Posts Tagged outer regions

Recent Postings from outer regions

A near-infrared interferometric survey of debris-disc stars. IV. An unbiased sample of 92 southern stars observed in H-band with VLTI/PIONIER

Context. Detecting and characterizing circumstellar dust is a way to study the architecture and evolution of planetary systems. Cold dust in debris disks only traces the outer regions. Warm and hot exozodiacal dust needs to be studied in order to trace regions close to the habitable zone. Aims. We aim to determine the prevalence and to constrain the properties of hot exozodiacal dust around nearby main-sequence stars. Methods. We search a magnitude limited (H < 5) sample of 92 stars for bright exozodiacal dust using our VLTI visitor instrument PIONIER in the H-band. We derive statistics of the detection rate with respect to parameters such as the stellar spectral type and age or the presence of a debris disk in the outer regions of the systems. We derive more robust statistics by combining our sample with the results from our CHARA/FLUOR survey in the K-band. In addition, our spectrally dispersed data allows us to put constraints on the emission mechanism and the dust properties in the detected systems. Results. We find an over-all detection rate of bright exozodiacal dust in the H-band of 11% (9 out of 85 targets) and three tentative detections. The detection rate decreases from early type to late type stars and increases with the age of the host star. We do not confirm the tentative correlation between the presence of cold and hot dust found in our earlier analysis of the FLUOR sample alone. Our spectrally dispersed data suggest that either the dust is extremely hot or the emission is dominated by the scattered light in most cases. The implications of our results for the target selection of future terrestrial planet finding missions using direct imaging are discussed.

A near-infrared interferometric survey of debris-disc stars. IV. An unbiased sample of 92 southern stars observed in H-band with VLTI/PIONIER [Replacement]

Context. Detecting and characterizing circumstellar dust is a way to study the architecture and evolution of planetary systems. Cold dust in debris disks only traces the outer regions. Warm and hot exozodiacal dust needs to be studied in order to trace regions close to the habitable zone. Aims. We aim to determine the prevalence and to constrain the properties of hot exozodiacal dust around nearby main-sequence stars. Methods. We search a magnitude limited (H < 5) sample of 92 stars for bright exozodiacal dust using our VLTI visitor instrument PIONIER in the H-band. We derive statistics of the detection rate with respect to parameters such as the stellar spectral type and age or the presence of a debris disk in the outer regions of the systems. We derive more robust statistics by combining our sample with the results from our CHARA/FLUOR survey in the K-band. In addition, our spectrally dispersed data allows us to put constraints on the emission mechanism and the dust properties in the detected systems. Results. We find an over-all detection rate of bright exozodiacal dust in the H-band of 11% (9 out of 85 targets) and three tentative detections. The detection rate decreases from early type to late type stars and increases with the age of the host star. We do not confirm the tentative correlation between the presence of cold and hot dust found in our earlier analysis of the FLUOR sample alone. Our spectrally dispersed data suggest that either the dust is extremely hot or the emission is dominated by the scattered light in most cases. The implications of our results for the target selection of future terrestrial planet finding missions using direct imaging are discussed.

The triggering of starbursts in low-mass galaxies

Strong bursts of star formation in galaxies may be triggered either by internal or external mechanisms. We study the distribution and kinematics of the HI gas in the outer regions of 18 nearby starburst dwarf galaxies, that have accurate star-formation histories from HST observations of resolved stellar populations. We find that starburst dwarfs show a variety of HI morphologies, ranging from heavily disturbed HI distributions with major asymmetries, long filaments, and/or HI-stellar offsets, to lopsided HI distributions with minor asymmetries. We quantify the outer HI asymmetry for both our sample and a control sample of typical dwarf irregulars. Starburst dwarfs have more asymmetric outer HI morphologies than typical irregulars, suggesting that some external mechanism triggered the starburst. Moreover, galaxies hosting an old burst (>100 Myr) have more symmetric HI morphologies than galaxies hosting a young one (<100 Myr), indicating that the former ones probably had enough time to regularize their outer HI distribution since the onset of the burst. We also investigate the nearby environment of these starburst dwarfs and find that most of them ($\sim$80$\%$) have at least one potential perturber at a projected distance <200 kpc. Our results suggest that the starburst is triggered either by past interactions/mergers between gas-rich dwarfs or by direct gas infall from the IGM.

Efficiency of Particle Trapping in the Outer Regions of Protoplanetary Disks

We investigate the strength of axisymmetric local pressure maxima (zonal flows) in the outer regions of protoplanetary disks, where ambipolar diffusion reduces turbulent stresses driven by the magnetorotational instability. Using local numerical simulations we show that in the absence of net vertical magnetic fields, the strength of turbulence in the ambipolar dominated region of the disk is low and any zonal flows that are present are weak. For net fields strong enough to yield observed protostellar accretion rates, however, zonal flows with a density amplitude of 10-20% are formed. These strengths are comparable to those seen in simulations of ideal MHD disk turbulence. We investigate whether these zonal flows are able to reverse the inward radial drift of solids, leading to prolonged and enhanced concentration as a prelude to planetesimal formation. For commonly assumed mean surface density profiles (surface density proportional to radius to the -1/2 power or steeper) we find that the predicted perturbations to the background disk profile do not correspond to local pressure maxima. This is a consequence of radial width of the simulated zonal flows, which is larger than was assumed in prior analytic models of particle trapping. These larger scale flows would only trap particles for higher amplitude fluctuations than observed. We conclude that zonal flows are likely to be present in the outer regions of protoplanetary disks and are potentially large enough to be observable, but are unlikely to lead to strong particle trapping.

An observational and theoretical view of the radial distribution of HI gas in galaxies

We analyze the radial distribution of HI gas for 23 disk galaxies with unusually high HI content from the Bluedisk sample, along with a similar-sized sample of "normal" galaxies. We propose an empirical model to fit the radial profile of the HI surface density, an exponential function with a depression near the center. The radial HI surface density profiles are very homogeneous in the outer regions of the galaxy; the exponentially declining part of the profile has a scale-length of $\sim 0.18$ R1, where R1 is the radius where the column density of the HI is 1 M$_{\odot}$ pc$^{-2}$. This holds for all galaxies, independent of their stellar or HI mass. The homogenous outer profiles, combined with the limited range in HI surface density in the non-exponential inner disk, results in the well-known tight relation between HI size and HI mass. By comparing the radial profiles of the HI-rich galaxies with those of the control systems, we deduce that in about half the galaxies, most of the excess gas lies outside the stellar disk, in the exponentially declining outer regions of the HI disk. In the other half, the excess is more centrally peaked. We compare our results with existing smoothed-particle hydrodynamical simulations and semi-analytic models of disk galaxy formation in a $\Lambda$ Cold Dark Matter universe. Both the hydro simulations and the semi-analytic models reproduce the HI surface density profiles and the HI size-mass relation without further tuning of the simulation and model inputs. In the semi-analytic models, the universal shape of the outer HI radial profiles is a consequence of the {\em assumption} that infalling gas is always distributed exponentially. The conversion of atomic gas to molecular form explains the limited range of HI surface densities in the inner disk. These two factors produce the tight HI mass-size relation.

Self-gravity in thin discs and edge effects: an extension of Paczynski's approximation

As hydrostatic equilibrium of gaseous discs is partly governed by the gravity field, we have estimated the component caused by a vertically homogeneous disc, with a special attention for the outer regions where self-gravity classically appears. The accuracy of the integral formula is better than 1%, whatever the disc thickness, radial extension and radial density profile. At order zero, the field is even algebraic for thin discs and writes $- 4 \pi G \Sigma(R) f_{edge} (R)$ at disc surface, thereby correcting Paczynski’s formula by a multiplying factor $f_{edge} \gtrsim 1/2$, which depends on the relative distance to the edges and the local disc thickness. For very centrally condensed discs however, this local contribution can be surpassed by action of mass stored in the inner regions, possibly resulting in $f_{edge} \gg 1$. A criterion setting the limit between these two regimes is derived. These result are robust in the sense that the details of vertical stratification are not critical. We briefly discuss how hydrostatic equilibrium is impacted. In particular, the disc flaring should not reverse in the self-gravitating region, which contradicts what is usually obtained from Paczynski’s formula. This suggests that i) these outer regions are probably not fully shadowed by the inner ones (important when illuminated by a central star), and ii) the flared shape of discs does not firmly prove the absence or weakness of self-gravity.

