Posts Tagged aperture

Recent Postings from aperture

Aperture Effects on Spectroscopic Galaxy Activity Classification

Activity classification of galaxies based on long-slit and fiber spectroscopy can be strongly influenced by aperture effects. Here we investigate how activity classification for 14 nearby galaxies depends on the proportion of the host galaxy’s light that is included in the aperture. We use both observed long-slit spectra and simulated elliptical-aperture spectra of different sizes. The degree of change varies with galaxy morphology and nuclear activity type. Starlight removal techniques can mitigate but not remove the effect of host galaxy contamination in the nuclear aperture. Galaxies with extra-nuclear star formation can show higher [O III] {\lambda}5007/H{\beta} ratios with increasing aperture, in contrast to the naive expectation that integrated light will only dilute the nuclear emission lines. We calculate the mean dispersion for the diagnostic line ratios used in the standard BPT diagrams with respect to the central aperture of spectral extraction to obtain an estimate of the uncertainties resulting from aperture effects.

Light-weight Flexible Magnetic Shields For Large-Aperture Photomultiplier Tubes [Cross-Listing]

Thin flexible sheets of high-permeability FINEMET foils encased in thin plastic layers have been used to shield various types of 20-cm-diameter photomultiplier tubes from ambient magnetic fields. In the presence of the Earth’s magnetic field this type of shielding is shown to increase the collection efficiency of photoelectrons and can improve the uniformity of response of these photomultiplier tubes.

Is the Sunyaev-Zeldovich effect responsible for the observed steepening in the spectrum of the Coma radio halo ?

The spectrum of the radio halo in the Coma cluster is measured over almost two decades in frequency. The current radio data show a steepening of the spectrum at higher frequencies, which has implications for models of the radio halo origin. There is an on-going debate on the possibility that the observed steepening is not intrinsic to the emitted radiation, but is instead caused by the SZ effect. Recently, the Planck satellite measured the SZ signal and its spatial distribution in the Coma cluster allowing to test this hypothesis. Using the Planck results, we calculated the modification of the radio halo spectrum by the SZ effect in three different ways. With the first two methods we measured the SZ-decrement within the aperture radii used for flux measurements of the halo at the different frequencies. First we adopted the global compilation of data from Thierbach et al. and a reference aperture radius consistent with those used by the various authors. Second we used the available brightness profiles of the halo at different frequencies to derive the spectrum within two fixed apertures, and derived the SZ-decrement using these apertures. As a third method we used the quasi-linear correlation between the y and the radio-halo brightness at 330 MHz discovered by Planck to derive the modification of the radio spectrum by the SZ-decrement in a way that is almost independent of the adopted aperture radius. We found that the spectral modification induced by the SZ-decrement is 4-5 times smaller than that necessary to explain the observed steepening. Consequently a break or cut-off in the spectrum of the emitting electrons is necessary to explain current data. We also show that, if a steepening is absent from the emitted spectrum, future deep observations at 5 GHz with single dishes are expected to measure a halo flux in a 40 arcmin radius that would be 7-8 times higher than currently seen.

Revisiting the Formation Rate and the Redshift Distribution of LGRBs

Using a novel approach, the distribution of fluences of long gamma ray bursts derived from the Swift-BAT catalog, was reproduced by a jet-model characterized by the distribution of the total radiated energy in $\gamma$-rays and the distribution of the aperture angle of the emission cone. The best fit between simulated and observed fluence distributions permits to estimate the parameters of the model. An evolution of the median energy of the bursts is required in order to reproduce adequately the observed redshift distribution of the events if the formation rate of $\gamma$-ray bursts follows the cosmic star formation rate. For our preferred model, the median jet energy evolves as $E_J \propto e^{0.5(1+z)}$ and the mean expected jet energy is $3.0\times 10^{49}$ erg, which agrees with the mean value derived from afterglow data. The estimated local formation rate is $R_{grb}=290 Gpc^{-3}yr^{-1}$, representing less than 9% of the local formation rate of type Ibc supernovae. The present result suggests also that the progenitors of long gamma ray bursts have masses $\geq 90 M_\odot$ if a Miller-Scalo initial mass function is assumed.

Revisiting the Formation Rate and the Redshift Distribution of LGRBs [Replacement]

Using a novel approach, the distribution of fluences of long gamma ray bursts derived from the Swift-BAT catalog, was reproduced by a jet-model characterized by the distribution of the total radiated energy in $\gamma$-rays and the distribution of the aperture angle of the emission cone. The best fit between simulated and observed fluence distributions permits to estimate the parameters of the model. An evolution of the median energy of the bursts is required in order to reproduce adequately the observed redshift distribution of the events if the formation rate of $\gamma$-ray bursts follows the cosmic star formation rate. For our preferred model, the median jet energy evolves as $E_J \propto e^{0.5(1+z)}$ and the mean expected jet energy is $3.0\times 10^{49}$ erg, which agrees with the mean value derived from afterglow data. The estimated local formation rate is $R_{grb}=290 Gpc^{-3}yr^{-1}$, representing less than 9% of the local formation rate of type Ibc supernovae. The present result suggests also that the progenitors of long gamma ray bursts have masses $\geq 90 M_\odot$ if a Miller-Scalo initial mass function is assumed.

New Uses for the Kepler Telescope: A Survey of the Ecliptic Plane For Transiting Planets and Star Formation

With the loss of two reaction wheels, the period of Kepler’s ultra-high precision photometric performance is at an end. Yet Kepler retains unique capabilities impossible to replicate from the ground or with existing or future space missions. This White Paper calls for the use of Kepler to conduct a survey in the ecliptic plane to search for planet transits around stars at high galactic latitudes and to study star forming regions to investigate physics of very young stars not studied by Kepler in its prime mission. Even with reduced photometric precision, Kepler’s 1 m aperture will enable it to survey faint M stars to find ice giants and Super Earths in Habitable Zone orbits.

CANDELS Multi-wavelength Catalogs: Source Detection and Photometry in the GOODS-South Field

We present a UV-to-mid infrared multi-wavelength catalog in the CANDELS/GOODS-S field, combining the newly obtained CANDELS HST/WFC3 F105W, F125W, and F160W data with existing public data. The catalog is based on source detection in the WFC3 F160W band. The F160W mosaic includes the data from CANDELS deep and wide observations as well as previous ERS and HUDF09 programs. The mosaic reaches a 5$\sigma$ limiting depth (within an aperture of radius 0.17 arcsec) of 27.4, 28.2, and 29.7 AB for CANDELS wide, deep, and HUDF regions, respectively. The catalog contains 34930 sources with the representative 50% completeness reaching 25.9, 26.6, and 28.1 AB in the F160W band for the three regions. In addition to WFC3 bands, the catalog also includes data from UV (U-band from both CTIO/MOSAIC and VLT/VIMOS), optical (HST/ACS F435W, F606W, F775W, F814W, and F850LP), and infrared (HST/WFC3 F098M, VLT/ISAAC Ks, VLT/HAWK-I Ks, and Spitzer/IRAC 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, 8.0 $\mu$m) observations. The catalog is validated via stellar colors, comparison with other published catalogs, zeropoint offsets determined from the best-fit templates of the spectral energy distribution of spectroscopically observed objects, and the accuracy of photometric redshifts. The catalog is able to detect unreddened star-forming (passive) galaxies with stellar mass of 10^{10}M_\odot at a 50% completeness level to z$\sim$3.4 (2.8), 4.6 (3.2), and 7.0 (4.2) in the three regions. As an example of application, the catalog is used to select both star-forming and passive galaxies at z$\sim$2–4 via the Balmer break. It is also used to study the color–magnitude diagram of galaxies at 0<z<4.

