of close-encounters between galaxies

We present results of controlled N-body simulations of isolated mergers used to study the evolution of disc galaxies in group environments, under the effect of both the global tidal field and close-encounters between galaxies. We improve upon previous implementations by modelling all group members as multi-component systems (dark matter and stars), and using a number of group members and a stellar mass distribution consistent with recent observations. We examine the evolution of disc galaxies infalling from the virial radius of the group halo, covering a parameter space of different disc inclinations, initial orbital eccentricities, and the presence of a central bulge. We also explore the influence of different number of group galaxies, initial orbital parameters, relative mass distribution and total mass of the galaxy population. We find that close-range encounters between galaxies are less frequent and less damaging to disc galaxies than originally expected, since they mostly occur when group members have lost a significant fraction of their initial mass to tidal stripping. We also find that group members mostly affect the disc galaxy indirectly by modifying their common global tidal field. Different initial orbital parameters of group members introduce a significant "scatter" in the evolution of general properties of disc galaxies around a "median" evolution that is similar to when only the effect of the global tidal field is included. Close-encounters introduce a high variability in the properties of disc galaxies, even slowing their evolution in some cases, and could wash out correlations between galaxy properties and the group total mass. The combined effect of the global tidal field and close-encounters appears to be inefficient at forming/enhancing central stellar bulges. This implies that bulges of S0 galaxies should be mostly composed by young stars. [Abridged]

The Spitzer South Pole Telescope Deep Field Survey: Linking galaxies and halos at z=1.5

We present an analysis of the clustering of high-redshift galaxies in the recently completed 94 deg$^2$ Spitzer-SPT Deep Field survey. Applying flux and color cuts to the mid-infrared photometry efficiently selects galaxies at $z\sim1.5$ in the stellar mass range $10^{10}-10^{11}M_\odot$, making this sample the largest used so far to study such a distant population. We measure the angular correlation function in different flux-limited samples at scales $>6^{\prime \prime}$ (corresponding to physical distances $>0.05$ Mpc) and thereby map the one- and two-halo contributions to the clustering. We fit halo occupation distributions and determine how the central galaxy’s stellar mass and satellite occupation depend on the halo mass. We measure a prominent peak in the stellar-to-halo mass ratio at a halo mass of $\log(M_{\rm halo} / M_\odot) = 12.44\pm0.08$, 4.5 times higher than the $z=0$ value. This supports the idea of an evolving mass threshold above which star formation is quenched. We estimate the large-scale bias in the range $b_g=2-4$ and the satellite fraction to be $f_\mathrm{sat}\sim0.2$, showing a clear evolution compared to $z=0$. We also find that, above a given stellar mass limit, the fraction of galaxies that are in similar mass pairs is higher at $z=1.5$ than at $z=0$. In addition, we measure that this fraction mildly increases with the stellar mass limit at $z=1.5$, which is the opposite of the behavior seen at low-redshift.

3D-HST+CANDELS: The Evolution of the Galaxy Size-Mass Distribution since $z=3$

Spectroscopic + photometric redshifts, stellar mass estimates, and rest-frame colors from the 3D-HST survey are combined with structural parameter measurements from CANDELS imaging to determine the galaxy size-mass distribution over the redshift range $0<z<3$. Separating early- and late-type galaxies on the basis of star-formation activity, we confirm that early-type galaxies are on average smaller than late-type galaxies at all redshifts, and find a significantly different rate of average size evolution at fixed galaxy mass, with fast evolution for the early-type population, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto (1+z)^{-1.48}$, and moderate evolution for the late-type population, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto (1+z)^{-0.75}$. The large sample size and dynamic range in both galaxy mass and redshift, in combination with the high fidelity of our measurements due to the extensive use of spectroscopic data, not only fortify previous results, but also enable us to probe beyond simple average galaxy size measurements. At all redshifts the slope of the size-mass relation is shallow, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto M_*^{0.22}$, for late-type galaxies with stellar mass $>3\times 10^{9}~M_{\odot}$, and steep, $R_{\rm{eff}}\propto M_*^{0.75}$, for early-type galaxies with stellar mass $>2\times 10^{10}~M_{\odot}$. The intrinsic scatter is $\lesssim$0.2 dex for all galaxy types and redshifts. For late-type galaxies, the logarithmic size distribution is not symmetric, but skewed toward small sizes: at all redshifts and masses a tail of small late-type galaxies exists that overlaps in size with the early-type galaxy population. The number density of massive ($\sim 10^{11}~M_{\odot}$), compact ($R_{\rm{eff}} < 2$kpc) early-type galaxies increases from $z=3$ to $z=1.5-2$ and then strongly decreases at later cosmic times.