Dependence of the outer density profiles of halos on their mass accretion rate [Replacement]

We present a systematic study of the density profiles of LCDM halos, focusing on the outer regions, 0.1 < r/Rvir < 9. We show that the median and mean profiles of halo samples of a given peak height exhibit significant deviations from the universal analytic profiles discussed previously in the literature, such as the Navarro-Frenk-White and Einasto profiles, at radii r > 0.5 R200m. In particular, at these radii the logarithmic slope of the median density profiles of massive or rapidly accreting halos steepens more sharply than predicted. The steepest slope of the profiles occurs at r ~ R200m, and its absolute value increases with increasing peak height or mass accretion rate, reaching slopes of -4 and steeper. Importantly, we find that the outermost density profiles at r > R200m are remarkably self-similar when radii are rescaled by R200m. This self-similarity indicates that radii defined with respect to the mean density are preferred for describing the structure and evolution of the outer profiles. However, the inner density profiles are most self-similar when radii are rescaled by R200c. We propose a new fitting formula that describes the median and mean profiles of halo samples selected by their peak height or mass accretion rate with accuracy < 10% at all radii, redshifts and masses we studied, r < 9 Rvir, 0 < z < 6 and Mvir > 1.7E10 Msun/h. We discuss observational signatures of the profile features described above, and show that the steepening of the outer profile should be detectable in future weak-lensing analyses of massive clusters. Such observations could be used to estimate the mass accretion rate of cluster halos.

A Search for Planetary Nebulae With the SDSS: the outer regions of M31

We have developed a method to identify planetary nebula (PN) candidates in imaging data of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). This method exploits the SDSS’ five-band sampling of emission lines in PN spectra, which results in a color signature distinct from that of other sources. Selection criteria based on this signature can be applied to nearby galaxies in which PNe appear as point sources. We applied these criteria to the whole area of M31 as scanned by the SDSS, selecting 167 PN candidates that are located in the outer regions of M31. The spectra of 80 selected candidates were then observed with the 2.2m telescope at Calar Alto Observatory. These observations and cross-checks with literature data show that our method has a selection rate efficiency of about 90%, but the efficiency is different for the different groups of PNe candidates. In the outer regions of M31, PNe trace different well-known morphological features like the Northern Spur, the NGC205 Loop, the G1 Clump, etc. In general, the distribution of PNe in the outer region 8<R<20 kpc along the minor axis shows the "extended disk" – a rotationally supported low surface brightness structure with an exponential scale length of 3.21+/-0.14 kpc and a total mass of ~10^10 M_{\sun}, which is equivalent to the mass of M33. We report the discovery of three PN candidates with projected locations in the center of Andromeda NE, a very low surface brightness giant stellar structure in the outer halo of M31. Two of the PNe were spectroscopically confirmed as genuine PNe. These two PNe are located at projected distances along the major axis of ~48 Kpc and ~41 Kpc from the center of M31 and are the most distant PNe in M31 found up to now.

Multi-Object and Long-Slit Spectroscopy of Very Low Mass Brown Dwarfs in Orion Nebular Cluster

We present the results of a H- and K-band multi-object and long-slit spectroscopic survey of substellar mass candidates in the outer regions of the Orion Nebula Cluster. The spectra were obtained using MOIRCS on the 8.2-m Subaru telescope and ISLE on the 1.88-m telescope of Okayama Astronomical Observatory. Eight out of twelve spectra show strong water absorptions and we confirm that their effective temperatures are < 3000 K (spectral type > M6) from a chi-square fit to synthetic spectra. We plot our sources on an HR diagram overlaid with theoretical isochrones of low-mass objects and identify three new young brown dwarf candidates. One of the three new candidates is a cool object near the brown dwarf and planetary mass boundary. Based on our observations and those of previous studies, we determine the stellar (0.08 < M/Msun < 1) to substellar (0.03 < M/Msun < 0.08) mass number ratio in the outer regions of the Orion nebular cluster to be 3.5 +/- 0.8. In combination with the number ratio reported for the central region (3.3+0.8/-0.7), this result suggests the number ratio does not simply change with the distance from the center of the Orion nebular cluster.

Multi-Object and Long-Slit Spectroscopy of Very Low Mass Brown Dwarfs in Orion Nebular Cluster [Replacement]

We present the results of a H- and K-band multi-object and long-slit spectroscopic survey of substellar mass candidates in the outer regions of the Orion Nebula Cluster. The spectra were obtained using MOIRCS on the 8.2-m Subaru telescope and ISLE on the 1.88-m telescope of Okayama Astronomical Observatory. Eight out of twelve spectra show strong water absorptions and we confirm that their effective temperatures are < 3000 K (spectral type > M6) from a chi-square fit to synthetic spectra. We plot our sources on an HR diagram overlaid with theoretical isochrones of low-mass objects and identify three new young brown dwarf candidates. One of the three new candidates is a cool object near the brown dwarf and planetary mass boundary. Based on our observations and those of previous studies, we determine the stellar (0.08 < M/Msun < 1) to substellar (0.03 < M/Msun < 0.08) mass number ratio in the outer regions of the Orion nebular cluster to be 3.5 +/- 0.8. In combination with the number ratio reported for the central region (3.3+0.8/-0.7), this result suggests the number ratio does not simply change with the distance from the center of the Orion nebular cluster.

SPIDER VII - Revealing the Stellar Population Content of Massive Early-type Galaxies out to 8Re

Radial trends of stellar populations in galaxies provide a valuable tool to understand the mechanisms of galaxy growth. In this paper, we present the first comprehensive analysis of optical-optical and optical-NIR colours, as a function of galaxy mass, out to the halo region (8Re) of early-type galaxies (ETGs). We select a sample of 674 massive ETGs (M*>3×10^10MSun) from the SDSS-based SPIDER survey. By comparing with a large range of population synthesis models, we derive robust constraints on the radial trends in age and metallicity. Metallicity is unambiguously found to decrease outwards, with a measurable steepening of the slope in the outer regions (Re<R<8Re). The gradients in stellar age are found to be more sensitive to the models used, but in general, the outer regions of ETGs feature older populations compared to the cores. This trend is strongest for the most massive galaxies in our sample (M*>10^11MSun). Furthermore, when segregating with respect to large scale environment, the age gradient is more significant in ETGs residing in higher density regions. These results shed light on the processes leading from the formation of the central core to the growth of the stellar envelope of massive galaxies. The fact that the populations in the outer regions are older and more metal-poor than in the core suggests a process whereby the envelope of massive galaxies is made up of accreted small satellites (i.e. minor mergers) whose stars were born during the first stages of galaxy formation.

The Earliest Phases of Star Formation (EPoS): A Herschel Key Program - The precursors to high-mass stars and clusters

(Abridged) We present an overview of the sample of high-mass star and cluster forming regions observed as part of the Earliest Phases of Star Formation (EPoS) Herschel Guaranteed Time Key Program. A sample of 45 infrared-dark clouds (IRDCs) were mapped at PACS 70, 100, and 160 micron and SPIRE 250, 350, and 500 micron. In this paper, we characterize a population of cores which appear in the PACS bands and place them into context with their host cloud and investigate their evolutionary stage. We construct spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of 496 cores which appear in all PACS bands, 34% of which lack counterparts at 24 micron. From single-temperature modified blackbody fits of the SEDs, we derive the temperature, luminosity, and mass of each core. These properties predominantly reflect the conditions in the cold, outer regions. Taking into account optical depth effects and performing simple radiative transfer models, we explore the origin of emission at PACS wavelengths. The core population has a median temperature of 20K and has masses and luminosities that span four to five orders of magnitude. Cores with a counterpart at 24 micron are warmer and bluer on average than cores without a 24 micron counterpart. We conclude that cores bright at 24 micron are on average more advanced in their evolution, where a central protostar(s) have heated the outer bulk of the core, than 24 micron-dark cores. The 24 micron emission itself can arise in instances where our line of sight aligns with an exposed part of the warm inner core. About 10% of the total cloud mass is found in a given cloud’s core population. We uncover over 300 further candidate cores which are dark until 100 micron. These are candidate starless objects, and further observations will help us determine the nature of these very cold cores.