What do the Star Formation Histories of Galaxies tell us about the Starburst-AGN connection?

Using a sample of 229618 narrow emission-line galaxies, we have determined the normal star formation histories (SFHs) for galaxies with different activity types: star forming galaxies (SFGs), transition type objects (TOs), Seyfert 2s (Sy2s) and LINERs. We find that the variation of the SFH with the activity type is explained by the mass of the galaxies and the importance of their bulge: the LINERs reside in massive early-type galaxies, the Sy2s and TOs are hosted by intermediate mass galaxies with intermediate morphological types, and the SFGs are found in lower mass late-type spirals. Except for the Sy2s, the more massive galaxies formed the bulk of their stars more rapidly than the less massive ones. The Sy2s formed their stars more slowly and show presently an excess in star formation. We have also found that the maximum in star formation rate in the past increases with the virial mass within the aperture (VMA), the VMA increasing from the SFGs to the TOs, to the Sy2s, culminating in the LINERs. This correlation suggests that the bulges and the supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies grow in parallel, in good agreement with the M(BH)-sigma relation.

Partially Coherent Optical Modelling of the Ultra-Low-Noise Far-Infrared Imaging Arrays on the SPICA Mission

We have developed a range of theoretical and numerical techniques for modeling the multi-mode, 210-34 micron, ultra-low-noise Transition Edge Sensors that will be used on the SAFARI instrument on the ESA/JAXA cooled-aperture FIR space telescope SPICA. The models include a detailed analysis of the resistive and reactive properties of thin superconducting absorbing films, and a partially coherent mode-matching analysis of patterned films in multi-mode waveguide. The technique allows the natural optical modes, modal responsivities, and Stokes maps of complicated structures comprising patterned films in profiled waveguides and cavities to be determined.

Astropy: A Community Python Package for Astronomy

We present the first public version (v0.2) of the open-source and community-developed Python package, Astropy. This package provides core astronomy-related functionality to the community, including support for domain-specific file formats such as Flexible Image Transport System (FITS) files, Virtual Observatory (VO) tables, and common ASCII table formats, unit and physical quantity conversions, physical constants specific to astronomy, celestial coordinate and time transformations, world coordinate system (WCS) support, generalized containers for representing gridded as well as tabular data, and a framework for cosmological transformations and conversions. Significant functionality is under active development, such as a model fitting framework, VO client and server tools, and aperture and point spread function (PSF) photometry tools. The core development team is actively making additions and enhancements to the current code base, and we encourage anyone interested to participate in the development of future Astropy versions.

Lupus I Observations from the 2010 Flight of the Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry

The Balloon-borne Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol) was created by adding polarimetric capability to the BLAST experiment that was flown in 2003, 2005, and 2006. BLASTPol inherited BLAST’s 1.8 m primary and its Herschel/SPIRE heritage focal plane that allows simultaneous observation at 250, 350, and 500 {\mu}m. We flew BLASTPol in 2010 and again in 2012. Both were long duration Antarctic flights. Here we present polarimetry of the nearby filamentary dark cloud Lupus I obtained during the 2010 flight. Despite limitations imposed by the effects of a damaged optical component, we were able to clearly detect submillimeter polarization on degree scales. We compare the resulting BLASTPol magnetic field map with a similar map made via optical polarimetry (The optical data were published in 1998 by J. Rizzo and collaborators.). The two maps partially overlap and are reasonably consistent with one another. We compare these magnetic field maps to the orientations of filaments in Lupus I, and we find that the dominant filament in the cloud is approximately perpendicular to the large-scale field, while secondary filaments appear to run parallel to the magnetic fields in their vicinities. This is similar to what is observed in Serpens South via near-IR polarimetry, and consistent with what is seen in MHD simulations by F. Nakamura and Z. Li.

Large-aperture wide-bandwidth antireflection-coated silicon lenses for millimeter wavelengths

The increasing scale of cryogenic detector arrays for sub-millimeter and millimeter wavelength astrophysics has led to the need for large aperture, high index of refraction, low loss, cryogenic refracting optics. Silicon with n = 3.4, low loss, and relatively high thermal conductivity is a nearly optimal material for these purposes, but requires an antireflection (AR) coating with broad bandwidth, low loss, low reflectance, and a matched coefficient of thermal expansion. We present an AR coating for curved silicon optics comprised of subwavelength features cut into the lens surface with a custom three axis silicon dicing saw. These features constitute a metamaterial that behaves as a simple dielectric coating. We have fabricated and coated silicon lenses as large as 33.4 cm in diameter with coatings optimized for use between 125-165 GHz. Our design reduces average reflections to a few tenths of a percent for angles of incidence up to 30 degrees with low cross-polarization. We describe the design, tolerance, manufacture, and measurements of these coatings and present measurements of the optical properties of silicon at millimeter wavelengths at cryogenic and room temperatures. This coating and lens fabrication approach is applicable from centimeter to sub-millimeter wavelengths and can be used to fabricate coatings with greater than octave bandwidth.

Monte-Carlo simulation of ELT scale multi-object adaptive optics deformable mirror requirements and tolerances

Multi-object adaptive optics (MOAO) has been demonstrated by the CANARY instrument on the William Herschel Telescope. However, for proposed MOAO systems on the next generation Extremely Large Telescopes, such as EAGLE, many challenges remain. Here we investigate requirements that MOAO operation places on deformable mirrors (DMs) using a full end-to-end Monte-Carlo AO simulation code. By taking into consideration a prior global ground-layer (GL) correction, we show that actuator density for the MOAO DMs can be reduced with little performance loss. We note that this reduction is only possible with the addition of a GL DM, whose order is greater than or equal to that of the original MOAO mirrors. The addition of a GL DM of lesser order does not affect system performance (if tip/tilt star sharpening is ignored). We also quantify the maximum mechanical DM stroke requirements (3.5 $\mu$m desired) and provide tolerances for the DM alignment accuracy, both lateral (to within an eighth of a sub-aperture) and rotational (to within 0.2$^\circ$). By presenting results over a range of laser guide star asterism diameters, we ensure that these results are equally applicable for laser tomographic AO systems. We provide the opportunity for significant cost savings to be made in the implementation of MOAO systems, resulting from the lower requirement for DM actuator density.