Power Spectrum Analysis of Polarized Emission from the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey

Angular power spectra are calculated and presented for the entirety of the Canadian Galactic Plane Survey polarization dataset at 1.4 GHz covering an area of 1060 deg$^2$. The data analyzed are a combination of data from the 100-m Effelsberg Telescope, the 26-m Telescope at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, and the Synthesis Telescope at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory, allowing all scales to be sampled down to arcminute resolution. The resulting power spectra cover multipoles from $\ell \approx 60$ to $\ell \approx 10^4$ and display both a power-law component at low multipoles and a flattening at high multipoles from point sources. We fit the power spectrum with a model that accounts for these components and instrumental effects. The resulting power-law indices are found to have a mode of 2.3, similar to previous results. However, there are significant regional variations in the index, defying attempts to characterize the emission with a single value. The power-law index is found to increase away from the Galactic plane. A transition from small-scale to large-scale structure is evident at $b= 9^{\circ}$, associated with the disk-halo transition in a 15$^{\circ}$ region around $l=108^{\circ}$. Localized variations in the index are found toward HII regions and supernova remnants, but the interpretation of these variations is inconclusive. The power in the polarized emission is anticorrelated with bright thermal emission (traced by H$\alpha$ emission) indicating that the thermal emission depolarizes background synchrotron emission.

Radiation pressure-driven dust waves inside bursting interstellar bubbles

Massive stars drive the evolution of the interstellar medium through their radiative and mechanical energy input. After their birth, they form bubbles of hot gas surrounded by a dense shell. Traditionally, the formation of bubbles is explained through the input of a powerful stellar wind, even though direct evidence supporting this scenario is lacking. Here we explore the possibility that interstellar bubbles seen by the Spitzer- and Herschel space telescopes, blown by stars with log(L/L_sun) < 5.2, form and expand due to the thermal pressure accompanying ionization of the surrounding gas. We show that density gradients in the natal cloud or a puncture in the swept up shell lead to an ionized gas flow through the bubble into the general interstellar medium, which is traced by a dust wave near the star, demonstrating the importance of radiation pressure during this phase. Dust waves provide a natural explanation for the presence of dust inside H II bubbles, offer a novel method to study dust in H II regions and provide direct evidence that bubbles are relieving their pressure into the ISM through a champagne flow, acting as a probe of the radiative interaction of a massive star with its surroundings. We create a parameter space connecting the ambient density, the ionizing source luminosity, and the position of the dust wave, while using the well-studied H II bubbles RCW 120 and RCW 82 as benchmarks of our model. Finally, we briefly examine the implications of our study for the environments of super star clusters formed in UltraLuminous InfraRed Galaxies (ULIRGs), merging galaxies and the early Universe, which occur in very luminous and dense environments and where radiation pressure is expected to dominate the dynamical evolution.

The central dynamics of M3, M13, and M92: Stringent limits on the masses of intermediate-mass black holes

We used the PMAS integral field spectrograph to obtain large sets of radial velocities in the central regions of three northern Galactic globular clusters: M3, M13, and M92. By applying the novel technique of crowded field 3D spectroscopy, we measured radial velocities for about 80 stars within the central ~ 10 arcsec of each cluster. These are by far the largest spectroscopic datasets obtained in the innermost parts of these clusters up to now. To obtain kinematical data across the whole extent of the clusters, we complement our data with measurements available in the literature. We combine our velocity measurements with surface brightness profiles to analyse the internal dynamics of each cluster using spherical Jeans models, and investigate whether our data provide evidence for an intermediate-mass black hole in any of the clusters. The surface brightness profiles reveal that all three clusters are consistent with a core profile, although shallow cusps cannot be excluded. We find that spherical Jeans models with a constant mass-to-light ratio provide a good overall representation of the kinematical data. A massive black hole is required in none of the three clusters to explain the observed kinematics. Our 1sigma (3sigma) upper limits are 5300 M_sun (12000 M_sun) for M3, 8600 M_sun (13000 M_sun) for M13, and 980 M_sun (2700 M_sun) for M92. A puzzling circumstance is the existence of several potential high velocity stars in M3 and M13, as their presence can account for the majority of the discrepancies that we find in our mass limits compared to M92.