The thick disk rotation-metallicity correlation as a fossil of an "inverse chemical gradient" in the early Galaxy

The thick disk rotation–metallicity correlation, \partial V_\phi/\partial[Fe/H] =40\div 50 km s^{-1}dex^{-1} represents an important signature of the formation processes of the galactic disk. We use nondissipative numerical simulations to follow the evolution of a Milky Way (MW)-like disk to verify if secular dynamical processes can account for this correlation in the old thick disk stellar population. We followed the evolution of an ancient disk population represented by 10 million particles whose chemical abundances were assigned by assuming a cosmologically plausible radial metallicity gradient with lower metallicity in the inner regions, as expected for the 10-Gyr-old MW. Essentially, inner disk stars move towards the outer regions and populate layers located at higher |z|. A rotation–metallicity correlation appears, which well resembles the behaviour observed in our Galaxy at a galactocentric distance between 8 kpc and 10 kpc. In particular,we measure a correlation of \partial V_\phi/\partial[Fe/H]\simeq 60 km s^{-1}dex^{-1} for particles at 1.5 kpc < |z| < 2.0 kpc that persists up to 6 Gyr. Our pure N-body models can account for the V_\phi vs. [Fe/H] correlation observed in the thick disk of our Galaxy, suggesting that processes internal to the disk such as heating and radial migration play a role in the formation of this old stellar component. In this scenario, the positive rotation-metallicity correlation of the old thick disk population would represent the relic signature of an ancient "inverse" chemical (radial) gradient in the inner Galaxy, which resulted from accretion of primordial gas.

Photometry of the Stellar Tidal Stream in the Halo of Messier 63

We present surface photometry of a giant, low surface brightness stellar arc in the halo of the nearby spiral galaxy M63 (NGC 5055) that is consistent with being a part of a stellar stream resulting from the disruption of a dwarf satellite galaxy. Using the stream’s "great-circle" morphology and its photometric properties, we estimate that the stream originates from the accretion of a 10^8 M_sun satellite in the last few Gyr. The B-R color of the stream’s stars is consistent with Local Group dwarfs and is also similar to the outer regions of M63′s disk and stellar halo within our measurement uncertainties. Additionally, we identify several other low surface brightness features that may be related to the galaxy’s complex spiral structure or may be tidal debris associated with the disruption of the galaxy’s outer stellar disk as a result of the accretion event. Using our deep, panoramic optical view of M63 with additional existing multiwavelength data, we describe the possible effects of such an accretion event in the larger picture of the parent galaxy.

The dynamically disrupted gap in HD 142527

The vestiges of planet formation have been observed in debris disks harboring young and massive gaseous giants. The process of giant planet formation is terminated by the dissipation of gas in the protoplanetary disk. The gas-rich disk around HD142527 features a small inner disk, a large gap from \sim10 to \sim140AU, and a massive outer disk extending out to \sim300AU. The gap could have been carved-out by a giant planet. We have imaged the outer regions of this gap using the adaptive-optics camera NICI on Gemini South. Our images reveal that the disk is dynamically perturbed. The outer boundary of the roughly elliptical gap appears to be composed of several segments of spiral arms. The stellar position is offset by 0.17+-0.02" from the centroid of the cavity, consistent with earlier imaging at coarser resolutions. These transient morphological features are expected in the context of disk evolution in the presence of a perturbing body located inside the cavity. We perform hydro-dynamical simulations of the dynamical clearing of a gap in a disk. A 10Mjup body in a circular orbit at r = 90AU, perturbs the whole disks, even after thousands of orbits. By then the model disk has an eccentric and irregular cavity, flanked by tightly wound spiral arms, but it is still evolving far from steady state. A particular transient configuration that is a qualitative match to HD142527 is seen at 1.7Myr.

Externally Fed Accretion onto Protostars

The asymmetric molecular emission lines from dense cores reveal slow, inward motion in the clouds’ outer regions. This motion is present both before and after the formation of a central star. Motivated by these observations, we revisit the classic problem of steady, spherical accretion of gas onto a gravitating point mass, but now include self-gravity of the gas and impose a finite, subsonic velocity as the outer boundary condition. We find that the accretion rate onto the protostar is lower than values obtained for isolated, collapsing clouds, by a factor that is the Mach number of the outer flow. Moreover, the region of infall surrounding the protostar spreads out more slowly, at a speed close to the subsonic, incoming velocity. Our calculation, while highly idealized, provides insight into two longstanding problems — the surprisingly low accretion luminosities of even the most deeply embedded stellar sources, and the failure so far to detect spatially extended, supersonic infall within their parent dense cores. Indeed, the observed subsonic contraction in the outer regions of dense cores following star formation appears to rule out a purely hydrodynamic origin for these clouds.

Type I migration in optically thick accretion discs

We study the torque acting on a planet embedded in an optically thick accretion disc, using global two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulations. The temperature of an optically thick accretion disc is determined by the energy balance between the viscous heating and the radiative cooling. The radiative cooling rate depends on the opacity of the disc. The opacity is expressed as a function of the temperature. We find the disc is divided into three regions that have different temperature distributions. The slope of the entropy distribution becomes steep in the inner region of the disc with the high temperature and the outer region of the disc with the low temperature, while it becomes shallow in the middle region with the intermediate temperature. Planets in the inner and outer regions move outward owing to the large positive corotation torque exerted on the planet by an adiabatic disc, on the other hand, a planet in the middle region moves inward toward the central star. Planets are expected to accumulate at the boundary between the inner and middle regions of the adiabatic disc. The positive corotation torque decreases with an increase in the viscosity of the disc. We find that the positive corotation torque acting on the planet in the inner region becomes too small to cancel the negative Lindblad torque when we include the large viscosity, which destroys the enhancement of the density in the horseshoe orbit of the planet. This leads to the inward migration of the planet in the inner region of the disc. A planet with 5 Earth masses in the inner region can move outward in a disc with the surface density of 100 g/cm^2 at 1 AU when the accretion rate of a disc is smaller than 2×10^{-8} solar mass/yr.

[Fe III] emission lines in the planetary nebula NGC 2392

NGC 2392 is a young double-shell planetary nebula (PN). Its intrinsic structure and shaping mechanism are still not fully understood. In this paper we present new spectroscopic observations of NGC 2392. The slits were placed at two different locations to obtain the spectra of the inner and outer regions. Several [Fe III] lines are clearly detected in the inner region. We infer that NGC 2392 might have an intrinsic structure similar to the bipolar nebula Mz 3, which also exhibits a number of [Fe III}] lines arising from the central regions. In this scenario, the inner and outer regions of NGC 2392 correspond to the inner lobes and the outer outflows of Mz 3, respectively. We construct a three-dimensional morpho-kinematic model to examine our hypothesis. We also compare the physical conditions and chemical composition of the inner and outer regions, and discuss the implications on the formation of this type of PN.

Stable counteralignment of a circumbinary disc

In general, when gas accretes on to a supermassive black hole binary it is likely to have no prior knowledge of the binary angular momentum. Therefore a circumbinary disc forms with a random inclination angle, theta, to the binary. It is known that for theta 90 degrees the disc wholly counteraligns if it satisfies cos(theta) 90 degrees and this criterion is not satisfied the same disc may counteralign its inner regions and, on longer timescales, coalign its outer regions. I show that for typical disc parameters, describing an accretion event on to a supermassive black hole binary, a misaligned circumbinary disc is likely to wholly co– or counter–align with the binary plane. This is because the binary angular momentum dominates the disc angular momentum. However with extreme parameters (binary mass ratio M_2/M_1 << 1 or binary eccentricity e ~ 1) the same disc may simultaneously co- and counter-align. It is known that coplanar prograde circumbinary discs are stable. I show that coplanar retrograde circumbinary discs are also stable. A chaotic accretion event on to an SMBH binary will therefore result in a coplanar circumbinary disc that is either prograde or retrograde with respect to the binary plane.