Radio Astronomy transformed: Aperture Arrays - Past, Present and Future

Aperture Arrays have played a major role in radio astronomy since the field emerged from the results of long-distance communication tests performed by Karl Jansky in the early 1930′s. The roots of this technology extend back beyond Marconi, although the first electronically scanned instrument only appeared in the run-up to World War II. After the war, phased arrays had a major impact in many walks of life, including astronomy and astrophysics. Major progress was made in understanding the nature of the radio sky, including the discovery of Pulsars. Despite these early successes, parabolic dishes largely replaced aperture arrays through the 1960′s, and right up until the end of the 20th century. Technological advances in areas such as signal processing, digital electronics, low-power/high performance super-computing and large capacity data storage systems have recently led to a substantial revival in the use of aperture arrays – especially at frequencies below 300 MHz. Composed of simple antennas with commercially available low-noise room-temperature amplifiers, aperture arrays with huge collecting areas can be synthesized at relatively low cost. Multiple beams (or multiple fields-of-view) can be rapidly formed and electronically steered across the sky. As astronomers begin to grapple with these new possibilities, the next goal is to see these systems move to higher GHz frequencies. Aperture Arrays operating at frequencies of up to 1.7 GHz are expected to form a substantial part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Beam Patterns of the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope: Optimisation [Replacement]

The Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) uses adaptive spherical panels to achieve a huge collecting area for radio waves. In this paper, we try to explore the optimal parameters for the curvature radius of spherical panels and the focal distance by comparison of the calculated beam patterns. We show that to get the best beam shape and maximum gain, the optimal curvature radius of panels is around 300 m, and a small shift in the focal distance of a few cm is needed. The aperture efficiency can be improved by ~10% at 3 GHz by this small shift. We also try to optimise the panel positioning for the best beam, and find that panel shifts of a few mm can improve the beam pattern by a similar extent. Our results indicate that accurate control of the feed and panel positions to the mm level is very crucial for the stability of FAST’s observational performance.

Radio-transparent multi-layer insulation for radiowave receiver

In the field of radiowave detection, enhancement of the amount of detected light is essential for greater scientific achievements. A large aperture system is a promising way to increase the number of photons that are received at the detectors. One challenge in the application of radio transmittable apertures is keeping the detectors cool. This is because transparency to thermal radiation above the radio frequency range increases the thermal load. For shielding from thermal radiation, the general strategy involves installation of thermal filters in the light path between the aperture and the detectors. However, enlargement of the aperture gives rise to a new difficulty: warming of the filter. A thermal radiation shielding technology that does not warm the associated filter while allowing enlargement of the aperture is long-awaited. We propose radio-transparent multi-layer insulation (RT-MLI), which comprises a set of stacked insulator layers that are transparent in the radiowave frequency range. The basic idea for cooling is similar to conventional multi-layer insulation. It leads to reduction of the thermal radiation while maintaining a uniform surface temperature. We use foamed polystyrene as the insulator material, which has high radiowave transmittance, making an anti- reflection coating unnecessary. We measured the basic performance of the RT-MLI. We also demonstrated its effects with a combination of absorptive type filters with aperture diameters of 200 mm. We conclude that this technology is applicable to the cooling of radiowave receivers, and is particularly suitable for large aperture systems. This technology is expected to be applicable to various fields, including radio astronomy, geo-environmental assessment, and radar systems.

Radio-transparent multi-layer insulation for radiowave receivers [Replacement]

In the field of radiowave detection, enlarging the receiver aperture to enhance the amount of light detected is essential for greater scientific achievements. One challenge in using radio transmittable apertures is keeping the detectors cool. This is because transparency to thermal radiation above the radio frequency range increases the thermal load. A technology that maintains cold conditions while allowing larger apertures has been long-awaited. We propose radio-transparent multi-layer insulation (RT-MLI), composed from a set of stacked insulating layers. The insulator is transparent to radio frequencies, but not transparent to infrared radiation. The basic idea for cooling is similar to conventional multi-layer insulation. It leads to a reduction in thermal radiation while maintaining a uniform surface temperature. The advantage of this technique over other filter types is that no thermal links are required. As insulator material, we used foamed polystyrene; its low index of refraction makes an anti-reflection coating unnecessary. We measured the basic performance of RT-MLI to confirm that thermal loads are lowered with more layers. We also confirmed that our RT-MLI has high transmittance to radiowaves, but blocks infrared radiation. For example, RT-MLI with 12 layers has a transmittance greater than 95% (lower than 1%) below 200 GHz (above 4 THz). We demonstrated its effects in a system with absorptive-type filters, where aperture diameters were 200 mm. Low temperatures were successfully maintained for the filters. We conclude that this technology significantly enhances the cooling of radiowave receivers, and is particularly suitable for large-aperture systems. This technology is expected to be applicable to various fields, including radio astronomy, geo-environmental assessment, and radar systems.

Non-linear Representations of the Conformal Group and Mapping of Galileons [Cross-Listing]

There are two common non-linear realizations of the 4D conformal group: in the first, the dilaton is the conformal factor of the effective metric \eta_{\mu\nu} e^{-2 \pi}; in the second it describes the fluctuations of a brane in AdS_5. The two are related by a complicated field redefinition, found by Bellucci, Ivanov and Krivonos (2002) to all orders in derivatives. We show that this field redefinition can be understood geometrically as a change of coordinates in AdS_5. In one gauge the brane is rigid at a fixed radial coordinate with a conformal factor on the AdS_5 boundary, while in the other one the brane bends in an unperturbed AdS_5. This geometrical picture illuminates some aspects of the mapping between the two representations. We show that the conformal Galileons in the two representations are mapped into each other in a quite non-trivial way: the DBI action, for example, is mapped into a complete linear combination of all the five Galileons in the other representation. We also verify the equivalence of the dilaton S-matrix in the two representations and point out that the aperture of the dilaton light-cone around non-trivial backgrounds is not the same in the two representations.

Measures of Galaxy Environment - III. Difficulties in identifying proto-clusters at z ~ 2

Galaxy environment is frequently discussed, but inconsistently defined. It is especially difficult to measure at high redshift where only photometric redshifts are available. With a focus on early forming proto-clusters, we use a semi-analytical model of galaxy formation to show how the environment measurement around high redshift galaxies is sensitive to both scale and metric, as well as to cluster viewing angle, evolutionary state, and the availability of either spectroscopic or photometric data. We use two types of environment metrics (nearest neighbour and fixed aperture) at a range of scales on simulated high-z clusters to see how "observed" overdensities compare to "real" overdensities. We also "observationally" identify z = 2 proto-cluster candidates in our model and track the growth histories of their parent halos through time, considering in particular their final state at z = 0. Although the measured environment of early forming clusters is critically dependent on all of the above effects (and in particular the viewing angle), we show that such clusters are very likely (< 90%) to remain overdense at z = 0, although many will no longer be among the most massive. Object to object comparisons using different methodologies and different data, however, require much more caution.