Stellar kinematics of X-ray bright massive elliptical galaxies

We discuss a simple and fast method for estimating masses of early-type galaxies from optical data and compare the results with X-ray derived masses. The optical method relies only on the most basic observables such as the surface brightness $I(R)$ and the line-of-sight velocity dispersion $\sigma_p(R)$ profiles and provides an anisotropy-independent estimate of the galaxy circular speed $V_c$. The mass-anisotropy degeneracy is effectively overcome by evaluating $V_c$ at a characteristic radius $R_{\rm sweet}$ defined from {\it local} properties of observed profiles. The sweet radius $R_{\rm sweet}$ is expected to lie close to $R_2$, where $I(R) \propto R^{-2}$, and not far from the effective radius $R_{\rm eff}$. We apply the method to a sample of five X-ray bright elliptical galaxies observed with the 6-m telescope BTA-6 in Russia. We then compare the optical $V_c$-estimate with the X-ray derived value, and discuss possible constraints on the non-thermal pressure in the hot gas and configuration of stellar orbits. We find that the average ratio of the optical $V_c$-estimate to the X-ray one is equal to $\approx 0.98$ with $11 \%$ scatter, i.e. there is no evidence for the large non-thermal pressure contribution in the gas at $\sim R_{\rm sweet}$. From analysis of the Lick indices H$\beta$, Mgb, Fe5270 and Fe5335, we calculate the mass of the stellar component within the sweet radius. We conclude that a typical dark matter fraction inside $R_{\rm sweet}$ in the sample galaxies is $\sim 60\%$ for the Salpeter IMF and $\sim 75 \%$ for the Kroupa IMF.

Unfolding the Laws of Star Formation: The Density Distribution of Molecular Clouds

The formation of stars shapes the structure and evolution of entire galaxies. The rate and efficiency of this process are affected substantially by the density structure of the individual molecular clouds in which stars form. The most fundamental measure of this structure is the probability density function of volume densities (rho-PDF), which determines the star formation rates predicted with analytical models. This function has remained unconstrained by observations. We have developed an approach to quantify rho-PDFs and establish their relation to star formation. The rho-PDFs instigate a density threshold of star formation and allow us to quantify the star formation efficiency above it. The rho-PDFs provide new constraints for star formation theories and correctly predict several key properties of the star-forming interstellar medium.

Ca II Absorbers in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Statistics

We present the results of a survey for CaII 3934,3969 absorption-line systems culled from ~ 95,000 Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Data Release 7 and Data Release 9 quasar spectra. With 435 doublets identified in the catalog, this list is the largest CaII catalog compiled to date, spanning redshifts z < 1.34, which corresponds to the most recent ~ 8.9 Gyrs of the history of the Universe. We derive statistics on the CaII rest equivalent width distribution (REW) and incidence (number density per unit redshift). We find that the lambda3934 REW distribution cannot be described by a single exponential function. A double exponential function is required to produce a satisfactory description. The function can be written as a sum of weak and strong components: dn/dW = (N_wk*/W_wk*) exp(-W/W_wk*) + (N_str*/W_str*) exp(-W/W_str*). A maximum likelihood fit to the unbinned data indicates: N_wk*=0.140 +/- 0.029, W_wk*=0.165 +/- 0.020 A, N_str*=0.024 +/- 0.020, and W_str*=0.427 +/- 0.101 A. This suggests that the CaII absorbers are composed of at least two distinct populations. The incidence (product of integrated absorber cross section and their co-moving number density) of the overall CaII absorber population does not show evidence for evolution in the standard cosmology. The normalization of the no-evolution curve, i.e., the value of the CaII incidence extrapolated to redshift z=0, for lambda 3934 >= 0.3 A, is n_0=0.017 +/- 0.001. In comparison to MgII surveys, we found that only 3% of MgII systems in the SDSS have CaII, confirming that it is rare to identify CaII in quasar absorption-line surveys. We also report on some preliminary investigations of the nature of the two populations of CaII absorbers, and show that they can likely be distinguished using their MgII properties.