The observed properties of dwarf galaxies in and around the Local Group

Positional, structural and dynamical parameters for all dwarf galaxies in and around the Local Group are presented, and various aspects of our observational understanding of this volume-limited sample are discussed. Over 100 nearby galaxies that have distance estimates placing them within 3Mpc of the Sun are identified. This distance threshold samples dwarfs in a large range of environments, from the satellite systems of the MW and M31, to the dwarfs in the outer regions of the Local Group, to the numerous isolated galaxies found in its surroundings. It extends to, but does not include, the galaxies associated with the next nearest groups. Our basic knowledge of this important galactic subset and their resolved stellar populations will continue to improve dramatically over the coming years with existing and future observational capabilities, and they will continue to provide the most detailed information available on numerous aspects of dwarf galaxy formation and evolution. Basic observational parameters, such as distances, velocities, magnitudes, mean metallicities, as well as structural and dynamical characteristics, are collated, homogenized (as far as possible), and presented in tables that will be continually updated to provide a convenient and current on-line resource. As well as discussing the provenance of the tabulated values and uncertainties affecting their usage, the membership and spatial extent of the MW and M31 subgroups and the Local Group are explored. The morphological diversity of the entire sample and sub-groups is discussed, and time-scales are derived for the Local Group members in the context of their orbital histories. The scaling relations and mean stellar metallicity trends defined by the dwarfs are presented, and the origin of a possible floor in central surface brightness (and, more speculatively, stellar mean metallicity) at faint magnitudes is considered.

The observed properties of dwarf galaxies in and around the Local Group [Replacement]

Positional, structural and dynamical parameters for all dwarf galaxies in and around the Local Group are presented, and various aspects of our observational understanding of this volume-limited sample are discussed. Over 100 nearby galaxies that have distance estimates placing them within 3Mpc of the Sun are identified. This distance threshold samples dwarfs in a large range of environments, from the satellite systems of the MW and M31, to the dwarfs in the outer regions of the Local Group, to the numerous isolated galaxies found in its surroundings. It extends to, but does not include, the galaxies associated with the next nearest groups. Our basic knowledge of this important galactic subset and their resolved stellar populations will continue to improve dramatically over the coming years with existing and future observational capabilities, and they will continue to provide the most detailed information available on numerous aspects of dwarf galaxy formation and evolution. Basic observational parameters, such as distances, velocities, magnitudes, mean metallicities, as well as structural and dynamical characteristics, are collated, homogenized (as far as possible), and presented in tables that will be continually updated to provide a convenient and current on-line resource. As well as discussing the provenance of the tabulated values and uncertainties affecting their usage, the membership and spatial extent of the MW and M31 subgroups and the Local Group are explored. The morphological diversity of the entire sample and sub-groups is discussed, and time-scales are derived for the Local Group members in the context of their orbital histories. The scaling relations and mean stellar metallicity trends defined by the dwarfs are presented, and the origin of a possible floor in central surface brightness (and, more speculatively, stellar mean metallicity) at faint magnitudes is considered.

Misleading variations in estimated rotational frequency splittings of solar p modes: Consequences for helio- and asteroseismology

The aim of this paper is to investigate whether there are any 11-yr or quasi-biennial solar cycle-related variations in solar rotational splitting frequencies of low-degree solar p modes. Although no 11-yr signals were observed, variations on a shorter timescale (~2yrs) were apparent. We show that the variations arose from complications/artifacts associated with the realization noise in the data and the process by which the data were analyzed. More specifically, the realization noise was observed to have a larger effect on the rotational splittings than accounted for by the formal uncertainties. When used to infer the rotation profile of the Sun these variations are not important. The outer regions of the solar interior can be constrained using higher-degree modes. While the variations in the low-l splittings do make large differences to the inferred rotation rate of the core, the core rotation rate is so poorly constrained, even by low-l modes, that the different inferred rotation profiles still agree within their respective 1sigma uncertainties. By contrast, in asteroseismology, only low-l modes are visible and so higher-l modes cannot be used to constrain the rotation profile of stars. Furthermore, we usually only have one data set from which to measure the observed low-l splitting. In such circumstances the inferred internal rotation rate of a main sequence star could differ significantly from estimates of the surface rotation rate, hence leading to spurious conclusions. Therefore, extreme care must be taken when using only the splittings of low-l modes to draw conclusions about the average internal rotation rate of a star.

Dynamics and PDR properties in IC1396A

We investigate the gas dynamics and the physical properties of photodissociation regions (PDRs) in IC1396A, which is an illuminated bright-rimmed globule with internal structures created by young stellar objects. Our mapping observations of the [CII] emission in IC1396A with GREAT onboard SOFIA revealed the detailed velocity structure of this region. We combined them with observations of the [CI] 3P_1 – 3P_0 and CO(4-3) emissions to study the dynamics of the different tracers and physical properties of the PDRs. The [CII] emission generally matches the IRAC 8 micron, which traces the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emissions. The CO(4-3) emission peaks inside the globule, and the [CI] emission is strong in outer regions, following the 8 micron emission to some degree, but its peak is different from that of [CII]. The [CII] emitting gas shows a clear velocity gradient within the globule, which is not significant in the [CI] and CO(4-3) emission. Some clumps that are prominent in [CII] emission appear to be blown away from the rim of the globule. The observed ratios of [CII]/[CI] and [CII]/CO(4-3) are compared to the KOSMA-tau PDR model, which indicates a density of 10^4-10^5 cm-3.

The effect of ISM turbulence on the gravitational instability of galactic discs [Replacement]

We investigate the gravitational instability of galactic discs, treating stars and cold interstellar gas as two distinct components, and taking into account the phenomenology of turbulence in the interstellar medium (ISM), i.e. the Larson-type scaling relations observed in the molecular and atomic gas. Besides deriving general properties of such systems, we analyse a large sample of galaxies from The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS), and show in detail how interstellar turbulence affects disc instability in star-forming spirals. We find that turbulence has a significant effect on both the inner and the outer regions of the disc. In particular, it drives the inner gas disc to a regime of transition between two instability phases and makes the outer disc more prone to star-dominated instabilities.

The effect of ISM turbulence on the gravitational instability of galactic discs

We investigate the gravitational instability of galactic discs, treating stars and cold interstellar gas as two distinct components, and taking into account the phenomenology of turbulence in the interstellar medium (ISM), i.e. the Larson-type scaling relations observed in the molecular and atomic gas. Besides deriving general properties of such systems, we analyse a large sample of galaxies from The HI Nearby Galaxy Survey (THINGS), and show in detail how interstellar turbulence affects the discs of star-forming spirals. We find that turbulence has a significant effect on both the inner and the outer regions of the disc. In particular, it drives the inner gas disc to a regime of transition between two instability phases and makes the outer disc more prone to star-dominated instabilities.

On The Effect of Giant Planets on the Scattering of Parent Bodies of Iron Meteorite from the Terrestrial Planet Region into the Asteroid Belt: A Concept Study

In their model for the origin of the parent bodies of iron meteorites, Bottke et al proposed differentiated planetesimals that were formed in the region of 1-2 AU during the first 1.5 Myr, as the parent bodies, and suggested that these objects and their fragments were scattered into the asteroid belt as a result of interactions with planetary embryos. Although viable, this model does not include the effect of a giant planet that might have existed or been growing in the outer regions. We present the results of a concept study where we have examined the effect of a planetary body in the orbit of Jupiter on the early scattering of planetesimals from terrestrial region into the asteroid belt. We integrated the orbits of a large battery of planetesimals in a disk of planetary embryos, and studied their evolutions for different values of the mass of the planet. Results indicate that when the mass of the planet is smaller than 10 Earth-masses, its effects on the interactions among planetesimals and planetary embryos is negligible. However, when the planet mass is between 10 and 50 Earth-masses, simulations point to a transitional regime with ~50 Earth-mass being the value for which the perturbing effect of the planet can no longer be ignored. Simulations also show that further increase of the mass of the planet strongly reduces the efficiency of the scattering of planetesimals from the terrestrial planet region into the asteroid belt. We present the results of our simulations and discuss their possible implications for the time of giant planet formation.