Flux Calibration of Broadband Far Infrared and Submillimetre Photometric Instruments: Theory and Application to Herschel-SPIRE

Photometric instruments operating at far infrared to millimetre wavelengths often have broad spectral passbands (central wavelength/bandwidth ~ 3 or less), especially those operating in space. A broad passband can result in significant variation of the beam profile and aperture efficiency across the passband, effects which thus far have not generally been taken into account in the flux calibration of such instruments. With absolute calibration uncertainties associated with the brightness of primary calibration standards now in the region of 5% or less, variation of the beam properties across the passband can be a significant contributor to the overall calibration accuracy for extended emission. We present a calibration framework which takes such variations into account for both antenna-coupled and absorber-coupled focal plane architectures. The scheme covers point source and extended source cases, and also the intermediate case of a semi-extended source profile. We apply the new method to the Herschel-SPIRE space-borne photometer.

Optimal beam combiner design for nulling interferometers

A scheme to optimally design a beam combiner is discussed for any pre-determined fixed geometry nulling interferometer aimed at detection and characterization of exoplanets with multiple telescopes or a single telescope (aperture masking). We show that considerably higher order nulls can be achieved with 1-D interferometer geometries than possible with 2-D geometries with the same number of apertures. Any 1-D interferometer with N apertures can achieve a 2(N-1)-order null, while the order of the deepest null for a random 2-D aperture geometry interferometer is the order of the N-th term in the Taylor expansion of e^{i(x^2+y^2)} around x=0, y=0 (2nd order null for N=2,3; 4th order null for N=4,5,6). We also show that an optimal beam combiner for nulling interferometry relies only 0 or Pi phase shifts. Examples of nulling interferometer designs are shown to illustrate these findings.

The Energy Spectrum of Ultra-High-Energy Cosmic Rays Measured by the Telescope Array FADC Fluorescence Detectors in Monocular Mode

We present a measurement of the energy spectrum of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays performed by the Telescope Array experiment using monocular observations from its two new FADC-based fluorescence detectors. After a short description of the experiment, we describe the data analysis and event reconstruction procedures. Since the aperture of the experiment must be calculated by Monte Carlo simulation, we describe this calculation and the comparisons of simulated and real data used to verify the validity of the aperture calculation. Finally, we present the energy spectrum calculated from the merged monocular data sets of the two FADC-based detectors, and also the combination of this merged spectrum with an independent, previously published monocular spectrum measurement performed by Telescope Array’s third fluorescence detector (Abu-Zayyad {\it et al.}, {Astropart. Phys.} 39 (2012), 109). This combined spectrum corroborates the recently published Telescope Array surface detector spectrum (Abu-Zayyad {\it et al.}, {Astrophys. Journ.} 768 (2013), L1) with independent systematic uncertainties.

Preliminary DIMM and MASS Nighttime Seeing Measurements at PEARL, in the Canadian High Arctic

Results of deploying a Differential Image Motion Monitor (DIMM) and a DIMM combined with a Multi-Aperture Scintillation Sensor (MASS/DIMM) are reported for campaigns in 2011 and 2012 on the roof of the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL). This facility is on a 610-m-high ridge at latitude 80 degrees N, near the Eureka weatherstation on Ellesmere Island, Canada. The median seeing at 8-m elevation is 0.85 arcsec or better based on DIMM data alone, but is dependent on wind direction, and likely includes a component due to the PEARL building itself. Results with MASS/DIMM yield a median seeing less than 0.76 arcsec. A semi-empirical model of seeing versus ground wind speed is introduced which allows agreement between these datasets, and with previous boundary-layer profiling by lunar scintillometry from the same location. This further suggests that best 20 percentile seeing reaches 0.53 arcsec, of which typically 0.30 arcsec is due to the free atmosphere. Some discussion for guiding future seeing instrumentation and characterization at this site is provided.

An evaluation of the exposure in nadir observation of the JEM-EUSO mission

We evaluate the exposure during nadir observations with JEM-EUSO, the Extreme Universe Space Observatory, on-board the Japanese Experiment Module of the International Space Station. Designed as a mission to explore the extreme energy Universe from space, JEM-EUSO will monitor the Earth’s nighttime atmosphere to record the ultraviolet light from tracks generated by extensive air showers initiated by ultra-high energy cosmic rays. In the present work, we discuss the particularities of space-based observation and we compute the annual exposure in nadir observation. The results are based on studies of the expected trigger aperture and observational duty cycle, as well as, on the investigations of the effects of clouds and different types of background light. We show that the annual exposure is about one order of magnitude higher than those of the presently operating ground-based observatories.

The HST eXtreme Deep Field XDF: Combining all ACS and WFC3/IR Data on the HUDF Region into the Deepest Field Ever [Replacement]

The eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) combines data from ten years of observations with the HST Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Wide-Field Camera 3 Infra-Red (WFC3/IR) into the deepest image of the sky ever in the optical/near-IR. Since the initial observations on the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF) in 2003, numerous surveys and programs, including supernova followup, HUDF09, CANDELS, and HUDF12 have contributed additional imaging data across the HUDF region. Yet these have never been combined and made available as one complete ultra-deep optical and near-infrared image dataset. We do so now for the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) program. Our new and improved processing techniques provide higher quality reductions of the total dataset. All WFC3 near-IR and optical ACS data sets have been fully combined and accurately matched, resulting in the deepest imaging ever taken at these wavelengths ranging from 29.1 to 30.3 AB mag (5sigma in a 0.35" diameter aperture) in 9 filters. The gains in the optical for the four filters done in the original ACS HUDF correspond to a typical improvement of 0.15 mag, with gains of 0.25 mag in the deepest areas. Such gains are equivalent to adding ~130 to ~240 orbits of ACS data to the HUDF. Improved processing alone results in a typical gain of ~0.1 mag. Our 5sigma (optical+near-IR) SExtractor catalogs reveal about 14140 sources in the full field and about 7121 galaxies in the deepest part of the XDF (the HUDF09 region). The XDF is the deepest image of the universe ever taken, reaching, in the combined image for a flat f_nu source, to 31.2 AB mag 5sigma (32.9 at 1sigma) in a 0.35" diameter aperture.

The HST eXtreme Deep Field XDF: Combining all ACS and WFC3/IR Data on the HUDF Region into the Deepest Field Ever

The eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) combines data from ten years of observations with the HST Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Wide-Field Camera 3 Infra-Red (WFC3/IR) into the deepest image of the sky ever in the optical/near-IR. Since the initial observations on the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF) in 2003, numerous surveys and programs, including supernova followup, HUDF09, CANDELS, and HUDF12 have contributed additional imaging data across the HUDF region. Yet these have never been combined and made available as one complete ultra-deep optical and near-infrared image dataset. We do so now for the eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) program. Our new and improved processing techniques provide higher quality reductions of the total dataset. All WFC3 near-IR and optical ACS data sets have been fully combined and accurately matched, resulting in the deepest imaging ever taken at these wavelengths ranging from 29.1 to 30.3 AB mag (5sigma in a 0.35” diameter aperture) in 9 filters. The gains in the optical for the four filters done in the original ACS HUDF correspond to a typical improvement of 0.15 mag, with gains of 0.25 mag in the deepest areas. Such gains are equivalent to adding ~130 to ~240 orbits of ACS data to the HUDF. Improved processing alone results in a typical gain of ~0.1 mag. Our 5sigma (optical+near-IR) SExtractor catalogs reveal about 14140 sources in the full field and about 7121 galaxies in the deepest part of the XDF (the HUDF09 region). The XDF is the deepest image of the universe ever taken, reaching, in the combined image for a flat f_nu source, to 31.2 AB mag 5sigma (32.9 at 1sigma) in a 0.35” diameter aperture.