Diffuse Interstellar Bands vs. Known Atomic and Molecular Species in the Interstellar Medium of M82 toward SN 2014J

We discuss the absorption due to various constituents of the interstellar medium of M82 seen in moderately high resolution, high signal-to-noise ratio optical spectra of SN 2014J. Complex absorption from M82 is seen, at velocities 45 $\le$ $v_{\rm LSR}$ $\le$ 260 km s$^{-1}$, for Na I, K I, Ca I, Ca II, CH, CH$^+$, and CN; many of the diffuse interstellar bands (DIBs) are also detected. Comparisons of the column densities of the atomic and molecular species and the equivalent widths of the DIBs reveal both similarities and differences in relative abundances, compared to trends seen in the ISM of our Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds. Of the ten relatively strong DIBs considered here, six (including $\lambda$5780.5) have strengths within $\pm$20% of the mean values seen in the local Galactic ISM, for comparable N(K I); two are weaker by 20–45% and two (including $\lambda$5797.1) are stronger by 25–40%. Weaker than "expected" DIBs [relative to N(K I), N(Na I), and E(B-V)] in some Galactic sight lines and toward several other extragalactic supernovae appear to be associated with strong CN absorption and/or significant molecular fractions. While the N(CH)/N(K I) and N(CN)/N(CH) ratios seen toward SN 2014J are similar to those found in the local Galactic ISM, the combination of high N(CH$^+$)/N(CH) and high W(5797.1)/W(5780.5) ratios has not been seen elsewhere. The centroids of many of the M82 DIBs are shifted, relative to the envelope of the K I profile — likely due to component-to-component variations in W(DIB)/N(K I) that may reflect the molecular content of the individual components. We compare estimates for the host galaxy reddening E(B-V) derived from the various interstellar species with the values estimated from optical and near-IR photometry of SN 2014J.

Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA): autoz spectral redshift measurements, confidence and errors

The Galaxy And Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey has obtained spectra of over 230000 targets using the Anglo-Australian Telescope. To homogenise the redshift measurements and improve the reliability, a fully automatic redshift code was developed (autoz). The measurements were made using a cross-correlation method for both absorption-line and emission-line spectra. Large deviations in the high-pass filtered spectra are partially clipped in order to be robust against uncorrected artefacts and to reduce the weight given to single-line matches. A single figure of merit (FOM) was developed that puts all template matches onto a similar confidence scale. The redshift confidence as a function of the FOM was fitted with a tanh function using a maximum likelihood method applied to repeat observations of targets. The method could be adapted to provide robust automatic redshifts for other large galaxy redshift surveys. For the GAMA survey, there was a substantial improvement in the reliability of assigned redshifts and in the lowering of redshift uncertainties with a median velocity uncertainty of 33 km/s.

Gas and Stellar Motions and Observational Signatures of Co-Rotating Spiral Arms

We have observed a snapshot of our N-body/Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics simulation of the Milky Way-sized barred spiral galaxy in a similar way to how we can observe the Milky Way. The simulated galaxy shows a co-rotating spiral arm, i.e. the spiral arm rotates with the same speed as the circular speed. We observed the rotation and radial velocities of the gas and stars as a function of the distance from our assumed location of the observer at the three lines of sight on the disc plane, (l,b)=(90,0), (120,0) and (150,0) deg. We find that the stars tend to rotate slower (faster) behind (at the front of) the spiral arm and move outward (inward), because of the radial migration. However, because of their epicycle motion, we see a variation of rotation and radial velocities around the spiral arm. On the other hand, the cold gas component shows a clearer trend of rotating slower (faster) and moving outward (inward) behind (at the front of) the spiral arm, because of the radial migration. We have compared the results with the velocity of the maser sources from Reid et al. (2014), and find that the observational data show a similar trend in the rotation velocity around the expected position of the spiral arm at l=120 deg. We also compared the distribution of the radial velocity from the local standard of the rest, V_LSR, with the APOGEE data at l=90 deg as an example. Interestingly, the APOGEE data have high V_LSR stars which may be difficult to reach without a resonance such as co-rotation.