The effect of local optically thick regions in the long-wave emission of young circumstellar disks

Multi-wavelength observations of protoplanetary disks in the sub-millimeter continuum have measured spectral indices values which are significantly lower than what is found in the diffuse interstellar medium. Under the assumption that mm-wave emission of disks is mostly optically thin, these data have been generally interpreted as evidence for the presence of mm/cm-sized pebbles in the disk outer regions. In this work we investigate the effect of possible local optically thick regions on the mm-wave emission of protoplanetary disks without mm/cm-sized grains. A significant local increase of the optical depth in the disk can be caused by the concentration of solid particles, as predicted to result from a variety of proposed physical mechanisms. We calculate the filling factors and implied overdensities these optically thick regions would need to significantly affect the millimeter fluxes of disks, and we discuss their plausibility. We find that optically thick regions characterized by relatively small filling factors can reproduce the mm-data of young disks without requesting emission from mm/cm-sized pebbles. However, these optically thick regions require dust overdensities much larger than what predicted by any of the physical processes proposed in the literature to drive the concentration of solids. We find that only for the most massive disks it is possible and plausible to imagine that the presence of optically thick regions in the disk is responsible for the low measured values of the mm spectral index. For the majority of the disk population, optically thin emission from a population of large mm-sized grains remains the most plausible explanation. The results of this analysis further strengthen the scenario for which the measured low spectral indices of protoplanetary disks at mm wavelengths are due to the presence of large mm/cm-sized pebbles in the disk outer regions.

A simple model for the evolution of the dust population in protoplanetary disks

Context: The global size and spatial distribution of dust is an important ingredient in the structure and evolution of protoplanetary disks and in the formation of larger bodies, such as planetesimals. Aims: We aim to derive simple equations that explain the global evolution of the dust surface density profile and the upper limit of the grain size distribution and which can readily be used for further modeling or for interpreting of observational data. Methods: We have developed a simple model that follows the upper end of the dust size distribution and the evolution of the dust surface density profile. This model is calibrated with state-of-the-art simulations of dust evolution, which treat dust growth, fragmentation, and transport in viscously evolving gas disks. Results: We find very good agreement between the full dust-evolution code and the toy model presented in this paper. We derive analytical profiles that describe the dust-to-gas ratios and the dust surface density profiles well in protoplanetary disks, as well as the radial flux by solid material “rain out”, which is crucial for triggering any gravity assisted formation of planetesimals. We show that fragmentation is the dominating effect in the inner regions of the disk leading to a dust surface density exponent of -1.5, while the outer regions at later times can become drift-dominated, yielding a dust surface density exponent of -0.75. Our results show that radial drift is not efficient in fragmenting dust grains. This supports the theory that small dust grains are resupplied by fragmentation due to the turbulent state of the disk.

What triggers star formation in galaxies?

Processes that promote the formation of dense cold clouds in the interstellar media of galaxies are reviewed. Those that involve background stellar mass include two-fluid instabilities, spiral density wave shocking, and bar accretion. Young stellar pressures trigger gas accumulation on the periphery of cleared cavities, which often take the form of rings by the time new stars form. Stellar pressures also trigger star formation in bright-rim structures, directly squeezing the pre-existing clumps in nearby clouds and clearing out the lower density gas between them. Observations of these processes are common. How they fit into the empirical star formation laws, which relate the star formation rate primarily to the gas density, is unclear. Most likely, star formation follows directly from the formation of cold dense gas, whatever the origin of that gas. If the average pressure from the weight of the gas layer is large enough to produce a high molecular fraction in the ambient medium, then star formation should follow from a variety of processes that combine and lose their distinctive origins. Pressurized triggering might have more influence on the star formation rate in regions with low average molecular fraction. This implies, for example, that the arm/interarm ratio of star formation efficiency should be higher in the outer regions of galaxies than in the main disks.

Constraining Cluster Physics with the Shape of X-ray Clusters: Comparison of Local X-ray Clusters versus LCDM Clusters [Replacement]

Simulations of cluster formation have demonstrated that condensation of baryons into central galaxies during cluster formation can drive the shape of the gas distribution in galaxy clusters significantly rounder, even at radii as large as half of the virial radius. However, such simulations generally predict stellar fractions within cluster virial radii that are ~2-3 times larger than the stellar masses deduced from observations. In this work we compare ellipticity profiles of clusters simulated with and without baryonic cooling to the cluster ellipticity profiles derived from Chandra and ROSAT observations in an effort to constrain the fraction of gas that cools and condenses into the central galaxies within clusters. We find that the observed ellipticity profiles are fairly constant with radius, with an average ellipticity of 0.18 +/- 0.05. The observed ellipticity profiles are in good agreement with the predictions of non-radiative simulations. On the other hand, the ellipticity profiles of the clusters in simulations that include radiative cooling, star formation, and supernova feedback (but no AGN feedback) deviate significantly from the observed ellipticity profiles at all radii. The simulations with cooling overpredict (underpredict) ellipticity in the inner (outer) regions of galaxy clusters. By comparing the simulations with and without cooling, we show that the cooling of gas via cooling flows in the central regions of simulated clusters causes the gas distribution to be more oblate in the central regions, but makes the outer gas distribution more spherical. We find that late-time gas cooling and star formation is responsible for the significantly oblate gas distributions in cluster cores, but the gas shapes outside of cluster cores are set primarily by baryon dissipation at high-redshift z > 2.

Constraining Cluster Physics with the Shape of X-ray Clusters: Comparison of Local X-ray Clusters versus LCDM Clusters

Simulations of cluster formation have demonstrated that condensation of baryons into central galaxies during cluster formation can drive the shape of the gas distribution in galaxy clusters significantly rounder, even at radii as large as half of the virial radius. However, such simulations generally predict stellar fractions within cluster virial radii that are ~2-3 times larger than the stellar masses deduced from observations. In this work we compare ellipticity profiles of clusters simulated with and without baryonic cooling to the cluster ellipticity profiles derived from Chandra and ROSAT observations in an effort to constrain the fraction of gas that cools and condenses into the central galaxies within clusters. We find that the observed ellipticity profiles are fairly constant with radius, with an average ellipticity of 0.18 +/- 0.05. The observed ellipticity profiles are in good agreement with the predictions of non-radiative simulations. On the other hand, the ellipticity profiles of the clusters in simulations that include radiative cooling, star formation, and supernova feedback (but no AGN feedback) deviate significantly from the observed ellipticity profiles at all radii. The non-radiative simulations overpredict (underpredict) ellipticity in the inner (outer) regions of galaxy clusters. By comparing the simulations with and without cooling, we show that the cooling of gas via cooling flows in the central regions of simulated clusters causes the gas distribution to be more oblate in the central regions, but makes the outer gas distribution more spherical. We find that late-time gas cooling and star formation is responsible for the significantly oblate gas distributions in cluster cores, but the gas shapes outside of cluster cores are set primarily by baryon dissipation at high-redshift z > 2.

Lensing and X-ray mass estimates of clusters (SIMULATION)

[Abridged] We present a comparison between weak-lensing (WL) and X-ray mass estimates of a sample of numerically simulated clusters. The sample consists on the 20 most massive objects at redshift z=0.25 and Mvir > 5 x 10^{14} Msun h^{-1}. They were found in a cosmological simulation of volume 1 h^{-3} Gpc^3, evolved in the framework of a WMAP-7 normalized cosmology. Each cluster has been resimulated at higher resolution and with more complex gas physics. We processed it thought Skylens and X-MAS to generate optical and X-ray mock observations along three orthogonal projections. The optical simulations include lensing effects on background sources. Standard observational tools and methods of analysis are used to recover the mass profiles of each cluster projection from the mock catalogues. Given the size of our sample, we could also investigate the dependence of the results on cluster morphology, environment, temperature inhomogeneity, and mass. We confirm previous results showing that WL masses obtained from the fit of the cluster tangential shear profiles with NFW functionals are biased low by ~ 5-10% with a large scatter (~10-25%). We show that scatter could be reduced by optimally selecting clusters either having regular morphology or living in substructure-poor environment. The X-ray masses are biased low by a large amount (~25-35%), evidencing the presence of both non-thermal sources of pressure in the ICM and temperature inhomogeneity, but they show a significantly lower scatter than weak-lensing-derived masses. The X-ray mass bias grows from the inner to the outer regions of the clusters. We find that both biases are weakly correlated with the third-order power ratio, while a stronger correlation exists with the centroid shift. Finally, the X-ray bias is strongly connected with temperature inhomogeneities.