Absolute Calibration of a Large-diameter Light Source

A method of absolute calibration for large aperture optical systems is presented, using the example of the Pierre Auger Observatory fluorescence detectors. A 2.5 m diameter light source illuminated by an ultra–violet light emitting diode is calibrated with an overall uncertainty of 2.1 % at a wavelength of 365 nm.

Peaks of optical and X-ray afterglow light-curves

The peaks of 30 optical afterglows and 14 X-ray light-curves display a good anticorrelation of the peak flux with the peak epoch: F_p ~ t_p^{-2.0} in the optical, F_p ~ t_p^{-1.6} in the X-ray, the distributions of the peak epochs being consistent with each other. We investigate the ability of two forward-shock models for afterglow light-curve peaks — an observer location outside the initial jet aperture and the onset of the forward-shock deceleration — to account for those peak correlations. For both models, the slope of the F_p – t_p relation depends only on the slope of the afterglow spectrum. We find that only a conical jet seen off-aperture and interacting with a wind-like medium can account for both the X-ray peak relation, given the average X-ray spectral slope beta_x = 1.0, and for the larger slope of the optical peak relation. However, any conclusion about the origin of the peak flux – peak epoch correlation is, at best, tentative, because the current sample of X-ray peaks is too small to allow a reliable measurement of the F_p – t_p relation slope and because more than one mechanism and/or one afterglow parameter may be driving that correlation.

Optical Astronomical Facilities at Nainital, India

Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (acronym ARIES) operates a 1-m aperture optical telescope at Manora Peak, Nainital since 1972. Considering the need and potential of establishing moderate size optical telescope with spectroscopic capability at the geographical longitude of India, the ARIES plans to establish a 3.6m new technology optical telescope at a new site called Devasthal. This telescope will have instruments providing high resolution spectral and seeing-limited imaging capabilities at visible and near-infrared bands. A few other observing facilities with very specific goals are also being established. A 1.3m aperture optical telescope to monitor optically variable sources was installed at Devasthal in the year 2010 and a 0.5-m wide field (25 square degrees) Baker-Nunn Schmidt telescope to produce a digital map of the Northern sky at optical bands was installed at Manora Peak in 2011. A 4-m liquid mirror telescope for deep sky survey of transient sources is planned at Devasthal. These optical facilities with specialized back-end instruments are expected to become operational within the next few years and can be used to optical studies of a wide variety of astronomical topics including follow-up studies of sources identified in the radio region by GMRT and UV/X-ray by ASTROSAT.

The metallicity - redshift relations for emission-line SDSS galaxies: examination of the dependence on the star formation rate

We analyse the oxygen abundance and specific star formation rates (sSFR) variations with redshift in star-forming SDSS galaxies of different masses. We find that the maximum value of the sSFR, sSFRmax, decreases when the stellar mass, Ms, of a galaxy increases, and decreases with decreasing of redshift. The sSFRmax can exceed the time-averaged sSFR by about an order of magnitude for massive galaxies. The metallicity – redshift relations for subsamples of galaxies with sSFR = sSFRmax and with sSFR = 0.1sSFRmax coincide for massive (log(Ms/Mo) > 10.5, with stellar mass Ms in solar units) galaxies and differ for low-mass galaxies. This suggests that there is no correlation between oxygen abundance and sSFR in massive galaxies and that the oxygen abundance correlates with the sSFR in low-mass galaxies. We find evidence in favour of that the irregular galaxies show, on average, higher sSFR and lower oxygen abundances than the spiral galaxies of similar masses and that the mass – metallicity relation for spiral galaxies differs slightly from that for irregular galaxies. The fact that our sample of low-mass galaxies is the mixture of spiral and irregular galaxies can be responsible for the dependence of the metallicity – redshift relation on the sSFR observed for the low-mass SDSS galaxies. The mass – metallicity and luminosity – metallicity relations obtained for irregular SDSS galaxies agree with corresponding relations for nearby irregular galaxies with direct abundance determinations. We find that the aperture effect does not make a significant contribution to the redshift variation of oxygen abundances in SDSS galaxies.

The Mass of KOI-94d and a Relation for Planet Radius, Mass, and Incident Flux

We measure the mass of a modestly irradiated giant planet, KOI-94d. We wish to determine whether this planet, which is in a 22-day orbit and receives 2700 times as much incident flux as Jupiter, is as dense as Jupiter or rarefied like inflated hot Jupiters. KOI-94 also hosts 3 smaller transiting planets, all of which were detected by the Kepler Mission. With 26 radial velocities of KOI-94 from the W. M. Keck Observatory and a simultaneous fit to the Kepler light curve, we measure the mass of the giant planet and determine that it is not inflated. Support for the planetary interpretation of the other three candidates comes from gravitational interactions through transit timing variations, the statistical robustness of multi-planet systems against false positives, and several lines of evidence that no other star resides within the photometric aperture. The radial velocity analyses of KOI-94b and KOI-94e offer marginal (>2\sigma) mass detections, whereas the observations of KOI-94c offer only an upper limit to its mass. Using the KOI-94 system and other planets with published values for both mass and radius (138 exoplanets total, including 35 with M < 150 Earth masses), we establish two fundamental planes for exoplanets that relate their mass, incident flux, and radius from a few Earth masses up to ten Jupiter masses. These equations can be used to predict the radius or mass of a planet.

Transformation of Zernike coefficients: A Fourier based method for scaled, translated and rotated wavefront apertures

This paper studies the effects on Zernike coefficients of aperture scaling, translation and rotation, when a given aberrated wavefront is described on the Zernike polynomial basis. It proposes a new analytical method for computing the matrix that enables the building of the transformed Zernike coefficients from the original ones. The technique is based on the properties of Zernike polynomials Fourier Transform and, in the case of a full aperture without central obstruction, the coefficients of the matrix are given in terms of integrals of Bessel functions. The integral formulas are exact and do not depend on any specific ordering of the polynomials.