On the interplay between star formation and feedback in galaxy formation simulations

Using high resolution cosmological zoom-in simulations of galaxy formation, we investigate the star formation-feedback cycle at high redshifts ($z>1$), focusing on progenitors of Milky Way-sized galaxies. Our star formation model is based on the local density of molecular hydrogen (H$_2$) forming on dust grains, as this may be an important ingredient for regulating star formation in the high redshift, metal-poor regime of galaxy formation. Our stellar feedback model accounts for energy and momentum from supernovae, stellar winds and radiation pressure. We use a suite of simulations with different parameters and assumptions about star formation and prescription recipes. We find that in order to reproduce global properties of the Milky Way progenitors, such as star formation history and stellar mass-halo mass relation, simulations should include 1) a combination of local early ($t\lesssim 4$ Myr) momentum feedback via radiation pressure and stellar winds and subsequent efficient supernovae feedback, and 2) the global star formation efficiency on kiloparsec scales should be feedback regulated. In particular, we find that in models with efficient feedback, the local efficiency of star formation per free fall time can be substantially larger than the global star formation efficiency inferred from the Kennicutt-Schmidt relation. We find that simulations that adopt inefficient star formation inferred from such relation fail to produce vigorous outflows and eject sufficient amounts of enriched gas in order to regulate the galactic baryon content. This illustrates the importance of understanding the complex interplay between star formation and feedback and the detailed processes that contribute to the feedback-regulated formation of galaxies. (Abridged for arXiv)

Careers in astronomy in Germany and the UK [Cross-Listing]

We discuss the outcomes of surveys addressing the career situation of astronomers in Germany and the UK, finding social and cultural differences between communities as well as gender bias in both.

Directly imaging damped Ly-alpha galaxies at z>2. II: Imaging and spectroscopic observations of 32 quasar fields

Damped Ly-alpha absorbers (DLAs) are a well-studied class of absorption line systems, and yet the properties of their host galaxies remain largely unknown. To investigate the origin of these systems, we have conducted an imaging survey of 32 quasar fields with intervening DLAs between z~1.9-3.8, leveraging a technique that allows us to image galaxies at any small angular separation from the background quasars. In this paper, we present the properties of the targeted DLA sample, new imaging observations of the quasar fields, and the analysis of new and archival spectra of the background quasars. In a companion paper we use these data to obtain an unbiased census of the DLA host galaxy population(s) and to directly measure the in-situ star formation rates of gas-rich galaxies at z>2.

Herschel-PACS Measurements of Nitrogen Enrichment in Nebulae around Wolf-Rayet Stars

For three nebulae that have early-WN Wolf-Rayet exciting stars, NGC 6888, WR 8 and Abell 48, we have obtained Herschel-PACS line scans of the [N III] 57 um and [O III] 88 micron lines, along with the 122 and 205 micron lines of [N II]. From the former two lines we have derived N$^{2+}$/O$^{2+}$ abundance ratios, equal to the overall N/O ratio under a wide range of nebular conditions. We find that all of the nebulae observed possess significant nitrogen enrichment, with derived N/O ratios greater than solar. The two nebulae with massive Wolf-Rayet exciting stars, NGC 6888 and WR8 are found to have N/O ratios that are enhanced by factors of 4.5 – 6.0 relative to the solar N/O ratio, consistent with an origin as material ejected just before the onset of the Wolf-Rayet phase. The other nebula, Abell 48, has recently been reclassified as a member of the rare class of three planetary nebulae that have early-WN central stars and are not of Peimbert Type I. We derive a nebular N/O ratio for it that is a factor of 2.4 enhanced relative to solar and within the range of N/O values that have been measured for the other three members of its [WN] planetary nebula class.

The X-ray Properties of the Cometary Blue Compact Dwarf galaxies Mrk 59 and Mrk 71

We present XMM-Newton and Chandra observations of two low-metallicity cometary blue compact dwarf (BCD) galaxies, Mrk 59 and Mrk 71. The first BCD, Mrk 59, contains two ultraluminous X-ray (ULX) sources, IXO 72 and IXO 73, both associated with bright massive stars and H II complexes, as well as one fainter extended source associated with a massive H II complex at the head of the cometary structure. The low-metallicity of Mrk 59 appears to be responsible for the presence of the two ULXs. IXO 72 has varied little over the last 10 yr, while IXO 73 has demonstrated a variability factor of ~4 over the same period. The second BCD, Mrk 71, contains two faint X-ray point sources and two faint extended sources. One point source is likely a background AGN, while the other appears to be coincident with a very luminous star and a compact H II region at the "head" of the cometary structure. The two faint extended sources are also associated with massive H II complexes. Although both BCDs have the same metallicity, the three sources in Mrk 71 have X-ray luminosities ~1-2 orders of magnitude fainter than those in Mrk 59. The age of the starburst may play a role.

 

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