Limits on the Gas Disk Content of Two "Evolved" T Tauri Stars

We derived upper limits of the circumstellar gas disk masses around the T Tauri stars St 34 and RX J0432.8+1735 in order to place constraints on theories of planet formation and to explore the evolution of the gas-to-dust ratio during the epoch of disk dissipation around young sun-like stars. Since sub-millimeter lines of ^{12}CO trace of the cold, outer regions of circumstellar disks, we observed ^{12}CO J=2-1 emission with the 10 m Sub-Millimeter Telescope (SMT) for two carefully chosen targets. St 34 is a rare classical T Tauri star with an age of 8\pm3 Myr, and RX J0432.8+1735 is a rare weak-emission T Tauri star with far-infrared excess. Both exhibit radial space motion enabling us to distinguish disk emission from ambient cloud material. Assuming a ^{12}CO excitation temperature of 20 K, a ^{12}CO line-width of 5 km s^{-1}, and optically-thin emission, we derive 3{\sigma} upper limits on the H_{2} circumstellar disk mass for St 34 and RX J0432.8+1735 to be <4.20 M\odot for both disks. Placing these results in the context of other studies, we discuss their implications on planet formation models.

Limits on the Gas Disk Content of Two "Evolved" T Tauri Stars [Replacement]

We derived upper limits of the circumstellar gas disk masses around the T Tauri stars St 34 and RX J0432.8+1735 in order to place constraints on theories of planet formation and to explore the evolution of the gas-to-dust ratio during the epoch of disk dissipation around young sun-like stars. Since sub-millimeter lines of ^{12}CO trace of the cold, outer regions of circumstellar disks, we observed ^{12}CO J=2-1 emission with the 10 m Sub-Millimeter Telescope (SMT) for two carefully chosen targets. St 34 is a rare classical T Tauri star with an age of 8\pm3 Myr, and RX J0432.8+1735 is a rare weak-emission T Tauri star with far-infrared excess. Both exhibit radial space motion enabling us to distinguish disk emission from ambient cloud material. Assuming a ^{12}CO excitation temperature of 20 K, a ^{12}CO line-width of 5 km s^{-1}, and optically-thin emission, we derive 3{\sigma} upper limits on the H_{2} circumstellar disk mass for St 34 and RX J0432.8+1735 to be <4.20 M\odot for both disks. Placing these results in the context of other studies, we discuss their implications on planet formation models.

Trapping dust particles in the outer regions of protoplanetary disks

In order to explain grain growth to mm sized particles and their retention in outer regions of protoplanetary disks, as it is observed at sub-mm and mm wavelengths, we investigate if strong inhomogeneities in the gas density profiles can slow down excessive radial drift and can help dust particles to grow. We use coagulation/fragmentation and disk-structure models, to simulate the evolution of dust in a bumpy surface density profile which we mimic with a sinusoidal disturbance. For different values of the amplitude and length scale of the bumps, we investigate the ability of this model to produce and retain large particles on million years time scales. In addition, we introduced a comparison between the pressure inhomogeneities considered in this work and the pressure profiles that come from magnetorotational instability. Using the Common Astronomy Software Applications ALMA simulator, we study if there are observational signatures of these pressure inhomogeneities that can be seen with ALMA. We present the favorable conditions to trap dust particles and the corresponding calculations predicting the spectral slope in the mm-wavelength range, to compare with current observations. Finally we present simulated images using different antenna configurations of ALMA at different frequencies, to show that the ring structures will be detectable at the distances of the Taurus Auriga or Ophiucus star forming regions.

Future Observations of Cosmic Magnetic Fields with the SKA and its Precursors

The origin of magnetic fields in the Universe is an open problem in astrophysics and fundamental physics. Polarization observations with the forthcoming large radio telescopes, especially the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), will open a new era in the observation of magnetic fields and should help to understand their origin. Low-frequency radio synchrotron emission, to be observed with LOFAR, MWA and the SKA, traces low-energy cosmic ray electrons and allows us to map the structure of weak magnetic fields in the outer regions and halos of galaxies, in halos and relics of galaxy clusters and in the Milky Way. Polarization at higher frequencies (1-10 GHz), to be observed with the SKA and its precursors ASKAP and MeerKAT, will trace magnetic fields in the disks and central regions of galaxies and in cluster relics in unprecedented detail. All-sky surveys of Faraday rotation measures towards a dense grid of polarized background sources with ASKAP (project POSSUM) and the SKA are dedicated to measure magnetic fields in intervening galaxies, clusters and intergalactic filaments, and will be used to model the overall structure and strength of magnetic fields in the Milky Way. “Cosmic Magnetism” is key science for LOFAR, ASKAP and the SKA.

Future Observations of Cosmic Magnetic Fields with the SKA and its Precursors [Replacement]

The origin of magnetic fields in the Universe is an open problem in astrophysics and fundamental physics. Polarization observations with the forthcoming large radio telescopes, especially the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), will open a new era in the observation of magnetic fields and should help to understand their origin. Low-frequency radio synchrotron emission, to be observed with LOFAR, MWA and the SKA, traces low-energy cosmic ray electrons and allows us to map the structure of weak magnetic fields in the outer regions and halos of galaxies, in halos and relics of galaxy clusters and in the Milky Way. Polarization at higher frequencies (1-10 GHz), to be observed with the SKA and its precursors ASKAP and MeerKAT, will trace magnetic fields in the disks and central regions of galaxies and in cluster relics in unprecedented detail. All-sky surveys of Faraday rotation measures towards a dense grid of polarized background sources with ASKAP (project POSSUM) and the SKA are dedicated to measure magnetic fields in intervening galaxies, clusters and intergalactic filaments, and will be used to model the overall structure and strength of magnetic fields in the Milky Way. "Cosmic Magnetism" is key science for LOFAR, ASKAP and the SKA.

Large-Scale Kinematics, Astrochemistry and Magnetic Field Studies of Massive Star-forming Regions through HC3N, HNC and C2H Mappings

We have mapped 27 massive star-forming regions associated with water masers using three dense gas tracers: HC3N 10-9, HNC 1-0 and C2H 1-0. The FWHM sizes of HNC clumps and C2H clumps are about 1.5 and 1.6 times higher than those of HC3N, respectively, which can be explained by the fact that HC3N traces more dense gas than HNC and C2H. We found evidence for increase in optical depth of C2H with `radius’ from center to outer regions in some targets, supporting the chemical model of C2H. The C2H optical depth is found to decline as molecular clouds evolve to later stage, suggesting that C2H might be used as “chemical clock” for molecular clouds. Large-scale kinematic structure of clouds was investigated with three molecular lines. All these sources show significant velocity gradients. The magnitudes of gradient are found to increase towards the inner region, indicating differential rotation of clouds. Both the ratio of rotational to gravitational energy and specific angular momentum seem to decrease toward the inner region, implying obvious angular momentum transfer, which might be caused by magnetic braking. The average magnetic field strength and number density of molecular clouds is derived using the uniformly magnetic sphere model. The derived magnetic field strengths range from 3 to 88 \mu G, with a median value of 13 \mu G. The mass-to-flux ratio of molecular cloud is calculated to be much higher than critical value with derived parameters, which agrees well with numerical simulations.

Anti-truncated stellar light profiles in the outer regions of STAGES spiral galaxies: bulge or disc related?