Estimations of the magnetic field strength in the torus of AGN using near-infrared polarimetry

An optically and geometrically thick torus obscures the central engine of Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) from some lines of sight. From a magnetohydrodynamical framework, the torus can be considered to be a particular region of clouds surrounding the central engine where the clouds are dusty and optically thick. In this framework, the magnetic field plays an important role in the creation, morphology and evolution of the torus. If the dust grains within the clouds are assumed to be aligned by paramagnetic alignment, then the ratio of the intrinsic polarisation and visual extinction, P(%)/Av, is a function of the magnetic field strength. To estimate the visual extinction through the torus and constrain the polarisation mechanisms in the nucleus of AGN, we developed a polarisation model to fit both the total and polarised flux in a 1.2" (~263pc) aperture of the type 2 AGN, IC5063. The polarisation model is consistent with the nuclear polarisation observed at K being produced by dichroic absorption from aligned dust grains with a visual extinction through the torus of 48$\pm$2 mag. We estimated the intrinsic polarisation arising from dichroic absorption to be P$_{K}^{dic}$=12.5$\pm$2.7%. We consider the physical conditions and environment of the gas and dust for the torus of IC5063. Then, through paramagnetic alignment, we estimate a magnetic field strength in the range of 12-128mG in the NIR emitting regions of the torus of IC5063. Alternatively, we estimate the magnetic field strength in the plane of the sky using the Chandrasekhar-Fermi method. The minimum magnetic field strength in the plane of the sky is estimated to be 13 and 41 mG depending of the conditions within the torus of IC5063. These techniques afford the chance to make a survey of AGN, to investigate the effects of magnetic field strength on the torus, accretion, and interaction to the host galaxy.

The Connection between Star Formation and Metallicity Evolution in Barred Spiral Galaxies

We have performed a series of chemodynamical simulations of barred disc galaxies. Our goal is to determine the physical processes responsible for the increase in the central gas-phase metallicity and of the central SFR observed in SDSS. We define a 2kpc diameter central aperture to approximate the integrated spectroscopic fibre measurements from the SDSS. The chemical evolution observed within this central region depends critically upon the relative size of the bar and the aperture, which evolves strongly with time. At t~0.5Gyr, a strong bar forms, whose length is considerably longer than the 2kpc aperture. The stars and gas lose angular momentum and follow elongated orbits that cause an intense mixing of the gas between the central region and its surroundings. During the next 1.5Gyr, the orbits of the gas contract significantly until the entire gas bar is contained in the 2kpc aperture, resulting in a net flux of gas into the central region. During this period, the metallicity in the central region increases steadily, and this enrichment is dominated by metal-rich gas that is flowing into the central region. The main result of this work is therefore that the observed enrichment in the centres of barred galaxies is not dominated by in-situ enrichment by stars formed in the centre. Rather, star formation occurs along the full length of the bar, much of which occurs initially outside the 2kpc aperture. About 50% of the metals that end up in the central region originate from this extended bar-long star formation, but flow into the central region due to loss of angular momentum. We conclude that there is no direct connection between central SFR and central metallicity. The central metallicity does not originate exclusively from central stars. Instead, the global SFR (especially along the bar) and the large-scale flow of enriched gas play a major role.

Calibrating stellar velocity dispersions based on spatially-resolved h-band spectra for improving the m-sigma relation

To calibrate stellar velocity dispersion measurements from optical and near-IR stellar lines, and to improve the black hole mass (MBH)- stellar velocity dispersion (sigma) relation, we measure stellar velocity dispersions based on high quality H-band spectra for a sample of 31 nearby galaxies, for which dynamical MBH is available in the literature. By comparing velocity dispersions measured from stellar lines in the H-band with those measured from optical stellar lines, we find no significant difference, suggesting that optical and near-IR stellar lines represent the same kinematics and that dust effect is negligible for early-type galaxies. Based on the spatially-resolved rotation and velocity dispersion measurements along the major axis of each galaxy, we find that a rotating stellar disk is present for 80% of galaxies in the sample. For galaxies with a rotation component, velocity dispersions measured from a single aperture spectrum can vary by up to ~20%, depending on the size of the adopted extraction aperture. To correct for the rotational broadening, we derive luminosity-weighted velocity dispersion within the effective radius of each galaxy, providing uniformly measured velocity dispersions to improve the MBH-sigma relation.

A Spectral Atlas of HII Galaxies in the Near-Infrared

Recent models show that TP-AGB stars should dominate the NIR spectra of populations 0.3 to 2 Gyr old, leaving unique signatures that can be used to detect young/intermediate stellar population in galaxies. However, no homogeneous database of star-forming galaxies is available in the NIR to fully explore these results. With this in mind, we study the NIR spectra of a sample of 23 HII and starburst galaxies, aimed at characterizing the most prominent spectral features and continuum shape in the 0.8-2.4 micron region of these objects. Spectral indices are derived for the relevant absorption lines/bands and a comparison with optical indices of the same sample available in the literature is made. We found no correlation between the optical and the NIR indexes. This is probably due to the differences in aperture between these two sets of data. That result is further supported by the absence or weakness of emission lines in the NIR for a subsample galaxies, while in the optical the emission lines are strong and clear, which means that the ionisation source in many of these galaxies is not nuclear, but circumnuclear or located in hot spots. We detected important signatures predicted for a stellar population dominated by the TP-AGBs, like CN 1.1 micron and CO 2.3 micron. In at least one galaxy (NGC 4102) the CN band at 1.4 micron was detected for the first time. We also detect TiO and ZrO bands that have never been reported before in extragalactic sources. The shape of the continuum emission is found to be strongly correlated to the presence/lack of emission lines. An observational template for the star-forming galaxies is derived to be used as a benchmark of stellar population(s) in starburst galaxies against which to compare near-IR spectroscopy of different types of galaxies, especially those with AGN activity and/or those at high-redshift.

The unlikely rise of masking interferometry: leading the way with 19th century technology

The exquisite precision delivered by interferometric techniques is rapidly being applied to more and more branches of optical astronomy. One particularly successful strategy to obtain structures at the scale of the diffraction limit is Aperture Masking Interferometry, which is presently experience a golden age with implementations at a host of large telescopes around the world. This startlingly durable technique, which turns 144 years old this year, presently sets the standard for the recovery of faint companions within a few resolution elements from the core of a stellar point spread function. This invited review will give a historical introduction and overview of the modern status of the technique, the science being delivered, and prospects for new advances and applications.

JEM-EUSO experiment for extreme energy cosmic ray observation

The planned JEM-EUSO (Extreme Universe Space Observatory onboard the ISS Japanese Experimental Module) will measure the energy spectra of cosmic rays up to the range of 1000 EeV and will search for direction to their sources. It will observe the extensive air showers generated in the atmosphere by high energy cosmic ray primary particle from the space. The instantaneous aperture of the telescope will exceed by one order the aperture of the largest ground based detectors. JEM-EUSO apparatus is a large telescope with a diameter of 2.5 m with fast UV camera. Slovakia is responsible for the determination of the UV background, which influences the operational efficiency of the experiment and for the analysis of fake trigger events.

Apodized phase mask coronagraphs for arbitrary apertures

Phase masks coronagraphs can be seen as linear systems that spatially redistribute, in the pupil plane, the energy collected by the telescope. Most of the on-axis light must ideally be rejected outside the aperture to be blocked with a Lyot stop, while almost all off-axis light must go through it. The unobstructed circular apertures of off-axis telescopes make this possible but all major telescopes are however on-axis and the performance of these coronagraphs is dramatically reduced by the central obstruction. Their performance can be restored by using an additional optimally designed apodizer that changes the amplitude in the first pupil plane so that the on-axis light is rejected outside the obstructed aperture of the telescope. The numerical optimization model is built by maximizing the apodizer’s transmission while setting constraints on the extremum values of the electric field that the Lyot stop does not block. The coronagraphic image is compared to what a non-apodized phase mask coronagraph provides and an analysis is made of the trade-offs that exist between the apodizer transmission and the Lyot stop properties. The existence of a solution and the mask transmission depend on the aperture and the Lyot stop geometries, and on the constraints that are set on the on-axis attenuation. The system throughput is a concave function of the Lyot stop transmission. In the case of a VLT-like aperture, apodizers with a transmission of 0.16 to 0.92 associated with a four-quadrant phase mask provide contrast as low as a few 1e-10 at 1 lambda/D from the star. The system’s maximum throughput is 0.64, for an apodizer with an 0.88 transmission and a Lyot stop with a 0.69 transmission. Optimizing apodizers for a vortex phase mask requires computation times much longer than in the previous case, and no result is presented for this mask.

On the signature of nearby superclusters and voids in the Integrated Sachs-Wolfe effect

Through a large ensemble of Gaussian simulations and a suite of large-volume $N$-body simulations, we show that in a standard LCDM scenario, supervoids and superclusters in the redshift range (0.4<z<0.7) should leave a small signature on the Integrated Sachs Wolfe (ISW) effect of the order ~2 \mu K. We perform aperture photometry on WMAP data, centred on such superstructures identified from SDSS LRG data, and find amplitudes at the level of 8 — 11 \mu K — thus confirming the earlier work of (Granett et al. 2008). If we focus on apertures of the size ~3.6 degrees, then our simulations indicate that LCDM is discrepant at the level of ~4 \sigma. However, if we combine all aperture scales considered, ranging from 1–20 degrees, then the discrepancy becomes ~2 \sigma. Full-sky ISW maps generated from our N-body simulations show that this discrepancy cannot be alleviated by appealing to Rees-Sciama (RS) mechanisms, since their impact on the scales probed by our filters is negligible. We perform a series of tests on the WMAP data for systematics. We check for foreground contaminants and show that the signal does not display the correct dependence on the aperture size expected for a residual foreground tracing the density field. The signal also proves robust against rotation tests of the CMB maps, and seems to be spatially associated to the angular positions of the supervoids and superclusters. We explore whether the signal can be explained by the presence of primordial non-Gaussianities of the local type. We show that for models with f_NL=+/-100, whilst there is a change in the pattern of temperature anisotropies, all amplitude shifts are well below <1 \mu K. If primordial non-Gaussianity were to explain the result, then f_NL would need to be several times larger than currently permitted by WMAP constraints.

Radio Astronomy Transformed: Aperture Arrays - Past, Present & Future

I review the early development of Aperture Arrays and their role in radio astronomy. The demise of this technology at the end of the 1960′s, and the reasons for the rise of parabolic dishes is also considered. The parallels with the Antikythera mechanism (see these proceedings) as a lost technology are briefly presented. Aperture Arrays re-entered the world of radio astronomy as the idea to build a huge radio telescope with a collecting area of one square kilometre (the Square Kilometre Array, SKA) arose. Huge ICT technology advances had transformed Aperture Arrays in terms of their capability, flexibility and reliability. In the mid-1990s, ASTRON started to develop and experiment with the first high frequency aperture array tiles for radio astronomy – AAD, OSMA, THEA & EMBRACE. In the slipstream of these efforts, Phased Array Feeds (PAFs) for radio astronomy were invented and LOFAR itself emerged as a next generation telescope and a major pathfinder for the SKA. Meanwhile, the same advantages that aperture arrays offered to radio astronomy had already made dishes obsolete in many different civilian and military applications. The first commissioning results from LOFAR and other Aperture Arrays (MWA, LWA and PAPER) currently demonstrate that this kind of technology can transform radio astronomy over 2 decades of the radio spectrum, and at frequencies up to at least 1.5 GHz. This "reinvention of radio astronomy" has important implications for the design and form of the full SKA. Building a SKA that is simply the "VLA on steroids" is simply not good enough. Like the Antikythera mechanism itself, we must amaze future generations of astronomers – they and the current generation deserve nothing less.

Telescope Fabra ROA Montsec: a new robotic wide-field Baker-Nunn facility [Replacement]

A Baker-Nunn Camera (BNC), originally installed at the Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada (ROA) in 1958, was refurbished and robotized. The new facility, called Telescope Fabra ROA Montsec (TFRM), was installed at the Observatori Astron\`omic del Montsec (OAdM). The process of refurbishment is described in detail. Most of the steps of the refurbishment project were accomplished by purchasing commercial components, which involve little posterior engineering assembling work. The TFRM is a 0.5m aperture f/0.96 optically modified BNC, which offers a unique combination of instrumental specifications: fully robotic and remote operation, wide-field of view (4.4 deg x 4.4 deg), moderate limiting magnitude (V~19.5mag), ability of tracking at arbitrary right ascension and declination rates, as well as opening and closing CCD shutter at will during an exposure. Nearly all kind of image survey programs can benefit from those specifications. Apart from other less time consuming programs, since the beginning of science TFRM operations we have been conducting two specific and distinct surveys: super-Earths transiting around M-type dwarfs stars, and geostationary debris in the context of Space Situational Awareness / Space Surveillance and Tracking (SSA/SST) programs. Preliminary results for both cases will be shown.

Telescope Fabra ROA Montsec: a new robotic wide-field Baker-Nunn facility [Replacement]

A Baker-Nunn Camera (BNC), originally installed at the Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada (ROA) in 1958, was refurbished and robotized. The new facility, called Telescope Fabra ROA Montsec (TFRM), was installed at the Observatori Astron\`omic del Montsec (OAdM). The process of refurbishment is described in detail. Most of the steps of the refurbishment project were accomplished by purchasing commercial components, which involve little posterior engineering assembling work. The TFRM is a 0.5m aperture f/0.96 optically modified BNC, which offers a unique combination of instrumental specifications: fully robotic and remote operation, wide-field of view (4.4 deg x 4.4 deg), moderate limiting magnitude (V~19.5mag), ability of tracking at arbitrary right ascension and declination rates, as well as opening and closing CCD shutter at will during an exposure. Nearly all kind of image survey programs can benefit from those specifications. Apart from other less time consuming programs, since the beginning of science TFRM operations we have been conducting two specific and distinct surveys: super-Earths transiting around M-type dwarfs stars, and geostationary debris in the context of Space Situational Awareness / Space Surveillance and Tracking (SSA/SST) programs. Preliminary results for both cases will be shown.