We present a comparison of azimuthally averaged radial surface brightness mu(r) profiles and analytical bulge-disc decompositions (de Vaucouleurs, r^(1/4) bulge plus exponential disc) for spiral galaxies using Hubble Space Telescope/Advanced Camera for Surveys V-band imaging from the Space Telescope A901/2 Galaxy Evolution Survey (STAGES). In the established classification scheme, antitruncated mu(r) profiles (Type III) have a broken exponential disc with a shallower region beyond the break radius r_brk. The excess light at large radii (r > r_brk) can either be caused by an outer exponential disc (Type III-d) or an extended spheroidal component (Type III-s). Using our comparisons, we determine the contribution of bulge light at r > r_brk for a large sample of 78 (barred/unbarred, Sa-Sd) spiral galaxies with outer disc antitruncations (mu_brk > 24 mag arcsec^-2). In the majority of cases (~85 per cent), evidence indicates that excess light at r > r_brk is related to an outer shallow disc (Type III-d). Here, the contribution of bulge light at r > r_brk is either negligible (~70 per cent) or too little to explain the antitruncation (~15 per cent). However in the latter cases, bulge light can affect the measured disc properties (e.g. mu_brk, outer scalelength). In the remaining cases (~15 per cent), light at r > r_brk is dominated by the bulge (Type III-s). Here, for most cases the bulge profile dominates at all radii and only occasionally (3 galaxies, ~5 per cent) extends beyond that of a dominant disc and explains the excess light at r > r_brk. We thus conclude that in the vast majority of cases antitruncated outer discs cannot be explained by bulge light and thus remain a pure disc phenomenon.

Sizes and surface brightness profiles of quiescent galaxies at z ~ 2

We use deep Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 near-infrared imaging obtained of the GOODS-South field as part of the CANDELS survey to investigate a stellar mass-limited sample of quiescent galaxies at 1.5 < z < 2.5. We measure surface brightness profiles for these galaxies using a method that properly measures low surface brightness flux at large radii. We find that quiescent galaxies at z ~ 2 very closely follow Sersic profiles, with n_{median} = 3.7, and have no excess flux at large radii. Their effective radii are a factor ~ 4 smaller than those of low-redshift quiescent galaxies of similar mass. However, there is significant spread in sizes (sigma_{log r_e} = 0.34), with the largest z ~ 2 galaxies lying close to the z = 0 mass-size relation. We compare the stellar mass surface density profiles with those of massive elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster and confirm that most of the mass-growth which occurs between z ~ 2 and z = 0 must be due to accretion of material onto the outer regions of the galaxies. Additionally, we investigate the evolution in the size distribution of massive quiescent galaxies. We find that the minimum size growth required for z ~ 2 quiescent galaxies to fall within the z = 0 size distribution is a factor ~ 2 smaller than the total median size growth between z ~ 2 and z = 0.

Sizes and surface brightness profiles of quiescent galaxies at z ~ 2 [Replacement]

We use deep Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 near-infrared imaging obtained of the GOODS-South field as part of the CANDELS survey to investigate a stellar mass-limited sample of quiescent galaxies at 1.5 < z < 2.5. We measure surface brightness profiles for these galaxies using a method that properly measures low surface brightness flux at large radii. We find that quiescent galaxies at z ~ 2 very closely follow Sersic profiles, with n_{median} = 3.7, and have no excess flux at large radii. Their effective radii are a factor ~ 4 smaller than those of low-redshift quiescent galaxies of similar mass. However, there is significant spread in sizes (sigma_{log r_e} = 0.24), with the largest z ~ 2 galaxies lying close to the z = 0 mass-size relation. We compare the stellar mass surface density profiles with those of massive elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster and confirm that most of the mass-growth which occurs between z ~ 2 and z = 0 must be due to accretion of material onto the outer regions of the galaxies. Additionally, we investigate the evolution in the size distribution of massive quiescent galaxies. We find that the minimum size growth required for z ~ 2 quiescent galaxies to fall within the z = 0 size distribution is a factor ~ 2 smaller than the total median size growth between z ~ 2 and z = 0.

Sizes and surface brightness profiles of quiescent galaxies at z ~ 2 [Replacement]

We use deep Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 near-infrared imaging obtained of the GOODS-South field as part of the CANDELS survey to investigate a stellar mass-limited sample of quiescent galaxies at 1.5 < z < 2.5. We measure surface brightness profiles for these galaxies using a method that properly measures low surface brightness flux at large radii. We find that quiescent galaxies at z ~ 2 very closely follow Sersic profiles, with n_{median} = 3.7, and have no excess flux at large radii. Their effective radii are a factor ~ 4 smaller than those of low-redshift quiescent galaxies of similar mass. However, there is significant spread in sizes (sigma_{log r_e} = 0.34), with the largest z ~ 2 galaxies lying close to the z = 0 mass-size relation. We compare the stellar mass surface density profiles with those of massive elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster and confirm that most of the mass-growth which occurs between z ~ 2 and z = 0 must be due to accretion of material onto the outer regions of the galaxies. Additionally, we investigate the evolution in the size distribution of massive quiescent galaxies. We find that the minimum size growth required for z ~ 2 quiescent galaxies to fall within the z = 0 size distribution is a factor ~ 2 smaller than the total median size growth between z ~ 2 and z = 0.

Sizes and surface brightness profiles of quiescent galaxies at z ~ 2 [Replacement]

We use deep Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 near-infrared imaging obtained of the GOODS-South field as part of the CANDELS survey to investigate a stellar mass-limited sample of quiescent galaxies at 1.5 < z < 2.5. We measure surface brightness profiles for these galaxies using a method that properly measures low surface brightness flux at large radii. We find that quiescent galaxies at z ~ 2 very closely follow Sersic profiles, with n_{median} = 3.7, and have no excess flux at large radii. Their effective radii are a factor ~ 4 smaller than those of low-redshift quiescent galaxies of similar mass. However, there is significant spread in sizes (sigma_{log r_e} = 0.24), with the largest z ~ 2 galaxies lying close to the z = 0 mass-size relation. We compare the stellar mass surface density profiles with those of massive elliptical galaxies in the Virgo cluster and confirm that most of the mass-growth which occurs between z ~ 2 and z = 0 must be due to accretion of material onto the outer regions of the galaxies. Additionally, we investigate the evolution in the size distribution of massive quiescent galaxies. We find that the minimum size growth required for z ~ 2 quiescent galaxies to fall within the z = 0 size distribution is a factor ~ 2 smaller than the total median size growth between z ~ 2 and z = 0.

2MASS photometry and age estimate of globular clusters in the outer halo of M31

We present the first photometric results in J, H, and K_s from 2MASS imaging of 10 classical globular clusters in the far outer regions of M31. Combined with the V and I photometric data from previous literature, we constructed the color-color diagram between J-K_s and V-I. By comparing the integrated photometric measurements with evolutionary models, we estimate the ages of these clusters. The results showed that, all of these clusters are older than $3\times 10^9$ yrs, of which 4 are older than 10 Gyrs and the other 6 are in intermediate ages between 3-8 Gyrs. The masses for these outer halo GCs are from $7.0\times 10^4 M_sun$ to $1.02\times 10^6 M_sun$. We argued that, GC2 and GC3, the ages, metallicities and the distance moduli of which are nearly the same, were accreted from the same satellite galaxy, if they did not form {\it in situ}. The statistical results show that, ages and metallicities for these 10 M31 outer halo GCs do not vary with projected radial position, and the relationship between age and metallicity doest not exit.