Telescope Fabra ROA Montsec: a new robotic wide-field Baker-Nunn facility

A Baker-Nunn Camera (BNC), originally installed at the Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada (ROA) in 1958, was refurbished and robotized. The new facility, called Telescope Fabra ROA Montsec (TFRM), was installed at the Observatori Astron\`omic del Montsec (OAdM). The process of refurbishment is described in detail. Most of the steps of the refurbishment project were accomplished by purchasing commercial components, which involve little posterior engineering assembling work. The TFRM is a 0.5m aperture f/0.96 optically modified BNC, which offers a unique combination of instrumental specifications: fully robotic and remote operation, wide-field of view (4.4 deg x 4.4 deg), moderate limiting magnitude (V~19.5mag), ability of tracking at arbitrary right ascension and declination rates, as well as opening and closing CCD shutter at will during an exposure. Nearly all kind of image survey programs can benefit from those specifications. Apart from other less time consuming programs, since the beginning of science TFRM operations we have been conducting two specific and distinct surveys: super-Earths transiting around M-type dwarfs stars, and geostationary debris in the context of Space Situational Awareness / Space Surveillance and Tracking (SSA/SST) programs. Preliminary results for both cases will be shown.

Telescope Fabra ROA Montsec: a new robotic wide-field Baker-Nunn facility [Replacement]

A Baker-Nunn Camera (BNC), originally installed at the Real Instituto y Observatorio de la Armada (ROA) in 1958, was refurbished and robotized. The new facility, called Telescope Fabra ROA Montsec (TFRM), was installed at the Observatori Astron\`omic del Montsec (OAdM). The process of refurbishment is described in detail. Most of the steps of the refurbishment project were accomplished by purchasing commercial components, which involve little posterior engineering assembling work. The TFRM is a 0.5m aperture f/0.96 optically modified BNC, which offers a unique combination of instrumental specifications: fully robotic and remote operation, wide-field of view (4.4 deg x 4.4 deg), moderate limiting magnitude (V~19.5mag), ability of tracking at arbitrary right ascension and declination rates, as well as opening and closing CCD shutter at will during an exposure. Nearly all kind of image survey programs can benefit from those specifications. Apart from other less time consuming programs, since the beginning of science TFRM operations we have been conducting two specific and distinct surveys: super-Earths transiting around M-type dwarfs stars, and geostationary debris in the context of Space Situational Awareness / Space Surveillance and Tracking (SSA/SST) programs. Preliminary results for both cases will be shown.

GRBs have preferred jet opening angles and bulk Lorentz factors

We recently found that Gamma Ray Burst energies and luminosities, in their comoving frame, are remarkably similar. This, coupled with the clustering of energetics once corrected for the collimation factor, suggests the possibility that all bursts, in their comoving frame, have the same peak energy E’peak (of the order of a few keV) and the same energetics of the prompt emission E’gamma (of the order of 2e48 erg). The large diversity of bursts energies is then due to the different bulk Lorentz factor Gamma and jet aperture angle theta_jet. We investigated, through a population synthesis code, what are the distributions of Gamma and theta_jet compatible with the observations. Both quantities must have preferred values, with log-normal best fitting distributions and <Gamma0> ~ 275 and <\theta_jet> ~ 8.7 degree. Moreover, the peak values of the Gamma and theta_jet distributions must be related – theta_jet^2.5 Gamma =const: the narrower the jet angle, the larger the bulk Lorentz factor. We predict that ~6% of the bursts that point to us should not show any jet break in their afterglow light curve since they have sin(theta_jet)<1/Gamma. Finally, we estimate that the local rate of GRBs is ~0.3% of all local SNIb/c and ~2.5% of local hypernovae, i.e. SNIb/c with broad absorption lines.

Exoplanets from the Arctic: The First Wide-Field Survey at 80 Degrees North

Located within 10 degrees of the North Pole, northern Ellesmere Island offers continuous darkness in the winter months. This capability can greatly enhance the detection efficiency of planetary transit surveys and other time domain astronomy programs. We deployed two wide-field cameras at 80 degrees North, near Eureka, Nunavut, for a 152-hour observing campaign in February 2012. The 16-megapixel-camera systems were based on commercial f/1.2 lenses with 70mm and 42mm apertures, and they continuously imaged 504 and 1,295 square degrees respectively. In total, the cameras took over 44,000 images and produced better-than-1% precision light curves for approximately 10,000 stars. We describe a new high-speed astrometric and photometric data reduction pipeline designed for the systems, test several methods for the precision flat-fielding of images from very-wide-angle cameras, and evaluate the cameras’ image qualities. We achieved a scintillation-limited photometric precision of 1-2% in each 10s exposure. Binning the short exposures into 10-min chunks provided a photometric stability of 2-3 millimagnitudes, sufficient for the detection of transiting exoplanets around the bright stars targeted by our survey. We estimate that the cameras, when operated over the full arctic winter, will be capable of discovering several transiting exoplanets around bright (V<9) stars.

Measures of galaxy environment -- II. Rank-ordered mark correlations

We analyze environmental correlations using mark clustering statistics with the mock galaxy catalogue constructed by Muldrew et al. (Paper I). We find that mark correlation functions are able to detect even a small dependence of galaxy properties on the environment, quantified by the overdensity $1+\delta$, while such a small dependence would be difficult to detect by traditional methods. We then show that rank ordering the marks and using the rank as a weight is a simple way of comparing the correlation signals for different marks. With this we quantify to what extent fixed-aperture overdensities are sensitive to large-scale halo environments, nearest-neighbor overdensities are sensitive to small-scale environments within haloes, and colour is a better tracer of overdensity than is luminosity.

Measures of galaxy environment -- II. Rank-ordered mark correlations [Replacement]

We analyze environmental correlations using mark clustering statistics with the mock galaxy catalogue constructed by Muldrew et al. (Paper I). We find that mark correlation functions are able to detect even a small dependence of galaxy properties on the environment, quantified by the overdensity $1+\delta$, while such a small dependence would be difficult to detect by traditional methods. We then show that rank ordering the marks and using the rank as a weight is a simple way of comparing the correlation signals for different marks. With this we quantify to what extent fixed-aperture overdensities are sensitive to large-scale halo environments, nearest-neighbor overdensities are sensitive to small-scale environments within haloes, and colour is a better tracer of overdensity than is luminosity.

Dwarf Galaxies with Ionizing Radiation Feedback. II: Spatially-resolved Star Formation Relation [Replacement]

We investigate the spatially-resolved star formation relation using a galactic disk formed in a comprehensive high-resolution (3.8 pc) simulation. Our new implementation of stellar feedback includes ionizing radiation as well as supernova explosions, and we handle ionizing radiation by solving the radiative transfer equation rather than by a subgrid model. Photoheating by stellar radiation stabilizes gas against Jeans fragmentation, reducing the star formation rate. Because we have self-consistently calculated the location of ionized gas, we are able to make spatially-resolved mock observations of star formation tracers, such as H-alpha emission. We can also observe how stellar feedback manifests itself in the correlation between ionized and molecular gas. Applying our techniques to the disk in a galactic halo of 2.3e11 Msun, we find that the correlation between star formation rate density (estimated from mock H-alpha emission) and molecular hydrogen density shows large scatter, especially at high resolutions of <~ 75 pc that are comparable to the size of giant molecular clouds (GMCs). This is because an aperture of GMC size captures only particular stages of GMC evolution. By examining the evolving environment around star clusters, we argue that the breakdown of the traditional star formation laws of the Kennicutt-Schmidt type at small scales results from a combination of stars drifting from their birthplaces, and molecular clouds being dispersed via stellar feedback.

 

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