First Keck Nulling Observations of a Young Stellar Object: Probing the Circumstellar Environment of the Herbig Ae star MWC 325 [Replacement]

We present the first N-band nulling plus K- and L-band V2 observations of a young stellar object, MWC325, taken with the 85 m baseline Keck Interferometer. The Keck nuller was designed for the study of faint dust signatures associated with debris disks, but it also has a unique capability for studying the temperature and density distribution of denser disks found around young stellar objects. Interferometric observations of MWC 325 at K, L and N encompass a factor of five in spectral range and thus, especially when spectrally dispersed within each band, enable characterization of the structure of the inner disk regions where planets form. Fitting our observations with geometric models such as a uniform disk or a Gaussian disk show that the apparent size increases monotonically with wavelength in the 2-12 um wavelength region, confirming the widely held assumption based on radiative transfer models, now with spatially resolved measurements over broad wavelength range, that disks are extended with a temperature gradient. The effective size is a factor of about 1.3 and 2 larger in the L-band and N-band, respectively, compared to that in the K-band. The existing interferometric measurements and the spectral energy distribution can be reproduced by a flat disk or a weakly-shadowed nearly flat-disk model, with only slight flaring in the outer regions of the disk, consisting of representative “sub-micron” (0.1 um) and “micron” (2 um) grains of a 50:50 ratio of silicate and graphite. This is marked contrast with the disks previously found in other Herbig Ae/Be stars suggesting a wide variety in the disk properties among Herbig Ae/Be stars.

First Keck Nulling Observations of a Young Stellar Object: Probing the Circumstellar Environment of the Herbig Ae star MWC 325

We present the first N-band nulling plus K- and L-band V2 observations of a young stellar object, MWC325, taken with the 85 m baseline Keck Interferometer. The Keck nuller was designed for the study of faint dust signatures associated with debris disks, but it also has a unique capability for studying the temperature and density distribution of denser disks found around young stellar objects. Interferometric observations of MWC 325 at K, L and N encompass a factor of five in spectral range and thus, especially when spectrally dispersed within each band, enable characterization of the structure of the inner disk regions where planets form. Fitting our observations with geometric models such as a uniform disk or a Gaussian disk show that the apparent size increases monotonically with wavelength in the 2-12 um wavelength region, confirming the widely held assumption based on radiative transfer models, now with spatially resolved measurements over broad wavelength range, that disks are extended with a temperature gradient. The effective size is a factor of about 1.3 and 2 larger in the L-band and N-band, respectively, compared to that in the K-band. The existing interferometric measurements and the spectral energy distribution can be reproduced by a flat disk or a weakly-shadowed nearly flat-disk model, with only slight flaring in the outer regions of the disk, consisting of representative “sub-micron” (0.1 um) and “micron” (2 um) grains of a 50:50 ratio of silicate and graphite. This is marked contrast with the disks previously found in other Herbig Ae/Be stars suggesting a wide variety in the disk properties among Herbig Ae/Be stars.

The gas distribution in the outer regions of galaxy clusters [Replacement]

We present the analysis of a local (z = 0.04 – 0.2) sample of 31 galaxy clusters with the aim of measuring the density of the X-ray emitting gas in cluster outskirts. We compare our results with numerical simulations to set constraints on the azimuthal symmetry and gas clumping in the outer regions of galaxy clusters. We exploit the large field-of-view and low instrumental background of ROSAT/PSPC to trace the density of the intracluster gas out to the virial radius. We perform a stacking of the density profiles to detect a signal beyond r200 and measure the typical density and scatter in cluster outskirts. We also compute the azimuthal scatter of the profiles with respect to the mean value to look for deviations from spherical symmetry. Finally, we compare our average density and scatter profiles with the results of numerical simulations. As opposed to some recent Suzaku results, and confirming previous evidence from ROSAT and Chandra, we observe a steepening of the density profiles beyond \sim r500. Comparing our density profiles with simulations, we find that non-radiative runs predict too steep density profiles, whereas runs including additional physics and/or treating gas clumping are in better agreement with the observed gas distribution. We report for the first time the high-confidence detection of a systematic difference between cool-core and non-cool core clusters beyond \sim 0.3r200, which we explain by a different distribution of the gas in the two classes. Beyond \sim r500, galaxy clusters deviate significantly from spherical symmetry, with only little differences between relaxed and disturbed systems. We find good agreement between the observed and predicted scatter profiles, but only when the 1% densest clumps are filtered out in the simulations. [Abridged]

The gas distribution in galaxy cluster outer regions

We present the analysis of a local (z = 0.04 – 0.2) sample of 31 galaxy clusters with the aim of measuring the density of the X-ray emitting gas in cluster outskirts. We compare our results with numerical simulations to set constraints on the azimuthal symmetry and gas clumping in the outer regions of galaxy clusters. We exploit the large field-of-view and low instrumental background of ROSAT/PSPC to trace the density of the intracluster gas out to the virial radius. We perform a stacking of the density profiles to detect a signal beyond r200 and measure the typical density and scatter in cluster outskirts. We also compute the azimuthal scatter of the profiles with respect to the mean value to look for deviations from spherical symmetry. Finally, we compare our average density and scatter profiles with the results of numerical simulations. As opposed to some recent Suzaku results, and confirming previous evidence from ROSAT and Chandra, we observe a steepening of the density profiles beyond \sim r500. Comparing our density profiles with simulations, we find that non-radiative runs predict too steep density profiles, whereas runs including additional physics and/or treating gas clumping are in better agreement with the observed gas distribution. We report for the first time the high-confidence detection of a systematic difference between cool-core and non-cool core clusters beyond \sim 0.3r200, which we explain by a different distribution of the gas in the two classes. Beyond \sim r500, galaxy clusters deviate significantly from spherical symmetry, with only little differences between relaxed and disturbed systems. We find good agreement between the observed and predicted scatter profiles, but only when the 1% densest clumps are filtered out in the simulations. [Abridged]

The gas distribution in galaxy cluster outer regions [Replacement]

We present the analysis of a local (z = 0.04 – 0.2) sample of 31 galaxy clusters with the aim of measuring the density of the X-ray emitting gas in cluster outskirts. We compare our results with numerical simulations to set constraints on the azimuthal symmetry and gas clumping in the outer regions of galaxy clusters. We exploit the large field-of-view and low instrumental background of ROSAT/PSPC to trace the density of the intracluster gas out to the virial radius. We perform a stacking of the density profiles to detect a signal beyond r200 and measure the typical density and scatter in cluster outskirts. We also compute the azimuthal scatter of the profiles with respect to the mean value to look for deviations from spherical symmetry. Finally, we compare our average density and scatter profiles with the results of numerical simulations. As opposed to some recent Suzaku results, and confirming previous evidence from ROSAT and Chandra, we observe a steepening of the density profiles beyond \sim r500. Comparing our density profiles with simulations, we find that non-radiative runs predict too steep density profiles, whereas runs including additional physics and/or treating gas clumping are in better agreement with the observed gas distribution. We report for the first time the high-confidence detection of a systematic difference between cool-core and non-cool core clusters beyond \sim 0.3r200, which we explain by a different distribution of the gas in the two classes. Beyond \sim r500, galaxy clusters deviate significantly from spherical symmetry, with only little differences between relaxed and disturbed systems. We find good agreement between the observed and predicted scatter profiles, but only when the 1% densest clumps are filtered out in the simulations. [Abridged]

Self-Similar Dynamical Relaxation of Dark Matter Halos in an Expanding Universe

We investigate the structure of cold dark matter halos using advanced models of spherical collapse and accretion in an expanding Universe. These base on solving time-dependent equations for the moments of the phase-space distribution function in the fluid approximation; our approach includes non-radial random motions, and most importantly, an advanced treatment of both dynamical relaxation effects that takes place in the infalling matter: phase-mixing associated to shell crossing, and collective collisions related to physical clumpiness. We find self-similar solutions for the spherically-averaged profiles of mass density rho(r), pseudo phase-space density Q(r) and anisotropy parameter beta(r). These profiles agree with the outcomes of state-of-the-art N-body simulations in the radial range currently probed by the latter; at smaller radii, we provide specific predictions. In the perspective provided by our self-similar solutions we link the halo structure to its two-stage growth history, and propose the following picture. During the early fast collapse of the inner region dominated by a few merging clumps, efficient dynamical relaxation plays a key role in producing a closely universal mass density and pseudo phase-space density profiles; in particular, these are found to depend only weakly on the detailed shape of the initial perturbation and the related collapse times. The subsequent inside-out growth of the outer regions feeds on the slow accretion of many small clumps and diffuse matter; thus the outskirts are only mildly affected by dynamical relaxation but are more sensitive to asymmetries and cosmological variance.

 

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